Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How I Ventilate My Studio

I am reposting a blog post from 4/9/10, which got lots of great feedback and I think is a helpful post. Here it is!

Today I had a query from my colleague, Donna Hamil Talman, who is about to install a ventilation system in her studio for the use of encaustic painting. I told her about the vendor I used, , where I purchased a fan about 2 years ago. The vent fan is much more powerful than what you'd buy locally, and it has a great warranty.

To install it, I built my version of a kind of Kool Aid Stand (above). The fan is suspended a couple of feet above my work table, which is at waist height. I can move freely around my palettes with the fan above my head. I have also installed a long ventilation hose, so that I can move the table in my studio space if I need to.

To  pull the air out of my space, I installed a dryer hose from the fan to the window. I also usually open a window to help with the circulation.

It has been quite beneficial as I have moved to primarily using encaustic paint.
If you have questions feel free to contact me.
Also, if you want to read other info, look on the R&F Encaustic website

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tim Liddy: St. Louis


Artist Tim Liddy

Please share a little about yourself.

I grew up in Michigan outside of Detroit. After traveling and studying in Europe for 
about a year, I moved to St. Louis for grad school. I live there with my wife Rebecca 
and 2 1/2 yr old son, Winston. 

Did you receive any formal art training? If yes where and what did you major

I studied at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit where, after dabbling in industrial
 design, printmaking, and painting, I settled down for a degree (BFA) in sculpture.

Was there a certain point when you decided you were primarily an artist?

Yes, and I'll try answer as short as possible: when 16, I broke my neck playing 
hockey and was paralyzed from the neck down for inside a year. As I started 
drawing for physical therapy on my hands and arms I fell in love with the practice.
 Knowing that my goal of playing professional hockey might not be possibly, I
traded my allegiance to art. As I got more mobility I decided to go to art school
where I studied with several professors that influence me tremendously.
The sporting arena became my studio and the rest is short history. Having a 
disability really was the gift that helped me focus on what I wanted to do and make
a career of it.

View of "circa 1967".......almost finished.
Detail of trompe l'oeil stickers.

Can you describe bit about your work in general. What is your current work

With this recent work, I initially wanted to create a time capsule of the boardgames Americans played — focusing on the design, gender stereotypes, social themes, and evolution. I document the box tops or covers. There were some strange and very 
questionable social/political decisions made within the themes and designs of these 
games. It was the times we lived in then. By re-contextualizing the subject you can 
really see them anew. 
They are as much sculpture as they are paintings. Primarily on copper or steel, they
are in the size of the original (although some are fictional). Everything, including the 
tape, stains, and tears are documented and archival. It's become a bit of an obsession.

What is your workspace like?I have two studios. One is large and holds most of my large-scale works of my past along
 with supplies, tools, and various equipment. I used that space for most of my messy work.
The other is small where I do most of the painting. I use enamels which are very sticky to
 work with so the environment must be as clean as possible.

Finishing touches (hard on the upper thoracic vertabraes!)

Are you involved with any arts groups or communities? If yes, what do you
> gain from that affiliation and what do you contribute to it?

I'm a professor of art at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. Of course I gain a tremendous
amount of energy from my students. I love to share my ideas and thoughts with them as 
well. So much so, in the past year I've made a small studio for myself in the grad studio 

How do you develop a sense of community with other artists, and how do you
 support your art colleagues?

I'd have to say that outside of my students, it is hard to find time to visit my friend's studios.
Several close to me are on my speed-dial and can't get away with anything new for very 

Do you have particular habits that you think support your art practice?

Over the past years, my weekdays have coursed through some habitual rituals: 
I wake up to fix breakfast for my wife and son and let my dog outside. I then check out 
the news on the Internet, stretch, shower, get dressed, and head straight for the kitchen. 
I prepare my usual breakfast—two pieces of toast, brushed with olive oil and a light spread 
of blackberry jam (seedless). With this, I have two peanut butter chocolate chip cookies 
and high-mountain tea from Taiwan. During this time, I read and must have complete 
silence so I can concentrate on the rhythm of taking one bite of cookie, then toast, and a 
sip of tea without losing my reading spot (this practice requires an expertise and, if alternating 
the bites correctly, has the taste of glorified peanut butter and jelly sandwiches). My afternoons 
entail a 13-minute commute, with my dog, to either my studio or school to teach. When hunger 
sets in, I return home to cook dinner with my wife and son and discuss the day’s events. Then, 
try to catch a hockey game on satellite TV. My weekends are a little different. 

During all these activities, I am sifting through ideas and images that rush through my mind, 
trying to figure out why and where they belong.

Do you have other jobs other than making art? If so, please give us some

Other than being a tenured professor being a daddy to a toddler keeps me busy, indeed!

Do you have any upcoming shows that you'd like to mention?

I'm presently working on a spring show at Hespe Gallery in San Francisco.

You can see more of Tim's work here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kate Carr: Santa Fe, New Mexico


Artist Kate Carr 

Photos of Kate's work by by Bill Stengel 

Can you share with my readers a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. For some reason, it never felt like home, even as a little kid, and I couldn’t wait to leave. I grew up watching Woody Allen movies and daydreaming about living in New York City and riding in taxicabs and going to the Met. That seemed very exotic to me, even though I grew up in a landscape that is very beautiful and exotic to other people. When I was 17 I drove across country to go to college in Vermont. I have lived all over the country but kept returning to two places: Maine and New Mexico. I finally settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico four years ago. I miss the Maine coast but Santa Fe felt like a good fit. The sunshine here is remarkable, but it’s also a funky, small town where I can have a career as an artist and still maintain a fairly high quality of life. I have a garden and chickens and dogs. I can go for a hike in the mountains in the morning and go to a lecture on contemporary art, a poetry reading, or gallery opening that evening. That feels like a nice balance to me.

Did you receive any formal art training? If yes where and what did you major in?
I went to Marlboro College in southern Vermont. It is a small college where you can design your own course of study. I studied poetry and art primarily, while getting a broad liberal arts education. I went to graduate school at the University of Iowa and got my degree in sculpture. I also studied papermaking and minored in printmaking and drawing.

Fabric Stack 8

At what point in your life did you become interested in making art and was there a certain point when you decided you were primarily an artist?

I always made things and drew pictures and wrote stories growing up, but I was never the kid in class who was the best artist. I was just curious about all kinds of creative expression. I went to college thinking I was going to become a writer. I realized pretty quickly that I was more interested in visual representations of ideas, the tactility of experimenting with materials, and a kind of abstraction that I was not able to communicate with words. Language felt too direct somehow. Initially my work involved a lot of text and image combinations, and eventually the words were no longer necessary. Graduate school felt like a real turning point in terms of taking myself seriously as an artist.

What is your media?
My medium is sculpture. I make objects that can be hung on the wall, rest on the floor or exist as part of an installation. My current materials are wool felt, Baltic birch, plywood, and muslin. I am also very interested in working with linen.

Square 8

The Felt Squares were completed this past fall at the MacDowell Colony, where I met Amy Ellingson. They are 17.5" x17.5" and material is wool felt with a 3.5" x3.5" square window cut out and filled with stacked cotton fabric, felt, and Baltic Birch plywood.

Square 8 is Baltic Birch plywood, wool felt, and graphite powder. It measures 18"x18". It is part of a series that was in my show, Material Sequence that opened in October 2010. in Marfa, Texas at Galleri Urbane.

Fabric Stack 8 is starched cotton fabric that I cut and stack on an armature. It measures 12"x6"x3". 

What is your current work about? do you have photos you're willing to share on my blog?

My current work negotiates a balance between formal abstraction and material exploration. Formally I am interested in line and I look for line in my materials whether it is in plywood or the edge of a piece of fabric. Because materiality is important to me, my work often has a lot of texture and density, which is emphasized by the repetitive working methods I use like stacking and layering. I am also interested in quiet, minimal work. I am always trying to figure out how to say the most with the smallest gesture.

Felt Square 8

Felt Square 8, Detail

What is your workspace like?
My studio is a room in my house. It is very small but has incredible light. I hope to have a bigger studio someday, but I am grateful for the convenience of working in my home.

How do you develop a sense of community with other artists, and how do you support your art colleagues?
I feel a huge sense of community when I attend artist residencies. It is incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by artists working in many different mediums, from places across the country, making their creative lives work. It is heartening to not feel alone in this path and to know there are many ways of doing it. I have also collaborated with two other artists and close friends, Lee Running and Tatiana Ginsberg. Working together over the course of two years on this project, Kind Favor, Kind Letter, has taught me a lot and helped me maintain a creative connection with artists I respect and admire that are working in different places.

Felt Square 1

Felt Square 1 detail

Do you ever get stuck with your work and how do you remedy this?
Absolutely. When I am stuck I often find I am trying to jump ahead in my work rather than make the next thing I am ready to make. I think there is an internal timeline and rhythm of the work and it is important to listen to that. It is easy to get impatient with that process and get lost. When I give myself permission to just make my work from where I am at that point in time (not getting caught up in trying make the best, biggest thing I have ever made) I have a profound sense of relief.

Do you have particular habits that you think support your art practice? I am drawn to practices, creative and otherwise, that are about being trying to present in any given moment. I am a terrible multi-tasker. I have a regular yoga practice. I read a lot. I try to spend a lot of time outside hiking or in the garden. I have found that practicing doing things mindfully, with intention, feeds my art practice in a profound way.

Do you have other jobs other than making art?
I have had a lot of different jobs over the years: waitressing, bartending, retail, landscaping. Right now I am teaching a Mixed Media Sculpture class at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Teaching is very challenging but it keeps me engaged and I find it very rewarding. It is never boring. I also work in a yoga studio, which connects me to a wonderful community here in Santa Fe.

Where would you like to be in 5 years as far as your art making?
Just working in the studio everyday. That would be wonderful.

Do you have any upcoming shows that you'd like to mention?
I am in a show opening in March at The Harwood Museum in Taos, New Mexico called, Mexorado. It is a group show of artists living and working in the Albuquerque-Denver corridor.

You can see more of Kate's work on her website.
Thanks Kate!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Terry Jarrard-Dimond: Clemson, South Carolina


What Isn't Seen 2010
43.25 H x 56.5" W - Hand dyed
resist painted, overdyed, machine pieced and stitched

Artist Terry Jarrard-Dimond

A little background about Terry: 
I grew up in a small town in South Carolina and I have vivid memories of loving to make things. This might mean mud pies, paper dolls or drawing in coloring books. My favorite part of vacation bible school was doing arts and crafts and while our tiny school did not have an art program as such, up until the 7th grade art was part of the classroom. I graduated in a class of 27 students. I had only the most cartoonist idea of what an artist was….you know, smock, beret and a paint palette. I didn’t visit an art museum until I was in college. Somehow, despite the unfamiliarity with artists or what that title represented, today I proudly call myself an artist. I live in Clemson, SC and share a studio with my husband, Tom Dimond. Most days my activities revolve around art in some manner.

Did you receive any formal art training? If yes, where and what did you major in?
I have a BA from Winthrop University and an MFA from Clemson University. There was a ten-year spread between the two degrees. I majored in art at Winthrop with a minor in History. During the time between the two degrees I became interested in weaving and that is what I was doing when I began my graduate program. The degree at Clemson does not denote your area of specialty and they encouraged their students to branch out and explore new mediums. When I graduated, I was making mixed media sculpture which had developed out of my interest in textiles.

Shelter  201075" H x 60.25" W - Painted, discharged
pieced and raw-edge applique, machine stitched

Was there a certain point when you decided you were primarily an artist?
 My commitment to art really solidified during my graduate studies. I was already married with one child when I began this program but I had great family support and I dived into the adventure with gusto. One very important part of claiming the title of artist is exploration and school can be a perfect place for that if you’re lucky. The word “primarily” makes me laugh a little because while I think that is true, in today’s environment you also have to be a million other things as well (I’ll let you fill in that blank with your own diverse job titles) and I don’t think I’m very good at most of that other stuff.

Nude In the Dark  2010
53.5" H x 43.5" W—Monoprinted, oil pastel
machine pieced and stitched

Nude in the Dark detail

About Terry's work:
For the last 6 years I have worked with fabric which I hand dye, cut, restructure and stitch. I have focused on very formal compositions using bold shapes and tight spatial relationships but my work is very much in flux right now. I began working with fabric in the way I described while I was working as a textile designer and was very influenced by traditional construction techniques for quilts. I am now focusing more on the potential for expression and trying a wider variety of techniques for making marks and images on the fabric. I want the work to reveal more of the process and I want there to be more of my hand in the work. 

For about the last 18 months I have been painting and monoprinting my fabric with the goal of making work that is more challenging for me and the viewer. Often times the content of the work develops as the work develops and I have to get to the end to understand the beginning. I have begun the practice of writing a statement about each piece when it is complete. These are not traditional statements. Rather, I allow my mind to wander while looking at the work and I document the “stream of consciousness” or flow of thoughts that develop. This is a wonderful practice for someone who has never been successful (meaning dedicated) at keeping a journal.

Terry packing up Sculpture Garden to ship
Germany for Color Improvisation

What is your workspace like? I have three workspaces. Two of these spaces are in our home and are used for design and sewing as well as office space. Our home is close to being 100 years old and the first floor ceilings are 10 feet high so the indoor studio spaces are nice. The third space is a separate building behind our home. There I have a sink and space to mix dye and get messy. There are tables on which to paint, cut, measure, and prepare my work and cabinets for storage. 

There is even a nice bank of spotlights for a second design wall. We have started to photograph the work in that space. I love it but it does get cold here and I don’t keep it heated all year so I’m looking forward to warmer weather.

A peek inside Terry's studio

Are you involved with any arts groups or communities?
My only current on-going affiliation with a community art organization is through my support of the Clemson Visual Arts program at Clemson University. This is the art program that includes the art department, the art gallery and the plan to build a new facility for this department. 

I have lived in this area for many years and over the years have been involved in all kinds of organizations. Through those programs I have met and become friends with many other artists. At this time I am just more focused on my studio.

How do you develop a sense of community with other artists, and how do you support your art colleagues?

Through participation in workshops and exhibitions, I have made a world of new friends over the last few years. I also have an active blog that will soon be two years old. One of my first thoughts about having this blog was that it could be a way to connect and support artists whose work I admired and I have been able to accomplish that. I have developed a number of great relationships with artists all around the US and abroad. I have had some of the most meaningful dialogues with these artists that I’ve ever had. When I visit their websites, blogs etc. I try to share what they are doing through social media and I know they appreciate my efforts on their behalf. These artist work in a variety of mediums and I have become a huge fan of encaustic and artists who work in that medium.

Disintegrations 2011
39" H x 65.75" W — Painted, discharged, monoprinted,
pieced and raw-edge applique, machine stitched

Do you have particular habits that you think support your art practice?

I try to do something in my studio everyday….even if it means I just stand in the room and look at something on the design wall for a bit. This is one of the pluses of my middle studio…..I walk through that room all the time so whatever is going on is not “out of sight”…..nor out of mind. I am also very curious and interested in everything. You never know where or from whom you will learn something new that will find it’s way into your art.

Do you have jobs other than making art? If so, please give us some details.
I give presentations and do workshops. This is fairly new for me but I’ve enjoyed them so far and I’ve met some really talented artists. This spring I will be presenting a workshop titled “Ask” What If?” at the Crow Timberframe Barn which is in Baltimore, Ohio and is a fabulous studio. I am especially excited about this as the owner of this facility, Nancy Crow, is the person who helped me get started with my work. Later in the summer I will present this workshop at Quilting By the Lake in New York.

Do you have any upcoming shows that you'd like to mention?
 I will have work at the Gallery Up, Rock Hill, SC that opens April 7. 

You can also see more of Terry's work on her website.