Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Introducing: The May Collection

Last week I shared with you the starting point of my collection for this month, and today I want to share how it all turned out.  This collection isn't as cohesive as I would have liked it to be, but I find that that happens a lot to me when I don't begin a collection with a very, very clear idea of what I want it to be.  As several different ideas came to me, all stemming from a focus on shape, I chose to pursue each one rather than continue on with the very first idea I started on.

First, this collection actually consists of 9 pieces instead of 10 because I received a commission this month and I counted that as one of my 10 pieces for the month.  All of these works are acrylic on heavyweight, cold press watercolor paper and they are 8"x10", with the exception of the diptych, which consists of two 5"x7".

The two paintings below were the first two that I worked on.  The first is titled "Fragmentation" and the second is "Fracture Mountain".

I think I loved the idea in my head more than in practice.  I still like them and I am glad that I made them, but I think that painting any more than two of these would have made me go a little crazy!  Since I still loved the idea, but I couldn't handle anymore tiny shapes, I decided to try the same concept, but a bit bigger.

These two are named "Rift" and "Schism".  In making these, I quickly realized how difficult it was to place colors without putting two similar shades right next to each other, so I mixed a surprising number of colors in order to make these work.

After painting the same idea, just in two different scales, I was inspired by an artist I follow on Instagram, Cassandra Ott, who is making a scalloped pattern a day for 100 days (also known as the 100 days project on Instagram).  I have been loving her work, so I wanted to try to make my own scallops...

My first scallop painting, "Plating", isn't as successful as I was hoping, but I still really like it - especially in the grayscale.  Of course I had to try it again and made "Clamber".  This second one I like even more and I'm really a fan of the two sizes of scallops together.  There could be a scallop collection in the future...

These two paintings, "Ugly Duckling" and "Pink Lemonade" came about organically.  As I was brainstorming ideas of what to draw next, "Ugly Duckling" came to mind and I thought, "why not?".  This painting really went through the stages of "this was a horrible idea" and "this is so awful" to "wow, I actually really like this" and finally to "this could be my favorite one!".  I have found that some pieces look great during the process and some go through a very serious "ugly duckling" phase, hence, the title.  The second one was actually the very last piece to be drawn.  I finished "Ugly Duckling" and laid out all the other pieces and saw that they had organically come in twos, which was completely unplanned.  So "Pink Lemonade" is like "Ugly Duckling" in that a very concrete shape is bordering the chaos, but it also circles around to the pieces that I did first by its inner shapes.

This diptych, "Spinning Spheres", came as a result of mis-tearing my paper for this collection.  The only way to fix the tear in the paper was to make it smaller, so instead of an 8"x10", I made two 5"x7".  This piece gave me a lot of trouble and, even though it had been totally drawn out for weeks, I waited until the very end to actually apply paint.  I loved the shapes that I had drawn out, but I didn't want to paint them in like I did on the first two pieces of this collection.  Instead, I drew over them in with a black Micron pen and then applied layer upon layer on top on them.  I really like how these turned out and the conversation they seem to be having.  Out of this collection, this is the one I chose to keep.

In creating this collection, I learned some valuable things:
1. Start with a very clear idea of what the collection will be
2. For heaven's sake, utilize the sketchbook before committing to the idea
3. Lemons to lemonade - a random diptych isn't such a bad thing

Except for "Spinning Spheres" and "Schism", all of these paintings are for sale in my Etsy shop and the link of their titles will take you directly there.  As always, the shipping is free.

I hope you've enjoyed this collection!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Collection Inspiration: May

At the beginning of each month, I am going to strive to post my inspiration and beginning thoughts for the collection of the month.  Since I didn't do that earlier, I wanted to post my inspiration for my May collection today, before I post about the pieces on Tuesday.

A few months ago I was listening to a podcast in which they were talking about the elements and principles of design.  I was struggling to come up with collection ideas, so the discussion really struck me and I thought "What if I make a collection based on the idea of each of the elements and principles?"  I loved the launching point, so I pulled out an old art textbook to start reviewing.

The first element of design covered in my textbook is line.  I focused my April collection on line and write up a post about that collection in a few weeks.  The second element is shape, and that is where my ideas for this month's collection began.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ever Gone on a Gallery Stroll?

Did you know that many cities have "Gallery Strolls" or "Art Walks"?  These strolls or walks offer a great opportunity to visit a gallery without any pressure of purchasing anything.  These events are open to the public and are completely free.  Oftentimes, galleries will plan an artist reception on the night coinciding with the stroll, so you can have the chance to talk with the featured artist.  Also, if you need more encouragement to attend a stroll, most galleries offer hors d'oeuvres and beverages and who doesn't love free food?!

Here in Salt Lake City, the gallery stroll takes place on the third Friday of every month from 6-8 in the evening.  Unfortunately, I don't always remember to schedule in the gallery stroll on my calendar every month, so I often forget or schedule over it.  This month, however, I wrote it in and made it a point to attend.

Because I've lived in the Salt Lake valley for awhile, I have my favorite galleries and my favorite events.  One of my favorite events is the 300 Plates exhibition and fundraiser put on by the Art Access Gallery.  This gallery sets itself a part from the rest in that its mission is to make art accessible to Utahns with disabilities.  To read more about their mission and purpose, please visit their website, which is linked above.  The 300 Plates event is a yearly fundraiser in which local artists create their work on 11"x10" plates, made from plexiglass or tempered panel, to be sold to raise money for the gallery to pursue their mission.

Although I didn't attend the opening event of this exhibition, I did visit the gallery the night of the stroll to view the 300 plates and it is such a fun experience.  There aren't many other opportunities to see the work of so many different artists at one time and in one place.  It is quite a rush!

This piece is by Laura Hope Mason and it was one I fell in love with instantly.  I have never seen any work by this artist before, and that is, again, one of the benefits of this event!

This work is by Ryan Akerley.  This photo was taken at an angle to avoid the glare, but the amazing colors and movement of this piece really captured me.  Some of the pieces that were done on plexiglass really utilized the transparency of the material, like Akerly did here.  It's no surprise that this one had sold before I arrived!

This last piece is by Chad Farnes and is created by a collage of tape! This was incredible to see in person.  The color, detail, and texture of this work is truly phenomenal.  Check out his website for more information on his process.  

Although I visited two other galleries that night, this was the most spectacular show of the night.  I will commit to making my best efforts to attend the gallery stroll regularly and bring a taste of the night back here!