Journal

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
Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Collagraph Printing

Collagraph Printing

I have been experimenting with the art of collagraphy, or prints made with hand-made textured plates, for many years. The thing that draws me to this type of printmaking process is the simple construction of the plate. I use foam core board as my base and attach pieces of nature, recycled odds and ends, and small metal objects to my plate with acrylic matte medium. 

Continue reading

A Virtual Dinner Party

A Virtual Dinner Party
Our wonderful community of artists came together on Tuesday, April 27th for our much anticipated Virtual Dinner Party. This project came about after we had collectively been exploring the tondo, or circular shape, as a new compositional format. We had also been having conversations throughout the pandemic about which artists through history we would enjoy having dinner with, imagining the lively conversations that would ensue between artists past and present. Since the tondo form could so readily be imagined as a dinner plate, it seemed the ideal time to come together for a virtual dinner party (with Judy Chicago's famous Dinner Party installation not far from our thoughts). Continue reading

Asemic Pandemic

Asemic Pandemic

Here we are stepping into the spring season and the gradual awakening of nature. We too are coming alive with hopeful thoughts of reemergence --connecting once again with the people and places we love. The pandemic has been a great teacher over the past year and asked us to pay attention to what truly matters most and keeps us grounded. Art certainly found its way to the top of my list.

Continue reading

Suddenly Revealed

Suddenly Revealed

Our KB Studio community has been working together collaboratively over the past few months to create Suddenly Revealed, a newly published book project inspired by the words of visionary artist and naturalist Charles Burchfield  

This book is the result of one of our Tuesday Night Art Gatherings where we meet each week on Zoom to review student artwork and get involved in a variety of art challenges. For this particular challenge, participants were given a series of words or phrase to use as inspiration for a new work of art. To keep things interesting, the name of the author who wrote the words and the title of the written piece was not revealed, and no one knew the words that the others had received.

Continue reading

Asemic Connections

Asemic Connections

KB Studio artists have been working with asemic writing, a hybrid form of writing and drawing that mimics the written word but does not have actual words or express a specific meaning. This type of expressive mark-making activity has proven itself to be of great interest during this time of much change and information overload. It provides a space for working with free flowing lines, gestural flourishes, directional emphasis, and the stylings of a new, personalized visual language. It also offers opportunities for full creative engagement while in a relaxed state of purposeful play.

Continue reading
  • Page 1 of 2