contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Monday, June 28, 2010

Expressive Figurative Art

Empty-handed I entered the world. Barefoot I leave it. My coming, my going -- Two simple happenings that got entangled.
~ Kozan Ichikyo

And between coming and going? Make art!

Continuing with the blog post series featuring figurative art I present here life drawings by Australian artist Noela Mills. Noela’s blog is called wabisabiart. Her blog features creative experimentation and a whole spectrum of her own art from jewelry to collage and from paintings to textile art.

Noela’s life drawings are oh so exquisite, using sensitive line, powerful shape and a splendid color palette. These drawings were part of the International Collage Exchange this year, but unfortunately I didn’t get one of them! Noela has also used life drawings to construct a most intriguing artist book. Oh, how I would love to hold that book and turn the pages! Noela is an innovative artist, who loves textures, color and shapes, so of course I feel we are kindred spirits. Noela tells us about her long time love affair with textures here.

When I was about eight years old, I went on a school camp. I borrowed my mother's bellows camera and took photos of rocks, bark, patterns in the sand, reflections, and only one or two of people. My love affair with texture had begun. Over the next fifty years, I explored all avenues of life and the visual arts, becoming an art teacher, a traveller, a ski instructor, a mother and eventually a professional artist. My art is now almost entirely consumed by the concept of 'wabi sabi' - the Zen Buddhist philosophy of finding beauty in things old, worn, incomplete, imperfect and common place. I work with rust paint on canvas, barbed wire in jewellery, antique kimono silks in scarves and teabags in almost everything. My personal mantra is HONEST, SIMPLE and NOBLE. I still take photos of rocks, bark and reflections.

I am a devoted fan of artist Robyn Gordon. You probably know her blog, Art Propelled. Robyn curates delicious on line art exhibits of all kinds including collage, paintings, textiles and anything else that strikes her keen artistic eye. Opening a new blog post at Art Propelled is like opening a birthday present in beautiful kuba cloth wrapping tied with native grasses and decorated with seed pods. But Robyn is best known for her own wood carvings. Robyn takes figurative art and totems to a whole new level. I am fortunate enough to have one of Robyn’s small goddess carvings. It has a place of honor on my windowsill alter of inspirational Very Cool and Arty Things.

Robyn’s carvings make statements about her love for her native Africa and art and her deep sense of compassion. Robyn’s reply to the question “What story are you telling with your art?” follows.

I suppose I am telling the story of my life in South Africa. The niche carvings hold objects that are of the land (pebbles, bones, cowries, driftwood etc.), symbols of Africa (beadwork, arrowheads, tiny stone carvings), symbols of my British ancestry (silver teaspoons, Minton china shards). The totems "speak" of the legends that have been passed down from one generation to the next. The patterns, objects, symbols are all of this land. No matter what tribe we belong to we who were born in this country belong here and make South Africa what it is.

I am so thankful for the art blogging world. From my little town in the Pacific Northwest of the US I can experience the art, the creative explorations, musings and processes of artists from around the world. Thank you Noela and Robyn.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What's Your Art Fantasy?

So what's your art fantasy? I'll tell you mine. It's to have a fabulous art gallery. My gallery-in-my-mind is full of great innovative art of all kinds including paintings, mixed media, textiles, sculpture, contemporary basketry and more.

I can see it now - a spacious and well lit space with lofty ceilings.
The cohesiveness comes from the quality of the work and the vision. And like all good fantasies, my gallery is about the joy - no problems!

Androgyny by Denise Marts

Ultimately, there is only one meaningful question
concerning the nature of the self and human consciousness
and that question is, "Who am I?"

Sincere self-inquiry is the philosophical pursuit
and an artist that pursues his or her art deeply enough
becomes a philosopher by default."

~ Denise Marts

Venus Sketch by Denise Marts

I'm beginning today with an intermittent series of posts featuring figurative art. A virtual gallery of sorts. I think these artists are phenomenal.

Their work pulls me in to consider their unique visions. And they can be in my fantasy gallery any day.

Blue Nude 2.1 by Denise Marts

What immediately grabs your eye when you walk into an art venue?

Angelica with two old Tanzanian African sculptures by Denise Marts

I love nonobjective, funky or elegant abstract art. It speaks to me and calls my name. My eyes soak it all in - colors, shapes, textures and line. Oh the thrill, the satisfaction of seeing great art!

Three Dancers, from the Stone Sculpture series by Denise Marts

Here for today's opening are two talented and visionary artists, Denise Marts and Linda (who's last name I don't know.)

Please be my guest and help yourself to a glass of wine, have a chocolate and while you listen to the live music playing in the background, mingle with fellow art lovers and feast your eyes.

Family Portraits by Linda. Linda's blog is called entre les mots et l'image or between words and image.

There's something new to see around each corner. Enjoy!

by Linda

I love playing with glue and paper - touch - feel -
discover textures with the tips of my fingers -
I like to have paint stains on my hands and my clothes -
I like the mess on my desk -
I also play with pixels - scan my collages - mix them together
- overlay - observe - the fragment -
I see emergence of other forms - other colors -
I like the mixture of me and chance.


Please be sure and sign the guest book, and share your art fantasy. I'm glad you're here. Would you care for another chocolate?