Friday, October 31, 2008

Claude Celebrates Halloween 2

I even donned my owl costume, which I made from woven tri-colored trash bags.

Claude Celebrates Halloween

We all went to my mom's house to welcome trick-or-treaters for Halloween. I even let Claude hold the candy, for all that it may not have been in my best judgment.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

On Authorship, Appropriation & Killing Your Muse

One of the topics to come up in the lecture was the idea of the death of authorship - that everything has been said already. I find this especially interesting in the context of finally having read my husband's blog from last night. I am going to reiterate here exactly what I told him, because this is really really important for artists to hear.

You should never censor yourself for fear that what you have to say has been said already. A lot of things have been said already. A lot of things have been done already. That doesn't mean that they are no longer worthy of pursuit or of comment.

Much of that which has been previously explored may be so obscure that a vast majority of people have never been exposed to it at all. Those ideas may as well have been lost. By not adding your insights for fear that someone has had them before you are potentially depriving others from seeing them at all.

So please don't be afraid to add your two cents, even if it may seem overly redundant. You probably see things at least somewhat differently than others who have had similar ideas. For all that there could be hundreds of Hwacha superheroes out there, there will likely only be one exactly like your own.

If you were an artist, you'd be looking for another career path as you are killing your muse!

So, to all of you artists out there, don't fall victim to the idea that there is nothing worthwhile left to say. Do not kill your muse!

Contemporary Art 101: Appropriation

10.30.2008: Contemporary Art 101: Appropriation 6:00 pm
Does painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa create a new masterpiece? How is a photograph of a Marlboro ad different from the original Marlboro ad? Chief Curator Anthony Huberman leads a conversation about art and appropriation, mass-media images, plagiarism, and the idea of originality and authorship.

I rather enjoyed this lecture at the Contemporary, for all that it was not the philosophical debate or exploration into the ethical ramifications of appropriation I had hoped it would be. (No claim was made in this regard - I was just being hopeful as that interests me and I would like to learn others' views on the matter.) I was previously familiar with some of the pieces shown in the slide show, but by examining all of them together in the context of the current work by Lutz Bacher, I have gained a greater appreciation of the current exhibition. And there were some hidden gems with which I was previously unfamiliar, like the Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns? show at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in which the new show (including many artists known for appropriation) was installed atop wallpaper of the previous exhibition.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Politically Speaking Is In the Works

I have been looking forward to this show for awhile, and it is now in the works for next year after being postponed from overlapping the election. If you have any politically-themed work you would like to submit for the show, please feel free to contact the art league about it. The show is not limited solely to art league members, but I am uncertain whether or not shipped work will be accepted. You can find the prospectus here.

Columbia Art League
207 South Ninth Street
Columbia, MO 65201-4817
Politically Speaking
January 13 - February 22, 2009
Open to CAL members and non-CAL members. A juried exhibit of artists' interpretation of the show title. All artworks should be for sale and be less than 2 years old.
Submissions: Submissions for the jury process must be via email. Submit images of up to 3 artworks (1 image per artwork) by December 15, 2008. Notification of inclusions in the show will be by January 5, 2009.
Entry fee: $15/CAL members; $25/non-CAL members. The entry fee is per artist.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Art for Human Rights show

As I'd mentioned awhile back, my penny project was among the artworks included in the Art for Human Rights show at the Amnesty International Midwest Regional Conference this past weekend. I was unable to attend the conference itself due to prior engagements, but I did make it to the awards presentation and a panel discussion on Sunday.

It was nice meeting some of the conferencegoers when I was there and talking to them about my piece. I am honored to have been involved in the event and am glad that a lot of people seem interested in adapting and building on my project at their own schools and institutions. And many people picked up the pennies that I took to display and left some of their own wishes. You can check out the wishes that I "found" when I went to pick up my work on the penny project blog here. I will try to disperse them in downtown St. Louis on Friday when I hang my show.

Monday, October 27, 2008

En Plein Air solo show

I wanted to let everyone know about my upcoming show in downtown St. Louis in November. I will be hanging my work this Friday, on Halloween. Please feel free to stop by and check out my small, decorative landscapes while they're up.

En Plein Air
a show of artworks created en plein air during 2008 events
November 2008

at the Washington Avenue Post
1312 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103
Monday - Friday 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday - Sunday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Holidays 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Claude Sees More Halloween Decorations 5

Here's another view of that same house. Unfortunately we couldn't shoot it from the front because it's on a busy street with little visibility, but you can get the idea.

Claude Sees More Halloween Decorations 4

This house is amazing. Every year, they go all out. Frequently, on Halloween night, they even have a hearse pulled up in the yard.

Claude Sees More Halloween Decorations 3

Claude was even excited to find a fellow monster bigger than himself!

Claude Sees More Halloween Decorations 2

All of these houses are pretty close to where I live, so we didn't go on a huge tour of the city. We enjoyed hitting some of the local highlights, though.

Claude Sees More Halloween Decorations

Claude loves Halloween. He fits in and doesn't get wild and weird stares. Monsters are celebrated and emulated everywhere. And there is candy. Lots and lots of super-sugary, tooth-rotting CANDY!

Claude Gets Ready for Halloween

It's almost Halloween, so we took Claude on a tour of some of the neighborhood decorations.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Buy Mark's Art or the Terrorists Win

"Tasteless" may be how David Bonetti from the St. Louis Post Dispatch described this exhibition, or at least the title of the exhibition (which also appears in much of the work), but I rather enjoyed Buy Mark's Art or the Terrorists Win at PHD Gallery. I personally thought that the fusion of World War II pin ups, the potential campaign for the war on terror and the ephemeral nature of architectural advertising was intriguing.

Admittedly, the reappropriation of the pin-up girl imagery could be seen as overdone, but the iconic aspect of said imagery lends believability to the scenes conveyed by connecting the imagined modern propaganda campaign to the disintegrating architectural advertisements of yesteryear. The blurring between what is real versus what is imagined, what is current versus what has passed and the interstices between these states is of particular interest to me.

All of these works were more than willing to satirize the culture in which we live and the messages which we have received. I especially liked "Cloning - Made in the USA" in which a model is juxtaposed several times into the same photograph as a means of both toying with the viewer and further exploring the ideas conveyed in the imagined propaganda on the building that she is seen beside.

I do not claim to have any sense of taste at all in my judgments concerning what is and isn't appropriate, so perhaps the title was in poor taste, but I thought that it complemented the exhibition well. I feel that it can be good to challenge convention and to laugh at ourselves sometimes, no matter how crude. Humor can be a wonderful healing mechanism and allow us the opportunity to see things anew.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thinking Beyond Documentation

I do a lot of time-based and temporal work, so I have to think about documentation and how I will present my work after the moment of its creation or execution has passed. But recently fellow WCA member Dail Chambers got me thinking about it in a different sense after reading her blog post from awhile back. Chambers is a photographer, and so she approaches the whole idea of documentation differently, seeing "all art is documentation, abstractly."

I suppose this is true. Art can act as a window into our lives and our souls. It allows us opportunities to express our innermost thoughts, revealing as much or as little as we want (although typically revealing more than we intended). As such, it serves to reflect on life's ups and downs, our internal struggles and the times and cultures that we live in (what we find beautiful and ugly, what is socially acceptable or even desirable, how we dress and interact, what concerns, taboos & grievances we are confronting at the time...).

You can appreciate this idea further when you look at past artworks and movements. What inspired these artists? How were their works indicative of the times they lived in and how did their works move beyond them, questioning the status quo and looking at the world in a new light? Many movements are celebrated now that were not appreciated during their relative time periods. And as artists continue to question convention and seek ideals in their work, their artworks can serve to document how the cultures in which they were created were changing focus.

I cannot say that I see art first and foremost as documentation, but I can understand and appreciate this viewpoint in that artworks can act as a record beyond their inception. For me, art is predominantly about communication, which is probably why I am so drawn to conceptual art. As documentation of my desire to express my thoughts, grievances, and insights and to get people thinking, I only hope that my work is worthwhile to those who would look at it later on as a means of understanding these times for all that it will likely be dated.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mail Art Shows

I love mail art shows. I love the all-inclusive spirit of them. I especially love the risk-taking aspect of postcard shows, of having to put a stamp directly onto your work and drop it in the mail. And I love seeing what comes in - all of the different interpretations and ideas.

I haven't participated in many mail art shows lately due to time constraints. But I have sent work to several in the past. I sent work twice for the annual mail art show at the Margaret Harwell Museum in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, although that one is very different because the work is juried after it arrives. And I sent a poem for Roadside Attractions to Trunk Space in Phoenix, Arizona; my poem was even among only a couple of pieces mentioned in a review of the show! The Wish You Were Here fiber postcard show at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson, Arizona was incredible - I cannot believe that artists would risk sending such beautifully embellished, time-consuming postcards in the mail! And the WCA Artwaves International of the Women's Caucus for Art held a mail art show called Sustaining Our Environment for the conference last year wherein artists had to recycle materials to create their work.

I have currently sent a postcard for the Nightmares show at Maryville University. ( I will post the call for art as a comment following this blog post for those who are interested in entering.) And the St. Louis Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art is currently gearing up for a mail art show called Raising Our Voices - this all-inclusive show is open to members of the St. Louis and Chicago chapters, and will travel between the two cities. It will be shown at Fort Gondo in St. Louis, Missouri before traveling to the Urban Art Retreat in Chicago, Illinois, which it benefits.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Weekend Events

I don't participate in many weekend-only art events, especially when there is an entry fee, but a lot of them do offer good opportunities to artists. I just have a hard time justifying spending $20 or $30 to participate in a one or two night event. It sort of relates back to how I feel about some of the online galleries that charge high entry fees.

I don't know why I would have a harder time justifying that than shows open solely by appointment or with such limited open hours that they are essentially inaccessible beyond the opening. I guess perchance it is because a month-long show simply looks more prestigious on one's resume than a weekend-only one. And I know that my money is likely going towards rent for the month-long space.

I do think that the limited availability of these shows can actually encourage viewers to attend, though. If something is happening one-night-only, you can't very well put off seeing it until later on. Oftentimes it seems when people do put off seeing shows, they get distracted or busy and don't make it anyway. I have missed a few things I wanted to see because I was swamped and forgot about them until it was too late. So these events can be very good exposure and really offer a lot in regards to networking.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Online Galleries & Forums

For all that I have talked about online galleries before, I never actually mentioned any such opportunities. So here is a list of some online galleries and forums that I know of. I especially like A Singular Creation because they offer monthly art contests, listings of upcoming shows to enter and galleries of artists' works and above all, they're free. From my understanding, My Best Canvas is similar but I have yet to get involved with them. YouTube, Facebook and MySpace all have a lot of artists and artist groups as well, but since they're not specifically devoted to art I won't bother to list them separately.

A Singular Creation -

Whistle Stop Gallery -

My Best Canvas -

Monday, October 20, 2008

Online Critiques

I don't have much experience with online art forums and the like, but I know that a lot of artists meet online. There are exchanges of work in which a piece is passed from person to person, each artist adding something or working into it before passing it along. There are a lot of groups documenting such exchanges on YouTube, just as a lot of artists post excerpts of themselves working on a piece of art from start to finish so you can see it develop.

Anyway, a friend of mine from the Kansas City Art Institute, who is much more involved on facebook than I am, has started a facebook group devoted to amazing and inspiring artists. It is a great opportunity for artists to share experiences and to direct one another to cool artists working in different veins. She recently created an open studio critique in which we can post some photos of our work and comment on them amongst one another to get outside input.

Anyway, it seems like a good idea, but so far only three people have posted much of anything. It is difficult to critique another's work based on photographs of it, especially in process. I suppose I am getting a better sense of how jurors jurying from slides or digital images must feel. So I don't really know what I would say on this topic, other than to beg the questions: is anyone else out there doing something similar and how is it working for them?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Claude Goes to Federhofer's Bakery

Today, Claude satiated his sweet tooth again with a visit to Federhofer's Bakery. They have a delectable variety of cakes, streudels, coffee cakes, pies and cookies, and their breads and rolls are good too.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hops Art

I went to Hops Art this evening. It is a lovely event sponsored by Art Saint Louis and geared towards promoting local artists. The theme is a more informal version of the Grape Arts wine tasting event, except that those attending can sample different beers and ales. Not really my thing, but then again neither is the wine. I do enjoy the social scene, though.

Anyway, participating artists each bring a piece for display and offer it for sale. These works do not have to be donated and are sold on commission, like everything else in the gallery. So this is a more artist-friendly event than many, since some of the auctions can be more questionable, as I've mentioned before.

In addition to the piece for display, each artist can submit five digital images to be featured in a slide show. It was interesting to see all of the different media, techniques and focuses. So many explorations and ideas. And artists can use the event for networking and to talk to other artists, gallery owners and patrons.

So all in all, it was a lovely event and I hope that I can make it in the future. I participated last year by showing images of my work, but unfortunately I couldn't attend. I had shown some of my institutional critique works last year, so that I could exhibit my declination letter for the event, as seen to the left.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Penny Project update

It's been awhile since I've mentioned Wishes, the Penny Project. I have since dispersed some more wishes, including some in Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri. And the project has been mentioned in the second edition of Art Space.

I have currently compiled some information about this project and will be showing it at the Art for Human Rights exhibition as part of the Amnesty International Midwest Conference next week, October 24 - 26 at Hilton St. Louis Airport, 10330 Natural Bridge Road.

I really hope that my artwork will inspire more people to participate in the project and to respond to the blog. This is such an important group and a worthy cause, and I am honored to be involved in it in some way. Many of these people are taking action towards creating the world I am wishing for.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

...but is it politically correct?

Don't get me wrong - I don't want to offend anyone or make gross generalizations about people based on stereotypical assumptions, but it's something we all will likely do at one point or another. Political correctness encourages the ideal that, by using neutral language that cannot generally be construed as offensive, we can actually be more inclusive by being forced to think about what we say to and about one another, thus reconciling our differences and focusing on our individual strengths. (Never mind the fact that this also encourages us to focus on our individual weaknesses and shortcomings.) But does being politically correct actually do this, or does it hide those issues and assumptions further below the surface? And what is the cost?

I can see the argument for being politically correct in that a lot of language and derogatory statements are normalized over time and a lot of people are unaware of the historical significance of the words that they use. Ideally we can change cultural outlooks by changing language, but this goes the other way around as well - as cultural outlooks change, words take on new meanings. Slang uses for words can be more accepted over time, becoming part of the everyday vernacular and actually influencing the meaning of the words themselves.

I strongly agree with George Carlin's opinion that there are no bad words. (Carlin has been known partly for his Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television sketch. A later similar routine got him arrested; the case led him to the Supreme Court in the 1970s.) I do think we should try to be aware of what we say and of the hidden meanings behind our word choices, especially when those words have been historically used to normalize racism, sexism and bigotry. But I personally feel that it is much better to confront societal ills, taboos and stereotypes than to just sugar coat them and ignore the underlying current of inequality that is still there whether or not we use certain language. By not addressing issues and "shoving things under the rug" we don't actually resolve anything so much as ignore it, and I simply do not see this as a solution.

The main issue I have with the idea of political correctness is that I am opposed to censorship. I know that we all censor ourselves as individuals in order to relate to and appeal to one another because we want to be liked and accepted. (I have even talked about this in relation to art before.) But I am opposed to any one group of people determining what we can and cannot say, do and think (to the degree that anyone has any control over this beyond controlling what we are allowed to see and learn from the media), especially when it causes no physical harm. That is an awful lot of power to bestow on any one group, and I think that there is a very fine line between people not being able to speak their minds and people not being able to act as whistleblowers in order to draw attention to corruption, inequality and abuse of power.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What About Privacy?

Am I the only person who is dismayed that personal information is so easily accessible nowadays? Whatever happened to personal privacy? Is the idea of privacy just a delusion developed through our defining ourselves as individuals and being allowed to take time for ourselves, something that humans were unable to do until recent history and central air? Or is privacy a luxury that we have only been afforded because technology hadn't developed to the point where it could be so intrusive as it is now?

Cel phones can make us accessible regardless of where we are and what we're doing. Sure, we don't have to answer, but there seems to be a social expectation that we will. And on top of being easily accessible and seemingly on call 24/7, our phone conversations, other means of communication and personal information (such as email, medical records, purchase records, online presence & interests and so on) can be and are monitored more often than many would care to think.

Cameras and video cameras track our movements, both in private businesses and in public spaces. Some of these are used for security, others to enforce laws and still others to record information for later purposes, such as traffic patterns. (Many of the traffic light mounted cameras are supposedly intended to track traffic patterns, theoretically to make changes that increase efficiency. But given that so many lights here in St. Louis are on timers rather than sensors, and many of those lights continue to be poorly timed, it doesn't seem as if the information gathered is actually used for improvement.)

There is an interesting article in Scientific American about the pros and cons of reassessing our "rights to privacy" that points out many of the ethical debates that ensue from privacy being breached and discriminations formed based on the information gleaned. It also discusses whether or not we have a genuine "right to privacy" and how a multitude of other complicated issues become issues of privacy. And the American Civil Liberties Union is doing a lot to encourage people to think about these issues and to increase public awareness of when and how privacy is being breached.

I have recently created an artwork entitled Paranoia which focuses primarily on the issues surrounding privacy and security, especially in regards to cameras and video monitoring in public spaces. This artwork has been created as an open edition 10" x 8" digital print and will be shown in the St. Louis Women's Caucus for Art's upcoming Raising Our Voices show. You can get a feel for this piece as pictured to the left.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Self-Promotion

I don't have much of anything to say today, so I'll let you know what I'm doing this week.

I will be the featured member artist in the No Time to Spare show at the Edward Jones Family YMCA, 12521 Marine, Maryland Heights, organized by the Academy of Contemporary Arts. I am going to have several necklaces on display, just in time for holiday shopping. Please drop by and check it out. The show runs from this Friday, Oct. 17 - Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008 with a reception this Friday from 6 - 8 PM.

I am also participating in Hops Art at Art Saint Louis, 555 Washington, Suite 150, St. Louis, with some of my pieces from my Point of View series. I believe you can still purchase tickets for the event if you want to come. It will be held this Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008 from 6 - 9 PM.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spatial Interventions

Revisiting yesterday's post, I wanted to rave some more about Michael and Alan Fleming's video work. Their performances integrating their own bodies into existing architecture explore spatial relationships: how these spaces are designed, how we interact with and respond to such spaces, how we shape and reshape our environment and how our environment shapes our interactions within it.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the documentation of these performances. The video was well-paced and highlighted many of the more playful aspects of their explorations. I enjoyed the creative approaches in relating to space and the deliberate manner in which movements were executed. Many of these pieces are strengthened by their symmetry and in how the two bodies relate to space as one.

Overall, I appreciated the manner in which the artists encourage the viewer to look at the space anew. I also enjoyed the public approach in that many of these pieces were performed in public spaces where viewers outside of the art community could happen upon them, depending on when and where they took place. I am especially intrigued by projects that engage the general population and not just the art community, and I liked that aspect of these performances.

You can check out some of the Flemings' works on their website.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cool Kids Show

While I was at the Foundry for the plein air sale, I wandered through the other galleries. Currently on display are a juried painting exhibition, which features some beautiful works including a large four-panel piece by Lisa Linke, a retrospective of Brother Mel's work and some interesting video pieces, including work by Michael & Alan Fleming integrating their forms/bodies into architecture and other spatial studies.

In the children's gallery was the annual Mentor Me exhibit through Mosaics. I was previously unfamiliar with this program, but it's a really cool concept. Select students are chosen from each of various schools and some of their works shown in an exhibition alongside of their teachers' works. It was really cool to see both ends of the school art programs, from the standpoint of the works being created in classes by students and works created by their teachers/mentors. Unfortunately if you haven't seen it already you missed it (the show came down today).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is a Messy Studio a Sign of Genius?

I mentioned before that it is good to maintain your studio, to keep it clean and relatively free of clutter for your own well-being, but is this feasible all of the time? I have been way too busy lately, and it shows. In many ways, I barely recognize my own house. Heaven forbid I were to have company over - this place is a mess. I know I should do something about it, but at the same time I am still busy and am accomplishing a lot in regards to working on my art.

I tend to accumulate clutter, especially when I am working on my art because I don't want to put something away only to need it out again almost immediately afterward. Unfortunately this ideology can foster laziness in regards to maintaining my house and studio space. And sometimes by not putting things away I find myself searching far and wide for them later because they are not where they belong. But, for all that I have found that it really doesn't gain me time to be a slob I still have a hard time making time for general upkeep when I am busy with my art.

I guess it comes down to passion. When I am really involved in something, especially artmaking, other things begin to seem trivial by comparison. I may forget to eat or will go to bed really late or otherwise lose track of time and place. Given that I will abandon life necessities so quickly, there should be little or no doubt that if I am really into working on something my home can devolve into a pigsty.

I wonder, though, is this really bad? Or does it show a commitment to my art? Does it take that commitment too far into obsession? What do other artists think? Is a messy studio a sign of genius or ignorance? Is this something you do and can relate to? Do you have any pointers for keeping up with your environment while not devoting too much time to it or putting things away completely? How do you cope and what do you do?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Claude Goes to Venice Cafe 2

Here we are in the courtyard in front of the boat.

Claude Goes to Venice Cafe

Claude went to the Venice Cafe this evening to enjoy the horror vacui. Unfortunately the kitchen is closed for the season, so we couldn't indulge in any dumplins and plantains.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Always Test Your Materials First

Today, I learned the hard way that you should always always always test things out before you execute them on a large scale, even if they seem harmless. I have done things that have backfired on me before, but most of those were by nature experimental and I hadn't really expected them to work or invested a lot of time in them. Today was different. Fortunately it wasn't a total loss and I didn't waste that much time since I was working small.

At any rate, I was working on one of my small 4" x 6" paintings en plein air in St. Charles. I decided to use a black pen to outline everything for a change from the gold and silver I have been using. Unfortunately, I didn't think to test it before varnishing it this evening and the varnish smeared the pen all over the place (this hasn't happened with the gold or silver, so the black ink must be completely different despite the fact that all three pens were packaged together in the same set).

I was able to salvage the piece and rather like the end effect, since it now looks more like a worn, old photograph. But unfortunately I wasted over an hour tediously drawing out the linework and patterns before varnishing the piece, and all of that effort was lost since I could have just randomly scribbled some black on the painting and then smeared it around. Nonetheless I was very lucky that I was working small and didn't waste even more time. So it just goes to show that you should always test these sorts of things first before you destroy something that you have spent a lot of time and effort on.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Attention: Overly Modest Artists

I have discussed the subject of over-informing people before. Artists seem to naturally divide into two groups, those who are really modest about their accomplishments and those who will gladly shout them to the mountaintops. Unfortunately, too many of us don't do enough to let people know what we are involved in.

I am among those in the overly modest group in that I don't often do enough to inform people of what I am doing. The more things I am involved with, the worse I am about letting people know. Typically I will hype up all of the larger events, like solo shows, exclusive group shows and sales, but I am not very good about telling people about many of the larger group shows and non-local events that I am involved in. I am especially bad about dispersing printed show announcement cards, in part because they are not eco-friendly. (I have explored this topic here.)

As a result, sometimes people approach me at such shows saying, "I didn't know you were involved in this." They are glad to see me and my work and sometimes voice that they wish they had been better informed. I need to try to be better about this but sometimes I get so busy that I don't even fully think about all of the things that I am involved in. For example, today I worked on art and paperwork for six different events including creating new art, preserving some finished pieces, packing and shipping work, editing a proposal for a group show I am curating and working on a schedule for an upcoming group show I am involved in.

However, I do like to know what all is going on in the art community. What is the point of publicly displaying our work if no one comes to see it? But people won't know to come if no one tells them there's something to see. No one can find out about anything if all of us are too modest to let one another know what we are up to. So, I will try to be better about informing others of my accomplishments. I hope that you other more modest artists out there will do the same - many people genuinely want to know what we are doing and what all is going on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Plein Air Event Moved

Apparently the plein air painters aren't so hard core as I thought, or at least they've kept their wits about them. The quick paint event scheduled for today was moved to Thursday morning. That is best since it stormed on and off and drizzled all day long. Very unpleasant weather for painting outside, even with an umbrella or awning or whatever.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hard Core Plein Air Painting

I am doing the plein air competition in St. Charles as I'd mentioned the other day. Today I went in to Framations to pick up my work from the quick paint on Saturday and, while I was there, I inquired as to what would happen to the quick paint tomorrow if it rains. Apparently it will be happening regardless because some of the plein air painters voiced that they would just paint in the rain. Now that's hard core!

But where is the limit? How much does it need to rain before artists will stop painting? A drizzle can be avoided easily but a deluge cannot, even when working under an awning or out of the tailgate of one's car. I have painted in the rain in Alton under a gazebo with poor end results, so I do not relish the idea of trying to crowd myself under an awning to paint in the rain tomorrow.

Hopefully it will not rain all that hard during the quick paint, or perhaps it will get done raining earlier in the day. I just don't want to have to paint inside as that sort of defeats the purpose of painting "en plein air". I especially hope that the quick paint isn't cut short since it focuses on architectural studies which are time consuming. I think I'll plan to work small.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Show I Juried - After the Reception

As many of you know from my previous post and my recent Claude posts, I juried the Pure Enjoyment show in Springfield that I just attended the reception for. Here are my final thoughts regarding that process after attending the opening reception.

The experience was wonderful and I am very glad that I was able to see the show hung, meet some of the artists and talk to the patrons and founders of Brewer Science. It was truly amazing and I find it a pity that more jurors do not attend the receptions for the shows that they juried because they are depriving themselves of a lot. Perhaps they are avoiding confrontation but at the same time they are missing out on many good conversations and interesting insights. Sure, I had people ask me why their work wasn't accepted or why one piece got in while the other did not, but I tried to offer constructive comments about how I juried the show, what I was looking for in doing so and to encourage them to submit to more art shows and stay involved.

I continue to be amazed by everything that Brewer Science is doing to foster the arts and to foster a sense of community. They were in the process of sponsoring a group of musicians from China who performed in Springfield at around the same time as the art show. Those same musicians are going to have a performance at Brewer Science later this week in which employees are invited to listen and participate in the cultural exchange. There are even some groups of students who are planning to attend. Brewer Science is also engaged in a business outreach program in Springfield that helps other companies learn how to foster and support community. And they continuously support the arts in Rolla and Springfield beyond the sponsorship of just these couple of events, working with Arts Rolla, the Springfield Regional Arts Council, area universities and a host of other groups.

At any rate, I think that it is truly encouraging to find and meet such amazing people who see value in things beyond just money and want to foster and support the communities in which they live, especially when it reinforces and informs their company's vision. Simply put, the world needs more people like this and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with them.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Claude Goes to Springfield, MO 2

And here we are by the Creamery Arts Center where the Pure Enjoyment show was held. Thank you to Loretta Wallis for shooting these photos.

Claude Goes to Springfield, MO

Claude went with me to Springfield, Missouri to attend the Brewer Science sponsored Pure Enjoyment exhibition that I juried. Here we are in front of K-Man, a large interactive sculpture by Russ RuBert in K-Park, a subsection of Jordon Valley Park.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

More Trompe L'Oeil!

I'd recently mentioned Tom Pfannerstill's work in a previous blog post, but now I have found yet more amazing trompe l'oeil work. The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is showing paintings and videos by Wojciech Gilewicz in the Front Room that create illusory effects with various elements of architecture and landscape. The videos document the addition or removal of paintings into various settings for which they were produced, including outdoor landscapes, urban architecture, museum displays and junk heaps.

Like Pfannerstill's replicas of trash, these pieces explore the effect of human development and our detritus, the ephemeral nature of existence and a questioning of what is truly real in a humorous manner. But with the addition of video, Gilewicz toys with our perceptions in a much different way, causing us to reassess both our perceptions of our own realities and that which has been depicted. Video acts as a distortion of reality onto itself by preserving a particular moment in time and by numerous effects that can be applied without the viewer's awareness of them, so the use of video brings another element into play in the work.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

St. Charles Plein Air Competition

I am participating in the St. Charles Plein Air competition this year. The event officially started today but is hosting three quick paint events along with another juried competition. If you want to catch the artists at work, I'd recommend checking out the quick paint competitions. I am not going to be able to make the Sunday quick paint but plan to go Saturday and Tuesday and am hoping to paint a couple of days between this week and next. If you want to see all of the works created, please feel free to check out the show and sale on Oct. 12.
Check it out on their website: