On view

I’ve been shifting around some art at the Workhouse today.  I didn’t have much time to work on things, but I have been given some space to showcase some work that I had done previously.  If you stop by you can see a few pieces right when you walk in to Block 6.  I also have a few more pieces down the hall!

In other news, I’m working on some applications for some residencies and fellowships.  Also, if you’re in the area tomorrow, I’ll be at Palette 22 tomorrow working on some things.  Stop by if you can, 5-9 pm.

Happy Monday!

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Saturday Studio session

This weekend I spent the early part of my afternoon at Palette 22.  I had a really nice time working on some new paintings.  I started using my newspapers I brought back from India, and I’m making a few small guys while I’m an artist in residence at the restaurant.  It was fun meeting and talking with the people that stopped by and checked in to see what I was doing.  A few just wanted to see what I was up to, while others complimented me.  I really enjoyed the two elementary school students who came by to ask me what I was doing.  They had no idea what collage was, but seemed really interested.  Then I asked them what they thought I was working on, and one said,” An elephant?”.  I said, ” I can see how you would guess that.” I showed them that the collage was part of a map and that I liked to mix different techniques together.  I said,”  Do you think you would ever try that?”  One said,” I didn’t know you were allowed.”

That is why I teach, folks.

It’s been a great chance to mingle with the community, unexpected conversations from all people today.

Here’s a peak at what I was working on:

 

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Netted Tributaries.  Above a woman dining.
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Newspaper, not maps, this time.
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More newspaper clipping from India.
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Two little guys directly across from me.

Where did the week go?

It’s Friday tomorrow and I realize I only spent a few hours in the studio this week.  So sad, really.  There will be a time when I will be able to be there regularly.  This week I managed to start on a new painting.  This will be the first larger one I’ve started since I’ve been back from in fact.  It’s a river in Chennai!

Oh, by the way, I’ll be at Palette 22 on Saturday from 12- 4 pm!  Come visit if you can!

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As I was leaving Tuesday, I saw the ominous clouds building over the studios.  But it was beautiful.
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I managed a little more after this. 

I’m in

This week has been so busy, but in a good way.  I made it to the studio a few times this week and also started a new “job”.  It’s not really a full time job, more like an artist gig to get out into the community.  I’m now working as an Artist in Residency with Palette 22.  Palette 22 is a restaurant in Shirlington, VIrginia (right outside of Washington, DC) that specializes in art on the plate and art on the walls.  It’s a vibrant place, and really interesting.  I was just there painting and making this past Wednesday, and I’ll be there again next Saturday June 4th from 12:00 – 4:00.

I’m hoping to get a regular schedule going there throughout the summer, so if you’re around and near by, come on in!

Here are a few pictures of what’s been going on this week:

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This week’s set up at Palette 22.
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Work in progress at Palette 22.
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Up and ready to be sold!
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My new studio at Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, Virginia. 

As soon as the school year is over, I’ll have a regular schedule at both places.  I can’t wait to interact with the community and share what I’m doing.  Already I’ve been inspired to create some new pieces that are a little bit of departure from where I am.  I can’t wait to use both spaces as tools to see what where I can go.

Studio update

I’m moved into my new studio space over at the Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, Virginia.  Of course there is more settling in to do, but I managed to get a bit of work done today.  After dropping supplies off all week, it was nice to get busy on my art again.  The move went well, and I had such a warm welcome from my new art community.  Lucky for me, my studio is in a mixed media art community, where there are weavers, fabric workers, painters and jewelry makers.  I feel fortunate that I get to work side by side with all of these creative beings.  It’s sure to inspire.

Soon I hope to have a real schedule of times where I will be available to meet people, and be available for Workhouse visitors, but until then I’ll be there irregularly until the school year ends.

On the bright side, I’ve been given an opportunity to make art in a local restaurant called Palette 22 .  I will be there this coming week from 5-9 pm during their dinner seating.  I’m excited that I’ll be interacting with the public.  I’m not quite sure what I’ll be making yet, but I have a feeling it will involve newspapers from India……

Stay tuned for updates and pictures to follow of these new experiences.  I can’t wait to share them!

 

The red thread

A while ago I was going through an artistic slump, I had no direction. I felt suffocated in my job as well as my artistic practice.  Lucky for me, I decided to take a class to keep up my teaching certificate.  Who would have thought that this class would have such a direct impact on my life and the way I have created art for the past 4 years.

I met a man named Kurt Godwin.  He was a professor of painting for VCU.  He primarily taught multidisciplinary classes for art educators, but it was clear that he was truly a renaissance man.  The first meeting we had as a class was at his home.  Not many professors invite you to their house without meeting you before hand.  I knew then, that this class would be different for me.

It was exactly what I needed.  I had been going through the motions of making art, but felt stagnant in my pursuits.  Kurt helped me turn that around by talking with me weekly about where I was going, what I was doing. But not in passive or aggressive kind of way.  He wanted to get to know his students…and often he would use humor to get at that relationship.

To push people to think beyond their own ideas, or to help students get “unstuck” he said, he always said,” Why not add a little red?”  What? Most people would give him a strange look, most people would just balk at the idea.  Why red?

One day I was working– and struggling on a painting I actually despised.  I was overworking everything about it, and it seemed hopeless.  Kurt came over and said,” What about a little red line?” I looked at him, thought about it….and from there I just interpreted that red line in a variety of ways.  Was it really about the red?  What was it about this exchange that had a deeply profound effect on the work I was doing?

I think it was because of the way in which he just connected to me.  He wasn’t in charge of my painting, I was.  I could decide what fit, what to let in.  He was just offering a little suggestion of what could be.  Red, a symbolically charged color, coming from a compassionate teacher who wanted to help a struggling artist to see more than she thought of herself.

This weekend is an opening for an exhibit that honors his memory.  If you happen to be in Alexandria, please go!  I won’t be able to make it, because I am still in India.  However, one of my pieces will be there.  It is sure to be an amazing show, with people from all over the area coming to honor a man who helped me see the red thread…the connection between the artist and the work.

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Published

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A few months ago I exhibited in an art show that featured artists from all around the metro area.  The experience I gained by being part of the show was amazing.  In fact, I was approached by a few people to show and exhibit in other places because they had seen my work at Artomatic.

This month my work has been published in a magazine called xyHt.  It’s a survey magazine that is distributed to mostly people in the field of measuring and making maps!   I’m so happy, honored and excited that they’ve decided to feature my work.  I never imagined that my artwork would be so well received by a community that uses such specialized equipment to make and measure our planet. They’re the ones that create all the information that I use to make my own maps.

So if you’d like to take a look, go here.

Also here is the picture from the magazine.  I haven’t seen it in the magazine yet, as I am still in India, but my awesome neighbor received a copy of it and snapped a picture for me.

 

A free weekend = art time

The past few weeks have been extremely busy, coupled with the typical wifi issues.  However, I managed to create some little guys.  I’m really enjoying using the Tamil and Hindi newspapers in my work to represent where I am.  In no other way could I be more present in my art making than using these papers right now.  It just seems so relevant to me.  As I create these new images, I am struck by the real maps I’m engaged with.  There are hundreds of water bodies within the city and outside the city of Chennai.  No wonder this area suffered such tragic loss back in December with the floods.  As I walk around the streets you can still see where there are issues with the road and where certain areas have been hit hard.

The newspapers actually come from my laundry.  Here in India, I send my laundry out, and it comes back to be wrapped in the newspaper.  An extra bonus for me!  If they only knew what becomes of their papers.  It actually is one of the cheapest things you can buy here in India.  Anyone can buy a newspaper.  It costs 1/3 of one penny.

There are a lot of uses for paper you can see on a regular basis:  cleaning, warmth, patching a hole, place mats, and yes wrapping up laundry into nice neat packages.  Like I’ve mentioned in other posts on my other blog, people find uses for items that we tend to throwaway or recycle back at home.  I wonder what they would think of my art making?  It’s certainly not a necessity, or is it?  To me it is.

Art is my familiar place, it’s something I go to when I need to feel a connection to something.  Yes, it’s expressive, but it’s meditative and grounding.  All my work has repetition and layering, and those aspects are very important to me.  I am unwrapping my laundry, but then I’m cutting shapes, filling in space, and creating a new place with my “maps”, maybe, just maybe I’m peeling back the layers of myself to reveal something new.

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Publishing

Artomatic was a great way for me to get my artwork out there and visible to the public.  This past week I’ve been e-mailing with many people who made contact me through that forum.  It’s been great to hear the feedback and have people share interest in the arts.  It’s great motivation to keep making art, and exploring the different facets of theme I’m working with.

One of the most interesting new developments is a surveyor magazine has taken an interest in my work.  the magazine called xyHt has reached out and have offered to publish my work in their magazine in the spring! I’m so excited about this opportunity and honored that they would like to showcase my “maps” in a magazine that covers map making and data collecting in reality!

So, I better get to work.  Those partially-finished paintings won’t finish themselves!

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Make a small purchase, make a significant contribution: Flood Aid for Schools in Chennai

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Topographic Studies, 6in x 6in, $60 each
Relief efforts are now underway to help the people who have been affected by the monsoon floods in the region of Tamil Nadu in India. In an effort to help communities who are most devastated by the floods in the region, I am raising money for a non-profit based in Chennai. The NalandaWay Foundation works with children in under-served areas by providing arts programming all over the region. This organization has been mobilizing efforts to get aid to where it is needed and are intending to support the schools that have been affected the most.
If you would like to help bring infrastructure back to the local schools and provide vital support to the community, please consider purchasing one of my 6”x6” mixed-media paintings. I’m asking for a minimum donation of $60 per piece. I will insure that all proceeds from the sale (minus shipping and cost of supplies) will go directly to the NalandaWay Foundation. Each piece is titled “Topographic Study” and made with re-purposed maps, acrylic paint and ink on hard board. Each piece is ready to hang and signed on the back. There are 27 individual pieces that are available to purchase. I would be able to ship directly or deliver to you when possible.
I will be traveling to Chennai to collaborate with NalandaWay Foundation as part of a grant provided by the Fulbright Distinguished Awards and Teaching program on January 3, 2016 and will return May 1, 2016. For any information regarding this effort please message me.