I had no idea that I'd received a Special Recognition Award for my piece, Uprooted 2,through the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition BLACK & WHITE show. But there it was, just waiting for me along with a check in my mailbox. Thank you Alison Hokanson, Assistant Curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art! I am truly honored!
October 27th - 29th at Fulton Street Collective Gallery, 1821 West Hubbard, Chicago, IL 60622
My art is one of many pieces that are going to be on display at Fulton Street Collective Gallery from October 27th - 29th. I thought I would give you the info on how you can purchase this piece or any of the others online.
Online sales are available from October 20th through October 26th along with October 30th through November 3rd. Other terms and conditions apply. Please visit the Art In Common Cause website for more details, ArtInCommonCause.org
I have the pleasure of showing my art at Northwestern University's Dittmar Gallery located in Evanston, IL, USA. The space is located within the Norris University Center which is bustling with activity at all hours of the day. Enter the gallery and you are surrounded by peace and tranquility. I hope that you can join me some time to experience Storylines for yourself. The gallery is open from 10 am to 10 pm every day and is located at 1999 Campus Drive in Northwestern University's Evanston Campus. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, November 3rd from 4-6pm.
Artist and friend, James Deeb, came up with a brilliant solution to the frustration a lot of us are feeling about the present state of our nation. He answered the question, how can artists spread kindness amongst the chaos? James organized an exhibition that gives artists a platform to make a difference through their art. I donated Is Spontaneous Combustion Real? to the upcoming 'Unpresidented' Art Auction in Chicago on Friday, October 27th, 2017. 100% of the proceeds go to Heartland Alliance. They make a huge difference in the lives of refugees and the LGBTQ community.
Just a little background about Is Spontaneous Combustion Real? I created my own rendition of a 'Wall' on the bottom of this piece. On the left side there are rain drops running into a raging flood depicted in the undulating shapes of the half dried up leaf. The tree like structure on the top left side represents the roots of hate that have taken hold, as a snake like shape winds it's way through everything. Knowing that we always need to find a balance, I incorporated elements of beauty throughout.
It is an incredible honor to exhibit my art in the Union League Club of Chicago's third floor gallery. Being surrounded by so many people that I care deeply about made it an even more amazing experience! A big THANK YOU goes out to Susan Aurinko, Sally Metzler, Gerould Kern and the entire ULCC Art Committee for making this happen.
The Union League Club of Chicago not only supports cultural institutions, it has developed its own cultural significance. The Club supported the establishment of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, the Harold Washington Library and many other local cultural destinations. Its commitment to culture is further evident through its art collection, its cuisine and its programming. One of Chicago's oldest and most important private collections, the Club's museum-quality art collection is the reason the Chicago Tribune named it “The Other Art Institute in Chicago.”
There are nearly 800 works in the Club's collection which represent more than 150 years of art making in America. The collection features a range of art movements, styles, and subjects, from traditional to contemporary art, and it includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, watercolors, prints, photographs, and decorative arts. The art collection is one of the oldest and most important private collections of American art in the Midwest, and it has one of the best collections of Illinois art.
ULCC offers group tours led by Union League Club Docents. They are available by advance reservation, group tours minimum charge is $250 for the first 25 guests, after that the cost is $15 for each additional person. (312-435-5942) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in learning about becoming a member? Visit their website: https://www.ulcc.org/about/membership
Here is a list of some of Honorary Members of ULCC through the years.
2006 - SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR
2001 - ELIZABETH DOLE
2000 - GEORGE H.W. BUSH
1980 - GERALD R. FORD
1977 - JOHN PAUL STEVENS
1966 - EVERETT MCKINLEY DIRKSEN
1952 - ROBERT A. TAFT
1948 - FRANKLYN BLISS SNYDER
1946 - GEN. DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
GEN. DOUGLAS MACARTHUR
1940 - GEORGE T. BUCKINGHAM
WILLIAM P. SIDLEY
1928 - GEN. JOHN J. PERSHING
1927 - CHARLES G. DAWES
1926 - CALVIN COOLIDGE
1923 - HERBERT C. HOOVER
1916 - A. B. CUMMINS
1910 - WILLIAM J. CALHOUN
1909 - WILLIAM H. TAFT
1907 - GROVER CLEVELAND
1904 - THOMAS B. BRYAN
1901 - THEODORE ROOSEVELT
1892 - W. C. P. BRECKENRIDGE
1897 - HENRY B. BROWN
1889 - LEVI P. MORTON
1888 - GEN. GEORGE CROOK
1884 - LT. GEN. JOHN M. SCHOFIELD
1881 - CHESTER A. ARTHUR
1880 - THOMAS DRUMMOND
JAMES A. GARFIELD
ULYSSES S. GRANT
LT. GEN. PHILIP H. SHERIDAN
1890 - MAJ. GEN. NELSON A. MILES
Thank you! Lisa.
I finished this piece just in time. It is one of eighteen works of art that will be on display at the Union League Club of Chicago during the month of September.
Unfolding measures 36.5" x 15.5" and presented some challenges, as does every creation. I knew that I wanted to add color, but how much color and where? I knew that I wanted to leave some images unfinished to show the process and also wanted to embellish the background.
Every Artist understands the degree of problem solving that occurs when facing a work of art. Since I don't really plan what is going to happen, I am always surprised by the end product. It is a leap of faith and making mistakes is always part of my process. I love making mistakes because they lead me down a path I would never have considered.
Here are a few details of Unfolding, you can see some of my decisions, like making one single flower a deeper black than the others, and choosing to paint the flowers a different color than they actually were, allowing their forms to make a stronger statement.
I hope that you can join us at the opening at the Union League Club's Third Floor Gallery on Thursday, September 7th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm.
I just learned that out of 1163 submissions, Uprooted 2 was one of 110 pieces chosen by juror Alison Hokanson for the Black & White Exhibition: Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, NY.
Ms. Hokanson is Assistant Curator for Nineteenth-Century European Painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and holds a BA from Brown University and an MA and PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she studied Minimalism before writing her dissertation on Belgian Realism and Symbolism. Her recent projects include exhibitions on the whaling scenes of Joseph Mallord, William Turner, and on The Met's collection of Pre-Raphaelite art and design.
Keys Trees, above, is a compilation of different trees that I came across during my artist residency with The Studios of Key West. There was so much to take in, like Sea Whips in the ocean swaying back and forth in the waves, (they appear in the background black on black) and so many others, all filled with textures and patterns that practically begged me to draw them!
I am constantly fascinated by leaves eaten away by insects and time. They evolve from solid shapes into lace like forms, so delicate to the touch that they require special handling while bringing them to life on the page. This piece, Almost There, captures the passage of what was into what is. Completing the bottom leaf meant that the base of the art has weight allowing the top leaves to float above. The textured surface of the background adds contrast to the smooth ink and fine lines.
I was given this marvelous opportunity to spend a month down in Key West, Florida, USA. Before too much time elapses, I wanted to share some of my favorite experiences with you.
Not having any real idea of what to expect, I ventured down to the Keys on March 16th. I had heard a lot about Duval Street and all of its craziness so I was anxious to check it out, and what better day than March 17th, St. Patrick's Day?. To say it was lively and alcohol induced would be an understatement, however I later learned that it wasn't exclusive to St. Patrick's Day. Bars lined the street from one end of the Island to the other, interspersed with good food, galleries and crazy crowds. Needless to say, the people watching was amazing, especially towards Mallory Square where the cruise ships dock. Every night they'd gather around to watch a variety of street performers swallow fire, play music, paint and generally entertain the public. It is a terrific place to watch the sunset with hundreds of your closest friends!
I loved that all I had to do was walk ten minutes away and I was in this peaceful oasis that I called home. The flowers and trees were in bloom and I was constantly bombarded by scents from all of the blossoms on the trees. My backyard was covered in flora making it the perfect destination for quiet respite. It was where I started my day with a cup of coffee surrounded by new friends and where I ended my day talking about how we spent another day in paradise.
When I wasn't out getting inspired by all of the beauty, I was spending quality time within my studio. It was a fabulous space filled with good light and plenty of room to work on multiple pieces at one time. Admittedly, it was a little rough to be indoors when the beach and all of the interesting places were calling you, but I really needed to create some work for some commissions I'd gotten right before I left town.
One of my favorite people that I met down in Key West was my friend, Bree Ann. She was a walking encyclopedia of all things Keys and taught me a lot about all of the plant and animal life native (and not so native species) to that area. Bree spent every afternoon at the ocean collecting subjects for both her art, and mine. She is a wonderful artist and enjoys taking found objects and introducing them into her art. Bree Ann sent me home with a large box filled with goodies, it will continue to inspire me for years to come!
Part of being an Artist in Residence meant being invited to all sorts of wonderful events. The Studios of Key West housed three galleries within their space, in my estimation it is the best option for viewing quality art on the Island.
The Studios of Key West also has a theatre on the second floor where talented musicians and artists of all kinds perform. I was able to witness some powerful musical performances by Seth Glier and Catie Curtis, both new favorites of mine! Not only were they talented, they were also so darn sweet! Catie stayed in the upper level of my home with her tour manager Christa and I have to say, we had some pretty deep, meaningful conversations during the short time that they graced 'my' home. The night before I left I was able to watch/listen to a magical show, Key West Reverie, that took place at the Key West Garden Club at Fort West Martello Tower on the ocean. Directed by Wendy Taucher, it included guest artists from every discipline, musicians, dancers, singers, poets, and was amazing! Stan Spinola, who played the French Horn beautifully, also stayed with me for a few days. He was so much fun to be around! I wish that he lived next door so that we could catch up every morning. Stan plays the horn for the Miami City Ballet, the Philharmonic Symphonia in Boca Raton and in Austria during his summers. It was such a treat drawing in my studio and listening to Stan practicing upstairs on his horn.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the person that made it all possible for me to come down, Erin Stover Sickmen. Thank you Erin! And of course, my partner in crime, fellow artist in residence, Michele Van Maurik from Toronto, Canada. Michele was given the house next door and was filled with the same wonder. We would take two steps and say, oh wow, grab our phones and shoot a flower or a gecko that just passed our path. There was a cemetery down the block from us and we'd walk or ride our bikes and watch the iguanas slink around, popping their heads out of tombs and sneaking back in again. All of the graves are above ground due to sea level and the iguanas have made them their homes. They are prehistoric looking and so unlike anything you'd come across on a city street in Chicago.
We ate well, our favorite was 'bien', on Eaton and Frances, right nearby our place. People would wait in a long line just to get some of their Cuban/Caribbean food. We overheard one person saying that it would be their last meal, sort of agree!
There was cast of characters that I met along the way, each one of them touched my heart. Craig Berube-Gray, a former Artist in Residence who moved down with his family to the Keys after his residency. He sculpts these large installations from every day life, like huge popsicles, etc. And Tory, our neighbor on one side, and all of the wonderful young men who lived in the house next door along with their little puppy Ruka and their beautiful cat, Burt Reynolds. Helen Harrison, a fabulous sculptress who lived/worked nearby, creating these stunning pieces all inspired by nature. And last but definitely not least, my friend, Gretchen Mills. Gretchen took my workshop offered by The Studios of Key West. She is a fabulous artist, (was a Marine Biologist at one time) and owns a Yoga Studio in Key West. From the minute that we met you could just tell that we were going to be fast friends. Gretchen is busy teaching her own workshop in India right now for a group of her yoga students.
I am home now, plugging away on a 20" x 20" Black Scratchboard, Keys Trees. It incorporates a few of the different trees that grow throughout Key West. Here is the inspiration and my work in progress.
I sincerely hope that all of you get the chance to visit this magical place.
After eating grapes, I looked at the vine and thought, the movement of a bare branch is absolutely stunning. So I started to draw the shape of the vine and used the negative space as a jumping off place for the textures and patterns. My new series, Spontaneous Combustion, incorporates both my love of nature and my love of design. The details force the viewer to come in close. Leaves and flowers abound mixed with all sorts of patterns that intertwine inviting you to keep searching for more surprises.
Beate Minkovski contacted me to ask if she can feature me on Women and Art. https://www.facebook.com/womenandart/ The caliber of artist on this page is awe inspiring and of course I said yes. I am honored to be in such good company, thank you Beate!
I created all of the pieces below by drawing with an X-Acto knife into boards made of clay and black ink. (Scratchbords by Ampersand.) When I draw into the layer of ink. the image appears in the clay. If I like, I can paint with colored inks at the end of the process. I do not sketch first nor erase adding to the spontaneous energy created with my art.
Check out the article at https://www.facebook.com/womenandart/and discover other fabulous artists.
Collector friends of mine recently returned home from visiting friends in South Africa. They contacted me to create the perfect gift for their hosts based on their favorite flower, a Protea. Etching just enough lines to form structure, texture and movement, and adding color sparingly, the Protea is elevated from a beautiful flower to a beautiful work of art.
Finally able to show my art with long time friend, Len Upin, what a treat! Our work compliments each other so well, both creating images that are powerful when you stand back, yet even more so when you come in close. The humble lines creates energy from piece to piece as does the juxtaposition of Len's larger pieces to my smaller ones.
For those of you who haven't heard of Renee LaVerne Rose, it won't be long before she becomes a household word. Renee is a powerful supporter of artists worldwide, Director of ACS Gallery, Chicago, and Founder, Publisher, and Editor-In-Chief at ACS Magazine. Her ability to understand what drives an artist comes from her passion for creating her own art. Renee's generous spirit is what led her to interviewing me for ACS Magazine's September/October issue. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks, Renee!
My mark making took me on a journey from creating what I thought would be a vertical piece, to one that worked best horizontally. The only thing I planned was to use both found objects and abstract designs...from there I just trusted what would happen as I dragged my X-ACTO knife across the board. From a composition standpoint, I wanted to keep the eye moving yet invite the viewer to stop when landing on something interesting. Subtle textures support the bolder shapes as they glide across the page. The hint of a dragonfly's wings, circular shapes forming a wasps nest on the lower right, even little people that I love to draw, hidden in the gap above the shell like structure on the left. I enjoy completing a piece that looks well thought out even though I simply allowed it be flow.
Upcoming Artist Talk/Workshop at Zhou B Art Center
When I first began working with Scratchboards I used to concentrate primarily on images from nature. Lately abstract imagery has become my focus. Moving On is a combination of my fascination with natures' intricate designs and my love of repeating patterns to develop complex structures. Drawing with an X-ACTO knife into boards made of clay and ink enables me to create stark contrast and movement. I am doing a demonstration/workshop today, Wednesday, July 6th at Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, from 6:30-7:00 pm. I don't plan my art so I'll be just as surprised as you watching this piece evolve before our eyes.
(Some of my inspiration: wasp nest, bottom left and leaf eaten away by insects, top right.)
None of the 46 artists included in LEXICON, me being one of them, gave any information on our art to the folks who visited our exhibition. For a twist, they used Post It Notes to give their perspective on what was going on with our art. Some of the comments were really insightful, some were just plain fun. Jenny Lam, curator of the exhibition, created a wonderful environment for the artists to express themselves by participating in the show, and for people viewing the art to interact directly with each piece. You can view the show through Saturday, July 9th at Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W. 35th St., 2nd floor, Chicago, IL.