Friday, September 17, 2021
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Friday, August 20, 2021
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Thursday, August 5, 2021
|I make little cairns when I swim during the retreat.|
It started when our sons were in junior high. They’re both in their early 40’s now. The last several years have been at Spider Lake but it began at Oxbow in Saugatuck.
Terry and her family were visiting; they live on the other side of the state. We were talking about our sons going to camp and I said I never got to go to do that. Home growing up was on the shore of an inland lake and I had a rowboat and my own speedboat. My dad was not willing to send me to camp. “Do you know what they do at camp? They do what you do every day here at home.” So Terry suggested “art camp.”
So we took a painting course at Oxbow. While there we took all the meals with our classmate before driving back to Grand Haven to unwind, review the day – and go through several of my art books before a good sleep. My spouse and my son stayed at his parents so our mood wasn’t broken. By the end of the week we decided that it had been worthwhile but we could probably get just as much out of it if we just took a week without our families and worked on our art. I had several art books that we could use to guide us as well as the instructor at Oxbow had.
The next summer a friend of Terry’s let us use her cottage on Case’s Island in the middle of Lake Fenton. An added benefit of that location – we could swim every day in addition to making art uninterrupted. We could eat when we got hungry. When we broke for a meal, we either discussed what we had been working on or looked at the art books I brought along. After a meal and a swim it was back to work.
After two years on Case’s Island her friend sold the cottage. While at a family gathering I was moaning about losing our spot for a retreat. My brother said he and my sister-in-law just bought a place on Spider Lake near Traverse City that we could use. With the exception of one year when they were remodeling, we’ve been going there ever since. Still the same routine – make art, talk, eat, swim. This year I spent most of my time coffee dying and gelli printing papers for collage.
I did a couple warm up exercises but will probably trash them or use them as a base for collage. The start of two small pieces, part of my “In The Zone” series look promising. Time to get to work on finishing those.
Friday, July 23, 2021
I am so ready for Spider Lake! But, before I go -- The Art Tribe is hosting a reception this Sunday at the Gallery Uptown. I wrote about that exhibit earlier. Next week is the last chance to see it so the Tribe is gathering to be available to answer questions. We'll have some cookies and punch and some excellent art so if you are in the area do stop and see us.
I leave for Spider Lake on Wednesday, after my friend Karen's Picnic, I think it's 17th Annual Remission Picnic though we missed 2020. You all know why.
Now it's time to start thinking about what I'm going to work on while I'm there. I've currently reawakened an interest in archeology so I may do a bit of reading and playing with some prehistoric marks. But I also want to play a bit more with collage and abstract. Guess I should start a list. Or wait until Tuesday night and just start putting stuff in my bag.
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Art Tribe – an inspiring and supportive group of artists. The new exhibit in the Gallery Uptown's Walburg Gallery features work by one such tribe. One of its members is a world traveler. When she recently shared a boatload of travel photos with the tribe, the concept of this show came to be. Each of us selected photos that inspired at least one of their works in the show.
These are two that I picked.
The two images inspired paintings that don't look anything like what I was seeing. But that happens often. There often is a circuitous route to the end result. The piece below, The Lord Potted Clay & Put Words on it. Sumerian epic poem c1800 BCE was inspired by the bottom photo above.
and this one, Sarciphagi was inspired by the top photo.So how did the two top photos lead me to the two totally different paintings? It certainly wasn't what I had in mind when I picked them. I love old walls and old cemeteries. I also love water and arches which the curve of the brick reminded me of.
As I began to scribble on the supports I was using I remembered a trip to San Antonio when we visited some of the missions. Who knows why, it just did. I went digging for some of my photos. Those I found brought me back to the photo on the top, the arch of the wall and the colors. Recently I’ve also been studying some ancient marks and symbols that seem to be universal. Going through my San Antonio photos I found several that included some of those universal marks so I included them in both of the pieces; however, more of them are visible in The Lord Potted... than in Sarciphagi.