Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Off to Atlanta

Early tomorrow I leave for Atlanta, Georgia, to attend convention week of the Colored Pencil Society of America's 17th International Exhibition. This will be the third time I have attended this event, and I have grown to thoroughly enjoy it. The convention week schedule includes workshops, an artists' reception, the awards banquet, and a national membership meeting.
In general my involvement in CPSA has provided wonderful opportunities to network with other artists, as well as form close friendships. In addition it has helped my confidence as an artist to increase dramatically. A 'shout-out' is due to artist Gary Greene of Washington state who, during a workshop he taught in Traverse City, Michigan several years ago, strongly encouraged me to become a member of CPSA. He also made it very clear that if I did not start drawing more, I would regret it someday.
I'm sure he was right -- though it is my plan to not find out.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Canadian Cowgirl" (retrieved from the flat file!), and Exhibition News

You may recall that my then nearly-completed work "Canadian Cowgirl" (close-up shown) was placed into flat file exile -- an effort on my part to gain some, shall we say, 'artistic perspective'. Since taking her out of hiding several days ago I have completed the background tone and tweaked several areas. As are most artists I know, I tend to very hard on myself and my own work; so after not working on the drawing for about three weeks I fully expected to see glaring mistakes calling for some significant changes.............but I didn't. Instead I was rather surprised to find that 1) I was much more satisfied with the drawing than I initially realized, and 2) regardless of that, I will change, tweak, alter, correct, and nit-pick............and at some point I simply have to make the decision to call it done.
Aside from that, I very recently received notification that I have had work accepted into the 2009 Art Kudos International Exhibition. At least fourteen countries will be represented in this online show, made up of 140 works of art chosen from nearly 1200 entries. Beginning on August 15, 2009, the group of finalists and the award winners can be viewed online at http://www.artkudos.com/ .

Monday, July 20, 2009

Facebook and Artists

Area artists will be able to take advantage of the upcoming seminar, "Facebook and Artists", to be presented by Ypsilanti artist and educator Dee Overly. The Riverside Art Center will host the half-day event on two separate dates: July 25 and August 8, 2009.

Facebook, as well as other social networking sites, can be valuable tools for art marketing. This is a how-to seminar, during which Dee will provide specific ways for artists to utilize Facebook to capitalize on their online presence. More details and registration information can be obtained at http://deeoverly.com/facebook-for-artists.pdf .

For the time being I will be remaining somewhat Facebook-illiterate ................ what with the Atlanta CPSA Convention Week looming on the horizon, followed by a three-person show that I'm in (rather frantic) preparations for. I have attended Dee's seminars previously however and highly recommend them: both for the comprehensive nature of the material presented, as well as its practical application.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Toledo Museum of Art 91st Annual Toledo Area Artists Exhibition

Several days ago I attended the opening reception for the 91st Annual Toledo Area Artists Exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art . I thoroughly enjoyed the quality and diversity of the art in the exhibition, as well as what I saw of other galleries at the museum.
The Toledo Museum of Art features 35 galleries and over 30,000 works of art. This includes pieces by Cezanne, Degas, VanGogh, Rubens, Rembrandt, Picasso, and Monet. In addition they offer various art classes, and programs for families and children.
The Toledo Area Artists Exhibition will be on display until August 23, 2009, and features 119 works by 96 artists. The show was organized by the Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Federation of Art Societies, and was juried by Cleveland artist Ruth Bercaw and Jessica Flores, curator of contemporary art at the Cincinnati Art Museum. It is open to Ohio artists, as well as those from two Michigan counties. "Hasn't Scratched Yet", (above) a colored pencil work by Tecumseh, Michigan artist Bonnie Auten, was juried into the exhibition.
If you are in the Toledo area, the museum itself and the exhibit are well worth the visit. Museum and visitor information can be obtained at http://www.toledomuseum.org/ .

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Work-in-Progress: "Canadian Cowgirl" Nearly Completed

Originally I had hoped to have my current work-in-progress completed by last week. About Tuesday however, I began to realize that finishing it meant I would be rushing certain aspects of the piece -- something I chose not to do after conferring with a couple of other (very wise) artists. It was not worth risking the many hours I'd already put into the drawing, for the sake of a self-imposed deadline.

Through the time it takes and the process of each drawing, I seem to lose objectivity; the ability to see the piece clearly and evaluate problem areas honestly. I have become increasingly aware of this 'phenomenon' over the past couple of years, and occasionally will send an image via email to another artist and request that they "be my eyes". Though I sometimes will use the strategy of holding the drawing up to a mirror to survey the reverse image, which often will make problem areas of the artwork easier to see, this only seems to work just so-far for me.

Almost always upon completing a piece I immediately take it to be photographed, and then framed. Rarely do I simply put it away in a flat file drawer -- long enough for my objectivity regarding the drawing to return.

This time I am doing just that, at the suggestion of California artist Elizabeth Patterson -- even before the background color is laid in. I look forward to being able to see the drawing with more integrity when I pull it from that flat file drawer in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know what I learn.