In the Studio – New Work

A while back I was the recipient of a mini grant through Blick Art Supplies in partnership with InLiquid Art and Design. Here are the supplies I purchased with the grant and below is my proposal.

I was given more spray paint for Christmas from my family gift exchange. So exciting, look at these colors!

My proposal:

I have been an artist my entire life but sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my time. I ask myself why is it so hard for artists to make a living making art? Artists are without a doubt undervalued in our society. This is the same society that pays NFL athletes an average yearly salary of 1.9 million. These facts curtail the development of some artists. Without the market to sell their work artists stop striving to innovate and literally stop creating new work.

I aspire to create public art as architectural glass installed in buildings to inspire and enhance the lives of many. To achieve such a lofty goal first I need to work through many ideas and create a lot of work. Secondly I need to get this work seen by the public.

I am proposing to make art and give it all away for free. I’ll be working on Dur-a-lar or acetate with liquid acrylics, acrylic inks and spray paint to make pieces that when hung on a window look different depending on lighting. They also look different whether they are viewed from the front or back. After I make the work I’ll share it on social media and then hide it in public places for people to find. If you find it it’s yours and you can keep it or pass it on. Using the hash tag #ifoundfreeart on Instagram people can share where they found it and where it will be displayed. I’m proposing this project to demonstrate the power of art to inspire, enhance lives and build community.

That’s what I wrote and now I’m in the process of making the work. Next will be the fun part of giving it away. I still have to work out how that will actually play out.

 

In January or February I started with some small experiments. I used pours something I know, along with hand made stencils and some found objects used as stencils. I work on separate layers of clear acetate and frosted Duralar so things can be moved around until something works. All the while I’m holding them up to allow light  come through them like stain glass. To photograph them I either tape them to the window or put them on my light box. I started posting them almost every day on Instagram as a way to push myself to work even if I only have a half hour. It’s amazing what is happening here. I have a whole new visual language developing. Here are some of them and some process shots as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiring Artist – Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen was an extremely talented, bright star of the fashion world that left this earth too soon. His work was art with a capital A and will never go out of style. He committed suicide in 2010, he was 40 years old.
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I’m going to share some of my favorites from his body of work but first…

You may be surprised to know that in a former life I was a fashion designer. If you know me you know I dress in jeans and sweatshirts more often than not stained with paint and fabric dye. I majored in Fashion Design at Moore College of Art in the eighties. When I graduated I wasn’t ready to run out and get a job so I stayed in school for a 5th year study where I painted and did my first soft sculpture. Ultimately I took a job as a fashion design assistant. I quickly moved up to head designer and ended up totally burnt out by the end of 3 years. I dabbled in freelance print design but I didn’t see it going anywhere and eventually left the fashion industry altogether to pursue painting and acting. Acting was a great way to get out all my pent up emotions. I loved that it was okay for my character to yell, scream and cry. Anyway, I can relate to how the industry can eat a creative soul alive.

Alexander McQueen inspires me because he was a rebel. Initially trained as a tailor was accepted to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He received a master’s degree in Fashion Design in 1992. He was immediately in the press when his entire graduate collection was bought by the fashion stylist Isabella Blow. They became close friends and she supported him throughout his career. In 1996 he was hired to take over Givenchy but the house was so conservative that he didn’t have the freedom he wanted and needed to do his best work. From the beginning his shows under his own label were like performance art or happenings. His work evolved and yes some of it is absolutely outrageous, but it stands the test of time because of its powerful narratives and incredible innovations. I love his nature inspired work and his beautiful silhouettes.

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Spring /Summer 1999 his show ended with a model wearing a dress that was spray painted by 2 robots. You can watch it here.

No.13 spring-summer 2004 interl-h264 576p 6500kbps from Metropolitan Museum of Art on Vimeo.

Inspiring Artist – LuAnn Ostergaard

I found the artist LuAnn Ostergaard on Pinterest. Here is an excerpt from her website “My creative spirit is awakened by the beauty I see in naturally occurring patterns and textures. I find beauty in imperfection and often see it in scarred and weathered surfaces.”

Everyone who knows me knows I love a good rusty object. She starts with an image of rusty surfaces that she then alters digitally. She prints the finished images with archival pigments on hot press fine art paper. The prints are mounted on boxed panels and sealed with clear acrylic gel medium.

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I love the colors and textures. They look like paintings but the fact that they start as found objects makes them feel real and natural.  They look like landscapes which I also love.

Check out her Pinterest board here to see lots more of her work.

Inspiring Artist / Mary Fischer

Whenever I’m in Philly I try to get to the Snyderman – Works Galleries on 303 Cherry Street in Old City. I somehow missed their fiber show, what a shame. I did come upon some ceramic works by Mary Fischer that were captivating. She makes these beautiful little structures with glazed wonky line work on all the joints and other details that make them look like drawings. I love how she makes 3 dimensional objects read as little sketches from an artist’s sketchbook. It’s probably a lot of work to make things not square but have them meet up just right so they hold together. These pieces are  included in the show called Edifice that is up through May 11th.

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In the Studio – Painting on Dura-lar

In the studio I’ve been working on Dura-lar with acrylic paint.

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It’s a translucent surface that’s similar to Mylar. I’m working on both sides and really playing with all different ways of applying and removing paint. I’ve poured the paint, spray painted with and without stencils. I’ve used a brush to apply paint and then when it’s dry scratched a drawing into it.

I photographed these pieces against a wall first and then taped to my window with light shining through. I can’t even believe how different they look and the idea intrigues me. They could be framed in layers of glass or Plexiglas and hung in a window. They would look one way during the day and completly different at night. Light is a really powerful medium and something we take for granted.

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It’s crazy how different they look, right?

Inspiring Artist – Nespoon

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I’m in love with the work of Polish street artist Nespoon. She uses traditional lace patterns to beautify decrepit city walls and other found surfaces. She researches lace work from whatever country she is working in and says “In every lace we can find a universal aesthetic code, which is deeply embedded in every culture. In every lace we find symmetry, some kind of order and harmony. Is it not that which we all are looking instinctively for?”

She uses actual lace from local women’s work to create web-like installations.

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She uses the lace to imprint clay and patch found holes.

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The lace patterns inspire her large murals.

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She strikes a nice balance between the grungy surfaces and the delicate filigree patterns she imposes on them. She calls them “urban jewelry” and feels they bring harmony to an otherwise chaotic place.

Her images made with stencils and spray paint seem to glow where the overspray creates a soft halo effect.

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As seen in this video she doesn’t just just rely on stencils she sometimes paints these patterns free hand using a contrasting dark color to make them pop off the wall.

Nespoon, São Miguel from Enric on Vimeo.

She brings women’s work out of the linen closet giving these lace patterns a new purpose so they can be admired by many.

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