Saturday, August 1, 2015

R. Barrett at McDaris Fine Art TONIGHT

Don't miss this show if you are near Hudson NY today or any of the month of August. My good friend and excellent painter Rosemary Barrett has a show of a dozen new paintings.
 623 Warren Street in Hudson, NY  www.mcdarisfineart.com  212-518-7551
The show runs through August
Ro and I go way back. She taught art at the Kildonan school 7 years ago, after Jen died and I left. With the school across the street from my house, we lived as neighbors and often took walks together. We bonded over discussions of love, life, art, children and our appreciation of birds as mystical messengers. Ro possesses passion, a humble heart, and true empathy with those she meets. She is an excellent teacher and she has a great sense of humor... lending a constant twinkle to her eyes. I am truly lucky to have her as a friend.
Her paintings develop as individual tableaux...small still life arrangements with nuanced subtleties that lend themselves to be read as stories of momentous ideas in minutia. As a mother, daughter, sister, and lover, she brings to her painting a sense of the fullness and fragility of life that is grounded in her being able to recognize and value it's riches. Every thing Ro does is done with intention. She has done everything from miniature trompe l'oeil paintings to giant decorative murals. She is present. Her paintings can tell us stories that we would miss otherwise. I love, most of all, looking really close to her painted surfaces. They are polished and lacking any brushstroke. In that way they remind me of both Georgia O'Keeffe and Charles Sheeler.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

wild west

mountain prairie


even the trees have beards

little marmot
my sister in red, upper right

evacuation route

backyard

Monday, July 13, 2015

studio transformations

Oh... VSC...what a wonderful place to produce! I have left there with lots of food for thought.
First week


the back corner
third week
last days

Monday, July 6, 2015

Staff artists #VermontStudioCenter

Trevor Corp

Headpiece by Lauren Turk

Painting by Lauren Turk in her studio setting

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Great thing about the Vermont Studio Center is that everyone on the staff is an artist or a writer. The founder, Jon Gregg, has created a world of his dreams. Each staff person and visiting resident is supported in their creative endeavors and Pax Cultura reigns.

Recently two of the staff artists really  caught my attention. Lauren Turk works in the kitchen, and Trevor Corp works on maintenance. Both of them make art that touches me. laurenturk.com
Corp's painting

Turk's sculpture

Turk sculpture, mixed media
Both of them work in a variety of media... sculpture, painting and the written word. Corp grew up in Johnson, and Turk has just arrived for a year's stint. They have a quiet demeanor, (unless you get Turk on the Karaoke stage), and their art is both whimsical and fearless.
Turk paintings

Corp's wooden clover leaf table
It has been a pleasure getting to see and experience all the art in Johnson at the studio center. So much to meditate on...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Miami Printer #VermontStudioCenter


Jennifer Basile! twitter
Inspired by nature and her camping trips, Basile spent her weeks at the #VermontstudioCenter carving giant linoleum prints of the forest. Her art immerses you in the landscape. The wall sized three panel print of the pine woods took her about three hours of constant hand rubbing to print. She also carved a wood panel with the Vermont maple and the state bird, the Hermit Thrush, to create a unique design for wall paper. To relieve her sore hands, Jennifer lit the stage at the Downtown karaoke night. She rallied everyone to play games and partied with a generosity of spirit that touched my heart. She is an artist from Long island who now lives and teaches in Miami. The girl is my homie.




Jennifer proudly displaying her creation at open studio night


Jennifer's studio wall

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Writer's night

In the course of our time here at VSC, the writers and the visual artists have comingled and tapped into a chemistry that both inspires and binds us. Writers appear at the life drawing studios, and along the riverbanks where artists are painting plein air. Community art making becomes the fodder for poetry read at the evening readings. At mealtimes the ideas and connections are shouted with glee. So it was with immense pleasure to the majority of us when the writers announced their own open studio evening event.
The Maverick writing Studio houses 16 writers. Among those we visited was Beth Roddy- who has literally and figuratively mapped out the last few months before her father's mysterious disappearance and death. Her studio was full of artifacts placed under blue taped headings such as: "last people to see him alive", "condolence cards" received organized by color, the history of "the crematorium" where the body was transferred and handwriting samples... She had a suitcase with her father's passport and belongings on the desk and a short power point which touched on the (in retrospect hauntingly) trivial actions she committed on the day she received the news of his certain death.
Next was Rosemary Graham working on her novel Simple Lessons in Irish, her work of historical fiction set in Ireland in 1914. Her walls were covered in research documents both real and fictionalized. At the end of the hallway was Su Smallen, author of Buddha, Proof, a collection of poems. She had her studio walls pushpinned with her recent daily life drawing sketches and the poems they inspired day by day. She also had a long musical/dance/ theatrical score written and presented accordian style, about a squirrel's frustration trying to build a nest with colored paper. It was interesting in particular because of the layout, the spacing and the way Su designed the words to sit on the paper.  I also visited the writing rooms of Gwen Mintz's (lots of crayon drawings done as daily exercises), Lindsay Wells, Katheryn Savage (who keeps individual notebooks of research and edits per poem), Nikita Deshpande (color pictures of domestic interiors in Mumbai India), and Amy Young (bird images and nature notes), Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo (art from resident printers lined her space) and as well.
Su Smallen showing Michael her thought process
Beth Roddy in her writing room
Rosemary Graham

Rosemary's notes on her door
Gwen Mintz thinking of her next sentence
After the tour I felt my mind stretched and needed some rest for absorption of the creative practices I saw demonstrated. Looking back at the building across the bridge in the night, I saw each window lit and filled with a variation of the same sort of wing-back chair. Ideal setting for so much magical thought and creative writing.