It’s the end of January, and it’s time to create! …as in let go of what you normally do and find a part of yourself that wants to expand into new territory. All you need is a workspace and the courage to make a mess. From chaos, you will find opportunities to flow into, and ultimately build, a new part of your life history.
I asked the Studio Artists about the shifting they see as we pass from the dark season of late 2017 into the germinating energies of 2018. Here are a few of the responses.
Oil painter Greta Waterman is energized and inclusive, sharing with us her new year mojo: “Get loose, get free! Both ways work. Transfer a sketch… abstract out from there. Or conversely, apply abstract shapes and color and then form the composition from there.”
For cultivating those energizing 2018 vibes, imaginative furniture painter Nancy Woods has been looking to the City: “What's not to get excited about exploring ‘San Francisco Hoods’ on a Thursday morning. It gets the juices flowing!”
Laughing, Ellen Anne Chong shares her 2018 "Newly Charged-up Creative Concept," which she admits is so simple, and yet so elusive:
“Stop. Procrastinating. Now.”
She goes on to muse, “What a concept…finishing what I start! As I write this, there is a large painting on my easel being re-worked for the umpteenth time. I am determined to finish it once and for all. Ditto starting NEW works and taking them through to completion. Reader, take note: You are witness to this proclamation, so I can’t procrastinate now that I have put it in writing. Come on by the Museum Studios to visit all of our artists, and stop by Studio #20 to tell me to get to work! See you at the PMA!”
Teresa Hsu, watercolorist, got inspired by moving her mind and body outside her normal territory: “While traveling to Hawaii during the winter holidays, I came across several local watercolor artists’ work. These artists took an interesting approach to finishing their paintings. They used the encaustic method and placed a coat of wax over their finished watercolor paintings. This approach stiffens the underlying paper and therefore there’s no need for plexiglass when framing. I find this to be a new, interesting, and appealing method.
“In order to step out of my comfort zone, I’d like to give the encaustic method a try and experiment with wax over my paintings as well. Whether it is a success or failure (and whether I would even like the end result or not on my work) is part of this unknown adventure. I’m going forward with it!
“Something about travel always brings new inspiration and new ideas to me. With 2018 charging onward I’m looking forward to perfecting the new technique and learning something new for my art. Fingers crossed and please stay tuned.”
Here in the Studios, Barbara Berk is excited to get 2018 on its way. She is working on her first public art commission. She describes the work as “comprised of 3 hanging sculptures. Each will be larger than any individual piece I have created to date.” At this early stage conceptualization turns into problems of practical application. “I have designed the basic form, but I still have to determine the size of each sculpture and I must increase density so the lace is ‘readable’ -- has visual presence in the large space.”
Berk explains that one way to increase density is by layering lace. In the demonstration image above two bronze ribbons of lace are temporarily stitched together with red coated copper wire.
Neil Murphy (seen painting in the image at the top of this post) is opening up to new dimensions within the scope of his work: “In 2018 I will continue creating my neurobiology-themed pieces, but introduce brain network differences (mental illness and aging issues) perspectives into the work. Two upcoming April 2018 exhibits will revolve around these combined themes. One at Ruth's Table in San Francisco and at The Red Door Galleria in Wisconsin. Both will explore the personal and social impact of brain differences that are so ubiquitous, and so often stigmatized, in this world.”
Wayne Wichern has been wrapping up 2017 and beginning 2018 with a bang. Besides putting down creative thoughts on his website's blog, he is busy in other venues. In the fashion world, Ornament Magazine has published a feature on Wichern to blast off the new year. The article is written by Robin Updike, an independent, Seattle-based writer, who has followed Wichern’s work for over 20 years. The article goes into wonderful detail about what makes this mad hatter special.
In addition to the article, Wichern is busy at work preparing for an upcoming benefit show for PMA. He is one of two fashion presenters at the Museum’s February 8th “Evening of Art, Fashion and Wine at the Museum.” He joins Brava! Designs in treating PMA’s ticketed guests with a Fashion Show, art, wine, and light refreshments. Tickets here.
It is still early in 2018 and already we are seeing and hearing signs of the many new art workings at the Museum. Last weekend our PMA Sunday Reception for three guest artists (Ron Burgess, Kim Frohsin, Kryztzia Dabdoub) packed the Museum galleries to the gills. Every day, throughout the building sculptors can be heard banging and sanding, exuberant chatter erupts from classrooms, paint laden brushes whip across canvases, and objects are perused for just the right angle of approach.
So, what have you been doing with your own creative spirit these days? Are you throwing away what is no longer needed… thereby opening up space for the new? Are you hanging out with inspiring people and cultivating new perspectives? Are you tuning in with the birds as they rev up their mighty engines for a productive spring? Here’s a communal salute of support: Go for it! Claim the inner wild. Have fun! And share your creative adventures with us when you stop by the Museum and Studios. Have a wonderfully creative 2018.
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This posting of "PMA Heartbeat" was compiled by the artist in Studio 26.