Archives for posts with tag: sketchbook
Scan 25

Conversation — going in circles (Procion Dye Drawing)

My passion for a sketchbook practice and sharing it afar has taken my most recent sketchbook to Quebec City for exhibition in the inaugural Biennale International du Carnet D’Artiste (BICA) presented by Société d’art et d’histoire de Beauport (SAHB).

SAHB believes,
An artist’s sketchbook is a very personal object inside of which ideas are freely growing, both technically and stylistically. Sketches, musical notes, doodles, collages, colors, marks, painting, tears, writing, watercolors, words, pictures, and memories unveil the most intimate part of the artist’s mind.

My current artist notebook, What You See Is What You See/ Ce Que Vous Voyez Est Que Vous Voyez,is a project dedicated to visually explaining some of my Procion dye drawing techniques. It logs a series of techniques that I have discovered and finessed. Most of the time, I dry brush a page of paper with black Procion dye powder and use a variety of techniques and processes to enhance and manipulate line, form and colour intensity.

What You See Is What You See/ Ce Que Vous Voyez Est Que Vous Voyez is an on-going series of evocative abstract Procion dye drawings. Using a variety of techniques to make marks on paper, my 2-D forms take both recognizable and ambiguous shapes. I often rely on pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon of recognizing familiar patterns and forms, to guide me to a finished drawing. Frank Stella’s minimalist, abstract paintings inspire the title of this series, but in my work, I seek a sense of more playfulness.

BICA opened 08 September and the exhibition continues through 28 October at Maison Tessier-Dit-Laplante, 2328 Avenue Royale, Beauport, Québec.

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Primal Sympathies 4

Primal Sympathies 4

Primal Sympathies is a sketchbook that follows the falling Autumn Leaves that augur the cherry blossoms announcing the arrival of Spring. Black ants crawling through dried leaves encounter red ants crawling along branches hosting swollen buds about to burst into full bloom.

This progression of colour — parched red, orange and brown leaves that give life to pink blossoms that intensify as springtime unfolds  — is the landscape for ink drawings of determined ants crawling steadily through the cycle of the seasons. These interpretive botanical drawings are informed by William Wordsworth’s Ode: Intimations of Immortality.

Though nothing can bring back the hour
of splendour in the grass, or glory in the flower;

we will grieve not, rather find
strength in what remains behind,
in the primal sympathy
which having been must ever be.

Moving forward, Primal Sympathies has left the studio for an opening at the Brooklyn Art Library, a book tour through Toronto, Chicago, and Atlanta and a return to the Brooklyn Art Library collection. Much like a grown-up child leaving home, the Sketchbook Project asks that the work reside in a collection open to the public and be available for touring. The sketchbook, hence, comes to life in the hands of the reader, in the reading room, online and on tour.

Primal Sympathies can be viewed at the Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost Street, Brooklyn). Watch for an announcement when the sketchbook is online. Check it out in Brooklyn (23 June), Toronto (27-29 June), Chicago (3-5 August) and Atlanta (21 – 23 September).

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Another sketchbook is on the way to the Brooklyn Art Libary for the 2017 Sketchbook Project. Three streams of consciousness merge: hybrid monsters (real, imagined and augmented), an assortment of owls (scowl owls, wise owls and stylized) hidden and tucked into unlikely compositional elements and sketches of freeform climbers traversing, ascending and building stamina. Exhibition and touring details will be announced shortly. Nightmares — monsters, owls, and bouldering will soon be on view online; until then, nine digitized sketchbooks can be viewed here.

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Artists by nature are not hard-wired to boost, promote, or sell their work. Buyers usually want to know more about the works that attract their attention and perhaps purchase. That more can be the backstory, the technique or inspiration, and it is often said that it is not the work that is sold but the story that is bought. For some artists, that conversation is difficult. In my own artist practice, all of this is the case. If I could bring that story to life in conversation, there would be no need for me to make a drawing, photograph, artist book or ceramic sculpture. I came to value (and now miss dearly) art school critiques because I learned how to speak more confidently about the backstory, techniques and inspiration in my artist practice. Having said that, this blog feels somewhat like shameless self-promotion, but it could also be a year end summary about where my work can be found, where this work can be purchased.

South Main Gallery (279 East 6th Avenue, Vancouver) now represents my work, particularly More Illuminations, featured in Vancouver’s Capture Photography Festival (2016).

Cityscapes Art Rentals (335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver) holds a small collection of my work for rent, rent-to-own, and purchase. A selection of my work will be in the 2017 Art Rental Show (opening 12 January through 04 February 2017).

The Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost Street, Brooklyn, NY)/ Sketchbook Project now sells high quality prints of pages from nine of my sketchbooks in their collection. Sketchbook Collection

Gifting is an art form in its own right, and in this season of gift giving, a gift of art is a double gift because it gifts the artist as well. More about my photography continues at http://www.sassamatt.com

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Screenshot 2015

Screenshot 2015

Mobile phones have become a notebook of sorts; they store images and fragmented memories, keep a phone call and text log, store data, track appointments and whole lot more. For a photographer, the fully loaded mobile phone is the notebook I’ve been waiting for. I can use it standing up, lying back or hunkering down without awkwardly searching for something to write with when the visual thought is in front or behind me, just about to disappear as the train is leaving the station. With a little planning, I have access to tools to work on stored images and maybe even prepare them for publication. I’m not much of a speech to text person, but I can dictate thoughts that take the shape of words or keep those words as a soundtrack. This is not to say that it replaces the coil bound artist notebook that is central to my artist practice; I have three crates of artist notebooks, and there’s no sign that that habit of visual journaling will be replaced by my mobile phone. But finally, there’s a notebook for photographers.

From time to time, I sing the praises of Aline Smithson, creator, editor and publisher of Lenscratch, photographer, writer and teacher. I read her blog daily, and it fuels my artist practice on many levels. I appreciate her seasonal calls for submissions to her theme-based blog exhibitions and look forward to visual content and editing/curating, offering a reading of these juxtaposed images that adds up to way more than the sum of the parts. A recent LENSCRATCH blog featured five pages of cellphone photography and included one of my cellphone photographs. Set among other cellphone photographs, I read my work in a new way.

Scrolling through LENSCRATCH 2015 Cellphone Exhibition, this blog emerged, and writing about my own work is always more laboured than this one. It was an inspirational series of images that illustrates how versatile the cellphone and cellphone camera can be. I am one of many who believe that technology and the economics of the cellphone camera have democratized photography, making cellphone photography a genre in its own right. While I began celebrating the notebooking opportunities of the cellphone, I end with a statement about the potential of the cellphone to make photography both immediate and contemplative, complex and spontaneous. View my Screenshot in isolation in this blog, but also view it in the context of the Lenscratch 2015 Cellphone Exhibition. 

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Three of my sketchbooks are on the Sketchbook Project Summer Tour. This year’s tour kicks off at the Brooklyn Art Library on Friday, 05 May and then travels to nine tour stops in North America.  Sketchbook Project tours are fun: in addition to checking out and reading artist made books, there are also drawing and postcard writing activities.

On board this year are two new sketchbooks and one classic. Find your closest city, check out some sketchbooks and let me know what you think. Summer Tour Schedule

Big Wheels is a girl’s look at big wheels on roads, streets and sidewalks. It amazes me to think about how the wheel is one of six simple machines and how much complex technology is dependent on basic elements like a wheel. This book has been to Chicago, NYC, Bloomington, Ocean Shores, Iceland, Denmark and Germany. It traveled many miles to get to you.

Songs for the Accordion was inspired by the accordion book form and wanting to make a unique book that could visualize song and dance. Music threads through a landscape of colour and leaves notes to play and replay. Marks on paper were made using Procion dye, acrylic ink, charcoal, thread, acrylic medium and white glue. Of all the books made for the Sketchbook Project, this was the most difficult to send away.

My Brooklyn Childhood — a memoir has been on many Sketchbook Project Tours, including Art Basel. It is a compilation of my father’s memoirs and memory drawings. It brings together work that my father talked about but never achieved: illustrating the many stories he told. His memory drawings open a new understanding of his Brooklyn boyhood, and the Brooklyn Art Library is a fitting location for this first edition. This book is also available from Blurb

View these and my other Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbooks on line.

One of my sketchbooks is on the Sketchbook Project Summer Tour. The bookmobile will pull into Vancouver and park in front of Emily Carr University on Granville Island this coming Monday, 07 July (open from 1 – 5PM). Sketchbook Project tours are fun. In addition to checking out and reading artist made books, there are also drawing and postcard writing activities. If you can’t get to the Sketchbook Project in Vancouver, find your closest city, check out some sketchbooks and let me know what you think. http://www.sketchbookproject.com/sbp2014

Like some of my other  sketchbooks residing in the Brooklyn Art Library, Last Trip to Surrey reaches deep into family history. It reflects the ending of a long journey of a family elder in a series of drawings about many journeys to visit and attend family meetings. It is difficult to disguise the debilitating impact of these visits, but somehow, I found a playful way to bring colour to time of fading light. This book can be viewed on line along with other books in the touring collection. http://www.sketchbookproject.com/users/queenofmidnight/artwork

Papergirl Vancouver openings Tuesday, 08 July (from 6 – 9 pm), and the exhibition will be on view until 11 July at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). The Papergirl Rideout is 19 July, starting at 11Am, and artwork will be distributed to unsuspecting recipients along a yet to be disclosed route. More about Papergirl http://www.papergirlvancouver.com  https://www.facebook.com/PapergirlVancouver

My involvement in Papergirl reflects my belief in the importance of generosity and keeping art in circulation. Often, I think about the monetary value of a work of art and the impossibility of putting a price on creativity. Papergirl makes it possible for me to live these values. There are, of course, situations where/when it is appropriate to exchange money for artwork, and yes, an art sale is sweet. It has been an honour to have been selected by Papergirl to offer Lumen Print Workshops as part of the promotion of this year’s Papergirl event. Some of the work produced in these workshops will be in the exhibition and then distributed.

 

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Two of my sketchbooks are on the Sketchbook Project Summer Tour. Soon the bookmobile will pull into Chicago and then cross the continent and set up 25+ North American locations before heading home to the Brooklyn Art Library. Sketchbook Project tours are fun. In addition to checking out and reading artist made books, there are also drawing and postcard writing activities. Find your closest city, check out some sketchbooks and let me know what you think. http://www.sketchbookproject.com/summer-tour

Both sketchooks reach deep into family history. On the Road Again — a family event photo log documents a five day roadtrip back to Bellville for a memorial service and affirmation of a new generation of elders. My drawings and photographs investigate permanence in the context of time and the river that seems to move forward and stand still. My Brooklyn Childhood — a memoir is a compilation of my father’s memoirs and memory drawings. It brings together work that my father talked about but never achieved: illustrating the many stories he told. His memory drawings open a new understanding of his Brooklyn boyhood, and the Brooklyn Art Library is a fitting location for this first edition. Selected images from both of these sketchbooks can be viewed on my Sketchbook Project Artwork page.

http://www.sketchbookproject.com/users/queenofmidnight/artwork

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The Sketchbook Project 2013 opens this Friday at the Brooklyn Art Library, beginning a seven city North American tour. Both artist books included in this tour reach deep into family history. My Brooklyn Childhood — a memoir is a compilation of my father’s memoirs and memory drawings. It brings together work that my father talked about but never achieved: illustrating the many stories he told. His memory drawings open a new understanding of his Brooklyn boyhood, and the Brooklyn Art Library is a fitting location for this first edition. On the Road Again — a family event photo log documents a five day roadtrip back to Bellville for a memorial service and affirmation of a new generation of elders. My drawings and photographs investigate permanence in the context of time and the river that seems to move forward and stand still. Selected images from both of these sketchbooks can be viewed on my Sketchbook Project Artwork page.

http://www.sketchbookproject.com/users/queenofmidnight/artwork

Touring Brooklyn, Austin, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles. More tour details

http://www.sketchbookproject.com/projects/sketchbookproject/tour/15

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Tuesday’s deadline for posting my two Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook projects has been using a lot of midnight oil. Soon they will arrive in Williamsburg where they will be scanned, put up on line and eventually go on tour as the weather becomes warmer. Both sketchooks reach deep into family history. On the Road Again — a family event photo log documents a five day roadtrip back to Bellville for a memorial service and affirmation of a new generation of elders. My drawings and photographs investigate permanence in the context of time and the river that seems to move forward and stand still. My Brooklyn Childhood — a memoir is a compilation of my father’s memoirs and memory drawings. It brings together work that my father talked about but never achieved: illustrating the many stories he told. His memory drawings open a new understanding of his Brooklyn boyhood, and the Brooklyn Art Library is a fitting location for this first edition. Selected images from both of these sketchbooks can be viewed on my Sketchbook Project Artwork page.

http://www.sketchbookproject.com/users/queenofmidnight/artwork

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