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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Crystal Bridges unveiled

Yesterday was a ribbon-cutting for the new public access trail through the woods 1.5 miles to an observation point. From this point you can see the museum, Crystal Bridges, rising out of the ground.

I give full credit to the Morning News of NWA for the following article (read to the bottom and you'll see more purdy pics!

Crystal Bridges Trail, Viewing Platform, Open


By Caleb Fort

Related Photos

    BENTONVILLE — There are some who doubt any progress is being made on the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

    Scott Eccleston, the manager of parks and grounds for the museum, said some of his neighbors don't believe much is being done in the acres of land north of downtown Bentonville.

    There can be no question now. The Crystal Bridges Trail, which features a deck that offers a panoramic view of the construction site, opened Friday.

    After three years of hidden work on the project, the public now has the best view available of the construction, said Sandy Edwards, associate director of the museum.

    Attendees of the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday crowded the viewing platform to watch workers and cranes in the process of erecting the museum's concrete walls.

    "It was a total surprise," said Frances Steiger, who lives near Northeast "F" Street and Enfield Road, just south of the museum. "It's wow."

    The shapes of some of the galleries are evident in the construction site. A foundation and walls outline the lip-shaped colonial gallery, and the administration and library section is taking form.

    A pink line across the concrete structure marks the future water levels, Eccleston said.

    The 1.5-mile trail connects Compton Gardens and the North Bentonville trail and can be accessed from either location. The platform is located at the halfway mark of the trail. David Wright, the city's park manager, called the trail the backbone of the city's trail systems.

    Mayor Bob McCaslin compared the trail and the viewing platform to an appetizer for the main course — the museum.

    "I've learned the hard way, I'm not going to announce when the entree's going to be ready," he joked.

    Virginia Germann, spokeswoman for the museum, said the opening date is still undetermined.

    Eccleston said the viewing platform will probably close once the museum is open, or once glass is installed — the platform is in rock-throwing range, he noted.

    The trail is open to bikes and pedestrians. It is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Eccleston said workers will install lights along the trail to encourage nighttime use.

    Here is my quickie panoramic of the site:
    here are some materials available for curiosity:
    and my favorite which shows what you will see if standing at the end of the site looking south (the lookout is facing east-ish):
    I think Randy has a few good photos...and I have a slideshow of the woods. The entrance is just 2 blocks from the Bentonville Square, and incorporates Compton Gardens, a beautifully maintained garden with natural plants and trees.

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Moses-Botkin Challenge for July...'Self-Portrait'

    Curses on you, Michael Naples! The dreaded self-portrait...

    I just completed a workshop intensive with Kay Polk, from Dallas, Texas who won a first place for her portrait of "Sunny" at the 2009 Portrait Society of America competition. Thought I'd give her techniques a try. That and 35 years of practice...maybe I'll get close! I refrained from scaring you with the wingies/dents all over my face  :)

    "ME ala Schmid"
    ©2009 Vicki Ross
    8x10" oil on canvas
    For my non-painting friends, Richard Schmid wears his magic hat when he paints. I found this English Sailor's cap last year in France for a whole 2 Euros! It fits SO good, perfectly molded to sit at a cocky angle...and I would wear it more it I felt I didn't look ridiculous in it. AND, since it is wool, it is very toasty...not for Arkansas weather!
    See my slideshow of this painting at the bottom after all the other WONDERFUL self-portraits of my group. The motley crew of Moses-Botkin Monthly Challenge Group...
    Drum Roll Please!!!

    “Self Portrait”
    8” x 10”, pastel

    "Self-Portrait with Steve's Shirt"
    11x14 oil on canvas
    Silvina Day
    "Making Up Her Own Story"
    Oil on Canvas, 24" x 20"
    ©2009 Marie Fox

    "Self Portrait" 
    6x6 Oil on board

    Self-Portrait Loathing
    12x12 oil on panel
    c 2009 Robin Cheers

    "Make Me Beautiful, Rembrandt!"
    Oil on Panel 6"x8"
    c 2009 Diana Moses Botkin

    My slideshow:

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Kay Polk Workshop sponsored by ANA in Fayetteville, AR

    Wow, and to think I just about passed on this one! Two of my good friends who are professional artists (Kippy Hammond and Urania Christy Tarbet) HIGHLY recommended Kay for her teaching and painting abilities. Her focus is portraiture, with a 35 year history to back up her credentials. In addition to winning a first place award from Portrait Society of America's 2009 show. Photo below:

    "Sunny" 1st Place Portrait Society of America 2009
    ©2009 Kay Polk
    Now, if THAT isn't enough to make your legs feel like rubber...add that from novice to advanced artists all worked with a brand new (to us) selection of pigments on our palettes that Kay showed us how to manage. 
    THEN, we had a new technique she has honed over the years. It too is backward to what most of us 'know'.
    I'm not finished. We were in a wonderful UofA facility, huge room with easels and taborets...but by the time 5 models are stationed around the perimeter of the room, lighted and posed, the lighting was non-existent for the ARTISTS! Some of us had dark palettes, others had dark canvases.
    SO, when you peruse the photos in the slideshows, remember new color mixtures, new technique, BAD LIGHT, and max 1 hour with each model...MAYBE three 30 minute sessions. Break for lunch, and models moved so we had different models each time. 
    Kay did a wonderful demo the first morning, and in the afternoon we set our palettes under her instruction. She is the most organized and prepared workshop instructor I think I've ever had! She came with a binder for each of us with all types of information: quotations from famous artists, information passed to her from her tutors, lists of her favorite books, anatomy drawings, materials list, photos of her works, etc.
    Day 2, one model session, lunch, then another model session. Day 3 the same, and we made time from the last model session for a 'show' and critique.
    Here is the slideshow of her demo:

    Here is the slideshow of the group of paintings...remember, max 2 hours per painting, many were more like an hour:

    Like the others, I was challenged...each of my paintings deserve a 'finish'. And that I will do, starting tomorrow.

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    Life and Times of an Artist

    A very quiet Sunday here, if you don't count the loud exclamations of 'we have too much damn stuff!'

    When you downsize to a more normal sized house, and don't clean out BEFORE the some point, you have to deal with the stuff that won't fit anywhere else. We've been moving 'stuff' from one spot to another, to make room for another batch of stuff that could go into that spot. Kinda like musical chairs! Eventually, some of it makes it down and out to charity.

    So, for the past 4 weeks, my focus has been on the upstairs studio space. I was holding out for the attic space, but with summer and the BIG fact that it only has a floor (no hvac, plumbing, walls, etc.) AND that all my studio supplies were in this sweltering space. THAT got a goal...move it or lose it.

    I think we put the final touches on it today. My big David Sorg easel moved out of the hot box room (it was way to valuable for the wood to be allowed to bake). My modified Jack Richeson easel also fits, and I organized all my supplies, labelled boxes and put on the 2 stainless steel shelving units. With the artist's donkey, I can have 3 work stations! Four if you count the kitchen...:).

    SO, now you know what I've been up we get the Stas gallery hanging system installed upstairs and storage paintings can get out of the floors. Randy is hoping I claim the new studio space SOON so I'll clear out the breakfast room where I've been doing quite well, thank you very much for the past 7 months!

    The new studio space (was designed as an upstairs media/family room and the floored attic opens off this room). The light is unfortunately from the west, but can be windows can be closed down if necessary. Thank goodness I'm not a messy painter with ivory carpet (view from the doorway):

    view from the window...even room for a sofa along the right hand wall

    The Sahara Studio: 
    All those stainless tables are from our now closed office...they will come in very handy someday

    Just flat file is full of watercolor papers and pastel papers. Hope they can take the heat:

    My current space...all over the downstairs! The dining room, paintings laid out to dry and await framing. Other paintings on the floor awaiting display, gallery, or frame-robbing:

    Now this is ingenious! paintings up the stairs drying, etc.

    My cozy studio: The breakfast room with wonderful north light. I've painted very effectively in my nest, with my EasyL on the table. My Open Box M pastel box fits nicely on the near end. With this setup, I've painted 4 paintings that have been juried into national shows. On my left, the chair holds a cassette player where I can listen to books on tape (currently in Hunchback of Notre Dame). On my right sits an iPod portable speaker player should I just want music...:
    Yup, that is the fridge and newest painting is propped up against the faucet:
    View from the ipod speakers:
    Can't imagine why Randy is ready for me to move up to the new studio! I spent a few minutes up there today, just putting some of my 'stink' in the air...letting the space speak to me. I can stand at each easel if I want, and move out into the hallway to get 15 feet or so away from the painting in progress. I'm also going to blame a little current weight gain on the fact that I've been sitting to paint for 7 months! 
    thas my storie n I'm stickin' toit!