Monthly Archives: January 2015

Modigliani’s Mistress, stage 2

"Modigliani's Mistress", (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015. Mixed media on canvas. 18" x 24"

“Modigliani’s Mistress”, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015. Mixed media on canvas. 18″ x 24″

This is a tough piece for me since this is really out of my comfort zone. I rarely set out to portray anything unless it is in fairly exacting detail. So, there is a side that wants to obliterate the facial features and make this strictly an abstract. Or, commit to all of the available detail-except in this case, there is none.

There is also a new oil, and I have no idea where this one might go yet.

new untitled oil-very early stage

new untitled oil-very early stage

But, I see a head-and that’s how the one above started. This canvas I treated with a surface, which might make it a greater challenge-or might make it easier to make it “mine”.

So, please feel free to follow the progress of these two works. I will try to make updates as I work on them.

Mind Canyons and Mind Caves

"Mind Caves 2", (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst 2015, collage, pastel, watercolor. 5" x 7"

“Mind Caves 2″, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst 2015, collage, pastel, watercolor. 5″ x 7”

So, on this idea of working all of the media I ever have, exploring reaching new peaks, etc. I also understand how we have caves. These are places we are afraid of.

Personally, I am exposing light into those places for myself now and saying, “Really?”

The “Mind Canyons” show what I know, what I have become, where I am as an artist.

"Mind Canyon 1", (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015. Watercolor, pastel, pencil. 6" x 6"

“Mind Canyon 1″, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015. Watercolor, pastel, pencil. 6″ x 6”

And, I am sticking my tongue out here, too!! I am on the rim, not in the bottom of that canyon. There are those that will also need to be ascended, but maybe they are a safe place to be. Might need a Topo there, too.

 

Snow and Topos

Today was to be all about art. We were predicted to get 4″-8″ of snow, a perfect excuse to get into the paint.

I have two canvases midway, and I had several challenges to fulfill. I can safely say the canvases are now too wet to continue on and the challenges are completed. A personal goal was also met today by exceeding prior views for my post in one day-and the day is not over.

For most of the morning, I seemed to be able to do no wrong. The right materials and the right colors seemed to just find my fingers!

"Paperwhite", (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mixed media including graphite, watercolor and pastel, 6" x 6"

“Paperwhite”, (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mixed media including graphite, watercolor and pastel, 6″ x 6″

My good friend, Jeannie Griffin-Peterka is really a presence in this piece. Her work and mine are aligned, but her palette is more controlled and subdued, and she blocks her composition differently.

Here is one finished last night that did not get photographed until this morning, which explains quite visually the difference in palette, though mine is usually has more white than this. I love my color!

"Velvet Underground", (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst,2015, chalk pastel on wet paper. 6" x 6"

“Velvet Underground”, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst,2015, chalk pastel on wet paper. 6″ x 6″

I am having way too much experimental fun with literally painting with pastels. This paper was soaked a few times and the marks that are visible were made with a palette knife. Thanks again to my friend, Erika Carty who added more colors to my palette of pastels the other night.

"Mind Topo 2". (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, watercolor, acrylic, pastel,  7" x 5"

“Mind Topo 2”. (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, watercolor, acrylic, pastel gel medium, 7″ x 5″

Where I am not maybe channeling other artists, I am comparing my thought processes, and art processes to reaching peaks. I have a real love for hiking, seeing vistas from a different perspective, and looking down at what I have just accomplished or overcome.

So, this is a sampling…I am posting more.

A note about the way I work: every day, if possible. When I can’t there seems to be this deluge of artistic energy that is apparent on the week-end.

 

Crazy new challenges and the “Venus de Who”

I accepted every “challenge” I got, from creating a piece a day for 30 days to a piece a day for five, and for a reason. They have forced me to think beyond the three-week long oil on canvas and even the small watercolors, since I really am striving to incorporate as much as I know in the 2-D world into single pieces. This is giving me an excuse to brush up on many mediums that I haven’t touched in a long time, and make them work in ways that I haven’t used them yet.

Erika Carty came to our Artshare meeting last night bearing gifts. The pastels she had included colors I don’t have and since I am starting to use them in my watercolors…I also have to give an acknowledgement to Mell Bosch who suggested using chalk pastels like I do oil pastels with my water-based paint. I took those pastels and played with them, only including Sharpie markers. I wet the paper first. And, there is no watercolor paint in this piece.

"Venus de Who", (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, pastel on watercolor paper

“Venus de Who”, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, pastel on watercolor paper  6″ x 6″

 

So, as I continue to work these challenges, this is a piece that I may not have ever produced otherwise! Thanks for this challenge!

 

BAA Artshare meeting, January, 2015

We had a very successful Artshare meeting tonight. Another reason to champion a local library! The Berwick Art Association has no permanent building for meeting or showing, and the Berwick Public Library allows us to use their conference room for our business meetings and their one large table in the main library for our Artshare meetings.

In attendance tonight, there were four new members and ten of the older members, which is the best turn-out yet. These meetings are all about bringing work to share. If it is in progress, or the artists has issues they would like to discuss about their piece, that’s what we do. Otherwise, we converse casually about each sharing person’s work-BTW, you don’t have to bring art.

The group discusses Christine Kfoury's "Packer's Falls"

The group discusses Christine Kfoury’s “Packer’s Falls”

Tonight was special for a number of reasons: Gloria Houlne has returned to BAA for these meetings, Beth Wittenberg gave away ten copies of her first zine, and it was the most art shared at one of these meetings, to date.

Ruth Ann Bleau had her hands full as meeting chair getting us through the abundance of great art showed. Gloria’s piece,  was discussed probably longer than it should have been, based on the size of the group, though it was worthy of the time.

Gloria Houlne, Ruth Ann Bleau with Gloria's offering

Gloria Houlne, Ruth Ann Bleau with Gloria’s offering

Ruth Ann Bleau and Anne Vaughan injected the evening with politically charged art. Beth Wittenberg brought her first zine based on her series of works called “Buildings, Beasts and Storms” which depict some of the nastiness and craziness that lives in all of us, and gave the original signed copies away. A new member, Aaron, brought his Comic-style book based on his daily life. Other work included a pen and ink of James Dean, a spin-art on a light fixture cover, a large acrylic abstract, a series of autobiographical photos, a small architectural rendering and my random small paintings done for “painting challenges”. And, Kristen’s cow.

Kristen Dolloff shows her piece.

Kristen Dolloff shows her piece.

As this group grows and matures, the work does, as well.

The BAA Artshare group meets every third Wednesday night at the Berwick Public Library, Berwick, Maine from 5:45-7:15. We never know who will be there or what they will bring. Snacks are also welcomed-we do munch, too!

 

Creative crazies

All artists know days like I had today-the opposite of the “the blank canvas freeze” or “no inspiration” deal. I just needed to paint, glue, draw, cut, whatever it took. Oh, yeah, and write, which is part of it for me.

"Picasso's Problem", (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, acrylic and watercolor on paper. 6" x 6"

“Picasso’s Problem”, (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, acrylic and watercolor on paper. 6″ x 6″

Beth Wittenberg was also being channeled here I’m sure. Silly crazy creature sticking it’s tongue out-she has created a few creatures who catch flies with their tongues!

The frenzy actually started last night but without my Frog tape, which seemed to have gone MIA, I didn’t want to start wetting paper. So, I did some oil pastel work, and called it a night. The tape turned up this morning in an odd place…

"The Mystery of the Missing Tape", (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, MM on paper, 6" x 6"

“The Mystery of the Missing Tape”, (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, MM on paper, 6″ x 6″

And, since I was feeling like well, what the hell, let’s just play…

"Dali's Dilemma", (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mixed media on paper, 6" x 6"

“Dali’s Dilemma”, (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mixed media on paper, 6″ x 6″

I prepped another canvas earlier, so I am off to jump on that.

Happy Sunday.

Gabe Smith’s “Gray Planet” at the Gafney Library, Sanbornville, New Hampshire

This show exemplifies ALL of the reasons this blog came to exist, all of the reasons that I champion libraries in the area for showing really fine regional work, and finding and seeing work by a total unknown. (In a small place-like Sanbornville.)

Gabe Smith graduated high school in 2010, and is demonstrating in his show at the Gafney called “Gray Planet” sophistication in an art vocabulary that goes far beyond his years on the planet Earth and his scholastic art training.

His theme for his work is both very personal and universal. He has dealt with friends who have committed suicide and acts of self-harm. He approaches this theme with mediums, like motor oil and drywall, which are also very temporary and unstable, things that will chip and eventually fall apart. Much like us “gray people”. His mediums rarely are traditional and he relies on mixed medium, found objects and spray paint.

Gabe Smith at the Gafney

Gabe Smith at the Gafney

He was very gracious and walked through the show with me, explaining the inspiration of some pieces and the collage elements in others. Again, for a first-timer, extremely ready to face this art world.

"Hobo", (c)Gabe Smith

“Hobo”, (c)Gabe Smith

“Hobo” has among it’s materials used, old maps of Maine-they are the hobo’s face.

"Gray Planets" on the mantel, "Space and Stuff", large piece above, all (c) Gabe Smith

“Gray Planets” on the mantel, “Space and Stuff”, large piece above, all (c) Gabe Smith

Now, remind me again-where is this show?

So, Gabe is a multi-talented artist and also performed at the Wakefield Opera House tonight. The opening reception at the library was followed by his performance which I opted out of.

Find Gabe Smith Pop Culture Icon on YouTube, and check out http://gafneylibrary.weebly.com/ for library and show hours. This show is up until the end of the month.

 

 

 

Into hibernation

Blackbird Studio and Gallery is closed for the season. I have been trying to get there since Tuesday to pick up my work since the temperatures have been very frigid and tonight promises to break records. About half of the work is gone now, and I got sort of a melancholy feeling as I locked the door.

It was a good first season. We learned a lot in the process, and I am sure next year will be even better.

 Blackbird Studio and Gallery, mid-January. Lots of bare walls.

Blackbird Studio and Gallery, mid-January. Lots of bare walls.

This was my view as I was packing up.

This was my view as I was packing up.

I am not hibernating though. I have a mega-solo scheduled for next month in Sanbornville at the Gafney Library, so having all of this work from Sole City and Blackbird home now is only a temporary phenomenon.

Can’t wait ’til Blackbird reopens and spring is here. It’s already been a weird cold, icy winter.

More art from last night

On to the Kittery Art Association, since I had a meeting of the Seacoast Moderns to attend there.

A drastic difference from 100 Market, not so much in quality of execution, but in depth. “Color Palette” offers a great deal of eye-candy. And, much like the “candy food group” is to the body, there is real no nutritional value  to the brain in this show.

This is another venue where I am a member and regularly show, as well. I joined this art association four years ago to have an outlet, and for many of us, it does provide that in a lovely two-story building on Kittery Point. I couldn’t make the drop-off for this show, since I was hanging the Berwick Art Association show at Sole City, at the same time. There are some very technically skillful members, which was also my “draw”. And, it is not nearly as expensive to be a member as the Ogunquit Art Association or the New Hampshire Art Association-though, they look better on the resume since you are juried into them. KAA has no jury process.

Here are a few of my “picks” from “Color Palette:

"Lost Claw" (c)Cleone Graham, oil on canvas

“Lost Claw” (c)Cleone Graham, oil on canvas

"Chip", (c) Max Johnson, MM

“Chip”, (c) Max Johnson, MM

"Kayax" (c)Jennifer Chamberlain, oil on canvas.

“Kayax” (c)Jennifer Chamberlain, oil on canvas.

As with the Gallery at 100 Market Street, the KAA shows are always very well-hung. Judith Bryant has a remarkable eye for making very diverse work, in medium, theme and quality, work together. And, she has no prior knowledge what she will have to work with until it arrives!

Not as challenging or thought-provoking as the Portsmouth show, but definitely worth the drive to Kittery Point his week-end.

The Kittery Art Association is located at 8 Coleman Avenue, Kittery Point, Maine. They are open from 12-6 on Saturdays and 12-5 on Sundays. http://www.kitteryartassociation.com

 

 

This isn’t New York, but…

I can safely say that I saw some very high quality art today!! What a treat! And, I had “time to kill”, which as an artist means that I need to find something to draw on or, take in the answers others can give to you from their own visions. So, the perfect excuse!!

I have been meaning to get to the Gallery at 100 Market Street in Portsmouth to walk this show. I show here fairly often and the parameters of this show would have necessitated new work that I had no time to create. But, because I have a great respect for the curator and the quality of the work that she presents, I needed to make it a point to see “Guise, Garment and Textile”.

Steampunk Family, Astrida Schaiffer

Steampunk Family, Astrida Schaiffer

OK, I was hooked right here! The props and the photos of them on the “family” made it all too relevant. It almost felt like “Antiques Roadshow” where a participant shows up with the antique and all sorts of provenance.

David Mendelsohn is an acquaintance I very much admire, though he does push a feminist button or two with his work, when he eliminates heads and covers them with hat boxes.

David Mendelsohn's wall

David Mendelsohn’s wall

Dennis Perrin, "Watching for Swallows"

Dennis Perrin, “Watching for Swallows”

Denis Perrin’s work, including “Watching for Swallows” was so historically perfect I had to wonder if he was born 150 years ago. Style, paint and application was too incredibly European Impression, almost Berthe Morisot.

The 3rd floor belongs to Caroline Rufo. This articulate abstract craftswoman reinvents the likes of Richard Diebenkorn and all other painters who have taken their compositional inspiration from aerial photography. Her titles, like “Seeking Union” also allude to architecture and building, in the emotional sense.

"Seeking Union", (c) Caroline Rufo. Oil on board.

“Seeking Union”, (c) Caroline Rufo. Oil on board.

But, there is sometimes a sour note in a show this well executed. And, it is on the 4th floor, which tells me that it is good enough for the show, but maybe it needed to be on the 4th floor-for political reasons.

I am native American, so a piece like this entitled “The Raiding Party” was not a happy end. From purely aesthetic principles, a well-articulated and executed piece-but it smacks of knowing nothing of the Trail of Tears or any of the other atrocities that my people dealt with.

"The Raiding Party", (c)Debra Tillar, mixed media

“The Raiding Party”, (c)Debra Tillar, mixed media

Overall, this show is one of the best that Portsmouth has offered in a long time. And, since I am very pro First Amendment, I applaud all of the work in this show, whether or not I agree with politics or philosophy, because of the quality of the execution.

The Gallery at 100 Market Street in Portsmouth is open Monday-Friday on all 4 floors. The 3rd and 4th floors are not available on the week-ends. This show runs through mid-February.