For some reason when Wix did an update it rearranged the blog. Please scroll down to see the current blog writings and images...

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August, 2021

Fall Graduate Semester has begun and I have to keep up the blog for a class. I'll be honest I dislike doing this, but understand its purpose. I really don't like to "talk" about my art. I prefer the person connect and interpret it in their own way. I am just sharing a piece of myself, and sometimes it is not what I was feeling that was important in the creation of the piece. 

The three pieces above were in summer exhibitions in Bethlehem, PA, and Fort Worth, TX, and Texarkana, TX. I have one at the MAC Gallery right now as well, but I forgot to take a photo before dropping it off. The first three exhibitions were juried and the last one in Dallas was a members show. All three of the above pieces were created while taking Grad Seminar with Marilyn Thompson.

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September 2021

The above pieces are from the series of 12 that I am making for a solo exhibition proposal. They are the Motherhood pieces. These have been an exploration into new mediums of wood and concrete to my usual use of acrylic paint and other mixed media. The series covers the changes in motherhood and the mental issues it can create. The nest piece is currently at the 8680 gallery in Frisco.

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September 2021

I was inspired to try yet another unfamiliar medium over the summer and I started a 12 piece series for a solo exhibition proposal about Bees. Using the wax with wood, alcohol ink, canvas, and concrete has been fascinating. I have learned what will work, what tools are best, and the science of it with weather, dry or wet additives, and temperature.

This series really is not about a particular feeling or meaning, but an exploration into new materials and the subject of Bees. There is another piece completed but I don't have a photo of it right now. It is on display at the MAC gallery in Dallas until next week.

September 2021

This is a response to a question asked on the class blog...

I have often wondered if craft would umbrella things made for a function. Pottery, used in cooking, drinking, etc, a basket used to carry things, and a quilt to cover yourself for warmth. This leads the statement of craft as a woman thing... Perhaps this has been due to women being the ones that made these things for their family in the past. Being feminist in art is the desire for our work to be appreciated and shown in galleries and museums equally. It also refers to stop painting nude females in ways that lower our place in society. Sadly it does matter if it is art or craft because this determines the type of shows you can be in and the level of respect you receive in the art community. Craft is looked down upon no matter how you try to spin it. I don't know what will have to happen to change this thinking. I submitted a proposal to a gallery one year and the curator was male, he said my mixed media work was too "Craft" to be in the gallery. The next year the curator was female and I entered the exact same proposal and it was accepted as a solo show as "fine art". So in the end for the craft and art debate to be settled or a clear definition to be created men will have to remove themselves or become feminist...

Which one is Better? Are they both Art?

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What current events might they see as influencing your aesthetic themes in your work? How can you expand your own artwork ideas by thinking about yourself as an artist intimately connected to your own era? How do you address issues of your day into your art?

The current events influencing my work are Covid and the feminist theories being expanded during this 3rd and 4th movement of women's equality. Expanding my art happens the more I study feminism and become intimate with the issues facing women at the present time. Expanding the art happens the deeper I dig into the subject and relate in the artwork how it is a part of my life. I address the issues by the materials, textures, and colors that I use.

Short Artist Statement Assignment:

My art is about the mother child relationship and the struggles each mother has while trying to fit societies expectations without compromising the needs of her children. As a mother of six children my life experiences are conveyed through various mediums of concrete, wood, fiber, and paint. The use of simple shapes and textures with bold colors are expressing the balance of struggles, joys, and mental states of what being a mother in this time is like.

Books that I highly recommend:
Men Explain Things to Me
Openings: A Memoir from the Women's Art Movement New York, 1970-1992
Sisterhood Interrupted From Radical Women to Girl Gone Wild
The Vagina Monologues
Danger! Women Artists at Work
Entering the Picture: Judy Chicago, the Fresno Feminist Art Program and the Collective Visions of Women Artists
Pride and Prejudice
All of these books are amazing and have started influencing my work that has evolved via Marilyn Thompson's studio classes this summer. This new work is very much about women, feminist thoughts, and the relationships women have with men, children, and other women.
Some of the new work expresses childbirth, menstruation, abortion, birth control, breast feeding, and the control men have over a woman's world.

Wangechi Mutu Art Work/ Female Empowerment and Kenya

Her comment " We worship the image of the woman but denigrate the being of woman" So true and so powerful. The sculptures she is making and calling sentinels are breathtaking. I loved when she said they needed to stand on their own as this is such a desire of women with their art. We want to stand on our own and not have a man telling us what is art and not. Her watercolor and mixed media artwork is beautiful and the combination of images and items that relate to her being in Kenya are well formed and presented.

Where they are beginning...

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Penis &Yes Vagina is Not a Bad Word

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The Torture Tools Of Birth on a Schedule

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Are Women Sacred Like Mary?

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Work in Progress:
Placenta Blooms

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C-Section Voodoo Doll

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He Didn't Ask, They Didn't Speak, Husband Didn't Know, She was Scared...

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Works in Progress:
Romey's Birth and the Deformer Torture Tool
and
Why is that better then this?

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These are concrete pieces I made using Portland Cement. The bees and small hive are for the B, BE, BEE artworks that are in progress and the half domes will eventually be breasts on a larger piece.

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These are also made of Portland Cement and are 1 inch nipples for the concrete egg artwork that should be complete within the next two weeks

These were made of Portland concrete as well. They are various bee and honeycomb pieces that will go on B,BE,BEE artworks in progress. The hexagon ones are for the large tray with the wood panels and string.

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5 Contemporary Artists that Inspire My Artwork

Judy Chicago Artist Statement

Feminist Artist Statement

I was a young woman in the seventies, a time so full of hope. Many of us shared the belief that we as women could help to transform the world, not only for women but for everyone. As an artist, I believed that I could contribute to this transformation through art. I believed that art has the power to transcend differences, to help us see the world through other people’s eyes, and thereby help to create a sense of empathy with those who would otherwise be entirely unknown to us.

I have continued to create art with this goal in mind, and I have seen many positive changes, many of them brought about by the women’s movement. At the same time, feminism has been turned into a dirty word. Several generations of young women—along with many of their male peers—have been persuaded that two centuries of effort by countless women and some men which brought previously unheard of rights and opportunities to these same young women was not something to be proud of, but rather to disown.

Why do I insist upon being called a Feminist artist now, in the 21st century, when many pundits insist we live in a post-feminist world? My definition of such a world involves a toppling of the hierarchy of white male dominance. Since neither our male-dominated world nor the art museums that carry its visual messages have changed enough, I see no reason to abandon the feminism which is one of the few alternative philosophies around. Also, as my underlying feminist philosophy shapes my art, I remain a Feminist artist. It is also important to note that Feminist art is an ongoing, contemporary art movement. It is practiced today by women artists—and some men—all over the globe. It is stylistically diverse yet always focused on the authentic, distinctive, personal content of each artist, a personal content mediated by culture, geography, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and all the many attributes of human individuality.

Do I still hope that Feminist Art can make a difference in the world? My answer is yes. I continue to believe that we need an art that can help us see the world through other people’s eyes and thereby lead us to a future where the world will be made at least a little more whole.

 

 

Petah Coyne Artist Statement

Petah Coyne is a contemporary sculptor and photographer best known for her large and small scale hanging sculptures and floor installations. Working in innovative and disparate materials, her media has ranged from the organic to the ephemeral, from incorporating dead fish, mud, sticks, hay, black sand, specially-formulated and patented wax, satin ribbons, silk flowers, to more recently, velvet, taxidermy and cast wax statuary. Unafraid to confront a range of subjects, or tackle contemporary themes, Coyne’s innate dualities are transposed in the dichotomous themes of her work: transformation and constancy; life and loss; beauty and darkness

 

Jessica Stockholder Artist Statement

I BEGAN, AND STILL DO BEGIN, with a love for color and unrelenting interest in the intersection of a pictorial way of looking, (or thinking,) with the physical matter of the body and the materiality of things in space. I continue to be interested in how experience of the physical world, its form, and our form determine how and what we are capable of thinking. Both the structure of our perceptual apparatus (eyes, brain, size) and the given nature of the cosmos are the foundation for thought and understanding. Following from these givens we humans use metaphor to build elaborate abstract and concrete structures to live within. In this way I find form to be full of significance.

The surfaces of walls and objects are full of pictorial potential. The surface of an object purports to let us know something about its mass. This something is sometimes accurate, or informative about the nature of the thing we are apprehending, and sometimes the surface tells another story entirely — sometimes the surface generates a kind of fiction. It is this possibility, inherent in materiality, to generate fiction that I am enamored with. This interest has fueled my exploration of how paint meets, sticks to, or appears to jump off of, many different kinds of material. The addition of more materials put pressure on the edges of the frame.

I have explored the question of boundary first as it is proposed by the picture frame. I began with paint on canvas. Quickly I started adding things to the paint, and became interested in the materiality and dimension of the canvas. The relationship of the un-stretched canvas to the wall it hangs on was questioned. The loose fabric did not have the same mirroring relationship to the stiff wall as does a stretched canvas. I began to tend to the wall as a site with particular qualities. I placed multiple pieces of things in relation to one another on the wall and tended to the negative space between them. It became apparent that once having breached the boundary established by the painting frame the edges of the wall stepped in to establish boundary. And so, I moved from the wall out onto the floor in front of the wall, and then my attention moved past the walls of the room. I tended to light coming in from outside and vistas seen through windows. This exploration of physical boundary is resonant with the complexity of the boundaries we establish between one another in personal, social, cultural, and legal realms. The question of how we exist as individuals within a larger whole from which we are inseparable, and how we manage this juncture resonates with hundreds of years of philosophy, psychology and history.

Making sense of ourselves, the choices we make, and our reasons for living we must account for feelings alongside thoughts. I don’t believe the two are separable. Color evokes feeling; I am not sure why, but I do know that it does. I work with color, form and composition exploring the links between emotive and thoughtful response. My works provide an opportunity to reify internal mind/feeling space. For a moment the abstract insubstantial nature of feeling/thoughts can be experienced as external and embodied by material.

I am interested in ascertaining just what the nature of my experience is and noticing how the world I live in is meaningful in a very direct way. However, I have, through this process of inquiry become interested in and concerned about the nature of the objects I make use of. These things I find, buy, or accept as gifts, are made in myriad countries using a vast array of different skills, crafts and systems. They reference very different time periods, carry with them and reference many different histories. The collection of objects that I have easy access to is stunning in its diversity. I make my work in relationship to this backdrop and I have care and feeling for what it portends.

 

Laura Owens Artist Statement

Laura Owens’ paintings, which have run the gamut from abstraction and landscape to figuration, demonstrate a shrewd awareness of form, color, and line. Her work is recognizable from its Pop color palette and deep sense of experimentation. “I often refer to myself as being in perpetual student mode, teaching myself to make the painting I want to make,” Owens has said. Her paintings convey a profound sense of history, recalling figures such as Mary Heilmann and stalwarts of Modernism, but they shy away from grandiloquence. Writing on Owens’ navigation between genres as diverse as folk, conceptual, and classical painting, Paul Schimmel said, “Owens has found a language that questions the nature of painting while embracing its multifarious manifestations.” Likewise, her careful technique is balanced by an ability to express an unburdened, even joyful, sense of experimentation in her canvases.

 

Sarah Sze Artist Statement

Since the late 1990s, Sarah Sze has developed a signature visual language that challenges the static nature of sculpture. Sze draws from Modernist traditions of the found object, dismantling their authority with dynamic constellations of materials that are charged with flux, transformation and fragility. Captured in this suspension, her immersive and intricate works question the value society places on objects and how objects ascribe meaning to the places and times we inhabit.

Coinciding with the explosion of information of the 21st Century, Sze’s work simultaneously models and navigates the ceaseless proliferation of information in contemporary life. Her encyclopaedic installations unfold like a series of experiments that construct intimate systems of order – precarious ecologies in which material conveys meaning and a sense of loss.

 

Widely recognized for challenging the boundaries of painting, installation and architecture, Sze’s sculptural practice ranges from slight gestures discovered in hidden spaces to expansive installations that scale walls and colonize architectures.

Artist Statement for Studio Class Fall 2021

Ecofeminist artwork addresses a combination of ecological and feminist views that male dominant societies subjugate women and nature in the same ways. Ecofeminism puts forth the idea that life in nature is maintained through cooperation, mutual care, and respect. It is an activist and academic movement, and its primary aim is to address the interdependence and connection women have with the earth while eliminating all forms of oppression of women’s rights and the annihilation of natural resources.

I am an ecofeminist artist that creates artwork using recyclable and found objects to express my connection with ecofeminism. My ecofeminist artwork explores the study of the destruction and conservation of our natural resources. The artwork includes the circle to express the idea that there is no identifiable beginning, ending, or completion in the cycle of life.

In this series I use a combination of abstract sculptural and canvas-based artworks that complement the subject matter using mixed media mediums, including wood, concrete, beeswax, and embroidery thread. Depth and texture are used to draw the observer into the artwork; evoking emotions that help the observer make connections with their own life experiences. I use a very fluid creation process that helps me explore abstract expression and design.

This body of artwork is intended to be an experience of works that try to capture the observer’s attention in extraordinary ways while giving an interesting viewpoint of conservation and the environment, and the subjugation of women and women’s rights. The audience will reflect on ecofeminism all while enjoying the visual compositions.

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My two pieces out for exhibitions. The left one is in Tyler, 
Her Frienship Quilt, and the one on the right is in Abilene, B, Be, BEE No.2

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Wood scraps I found in the cabinet makers dumpster, repurposed torn canvas, and Portland cement eggs.

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More smaller individual Bee pieces that will go on the larger wood piece to create a frame. I thought this was going to be the frame that you find in a hive, but I think I need to do that with more Yellow pieces and not a mix. Not sure where these will go yet. Added the gorilla glue and will see how it changed them in the morning.

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This piece was created in Summer I Studio with Marilyn Thompson. It is titled: Motherhood-The Home, It was on display at the Fort Worth Community Art Center for the fall gallery night TAC exhibition.

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This piece was created in Spring 2021 for the Studio class with Vaughn Wascovich. It is titled Motherhood-The Empty Nest and was displayed at the gallery 8680 for the La Salon Exhibition.

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This was a charity event for Flite to Freedom in Dallas, TX. This painting is titled: Her First Thought, it is a mixed media painting. It was completed in 2019.

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I ordered new black dye for the concrete. This dye is dry and worked much better than the liquid dye and came to the color of black I was hoping for. The eggs are for a fertility artwork, and the bee hives are for the ecofeminism artworks.

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Gerard Huber has been meeting with me monthly for the last 9 months to discuss my artwork. One of his thoughts were that I have been limited my canvas shape to squares and rectangles. He wants me to explore other shapes and boundaries, so I am creating some canvas structures involving new shapes. Both of these pieces will be for the ecofeminism series.

My studio professor presented these questions to me, and these are my responses...

Vaughn’s Questions:
Mannequin: What are my ideas about it and where did they originate from?
The idea of the mannequins came from the Studio class I took with Marilyn Thompson over the
summer of 2021 where she encouraged us to use mediums of an unusual nature compared to our
regular standard mediums used currently. I wanted a fake body to represent several key
ideologies related to motherhood, the female body, birth control, abortion, and body image. The
mannequin represents the impossible body image a great portion of women in Western society
strive for, and it can also represent the gender-neutral bodies that can be involved in reproduction
and abortion issues.


What about found objects, what about them?
First a definition: Ontology- is the study of the kinds of things there are in the world. For art this
considers the matter, form, and mode in which the artwork exists. We categorize these things
based on our interests and our personal ideologies of how things function. In art things can be
separated into their medium (paint, plastic, etc.), their category of art form (sculpture, literature,
etc.), and their style and content (Surrealism, impressionism, etc.). So, are the things created or
discovered? This depends upon the vision of the individual artist. Is the thing going to be a
sculpture, an assemblage, or a dimensional painting? Only the artist can answer this.
You tell me what makes a found object a work of art and who says that is right? What are
your sources for that?

A found object or thing becomes art when the artist creates activity with it. It now becomes the
object of someone’s aesthetic experience, and the artist and the viewer each have their own way
of interpreting its aesthetic story. The artist’s imagination brings the found object to life as an
artwork and only the imagination of the artist does this. It does not require the audience to
believe it is art. The imagination of the artist plays a vital role in both the creation and reception
of the artwork. Compare it to the sweetness of honey, each taster has a different view of what
level of sweetness it has much like each viewer has a different view of what the found object
represents as art. In the end it is only the imagination of the artist that matters. The imagination
brings to life a representation of what the object could or could not be. To see a thing or found
object as art is pivotal to combine your senses and imagination to experience the imagination of
the artist. In the absence of imagination then the viewer will not see the thing or found object as
an artwork. The point of this is that the art does exist as a mental state and not an actual physical
state for everyone except the artist. There is an essence about it that those without an imagination
will not grasp or understand, they will only see the thing or found object and not the potential of
an artwork within it or about it. The artist is not actually changing the design of it but expanding
it to varied and expanded purposes and meanings.


Art is art for an aesthetic purpose or an expansion of the imagination via the thing or found
object being a vehicle to improve the viewer’s appreciation for art or imagination. Artwork does
not have to justify itself to anyone but the creator of the artwork. Therefore the audience will see
some artworks as worthy of attention and criticism while others are passed over because they
can’t connect with it due to lack of imagination involving this thing or found object.

When does your found object, the mannequin, become art when you purchase it as art or
when you do something with it?


The answer to this can go both ways. I can present the mannequin without any alterations and
call it artwork because I am the artist. It is my imagination that sees it as artwork and does not
need the approval of the audience to claim this as so. It is alone my artwork. If I choose to alter it
then it is still artwork because it again is my imagination seeing it as artwork, and again does not
need anyone else’s approval. A found object or a store purchased object can be placed into
context as art or as an inspiration for artwork. The DADA and Surrealist art movements
presented things and found objects in this manner sometimes naming them ready-mades or
assemblage.


How does it become interesting for the audience?
There is nothing in the ideology of art that states the artwork must be interesting to anyone but
the artist. In fact, the audience should be the last if never thought of factor when creating art. Art
is about the artist’s vision and imagination only, not the viewer. It is a personal experience and
passion. Elevating the found object to art is the choice of the artist and no one else. They are
creating a physical thought and evoking the challenge for others to view the object more openly.
The artist challenges all of society to bridge the gap between real life and art. Using found
objects challenges the conceptions of what is art and what the imagination can create as art. It
falls to society being more open minded, which if not an artist and explorer, can seem
challenging if not actually unattainable for some people.


Are all urinals now considered art because that one is for being signed by Duchamp?

No, not all urinals are art. The one signed by Marchel Duchamp is art because he saw it as art
and presented it as art. It was his imagination and vision that elevated this particular urinal. He
saw manufactured things and found objects as mediums that opened the conversations about
what art can be made of and what the role of the artist and their imaginations play into this. Other
examples are Salvador Dali’s Lobster Phone 1938, Piero Manzoni’s Artist’s Shit 1961, Damien
Hirst’s Mother and Child Divided 1993, and Maegan Kirschner’s Birth Mannequin 2021.
Contemporary artists have found ways to take things and found objects and expand their own
imaginations as well as viewers that are open to expanding their frame of thinking and exploring
other possible meanings of things and found objects.


How may preparatory drawings did you do, how many ideas did not work out?

I did one sketch because I knew what I wanted immediately especially after discussing it with
Marilyn Thompson and Gerard Huber as both agreed with me that the fake feeling a
premade mannequin completed the concept of needing a fake body. There is no need to
“make” my own when the base mannequin provides the needed medium for the concept
and my imagination of the artwork.

Artincontext. “Found Object Art - a Look at the Found Object Art Movement.”
Artincontext.org, 3 June 2021, https://artincontext.org/found-object-art/.
Livingston, Paisley. “History of the Ontology of Art.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
Stanford University, 14 May 2020, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/art-ontology-history/.
Tate. “Found Object – Art Term.” Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/f/found-object.
ZEMACH, EDDY M. “The Ontological Status of Art Objects.” The Journal of Aesthetics and
Art Criticism, vol. 25, no. 2, 1966, pp. 145–154.,
https://doi.org/10.1111/1540_6245.jaac25.2.0145.

Who ever said Origami is good for meditation is just an idiot... It took me weeks, but I finally conquered it and completed the sculpture. It is for a call for art about metamorphosis... 

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The Beginning of ???? Love, Depression, Loss, What???
Not Sure Yet, WIP for call for art...

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The above color scheme is the direction I am going with the heart and octopus artwork. I bought orange canvas and Brandon made me a stretcher for it. Adding mixed media after the paint dries, thread and paper. Thinking some texture paste.

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Found a medical supply company with kits like this that I am going to add to the Birth Rape Art Series...

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New concrete pigment created by residue in the mold mixing with the gray.

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This is the melting pot and skillet I use to melt the beeswax, and then I use a turkey baster to apply it to the artwork.

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This piece is titled Infertility. The egg is the fertile female and the empty pots are the females facing infertility. Bold colors, simple shapes, repurposed wood, and further exploration of concrete and dyes.

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Tried a new dye color this week with the concrete, Copper. They were small sample packs so I think I will need bigger ones to really get the right color. I do like them and they so have a unique shine in the sunlight.