Art & Quarantine

In a recent email I was sharing my thoughts on how this year has gone from my standpoint as an artist and decided it also might make a good blog post. I want to preface my thoughts by saying that I am blessed! I am healthy, my family is healthy, we are not in a food or financial crisis and realize that this pandemic has had devastating consequences for many families and countries. My situation is probably one of the easiest to be in – just stay home and keep to myself! But I know even those of us that are only required to do that, it has been a major shift in our daily life.

When it finally happened – the last of all the events on my schedule was cancelled and all the galleries were closed I felt more than a little lost. First, to be completely honest, I mourned a bit. An empty calendar looming is hard to reconcile at first. I was heading into what had appeared to be a great year – I had big art events scheduled, new and old, had joined a new gallery, with a paid residency to look forward to and within a couple of weeks it had all disappeared and was replaced by a heavy layer of fear hanging in the air. I didn’t know what to do, so I shut down and did absolutely nothing! After a week or so of sitting on the couch wallowing in a bit of self pity, I finally returned to the studio and began completing the work in progress that was for upcoming shows. It seemed like a waste of time, there was no reason to push myself to complete the art now. It was slow going, with low enthusiasm but, looking back, I’m glad I continued. Eventually there will be shows again and I’ll be ready! After that I took care of some “business” things that I don’t always enjoy but had plenty of time to get off of my to-do list. Redesigned business cards, overhaul the website, cancel upcoming classes, post on my blog, re-write my artist statement and updating my resume were among the mundane chores that I finished.

Throughout this time Spring was finally beginning to show its face, hiding here and there among the dead winter leaves and bare trees. I walk daily, often multiple time, outdoors in the woods and around the fields – observing the changes, taking photographs and just absorbing the peaceful calm of nature. It’s probably been the most grounding experience during all of this. Although I am one to enjoy the coming of spring and signs of new life (I admit I am a wildflower geek!) this year it seemed to hold an even greater promise. When I was feeling that I was just trapped in time there was evidence that life would go on, and actively looking for it was both a good distraction and a great joy.

After a few weeks I returned to the empty calendar and looked at it again, with fresh eyes. It didn’t seem as empty now, it was full of possibilities. All those “one of these days” things we all talk about? Well, now was the time. I sorted through half-finished projects and completed or discarded them so they no longer took up space in my studio or my mind. I cleaned and organized the studio (not that you could tell it now!). I carved many new stamps and used them on scrap papers, then painted more scrap papers with vibrant colors – all added to my stash of papers I can choose from when I decide to collage next. When all else fails, on particularly rough days, I continue to do small slices of creative work in my art journals. I began an online class that I had purchased last year and, most likely, wouldn’t have ever slowed down long enough to sit and learn. That led to inspiration of more new creativity. and I just signed up for another class!

The days have begun to finally flow in a slow, comfortable rhythm that includes outdoor time, reading, learning, working in the studio and “daily life” activities. I am also taking better care of myself – exercise, full nights of sleep, cooking delicious meals, soaking in the tub and just being more aware of what my body wants and needs. In the meantime the calendar will begin to fill. A few events have set re-scheduled dates. I’ve discovered some virtual opportunities to participate in. I’ve been blessed with grants from the Indiana Arts Council and a couple of small commissioned projects so I can pay the bills and keep myself supplied in paints and materials. For now, I’m going to take advantage of this slow time.

How have you dealt with the last few months? Are you feeling confident of the future or cautious? I think I waiver between the two, especially if I am exposed to the media for any length of time! Then I need to retreat – into a book, into the studio, into some music or into the woods. I hope you have found your retreats and are able to use them when needed – love & blessing to you!

Your randomly creative friend,

Lynne

Publicity for Paws

I’ve held my very favorite volunteer job going on two years now. It involved going to my local shelter and taking photos of the newly arrived critters so they can be posted on the “available” site, shown on Facebook and generally get some publicity as they search for their forever home. I’ve fallen in love multiple times and as a result now own two rescued dogs in addition to my rescued “studio cat” that’s been with us for almost 10 years!

I’m not sharing details on these images because they span the entire time I’ve been taking photos and, to the best of my knowledge, these cute critters have all found homes. If you’d like to see some of the wonderful animals in your area please visit the local shelter or it’s website. They are hard to resist, whether you’re a cat lover….

Or prefer the pooches….

It’s an awesome thing to share your heart & life with these babies that just want to be your friend. Furry love to you all,

Lynne, Amy, Emmy & Carl

Landscape Photography

Six months ago I travelled west and spent two weeks driving across, around and through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. It’s probably my favorite destination, this was my fourth trip to that area of the States. I took a TON of photos as we drove and have been ever-so-slowly getting around to sorting through and editing them. I thought as I get batches of them done I will share them here.

During the two weeks we visited Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, The Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountain National Park, Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. To say it was a whirlwind would be an understatement – even after eliminating a few destinations from the itinerary! The landscapes were amazing, although all the wildfires did make for hazy skies. I think next time I’d like to visit in May, three of my four trips have been in the fall and one in the winter so Spring would be a nice change!

The last photo was repeated almost daily – we explored until there was no more light to explore in before calling it a night. I think this particular image was from a late evening in Yellowstone.

Look for more images in the future!

Creatively,

Lynne

Final Art Auction Items up for grabs!

Instead of just giving you a preview this evening I’m letting you know that the last of the new items have been added and are available for bid during the last 24 hours of the fundraising art auction! With many people traveling for the Easter weekend it gives you a bit longer to get your bids in before you leave and, I won’t have to worry about getting it online and active in the morning either. ūüôā

A few of the new items were featured in advertising, so if you’ve been looking for them here they are! Additionally there is a class for two, a class for TWELVE and a portrait photo shoot up for bid.

"Ceremonial" mixed media on an old LP © Lynne Medsker
“Ceremonial” mixed media on an old LP ¬© Lynne Medsker

"Crossing" encaustic and photography, in black 17x7" frame © Lynne Medsker
“Crossing” encaustic and photography, in black 17×7″ frame ¬© Lynne Medsker

 

"Migration" photo/digital art print in black 11x14" frame © Lynne Medsker
“Migration” photo/digital art print in black 11×14″ frame ¬© Lynne Medsker

Class for TWO - Upcycled Earrings a $50 value © Lynne Medsker
Class for TWO РUpcycled Earrings a $50 value © Lynne Medsker

Group class for up to TWELVE, a $275 value! © Lynne Medsker
Group class for up to TWELVE, a $275 value! © Lynne Medsker

Photo session with edited, ready to print images on a CD, a $295 value © Lynne Medsker
Photo session with edited, ready to print images on a CD, a $295 value © Lynne Medsker

 CLICK HERE TO BID!!

Now, a request. The last few days the bids have been dwindling. I know you are probably getting tired of reading and hearing about it but I really, really need your help in sharing this info so we can raise as much money as possible these last 24 hours! It doesn’t take long to click “share”, write a quick e-mail or tweet about it so help as much as you can. Thank you~

Lynne

P.S. If you hadn’t heard yet we received a $200 donation to be applied to this lovely piece of art (that was generously donated by artist Doug Arnholter) – making this an even better opportunity for you to own this piece of art!

"Azul Laranja" mixed media/fresco art © Doug Arnholter
“Azul Laranja” mixed media/fresco art ¬© Doug Arnholter

Photos of Artwork: A How To

Just for fun I thought I’d share with you how I take photos of my artwork. (Disclaimer: The photos I’m sharing here were taken with my cell phone and would not be the ones I’d submit for shows, etc.!) Since I’ve set my website up to have all the images on a black background that is how I always photograph them. Occasionally I’ll do them on both black and white backgrounds if one just really needs the white to look good. I don’t keep my photography backdrops, stands, etc. set up in the studio so I pretty much drape the black cloth over whatever I can find. Depending on the size of the art I’m photographing some creativity might be needed to get it large enough to surround the artwork. Here’s ares pictures from this morning showing both the front & back of the set up.

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As you can tell from the shot of the back this is one of those “creative” set ups since a few of the pieces were over three foot tall. As long as it works no one (normally) sees how it’s put together so who cares? I placed it up on the table so I wouldn’t be bending over so much to get the pics, plus there was more available light coming in through the windows & doors at that height. Unless it’s a late-night desperate situation I prefer to take these shots with natural window light instead of room lights or using a flash. Today was cloudy out so it was perfect conditions…not too dark but no hot spot of sun shining in to deal with. ¬† Here is a pic of a new art piece sitting in the photo area:

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Doesn’t look too spectacular at this point but, as I said earlier, this was taken with my cell phone so I didn’t have a lot of control over the amount of light, etc. that was being captured.

One of the hardest parts of photographing square or rectangle images is to get the perspective correct so they actually look like squares or rectangles. Aiming your camera at the center of the piece and keeping it parallel with the artwork helps a lot, plus just being aware of that it’s not skewed when you shoot helps too. (Multiple shots up the odds as well!) If all else fails you can straighten while you’re making adjustments to the image with your computer, but that’s extra work so I try to get mine lined up correctly when shooting.

This final image was still on the cell phone but was taken closely to the art and then I also tweaked the lighting/color in photoshop before I uploaded it here. It’s an improvement over the previous image!

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currently untitled, mixed media art (carved wood, painted stones, driftwood, paint) on 6×16″ wood panel ¬© Lynne Medsker

The one taken on my Nikon will be even better than this! Since this is a semi-flat (it hangs on the wall, anyhow!) piece of art with black borders on it I didn’t care that it blended right into the black background. With more dimensional pieces I try to place them with a space between them and background to help emphasis the depth and give them some separation.

So that’s that…

I’ll be sharing more new work as I get a chance, heck I’ve still got a couple of pieces from this summer I haven’t gotten on the blog yet.

Busy, busy,

Lynne

Peonies – Part Two

A few more images to add from my recent photo play. This group was taken with backlight coming through the window and purposely over-exposed when I took them. Afterwards I did some digital adjustments to make them high-key, contrasty and soft.

I also did some macro, close-up images with a digital edit or two as well.

I’m patiently waiting to see what kind of flowers I’ll have to take pictures of next! In the meantime I’ll return to the up-cycled artwork next post – I promise! Lynne

Peonies – Part One

Yes, there are supposed to be a couple more posts about the up cycled artwork but I couldn’t resist sharing some new images with you. I’ve not used my camera for “fun” for a while and have really gotten into it the last couple of weeks. Right now there is an abundance of blooming peony bushes in the yard so they’ve been an awesome subject. Here are a few of my favorite images:

Next time I’ll share some that I photographed & edited to be high-key, light & contrasty. More fun!

Lynne