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    • July 08, 2022 The Artist and the Sketchbook - Summer 2022
      The Artist and the Sketchbook - Summer 2022
      (Above) Virginia Carstarphen

      This summer we are working in our sketchbooks to better understand the physical world that surrounds and supports us everyday. During the month of June, the concepts of tracings, filaments, and symbiosis guided our visual explorations and provided opportunities for interpreting earth forms through linear processes. 

      We started out by bringing a sensitivity of touch to tracings of natural objects such as rocks, twigs, bones, shells, etc. We directed our attention to the external edges of these forms before adding surface patterns, textures, and other distinquishing characteristics. We then investigated layered tracings as a route to abstraction and action words (push, pull, slide, tumble, scar, sweep, and vibrate) as a conduit to energetic connection and transformation of physical forms.


      Sketchbook 1 (L) Virginia Carstarphen | (R) Mary Ridley
      Sketchbook(L) Mary Gomberg | (R) Susan Gamerman
      Sketchbook(L) Kathleen Maltese | (R) Sue Teller 
      Kathleen Maltese SketchbookKathleen Maltese


      We then turned to the concept of filaments, thin, fibrous lines that exist in and support other parts of nature. Working outdoors, quickly drawn threadlike contour lines were used to interpret both the internal and external characteristics of objects in their natural settings. We then extracted these lines from their source to explore them abstractly as distinct, unique entities and worked with masking tape to create surface textures where filaments could be investigated over the built topography of the page.


      MR & KB Filaments 1(L) Mary Ridley | (R) Kaye Buchman
      MR & MG Filaments 2(A) Mary Gomberg | (B) Mary Ridley
      Filaments 3(R) Mary Ridley | (L) Sue Teller
      Masking Tape Topography(L) Sue Teller | (R) Susan Gamerman 
      We also looked at the concept of symbiosis, the ecological relationships,  connections, and interactions that exist between living organisms. Watercolor and ink impressions were taken directly from earth forms on only one page of an open sketchbook. These prints, with their unique lines, patterns, shapes, and colors, became the catalysts for imagining and creating synergistic connections on the opposite page. The gutter, or inner margins of the sketchbook spine, was considered as a metaphorical bridge for the visual energies to move across in a mutually advantageous manner.


      MG & KB Symbiosis Prints(L) Mary Gomberg | (R) Kaye Buchman
      Mary RidleyMary Ridley
      Kaye BuchmanKaye Buchman
    • April 24, 2022 Water Worlds Exhibition 2022
      Water Worlds Exhibition 2022 Over the past six months or so, we have been busy creating work for our upcoming Water Worlds exhibition, opening June 10th, 2022 at the Anchor Building Gallery in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Hosted by artist and marina owner Virginia Carstarphen, the show will be installed in a massive marina structure located on Lake Saint Clair that is usually reserved for boat storage. We are very grateful to Virginia and her husband Todd for providing this exciting opportunity for all of our artists.
    • December 27, 2021 A New View 2022
      A New View 2022

      Here we are closing in on the end of 2021 and once again waiting to see what the new year holds in store for each and all of us. After another year marked by the pandemic, political strife, social upheaval, and environmental disasters, it is sometimes difficult to find positive guideposts to cling on to. We search with guarded optimism, knowing instinctively that they are out there, but somehow they just keep getting harder and harder to see.

    • August 30, 2021 Summer Roundup
      Summer Roundup

      As we come to the end of August, there is that familiar feeling in the air -- the one that reminds us that the summer went by way too quickly and those back-to-school-days are right around the corner. It is reassuring that despite all the disruption from the pandemic, our calendars, schedules, rituals, and rites of passage keep moving us ahead. Even with the strange pandemic fog that we've been collectively suspended in for over a year and a half, the anticipation of seasonal change continues to keep us on track and offer new possibilities for growth and discovery.