Thursday, April 29, 2010

A.R.T. at the LeMars Art Center in May

"Prairie River Summer"
oil painting by Bruce Morrison
-one example of many works to be exhibited during the month of May

Artists of the Artisans Road Trip will be exhibiting their works at the Le Mars Art Center through the month of May!

Get a sneak peek at what the A.R.T. artists are up to and enjoy the best of art in NW Iowa!

The art Center is at 200 Central Avenue, for those who have not visited the center before. The exhibit will be running from May 1st through 30th, and you can call the art center at 712-546-7476 to inquire as to hours the center is open.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anita Baedke-Plucker - "A Time to Create"

"One With Nature"

This week's Artisans Road Trip featured artist is Anita (Katie) Baedke-Plucker from Terril, Iowa. Katie is speaking to a subject all artists struggle for and with - "a time to create".

Katie -
I hear so often of the frustration and disappointment of people, mostly women, who want to spend more time on/at their art. However, the reality and responsibilities of everyday life get in the way. I have and will probably continue to experience those same frustrations myself. I can only speak as to my experience: first, I remember saying to myself, “if I only had a day to paint.” I have realized that I can get a lot of watercolor painting done in 30 minutes! If that is the fragment of time you have, take it! Make the most of it. Stay connected with the piece. Last year I did not plan my annual 'Arts Adventure'; no workshops or classes, no exhibits; and no 'art-in-the-parks'. My goal was to sort through, organize, and clean 60 years of 'treasures' on the family farm, hoping that time, Mom and Dad would move to an assisted living villa. Most of my time was spent out on the farm. However, 2009 was probably one of my most productive years in producing art and releasing prints. I took advantage of those fragments of time. I knew that is all I had. Plus, I could not afford a negative attitude about all of this and making excuses. I found myself repeating over and over to myself in my mind, "I have plenty of time to get everything done." The mind is very powerful.

Second: If you have to get your art supplies out of the closet in order to paint, you probably won’t. And you will use up valuable limited time in the preparation and the putting-away. Find an area or a room where you can work and leave you supplies and
materials out, if it’s only a card table in a corner somewhere. When my sons were babies and toddlers, I was a stay-at-home mom plus took care of three other children, as well. I had a space in the corner of my kitchen (I will admit it was a very large kitchen.) and “while the macaroni was cooking” I was in the corner either analyzing work or painting a few strokes of watercolor. I had and have a terrific thirst, a need to create, and found a way, if only for a few minutes. Sooooooo get that space ready. I really believe this to be true, “If you want something bad enough, you will find a way; if not, you will find an excuse.” Become aware of the roadblocks we can throw up to prevent ourselves from getting what we desire.

"Land of Plenty"

And...if you are working ‘large’, having small fragments of time here and there to complete a large piece alone can be frustrating and overwhelming and make you feel defeated. You may lose that initial energy and excitement which led you to begin the work. Perhaps work in a smaller format??? a smaller size??? I know many artists who would argue that idea with me. Very simply, do the math. I recently read of an artist who paints one painting per day and posts it on her website each day for sale. One painting every day! They are small, I think they were 6”x6”, but 365 per year and she was working, painting every day. That alone, must be fulfilling.

"Lakeside Laboratory - Shimek Lab"

Also, I believe there is a “season” for the chapters in your life – caring and nurturing your children, employment to financially support the family, caring for an ill/disabled spouse, parent or child, etc. Often these chapters will require almost all of your time and commitment. And that is the way it is supposed to be. The season for your art will come. Knowing that and accepting that will lessen the frustration and deliver a certain amount of peace as you turn the pages of those chapters.

Another battle can be the idea that people do not take artists seriously. Our need to create is seen as a hobby, a fun way to spend time or a waste of time. If you have people around you who feel that way about your art, that can be a huge difficult obstacle. My heart goes out to you. My art is a real need. “I just gotta make me something.” And I am the happiest when I have taken any opportunity to create. I am reminded it is the process that is the most enjoyable part in creating. Robert Henri wrote, "Museums of art will not make a country an art country. But where there is the art spirit there will be precious works to fill museums. Better still, there will be the happiness that is in the making."

Remember to stop back from time to time for another glimpse at the artists from the Artisans Road Trip!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Faye Wilson - From the Road Trip!

With this new Artisans Road Trip blog we visit with Faye Wilson, Watercolor artist from rural Cherokee, Iowa. I don't know about you but I find it fun learning about all these artists in this year's Artisans Road Trip! Here's Faye -

"This is my studio/spare room. It's great to have a place to leave my art stuff out. In October last year my sister and I moved into an old square farmhouse with my cat Purl. Most of my days are spent working as a floral designer in Cherokee, but when I get a few spare minutes I come here to paint. My dad gave me a desk ,but I always seem to gravitate to the floor it just seems more comfortable and I can really spread out."

"Right now I'm working on a portrait of Purl. Her favorite activities include sleeping, eating flies and drinking my paint water if I'm not looking! In my job I get to use my creativity every day, but with my art work I only have to please me, not any particular customer."

"The last painting was painted while I was snowed in (one of the blessings of living in the country)! Just what you need on a cold winter's morning - coffee and a warm sticky cinnamon roll. Baking on a cold day (or any day) just seems like home and it brings me comfort after a long week at work."

Join us again in the near future and spend a snipit of time with an artist from A.R.T.!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Those Dreaded Comissions

"Hot Rodder"

This Artisans Road Trip blog features Barb McGee, a painter whose studio is located in the Ridge and Tallgrass region of A.R.T. - in Peterson, Iowa. Barb's favored mediums are watercolor and oil, and her subject matter is generally western in theme, and (although not limited to) equine.

"Megan's Painting"

Barb is speaking today on her views of commissioned works:

"There are two sides to every issue and the same is true of commissions. Almost every artist
I know hates to do commissions and they growl the whole time they are doing them. Because of the type of work that I do, it seems that I am blessed with a number of them. I have devised a plan that sometimes works well for me and my client. If it is at all possible, I will go and take my own photographs of the subject. I will usually take twenty or thirty shots and then all we have to do is download to their computer and choose which one we want to use for the painting. This method gives both of us input into the painting but allows me to feel like it is my own creation.

Kathy's Folks

On the other side of the coin are the commissions that drive us all wild AUGH !!! Here are three different pictures of my dad's dead horses can you do a painting of them??? Of course all of the snapshots are from 20 ft away and none are really what you would call attractive and one of them is turned in the opposite direction, what do you do then? PUNT, IMPROVISE, then I praise God that when it is done, they will come and get it and give me a check. It won't be collecting dust in the gallery for the rest of my natural life. Yeah for commissions?????"

"Alexis Foot"

You can see more of Barb McGee's artwork on her art websites - McGee Gallery & Framing, and Horses by McGee.

Stop back
on occasion and see what the artisans of A.R.T. are up to, their thought process, or typical day in the studio or in the field!