The blog's not the only thing I'm neglecting this week. Although I returned from my weekend away late Sunday night, I still feel I'm recovering from all the stimulation and the long drive down and back. I think I've written before about pain as a distraction to creativity. I've managed to tweak my lower back and not just a little, so the thought of working at a sewing machine or doing much of anything until it quits complaining seems out of the question. I'm still dragging in general, which I expect the first day after a trip, but certainly not also on the second, third and now the fourth day. At what point to do I shake myself and say, enough! Suck it up, grin and bear it, don't be such a baby, yada yada yada! Yes, I'm lecturing myself.
So I thought the least I could do was get back to blogging and share a bit of the art I saw in the town where I stayed. Like so many cities, it has embraced the Artwalk idea, and all you need do is shop or eat or check out a wine bar to be exposed to art on the walls. Kenneth Susynski's work was being highlighted at Waterbrook Winery, and included a portfolio of his work and free postcards as well as his actual oil & charcoal paintings. I brought those postcards home which is the only reason I know his name and can share his website here. Any other artists I viewed are only dim memories. This should be a lesson to the rest of us about effective promotion of our work. Another lesson: I have no idea where this artist hails from. There is precious little personal information on his website, and his bio only lists exhibits and galleries and private collections where his work has ended up. His statement definitely helps me in understanding his work, but without clicking on a specific work, I would not know his medium.
Here is one of his works that was available in postcard form. To be honest, I wasn't much taken with his paintings - big splashy things that I would find difficult to live with. However, when I saw his work reduced in size to an image on a page or postcard, I rather liked what I saw. I'm not sure I've ever had that happen before.
The oddest collection of art was found in Gerry Mathew's “Black Door Gallery and Museum of Un-natural History,” which he describes as “a watercolor-free-zone” that is “opinionated, satiric, iconoclastic and in questionable taste.” The pieces therein dare you to stretch your mind and challenge your point of view, according to one description. Hard to categorize what I saw, but mostly collage I guess, and again, I found I wasn't much taken by it, although there were a few thought-provoking pieces and a few that made me chuckle. I kept thinking of the age-old debate, "Yes, but is it art?" Apparently, even Gerry thinks it might not be. I believe he once was a NY Broadway set designer, which would explain some of what I saw. For an alternate view and fuller description of this exhibit, check out this blog entry: http://logosmori.blogspot.com/2007/07/museum-of-un-natural-history.html Now that I think of it, brother Mad Max - you would have loved it. Better than the blue whale.
Finally, I happened upon a lovely large art quilt by Joan Colvin. It was the heron theme that attracted me to it (see this post), and since it was unlike anything else being sold in this store, I guessed it was the personal possession of the owner. That indeed was the case, and the story behind it was remarkable. The owner often spends time in an area frequented by herons, who stand reflected in the ebbing tide. This is exactly the scene depicted in Joan's piece, which was made to raise money for a conservation group. A friend of the owner vowed to buy lots of tickets for the raffle, and if she won, give the quilt to her friend. She won, and she did! Oh, to have such a lucky and generous friend! Apparently, Joan has some local ties, so the piece means that much more to this person, yet, I suspect she has no idea how well known Joan is, or how valuable this particular art quilt may be. She did mention wondering more about herons, if they meant anything special, so I shared my heron story and what I had discovered. That encounter alone could have made the trip worthwhile. I don't know when this piece was made, but Joan still works in nature themes, and I found her artist statement enlightening.