I’m pleased to say my latest watercolor and gouache painting “Angel of the Deep” will join other artworks in the Fourth Annual Angels Show at GoodBean Coffee in Jacksonville OR for the month of December. GoodBean Coffee is located at 165 S Oregon St in historic Jacksonville, OR.
About the Show
Hosted by GoodBean Coffee Company, Hannah West Designs and Southern Oregon Artists Resource, the Angels Show features artwork by local artists using a variety of media. You are invited to see the display of fine art daily during normal business hours (6am to 6pm).
The show’s special opening reception is on Saturday, December 3rd, from noon to 4pm. If you are in the area, your are heartily invited to come in and join in the festivities. You will be able to meet many of the artists while enjoying stories of angels and, naturally, the artwork.
About My Mermaid-Angel
I created my mermaid-angel design just for fun. To explain, I enjoy seeing what my imagination can come up with once an idea pops into my head. I have a dialogue, so to speak, with my pencil, paper and paint. We work together until the crazy idea of a mermaid-angel starts to take shape. And, the more I think about my subject, the mermaid-angel in this case, stories form in my head.
Consider this, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to be at home at sea or in the air; to swim, or fly? My mermaid-angel can move between air, land and water, which I think would be exciting.
And, what would a mermaid-angel do? I think of my mermaid-angel as an empathetic care-taker and protector of the oceans and all the sea creatures. I can see her helping turtles, dolphins and other animals caught in nets, for example.
A Little About the Painting
This is one of the few paintings I’ve done where I use gouache along with watercolor. I had a moment of inspiration, a “what if I do this” moment. So, I pulled out a tube of gouache and started painting away. Fun!
For those of you not familiar with gouache, it is an opaque watercolor and mixes well with “regular” transparent watercolor. I used it on the wings and on the figure’s skin.
Oh, yes, I framed the painting and you may purchase my mermaid-angel during the show for $275. Happily. *Update! My “Angel of the Deep” is sold! Thank you Hannah West and GoodBean Coffee! (Woohoo!)
Please Stop By
I do hope you will stop by the Good Bean Coffee this December and see all the festive angels. I’m closing with the official publicity poster for the Angels Show. Thank you Hannah West for permission to include the poster!
The post Angel of the Deep On Display appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.
Dana Gould served as a guest host on Kevin Pollak’s podcast recently, and he had this exchange with his guest. I love the term “jam econo,” which isn’t just about money.
Jonah Ray: A lot of people want fame and money and if they have a knack for comedy they use that to get fame and money . . . lot of people go too big (in) how they go about things. Mike Watt, of the Minutemen, has this saying, “We jam econo.” Stay within your means. Do what you can within your own self. Don’t get further in your life or career on credit. Do it within your realm of possibilities.
Dana Gould: That was an understanding I came to about my stand-up career, and I think this applies to all people who consider themselves craftsmen or artists. It took me decades to come to this conclusion. So much of your career is, “if I get this, then I’ll get this.” Your career is now. You’re here. This is it. It’s great. If you are actively building your career, you’ve made it. If you are working at Barnes & Noble trying to gin up the balls to do an open mike, you haven’t made it. If you do an open mike, you’ve made it. The rest is just a level of degree.
Thank you for the eye and the sight
for the finger and the nail
for the under and the belly
for the back and the bone
for the hand and the made
for the heart and the ache.
Thank you for the moon and the light
for the sun and the flower
for the rattle and the snake
for the thunder and the storm
for the star and the fish
for the blue and the bird
for the honey and the suckle.
Thank you for the day and the dream
for the good and the night
for the after and the noon
for the cross and the over
for the up and the coming
for the life and the time
for the thanks and the giving.
Drawing from Within, a solo show of drawings by Bill Stephens, is on view in the Wayne Williams and Tom Insalaco Gallery at Finger Lakes Community College. It isn’t a large space, but Bill’s drawings fit perfectly into it, and the show makes a striking impression when you walk in. Everything is framed and matted in such a way that his line drawings look, at a glance, as intricate as old engravings. He uses pens with an extremely fine point, creating form with cross-hatchings, Durer-like, never using solid blacks or grays. I’ve seen previews of this work at our get-togethers for coffee, and I’ve always been impressed, but the work makes a much deeper impression when you see it gathered together this way–the cumulative effect demonstrates how consistently his vision has emerged in this new direction for his work. His world holds together, stylistically, from each drawing to the next. They offer glimpses, from slightly different angles, into his unique and integrated inner world. Some of his images look almost like illustrations from Dante: clusters of souls migrating toward something beyond themselves.
What’s most interesting to me about Bill’s work is that the drawings are the outcome of a process rather than an attempt to render something already visible. His puts down lines and follows where they lead him, a journey to discover the forms that emerge as he improvises his way to an image that often fuses landscapes with botanical, animal, and human shapes. Everything seems an extension of everything else. The end result is surrealistic, and his process echoes surrealism’s “automatic writing,” letting the subconscious guide the hand. Yet as much as I was surprised to be reminded of Dali in many of these drawings, the feelings they evoke are far from the cool theatricality of Dali’s eerie, melting shapes. He’s enthralled by nature, and his enthusiasm infuses everything with a warm energy. He isn’t wedded to any particular sort of landscape–you can find echoes of his wooded Western New York backyard as well as the mesas of the Southwest. Mostly these are dreamscapes where vaguely recognizable forms emerge from the least expected sources–much of what he depicts seems to want to grow a pair of legs, even rock formations.
Bill’s talk about how and why he draws was completely extemporaneous and casual, yet it was often eloquent, and consistently illuminating. He says that each time he sits down in the morning in his studio, he brings a beginner’s mind to what he’s about to draw. For reference, he often refers to the notebooks he fills with quick, adept sketches when he travels, many times jotting quick, haiku-like impressions in the margins. He passed around these notebooks during his talk. The words hover around the edges, subordinate to the drawings. He and his wife, Jean, also an accomplished artist, are both enthralled by nature, and in their work they invest a spiritual depth into the simplest, most common and familiar aspects of the natural world, animal, plant and mineral.
In the days since Bill’s talk, having seen how intensely he’s venturing into this new series without knowing where it will lead, I’ve begun to realize that his process is, for me, a microcosm of how an artist’s career ought to evolve. The best work emerges from an effort to do something more and more consonant with the inarticulate feel of applying a medium in a certain way to a support–without knowing exactly where the effort will take you.The more you let other considerations come into play, the more they drain the life from the final image. Bill Santelli rode down to the show with me and on the way back we talked about how hard it is to stay focused on this factor of feeling one’s way forward in a particular painting, and, in a larger sense, in one’s career. The only reliable guide is to simply keep attempting to paint, or draw, what you most want to see. And you can work for years, or decades, without quite knowing what that is–or be constantly struggling to stay focused on it. Paint only what you want to look at: it sounds like the easiest thing in the world, but everything conspires to make you ignore that desire for any number of reasons: because what you might do won’t sell, or get shown, or be critically recognized, or because you want to belong to a particular “school” of work that has other requirements for admission. In these drawings, Stephens is answering only to what he wants to see emerge, line by line, and drawing by drawing, without any other consideration in play. And yet, groping forward in this way, sticking to process, he gets results that have an unexpected imaginative resonance.
In The Duino Elegies, Rilke spoke about how nature wants to “become invisible” through a certain kind of human reverence for it:
Earth, is it not this that you want: to rise
invisibly in us? – Is that not your dream,
to be invisible, one day? – Earth! Invisible!
What is your urgent command if not transformation?
I suspect in Rilke’s own life, this meant translating the tangible world into poetry. With Stephens, it’s just the reverse. His line, as he puts it down, creates its own necessity, so that while he draws he isn’t copying what he sees, but rather hopes his experience of nature will be translated, subconsciously, into tangible images that convey what might otherwise remain invisible, even to himself.
Candy Jar #9, oil on canvas, 52″ x 52″
Candy Jar #9 will be awarded Best in Show tonight at The Red Biennial, presented by The Cambridge Art Association, on view at the Kathryn Schultz Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The exhibition was jurored by Joseph D. Ketner II, the Henry and Lois Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice at Emerson College, Boston. He also holds the position of distinguished Curator-in-Residence. His professional expertise is as a curator and art historian specializing in European and American Modern and Contemporary Art, and nineteenth-century African-American art.
I’ll be there for the talk, and for a tour of the show. I’ve been watching Bill work on this series for a while, and own one of the best ones he’s done. It’s fascinating work, and I have a sense that Bill is always balancing between conscious technique and subconscious impulse, tending the process without quite controlling where it leads or knowing where the drawing is going to end up. It unveils itself to him, as much as it does for the viewer. The one in my collection feels like an illustration for Dante’s Inferno, but a lot of the work seems biomorphic, the forms growing as naturally as seeds and branches.
The Take Heart greeting card line has launched! These cards celebrate the art of encouragement. To take heart is to encourage, to encourage is to inspire with hope, and the Latin root of encourage is cor, heart. The cards are waiting to be filled with your own heart-ful words and sent out into the world….
~ 5” x 7” (ideal for giving and framing)~ Blank inside
~ Printed in Oregon, USA on 100lb cardstock
~ Hand embossed in the lower, right-hand corner with my æ signature
~ Accompanied by a translucent, vellum envelope (hard to find!)
For now, the cards are available in a several Southern Oregon stores. Stay tuned for more locations. Meanwhile, I can accommodate retail orders as sets of all 10 designs with vellum envelopes for $25 + $5 s/h to US addresses.