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Santelli’s stream of consciousness

Minstream 17, Bill Santelli, colored pencil on paper

A three-person exhibition, Constellations, featuring paintings, drawings, and installation works by Sara Baker Michalak, Bill Santelli, and Mizin Shin will open shortly at Main Street Arts. It’s curated around the commonality of their work. Each, in different ways, builds a patterned image—loosely or with gridded regularity—that aims for the cosmic. As with every painting, the particulars matter because of their unity within the whole work, but in this case the particulars are mostly effaced within the flow of what’s happening everywhere else.

I’ve known Bill for years and was pleased to hear that he’d been invited into this show, having seen these new drawings on Instagram over the past year. Like his Prismacolor drawings in the Path series, these explorations of thought—the honeycomb of ovals suggestive of thinking’s fragmented flow—represent a patient, repetitive and extremely disciplined practice using the simplest combinations of tone and line. In the Path series, he creates long, languid and pliant streaks of color that evoke tall grass bending in a breeze, where each line creates cells of pale monochrome. They are like leaded panes of stained glass, but also look surprisingly like glimpses of dawn breaking over wetlands.

In these newer drawings, his colors are even simpler and richer, and the minimalism of the Path drawings has been reduced to a grid of loops with less reference to nature. When I asked him to describe what went into the drawings, he wrote “I began these drawings after reading about the concept of ‘mindstream’ in Buddhist philosophy, which is described as . . . the moment-to-moment flow of sense impressions and mental phenomena.”

He offered some background on his preoccupations in this work. He’s been reading a lot about Krishnamurti—a long-standing source of inspiration for his work—and watching videos of his talks. Krishnamurti’s focus consistently returned to a mindfulness that pulls back from the conscious mind’s endless jabber, the flow of that in-the-head narrator. He urged his listeners to impartially observe the operation of their own minds in an attempt to disengage from the grip of reactive thought and action. (Isn’t that a good phrase for our current national disease?) These drawings, for Santelli, grapple with his awareness of his own thought bubbles, as it were, floating past as he meditates or walks—pulling him away from being fully present and aware. Krishnamurti’s central point is to get his practitioner to disengage and become an observer of everything the mind is doing–to simply be aware of it all, and that awareness alone will awaken a kind of intelligence that isn’t simply conscious reasoning. It’s a bit like the Greeks referred to as nous. If you see yourself clearly, down to the roots of your behavior and thinking, both of those are changed as a result of that clarity.

Not that this is necessarily what Santelli is attempting to represent here. But it’s related. As he puts it in his statement for the show: “As with all my work, the drawings are an introspective process – I find myself reflecting on the inner journey, about letting go of old forms and opening to new ones, of balancing the path inward with the pathway outward. The choreography of shapes and colors creates a motion across the paper, a fluid yet gently turbulent “mindstream” that arises and passes away in each moment.”

As with the Path series, these drawings are in colored pencil—mostly Prismacolors in the ultramarine and dark gold images. He’s also working with Caran d’ache Luminance pencils in the brighter work for “a palette shift.”  He says, “The Caran d’ache colors are really nice, but each pencil costs almost $5!” he joked. When I asked about his shift from the Path series to this new mode, he said he continues to do the Path work, but they take much longer to complete.

He’ll be showing one 22 x 30 inch drawing in this Mindstream series and the rest are much smaller.  For those he worked with strips of paper cut from larger sheets used with the bigger work. “I had these strips laying around and I was able to get the most individual paintings by cutting the strips down to 5.75” x 8”. I’m happy with what I’m doing in the Mindstream work.”

I asked why the ovals? “I have used geometric shapes (circles, squares, triangles, rectangles) in other series of drawings I’ve done.  But the oval, hardly ever.  Visually, I think of the oval more as a form for these considering drawings (inspired by forms and shapes I was seeing on my morning walks), and also what I was trying to convey – which was (and here he quoted his statement in progress) “a choreography of shape/form moving across the paper – each individual shape/form representing a separate thought, that would arise and fall away as I worked.”

Love for the Win

“Heart Wins,” from the Take Heart series

Once upon a time, I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s reviewing the previous year, evaluating it, and forecasting/goalcasting the year ahead. You might say I was an overachiever with  resolutions.

Some years, I was bullet-point specific. Like when I determined to go on an archaeological dig, learn salsa dancing, and take up archery: check, check, check. (I discovered that I hated the heat and dirt of the dig, I wasn’t a fan of prescribed dance steps, but I was a decent aim.)

 

Other years, I was more open-ended, listing four to five feelings I wanted to cultivate. Once, I painted a four-point compass with harmony at its center and joy, peace, prosperity, and grace as its north, south, east, and west.

 

At the end of December 2019, while housesitting at a lovely home, high on a hill—as I had for many years—I sat in front of the fire and started my review and projection. 

 

Or I tried to. 

 

I even had a fancy calendar that led you through all the steps with lots of questions to answer and blanks to fill in. (I should note that I am very good about answering all the questions and filling in all the blanks.) And yet, as I flipped through the pages I usually looked forward to filling, I found myself completely uninspired by all the specificity. 


For once, I didn’t want to grip the steering wheel of my life so hard and beeline for the next goal. And believe me: I can beeline! From putting myself through undergraduate and graduate school on scholarships to getting a grant to write poetry in Germany for a year to all manner of less scholastic but equally daunting goals since: I. Get. It. Done. 

 

But those last days before 2020, I didn’t want to get it all done. Because I had a hunch that there were things waiting to happen if I were willing to let go of my limited ideas of what I could achieve and maintain in my own strength. And so, to my surprise, I found myself writing the word “Love” in big, loose cursive across all those usually inviting blanks I was “supposed” to fill in.

 

Fun facts: Just over a month into 2020, I began dating an old friend. Then he proposed. Then we got married. And we have spent the last half year learning the intricacies of love—and I could not have forecast any of them!

 

So, for 2021, I didn’t buy the fancy, fill-in-the-blank calendar. In fact, I’m using one of those free company calendars. I’m keeping it simple. And I’m metaphorically writing love across every month. 

 

And on this Day of Epiphany—a feast day celebrating the manifestation of the One who is Love—I invite the continual manifestation of Love to us all…in all its unpredictable forms, across all the days of this year.  

Monastic. Cheap. Admirable.

Does anyone still remember those skits on Conan from more than two decades ago where President Clinton would appear as a digital mask worn by Robert Smigel? The writer did a ludicrous, but hilarious, impersonation of Bubba as a Southern party boy living it up and getting away with everything and anything. “I gotsta gotsta have my snacks,” he crowed. And he was talking as much about Monica Lewinski as a side of French fries. A still shot of Clinton’s face on the monitor was lowered into the guest position beside Conan’s desk and within that motionless and grinning face, Smigel’s real-time mouth displaced Clinton’s lips—the writer’s mouth speaking his lines while the President’s face was still frozen into that vote-getting, Teflon grin. It was very funny and outrageous, and it would probably be impossible to perform these days, given much of what was being said, for many reasons. It was so over-the-top and explicit that it took on a reality all its own. (Come to think of it, that would be a good way to describe much of the art world over the last century.)

Those Smigel skits were the first thing that struck me when I saw these $100 portraits of women at The New York Times. The eyes in some of them look as if it were somehow possible to have Photoshopped them into the paintings, like Smigel’s good-old-boy accent. Could the paintings have been done on top of the photographs used as a support? Regardless, they’re good. I loved those boundary-testing skits on Conan, because they simply pointed out that when someone is doing what you want him to do, he can get away with nearly everything else in his life. Again, like the rules that once obtained in the art world. (Rewatching the first season of The Wire this week confirmed that lesson as well in terms of Baltimore politics and law enforcement as observed by David Simon.) In my view, the ends are never enough to justify the means, and integrity matters, but I may be in the minority these days.

In these one painting-per-day style portraits, Jean Smith conveys a subject’s eyes with an eerie photographic precision about how the cornea and iris reflect light, but the eyes are framed by a gesturally primitive mask. These souls are looking out at you from behind their own almost graffiti faces. A few of them I wish I’d bought: I mean, why not, for $100? But I like them. Yet her point is to undermine the economy that continues to push the ownership of visual art into an elite economic ghetto of the uber wealthy.

I shouldn’t be talking this way. The work I’m doing now takes weeks without it’s done without interruptions, usually a minimum of four weeks per painting, but also as long as two months with the sort of interruptions that you face when you actually have a life outside the studio, as I still do. No one can afford to put in four to six to eight weeks on a painting that sells for $100. But the point Nick Marino makes in his piece for the Times is that artists aren’t even reaping the actual profits of what has become an extension of the stock market—paintings are now purchased for high prices at the start and then their value is repeatedly inflated through resale or auction, simply as some corollary to day trading Silicon Valley stocks or investing in Bitcoin. (This can’t last. Our financially leveraged economic boom will not continue forever. The art world bubble will burst along with the others, but it may go on for quite a while.)

I love the idea of doing paintings quickly and selling them for unusually low prices. Jim Mott and Harry Stooshinoff are making wonderful, even remarkable paintings in this mode, along with many others. These quick portraits of women offer a continuous experimentation in ways of seeing and representing nothing more than how light lands on an individual face and how the eyes look out from the prison that personhood can seem—when in fact human individuality is the greatest miracle of life.

Excerpts from Marino’s piece:

I can appreciate that beauty has monetary value, particularly for the one and only example of a particular exquisiteness. Someone spent time making it, and that person should be compensated. But even modest artworks can be out of reach for almost anyone who’s not a real estate mogul, shipping magnate, stockbroker or oil baron. Under the sanctimonious cover of “arts patronage,” these plutocrats use art to launder their money, trading up the value of young artists and enriching one another in the process. The artists, meanwhile, get paid only once, on the initial sale. The end result is (artwork) that costs as much as a Honda Civic.

Opting not to use a gallery, Smith listed each of her works on Facebook for the ludicrously low price of $100. She could certainly charge more, but the egalitarian price is the point. It’s her version of the $5 tickets Fugazi used to sell to its all-ages shows — and anyway, she has never needed much to survive. For the past quarter-century, she has lived alone and monastically in an apartment without a sofa or kitchen table (she eats off a filing cabinet), and her monthly expenses, including rent and utilities, total about $1,000. She only needs to sell 10 pieces per month to break even — though that has never been her problem.

Well, that’s all she needs to make if she doesn’t pay taxes. But at that level of income, she wouldn’t need to pay taxes. He points out that having created an insatiable demand for her low-budget art, she can’t keep up with it. The question is, does she keep her prices low or do what the free market naturally does when demand far exceeds supply: let prices rise as far as demand will lift them. I’m guessing it will depend on whether she ever gets a mortgage. I hope she continues to live monastically, as Marino describes her lifestyle. Monastic is almost always unimpeachable as a way to live, especially for an artist. Thoreau, or “Pond Scum” as The New Yorker referred to him once (at the link, you’ll see a note at the bottom of the essay pointing out the original headline), proved that monastic individuality isn’t such a bad way to live until people come in the winter and start cutting up your pond and selling it as blocks of ice.

The other takeaway here: hey, Facebook is still good for something.

Stencil’s Greetings!

Hello you beautiful friends and artists!

How are you? May you know peace and joy in your lives, this holiday season and always! Sending a warm welcome to a whole bunch of students from The Bookmaker group on Facebook are who new to my letter! We are having a special time in The Bookmaker, and you can still join us. We would love to have you, and I’m extending my participation in the class through the end of December!

And I have something else exciting to tell you about as well!

Top left: Songbird of Hope and (new) grass from Leaf and Grass, Top right: Paint Blossom (new), Bottom left: Be Strong (bear) and Stony Path (new), Bottom right: Explore (turtle) and Garden Rows (new)

I am overjoyed to announce…
My brand-new stencil designs at StencilGirl Products!

Six brand-new sheets of my own design just launched at StencilGirl. I have been dreaming of the ideas and working out the images for months and am so excited to be able to finally offer them to you! They are only $5 each, so collect them all for yourself and loved ones!

When I designed these new stencils, I was abstracting designs in nature. These stencils work great in a stand-alone work of art, in an art journal, or any other way you want to get creative with them.

Keep Still (bird) and Stitched Flower (new) — I just love sharing what these stencils can do!

Psst… Guess what!

My next online workshop, coming soon in January, will be based on my stencil designs and other yummy images that you, my students, will draw yourselves!

As always, my work and my teaching includes symbols, which I love.

Citrus Slice (new) and Keeper of the Ridge (ram) — I cannot wait to see what you do with my new stencil designs!

Check out the StencilGirl Talk blog for details on all six brand-new sheets of stencils!

Stony Path and leaves from Leaf and Grass (both new) — all stencils available on my StencilGirl page. Click photos to shop.

Are you on the hunt for gift ideas for yourself or others?

Consider…

* A carry-all bag from Art of Where!

*An online workshop!

*A book or two: Storytelling with Collage or Dancing on Raindrops!

Garden Rows, New! Click the photos to shop for all of my stencils!

Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a magical new year!

Roxanne Evans-Stout

Mannerly, Bannerly

This little poem is my wish & my wonder for the New Year:  


Mannerly, Bannerly

 

When all manner of bad 

lands in our laps, 

and the mean things 

land in our news feed,

what if, 

instead of responding 

in kind,

we respond in kindness?

What if 

we invite the other to dinner,

polish our best manners,

and serve goodness?

What if

we lift a banner of love,

lifting each other up,

until there is no other?  



*The illustration above is from Blessings: A Children’s Book for Grown-ups, cowritten with my dear mom, Jan Elkins         

 

Grants Pass Museum of Art December News



December 2020 eNews

Wow – I can’t believe it’s really almost the end of the year. I think, (and I think most people think) that it’s time to be rid of the year 2020. So many trying things happened and so many people have been impacted.
We are grateful to be here. The museum has stayed relatively stable during this weird time – thanks to many generous people and foundations. Sadly we were unable to have the majority of our programs this year. We DO have great plans for next year. The exhibition department has the 2021 exhibit schedule lined up. Art in the Garden is slated to happen – it’s in June and it’s outdoors – so we think it will be okay.

Our biggest fundraiser, Black, White, & the Blues is going virtual in February so stay tuned for more exciting information about that.
And, the best news of all is that we are going to open on December 3 with limited days and hours. We will be open Thursdays through Saturday from 11am – 3pm and will stay open on Fridays until 6pm. The membership exhibit is up and really worth seeing. Over 50 member artists are represented. Do come and visit. We require masks and there is plenty of room to social distance. I consider us one of the safest public spaces in town!

We look forward to seeing many of you.

In the meantime, stay safe.

Enjoy! Hyla Executive Director Click here to visit our website Current Exhibition This year the membership exhibit is a little different. Because of social distancing guidelines, we did not put up the extra partitions for the exhibit.

We have over fifty different artists exhibiting their work. There are all kinds of art to enjoy.

Open days and hours through December 19 Thursday & Saturday 11am – 3pm Fridays 11am – 6pm Then – starting January 7 open days and hours through January 22 Thursday through Saturday 11am – 3pm
This is a good opportunity to see what wonderful talent we have in Southern Oregon and to see some of your favorite artist’s creations.
We hope to see you! Here’s a virtual tour of the Membership Exhibit using the new camera we purchased with money from a Josephine County Cultural Coalition grant. We haven’t totally excelled in its use – but this will give you an idea of what you should come and see in person! Click the picture to take a tour.
“A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts,” according to artist Sir Joshua Reynolds  (The Membership Exhibit includes other art forms besides pictures!) Giving Tuesday We have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. On December 1 we’ll unite for a worldwide celebration of generosity. People around the globe will come together in unity and showing kindness and generosity in all its forms by giving their voice, time, money, goods, and advocacy to support communities and causes.  If the museum is one of your choices – CLICK HERE TO DONATE! Classes! Bobbi Baldwin is an artist living in California. She has taught a few classes at the museum in the past and has been Zooming classes for her own students. We are fortunate in having her teach some special classes just for us. In Bobbi’s words: “As a teacher, I must first see my students as individuals and second as a budding artist. Each person I encounter comes to the easel with a different set of learning skills and life lessons. It is my intent to give wings to my students feather by feather. I once heard that the measure of a good teacher is only through the students who surpass them. I look forward to seeing my students inspire the world with their own work.”

This was a series of six classes. Four are left. You can sign up for one or all. Each class is $25 for members and $30 for non-members AND she will make the class recording available for download for $20 so you can watch it over and over on your own time. The classes are two hours long on certain Fridays in November, December, and January from 10:00am until Noon. The class will consist of a 1.5-hour lecture and demonstration and then discussing your own work. You can use your favorite medium. SIGN UP HERE Happenings Shoefly Oregon is open! We are so excited. Sydney and Alan have been very busy remodeling the space for their store. Located downstairs from the museum. Be sure and check out the variety. Their hours are Tues – Fri 11am – 6pm, Sat 10am – 6pm, & Sun 10am – 3pm.
Meet Sydney and Kobi! If you would like to have a private shopping experience – we are happy to open the gallery just for you. We are offering private shopping for customers limiting going out in public. They may make an appointment by calling, 541 476 3220.

Come in and shop in a safe and clean environment. It’s a fabulous place to buy all sorts of art and great greeting cards. There are more than five dozen artists represented in the gallery.
Some end of year information
There are a couple of really good options for donations to the museum that will benefit your tax situation. It’s best to consult your accountant – but here are two really good ideas: Note, a special measure in the CARES Act (the coronavirus relief bill) allows taxpayers to take an above-the-line deduction for up to $300 in charitable donations beginning in 2020. This means, even if you take the standard deduction, you can still claim up to $300 in donations for 2020 when you file your taxes in 2021. AND If you donated to any arts, heritage or humanities nonprofits in Oregon this year, you can double your impact for FREE through the Oregon Cultural Trust tax credit. More information on their website. CLICK HERE! This short video can explain the system – it’s from last year but it’s still the same information for 2019.
How to: The Oregon Cultural Trust Tax Credit
Help keep the museum free for all!

The museum does not receive government funding (other than grants from the Josephine County Cultural Coalition and the Oregon Cultural Trust via JCCC). So keeping the doors open depends on grants, donations, memberships, sponsorships, and rent from the street level businesses (Shoefly and Gallery One). You can do one time donations and you can also do monthly donations. It’s easy – and we appreciate you very much! On additional side benefit – the foundations who offer grants are very pleased to see community involvement. Your donations show your support! You can DONATE by clicking here Monthly donations are so amazing. They add up quickly. Just $10 a month means a donation to the museum of $120 for the year. That’s fabulous. Please consider this option.
The payments safely charged to your credit card. Be a “Monthly Sustainer” and click here! You can also call us at 541-479-3290 or send mail to us at Grants Pass Museum of Art, P.O. Box 966, Grants Pass, OR 97528 Do you shop on Amazon? This quarter, we received $24.29. Every little bit helps a lot. Thank you! Did you know that if you go to a special link called Amazon Smile you can choose a nonprofit to benefit from your purchase. Each nonprofit has a unique link. Here’s the portal you can use for the museum. Every little bit helps! CLICK HERE or click the picture to shop and benefit the museum.The best part is that it doesn’t cost you any extra!

THANK YOU! If you get this far…. Cooking is an art. Cooking can be art. See for yourself!
Pie art: One baker's delicious designs
Grants Pass Museum of Art | 229 SW G St, Grants Pass, OR 97528

The Natural Earth Paint Monthly


Artist of the Month: Marijn Westmijze-Steemers
Check out our recent interview with Marijn Westmijze-Steemers, an illustrator and doll-maker with a love for natural beauty and a mission to live authentically and love the planet!
Read More
Holiday Eco-Brand Giftaway!
We’re hosting a holiday giftaway on Instagram with four of our Oregon-based eco-brand friends, with a prize of $400 in gift cards! Check out our latest post for more details on how to enter. 
Enter Now

Oil Paint Mixing Process Video
Check out this beautiful video filmed by Rose @a.u.r.a.l.u.n.a on Instagram; nothing could be more relaxing! And, she does a phenomenal job creating oil paint with our Brilliant Yellow pigment. What a great mini-tutorial!
Watch Now
Tell us how we’re doing!
Love our newsletter, or think we could make some improvements? Fill out our Newsletter Survey to provide us with feedback!

Want to get creative with your favorite Natural Earth Paint pigments?

Check out the Recipes section of our website for innovative uses of our products for fine artists and families!

Have questions about our eco-friendly products? Visit our FAQ page or send us an email at [email protected]

Interested in purchasing from Natural Earth Paint? Visit our Website for more details on our high-quality, non-toxic, and eco-friendly products.

Holiday Gift Guide Sale – Central Art Supply

Happy holidays to our entire art community! It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is once again upon us, it has been quite the eventful and memorable year for everyone. We are approaching the holiday season with a lot of hope, cheer, and celebration.

Many of us have kicked off the festive mood early, because why not? It just seems like a great way to end a year – with the spirit of the holidays to help lift our hearts and to share goodness to those we love. Central Art is here to help you find the perfect creative gift for the artist in your life – or to give you something to put on your own wish list. 

Our Holiday Gift Guide Sale is going on now through December 31st, 2020! Whether your gifting/receiving plans are in-house, drive-by or virtual this year, Central Art will be here to provide you with helpful suggestions, stocking stuffer ideas, and any additional inspiration you require while selecting the perfect gifts for your creative crew! Not sure what to select for that special artist in your life? Gift cards are a perennial favorite, and we offer those too!

Staying home this year? No problem! Now you can shop our store online at centralartsupply.com! Just search “Holiday” and hundreds of products will come up. You can narrow your search for different departments as well. When you are finished shopping you can decide if you want to have it shipped, pick up in-store, pick up curbside, or have it delivered locally for orders over $30.  However, if you are crafting your holiday celebrations this year, we hope you stay healthy and stay inspired as you find new ways to bring the family together! Keep calm and Art On!  

Cheers from the entire Central Art family!

Dan, Ann, Adam, Alex, Anne, Yasmine, Jon, Lara, Leland

Above the Fog, Above the Fray

 

On Saturday, I went Christmas-tree-hunting with my new extended family. We drove out of the foggy valley in trucks, careening up old logging roads into the mountains until we hit sunshine—and snow. 

 

The day was a catalog of goodness: Leftover turkey sandwiches by the fire (and roasting of “snow marshmallows”). Gentle, sunny walks for some…sledding (and wiping out) for others. Hot cocoa with whipped cream, optionally spiked with peppermint schnapps (yes, please).

 

It was a very good day to get away. Besides taking a break on Thanksgiving afternoon for our meal, Jared had spent every other daylight minute of the holiday weekend bricking the new house, and I had been staining its cedar shingles. 

 

Tree-hunting and snow-playing were welcome respites. When the sun and fire got low, we all piled back into the trucks and started for home. Through the forest, we kept glimpsing a lake of fog still covering the valley. And then, before descending back down the mountain toward home, we came to a clearing and saw this view.

 

Up on that rise, we felt warmth and had perspective. Back beneath the fog, we felt the cold and had limited visibility. But beyond what we can feel and see in our valleys—geographical or emotional—a higher elevation rises above us.

 

Whole days can feel like they look: heavy and damp and dark.

 

But. 

 

Looking above the fog, I reminded myself that even when we can’t always get to a higher vantage with our physical bodies, we always can with our hearts and minds. 

 

This photo is for all of us on the days when we’re stuck below—in the fog and in the fray. A reminder that, above what seems oppressive and heavy, there stretches a bright, wide scope of possibility. Until the fog lifts, we can choose to enjoy the lights on the tree and the warmth of the wood stove. And maybe a bit of peppermint schnapps in our cocoa. 

 

Gratitude and joy to you,

 

Anna

Online Classes with Bobbi Baldwin

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Bobbi Baldwin is an artist living in California. She has taught a few classes at the museum in the past and has been Zooming classes for her own students. We are fortunate in having her teach some special classes just for us. In Bobbi’s words: “As a teacher, I must first see my students as individuals and second as a budding artist. Each person I encounter comes to the easel with a different set of learning skills and life lessons. It is my intent to give wings to my students feather by feather. I once heard that the measure of a good teacher is only through the students who surpass them. I look forward to seeing my students inspire the world with their own work.” This is a series of six classes. You can sign up for one or all. Each class is $25 for members and $30 for non-members AND she will make the class recording available for download for $20 so you can watch it over and over on your own time. The classes are two hours long on certain Fridays in November, December, and January from 10:00am until Noon. The class will consist of a 1.5-hour lecture and demonstration and then discussing your own work. You can use your favorite medium.
We hope to “see” you in class. We know you will enjoy your experience. Take care, Hyla Executive Director
Grants Pass Museum of Art | 229 SW G Street, Grants Pass, OR 97526