"Nature is what we know
Yet have not art to say
So impotent our vision is
to her simplicity."
- Emily Dickinson

Friday, December 3, 2010

About the Other Night

Tuesday, November 30, 2010. Not really a day that most would remember as life altering but to one young woman, it certainly was. It was my honor to announce the winner of the $50,000 Hudgens Prize -- Gyun Hur. Gyun was selected by the jury panel from the finalist show at the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth, Georgia.

The competition had drawn 369 entries from every corner of the state and five finalists were chosen by the jury to compete for the big award. My congratulations to Gyun and the other finalists: Ruth Dusseault, Hope Hilton, Scott Ingram and Jiha Moon.

I always find it revealing to meet an artist after I have become familiar with their work. I can't help but be influenced by knowing the person who created the art. In the case of Miss Hur, I was delighted to get to know her and to hear her speak upon receiving the $50,000. Not once in her remarks did she refer to herself -- she spoke gratefully and with reference to family and community. I see her work with new eyes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

MMIX: Part Two

As my two entries into "The Music in Me" are so related, here is a look at the second piece. Titled, "MMIX: Full Cold Moon" this one represents the first full moon from last December. December full moons are traditionally referred to as the "cold moon" or "long night's moon"and the second full moon in any calendar month is always called a "blue moon", hence the title of the award winning piece.


It is always a surprise and honor to be awarded in an exhibit. I was invited to participate with the Tannery Row Artist Colony in Buford, Georgia, for their "The Music in Me" exhibit and at the opening last night, my painting titles"MMIX: Full Blue Moon" took second place in the judging. I appreciate the opportunity to show with this talented and eclectic group of artists and I am grateful to have had my work selected for an award.

Works in the show are based upon the interpretation of the artists' favorite music and are done in a square format. I submitted two pieces, both mixed media with siligraph and oil, representing the two full moons in December MMIX and inspired by George Winston's "Moon" and "Under a Voilet Moon" by Balckmore's Night.

If you are in the area, make a point to stop by the exhibit at the old tannery in Buford. While it it certainly diverse, the musical theme is so well represented by each artist that there is a lovely consistency to the show. Works will be displayed through December 4, 2010.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Good news for the arts in Georgia!

I am pleased to share the following press release and offer my congratulations to the five finalists. Bravo! Also, congratulations to the other 364 entrants -- you prove that the visual arts in Georgia are vibrant and thriving. I can't wait to enjoy the exhibit!

5 Hudgens Prize Finalists Named

The Hudgens Center for the Arts is delighted to announce the names of five finalists for the Hudgens Prize visual arts competition. Three internationally prominent jurors - David Kiehl (Curator of Prints at The Whitney Museum of American Art); Sylvie Fortin (Editor in Chief of ART PAPERS Magazine); and Eungie Joo (Director and Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at The New Museum) - met in New York City on August 18 to view over 2,000 images of the artwork submitted by 369 Georgia artists and winnow them down to what the jurors determined were five extraordinary artists deserving of a chance at the $50,000 Hudgens Prize and solo exhibit to be awarded.

The Finalists for the Hudgens Prize are: Ruth Dusseault, Hope Hilton, Gyun Hur, Scott Ingram and Jiha Moon Hudgens Executive Director Teresa Osborn stated, "We are honored to be the venue and facilitator for this incredible competition. It is such a boost to the arts community in Georgia to have a competition of this magnitude in the state, and to the artists who entered to have their work in front of three such well-known jurors from the international arts world. The state has a terrific artistic community that deserves to be given greater support and visibility, and the Hudgens is proud to be a part of bringing attention to the many talented artists in Georgia." The jury panel will again come together, on site at the Hudgens, to determine the final Prize winner based on the works on display in the Finalists Exhibition, coordinated by Angela Nichols, Director of Education and Public Programs.

The $50,000 prize winner will be announced at an Award Celebration held in conjunction with the Finalists Exhibition Opening Reception on November 30. The Exhibition will run from December 1 until February 19, 2011.
"The Finalists Exhibition will provide huge exposure for all five of these artists, while the awarding of the Hudgens Prize itself is intended to allow one artist a once in a lifetime transformational opportunity. We will be eager to see what our award recipient creates out of this," commented Nichols. "In addition, the Finalists Exhibition will include a video slide show component, putting works by each of the 369 artists on public display and giving even more exposure to all of the artists who entered the competition. Visitors will be able to witness the breadth and depth of talent Georgia has to offer, and enjoy choosing their own favorite artists," Nichols added.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Moon. New Project.


I love this from Edward Abbey, an American author noted for his advocacy of environmental issues: “It is no longer sufficient to describe the world of nature. The point is to defend it.” As an artist and naturalist, I tend to make nature centered artwork. I’m passionate about making art and about understanding and enjoying nature’s gifts and I’m also dedicated to advocating for my passions. I believe that a single person, making even a small gesture can make a big difference.

I have a plan that I hope will draw attention to my artwork and speak in defense of nature. I’m calling the project ArtSparks, taking my inspiration from the flash mob performance art movement. The project is too small to make a flash (and one artist can’t make a mob) so this is just a little spark. I’ve made 104 little pieces of art and I am giving 100 of them away. These will be random gifts to people I know and to strangers I meet. The works are each 3 1/2” x 2 1/2”, archivally matted to fit a 5” x 7” frame. Each one is an original intaglio etching that I have hand colored with watercolor. I have made 26 each of four designs -- cattails, a rabbit, a turtle and a bird’s nest. Each is an image commonly seen but often overlooked or disregarded. The 26th piece in each edition will be framed with the printing plate (struck through to retire it) and kept in my archives -- love this tradition!

Etchings are original prints, not reproductions. I’ve made my plates with solar plate -- steel-backed, light sensitive, photopolymer printmaking plates designed to provide a safer alternative to traditional etching and relief printing. After exposing with sunlight, the plate is developed with water. Very green! My line drawing was done on transparent film and the plates exposed and developed. The resulting plate is incised with my line art. Each print required inking the plate, cleaning off excess ink and pressing it onto paper through a press -- no two original prints are ever exactly alike. Each impression was painted with watercolor accents and matted for presentation.

I will ask very little in return for these gifts except that the recipient take a moment to enjoy the art and acknowledge the fragile beauty of our natural world, committing to defend her if possible. The work can be framed and kept or I would encourage the recipient to re-gift the artwork if he chooses. I would love it if I get an email telling me about whomever receives the gift. Like tossing a message in a bottle into the sea, the communication is not completely successful until there is a response.

If you receive one of my etchings, I’d love to hear from you so please let me know at sugarhillstudio@bellsouth.net with “I got sparked” in the subject line.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Making Lemonade

As an artist, I have been very fortunate (some would say, successful) for many years in that I’ve sold nearly everything I’ve created. OK, I have kept a few watercolor works from my time living and working on Tybee Island, Georgia, but I took those out of my inventory because I simply wanted to enjoy them in our home. In the pase12 years, I’ve done on average forty pieces a year, some small and some more significant. As of January 2010, I had about 9 pieces in inventory for sale. Not bad -- the bad part comes with the realization that things are tough right now. It’s tough all over and really tough in the arts.

Being an optimist and having a lot of faith in the people of our country (but not necessarily our government) I’ve been making lemonade. You know, if life gives you lemons . . .

Last year I did two things for myself that have proved transformational. I took a course at Smithgall Woods Conservation Park and became a Georgia Master Naturalist. My artwork has always been nature centered and now I work with confidence and authority, understanding more about the habitats, natural resources and the natural environments of our state. Then during the peak of a mountain Autumn, I spent a week at the wonderful Penland School of Craft in North Carolina, studying vitreography (printmaking with glass plates) with Judith O’Rourk. For me, Penland was more about discovering that at any age, an artist can find renewed artistic commitment and stretch the bounds of her creativity than it was about learning printmaking techniques -- although that was great, too. I began 2010 with a new vigor.

This year and possibly next, I am just making art. After all, it really is the process and not the finished work that art is all about for me. I am not trying to sell anything, I really want to make good art, my art without the pressure of trying to selling it. I’ll let you know how it all goes -- sure hope there will be a market for lemonade!