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Archive for March, 2010

Julie Baldyga recently finished a  large paper drawing and it’s a beauty!  The work is entitled, “Teresa is Going to Work on the Turbine” and it’s an oil pastel work on several sheets of paper taped together.  In many ways, this piece has a level of resolution that is very satisfying and can best be seen in the drawing’s details.

There is just enough warm color in the portrait of “Teresa” to make her stand out in front of the large turbine machine she is contemplating repairing.  As in her related works, Julie likes to show women being empowered with the knowledge and expertise to operate and keep in repair large pieces of machinery.  On occasion, she speaks of watching her father work on the family cars.  In this pastel, I especially like the pink fingernails and purple glasses.

In the simplicity of its rendering, I have really enjoyed looking at the glass on this table.  Knowing Julie, it’s probably ice tea.  The gears and what looks to be some type of crank shaft (again Julie could tell you exactly what this is) are not your typical subjects found in still life art.  The drawing has a lovely surface where the underdrawing and the substance of the pastel find a happy meeting place.

I find this part of the drawing to be compelling and mysterious.  It’s a series of pipes attached to the machine and includes a pressure gauge.  But what is happening to the pipes going through those slots in the floor?  Julie has drawn them with a degree of transparency that best makes sense in the world of art because in that realm anything is possible.  I wonder what else is the machine attached do and what does it do?  In Julie’s world, does it have any other symbolism?  Here is a final image of this drawing with Julie sitting in front of it.  She likes to keep watch on the informal parade of humanity that goes by our storefront each and every day we are open.

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Spring has arrived at StudioWorks with our artists rediscovering their love of color.  We have had some recent completed works that we would like to share with you.  Dorcas Kempf-Fluhr did a magnificent job with an oil pastel on wood panel!  This piece still awaits a title.  Here’s a look at the entire work.  The colors are vibrant and the surface is rich.

We have several artists that prefer their own brand of geometric abstraction.  Terry Bishop is one of those artists.  His recent piece is made of triangular designs embossed onto a small sheet of aluminum.  He then uses color markers to help embellish the triangles.  Terry seemed really pleased with the results of this experiment.

Nancy Anderson also enjoys using abstract shapes and possesses a real strong feel for color and pattern.  Since she started coming to the program for three days a week now, she has started to blossom as an artist.  We are really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with.  Here she is working on a drawing.  And the rainbow inspired acrylic painting that follows is also by Nancy.  The latter is about 11″ x 14″ inches.

An artist we only see once a week is Natalie Lanier.  Natalie loves animals, especially cats, and it’s fun to show you her latest painting!  It’s also done with acrylics  on a prepared canvas.  Her expressive cat is resting in front of a brick fireplace.  This work glows on the wall!

The last work in this post is by David Mahoney.  It’s a western scene with several riders and their horses traveling along the horizon line.  The bright yellow sun creates strong cast shadows.  This piece was made using oil pastels on a wood panel.  I have several in process shots of this piece starting out with David working on a preparatory drawing.

Here is an early stage of the oil pastel.  The wood of the panel is easily seen and I wonder of the artist didn’t take inspiration from its grain with its meandering pattern?

And now for the completed piece.  I think this one will be entered in a competitive juried show coming up on the theme of horses.

More pieces are on their way for future posts.  Julie Baldyga did another wonderful pastel drawing!  I can’t wait to show you that one in a few days.

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Placed on the table before you are finished ceramic pieces from our last fired kiln.  As I take this picture, some of the artworks are still slightly warm to the touch!  Lifting the lid of the kiln is like Christmas or discovering artifacts from some interesting but little known culture.  Everybody who has a piece in here, can’t wait to see if it “turned out”.  If there wasn’t the chance that something could go wrong…it wouldn’t be as much fun. 

The animal figurines above are made by Carol Thorp.  Her work usually portrays animals as being innocent and peaceful.  The owl sculpture compliments the owl painting she recently finished and was featured in an earlier post.  The rabbit sculpture is really wonderful.  The satiny brown glaze suggests chocolate Easter bunnies.  Here’s two other views.

I have a feeling the rabbit sculpture won’t be hanging out in our studio for long!  One other work by Carol is already spoken for by her sister.  So, this image is probably your only chance to see this cute clay Dalmatian.

All the StudioWorks artists hand build their creations.  For this kiln load, terracotta is the clay body that was used.  Julie Baldyga is multi-talented and likes working with clay.  She makes the fire hydrants with wrench pieces as well as artwork that references fuses, transistors, and other electrical components.  Here is a selection of ceramic fuses in Easter colors.  They all feature old kiln wire elements that you can see through the slot in the middle.  I suppose these fuses would be blown if the wire elements were severed?

Here’s Julie’s ceramic version of an electrical switch with two matching fuses.  When it comes time to start the kiln, Julie likes to be on hand to throw the switch.  I don’t think I have ever seen this used as a subject in art before!

Another artist who has a nice series going is Sally Hardman.  For the last couple of months she has been exploring the subject of ice cream in both two and three dimensions across several mediums.  In this batch, she did a clay ice cream cone plaque and an excellent banana split bowl of ice cream with a cherry on top.  All you need is a spoon!  Sally seems to enjoy making ceramic food items.

Eric Huggins made another clay elephant and it turned out pretty good!  Here are two views of that piece.  This guy is probably going to walk out of here too and Eric will need to make another one.

Several StudioWorks artists are still working on projects that will have to wait until the next firing.  I know that both Dorcas and Nancy are working on wind chimes…and that reminds me, that I need to help them find nice pieces of driftwood to hang the chimes on!  Our closing image is of Dorcas and Vickey rolling out clay to make the parts of the wind chime.  Our clay work is ongoing and I’m already looking forward to the next kiln firing.

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Brad Bohannon just finished a nice painting and we couldn’t wait to show it off.  It’s a self-portrait of the artist as an angel!  Brad likes doing figurative art and his favorite subjects other than friends and family include the late Diana, Princess of Wales and Michael Jackson.  Brad attends our program twice a week and we look forward to seeing and working with him.  I have a couple other images of this painting…when it was first started and when it was considered finished.  Learning when an artwork is complete is an art in itself and takes experience.  This piece was done with acrylic paints.

Here’s the painting on the first day of work…and now when it’s done.

We also have a number of small bisqued clay sculptures in the works.  The artists are busy glazing them and soon they will be fired again.  Here’s a snapshot of some of the pieces on one of our work tables.  Till next time!

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The SPEAK Sixth Annual DSP Appreciation Banquet was held on March 9  at the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Louisville.  The ballroom was packed with members from eleven Kentucky organizations who serve people with developmental disabilities.  It was a fun and uplifting gathering and that evening’s theme was “DSPs Work Magic Everyday”.  Members of the Louisville Magic Club were  present and entertaining everyone with card and sleight of hand magic tricks.  The centerpieces created by Zoom Group’s day programs supported the theme and were a big hit with everyone.

Each of the eleven organizations honored their own employees with two awards.  Zoom Group’s President, Annie Rosenberg-Sattich spoke glowingly about our company’s two DSPs who received recognition.  The “Shooting Star” award goes to an employee who has been with their company less than a year and is making a positive difference as a newcomer.  Zoom Group’s “Shooting Star” is Tera Walker (first person on the right in the above photo) who works with the company’s commercial operations department at our UPS location.  Zoom Group’s “DSP of the Year” is Mary Pendleton (second on the right) who has been instrumental in running the day program at our St. Matthew’s location at the Calvin Presbyterian Church.  Both Mary and Tera are selfless individuals and our clients love them.

Also last week, Julie (first on the left) and I made a visit to the  St. Matthew’s day program to hang on their walls a few artworks made by StudioWorks artists.   We were honored to be asked by our sister program to share some of our work with fellow Zoom Group clients!  Julie and I received many nice compliments.  Here’s a picture of Mary Pendleton taking Julie’s photo next to her painting of the fountain on 4th Street.  I think Julie enjoyed her visit!

Now for one last centerpiece image.  I’m not sure whether this was made at the St. Matthew’s location or at our Garden House program?  Ultimately, it doesn’t matter.  Folks enjoyed the centerpieces so much…they took them home with them after the event!  Check out this rabbit in the hat.

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Carol Thorp just finished an acrylic on canvas painting entitled “Oliver the Owl”.  But before I show you the finished work, I thought fans might enjoy seeing a little bit of the process.  The StudioWorks artists love to draw and frequently what first shows up on paper eventually finds expression elsewhere.  Carol did a small number of drawings using both color pencils and markers of her owl subject before she picked up a paint brush. 

Carol has a drawing style that involves simple abstraction influenced by coloring book illustrations.  If the famous Pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein, can be influenced by comic book illustrations and that genres’ conventions, than Carol intuits that she can do the same with her source materials.  Here is another color pencil study she did before the painting began.

Now ready to paint…here are a few phases of the canvas as it progressed to completion.  This is not a large piece, I believe it is 14″ x 11″ and so it is a more intimate work.  This work and many more are currently available in the gallery.  We love and encourage visitors to stop by and say hello!

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Although Sally’s actual birthday was yesterday, we celebrated it at StudioWorks with a cupcake party for her today.  Vickey made her a special extra-large cupcake (smaller ones for everybody else) and took her out for a great lunch by the river.  Finally, it looks like spring is approaching.  February was a difficult month and the gallery was closed several days due to snow.  We follow the same schedule as Louisville’s public schools, so when they close, we do likewise.

The annual DSP banquet is approaching and Zoom Group’s day programs along with StudioWorks are making the centerpieces.  The theme is “DSPs Work Magic Everyday” and so the centerpieces will embrace props a magician might use starting with the traditional hat, fake flowers, cards, and a special rabbit.  Each program has a hat, but will interpret the theme in their own way.  Today at the gallery, we worked on our versions and a shy David Mahoney is hiding behind some silk flowers.

Here are a couple more centerpieces in progress.  The feeling is they need a bit more color and perhaps another element to set them off.  The annual banquet is a time when our colleagues in our line of work can be honored and recognized for their hard work.  We are fortunate at StudioWorks to have Kevin Molloy and Vickey Reed helping our artists.  Tomorrow we will be brainstorming with Jonathan Swanz an artist who specializes in the medium of glass.  Louisville will play host to an international glass conference this June and the StudioWorks artists will be participating.  Jonathan will be leading us through a series of workshops that will culminate in an exhibit at the Weber Gallery.  This is an exciting event and we will devote future post to this soon!  For now, the StudioWorks artists are engaged in individual projects and our closing photo is of Dorcas Kempf-Fluhr and a recent drawing using markers to cover the whole picture plane.  Her latest works communicate a lot of energy through mark making.

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