Friday, April 30, 2010

New Peacock Notecards

Poised #1 | 20x24 | collage on panel | ©St.Hilaire Nelson
New note cards are now available in my most recent peacock image. Glossy cards on heavy stock with high quality envelopes are 4x6 and boxed in a clear plastic box with silver stretchy ribbon. These cards make a nice gift for a friend or yourself!







Dressing Room Project

I know I showed photos of me working amidst the chaos of the girls dance dressing room in Fort Lauderdale, but I thought you might like to see the pieces that I created!

All three are 12x12 on "gallery wrapped" or boxed wood panel.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Asheville NC Weekend Getaway Workshop

Grand Bohemian Hotel and Art Gallery
This stunning boutique hotel is an experience in art and music. Come out and spend a spring weekend in beautiful Asheville, enjoy the weather, the hotel and all its amenities, and a two-day collage workshop taking place right in the gallery! Light lunch in the hotel restaurant is included, some supplies will be available at the workshop for folks who are traveling (including the gel-glue so you do not have to worry about it in your carry-on luggage)

The photo gallery for this hotel will make you want to sign up today! I will be the featured artist May 18-June 13 with an Artist's Reception on May 22 from 6-9 p.m. If you can't make the workshop, at least come out and see the show. Workshop is May 22/23.

Click here for the gallery website with workshop info. Scroll down to my workshop information and there you will see links for the registration form, the schedule, the supplies list, and all the details.

I hope you will consider attending this weekend getaway in Asheville!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Portable Art for Small Spaces

Working in small spaces was the theme this weekend as I took my collage supplies back to the dressing room of the Show Stoppers dance competition in Fort Lauderdale.

While my daughter danced her heart out, I was in the audience. However, anyone who has been to a competition weekend knows, there is a lot of down time spent in the locker room.

The key to working in small spaces is to compact your supplies into a workable and portable format.

My Art on the Road Supply List
  • Gallon Zip Bags - packed with a wide variety of textures and patterns, divided by color
  • One or two old books -  pertinent material to your subject matter
  • Bag of Postage Stamps - I collected mine on eBay
  • Scrap Box - for all the pieces you tear that are too small to go back in the Zip Bags, keep adding them to the scrap box. I use a shoe sized plastic box with snap lid. Sometimes the scrap box has just the tidbit you are looking for
  • Small plastic container - filled with Acrylic Gloss Gel Medium (the glue) and a tight-fitting lid. I keep this inside the scrap box for double protection.
  • #8 Filbert synthetic brush, my favorite for glue
  • Coffee Cup or other vessel for water - When you have to stop your collage work here and there, it's best to put the brush in water while you are gone, to prevent the glue from drying out
  • Tote Bag - hold it all together in something you can throw over your shoulder!
  • Small Prepared Panels - I brought three 12x12 wood panels that I had primed with clear gesso and painted  birds on, ready to collage. Keep it to a size that will fit in your lap.
I managed to finish three collages over the weekend from Friday morning to Sunday night. I would be much more efficient if I were in my studio, but I did not have to abandon art making for the weekend, just because I was out of town and away from my studio space. 

We also visited the Boca Raton Museum of Art (Elvis at 21, Photos by Alfred Wertheimer, and remembering Stanley Boxer, A Retrospective) while we were in South Florida, and Gallery Center. I always take the time to visit a gallery or museum when I am in a city away from home. You never know when you will get the chance to go back!

Cub Scouts Visit the Studio

Den 773 of Longwood came to visit me in my studio last week and talk about art careers. They were working on an art badge, just like the previous Den. Rafael Sosa, the den leader, brought the boys by to see my work space and to ask me questions about my art education and opportunities for a fine artist.

Amelia Sosa made me some fantastic Latin chicken and rice with red beans and pound cake! She said it was her way to say "thanks for letting the boys come at dinner time!"

Wow, I think I ended up with the best end of this visit!
Tyler, Alex, Jorge, and Emilio, just remember that you can have many careers in the world of art!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Florida Museum for Women Artists

Birds of a Feather, 15x15, 2008 ©Maggie Taylor


Over the weekend I went up to DeLand, FL to visit the Florida Museum for Women Artists, this wonderful museum is 7,000 square feet of newly remodeled space upstairs in the historic Fish Building. The mission of the museum is to promote women artists and to educate the public about women in the arts.

The current exhibition is a collection of work called "Almost Alice: New Illustrations of Wonderland by Maggie Taylor" it's open through May 2 and I'd highly recommend it.

Ms. Taylor has 45 inkjet prints on display, illustrating Lewis Carrol's famous literary work. The prints are composite images that usually begin with an original photographic portrait - often a daguerreotype or tintype from the mid-19th century. She then uses 21st century digital processes and Photoshop montage techniques to layer multiple images and create the final prints. All the pieces are quite surreal in that they are photographic, yet illustrative, real, yet not real.

I enjoyed the show and especially enjoyed the space. The staff was friendly and helpful and the gallery is beautiful. If you live nearby, you might check out this wonderful show before May 2!

Sarasota Art Walk

I attended the monthly art walk at Towles Court in Sarasota last Friday. The Katharine Butler Gallery represents my work and is part of this historic Artists Colony. The walk was well attended, I have six pieces hanging and my work received much attention from some folks in from New York for the Sarasota Film Festival. I was happy that the Film Festival brought some new faces to the gallery.

The Art Walk at Towles Court is the third Friday of every month. All of the galleries, shops and restaurants are open late, enjoy live music in the courtyard as well as wine and cheese in most galleries.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Seeing Double



Birch Bark 1 and 2 | collage with acrylic on boxed wood panel
©St. Hilaire Nelson | click image to enlarge

This morning I wondered about my triptych that I inadvertently split up by sending the nest panel of Hope I, II, and III off to a show at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Georgia. This piece, Birch Bark 1 and 2, I think I will keep together when I show it at the Gateway Center for the Arts as part of "Paper Capers" a five person show in June. I'm not sure if that's the right decision or not, so I'm going to keep my mind open for your comments and suggestions. This diptych is a piece where each could stand on their own more that the three-part bird's nest triptych in the previous post.

My thought on this one was to create the striped feeling of birch bark with sheet music and black and white book illustrations and text. The backgrounds are painting in acrylic and the birch trees are collage. Silver birch trees have bark that very much resembles paper, I can remember peeling it as a kid growing up in New England and marveling at the fact that Native Americans made canoes from it! Recently on my trip to Qu├ębec in January, I was very happy to see many birch trees  on our taxi ride from the airport.

So what do you think? Price them as one and not separate these two? or price them separately and let the collector decide?

For the Birds

Hope I, II, and III ©St. Hilaire Nelson
"Hope is a thing with feathers" – Emily Dickinson

A triptych of three robins at various stages of nests. I submitted them separately to the Birds Nest Invitational at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center north of Atlanta. They chose one of them for the show, the nest. Afterward I was thinking... do you submit a triptych as ONE piece? or do you submit it as three? Do you sell the pieces individually if a patron is only interested in one of them? or do you insist they stay together and list it as a triptych with one price?

The nest, if it sells at the Q, will break up the happy family. Now I'm faced with a dilemma of hoping that it does not sell, so that it can be reunited with the rest of the series.

Does anyone have any advice?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Peacocks Completed

©St.Hilaire Nelson
Poised Peacock 1 & 2 | 20x24 | collage on panel

I gave you all the details on these birds in my last post, but I thought you might like to see them completed. Tonight I will be framing them and tomorrow they'll be delivered to Grand Bohemian Gallery downtown for delivery to their Asheville location!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Peacock Pair

Art in progress ©St. Hilaire Nelson
Speaking of peacocks in print publications (I do love alliteration) I should mention that Geri at Juxtapose Gallery in New Jersey sold two 20x24 peacock collages this month, and Asheville Grand Bohemian Gallery sold their 20x24 peacock collage in February. The Grand Bohemian Gallery in Orlando sold two of the 9x12 peacock heads from the series I worked on at the dance competition (see older post).

In light of this success, I'm working on more peacocks for my Asheville featured artist show (May 18-June 13) and workshop. I wanted them to be a pair, so I am working on them at the same time. I am taking the same paper and applying it back and forth to both pieces to create harmony between them.

I have always said that I do not work on more than one collage at a time and I don't really consider this to be an exception. I am really treating these two birds as one big piece (and believe me, I remember why I don't work bigger than 20x24, it's taking forever to complete these two!) I have them on the easel side by side. The heads and necks of the peacocks are still paint, I am working on the tail feathers and the background first. My intention is to leave some of the drippy paint at the bottom and the wood grain showing through on both collages, but I am never sure until I get there.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Marketing Makes It!

Celebrations Gallery in Pomfret, CT was chosen by Yankee Magazine's Reader's Choice Poll as top gallery in New England. I was floored when they decided to use my peacock collage as the signature image in their ad announcing this distinction.

NAVIO Artisans Collective Show

Connecting with a Collage Artist
The opening of my show at NAVIO Artisans Collective on April 3 was great, the gallery had a wonderful spread of wine and cheese, crackers and snacks. They were well attended and the area around the gallery had such charm! They sit on a cobble stone street just up from the New Bedford Whaling Museum. My Dad informed me that he  used to go to New Bedford a lot when he was younger, selling insurance. He said he bought my mother a lot of scrimshaw jewelry there.

I was surprised to meet up with Wanda Edwards (pictured in photo) at NAVIO, a fellow collage artist and someone who has followed me on my blog for a while. She did not tell me she was coming and she really challenged my short term memory! But when we started talking about the fact that she goes by "Wonder Wanda" on her blog, it all came back to me.

My family was wonderful to me as well. My Aunt and Uncle and cousin Jennifer attended the opening all the way from Maine and my Cousin Mark and his wife Jennifer came up from Cape Cod to see me and my fabulous sister at the gallery opening. My fabulous sister drove into Boston to spend Easter weekend with me. Not only did she pick me up from the airport and take me to New Bedford and back, but she was an awesome shopping and art gallery companion on Newbury Street on Saturday, we had a blast!

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is also located in New Bedford, the MFA students are exhibiting their work there now, which brings out more art lovers.

If you are anywhere near New Bedford, you might like to join them for their AHA! (Art, History & Architecture) collaborative cultural night with 61 downtown venue partners this week and every second Thursday of the month. NAVIO has asked me to stay on with a few pieces of work there after the April show.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Music Collages



Muse ©St. Hilaire Nelson
Here is another wildly cropped violin I did for the Music show. This is 10x22. I bought three panels this size and decided to do something different than my typical 20x24. I decided to use oranges for the top of the violin. Violins actually come in many different colors. The violin I played as a child was very brown, the one I play currently is much more of a golden orange. I also enjoyed infusing a little purple with the orange in here. The drippy background is fluid acrylic over clear primed wood panel.

Again, sorry for the lousy photo. I will replace with a better one, so check back soon.

Music Collages

Sul Ponticello ©St. Hilaire Nelson
Rest assured, even though I have not been blogging much about my Music show, I have been working on it! I have some lousy iPhone photos that I took at the crack of dawn when it was still dark outside. I have yet to get good photos, and maybe that's why I have not been blogging about it. What I need to do is take the iPhone photos of the work in the daylight, then I'll be all set.

I play the violin with the Maitland Symphony Orchestra and so you will be seeing some violins, due to the personal connection. I have been playing since I was in the third grade, through the public school. I never realized how lucky we were to have stringed instruments available to us in public school in New England. Here in Florida, my daughter had to wait until middle school and no strings, just band. AND they choose the instrument for you.... I digress.

I'll replace this with a better image, but I just wanted to give you a taste of what's been going on with the music. The strings on this violin were created by tearing very thin strips of white paper and then rolling them together between my fingers to form a raffia like strand which I glued down with my gloss gel medium. I had thought about using real string, but I think this is more "pure" being that it's paper. the background is drippy fluid acrylics with spattering over clear primed wood, you can see the grain through the paint.