So have I mentioned I love online art groups? Not sure if I stated those exact words, but I do. And here's why:
So far this year I have completed these paintings for various monthly challenges in facebook art groups. Four of them are currently on display and for sale at Gallery 194 as part of the LAA annual Spring Show. The landscapes and trees are reasonably within my comfort zone, but I used a different medium with the trees - gouache on aquaboard - than my usual acrylic. The fruit with reflection was a bit of a stretch, and the garlic especially. The bridge tested my memory of perspective rules. I'm looking forward to learning what next month's topics are.
Inspiration from looking at other artists' work and photos happens every day, more than I can ever hope to fulfill. But every once in a while a method or technique gets shared at just the right time for me to give it a shot. A couple days ago someone shared her method of drawing with rubber cement over a painted background, then painting over the whole thing in another color, and finally peeling off the rubber cement to reveal the design in the base color. I just finished the bridge painting and had paint left over on my palette, lots of white with bits of red, green, blue and yellow. I mixed them up and slopped them on a canvas panel without a plan ... it's very pastel, what the heck am I going to do with this? And then I remembered the rubber cement idea. Maybe this would make a good background to try that technique? I wonder how well it would work with the textured canvas surface, will some of the paint seep under the rubber cement? There's only one way to find out.
Lastly, a note asking questions and learning from others. What I am learning is that many (most?) artists are plagued by self-doubt. Many struggle with time-management in juggling daily life responsibilities with creative time, and to be taken seriously first of all by themselves but also in some cases their families/significant others. Those that have found meaningful support in their local art communities, or in online groups, or both, recognize how blessed they are.
I am blessed. And grateful.
(final note: the "Blessed and Grateful" wording in the title is a takeoff of "Gutless and Grateful" by Amy Oestreicher Thetford, one of the most inspiring people I have encountered on line. Please read her story, it's worth your time.)
This year will be the 3rd anniversary of the Art on Nepessing St. art walk and art fair in downtown Lapeer.
Art fairs and art walks in Lapeer have taken many forms over the years: since I've been here, we had an art fair downtown with a beer tent; then it combined with a History Festival and moved out to an open area next to & on school grounds; a downtown art walk & auction developed thru a partnership with 4H ... then the Art & History festival went away, and the 4H connection went away ... and for the last 3 years the Lapeer DDA and Center for the Arts have brought a combined event back downtown. I have participated in the past in various ways, both in my former role as City Planner and as an artist; this year as a retiree I'm on the planning committee and will again be a contributing artist.
Our goal this year is to GROW the event. While both the art walk and art fair components have been well received by those in the community who have taken the time to comment, we feel we are still not reaching and engaging enough people, and definitely need to have more booths at the art fair. My specific role the past few weeks has been to contact artists far and wide via email, facebook, and through their website and invite them to participate. I sent out 155 messages and so far got 7 new ones interested - yay, we'll take it! I'm currently going back through the list and making a second contact attempt to all who didn't respond. The gallery and DDA staff have been following up with phone calls and personal contacts, trying to snag a few more.
Even if we only get a few new artist booths, I am still very excited about the event this year! We have a committee that really seems to be gelling, with lots of new ideas and enthusiasm and willingness to step forward and take on chunks of the work. We have more entertainment planned this year, as well as interactive art projects and food vendors. I have a gut feeling this will be the best Art on Nepessing St. yet.