Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Open Studio" by Diana Gurri

To me a studio is an environment to which I retreat for the purpose of getting completely involved in the project at hand. It can be as simple as a clear table , a container with 20 very sharp pencils, and something to draw on, or a place in nature with stones to pile or twigs and vines to weave. It can be a corner in a room with discarded fabric, threads and a pair of scissors, or any surface with enough space to spread out. Anywhere there is a pile
of inviting books also becomes a studio space. A studio can form in my mind to become a retreat for more ideas.

Throughout my life I have been pursuing many different art studies and careers: fashion design/illustration, oil painting, weaving, print making, costuming, abstract expressions, fiber assembling, and teaching. My current mixed media work allows me to use materials from past endeavors to create new forms. I have had many studios in the past and am now fortunate to be in the most peaceful setting with both indoor and outdoor workspaces. Different work stations are set up for painting, sewing, sawing, drilling, drawing, assembling, etc. Keeping order with so many projects going on at once is a problem. Having open studios is the greatest inspiration to reclaim those areas that have been buried in unfinished projects. When the chore of clean up is done there will even be room for Catherine Gurri (who spent over a year working in the studio) and Bob Neely (who created the sculpture garden and made numerous improvements to the studio building), to be working and displaying their own art.
                                                                                             -Diana Gurri © 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Leaving Home by Carol Beth Icard

You leave home in your car on a ten minute drive to the supermarket and you arrive at your destination despite having no conscious memory of the drive.  Between home and market your mind has taken off on a circuitous journey all its own, brought on by a simple trigger.  Maybe it was the flash of cardinal red across the evergreens or a memory of last night's conversation, but you have departed the here and now and somehow managed to impel a two ton piece of machinery from point A to point B without seeing the road. 
In my studio I begin a new painting by laying color onto paper, board or canvas.  This is my point A.  Point B is when I'm standing back and thinking "YES!" with a deep sense of satisfaction radiating through my whole being.  But the days, weeks or sometimes even months between those two moments are almost impossible to explain.  My paintings are built from that same kind of car story that occurs when reverie replaces reality.  One thought leads to another and I am caught up in my own narrative.  But just as a writer has to pay attention to details and edit for meaning and flow, I spend a lot of time revising.  I read my painting to see what color needs to be emphasized.  I edit out marks that distract.  I unearth my personal vocabulary of lines and forms that evoke metaphorical color.  I search for authentic gestures that activate the surface and bring the composition together.  I spend at least as much time reflecting on my work in progress as I do painting it.

A friend recently asked me in an email to tell her about my latest painting.  Her question made me wonder, does my work contain meaning?  What I see in it may not be what another person experiences, which is what I find compelling about creating abstract art.  All I can really explain is that I set out from home and after the long and winding road of the unknown, I arrive.

Carol Beth Icard   "Alchemy"   30" x 40"   oil and mixed media on cradled board
This blog was originally published by Carol Beth Icard on

Friday, March 2, 2012

Conversations with Upstairs artists

The Upstairs Artspace will be inviting artists to write articles for the Arts Talk that may include, but not be limited to, topics such as; art media, art techniques, art history, current trends, inspirations and motivation, etc. Please feel free to join in!

Visitors discuss a photograph by Colby Caldwell © 2012