Monthly Archives: May 2014

a CSA for artists?

I have been thinking a lot about Kickstarter and its relevance for artists trying to make a living through their artwork.  I posted these thoughts on my Kickstarter page, where I’m running a campaign to promote the collection of paintings and prints that I will be making while in Iceland.

Kickstarter for visual artists: A direct and fair Studio-to-Wall exchange

In a CSA, people who want to eat quality, local produce join together to buoy the farmer through the long seasons of preparation and cultivation, until a bounty is produced, and everyone gets to share in it.  The CSA is never misconstrued as a kind of charity.  Participants share risk and reward with the farmer, but they are also sophisticated consumers who want to support the Farm-to-Table ethos and eat yummy food.

A KS backer does the same for the Artist.  My backers know what they like, and they know how to measure risk in order to acquire quality artwork. KS backers are sophisticated and confident consumers of art, and they also enjoy being a part of the creative community by backing a project they believe in.  They buy directly from the artist who made it, in a direct Studio-to-Wall exchange.

That said, Kickstarter is much more than a business transaction.  I already know what it’s like to have the trust, confidence, and enthusiasm of friends and strangers alike, standing behind me as I work.  That was an unexpected benefit of being a Kickstarter backed artist, and I am fortunate to experience it again with my new project.  I hope you’ll join me!

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Click this image for a link to my 2014 Kickstarter page “A winter residency in North Iceland”

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Back to Iceland!

 

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but not just yet…

I’m going back to Iceland for a 6-week painting residency, but not until mid-October.  This time I’m going to be in the North, at the Listhus residency in Olafsfjordur…in winter.

here is where:

By the time mid-October 2014 rolls around, I will be more than ready for a refreshing dose of Icelandic landscape, mountains, water and sky. Though I am currently working in the studio, I’m plein air painter at heart.  I need to feast my eyes on the landscape, on the changing light.  I love the feeling of being a “still point”, for an hour or two, observing the whirling, changing world.

Winter in North Iceland…it will be warm inside the studio!  Even with only a few hours of sunlight, even if it’s a blizzard and I can’t go anywhere, I will be happy and productive working indoors.

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the I inside

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Now as I continue to work in the studio it’s apparent how much my residency in Iceland has changed me. Have barriers to my natural expression begun to melt away?  Maybe I am not so much changed as more permeable, more visible to myself, more accessible.  Anyway, I am aware of an eye inside me that has begun to open.

Here is a poem that I look at often.  It hangs above my work bench at the Library Company, a reminder that there is a great world inside me, inside of every human.

Is my soul asleep?

Is my soul asleep?
Have those beehives that work in the night stopped?
And the water-
wheel of thought, is it going around now, cups
empty, carrying only shadows?

No, my soul is not asleep.
It is awake, wide awake.
It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,
its eyes wide open
far-off things, and listens
at the shores of the great silence.
~Antonio Machado

So this is what I’m seeing right now, an imagined mountain, loosely based on a sketch of some formations just East of Hveragerdi, in the South of Iceland.

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These recent 16 x 20 monoprints, are my first full-color prints (besides some dabbling efforts that never really “took”, and I abandoned)  I’m still working through the mountain forms trying to come closer to my imagined ideal, and I am beginning to play with the forms of the shadows on the massive mountain flanks.

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This is one, below, is from the great Icelandic painter Kjarval.  I’m not the only one to see figures in the mountain forms and shadows.IMG_5407