Category Archives: Kickstarter/Gullkistan Uncategorized

I’ve moved my operation…

to Squarespace.  Here’s the link and a teaser for my new post about recent work in the studio.  I hope you’ll join me over at Squarespace and subscribe to my blog for news and updates.

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Recent work: exploring black-line woodcuts

April 29, 2015

In March, Philadelphia artist Bill Brookover gave a presentation at the Print and Picture Collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  Bill has been doing research in the collections and is helping to raise the visibility of the holdings there.  He assembled a group of lithographs by Arthur Flory and woodcuts by Abraham Hankins, both active mid-twentieth century, to highlight the oeuvre of these two Philadelphia printmakers.  Among the artwork on display was this black-line relief print by Abraham Hankins.  See More:  click here

See you there!

Goodbye Blue

Advice to winter travelers in Iceland: keep up with the weather reports, have a car with 4wd/ studded tires, and have a plan B!  After a big blizzard in the North, I scrambled to re-organize my last few days in Iceland.  I had hoped to drive to Reykjavik and spend my last two days at the National Library and visit the studios of the Icelandic Printmaking Association.  It was not to be, Mother Nature had other plans, and that trumps everything.  The road out of Olafsfjordur was impassible for 2 days, and I had serious doubts about driving through some long mountainous passes on route 1, the ring road around the island.  So plan B: swim some laps and try to relax.  In the end I decided to leave my car in the North, in Akureyri, and fly South on the day of my international departure from Keflavik, fingers crossed that the weather would hold.

On the up side, my drive to Akureyri, an hour away from Olafsfjordur, was uneventful.  At times, though, the light was so spectacular that I thought I would go off the road.  Here is the light at mid-day, between 12:00 noon and 1:30 on December 12.  Then from 2:30pm and on, once again, the descent into blueness, deeper and deeper until dark.  I am going to miss the blueness.

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My last 10 days or so at Listhus were dedicated to my woodcuts.  These are the three that I made, all editioned, and the blocks cancelled so I won’t have to carry them home.

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Presence, 13″ x 9″, edition of 6

 

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Olafsfjordur, 13″ x 9″, edition of 15IMG_8207 Siglufjordur, 9″ x 5″, edition of 13

 

 

 

 

 

Painting, meet Print. Print, meet Painting.

Here are a few more paintings I have been working on, all around 16 x 20. I am still using Golden Open acrylics, which I like a lot.  The colors are pure and rich, and they really do stay “open” and workable for days.IMG_7421

I see this group of paintings as a direct continuation of the woodcut Saga series. This acrylic painting of a mountain from early 2014… IMG_4625led to the creation of the woodcut Saga series…DSC_0022

And now I am here…

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And so things are coming full circle.  In this series I am working the paint layers, and cutting through in a very physical way.   Another link back to the woodcuts I was making just before this trip to Iceland.

My approach to painting has changed so much in the past year.  It all began at Gullkistan, where I arrived with the intention of shaking off old habits, old approaches to painting that no longer felt right. Now my printmaking is influencing my painting, and my painting and my approach to color is influencing my prints.  IMG_7583It’s an old story, I know, the artist’s path of discovery.  But for me it’s as fresh and exciting as this new day!

Finding my “place”

Now I am in Olafsfjordur, Iceland, beginning my 6 week residency at Listhus.  I arrived four days ago in the pouring rain, everything mysterious and shrouded.  The day after, the town and landscape emerged and this is what I saw:

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The landscape is beautiful, the mountains are impressive, white, towering above the town and casting interesting shadows.

My mission here is to “go deeper” into the Icelandic landscape, and how I experience this place. Everything tugs and pulls in different directions, exciting and unknown, every road a temptation.  Instead of chasing mountains, I think I’d be well served to sit still and see what comes into focus, right here, right now.

This is the morning light, 8:45 am on a rainy morning:

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I did 3 quick sketches “9:05”, “9:20”, and “9:35”:

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I end each day with a swim in the community pool, outside, with clouds of steam rising off the surface and billowing away.  Mountains are visible on both sides as I swim length after length.  My mission is to absorb the influence of this place, to be patient with myself, and to work without censoring.  Something will happen.

 

Mission accomplished!

My exhibit NORTH of HERE opened this weekend in Philadelphia.  The weather cooperated pretty well, and I had a steady stream of visitors all weekend long.  Thanks to everyone who showed up, and for all the good wishes coming from those who were there in spirit!  Here are a few shots of the installation, minus the crowds, because I was too distracted to take any pics during the events.  The exhibit will stay up until November 9.  If you are in Philadelphia I hope you’ll stop by Twenty-two Gallery for a close up view of my new work.IMG_6312.

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Now it is time to shift gears.  I am already mostly packed for my residency at Listhus in North Iceland.  My next blog post will be from Reykjavik.  The first stop on my 2 month itinerary will be a visit to  The Arni Magnusson Institute for Icelandic Studies, a treasure trove of early Icelandic manuscripts.  Stay tuned!

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”

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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