Monday, January 18, 2016

Artists U - Free Program for Learning to Build Sustainable Creative Live

This past weekend I attended Artist U.   This fabulous workshop focuses on professional development for artists:  finances, strategic planning, and time management. Get's free!

Andrew Simonet heads this program which is taught in Philadelphia, Baltimore and South Carolina (currently in Charleston and Greenville).  Simonet says, "Grounded in my 20-year career as a choreographer, I look at why artists' lives are so punishing, and what we can do to change.  Since 2006, my program, Artists U, has built a grassroots, artist-run platform for building balanced, sustainable artist lives. 

The program is outlined in his free ebook:




Go to the Artists U webpage and you download a FREE copy of this book or buy a professionally printed copy.  It's a good read.  Here are some of the questions he addresses.

Why artists are poor and why we shouldn’t be.
The crucial role artists play in culture, and why it’s often under-valued.
Tools and principles artists have used to thrive.
Why artists already have the skills needed to make balanced, sustainable lives.

When I applied to attend the workshop I expected to find myself among a very young crowd and there were a number of younger people at the workshop.  But I was surprised to find that the majority of those attending were not just fresh out of college.  It appeared to be people who have been working at their art for awhile and have art driven life but still have the desire to improve or begin a new way of sustaining that life.

The work from the program is something you take home and do with groups you form during the weekend so there is much to look forward to.  I give this program my highest recommendation to anyone open to changing or refining how they sustain their art lifestyle.
Thank you Andrew for your generous sharing and for caring so much about about what artists contribute to our society.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Book and Music Recommendations

Joey Alexander - Photographer not known

It's here. A new year.  I read somewhere just last week a comment by an  artist who was saying they try to get a fast-production start to the year which allows them to do all the promotion, paperwork, photography etc. that crops up as you start presenting work.  Great idea.

Next month I am dealing with an issue I've had since I was 18 years old.  I badly injured one of my knees playing basketball while still in high school and I'm finally having a knee replacement.  Ouch!  So with this in mind I got back into the studio yesterday after a long holiday break to try and make some work before this event.

When I don't work it doesn't take very long for me to begin to get uncomfortable.  "Starting" anything is always more difficult for me than finishing something.  Thank goodness for leftovers, bits and pieces, years of production.  Working as I do currently all of these things are laying there ready to be manipulated, cut apart, re-connected and assembled.  So I jumped in and amazingly I'm ready to start attaching things together.

As I worked I was thinking about a book I read last month....actually I listened to this one.  Hold Still by Sally Mann.  Mann is a photographer who gained fame in the 1990's ( I think) after exhibiting a series of photos of her nude children.  She is a wonderful photographer and an excellent writer who allows you into her life and the life of her family in this book.  I mention this book because dispite the amount of success she has had and the recognition she has received, she shares that she still gets very nervous when she completes one series and is put in the position of starting over.  Perhaps there is some comfort in knowing this about such an accomplished person.

The second book is one I have mentioned before, Creativity Beyond Compare by Forrest Kinney.  The subtitle is Creating by Inspiration, Not Expectation.  Love that.  Kinney is a composer and musician so there are many references to music but don't be put off by that.  It's a really wonderful book on creativity.  This book came to mind last night as I watched a piece on CBS Sixty Minutes about a 12 year old jazz-piano prodogy named Joey Alexander.  Jazz is his groove and man, he has IT (talent) in abundance.

Part of the interview involved Wynton Marsalis who leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  Marsalis was clearly taken with Alexander and the discussion was about the level at which that this boy performs.  Alexander isn't considered great for a 12 year old, Marsalis says he is great for any age.  This is a talent that he was born with but discovered and fostered by his parents as they worked to deal with his high energy.    Here is a link to the interview:   Be sure and watch/listen to the video: Joey Alexander plays Ma Blues...amazing.  The little fellow is adorable and is having a great time playing with this seasoned group of musicians who are loving him.  He has an album titled My Favorite Things.  I downloaded it and it's "cool man".

Monday, December 28, 2015

Learning to Say No

We are at that time of year again where we consider what we did during the previous year and what we want to accomplish during the coming year.  Perhaps some people shy away from making the big New Years Resolutions.....I want to lose a million pounds, fly around the world and make friends with .....fill in the blank with the most outrageous person you can think of......etc.   But like most traditions, you can use this opportunity to make plans that will move you ahead in many parts of your life including, of course, your art career.

I'm always thinking of ways to meet more people, make more and better artwork and get that work shown in places and situations that matter.  I'd also like to sell more work which is a challenge in my part of the world with the type of work I make but there is one thing I can do for sure.  I can say no to opportunities that don't help me meet the goals I set.

When you first begin to show your art, unless you live in an art aware urban setting, many times the opportunities you have are along the lines of a show at the library, the coffee shop or some similar setting.  There isn't anything wrong with these places as long as the work is secure and you are comfortable with how the work is seen.  It is a great way to introduce yourself to your community and maybe meet some other artists and sometimes sell something but after years of exhibiting your work in galleries and museums these opportunities may not be the ones that are most important to you.  It takes just as much time to make work, prepare the work to hang, and deliver the work to the library as it does to a museum.  Also, most often you will be ask to install the work at the library.

So the point of this is to learn to challenge yourself and think about what moves you and your work ahead and say no when an opportunity isn't going to support your goals.

Happy New Year to all.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tom Dimond - Etherredge Gallery - University of South Carolina Aiken

Undone - Tom Dimond

November 1 marked the opening of an exhibition of new work by Tom Dimond at the Etherredge Art Gallery on the campus of the University of South Carolina Aiken, Aiken SC.  The show features Tom's newest work.  The show runs through December 18th.  Click HERE for more information about directions and gallery schedule.

As an artist it is always interesting to see how other artists progress in their work.  Tom is my husband so I have immediate access to his work.  A few years ago he began to explore alternative techniques to develop and discover new images and new ways to "get into" his ideas.  The work here represents his continuing exploration.

Spinner - Tom Dimond

Artist Statement

    My approach to painting is based on a need to establish a communication between my inner consciousness and the primary elements of art. The geometric figures and interplay between positive and negative forms reflect this dialogue between the inner and outer consciousness.

    Oftentimes certain color relationships or textures observed in the natural environment while hiking in the forests and along the shorelines of the lakes of South Carolina or the marks of man in the environment may trigger or influence choices made during the creative process. I feel that my paintings represent a synthesis between certain aspects of the visual environment and the intellectual and emotional responses encountered in the creative process of painting itself.

Undone - Tom Dimond

About two years ago I began exploring various techniques and materials that I have been layering together and combining with a mixture of mediums. How this happens varies somewhat but I can tell you that I combine free flowing gestural marks with watercolor, acrylic monoprints on Japanese papers, inkjet transfers of drawings, found objects, comic pages, watercolor washes, various acrylic mediums such as gloss medium, crackle paste, block out medium and gum arabic. All of the work is done on watercolor paper.

A Good Spot - Tom Dimond

This show includes work from two different series. One is The Pictograph series and the second is concerned with more urban environments. The work in The Pictograph series are all titled after archeological sites around the world that contain cave paintings and prehistoric rock carvings. These pieces contain imagery that is sometimes buried under layers of acrylic mediums that make reference to the natural conditions in which the paintings and carvings exist. I have used monoprints and mandala imagery to suggest images found in these sites. These paintings range in size from 30 x 22 to 20 x 14.

The most recent work employs monoprint transfers, gestural marks with watercolor, large areas of block out, watercolor washes and various imagery from comic books. These works are meant to be suggestive of urban walls; sizes vary from 30 x 22 to 20 x 14.

To see more of Tom's work visit :

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Holiday Art Show at The Arts Center Clemson SC

Today is the opening reception for the Holiday Art Show at the Arts Center in Clemson SC.

Are you looking for a special unique gift for that special unique person or perhaps looking to reward yourself with a beautiful painting, jewelry or textile art?  Stop by The Arts Center in Clemson SC and you will find these and many more wonderful items in the Holiday Art Show.

These two works are framed and ready for purchase at the Holiday Art Sale.

Tom Dimond is pictured with a group of pieces, some of which will be in the Holiday Art Sale and others will be in his upcoming solo exhibition at the University of South Carolina in Aiken SC.