“Sound the Climate Alarm,” my exhibit of drawings, collages, and mosaics on the theme of climate change at the Lawrence Arts Center, is up and running and open for visitors! See the exhibit in person now through Dec. 21 (masks required). Gallery hours are M-Th 9am-9pm, F-Sa 9am- 7pm, and Su 1:30-7:30 pm.
Take a virtual tour of my exhibit, courtesy of the Lawrence Arts Center, at this link.
Sign up for a gallery talk at the Lawrence Arts Center, on Nov. 19 at 6:30pm or Dec. 5 at 4pm, at this link . Talks will be limited to 10 people; attendees must wear masks and practice social distancing.
(photo courtesy of the Lawrence Arts Center)
I am excited to announce the opening of my exhibit at the Lawrence Arts Center titled, Sound the Climate Alarm. The exhibit runs Friday, Oct. 30 – Monday, Dec. 21.
Visitors are welcome to come and see the exhibit in person. But sadly, in Covid-times, there will be no opening reception. There will be a virtual tour led by gallery director Ben Alvers, of my exhibit along with the exhibit of artist Lindy Chambers and an author interview with Marla Arna Jackson, at 6pm on Friday Oct. 30, from the arts center’s Facebook page or YouTube channel. The virtual tour will be archived at the YouTube link for later viewing as well.
I am also offering in-person artist talks, limited to ten people per talk, on 3 different dates that you can sign up for. The talks will be: Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2pm; Thursday, Nov. 19 at 6:30pm, and Saturday, Dec. 5 at 4pm. Here is the sign-up link.
The arts center is pretty low-key these days with limited in-person activities and social distancing, and masks are mandatory. So I really hope you all can find the time to come out and see the show.
Here is the announcement on the Lawrence Arts Center’s website.
While walking at the Baker Wetlands a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to see a line of more than 50 pelicans making their way across the sky, single file. I’m always amazed when I see pelicans in Kansas, their presence feels so improbable here. I had been making sketchbook-drawings of origami cranes as a kind of meditation during this crazy time. But with pelicans on my mind, I thought it would be fun to fold and draw an origami pelican, too. I made a drawing of the pelican in ballpoint pen first, and then made it again in scratchboard.
I am excited to offer a class called “Drawing Practice” at the Lawrence Arts Center this Spring. It will meet once a week for 8 weeks on Wednesday evenings, March 18 – May 6, 6:30-8:30pm. Enrollment is now open.
This introductory drawing class will focus both on exercises to strengthen our ability to draw from observation, as well as additional exercises to strengthen our abilities to draw from memory and imagination. Each student will be provided a sketchbook of their own to use and to keep, and basic drawing tools will be provided to use during class.
We’ll draw from still life setups as we engage classic skill-building drawing exercises such as contour drawing, gesture drawing, continuous line drawing, sighting methods to help us to draw in proportion, and exercises that help us draw light and shadow, too. In addition, we’ll doodle a lot (and “noodle”), we’ll make loose and controlled drawings, we’ll enlarge, abstract, stretch, and distort our drawings, and we’ll draw at different rates of speed. We’ll practice drawing from memory in different ways, we’ll imagine monsters made from random marks, we’ll go on drawing scavenger hunts, and we’ll chronicle our day — just for fun — as a simple 4-panel cartoon.
Our class will serve as a support group for drawing outside of class, too, and we’ll think about strategies to help us make time to draw at least a little bit each day — but we’ll never beat ourselves up if daily drawing isn’t something we can do — homework is always optional. Our goal in this class is to simply draw enough to forget whether or not our drawing is “good. Our goal is to practice as much as we can, and by doing so, to make drawing a pleasurable part of our everyday lives.
You can register for the class on-line or in person at 940 New Hampshire St., Lawrence, KS, phone 785.843.2787. Financial aid and senior discounts are available.
I had a great time as a presenter at Mennonite Arts Weekend in Cincinnati. I met a lot of wonderful people who shared their experiences as artists, writers, actors, and musicians. I enjoyed the presentations and performances I attended, among them by painter Freiman Stolzfus, jewelry maker Kat Luginbuhl, poet Julie Swarstad Johnson, artists Brooke and Justin Rothshank, the DeCapo Chamber Choir, and hammered dulcimer musician Ted Yoder. I wish I could have attended every panel — I know I missed some great ones. I also appreciated the opportunity to share my slide talk about my art over the last six years, and my new work, “Sound the Climate Alarm.”
Imaginative Drawing is a beginning-level drawing class. It is one of my favorite classes to teach, and I’ll teach it again this winter at the Lawrence Arts Center. This class begins on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, and meets each Wednesday evening for eight weeks, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
The class is based on drawing prompts and exercises that we do together each week in our own sketchbook-journals. By the end of the eight-week session, we’ll use what we’ve learned to create a drawing-related work of art in any medium we choose, as a finished piece.
For the first few weeks of class, we’ll explore drawing as making expressive marks on a page using all kinds of pens, pencils, and other mark-makers. We’ll make comic-style “timed” drawings as a way to doodle, and we’ll also doodle by building up a series of spontaneous lines that eventually turn into pictures and patterns. We’ll “noodle” our doodles, using a controlled hand to create a finished look by adding color, texture, and shading. We’ll make drawings that are based on observation, drawing the objects and people that we see, as we see them. We’ll consider how observational-drawing informs imaginative-drawing, and vice-versa. Sometimes we’ll draw at drawing “stations” where we choose from a menu of exercise options, staying for as little or as long as we want to at a station. These sorts of exercises will focus on stretching, distorting, or abstracting images that we’ll draw from observation. On a different station-day we’ll explore the use of “randomness” as the basis for making something new: random squiggles on a page, random cracks in the sidewalk, or random shapes of clouds can provide the building blocks for making faces, creatures, or monsters. Each week we learn something new about the creative process. Along the way we’ll ask the question, Where do creative ideas come from? We’ll engage exercises that seem to get to the heart of creativity, bringing disparate ideas together in ways that are new. We’ll also learn about how to keep a sketchbook-journal, using artist Corita Kent’s focus on the journal as a “sense diary,” and cartoonist Lynda Barry’s “daily diary” formats to bring words and images together. Towards the end of the eight-week session, we’ll discuss composition, that is, how to arrange the elements in our drawings with attention to the drawing as a whole. We’ll then imagine a drawing that we would like to make, plan it, and make it.
A writer-friend who took Imaginative Drawing several years ago recently said about this class on Facebook: “Take this class! About two hours ago, I pulled out my sketchbook from the class. It is part brain health, part creativity, part stress relief.” And I would contend that the class is also a way for students to build confidence in their drawing abilities and to learn imaginative drawing skills to be used in art forms as different as comics and quilting.
I strive to create a warm atmosphere where students will feel encouraged and comfortable drawing in ways that are new. While I encourage students to share their work with others in class, because there is so much to learn from each other’s experiments, I also make it clear that no one is ever required to share; “passing” is always an option. And homework is optional, too.
Winter classes begin during the first full week in January. Registration now for Winter session. Senior discounts and financial aid are available. Register either on-line or at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., Lawrence, KS, phone 785.843.2787. To register for “Imaginative Drawing” on-line, visit http://enroll.lawrenceartscenter.org/browse-classes/event/2941?fbclid=IwAR1tS5t8oXpsnJfo_AlpjN-yTufrYNYN78CARP9OOr3taLmbexoLf96S9To.
Four years ago I was one of three artists, each invited by Lawrence Magazine to illustrate a different poem written by three individuals who had
participated in the Douglas County Corrections Facility’s writing program. I illustrated a poem by Anthony Sanchez, titled, Taking on Life. Fast forward to today — Anthony asked if he could use that illustration for the cover of his new poetry collection. Here it is.
It’s the simplest of exercises — we all did it as kids. Make a squiggly doodle mark, and then turn it into something else! Thanks to cartoonist Lynda Barry for reminding us in her books Syllabus and Making Comics, how to draw as playfully as we did as kids!
I’m prepping for the class I’ll be teaching at the Lawrence Arts Center this winter called, “Imaginative Drawing.” It’s an 8-week class that begins in January. Enrollment is now open; click this link for on-line enrollment.