Updates

“Not Afraid of the Dark”– A blog from Artistree Gallery

http://www.artistreevt.org/artistree-blog/2015/09/02/not-afraid-dark/ Autumn is approaching and we’re all noticing the incrementally earlier arrival of evening as each day passes. Autumn is a darker season that hosts one of the most amazing holidays. Oh, sweet Halloween! The season of ghosts, goblins and horror movies, washed down with candy and Coca Cola. It seems as if the dark invites the imagination to wander down a scary path. But there’s one local artist who is not afraid of the dark. In fact, her artwork reveals that she embraces the dark and sees humor in it. I’d invite all of you to meet Lynn Graznak of Orford, NH. Lynn began exploring her “art-voice” after raising her children and experiencing “the wonder and the terror” of leaving her former life in the Midwest. Lynn describes being “chased away” from the arts more than 40 years ago. We’re thrilled here at ArtisTree that she found her way back to art to share her exquisite skill in sculpture with the world. Lynn’s art is based on this question she asked of herself: “Is it possible to take the ‘granny skills’ that I’ve been honing as a homemaker and use them to create something actually kind of real, profound, and jussssssst possibly terrifying???” View more of “Death Baby.” Lynn hesitates to call herself a “mixed media artist” or a “fiber artist.” She describes herself as a “surealist” and “sculptural” artist. She’s also a poet, and the words that accompany her artwork will haunt you. Here’s an excerpt of her poem, Death Baby: On the last day that I had a body, a crone with black smoke wings instead of arms left a pearl-colored child, who was as lovely, silent and stupid as a fish, in a bundle on my front porch. I knelt and cradled her against my stammering heart, and I rocked the death baby rocked the death baby. Lynn uses repurposed materials (aka junk) to make her art. In this piece, she’s building Cambodian temples out of plastic soldiers and corks. Here’s a work in progress, where Lynn is, “Drinking iced coffee and slapping plaster on plastic lizards… ’cause that’s how I roll.. ongoing progress on another panel of the ‘Madwoman’.”   And in the gory-fun antics of Halloween, here’s a picture of Lynn’s work, A Slug on a Cheese Grater, and Lynn reassures that the real slug who modeled for this piece is running free in mid-Missouri: Lynn has instructed a number workshops and classes at ArtisTree, including Zombie Sock Puppets, Felted Dragons, and Magic Capes. She is a magical artist, and is scheduled to teach No Secrets! The Craft Behind the Art, and How You Can Create Your Own on November 7th. Also, be sure to catch her solo exhibit at the ArtisTree Gallery from October 23 through November 21. In this exhibit, I expect that you will see darkness, humor and fantasy. I am personally a Halloween baby, born at 5:50 pm on All Hallows’ Eve, thus interrupting my three older brothers’ sacred evening and them labeling me as a most devilish trick ever! Thankfully it didn’t take them too long to think of me as a treat. I love autumn, Halloween, and Lynn Graznak. Working with her has always been a joy. Her artwork is stunning and engaging. Lynn’s autumn show at...

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Crowdsourcing Courage

So.. what do YOU do when you’re feeling exhausted and drained by all the extra functions and effort that surround (and sometimes compete with) the actual making of art? I’m considering crowdfunding a better storage solution for my work and from everything I’m reading, it will be a giant time and energy suck. Intimidates me. Lots. I am a tired old coot and the work I do with fiber art and repurposed junk is really time and effort intensive. Although, MAKING the art is not a problem for me. Dark art, like dark chocolate cheers me up remarkably. Ideas are lined up out the door, although sometimes the means whereby they are realized involves a great deal of work. Doing “intuitive” art does not mean that inspiration comes with a set of assembly instructions. I’m utilizing the usual: coffee, Spotify, trashy tv on Netflix, dark chocolate covered caramel. Walks outside should be more available once the snow melts. In the meantime, I’m VERY open to suggestions.. ideas anyone??? (Image above: “My Friend Donna, the Dancer”- donated to Ellis Fischel Cancer...

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Ready to go to the SHOW!!

Ready to go to the SHOW!!

Gee.. I really LIKE my artwork wrapped up in plastic– gives it a real surreal look. May have to rethink some things. In the meantime, today it ALL gets to go for a trailer ride up to Bethlehem to get ready for the SHOW!!!...

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Self-Taught Art: It’s Officially a Thing

I like the term “self-taught art”. I read it in a “Hyperallergenic” article about how Atlanta’s High Museum has at last hired a curator for their new Gallery of Folk and Self-Taught Art. Apparently, Folk/Outsider Art Ph.d’s are scarce as hen’s teeth. I like the idea of doing something for which there is not yet a Ph.d. Most of what I  know how to do has been learned via the try-it-screw-it-up-try-it-again method. This works pretty well for most things, although it means that when I go to the hardware store, I ask stupid questions and get called “Hon”. Lots. And I’m glad I had more than one child since, like pancakes, I completely messed up the first one and had to feed it to the dog. I like making pieces that are surreal, possibly visionary and often dark. All of my art has a narrative element but I am working HARD this year to incorporate fairytales: dark, funny, fauve, brut, GENUINE story telling. Grimm, not Disney. I need to learn more doll making and textile art skills in order to populate these tales with the requisite pink-but-gritty princesses and soulful frogs. I’m planning to teach...

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