Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blank Canvass Benefit Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

"Lunch with a Curator" II is my submission to the 2008 Blank Canvass Benefit at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. The event is by invitation and helps support education & art programming at the center. Last year I did an oil painting for the same event. This year, I created a mixed media piece, complete with fork, brush, plate, clay sculpted into a "ship coming in," as the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey logo is expanded to have an artist with cap joined with a curator wearing a crown. I accented the regal moment as something very special and transcendental, fantasy-like. The piece asks - Can a meeting with a curator lead to something? Can an artist be catapulted out of his financial misery by a single win in a juried art show? It also says something about believing in the power of art. Visualize it and concretize it to actualize it. Believe in the power of art.

The Tough Road Paved with Rejections

I was notified via email that my proposal for the Ella Lyman Cabot grant was rejected. Here in Mass. where I won the Outstanding Drawing Prize in 2007 when the Director of Harvard selected my "Dock with Rope." If ever I needed a grant, it is now. Struggling to make ends meet, I can't afford my little supplies. Thank goodness, shipping for my work for the National Drawing Show, only cost $7.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Drawing into Sculpture

From thought to image on paper to a fabrication 3-dimensionally out of hard materials. That is the basic steps of this dance of drawing into sculpture. But, time has already become an element of my drawing, before the 3-D elements were considered. So, the process did not flow in a traditional pattern of 2-D to 3-D, to the 4th dimension of time. So, how do I interpret the time element into the heavy mass-laden, sculpture? I have to model it like anything else 3-D.

The other thought is about juried art shows. Should winners be chosen at all? I mean, yes, we could all use a boost to our resume, but should the glory stop at being chosen to be in the show? Does a ribbon encourage a collector to part with his money? Does the selection of a few winners create discouragement in the many others whose work didn't win? I've won cash awards when I could barely afford shipping to the show, so it helped me greatly. Grants can have the same effect. It appears that winning anything may have similar feelings to those that didn't...even stories of someone finding something that others didn't. A career, a wallet, a voice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Artistic legacy

Letter to the Editor - "Artistic legacy"
Oct 08
8:06 AMCongratulations on Norfolk's unanimous vote for a mandatory set-aside program for public art. Being the first city in Hampton Roads to have such a program sets in stone Norfolk's visionary leadership. Mayor Fraim's undying efforts to push the art initiative echo an artist's own perseverance. Ten years ago, I experienced first-hand the mayor's support for the arts. Having won the grand prize for the First Night Norfolk poster and button design contest, I requested a photo op with the mayor. Despite his busy schedule, he made time for a local artist.

Art goes a long way in making a city more attractive. It also allows artists a chance to add civic pride to their passion. Florence, Italy, is still reaping the benefits of the public art ventures that the Medici family established back in the 15th century.

Larry Samuel Estes

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Hey Whitney" goes to National Drawing Show

My drawing "Hey Whitney" continues its course, as it will soon make its way to the National Drawing Show at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA. Academy Art Museum curator, Brian Young, says it appears to extend drawing. But words can't do it the justice that seeing it will. Rachel Rosenfield Lafo, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park, is this year's juror for the show.

A sense of mission underscores all these drawings that I submit to shows. I want to be the best I can be in expressing this flow, this dynamic poetic flow. But it is also a battle there, to keep this dream alive. And so, this pen is likened to a sword, and the quest is little different than Achilles' quest. He flowed with his instrument. He had a mission. He was fearless. My problematic "tendon" is by metaphor, the many distractions that try to tire me, and pull me from my ongoing mission. But that's what we carry a shield for. A shield of Focus, Skill, and Determination.

"Hey Whitney" itself was a drawing done in response to a rejection in the International Show at Summit in 2007. The juror was from the Whitney, from the department of Drawings. That drawing won recently in the Madison National Show in GA, juried by Sylvie Fortin of ART PAPERS. And it will continue shining.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Female In My Art

She made her entrance by necessity. She was summoned in the name of Balance. I had focused too long on a hieroglyphic symbol which I later found to mean "MEN." Repeatedly, I drew it, transforming it over many months into its most dynamic form. Complimentary to this evolution of a hieroglyphic fragment, arose the posterior side of a feminine form, originally in thin line work. Later she evolved into a monochromatic wash in passionate,figurative embrace with her figurative, male opposite. This,emotionally and visually, brought about psychological equilibrium. After that, she continued her dynamic interplay with my drawing, sporting a continuous parade of colorful garments.
This watercolor pencil wash work was done at a fast-food restaurant in 2003. I framed a print of her and placed it in an eclectic store of unique things. A woman with her mother, after strolling through the whole store of thousands of items, stopped when she saw this print on a chair. "It spoke to me," she said. The original, like most of my original color works of this goddess, are complete with the authentic drops of coffee, which I used to blend the colors when drawing at fast-food restaurants. She measures 8.5" x 11" and I will let her go for $600.