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To show Being

heidegger_web

With this being, the artist, Being lights up for us most immediately and brightly. Why? Nietzsche does not explicitly say why; yet we can easily discover the reason. To be an artist is to be able to bring something forth. But to bring forth means to establish in Being something that does not yet exist. It is as though in bringing-forth we dwelled upon the coming to be of beings and could see there with utter clarity their essence.

Being an artist is a way of life.

__Heidegger’s lectures on Nietzsche (1936-40), Vol. 1

To Find Your Art

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Summer days,

mornings filled with wonder.

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Sleepy afternoons,

daydreams with wings

and stars that smile.

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I awake each day to find my art,

to hold on to it 

and then let it go.

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To find myself,

and then relax into being who I am.

To find your art
 

This is what I am learning.

 

 

Gary Lee Cordray

lee

From his Instagram.

Prepping for Watercolor and Ink Demo

Art Demonstration on the Horizon!

Greetings!  I’m so excited!   I’m preparing myself to do a demonstration (demo) of my watercolor and ink techniques.  I have been invited by the Southern Oregon Society of Artists, a large local organization.  I was thrilled to receive the invitation.  But, I also had a sobering moment;  I needed to “up my game” so to speak.

Put another way, I want to do a good demo.

Demonstration: working with watercolor and ink

 

What I Have Been Doing

I have been spending the last six months working on painting from life using ink and watercolor.  I have been running the demo through my head to visualize how I’d like this to happen.

Now it’s “crunch time”.  I need to get it all down on paper.  🙂

Organic Grind Espresso Kiosk; Watercolor & Ink Demonstration

Where I Am Now

I have selected my subject – the Organic Grind Espresso Kiosk in Talent, OR, (see the image above).   I like this subject; it seems simple – a building on a lot.

But, as I keep working on it, I find interesting shapes, lines and tones.  There is a lot to “simple”!

Yes, I have been working on it.  I have gone to the location and done watercolor and ink sketches.  I may go again.

Back in the studio, I’ve been doing drawings and value studies.  These drawings and studies help me discover things about my subject.  Its a way of “painting what I know” by studying it!  Fun!

Here’s an earlier version of “Organic Grind”, drawn and painted from a different angle.

Organic Grind, Watercolor & Ink

What I Will Be Doing

Here’s an list of tasks for the next phase of this demonstration operation.

These tasks, while numbered, will be worked on concurrently.  That is to say these are tasks that do not need to be done sequentially.

Task One:  Explore the issue of why I paint this way in the first place.

Task Two:  Describe in detail the “what is it that I do”.  And, to get used to talking about it.  While drawing.  And staying focused!

Task Three:  Design the physical layout of my workspace.

Task Four:  Practice and adjust!

Might as well start with task one right here!

Demonstration, Watercolor & Ink

Why I Paint with Watercolor and Ink

My husband and I like to travel and camp.  We go to interesting places such as Blue Mountain (also known as “Cliff Ridge) in Utah near Dinosaur National Monument, for example (see above).  It seems natural for me to want to paint on location.

How to Draw and Paint Nature

The question of how seemed particularly pertinent because my normal modus operandi tends to be stylized in manner.  I tend to look more at the paper than at a physical subject and use my imagination.

This is not the best plan if one wants to draw and paint what one sees.  When drawing from nature, one needs to look at the subject in front of them!  For me, this is oddly challenging!  I have a tendency to look at the paper.  I’m improving, but I still have to remind myself to look-at-the-subject!

Peggy's People Collection - RCC December Invitational

It Starts With Drawing Skills

In any case, it all starts with drawing, doesn’t it?  For me the answer is “yes”.

So, I started drawing when we went on trips.  Not satisfied; I wanted to do more.  Inspired by the Urban Sketcher movement and all the wonderful watercolor journals I see on the web, I started experimenting with watercolor studies.

Naturally, as I started I felt kind of clumsy.  Thats what happens when you do something new.  I took out a “Faber Castell” artist ink pen I had hanging around and restated the forms of my subject.  It seemed to help.

Thus my exploration into ink and watercolor was born of necessity.

So, back to work and Task Two, describing in detail how I work.  More soon!

Thank you for stopping by!  I’ll leave you with a final watercolor and ink study done from a recent trip to Hyatt Reservoir in Southern Oregon.

HyattReservoirJuly2016©MStermerCox

 

 

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The post Prepping for Watercolor and Ink Demo appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

It is now possible to do whatever you want

chuck 2

Takeaway: Respect Vermeer above all. And do whatever they are saying can’t be done anymore. From Chuck Close profile today in the Times magazine:

Even as you slip forward a few years and he begins adding color in the early 1970s, you’ll find no painterly style on the canvas, no distinctive brushwork — namely because he had given up brushes to work with a paint sprayer, which he considered a homage to Vermeer. “I can figure out how any painting in the history of art got made, with the exception of Vermeer’s,” he told me. “It’s like a divine wind blew the pigment on.”

Remember that Close was making these portraits at a time of spectacular upheaval in American art, when many of his contemporaries were preoccupied with wild, experimental work — with artists like Walter de Maria, Michael Heizer and Robert Smithson moving into the desert, where they would trap lightning, build a mile-long city of black stone and extend a huge spiral walkway into the Great Salt Lake. Just a few years earlier, the prominent critic Clement Greenberg effectively banished the kind of work that Close was doing from the ranks of modern art. “With an advanced artist,” Greenberg wrote, “it’s now not possible to make a portrait.” So in the world that Close inhabited, his work presented a strange duality. In one sense, the decision to paint photographic portraiture was almost laughably conventional. In another, it was among the most defiant things a downtown artist could do . . .

 

The sound of one tree falling

 

falling tree

I was having an email conversation with a good friend (and a couple others, including my brother) on the need, or lack of it, for historical accuracy in movies based on actual events. My friend’s position was that art can do anything it likes, as long as it conveys eternal and absolute human values. I’ve been reading Heidegger’s later lectures over the past year—I’m going to offer much more of my thoughts on those in the near future, I hope—where the idea of “values,” comes under repeated assault, in interesting ways. Yet, as penetrating and surprisingly accessible as Heidegger is in these essays, I tend to agree with my friend, not Heidegger, that in the moral realm, certain things are unassailable and unchanging. (Heidegger’s interest was never ethics, which is why he’s compelling, but more on that later.) Yet, those eternal “values” or “truths” my friend advocates are like Kafka’s castle, partly visible from down here in the village, but its hard to find a permanent home in them–and often difficult to connect that realm with the complexity of human obligations down here on the street.

My friend’s position is that movies need to embody moral truth in order to be worthwhile, and any viewing time devoted to films of lesser quality is not just a waste of attention but destructive. TV should come with a surgeon general’s warning. I informed him that, right or not, he would be able to pry my vintage DVDs of The Simpsons from my fingers only when said fingers are cold and dead. (Actually I cited Rocky and Bullwinkle.) He was unmoved.  But he insists, as always, that movies can be utterly unpleasant to watch—the equivalent of eating your broccoli—and yet be essential to the life of the mind. Last Year at Marienbad? Really? Dave Hickey became notorious as an articulate opponent of this view in his celebration of the essential need for beauty in art. His position, as I understand it, is: Give me pleasure or move along—because without it, I’m not going to pay attention to your precious truths. I second that. And I believe Hickey was suggesting that beauty keeps generating truth in different ways as time passes, for succeeding generations, all on its own, without a premeditated effort to adhere to some preconception of “truth” prior to its creation. Its creation becomes a source of unexpected truth, not an illustration of something already known. (This is actually closer to Heidegger’s outlook, I suspect.)

My friend insists that we ignore certain annoying or unpleasant expressions of truth in films at our peril. As much as I disagree with his general stance on this, and think that a movie ought to be engaging and at some level enjoyable to watch, no matter how uncompromisingly true it is, I wasn’t going to engage him on this. I’ve learned not to do that. Yet, along with Hickey, I think this attitude, in part, has made visual art the sort of isolated, segregated, boutique activity most people consider it to be now—a branch of the arts, in general, created only for the discerning, initiated elite while being irrelevant to most people’s lives.  As I put it to my good friend: “My position on all this is to ask, if a tree falls in a forest and no one bothers to listen, does it matter whether or not it makes a sound?”

Sold

Onion on a Carved Table, oil on linen

Onion on a Carved Table, oil on linen

Jim and Ginny Hall’s Oxford Gallery has been selling a lot of my work over the past two years. When I got back from our visit to California this month, I found a check for this one waiting for me. He’d included it in the gallery’s summer show.

Call for entries

IMG_9202

From Jason Franz at Manifest Gallery about one of the worthiest opportunities for artists who want to get their work seen:

It is the 7th INPA I’m writing about today…

If you have not already done so, I would like to encourage you to consider submitting your work to the 7th International Painting Annual which has the upcoming (final) deadline of July 24th

As you may recall, within the past few years we doubled the cash awards for all three of our book projects—with each now offering a $1200 first prize. We do everything with our fellow artists in mind (we’re artists, students, and professors too!), and so we are very happy when our board of directors approves an increase in what we can give back. Believe me, we know that every little bit helps. (We also increased the Manifest Prize to $5000!).

Remember, our non-profit publications are undertaken in an effort to allow wider participation by artists from farther away since they do not require the physical work be available or shipped. The books also enable our otherwise gallery-bound exhibition program to reach a wider viewing audience because books can easily be shipped anywhere.

Many academic libraries collect our publications and college professors (perhaps many of you!) use our books in the classroom as prime examples of the diversity of types of works being made around the world by artists their students can relate to. The fact that we refresh this collection every year makes the resulting compendium even more valuable for everyone.

It is very important for you to know that your past participation does not hinder nor help your submission to this or future projects. As you surely know by now, Manifest’s juries are shuffled each project, and juries are ‘blind’ in that they are not aware of whose work they’re viewing. Your identity is not a criteria. That said, you’ve had success in the past, and this is a good sign that your work has what it takes to win approval through the Manifest jury process. That fact should be encouraging.

So, because we want this 7th volume to continue the series’ participation level and growth in quality and diversity of painting, I wanted to encourage you to submit your work, and to share the opportunity with others if you would.

You can get the details here: www.manifestgallery.org/inpa7

Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions. And thanks again for being a part of Manifest’s history! I hope to see your work again soon.

Jason Franz

Executive Director

Call for entries

IMG_9202

From Jason Franz at Manifest Gallery about one of the worthiest opportunities for artists who want to get their work seen:

It is the 7th INPA I’m writing about today…

If you have not already done so, I would like to encourage you to consider submitting your work to the 7th International Painting Annual which has the upcoming (final) deadline of July 24th

As you may recall, within the past few years we doubled the cash awards for all three of our book projects—with each now offering a $1200 first prize. We do everything with our fellow artists in mind (we’re artists, students, and professors too!), and so we are very happy when our board of directors approves an increase in what we can give back. Believe me, we know that every little bit helps. (We also increased the Manifest Prize to $5000!).

Remember, our non-profit publications are undertaken in an effort to allow wider participation by artists from farther away since they do not require the physical work be available or shipped. The books also enable our otherwise gallery-bound exhibition program to reach a wider viewing audience because books can easily be shipped anywhere.

Many academic libraries collect our publications and college professors (perhaps many of you!) use our books in the classroom as prime examples of the diversity of types of works being made around the world by artists their students can relate to. The fact that we refresh this collection every year makes the resulting compendium even more valuable for everyone.

It is very important for you to know that your past participation does not hinder nor help your submission to this or future projects. As you surely know by now, Manifest’s juries are shuffled each project, and juries are ‘blind’ in that they are not aware of whose work they’re viewing. Your identity is not a criteria. That said, you’ve had success in the past, and this is a good sign that your work has what it takes to win approval through the Manifest jury process. That fact should be encouraging.

So, because we want this 7th volume to continue the series’ participation level and growth in quality and diversity of painting, I wanted to encourage you to submit your work, and to share the opportunity with others if you would.

You can get the details here: www.manifestgallery.org/inpa7

Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions. And thanks again for being a part of Manifest’s history! I hope to see your work again soon.

Jason Franz

Executive Director

Day Four: The Neighbor’s Flag

Four on the Fourth

Happy July Fourth!  For day four of #WorldWatercolorMonth, I thought it would be fun to do something in keeping with our American Independence Day celebration.  I chose my neighbor’s flag hanging of the carport.

Day Four: The Neighbor's Flag copyright M. Stermer-Cox

Color Symbolism

I am a painter and color is an important part of my tool box.  Naturally, I was thinking about the symbolic meaning of the colors of our flag while I was working on this painting.  So, I did an internet search about the meaning of the colors and went to a site called “USFlag. org”.   To my surprise, our flag’s colors did not have meaning assigned to them when the flag was adopted in 1777.  But, the colors on the country’s Great Seal did:  white being for purity and innocence; red for hardiness and valor; and blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice.

I think its often a good idea to check multiple sites when looking up something on the internet.  Just to check the facts, I looked at a few other websites.   The other websites echo the same information that the flag’s colors did not have special meaning when the flag was adopted.  How about that?

I like learning something new.

Four Watercolor Associations

Since this is day four of #WorldWatercolorMont, I thought it would be fun to make a list of four items having to do with watercolor.  The four watercolor associations I belong to popped into my head!  Here’s the list in no particular order:

There are many wonderful, worthy watercolor societies around the country and internationally.  These four happen to be based in the Northwest and West Coast, near where I live.

Wheel Rim Grill

Because it is summer here and the Fourth of July, I thought I’d share another painting.  I did this one on June 30th this year while my husband and I were on a camping trip.  The subject is a charcoal grill made out of wheel rims.  In the RV park where we were staying, each of the tent sites had one of these charcoal grills.  I had never seen anything like it and found them enchanting.

Wheel Rim Grill; ©M. Stermer-Cox

Thank you and please enjoy your Fourth!

 

 

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