It feels like I am emerging from something like a black hole. For the past month or more, I have been bogged down with several things that have interfered with my creative artistic endeavors. I can’t even begin to express how much I’ve missed spending time in my studio creating new paintings and drawings, and living mostly in the right side of my brain. 😀
Basically, I have been parked on the couch in front of my laptop working almost every waking moment of every day and night for weeks and weeks, living on soup and crackers, and keeping some pretty weird hours. I’ve even been avoiding Facebook! THAT’s how busy I’ve been!
Our web server got pretty badly hacked in early February, breaking three of our websites, and I had to spend over a week cleaning up and fixing the fallout from that (Grrr!). On the plus side, I created a new website for a client (Yeah!) and another new website design for a family member’s project. I also spent at least a couple of weeks working on three new web design sites for an interconnected set of web design businesses (which I hope to unveil within the next month).
I almost never get sick, but for most of the past two weeks I’ve been sick with allergy-related illnesses (feeling mostly better now, thank you!). Finally, while trying to recover from my allergies, I got a wild hair and decided to redesign this website.
Here, at least, is the result of some of my geeky efforts—another redesign of this site. I have been moving toward more subdued colors in website designs (especially for artists!), and I think even my colorful work might look better against a more neutral background than before.
Anyway, I hope you like the new design. Plus, look forward to more art coming from me soon!
Full Day of Visiting Artist Studios, Last Day of E.A.S.T.
I decided to spend the final day of EAST visiting more artists’ studios rather than hanging around The Vortex. If you came to see me at The Vortex yesterday, my apologies for not being there; if you’d like to see more of my paintings, you can always schedule a private visit at my home studio; just contact me and we’ll set something up.
I started at neighbor Robbie Ortiz’s studio, where he and fellow painter Stephen Schwake were showing their work. Robbie does some amazing cubistic paintings and drawings; visit his website at: RobbieOrtiz.com.
Stephen does large paintings and drawings influenced by “80’s skateboard graphics, hot rods, science, stained glass, American roots music, mid-century modern design, art history, and World War II fighter planes.” His site is StephenSchwake.com.
Next, I headed down to the Artpost, where I visited with Court Lurie for a bit. I really love her abstract paintings! Court is very deservedly a rising star in the Austin art world.
I popped my head into a few other studios; there’s a glass artist named Nicholas Dertrien who is doing some pretty amazing blown glass sculpture of the human body, some complete with (what I think are) internal organs.
I also peeked at the work of sculptors/installation artists Scott Proctor and Marianne McGrath.
Then I drove up to the Pump Project Satellite, where I met painter Keva Richardson (love her work), and visited with good friend Jill Alo at Women Printmakers of Austin, where I also ran into friend and fellow encaustic artist Maggie Jordan. Popped into Damon Arhos studio, too.
Stopped in to see Daphne Holland’s new work, and chatted with Juan Moreno, two more encaustic artists from Texas Wax. Stopped into Bay6 Studio, where I talked to Kevin Kuhn briefly (he’s taken over the Texas Wax website, bless his heart), and Sharon Kyle Kuhn, the encaustic artist who started the Austin Chapter of Texas Wax.
By this time, it was after 5:30, and I still had at least 6 more artists on my must-see list but knew I only had time for one more. So I zipped over to Jennifer Chenoweth‘s to see her new work and the work of Virginia Fleck. Her work is always so interesting, and her home itself is an amazing work of art! Good call: Jennifer very kindly packed up a bowl of her delicious chicken pesole to take with me after my very brief visit.
And that, my friends, was my whirlwind one day tour of EAST 2010 (seeing only about 1/10th of the artists participating this year).
Sculpture by Hank Waddell and paintings by Shawn Camp at Shawn Camp’s studio during E.A.S.T. 2010
An artist is not an isolated system. In order to survive he has to interact continuously with the world around him… Theoretically there are no limits to his involvement.— Hans Haacke
EAST Artists Tour
This year, for the first time, artists were able to visit other artists’s studios on a few weeknights in the week between the two EAST public tour weekends. This is a really great development! A major drawback of being a participating artist in EAST these past years has always been that you’re stuck at your own studio and can’t get out to see new work, new artists, new spaces, new ideas, and visit with your artist friends. It was one of the main reasons why I didn’t open my studio last year, and instead spent the time visiting as many artists and studios as I could comfortably squeeze in.
The folks who organized this actually pulled it off more or less at the last moment, so I think that not all the artists were even aware of it. I found out too late to make it during the first two nights, but managed to get to three artist’s studios on the third night.
First, I got to visit with neighbor and painter extraordinaire Jennifer Balkan. Jennifer is a very painterly figurative painter who often uses bits of maps in her work (and she’s really, really nice!). I saw her work during the very first EAST Tour that I visited—maybe it was #2 in 2004 (when there were only 51 locations)—and I was blown away by her work then.
Jennifer just gets better and better, and her work is currently included in this great invitational “Women Painting Women” show at Robert Lange Studio in Charleston. You can see the show and read the articles from American Art Collector, ArtMag, & Art See at: Robert Lange Studio, and you can visit her website and see more of her work and info at: JenniferBalkan.com.
Next, I visited with neighbor, friend and painter Ines Batllo in her wonderful new studio. Ines is a Catalan painter whose paintings in oil and encaustic are skillful, deep, and full of soul. She’s doing some very interesting three-dimensional work with encaustic. She and I were having such a great conversation that I forgot to take any photos there, but you can view her work online at: inespaintings.com.
My last visit of the evening was to Shawn Camp’s studio, with Shawn Camp’s paintings and Hank Waddell’s sculptures.
Shawn’s paintings are so luscious; they are very thick with gorgeous paint, and I just want to roll in them (like in the movie “What Dreams May Come”). His work also references the landscape from an aerial perspective. I first saw Shawn’s work at the Davis Gallery in 2006, when he showed with the awesome sculptor Caprice Pierucci, and I just fell in love Shawn’s work at that time (and Caprice’s!).
Well, I fell heads over heels in love with one particular little painting of Shawn’s this night, and so, soon I will be able to look at it every day. Yes! I am buying a small painting from Shawn, and I could hardly be more excited! (EAST folks, take note: The EAST Artists Tour is definitely worth it for artist and artist alike!). 🙂
Sculptor Hank Waddell’s work is very cool, and so is he. He uses a lot of construction materials in his work, makes beautiful and intriguing sculptures in wood, bamboo, metal, foam and more. He also creates some very cool (and affordable) lead airplanes, and is always, always surprising. Hank was one of the very few artists chosen for the 24th “New American Talent” at Arthouse’s Jones Center. The work was selected by New American Talent juror, Hamza Walker, Curator and Director of Education, The Renaissance Society, The University of Chicago.”
I met Hank when he was president of the Texas Society of Sculptors, and I was taking over as webmaster. We’ve both since moved on from our positions at TSOS, but we have stayed friends, and I designed his newest website. To see Hank’s fantastic and fun work, visit his site at: HankWaddell.com.
This year’s East Austin Studio Tour was great, as always! I had my paintings up at The Vortex, and hung out there for 3 of the 4 days of the tour. Sold some work, met some people, visited with friends, and had a good time enjoying the other events at The Vortex (belly dancing, hula-hooping, musical performances, aerial dancing, trapeze). Oh, I didn’t participate in any of those; I merely enjoyed watching them.
One of the several musical highlights for me was a 60’s style surf band called the Nematoads. Think The Ventures, only really fast! They are a 5-piece band with a fabulous drummer, bass, guitar and a horn section. They played a very high-energy rock-n-roll set, and were pretty awesome. The crowd loved them; they had hula-hoopers out there hooping it up through their whole set.