anatomical drawing workshop with med students

I teach an anatomy drawing workshop at the college of Medicine on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Participants come from several programs (including a couple of faculty) though the majority are Northern Arizona University (NAU) students in Occupational Therapy (OT).

They introduce themselves and I enjoy hearing why they signed up to come to the drawing workshop.

One young woman tells us she saw a kidney and thought it beautiful and wants to learn to draw it. I understand completely. Another speaks about the piriformis muscle – she explains, it’s from the Latin and means pear (shaped). She wants to see and know this. I don’t know piriformis means pear-shaped, I want to see this too! Someone else explains she would like to learn to draw the human body when needing to explain something – instead of the usual stick figure. I smile and note if I had a patient and needed to be efficient – that stick figure would come in handy.

I move around the room and learn every participant has a personal reason for being here, including an appreciation of anatomy. Someone tells me she likes my artwork and thinks this could be fun. Thank you. Yes, it will be! I tell her.

I want to say a lot of things to them. I want to talk about science and art and their connection, and I want to talk about Leonardo (I never do!). We have 3 hours together – they’ll start something today but will probably finish up on their own.

They arrive ready with organ (subject-matter) references. And medical models are available. We talk about a contour study and I quickly explain the value of working organically. While Cindi (Director of Art in Medicine) provides a variety of papers (surfaces) and materials – the majority of the group chooses to work on black paper (I’m excited to see the black paper – I know what color does on it). A couple of the participants pick out beautiful rice papers and after some conversation – they work in parts and layers – bringing a more sculptural sensibility to their work.

Here are some captured moments of the afternoon. Note everyone begins with a careful contour study and then loosens up (with some prodding) to bring in color and texture. The nervousness steps aside and the afternoon brings a little science and a little art together. Ahhh…creativity!

On a side note: I particularly enjoy the overall conversation. It’s an unusual experience being around medical (health and wellness) people. They’re familiar and comfortable with the body in a way that the average person is not.

The afternoon is coming to an end and  I hear comments like … Oh! I love your kidney! Oh…look at your brain!! 

I learn some new things. I don’t take notes but I probably could (should) have.
Thanks everyone. And a special thanks to Cindi and Rebecca.


My drawings and paintings are on display right now at UA College of Medicine in downtown Phoenix until March of 2018. You can see the exhibit M-F, 9 to 5.
An Artist Reception is in the planning for February 2, 2018 – First Friday, 6-8 pm.

pugmark

A pugmark refers to the mark, track or footprint of an animal on the ground.

Invited to exhibit my jaguar at the i.d.e.a. Museum in February, they ask if I have touchable and tactile art samples for visitors to interact with. I don’t. But knowing I’d like the design, I create jaguar pugmarks. The sample also holds the smaller prints of another Sonoran desert cat – the mountain lion. The exhibits focus – the Sonoran Desert.

In our Arizona desert you can come across a mountain lion, but chances are you will never see a jaguar. But in the Dos Cabezas Mountains (about 60 miles north of the U.S. – Mexico border) you can (if luck and the stars are with you) wander across a jaguar pugmark.

The jaguar has a large pad with toes that fan out. Notice the oval-shaped toes taper, and one comes forward more than the others. The wide based pad is ‘M’ shaped. ( The smaller mountain lion prints appear similar).  The big cat walks with claws retracted so you will not see them in the footprint.

Front pad is larger (left), while hind pad is smaller (right).

Conservationists and researchers use footprints to study large animals in the wild, like the jaguar. Footprint size helps to identify individuals, but it is not an exact science.


i.d.e.a. museum
Sonoran Safari
Opens Friday, February 9  and runs through Sunday, May 27, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 8, 2018, 5-7 p.m.


art in medicine – nothing in stasis

I spend the day with the crew at the University of Arizona’s medical school. I am in downtown Phoenix, at the Health Sciences Education Building, installing Nothing In Stasis, my most recent (years of work actually) drawings and paintings.

Walking in this morning, I see a group of students looking closely at my largest canvas that at the moment leans against a wall. I hear someone call out the name of a muscle. Someone else points out the thyroid.  I smile as I approach them and someone asks,  Are you the artist?  This is so accurate, she says. I hope so, I respond. I identify the figures in the painting and we talk about the content.

In between classes I catch students looking at artwork.  Either I am introduced by someone or I introduce myself. I completely enjoy it.

I shoot a series of photos ↓ while sitting in the corner working out a hanging system. Again, students are between classes. One young woman looks at one drawing and then another. She calls a friend over and says something to her as she points. I decide to walk over and introduce myself (all the while feeling like John Quiñones on What Would You Do).

The one female asks me if the surrounding organs signify something about the people depicted.

Yes! You’re correct!
Are they people you know?
My niece, my father and my mother. 

We discuss the compositions of my parents.  They clearly recognize and appreciate the details.

I don’t know how many students I connect with on this busy afternoon but each conversation brings insight.  Are you a medical doctor? My not so scientific response – No, but maybe in another life I was.

Before the afternoon is over I gather how meaningful the usual art works are  to the students, faculty, and staff. They have rotating exhibitions here. And for some reason this last month there has been no art on their walls. I am, in fact, putting my work up 2 weeks ahead of schedule. I clearly hear and see the art element is missed by most everyone.

I speak with Cynthia Standley,  who among other things organizes the Art in Medicine programming. We discuss the value of art in this particular educational setting. We talk about the connection between art and medicine (science) in terms of skill building: observation, critical thinking and communication. She notes how the skills enhance patient care. I note these are the very same skills I teach my drawing students.

I learn they have a partnership with the Phoenix Arts Museum as does our Department of Art at Phoenix College.

At the end of a long day, I sit and watch the natural light flood the now quiet area.

On a side note: When I agree to have a solo at the medical school, I am unaware they have a room with glass walls ↑ and they don’t know I have 2-sided translucent drawings. A medical school with glass walls…perfect!

My studio is empty. I have 60-plus drawings and paintings hanging in the Health Sciences Education Building at the Phoenix Bio-Medical Campus located a few blocks South of the Roosevelt Row Arts District.

The exhibition titled Nothing In Stasis will be showing to April of 2018. The area is open to the public and allows for visitors. An artist reception is in the planning for February’s First Friday. More info to come.


Health Sciences Education Building
Phoenix Biomedical Campus (PBC)
435 N. 5th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004-2230
Map (PDF)
Parking Information

az exhibition opportunity – arizona biennial 2015

The Tucson Museum of Art released their prospectus for Arizona Biennial 2015. Here is general information and photos from the last biennial. 
IMG_4982

All Arizona artists over 18 years of age working in any media and theme can submit their work to be considered for Arizona Biennial 2015. This exhibition will be on view at the Tucson Museum of Art July 25 – October 11, 2015. The work juried into the exhibition will be selected entirely from digital images or video submissions by noted guest curator Irene Hofmann, Phillips Director and Chief Curator, SITE Santa Fe.

All works must be original and completed within the last two years

Deadline: All entry forms, fees, and images must be received at the Museum by 4:00 pm, March 13, 2015

Entry Fee: $30 for up to three art works.

Click to download → Prospectus

IMG_4983IMG_5011

IMG_4986

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.

today i am a fly

Today I am a fly – it’s all I could think while painting the one image below.

IMG_5965b

Fly (detail) – casein collage on panel, 8 x 8″

From the start of this bug series, I want to paint a house fly. Here is what I know: flies carry over 100 pathogens, they feed on liquid or semi-liquid substances besides solid material (softened by saliva or vomit), and they deposit feces constantly, their entire body is covered with hair (like) projections, and the female is bigger than the male.

Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis come to mind.

I work on the small 8 x 8″ for a good while, but it’s good to be done. I don’t want to be a fly anymore.

Below is a detail of the grasshopper I painted. I don’t know why I didn’t post it before. I painted it for its symbolic association – one who has much to learn.

I also learn I should always photograph a work before I varnish it, otherwise the sheen interferes.

IMG_5981

Grasshopper detail , varnished casein collage on panel, 10 10″

Certain I was only going to make 4 works for this invitational exhibition. I woke up early to organize this post and when I open my front door, this sits on  the screen at eye level – a beautifully symmetrical moth – I am told it’s a hawk moth. Has it arrived to be drawn? I wonder.

While contour line, pattern and texture of the insect are alluring, I would want to include its anatomy. That seems like a challenge.  I’ve already gotten back to my figure studies, but this bug show is not for a good while. I have a few more small panels. I might find time for another bug.

sphinx

 

MicroArt – a group exhibition

309
Micro Art for Micro Spaces

The Microdwelling Movement is growing!  People are shrinking their living quarters to decrease their carbon footprint, getting rid of clutter, and living smarter.  In that spirit the Shemer Art Center is hosting MicroDwell and MicroArt in February & March of 2014.

MicroArt is an exhibit of small works, nothing larger that 12″ in any dimension. Thinking big / working small – the 18 Valley artists invited include: Victoria Altepeter, Michael Anderson, John Armstrong, Donna Atwood, Ron Berman, Ron Bimrose, Sandy Blain, Sam Chung, Tom Eckert, Jane Kelsey-Mapel,  Becky Frehse, Sandra Luehrsen, Monica Aissa Martinez, Ann Morton, Cynthia Peterson, Tom Ortega, Helen Norsigian Rowles, Polly Smith, and Clare Verstegen.

The work is varied and wonderful and here is a very small (micro) preview.

Altepeter_nebulae2

Victoria Altepeter
Nebulae (2)
Copper, nickel, silver, shibuichi, bronze, stalactite slices

Blain.DotSphere.No4

Sandy Blain
Dot Sphere #4”
Stoneware

Eckert  Eccentric Transcendence

Tom Eckert
Eccentric Transcendence
Wood, Lacquer

Armstrong_FlyBy

John Armstrong
Fly By
MM on Aluminum

Chung_Ewer2

Sam Chung
Ewer (orange, black lines)
Porcelain, Glaze, China paint

CPeterson_ColorReaction#3

CPeterson
ColorReaction#3

 

Luehrsen - Tree of Life a

Sandra Luehrsen
Tree of Life
Earthenware, glazes, nichrome wire, gold metallic luster

Smith_Desert Nest

Polly Smith
Desert Nest
copper, bronze, glass enamel

Ortega_Llama

Tom Ortega
Llama
Wood and pain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clare Verstegen
Currents 2
Wool felt, pigments, wood

Martinez_Abeja

Monica Aissa Martinez
Bee Study
MM on Panel

WHO:       Shemer Art Center and Museum
WHAT:
     MicroArt – a group exhibition
WHERE:  5005 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85018
Tel: (602) 262-4727
WHEN:     Thursday, February 137:00 – 9:00 pm.  Opening Reception for MicroArt ( is free and open to the public).
February 13 – March 23, 2014 – MicroArt exhibition be open to the public on Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Note: Saturday and Sunday February  2/15 – 16  does include a $5 admission fee to see both MicroDwell and MicroArt – and include wineries and breweries.

 More → Shemer Art Center and Museum