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Top 10 Designers to Watch in 2020!

Hello from that equally slow motion and uber revved up time warp between trade shows. It’s a time where coffee in the morning is extra luxurious and slow but orders also need to be filled pronto and the day is planned strategically. I’m between Atlanta AmericasMart and Las Vegas Gift Show and appreciating every minute.

I’m extra appreciative this morning because I’m delighted to share that I was recently chosen as Top 10 Designers to Watch in 2020 by my industry’s leading magazine, Stationery Trends. I’ve read and subscribed to this magazine for over 20 years and it’s a true full circle happy dance to be featured. Thank you!!! It’s a terrific magazine, a glimpse into what’s happening in the stationery industry as well as great profiles on artists or small businesses that you might otherwise miss. I’m always and forever such a huge advocate for supporting your local retailer, even buying that one greeting card truly makes a difference in someone’s life! (Proof here as I write these words.)

That’s it, sharing some fun media. Back to packing. Back to coffee enjoying. (Yes, mild obsession but we all know what hotel coffee tastes like….)

Happy Thursday, friends. xo

XO Stationery Stash

It might be less than two weeks into the new year but in the retail world…guess what is virtually tomorrow??? That’s right, Valentine’s Day! Just in case you’re the stash-that-perfect-card-away-for-the-right-occasion variety (you’re in good company), let me introduce you to a few new designs in the XO category.

I’m headed off into the season of trade shows. Atlanta first, then Las Vegas. Old friends, new customers, connections and community. It is the summer camp of our gift industry. Every six months, like a milestone, we touch base. It’s also where we, small businesses, introduce our new products, designs and updates.And many of these updates are the Valentine’s Day Greeting Card collection, new workshops ahead, Paris in April and retail collaboration commissions. (I do commission paintings for your favorite stores and create custom greeting cards!)

Whether you’re a Love Bug or a Luvbug, want to say Love You or an XO says it all, I think I’ve got some stationery goodness for you.

Send mail. Write XO. The handwritten note is always in style. xo

Writing on the Oregon Coast

John and I spent a few stormy days on the Oregon Coast last week. My hope was to work on my new novel which I started almost a year ago after publishing CHIARA REFLECTIONS, poetry from the heart of Clare of Assisi. Still in the grip of poetry and also of my experience of writing my novel, WIDOW’S WALK, I easily fell into an intuitive style of composition. As soon as my creative function was convinced about my intention not to plan ahead–to have no outline, no sense of plot or theme, nothing but a kind of inner space, something awoke in me. She was an old woman, a hermit, with dreams and memories and a deep question about her life that she never had resolved. 
At the coast I opened the document to the 172 pages I’d written in the past six months. So far, so good–even though I still didn’t know quite where I was headed. I had followed through on the intuitive process and remain excited over where it had taken me from that first day in the springtime of 2019 to where I found myself and my fictional characters now at the beginning of 2020. 
The old woman whose name turned out to be Ella, already in the first chapter wonders about her mother. She ponders…
She walked where land is flat. She wrapped her wind-blown hair in a kerchief, waiting out the war. She held my hand. The river emptied into Wood Lake at Four Mile Gap. We searched the beach for arrowheads and chunks of pottery left by the Originals. She told stories of olden days. We sat underneath a paper birch tree and she gazed out to water’s end where, in the evenings, sunlight turned to topaz then to garnet and made her cry. She drew up her knees and bent her forehead down to rest on them. Her sobs were flights of birds. “Mama, Mama,” emerged from me like the mewing of our banished cat. I used the wings of her birds to make my way inside her to investigate the branches of her soul. I opened the gates of her deep red heart and went inside where echoes of her sobs bounced off my mind like puff balls from milkweed. “I cannot, I can Not,” the milkweed puffs sang like baby birds born and trapped inside me. Her knees could no longer hold her head and all her body was a puppet when fingers release the strings. She collapsed and came apart around me. Oh!
Mother slept in her tears and with my most gentle finger I one by one gathered every drop and placed it on my tongue where it would become a part of me and stay through all my years.
Why did she cry? What could she not? Is there anyone…? No one? None? I could not and so I knew her at the very least that much. For years I hoped someone could, but then she began to keep a gun in the top drawer beside her bed and I knew.
Distance for her was absolute.

I know this: I will continue.
Christin Lore Weber
copyright, 2019

Decade In Review: Final Four 2016 to 2019

Decade In Review: Considering Kandinsky, Detail

Happy New Year and New Decade!

I’d like to finish out my micro mini “decade in review” by showing you four watercolor paintings.  The paintings represent years 2016 to 2019.

2016.

Decade In Review: 2016 Irish Breakfast Tea

This painting was an experiment in adding Celtic symbols to help tell the visual story.  You might notice the shamrock, Celtic knot and modified triskele.  The triskele is on the tea bag’s tab.  I used a green dominant color scheme to further support the meaning of “Irish”.   As is my frequent practice, I played with different aspects of the cup, hence the enlarged cup handle.

This painting was shown in Rogue Gallery and Art Center’s “Celtic Celebration Art Show” (Medford, OR) and earned two awards: People’s Choice and  Staff’s pick.  I felt so honored!

2017.

Decade In Review: 2017 Considering Kandinsky

“Considering Kandinsky” was another experiment.  Truthfully, most if not all of my work is an experiment.  At the time, I was preparing to participate in a watercolor demonstration featuring the figure for the Watercolor Society of Oregon.  There were three of us artists and we had agreed on a particular reference photo of a man on a bench.  So, as is my usual practice, I played around with some ideas.  One thing led to another, and pretty soon I was thinking of the artist Wassily Kandinsky.   This was a fun painting for me.

2018.

Decade In Review: 2018 Three Minute Egg #11

I started the “Three Minute Egg” series when I was taking a class with artist Gabriel Lipper.  I’d like to say that it was a wonderful class on “deconstruction”, working in a series, and going from life to abstraction.  So, the first seven paintings I did in his class.  However, starting with number eight and onward, I did in my studio.  This particular painting earned a Fourth Place award in the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s Spring 2018 Experimental Exhibition.

2019.

Decade In Review 2019. Three Minute Egg #14

And, here we are continuing on with the theme of an egg cup and timer.  However, this time I added an espresso cup because I like espresso.

Previous Decade In Review Posts.

2010-2011

2012-2013

2014-2015

In closing, I hope you that you have enjoyed this mini decade in review.  And, I hope you have a great 2020!

The post Decade In Review: Final Four 2016 to 2019 appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

The Feels

A year ago today, I drew this compass to illustrate the five feelings I wanted to cultivate in 2019.

The four points: joy, peace, prosperity, and grace. The heart-center: harmony.

I started to write the words onto the compass, but then I realized I wanted the image to be “evergreen.” I wanted to use it every year if I felt like it. To use five words…or just one.

For 2020, I have just one word. This time next year, I’ll let you know how it turns out! I have a feeling it will be good, if only because this year, I let my five desired feelings guide most everything I chose to do.

This was the first time I approached a year with feelings instead of goals…so much more fun and freeing! I’ve spent too long confusing what I want with what I want to feel.

What do you want to feel during the coming twelve months?

Here’s to all the feels!

And blessings as we navigate toward them,

Anna

Decade In Review: Cell Phone Conversations 2014 & 2015

Cell Phone Conversations: Hang Up & Pet Me

Hi!  By the time the decade hit the middle years, cell phones and smart phones where everywhere.  And, today’s paintings for my mini review are all about cell phone conversations.

Cell Phone Conversations And The Cat.

Starting off with “Hang Up And Pet Me” from 2014, we have a woman sitting on a couch in the middle of a phone conversation.  Sitting next to her is the cat.  Naturally, the cat thinks this talking out loud into a little box is kind of weird.  Nuts even.  Better yet, the person needs to be petting the cat.  Yes indeed.

Inspiration Hits!

This particular painting was inspired by a phone conversation I had with one of my sisters.  You see, while she was talking on the phone, I could hear her cat in the background.  And, as you might expect, the cat was being vocal and participating in the conversation.  It was one of those “aha!” moments; I had a spark of inspiration.

Cell Phone Conversations: Hang Up & Read Me A Story

More Conversations

Speaking of inspiration, in the summer of 2014, my husband Robert and I took a trip across the country. Imagine driving from west coast to east coast and back again.  It was fun.

While in Georgia, we stopped to visit a niece for a couple of days.  She showed us a good time, including introducing us to some excellent cafes and coffee shops.

A Group Of Four & Their Cell Phones.

At one such coffee shop, we watched as two young couples walked in and sat down.  Almost instantly, and in unison, they all whipped out their smart phones and started using them!  We watched in amusement.  And, we wondered, were they texting each other as they sat at the table?  And, come to think of it, there were potentially eight people at the table.  That is to say, the four who were seated in front of us and the four on the other end of the phone.

Another Flash of Inspiration.

Once again, I had an “aha” moment and was inspired!  I had the makings of a new series of paintings involving coffee shops and cell phone conversations.  As it turned out, this moment gave me plenty of ideas and I would work on this series for the next 18 months.  Happily, 2015’s “Old School, New School” was one of the paintings in the series.

Cell Phone Conversations: Old School, New School

Cell Phone Conversations Everywhere!

As I was writing this article, it occurred to me that there has been a change since 2014 and 2015.  Back then, it seemed that it was mainly the younger people who were constantly using their cell phones.  Now, it’s all ages.  Ahem; that includes me and people my age!  We are just as likely to whip out the smart phone as any young person in the coffee shop.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the paintings about cell phone conversations.  And, the short trip back to 2014 and 2015.

Previous Posts:

The post Decade In Review: Cell Phone Conversations 2014 & 2015 appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Decade In Review: People As Subject in 2012 and 2013

Decade In Review: 2012 and 2013

Hi!  Continuing on in this mini review of the current decade, I’ll touch on 2012 and 2013 today.

Since yesterday I featured works from the Toy Pony collection, I thought we would switch subjects.  In 2012 and 2013 I began working with people as subject.

People as subject: "Just Sayin'...V8b. Six

The first painting is from my “Just Sayin’…” series of paintings.  My inspiration for this series was our cell and now smart phone culture.  Ummm, and yes, I’m one of those people who use one of these mobile phones.

Also, during 2012 and 2013, I was toying with the idea of working fictional or mythical characters.  And, eventually, I developed a design for a mermaid that I liked.  And, just for fun, I thought of her at night and in the moon light.

People As Subject: Mermaid With Net At Night

 

Short and, hopefully, sweet today.  I hope you enjoy the two paintings!  Thank you!

 

The post Decade In Review: People As Subject in 2012 and 2013 appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

How to Paint a Landscape in Three Different Mediums

How to Paint a Landscape in Three Different Mediums by Anita HartCarroll

Painting the same scene three different times using a different medium on each painting can be very enlightening and a lot of fun!  In our article at VeryCreate.com, I explore using pastel, acrylic and watercolor to paint a distinctive landscape of Vantage, Washington on the Columbia River. I share what I learned and what I would do differently the next time I paint the scene.

The goal of the experiment was to see how different each medium handled the same subject and if the final results were unique enough for me to pick a favorite standout.  The knowledge I gained by completing the three paintings really surprised me!

In the acrylic painting, I blew up the scale and went for high drama on canvas.  Using thin layers of paint and glazes, I was able to adjust the value planes and colors until I arrived at the point where I was happy with the final painting.  In this version it was easier to really pop the colors in the shadows on the cliffs and on the roadway.

Acrylic Painting

With pastel, I reduced the scale to a manageable 11 x 17 inches and went for juicy vibrant pastel sticks that I typically don’t use very often. This painting was the fastest and most intuitive.

Pastel Painting

The watercolor painting was painted with the most direct approach and was painted in about 45 minutes. I think it will make a terrific large watercolor but by doing the smaller study, I definitely learned what I will do differently when that time comes.  Not only is this a great time saver, but it is like being your own masterclass teacher!  I basically worked out all the buggaboos before committing to a full size sheet of expensive watercolor paper.
Watercolor painting photo: https://verycreate.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/wc-vatage2.jpg

Watercolor Painting

Having tackled the same subject three different ways gave me insights and experience that could only have come from my experiment!  I will use this knowledge each time I approach a landscape painting and file these tidbits away as golden nuggets.
Thank you!
Anita
https://verycreate.com/one-landscape-painted-with-3-different-mediums-demonstration/

Decade In Review: Toy Pony From 2010 and 2011

Decade In Review: 2010-2011; Still Life With Toy Pony, Stermer-Cox

Hi!  Just for fun, I thought I would do a mini review of the 2010 to 2019 decade.  My idea is to share two paintings a day representing a year each.  This is an exercise in contemplation, not so much one of critique.  In other words “here is where I was then”.

Decade in Review: "Still Life With Toy Pony D54", 2011 SCx

Today, I’ll start the decade review with two from my “Still Life With Toy Pony” series.  In case you are not familiar with the series, it is based on a still life I set up that included  a toy pony.  Hence the name.

The purpose of the work in series was to explore and experiment the elements of composition.  Put more simply, I ask myself questions like “what if I do this…?”

So, “Still Life with Toy Pony, #D54” is the 10th painting in the series.  And, the 2011 painting “Still Life with Toy Pony #D41” was the 12th in the series.

And, just to clarify, the “D” in the title refers to a design number.  So, “D54 refers to a painting based on my 54th design.   I did a LOT of drawings, almost 80.  But, only about 20 have been been included in the series.

Decade In Review "Still Life with Toy Pony D41; M.Stermer-Cox

The plan, then, is to share two more paintings tomorrow.

PS.  If you’d like to see three more from the Toy Pony series, click on this post:

https://stermer-cox.com/2015/01/19/still-life-toy-p…ercolors-drawing/

The post Decade In Review: Toy Pony From 2010 and 2011 appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

First Friday of 2020! Ashland Gallery Association Exhibit Openings & Artist Receptions

Join us for the January First Friday Art Walk festivities! 

January 3rd from 5 to 8 pm

ashland gallery association logo

Ashland Gallery Association Exhibit Openings & Artist Receptions

Stroll the galleries and take in the visual delights in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District.  Venture further to explore out-skirting galleries!  Enjoy this free year-round community event, filled with a diverse array of artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and lively conversation! 

January Spotlight Exhibits

Art & Soul Gallery

What a Difference a Frame Makes!

The gallery’s First Friday show also features wine and light refreshments; live music by pianist Anthony Bock, and will be on display from December 31 – February 2.

Peter Stone has been a professional picture framer for more than twenty-three years. He owned the popular Arrowhead Framing shop in Half Moon Bay, CA before moving to Ashland and Art & Soul Gallery.  He has long enjoyed the interpretive creative process and the constant creative problem solving which are custom picture framing. Peter loves the unique design opportunity that comes with each new artistic challenge.

“Every custom picture framing project comes with a story,” Peter has discovered. People only choose custom framing when the artwork has special meaning, he said. “And what is more special than our family memories!”

Pianist, Anthony Bock, a senior at SOU and a student of Dr. Tutunov, returns to Art & Soul for the third time. He effortlessly combines classical and non-classical piano music in a free and bright style, which captivates everyone listening.

Peter Stone, "sivo'ham, sivo'ham" (I am Shiva, I am Shiva)

Peter Stone, “sivo’ham, sivo’ham” (I am Shiva, I am Shiva)

Schneider Museum of Art

TWO GENERATIONS: JOE FEDDERSEN & WENDY RED STAR

On View: January 16 – March 14, 2020
Opening Reception: January 16th, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

EXHIBITION STATEMENT

This exhibition presents the work of two Northwest Indigenous artists who work across media and whose work responds, on their own terms, to historic and contemporary misrepresentations of Native Americans. Joe Feddersen, born in 1953, is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and has exhibited internationally since the early 1980’s. As a printmaker, basket maker, ceramicist and glass artist, Feddersen combines contemporary materials with Native iconography to create powerful and evocative works that explore the interrelationships between urban symbols and Indigenous landscapes.

Wendy Red Star, born in 1981, was raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star incorporates and recasts her research through photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance, offering new and unexpected perspectives on past, present, and future life. Her work is humorous, surreal, and often abrasive, yet deeply rooted in a celebration for Crow life.

JOE FEDDERSEN BIO:

Joe Feddersen, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, lives and works in Omak, WA and was a faculty member at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA from 1989 until his retirement in 2009. His work was included in Weaving Past into Present: Experiments in Contemporary Native American Printmaking at the International Print Center, New York, Autumn 2015. He has been featured in numerous national exhibitions, including Continuum 12 Artists: Joe Feddersen, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution at the George Gustav Heye Center, New York, NY, curated by Truman Lowe; Land Mark, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane, WA; and was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition and monograph, Vital Signs, organized in conjunction with Froelick Gallery and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University in Salem, OR

WENDY RED STAR BIO:

Artist Wendy Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society. Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, Red Star’s work is informed both by her cultural heritage and her engagement with many forms of creative expression, including photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star seeks to incorporate and recast her research, offering new and unexpected perspectives in work that is at once inquisitive, witty and unsettling. Intergenerational collaborative work is integral to her practice, along with creating a forum for the expression of Native women’s voices in contemporary art.

Red Star has exhibited in the United States and abroad at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fondation Cartier pour l’ Art Contemporain, Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Portland Art Museum, Hood Art Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, among others. She served a visiting lecturer at institutions including Yale University, the Figge Art Museum, the Banff Centre, National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Dartmouth College, CalArts, Flagler College, and I.D.E.A. Space in Colorado Springs. In 2017, Red Star was awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and in 2018 she received a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. In 2019 Red Star will have her first career survey exhibition at the Newark Museum in Newark New Jersey.

Red Star holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman, and an MFA in sculpture from University of California, Los Angeles. She lives and works in Portland, OR.

CURATOR MACK MCFARLAND BIO:

Mack McFarland is a cultural producer and has worked as Curator for Pacific Northwest College of Art since 2006. Currently McFarland is the Director of the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at PNCA. His exhibitions at PNCA have included commissioned projects of new works from tactical media practitioners Critical Art Ensemble, Eva and Franco Mattes, and Disorientalism.  He has also curated a review of Luc Tuymans’s printed works, a group exhibit marking the centennial of John Cage’s birth, and a comprehensive look at the process of the comic journalist Joe Sacco.  McFarland’s current question is how exhibitions and artworks can meaningfully link to our shared experience of existing together within the ongoing process of history.

Wendy Red Star, "Winter", from "The Four Seasons", Archival pigment print on Museo silver rag, 35.5 X 40 inches, Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR

Wendy Red Star, “Winter”, from “The Four Seasons”, Archival pigment print on Museo silver rag, 35.5 X 40 inches, Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR

Photographers’ Gallery (Ashland Art Center)

Kate Geary – “In the Woods”

Kate Geary’s new show, “In the Woods”, opens on Friday, January 3, 2020, at The Photographer’s Gallery at the Ashland Art Center and runs through the end of February.  

Kate’s focus in this show is on the amazing beauty and even humor in the small details of the natural world in the forest.  So often the small is obscured by the magnificence of the scene, the towering redwood or roaring waterfall.  To pause, to look downward and notice the patterns in decaying bark, the sensuous texture of exposed wood; the beauty of seed pods lying in verdant ground cover, reflections of fall color in a meandering stream, brings a new appreciation to the beauty of detail.

Kate Geary, “Reflections of Season Past,” photograph

Kate Geary, “Reflections of Season Past,” photograph

Creekside Pizza

Featuring Justin Gordon

Justin Gordon is an artist and musician living in Ashland Oregon who enjoys traditional processes that harken back to the twentieth century before the digital world inundated us with images and sounds and facsimiles of real objects. He can be found driving around in a yellow seventies pick up snapping photos or playing his original songs with his band The Holy Mackerels around town when he is not at work as a carpenter and painter.

Show runs December through January.

Justin Gordon, photograph

Justin Gordon, photograph

For more information about all of our exhibits and to download the January Gallery Tour map, please visit: www.ashlandgalleries.com  

 

Please see “Spotlight Exhibits” and the January Gallery Tour Map.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Thank you for your support of the Visual Arts in our communities!