Tag Archives: art exhibit

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending September 7

 

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art every day of the week, please!

Saturday, September 1 – Here are photos from yesterday’s take-down of the exhibit at the Gallery at the JCC, Allentown, PA, where my paintings had been for the last couple of months. It’s an anticlimax, really – it’s very quick to take a display apart! We took in our boxes and bags:

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and started to take items off the walls and from the display cases.

Soon everything was neatly packed away.

Empty walls and cases…

We took the tags off the walls and then…the party was over!

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The arts group here has invited me to participate in their holiday craft show, so…I’ll be back in December.

Saturday, September 1, nighttime – I did some paint brochure drawings – this is a gray-themed group. As you may remember, I often choose an activity like this one for when I am watching TV at night. These brochures are addicting.

Sunday, September 2 – I sat down with a friend to do a planning session.

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I spent a couple of hours or so going through my projects (art and poetry)and working out plans and possibilities I’d like to explore in the next 6 months or so. I do this exercise about every..6 months…I guess, and it helps me to review what I have going on and where I want to go. I wrote it in a notebook and will type it up tomorrow and put it in my studio.

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Then I went down into the basement and cleared out my head by working on a couple of clay cylinder people.

Monday, September 3 – I did some odds and ends around the studio. Not exciting, but necessary, these things were. I have a collection of 6″ x 6″ drop-in frames that I have used for clay tiles. Well, I admit that lately I’ve sent to the trash a lot of earlier work that was glued into these frames.

I am sure this may provoke gasps of horror at the idea of destruction but sometimes, there is no other answer for past work that I don’t feel is up to my standards today. And, these frames were perfectly good. I gessoed over the name and date of the previous works.

I tentatively intend to use them for the 6″ x 6″ paintings on board that I have been doing. I tried out the look with a few and I love it. I plan to velcro the paintings to the frame rather than gluing them, so I’ll have some TV-watching work ahead of me in putting all these together, I guess.

I also gessoed over a couple of paintings my husband sanded down for me. Ditto the clay tile situation – time passes and older work does not always please. I have learned that onceI feel this way about a painting, I will never change my mind. It is better for me to wipe it out and do something new.

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Art is not always about creation, I guess!

I did a quick cover-up of the back inside cover of my current Large Artist Sketchbook. Once it dries I am ready to take it to Poetry Marathon sessions to get some text done for it.

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Tuesday, September 4 – More secret project.

Then I went into the basement to work on cylinder people. Things continued to progress. One guy, though, I was not happy with how his outfit was turning out. It seems that in every group, there is one figure with whom I get off on the wrong foot and my attempts to salvage and re-make a design just get – uglier. When that happens, I wash off the old.

Then I give him a new undercoat. I will start over again next session.

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Here are the others, in progress.

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Wednesday, September 5 – I worked on finishing up the cylinder people today. The one in the remade outfit is a lot happier now, or at least I am, with his attire.

I took them, plus puff people and a few tiny tiles, and loaded the kiln.

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In the past I would never have contemplated firing a load this small. No, absolutely not. But I think differently now about this subject, as well as about a lot of other things! In the past I would have had these figures wait until I had made enough new work to fire (because with low-fire clay, you can fire bisque and glaze loads together as they fire at the same temperature).

That would have been fine if I were in an ongoing claywork mode (which I usually was). Now, though, I do less work, and if I hold these until I get more to go with them, it could be months. I am planning to do some other things for a while and clay’s not on my schedule right now.

And I’m impatient – I want to take these cylinder and puff people to a show next week – plus I have several other clay shows lined up in the near future. I don’t want to rush making more work just to…fill up a kiln-load? The cost of one firing is just not enough to make me worry about it. I’ll probably get these guys fired this weekend when the weather is cooler.

Thursday, September 6 – Last night I decided to paint a little… just a little. By dinnertime I had this start:

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Hint: it’s the former Beach Lady painting. Anyway, I almost never work after dinner, but for some reason I got engrossed in this painting (despite not knowing what I wanted to do with it).

Here is where it ended up.

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Don’t know if it is finished. I don’t want to be doing this kind of work, really – I want to move on. (Destination: unknown.) I think this exercise might have been the equivalent of comfort food art – using a well-known recipe and getting predictable results. I’ll let it sit a while and see if anything else happens to it.

Friday, September 7 – This morning my husband and I drove to Allentown, PA, to pick up my painting from an exhibit at the Baum School:

Here’s a quick look at how it appeared hanging on the wall, before I took it away with me. I inserted an arrow to direct you to its location:

I thought I might do some artwork later this afternoon, but since I’m not sure, I figured I’d post this week’s Diary and clear the decks for another week.

OK, that’s it for this week! Thank you for coming along with me.

A Very Nice Day

Yesterday I participated in an art show in a park not too far from home, Memorial Park in Lansdale, PA. This show is a long-running event and I’ve been in it, though not every year, for about 20 years. I’ve shown fabric, collage, and now paintings for the last couple of years.

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This event is special to me because it was one of the first shows I did when I got started, and it’s also the place where I won my first award, also about twenty years ago. I got third place for a fabric wall hanging, and when the ribbon was presented to me I broke down in tears. To me, that award meant I was really an artist, that I belonged.

This year, we had a beautiful sunny day, warm and breezy. A great crowd attended.

It was a day for seeing people. I caught up with several friends who were exhibiting. My friend John came to see us and sat with us for most of the afternoon.

A little boy, about ten years old, stopped in with his mother; she said he insisted on seeing my work, and he told me he wanted to be an artist himself. I gave him one of my little paintings and they said it was his first original piece, so I started off his art collection! (I got an email from him later that night thanking me and sending me an image of one of his paintings.) What a nice day for me.

To top it off, I won Best of Show. A surprise for me and exciting. I did not cry this time, but I certainly was very happy. Thank you, Lansdale Festival of the Arts!

Diary of an Art Fair

This past weekend I participated in the Collingswood Crafts and Arts Festival, held in a New Jersey suburb just across the river from Philadelphia. It’s a large, well-organized show, with a lot of vendors, food, and musicians located along the main street in Collingswood.

The weekend weather was stupefying blistering hot, and that held attendance down and also sales. It took a lot of bottles of water to make it through the two days. Still, it was a good experience and I also had the chance to catch up with some of my art fair friends – I’ve had to cancel some shows this summer because of my eye surgeries and so I’ve missed out on seeing people.

I’ll go right into the “diary”, then.


We arrive on Saturday morning very early, before seven AM. At this show, we unload our items on to the sidewalk, remove the car, and then wait a bit. Once the arrival time is closed, we all start our set-ups at the same time. It’s very easy to do things this way.


It is an interesting sight when everyone sets up their tents. We each have our own equipment; the show supplies only the 10′ x 10′ space.


Our tent and its progression.


Street scene during set-up.


Now the show starts!


On Saturday night, we close up our tents. I take down my artwork, but some people leave their wares in their booths. On Sunday, I rearranged my work before the show. I like to do that so that I get a different view each day.


On Sunday evening we take it all down again. I did not photograph the dismantling process (maybe I will at another show) because we were tired from the heat and the long days.


There is a certain routine to art fairs. Though every one is a little different, the basic process is the same. We had pleasant neighbors and a good location in the show, and that makes a big difference.

Toys

The Claudia McGill Museum of Things Claudia McGill Picks Up From the Street When She Is Just Going Along Being Claudia McGill and Doing Claudia McGill Things

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has something to say on the subject of toys… look here.

If you are wondering, this picture has nothing to do with the subject of TOYS, but we at the Museum thought it was an interesting picture and so we are displaying it here for lack of a better place to put it. Things don’t always make sense; you may have heard about this interesting life philosophy.

Plein Air

I spent last Sunday in Chestnut Hill, a Philadelphia neighborhood near my house, participating in a plein air event. Now, the timing of this event was not the greatest for me, being as it was a few days before my second cataract surgery. My eyesight was quite confused – when you see 20/20 in one eye and 20/800 in the other, and your close-up vision is also a bit shaky, well, maybe painting is not what you ought to be doing.

But, I went ahead anyway. I want to try this type of event whenever I can. I haven’t been able to do much plein air as I had wanted to so far this summer, once again due to my sight.

Forty artists or so were participating. We were assigned a block along the main street in this section of town, Germantown Avenue. I was in the 8300 block on the east side. I chose a view looking south – an intersection a little bit down the hill. I set up my table and got to work. Once I had the painting pretty well set up, I moved into the shade (it was a very hot day and as the sun moved, I did too).

I enjoyed the experience. I think I’m gradually getting an idea of how plein air and I can work together. I did feel restricted by adhering to the elements of the scene and not adding or amending as I would if I were just painting along free to go anyway I wanted. What this told me is that for me, plein air makes a great starting point, and then I want to embellish. Good. I learned something valuable.

So here are some stages of my painting. I plan to do some changes to it back here at home as soon as my eyes heal a bit more (I had the second surgery yesterday and so far, things have gone well with both eyes). I want to simplify some sections and make some additions to turn it into a landscape that’s partly real and partly straight from my own head. I’ll have to see where it goes.

And here are some photos from the reception – they displayed all the paintings done that day.