five15 to the Power of 5

10421624_10152544246049869_5254605361782280673_n

Five15 Arts presents its third annual invitational. Each of the eleven member invites five local artists to take part in a salon style exhibition called Five15 to the Power of 5.

Five 15 member Mary Shindell invited me to take part along with Christine Cassano, Mitch Fry, Carolyn Lavender and Nicole Royse.

The art is 12 x 12″, includes both 2D and 3D, and results in a diverse exhibition with over sixty works of art. Everything is available for purchase and will be on a cash ‘n carry basis. This means the show will certainly be different the second time you visit – on 3rd Friday!

The opening is this coming First Friday. Each member will have 2 works included in the exhibit. Here are Mary’s 5 picks along with her own art :

bean moonsm

Mary Shindell
Mesquite Beans, Moon Crater
digital drawing with graphite and ink, archival ink jet print
2014
$100.00

Morph Code 2

Christine Cassano
Morph Code
mixed media on panel
2014
$375.00

12x12 2014B

Mitch Fry
Regrowth
repurposed hardwoods & elastomeric
12 x 12 x 3 1/4″
2014
$351.00

Baboon-Baboon in progress 2

Carolyn Lavender
Baboon-Baboon (progress shot)
graphite on prepared canvas panel 
2014
$500.00

image

Nicole Royse
Twilight
acrylic on canvas
2014
$85.00

snail

Monica Aissa Martinez
Anatomy of a Snail 
mixed media and collage on panel
2014
$450.00

boug, moon sm

Mary Shindell
Bougainvillea Moon Craters
digital drawing with graphite and ink, archival ink jet print
2014
$100.00

Brave the heat and join us – it will be worth it! The show is always a full house.

WHO : Five 15 Arts
WHAT: Third Annual Five 15 to the 5th Power
WHEN: First Friday Opening, August 1, from 6-10 PM
Third Friday Reception, August 15 from 6 – 10 PM
Saturdays from 1 – 5 PM
WHERE: 515 E Roosevelt Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Five 15 Arts is a collective, artist-run, contemporary art space committed to providing support and an exhibition venue for serious, professionally minded Arizona artists.

more info → Five15 Arts

a new commission

 A circle is the reflection of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end – and if you put several circles over each other then you get a spiral. ~MJK


I work on a commission –  a painting on paper of a female front body – head to hips. I began 2 weeks ago when I photographed and outlined Terri, on a Sunday afternoon. The colors, forms and angles on this life-size study feel different to me and so I move more slow and careful. Each day I detail out one or two organs. I have a few more anatomical systems to bring in that will pull the structure together more. Of course I also plan to work the background. I know the composition will look different even a week from today, so I document process.

Someone asked what I read – he was curious, he said. As I work on this I am both listening to and reading Caroline Myss who deals with the energetic systems of the human body. Myss looks at everything as symbol. I understand this.

IMG_6321

IMG_6412 IMG_6409

 

IMG_6411

 

IMG_6407bNo Woman is an Island.

 

state of the art – discovering american art now

Unknown

I am excited to let you know my work will be a part of the State of the Art exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of America.

This is certain to be a one-of-a-kind exhibition experience – for artists and visitors both – as curators travelled 10,000 miles across the United Sates to visit with nearly 1000 artists. My studio was in that mix of visits as were a handful of AZ artists. I recall the initial phone call and email I received – I really couldn’t believe it ( for the record – I do believe it now ).

1920275_10152204234467298_1363815244_n

Photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

About the exhibit:
State of the Art features 102 artists from across the country selected for inclusion as a result of Crystal Bridges president Don Bacigalupi and assistant curator Chad Alligood’s travels and visits (mostly in person, some via Skype) with artists from every region of the U.S.

About the art works:
· Works in the exhibition include photography, video, ceramics, action/interaction, glass, fiber, installation, paper, painting, and sculpture.

· There are more than 200 total works in the exhibition

· The exhibition will reach beyond the boundaries of the Museum’s temporary exhibition spaces, extending into the permanent collection galleries and activating public and community areas indoors and out. Gallery spaces will total 19,000 square feet.

There is no charge to view the exhibition.

WHO: Crystal Bridges, Museum of American Art
WHAT: STATE OF THE ART - DISCOVERING AMERICAN ART NOW
WHERE: Bentonville, AK
WHEN: September 13, 2014 – January 19, 2015

 For more details click ↓image005

Visit the press page here on my blog and see the YouTube studio visit and/or read about the show and my work.

There is more to share but this is a good start.
Did I say I am excited? Yes I did. I am.

I could have titled this post No Woman is an Island.

6 zygotes

IMG_6294

The word zygote comes from the Greek and means joined or yoked.  On a quick tangent – this makes me think of the Sanskrit word yoga which means to yoke, to join or to unite. Here I think physical process, development and growth. And I think mother – my mother.

You recall I am doing an anatomy study of my mother and I want to reference in the composition the 6 children she raised. Initially I think to include 6 embryos. But as I look at resource material and compositional space I choose to set up 6 eggs becoming fertilized by sperm. I also think design: movement, color and line.

The bottom part / the ground of the drawing ( a 12″ x 44″ area ) is where I refer to the developmental phase after fertilization and the resulting one-celled organism called a zygote. The zygote stage lasts about 4 days – ironically equivalent to the amount of time this area takes to draw out and paint – 4 full days of steady, intricate progress.

Here are the stages of the 6 zygotes.

IMG_6285

IMG_6287
IMG_6289 IMG_6290

Hot summers in Phoenix – I draw all day. This mixed media composition is bright and intense – more so than most of my other work on paper.

I need to start thinking about the title of the work and I wonder if it’s still part of the series called Nothing in Stasis. It is, I decide.

the spongy, tube shaped pancreas

IMG_6268Finally I draw a complete pancreas. It’s hidden behind the stomach and in all my studies I’ve included only a hint of it. The pancreas assists in digestion, it breaks down carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

The reason I isolate it in this particular drawing is because It also supports the endocrine system and produces several hormones including insulin and glucagon, that regulate blood sugar levels.

The pancreas sits in the upper region of the solar plexus. The area is the brain of our instinctual animal nature and is closely concerned with mobilization of energy for physical and mental purposes. 

Energetically it is an organ of stability and connects to the sweetness of life.

IMG_6270

pancreas and spleen

My work is not literal interpretation of the body, it’s abstracted and symbolic. Because I’ve not drawn this particular organ prior to this, I feel excited as I read and work. For me it’s a new shape, new information and new discovery. I am once again impressed by the intricacy of our physical form.

a symbol of peace on the earth walk – studying a tortoise

She carries the world on her back, and her home is where ever she happens to be. She knows what’s really important, and what can be left behind. 


turtleskullI’ve wanted to study and paint tortoise / turtle anatomy ever since I saw its structure which included small blades, a rib cage and pelvis. Unlike the insect studies, this anatomy is dense and crowded into the strong shell – a shield of sorts.

These reptiles are crepuscular, meaning they are often most active at twilight. They are generally reclusive animals. When the limbs and head are withdrawn into the shell, the animal is completely closed off.

I get a feeling of dissection as I work this composition. Oddly enough as I move through the body I also sense the creatures vulnerability.

All of my anatomy artwork, human and animal both, represents vitality. The physical form itself continues to show intricate complexity – balanced and so uniquely beautiful. Treat it well so it can do its job which includes steadily and gracefully carrying you along the earth as you live a full life.

tortoise

Depending on the culture there are many symbolic associations connected to both the tortoise and the turtle, Here is a list of a few of my favorites:

  •  the oldest symbol for planet Earth
  •  goddess energy
  •  endurance
  • peace on the earth walk
  • links between heaven and earth
  • healer and protector
  • grants long life wisdom and good health
  • a lunar creature

 

una campamocha, a praying mantis

From whence arrived the praying mantis?
From outer space, or lost Atlantis?
I glimpse the grim, green metal mug
That masks this pseudo-saintly bug,
Orthopterous, also carnivorous,
And faintly whisper, Lord deliver us.

~Ogden Nash~


Campamocha is Spanish for Praying Mantis. I like the word.

campamocha

La Campamocha, 12 x 12″, collage on panel

After researching this insect, I feel facts and symbolic connections are a bit out of synch. It may be that the symbolic associations are purely visual. I must say though it’s one odd-looking bug. It’s a cousin to the termite and maybe a prototype of the cockroach.

A little more…

  • mantises have compound eyes that give them a binocular field of vision
  • their one ear is on the underside of the belly (similar to a cricket if I recall correctly)
  • its neck is flexible and rotates 180 degrees
  • life span is about 10-12 months
  • spiked forelegs help them hold prey securely
  • it’s considered a predator
  • it’s a carnivore
  • they can fly (they can?!)

In terms of symbology …

  • mantises blend with their environment and becomes invisible to enemies
  • they teach us how to still the outer mind and go within
  • the word Mantis is Greek for prophet or seer
  • it is the oldest symbol of God.

…. could this be why we found this one staring at us from a bottle of wine….

IMG_20130826_203434_826

Since I began working on this insect series I have received emails that include photos of exotic bugs, names and web sites of artists who depict bugs and many interesting reads. I know many of your favorite bugs : cute and ugly. I’ve been visited by a number of insects whom I’m sure wish their presence known (la campamocha en la botella de vino). All the bugs I drew made some personal connect via a friend or were direct. I appreciate it all. If we could learn to respect the smallest of life it would certainly be a better thing all the way around.

The most recent link I received reminded me of the Insect People from the Navajo Creation Myth: Insects in Art and Religion of the American Southwest. 

… enjoy…the bugs.