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“In the Name of Progress”, and my solo this month

In the Name of Progress

This is finished just in time for my show this month at the Franklin Gallery, in RiverStones Framing at 33 No. Main Street in Rochester, NH called “Transitions and Transmissions”.

To me, this image speaks volumes about how progress has left so much of our past literally in the dust. So much about the context of this is wrong. Where’s the farm? It’s parked on the side of US 202 in Maine. The flat tire and the chains in the middle of summer also adds to the story.

The collection that will be included is half abstracts and half pieces similar to this one.

I hope you can stop by for the opening reception on August 11, from 5-7.

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“Pacific Suite, Ojai is Calling”

DSCN0843

This image says a lot about me.

Home is California. Tribal home may be Ojai, though I am not entirely sure of that. I just know when I am there, it feels like home.

It’s painterly, and geometric. Bright, but I also can work really complex color.

Still in progress. Oil on unprimed canvas. 108’X 69″

Seacoast Spotlight nomination and other upcoming events

The season has opened with a bang in the area, and I have gotten quite a bit of attention. That does not bother me or hurt my feelings, but it does change priorities!

Last Monday, I was able to secure the June slot at the Gallery 280, which is part of Portsmouth Public TV in Portsmouth, NH. I had submitted twice before, and heard nothing back. They changed directors, and I met with the new one last Monday. This will be a two-person show and includes a half-hour interview segment, which will air every Thursday during the month of June. Cool and intimidating!! (I will have about enough room for 20 of the ReDeFine series). That show will open June 4th.

I also have 4 pieces in an upcoming show at artstream gallery in Dover, NH called “Love Letters”.  These are all postcard-sized pieces. That show opens late in May.

The Gallery at 100 Market Street submission is due very soon, but the curator has expressed interest in the “Portrait” series. That show will open early June.

Blackbird Studio and Gallery reopened with resounding success with the Carolyn Chute visit and book-signing. We had our first official reception last week-end and had a good turn-out and sales!! Our next opening reception will be May 30, and I plan on having NO work on the walls. I am starting to install a very large installation piece on the property over Memorial Day, and I am developing it daily!

from the Carolyn Chute receptin

from the Carolyn Chute reception

The newest show at Blackbird Studio

The newest show at Blackbird Studio

Oh yeah, and the high point, and the reason for this post…I have been nominated in the “Outstanding Painter, Non Traditional” category for the Seacoast Spotlight Awards Editors’ Choice and I am also on the Readers’ Choice ballot. This nomination alone is a huge validation for hard work! And, the group I am “against” are really good painters and I am friends with one of them for the Editors’ Choice. I am friends with several for the Readers’ Choice.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20150507/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/150509688/101164/ENTERTAINMENT This is the explanation, and listing for the Editors’ Choice.

For the Readers’ Choice ballot, please visit this link: http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20150507/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/150509688/101164/ENTERTAINMENT. In the third paragraph, it says click “here” and that takes you to the survey/ballot. And, this will be very hotly contested, so I’d love as much help as possible!! Thanks!!

My show at the Rochester Library looks awesome too. That runs through the end of May.

Thanks for being here!!

 

 

 

Mills and Mills

The region is dotted with many old and no longer operational water-powered paper and pulp mills. Brick factory buildings are also easily found. This part of New England has a strong history in a huge variety of manufacturing and other types of production-related businesses from the original Frank Jones Brewery complex in downtown Portsmouth, to the Button Factory on the other side of Islington. The Schultz meat plant is geographically right between the two. And, is decaying, where the other two now house an athletic club and artist studios, respectively.

The Schultz factory, Mat House Annex side (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst

The Schultz factory, Malt House Annex side (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst

I asked a friend of mine who is very involved in Portsmouth New Hampshire politics (where I am sure this is a terrific embarrassment), and the owner seems to have no motivation to clean it up and make it serviceable to businesses, artists, etc. What a shame!!

And, I actually find that whole idea extremely short-sighted considering what the Button Factory charges for studio space, and the last time I checked they were full!! http://www.buttonfactorystudios.com/studio_availability.htm

I have friends who have studios in the 1 Washington Street Mill Building in Dover, New Hampshire. This is a multi-use building that serves a myriad of businesses like Terra Cotta Pasta, a few smaller galleries, framing studios, apparel retailers, and other concerns. Dover has at least three complexes that are all successful in renting to those who need space but maybe don’t need the street-level, strip mall type exposure.

The Rollinsford Mill is very much like the 1 Washington Street Mill except it is heavily rented as art studio space. They, like the Button Factory, host open-studio events where the public is invited to come and experience the art at the Mill and purchase it outside the pretty gallery setting, directly from the artists.

In my travels taking pictures and just reveling in the spring sunshine, I drove (for no reason) to Sanford, Maine. In Sanford, there is a mill complex that looks a lot like the Schultz Factory.

the empty Sanford Mills building (c) DA Dartt Hurst

the empty Sanford Mills building (c) DA Dartt Hurst

No apparent recon is going on with this site, yet it is on a terrific piece of property with a great view. I took a few minutes to walk along this side of the building, and the front and shot this for art.

Sanford Mill venting, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst

Sanford Mill venting, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst

But, I wasn’t through wandering-the weather was not allowing this cabin-fevered child to be inside all day!

I went home, and lost the New Balance and socks to Tevas. Yes, and toes are happy! But, I was not done finding new treasures.

Gonic is a non-incorporated town that is really part of Rochester, but, like East Rochester, there is a different personality. I got here quite by accident, and found another mill building. But one I didn’t know about. And, one that has been restored, but hasn’t become trendy yet. Uh-oh!

This one has huge spaces, and though I haven’t seen them yet, they could be possibly rented as a group and sub-divided. Rents are crazy-cheap! Like they should be for a studio!

Gonic Mill, with the Cocheco River (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst

Gonic Mill, with the Cocheco River (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst

 

 

 

 

Anne Vaughan at the Berwick Library

This woman is really amazing.

She is a retired attorney who produces artwork like she has been an art pro all of here life. And, doesn’t stagger or falter at any change in subject.

She is not on Facebook other than to do family things and uses social media sparingly otherwise, and since I am a big fan…I told her I would put her out her in social media land.

Anne at the Berwick Library shows the full range (though honestly, I wish I had helped her hang the show) of her brilliance. Her piece, called “The Refugee” brought tears.

"The Refugee" (c) Anne Vaughan, oil on canvas

“The Refugee” (c) Anne Vaughan, oil on canvas

This show will be up through the end of the month.  Her opening reception is April 21, from 5-7 at the Berwick Library,Berwick, Maine.

Here is her statement:

I have been painting in oils for some years, but my work has increased since

I retired to lovely rural Maine, to be near children, in 2010, with my husband Niles

Schore. Maine has lots of family history for me: I have four wonderful daughters

(all born in Maine) and my four grandchildren, all who live in New England. My

father’s family is from Bowdoinham. My childhood was spent in Texas, but I

spent my high school years in Massachusetts as a farmer’s daughter on a dairy

farm.

Before my 2010 retirement, I worked as an attorney for legal services

programs in Pennsylvania, representing my clients in need of services and

supports. My last employment was providing constituent services for Pennsylvania

Congressman Joe Sestak. I loved the work I was able to do in both jobs. I also

served as a docent for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, designing and giving

tours to our visitors throughout our museum for 10 years. This too was a highly

rewarding volunteer occupation.

I have had a life-long love of art and art history and painting, and now in

retirement I have the chance to indulge this love in my own works. I belonged

to two art groups in Pennsylvania, and now I am a member of and have enjoyed

exhibiting with our local Berwick Art Association, Kittery Art Association and

the Seacoast Moderns and the York Art Association, and our own local Blackbird

Studio and Gallery. In addition to participation in these shows I have displayed my

paintings at Ben Franklin, Second Landing, Poppy Seed, Sarah Orne Jewett House,

University of Southern Maine, and in libraries in Rochester, Dover, Somersworth,

North Berwick and Durham.

My art work varies in subject and treatment, from landscapes to still lifes

to abstracts and family portraits and works with a political theme influenced by

my work as an advocate for disadvantaged people as well as reflecting on current

world events. I look forward to the continuing expansion of the art community in

our region and am proud to be a part of it.

 

 

Fungi and Flora, at the Gafney Library

Some of the area’s art offerings require a 20-40 minute drive. The Gafney Library has gained the reputation for the offering some of the best of who Strafford County has for art. And, since I showed there last month…

MaryAnne O'Mara and Peggy Brewster at the Gafney

MaryAnne O’Mara and Peggy Brewster at the Gafney

Gabe shoots "Flora and Fungi"

Gabe shoots “Flora and Fungi”

 

 

Openings… and openings… and…openings

I never thought I’d have 4 opening receptions in one week. All group shows. And, one in Norway. But, I’m impressed still.

Tuesday night, the show that I coordinate for the Berwick Art Association opened at the Berwick Public Library, Berwick, Maine. The  show is 46 pieces strong, and includes 20 artists from around the region including: Beth Wittenberg, Christine Kfoury, Anne Vaughan, Bob Farrell, Jean Coughlin, Erika Carty, Rita Fuller, Christy Bruna, Michael Bramlett, Laura Tuininga, Gloria Houlne, Eric Pomorski, Roseann Meserve, Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, Jane Lissner, Lee Copp, Gene Galipeau, Tom Gillis, Ruth Bleau, Bruce Bacon.

Turn-out was light, but we had a good time! And, it is a great show. It will be up through March 27.

A number of the artists at the opening at the Berwick Library BAA show

A number of the artists at the opening at the Berwick Library BAA show

Thursday, I was part of an opening in Moss, Norway. I am not going to import Facebook or Twitter images here. It was a benefit, and I was happy to  donate a piece-and it’s cool to say I have been shown in Norway!

Friday, was crazy. I am done with openings…until next Friday.

The Gallery at 100 Market Street is an important place for me to show for a spectrum of reasons. And, this was my 5th appearance on these walls. I have two small pieces on the 4th floor that I didn’t shoot for the blog. This was not my most impressive appearance, but there are more to come.

The show was filled with gems, as usual. I will have to go back to shoot more, because what I shot last night was awful.

The BUOY in Kittery, Maine hosts an aRtPM Challenge annually where the only restriction for inclusion to this show is it has to have been created within the month of February. I included “Muzykzny” last year, even though the sides were still slightly wet. This year, a piece called “Valentine” graces their walls. She’s the faceless watercolor to the bottom left.

"Valentine" at BUOY

“Valentine” at BUOY

“Valentine” at BUOY

I saw a ton of other people’s art today.

Don’t underestimate this area!

Valentine

"Valentine", 2015 (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mixed media on handmade paper.

“Valentine”, 2015 (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mixed media on handmade paper.

The Portrait series, or as they have come to be called, “The Personal Storms”, have evolved onto handmade paper. There are also bits of collage in this piece.

It will be on display at BUOY, Kittery, Maine through April. The opening reception for the show is this Friday, March 13, from 6-?

I meant to see some art today

I was feeling like I was either sliding on ice, or my paint really needed a little hint as to where land on the canvas. So, rather than set up shop, I decided to do some business and hopefully get some hints as to what to try next.

I started with Timeless Frames. I ordered mat board, and priced frames and talked about setting up a solo show there in the next couple of months. The work that is up there is work from the BAA that has been up since last month. So, no new work to see.

From there, I went back to downtown Rochester to RiverStones Framing and Gallery. A colleague told me that the owner would be interested in showing the BAA so I wore my Show Coordinator cap, and strolled in. Kris was very receptive and marked us on her calendar for July. As I was chatting with her, Ross Bachelder showed up to hang his show, and the three of us discussed an upcoming show at Drift Gallery at Zev Yoga, a solo by my dear colleague, Jeannie Griffin-Peterka. That’s an opening that I am hoping to not miss.

Ross’ opening at RiverStone’s, 33 North Main Street, Rochester, NH will be next Saturday, from 12-3.

I drove to Dover, and artstream wasn’t open.

Mill River Custom Framing & Art Gallery no longer shows art, but it was “old home week” because I showed with Sandi when her shop was in the Rollinsford Mills. We had a good chat.

(Can you see where this is going…)

Next stop was Michaels for foam core. As per usual, I always seem to be asked a technical question when I am in the store, and today David needed to know what gel medium was. I happened to be looking at canvases, in the same aisle. Timing is everything.

Nahcotta gave me something to look at, though I can’t gush about much that I saw. I do like Jeremy Miranda’s work, so I’ll start there.

"Waves of Winter" (c)Jeremy Miranda, oil on canvas, at Nahcotta

“Waves of Winter” (c)Jeremy Miranda, oil on canvas, at Nahcotta

Because I “borrowed” this image from Pinterest, I can’t enlarge it much further without distorting it completely out of recognition. I don’t like all of his work but where he rips away a wall to these really homey, pleasant spaces, exposing them to something a great deal less comfortable I find to be captivating. They brilliantly describe how vulnerable everything is without taking out the floor or the roof. And, I love how quiet they are.

Who knows what’s going on with this depicted Christmas. I come from an alcoholic family, where Christmas could really be ugly, when I was growing up. Or not. But, I can relate to those waves. As a child, I never really knew how rough the surf would be.

I will cut Nahcotta “slack” because this really is off-season, but the rest of the show was “off”-not hung as well as they usually present work, and didn’t have any real flow.

But, I saw art.

I also stopped at the Portsmouth Library to get info on who to contact for the BAA shows, and the librarian was lovely and gave me a few more suggestions as to who in Portsmouth to contact.

The final stop was the Levy Gallery (NHAA). I never saw all of the SHAPES show because I was instantly drawn into the side gallery when I noticed two pieces by my compadre Elaine Mendzela on the wall. She is one of the new members. When I came back to the main gallery, I was caught up in conversation with Barbara Alberts, who is also a new member. Barbara is a new transplant from Pittsburgh, and is now a new friend.

So, a day about reconnecting and connecting and new connections.

That’s art, too.

 

 

 

 

Good art, a definition, with more questions, Part Deux

As I was waiting to get out of Tire Warehouse’s parking lot, I scribbled a few notes to myself to add to this conversation.

First of all, I think a big consideration in how work is discussed begins with why it was created in the first place. If the intent is just to allow the maker a mode of expression for whatever reason, I don’t think a question of quality, relevance, etc. really need to even be part of the program. I applaud anyone who makes anything just for the sheer joy, peace, cathartic release, etc. that art-making most certainly gives the creator.

Most of the people I am referring to in these groups are not solely creating to create. Bigger statements are being made that usually include a planned price tag, a venue or hopes for one, and all the professional/business stuff that goes into this, as well. I solidly fall into this group-solidly-even though I make pieces that are really personal, too. Those stay at home when I am sharing work with groups.

And, we all make stuff for sale and that is strictly its purpose. I am going to cross a somewhat debatable line and call this merchandise, not art. If the purpose for a piece is solely to be a money-maker, I feel that compromises have been made, and the emotion that goes into the creation was probably not there. Been there, too.

I know people also who have developed saleable formulas, and create work that fits in that formula, sometimes repeating a palette over numerous pieces. This formulaic, no thought, no emotion production is what I call “hack”.

A type of art that I don’t see as fitting “hack”  are images/themes that seem to be repeated by many artists. The same subject obviously is moving more than just one person-that doesn’t dilute the importance of a piece. This can be misunderstood by some as only done to produce a sale. Let’s face it, many people really love florals as their subject, for example, and that does not make them a “hack”.

So, once determining the purpose of the work, where do we draw the line on how precisely those of us who have the academic jargon and knowledge go in our critique? How fair would that be? And, how do I know what will even make sense to someone without formal training?

I personally think these kinds of meetings should help those participating grow artistically. I might be jaded, but I am seeing little in really useful observations in those that I belong to, at present. Granted, we all work in this vacuum that sometimes includes whirlwinds of self-doubting thoughts, and it is nice to hear accolades. Those of us who have not seen a classroom as a student for eons may actually revel in constructive criticism and suggestions, too, rather than being told that our “colors sing”.

But, all of this aside, what makes a good piece of art, when it is made as art? Who determines that? When do you know as an artist that you have a solid concept, that you have executed it in a way that visually demonstrated it, and the application of you medium is appropriate to all of the above ? Shouldn’t this also be part of these group discussions? Or am I getting too academic?