Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In Good Company

"The artist's quest is to succeed in combining all compositional attributes and physical elements into those that are purely spiritual. That is the secret of art". Edward J. Fraughton

Those were the opening words to "Arts as a Spiritual Practice", our Worship Service this past Sunday at May Memorial, where I was one of the speakers. And was I ever in good company! Fellow visual artists Charlie Wollowitz (sculpture), Linda Wollowitz (fiber arts)and Bob Brudick (photography)were also speakers. I enjoyed Charlie's references to the "She-devil Muse" which compels him to create art. The multi-talented Fred Fiske composed a song "Sweet Inspiration" for the occasion. Writers Carey Pitzrick and Dick Pearson were eloquent and passionate as they read their poetry and musician Glenn Kime seemed to sum up our reasons for creating art so succinctly when he said we create art/make music/write, because it makes us happy. And that is so true. For all of the various media and approaches to art, we share a passion, a fire in our belly that compels us to create. To make art when we are happy, to make art when we are sad or confused because we know that somewhere in that search for contrast/emphasis/balance/line/shape/form we will find either resolution or acceptance. And to know and accept that our lives will often be shaped by circumstances that are out of our control.
...but when I dip my brushes into the paint, I am in control, I am in the driver's seat. Sometimes the paint takes me for a ride and that is good too.

I spoke about Art and Healing. Below are a some thoughts I had put together a few years ago on that subject, when I was preparing for a show at the SUNY Upstate Medical Library.

The Healing Arts. The Art of Healing. It’s strange how often we see these words grouped together, but seldom consider Art as healing. And yet as artists we know instinctively how therapeutic it is to create. How good it feels to take pencil to paper, or to lay one color next to another, or to carve, mold and shape. To knead the clay, to smell the paint, to feel the weight of the brush in hand. Sometimes even a new box of crayons can make us giddy with delight. So we plunge headlong into our latest artistic endeavor, considering line, shape, space, color, composition, proportion and perspective. And as we work through these issues, the bigger issues of life, love, relationships, families, religion, and death, will at various times enter into the picture. Through the act of creating art, either resolution or acceptance is achieved.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An "Art-ful Weekend" coming Up

I have been gearing up for a non-stop "Art-ful weekend". Friday and Saturday I will be demonstrating watercolor at Eve Galleria's Winter Taste of the Arts. The two days will be full of art, music and great food. The event runs from 11:00 am - 11:00 pm on Friday and 11:00 am - 5:00 pm on Saturday. Eve Galleria is located at 6456 Collamer Rd. East Syracuse.
On Sunday morning I am participating in the "Art of Spirituality" at May Memorial, which promises to be an interesting church service. I will be sharing the program with other artists, writers and musicians.
And on Sunday night it's back to demonstrating painting (this time it will be acrylic) at the YMCA New Member Open House. Whew!!! My arms are tired just thinking about all that painting!
Pictured here is Music! Music! Music! a pastel painting to put you in the mood for a festive and "art-ful" weekend.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"November", a new look at a familiar scene

Last month in a post titled "Seeing the Situation from a Different Angle", I posted a watercolor based on a scene that I came upon while hiking along the Indian River Lakes Conservancy Trails in November. I wanted to re-visit that scene in another painting, but try a different format for the composition. The first watercolor "Grass Lake Still Life" was done with a horizontal format, which enhanced the restful, serene quality of the painting. Minimal color and details, and repetition of flowing horizontal shapes added to the restful quality. In re-visiting the scene for a new watercolor, I opted for a vertical format which lends energy to the composition. There is also a bit more attention to detail and the colors are stronger. The scene is framed by the trees on either side providing a strong vertical contrast to the horizontal water and landforms.
The painting is titled "November".

Monday, February 6, 2012

Register Now for Painting Classes at Y Arts Studio

It's registration time again at the Y Arts Studio. I have three painting classes which I am offering for Adults/Teens: Introduction to Acrylic Painting, Monday nights 7:00 - 9:00; Advanced/Intermediate Watercolor Tuesday nights 7:00 - 9:00; and Introduction to Watercolor Wednesday mornings 9:30 - 11:30. Classes begin the week of February 27, but it is best to register early (at least a week before class starts) so we have enough supplies on hand. All art supplies are included in the price for the classes (68. YMCA Members, 83. Non-members)

The East Area Family YMCA is located at 200 Towne Drive Fayetteville, NY.
Hours: Monday - Friday 5:30 am - 10:00 pm, Saturdays 5:30 am - 9:00 pm, Sundays 8:00 am - 7:00 pm.

A Busy and Productive Weekend!

Still catching my breath after a very busy and productive weekend adding to my art-to-wear collection. I took a little break from painting on canvas to design some new Celtic Scarves and a tote bag. No photos for the website yet, but I should have them ready to go by next week. And speaking of the website, I had a bit of work done there too; some new images have been added, some sold work deleted. I had a brand new category added, "Shamrocks and Such" which features the Celtic scarves, bags and few paintings....and just in time for St. Patrick's Day!
Pictured here is Ceili! an acrylic on canvas painting, which features Irish Dancers, musicians and lots of swirling color.
And check out my announcement page on my website to see a list of my winter art shows, classes and demonstrations.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two Art Shows Opening this Weekend

I am exhibiting in several group shows throughout the months of February and March. Two of them are opening this weekend; Admire/Inspire, with Associated Artists at the Manlius Library and May Memorial Loves the Arts (aka the congregational show) at the May Memorial Gallery.
The Admire/Inspire show has an interesting theme; all of the artwork exhibited is inspired by the work of another artist. I am exhibiting a painting titled Veterans Day Parade 2008. My intent was to capture the excitement of a parade filled with people, colors, flags flying and bits of our downtown Syracuse architecture. As I was working on the painting I realized that the subject matter and colors and impressionistic style reminded me of the work of Childe Hassam, one of our American Impressionists. After a bit of research I found that he had painted several pieces with the theme of parades and flags flying throughout an impressionistic cityscape, creating a textured mosaic-like pattern on his canvas.
Stop by the Manlius Library this month to view the painting and to see what inspired everyone else.