Working with clients is always a dialogue…

Loved working with Leila on this project and hope to do more.

Three Dresses / LMB

It’s been a minute since I last posted. Bridal season is upon us so my Curvy Custom Bride work has been ramping up. At the same time, I’m narrowing the focus of the Three Dresses Project. I’ll be cleaning up this site for clarity.

It’s fun to think of my humble beginnings, fitting myself by myself. I learned so much from taking the time to do that. No matter what fabric you buy or what your design is, if it doesn’t fit, it’s not worth it.

I’ve had a number of clients say that they don’t like certain design elements…but what I notice is that it’s mostly because the fit was off. Suggesting they might like that same element if it only fit sometimes comes as a shocker.

Below is a dress I designed for Carolyn Springer, an Indianapolis based artist. She was having an big art showing and…

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Painting on Silk

Fluid motion, lines connecting, breaking off from each other and moving into new territory. Each piece of silk has a title like a painting.

Silk_scarves

Each scarf a name, “Datura Blue River,” “Ruth’s Dream,” “Carnivorous Plant Vine”; inspired by vines, old rivers viewed from the sky and the tar lines used to fill in the cracks in the pavement. Beautiful marks remembered and captured with dye on silk. And then there is Brice Marden and his ink paintings with sticks. Are these a part of the collection of lines in my head?

 

lines_in_a_parkinglot

 

A Searching Through Minimalism

Recently I had a studio visit with friend and artist Nathan Foxton. It is interesting how in our process of making art, we sometimes can become blind to the ongoing search that keeps revealing itself in our work to others and yet escapes us.

I am referring to the constantly reoccurring horizontal bands in my paintings.

At first I pursued these compositions willing. Looking to the work of Agnes Martin, she inspired me with the stillness in her immense spaces that pushed past the edges of her canvas.

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Photo of Agnes Martin’s paintings at Pace Gallery.

Brice Marden has been always been a hero of minimalism for me since the eighties. I discovered his work in a Vogue magazine, of all places. He was drawing and painting with sticks. I loved the enigmatic beauty in these fields of marks.

B Marden 1 BMarden2

But in his work it was more about the simplicity of method. Using sticks for stream of conscious mark making and the beauty that exists in this seemingly simple effort. Later his color field paintings spoke to me of materials and capturing the presence of being, not a loud narrative.

Dylan Painting

Brice Marden, The Dylan Painting. 1966/1986; oil and beeswax on canvas, 60 3/ 8 in. x 120 1/2 in. (153.35 cm x 306.07 cm). San Francisco Museum of Art.

My pursuit is not merely copying the lessons I have learned from artists before me. It has come from a desire to pursue stillness, contemplation, peace, a meditational space, opening up, the vastness of space…while remaining true to my materials.

Cold Deep Ocean_small

Carolyn Springer, Cold, Deep Ocean; Looking for the Leviathan. 2014, encaustic on wood panel, white frame (not in photo.)

WinterStorm_small

Carolyn Springer, Winter Storm. 2014, encaustic and sea salt on canvas.

Vast Sky Searching for Angels

Carolyn Springer, Vast Sky, Searching for Angels. 2014, encaustic on paper.

It was as if I no longer felt the impact of the horizontal band in my work. My comfort with the strong horizontal band had become my visual language and I could no longer hear it. Sort of like how the sound of our own voice can elude us.

EARLY ARTISTIC INFLUENCES

Reflecting upon my early artistic influences, Charley Harper came to mind.
In the late 60’s, his artwork was celebrated and often published in Cincinnati’s local papers. I remember cutting out pictures of his work and collaging them into my first, child sketchbook, as a way to learn to read words, such as bird, praying mantis, even flying squirrel.

My father worked in the Federal building, in downtown Cincinnati, where Harper’s tile mural was commissioned. On special “go to work with dad” days, I got to see this amazing piece. Harper’s imaginative way of stylizing the animal and plant forms was what was so attractive about his artwork even then.

CharlieHarper Mural

As I sit at my drawing table and stylize Indiana native plant forms for my encaustic monoprint series, I think about Charley Harper and wonder what advice he would give me.

Mantis

Coneflower_Mantis   Coneflower_hummingbird

I am thankful for the legacy of Charlie Harper and the subtle influence of his work on my own. Todd Oldham is also in my debt for publishing Harper’s work in books so we can continue to enjoy it. Check out his official website https://charleyharperartstudio.com/