Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Evolution of a Sculpture



I often begin a new work from a sketched design.  The lower design in this image from my sketch book was the inspiration for a new sculpture.




Beginning with a circular wire support, I created a 3 dimensional version of this sketched image.  The problem was that, to me, the actual sculpture didn't please me as much as the sketched image.  So it sat in the back of my studio waiting for a creative revelation. 





Then one day, as I studied this piece, I envisioned it "exploding" open, so I took an  knife to it and, leaving the circular wire armature intact, turned the single form into one that had five connecting sections.  This  alteration added interest and movement.  Hmmm, this certainly was a dramatic departure from the original sketch but it was a move in the right direction.



Knowing that this piece was not finished, I returned it to it's spot in the back of my studio.  I lived with this new form, manipulating these five appendages in many different  ways until I was sure that this wasn't what I ultimately wanted either!!  This time I got out the wire cutters and separated the sections from each other.


Persistence of Vision, 24"x24"x3"


After working with each section on it's own, I ultimately created a wall hung sculpture that consisted of 5 individual and unique works.  Persistence of Vision really was a deviation from the form I originally sketched!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Blog Hop

I was invited by the talented artist Bridgette Guerzon Mills to participate in a "Blog Hop" in which I answer a few questions about myself and my work and introduce my readers to three creative blog-writing artists.  I met Bridgette when she lived in the Chicago-area.  We both were members of  FUSEDChicago, a group of Midwestern artists that use the encaustic medium in their artmaking.  Unfortunately for all of us in the Chicago-area, Bridgette and her lovely family recently moved to the East Coast.  Fortunately the internet has made the world a much smaller place, making moves like this one much easier and allowing for a continued sense of community.

Bridgette is an award-winning artist whose mixed media paintings communicate the inherent beauty of nature.  The multilayered surfaces of her canvases speak to both the visual and tactile senses. Her artwork has an ethereal, almost dream-like quality, incorporating a variety of materials including photography, oil paint, acrylic paint and encaustic.  Read her art journal blog to get a glimpse into the thoughts and processes involved in her artwork.  Contemplating The Moon - Bridgette Guerzon Mills' Blog.

Here are the answers to the questions that were asked of me for this blog hop project:

1) What am I working on/writing?


Currently I am working on new work for a solo show at Art on Armitage.   This entails an expansion on a number of encaustic and fiber sculptural ceiling and wall installations that I created for this past spring's exhibition "Spaces We Inhabit".  I am always creating new sculptures that are a reflection of my urban environment.  These works have been increasing in size with an inclination towards installations.  It is difficult to say what the nest year or two will bring as my work evolves as an expression of my experiences.
 
Concurrent to my studio practice,  I am a daily social media content creator for the group FUSEDChicago, writing about local art happenings and providing publicity for group members.  I also provide editorial support for ChicagoVisitor.net and it's concurring local travel articles on Examiner.com.


 2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
  
I work with materials such as wax and cheesecloth, wire and twine, that are familiar and accessible, but I use them in very unique and innovative ways.  I consider the textural aspect of these materials as I create my streamlined sculptural forms as a way to invite the viewer to approach each work and to visually explore the elements of color, shape and movement. My work considers elements of urban history and change as well as exploring the physical and mental boundaries of the public and private spaces we inhabit.


3) Why do I do what I do?

As a professional who has spent most of the past 20 years in a creative business position, an opportunity arose in 2008, allowing me the chance to become a full-time artist.   This opportunity permitted me to expand on my creative nature.  Spending hours in my studio keeps me sane.   It is extremely gratifying to turn an idea into something tangible.  To lose oneself in the process of creation is a personally rewarding and satisfying experience.


4) How does my writing/working process work?   

How do I describe my creative practice?  There are routine and intuitive processes within each day.   I am never without my sketch book.  In it I jot down inspirational images or ideas.  I sketch sculptural forms than may or may not become reality.  I always step into the studio with an idea in mind but that usually evolves. The majority of my time is spent in my studio creating.  I spend a number of hours each day on-line attending to the business of art;  Photoshop, website maintenance,  addressing social media needs, networking with artists and educating myself on the art world.  Occasionally I will pull up my inspiration file to get a shot in the arm of just that; inspiration.  Outside of the studio, I attend local art events and exhibitions. 


Since I became friends with Bridgette Guerzon Mills, the artist who invited me to participate in this Blog Hop, through FUSEDChicago, it was a no-brainer that I make this an all-Fused event by inviting FUSEDChicago members and so I would like introduce the following three creative blog-writing artists. 


ROBIN SAMILJAN

After twenty-five years on the east coast, Robin has returned  to Chicago.  She has gleaned much inspiration from her new home as is evidenced in her work.  While I am drawn to her images of Chicago, her new monotypes are really stunning!  Robin is currently the Featured Artist on the FUSEDChicago website. FUSEDChicago Featured Artist.  

"I am inspired to create a balance between what I see and what I feel. Golden hues of autumn leaves at North Pond, the ominous Gothic shadows standing in front of the Wrigley building, or the silver reflections from a fresh snow in streetlight on Broadway Street, evoke feelings that exist forever in my mind. The vintage buildings along Lake Shore Drive remind me of my childhood and the many visits and family dinners at my grandparent’s apartment. I paint the brownstones and skyscrapers surrounded by foliage and perennials and re-discover contentment and warmth from my past. Having spent 25 years in New England, a move back to Chicago last June has shifted my artistic focus from rural landscape to urban surroundings and cityscape."            Robin Samiljan Art Blog


MAIKE VAN WIJK

Maike and I have shown together in many FUSEDChicago group shows.  Her art is an expression of the joy and gratitude she finds in everyday life.  I am especially drawn to her line of jewelry with it's design of simple movement of line and form.
 
"Maike van Wijk creates wall collages incorporating her love of nature, found objects, photography, words, rubber stamps and encaustics. She also creates steel wire jewelry, Maraviglia,  incorporating waxed paper, vintage ephemera and decorative wire. Her art is an expression of the joy and gratitude she finds in everyday living, with an aim to share that tranquility with others. 
Maike launched Maike’s Marvels in 2011 to focus on the artistic and creative life full time. Exploring the local art world has been a joy and revelation of creativity, support and inspiration. Maike’s collage work has been in the Evanston Art Center’s Biennial Member Show, Lincoln Park’s Artrageous events, and group exhibits including some curated by FUSEDChicago. Her creations are available for sale on Etsy (Maike's Etsy Shop) and at Aurora Rose Boutique in Lemont.  With roots in The Netherlands and Germany, Maike is trilingual and enjoys incorporating cultural memories and linguistic quirks into her work. She currently resides in Evanston, IL."  Maike Van Wijk's Blog


AHAVANI MULLEN

Ahavani is an award-winning artist and teacher.  Her paintings are meditative and contemplative.  I am fascinated with her intuitive process as it is so different from my own.  I am happy to include her in this Blog Hop event. 

"My works have evolved from silence.  Embracing stillness and reverence, this extends from the work's germination as a seed, through its progression to a fully blossomed piece.  The imagery I create is intended to be experimental, using color as a vehicle for a moment of contemplation.  I have exhibited  nationally and was recently awarded a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.  I will be featured in the next issue of Studio Visit magazine and my next solo exhibition will be at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois.  I live in Chicago and work out of my studio in the Logan Square neighborhood." 

 


Be sure to check out Robin, Maike and Ahavani's blogs next Saturday, August 16, 2014 to learn more about their work, see the answers to their Blog Hop questions and meet the creative individuals they have invited to participate in this unique event.