Monday, September 15, 2014

Quotes: Joseph Addison

"Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses, and disappointments." –– Joseph Addison (1672-1719), English writer and politician

Friday, September 12, 2014

Studio Series: Intuitive mark-making repeat pattern

August 14 Lent drawing in pinwheel repeat © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Thanks to your encouragement I created a down-and-dirty repeat pattern with the Lent drawing that I shared with you in my August 29 post. It's a bit rough, but it does the job for now.

Happy weekend to you all!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sarah Boyts Yoder @ Mennonite Arts Weekend

Sarah Boyts Yoder Mega Bun in Watermelon & Mint, 2014; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2014
Mega Bun in Watermelon & Mint: Mixed media on paper and canvas

Sarah Boyts Yoder is a mixed-media painter currently living and working in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA). I met her at the biannual Mennonite Arts Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio in February where she was a presenter and exhibitor. From the moment that I saw her work, I was smitten with her bold lines, irregular shapes, and use of collage. I also admired that she uses mis-tinted house paint in her work. The work is fresh, bold, and loose.
Sarah Boyts Yoder Bun Shield with Blue, 2013; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2014
Bun Shield with Blue, Mixed media on paper and canvas.

Boyts Yoder is a mother to two young children, so she paints in spurts, making the most of small moments. Reading to her children almost doubles as studio time, since she draws inspiration from children's books. The bun, a recurring shape in her work, is one example of a shape that came from a book that she read to her children.
Sarah Boyts Yoder Comb, Bun, Gun, 2013; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2014
Comb, Bun, Gun, Mixed media on paper

A few years ago, when Boyts Yoder first moved with her family to Virginia, she had no studio space, so she set up shop in the small attic and in stolen moments started painting on paper. There was no room to paint on canvas. Painting on paper was a gateway to her cutting up paintings and then collaging with them. Although she now has a dedicated space large enough for working on canvas, she continues to incorporate collage into her work. I am grateful for that attic and how it broadened her work.
Sarah Boyts Yoder Foot, Gun, Bun 2014; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2014
Foot, Gun, Bun, Mixed media on canvas

If you look closely, you can see collage elements on this painting on the above canvas.
Sarah Boyts Yoder Green Bun on Pink, 2014; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2014
Green Bun on Pink, Mixed media on paper

Boyts Yoder installs her mixed-media-on-paper artworks with tacks that pierce the upper corners. Some of the galleries that exhibit her work embrace this, others choose to frame the pieces. 
Sarah Boyts Yoder Over the Hill, 2014; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2014
Over the Hill, Mixed media on paper and canvas
Sarah Boyts Yoder Rain Bun, 2014; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2014
Rain Bun, Mixed media on paper
Sarah Boyts Yoder Smoke & Cup, 2014; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2014
Smoke & Cup, Mixed media on paper
Sarah Boyts Yoder Black Feet, Green Brush, 2014; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2014
Black Feet, Green Brush, Mixed media on canvas

My photographs don't do the paintings justice. To learn more about Sarah Boyts Yoder and her process, visit her website or her blog Life and Limb.

Photos taken with permission from the artist.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Quotes: Brandon Locher

"It's imperative to recognize that our dissatisfaction originates within us. It arises out of our own blindness to what our situation actually is, out of our wanting reality to be something other than what it is."Brandon Locher, American visual artist, from his Mazes to the Motherlode statement via Pattern Pulp

Friday, September 5, 2014

Studio Series: Mark-making with Letraset & acrylic ink

Letraset & acrylic ink Lent drawing August 2014 © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Lately I've started to mess with prints of old Lent drawings. This is a Letraset drawing to which I've added dots of acrylic inks. I'm starting to collage with the Lent drawings and I'm curious to see how the collages and my Lent drawings influence each other and evolve over the next few months.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Studio Series: Composition in Red 4

Composition in Red 4 © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Composition in Red 4 is a continuation of my work with modules and tags. Half of the tags have had some "textile interference," either through stitching with needle and thread or mark-making with an unthreaded sewing machine. Six of the tags incorporate patterns that I've designed, printed onto paper, and then collaged onto the tags. When I created this piece earlier this year, I could see that I was moving the work forward. Several months have passed and I now see that there is room for me to push the work even further. This summer I've prepared several hundred surfaces to collage on, I am ready to begin and see where the work guides me.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Quotes: Wayne Muller

"All life has emptiness at its core; it is the quiet hollow reed through which the wind of God blows and makes the music that is our life." – Wayne Muller, American author, minister, therapist 
(Wayne Muller. Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, 1999, p. 51)