Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: a year in review

Last year, I put together a top 13 of '13 list. I accomplished a lot, in no small part to my #art365 pledge. This year, I gave myself some slack. I declared that Art Related Works counted towards making art. So if I spent the day stretching canvases, or wiring work, or delivering work, that counted. There are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that take up a lot of time, that are necessary, that are absolutely not making art. So while this year started winding down, I started evaluating if this had actually been a good idea or not. 

And decided not.

I felt like I hadn't gotten enough done this year. And then I started counting. And updating my resume. And I did actually accomplish a lot this year. No top 14 list, but here are a few of the highlights...

The grant. Once again, I was an IAP grantee from the Indiana Art Commission. Two years ago I was a FY2013 grantee and produced those large scale paintings. This year (FY2015) the grant was used to fund...

Notice the syringe. It's about 1/2" above the surface of the paper.

The residency. My first residency. A week at Hook Pottery Paper working with Andrea Peterson on papermaking. It. Was. Amazing. And that doesn't come close to really describing it. A week of making art with no distractions and the feedback from Andrea all throughout. She pulled a lot out of me that I could not have gotten on my own. She encouraged me to trust myself without thinking about what I was doing.

pulp painting (papermaking) 22" x 30"

Really, I could stop there. The residency was the highlight of the year. But a few other things happened that are worth remembering. 

artwork. I made 159 pieces of art. This is a lot. But it's considerably less than 2013's 216 pieces.

shows. I was in 21 shows. That's up from 15 in 2013. Within that, I showed in several venues which were new to me: Thaddeus C Gallery, Merge Building, South Shore Arts (Salon Show), White Ripple, Taltree Arboretum, Beverly Shores Depot, Hammond Public Library, and Uptown Evolution.

into, acrylic, 10" x 10" at Thaddeus C Gallery

Here's what next aka my plan for 2015.

#art365 needs to be a bigger force. Right after I decided I needed to be brutal about making art everyday again, I got sick. Too sick to be out of bed for a couple of days. There was no possible way I could make art those days. So, while I need to remain in the habit of making art everyday, I also need to accept that there will be days it just won't happen. 

#art365 12.16.14 gouache

The resume needs to be updated more regularly. At least once a month. I'm not entirely sure that 21 shows is accurate but that was all I remembered. It will also need to be edited severely because it's two full pages now and it's already down to 10 point type. I have 4 shows booked for 2015 already and they aren't listed yet. (Members Only and LIVE ART at Studio 659 in January and February, Indigenous Landscapes is travelling to the Indiana Welcome Center in February, and the as-yet-untitled solo show of my papermaking at the Towle Theater in April and May.)

below the surface, acrylic, 11" x 14" at White Ripple

Reach farther Despite the fact that I showed in all those new places, the rest of the shows were all in a handful of spaces. I need to move out of my comfort zone. (and out of Northwest Indiana)

pulp painting (papermaking), 22" x 30"

It has been a great year. Best wishes to all of you and yours for 2015!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

postcardswap #4

It's that time again! Yep, postcardswap #4 time.

Lori Hutton

What is it? The quick answer is you make a small postcard sized (approximately 4" x 6") piece of artwork and send it out into the world and have one sent to you, as well.

The rules: Or, maybe think of them as courtesies, or how this actually works.

Decide you want top sign up, and email me your full name and mailing address. Sign up by January 8, 2015.  Artwork must be postmarked by January 31, 2015.

Do not sign up if you are not going to send a piece of art out. Really. This will bring about tons of bad karma for you. And it really is sad for the person on the other end who sent something out and didn't get something in return. I do not like getting those emails and then have to track down who failed to follow through.

Mary Schons

Make a piece of art! Any media, any theme, but it must be handmade, by you, for this event. Photography/digital work is fine as long as it's your work. A postcard from your last show is not okay. A piece of art you made five years ago is not okay. Again, about the size of a postcard. It does not have to be an actual postcard, just that size. This should be easy, and not costly, to mail. You can put it in an envelope, or not. But please think about how it will arrive to your assigned artist. You want this piece of work to represent you well. By all means load up the back of the card with all your contact information. The person you send your card to will not be the same person who sends you a card. You will be connecting with two different artists, and hopefully through the follow up blogs and social media, you will be able to connect to even more artists.

Jennifer Billig

Before you mail it out: take a pic and email it to me. And take a good picture. I'm not going to edit it for you. Whatever you send me is what's going to get put out on the interwebs. Please put your name on the jpg file for me. When you email me that, also send a link to wherever you want me to direct people: your website, etsy, blog, facebook, etc. You can also post it to whatever social media you are on. Please use the hashtag #postcardswap. And if you can tag me, I'll reshare it. There will be a google open gallery post, too. Additional info can be added in there, like process, inspiration, etc. I will put together several blog posts following up with pictures of your art and a link to your website (or wherever). I cannot post your artwork and links if you don't send them to me. That may seem kind of obvious, but half of the artists participating last time didn't bother, so please remember to do it!


Let me know you want to be a part of this swap! Know someone else who may want to join us, invite them! The more the merrier!

The photos in this blog post are from postcardswap #3. If you click on the #postcardswap label at the end of this post, it will take you through to all the previous posts and you can check out all the great artists who have taken part in the last three swaps.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

in the studio

This week... a continuation of small interiors and landscapes.

12.17.14 ink and gouache

12.16.14 gouache

12.18.14 gouache (text)

12.19.14 gouache
Also this week, I had another papermaking feedback session, which went very well. We also swapped art, so I now have another piece by Gregg Hertzlieb in my collection. My husband set up a door on some sawhorses for Gregg's visit and it made such an enormous desk. I don't know why I balked at that idea previously. That will be getting moved into my studio later. Out of the studio - I delivered work for January's Members Only exhibit at Studio 659. And got word that several paintings sold from both Paul Henry's and Thaddeus C. Gallery. So I treated myself to this piece by Richard Kooyman

Sunday, December 14, 2014

in the studio

I started this week with a small gouache study based on my studio. Robin Kalinich posted in the Ink & Alchemy facebook group, asking to see everyone's studio, which made me think I ought to just paint it. I'm looking for angles and architecture/structure that I'm not having in the landscapes I've been working on. Also, this piece has an initial layer of text in ink, which is mostly obliterated (and that's okay) by the additional layers of gouache. 

ink and gouache, 5" x 5"

The paynes grey in the lower right corner gave me some hope that I could get the gouache to work in a way similar to the pulp painting. So from there I did some landscapes. You'll notice I did not title them. I decided dating them was sufficient for now.

12.10.14, goauche, 4" x 6"

12.11.14, gouache, 4" x 6"

For the rest of the week, I went back to interiors. I think I will be exploring here for a bit. I wasn't sure what to expect when I posted them online. Although I occasionally do draw things along this line, I don't usually add color and they never get posted. These has been really well received among my online followers, and I'm very thankful for that.

12.12.14, ink and gouache, 4" x 6"

12.13.14, ink and gouache, 6" x 4"

12.13-14.14, ink and gouache, 4" x 6"

12.14.14, ink and gouache, 4" x 6"
Also, this week I had another feedback session on the papermaking. I'm finding these very beneficial. I hope to have two more before the end of the year. Out of the studio this week, I went to White Ripple's Second Saturday opening. It was a full house! Both of the previous shows I have work in are still up: Small Works, and Indigenous Landscapes. I also have another opportunity to exhibit in the works for later this month, more on that next week!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

in the studio

In the studio this week, I've been still playing around with this piece. Layering, layering, layering.

I've also started gathering feedback on the paper I made during my residency. I included this as part of my grant proposal and I've had two official feedbacks. One at my place and one not. This is not at my house. I do not have this kind of free floor space in my studio.

Out of the studio this week, I had an opening Friday at Thaddeus C Gallery in La Porte. I have ten small paintings in FOOT LONG! a small works show also celebrating the gallery's 10th Anniversary. Next week: I have another feedback scheduled midweek. Saturday is the 2nd Saturday opening at White Ripple. The Small Works Show is still up there. And I think ink and gouache will make a return.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Finding the silver lining always makes me sound like a bitch.
Except today.

I never talk about my family here, because this blog is all about art. But today, my son wandered away from school unnoticed. He has severe autism and is completely non-verbal. And he was found safe and unhurt. If autism isn't on your personal radar, let me tell you that kids with autism tend to wander. They often don't understand personal safety and therefore are not afraid. And when they wander, they die. Often. In fact, usually.

So today's throwback is silver lining. And my silver lining is safe at home now.

silver lining, 2013, charcoal, conté, ink, watercolor pencil

Sunday, November 30, 2014

in the studio

This week in the studio, I've been working through how I can take what I learned in the residency last week and apply it to my current body of work. This is definitely a trial and error effort. I've had the paper out once to show some during an interview I did for a local paper - it should be out mid-December. I spent most of this week dabbling with an existing canvas - and taking it a direction I hadn't originally planned.  It started here.

From here, I added in several layers of text using ink pens and then some paper cut out letters followed up with watered down acrylic. I think the acrylic was the most effective. I also think going forward that additional papers (written on) could be layered in underneath. Here is where I finished out the week.

It still needs some more work, and this may not ever get finished.

Today, though! Today was fun. my younger son played studio assistant and we printed our own holiday cards! He was reluctant to start but had a good time once we got going.

Out of the studio this week, I delivered the basketball for the Hoosier Hoop Dreams fundraiser. And delivered work for this week's opening of FOOT LONG! Small Works show at Thaddeus C. Gallery in La Porte. That show opens 5-8pm this Friday (December 5th) I know several other artists exhibiting in this show, and it should be a great show, with lots of gift-giving potential. Next week, I pick up the rest of the paper I made on the last day and will start soliciting input for what will end up in the show. I need to start photographing what I've got on hand already. I'm hoping to "release" one paper each week between now and the show opening.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

in the studio: papermaking residency

This week in the studio, I was not in the studio. At least not my studio. I spent the week at Hook Pottery Paper in La Porte completing a residency with papermaker Andrea Peterson. I am not going to show off completed, dried paper in this post. It was an amazing experience and I am still digesting exactly what happened. I do believe this will change how I work, and how I paint and draw. It is going to take some experimentation to accomplish something similar in a different media.

My goal was pulp painting and the inclusion of text. At Andrea's suggestion the mark-making I used was entirely text based. I was not the best at remembering to stop and take photos while I was working, but I did manage to do a fair job of documenting this piece in particular. These photos are unedited.

the beginning

The red is a partial veil done twice,
once in the lower right and once along the left side.

The royal is a poured veil.

This layer is all text.

more text and a light blue wash
(washed top down through the center)

more text

post pressing but not dried
What's next? I still have to pick up the last day's work. From there I need to sort through it and I'll be asking some people locally for some feedback on what should be included in the exhibit in the spring at the Towle Theatre in Hammond.

I will be posting some of the work through social media. Please follow me on facebook, twitter, google+ and ello.

This residency has been paid for with a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday

This is a pretty recent throwback. I chose this piece today because I reworked this view in paper today. I don't have any photos of it at this point, I should be able to share some later this week, in the studio.

something about the current, acrylic, 20" x 20"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I am working today on sorting through a massive amount of paper scrap which will be embedded in handmade paper next week during my residency at Hook Pottery Paper. I am so excited that this is finally happening. It is nearly a year in the making. This week's throwback is from last November when I first took a workshop there.

again, embedded paper, approximately 8" x 10"

Sunday, November 9, 2014

in the studio

New this week: I actually finished something. More than once. woo-hoo! Three new paintings completed: yet, forgotten, and univision (which was previously devil's slide, but no longer felt like that. A new devil's slide is in the works.)

yet, acrylic, 8" x 8"

forgotten, acrylic, 8" x 8"

univision, acrylic, 11" x 14"

And for the works in progress: a new devil's slide, an as-yet untitled wip, and hollow, which is very nearly done.

the new devil's slide wip. may need to be a square and/or vertical
untitled wip, acrylic 8" x 8"

hollow, wip, acrylic 11" x 14"

Out of the studio: I had three openings this week. Tuesday, there was an opening at Taltree Arboretum as an offsite location for White Ripple Gallery. I've got one #art365 gouache there. Friday was the Artistic License opening at Studio 659. This is an annual juried show, and my piece crashing through took first place! Saturday was an opening at White Ripple for the Small Works exhibit. 

Next week: I've got a newspaper interview Monday and a studio visit on Wednesday. Saturday there are two openings. First up the South Lake Artists Co-op 5th Anniversary Show. I have 3 paintings in this show at Paul Henry's Art Gallery. Afterwards, I'll be heading over to SideCar to check out the group show Earthwerks. In between all of this, I have to finalize details and last minute prep work for my residency the following week at Hook Pottery Paper.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday

My residency at Hook Pottery Paper is finally happening this month. So this week's throwback is help. This was one of the pieces I submitted as support documentation for my grant application (which is paying for the residency). Acrylic and ink on canvas, and almost entirely made through printmaking. I'll be doing some paper work with a similar feel, using layers of colored pulp.

help, 2013, acrylic and ink, 18" x 24"

Sunday, November 2, 2014

in the studio

I was planning to post this later tonight, but then I realized my camera (battery) was dying, and figured I should take some photos before it's too late. I still didn't finish anything this week...but I'm closer than last week. There are three wips right now. The first is hoping to be plush. It is very different than last week, as threatened promised. The second has an ethereal quality which I'm hoping not ruin, and the last one (devil's slide) is a little mesmerizing in person. I decided to just embrace the patterning and not try to stop it. at all. 

Out of the studio, I saw Patti Tobin Davis' exhibit Rhythm Unfolding at South Shore Arts. Her work is up through the end of next week. I picked up work from the Salon Show and Oliver Brown exhibit and delivered work for the Small Works show at White Ripple and Artistic License at Studio 659. The Artistic License show is a juried exhibit, in its third year. I always describe it as all of the work and none of the glory of curating a show, since I end up doing the bulk of the behind the scenes work. On the plus side, we get to give out awards, which is always fun, and because I am not choosing the work selected into the show or for awards, I get to enter work in it, too. I finished installing today, and the show looks great! This year's juror is Ish Muhammad.

Up next week: Tuesday, there's an opening at Taltree Arboretum 11:30-1:30 (and it's free admission that day!) Friday, Artistic License opens at 6:59 pm and awards will be given out at 7:30. Saturday the Small Works Show opens at White Ripple at 7pm on the third floor. The Indigenous Landscapes Show is still up in the Mezzanine Gallery, so if you missed that exhibit during their Grand Opening last month, you've got a second chance to see that.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Today's throwback is from October 2011. Before I started the whole #art365, not just as a concept, but as a process - as a commitment to work every day, I did a facebook challenge to sketch everyday for October. Now, truthfully, I'm not really a sketcher. I'm not now and I wasn't then. And so I was a little stuck on what I was going to do. I settled on still life. So all fruit and later some squash and gourds. Every day I'd set up a new little still life and get to work. The rest of the work can be seen on my facebook page here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

in the studio

This week, I've worked on two paintings, but didn't finish either one. I spent the first half of the week on one and got nowhere with it. And set it aside for a day while I started the other. They are not even close to being done and haven't quite found the direction they are headed, but I'm going to post them anyway, because I don't want to not post today. It's my own personal deadline. They will most likely be unrecognizable between this state and the final paintings.

This first was originally a different part of the prairie and I am relocating it. It just was not working where it was. This happens sometimes. I get stuck and something else catches my eye, and I abandon the first idea for the next. There was a feathery grass of some sort that glowed soft and yellow and I thought plush. I haven't gotten it yet to say plush yet, though, and I'm not convinced that it doesn't need to be horizontal format, rather than a square.

The second is based on the Devil's Slide at the Dunes. I've gotten so involved in the patterning that I've neglected the rest of the piece. That's all just blocked in sand and sky, and is just underpainting. I haven't decided that the patterning is staying yet. I envisioned it looking more like this when completed, which is a bit more random.

Out of the studio this week: This was the final week for the Salon Show at South Shore Arts. I am this|close to booking another show for 2015. There was a quick meet and greet with the Calumet Heritage Partnership at White Ripple Gallery where I have work in the Indigenous Landscapes exhibit. Saturday was also the DAVe (Dyer Arts Visionaries) Pop Up Gallery at the Fashion Show. I had four america series paintings there. Angela Leimer took this photo of stretched out. I love the bright airiness of the painting shining out of the darkness.