Wednesday, October 26, 2011

About A Stone

Many years ago in college at UNLV, I was first introduced to printmaking processes and fell in love with the stones. I loved printmaking, the feel of the paper, the sound of the ink rolling out on the glass. Stone Lithography was my favorite printmaking process. I loved the feel of the stones, the process of grinding them to a new smooth finish, the ease of drawing and painting the image onto the stone and the history! The history in the stones for me was something magical. How many works of art had been created, printed and ground away and where did these huge stones come from? It was something that the artist experiences in creating the work but not something that is transmitted to the view in the final work. It was like our own little secret.

Art image shown here is a stone lithograph titled "Billiards Player at Good Dog" by Charles Coates.

At a recent art opening that I was participating in at the Tubac Center of the Arts for the exhibit, "Working With Paper", I was impressed by the printmaking of Tucson artist, Charles Coates. I met Charles at the opening reception and had a great conversation about working on Stone Lithography and the history involved in the stones. He shared a story of picking up a crate of stones with a UA professor and finding work from the 1800's still on a stone. They printed the image before cleaning the stone for new works of art. There is something very powerful about the history and letting go of the old and bringing in the new with stone lithography.

To see more of Charles' work, click here to visit his website.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who's Your Mentor?

As artists we are often isolated, working alone in our studios, creating the next great masterpiece, at least, that's what we think. Its important to get feedback and critique in order to know you are not just living in your head and also to be able to grow as an artist. In the past I had joined groups and taken classes and workshops to keep me connected and learning. But there was always still something more that I needed that I wasn't getting that I knew would help me expand and move into the next level with my work.

After taking two wonderful abstract painting classes at The Drawing Studio in Tucson which really helped me get out of a rut, moving from 6+ years of almost exclusively painting with encaustic, to painting large abstract paintings on cavas with acrylic, I discovered an artist's website whose work I very much admired. I was very excited to read on her website that she offered mentoring. Ding! This is just what I needed. I happened to be heading back to WA, where she lived to visit my sons and we arranged to meet. For the next 3 months we had weekly skype meetings where she encouraged and critiqued my work. I felt motivated to meet her weekly challenges and produced more work over the last few months with what I feel to be HUGE breakthroughs with my work than in the many years past.

Jeane Myers is a contemporary abstract mixed media artist and a fabulous mentor/art coach. If you need a kick in the pants and some encouraging words along the way, Jeane can take you there.