Showing posts with label Beacon NY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beacon NY. Show all posts

January 26, 2017

Hot Selling Copy

This January it feels more like a brand new year than almost any other year I can remember.

Major shifts in thinking are taking place at every level; individually, nationally, globally.  
Change isn't coming, it's here. And for anyone who's ever wished or rallied for change, be prepared, because it's never easy or quick or painless. My father used to say "struggle is good" with the conviction that nothing earned easily was worth earning, and that without the struggle, it could never be truly cherished or appreciated (whatever the it in your life might be). With that thought in mind I feel somewhat optimistic, in spite of the challenges that artists, women and the general American population are about to face.

This has been a January of change for me as well. A newer new year than usual!

I was pleased to participate in a Small Works show at the Catalyst Gallery here in Beacon, and even more pleased to have sold several drawings and a watercolor.

pastel drawing Samantha Palmeri
sold pastel drawing, 11 x 14 inches

This Saturday I'll be participating in another group show in Newburgh, and there is a possibility for a solo show of my paintings coming up this June, which I'll keep you posted on.

soon to be my new art studio

I've made the tough decision to move my art studio out of the studio building I've been in for the past two and a half years back to my home. I've gone back and forth about it for a while, but finally bit the bullet as they say. Change is good, right??   . . .  C h a n g e   i s   g o o d . . .   C h a n g e   i s   g o o d . . .   S t r u g g l e   i s   g o o d . . .   S t r u g g l e   i s   g o o d . . .




Last but not least, I'm super excited to have just become the new Director of Beacon Open Studios, a yearly event where Beacon artists open up their studios to the public. It's a huge weekend long, city-wide celebration sponsored by the artists and community members of Beacon, and enjoyed by thousands of visitors from all over. I'm thrilled to have volunteered, but it really is a huge job organizing it all. The irony is that I'm giving up my studio right before this event and will have to look for a temporary space to show my work!

Did I mention struggle is good!

My hope (and I am hopeful), is that you all are able to not just endure the new changes in your own lives, but relish them, because the reward for your perseverance is great!

My Facebook post this morning was this:

Think Big! because from one fallen dying leaf a whole brand new plant can grow



Happy 2017!



July 14, 2016

The Killer of Imagination

I think I've been wrong.

Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin

What can I say. Some people who know me intimately will think that's very funny. But yes, I think I've been, I mean I know I've been overly self-conscious, which is the killer of imagination and impulse. All my musing about muses and audience can't possibly be right. I don't need more people looking over my shoulder, I need less.

We should learn to be our own muses is my new motto. 

I have been away from the studio for probably the longest stretch since moving to Beacon, NY two years ago. I've worked hard in that time, making over 25 paintings and countless works on paper, so I very much needed this break... At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin
It all started with this year's Beacon Open Studios at the end of May. I spent two full days gibbering to strangers (and friends) about my artwork. Something a lot of us who participated in the event noticed was that after a while of describing your work to people, you start repeating yourself over and over. The same descriptive words start flying out of your mouth. And you hear yourself saying things you never heard before. You're like, oh, so that's what my work is really about!!

So what did I hear myself saying all day for two days straight? That my paintings were in a transition phase, that they weren't exactly the kind of paintings I wanted to be making but somehow they needed to be made, that they were more formal and more figurative than I wanted them to be. Although I had very positive feedback, I found my own self-effacing comments very revealing. It was clear to me that that series of paintings was done with. But what to do next? And why did I need to make all those paintings that now felt forced and untruthful?

So, I've been away from it for a while.

Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin
The timing has been impeccable since I did just move, and moving as we all know, is hell. But now I'm ready to go back and I can't imagine what to do.

For starters, I've decided to refrain from sharing works in progress, so you probably won't see any new photographs for a while. In this age of sharing every second of our lives with everyone on the planet, I've suddenly found myself needing some privacy.  

I have a lot of work to do. Whatever it is that's been keeping me from the most truthful work I can possibly make has got to go! So I may need to close off the world for a bit, hole up in the studio and not come out till I figure something out. 

 
Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin



Promise I won't be MIA for too long..............




May 20, 2015

suck it up and spit it out

some notes that I took after a long weekend of open studio conversations...

view of my studio during Beacon Open Studios




how is a painting perceived?
a painting that you could see the artist stepping into and stepping out of. feeling it first and then thinking it. it's that spewing out and reeling in motion. kids do that with pool water, they suck it up and spit it out. these are two things that go together, an in and out simultaneously, but there are many dichotomies also at work. there is soft and hard, the slathering on and wiping away. the act of half destroying a thing in order for it to emerge to its full potential, and the act of knowing how to do that and how to repeat it. to purposely destroy a piece with the faith in the process that the painting will eventually complete itself. this is the most difficult thing because the potential is for complete destruction. if you're lucky, the reward outweighs the failure every time.
of course I don't actually believe in luck...





March 5, 2015

the next best thing to COMMUNITY

Gilbert and George
Preparing yourself to paint on canvas must be similar to an actor getting ready to perform. You've got to get totally inside your head and be in control but completely lost in it at the same time.

My husband has been wanting to make a film of me painting. It's been a long time that I've been saying no to him because I would much rather paint than have to talk about me painting. I am under the impression that if I were very good at speaking in general I wouldn't have become a visual artist. He insisted I wouldn't have to speak, so finally last week I said yes and he showed up to my studio with cameras in tow. Some artists don't mind other people around them while they work but I am not one of them. I spent the day self-consciously fake posing and got absolutely no work done! No surprise there.

What I hadn't realized, though, until that moment was just how wonderful it is to have not only the ability but the contentment to work by oneself all day long.

It is such a luxury to have a private art studio. That being said... at the same time it does occasionally get a little lonely. Standing on your feet alone in a closed room for five or so hours a day does eventually take its toll and can lead to a bit of urgent restlessness. Sometimes I wonder how I or anyone else can take it.

My studio building is extremely quiet. It really needs a community room for those of us solitary workers who need some company every once in a while.

I've been having this conversation with a lot of different people lately.  
People like me, who need the solitude to work but who also desire a proper community to engage with at the end of the day. 
A community we haven't exactly found yet. Sometimes I wish I had been an artist 50 years ago when like minded artists really were all actually starving and huddled together out of necessity and common interest. When there were no second jobs making everyone too busy to visit each others studios or contemplate their purpose in life.

Triadic Ballet
I'm told social media is the new stand-in for real community these days but I'm having trouble completely believing that.

Take Jerry Saltz for instance. For the last eight years New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz has been actively engaged in lively art dialogue with his almost 5000 followers on Facebook. He's described it as a 21st century Cedar Tavern or Max's Kansas City. Of course as I write this several of Jerry's 'friends' have just gotten him temporarily kicked off the site for images they disapproved of. It would've been much more fun to see some real fists thrown over the debate, but all this is to say we take what we can get these days.

I like Jerry's page. I've occasionally chimed in to some of his discussions, and for a while it was definitely feeling very real and prescient, however, there's something off-putting about not knowing exactly who you are having an argument with. It's hard to keep up an active conversation with an endless barrage of obscure little profile pictures of people you know nothing about. You could find out you're arguing with an artist whose work you love or with someone who isn't even an artist and just likes to argue with people on Facebook. Or you could start to think that you're actually friends with some of your 'friends' only to find out they disagree with pretty much everything you stand for.

James Ensor
I'm a big fan of Facebook but at the same time it leaves me with a bad after-taste, a virtual, non-reality tinny zing. I am certain that so much of the dialogue on Facebook is mere virtual dialogue and sometimes I just want to look someone in the face when I talk to them.

Community.
There are a ridiculously large number of separate definitions for the word, some involving physically living close to one another and others referring to the idea of unification, common interests, etc.
Wikipedia states
A community is a social unit of any size that shares common values. Although face-to-face communities are usually small, larger or more extended communities such as a national community, international community and virtual community are also studied.
The article goes on to discuss identity, intent and belief.

artists @ Blue Mountain Center. photo Karin Hayes
Further contemplating the idea of communities that do not require a computer hookup, I decided to look up Artist Residencies in the hopes of finding an environment where groups of artists actually commune in person, at least temporarily. After serious research I've discovered there are about a million Artist Residencies all over the world also called Artist Communities, Communes, Colonies, Collectives, or Retreats. They exist just about everywhere for every genre, purpose, belief and intent! Most of them, however, do emphasize the luxury of isolation in lovely tranquil settings.


artists @ Blue Mountain Center. photo Shelly Silver
So far out of the hundreds of Artist Residencies that I've perused, only a handful of descriptions have mentioned hanging out with the other artist residents. Project 387 in northern California boasts a community driven "creative exchange around the dinner table and in the studio". I like that.
Headlands, also in California, offers a "dynamic community of artists... allowing for exchange and collaborative relationships to develop". Also a winner.
Blue Mountain Center in upstate New York goes so far as to state, "by the end of the session many of our most solitary, introverted residents are loath to lose the comforts of communal living". Now that I like the sound of.

In the long run I suppose there are plenty of artist communities out there in the world. I want to say that globalization has somehow homogenized the world and made it more difficult to have an authentic identity, intent and belief. I want to say that the internet could never be a good enough or suitable replacement for real life community and that there's nothing that could replace actual physical interaction between people... but,
I do realize I am typing this on my computer and will at some point click a button that will send these words virtually across the planet. I may even get a few comments from people I've never met and probably never will. For now I'll take what I can get. I'll probably check my Facebook as soon as I write this. Maybe I'll send out a few applications this week. I might even inquire about that community room for my studio building...

You can visit my Facebook page here
or better yet, visit my studio in real life at
211 Fishkill Ave. #206C,
Beacon, New York



September 5, 2014

new works from the studio...

I got a new camera this week and am 
so happy to share some pictures of studio life here in 
Beacon New York -

it's so cool I am able to walk to my studio from home
kinda weird though that it still smells like an old high school


lots of activity going on right now
and still a few boxes that need to be unpacked-

finally put these brushes to good use for the first time in too long

and I can FINALLY see all my supplies all together

here's some of the work which right now is neither here nor there

made with spray foam and mixed materials. this one has some laundry meat stuck in there

I've been checking out a lot of John Chamberlain lately thanks to Dia: Beacon

these could be models for something bigger

or just meaningless balls of spray foam!

here's some experiments with braided spray foam

fun to make but tough to work with

the first time I did it I couldn't get the sticky off my hands for two days


taking the gloves off to get a better grip is a very very bad idea
here's a group of canvases with spray foam slathered on

hard to see the true texture from the photos

better in this one

there's about 9 of these but I don't really know what to do with them yet

and then there's my collages

in between every project, and when all else fails, there's always collages

if I could get what I like about these on a canvas I'd be very happy

they're very thick because most of the cut out papers are heavy watercolor


they're fun to make almost like working on a puzzle


So there it is, pretty much everything I've been working on lately.
There are also some canvases that I started but not picture worthy yet,
and much more to come... see you soon


July 30, 2014

brand new art studio

We've finally made it to our new home in Beacon, New York!
here's some pics of my brand new art studio


my new studio: big beautiful empty space!


empty: but not for long 

view of studio building (the old Beacon High School) & Mt. Beacon which I can see if I stick my head out the window
Over the years I've occupied a lot of different spaces: a converted garage, an unfinished basement, my one bedroom apartment, the back room of two art galleries, the third floor dressing room of an abandoned 19th century theater... but this is the first time I am at an actual artist building in a proper "artist studio". V E R Y exciting!

If you're not exactly sure what "a proper artist studio" really means, well, neither am I! A great book exploring the matter is The Studio Reader: on the space of artists edited by Mary Jane Jacob and Michelle Grabner.



February 22, 2013

A Better BEACON


This morning at 6:30am the sky was completely filled with a warm salmon and purple color.
Amazing how color in thin air can be so warm and cozy while feet on a ceramic tiled floor so freezing.

Speaking of color, last weekend we took a trip. We are officially on the lookout for greener pastures, an expression I should look up the meaning to, along with the grass is always greener...
(I imagine the world was filled with a lot more grass filled pasture-land than it is now).
So, yes, we made it through another road trip adventure!
This time from Manahawkin, New Jersey to Beacon, New York. 151 miles of changing scenery, traffic jams, and mixed CD's. Here's some advice: Never stay at a $99 hotel. For fifty bucks more you'll get a mint on the pillow, a mag under the mattress, and a floor that's actually been vacuumed within the last century.
 It all worked out though. We just spent more time out and about exploring the town.

DIA Beacon is amazing if you've never been. Their collection of works from the 1970's-80's gives a well rounded education on the art world of that decade. The vast space of the ex-Nabisco printing factory is a sight to see, and apparently only a train ride away from NYC. The shops and galleries on Main Street are very cool. Homespun Foods for breakfast and The Hop for afternoon handcrafted brews are both incredible, and Hudson Beach Glass never fails to hook us up with a present to take home.



The trip ended with an intangible evening at Alex and Allyson Gray's art sanctuary in Wappinger Falls. Led up a dark winding driveway by a guy holding a flashlight to a smaller footpath filled with ice and mud, we had no idea what we were in for! When the sign at the door to the house said please remove your shoes, we looked at each other quizzically. The evening turned out to be an exceptional experience. We left feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.  I can't decide what was more inspiring, Dusthead's otherworldly performance, the dancers, the music, the artwork or all of the above. Talk about good vibes! If it wasn't for the smelly hotel, we would've never wanted to leave!

Yesterday while driving to the Art House, I saw a street sign for Beacon Avenue. One I've never noticed before. Not surprising since all the streets in our neighborhood are named with nautical references. A beacon is a light, a signal post, a guide. And Light is a symbol for Truth.
I realize that what my husband and I are looking for has a lot to do with this, that we're not really in search of greener grass at all, but maybe just a warmer light, which is fine with me...