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

Changes in the Fall wind

I wanted to share some changes I’ve implemented regarding class offerings. I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here so this is an excerpt from a newsletter that goes out to those interested in my classes and workshops:

I’ve been, especially this year, less than successful with the class offerings I’ve promoted. I’ve spoken with other teaching artists and know that I am not the only one struggling in this area. Trying to discover the right combination of topic, date and location is frequently like pulling the handle on a slot machine…. 
…NOT a winner!

Although I adore sharing my love of art and techniques with others, I have reached a point where my outlook has shifted. Instead of putting things out there and hoping for the best and I am going to rely more on you, and others like you, to determine the dates, topics & locations! As I make this shift you will see changes to my website making it easier for you to do the choosing. You can visit THIS PAGE to see how the new system looks and works. (You’ll notice one scheduled event listed too…that’s because someone has already taken advantage of both the new system and the discount offered below!)
 
Another change you will see is that for classes here at my home studio there will be NO minimum attendance required. If you are the only one that registers, congratulations – you’ll get one-on-one instruction! Want to have a special date night with a family member or friend? Here’s the perfect opportunity. If you’d like me to bring a project to you for a gathering, party or shower – can do! You’ll find all the offerings listed HERE.
 
If you’ve been thinking you’d like to take a class, now might just be the perfect time! As an incentive to try out this new approach, I’m including a coupon code for $10 off any(all) class(es) you register for during the months of October or November. You are welcome to share this code “NEWshift” (with no quote marks) with those you feel might be interested. I’d also love some feedback on the changes, I’d appreciate it if you’d share your thoughts!    

Your randomly creative friend,

Lynne

ICAD 2015 Challenge – join me!

I recently found out about an awesome art challenge that I plan on participating in this summer. “Index Card A Day” (ICAD) is a 61 day challenge that gets you to exercise your creative muscles each day during the months of June & July! Just a note – this is NOT my brain child (I wish!) it’s all part of the Daisy Yellow blog and it’s creator. You’ll find details, inspiration and prompts for creativity on that site. They’re also on Instagram and have a Facebook page for this challenge if you want to follow along there.

What I’d like to do is encourage you to play along and will help get you ready for this challenge by providing a set of index cards and some fun marking tools. I’ll include blank index cards for you to do your own thing plus some that have gelli printed backgrounds on them to get you started when you need some inspiration. Here are some of the cards I printed in the studio yesterday:

gelli printed index cards
gelli printed index cards

Along with sending you the cards I plan on adding in a dual-tip black Sharpie (how could I not?), a mechanical pencil and my favorite gel pen – a black “glaze” by Sakura, as well as a clear glaze pen so you can add some shiny “pops” of highlight to your creations.

ICAD starter kits
ICAD starter kits

As you can see, I’ve got two sets to give away – one set to someone who leaves a comment on this blog post and one set for a commenter on my Facebook page. No strings attached! And, yes, you can comment both places to double your chances! Of course I’ve got a couple “strings attached” ways for extra entries too. 🙂 If you’ve not subscribed to this blog yet, that can earn you two additional entries (click on the “sign me up” button at the top/right of this page) and if you’ve not signed up for my newsletter that will get you another two entries.

SO? Wanna play? I hope so! I’ll be selecting the random winners on Tuesday morning, May 19th so I’ll have time to get the packages shipped to you before the challenge begins (yes, it’s even free shipping!). Good luck!

Lynne

For more info about this challenge click this image to visit the FAQ page at Daisy Yellow:

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Sometime

What an apt title. Sometime I get away from blogging. But I always return. This time with some new art to share. I’ve been very prolific lately, which is awesome. It just doesn’t correlate with regular blogging. Two sides of the brain I think!

"Sometime", four-piece mixed media artwork, each piece 8x10 - 32x10" total © Lynne Medsker Art & Photography, LLC
“Sometime”, four-piece mixed media artwork, each piece 8×10 – 32×10″ total © Lynne Medsker Art & Photography, LLC

Remember a while back when I shared with you all the gelli prints I’d been making? Well I finally decided what I’d do with them. They make AWESOME background for mixed media art! Add in some book pages, decorative & tissue paper, top it off with charcoal outlines and acrylic ink plus some fun designs with pens and voila! Here are a couple of images of the work in progress.

Work in progress, applying book pages and gelli prints to wood panels
Work in progress, applying book pages and gelli prints to wood panels

Decorative papers, tissue paper added to panels
Decorative papers, tissue paper added to panels

Charcoal lines added to surface
Charcoal lines added to surface

Close-up detail of surface after acrylic ink was applied
Close-up detail of surface after acrylic ink was applied

It certainly ends up looking totally different from the starting point! In addition to this artwork I’ve also complete four large (24×36″) canvases in this style as well as a set of five 6×6″ wood panels. The titles for all the new work come from some of the text that is still visible when the piece is complete. This one had the least text showing of all the new art but from what I could read “sometime” seemed perfect. I’ll be deviating from the geometric for the next few pieces but I’m sure I’ll return!

Thanks for continuing to follow this blog, it’s really appreciated!

Lynne

Thursday Auction Preview

Yup, it’s still going on! I hope you’ve visited the auction site to learn why I’m raising money – and to place a bid or two!

As it turns out I did find one more “theme” for the daily auction items. Thursday’s items will all be related to printmaking, gelatin prints specifically. I love to create these fun piece, they are full of surprises and happy accidents. In addition to a class for two to learn this fun art form I’ve also got some matted, ready to frame pieces up for auction that are new…they’ve not been on my website, page or blog before.  Consider this not just their debut but your chance to get them at a great price too. 🙂

Gelatin printmaking class for TWO! A $130 value, available to bid on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015. © Lynne Medsker Art & Photography, LLC
Gelatin printmaking class for TWO! A $130 value, available to bid on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015. © Lynne Medsker Art & Photography, LLC

"Growth" mono print, framed to 11x14" in black metal frame © Lynne Medsker
“Growth” mono print, framed to 11×14″ in black metal frame © Lynne Medsker

You can click on the smaller images to see them in a larger format. Friday will bring the last six “one day only” items – including a class for two, a class for TWELVE and a photo session! Details on that tomorrow!

Lynne

Please help me to help them!

flyer, single, charity auction by Lynne Medsker

Live links for those shown in the flyer above:

PREVIEW PAGE

AUCTION SITE

Be sure to visit each day as there will be daily items in addition to those that are being bid on all week long! Thank you!

Lynne

Stamp it up, some more!

 

On Tuesday’s post I showed you how I made some stamps to use with my gelli plate. Today I thought I’d share some of the results once the stamps were dry enough to play with. These were all stamped on card stock, some white and some buff colored. Here we go….

First I used my brayer and a couple of orange/yellow/red acrylics and rolled them all over the plate. Then I stamped the dot/hole stamps on the gelli plate and printed them directly on the paper from the stamps until I’d covered the entire play and most of the paper with a random design.

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I pulled the first print on a new sheet of paper without putting  a lot of pressure on the paper since there was plenty of paint on the plate.blog 20150110_153742

I like to do that so that there is quite a bit of paint left for a second, lighter print. The second print I made on top of the paper I had stamped on in the beginning of this process. Here’s a pic of both of them after printing:blog 20150110_153836

Here is another series using the same process with different colors & stamps….blog 20150110_154639
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I discovered that piece of wood was a bit warped and it was hard to get the middle to print. Once I realized what the problem was I was able to press the stamp hard enough to make it work, it just wasn’t quite as effortless as the other ones! A few more random shots from the day:

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I also used some of the lighter prints as an under-layer then used a stencil and black paint over them:

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At the end of the session I ended up with some very colorful stamps and some nice prints too!

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blog 20150110_162530Happy stamping!

Lynne

Rescheduled Gelli Plate Workshop!

Due to a scheduling conflict (and a delay on getting running water installed!) the first workshop in my new studio has been pushed back until October 18th!  All the details are below, the only change is the date. I hope that you can attend, I’m anxious to have some printmaking fun with you!

in the city © Lynne Medsker

Saturday, October 18th join me for a fun day of exploring printmaking on gelli plates. Come prepared to be messy and to leave with LOTS of prints! This simple, press-free, method of printmaking is great fun and hard to stop once you get started. I’ll provide all the materials, some tips & techniques and a bit of guidance along the way – you provide the enthusiasm!

printmaking sample © lynne medsker
printmaking sample © lynne medsker

If you’ve wanted to try this fun art form this is a perfect way to check it out before you purchase any supplies. If you enjoy it as much as I do the plates will be available to purchase at a reduced price at the end of class so you can continue printing at home.printmaking sample © Lynne Medsker

We’ll start at 10 a.m. and continue to play until 4 p.m. that day. I’ll have coffee and pastries available in the morning and ice tea and cookies in the afternoon, as well as bottled water all day. Bring a lunch with you (I have a refrigerator and microwave in the studio) so you don’t have to leave during the fun!

printmaking sample @ Lynne Medsker

To allow each person a lot of space to spread out and work I am limiting the class to four students (note: I have two signed up already!) so be sure to sign up soon! Cost per student is $95. Register online at www. lynnemedsker.com on the “Online Registration” page under the “Instruction” tab.

I can’t wait for this fun day to get here!

Lynne

 

Gelli Print Workshop, October 4th, 2014

It’s finally time for a workshop in my new studio!

in the city © Lynne Medsker

Saturday, October 4th join me for a fun day of exploring printmaking on gelli plates. Come prepared to be messy and to leave with LOTS of prints! This simple, press-free, method of printmaking is great fun and hard to stop once you get started. I’ll provide all the materials, some tips & techniques and a bit of guidance along the way – you provide the enthusiasm!

printmaking sample © lynne medsker
printmaking sample © lynne medsker

If you’ve wanted to try this fun art form this is a perfect way to check it out before you purchase any supplies. If you enjoy it as much as I do the plates will be available to purchase at a reduced price at the end of class so you can continue printing at home.printmaking sample © Lynne Medsker

We’ll start at 10 a.m. and continue to play until 4 p.m. that day. I’ll have coffee and pastries available in the morning and ice tea and cookies in the afternoon, as well as bottled water all day. Bring a lunch with you (I have a refrigerator and microwave in the studio) so you don’t have to leave during the fun!

printmaking sample @ Lynne Medsker

To allow each person a lot of space to spread out and work I am limiting the class to four students so be sure to sign up early! Cost per student is $95. Register online at www. lynnemedsker.com on the “Online Registration” page under the “Instruction” tab.

I can’t wait for this fun day to get here!

Lynne

 

Early Bird Special!

"Migration" photo/digital art © Lynne Medsker
“Migration” photo/digital art © Lynne Medsker

Yes, last post I was exhaling and catching my breath but that didn’t last long! Life is full of funny, unpredictable surprises and one that snuck up on me recently is that we are going to sell our home of 32 years and move. And that house also includes the current location of my studio and primary storage space for the art I’ve created. YIKES! So in addition to the cleaning of cabinets, pantries, closets and attic from a 32-year accumulation of “treasures” I also need to reduce my art supplies and artistic creations by at least 50%. Oh. My. Goodness!  BUT, lucky for you, MY pain is YOUR gain!

These art pieces need a fabulous home (like yours!) to live in and to make the experience of adopting them even more enjoyable you can save on your purchases like never before and (as you can tell by the 32 year frequency of our moves) this will most likely be your only chance EVER for these kinds of savings!

I’m going to start these once-in-a-lifetime savings with a two day, online only, early bird special. I know that many of my collectors don’t live closely enough to just drive out and select their pieces in person so by doing it online I can at least level the playing field for the start of the sale. Details on how the online sale will be conducted will be posted next Wednesday and the sale starts first thing Thursday morning, June 20th! The online sale will run until midnight on Friday, June 21st.  That weekend, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22nd the “live” sale begins here at my studio.

Art that is currently being shown in galleries is excluded, otherwise any piece listed with a price  on my website  is included in this sale! (I will be updating the site over the next few days to make sure everything is accurate.) Since orders of new digital/photographic artwork not currently in print and commissioned works don’t help reduce the inventory they are not on sale.

I’d love to share with you where we are moving but I haven’t a clue at this point, other than the fact that it won’t be more than an hour away from our current home – our roots are in too deep for a major move just yet. 🙂  I have made sure to negotiate a much larger studio space and perhaps, when we are settled, even adopting a dog after being without one for almost 10 years. I’m looking forward to both of those things, and enjoy the feeling of being “lighter” as I purge my way through each room. The aches and pains, meh, not enjoying them quite as much…but that’s part of the experience. Little did I know when I chose the word “Explore” for 2013 that this is what I would get into. What an adventure!

Be sure to check back next week for more details about the sale – I don’t want you to miss it!

Hugs,

Lynne

blog, local artist