When is a Workshop…Well Not a Workshop? Part 3

 

I would like to share work of all the artists I met, and I might over the next year. But there is one more for now—Katalin Ehling. I was particularly in awe of this artist whose work I saw daily as I entered the room. Katalin was using hand stitching on organza as her line and applying to her paintings which told incredible personal stories of home and place.

For about 40 years she worked in batik and has also done encaustic monoprints. The hand stitching she produced was so fine I thought she had used a machine, but this was a skill she learned from her mother. You can visit her website at: http://www.katalinehling.com/

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No Destination

borderlandwandering
“Untitled,” 16″ x 20,” mixed media collage on deep panel

The week has just started and I am tired. To say it has been difficult to concentrate on art the last few weeks is well…an understatement. Illness, my own upper respiratory infection and my elderly mother’s increasing anxiety, has consumed me.

Finding myself the bad guy is not a new role, just one that comes and goes. And no matter how you feel at the moment, you really don’t want it to return. You want all hatchets buried, all peace pipes smoked. But usually, life doesn’t work that way even with the most optimistic outlooks. To keep my own head about me, I paint.

Lately, I have been working on paper, which doesn’t create my usual amount of texture. But it still allows quite a bit, just more visual than tactile. And because there is less preparation, I can work in the moment. Luckily, most of the layers also dry a bit more quickly as well.

This one, as yet untitled, is likely part of a new series. I feel myself moving a brush, a pencil over the paper as if it is a landscape I want to explore—even though there is no definite destination.

Do we need one? Can’t we just begin a journey and see what will happen, where we will go if we follow a line?

 

 

Do Stories Have Shapes?

"A Perfect Summer Day," 24" x 18" on canvas
“A Perfect Summer Day,” 24″ x 18″ on canvas

If you tell stories with your paintings, have you ever wondered what shape or shapes that story would include? Would it be rectangles, straight lines, triangles, circles or a combination?

Kurt Vonnegut believed “that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper.” This was actually the concept behind his master’s thesis in anthropology at the University of Chicago, a thesis that was rejected. Using universal themes, he called the stories Man in a Hole, Boy Meets Girl, From Bad to Worse, Which Way Is Up, etc.

The work has been re-imagined recently by graphic designer Maya Eilam, and the following link includes Vonnegut’s explanation of the original thesis. http://www.openculture.com/2014/02/kurt-vonnegut-masters-thesis-rejected-by-u-chicago.html