Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Art Around Athens + First Open Studio Event!

Paper Covers Rock: Graphic Arts and Athens Music at the Lyndon House Arts Center
Recently I visited the Lyndon House Art Center and was excited by all the activity happening in our local Athens art center.  If you are a fan of R.E.M. or the B-52's you will want to check out this exhibition for sure.  Curated by Sean Bourne, this exhibition of graphic and fine arts explores the "unique relationship of art and music in Athens during the flourishing decade 1975-1985.  Check out for more information.  Hurry though, it's only on view through July 26th.

And fortunately for all you color theory buffs, you will have more time to see interactive exhibition Roy G. Biv 8.2 also on view at the Lyndon House.

detail of exhibition, Roy G. Biv 8.2

  The viewers are in control of this interactive exhibition which tells the story of color theory, allowing visitors to be active participants in creating the visuals of the space.  Touch screen monitors line the gallery wall inviting your participation with an array of vivid blocks of color.  The colors selected on each monitor corresponds to a different part of the Alber-esque compositions, projected on mirroring sides of the gallery walls. 

detail of exhibition, Roy G. Biv 8.2
detail of exhibition, Roy G. Biv 8.2
detail of exhibition, Roy G. Biv 8.2

Lyndon House Art Center 2-floor gallery space

this space is beautiful and I highly recommend a visit if you are in Athens, its walkable from downtown

They also offer a wonderful children's art program as you can see from these temporary exhibitions from their summer camp programs

Can you guess what the theme for this week's camp was?

If you are visiting Athens this summer, also of interest is ATHICA (Athens Institute for Contemporary Art) which is our own alternative, non-profit, art space.  This summer's exhibition is ripe with multi-media modest-scaled installations of up and coming local talent.  On view through August 24, Emerges 7, features the work of artists Addison Adams, Gabriel Cymerman-Bird, Jordana Dale, Jason Matherly, Christopher Nelms, and Jason Sokolic.  Curated by Ted Kuhn and Tatiana Veneruso, this show is raw and energizes the space with potential and possibilities.

This weekend (Friday & Saturday) I am opening my studio doors to visitors in my first open studio event in the Chase Street Park Warehouses.  As you may know, my studio used to be located in the Big City Bread building and it is hard to believe I have occupied my current space (studio #4 of Mercury AIR) for over two years now!! ...about time to have an open studio, right?  

this is the view just outside my studio and is where I photograph new paintings

a few worn-out brushes and worn-in easel

Should not be telling you this but while I do own a palette knife, two in fact, I rarely use them for mixing color.  This is one reason my brushes don't last as long as they should, I get them in a tangled mess mixing gobs of heavy body paint. In case you wanted to know.

new studio shelf #missionorganization

While I think I have chosen perhaps the worst weekend of summer to hold an open studio (a weekend of final summer get-a-ways it seems) I do hope if you are in town you will stop by and say hi!  I've been on a studio clean-up, re-organizing binge and have even painted one of my walls a light aqua minty teal (Pantone "Bay") which I am very eager to show off and I also recently purchased a Snake plant...better indoor air quality anyone?  Not to mention there are 20 new paintings to preview before they are off to Atlanta!

Thanks for reading.  Hope your day is a good one.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Blank Page: Starting Again

Strategies. Comparisons.  

After a painting break, I use various strategies to get back into painting again since the previous work flow has been interrupted and I need a new place to begin.  I had a really lovely week-long beach vacation and am feeling refreshed and ready to go (back to work)!

sometimes I start with just a color and an image of a previous painting

And it is in these times that I remember how hard it can be to start; the feeling of "stuck-ness" that can come from approaching the blank page.  In these times, I think to the words of John Cage that the paralysis can be broken by "beginning anywhere."  To pick something and start (easier said than done, right?).  It's a good practice to find a limitation, to select something whether that be a certain color, a line, a found image, or a piece of fabric.  By simply selecting something you rule out many other possibilities and narrow your focus.  Or, in the words of Joan Didion:

"What's so hard about that first sentence is that you're stuck with it.  Everything else is going to flow out of that sentence. And by the time you've laid down the first two sentences, your options are all gone." 
(this quote is from American aurthor Joan Didion as quoted in Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland)

or sometimes to start I need to get out a lot of different supplies and just "play" (and make a mess)

or sometimes I take an old abandoned painting, like this one, and start over...

...and that painting became this painting!

Another approach I like to use is to go back and look at older work because after a long laps of time since seeing an image it feels fresh and new again.  Then I also look for patterns in the work, and notice tendencies I had not noticed before (what are the items in my "visual vocabulary"?)  For example, this painting I made in 2006....

Blush 24x24 inches acrylic and fabric on canvas 2006

...and this painting I made in 2012 and while the mark making has become more tame, the colors and way value was used is similar, like in those "stripes."  It can be illuminating to make those comparisons, and there will be things I notice in common between the two which can give me a starting place for today.

Minty Shore 20x20 acrylic on canvas 2012

Do you have strategies you use to start painting after a break?  Or in whatever creative realm you work in, like song writing or sewing?

I would love to hear what you do.  I'll share more later on in the blog, so stay tuned.

Happy Monday!  ( I actually kind of love Mondays since there is so much possibility for the week ahead)  Here's to starting!