Monday, December 08, 2008

Stretch Out Your Hand

I often get the question "where do your ideas come from for your paintings?" Well, there are so many answers to that question...but, lately I have had the wonderful experience of gathering with a group of other creatives and our time together has inspired several new pieces. What is so great about this group is that they are all creative in different ways from me, but when we are together-singing, playing, praying, and creating the ideas flow in a way that I have not experienced before. It is such a great example of true community and one of my favorite places to create. This piece "Stretch Out Your Hand" was created based on a charcoal sketch I did while we were together.

One of my favorite things about showing my work is that I love to hear what others see in the piece that I may never have noticed. This piece was one where I was totally surprised to hear the responses. The great thing about art is that one piece can say so many different things to each individual who encounters it. As the artist, I can't own all the varying responses to my work, but they do fascinate me.

A technical note about this piece... Golden Fluid Acrylics have changed the way I paint. The endless combinations of texture that I can create with the fluids and the gels are going to keep me busy for some time. I'm anxious to experiment with the new Golden Open Acrylics. For those of you not familiar with the Open Acrylics-they are designed to be an acrylic that stays wet for a much longer time, replicating the experience of painting with oils. According to the many reviews I have read, it is a paint that functions different from any other paints. Golden had a reviews from several artists in their latest Just Paint.

For my Designer Friends- Anyone wanting to receive Canvas Corp (jute, rope, clothespins, paint) or Mark Richards (glitter stickers, iron-ons) product for use in designing projects for CHA or for publishing, feel free to contact or call toll free at 1-866-376-9961.

Just read:

Part of the reason for my quiet blog as of late is that I have been consumed with books. I actually put myself on a hiatus from the library a few weeks ago so that I could get some much needed projects done. Some of my latest "great reads"...

The Shack
The Gift of Being Yourself
Visual Faith

A parting shot from a fall walk at one of my favorite places in the world.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

In Progress

I titled my summer art show “Emerging” and I didn’t realize how much work emerging could be! Not only am I going through a personal time of growth and change, but also this fall I began teaching a leadership course for adults entitled “Emerging”(Year 1 from Vantage Point 3). All this deep internal focus and attention spent on teaching has caused this blog to fall a bit silent. But, what I’m realizing is the same thing happens in my creative cycle. I study, read, absorb the world around me, and then I go through a process of internally organizing all of that new input. Once I begin to sort it out, categorize and then prioritize-art and words seem to emerge. I’m beginning to see how I do that in so many parts of my life-including my art and teaching. I wish I would of taken the time to share more as I embarked on this journey, but it was important to allow myself the time and concentrated focus necessary. I’ve been feeling the urge to share for awhile-to be honest part of me has been resisting-you know how it is fun to keep a secret to yourself for awhile, but then I get to a point where the dam seems to burst. It seems hard to know where to start…

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting pieces from my show this summer at the Galerie of Pella and sharing a bit of the inspiration behind the art. The piece "In Progress" in my kitchen is at the top of the post. Had to rearrange my dining room for a time this summer so I had the room and light needed to finish this piece.


Copyright Melynda Van Zee 2008
From my artist statement: This winter I read a biography of Vincent Van Gogh. The author explained “the idea of the painter-butterfly served a personal purpose for Van Gogh as well as extending the formative debates of his Dutch theological culture. Van Gogh asked ‘How many times have I passed from the larve to the chrysalis state and to a more complete state, which…has set me on the way to achieve a new circle of metamorphosis? ‘” He wrote to a friend, “I, too, should like to know approximately what I am the larve of, myself; where will this butterfly emerge from the chrysalis?”
I, too, wonder, “Where and when will this butterfly emerge?”

New News...
I’m excited to announce I’ll be in the Canvas Corp. and Mark Richards booths at the CHA show this January. I’m going to be teaching some episodes in the Canvas booth-totally cool stuff. They have a paint that works to paint on almost anything-wood, metal, tin, etc. It’s called “Diamond Hard” Furniture, Cabinet & Trim Paint. So, I’ve been playing all over my house. Painted my old coffee table and end tables black.
Here is the "before" photo of my dear old coffee table. I had been telling friends that my "vintage" table had gone from "shabby chic" to plain old shabby. It had been needing some love for awhile.

I’ve got plans to add a coat of "Diamond Hard" Berber to this metal cabinet that was my Grandpa’s.
I’m thinking about redoing our rocking chair. It was a $20 garage sale find from 12 years ago and thinking it would look cool in my newly redecorated bedroom.
The studio is busy this time of year-finishing commissioned pieces, planning for the show, and general preparations for Christmas. I’ll post as much as I can.