Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Drive-By Drawings

Perhaps now is the time to re-examine the doodle as an art form, right up on the easel next to oil paintings. If all art is the result of outward experience enriched by the artist's inner creativity, then surely doodles qualify.

A case could be made that doodles are among the purest of art forms, since they are the result of our practical mind distracted from the creative process. They spring forth before we have a chance to anguish over color, line or composition.

Considered useless by most people, doodles have long been employed by artists as preliminary sketches for larger paintings. I am often more attracted to these uncensored drawings for their rawness and energy, qualities often missing in the finished paintings.

In my own case, there has always been an endless loop of images running through my head. When I slow down, turn my gaze inward and get out of the way, some amazing drawings emerge.

Let's just call it doodle art.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Escape Into Life Interview

In July I had the opportunity of a conversation about art with St. Petersburg based artist Mark Kerstetter. Mark is also an accomplished writer and contributor to the online arts journal Escape Into Life. That discussion led to a recent interview that appears in the journal’s latest edition.

The author and teacher Joseph Campbell once said that as he went through life he could never tell if he had made the right decisions. He simply could not see beyond his present circumstances. But as he neared the end of life and looked back, it was as if he were standing on a mountain top. Gazing down, he saw his whole life neatly laid out before him. From that vantage point, everything fit together perfectly; the stops and starts of all his life journeys became a clear pattern, ultimately leading to the present.

Although not as far along as was Campbell, I am still able to look back and see connections in the past that had a bearing on my life. It is also human nature to wonder if we had made other choices and gone down different roads, would we be any better off. That way of thinking sidesteps reality and ends up a waste of time. Like Campbell, I realize I am who I’m supposed to be and where I’m supposed to be.

Regardless of various roads not travelled, being able to create art throughout life remains a blessing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Neverne Covington at Morean Arts Center

Neverne Covington, long one of the area's most respected artists, is featured this month in an exhibition at Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg.

I have always appreciated Neverne's deft drawing style, an ability she has now expanded to print making. Below is an excerpt from the exhibition web site.

"Neverne Covington's drawings, prints, paintings and sculptures explore childhood, language, landscape, memory, and the Gothic south. Her work has been exhibited at the Tampa Museum of Art, the Brevard Museum of Art, the State Capital and various venues throughout Florida and at the Museum of the South in Alabama.

She recently completed a twenty-foot mural commissioned for the new All Children's Hopital in St. Peteresburg, FL. She is the recipient of three artist enhancement grants from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and an artist resource grant from the Pineiias County Arts Council."

(photos courtesy of Neverne Covington and Morean Arts Center)

The Business of Art

In this video clip from his documentary, The Mona Lisa Curse, acclaimed critic Robert Hughes skewers that group of art collectors who have much more money than good taste. At the same time, he exposes artists willing to provide them with banal and superficial works of "art."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Carolina Cleere at Dunedin Fine Art Center

Carolina Cleere’s lush, powerful body of work, Icons of Innocence will be on view during the pre & post parties for Wearable Art 6 at the Dunedin Fine Art Center this Saturday, August 14th. Cleere references her experiences as a photojournalist as a primary source for the concepts and imagery in this series of large scale mixed media montages. In her artist’s statement, she writes:

“Children are like a blank canvas. Over time our collection of memories are the color which create our identities. I use plants, animals, objects and color as visual symbols to carefully relay the context of a piece. This symbolism gives psychological meaning to an imaginary world where a mind can find comfort from the suffering of reality. Faces are purposely created to appear introspective so the viewer can bring their own experiences to the surface. My hope is to lure viewers into a narrative world full of allusions, leaving the mind room to explore its own meanings.

I consider a piece successful if it meets my vision for a topic while simultaneously celebrating its intrinsic beauty. My goal is to achieve a balance of personal expression while conveying a universal message about the resilience of the human spirit.”

Come to DFAC this Saturday to catch Tampa Bay’s hottest fashion event = Wearable Art 6 (tickets available online @ or 727.298.DFAC) and for the final view of Carolina Cleere’s Icons of Innocence exhibition.

Catherine Bergmann
Dunedin Fine Art Center
(pictured above, The Muse and right, Fish Out of Water,
both by Carolina Cleere.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Artists Market at Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs will host a two-day, indoor, Artists Market in the cool surroundings of LRMA’s award-winning building designed by area architect Ed Hoffman, Jr.

The Artists Market will be held on August 14th from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and August 15th from 1-5 p.m. Admission is free to the Museum and the Market. Refreshments will be available for purchase and the Museum's Education Department will host a children’s art activity area.

Over twenty local artists will display and sell their artwork in support of the Museum and Isabelle’s Museum Store. Selected artists are:

Cindy Arriola – Fiber Art / Accessories. Angela Dickerson – Fine Art Jewelry. Boo! Ehrsam – Mixed Media. Denis Gaston – Mixed Media Painting. Tatyana Igumnova Hankinson – Painting. Lynn Hardesty – Cloisonne Jewelry. Lawrence Hasiak – Turned Wood. Melissa Lee – Ceramics. Cecilia Lueza – Painting / Sculpture. Melissa Menzer – Assemblages. Melissa Miller Nece – Colored Pencil. Gus Ocamposilva – Sculpture. Stacy Perry – Sterling Silver & Copper Wire Jewelry. Alicia Saenz – Oil Painting. Frank Saso – Realistic Painting. Bettina Schott – Photography. Carole Shelton – Stone Jewelry. Curtis Sneary – Oil Painting. Roxie Spell – Ceramics. Joseph Spencer – Sculpture / Jewelry. Cheryl Anne Day-Swallow – Gourds. Jim Swallow – Photography. Mark and Karen Tuttle – Fine Jewelry. Judy Vienneau – Wire Sculpture. Jack Viskil – Painting / Printing. Joseph Weinzettle – Drawing / Painting.

pictured: Ashurbanipal, mixed-media on panel, 2010, Denis Gaston.