Wishing you and yours a wonderful day.
A fun site to visit....in case you missed my post from a few years ago: SCRIBBLER
What an honor to be invited to participate as a Guest Artist for The Documented Life Project. These girls have been inspiring artists for almost two years with their wonderful art and generous weekly challenge site. When Roben-Marie sent my assignment back in January I was thrilled. Stamps, Stencils & Masks are right up my alley. Not only do I love using retail products, but I also love to custom make all of these tools for making art. I have tutorials on both Stamp Carving and Stencil Cutting if the process is new to you or you want a refresher.
A few words about process....I love to work spontaneously, with no plan, no agenda. But I also love thinking about a project in specific detail, especially if I have an assignment. I make notes and some sketches, and try to discern what I want to express, or more importantly, what is channeling into my thoughts after being prompted with a subject. I love being immersed in the pre-project-thought-process as you give consideration to all the ways your ideas could be manifested. Here are my notes from January:
Last week I revisited the prompts, handcarved stamp and tapestry, and still found myself focused on a mental visual of the things I jotted down earlier in the year. Tapestry > foliage > trees > leaves > Autumn.
This is what I imagine when I think Tapestry. Woven, worn, rich. Lots of color, but a subtle range.
A word that kept repeating itself in my notes - Autumn. A strong influence - we are in full Fall colors here.... although most leaves are now on the ground. I am drawn in by the vibrant colors....especially the reds. I have a favorite quote that I think I will include. We'll see.
So how to interpret this through my own filters, with my own style? Make a few color selections and build a palette, then draw a few things that could be transferred to soft block and carved. Then start painting and see what happens.
The tree I carved is 4" with alot of intricate details so there may be an issue getting a good imprint on a page that has already been layered with gesso and acrylic. Going into this I knew that I wouldn't attempt to stamp the entire tree directly on the page. Through an experience of working on a project with a large (12" x 12") carving, I stumbled upon a trick that I like to rely on when applying an image to a page. Pre-paint loose paper (I used gessoed tissue paper) then stamp with black paint onto several sheets (paint on paint is better than ink on paint). Cut up all the "good" portions and splice together to recreate the image. It's like a paper quilt and makes the composition more interesting. Here is the piece where I learned my lesson of layering, 12" square framed collage painting made from a carved stamp:
My plan was to be tapestry-like but I ended up more quilt-like. This is a good example of how you can take inspiration from a prompt and have some loose intentions, then let the piece begin to work itself out while you are in-process.
I really admire these girls for launching their challenge site in 2014, then beginning again with weekly prompts for 2015. Having hosted my own monthly challenge site for six years I know how much work it is AND I know how much it means to get feedback. It's validating and encouraging. So be sure to chime in when you visit their site and offer your kind words.
Again, here is the link to The Documented Life Project: Art to the 5th Stop by and see what magic the hostesses have conjured up for this week's prompt.
Hey there. Just surfacing from my studio overhaul to talk about my next class. I'm really excited to be teaching at Pratt School of Continuing and Professional Studies in Manhattan this fall. It's such a cool place, and the studios are amazing. How cool would be to say you took a class at Pratt?
So first up is ROLL WITH IT, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4TH. I started teaching this one over ten years ago and it is still one of my favorites. It has evolved over the years to include new tricks. First debuting at Artfest 2004, then Artwerx, Valley Ridge, The Ink Pad, CREATE,...it's definitely a crowd pleaser. If you want a fun day of learning lots of painting tricks, or you want to refresh your view of using paint, come roll with me! (Scroll down for some evidence of past workshops).
ROLL WITH IT workshop, is fast moving class where I demo a technique and then you try it. In my own experiments with creating texture I have found the magic properties of gesso. Gesso affords movement, lifting, resisting, but most of all it allows forgiveness. We will learn why it's an important foundation. For example, on a section of roll, we will try a two-step painting process. Next, we’ll reverse the process with step two first, followed by step one. This will allow us to learn from our observations. There is no right or wrong way to lay paint, but hopefully these exercises will inform your future work. We will scrape, stencil, resist, stamp, and so much more. The swift pace will leave the inner critique out of the process as it's all about doing the work. The completed length will then be assembled as a journal. As you fold the page you end up with serendipitous compositions that you never would have planned as the techniques segue from one to another.
FORMAT: I will demo a technique then you will try it on your paper. Then I demo again, and you try it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. We will be moving fast so we can complete many different things. It’s important to let go of your concern for perfect composition since this is not the focus of the class. There are no rules here, except to move swiftly so we can plow through the assignments, leaving time toward the end of class for the finishing touch of creating a book from our roll. It always amazes me, with each time I teach this class, how different each journal can look even though we all followed the same directions. Each artist has a different hand and an unique way of interpreting the exercises with their own color palette.
ORIGIN: When I was in college, one of my drawing classes began each morning with an exercise in gesture drawing of the nude models. The models made quick, thirty second poses, which we scribbled onto a roll of paper. After about five minutes(ten gesture drawings), we rolled the paper back up and continued with the day’s assignment. At the end of the course, we posted our rolls of paper onto a display wall, and it was amazing to chart our growth as sketch artists, across the length of the roll. Remembering the impact of this exercise, I began imagining how cool it would be to compose something similar with paint, for a short amount of time everyday, on a roll of paper. I could experiment randomly on the roll, and also use it to catch evidence of work-in-progress on my studio table (cleaning off my brush, clippings of collage, etc).....then, the completed roll could be manipulated into a book, a foundation for journaling. I ended up finishing about 30 feet of painted roll and got excited to see what it would look like as a journal so I stopped and figured out how to fold the length into a book - and a class was born!
Hope you'll join me!
I will get back to my series about the Evolution of an Idea once I complete my studio purge. Do you ever get to the point where you are just sick of yourself and the piles of stuff that impede your process? It has to get to a breaking point then you cave in and start organizing, sorting, putting things where they should be, and along the way you realize you just don't want some of it anymore. Why does it take so long to get started? I guess it's because I'd rather be creating than cleaning.
But you have to do it. Your style has evolved, your tastes have changes, and some of the materials you gathered are no longer candidates for inclusion in art making. You decide you would rather enjoy the space than the stuff. Don't get me wrong, I will never be a full-on minimalist. I love my stuff. I love being able to see my stuff. I just have way too much of it. I want a clear work table. I want to move stations around so that what is important to me now is easily accessible. When I first started using this space as a studio my focus was different, my supplies were different. As I evolved and accumulated new tools I didn't stop to reevaluate where they should go. Stuff got shoved in wherever there was space, without thought to making it easy for myself. As I make time to shift the supplies, I am also allowing time to really consider what I can part with and it feels so good. You know why? Attached to some of the "stuff" is an unspoken connection to projects that either never got launched or never got finished. It was like a slowly tightening noose to constantly bump into these items and visualize what potential they once had. Gathering is fun. It's part of the creative ritual. We tend to collect more than is actually needed, and that's ok. I will never regret being a collector. Being able to part with once-precious things feels like I'm making a personal and private claim for what kind of artist I am now, and what kind of artist I want to continue to be.
The dangling carrot for me in getting this studio revamped is to be able to embark on another new project. I've had gigantic drill press sitting in a box since Christmas. There is nowhere to install it. I can't begin the work until I can use the tool. A clear table means room for my drill, and the freedom to start something I've been visualizing for over a year. Be gone old stuff.....I have new things to do.
Another intention is to try filming myself. Maybe just for tutorials. Maybe for classes. If I have a clear table I will have room for a tripod. I've been visualizing that since I got a camera way too long ago.
I'm entering week three of the purge. Ok, it hasn't been a full time project, but now I am so far into it that I am getting ruthless about what stays, and what goes. As with most things that are worth the effort, it often looks worse just before it's better. That's where I'm at. One look and you'd never believe I have already pitched bags of stuff. But I know I'm getting close. There is light flickering at the end of the tunnel. And I feel lighter, more free.
You know I like rock+roll. It's usually playing in here to keep me upbeat, motivated, moving swiftly. I love that music transports me, distracts my thoughts so I can tend to tasks - whether it's creating or cleaning. However, the past few weeks have a soundtrack of a different order. I've pulled up my Zen sounds. Remember when I shared about the Six Healing Sounds gifted to me from Pnina and Richard Gold? That is what I'm listening to - peaceful, calming, and driving my enthusiasm for less chaos. I've also pulled up the New Age channel on DirectTv. (The Zen channel is too frantic, New Age is more my speed.) The music is literally compelling me to free my attachment from 'the stuff' and toss without regard. Ahhhh. Feels good.
As I said, I will be back to continue my series. Just have to stay off the computer for a few more days so I can complete this overhaul. *waves*
p.s. Love this quote. The more you use, the more you have - is about creativity, not stuff. You don't need alot of stuff to make art.
Whew! It's been a busy few weeks. I haven't forgotten about the series I started a few weeks ago. Let's get back on track. We will pick up again where we began, looking at topographical maps. This time we are hovering over Ireland, Tuscany, and China. The regional variations of land forms is fascinating to me. If you've been to Ireland, you know the divisions and borders of farm land is typically walls of stones, likely gathered from the fields. In Tuscany, you can see the orderly lines of trees - or perhaps rows of vines. And then the area of China I have captured shows vegetation growing in tiers. Much different than what we saw with the crop circles of Kansas, and the undulating curves of Wisconsin.
I admit I pick a location nearly every week and just prowl around thanks to the satellite views of Google maps. It's not always farmland that I seek - love looking at cities too - especially ones I've been to or hope to visit. I think that will be enough of showing maps....I'll move on to how my painting was influenced next.
I will be getting back to my ongoing posts on The Evolution of an Idea. This week I have a few deadlines - both concrete and self-imposed so I'm tending to business. One thing I wanted to share - very exciting news...I will be teaching five workshops this fall in the big apple. I can't begin to describe the thrill of being invited to teach at Pratt Institute's School of Continuing and Professional Studies this fall. Thank you to my friend Karen for facilitating this connection. Below is an infographic with the dates. I will be uploading the class descriptions and photos to my Workshop page soon - they selected some of my faves plus a new one, Sticks & Stones, inspired by the current mindset I'm in. Pratt's fall catalog is in the works and as soon as I have details for registration I will post here.
There has already been some interest since I posted this on my workshop page a week or two ago. I'm collecting email addresses from anyone that wants updates on registration. If you want to be added to the list send me a note or comment below.
There are some mixed media courses available at Pratt this summer! Take a class with my friends Nathalie Kalbach (July 12, July 19) or Seth Apter (July 18-19) or both! See the Pratt CCPS summer catalog HERE. It is a fabulous venue and the classrooms are superb.
Hope to see you this fall!!
I'm curious to know more about shapes and details and I want to feed my need for more visuals. I turn to books. I go down a deep rabbit hole when I find the WoodenBooks.com site. Lovely little books, beautifully presented, and packed with fabulous images. BTW, they are not made of wood. The site gives thorough previews - you'll want them all. Let me recommend their "epic bind-ups", Sciencia, Quadrivium, and Designa - more than 400 pages per book! The other titles are much smaller - 64 pages each.
Along the way I got interested in Andy Goldsworthy. Ordered a few books and a dvd. This man is amazing. Poke around online and look at his installations if you aren't familiar with his work. Love his rock formations. Hope to go visit Storm King this summer! I had told Lynne about my interest in his work and she sent a photo she took of his cairn/cone she got to see! Into the journal it went.
more to come....evolution of an idea....thoughts behind the process....
As I said earlier, the new sounds prompted a shift - in my imagination, and in my drive to create visuals that were prompted by what I was hearing. I began collecting what I call "manipulatives". Remember using those in grade school? Colored rods of varying lengths, foam die-cuts of geometric shapes, and even building blocks - meant to reinforce mathematical concepts.
So here are some manipulatives for grown-ups....organic and natural materials that will support my visions, assist me in creating compositions, and inform and inspire the new direction for my artmaking. I even set up a little zen sanctuary at the entrance to my studio. Love clanging the chimes as a ritual on my way in to play.
Next: the process of evolving ideas continue
I think the universe knows when we are ready for a shift. An opportunity presents itself and we can either pay attention, or shrug it off and carry on. What is it that makes us engage and embrace? Timing perhaps. Being open minded. Recognizing a connection, whether defined or abstract. Our willingness to dive into new territory can be driven by many different forces, interior or exterior or both. Why do we impulsively get distracted by a new concept when we already have enough commitments and responsibilities and unfinished work? The universe knows.
So we are still back in September 2014 and I’m teaching Frond Chronicles for the San Diego Book Arts group. Pnina Gold, a wonderful artist and warm soul, hosted the workshop in her studio. She gifted me with Six Healing Sounds, a cd produced by her husband, Richard. The intention of her generous gesture was that I would play it for my son Sam. I learned from his website: Dr. Richard Gold is a psychologist and a teacher, practitioner, writer, researcher, and life-long student of the Asian Healing Arts, including acupuncture, Chinese medicine, Qi Gong, T’ai Chi, shiatsu and traditional Thai bodywork. He has studied neuroscience and the evolving scientific understanding of the effects of sound and meditation on brain function. Foreign stuff to me, but fancy and fascinating.
Upon my return home I played the cd. Immediately I had a connection to the sounds. Peaceful. Relaxing. Piled on my nightstand there are collections of zen category discs – falling rain, gentle ocean waves, whale calls…. Each work their magic and lull me into restful sleep. However, Six Healing Sounds was even better. I listen to it every night, and nearly every morning. It makes me feel centered, balanced, deliberate, focused. You can hear a sampling here: MettaMindfulnessMusic.com
From the liner notes (Six Healing Sounds), ways to use this music: Enhancement of mental focus and openness to artistic inspiration while immersed in the creative process of writing, creating visual art, dancing, writing poetry, etc. They were talking to me!
The music had a profound impact on me. I didn't feel a gradual shift of influence; it was drastic. I postponed all plans and projects that were on my desk or still developing in my mind, and blasted head on into unfamiliar territory. I yearned to explore and discover more about the impressions that were forming in my imagination simply because I was listening to new sounds. I’ve always had that sensory connection between sound and visuals. I welcomed the bombardment of ideas that were channeling in, and was curious to know how this direction would manifest in my art.
So my crop circles and farmland got shelved for a bit....had to make room for the introduction of another new perspective, a shift in awareness. Lots of things will eventually collide and overlap as the Evolution of an Idea continues to unfold. More on that soon.
In the meantime, go have a listen to Six Healing Sounds and see if it resonates with you as deeply as it did with me.
With some of my handcarved stamps, I tested them for map-making.
Let's rewind a bit....to September 2014, when my awareness of earth shapes was heightened and kinda became an obsession. I was flying across the country and spied the round markings of land outside my window. I had been impressed on previous trips to the midwest - views of divided farm land and the occasional interruption by organic terrain, but I'd never seen such extensive patterning like I did on the way from New Jersey to San Diego, most specifically on the approach to a layover in Phoenix. The polka dots of green went on for miles, then suddenly ended at the edge of rock formations that grew and grew....likely part of the formation that would become the Grand Canyon further north. I pulled out the sketchbook and recorded some notes on my impressions, then started drawing. I got distracted by some other thoughts that channeled in....here are the pages:
More thoughts on the Evolution of an Idea coming next.
As I mentioned in the last post, we visited the New York Botanical Gardens in 2006 when Dale Chihuly glass sculptures were on display. Not just a few chandeliers, MANY. Not just a few little installations of his orbs, spike, tendrils - MANY. It was extraordinary. My friend Anne and I were clicking away on the cameras, but we also took time to just admire. To just experience it. It was special to share the experience with my daughter and her friend who were 10 at the time. Both of them fancied themselves roving reporters with film. Loved seeing them dash around the grounds, trying to get the most artistic view in the frame.
I had watched many of Chihuly's videos and understood the passion he brings to the process, with enough enthusiasm to power up the teams who create on location - like Venice. That was my favorite. Could you imagine being there and seeing colorful glass balls bobbing along the canal? When you reflect on what he does - creating all those pieces, wrapping and shipping, unwrapping and assembling on location.....it makes you even more in awe that someone would go to those lengths to share beauty. A visionary.
Last summer on our road trip we stayed in an Indianapolis hotel with a lobby jewel. Fallon and I gasped because we knew who made it. Lovely.
If you are in Florida, near Coral Gables.....you have plenty of time to make plans before the end of May....
Thanks for coming along on my homage to Christo and Jeanne-Claude and the 10th anniversary of The Gates - Central Park, New York City. It was a soul-touching mind-bending joyful experience to witness in real life - one of those you-had-to-be-there events. I was glad I did - twice! How I envy those who got to see them in-progress, then visit daily. I will always be impressed and respectful of the colossal undertaking, and the courageous vision behind the saffron curtains. To walk under them was a privilege. Sixteen days was fleeting, ephemeral....wish it was a little longer. But the short-lived existence adds to the specialness, and that was their point. Sixteen days meant you had to make the effort to get there, to be part of it.
Christo is still pursuing Over The River, a temporary fabric suspension over the Arkansas River in Colorado.
There is a new book on the artists, due for release March 24. Christo and Jeanne-Claude In/Out Studio. Christo will be signing books on April 1st at 192 Books, from 7pm. (192 Tenth Ave at 21st Street, NYC)
Although The Gates was a once-in-lifetime event, there are many opportunities we can take advantage of as curious people, hungry for visual stimulation. Nine years ago we got to see a Chihuly installation at the New York Botanical Gardens. It was another example of getting to witness a grand vision by an artist. There is a Chihuly experience awaiting you at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida through May 2015. Wish I could see it! Last summer I met with friends at the Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey. I will be going back soon to see an art installation by Jae Ko - 20,000 lbs of recycled kraft paper will be transformed into sculpture along a 80 ft. wall. I have plans to visit Storm King later this Spring - to see a monumental Andy Goldsworthy stone wall in real life. Is there something going on in your neck of the woods? Get out and see it! Whether it's an annual flower show, a new museum exhibit, or a parade, or fireworks - it's good to make a change to our routine and expand our visual cues.
Obviously art isn't about being epic, but it is really cool when we can participate as an observer, something that is really big.....so big that you can experience it dimensionally. Here's to the visionaries.
Thank you Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
The final page of my Gates journal - using up the table cover newsprint, with a parody postcard. This image made its way around the internet ten years ago and recently I found a shop selling "The Crackers" at CafePress.
p.s The Gates of NYC have never been far from my mind, particularly these last three years while our town is undergoing serious road construction....we have miles of saffron orange barricade curtains along our local roads. Here are the daily views during summer and winter.
On the final weekend of the event, I visited a second time with my friend Anne. Snow had fallen and the view was much different. The clouds hung low and the sun barely made a presence, but the park was lit with color, and still filled with pedestrians, and photographers, to catch the last impression of an epic art installation. It was very special to see with Anne, as we had been at the Met exhibit the previous summer.
I could smack myself for passing up a saffron fabric tote, being sold the summer of 2004 at the museum. I don't know what we were thinking....that perhaps they would still be available in February? They weren't. So as a consolation prize, I ordered us each one of the Met logo bags last month....with orange base. After completing my Gates journal, I have moved all my remaining souvenirs - books, postcards, the HBO documentary dvd, a subway ad, and few other things that go with my Christo collection, into the tote.
More views of the park....with snow.
They were born on the same day. Christo in Bulgaria, Jeanne-Claude in Morocco, on June 13, 1935. They met in Paris in 1958, and moved to New York in 1964. They have a son, Cyril Christo. Together, the artists proposed many temporary art installations. The Gates was their 19th to see completion.
Jeanne-Claude departed for the pearly gates on November 18, 2009.
I didn't get to see the installation but followed the progress in the news with great anticipation. I can imagine that for regular visitors, it was both a nuisance and a thrill. Kinda like getting your house ready for Christmas. All that glorious color introduced during the dismal colorless days of winter. In reading the interview above, I loved hearing that the artists chose the park because it was part of their life, in their new home town. Cool.
Another friend of mine, Seth Apter, has written his observations about The Gates to share with us here. Seth is an artist, author, designer, and workshop instructor. His website is SethApter.com, and you can find his blog at TheAlteredPage.blogspot.com, and his stencils HERE.
Hard to believe that 10 years have past since this event took place in NYC. It truly seems like just yesterday. I recall the buzz that spread throughout the city when this installation was announced. There was a call put out for volunteers to assist in the set-up. I decided not to participate given that it was in the middle of winter. That is a decision I regret now that time has passed.
As I mentioned, it took me nearly ten years to finally commit to making my Gates journal. Waiting, or procrastinating, provided the opportunity to utilize decorative washi tapes. They weren't even on my radar in 2005. I collected these knowing I would use them in the journal. An orange pencil bag, found several years ago, sat patiently in the file and was the perfect tip-in to contain some loose items I wanted to keep with the journal. For instance, a mini-book from the Central Park Conservancy.
In my journal is a fax exchange from 2005 between my friend Lynne Perrella and myself. We met the Perrellas on the steps of the Met at noon on Sunday, February 20. It was freezing cold, but super sunny, and a glorious afternoon to spend with friends, enjoying the energy filled park.
Lynne has graciously shared her experience. She's a dear friend, an artist, designer, author, columnist, and workshop instructor. You can find Lynne online at LKPerrella.com.
“After the last “no”…..is a “YES!” Or, What I Learned About Life, After Seeing The Gates
By Lynne Perrella
The Gates was an experience that offered itself to me in several waves. I expected to be wowed – and I was. On the sunny ultra-cold day that I saw The Gates, I was caught up in the pure delight of parading and processing through the various fluttering saffron-colored draperies. The best part was being able to look ahead and see that there were more, more, more, and still-more of them ahead, beckoning. All throughout Central Park, uphill and down, undulating and preening in the sun – the stunning panels of fabric welcomed people from everywhere to come and make up their own mind. I am sure the doubters came with a treasured chip on their shoulder, but I predict they went away with a smile on their face and a lilt in their step.
All of the joy and hail-fellow-well-met applause for The Gates was preceded by……angst, difficulty, uphill battles, and dark days. For decades, Christo and Jean-Claude met with NYC officials who, alas, did not “get it” about The Gates. Blank stares, ridicule, pointless meetings and presentations that resulted in……nothing. They proposed fluttering artistic panels of orange, and encountered stone walls of unwavering resistance. But, the artists held to their vision, never gave up, and eventually a remarkable thing happened. The City gradually, over many years, became READY for The Gates. Administrations had come and gone, “out with the old, in with the new”, house-cleaning, upgrading, back-sliding, financial miscues and windfalls. Instead of hanging out a big “Open For Business” sign, the City came up with an even better idea: It allowed Christo and Jean-Claude to come and do their thing.
As artists, we thrive on those moments when a great new idea erupts, and we have the luxury to move forward immediately and harvest all that is fresh and new about it. But sometimes the Universe decides that a brilliant idea must marinate, percolate, and shimmer below the surface……until the moment is right. And the artist has no choice but to tend the flame.
The back story of The Gates taught me about the duality of passion and patience – and the endless rewards of work, work, work.
Thanks Lynne! It was so much fun to experience The Gates with you and John.
For ten years I kept a file for The Gates. It included the newspapers, articles, postcards, my precious swatch, the lanyard, my own photos, and even a NY subway poster. The intention was to make a journal with large enough pages to host all the items. I procrastinated, got distracted, moved on to other things. Knowing the anniversary was approaching, I determined to make a commitment to getting it done. Ten years is along time to hold on to a bunch of stuff when it could be enjoying proper celebration in book form. A little research led me to a multi-ring portfolio binder, with black pages in protectors, that were the perfect size. Leaning on the pre-made system felt really good because I was finally moving forward, and I knew I could still make it my own by contributing to the backgrounds with paint and stencils. I had several items that fit a 8.5" x 11" page protector so I added the extra holes required to fit the binding, then tiered them in.
Is there a project you're working on where progress is hindered because you think you have to go fully custom? Get out of your own way and find a short-cut that will jump start the process. You'll always find a way to make it your own.
Back in 2004, from April to July, The Metropolitan Museum had a special Christo exhibit. My friend Anne and I attended, quite by accident, as we were there to see something else. As we walked in, we observed several rooms dedicated to The Gates proposals - hanging were dozens of large framed artworks, altered photos, and maps, portraying the artists' vision to install thousands of saffron draped archways throughout the park. The scope of the project changed over the years, as reflected in Christo's artwork. His study of the location was evident - black and white photos from many angles were altered to show how The Gates would appear.
As Anne and I went room to room, following the process, I felt my heart racing....recognizing that I might get to witness a Christo event - nearby! The last room of the exhibit had a prototype gate, complete with saffron fabric. Approval! There were cards for the taking - directing you where to apply to become part of the installation team. I wasn't able to make that kind of commitment, but knew I'd be back in just six months to see Central Park all decked out....because Christo and Jeanne-Claude had the vision, persistence, and full blown passion to see it through.
I've asked a few friends to share their impression of visiting The Gates. First up is my friend Andrew. He is an artist, designer, and teacher. He makes frequent visits to the city so I was interested to see what he thought of the event. You can find Andrew on his blog, AndrewBorloz.blogspot.com, and his stencil designs for StencilGirlProducts are HERE.
If you watched the film from yesterday, you saw several Gates docents, clad in official gray vests. They were there to answer questions, and were passing out saffron swatches. Scored one! It is a very special souvenir. I also managed to collect a lanyard from ebay. Here is the first page of my Gates Journal, completed only recently. Pages are 14" x 17". I will show more soon.
As I was trolling around on youtube to find some Gates footage, I found this one. A terrific view through the moving lens of a film maker and skateboarder. Shot and Directed by Coan Buddy Nichols and Rick Charnoski. They filmed as The Gates were being installed, (no part of the park sustained damage - no holes, just weights) then you get to ride along after the unfurling. They run into Albert Maysles (at 3:23), one of the directors of the HBO documentary, and caught footage of Christo and Jeanne-Claude (at 3:34) in Central Park (you could spot them there daily). In just under four minutes, these guys provide a real-life glimpse into the immensity of the project. Coan Nichols granted permission for me to share their short film here, courtesy of his company, SixStair.com Cool, right? Thanks Coan!
Look at those happy faces! Imagine what it felt like to finally see your dream realized. Beginning in 1979, the couple began the proposal process to the city of New York. Several administrations later, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave the approval, and The Gates were installed in February 2005.
There is a terrific documentary that chronicles the journey. First aired on HBO, it is available on dvd through Amazon, and can be streamed with Amazon Prime, or on Hulu.com. More information can be found on Maysles Films.
Preview, showing some footage of Christo before he was gray:
Ten years ago today would have been a Sunday. All the newspapers came out, reporting on the unfurling event. HEADLINES! Art on the front pages!
I was so happy to see that the anniversary got covered yesterday. See The Daily News revisit HERE. I was kinda hoping Google Doodle would have celebrated it. I'll continue tossing the confetti over here.
Did you experience The Gates?
Today, February 12, is the 10th anniversary of the unfurling of The Gates - Central Park, New York City.
An epic undertaking by visionary installation artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. In 2005, 2/12 was a Saturday, and the news, both local and national, covered the story of this significant event. The following morning every local newspaper had ART on the front page. Saffron glory.
The Gates remained in the city until February 27. Beginning today, I will be celebrating with 16 days of blog posts. It's my way of saying It Mattered. Come along with me.
I can't show you the cards I made this year since they are in transit. If you haven't gotten started on yours, you don't have much time. I think Valentine's Day is the perfect time to make it your own. In fact, (you've probably already heard me say this) when Fallon was born I had a stamp made - looking ahead to elementary school trades. "Won't you be my Fallontine?" While the cartoon and Disney princess boxed cards were tempting over the years, it was fun making and embellishing our own.
Here are some past heart projects. Maybe you'll be inspired to fire up the craft table to make some cards and/or gifts, with love.
Tomorrow....something orange saffron.
I recognize that I have a limited range of colors that I like to use in my art. I'm comfortable with that and know it has always been part of my process. I don't regard this as a limitation, but an opportunity to focus on composition and content. Looking back on past work I can see that the neutral family of colors has become a favorite, and my current comfort palette is warm tones. There are only six paints on my studio table, next to a galvanized tin of dried pods. It makes me happy to have these within view....and it was fun to use the eyedropper tool to pull together the palettes below. It's amazing what we can see when we really look.
What's your current comfort palette?
I've always been enamored of the Three Kings, also called the Three Wise Men or Magi. Maybe it goes back to the illustrated bible that Mom would read to us, or kind role they played in The Little Drummer Boy. Perhaps my fondness grew once I became a Ward, with a new family crest that has three crowns - significant since we have three children. Melchoir, Caspar, and Balthazar, who brought gifts of gold, frankicense and myrrh. They are magestic, and mysterious, and I love to explore the subject visually. I don't have photos of my journal pages right now, but here are some digital compositions.
This marks the end of the holiday season and after today we will start taking down all the decorations and the tree. Furniture can go back to its usual placement. I will miss seeing all our favorite things we carefully unwrap and display, but will take care to safely pack so we can enjoy when the year winds down again. Makes me sad that the neighborhood Christmas lights will start going dim. I love the brightness it brings to the dark nights. Here's to holding the light in our hearts all year. And here's to having candy canes around - a terrific remedy for a nauseous tummy. Stay well.