Michaela Groeblacher’s Sculpture That Helps Us Remember Who We Are

Posted in Ceramic, Realistic on November 4th, 2009 by Alice – 6 Comments

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Women and Eggs Series

Women and Eggs Series

I was struck by Michaela’s statement on her website. She said, “I believe that human beings are here for a task, to discover – to remember, if you will, the gift we each came to deliver – the gift that is essential to bring balance to the earth, to restore our souls, to create heaven on earth by realizing and applying our thoughts, ideas and talents. ”

When I was growing up, there wasn’t a day in my life that both my mother and my father didn’t say “I love you” to me. Whenever I would leave the house, my mother said, “I love you, remember who you are.” I always took this to mean that I should be proud of my family, where I came from and who I was as a person. To not do anything to contradict who I was. My mother’s mother, my grandmother,  said the same thing to her.

As the years went on I’ve come to believe that there was more meaning to that statement than any of us realized at the time. I truly believe that if we all could remember who really are and what we came here to do, the world would be that  ”Heaven on earth” that we all are looking for.

Woman and Egg Series

Woman and Egg Series

Michaela wrote to me, “By forming the wet clay, adding and subtracting, I am uncovering the other person’s soul, while at the same time ascertaining myself.”

Woman and Egg Series

“In creating three-dimensional canvasses and subsequently painting them, I satisfy my artistic hunger on multiple levels. My work is as much about the human psyche and perception as it is about color, composition and form.”

I think her work is stunning.

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

Her series, Fire, Earth, Water, Air, deals with the forces of nature. She had this to say about her work. “Since the beginning of civilization, humans have been attempting to explain our existence by answering the questions: who are we, where do we come from and why are we the way we are?”

“For that reason, countless sciences, religions and philosophies have been cultivated in all regions of the earth by numerous peoples, many times looking to nature for guidance.”

“Fire, Water, Earth and Air are called the four classical elements, with Aether (=Space) being the spatial dimension that accommodates them, bringing the number to five classical elements.”

“The four sculptures are my contribution to this eternal question – and – answer cycle. It is my attempt to allegorize the four classical Forces of Nature by depicting them as women”.

Michaela goes on to say, “Additionally, I listed four attributes for each of the women and the qualities they represent in my opinion.”

“Since my artwork has YOU, the viewer, in mind, I invite you to participate by adding to the list of attributes or adjectives that come to your mind when pondering the above statement.”

Fire:  Passionate,    self confident,     energetic,     ambitious

Water:  Focused,      energizing,      relaxed,        curious

Earth:  Creative,      nourishing,      connected,       faithful

Air:  Spontaneous,       confident,        gentle,        musical

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

You can see more of Michaela’s wonderful work on her website - MichaelaCheck back there often for her new series on menopause. I’m very curious to see what she has to share with us.

Popularity: 86% [?]

Sculptures That Rock by Michaele Greene

Posted in Ceramic on October 27th, 2009 by Alice – 2 Comments
Le Jardinier

Le Jardinier

Three dimensional, figurative art work is a passion Michaele Greene. She is the happiest when working with clay.

I was attracted to her faces and her use of color. She told me that she doesn’t use glazes to finish her pieces, but “a combination of acrylic paints, washes, stains and waxes to finish my work.”

“This gives me more ability to coax the look and feel that I want from a piece.   I also love to incorporate different elements into the clay, such as wire, paper, even cloth.”

Day Dream

Day Dream

Michaele says, “The idea of creating movement and attitude is fascinating for me. I love figures that twist, bend, strut or flow in some way or another.” In her recent series called “On Windy Shores” she used wire to suggest wind blown hair on female figures. These figures are probably my favorite.

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

She had this to say about her Rock and Roll series, “For as long as I can remember, I have loved Rock and Roll.  I love the music, the lyrics and equally, the names of the bands themselves.  Songs evoke feelings and memories in most of us, but for me, they conjure visual images as well.”

“This also holds true for the names the artists have chosen for their groups; Pearl Jam for example, makes me smile and think of exactly that -pearl jam.  Rolling Stones embeds a visual in my mind as one who literally rolls stones.”

Lay Down Sally

Lay Down Sally

I enjoy Michaele’s take on this song. I know George Terry who wrote “Lay Down Sally” with Eric Clapton. I think he would like this sculpture. My husband and I have spent several News Years Eves singing along while George played. (me..not very well)  And George was always first to donated his talent to our Highlands Art League’s fund raisers.

You can see more of Michaele Greene’s vibrant work on her website.

Popularity: 44% [?]

Catherine Merrill’s Language of Everywoman

Posted in Ceramic, mixed media on October 20th, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment

Catherine Merrill’s work speaks of the archetypical images in us all.  The fluid movement of her vases compliment the bodily expressiveness of her subjects and hint at our own Persephone, Hestia or Athena. Her life size torsos are visual feasts for the eyes.

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon

Catherine has created her own visual language to express a personal mythology.  The individual story becomes that of “Everywoman” through the universal language of art.

Touch Me

Touch Me

The prominence of the human figure in her work results from the many years when she was a dancer and the body was the artistic instrument to express emotion and ideas.

War and Peace

War and Peace

Catherine believes, ” The role of the artist and of art in our world is no longer mere entertainment or decoration, but an essential force for healing and change.”

The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers

Catherine Merrill is a visionary, helping to create a cultural exchange with Cuba. The following is a quote from the Art of Fire Project website.

“Proyecto Arte del Fuego (“Art of Fire Project”) was envisioned in 2002, by ceramic artists Antonio Lewis (Cuba) and Catherine Merrill (USA). Proyecto Arte del Fuego is an ongoing international cultural exchange project offering workshops, master classes, lectures, residencies and exhibitions in the ceramic arts. It is sponsored by the Fundacion Caguayo in Santiago, Cuba, the Estudio-Galeria Los Oficios in Havana and Casa-Taller Pedro Pablo Oliva, Pinar del Rio.”

Read more about Catherine, her life and her beautiful thoughtful work on her website.

Popularity: 67% [?]

Marie Gibbons – WABI-SABI – Milagros

Posted in Ceramic, Marie Gibbons, Milagros, Wabi-sabi on October 14th, 2009 by Alice – 4 Comments

wabi-sabi-facadeMarie Gibbons is an adventurer, going places with her art that are fascinating and at first glance disturbing. But upon closer contemplation, the viewer begins to understand, to relate, to  empathize.

Marie’s wabi-sabi series was created in 2008-2009. She has this to say about her work.

“Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Wabi-sabi things are usually small and compact, quite and inward-oriented. they beckon, get close,. touch, and relate. they inspire a connection between one thing and another, between people and things.”

Marie’s work in this series embraces her interest in the “imperfect, the damaged, and destroyed that we all experience as human beings.”

wabi-sabi -duplicity

She explains, ” I create these kinds of works through slip casting doll parts and then altering and assembling the pieces. This is all done contrary to the constructions of the original intent of my mold. I want to show the soulful beauty found in any situation should anyone risk the moment to stop and connect. Thus, my creations are meant to be representative of a moment in time and personal experience, each speaking of the simple beauty available in any object or experience.”

I suggest you stop and take in Marie’s work. I know after spending some time with her figures, I found much more than first viewed.

My favorite works of Marie’s are hoarding and hoping series. Delightful characters that make me smile while at the same time the title makes me pause. One is titled – You can keep what you can carry.

hoarding and hoping

hoarding and hoping

She also does fabulous shoes and I wish I could see more of her organics series, She just teases us with her pods.

Her current work is her Milagro series beginning with Matters of the heart.

Milagro Matters of the Heart - Enough

Milagro Matters of the Heart - Enough

In the classical sense, milagros are offered to a favorite saint as a reminder of the petitioner’s particular need, or they are offered to the saint in thanks for a prayer answered.

If, for example, someone has a sore arm, a tiny silver arm is hung on or near the favorite saint; the farmer who hopes that his pig will bear him many healthy piglets, asks his patron saint for intercession, and pins a pig milagro on the saint’s robe. Milagros can be flat, three dimensional, tiny or large; they can be of gold, silver, wood, lead, tin, bone, wax or whatever the petitioner desires.

Marie says that her Milagro Series is about positive affirmations, and the heart is intending to say  I HAVE ENOUGH – I AM ENOUGH – LOVE IS ENOUGH. Thanks for a prayer answered?

Visit Marie’s web site to see more of her work and read more about her creative process. Or visit her studio site, evb – studio to find out about her studio and online classes.

Popularity: 23% [?]

Giant Mechanical Doll and Elephant from the Royal de Luxe

Posted in Puppets, Videos on October 3rd, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment

I stumbled across a video today and was fascinated with these giant puppets. French performance art company Royal de Luxe is responsible for these fantastic characters. Royal de Luxe is a French mechanical marionette street theatre company. They were founded in 1979 by Jean Luc Courcoult.

The Sultan’s Elephant is a story about a time-travelling girl, which has taken place in cities around the world and is quite well known. But not so in the U. S.

The Sultan’s Elephant is the fifth in a series using giant puppets. Others are: The Giants Falls from the Sky, The Giants Falls from the Sky, Last Voyage, Return to Africa, The Giraffe Hunters, the Hidden Rinoceros.

I followed the link to YouTube and found many more videos about the girl, the elephant, and the giraffe. I have always loved dolls and the stories about dolls coming to life. Little people like The Borrowers, and giants always captured my imagination….this  reminds me of Gulliver’s travels, except the men and women who help this little girl through her adventure, seem to adore her. The girl and the elephant look amazingly real and if you use your imagination, you might be able to forget for a moment that they aren’t. I just had to share it with you.

I’m still finding other series like this one in an article at Socyberty.com called A Giant Awakes in Nantes. You can see many more photos by misterstf on Flickr.

Once you have watched the video above, you might want to double click on the video itself and it wil take you to YouTube where you can find many other related videos. It seems there is a giant spider too, that scales the sides of buildings. Enjoy!

Popularity: 25% [?]

Central Station Antwerp

Posted in Videos on September 16th, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment

This video makes me smile. I wanted to share it with you.

Popularity: 11% [?]

The Art Dolls of DABIDA

Posted in art dolls, Fabric, mixed media on September 12th, 2009 by Alice – 3 Comments
Gelske Koopmans - Artist

Gelske Koopmans - Artist

Gelske Koopmans, a doll artist and member of DABIDA sent me a message pointing me to The Dutch and Belgian Institute of Doll Artists‘ website. I have been familiar with the work of some of the members of this group and was delighted to feature the Institute and show photos of some of the amazing work.

DABIDA was founded in 2006 by a small group of Dutch Doll Artists, who now make up the DABIDA board.

My only regret is that I just can’t post a picture from each artists, or speak about the ones I do feature. The good news is, all the DABIDA members have a page on the DABIDA website and many of them have a link to their personal sites. You can spend hours viewing each artist’s work.

Gelske Koopmans creates her dolls directly into porcelain- or stoneware clay. She says, “The beauty of making dolls is that it enables you to try out various creative skills”

Gelske Koopmans Artist

Gelske Koopmans Artist

She hand builds the head of the doll, arms and legs and sometimes the entire body. She can experiment with various kinds of glazes, for example in painting the face or the entire doll.

Geksje goes on the say, “I have to make clothes for the doll, sometimes of cloth and other times of clay. After all these years I am still excited about making dolls, because I am more and more able to make the image I have in mind.”

I’m so  impressed with the lace work on some of her figures and the beautiful faces that she creates.

The follow are just a few of the marvelous art dolls created by the members of DABIDA.

Artist - Ankie Daanen

Artist - Ankie Daanen

Artists - Bets & Amy van Boxel

Artists - Bets & Amy van Boxel

Artist - Gerda Schaarman - Rijsdijk

Artist - Gerda Schaarman - Rijsdijk


Artist - Hannie Sarris - Hulstein

Artist - Hannie Sarris - Hulstein

Artist- Marlaine Verhelst

Artist- Marlaine Verhelst

Artist- Tine Kamerbeek

Artist- Tine Kamerbeek

Artist- Yvonne Flipse

Artist- Yvonne Flipse

I want to thank Gelske Koopmans for contacting me and all the other artists for allowing me to feature them here. Again I regret not having room to feature them all. I hope you take the time to visit them on the DABIDA website in the members section.

Popularity: 85% [?]

The Archetypal Sculpture of Cheryl Tall

Posted in Ceramic on September 1st, 2009 by Alice – 2 Comments

T 4 2

Fantasy, furniture that moved and animals that talk, were a natural part of Cheryl Tall’s environment growing up, and no wonder, her parents were employed by Disney World!

My father worked on some of the building in Disney World and I wanted to live there, so I relate to Cheryl’s imagination and fascination with the absurd.

As Cheryl began to travel, visting art galleries and museums, and to study art history in college for completion of her Master’s Degree in Art, she was able to merge this early carnivalesqe imagery with increasingly more sophisticated techniques, and incorporate references to pop culture and surrealism.

Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision

When I spoke with Cheryl, I asked her if she would like share some insight to her work. I wanted to know what moves her and she replied, “What moves me is meaningful human contact.  I love to watch the crowds in airports, malls and parks, and see how people interact with each other.

“Absurd things make me laugh” she said, “things that are incongruous.  Charlie Chaplin, funny movies, Cirque du Soleil, mime artists.”

Alzabeta

Alzabeta

I asked Cheryl what she wants to give the viewer, “I want the viewer to leave with a smile, an intriguing thought.  Things are not always what you think they are, and there are many different levels of reality.”

“I’m frequently asked, Why the medieval clothing and buildings?  I see this particular time in history, say the 12th century, as a reference point.”

“It’s not that long ago compared to the age of the world – not even a 1000 years ago.  Yet all of human life experience was pretty similar for eons:  people walked or rode horses.  They made everything by hand.  They grew their own food.  Heat came from a fireplace or a campfire.  Life was lived at a very slow pace because of all the work needed just to eat and have shelter and clothing.”

Lacantina

Lacantina

“Things began to speed up.  Trains were invented and gas lights and printing presses. Things began to speed up even more.  We got electricity and cameras and guns and cars.”

“In the past 50 years, everyone got a computer, a cell phone, a digital camera, a wide screen TV.  News that used to take a year to arrive now is known instantaneously, all around the world.  We have Facebook, Twitter, emails, phone messages, texting, Myspace, etc.”

Bird Lady

Bird Lady

Cheryl continued, “Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of this.  Then I get my perspective back by mentally stepping into medieval garb and taking a look at all these modern things.  They look like magic, and illusion!  And maybe they are.”

Orange Zinger

Well Cheryl, maybe you’re right, maybe life is an illusion, but there is nothing deceptive in the  fun and delight that your sculptures bring the viewer. Your work is large and that in itself makes a statement about their permanency.

Cheryl works in her studio in Leucadia, CA, she teaches and exhibits her work in galleries around the country. Visit Cheryl Tall’s website for her busy schedule and to view more of her wonderful sculpture.

Popularity: 55% [?]

Christina Bothwell’s Glass Sculpture Captures What Lies Beneath

Posted in Ceramic, Found Objects, Glass, Painting, Wood on August 27th, 2009 by Alice – 3 Comments
Dreaming

Dreaming

Christina Bothwell employs glass, clay, wood, paint and found objects in her revealing sculptures. She includes glass within glass and painting on top of glass. Clay and wood come together to add warmth to many of her creations.

When the Body Sleeps, the Spirit Travels

When the Body Sleeps, the Spirit Travels

I particularly love her “dreaming” sculptures. I have always believed that we go “home ” when we sleep and come back ready to try to remember who we really are and  create a wonderful day for ourselves by what we choose to think, say, and do.

She'd Give You Her Heart

She'd Give You Her Heart

Christina states on her website, “In my work I am drawn to the processes of birth, death, and renewal. What lies below the surface fascinates me and I try to capture the qualities of the “unseen” that express the sense of wonder that I feel in my daily existence. I am attracted to glass because it can do everything that other sculptural media can; in addition, it offers an inner space and transmits light.”

Tree

Tree

She goes on to say, “My subject matter includes babies, animals, and children as they embody the essence of vulnerability that is the underlying theme in my work. Currently I am exploring metamorphosis as a topic, and have been incorporating figures within figures in my pieces. Within each glass figure there is a smaller figure seen through the surface of the glass.”

Angel on My Shoulder

Angel on My Shoulder

She closes by saying, “I think of these pieces as souls, each being pregnant with their own potential, giving birth to new, improved versions of themselves.”

Old Soul Baby

Old Soul Baby

As the viewer I was captivated by her display of what lies beneath the surface of her figures. I felt as if I were looking more deeply than I should,  but unable to look away. We are more than our bodies and Christina’s figures cause us to pause and think about what truly lies within ourselves.

Carousel

Carousel

Christina is an accomplished artists with many solo and group exhibitions and numerous awards. She was the 2008 Winner of the Virginia A. Groot Foundation Award.

Visit Christina’s website for more of her award winning work.

Popularity: 44% [?]

The Figurative Art of Jereme and Sam Crow

Posted in Fabric, Oil, Painting, textile on August 18th, 2009 by Alice – 6 Comments
Dancing

Dancing

I’ve been a fan of Jereme Crow ‘s action filled paintings for quite awhile now. His figures are so alive, while his colors are soft and easy on the eye. I want to laugh and tap my feet, I can feel the motion.

Golden Spray

Golden Spray

On his web site Jereme writes,  ”To attempt to explain my paintings would be an after thought. They  are a celebration and exploration of the beauty of colour and the human form. I am attracted to dance as a source of inspiration because of the endless compositions created by the human form. The beauty, energy and emotion that is captured through movement. Art is beauty. Capturing a feeling, or an idea and  through the use of a subject attempting to create something beautiful.”

Tango

Tango

In my opinion, he has easily accomplished all of the above and something else as well. An involvement with the viewer.

Leap Frog

Leap Frog

After I contacted Jereme and while I was pouring over his site to choose paintings to feature here, I noticed a link to Sam Crow. I clicked and was taken to a very exciting blog featuring textile art by Jereme’s wife Sam. To my delight, not just textile art, but figurative textile art.

Staircase

Staircase

While Jereme’s paintings require the viewer to move, if not actually, then mentally, Sam’s work is more introspective, slowing the viewer down to  be self  analytical.

Pink Shoes

Pink Shoes

She states on her site in reference to a recent exhibition, “For this show, most of the women are sitting or lying down, exhausted or resting, this is because i am suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome at the moment and have to rest and sleep lots…… so i was focussing on that, and trying to incorporate my feelings about that and how it effects me and others, and trying to restrict myself to those sort of postures in a similar way that we are resticted often in our activities and have to force ourselves to stop and rest….which is hard when i work obsessively and have to be dragged away from the sewing machine!

I think as women, mothers, wives, even without chronic fatigue syndrome, we can all relate to those times of shear exhaustion.

Dressing Room

Dressing Room

I  love this one. Contemplation, a pause in a busy life…. a look, if you will, into the dream.

Summer Love

Summer Love

What a wonderful feeling this pictures leaves us with. Maybe after a good dance, a snugly rest is needed.

Jereme and Sam Crow live in South East Kent, UK

You can find out more about his talented couple by visiting their websites. Jereme Crow’s fabulous, lively art can be seen at Jereme Crow Fine Art and Sam Crow’s wonderful textile portraits can be view at Sam Crow Drawing with Stitches.

Popularity: 34% [?]