Mapping the visual world through a nebulous lens. Varying degrees of tangibility and culpability.
This month marks ten years that Beanie has been a part of our family. They said he wouldn't survive long, that he should be put down. I thought otherwise.
Beanie is a warrior. My Pinkie Bean is a true warrior. Once we figured out how to best take care of him, he thrived. For the most part he has been healthy and happy. He loves his fur brothers and sisters and he is the king of the house. He will try to bully the biggest boy in the house and chase Lola around until she goes off and hides from him. Beanie loves Lola. He loves life and I am blessed to have him as my best friend and companion.
Over the years I have created work to honor the Bean, and this month I started a painting that turned into a whole series of paintings.
It is a bit out of my comfort zone with all of the pinks and reds, but still feels right. Bright and colorful, like the Pinkster himself.
When people ask artists about inspiration, I always say that it comes from my everyday, always what's happening now. Nothing planned ever works out, so I paint what I feel in the moment.
There are many ways to approach and/or define the life and work of an artist. I choose to be an observer. Every aspect of the work has something to do with what is happening in the world, my life, the moment, etc.. No amount of data flow is too small or trivial to escape this hungry black hole. Everything gets pulled in, tossed around and used up.
This choice of observer is not one that I decided one day to make, it is just how I am wired. The ability to stand back and watch my own life unfold. Being in it and not in it at the same time.
Art history tells a different story. One of narrative combined with artistic technique and a whole lot of art speak that has nothing to do with being an artist, but a lot to do with being an academic.
Most art, even the highly stylized art of the early centuries (before abstraction became a thing), had a narrative well beyond what was acceptable for sharing.
In our modern technological world we may (today) be sharing too much. Giving away too many secrets. Allowing more than is necessary, of our personal journey to be exposed beyond the layers of paint.
Perhaps it is better to let the work speak for itself and keep our mouths shut. Perhaps when asked we should just have a "pat answer" that we carry around in our pockets. Pulling it out when we need it, allowing the true story to remain in the darkness, under the skin, buried deep down in that black hole, never to see the light of day.
and.... maybe not.
The observer in me tends to play round robin with all of this information, running it through it paces, up down and wrung out; Until there is nothing left to see or feel. As well, maybe this is when the true work begins, in that place where nothing is left, and the spark must be discovered all over again. Every time.
WOW!!......... as of Sunday I am officially without a studio. We moved the last of the contents of the PAC storage space to home storage. It is such a strange feeling. I have nowhere to go, haha...
Not a big deal since I have turned my home sun room into a makeshift studio until the work is finished on my new space.
What I would love to do is rehab my old home studio building. Mr Z is doing work on it. All of the wooden flooring inside needs to be replaced as well as the back outside wall. In the meantime it is being used as storage and will likely be that way for a long time.
I have been moving a lot of things around, trying to get comfortable in my space so that I can work. It's an adjustment, more mentally than anything else..
Online Store - I have added e commerce to my website, with a small selection of works available. The pricing is the same across the board as with our galleries and other online sources.
Where things differ is with the shipping. Our rates are the exact rates charged by the shipper, plus we have free shipping on all small works.
This has been a long time coming, and something that many of our clients have been asking for. We are also working with a select group of designers, and welcome new inquiries.
ANY QUESTIONS - please contact me directly.. Liz
New Work - I don't know what it is but after a big show I tend to go through a skin shedding phase. I am at that place now, teetering back and forth from the more minimal work that I had been doing and the Shoshin series that are more overt. Shoshin started out with a nod to my virtual mentor Shunryu Suzuki, and quickly evolved into a series within the series, as an homage to the life and passing of my cat Cecil.
Now I am back to that original Shoshin, style, with more boldness and less concern with process.
I read an article the other day that said: artists with the loudest mouths, bad behavior and obnoxious egos are usually more successful in the art world. The quiet artist, and more often the better artists who let the work speak for them tend to be less successful in the public arena. This is sad, because the silent observation of an exceptional work of art, can be louder and more explosive than all the ego in the world.
We should teach this to children, to be able to know silence and also know that is is not without volume.
We should teach this to adults as well. Learn to be comfortable, surrounded by the loud quaking silence that is life.
Well, it's official. I have put in my notice at the PAC and will be leaving at the end of June. Between rent hikes (again) and my new space nearing completion, I didn't feel that it would be in my best interest to sign another years lease.
This was always going to be a temporary space. It was the storage room for my larger space that I gave up last year, and I was using it for storage and the occasional art walk open house.
My time spent in the space had been cut down to only a couple of art walks here and there and I was really having a hard time cutting the strings. fortunately the thought of signing a new years lease brought it all home and I could not justify spending any more on the space.
I will miss the people most of all. Some that I have known for many years. Not to mention that this will likely be my last studio downtown. It's a long drive into the city and with my MS being so unpredictable these days, I do not like to drive it unless I am at 100%.
The new space is just down the street from my home. Two minutes away. TOPS....
Plus I received news today that my new studio at the Morrow Art Center. (Essex North to those who know about the project) was coming along nicely and that I may be in there sooner than anticipated.
All good news really...
Sitting in the gallery yesterday as my show was going up, I felt a bit overwhelmed and a bit relieved. Overwhelmed by the amount of work and the time it takes to create it and relieved that I am finally at a place where I want to move away from the white paintings a bit. In the studio this morning it was like a new day (well it was a new day) but in a psychological sense.
Studying this work done over that past five years I can see where some things have stayed relevant and others have been phased out. Phased out of the decision making. Not always consciously. It doesn't become apparent until everything is observed from a distance.
Being the observer is the job.
It has also been a time of making adjustments. Being more forgiving of my body's ability to perform. I have noticed with my olfactory work I am less attuned to scent. I am not sure if it is related to the progressing stages of my MS or if it is just due to chronic sinus problems. either way, I am happy (at the moment) to continue producing the essences that are currently in my online portfolio at soivohle.net and possibly releasing earlier finished work over time.
As for the art, it was always a love/hate relationship. Probably because I have been doing it since childhood, and did not grow up to later embrace it as a career as most folks do. In a way I envy people who go all the way through the growing stages of youth only to realize once in college or after, what they want to do with their lives. They had all of those early years to be free of occupational obligation.
But it is what it is and life has a way of rubbing our noses in the dirt if we get to cocky. Like attaching words like master to our names or work. It is almost like saying to the Universe, kick me, kick me hard, I deserve it.
Kicking my own ass when I get to big for my big girl pants. and never using the word master to describe myself or my work. I prefer the work hack. Call me a hack, as I am hacking along, trying to figure it out everyday. Never quite getting there, but showing up just the same.
It isn't some kind of reverse bullshit kind of thing, or affected gibberish, but rather an attempt to always have feet on the ground and a solid knowing of who I am and what I am capable of in any given moment.
So here we go again, changing, but not really. Altering, but only slightly.
Opening May 4th 2018 5-9pm 124 West Pike Street Gallery, Covington Kentucky.
Located just across the river from Cincinnati Ohio, Covington Ky has a rich artistic history and vibrant art scene.
I am happy to be working again with art dealer Suzanna Terrill, the new director of the Pike St Gallery.
Andante is my first solo show in many years. Having taken some time off to work in the Olfactory arts, it has been a great boost to be able to jump back into my visual work and have that work be so well received.
For the last four years I have been working (in a way) to regain my footing. Leaving behind a style of working, creating constructed found object art, to a place where canvas, paint, palette knives and brushes are my day to day choices.
ANDANTE: Is a look into the past two years of work. Work that I have approached with a bit of restraint. Not wanting to get ahead of myself, and at the same time wanting to fully understand where I am and how emotion and feeling affect my work. It has also been about putting into practice my daily meditations, observations and general philosophy of being in the moment and letting that energy pull me along.
Like andante, it is a slower movement, a walking pace.
All of the work in the show are oil paintings, either on paper, wood or canvas.
Show runs May 4th thru the 25th 2018