Tuesday, June 5, 2012

North Carolina!

I've wrapped up my plein air workshop session this afternoon in North Carolina! Tomorrow starts the studio session. After meeting briefly in our classroom at NC State, we spent our first day at Yates Mill County Park which boasts a historic Mill, marshes and a diversity of flora and fauna. We were visited by a sweet sixteen entourage, many families taking in the site and a tour group. The mill was put into action for the tour group. The sound it makes is amazing. It sounds like jets going overhead. Funny, since the grinding is such and old thing and the jets new!

Day two, we met at our second location; the grounds of the Museum of Art. It offers a lovely marshy pond with wildlife. We were entertained by the hawks being chased by the smaller birds. I loved seeing the cardinals and bluebirds, which we don't really have in our area. The expansive grounds are home to a large collection of sculpture and a glass house perched on the top of a hill. Day three, we returned to Yates Mill to have a bit more time to paint the marsh views which are spectacular. We saw an abundance of wildlife including, turtles, blue heron, deer and a beaver dam. Fun! Weather cooperated all three days; not too hot and not a drop of rain. Yippee!!

My group,( all ladies - surprise, surprise!!), was terrific. Everyone had some experience painting plein air, so we didn't need to spend time on equipment concerns and got right into painting. The ladies have that lovely, NC accent too!

In addition to conducting their workshop, I was honored to be chosen as Juror of selection and juror of awards by the Pastel Society of North Carolina for their first statewide exhibit. The show was displayed at Bev's Fine Art in Raleigh, which is a wonderful venue. I was impressed by the entries when I first saw them digitally.They were diverse in subject matter and approach, ranging from landscape to abstract. But, when I finally saw the work hung in the gallery, I was even more impressed! There really is nothing like viewing an original pastel in person when you can see the marks making sitting up on that paper. The show looks fantastic! The board of the Pastel Society of North Carolina worked tirelessly to make the show a success and boy, did they!

The turn out for the awards reception was incredible! It is apparent that the interest and support of the medium of pastel is alive and well in North Carolina! It was a beautiful and elegant event. I said a few words about how I went about selecting the entries and the awards. Here's a bit of what I said:

When I approach my own work, I'm hoping for a little bit of magic; that special place where my ideas and my current skills meet and a piece simply flows through me and is effortless. The medium of pastel affords a particularly special opportunity for these chance moments as it's immediacy, it's glittering particles and its fragility make it fleeting and ethereal.

When I attempt to look at other artist's work...and I do so very humbly, I'm looking for that same place. A place where the science; (the chemistry, archival qualities etc.), the craft; (composition, color, value, perspective) and the poetry; (our expression of the human experience), all meet and dance together. This is also the place where the conflict of painting meet; the nuance and the bold authoritative marks work together.

Congratulations to those who caught a little magic and may it happen frequently for you!"

1 comment:

SamArtDog said...

Though I know you're on the road teaching (lucky students!), I assume you'll go home with new paintings of your own, if not new ideas. And new images, like these photographs, many of which are quite extraordinary. Proving again, art is in the seeing...

Thrilled and bummed to hear you're going to Portland. Thrilled cuz it's my home turf, and I know how you'll love it, and bummed cuz I was there last month and would've stayed if I knew you were headed that way.

Hot tip: go for a walk around Mackworth Island (between Falmouth and Portland). You'll never forget it.