I've just returned from Iowa after de-installing my exhibition, 'Reflections,' at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. I had a lovely time exhibiting my paintings and working as a visiting artist giving a lecture and individual artist critiques.
Here are some installation shots from the exhibition if you didn't get a chance to catch the show in-person:
The Sinclair Galleries at Coe College are two separate gallery spaces that run concurrent exhibitions. Jessica Teckemeyer had a solo exhibition in the other gallery, and we shared our opening and closing exhibitions. I promise we didn't coordinate our clothing for our artist lectures. She's got really excellent work. I'd highly recommend checking out her website here: Jessica Teckemeyer
I have a ton of brushes. Most of them are cheap, a few set me back $20-$30. I love having a variety to choose from for each stage of a painting.
I've been keeping momentum going in the studio. I just started this little rhinoceros a few nights ago. I'll start a larger painting within the next few nights too, but I like having these mid-sized paintings to work on in between the larger works. The figurine for this piece is so small and hard to see for painting the details. It will be a challenge for sure.
I also picked up this little guy last week. I have been avoiding the thrift shops for the most part since we moved because we are really trying to get rid of a bunch of stuff, but every once and a while I'll sneak out to look for something really specific.
Well, I'm off to work in the studio! And again - if any of you are in Minneapolis this weekend (Nov 7th) please stop by the opening of my exhibition at Soo Visual Arts Center and say hi! I'd love to see you! PS - they are also unveiling a couple of new limited edition prints for purchase there - so be the first to see which ones will be released!
While getting the house into a functional state, I've also been plugging away in the studio.
I finished all of the work for my next show before we'd moved. When you paint with oil paints, you've got to really push your deadlines for exhibitions back because the works need time to dry and in my case be varnished with an initial varnish so the surface appears nice and uniform.
I'd started this little cardinal before we'd moved, and just had to put one more thin layer of paint over the whole thing to really solidify the colors. The red I used for this painting was cadmium red which is very slow drying. I had to transport this guy half-dry from SD to WI, and I'm glad he survived the transit without getting distorted!
Last week I sent out the pieces for my next exhibition titled Conscious Objects which opens the 7th of November in Minneapolis, MN at the Soo Visual Arts Center. It is always a big job to pack and ship work, as you have to be prepared for it to be dropped off the side of a truck or stepped on - hah. Here's a sneak peak of this happy squirrel before he was cased in many layers of plastic, foam, and cardboard. If you are in Minneapolis, please check out the work - it will be up for the next month + - here is the press release: Conscious Objects at Soo VAC
Otherwise, I've been able to put in some good hours in the studio - both painting, and organizing/photographing/doing paperwork. I'm starting to get back into the groove, and kick out some work.
This one has been especially fun with the complexity of the hair to go along with the reflective surface. Plus, how can you resist this guy's face?
I've also been really trying to refine how I prepare my surfaces - especially for my works on panel. I'd been gessoing them with a roller and light sanding between layers, but I wasn't really 100% happy with the slight surface texture. It worked great for blending paint, but it was driving me nuts when it came to fine details. So I switched up my method of application and my sanding process, and made a batch of ultra smooth panels for some of my next paintings.
These are underpaintings on those panels - a continuation of the series 'faux landscapes' that I've been working on the last few years. I'm pushing these to be a little bit more abstract than the some of the others I've done in the past. I'm not sure if that is the direction I'll keep pushing them, but in the meantime I'm having fun.
I'm loving the surfaces so far though - they are divinely smooth, and the paint is gliding like a dream. It is nice when you get to the point where you don't have to fight the materials to get them to do what you want.
(Nate & I and the cats making the journey from SD to WI)
I'm attempting to catch up a little bit with my blogging. I was off the radar for a while with the move. We've been packing and unpacking while balancing a ton of personal projects (exhibitions, music gigs, record releases, studio upgrades). Nate has started teaching classes at UWO as their new Director of Recording Technology and I've been teaching online and continuing my studio practice while slowly renovating our new place. Speaking of that, here's our new (to us) house:
We have a ton of plans to make the exterior a little bit more inviting. :) We'll be adding shutters, painting the olive green a different color, and adding a little landscaping to liven things up. It is a 60's house with a great layout.
We've done a lot of work to the interior so far (and have a lot to do still too). After we got our kitchen/living room/bedroom unpacked, I started on my new studio space. It is about the same size as my last studio, so I have to be pretty inventive with how I arrange and organize the space to maximize functionality.
I moved around some existing wall shelves, and built some shelving in the small closet. I made the closet shelving specifically to hold the bins that I store my supplies in and the most common size canvasses that I use. I also built and put up a pegboard to store all of those things that I use a lot, but don't want out in my workspace.
Building the braces for the shelves.
The 'finished' product (albeit still not entirely organized). I think I spent around $30 on all of the materials along with some supplies I already had. I'm loving having these custom shelves.
So as of now the studio is functional. It still needs a lot of work - namely painting and organizing - but at least for now I can still continue to paint while I slowly get to those jobs.
I've also done a lot of painting on the first floor, and replaced the window treatments with curtains.
The blinds in the kitchen were old, dirty, and blocked the view into the backyard. The house has a lot of windows, and we really want a bright kitchen, so I chose to go with simple white curtains. I also painted the ceilings with flat white paint, and the walls a really light neutral grey. The kitchen feels a lot more modern and airy now. We've still got to paint the cupboards and replace the light fixtures.
I'm also toying with the idea of painting all of the trim white, but I'm not sure yet.
We've also painted the living room and replaced some of the curtains. We've still got the replace the godawful faded olive/teal floral carpeting though - I cannot wait to get that out of here. We haven't decided if we are going to put in different carpet, or extend the pergo floors from the kitchen/hallway into the living room so the first floor has cohesive flooring.
We were glad to get rid of the 'baby puke' yellow walls, and put in a nice neutral grey. I like to change up the artwork and the blankets/throw pillows a lot in the house, so the grey walls let me change the feel of the room without having to repaint every time I redecorate.
One of the most satifying projects thus far has been ripping out the carpet on the second floor hallway. I can't believe the prior owners covered these beautiful hardwoods! I think the carpets turned off a lot of potential buyers though, so I'm counting this as a total win.
We've also painted the office - we had to get rid of the 'cloud walls' as soon as we could!
We've still got a lot of work cut out for us though - painting, curtains, some floors, etc. I made a 'little' list of all of the projects left to complete. I'm looking forward to having things a little bit further along so it really starts to feel like our space.
Recently my husband accepted a job at UW-Oshkosh as the Director of the School's Recording program. We'll be packing up and moving to Wisconsin sometime late in the summer or early fall. We're already neck-deep in packing and prepping our house to sell while continuing to work on our personal artistic works. I'm prepping for multiple exhibitions, and Nate is promoting his newest album. We have a knack for unintentionally overlapping time-consuming commitments! I'll be taking a break from teaching in-person next semester to focus on my studio work and teach solely online.
We'll really miss our South Dakota family though - we've made such great friendships while living here over the last five years that will be hard to leave. I'll also really miss my students at DSU - they are a great bunch! But, we're familiar with the commute from WI to SD, so I know we'll be traveling back to visit. We both attended UW-Oshkosh for our undergrad degrees though, and have kept in touch with a lot of our friends in the area, so at least we'll be moving someplace that is familiar this time around.
Keep your fingers crossed for us that our move will go smoothly and will time out well. :) To our South Dakota friends: you'll always have a place to stay/visit in WI.
In this exhibition, three artists consider conceptual aspects of space, place and time. They explore questions ranging from the psychological, emotional and existential, to the contextual and art historical.
Cassie Marie Edwards’ work is about boundaries. Her practice consists of constructing landscape still life models out of ordinary household items such as cotton balls and pipe cleaners. The paintings that result from observation of these models are highly rendered and are several times removed from the original subject. The works blur the margins between traditional landscape, portraiture and still life, and pose questions about representation and “high” and “low” modes of expression.
Rachel Quirk investigates how time and place interact, and how they often lead to emotional states of uncertainty and angst. She uses familiar imagery and manipulates it in a way that makes the everyday seem alien and pensive. Through mixed-media photo transfers and video, she creates alternative realities that reflect the internal struggle to reconcile feelings about the unknowable.
Zina Mussmann eliminates visual indications of context in minimalist mixed media drawings. She appropriates elements from various sources and separates them from their original subtexts in order to create a non-space. The newly constructed images float in an absurd arena where there is no reference to time or place—where there is an irrationality of experience, and where question
I had my exhibition at Exposure Gallery in Downtown Sioux Falls about a month ago, and it was a really great time. It was so nice to catch so many of my art friends in SD - I was totally humbled by the stellar attendance and kind words that floated through the gallery that night. I'm super thankful to Zach DeBoer for his support through Exposure Gallery, and his great arrangement of the many paintings I brought to fill the space.
I was so busy that night I totally forgot to take pictures! Thankfully Exposure and some other friends had that covered for me. Check out some more pictures from that night (and a lovely little write-up) at the JAM Blog - Thanks to Sharon Wegner for assembling it and taking some photos!