Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sunset over Samoa or can an old smokestack be beautiful?

17 days until the vernissage at Piante in Old Town, Eureka, Saturday August 6, 2011

This is what happened. We had some time to kill between dinner out and a movie, so we decided to walk along the shore in Eureka, washed over by one of those icy cold and vibrant winter sunsets.
Without paying much attention, we ended up inside some large wire enclosures...and kept walking and taking photos and talking about the end of the pulp mill era. The end of the stink, and the end of the jobs. The rusting hulk, and the seeping toxins. How when we moved here our real estate broker pointed out the active smokestack with its plume across the bay. He thought it enhanced our view. He was part of the generation that saw this as progress.
Well, we got stuck, the gates were closed when we wanted to get back to the car. My man, manly as he is, wanted to climb over the tall fence. Luckily, before he actually did so, we found a way out of the maze. Don't know if my painting is based on his or my photo. We often photograph the same thing and then argue about who got the best shot. It is a three color registration monotype diptych.

For an extensive and unique exploration of human impact on our earth take a look at local artist and art professor Cynthia Hooper's paintings and videos. I quote from her website: "My videos, paintings, and interdisciplinary projects investigate landscapes transfigured by social and environmental contingency. My work is meditative and poetic, but also takes a generously observational and generally factual approach toward the places I examine."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mendenhall Glacier - Reflection, diptych: it is retreating for good?

As these majestic rivers of ice melt, we face the prospect of a world without them - and their fate will affect us all. I seek to bring the intense beauty of remote glacial landscapers into your life and make the dilemma real.

This painting of the Mendenhall Glacier is inspired by a photo by my friend David Smith. I am grateful for his permission.

" The Juneau Icefield Research Program has monitored the outlet glaciers of Juneau Icefield since 1942, including Mendenhall Glacier. From 1951-1958 the terminus of the glacier, which flows into suburban Juneau, has retreated 1,900 feet (580m). The glacier has also receded 1.75 miles (2.82 km) since 1958, when Mendenhall Lake was created, and over 2.5 miles (4.0 km) since 1500. The end of the glacier currently has limited crevassing, a negative glacier mass balance and will continue to retreat in the foreseeable future."

19 days until the vernissage at Piante in Old Town, Eureka, Saturday August 6, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Naiad over Beagle Channel: Glacier Art Project

20 days until the vernissage at Piante in Old Town, Saturday August 6, 2011

I am not sure why these figures entered the Glacier Art Project, but they pushed in, and I feel strongly that they belong. I think they connect the remote glacial landscapes to humans. They make a link between the melting ice, the rising waters and us. Some of them seem frozen, some are playful at waters' edge. At the exhibit you will see them grouped with glaciers. They are my own invention. I find them surprising and cool!

Greek mythology gives us a multitude of nymphs associated with life giving waters: Nereids, nymphs of the Mediterranean Sea, Hyades, rain, Limnades, lakes, Potameides, rivers, Oceanids, salty water and Naiads, of fresh water. At the splintering edge of a tide water glacier one can imagine playful Naiads, bathing, dancing, singing, and also raging as the glacier violently calves an iceberg.

Naiad over Beagle channel, monotype 15"x 22"

Together & With You at Water's Edge, transfer drawings

21 days until the vernissage at Piante in Old Town, Saturday August 6, 2011

These cool and dreamy monotypes have figures created using transfer drawing. The figures are based on live models I sketched during the croquis session run by Joyce Jonté at StewART galleries. (Thursday night, and Friday mornings, drop ins welcome, reasonable fee - amazing artists! ) Paul Klee made interesting transfer drawings. With my artist collective 7 Plus, we brought accomplished and inspirational artist and teacher Annie Stromquist up to Humboldt for a workshop in various printing techniques, among them transfer drawing. I like incorporating this element into my monotypes. I use it on two different ways...more about that soon.

I notice a new follower on my blog! Thank you! Feel free to make comments.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Running Fast on Black Sand: At Waters' Edge

22 days until the Arts Alive! Opening at Piante. Here's a small monotype with transfer drawings of a figure running fast, running away, enjoying her run, on a black sand beach.

Friday, July 15, 2011

23 days until opening at Piante: At Water's Edge on the North Coast

In the cozy center room at Piante, I will show a series of favorite shorescape from Humboldt County. Including, Arcata Marsh and the Moonstone Beach. I like walking on our beaches and shores in all kinds of weather. It always lifts my spirit and make me feel whole and happy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

24 days until opening at Piante: What is a monotype? Rembrant, Degas, Diebencorn and Oliveira created monotypes.

This show features 34 oil monotypes on archival paper. They were created at Patricia Sennott’s monotype collective, first using The Ink People’s Center For The Arts (TIP) lab and its hefty etching press. Now relocated to the StewART studios in Arcata after the monotype collective became "homeless" after the 6.5 earth quake in January 2010 made the Municipal Auditorium in Eureka, which housed TIP, unfit to occupy.

Patricia Sennott is an award winning artist know for her vibrant monotypes of birds and florals. She has an occasional, highly coveted, opening in her Friday monotype group. Most of the members keep coming for years. Great master, talented members and an inspiring setting!

Monotyping creates an image by drawing and painting on glass. The artist then transfers this image onto a sheet of dampened paper using a printing press.

It is an ancient art form, used by Rembrandt, Degas, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse and others. Contemporary artists known for monotypes are Nathan Oliveira and Richard Diebencorn.

To clarify, while it is a print, it is not reproducible but a singular, unique work of art. While many types of printing techniques produce a series of images, the monotype gives you only one.

I find making monotypes a sensual art form - the slick glass, the creamy inks, the hand of the fine paper, the smooth brayers, the gentle movement of the huge press – And the frisson in creating something that you don’t – can’t control completely.

The first photo shows Patricia Sennott printing at the Ink People's lab. In the second you see me with a monotype painting on plexiglass ready to be run through the press, followed by a photo of the big old etching press with a young student. The next photo shows the first three colors (yellow and magenta) of a three color registration monotype. In the following image the final color, cyan, has been added for a multicolor effect. Lastly, a picture of the set up, a glass palette with oil inks, a brayer and knives for mixing. I also use wipes, q-tips, a dental tool given to me by my dentist, sticks and rags. For clean up i use vegetable oil and soapy water.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

25 days until opening at Piante! About press releases, and painting in Iceland.

Just sent in my stories and images about the Glacier Art Project & At Waters' Edge, to the Journal, and asked the Times Standard life style editor when to send it to her, in time for the August 6 opening.

We artists here in Humboldt County are really quite spoiled with the amount of free publicity we get in the local papers. Big colorful and beautifully composed spreads in the Style section of the Times Standard are common and appreciated. The new monthly Muse insert of the Journal, focused on the arts, promises even more arts coverage. The Arcata Eye and the McKinleyville Press also give space to the visual arts.

When it comes to the actual writing of a press release I take the time to review Kevin Hoover's, editor and founder of The Arcata Eye, "How to get a press release published in the Arcata Eye" each time I need to write one. Not only is it succinct and practical, it is also very entertaining in the inimitable Kevin Hoover way. I recommend it highly. Bob Doran, listed as staff writer, arts & entertainment editor at the Journal (you know him, he is the tall, cuddly guy with the camera who is everywhere and knows everyone - he now has 1, 574 friends on facebook) Recently, Bob, kindly took the time to give advice to Open Studio participants on how to submit press releases. He said to send it as an open text in an email. (not as an attachment) indicate what it is about, in the topic line, and be sure the images are of a size that is printable. And, he pointed out, that unless the story has a byline it is written by the person who submitted it.
So if your art looks good in print, your story is interesting, and you follow the guidelines by Kevin and Bob, you have a pretty good change to get featured in the local papers. If you have a photo of yourself painting, or falling into a crevasse, you just painted, then email it too.
I'd like to add to this: send it in on time, be grateful for any press you get and thank the editors.
And don't complain - ever.

Here's a photo taken by my great travel companion and sister Susanna, while I was sketching the Snaefellsjoekull in Iceland. This glacier sits on top of the extinct volcano, which is the setting of Jules Verne's famous book "A Journey to the Center of the Earth." I am also posting one of the sketches made on location of the mountain with its melting ice cap.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

26 days until opening at Piante 8/6. Painting Glaciers in Glacier Alley, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina & Chile

"In many parts, glaciers extend from the mountainside to the waters' edge. It is scarcely possible to image anything more beautiful than the beryl-like blue of these glaciers" Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle.

Todays blog post is about painting glaciers al fresco in the Beagle Channel, and about feeling vulnerable as an artist getting ready to show a large body of work.

In 2005 on a trip to visit our son in Chile, my husband and I sailed through the Beagle Channel. We followed Darwin's passage, and I sketched, with frozen fingers, all day long while gliding through Glacier Alley - so named for the numerous, glistening tide-water glaciers that extend into the narrow channel.
I am completely in agreement with Darwin - this was unbelievably beautiful.
Here's a list of the glaciers in order starting from Ushuaia, in Argentine Tierra Del Fuego: Holanda, Italia, Francia, Alemania, Romanche. Romanche, was the best! Huge, and with a magnificent waterfall.
I made several sketches of Romanche, and in the exhibit there will be two monotypes.

I have already dealt with the most vulnerably stage of this show: taking all 34 pieces of art (plus some extras just in case) over to the gallery - wondering what the reaction would be. But it was really good! And the layout seemed to work very well. I thought it looked great! I felt elated! Now it is time to finish the press release and mail it in with images, and hope that the exhibit gets good publicity. Another opportunity to feel vulnerable. Opportunity? My good friend Silke would say that it is good for me.
Here are two photos of me sketching in Glacier Alley. Both taken by Gordon Inkeles. I am very grateful to him for all the fine photos during this voyage. The two monotypes depict the Romanche glacier with its forked waterfall.

Monday, July 11, 2011

27 days until opening of Glacier Art Project at Piante Sat. Aug. 6th!

I should have started blogging about this art show 34 days before the opening since it will include 34 pieces of art - or 6 years ago, since that is how long I have been working on this project.
But, then again, we were not blogging yet. The inspiration for the study and painting of glaciers started in Alaska, in the Glacier Bay in 1995 when I, together with my husband, his 85 year old mother, and our son, experienced out first calving glacier. Ever since glaciers have captivated me.
You are all invited to the opening, but if that is not possible, you can see the art on this blog and also on my website. At Piante Gallery in Old Town, Eureka, I will have two rooms. In the first larger space I will show the Glacier Art Project, 20 works, in the more intimate center room I will show At Waters' Edge, 15 works, shorescapes from our beautiful north coast. It is all about water.

I also thought it might be interesting for my readers to know all the bits and pieces involved in putting on an art exhibit - from the artists viewpoint. All the shadow functions after all the art has been created. Since I am fortunate to be working with a professional full service gallery - with a great reputation and a lot of experience - I am not alone in this work. The result will be a lovely, festive opening that will seem quite effortless!

Shadow functions for an exhibition:
Choose the best pieces for the show - I probably have twice as many.
Get the measurements of the gallery, make a preliminary layout of the work. For this I had wonderful help from my artist friend, Tina Rousselot, who has an eye for keeping a space exquisitely uncluttered.
Photograph, enter in iPhoto, name, sign, measure, and price all the pieces.
Update my website, start blogging, tweeting, linkedin -ing about the show. (overwhelmed already!)
Work on the wording of an invitation, choose a piece to feature. Check on dates, times, fonts.
Make a list of local people to invite, get their postal mailing addresses.
If you don't live here I'll send you an email invitation. You can see the show on my website.
Figure out when to send a press release to the local news media.
Invite local art critic home for an exclusive "vernissage" - and hope he comes.
Write the press release, choose images to go with it, send it out and hope it gets featured.
Write the artist statement - not too long, not too cryptic. In Swedish we have the word lagom, which means just right. Wish me luck!
For all the writing ask husband to edit...and thank him!
Figure out how to use social media to get out the word about the art show -
I could use your help with this. How are you making use of social media?

It all started with seeing calving glaciers at the Glacier Bay of Alaska. Here are two monotype paintings showing the explosive calving, and the lovely frigid bay.