Thursday, March 29, 2007

Visions of the Cross artist: Anne Louise Gillilan

"Station VI – Veronica Wipes Jesus' Brow", needle sketch on hand-painted wool felt, 20" x 9", ©Anne Louise Gillilan

Anne Louise Gillilan's three entries come to us all the way from Alaska! This is Anne Louise's vision of the sixth station of the cross. She says:

All my life I have pursued art in one form or another, finding expression in clay, paper, paint, pencil, fiber and thread, often mixing mediums to express ideas. Seven years ago I started studying Art/Design and embroidery through City & Guilds of London at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center in Oak Harbor, Washington. I have done extensive research into historical embroidery, interviewed embroiderers from around the world, and studied historical and contemporary embroidery in England.

Each piece is custom designed and is unique. As I work on a design I use words, pictures, and other inspirations to convey an expression of the place or individual for whom I am designing. The images in the Stations are inspired by Byzantine art and are intended to evoke emotions of the humanness of Christ as He faces His death.

To learn more about Anne Louise and her artwork, please visit her website.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Visions of the Cross artist: Sue Chrisensen

Lily and Ash, 6" x 4" (framed to 14" x 11") color photograph, ©Sue Christensen

This photograph is part of a series (of which we'll be displaying 3) entitled Passion Play. Sue says:

This work was created as part of my portfolio for graduation from the New England School of Photography. What began as a search for God in nature, led, with the guidance of a good teacher, to an exploration of churches, and then to self-portraits.

The series is entitled Passion Play, because it follows the journey of Christ through His passion, death and resurrection. Christian symbols such as lilies and ashes are incorporated in the images. Colors and light are also crucial in relating the story. The images are printed small to preserve their intimacy and to invite you, the viewer, to come close and share in that intimacy and the journey.

It is not my intention to present myself in the place of God. At times, when creating the work, I thought of myself, perhaps, as one of the women who knew Christ during His earthly ministry. The Bible also talks of us having to take up our cross, and die, in order to live. The road Christ followed is one all who believe in Him must trod.

These images are filled with hope. There is suffering, there is death, but there is light and in the end life, rebirth. They are a visual prayer.

To find out more about Sue and her photography, please visit her website.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Illustration Friday: I Spy

Here is this week's entry for Illustration Friday. When I read that the theme was "I spy" all I could think was "I spy with my little eye..." and came up with this collage. There are actually two eyes in this image, so maybe it's I spy with my little eyes, or maybe we spy...

Visions of the Cross artist: Matthew Whitney

Die by the Sword, 30" x 40", oil on canvas, ©Matthew Whitney 2006

Matthew says, "This painting deals with the speaking of Christ to his disciple: "Those who draw the sword, die by the sword (Matthew 26:56)", during the Second Station of the Cross, The Betrayal of Judas. It is a visual meditation on Christ's words, and of violence and war being the result of a failure of human understanding and comprehension of the power of the Cross."

You can learn more about Matthew and his work on his website.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Art show announcement

This is the postcard announcement I designed for the upcoming art show at my church. I'm very excited by the quality of the work submitted, as was the jury. This is the first show that I've curated as the director of our new church gallery and it was very satisfying to have such a wonderful response to our call to artists. And to see such high quality religious art in so many mediums too – paintings, photographs and textiles will all be represented in the show.

Over the next week I'll be posting about each of the artists whose work will be on display, so be sure to check back!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Studio Revamp: Part I

This is my workspace as viewed from the entry. It's the second bedroom in our 2 bedroom apartment and it's about 10' by 12', and it's feeling very crowded, especially since I seem to be working on bigger and bigger canvases lately (the one you see on the easel is 36" x 36"). It must serve as studio, office, and storage space. I have recently decided that I'm tired of bumping into things and not being able to find things. Not that it's ever been acceptable, I've just gotten to the point where I'm going to finally do something about it.

Step one involves this computer armoire,

which finally did arrive late Wednesday evening. Since I can't put my computer and business related stuff in a separate office, I've decided to use this armoire as a room within a room. I love it because not only will it help me save space and organize that part of my art life, I'll actually be able to close the doors on it so I won't have to look at it all the time. Of course, this all depends on my husband and I being able to assemble the thing, as this is what it currently looks like:

So that's what we'll be doing with our spare time this weekend. Wish us luck! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Illustration Friday: Total (mess)

This collage is what I came up with for the Illustration Friday theme this week which is "Total." I haven't done a lot of collaging lately, and I want to get back into that practice. The idea came to me when I was doing some dreaded bookkeeping and realized that I'd rather tear and glue than add and subtract to find a total, so I tore up a piece of the accounting paper and added a receipt from a recent bookstore purchase, then played until a composition came together.

Today has been a total mess so far. An item of furniture I ordered which was supposed to arrive yesterday did not. I waited all day. Spoke with customer service this morning and they said they'd look into it and if I didn't hear from them by 3 to call them again. Less than 2 hours to go, and their online order status still shows that I should expect it yesterday. This piece of furniture represents the beginning of revamping my studio space so that it's easier and more pleasant to use, so I'm rather disappointed that it's being postponed. When (and if) it does arrive, I'll tell you more about that project.

Had to run out and buy some groceries and while I was there I decided to order a sandwich at their deli. They got the order wrong - forgot the lettuce. They also overcharged me by 50 cents for the cookie I'd gotten to console myself about the messed up order. Didn't notice either until I got home. Not worth going back for, but annoying.

And I check my e-mail to find that another gallery thanks me for my submission but isn't adding artists at this time. :P

I really hope this isn't a sign for how another project (more on that later too) I'm starting tonight is going to go. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Illustration Friday: Wired

Wired, acrylics/collage/wire on 12" x 12" canvas, ©2005

This is a piece I did in 2005. I was working as a purchasing assistant at a construction supply company and often found these pieces of wire used to bind pieces of rebar together out in the yard, usually all rusty and interesting from being run over by trucks and exposed to the elements. This one inspired me to create this piece.

Being home alone has officially lost it's appeal as of a few hours ago, probably around the time he'd normally be coming home from work. Now I simply feel lonely and I miss my husband. Luckily, he returns tomorrow!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Home Alone, Paper and Art

Hands of arts committee members working on "paper lace" artwork for Easter

My husband left (at 4 am!) yesterday to attend a conference in Austin, TX, and won't be back for a few days. It's very strange not having him here. It's been a very long time since he's been on a business trip, and I got kinda used to him being around. :) Totally threw my day off and I had trouble settling down to anything. While I do miss him terribly, I am going to try to make the most of it and have some quality alone time. I've got some books (as usual) and some female friendly DVDs (Pride & Prejudice mini-series which I have seen before but look forward to seeing again, The Lake House, and a foreign film called Last Life in the Universe that Netflix thought I might like and I thought it sounded interesting), hot chocolate and a popcorn popper to get me through. Though it's not really a burden, it's kind of freeing to not have to worry about someone else's schedule for a few days.

This morning the church's arts committee began working on our project for Easter. Once again we are doing paper lace, but this year it will be 5 panels instead of 3. We got about 1 3/4 panels today, and a third one is about half drawn. We have at least 3 more meetings to get this done, and I'll be finishing up the drawing part before the next one.

This afternoon a couple from church came over to look over my artwork with the intent of finally deciding on a piece to buy. They first saw my work when I was showing at ArtsWest, and then while my show was up at church, the wife gave the husband a piece of his choice for a Christmas present. It took a while to set up a meeting, but today it all worked out and one of my pieces is now on its way to a new home. A very satisfying afternoon as they took a lot of time trying to decide on just one because they wanted so many of them! In the end he chose a piece that he hadn't even seen previously but that really spoke to both of them. They also seemed to be attracted to a couple of my smaller pieces, so hopefully I'll have another sale from them soon.

Well, off to spend the evening with the oh-so-yummy Colin Firth! :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Stations of the Cross entry

as yet untitled, acrylics/collage on 40" x 30" canvas, ©2007

Not a great photo, but here it is, my entry for the upcoming Stations of the Cross show.

This piece started its life back in September of last year, specifically the evening we celebrated the Eve of the Exhaltation of the Holy Cross. As part of the service, Father John read from a sermon by St. Theodore of Studios, Priest and Abbot, 826 A.D., and the words caused a very powerful and visual reaction in me. Though I began the piece soon after that night, it's taken this long to complete it for a number of reasons, primarily because it meant so much to me and I so wanted to convey all that I felt upon hearing those words, and that caused just a smidge of performance anxiety, thus fear, thus procrastination.

Well, now it's done. I hope I have captured the essence of St. Theodore's words.

"How precious is the gift of the cross, how splendid to contemplate! In the cross there is no mingling of good and evil, as in the tree of paradise; it is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of paradise, but opens a way for our return."

"This is the tree upon which the Lord…healed the wounds of sin…"

"A tree once caused our death, but now a tree brings life."

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Zoo at last!

This gorgeous jaguar was pretty active while we were there. The big cats usually seem to be lazing about, just like our housecats, when I see them in zoos, but this one seemed to want to play.

Brown Bears are HUGE! I had no idea just how big they really are.

Beautiful female gyrfalcon, the largest falcon. The raptor show was one of my favorite parts of the day. Very informative, and I just adore birds of prey so getting this close to one was quite a thrill.

Yesterday we finally went to the Zoo. It was chilly and a little damp, but it wasn't snowing or raining so we decided to go for it and had a really lovely day. I have to admit that my feelings at zoos range from dismay that these beautiful animals are locked up, horror at learning what is happening to their native habitats, and absolute delight in being able to be so close to them. I managed to take some pretty decent photographs which I'm planning to use for future sketches and possibly paintings too. I'm also planning to go back as often as I can (since I have a membership now) and maybe sketching in person. Also, we were there for about 5 hours and we didn't get to see it all, so I have to go back to see what we missed.

You can follow the link below to see Woodland Park Zoo's recommendations for:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Snow and movies

The view from our balcony this morning. At least it's sunny today!

So, it continued to snow, pretty much all day yesterday. We had a good time anyway. Plan B turned out to be hanging out in Woodinville: wandering around a couple of stores (Barnes & Noble, Target), having lunch at Cosi, then heading over to the movie theater where we saw Music & Lyrics, which was a very enjoyable film of the romantic-comedy variety.

Then we stopped at the grocery store and picked up some gelato and some Italian cookies, went home and ordered Chinese food. Then we watched Stranger Than Fiction on DVD. Excellent movie! So, in spite of having to change our plans, it turned out to be a really good day.

While on the topic of great movies, we saw Bridge to Terabithia last weekend. What a wonderful movie! A real treat for the imagination. I was glad it turned out to be very different from what the ads made it out to be.