Stretching For New Work

wash wax

‘Wash Wax at Michael McMillan’s House ‘ 20 x 16″ watercolor with collage

 

I’m really enjoying my new found love of collage. It seems to have set a fire under me that I would never have guessed would have happened. Combining watercolor and collage has proved a natural. Add to that some drawing, and voila

That brings me to thinking about how much things have changed for artists like myself over the years. I remember a time when we were told we should only focus on one media. Well, that’s out the window, thank goodness. With all the new materials available there are countless combinations and variations from which to choose. Happy experiments lead us down interesting paths sparking our sense of play.

Last weekend we stopped by a museum show in the North Bay featuring artist Evri Kwong, who has done some striking works combining his surreal landscapes, drawings with sharpies, and even some fabric. The pieces were exciting and inspirational.

kwongEvri Kwong, artist, courtesy Lannan Foundation

With a nod to traditional artists, I for one, am totally excited to see and experience these new ideas presenting in the world of art today. I can picture artists throwing off the old societal rules regarding “art,” and what it should be, and instead treating us to their personal artistic vision.

 

Art And That What We’d Rather Not Do

Return To Balance

I can’t think of one artist who would rather be attending to business than making art. Michael and I usually try to keep a couple of shows going throughout the year, but got slack in 2018. Thank the gods for Lauren’s Cafe in Boonville. Our friends Natalie and Lauren keep us in mind and slip us in here and there. We will be showing there for a quick month March 18-April 14.

Michael has been working on assemblages, and Susan is planning on debuting all works on paper. Above is one of those works, ‘Return to Balance.’

Feeling guilty about not getting a show calendar going, I did spend time updating our little website, linking to sales pages (feeling a bit sullied after that) and working on our monthly newsletter. Got to admit the newsletter is fun, probably because it is so visual. I even got links to the website, and Etsy (the sales pages) of to the right of this blog. Mailchimp sign up will actually take left-brain time, and my studio is calling…

Any artists who have conquered the business side of the studio, please let me know your secrets…

Show at Lauren’s March 18-April14—–Great Food—–Good Friends——Great Art

 

 

 

In its own existence

It would be extremely difficult to tell exactly how many practicing artists in the assemblage arts medium in the U.S. maybe 5,000.

If we take this arbitrary number and multiply it by a minimum of five works we begin to see the magnitude of the production of art assemblage each year. When this is multiplied over a period of five years the production becomes staggering and then we must focus on the problem of quantity-quality. The variations and diversity of expression found within this number of works is equally enormous, as each is a separate entity unto itself. Most of these assemblage art works will be insignificant and inferior works but many will be valid and exciting forms. The immediate problem is discerning the good from the bad, The collector of art is under constant bombardment and must ferret out what holds meaning for themselves.

voo doo                                          @Assemblage by Michael H. Wilson 2019

The goal toward which all our artistic endeavors make the connection. The task of art and the richness and poetry felt.

The task of the artist, the feeling of creating and finding the points of the compass to lead the artist to the way of things which radiate into your works. At first the artist must navigate through the array of finding things that will go into the final product. There is a wilderness of working through to finding the right components leading to a little star dust caught. Fragments of the detritus of everyday life. The identity of an object is challenged or elaborated in terms of interplay between reality and representation. Ultimately works can be reassembled, removed, a different order, shaken, tilted. The artist works to the artistic invention and imagination that the spectator might find meaning and even joy in these creations.collage 2                                               @ Collage by Susan Spencer 2019

 

Open Studio Over Memorial Day

root swellNow on to the busy spring….there is nothing like an open studio event to get the place cleaned up! Michael is weed whipping the driveway, and I am trying to decide what cookies to bake for the upcoming weekend…

New for us this year is an outdoor display of Susan’s popular watercolors in the front garden. So it’s time to clean the fountain, and put water hyacinth in the fish pond….the red-hot pokers are blooming, and the dogs haven’t dug up the strawberries… yet!

We are also adding a pal to our open studios up here: Nadia Berrigan will be showing her photography up here. Yay for art friends!

Anderson Valley Open Studios, May 26-28, hope you can make it up the hill and have a visit, we are looking forward to it!

 

Studio Sneak Peak

studio 1

studio2

A huge big thank-you to all our friends who attended our opening at Mendocino Art Center last weekend. We had such a great time, and the center appreciates all of our support. Makes us pause and count our blessings…

And with the beginning of the week (right after slacker art group, which was phenomenal as usual,) I was ready to plow into preparations for the open studio event up here over Memorial Day weekend. The studio was in disarray, and still not as functional as it could be, so I dug into my side of the room.

With my new-found passion for having several work stations going at once, I did a little rearranging and total de-thugging. I now have four(!) work stations where I can assemble, paint, and explore to my heart’s content.

The top photo shows where I can work on the laptop, my “explore” corner (currently art journals), my new watercolor desk, and a new assemblage area. The corner comfy chair has a small table for laptop where I can ‘you-tube’ away with inspirational techniques or hook into some music. I have reached studio Nirvana….

For a more in-depth tour of my pride and joy, come visit Anderson Valley Open Studio Tours, Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28. We will be open from 11-5 each day.

Also coming up is the opening for the Influence and Inspiration Project exhibit, a collaboration between Alexis Moyer and myself at Edgewater Gallery in Fort Bragg, Friday May 4th, with the show continuing through the month of May. We still have a couple of spots open for the Influence and Inspiration workshop on May 5th at Edgewater, so let us know if you are interested in attending, at www.myartmuse.net

 

Hurrah For Diversity

red circleWhat a great surprise! I was gone for a week to Florida (Grandson time!) and when I got home, Michael surprised me with a new piece he is working on. I snuck a quick photo behind his back to show a work-in-progress.

We are both expanding our art edges this year and finding it more enlightening  than we ever could have imagined. Playing with new ideas and techniques is profoundly rewarding. We are finding that not every piece has to be a masterpiece; now we are free to grow. I read this quote while on the plane: ” Play is the cornerstone of creativity and innovation.” Amen.

New Watercolor “Half-Light”

Half-Light

“Half Light” available on our Etsy shop

For the past couple of weeks I have been toying with the idea of a larger watercolor based on a smaller study that I did earlier this year that was popular at the preview show Alexis Moyer and I did at her shop in October.

“Half-Light” reminds me of Carlos Casteneda’s theory that twilight is a time of magic moving over the landscape. Maybe a little “Starry Night” thrown in. Lol,  Don Juan meets Van Gogh…

It certainly was a fun piece to paint and has got me thinking I’d like to explore the subject even further. And it seems I am getting more and more colorful. These rainy days of January could use a little lightening up, huh?