Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Is It!

 "Motherwell Reflection"
abstract painting by Mari Stewart

A group of hard working creative people spend all year planning and working toward a goal and then it comes to!  It does take a good deal of work and time but the 2010 Artisan Road Trip is about to happen and it'll be worth the effort!

One more A.R.T. traveling exhibit is in the making at Arts On Grand in Spencer, Iowa - perfect for an 2010 A.R.T. preview! There will be a reception held in conjunction with the Spencer Business After Hours, free to the public at Arts On Grand Tuesday evening, the 28th of September at 5 - 7p.m.

 "Free Spirit"
mobile from the "Edgy Metal Series" by Mari Stewart

Seven NW Iowa counties and 35 artists - visit their studios and galleries!  See where they work, how they work...what inspires them!  Artists like Mari Stewart of the Side Street Gallery in Arnolds Park!  Artists like like Wendel and Diane king at Peony Farm Studio south of Dickens...Barb McGee at McGee Gallery and Framing in downtown Peterson...Perry Polson at Wild Wood Gallery & Turning Lab in downtown Spencer. Other artists not yet featured in this A.R.T. blog - like Mitch Eveleth of Reflections In Ink from Estherville, Nicole Ayers at The Hayloft in Webb, Wendy Hopkins exhibiting in Laurens...and many more of us! 

Fall is upon us and what better way to enjoy the emerging colors and that cool autumn air?!  35 artists, working in more mediums than imaginable!

Enjoy the weekend - Friday - October 1st, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday - October 2nd, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday - October 3rd, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.!

Hope to see you then!

We'll keep the cider and treats on for ya!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A.R.T. Artist Spotlight - Mary Ortner

Diptych: "Thunderclouds Over Fairview Bonanza"
©Mary Ortner

This week's 2010 Artisans Road Trip artist is Mary Ortner from Odebolt, Iowa.  Mary gives us  some insight into her work and background!

"Although I was born in Iowa, and raised on a square-country mile, most of my adult life was spent in DC and New York.

That trek half-way across the country was driven by the same youthful curiosity that had spurred exploring every inch of that one-square mile called home.  And it would be in those nascent experiences that a buffer would be found against the maddening city-crowds whose cold indifference seemed but to rush through her canyons of concrete and steel.

I was in my late twenties before the artist within began budding.  Inspiration -- rooted in those home-grown experiences -- was abundant.  But I was also self taught and often heard that without "proper" artistic credentials, I couldn't be taken seriously!

Encouragement from certain of the, then prominent, Washington Color School, kept me from feeling like a snow cone in the middle of the Mojave!  Within a year, I began showing my work.

In the interim since, I've come to discover that what moves my hand across the canvas is not the face of nature, but that which lies behind it.

Currently -- and between the raindrops -- I'm challenged to write a draft-text for a children's book based on a series of collage inspired by what I call -- E.T. moments!  This little character popped into my head, but thereafter, took on a life of his own -- creating his own adventures.

Those adventures inspired a following whose interest, in turn, inspired thoughts of doing a book.

And his name?  It was found in the bosom of the night sky along with the steps back in time to the youthful memories of being sprawled upon the grass, gazing into the star-filled sky, wondering who might be gazing back at me -- and now I know!"

Be sure and pay a visit to Mary's studio and the studio of other artists the coming weekend of October 1st through 3rd for the 2010 Artisans Road Trip!!!

Hope to see you then!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A.R.T. Spot Light - Judy Hemphill

"Clean Sweep" Photography © Judy Hemphill
This Artisans Road Trip installment spot lights photographer Judy Hemphill.  Here Judy introduces us to her art form and interests.

"Family, animals, nature, and travel are major interests of mine. They capture my time, and I capture them with my lens. I enjoy chronicling family, school, and community activities and celebrations. Also, beauty is all around. Each day I strive to take notice, to discover it in new forms and places. Storytelling images which engage other senses are a special goal. Photography allows me to share my observations from ground-level to aerials, close-ups to panoramas, mostly in color.

"Chuck Wagon Race" Photography © Judy Hemphill
A vast array of image possibilities are on the grounds of the Clay County Fair which this year runs Sat., Sept. 11 - Sun., the 19th.  Maybe I'll see you there!
I do hope you'll visit my new gallery space in downtown Spencer at 217 Grand Avenue, especially during the 2010 Artisans Road Trip! 

Make it a point to drop in on Judy and many of the other artists during the 2010 Artisans Road Trip coming soon!!! 

Friday, September 3, 2010


"Prairie Autumn Stream No.2"
(color pencil  © Bruce A. Morrison)
click on image to enlarge 

Wow!  It's September, summer is winding down, and the Artisans Road Trip is looming closer on the horizon!

What are we, as artists, doing in preparation for this?!  Well, in my case panicking!  Ha!  Just kidding!  Well, sorta anyway...there is still much to be done here at the Prairie Hill Farm Studio and I'm still out there chasing the light with both brush and camera.  And we've been working in the gallery to arrange new displays with new pieces and doing last minute framing work as well.

"Chasing the Green Flash"
(sculpture  © Bill Lieb)
click on image to enlarge 

But I'm no different from other A.R.T. artists, we're all working full speed ahead!  Sculptor Bill Lieb is preparing, not only for A.R.T. 2010, but also an exhibit at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in October.  The piece shown here is titled 'Chasing the Green Flash'. It refers to the pursuit of seeing a green flash the moment the sun sets on the ocean.....a favorite pastime while he and Jane sailed and lived on their sailboat for five years.

 Perry Polson at work in his lab
click on image to enlarge 

Perry Polson, at his Wild Wood Gallery & Turning Lab, has just come off a good August receiving an exhibit award of $500 for the Spencer Iowa Main Street Market.  He was also awarded the $100 people's exhibit award during the event as well!

All the other artists on the road trip are preparing their studios or sites for the autumn weekend too!  What a great time of year to get out and enjoy that fresh crisp air...a great change from the hot sticky summer weather we've all been contending with this year!

Be sure and put October 1st, 2nd and 3rd on your calendars for the Artisans Road Trip!