Capacity of Color – Class Curated Art Show at PAFA

During the spring semester of 2019 I was enrolled in a class called Exhibitions & Curatorial Visions taught by artist Alexis Granwell. Our assignment was to come up with an art show concept, put out a call for art, curate and install in PAFA’s Anne Bryan Gallery.

We chose the broad theme of color, choosing to privilege this element over all others and titled it Capacity of Color. Every student in the class took on a specific job that goes into throwing a successful art show. I did most of the advertisement collateral: art show flyer, instagram images, press release design and so on.

Capacity of Color was an overall cohesive and successful exhibition. The space, a basement gallery with low ceilings and no natural light, was used effectively. The low placement of many of the displayed sculptures, cleverly created an intimacy between the viewer and art. Other installations, like Suji Kanneganti and Jessica Aquino’s fabric pieces, flowed from floor to ceiling to create an effective upward flow, leading the eye from the floor pieces to the two-dimensional works on the walls.

There was a large number of small pieces in the show, stand alone and in groupings. I believe, if installed in a standard way, the pieces would have been overwhelmed, but instead, they were staggered which helped make a more interesting space and saved each piece from being swallowed by the white walls and basement shadows.

There were a few pieces in the show that I did not feel played well with the rest of the show, and if I was able to change things, I would have left some works out and instead juried other submissions in. I believe that the less representational works were, the more they fit into the overall exhibition.

I learned a lot from the experience and will jump at chances to curate in the future.

The Capacity of Color is a student-curated
exhibition of sculpture, site-specific installation,
painting, drawing, printmaking, and works on paper
from the Brodsky Center Archive. This exhibition deals
with 2D and 3D work that communicates the language
of color in terms of the optical, the symbolic, the
aggressive, the delicate, and the tactile. This grouping
of work pushes the boundaries of the capacity of color
in an expansive and exciting way.

Exhibiting Artists:
Alicia Greco – Ashley Garner – Bernadette Colburn
Bryon Kim – Claire Tenhula – Emma Keller – Iris Padilla
Isabelle Schipper – Jessica Aquino – JP Calabro
Kelly Micca – Kemeys Goethe – Kiki Smith – Nasir Young
Neill Catanguy – Rebecca Giles – Sally Richards
Shane Lowder – Suji Kanneganti – Jiatong Tian

Painting Moonlight

Night landscapes aren’t as common as daylight ones for obvious reasons.

I love them. There is something borderless about paintings of the night sky. Sharp edges tend to destroy the illusion. Silhouettes and shadows meld into one by moonlight.

Moonlight on the Bruges Canal by Charles Warren Eaton. A beautiful tonalist work.

Lisière de Bois by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Moonrise by Robert Macauley Stevenson.

A painting I can’t find the title to from Franz Sedlacek. Google him. His work is odd and all over the place. If the internet is informing me correctly, his work is a mix of Bosch, Fantastic Planet, Goya, pop surrealism and Magritte. It’s confusing me in a pleasant way.

Moonlit Landscape by Jean Delville, one of my favorite Symbolist painters.

Moonlight Ring by Henry Prellwitz and Moonrise by Stanislaw Maslowski.

Looking at these is like seeing the afterimage of a brighter day behind your eyelids, after rubbing them, laying in bed staring at the ceiling in the dark.

Star and Siberia by Alphonse Mucha.

Treasures – Art Studio Moments

A lot has changed in a few short months. The most obvious change may be that my website is redesigned and now has an integrated store where my paintings can be purchased. I feel very good about it. It was time to clean things up. I’m learning more about wordpress, SEO and optimizing art portfolio sites, which leads me to the other changes.

I no longer work for Whole Foods Market as a store artist. I spent over two years there. When I moved to Asheville I knew very few people here. When I landed the job as a designer and chalk artist I didn’t just gain a job. I also gained a community. My store was nestled right up against downtown and in a busy neighborhood. I learned about my new city by working there, getting to know regulars and spending time with my coworkers. Change is good, but I am glad I spent that time there. It helped me create a home.

I spend more time in my art studio, writing articles, starting up a local sketch group and freelancing in social media marketing. I am helping other artists build an online presence, find new audiences and increase their sales. It’s pretty much what I already used to do for Jason quietly behind the scenes. It’s been fun. I like it. I want to continue this kind of work. I learn something new everyday to help others and myself.

I’ve updated my portfolio with the help of a good friend with a good camera. If you check out the fine art section you will see photos of paintings I have completed the past two years. It feels good to share them. I like being able to look back on them and know that I’ve been moving in a direction this whole time of transition, heart ache and adventure.

Ms. Ethel Levesque, my old lady calico, has joined me and Cat Chaplin in my little apartment. I am now a single woman with two cats. I’m okay with that. They are good company. I think the worst thing about it is Ethel has taught Chaplin how to open cabinets. He now paws them open and bangs the doors in protest if I am not providing him the kind of attention he wants and when he wants it.

I’m learning how to manage my time to be more productive. It’s a weird thing to have time to work in my studio. I think it bewildered me at first, but now I’ve accepted my new circumstances and have started a new body of work! I am not the artist I want to be, perhaps I never will be. I am a firm believer that if you are always satisfied with the quality of your work, that might mean you have stagnated and are not progressing. That said, I am excited! I feel that I’ve broken some of my own barriers. I’m applying the lessons I’ve learned and am getting to watch myself create work a few steps closer to what I want it to be.

I’m not afraid of my art studio anymore. Does that sound weird? Has anyone else been afraid of being alone with their work? 

Now that winter is here I find my work reflecting the cold decay of outside. I’ve gathered my little forest trash and treasures around me, all brown, dry and brittle, to tell new stories.

POSING FOR ARTIST ANGELA CUNNINGHAM

When I first moved to Western North Carolina I was studying full-time and didn’t have time for a regular job. To earn some extra spending cash, I posed regularly for local artists and drawing groups. I haven’t had the time to do it much lately. Being employed makes it difficult to be on call, but lately I have been sitting for artist and my former instructor, Angela Cunningham.

It’s a slow process but an amazing one to see come together. Every step is important in order to create a successful end product, which is in this case, a large format all graphite drawing, and perhaps also an oil painting. She’s done a few color studies, one of which is shown below.


As a figure model, I never have much expectation or investment in the work completed based on my posing. I know it’s not about me. It doesn’t hurt my feelings if the likeness isn’t there, or if it’s not particularly flattering, but sitting for Angela has been a unique pleasure because of her skill. It’s one of the few times I’ve allowed myself some satisfaction and expectation for the final piece. I can’t wait to see how it turns out and feel honored to be a part of her body of work.

Below is one of my favorite pieces of her work. It is titled Silence. I love this painting not just because it’s beautiful, or that I’m partial to skulls, but also because the moth in the lower right hand corner is a polyphemus moth I found fluttering while it died on a hot night the first summer I had moved here. It reminds me of how exciting that time was and how beautiful, for both good and bad reasons, my experience here has been.

Burnished Vignettes – Contemporary Inspiration

I have a tendency to drown in other’s work. I have a hard time balancing being inspired and being paralyzed by how beautiful by it. There are more working artists now than any other time in history and all competing for an audience. Below are some of my latest or long time favorites. 

All the below pieces are produced by contemporary artists I admire. They all inhabit a similar space in me in how I categorize artists and work. All very different but stir up similar feelings. Contemporary and antique. Like opening an old book full of yellowed pages and secrets.

I feel that all these works are successfully part of the long conversation of art history. They look backwards and forward.

They remind me of looking into a miniature diorama, a view finder, all a scene of a single piece of work or play. They also seem to share a similar balance of warm and cold golden browns. 

I’m going to try to blog more about my influences as a way to organize my own thoughts and to help me understand what it is what I want to achieve as well.

influences and inspiration – historical to contemporary

Below are examples of artwork from the past and present, antique and contemporary, that especially appeal to me. I think it’s important to have influences, and even more important to be aware of what they are.

Above from left to right – Death the Bride by Thomas Cooper GotchMemento Mori by Tom Bagshaw. Bagshaw’s halo in the above piece reminds me of details from Paul Delaroche’s paintings dealing with the subject of death. Bagshaw’s work is an example of what painterly effects can be achieved through digital media.

Drained by Lori EarleyThe Sleepwalker by Maxmilián Pirner.

Daphne by Hubert von HerkomerYou Don’t Sing to Me Anymore by Caryn Drexl. Caryn is a very talented contemporary photographer who I wished lived near me so I could collaborate with her!

La nuit by Auguste Raynaud, Evening Mood by Bougereau, The Morning Star and the Moon by Carl Schweininger. It’s pretty clear that I am a sucker for floating bodies and gauzy vapor and/or fabric.

Below are some links to some sites that sustain me a bit, especially when it comes to breaking down the process and solving technical issues. Though I have to be careful not to let myself get too sucked into reading about painting and drawing rather than actually doing it.

Underpaintings

Paintings Stuff to Look Like Stuff

Portraits of Painters

DG Oil Painting Techniques

David Kassan