Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Framing your work

My work has recently been accepted for exhibition in a fairly prestigious state-wide competition. I am very excited about this. To prepare for this, I had to get my work framed. The paintings in question are rather large and require larger-than-standard frames. I therefore, placed my order with Frame USA in early July, thinking they would be here well before the deadline to deliver the works. That deadline is now upon me, and the frames are not here. After a conversation with the company, I was informed that the frames are not even shipping until tomorrow. The photo below should indicate just how this makes me feel.

I am further enraged, because after I learned my frames have not yet shipped (and will in fact arrive too late to be of any use ) I cannot cancel or return the merchandise. I am crafting my own frames made of wood, and hoping they will look halfway decent. This has been my unfavorable experience with Frame USA. I would be interested to hear other experiences with this company, so if you have dealt with them, leave your story in the comments. As always see you next week.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Art Show at Southern Illinois University

A friend of mine (Luca Cruzat) recently had a joint exhibition of her work with another artist in the Vergette Gallery on the campus of Southern Illinois University. I attended the reception for this show on Friday. I enjoyed the display very much, and will use this weeks post to reflect on what I saw.

Luca is a printmaker. Printmaking is an art process that is not for me. The few times I have decided to make a print I rely on one of two methods. These methods include lino-cuts and collograph techniques. I was therefore very excited when I discovered that Luca had done a series of prints using the collograph technique.

If you don't know, the collograph technique is one that prints an image from a variety of objects assembled together in a composition. This may include bits of paper, coins, string, or just about any sort of flat object that can be sealed to the surface of a board, and run through a printing press. I asked Luca how she made her images and she explained that she used paper and thread. She said that thread holds the ink prior to transfer of the image better than the paper. She therefore sewed or stitched thread to the paper to help outline the figures, and complete her image. The result was fantastic. Below are some images from the show. The black and white is the collograph by Luca.

More examples of her work, and upcoming exhibitions can be found here. I am interested in your thoughts about printmaking, particularity using the collograph technique. Leave your comments below and thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Do Climate and environment affect the artist?

The other day I was asked if I thought the environment and climate in which an artist works affects the work produced by that artist. I think this is an interesting question, and it's one I've been mulling over for a while. I will provide my answer, but I would be very interested in what you, the readers (Dawn) think.

In my opinion, the environment and climate in which an artist works has an indirect affect on the work produced. I say this because the environment will contribute to the mood of the artist, and this will in turn affect the outcome of the work. I have two stories to back this up.

When I was in Scotland, I met an artist from the United States who had spent the first six months (this was early June) living and working in Scotland. He was having an exhibition of his work from that six month period. The work from late February had a particularity somber palette. The subject matter also took on a drastically morbid character. When asked about this, he commented that at that time of year (Scotland is further North than any of the contiguous States)the sun sets at 2:30 0r 3:00 or something. He said it was always dark, and he was sick of it. His painting strongly reflected his mood.

Story number two. When I was in art school I began as a ceramics major. I later switched to 2-D media for several reasons. One of those reasons however, was the environment of the classroom where ceramics were taught. There were very few windows, and of these they only let in a minimum amount of light. It was dank, all the walls were gray cinder block, and it was near the blacksmith studios, so there were a number of air filter stacks from all the fires used to shape and bend metal. It was a rather unpleasant place to spend any period of time. This environment shaped my mood, and my work suffered because if it. I had to get out of there, so I switched specializations.

So there you have it. Two stories about environment affecting the work artists produce. I am very interested in your thoughts. So leave your comments in the comment section, and I will see you next week.