More … Bee Cause

Last February/March, I began thinking about what I wanted to create for ArtPrize this year.

Notes from my planning phase
Notes from my planning phase

For me, my creative process begins with a thought which my mind looks at, stretches and pulls in many different directions.  To help reign in the concept, I write the thought down and continue to write everything else that flows from that one thought.  In this case, my thought was Bee Cause.  What do I visually want to say about the bees?  What cause … a cause for the bees or a cause for mankind or both?  I look at it more, and write more down.  I draw out my thoughts, literally.  Bees.  Honey. Honeycomb. Hives. Branches. Leaves. Flowers. Messages. Movement. Light. Sound.  All of it I look at to consider.

Upclose image of the backside of one of the bird kites using the bamboo splints for braces.
Upclose image of the backside of one of the bird kites using the bamboo splints for braces.

I knew I wanted it to suspend from the ceiling. I knew I loved working with the decorative papers and wanted to incorporate those into the piece. I knew I wanted it as lightweight as possible. What could give my branch structures little weight but lots of strength? Ah yes, the bamboo splints Catherine and I used last year in our bird kites. But what formation of branches? Flowers, hmm, yes, crepe paper. What color pink, white, magenta? What about the flowers’ centers? Too crazy of a detail to dwell on now. Leaves! Yes the decorative paper and the roll of green sheer fabric would be perfect! But how, how am I going to make those leaves? Glue will add more weight … sewing? Possibly. Bees … that’s a tricky one … they need to be lightweight, moveable by breezes, some color, something to possibly reflect light … plastic? Yes, a thin plastic, like from the pastry shop or grocery store. Perfect! Messages … what do I want it to say, what words? Bee Cause … what?

What helps you to work out your thought process?  I would love to hear from you!

 

 

The Gypsy Cart of Art and More

I hope you are enjoying your summer!  With the warm temperatures and cooling nights, my summer is very enjoyable.  Much art activity has gone on during the past three months.

The Gypsy Cart this past Saturday at the Farmers Market!
The Gypsy Cart this past Saturday at the Farmers Market!

Three times now, the gypsy cart of art has made it to our Farmers Market.  I’ve been very happy with the response from people enjoy the cart and my artwork!  On the cart I have smaller original paintings, prints, hand colored prints, floral garlands, notecards, bookmarks, vegetable bags, and pallet paintings (which are actually off the cart) for sale.  The market is held downtown Iron Mountain, across from the library by the stage.  If you get a chance, stop by say hello and you may the perfect piece of art for a gift.

Some of the art for sale on top of the gypsy cart.
Some of the art for sale on top of the gypsy cart.

A few weeks ago, I helped The Friends of the Braumart to put together the “framework” for the Inaugural Mostra D’Arte show, held during the week before Italian Fest weekend.  It currently is the only gallery style juried art show in Iron Mountain.  Sixteen artists, three jurors, and numerous hours of planning and setting up and striking the show, made for a wonderful exhibition of art.  I was surprised and delighted to win the Third Place Jurors Award on my watercolor painting of The Three Graces which depicted three women stomping grapes.  Sometimes hanging a show can be challenging, but I was so happy with the ease that two women and I had in curating it.  We received many positive comments regarding the hanging!

Meanwhile, up in the studio I’ve been framing watercolor and ink paintings to hang in the gallery.  This is the week I plan to rehang!  During the week, feel free to stop by the gallery downstairs to see what’s new.

The Dig In and Bike On project continues to move along.  Through Kickstarter, 3 racks have been funded and created. Outside of Kickstarter, 3 racks are ordered and a voice agreement for another.  Ronnie Bradke is doing a fantastic job of fabricating the racks.  Two have been installed in the downtown and I hope the third can be installed this week in time for the Labor Day weekend.

May the rest of your summer and the coming weekend bring you much delight!

Joan

Boulder Creek Painting and Photo

Boulder Creek photo w painting

Many times I’ll capture a photo of a beautiful place with the intention to someday paint it.  Now as I write this, you need to understand that creating a painting from a photo is not the same as to make it look just like the photograph.  If that is the intent, why bother in the first place, just use the photo.

I use the photo as reference for shapes and placement.  If you look at the picture above you will see my original photo of Boulder Creek and the unfinished painting.  The original photo is dark due to the overcast day.  I love to use color and using brighter colors, especially compared to the muted tones in the photo, gives the painting more life and joy than the photo.  The color gives me more of the emotion of how I feel when I think of Boulder Creek.  I use the photo to get a general idea of placement, a starting point for a composition, not as a compulsion to put every single bush, branch and stone into my painting.  The photo is a starting point only.