Second Session: WAX & WORDS on Monday, June 25

I’ve added a second section of Wax & Words on Monday, June 25th from 1-4 at the Semmes Studio, San Antonio Art League, for those of you who couldn’t get in the first one. Thank you all for your quick response.

The second session will have the same agenda as the first – if you would like to register, please go to this link and scroll to the bottom of the page. There is a limit of eight participants. We will have fun!

Description:

This three-hour workshop taught by Lyn Belisle introduces you to the concept of asemic writing as a component of evocative encaustic collage. Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means “having no specific semantic content,” or “without the smallest unit of meaning.” With the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning, which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret.

We will explore mark-making with all kinds of tools, including sticks, stamps, and sprayed walnut ink over stencils. Areas of the artwork will be isolated, then covered with thin layers of beeswax to add translucency to the mystery of the marks.  The resulting work, elegant and timeless, will be matted for display and discussion.

All materials are provided, including

  • Drawing paper
  • Sticks and ink
  • Letter Stamps
  • Walnut ink stencils
  • Graphite pencil
  • Encaustic wax and brushes
  • Gallery mats
  • Gold leaf . . .and more
Hope to see you there!

 

A weekend with the art and the Juror

Friday and Saturday were super-busy days at the San Antonio Art League – there were a total of 351 entries submitted for the 88th Annual Artists Exhibition. From those, 65 will be accepted and 24 awards will be given.

My pal Michelle Belto fills out her paperwork at the Art League for her submissions

It was a huge workload for Juror Michael Ettema from Santa Fe, who spent Sunday (yesterday) making his decisions. Three members of the exhibition committee were there to help (and so was I, a presidential perk!), but the process was closed to everyone else.

Juror Michael Ettema from Santa Fe evaluates the artwork

I got to be a fly on the wall as I watched and listened to Michael. He was amazing – fair and meticulous in his selections. I talked to him at our lunch break and found out that he has been involved in art since he was 16 – starting out as an intern at a museum in Dearborn, MI, and pursuing a career as a gallery manager, a museum curator and director, and a successful art appraiser. Wow.

He made at least five rounds of selection, narrowing by about a third each time. Every piece received close scrutiny and constructive comments. He did take a break to take a walk around the King William neighborhood, but worked steadily through the day.

Once the final selections were made, he was left by himself to award the monetary prizes. And nobody knows who got those – not me, not the committee chair – just Michael! And he ain’t tellin’ 🙂

Last night, Bill and I hosted an informal dinner for Michael and the committee and Art League board. Michael explained his criteria for selection. Basically, he looks for an original idea that is carried out with confidence – concept and skill were the keywords.

Michael Ettema is not the kind of juror who picks landscapes or portraits or abstracts or any other specific genre. He based his selections on what he observes regarding the artist’s purpose and how successfully that was conveyed.

Acceptance notices are going out today. Awards will not be revealed until the opening on April 15th. I will say this – if you were one of the selected artist, congratulations. It was a very competitive field. If you were not selected, know that your piece was expertly and respectfully considered by a truly knowledgeable juror and a nice guy, to boot!

Special thanks to all the artists who submitted. Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.”It’s a risk to put your work out there for a juror. And special thanks to Francis Huang, committee chair (and wonderful artist himself) who found Michael Ettema for us. We know Michael has good taste, because he fell in love with San Antonio! I hope he’ll be back soon.

Gratitude for art and community

Yesterday afternoon was tinged with disbelief as news of yet another incident of violence, this time very close to home, began to spread. We were at the San Antonio Art League & Museum welcoming people to  the annual Members Invitational in which four artists who were finalists for SAALM’s Artist of the Year were invited as a group to show their work. As I talked with people, I thought a lot about the power of art to communicate and heal.

Every artist in the exhibit had statements of joy or hope or peace, expressed in his or her own medium and voice. Heartfelt thanks to Rachel Edwards Ridder, whose fiber works of artists’ hands celebrate life-long creativity, to Dona LeCrone Walston with her serene, powerful rocks and river watercolors, to Lee Ricks (who continues to paint well into his 80’s) for his keen observations of our beautiful landscapes, and to Sallie Stanley Carter for the brightly colored portraits of people with stories to tell. Each of you gave us a sense of community and comfort yesterday afternoon.

As you look at the video of yesterday’s opening, I hope you can see the celebration of the arts that has always sustained us. Many thanks to the artists, to the great behind-the-scenes guys who installed the exhibit, and to the people who were there – if you haven’t seen the show, please do come by. It’s a wonderful look at artistic optimism just when we need it most.

Members Invitational Exhibit opens at the San Antonio Art League & Museum from Lyn Belisle on Vimeo.

San Antonio Art League & Museum
130 King William St
San Antonio, TX 78204

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating arts diversity – clay, glass, fiber

Vincent van Gogh wrote, “I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.”

Good artists keep refining and redefining their medium, pushing boundaries and asking questions of themselves and their fellow artists. The San Antonio arts community has this kind of commitment – deep roots and diversity that would make any city proud. And they share and collaborate.

This evening, the San Antonio Potters Guild and the San Antonio Glass Art Guild are joining together to meet at the San Antonio Art League, viewing and discussing the work of sculptor and painter James Hendricks. And later in the fall, the Fiber Artists of San Antonio will tour the Art League Museum. I love this city and its multi-talented artists!

Speaking of the Fiber Artists, I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Friday’s opening of the 43rd Juried FASA Exhibit. The photos of the work are amazing.

Here’s a short video of some of the work you will see at Friday’s opening:

Fiber Artists of San Antonio: Preview of 43rd Juried Exhibition from Lyn Belisle on Vimeo.

And here’s the exhibit info – the juror, nationally know fiber artist Doshi, has done a remarkable job in her selective process:

  • FASA 43rd Annual Juried Fiber Art Exhibit
  • Opening Reception: Fri., Oct. 13, 2017, 6-8 p.m.
  • Exhibit on display: Fri., Oct. 13 – Fri. Nov. 17, 2017
  • Semmes Gallery, University of Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway St.
    San Antonio, TX 78209

Doshi is not only a discerning juror and curator, but a fantastic fiber artist herself. While she is in San Antonio, you can meet her and see her own spectacular work. She creates exquisite hand dyed clothing in original designs that range from contemporary to traditional. Her technique uses knotting, pleating, rolling, pressing or sewing during the dyeing process. The resulting designs are the memories of the method used to resist the dye.

Want to see for yourself? You’re invited!

Art is everywhere in every form. Celebrate it and share it – and even wear it!

 

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Workshop: light a candle

Sometimes it seems as if the world gets scarier and scarier, and it’s awfully hard not to get discouraged. We just have to keep focused on creative ways to keep ourselves centered so we can continue adding a little beauty to life’s journey.

That’s not exactly the way I intended to talk about this upcoming workshop, but it seems fitting. I’ll be teaching once again at the San Antonio Art League studio on King William, and we’ll be lighting things up with a votive candle collage project. The date is Sunday, October 29th and the time is 2-5 PM.

I wrote about this project for Cloth Paper Scissors magazine a couple of years ago, but now I’ve added the idea of personal collage to the basic structure.

We’ll spend a relaxing three hours talking about art and life while we create these collage votive cards. I’ll provide all materials, including the little switch-on candles.

You’ll add your personal touches through the collage elements and the colors you choose.

There are four spaces left at this writing, and you can sign up here on my website.
A portion of the tuition will benefit the San Antonio Art League & Museum.

Let’s shine some light together. I am so grateful for you all —

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Revival! Workshop at the Art League studio opens new doors

Nine pioneering participants joined me on Sunday to test-drive the decades-old studio space at the San Antonio Art League & Museum.

Our workshop was called “Postcards to Myself” – it’s all about learning to trust the creative process without exactly knowing where it will take you – no preconceived notions allowed.

Here’s a little video of the intuitive work that the participants created during the three-hours session.

Lyn Belisle, “Postcards to Myself” -The First SAAL&M Workshop from Lyn Belisle on Vimeo.

The time together was fun and informative. One of the best parts was the feedback everyone gave about the space itself as a venue for workshops and art gatherings. We all are excited about its potential and had plenty of ideas for improving the old studio to make it even better. Our wish list so far . . . .

  • lots of skylights!
  • another bathroom!
  • more storage space!

I’m determined to find funding to make this studio space even more vibrant as it comes back to life. It would be a perfect place for guest artists, small lectures demonstrations, and beginning art classes. It’s already very accessible.

If you’re interested in attending another session of “Postcards to Myself” at the Art League Studio in the next month or so, send me an email. And stay tuned to what’s happening at The Studio of the San Antonio Art League & Museum by signing up for our newsletter here on our website.

 

 

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SAAL&M meets the phallic alien claw

The favorite so far, but not yet a winner

So let’s talk logos – the results are in. And, boy, are they mixed. Overall, designs 2 & 3 were the favorites but we still have lots of work to do to perfect a new logo for the San Antonio Art League & Museum.

I wanted to share some of your comments so you can see what a funny, complex job it is to design a logo for an organization. Among my favorites were, “The tree looks like an alien claw,” and, simply, “Phallic.”

These particular comments came from the online survey, although I received lots more via email and messaging.Here we go:

LOGO #1

SELECTED COMMENTS:

  • This is my first choice! I don’t care if the background color is green, but I like the overall feel of this logo the best❤️
  • nope the “A” look like arrows that go nowhere
  • This one feels a little chaotic to me and my eyes keep getting drawn to the “arrows and away from the pertinent info
  • I like this one best because it says today, modern, forward thinking, and it shows respect for yesterday. I would like to see it with small green triangles added to both large triangles.
  • the swoop after the T is distracting, although i love that graphic. the two triangles, of which one is an A, are confusing.
  • My favorite because of the triangle shapes. Eye catching.
  • I don’t like this one. The downward-facing arrow that’s connected to the arch has a negative vibe to me….as if it’s suggesting “down with art”.
  • Phallic
  • Not too crazy about this one. Not sure why.
  • Don’t like the triangles
  • First choice

LOGO #2

SELECTED COMMENTS:

  • Does not really reflect art but only the building
  • This is my favorite.
  • Nice but not my first choice.
  • I like this logo the best! The Turquoise and black stand out and the image of the house gives it a lot of flavor. What about the paintbrush from #3 placed under “& Museum” on its side? #3 is my second choice. Not crazy about the background color.
  • nope like the building but not the branch in front of it looks like an alien claw
  • This one is my favorite. I love the whole package. #3 is my second choice. They all look great.
  • My fav! I emailed you with comments about each one…Your survey page worked!
  • I like this one!
  • My favorite, hands down! Easy on the eyes, the relevant information is right up front, and then I’m drawn to the lovely rendering which captures visually the historic nature of the place.
  • This one would certainly encourage me to go there… love the design in the circle.
  • I like this one the best
  • Probably my favorite.
  • hard to see the photo. why is there a tree branch?
  • don’t like at all
  • This is my favorite. The circle suggests timelessness, and the type names who you are – in plain, simple letters. You might play with the color, however. The teal blue feels dated.
  • classy. favorite
  • I think this is my favorite. And since you like that bronze color, in my mind’s eye this would look fabulous in bronze!
  • LOVE LOVE LOVE this one.

LOGO #3

SELECTED COMMENTS:

  • This is my choice. Simple, elegant and to the point
  • This is the one I like best–crisp and clean, “ART” stands out, love the contrast of the vintage-looking brush against the contemporary lettering (because I did like the architectural elements in the 1st two logos).
  • I like the bold letters. It is contemporary!
  • This is super easy to read. ART being the main focus. Simplify, simplify……..great logo. Anne Brennan
  • Like the design although paint brush might lead people to only think of painting.
  • yes yes yes classic classy tells it like it is
  • I don’t care for this one. It’s not clear (maybe I’m dense) whether I’m seeing a brush or a table leg. 🙁 Of course it’s a brush because it’s art but then there’s the change in text direction. Despite the clean lines, it feels like too much to figure out at a glance.
  • The color and graphics say it all – and, in spite of no visible purple, draws me in.
  • My second choice
  • looks scatological, under the A. colors are not interesting.
  • clean, simple. love the colors: I personally like black and brown together.
  • This one is too busy, and nothing is gained from the paintbrush coming down from the ‘A’.
  • paint brush is overused
  • Not crazy about this one either.
  • OK, not very exciting
  • Third choice

LOGO #4

SELECTED RESPONSES:

  • I was too busy trying to look at the background drawings before I got around to reading the Museum part… last choice
  • I don’t like the purple and the logo is very hard to read and distinguish what it is advertising.
  • nope too busy
  • My favorite!
  • Here, I feel frustrated trying to figure out what the image is and what the dots mean. It also feels too top-heavy to me, despite the grounding line at the bottom. Please pick #2 – it’s perfect! (Let us know what you decide.)
  • What about this one in the bronze?
  • hard to see, and the purple dots don’t jibe with the (column?).
  • I like this too. The & symbol is a little lost. King William District could be a little larger.
  • This would be my second choice, but I don’t understand the meaning/reason behind the circles up top. A few suggestions: 1. Eliminate the dots/circles at the top, 2. make the top and bottom horizontal blocks less deep, and move the “In the King William Historical District” line up so that it is closer to the top of the bottom block.
  • might run into problems with the purple
  • This is probably my second choice. But, like you, I’m not too fond of the purple color here. … Also I think I don’t care for the placement of the King William banner; maybe it could be thinner: just tall enough to hold the letters. ???
  • Too confusing
  • Last choice

Thanks for all of the comments!! The are hugely helpful – I’m going (literally) back to the drawing board and refining your favorite designs – stay tuned.

Designer Milton Glasser said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” That’s what we wanna do for the San Antonio Art League and Museum!

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