CPS Studios-Summer 2010

MN Women's Press-Oct 09



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To hell with the dust bunnies...


 Tonight I am enjoying a rare evening home alone--an opportunity to have some time to myself and catch my breath. 

It's been a very busy few months. In late February, I started a new job. Just as I was starting to get the hang of that gig, I got offered my dream job--at least, the kind of dream job I need to help support me in my vocation as an artist. I got offered a job as a guard at my favorite art museum in town.

Initially it was supposed to be a temp gig. I was going to work a special exhibit for 6 weeks, be laid off for 6 weeks and then go back for a 3 month show. But, life has a way of switching things up and I have NOT been laid off! This is definitely a good thing. 

Some days I head to work and pinch's almost too good to be true--I get paid to work in my "happy place". I get to spend the day walking thru the museum, protecting (and enjoying) the art. While sometimes I have to be the "bad guy" and remind folks not to touch the art, more often than not, I get to help make their visit to the museum a better one. The past two weeks I've been working in the Asian galleries, African galleries and Art of the Americas galleries. Amazing collection.

Lest it sound too good, I have to admit that physically it is demanding and exhausting. I am getting accustomed to the routine, but at the end of the day my body is still worn out.

And so, adding this new work routine has been a challenge to my studio routine. At first, work took over. But adjustments have now been made and I am once again busy in the studio.

Of course, having the pressure of a two-person show that needs to be installed in less than a month sort of put me under the gun.

I respond well to deadlines.

The days I'm not at work, I'm feverishly painting in the studio. In the evenings following work, I am busy at the computer...working out the details of the show, putting together some promotional materials for the show...It will all come together.

My life is organized chaos.

But it's alright...I can live with the dust bunnies.

As long as I can paint.



Look at Art--the WARM Show


I am fortunate to have artwork in two exhibits with openings this Friday. I've already written about the Art of Recovery exhibit. The other exhibit I'm thrilled to be a part of is WARM's 2012 Juried Exhibit Look at Art.

Women's Art Resources of Minnesota, commonly referred to as WARM, is an organization of women artists and supportors. I am currently participating in their mentor-protegee program. In WARM, I have found a very nurturing, supportive environment that has helped me grow tremendously as an artist. It is a great group to be a part of.  You might want to consider joining... or sign up for their newsletter to stay in the loop about lots of art happenings around town featuring local artists!

Over 50 WARM members and artists were selected to be a part of this show. It is being held at the Grain Belt Bottling House in NE Mpls. The opening reception is Friday, April 20th from 6-9 pm (see details below). There is also a Juror's Talk being held Wednesday, April 25th (again, see details below). And if those dates don't work for you, you can catch the show during business hours till May 4th (yet again, see details below).



And here's my piece in the show, which I might add, looks much better in person (hint, hint).



Art of Recovery--the Exhibit opens

A while back I wrote about four of my paintings being a part of the Art of Recovery exhibit. (You can read that post here).  Well, winter has past and the show is up! I am anxiously waiting to see the entire exhibit at the opening reception this Friday

The reception takes place Friday, April 20th from 3:30-6:30 pm at the Minnesota State Arts Board (conveniently located a few blocks from my house). The exhibit can also be viewed during normal business hours Monday - Friday, 8:30 -4:30 from April 23rd - June 29th.  I know that doesn't work for everyone so please take note: The exhibit will also be a part of the St. Paul Art Crawl--which is the weekend of April 27th - 29th. Here's a link to all the details:


 This exhbit's purpose is to give voice to victims of violence and to raise awareness about violent crime. I am proud that my paintings will be a part of this annual exhibit. While my experiences as a battered woman happened half a lifetime ago (and I am now happily married to a wonderfully supportive man), it is still an important part of my life story. Making art helped me survive...and ultimately thrive.

When I submitted my artwork, they asked me to write an artist statement about the work. They have included that statement, along with images of my work, on their website. Here's a link to the page:



Morning Exercise

Just a little morning "exercise"/experiment that I did earlier this week. The experiment part was using Ambersand's Aquabord as a substrate. I wanted to see how it worked as a watercolor surface, so I picked up these small 4x4 flat 1/8" panels. Interesting. I want to play with them more. I don't think they would always work for what I want to do, but I liked it for this little piece. The first thing I noticed is that the board has a gray undertone, which can be a good or bad thing...but is something to keep in mind. There are times when that aspect of it would be an interesting alternative to using white paper. While it is absorbent, it isn't as absorbent as watercolor paper (in my mind). The claysurface also has a very fine texure to it, which I like.

Doing this little exercise/experiment was a little like visual journaling for me. In fact, I thought it might be a nice daily exercise for me....paint one 4x4 every day for a month maybe? 



Painting spring dreams...


Sometimes when I just don't have the time (or energy) to pull out the big canvases, I sit down with my watercolors and paint away in whatever time I have.  Sometimes I might have just 20 minutes. Other times I might paint for hours at a time. Sometimes I might just be working out some ideas, experimenting/playing with the paint. Other times I have a very clear image in mind of what my finished product might be (although it doesn't always turn out the way I intend it to...and working with watercolors is all about "going with the flow").

 On this particular cloudy day last week, I took the opportunity to explore some ideas that have been floating around in my head.  I often have images swimming around in my head...images/ideas for paintings. Normally the images in my head are very vibrant...even when I feel very "blah" on the outside. So I have had this idea of painting a "container" or "pod", as I think of it, that reflects the thoughts/images in my head. The pod contains these vibrant images, nourishes them even when, or maybe especially when, I'm feeling a little gray on the outside.

It has been unseasonably warm here in Minnesota the past few weeks...we've even reached 80 degrees. It's like we fast forward past spring right into summer. There has been lots of sunny days--but on this day when I sat down to paint, it was gray. Just like that, my sunny mood evaporated. 

So in my little "pods" I painted dreams of spring. Still working on the concept. What do you think?