Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reverb10: Party...."COZ Art Matters"

The prompt for Reverb10 yesterday was : Party. What social event for 2010 rocked your socks off ?
I immediately thought of the fundraiser I participated in for our local artist colony, ARTCOZ ( Artist Colony of Zanesville), "COZ ART MATTERS".
We worked on this starting back in February and it became a huge big deal. Each participating artist needed to sell 11 tickets each. We wanted an "elegant" evening of music, wine and desserts along with viewing the artworks of 10 artists and meeting said artists.
 This was something new for our small, but supportive town, and the response was amazing! We sold out of tickets and rocked the house!
Me standing in front of my artwork

ARTCOZ  President and artist, James Warren

 It was a great example of a small group coming together and realizing a dream, of sorts.
Thank you Zanesville!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reverb 10: Wonder

Lake Ontario Sunset

Autumn Leaf

Queen Ann's Lace
  I am participating in an annual online initiative called "Reverb 10". The idea being, that for the 31 days of December I will write in response to a daily prompt. This will allow me ( in theory ), to slow down and take the time to reflect on my year, and manifest the next one. I am 3 days late, so I will just start here, with today's prompt : Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

 Nature in all her complexity, and beauty, absolutely come to mind. From the colors and grandeur of a sunset, to the delicate lace-like appearance of a wild flower, nature does it for me. Being outside feeds my soul and fills me with wonder. It is just as simple as that.
  I make an effort to spend time outside everyday. The sunrise and sunsets are a particular draw to me. Besides bookending the day, there is something very alluring about that brief time surrounding both. It always feels as if I have stolen some sacred time, when the world is so quiet and peaceful, just waking for the day.....and their is a solemn reverence as the sun slips below the horizon. A moment to reflect on that day and how my time was spent, and to be ever grateful.
  If we take the time to stop and appreciate the simple beauty surrounding us, we are gifted with a sense of peace and calm. And we are reminded that we are but a very small part of this miraculous universe. We are filled with wonder and awe.
 What gave you a sense of wonder in this year just past?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Sketchbook Project Tour 2011

 These are a few of the pages I have completed for the Sketchbook Project. What is this project, you ask? Well, it is a large endeavor put together by Art House Co-op. Anyone can participate. You only have to order a small sketchbook from them, with a theme...either chosen by you or assigned by them. I read about it in a magazine and decided to check it out. The plan is that all these participating sketchbooks will tour the country, and will ultimately reside in the Brooklyn Art Library, 201 Richards St #16, Brooklyn, NY.

 The theme for my sketchbook is " I'm a scavenger".  This suites me perfectly, as I am truly a scavenger. I collect "things" where ever I go. They may be man-made or of nature, but like a crow, I snatch them up and bring them with me to the studio. The only problem I have encountered is that right after I received my sketchbook in the mail, I promptly "lost" it. And, as the saying goes..."out of sight, out of mind."  That was way back in July. I managed to "uncover" it in September, and have been occasionally working on it since. I decided to use acrylic medium to "glue" pages together, so that I would have half as many to do, since time became a factor. I also tried some gesso on  a few pages, and that really has helped with any water media I have chosen. The paper in the book is rather thin.

 This has been a fun and learning experience for me. It was hard at first, to look at this BLANK book and not freeze-up, so I decided to just dive in there, right or wrong. A scary prospect.  It was also difficult knowing that I will not be the ultimate owner of this book. So, I decided to forget about that, knowing that I can take pictures, and document my work.

 Are any of you involved in this project? I would love to hear what you are doing with your little book. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates. It needs to be postmarked by January 15th, so things will be happening quickly here in Studio 202.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Four Word Self Help" by Patti Digh

 I am very excited to share with you, my blogging friends, that, I have a piece of artwork in Patti Digh's latest book "Four Word Self Help", just released this month!!!  I have so admired Patti's writings and her wisdom, that this is extra special.  So, how do you know her, you ask?? Well, let me start at the beginning....

Patti Digh and Abby Nash @ Authors Club

Patti's bag

Patti and myself

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More Spirals

spiral found on a door of a city building in Pittsburgh, PA
  If you have followed my blog at all, you will remember that there are symbols that show up in my work repeatedly. I talked about the Ginkgo leaf in my last post. Competing for the number one spot in my personal symbology is the spiral. I literally "collect" them both in nature and man made. They are something that I truly enjoy looking for where ever I go.
  So, I will share the latest in my collection of spirals, all found in downtown Pittsburgh, PA.

There is a lot of  inspiration to be found here for me. The thing is, that, I don't really know why the spiral speaks to me. I know that it represents growth and continual change. Perhaps it is the fact that I am in the process of growth myself,( growth in my art work and in my career), that I am attracted to them. Just as with the ginkgo leaf, I will continue to dig deeper to uncover the roots of what the attraction is all about.

Do you have a personal list of favorite symbols? Do you know other meanings for what a spiral represents?   I'd love to hear what they are.

PS: below is my reward for a "hard" day walking and biking around Pittsburgh. We were lucky enough to find an Oktoberfest!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ginkgo Anyone?

  I have been asked numerous times as to why I frequently choose to use the ginkgo leaf in my work. Having spent some time exploring this question, I first thought about how I work intuitively....sometimes the work just needs a ginkgo leaf!   Right??    But WHY?    It goes much deeper than that.
 The picture above shows a very large ginkgo tree located on the campus of Ohio University. Back in the early 19060's, the course of the Hocking River was changed, for purposes of flood control. My Uncle Art Blickle, a botany professor, was instrumental in saving the above tree from destruction. Apparently it was an extremely old tree already.As a young person, this "fight" to save the tree captured my imagination. From that time on I became very aware of any ginkgo trees.

  Fast forward 40 some years and I am living in a house with a very guessed it.....ginkgo tree, in the front yard. I am an avid "season-er" and so, I pay a lot of attention to the changing of the seasons and how it effects the plant and animals around me.  This tree usually is completely bright yellow around the 22-23 of October. When it decides to drop it's leaves, it does so all at once! These leaves are very beautiful and leathery and heavy to rake.
 Considered a living fossil, the ginkgo tree has been around for many millions of years. The ginkgo is used as a symbol of longevity and strength over time. One can even find it in pill form to help the memory.                   

I will continue to attempt to figure out the significance of this special tree in my life. I do know that have have not grown tired of  it's beauty and versatility. Rest assured you will see more ginkgo art from me. 
Ginkgo biloba

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Fridays Celebration of the Arts

 This past Friday was our local artist colony's First Fridays Art Walk. The studio/gallery that I work from is Studio 202, as seen in the picture above. I share this amazing space with another artist and dear friend, Susan Stubbins.  Here we work alone and together, sharing ideas and dreams and even critiques. It is an amazing space with wonderful energy. We manage to get quite a bit accomplished when we are not procrastinating. But that is a subject for another blog post!
 We are fortunate here in Zanesville, Ohio to have such a vibrant artist colony. I believe it is so important to be able to network with other artists. We have a regular colony meeting once a month, but there is a standing lunch date every Thursday at noon for any artists in the area. The air is hot and heavy as we discuss many issues and events near and dear to our hearts.
 This month for the art walk, we had beautiful weather and much going on downtown. Susan Stubbins and I had a lot of new work to share, but we also sponsored photographer Mike Wisecarver in our downstairs space. Below are a few pictures taken during the evening. If you are ever in the area, please stop by and check us out. We have regular hours 10:30 to 5 through out the week, and by appointments any other time.
I feel very blessed to have a place away from home within which to create, but also, to have a group of like-minded friends to "hang out" with!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

  September has always been a month for new beginnings. It used to be the back-to-school ritual, but now, with my children out of the house, it is a time for me to reflect upon what goals, dreams and aspirations I have achieved or not achieved, for the year. We start out in January with "resolutions" and by now, we pretty much know whether or not we are on track. SO, with summer winding down, and a new season approaching, I am feeling quite contemplative. I will look back and see if I am indeed on track.
 This summer was a busy one for me with both work and fun. Mike and I managed to sneak away to spend time on one or another of the Great Lakes.  I am also, now an official "volunteer" for the state of Ohio. My "job" is to walk the trails at Black Hand Gorge State Nature Preserve, picking up trash and cutting back trees. Such a tough job, huh?
 I have a few art shows to share with you as well. I had 3 pieces accepted into the Dawes Arboretum show which ran most of August. The theme for this show was "Leaf It To Mother Nature". It was a collaboration of the members of Dawes and of the Licking County Arts group.
The picture to the right is me beside "Leaf Study", at the Dawes show.
I also have 2 pieces in the show "Post Expressions" which is a show containing all post card sized pieces. That show is going on now until September 17, and can be viewed at the LeFevre Hall Art Gallery, on the Ohio State/Newark Campus, Newark, Ohio.
I had one piece, "Perseverance" juried into the professional division of the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Expo....and it sold!!
My intention here is not to be tooting my own horn, but rather, reflecting upon my summer, and yes, perhaps reveling in some of my achievements.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Bittersweet Memory

 My show at the Zanesville Museum of Art came down yesterday, and I picked all the work up today.  It was a wonderful, exciting I am extremely proud of. I am very grateful to the ZMA for the opportunity, and to all my friends and family who supported me in this endeavor.

 Now, back at Studio 202, I am ready to get back to the business of creating more artwork. I am currently working on 2 commission pieces, so they are keeping me busy for the moment. But, I am feeling the pull to perhaps stretch in a new direction. It usually takes awhile for me to incubate an idea. Stay tuned for more to come.

 For now, I will bask in the memory of my first solo show.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Confessions of an Embarrassed Fool or Lessons Learned

Venus Flytrap  copyright Susan Nash 2010
 Have you ever  received the prospectus for an upcoming show, and thought to yourself, " this is the perfect venue for my work", but, not had any work available to submit??

 This happened to me very recently. The show was totally based around a botanical theme, and was to be held at a conservatory. My work of late has been very much organic and botanical in nature. It would be, in my estimation, a perfect fit. The problem ( if you want to call it a problem), was that all my work was being displayed in other shows! Specifically, my solo show at the Zanesville Museum of Art, and The Best of 2010.

 What would you do??

 Well, here is what I did, and I do not recommend it. I had maybe 2 weeks to create a piece for submission. So, I got to work, and very quickly put together a piece in time to take photos and submit it.

 The good news is that I realized it was a hurry-up was done to fit the theme, not created from that place inside me that wants to create.  In plain English, it did not feel authentic. So, I did not enter it. The decision felt right.

 The bad news is that I decided to keep working on the piece and try tweaking it into something that felt right. I thought I got it to that point. But when I saw it hanging recently in another show, it jumped out at me as not being good. It still didn't feel right. So now, I feel a little embarrassed, even stupid for allowing this piece to have been sent out into the world depicting my work. Yuck.

 The lesson I am taking from this is that I should ALWAYS make work that comes from my heart; that is totally authentic to me. NOT try to fit a theme, or catch a specific jurors eye. Just make the work that is my personal soul work.

  Have any of YOU, dear friends and bloggers, felt this silly and annoyed? I am somehow deeply embarrassed that my name is hanging by this piece for the world to see.
I did create it, but I am not overly proud of it.
Lesson Learned.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quilt Surface Design Symposium

  I am newly returned from my classes at QSDS, and thought I would share a bit of the experience.
This symposium has been around now for 21 years and is going strong. It attracts people from all over the world. In their words, it is for anyone interested in working with fabric and ready to challenge the boundaries between what is considered craft and fine art.

 My first class was with book artist Pam Sussman. We had a choice between making 3 different books. For me, the best part was that we learned how to screen print! We used our own text and/or images and screened them to fabrics of our choosing. Then, the idea was to create a book in fabric using some of the material we had just created. I am hooked! Pam was an awesome teacher with infinite patience. I highly recommend her.
   Here is a picture of the book I chose to create. It is called a "concertina " book. I only used a small piece of the fabric I created.  You can almost see it on the second panel from the left. This book was not yet completed in this picture.

    The second class was with Rosalie Dace, who is from Durbin, South Africa. She was an amazing person and teacher, with so much to share in life experiences alone! The class was all about texture and the ways to create it.  Here is a picture of Rosalie working with my dear friend Vivian. ( Rosalie is on the right)

  Above is the work I have, still in process from this class. It has a lot of work left.

 QSDS is an amazing learning experience, but one must also recognize the fact that there are many friendships created and nurtured throughout the years at this event.  I am very grateful to have been able to attend. I was able to "catch up" with people I haven't seen in years, and also to share the time with special friends like Vivian.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Month End Review

 After taking Alyson Stanfield's "Blast Off" class back in January, I have been trying to take her advice to "check in" with myself and my artistic endeavors. I thought I would do an end of the month review here: what have I accomplished in the month of May...did I meet any goals?....and what are my aspirations for June?

 May was a busy, art-full month. I have my solo show continuing at The Zanesville Museum of Art. Some of the work has sold, and I have a commission request.
 The opening of "Best of 2101" at the Ohio Craft Museum has come and gone, along with receiving my award there. I completed 3 new pieces that had been in process and sent them along to "FABRICations" at the High Road Gallery. The show runs May 26 to June 26. I also somehow managed with the help of an artist-friend, Mike Seiler ( thanks Mike) to get a cd and application sent off to the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Expo.  I won't know the results of that until early June. Finally, I created a piece for consideration to be in Patti Digh's newest book.

 On a down note, the deadline for the Aullwood Nature Center show came and went. Unfortunately, I had nothing to send along.

 With June unfolding quickly before me, I am excited about the opportunity to take classes at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus. I will be studying with Pam Sussman and Rosalie Dace. This event is great for re-connecting and networking with friends, old and new.

  My goal for June would be to create more artwork. QSDS will offer much inspiration, I am sure. I will also await the acceptance or rejection notice from the state fair expo. ( keeping my fingers crossed ). There are several more deadlines for other shows looming in the future. My intention is to create, and hope that something will be appropriate to enter.

 I am well pleased with the month of May, and hope to keep the momentum going in the months ahead. this is helpful to state my goals, not only to remind myself, but also to make me accountable.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Walk Much??

" An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. "
                      ~ Henry David Thoreau

 We all know that walking is good for us....good for the heart and lungs, bones and muscles. But, the benefit I enjoy the most is what walking does for my mind.  All of my senses are engaged and I am totally aware of all that is going on around me. I notice the birds and the wildflowers, the scent of honeysuckle and the warm breeze. I am completely "present" and "mindful".  This gift of being mindful, of living in the moment, allows me to feel passion for life. I am grateful for just being alive and appreciating each moment.

And here is the good news: that passion for life just naturally carries over to my passion for creating art! What is that saying...."art is life"?

My walks are indeed inspirational for me. The pieces I create using the inspiration I receive while being mindful, while living my life, are the pieces that seem to resonate with others.

" I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."
                                                ~ John Muir  

Sunday, May 16, 2010

From Paper To Fabric

Here is a new piece I just dropped off to my framer last week. The photo on the bottom shows an up-close of one of the pages from my journal, where the idea for this project was "concieved". The almost final work is pictured at the top. ( I added yet a few more buttons on the left side...seemed to balance a bit better.)     Leaf Study copyright Susan Nash

I have been keeping journals for many years now. They provide me with a wealth of ideas and quotes and just plain inspiration. Isn't it interesting how a doodle created many months earlier, will spark the idea for a new work? Whenever I am feeling "stuck" I go to my journals, and usually find something to get excited about.

How about you? Do you journal? I'd love to hear about it....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cap City Half Marathon

At the starting, Molly and Abby.After the race; bookended by Mike and Ben.      
Last weekend was a fun-filled and busy one. My entire family and I spent it together. It was "mother's day" a week early. We walked the half marathon Saturday morning. The day started out dry, but ended in a drizzle. At least it was warm, and our spirits were not dampened in the least.