What do you have to say for youself??

Jane Dunnewold is a consummate contemporary fiber artist and a beloved internationally-known teacher. Her Creative Strength Training program has helped thousands of artists (including me) to discover and define their authentic creative selves.

Jane Dunnewold: Altar #1 – Wooden altar form “upholstered” with botanical prints on 140 lb watercolor paper. Approximately 10″ tall x 8″ wide.

Jane is also a heck of an interviewer! Her sharp mind and strong background in the arts gives her genuine curiosity and insight, and she knows exactly what questions to ask people.

So that’s why I was both thrilled and intimidated when she asked if she could interview me for her CST Guest Creative Interview Series.  

It was great! I learned so much – read on . . .

Here’s a short clip from the interview (there’s a link to the complete 30-minute interview at the end of the post). Before you watch it, ask yourself what you would say if Jane asked YOU about how spirituality informs your art practice . . .

Jane was kind enough to provide me with a list of potential questions in advance,which was a big help. But it’s really HARD to figure out exactly what makes yourself tick, much less express it in words to somebody else.

One HUGE thing this interview taught me is that, as artists. we really do have to be able to define our aesthetic for our own sake. If we can do that, it keeps us on the right track. It keeps us true to our own vision.

OK, now here are Jane’s questions directed at YOU. I want you to get out your notebook and write down some short answers as you interview yourself. (The spirituality question isn’t on the list, but it’s also a good one).

1. What do you do to get into a creative mindset before you begin working on a
project?
2. Do you have a special “routine” that helps you prepare for a studio day?
3. What are a couple of ways you deal with getting out of feeling stuck, and if that
never happens to you, can you share the reasons why? We’re fascinated by how artists’ minds work when obstacles present themselves.
4. How do you describe yourself as an artist?
5. Can you tell us briefly what processes and materials you work with, or like best?
6. Anything else you have discovered about being “creative” that you’d like to share?

This is a great exercise. And since all of us have some unexpected thought-time during this strange summer, it’s a good way to organize your thoughts. For example, you might find that the project you were considering just out of boredom is not right an that you should go back to an unfinished work and complete it.

As an extra challenge, sit yourself down in front of your iPhone with a cup of tea and video your answers as you interview yourself. You’ll thank me for it later 🙂

I’m so grateful to Jane for inviting me to do this. It’s helped me understand myself better as an artist.

One of the things I admire about Jane the most is her generosity to other artists – her YouTube tutorials, her Creative Strength Training program, which is not all about HER, but about US — and especially her insightful body of work, which redefines “fiber art.”

Here’s the link to the complete interview

So, what do you have to say for YOURself??

♥Lyn

 

 

 

A new website – and it’s mine, all mine!

TAH-DAH!! New studio, new website - life is bueno!

TAH-DAH!! New studio, new website – life is bueno!

Whew! My new website is finished (or as finished as those things ever get – tweak tweak). Take a look!

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I built it myself so I could include things like links to my Etsy page and a “Your Page” place to show video tutorials for you guys. It also has a super easy link to the Behind the Veil encaustic collage ebook, which makes downloading a snap.

Creating a new site was hard, but worth it! And it works sooooo much better than the old website, which had been around since the dawn of the Internet.

SHARDS readers are the first to see this, and I would greatly appreciate any feedback or suggestions, positive or negative (sometimes negative is a very good thing).

Yeah, I know the studio workshops aren’t up yet, but they will be soon, and the check-out process should be simple and easy.

So here’s the link – thanks for checking it out!! And stay warm and dry this weekend – here in South Texas it’s gonna get nasty – brrrrrrrr.

I would SO fail . . . . . .

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One of the things that I’ve had time to do this month is poke around in thrift shops. I found this totally creepy set of stamps from the 50’s called “Grading Aids.” The idea is that you evaluate some poor kid’s work by stamping a scary clown face on their paper or drawing. No words, no comments, just a clown face. Ewww. That is wrong in so many ways.

Let’s apply these standards to the new abstract diptych that I just finished. It’s layered with symbol and calligraphy and paint and prayer and a mystical snake and all kinds of radical, goofy non-representational stuff.

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Well, first of all, it’s not neat. Damn, I hate it when that happens. The Clown is not pleased either. Look at those random spatters.

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It’s also obviously careless work – you can’t even read what it says – very poor penmanship (no matter that penmanship isn’t even taught anymore). The Clown disapproves.

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In fact, this painting is so unacceptable I might have to do it over – right, Clowny?

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Actually, I think I’ll do it over a bunch of times – I’ll do a whole SERIES of careless, messy joyful abstract paintings – take THAT, you stupid clown and all the rest of the inside-the-box thinkers that try to rubber stamp individual creativity. Hooray, back to the Studio – what an EXCELLENT idea!!

Happy creating, Everybody!

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Pamela Taylor and the issue of incarceration

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I took a quick break last evening to visit with friend and art activist Pamela Taylor, whose exhibit of paintings opened at IAMA Coffee House just outside the Pearl on Broadway.

Called “Confinement (In)Justice: A Dichotomy” it aims to call attention to the unparalleled rate of incarceration in the United States.

Here is a bit more about Pamela – I cherish her friendship and encourage you to get by IAMA this month to see her work.

Pamela Taylor, M.S., a San Antonio native, is an abstract expressionist painter whose work is intense and chaotic, symbolizing her personal pain and concern about society”s increasing tolerance of inequality, harassment, and intimidation, which has created an environment of incivility in schools, workplaces, and politics. She is the Co-Founder of Dress for Success San Antonio and Founder of Career Gear San Antonio, workforce development non-profit organizations serving the disenfranchised; Taylor served as CEO for nearly 14 years. While there, she worked directly with inmates of Bexar County Jail for 2 years. Taylor has been featured in the San Antonio Express News and local media on numerous occasions and is a survivor of domestic violence. In 2011, Taylor spoke about her ordeal in a TED Talk at Trinity University.

Confinement (In)Justice: A Dichotomy will be on display at The IAMA Coffee House from June 28-July 26, 2016.

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Boston spring break retreat and finding answers to all of life’s artistic questions (sorta)

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This was the view out my window on a snowy spring day this week in Boston. I’m home now after my short getaway – I took an evening printmaking class at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and did a bit of shopping on Charles Street at Black Ink, a very cool store. Retreats like this are s’posed to help you figure out the answers to the Big Questions. I didn’t come up with many of my own Big Questions about art and life, but did have fun painting some answers. This is an acrylic-on-canvas triptych I did while there. They can be hung in any order depending on your desired outcome:

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Today I’d start with the one that says “Yes” –  glad to be back working at the Studio and yes, also, to being very grateful for the time away to recharge and visit with family. (And “no” to living all winter in the snow!)

 

Earth Day 2013 – and a sneak preview about artist Pablo Solomon

earthday 2013My memories of the first Earth Day involve getting in trouble at Alamo Heights Junior School (I was a *very* young art teacher) for organizing an activist march for my students. My principal, Mr. Ivy, was not pleased with my rabble-rousing, mini-skirt-wearing, hippie ways. Forty+ years later, how things have changed – or have they? Thoughts? Pablo Solomon, internationally known artist and designer, featured in National Geographic for his part in the first Earth Day in an article by Mark Anderson, lives for the earth’s conservation. In a recent interview, Pablo says, “Do what you can to obtain a green freedom, a philosophy that there is no greater freedom than energy independence.” He created the first Earth Day poster and has done another one each year since 1970. Here is this year’s (left)

But wait! There’s more! Pablo Solomon with be at the Studio in June for an informal lecture, exhibit and sale of his work. I am really excited about his visit. Mark the weekend of June 21-22 on your calendar.

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In the meantime, celebrate Earth Day – as Marshall McLuhan reminds us, there are no passengers on Spaceship Earth – we are all crew.

 

 

The Artist’s Way 12.03

Starting a new project is scary for me – what if nobody gets it? What if it doesn’t say something that’s worth anything? Then, as serendipity has it, this was yesterday’s excerpt from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, Everyday: A Year of Creative Living. Hooray, I feel connected again! Whew, back in the nest with the rest of you birds 🙂

“We are like songbirds. When one of us gives voice to our true
nature, it is contagious and others soon give tongue as
well. There is an infallibility to the law that as we each
seek to express what we are longing to say, there is always
someone or something that is longing to hear precisely
what we have expressed. We do not live or create in isolation.”

Grid of Nests – Richard Barnes, 2000/Artstor

Artist’s Statement

Artist’s Statement: Lyn Belisle
The Arrow and the Song – 2111
My work is a synthesis of images across time presented in a contemporary context using pages and scans from old art books and museum catalogs in combination with my own digital photographs. As an undergraduate art major, my influences were Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, Cy Twombly and other abstract expressionists whose collage-like paintings intrigued by hinting at snippets of untold stories and myths.
I found that by combining fine prints of paintings by the old Masters with my archetypal photos of fruit, eggs, and other symbolic objects, I could create a rather mysterious story that transcends time. The expressions on the faces of the Renaissance men and women who modeled for paintings are rich and complex and, when chosen out of their original context, lend a humanity that speaks to the contemporary viewer.
I combine state-of-the-art digital photographic manipulation with traditional materials such as gold leaf and walnut ink to bring the images together visually and thematically. The titles of the works hint at the story as I see it, but each piece invites the viewer’s own interpretation.