Ciao! Ciao! I’m excited to announce that I have been awarded the Barnes Artist Residency. This opportunity will take me to Italy, where I will have the time and studio space to live and create freely over the summer of 2014. I’m looking forward to soaking up the history, art, color and light of Italia, marking the moments in paint, and washing it all down with a glass of vino. The adventure becomes ever sweeter, as my co-recipient also happens to be my fellow-artist and husband, Aaron Thompson. I can’t wait to share what unfolds on our canvases.
I’m prepping for an exhibit with Neiman Marcus in King of Prussia PA. The show will hang on November 18th so we have just under 2 weeks to go. A few weeks ago we ordered our framing lumber from Xylo down in Savannah GA. Now begins the framing!
I spent yesterday morning at Aaron’s studio cutting cradles and sanding down paintings. Aaron is helping me (cue super hero music). I’m more of a brute force, figure it out as I go kinda lady. (Think kid in candy store, diving straight end to the deep end of pool etc) Aaron has a bit more finesse and precision with measurements. Thank God.
In a few hours yesterday we got a good chunk of work done before heading off to other adventures. I even had time to sand some paintings back. I love my power sander.
Have you ever seen a stranger pointing their phone or camera not just in your direction, but directly at you? Or have you ever needed to snap a picture of a stranger, then pretended you were texting when they caught you?
One morning in London, I took a long walk to the Tate Modern. I went alone. Upon arriving, I wandered the galleries stopping only for what called to me amidst the herds of people. Despite my irregular pattern, I noticed that my pacing had synchronized with another visitor. The man, who appeared to be in his early fifties, was well but casually dressed. He had grey hair, a beard and dark rimmed glasses. He wasn’t too tall. He wasn’t too short. In fact I probably have no recollection of what he truly looks like. So this is likely the most generic image my brain can muster up. Basically the guy didn’t creep me out, but I was very interested in his camera which repeatedly found its lens in my direction.
What does one say in this situation? At first I was bothered. But I was in a museum. He was probably an artist as well. When I see something that inspires me, I want to snap a picture or somehow save the memory. With that, I let him shoot his pictures. As I rode the escalator down to leave, he took one last photo and I looked straight in his camera, with an expression of “You’re not so smooth buddy.” I came close to sharing some sign language but my hands were full from the books I’d bought.
In case he was a creeper, I avoided the main exit and left out the back door of the museum, immediately finding a cab. I wasn’t going to walk home alone. I was intrigued, not stupid.
This all came to mind later that very same day. I went to Kensington Garden with my mother and Sister who met me in London. It was an atypical day in the city, sunny and a beautiful 75 degrees. The park was filled and I was inspired, suddenly I was the creeper. I was the creeper and I loved it. Here are a few of the hundreds of photos I took that evening.
This piece is called Ignition. It’s about motivation and drive. It’s about lighting the fire within ourselves and running like hell with it.
Oil on Canvas, 48×60 inches, 2013
By Anna Fox Ryan
A few months back I visited the studio of Deb Strong, a painter and print maker. We met at at the opening of Artist House Gallery’s “New Faces” exhibit in which we were both showing our work. I’ve been wanting to learn printmaking and thus far I’ve been completely unsatisfied with the spoon-burnished monotypes I’ve tried. They had all the appeal and quality of a home-made sock puppet, enjoyable enough but far from sophisticated. (Unless that puppet has a top hat, coat tails and a pipe, in which case I say “well played, classy puppet.”) In my DIY prints, there were subtleties in the initial inking that didn’t come through in the print. I came to find out I was missing a few steps and half-assing the ones that I did get right.
Deb has a press. She showed me several ways to do mono printing. Moistening the paper before printing was a step I mist (get it? missed…mist…) This helped the paper fibers to open up and absorb more of the inks when pressed. The press, of course, helped tremendously. With the layers of soft blankets over top and the high pressure of the rollers I get maximum squish, a technical term, and the subtleties in my ink image came through beautifully.
Printmaking requires you to think several steps ahead. Each layer and step is preparing for the next step and every step has a proper technique. Unlike photoshop where I can create and delete layers on a whim, this is permanent. I can’t control-Z my way out of the ink.
Props to all the printmakers out there. One artist and printmaker I really enjoy is
Here is one of mine –