Friday, September 10, 2010

What's New.........

It's been forever since I posted here and I've been trying to work out how I plan to use this blog. Well..... I plan to use it to talk about my art and all the things that go into me working on it.

The latest news for me on this front is that I have been working with Renee Phillips, a wonderful art coach, author, and advisor to artists! She is also an all around genuinely nice person who really wants to help artists. Imagine! She is one of the nicest people I have met in the art world ever. Right now, we are working on goals - after all - we can't get where we want to go until we know where that is. I have quite a lot of goals, and I tend to be an overly busy person, so I'm in the process of refining what on earth it is I actually want. One thing I do know for sure - I would like to see a lot more financial success coming from my art. I need to write a financial plan. Scary for a right brained gal like me, but I think I am up to the task.

Will post a bit more later, but figured it was TIME I WROTE SOMETHING.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Paintings

In my last blog entry, I bemoaned the fact that I often feel as though I am really two people painting in two different styles. In the past days however, I have been back to my "Romantic Abstraction" style. I have a show coming up in November at the Aphrodite Gallery above Passionale near South Street, and I've decided to use the more abstract works there. The show will be called "Divining the Feminine" and I'll be showing the more feminist oriented work. The piece above will give you an idea of the sorts of images I am making for this show.

The process I am using for these works is a very mixed media approach. I like bringing a three dimensional element to my paintings. The central image is painted on watercolor paper. Sometimes I may also combine pencil. I then have a canvas pre-painted onto which I mount the paper, using modeling paste. After that, I shape clay onto the canvas, and then the clay is painted. In some respects, my process is still somewhat experimental - I'm trying different kinds of clay for different effects, and have just begun playing with the idea of bringing some of the clay onto the central image itself.

I used a slightly different approach for the Twenty-Two Gallery's show, "22 Artists in the Open," which was meant to compliment the larger Art in the Open event going on in Philadelphia. We were encouraged to submit landscapes - which is not usually a genre I paint in. However, last year, on our honeymoon, my husband and I went to Sedona, and I feel deeply in love with the area. I decided to orient my paintings around that landscape. You can see the results here and here. It was especially poignant to me to learn that Red Rocks National Park - where my husband and I were married - is going to be closed for the time being due to budget cuts in Arizona's state budget. It blows my mind to think that an enormous park like that could remain closed, but I suppose it is a sign of the times. I am happy we were able to be there for our wedding, and I hope that their budgetary woes will not last long.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Two Faces Have I

One of the things that has been whirling about in my head lately is an issue I have with my own work. I do in fact have two faces. One of them is of a serious, committed, professional abstractionist whose work has been shown in many galleries and who continues to show her work everywhere an opportunity arises. The other side is that of a fantasy artist - I love to paint romantic pictures of Gods, Faeries, and other mythological beings. I live in fear of not being taken seriously in the art realm because of this "great divide" that exists within me. I have never been able to successfully resolve this.

When I was working on my MFA at Goddard College, I attempted to address the issue in my work there. For a time, it kind of worked. I wound up creating an entire Tarot deck (which I hope to publish later this summer) and then created an installation piece where I could read the Tarot to people seeking help. However, an installation piece tends to be fleeting - it stays up for as long as one has the space in which to install it - and then it comes down. The works I created for the installation were silk paintings, in the style I use for abstraction - and they acted as "walls" for the piece. I loved doing this - I had a friend - Ivo Dominguez, Jr - compose some music for me to allow the space to act as a total sensory experience. So why not do this again?

Because at heart, I am a painter, not an installation artist. I find myself going back and forth as I seem to be called by my muse, which is fine to me. The only place where this seems to be a problem is the art world itself. I know that the galleries that love my abstract work would most likely reject the fantasy work - and certainly vice versa.

I have no answers, only that I know I will paint that which I am called to paint. My work has never really been about making large sales (although I would certainly not reject that option!), it has been about creating that which moves me spiritually. I have had to develop a thick skin as an artist to deal with the inevitable rejection that comes from one place or another and I have come to accept that. I just wish that the art world was not so rigid.

I do often look at the example of a group of artists who are known as the "Black Romantics." These are African American artists who do not seem to really need the mainstream gallery system. They sell their work to collectors and create the works they wish to create. Thelma Golden, of the Museum in Harlem, gave them a show a few years back, but acknowledged that these artists did not really "need" her - they had found a way to operate outside the gallery system.

I think perhaps I could learn a lot from their example. And perhaps other artists should too - perhaps it is time that artists broke free from the rigidity of the gallery system and established their own rules. In this place and time, in this economy, it may be a question of survival.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Balancing Art, Life, and Health

As someone who has suffered with Fibromyalgia for some time, and also deals with arthritis, this has been something I think about quite a lot. Last night, one of the galleries where I show - the Twenty-two Gallery - was having a special event and I missed it due to feeling run down. I agonized with myself over whether or not I should go, and ultimately decided to stay home. It left me with a feeling of wondering what I may have missed.

On the other hand, this morning I awoke with one of those killer headaches I get from time to time. This was the kind of headache that makes me know I won't be functional for quite awhile. It also made me feel as though I had made the right call in staying home. Imagine a headache so bad that it shows up in your dreams - that's what I was experiencing!

About 16 years ago, I was making art that looked more like my insides than outsides - things like veins and blood cells and so forth. I haven't shown that art very much, but I'm still very fond of it. I think it actually helped me through a very rough time and helped with my healing. I'm wondering if perhaps it is time to go back to doing that kind of work.

Just some things to think about.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This is My New Blog.

There will be more here later. I promise.