hand-eye coordination

There is a region of the brain important for maintaining the calibration between visual and motor systems necessary for accurate eye-hand coordination.

Presumably, recalibration of the eye-hand coordination takes place continuously throughout our lives.  - Lorri Preston

IMG_6565 copyI’ve sketched the hand, eye and brain before. I draw them all again this week while at the same time I prepare syllabi for Drawing classes this Fall.

The study is direct and only focuses on the three parts of the body at the start. And this morning in Yoga, my teacher Meg talks about the heart. Naturally I make time to draw out and consider that connection as well.

I show the small grouping to Thomas, who is also an artist and had been wanting me to include the heart. He says … these four body parts … I consider them the four basic elements of an artist’s existence – bridging the internal and external, the subjective and objective.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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I consider the process a week long meditation – natural and organic.

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no woman is an island

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet. Rumi

 


I have worked on this commission for most of the last 3 weeks. Normally I don’t do this kind of work that fast, I tell Terri yesterday when I deliver the completed, though unframed, large work on paper. I enjoyed it and I struggled with it. In general my drawing is changing, I am including much more information, if I can figure it out.

There are things about this composition I don’t normally set up to do – like a smiling face. Because I told Terri to stand in a natural way and she stood firm, bright-eyed, strong, chin up and she smiled, I worked very hard to get the face just right – eyes, smile and all.

Here are a few progressive shots of it:

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general sketch

 

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refinement and muscle structure

 

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anatomy goes in

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completed head includes cranial nerves in and out the head

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I wish I could take that, Terri points to all the internal anatomy in the artwork, and place it here, inside me – she points to her chest. It came from you, I say as I laugh. She nods and repeats herself, I wish I could bring that inside me, now.  That’s a great thing to hear.

This is an anatomy study , it’s a study of an energetic system, it’s Terri. And Terri has brain cancer.

I ask if she is okay with me sharing all this. She nods her head – Yes, I am. I ask a few more times. I feel protective. But whom am I protecting, I wonder. Terri is accepting of her life. Her son, who is present, agrees – she’s accepting it all!  Terri is forthcoming about where she finds herself, and she’s at peace. I see it in her expression. I hear it in her voice. She tells me she’s had 3 other cancers – of the colon, in the sacrum, in the lungs, and now – the brain.

I consider the physical body a lot these days, as I immerse myself in these anatomy studies. The body serves a great purpose, it holds the spirit. As human beings we live and connect with it and through it.

I prefer to use medical terminology when I title a work. This could be different, it is a human body, a female front body, from head to hips. It is a  Study of a Human Female Body, Anterior View. But I am thinking of another title, a sub-title, something like –  Inside me, Inside you.

Thanks again Terri. It’s been some assignment to study your spirit – strong-willed and so directed.

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The work is casein, gesso and graphite on cream Arches paper, 36″ x 25″


The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.

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The art in this post connects to another work completed in 2012. Terri and Patricaia traveled to Italy recently and upon their return, drove to California and married.

five15 to the Power of 5

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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 :

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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

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Nicole Royse
Twilight
acrylic on canvas
2014
$85.00

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Monica Aissa Martinez
Anatomy of a Hummingbird 
mixed media and collage on panel
2014
$400.00

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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.

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state of the art – discovering american art now

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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 ).

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.