Penland changed my life - screen-printing multiples with Tonja Torgerson

The Friday before last I drove to Penland School of Crafts in the mountains of North Carolina. Located near the Blue Ridge Parkway, between Asheville and Boone, the campus is made up of a collection of historic and newer architecture. It's an arts and crafts school that provides onsite dorms and cabins as well as awesome food in the cafeteria.  Everything on campus is within walking distance, so once you get there you can park you car. Literally all you have to think about or do is make your art.  I have been hearing about this place since I started working at the Pullen Arts Center about 15 years ago. Everyone always said how great it was so I thought it was high time that I checked it out for myself. They offer printmaking, painting, bookmaking, clay, metals, textiles, hot glass, woodworking and specialty workshops like building a boat or a guitar.

We studied screen printing multiple colors on paper. I created three original screen prints - Cosmic Vibrations, Pig Nixon and Lincoln Squirrel. They are all limited edition prints and are now available on my website!

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Penland's campus. This is a view from the Pines Dining hall. The first building is the kiln area, the red roof building is the ceramic studio - upper and lower and next to that is the metal studio. The potters this session renamed it enlightened clay for upper clay and  deeper clay for lower clay. The road by the old house on the right is the main road through campus.

The printmaking studio. This is a modern building that has been recently constructed. Designed by Susan Cannon. I usually don't like modern buildings that much, but this was and spectacular screen printing studio. It consists of two classrooms, with a wash out sink, darkroom and offices located in the middle of the building.

The printmaking studio. This is a modern building that has been recently constructed. Designed by Susan Cannon. I usually don't like modern buildings that much, but this was and spectacular screen printing studio. It consists of two classrooms, with a wash out sink, darkroom and offices located in the middle of the building.

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This is my first print and I am working on printing the first color - the squiggly yellow shape in the background. We were using QTX emulsion, which is pink but looks orange on the yellow screen.

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Racking them up...

Some in-progress owl prints. They had a massive drying rack.

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Class work in the Printmaking studio. I was fun seeing everyones different approaches to the medium. 

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The screen print class. We had a great group of people - I will miss you guys!

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Seriously cool campus!

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Tonja doing a demonstration. I learned so much from Tonya about registration, printing on paper, screen cleaning etc. She was a wealth of information - I can't say enough good things about her. 

The Pines Dining hall. I was staying on the top floor. During my work-study I was washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Work study was a great way to meet everyone and get stuck in at Penland. 

The Pines Dining hall. I was staying on the top floor. During my work-study I was washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Work study was a great way to meet everyone and get stuck in at Penland. 

Rubylith overlay on my Pig Nixon piece. You can burn a screen with Rubylith and the red part reads as black on the screen.

Rubylith overlay on my Pig Nixon piece. You can burn a screen with Rubylith and the red part reads as black on the screen.

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Some in-progress owl prints on the drying rack.

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Finished prints in the art show. I managed to complete 14 Cosmic Vibrations owl prints, 9 Pig Nixon prints and 8 Lincoln Squirrel prints. The ideas for the pieces came from sketches in my sketchbook. I did the Pig Nixon and Lincoln Squirrel sketches a couple of years ago.

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Some Penland friends in the Pines!

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This is a house from the 1840's that I used to hand out on the porch and watch the clouds roll over the mountain. Inside is empty on the first floor with momento mori items on the second floor.

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At the art show with some Pullen Arts Center friends - Emily Malpass and Bill Schmitz. Bill has moved to Tennessee last year - it was a treat to run into him at Penland.

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At Show and Tell - the art opening at the end of the week.

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My friend Justin at the show.

Penland is a one of the coolest places. What makes it so great is the people there. Doing work study I got to meet more people and make a deeper connection because we were working together outside of class. It is like going to college for a week. Everyone was following their own path, working toward a common goal and it was brilliant to be with so many like minded artists. I'll be back!

Summer Camps!

Here is a listing of all the camps I am teaching this summer. Click the venue name to be connected to their site to register!

NCMA- elementary school ages-

July 24-28- Color your World

August 7-11 ArtBots 

Artspace- June 26-30 Mural painting- Comics extravaganza! ages 11-16  During this interactive class, students will be immersed in the styles and techniques of mural painting. Working as team, the class will create a collaborative mural based on comic book characters, classic and created! Make new friends and paint an imaginative scene that will be visible to the public!

Wild at Art- July 10- 24- Big Animal Sculpture ages 6-12    Imagine creating your own wild animal, pet or farm animal sculpture. We will build our own animals out of newspaper, cardboard, masking tape and wire. Then cover with paster and paint, adding details and personality. Add accessories or a baby animal to go with.

Artspace- July 17-21- Creative Character sculptures ages 7-10.    Bring the characters of your imagination to life! Students will build large scale creature sculptures using newspaper, masking tape, cardboard, plaster and acrylic paint.

Artspace- July 31- August 4- Painting- Animal Personalities. ages 7-10.   Join us as we make a series of small paintings using animal personalities as subject matter. Explore acrylic, watercolor, collage, pen and ink and mixed media as we focus on finishing a painting each day. We will experiment with sketching ideas, color mixing and applications to add personality to your pieces.

Wild at Art- August 21-25. Comic Book Art ages 6-12.    Using comics as inspiration, we will create our own characters to use for comics, sketchbooks, and paintings. Learn the art of pen and ink on paper, then make a large acrylic painting based on preparatory drawings.

Zenith Gallery 38th Anniversary Show

I was excited to be included in Zenith Gallery's 38th Anniversary Show. 

The gallery, located at 1429 Iris St NW in Washington DC features a sculpture garden. Margery represents a wide variety of artists and mediums, from painters to mixed media artists and sculptors. Though I just started showing with Zenith last summer, I was able to meet artists who have been there since the beginning.  It was cool talking with them and getting an idea of the history of the art scene in DC, in which Zenith has played a crucial role. 

My daughter got a kick out of the gallery. From humorous sculptures to amazing mixed media works, she was very inquisitive. There was a lot for her to take in!

 

Keith and Zenith Gallery owner, Margery Goldberg

Keith and Zenith Gallery owner, Margery Goldberg

Margery discusses the show and the artists work.

Margery discusses the show and the artists work.

Ingrid, Keith Norval, Hadrian Mendoza

Ingrid, Keith Norval, Hadrian Mendoza

Ingrid, Anna Podris, Keith, gallery manager Erika SittingUp

Ingrid, Anna Podris, Keith, gallery manager Erika SittingUp

Ingrid with a sculpture

Ingrid with a sculpture

Mirror selfie.

Mirror selfie.

Now showing at the Zenith Gallery!

 

I am very excited to announce that I have been included in a show at the Zenith Gallery in Washington DC. I have recently been included in the book Stars and Stripes: The American Flag in Contemporary Art by E. Ashley Rooney and Stephanie Standish

Located at 1429 Iris St, NW, Washington, DC 20012-1409

Opening Reception is July 9, 5 - 8PM

I will be there for the opening and book signing, so come  out if you are in DC!

The show runs from July 9 - September 5, 2015

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Zenith Gallery. 

This photo if of me and Margery Goldberg, the owner of the gallery, with one of my pieces for the show. This pieces is titled "Here, Use My Brain."

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The show has two locations. The Zenith Gallery and DC Chamber of Commerce.

Below are the four paintings that are included in the show.

This piece is "Freedom Owl", 22 x 27", Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

"These Colors Don't Run," Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

Patriot Cat, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 22 x 27"

Here, Use My Brain, Oi on Canvas, 22 x 27"

Breaking into the third dimension.

Throughout the years I have managed to do quite a bit of sculpture. My grandmother was a potter in Zimbabwe and she let me make a few pieces out of clay. Her studio was at the bottom of the garden and the kiln opening was quite the event. During middle school and high school I was very productive making clay pieces. My current 3-d work involves clay sculpture and also my poly-resin rhino sculpture. 

 This cat, Louie, is my most recent piece. He is a commissioned sculpture made for the outdoors. He is meant as a memorial piece to a couple who lost their beloved pet.

 This cat, Louie, is my most recent piece. He is a commissioned sculpture made for the outdoors. He is meant as a memorial piece to a couple who lost their beloved pet.

I was very excited with how the eyes turned out.

I was very excited with how the eyes turned out.

Some rhino sculptures at the studio. These Rhinos are manufactured to my specifications. Some come factory painted, and some are handprinted by me. On the left are the rhinos that await being hand-painted. 

Some rhino sculptures at the studio. These Rhinos are manufactured to my specifications. Some come factory painted, and some are handprinted by me. On the left are the rhinos that await being hand-painted. 

This is a painted rock that is installed in the garden. It came out of a kid's class I taught at Wild at Art. 

This is a painted rock that is installed in the garden. It came out of a kid's class I taught at Wild at Art. 

An early clay mask from my middle schools days. Harkens back to my African childhood. 

An early clay mask from my middle schools days. Harkens back to my African childhood. 

Little bunny completed a few years ago.

Little bunny completed a few years ago.

Another very early sculpture. This one used to have a duck sitting on the back wall. The man needs to be glued upright and the pig has lost an arm, but I think it shows some indication of the direction I took with art.

Another very early sculpture. This one used to have a duck sitting on the back wall. The man needs to be glued upright and the pig has lost an arm, but I think it shows some indication of the direction I took with art.

Plaster sculptures by myself and students. Two gryphons and a dragon.  

Plaster sculptures by myself and students. Two gryphons and a dragon.

 

Sprout

Gearing up for the

Sprout

Show at Adam Peele's gallery on Capital Blvd. 

This will be a group show of the Slow Boil art group that I am a member of. 

Lots of new smaller works. 

Some familiar themes. 

Old roots, new growth is a slogan from one of the NC county signs.

I felt it was appropriate. 

Black rhino, pink elephant, the return of the t-Rex, square dog and angry squirrel. 

These are a few of my favorite things. 

Work space, art space. 

Art materials - close up. 

The Great Wall of paint. 

Summertime Sizzles - W.I.P.



The beginnings of a new pig painting in the "Entitlement Series". 


Woking title - Big Grab/Power Grab. Pig as oligarch...... 

Ye Olde Squirrel - in progress
 I'm using looser brushwork to describe this squirrel's frenzied attitude. This squirrel is ready to chew through some patio furniture.
Sun Rhino - catching the rays.  This pretty much sums up summer to me.  This painting is still in progress, but just a few more details are needed.    

Large grid painting about 70% completed...
This is for my upcoming show in Rocky Mount in Sept.
Although still pretty large, this one is smaller than the HUGE 144 square 6 x 6 ft painting I just finished for the same show. Also the grid has larger squares in this one.  The guinea fowl represents my time in Africa.  Guinea fowl are so fun to watch- though not the most intelligent animals, they sure have personality. 

Super size painting.


Starting to set in. New pig painting on the easel.


Got a lot of work done on the big one...


You know it is starting to look good when people think it is already done.


Action shot #3


This painting is starting to POP!


Many rivers to cross.

This painting is very hard to capture through photos due to its gi-normous size.  Please make sure to come by and see it in person!  

Taking it to the next level

Working title: 
Too many squares, not enough time to fill them 
or
 Don't sweat the small stuff
or 
A mink before today (provided by Ingrid)

Self-fulfilling oil painting prophecy
This will predict the future...

Nerd.

Pig snout.
Starting to build it up.
There is a fine line between finished and unfinished.
You decide.

Too Big to Fail

I decided to make a painting larger than I ever have before.  I have a show coming up in Rocky Mount at the Imperial Center in September.  It's an open space that needs something large.  Also they will handle transporting the work from Raleigh.  


Building the canvas.
I think I look like my dad in this photo.


Gesso the canvas.



Help from the young artist.

Unplanned chaos or make it up as you go

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Now for the fun part

Painting tower of Pisa

When I am working on several small animal paintings, I like to stack them on the easel.  All the colors on my palette at the time will end up on each painting so they harmonize.  



My young student had the great idea of creating a ninja elephant character.  I made one too.



Business Rhino feeling very frazzled.


Slug is peaceful.


New paintings waiting to be finished!


An interesting pair together.


Be there or be square!



The big quilted grid painting I've been working on recently is almost done- Go Big or Go Home.  It will be ready for it's debut next Friday in my Lobby show at Artspace.  Here are some details-












I have some paintings up at Marbles-  I tried to get a good shot of the show but my model was a bit reluctant.  Some are purely my work, others are collaborations with the kids I worked with during my residency there.  

Here is a shot of my finished commission, a surprise birthday present for some one.  I hope she liked it!




Commission in progress



I've been working on a commission- a house/cat portrait combo.  At this stage in the painting, I have the framework of the house and yard completed.  I am concentrating on the details that will give this painting its personality.  I recently added the mockingbirds, squirrel and ladybug.  There is a lot of commotion going on around the cat, who remains stoic.  







Hard working artist hard at work.

This grid painting is for my show in Artspace's lobby in April. This Saturday it went through a few compositional changes . A cow had broken through the grid, but I restored order by bringing the grid back. Sorry cow!The commission I'm working on- tidying up the house a bit, I mixed a new awesome yellow. I'm mainly trying to get the cat right now, his face is smiling in this picture but ultimately he'll have a more serious expression.



Let 'em work, let 'em live.

This is a new commission I'm working on. It's a combo house/ pet portrait featuring a historic bungalow. I love the rythym and symmetry in the proportions of historic architecture. They create an innate balance in the composition of the painting. The geometric shapes are a framework for more abstract color brushwork.
Here are some small ones in progress. Tigerfish is a brand new character.
Gerbil on TV, a dog with wavy ears, business elephant, ladybug, piranha and rhinos. Not random at all....
Snail cat ladybug. Owl Flying Pig Dog. Painting stack.
And another painting stack.
Wide angle.

You are now watching Gerbil TV.

Rough beginning of a gerbil on TV. I think he wants out.
A commission I'm working on of someone's cute dog. He's got crazy eyes...
Ladybug and mug, small ones in progress.

Some more small ones I just started...
A tiny quilted grid series in the works.
Seamus looks like he's reaching for the mug sitting on the table.
Another commission just about finised- Angry Squirrel.