I'm in NYC for the holidays and visited Gagosian Gallery to see Richard Serra's exhibit.
Wow is all I have to say. I've seen his work in magazines and on the internet but experiencing it in person is totally different. These massive, textured shapes are really amazing.
If you find yourself in NYC, just go.
I spent the weekend taking a workshop from Amity Parks. A wonderful, sharing instructor that teaches all her tricks without reservation. She gave everyone lots of personal instruction, wonderful handouts, a palette and inks we needed so we could continue working with her alphabet when we got back to our studios. Sponsored by the Colorado Calligrapher's Guild, this workshop as affordable and a great value.
Over the past several years, I have been interested in incorporating text into my work — first with fabric and now with books. But there is a big difference between the kind of hand lettering I've been doing and calligraphy.
I'm not a person who likes "rules" or following specific instructions so I didn't know if I was going to like learning this precise art. Turns out, I was in a class with 10 "Calligraphy Experts" — some who are known world-wide. Intimidating! But I confessed to my beginner status and then just had fun experimenting with pens, inks, and letters.
The hardest part was coming up with a quote. I don't use other people's words in my work and my husband suggested "Impeach the SOB!" but I thought that might be a little harsh. So I settled on something supportive of women, a cause I have been working for all my life.
I have often taken workshops that are a reach for me and every time I do it, I am happy with how it expands my thinking and art-making. I highly recommend you do the same if you want to get re-energized, look at your work from a new perspective, or just have fun being a beginner again!
They say we learn more by failing than succeeding.
I tried to layer more than 20 layers of paint, paper, marks, sprays, anything I could find in my studio, onto a 12" wooden panel. My idea was to use a scraper to peel off some of the areas to create something that looked like old, faded, distressed graffiti. I should have stopped at this layer but didn't. After all the layers were dry, I tried to remove some of the surface with a scrapper but it was much too hard to dig through.
I ended up trashing it all together but it's still on my mind. I just have to think differently about how to achieve the texture I'm creating in my mind. Problem solving is the essence of being an artist!
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a mixed media artist and love color and texture!