Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Quest for the West": Road trip to Indianapolis

Over this past weekend I visited the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The Eiteljorg is the type of gem rarely found east of the Mississippi River, and is currently host to the fourth annual Quest for the West Art Show and Sale.

Quest for the West features still lifes, portraiture, landscapes, wildlife, and narratives that focus on the culture of the American West. Though much of my own work is similarly themed, I have not had opportunities up to this point to see original works by some of today's top western artists. Living near the overlap of the rust belt and the corn belt one is, shall we say, western-deprived. I was absolutely thrilled to see original works by artists such as David Mann, John Buxton, Robert Griffing, John Fawcett, Roseta Santiago, and Daniel Smith, to name but a few.

However, it was while I slowly perused one of the museum's regular collections that I came upon what I found to be absolutely awe-inspiring: Howard Terpning's "Blessing From the Medicine Man". I consider myself to be fairly familiar with Terpning as an artist -- I have seen his work in books and magazines many times, and in our home we have several of his limited edition prints. Despite this, I was not prepared for how powerful his work is in person. I believe it is safe to say that I began to make the security guard a bit nervous, as evidenced by his repeated strolls back-and-forth behind me as I stood with my nose about fifteen inches from the surface of the painting while taking copious notes on a small piece of paper. I was bound-and-determined to discern what specific colors Terpning uses in his amazing skin tones. (I don't know if I figured it out exactly, but it sure gave me tremendous joy to try!)

My description of the Eiteljorg excursion would not be complete without mention of the Art-o-mat -- a retired cigarette machine which vends original pieces of art for a mere five-spot! I came upon this bit of intrigue while wandering the museum's second floor. The Art-o-mat was originally developed by artist Clark Whittington in 1997, and there are now 82 of them in various locations around the United States. One can even become an Art-o-mat artist: just follow the above link to find out how. (Please pay no attention to the photographer in the mirrored front of the Art-o-mat above!)

So in sum, the Eiteljorg Museum is a great way to spend an afternoon for those with an interest in western or Native American Art. If any readers have been there or visit in the future, I'd love to hear your impressions.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Opening Reception: "Line by Line"

There are times when one wishes there were three of oneself, and for me the "Line by Line" artists' reception, with fellow Michigan artists Bonnie Auten and Dianna Soisson, was one of those times. I thoroughly enjoyed mingling, chatting, and yes.........at times laughing way too loud.........with those who attended. We truly appreciated the many who came out to see us and our work - even given the great football games whose air times overlapped with the reception! Many kudos to Scott and Barbara Hudson for putting on a very nice event. The exhibition will continue at the Hudson Gallery in downtown Sylvania, Ohio, through September 29, 2009.

Now its time for me to attempt to regain increased focus on my work, so look for new work-in-progress in the near future. I have spent much of the past few days acclimating to a new Toshiba laptop computer with a different operating system than what I have become accustomed to, and an unfamiliar photo imaging program. Thankfully however, I have a couple of close friends who are much smarter than I concerning computers, and they are ever-gracious when I repeatedly call on their expertise. The laptop will be used primarily for all things related to my artwork -- digital submissions, storing photo references, reformatting art images, blogging, website maintenance, etc. -- and will be adorned with a large sign which reads, "NO TEENAGERS ALLOWED". (I know some of you are feeling my pain.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Line by Line - Three Women Working in Colored Pencil": September 1 - 29, 2009

Throughout the month of September, "Line by Line: Three Women Working in Colored Pencil", will be on display at the Hudson Gallery in Sylvania, Ohio. The artist's reception will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2009, from 5 - 7 p.m.

The show features approximately thirty colored pencil works by Michigan artists Bonnie Auten, Dianna Wallace Soisson, and myself. It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to exhibit with two such gifted artists. From Bonnie's engaging and vibrant still lifes, to Dianna's lovely florals and water themes, to my western images -- this display provides a great deal of diversity, and has something for everyone.

The Hudson Gallery itself is located in the historic section of downtown Sylvania. It specializes in custom and archival framing, and is recognized as one of the area's top venues for original artwork. Owned by Scott and Barbara Hudson, the gallery is also a representative for Labino Glass and features contemporary art by various artists..............And an additional note regarding Scott and Barbara must be made here: one would be hard-pressed to find two lovelier and more genuine people. They are an absolute pleasure to work and talk with.

We hope to see you at the reception!

(In the above photo, clockwise: Whiskey Mountain Cowboy, by L. Schumacher; Rendezvous 1946, by B. Auten; and It's not the destination, it's the journey, by D. Wallace Soisson)