Drawing at the Jundt Art Museum

This week I’ve been drawing at the Jundt Art Museum on the Gonzaga campus, in Spokane. I joined four other artists, Margot Casstevens, Kurt Madison, Carl Richardson, and Roger Ralston in an invitational exhibition, Drawn to the Wall V. We each have a museum wall, about 8 by 12 feet, as our drawing surface, and two weeks to complete our work. I don’t want to be a spoiler so I’ll show just a few photos now, and more pics after the opening.

Day #1

Day #1

The exhibition opens September 6, with a reception September 12, 6-8 pm. The following morning we will join the Jundt Director/Curator for a museum walk-through, September 13, at 10:30 am. The show closes October 12.

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Day #2

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Making a Mark

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Unhomelike #10, Her Head

A fabulous show just opened, Making a Mark: Drawing in Oregon, and three of my drawings from the Unhomelike Series are included. There will be a reception April 12, 5:30-7:30 at the Arts Center, and two special lectures are scheduled. April 18th, Andrew Myers will talk about his work and the significance of drawing. Clint Brown, OSU Professor Emeritus will give an historical overview with images from art history on May 3rd.

The Arts Center • 700 SW Madison Ave. Corvallis, OR • 12-5, Tue-Sat

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Unhomelike #5, Bent

Opening at the Au Naturel Exhibit

Clint Brown is the juror for this year’s annual exhibit Au Naturel:The Nude in the 21st Century. He’s a professor Emeritus at Oregon State University and the author of two books on art, and my neighbor…we recently met and I discovered he lives just over the hill.

I’ve participated in Au Naturel in the past (first place award and solo show, 2007) and am happy to be included again this year. Clint chose two of my drawings, Balanced and Three Chairs.

Balanced

Balanced

In 2007 while living in Idaho, my husband and I strapped my over-sized drawing to our car roof for the drive to Astoria. That’s not an option I consider anymore- bubble wrap can chafe plexiglass, even inside a box, at 60 mph in a headwind.

The exhibit runs from February 21st – March 28, 2013. An opening reception is Thursday, March 7 at 6:00 pm.

Clatsop Community College, The Art Center Gallery, 1799 Lexington Ave. Astoria, Oregon.

Click here more information and images at the Au Naturel Exhibit.

New Work at The Art Spirit Gallery

I’m heading to Idaho with new work for a show that opens Friday, August 10.  Carey Weigand and I will be joining forces- her sculptures and my drawings- for a clay and charcoal synergy!

The opening reception is part of Coeur d’Alene’s ArtWalk, from 5-8. I will give a drawing demonstration in the gallery from 1-4 on Saturday, August 11.

The show will be up through September 8, at The Art Spirit Gallery, 415 Sherman Ave, open every day from 11-6.

Take a peek at the Undressing Room

I’m delivering a drawing to Portland’s Froelick Gallery this week for an exhibition of contemporary nudes, entitled Undressing Room. There are numerous receptions -I’ll be at the preview reception Wednesday, June 6, from 5 to 8-  and the show will be up for the June and July 1st Thursday events.

Click on the Undressing Room link above to see more work from the show, or visit the Froelick facebook page. The gallery is in Portland’s Pearl District, 714 NW Davis St. Tuesday – Saturday, 10:30-5:30.

Animation Continuation

Step 2: Research

I’ve been working since last September on a drawing project that uses stop-motion animation. You may recall that I began this project last summer with a 19 second animated video Train Sequence. That was Step 1, a mini-movie to test the stop-motion process. My goal at that time was to incorporate the 19 second piece into a 4 minute animation, to be completed by August 2012. I  begin shooting and editing in July so I thought this would be a good time to look back at the production process up to this point.

I’ve completed 26 drawings which are the basis of the animation. Similar to the way illustrations accompany a picture book that are tied to a narrative, the drawings are motivated  by the text of Josh Ritter’s song Wings.

Travel

In addition to online resources and library texts, I visited some of the physical sites mentioned in the song.  I began with a trip to the Cataldo Mission, near Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Originally a Jesuit mission, it’s said to be the oldest standing building in Idaho. Most of my life I’ve lived no more than 50 miles from this historic site, but this was my first visit.

Inside the mission are wooden statues on either side of the vaulted dome ceiling. Carved and painted to resemble marble, they were made by Father Ravalli, a Jesuit priest who was also a sculptor, painter and designer of the mission. Like an elaborate stage set, the building’s interior is full of his faux-finished structures and ornamentation: hand-painted newspaper “wallpaper,” tin can metalwork “chandelier”,  and faux marble carved wooden altar and baptismal font. Working with Schitsu’ umsh tribe members, Ravalli used only the tools and materials that were available, including cat hair paintbrushes, and paints made from plants and berries.

In January of this year, I wandered into the CREHST museum in Richland Washington, looking for a little information on the area since the Columbia River Basin is mentioned in several stanzas.  Not only does the museum cover the history of the Columbia River drainage,  it also has a special collection  of paraphernalia from the Hanford Plutonium Project, enabling me to skip the research trip to Hanford.

The museum docents, former employees of the Hanford Project, encouraged me make the 25 mile trip to Hanford and tour the site.

They said it’s quite safe… hmm. They also said, that as a “downwinder” I’m more likely to die from the affects of radon gas, than anything leaked from Hanford.

And finally, I needed to research the process of how a tree becomes a board. So last week I joined a group tour of the Hull Oakes Sawmill, near Monroe Oregon. It’s one of the last commercial steam-powered sawmills in the U.S.

Scene 17 begins with a drawing of a lumber mill that comes to life with animation. I grew up in a mill town so I’m not clueless about the process, but I thought I better double-check.

My plan is that  trees will “leave” the hillsides, move through the water, up a conveyer, into the mill, and become stacks of boards in the lumberyard.  Of course Hull Oakes has several people (not computers) involved in these steps: unloading the logs from trucks into the river, running machines, grabbing logs with a spiked tool, directing the cuts,  shunting jagged boards to the waste bins, lowering the circular saw, etc.  I have the luxury of leaving people out…it’s only an 8 second scene.

 

Art about Agriculture

Field Burn #4

I’ve been invited to participate in Oregon State University’s annual exhibition of Art About Agriculture, along with 13 other artists from the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. Two drawings from my on-going series of Field Burns  are in this show, which runs from April 2-27.

Field Burn #7

There will be an artists’ reception April 5, 6:00-8:00 pm, at the Giustina Art Gallery; located on the OSU campus in the LaSells Stewart Center, Western and 26th Street, Corvallis Oregon. The show travels to Madras Oregon where it can be seen at the Art Adventure Gallery, June 1-26.

Ch-ch-ch-changes in Charcoal

Untitled (Crowd)

We’ve been busy here at Black Thumb Studio, just like Santa’s workshop, trying to make that December deadline.  I’ll be delivering and installing 20 drawings at Columbia Basin College in a show of Drawings and Ceramics that opens January 9, 2012. Sculptor Carolyn Nelson and I will show at the CBC’s Esvelt Gallery through February 2, and we’ll both be on hand at the opening reception January 10th, 7 pm.  Come join us if you’re in the Tri-cities area.

Crowd drawing, early stage

This drawing of a crowd has an obvious compositional problem -a bit busy on the right side – but I resisted the need to make dramatic changes to this drawing.  I liked the hint of landscape and quiet pastoral setting.  Why can’t this crowd just live here, happily shoved up against the right edge of the paper, absorbed in something that’s happening beyond the left edge?

Sometimes you can’t have what you want… after six months of unsatisfactory solutions, I transplanted them to the city and they’re much happier now, though they may need a new title.

Contour line ritual

I started several drawing projects during last month’s residency Artists @ Work. While most of these drawings involved charcoal, I had one daily ritual that required clean hands.

Every morning I began the work day with a blind contour line drawing. Using a fine point marker on square sheets of paper, I drew what I saw in front of me with a continuous line, moving around and across the surfaces of objects, architectural structures, and people.

          

-list from illustrator Tim Dose

What makes these drawings quirky (some would say ugly) is the “blind” part of this process. Here are the rules: Do not look at your paper, only at the objects you’re drawing. Start at the edge of the paper and move slowly along observed contours, with your hand and eyes working in tandem. Do not stop or lift the pen until you run off the edge of the paper.

My goal was to create a 2-D representation of the 3-D space and a record of our residency, by beginning and ending at the same point. Instead, I started with the piano in the southeastern corner of the building and ended with Hester at the computer, in the northeastern corner. I spent too much time hung up on the ceiling.

I’m now in the process of connecting the 19 sheets in an accordion format. Using a sewing machine with white thread, I’m having fun linking the pages together with sewn/drawn shapes that describe what I can remember of the space – windows, podiums, a ladder, etc.

Friends and fellow resident artists Gale and Julia joined me for a group blind sketch: 

Mike Bergen's drawing of Carol

 

Animated drawing

Artists @ Work week 2 and 3:

I switched my focus the last two weeks of the residency from “crowd drawings”  to an animation project, based on the process used by South African artist William Kentridge. I’m animating a song lyric, 4 minutes in length, and this 19 second sequence is about half of the second stanza. It’s like a “rough draft” that allowed me to experiment with the process.

Draw mountain valley, “click”…

I layered multiple drawings and erasures on the same sheet of paper, usually making incremental changes that I photographed at each stage. After 6 days, I had 103 images viewed at 3 frames/second for the train sequence.

Draw gray smudge, "click"...

Enlarge gray smudge, "click"

Use eraser to make white rocks fly from smudge, "click"

It may be fortuitous coincidence, synchronicity, or divine intervention, but the public component of this residency turned my little project into a truly collaborative work. These guys wandered into the Arts Center and shared their knowledge: artist Bill Shumway, animator Matthew Coffin,  film editor Paul Ahrens, and Chris Gray, single-gauge railroad aficionado.