Art always has a story behind it. I was graciously excepted into the 13 woman art show in Bentonville. Here is what this show is about: Great ideas are contagious.
They always seem to spill over and spark others to begin thinking in a bigger and broader way… and that ignites more ideas. Ideas are a powerful thing.
We have Geena Davis and the Bentonville Film Festival to thank as the idea catalysts for the WomanMade:NWA show. During the 2015 inaugural festival, I heard Ms Davis speak about the festival’s initiatives of bringing the work of women and minority lmmakers to the forefront so their unique perspective and voice could be shared.
The commentary sparked a personal connection with me. As an artist myself, I know that creative work is shaped by the lens that we each look through. I began thinking about my own point-of-view as an artist and the in uence of being a woman in my own art practice. I also wondered about other creative women – what was in influencing their creative work and what were they thinking about?
Knowing Northwest Arkansas is rich with creative talent, the idea formed to gather a diverse group of local creative women for an exhibition where they could share their work, story, and influences.
We asked the artists to submit a piece that represented their “signature” creative work or, optionally, explore a topic, symbol, or idea that comes from a uniquely female perspective. In the show, you will see both approaches.
Expanding the borders of a traditional art show and the definition of an
“artist” was an important element in the show as well. In the show our “artists” span the disciplines of ne art painting, fashion design, glassmaking, writing, sculpture, photography, and performance.
It has been such an honor to be part of a community that is growing artistically and expanding in its creative boundaries. Many thanks to the women in the show who are sharing their work, to Story Gallery for embracing the show concept, and to Ms Davis and the Bentonville Film Festival for their vision in bringing an expansive point-of-view
to our region.
The location to go see these pieces in person is here.
Here is the “story” with my piece, an original watercolor of two pears and an apple. In my curvaceous series, “The Women We Love”, I celebrate women, their unique beauty inside and out while honoring their colorful personalities with my bright and happy colors. Bringing to mind those women in our lives who have helped “shape” us into the people we are today. This piece is one of the beginning paintings from this series which began for me in 2010.
As women our bodies are often compared to apples or pears, which is the subjects in this series. Women often get too caught up in their outer appearance and its “flaws”, wishing they were taller, shorter, thinner, more curves, less curves,..on and on. Our thinking can steal our gratitude, confidence and mindfulness to be present with those in our midst. I want to help remind us women to recall those women we love and adore. Of course we do not hold them in high esteem because of their looks! It is their loving hearts and generous souls that they have graciously shared with us. So in honor of observing and embracing ourselves as we are, this series rejoices in all shapes!
I am a local artist who creates in many mediums however my focus is in watercolors and collage. I do commission work and am honored to paint a portrait of someone’s home or family. I sell my original art and giclee’s through my booth at the Fayetteville Farmers Market, social media and word of mouth. I also am grateful to teach classes in my local community, year round. It thrills me to be able to pass on the joy behind the paintbrush to those who participate in my classes.
My creative work flows out of what excites, thrills and captures me. I am visually stimulated. The presentation of dancing light, interesting shadows, intriguing compositions, and contrasting elements stir the creative energy in me. This creative energy happens to me behind my camera lens, while cooking a meal, wrapping a package, beautifying my home and yard and of course in my hands with art materials of all kinds.
As a woman I am more intuitive and spontaneous than men. My memories are more connected to relationships and emotions, rather than activities. Women have four times as many brain cells (neurons) connecting the right and left side of their brain. Women have more efficient access to both sides of their brain and therefore greater use of their right brain. Women can focus on more than one problem at one time and frequently prefer to solve problems through multiple activities at a time. All of these things direct my creative thinking, how I see the world, interact with it, problem solve and ultimately form my ideas and decisions. Through this womanly influence and how God uniquely made me impacts my creative vision. The way I interpret Gods beautiful canvas that is all around me is through this womanly lens. His stunning display in nature with endless, ever-changing colors, show stopping landscapes, awe-inspiring trees, breathtaking bodies of water and the imaginativeness in His people inspires me through my female filters. To see more of my art in this series, go here.
This is my 18 year old son, Trent who just went off to college. He gets his good looks from his Dad, isn’t he handsome? This portrait process was taught this summer in my classes at The Art Location where I teach watercolors and collage.
I want to share this process with you and show some examples of this lesson that I first found here.
This is the photo I chose to edit in pic monkey. I chose 3 colors in the posterize filter.
Below is the time lapse video of me painting this portrait.
These examples are from the students in my class.
Now that I have done one of my son Trent, I plan to paint the other 3 kids of mine. Here are the edited photos I made in pic monkey to use.
Give it a try. I’d love to see what you come up with on your Easy Watercolor Portraits.
Something we have added to this group is a book club. Our most recent book we have completed is “Walking On Water” by Madeleine L’Engle. Here are some of my thoughts and take aways from this book.
I really appreciated that in our book club we had visual artists, writers and actors. This book addressed all three types of artists as well. Her examples were rich and helpful to me as an artist, and christian.
This book has some deep thoughts and comparisons in it that we all struggled to understand, however I appreciated the challenge. Her overview on what is an artist and what is a christian artist was touched on throughout the book.
From page 217 “…I must have more faith in the work than I have in myself” Just as in our christian walk, we have to have more faith in God’s plan, His divine timing, His ever presence, even when in our humanness we are not seeing Him work.
“It is a frightening thing for many people to let go, to have faith in that which they cannot completely know and control.” this is totally relatable in the creative process and our faith in God. I love the parallel.
Another take away from her book is the reminder of hard work. That any artist who is producing good work is putting in the hours. That showing up to create whether you feel like it or not. She states, inspiration comes after you get started and during the process, not before.
pg. 224 “As with all my books, Starfish was more rewritten than written, and with each subsequent book the need to rewrite becomes more rather than less.”
pg.232, 233 “Alleluia! We don’t have to be right! We do have to love, to be vulnerable, to accept joy and pain, and grow through them.” As she gave examples of growing through affliction with Milton who went blind, however writing, Paradise Lost. And Beethoven went deaf, then wrote the Ninth Symphony. “Sometimes the very impetus of overcoming obstacles results in a surge of creativity. it is in our responses that we are given the gift of helping God write our story.”
Madeleine also made note of the importance of our gifts no matter the size. pg. 237 “The important thing is to recognize that our gift, no matter what the size, is indeed something given us, for which we can take no credit, but which may humbly serve, and in serving, we learn more wholeness, be offered wondrous newness.”
“We all feed the lake. That is what is important. It is a corporate act.” We are part of the body, big parts and small parts, each important to the whole. This encouragement from pg. 16; “If the work comes to the artist and says, ‘Here I am, serve me’, then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve. The amount of the artist’s talent is not what it is about. Jean Rys said to an interviewer in the Paris Review, ‘Listen to me. All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. And there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don’t matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake.”
I really appreciate her reminder encouraging us to listen to the silence. To be. In our work and in our prayers and in our days.
pg. 17 “Before I can listen to God in prayer, I must fumble through the prayers of words, of willful demands, the prayers of childish ‘Gimmes,’ of ‘Help mes’, of ‘I want…’ Until I tell God what I want, I have no way of knowing whether or not I truly want it. Unless I ask God for something, I do not know whether or not it is something for which I ought to ask, and I cannot add, ‘But if this is not your will for me, then your will is what i want, not mine.’ The prayers of words cannot be eliminated. And I must pray them daily, whether I feel like praying or not. Otherwise, when God has something to say to me, I will not know how to listen. Until I have worked through self, I will not be enabled to get out of the way.”
I really like her explanation of being a witness…pg. 26 “To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.” Don’t you just love that?!?!?
And to “be truly Christian means to see Christ everywhere, to know him all in all…I don’t want to tell God (or my friends) where he can and cannot be seen. The rest of page 28 and 29 are so good.
I could go on and on, however I would encourage any of you to read the book. It is a true treasure to me. I have made notes all through this book and hope to go back to it often.
It has been a gift to go through this book with other creatives, sharing our own responses, our hearts and individual creative journeys .
A fantastic returning client contacted me about painting a watercolor montage for her to give as a gift. The location is a horse ranch where weddings are held in Prairie Grove, Ar. I went out to take several pictures.
I used this example from a google search as a map/plan to create mine for my client.
Then using the photos I took and the proportional sizing the client wanted (12″ x 24″) I put together a few mock set ups for the client to choose a draft for me to follow. Here is what I sent her after she chose which photos to use as references.
she chose the one on the left and here is the final result:
Her daughter was recently married at this location and my client has gifted this watercolor to the owners of the ranch.
Or in my case,…Know Your Artist, Know your Art. The Fayetteville Farmers Market, http://www.fayettevillefarmersmarket.org/ teamed up with photographer, Joshua Duke http://www.oneblacklab.com/ The Fayetteville Underground with http://new.fayettevilleunderground.com/ and Saatchi and Saatchi x http://saatchix.com/sd-us/ for this fantastic gallery of photos that will hang at The Fayetteville Underground through the month of August. See details below
My Dad as a hobby farmer, has been a part of the market for 10 years. Me, as an artist for 7 years. We both were in the photo gallery. The market members make up such a caring, hard working and generous team. I am grateful to be a part of them.
Here is a peek into the gallery hanging. Check it out in person before it comes down at the end of August.
I love to read for entertainment and to learn. I also love to be moved and inspired by wonderful movies. I just wanted to share these titles of recent discovery that have knocked my socks off. I hope they will for you too! If you so indulge, I’d love to hear your responses from reading or watching them.
A Unique original collage of mine recently sold. I wanted to share about it here.
This original collage “Having Vision” is full of things that are very important to me. I used acrylic paint, my own photography, paper, and stamps.
The front doorway of the house is a print of an original water color I did of my friends front door. This painting is pivotal as it is what launched me into my art business about 7 years ago. When I gave it to her as a gift ,others saw it and strongly encouraged me to paint commissions like this for others as a business. So the “sight” quote from Helen Keller is about me having the vision to explore an art business, take a chance. The photo of daisies by the walkway is a photo of mine of my moms favorite flower. My mom has always supported my artistic gifts. The house represents “coming home to who you were meant to be and launching from home to share it with others”. The mixture of different textures and elements celebrates color, creativity and new ideas. The eye in the window ties in the quote as well of “having vision” to step out of the comforts of home, in faith to take the chance.
Improve your health? How the arts benefit you.
read this article.
(just copy and paste the link into your browser) If you are not already signed up for some art classes this spring I encourage you for your health to do it! If not with me, with someone. You will be glad you did. Current subject for the next two weeks in my watercolor classes is homes and gardens. Join us. Call 479.443.4583. Also check out my next two saturday workshops that are scheduled. bethwoessner.com/classes
The final two weeks of our collage class was on the theme of portraits. We were stretched and challenged. However very fun! Lucinda in our class found an app called waterlogue that takes a photo and turns it into a “watercolor”. This app turned out to be a great platform or map to create a collage from. Read on to see the different processes we all applied. All of us used some kind of photo and traced the portrait onto the canvas. As more pieces (ripped magazine images and other papers, book pages, rice paper, tissue paper, etc) were collaged onto the canvas it needed to be retraced as our lines would get covered up. Using an emery/cuticle stick with the pointed end as a tracing “pen” kept our original image from getting too marked up from the repeated tracing. Glue used was either a glue stick or modge podge.
This is an example of what the app “waterlogue” creates from her photo. This became her map.
Now you can see her work in progress…
This is Joyce’s “map” and her work in progress…
now her collage in progress…she used watercolor paint to shadow and color the skin.
This is my collage in its stages to completion. Using one of my favorite photos of my mom and I. First the reference photo…
It doesn’t have to be complicated, intricate or perfect. The six weeks will begin March 1st. So we have some time (sord of) to spread the news in email invitations to our customers and fellow artistic friends.
“The important thing is to do, and nothing else; be what it may.” -Pablo Picasso
This is a six week challenge for anyone (adults, & students alike) interested in working at their craft. With a daily commitment of a “painting a day”, or sketch, or drawing, or photography, graphic design, pottery, mosaics, collage, zendoodle, calligraphy…any medium of your choice. The more we practice the better we will get. This facebook community of sharing our daily art can inspire each other and hold each other accountable to an honest habitual practice in our art. No pressure for performance or perfection, just jump in and play. No judgement. This six week everyday commitment will put us in the habit of artistic study.
using a color palette from my client that she provided and the subjects of a pear, apple, sunflower and hydrangea. Watercolor on 140# cold press arches paper. The added gestural, sketchy pen work is one of favorite looks as well. Then mounting the originals onto a 12×12 cradled wooden canvas. I love the close up compositions. Final application is 2 coats of wax to protect and seal the art.
I looked for a way to keep my hands busy instead of in and out of a chip bag, I decided to work on some collage notecards. Also with the intention of these being sketches for future canvas collages. I used cut up magazines, textured papers and photos.
Hey collage artists from our thursday morning class. The boxes are in! I’ll be bringing them to class on thursday. Twelve boxes each. Six in each size. Costing each of us $9.00 total.
This is the idea, however use them however you see fit to organize your art and supplies. Keeping collage projects in pizza boxes. I ordered two bundles of plain pizza boxes from Uline. One set in 12 x 12 and the other 16 x 16. As we cut up and collect pieces and ideas, the box is a perfect storage container. Put your compostitions examples, papers, stamps, texture, photos, and scraps that all pertain to a particular collage in progress in a box, with or without the canvas. As you come and go to this collage you can keep it all together in one box and stack the light weight boxes on a shelf. I am so excited by this orderly idea.
Here is a link to Uline where I ordered. Price break down is less than a dollar per box. The boxes arrived in two days. https://www.google.com/search?q=uline+pizza+boxes&oq=uline+pizza+boxes&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60.4789j0j7&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=91&ie=UTF-8#q=uline+pizza+boxes&tbm=shop&spd=13084734370275472051
In the theme of our collage class of “food and drink” Here is my example. My inspiration behind this collage is my special coffee mug. It’s a “just because” gift from my daughter Brooke. She thought it looked like me.
So here is the photo I took of it, I really like the surroundings of The Art Location Studio and the paint splashed table and my lipstick on the rim of the mug, very artsy:
To make the collage I squirted a gold acrylic paint in the middle of a wooden canvas and squirts of umber around the edges. Then I spread the paint with a brush to cover the surface, while also scratching in some random strokes with the back of the paintbrush. keeping the middle golden and edges brown. After paint was dry I began placing my “pieces” to apply to the canvas in different arrangements until I liked the outcome. On the left side, I used a torn dryer sheet for some texture. I glued down the pieces with modge podge. When that was dry, I darkened the edges with a darker brown and wispy strokes. After this layer dried, I put a turquoise crayoned edge, using a ruler, around the coffee mug photo. I dotted pops of red to finish it off. When all was dry I covered the whole surface with a final coat of modge podge. And “ta da”, a personal collage to display. I am looking forward to what the students will bring to work on this theme next week.
My father in law had just sent me this book a few weeks ago. Then today I notice Crystal Bridges is hosting a series about journaling, using this book and the museum. I just signed up for this series at Crystal Bridges. I couldn’t be more pleased. Did I mention it is FREE! Check it out:
Journaling Group: Rejuvenate with Art through Writing
Monday, February 10, 2014
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (CT)
Program – Adult
CBMAA – Education – Adult Programs
Inspired by Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, join Museum Educator, Sara Segerlin, in absorbing artworks through creative writing. This journaling session will explore a selection of artworks from the temporary exhibition At First Sight: Collecting the American Watercolor, followed by lessons fromThe Artist’s Way, and journaling techniques to open up creative language. Participants learn to share and express their writing with final readings afterwards.
Julia Cameron of The Artists Way recommends that people write non-stop on anything that comes to mind, whether it makes logical sense or not, every morning for 15 minutes, as a way to create mental and emotional space. She proposes this makes way for new insights and ideas to come through. She also suggests this tool as a way of beginning one’s day fresh, present, and open to inspiration and new solutions to persistent problems.
Do any of you journal? How often? Any tips you have learned? Has it helped in your creative process?
Building on the theme of last week and this week on “words” for our collage class. Here is a personal piece I created. I was first inspired by a visit to the eye doctor. You just never know when or where or what will catch your eye and spark the creative juices. Behind the receptionist is a wall with a composition that screamed to be repeated on my next collage platform.
Here is the wall:
oh and that is my purse in the picture too 🙂
So I recreated this look onto a 12 x 12 wooden cradled canvas. My original plan for words was to use a variety of letters from rubber stamps, stencils, and magazines to spell out a Rumi, mother Theresa or Helen Keller quote, some of my FAVORITE quotes come from these souls of wisdom. However as I went through several days of creating the background a new idea hit me. I saw my moms handwritten words on a note that has been plastered on my fridge for a few months. My moms friend had saved this letter that was sent to her from my mom over 30 years ago. My moms friend passed the note to me recently. (Thank you Sandy for saving this and passing it on to me!) When I look at my moms cursive, it is like seeing her. The connection I feel to my mom by looking at her handwriting is very strong. On this pass through the kitchen I noticed how the paper that the note is on coordinates with the background I had recently finished. I knew then that these were the words to go on my “word” collage. So here it is.
I am looking forward to seeing what the others have been making with their “words”.
Anyone else have a Cricut machine? What are you using it for? art.by.beth business bought one recently and is playing around with ideas. A few ideas and uses so far are cutting up photos into letters and making notecards out of them. Cutting out quotes to use on “word collages” (this weeks continued theme in our collage class) I haven’t seemed to have figured out how to cut cardstock as well as photos or how to cut several at ne time. I need a cricut tutor to come over.
One of my art instructors turned me onto the twice weekly art blog. It is an active art community. It is very helpful and supportive as I look to others and how they do their art. This is the sight: http://painterskeys.com/ Maybe it will inspire you as well.
I did not realize until today that the sight has its own quotes and even specifically water color quotes. I really liked this one
“Watercolor is a swim in the metaphysics of life… a mirror of one’s own character. Let it be unpredictable and colorful”. (Anonymous)
I learned about this business, Task Rabbit from an NPR podscast (I know, I love that show) https://www.taskrabbit.com/. It was created by a software engineer and seems like such a smart idea. Not available in our area,…but would love for it to come to our area. I can see it as a resource for so many. Listen to their story on NPR. http://www.npr.org/2013/12/06/248796554/leah-busque-founder-of-taskrabbit. Would love to hear what you think after you listen.
Today Northwest Arkansas Times profiled the artist, Scott Carroll. This is one of my top favorite sections of the newspaper. I love the stories of peoples lives and the paths they take and where they end up. If you get a chance, read his story. Here is a quote from him that I think is a great tip.
Beverly and I went to The Crystal Bridges Stielglitz and O Keefe exhibit. Interesting lives they led separately and together. Found this interesting article from NPR. http://www.npr.org/2011/07/21/138467808/stieglitz-and-okeeffe-their-love-and-life-in-letters
Here are my favorites from the exhibit at Crystal Bridges…
Crystal Bridges was our main course and for dessert we went to 21C hotel art museum. I so love the “out of the box” art.
“Inspirational Quotes for 2014” It fell on fresh soil as seeds of inspiration for the upcoming collage theme for my classes beginning next week. Our theme is “words/letters” created into collage. Possibiilities are endless. I could do a whole 8 weeks just on this theme. However in our course this winter it is only two weeks, then we move onto..
This morning I listened to the podcast NPR “From Scratch”. Love this program. From Scratch reviews the entrepreneurial life with leading pioneers from the business world, the social sector, entertainment, and the arts. From Scratch personalizes the lives of entrepreneurs by providing listeners with a candid, first-hand view of the launching process. Visit this podcast’s Web site. Their story. Today I listened to the interview of the illustrator/author, Ian Falconer who created the children’s books about Olivia. He described how this character is based on his niece, “Olivia” and his process of erasing over and over the face emotion in his pig to get it just right and how he uses charcoal and face makeup tools to create his soft shading. I love learning from others and their personal journeys in life and art.
Our first two weeks in watercolor class will be paintings of a chair(s). Haven’t you admired the message or feeling evoked from looking at a chair? Either the familiarity of a family favorite chair, the invitation of a comfy chair lit up by a warm reading lamp, the relaxed feeling of seeing an adirondack begging you to sit in from a front porch, or…what other ideas for a watercolor “chair” paintings? Maybe a chair style that takes you back to a particular era or decade??? Join us this week and next for creating your own compositions. Bring your ideas and references. Don’t bring in the whole chair, just a photo of it will do. See you soon, friends! Many art locations and times to choose from. Check out the details on my classes link on my website.