Saturday, January 28, 2012

Scratchboard Horses

I've spent the week working on many new scratchboard drawings. Thought I'd put myself through an exercise of doing a pretty 'realistic' version and then my folky version of a horse. My website is Blue-eyed Pony Studio so I wanted something new to put on my business card. For those who wonder why that name; I had a blue eyed horse when I was in my early teens. She was crazy wild. I was too, so there you go. That would be the 1st image. The second is purely from my memory of another horse that I rode in my youth, 'Shadow'.  That was a long time ago. Shadow is long gone, as is the friendship with the owner of the horse. Oh well, it's all in my head now anyway.
 I like the 1st image best. It was good to play around with both versions. And good to know which one speaks to me the most. Maybe one of them speaks to you? I'd be happy to sell either one of them. I've got tons of artwork piling up around the house/studio. I just keep making it. Now selling it has become front and center. Working on a Kickstarter project which I'll be launching next week. It will be all about dogs and rescue and scratchboard drawings.  As always the above are Ampersand Art scratchbord with inks and a nice light coat of Krylon Workable Fixitif. The are 5"x7" and sell for $75.00 unframed, $100.00 framed. Let me know if you want one. But especially let me know what you think.
 It's still winter (although it's been too damned warm here) and I'm in that reflective, hibernation state of mind. Started reading and doing the Artist Way again. Morning pages are a struggle, but I do them anyway. Looking forward to spring, more art and big ideas.
I will begin the "Linda Sheets Rocks The Country Scratchbord Demo Tour" sometime in Feb. Will keep you posted on that. Will start in the NE first. (I know, winter, NE, crazy travel time...)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Little Joe With Cow/Crystal Bridges

Here is another of my favorite artworks at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville. Title is "Little Joe With Cow". Artist is Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Besides being pleasing to my eye and soul, something about this piece helps me to feel hopeful that the art I'm creating is indeed art.  It's on the wall in a museum, so it must be good art, right? (don't misunderstand, I absolutely think this is great art)There's always an inner struggle when making art, the question of the validity, purpose and finally outcome. Am I making art? Is it good enough? How much do I care about the answer to that question? And must I rely on others opinion to make it so?
For the most part, I shrug it off and just keep creating. I can't spend too much time thinking about what it is or isn't. I must do. If I'm to be honest, there are days when I wonder if I should have just stayed a plumber. I understand plumbing, how it works and doesn't work, and what needs to be done to put it all together. Pure and simple.  Art, not so much.  Here are my cows today, work is underway, not finished, not sure what is next. But, loving the process of putting it all together.
I'm rambling on now, was up until 4am reading and tossing and turning. I wonder how the creative process works for others. Anyone?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crystal Bridges Museum Joseph Cornell

In continuing my exploration of the new Crystal Bridges Museum here in NW Arkansas: This is the Joseph Cornell piece in the collection. The installation is great, they have a mirror so you can see the back which has collaged paper on it.  Have I told y'all how much I love him?  Maybe not. Here goes...I have read everything I can get my hands on about him.  Quirky? Odd? Eccentric? Yes, indeedy. All of the above and more.  Amazing, self taught artist. He hung out with Duchamp. In fact some thought he might have been in love with him...He lived and worked in the house he grew up in in NY. Lived on 'Utopia Parkway' in Queens. I love that street name. Perfect.
 I got to see a major retrospective of his a few years back, in Salem, MA at the Peabody Essex Museum.  180 of his works, many which had not been in museums. Thanks to Lynda Roscoe Hartigan who curated it, put together a wonderful book for it, and is one of the foremost experts on his work. I even managed to communicate with her via email and got feedback on my work and a personalized signed book. I admit, that put me over the moon!
 I spent over 3 hours in the PEM exhibit, and went back twice for more. I wish I had photos of it. They didn't allow them, at all. This is a major difference so far at Crystal Bridges. Of course they don't allow tri-pods or mono-pods or flash photography. And some of the special exhibits don't allow it. But for the most part, snap away. The above and the former post are photos I took with my smart phone, a samsung galaxy.  Not too bad.
I'm going to CB again this Friday with friends who have not been there yet.  I wonder what new/old works I'll see with new eyes? I have a feeling I'm going to spend a lot of my time up there wandering through. I've already spotted some snooty east coast types (what does this mean? Hard to describe, but I used to live in Boston, and was involved for a while with an 'old money' crowd for a bit thanks to a former relationship) who seem to be amazed and slightly stunned at what we have here in the Ozarks. Am I upset that this collection is associated with Walton money? Hell no. No more than we should be upset at the Guggenheim money or any other robber baron who financed art institutions. Get over it, and come visit.
It has taken me most of the morning to write this.  Sorry, I'm groggy from going to sleep way too late (early?) at 3am and waking up way too early at 7:30. My system is off somewhat due to the strange weather.  It's mid-January and 60 degrees here in NWArkansas. Something really wrong about this. I moved north from TX to get real seasons...Oh well, today I'll go work outside and put together some box assemblages of my own.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Crystal Bridges Museum Louise Nevelson

Yesterday I taught a very enthusiastic group of High School students how to work with Ampersand scratchbord.  After the class I went to the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  This is my second time through there and I spent around 2 hours+ just wandering around.  Saw so many pieces that I would swear I didn't see the first time.  Not true of the above piece. Couldn't miss it. Wouldn't miss it.  It is by one of my favorite artists: Louise Nevelson.  She reportedly would pick up scraps of wood as she walked the streets of New York City.  I love that.  Any of you who know me well, know that I've moved piles of scraps of wood 2x in the past 2 years. (and I thank you for helping me!) I'm sure you think I'm crazy for that, but hey, look at the above and maybe you'll understand a bit of my motivation.  I can't remember the title of this.  It doesn't really matter to me. There is so much to look at, and dive into here, I can write my own story and title.  More photos from the museum and also work in progress+scratchbord classes soon.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Idea Dog Scratchboard

This little sweet black dog with an idea was completed the other day.  I reused a 3"x5" Ampersand Art scratchbord, sample size.  After teaching a workshop I hang onto all the spare boards that students have scratched up and then I lightly sand with fine sandpaper and brush on some Speedball Super Black India Ink and there you go, a new surface to scratch through. It's hard to get a real smooth finish like Ampersand does, and the Speedball ink makes it a bit harder to scratch (don't make it too thick), but if your tools are sharp and your hand steady you can do it. The effect of whatever previous scratching was there pops out and just adds depth and dimension to the piece. Happy Accidents. I've got some big plans and big ideas for 2012.  Working on some of them today.  Let's just say, they involve dogs and scratchbord artworks and kickstarter.  Will keep you posted as it develops.  This planning stuff is an unusual thing for the impulsive Aries that I am.  I truely like to 'shoot first, ask questions later' (not that I want to shoot anyone...really!) It's a good exercise in patience for me.  And lord knows I'm not a patient person.
Speaking of which, when is Winter going to arrive in NW Arkansas?  It's been in the 50-60's during the day for a while now.  This is January, isn't it supposed to be cold?  The fact that our past summer was extremely hot and now this has made me wonder if this location is where I belong...I don't mean to complain, it really has been beautiful and mild.  But something about it just doesn't feel right. Maybe it's just the memories of the Northern Indiana winters stuck somewhere in the back of my head.
Last night was 1st Thursday in Fayetteville. No Underground.  I miss it.  I miss the other artists. Saddness.