Friday, February 22, 2008

Bets Cole invites me to the Art Show - with Addendum

It all started with an invitation from Brooks Hickerson to join an artists group when he sent me the schedule of "paintouts" and the next one was at the EWEB (Eugene Electric & Water Board) building that sits right next to the Willamette river on the edge of downtown Eugene. I have always wanted to get a picture of the Peter DeFazio footbridge and this was the perfect day. I even got a jogger and the moon centered in the "U" at the top of the bridge.

Bets Cole was the first person I saw when I found the gaggle of wild artists hanging out and painting on a beautiful day. Later as I was leaving Bets invited me to her show that was opening at the Maude Kerns Center the following Friday (2/22/2008). I gave her one of my "almost free" business cards from Vista Print and she later send me a postcard invitation via snail mail.

Brooks Hickerson was working at the edge of the river poised at his easel.

My buddy, Renee Manford, is sitting down to work on Plexiglas and would later press two of her works to create monoprints.

I'm still kicking myself for not asking her name but I found it in spite of myself. Cathy is a delightful artist and first person I talked to at the paintout. I saw her again at the Maude Kerns Center show that featured Bets work along with other artists.

So here I am at the Maude Kerns Center watching two ghosts enter the building. The show is called Spirited Journey - Women Artists. The show features work of local artists, Kathleen Caprario, Bets Cole, Annette Gurdjian, Wendy Huhn, and Betsy Wolfston and runs Feb. 22-March 21

I met these two very nice women who were the greeters at the front desk. On the left is Judy and the redhead on the right is her friend Iva May. I did get Judy's email address and when I finish this blog I'm sending her the link. Update I got a really nice note from Judy.

The first person I saw was Bets looking very happy and with good cause. He work looked great and I just loved the picture behind her called "A Walk in the Woods."

I wandered around while listening to some great classical guitar.

They even had a nice hospitality center with a good selection of things to eat and drink and, as you can see, a great crowd.

I really liked the art of Kathleen Caprario which was very simple and yet complex in depth and color.

These two paintings are more of Kathleen's works that were on display.

Meanwhile Bets was busy talking with her hands and showing her works.

My absolute favorite painting of Bets' is this home on the Pacific Coast.

The artist here is Betsy Wolfston who also has some smaller pieces in another part of the gallery.

This was another piece by Betsy both I pictured here would be great assets in any art collection.

Then there is Bets again talking with her hands. She is a wonderfully animated person and a joy to talk with especially about her art. The young people partially obscured in the picture are two Lane Community College students that work with my son at the LCC Torch (student newspaper). The young man with the hat is Curtis McCain the Photo Editor of the newspaper and the young woman is Nicole Perkins the Arts Editor of the LCC Torch.

Another view of Kathleen Caprario's fine art and a young person who seems to almost be part of the painting.

It was a very nicely attended opening and I got several pieces of literature while there and expect to go back and see where my photography might fit in.

So it was a full house and everyone looked like they were enjoying the show.

And so I left and couldn't help look back to see if the ghosts were also leaving.

ADDENDUM: I missed getting pictures in another part of the gallery but not because I didn't try they just were too blurry due to the light and my lack of a working flash. So I went back to the Maude Kerns Art Center for some retakes.

The art of Annette Gurdjian was marvelously full of bold colors

Like this image titled "Man with Two Canes" and ...

"Woman Giving Sidelong Glance" both are very creative in the use of color, imagination, impression and expression.

The other artist I missed was Wendy Huhn whose Imaginative wall hangings (I hope that's the correct term) were like reading books of symbolic prose.

Some were brightly colored with much contrast

Others were more subtle

Then there was this one that was devilishly a mixture of modern and "evil" symbols that draws you into a conversation with the art. Personally I really enjoyed my visit back to Maude Kerns Art Center for the chance to spend more time with Wendy's work without a crowd around.

I also was able to take a closer look at another room in the back near the staff offices.

This was one of a pair of images by Betsy Wolfston

This was a collection of "House Blessings" by Betsy and ...

This was a wonderful painting titles "Breaking Barriers" by Betsy Wolfston

I even missed this great image by Bets Cole in that room.

The real treat was getting to meet and have a very nice talk with the staff at the center. Karen Pavelec, the Executive Director, Marsha Shankman, the Publicity Coordinator and Kelly McCormick the Administrative Assistant.

It's really interesting how my mind works *don't laugh too hard* but Karen's last name starts with my initials, my goddaughter in named Kelly and Marsha and I both turned up here after living in Houston, Texas. Well during the conversation I found out Marsha was an artist and I got to see a work she had in the office.

This wonderful work is Marsha's (the small blue square near the bottom left corner is a reflection from a computer screen) life drawing she did. I have to say they were as terrific a group of people as I've ever met.

So before I left I took a picture of a rose on one of the desks to preserve it for them.

Thank you Bets for the kind invitation.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 312 - the Contender 322 Yippee!

Quote of the Day -
"Most women paint as though they are trimming hats. Not you." ~ Edouard Degas to Mary Cassatt

Mary Stevenson Cassatt - (May 22, 1844 – June 14, 1926) was an American painter and printmaker She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists. Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Making Monotype Prints with Renee Manford

Happy Valentines Day!

My continuing art education took me to Lane Community College today in the Mini-Musemobile.

Renee Manford who was featured in an earlier blog post here and another blog in my Art for the Soul Page is showing me the ropes in the art world. Renee works at a local gallery and has offered to help me get my photographs show with suggestions and by forwarding on the call for artists notices she gets. I have in turn offered to help Renee get a web page put together.

So today I wanted to get some pictures of Renee producing a monotype print, her favorite medium.
"A monoprint is most definitely original art. The printmaking process involved in making a monoprint (sometimes also referred to as a monotype) is named such because only one print is made at a time, after which the process must begin again if the artist wishes to create another print in the edition. The process involves painting on or inking a non-porous surface such as an etching plate, glass, Plexiglas, or the like, and then pressing paper against the painted or inked surface resulting in unique works on paper."

The project she worked on today was a class project and she had to do a self-portrait. She was working from a photograph the teacher had taken. The class is at Lane Community College better known as LCC. As a side note that is the same college my son Isaac attends.

The monotype process starts with a clear piece of Plexiglas or glass. Renee used the photograph as a guide only and worked first on a sketch using a special pen.

I liked the view of the tools of the trade but these are not all the tools as I found out later.

After the sketch was complete Renee mixed the paints she would use on a flat piece of glass that was her palette.

The mixing process is interesting and Renee pointed out how she liked to use red with black for a richer more vibrant color rather than mixing the darker less vibrant blue.

She brought some monoprints she had done earlier. She is the baby in this one featuring her father, mother and big sister.

This one is Renee as a young girl and ....

... in this one she is in the center wearing a green skirt with her sister in blue and her cousin in brown.

Back to the process we find her filling in the background adding a darker base to the image and a lighter grey-green background. Most of the background is done with a hard plastic roller and the detail work is done with a small palette knife.

You can see the roller in this picture as the image starts to come together.

You can see the red/black mixture being spread in this image.

I like the concentration you can see in this shot and it's amazing how an artist can visualize an image and then execute the steps to make it come alive. There are a lot of serious looks amidst the smiles as the monoprint starts to take shape.

Her head tilts from side to side looking for the right place and the correct color to apply to the glass surface.

Finally it's time for the specialty tool - a Q-Tip - how cool to see one used as a painting tool.

So now the black and white photograph has found color in her mind and ready for some final touches.

I took a break and shot some prints hanging in the studio then ...

... walked outside to shot this sculpture just outside the building.

When I got back in Renee was checking the monoprint over for places in need of a tweak or two.

I think this is the hardest part on the nerves because the artist has to make the decision to continue or begin all over.

In a detail view you can get an idea of hundred of strokes, maybe thousands that one print requires.

Looking through one of the presses I got this shot of her doing some of the final touches that went from the tools you have already see to the use of her fingernail for the fine detail.

Finally the work is ready to dry and to speed the process there is always the handy-dandy hair dryer.

Now it's getting exciting as she places the glass on the press positioning it on a cloth backing.

I found this very enlightening that the paper used for the transfer is given a bath in a large tank to soak up some water.

You can see the edge of the tank in this shot as she prepares the paper for printing.

So all is ready for the paper.

This is an exacting part of the process in that you want the paper straight for a good straight copy. This process produces one picture only (there is one exception) so if this part is flawed you may have a wasted day's worth of work.

Her right hand is on the adjustment knob that regulates the pressure as the roller travels over the paper, glass and cloth cover.

There is a big spoke wheel that's used to mover the roller and you can see Renee reaching for it with her left hand in this shot.

This is the finished product of a work that started at 1:00pm and was completed about 5:00pm

I mentioned this was a monoprint process and mono means one unique print. There is one way to get two images and that is to repress the residual paint on the glass. Since most of the paint is transfered to the first print as second image is not the same as the first so they are both mono prints and one of one (1/1) .

Renee graciously made one more run using the ink left on the glass making a "ghost image" monoprint for me to have. Isaac took this picture in the garage at night with low light and the color is a little off in the photograph but I love this picture. It's my own unique piece of art from the hands of a truly fine artist and a friend.

It was a very nice and interesting four hours and I got to meet three of Renee's classmates who came and went during the process. I even got to meet her professor. Thank you Renee I feel at least a little better educated about art. That's not a bad thing since both of my sisters are very accomplished artists.

Scrabble Score ~
Yesterday Scrabble Queen 349 - The Contender 296
Today Scrabble Queen 356 - The Contender 342
Quote of the Day
"The best mirror is an old friend." ~ George Herbert


©Paul Viel