Monday, November 03, 2014

200 For Under $200

I'm delivering three new collages to Oregon Society of Artists today to be in their November show called 200 FOR UNDER $200.  It pains me a bit to let these go for so little but I'm committed.

The rules for this exhibit are interesting. The artist buys three 12" x 12" deep-cradled panels from the gallery which serves as the entry fee. Make the art on the panels and return the finished work. I think all the pieces will be hung so it will be a mixed bag.

These new works feature more of my self-generated papers as well as a few solid colors from commercial sources such as the black in the upper right corner. I know it reads as blue, but it's really black. Other papers include magazine pages that I altered with an orange solvent.

Once the papers were firmly adhered to the substrate and coated with a layer of medium I applied layers of cold wax to protect the work and give the surface a soft glow. The sides were left natural, protected by layers of wax.

As I said, the works are under priced but once I started working on the panels, pursuing a new idea which led to something new, I realized that this was about something more important to me, a suggestion for a new direction. I'm eager to work larger.

In my next post I'll show you the four similar pieces that will be delivered to Cannon Beach Gallery later in the week.

Monday, October 20, 2014

New work

Approaching Stillness
I've been hard at work on a new series of collage pieces on cradled boards. I've been using the panels from American Easel and find that this surface suits my way. I protected the edge with a layer of blue tape while building the collage on the surface, and when I was done I removed the tape and finished the cradle with a light sanding and a couple of layers of cold wax which I used on the surface as well.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vessel Collages

For several years I cleaned my paint brush on a large sheet of MDF which I kept on my work table. As it became covered with paint and ink I realized that I had a good first layer for a painting.

I drew a grid over the surface, added paint deliberately, and simply played until it got to the point where I realized it was actually four smaller paintings. My friend ran the board through his table saw and then I went back to work with more paint and collage elements, now working each section individually. They each measure 11" x 22".

The vessel shapes, bowls, eggs and circles crept into each piece and finally each was finished.They've been sealed, varnished, framed and photographed.

I can't tell you the names of each of these vessel paintings; the names are on the back of each piece, at the photographers'. Naming is the hardest thing for me and I often put it off till last, just before I add each piece to my inventory sheet. Another thankless task... at least until it's time to show or sell the work and then I'll be glad I took time to do all the final steps.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

What I Learned by Hosting an Open Studio

What I learned by opening my studio to the public:

I need people. That’s nothing new but it is an awakening to my need to craft more ways to share my work. We artists need isolation in which to create. But we also need opportunities to talk with interested people. An open studio accomplishes that. I sure enjoyed this party!

Being open six hours for two days isn’t terribly taxing. The hardest part was preparing and thanks to friends that wasn’t so bad either. I will do this again.

It would be better to be open two weekends to better accommodate people’s schedules. Early fall is a good time to do this.

It was a good idea to publicize the event on Facebook and my blog as well as an email blast. Next time I'll mail invitations, too.

People have good taste. They bought my best work and passed on some works that I shouldn’t have even offered for sale. Limit what I show.

I thought that framed pieces would sell better than works that weren’t framed. That didn’t happen, perhaps because unframed work is less expensive even though I charged only what the frames cost me to buy and assemble.

There was great variety in the work I displayed, perhaps too much. I think I’ll narrow my focus.

Work larger. I’ve been doing small works because of storage issues but if I grab more opportunities to show work larger pieces will be an advantage.

Several professional artists who were here convinced me that my work is worthy and that I should seek gallery representation and enter shows.  I will do just that.

People like to see something to hang their hat on. Purely abstract work didn’t interest buyers for the most part, but the abstraction of reality was appealing. They like flowers and trees and horses. My map series were quite a draw because people are used to reading maps to navigate so they moved in close and ‘read’ my paintings.  They try to read words. They are highly interested in the stories that are reflected in the paintings and loved to hear me talk about the back-story of each work. Since my work tends to be narrative and personal it’s easy to talk about it.

Gosh, I loved doing this open studio. Thanks a bunch to you who attended and I hope that more of you will come visit me someday.

People were interested in seeing me demonstrate some of my collage techniques.

I am planning to start teaching again, probably something to do with collage. I can handle up to 5 students in my studio and if there’s a larger enrollment I’ll rent space.  Let me know if you want to be added to my student list. There’s no commitment either way. When I decide to teach I’ll send an announcement and you can sign up if it suits you.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Jo Reimer Open Studio

It's happening tomorrow.

At the Reimer home, between 11 and 5. Come on by.

There's lots of art for all tastes and wallets. I take cash, checks, major credit cards.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Y'all Come! Jo Reimer's Open Studio Oct. 4-5

Y'all  Come!

October 4 and 5, 2014. 11 am to 5 pm. 11990 NW Maple Hill Lane, Portland, OR

Park in the driveway or on the street, but be sure to set your brake. It's steep up here on the hill.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Preparing for Open Studio

Gathering and preparing artwork for the coming Open Studio has been a mixed bag of fun and frustration. With the help of a good friend I've made real progress with grouping and hanging framed works and creating other areas where unframed work is displayed. I still need to make and attach labels and do some deep cleaning so right now the studio is a mess, but by Saturday morning it'll be show-worthy, waiting for your visit.  Do come by either Saturday or Sunday.  Hours are 11 until 5.

Here are some photos of the setup so far:

Collage Paintings on board (in living room) doesn't need to match your couch. If you like it, hang it where you see it.
Stairway to my studio with recent art

Oldies but goodies in the studio.

Numbers might reference an important date

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sketches of Cannon Beach

A few months ago I started a dedicated sketchbook of buildings in the coastal town of Cannon Beach, Oregon where we spend lots of time. I've made a habit of going in to town early in the morning so I can draw buildings before the streets fill with tourists cars. When I get out later in the day I wander the back streets of this lovely town and draw houses like this one. 

One of the features that makes this town so lovely is the amazing profusion of flowers. There are planters and pots everywhere and most of the year something is in bloom. I like to draw flowers, so adding flowers to each page satisfies that desire and creates continuity through the book. It's a 5 x 8" Moleskine sketchbook. I'm not enjoying the paper, so once this is filled I'll change to something else. I'm halfway through the book.

One day the town was so crowded that my friends and I drove south to Arch Cape and walked to the creek at the south end of the beach. The sand doesn't stand a chance against the constant flow of the creek which eats away at the sand, creating the most interesting patterns. I stood at the edge and drew the edge of the sand as it crumbles into the water, and then tried to capture the water as it rushed over and around the rounded rocks.  Taking the time to really LOOK at what was happening here has glued the memory firmly in my mind. I remember the feel of the soft breeze, the roar of the waves just a short distance away, the heat of the sun on my shoulders, and the occasional call of the seagulls.

Today I'm gearing up for my Open Studio which will be Saturday and Sunday, October 4 and 5. If you're near Portland, OR you're invited to stop by between 11 and 5 either day. I'll have work for sale and you might catch a demonstration of my collage process. My sketchbooks and studio journals will be available for you to hold and page through, if you wish. Do come!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Jo Reimer Open Studio October 4 and 5, 2014

Open Studio: October 4 and 5

You're invited!
I don't do nearly enough to promote the sale of my art so I've decided to remedy that by hosting an open studio. I work in my home and have hesitated to join the Portland Open Studios tour which is held each year in October because it means opening my front door to lots of strangers. But this is different because I'm issuing personal invitations to my friends and to those who follow my blog or Facebook page.

If you're in the Portland, Oregon area on October 4 or 5 please drop by to see where I work, how I work, to meet me for the first time, or to lend support if you know me well. I'd love to see you.

And I'd love to have you buy a piece or two of my art work for your home or office or as a gift. Christmas is just around the bend. There are lots of works that no one has seen and many older works will be discounted 25%.  I'm simply running out of storage.

How to prepare for Open Studio.
So, how does one prepare for an open studio? I've only done this once before and worked entirely too hard at making things perfect. This time I'm aiming for simple and casual. I'll de-clutter the studio somewhat but mostly you'll see it as it is on a normal workday.

The first thing I did once I made up my mind to proceed was to grab my studio journal and make a Mind-Map plan, jotting down anything that came to mind. Then I prepared a project sheet and started a list of things I need to do before I open the door on Saturday Oct. 4. It's quite a list. But since I've decided that this will be a casual event I can drop my usual obsessing and just get ready for the party, one step at a time.

Items to Do, culled from my mind-map: 
  • Plan promotions (blog, FB, email, mailing, handouts)
  • Order invitation postcards. 
  • Line up kitchen and studio help
  • Choose art to display and create an inventory sheet
  • Frame as much as possible, mount and bag the rest in clearbags.
  • Update email list
  • Prepare studio: de-clutter, remove extra furniture and personal stuff, set up sales area, select soft background music,
  • Hang art in public rooms and studio. Set up display racks.
  • Prepare refreshments 
  • Prepare demonstration station 
  • Welcome guests
  • Follow-up and review
If any of you dear readers have gone through this before and have some suggestions for me please contact me at joreimer at comcast dot net. I'd be so appreciative of any advice you have to offer.  Now please excuse me while I choose art to share.

If you need directions to my home email me at the above address.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blog Hop for Artists

Paintings in process in my studio
So what's a Blog Hop? It's a way to introduce new artists and their blogs to my readers.

My friend Ruth Armitage invited me to participate and directed me to answer some questions about my work. I'm happy to oblige. Thanks, Ruth.

Ruth is an energetic and creative woman who specializes in painting in watermedia. Many who live in the Northwest will recognize Ruth's early watercolor work with its focus on family photographs. She's currently working on colorful watermedia paintings that are abstractions of her memories of the family farm. When I study her large paintings I recognize fields, streams, roads, clusters of farm buildings, crop circles and so much more. She's added acrylic paint to her tool kit along with stencils and stamps and the results are amazing and are garnering her national awards and recognition. See her work here: Ruth Armitage.

Here are my answers to some rather tough questions:

How does my creating process work?

            I start work by writing. I enter my studio and go either to my computer or to my easy chair, pick up a journal and start writing, thinking about what I intend to do that day. I state my intention for the day’s work and even if I don’t stick to my first intention it still gives me a starting point. I find it’s easiest to work in series and I have several going at once… maps, family history, faith are a few series ideas on a list I made several years ago. I enjoy designing interesting composition and sometimes work on a series of non-representational pieces using papers I’ve created.

            Once in a while I need to build up my stash of collage papers so I clear off my big design table, get out different types of white paper and watermedia paint and have fun painting the papers using many different methods of surface design I learned or developed over the years of working as a textile artist. I also generate papers using stencils and stamps and simple printing techniques. The resulting papers feature unique colors, combinations, visual textures, and patterns that are unavailable elsewhere. That’s why I call myself a “collage painter”. I paint with papers I’ve created.

Painted paper file

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

            Unlike most collage artists I rarely use appropriated images in my work. It’s easy to get into trouble when using images torn from books and magazines and the resulting work tends to seem rather impersonal. I’ve lived a long time, (I’m in my mid-70s), and my life has been interesting enough that I have lots of memories of travel and experiences that produce all the stories I need to create a body of personal work. Memories are the stuff I build on, making my work unique to me. I have a strong background in design and color and am a stickler for producing pieces which are structured on good design. After decades of working with paper, paint, and textiles I find that composition seems to happen naturally, almost without thought.

What am I working on?

            This summer I’m concentrating on drawing. I believe that good drawing skills empower an artist to make better work no matter what her/his preferred genre. I enrolled in the first session of Sketchbook Skool which started in April, and am now working on the second session. I’ve become obsessed with daily drawing and my skills are improving.

Drawing - Watercolor Table
            At the same time I’m working on a series of collages which feature my big collection of old road maps, mostly of the sort that were free at gas stations all across the country. I also use AAA maps and maps collected on foreign travels. I cut the maps into strips, tear them into sections (often along the original folds line where they naturally tear), combine them with painted papers, or use the pattern of lines within a map as the inspiration for a painting.

Shredded maps and spray inks
 And now to introduce you to the three artists who've agreed to join me on this blog hop:

1.  Judy Wise: Though I haven't actually met Judy I've followed her blog for years, having seen her incredible art journals on line. Judy is an amazing woman who works primarily in encaustic and is known for her book, Plaster Studio which was published by North Light, as well as several ebooks available on her blog and website. Judy teaches both locally and internationally in Australia, Bali, and Mexico. 

2.  Barbara Loyd: I met Barbara in Athens, Greece when an art tour group met for three weeks of painting in the Greek Isles. I knew nothing about watercolor or painting and Barb knew everything. I was in awe of the skillful way she mixed color, and I'm continually amazed about her deep knowledge of color and paint. Her blog, Color in our World, is all about color, its history and its use. She taught art for many years in the Texas school system where she now lives surrounded by fields of blue bonnets. 

3.  Annie Salness: Annie is my neighbor although we hadn't met until last year when we were introduced by a mutual friend, Carol Marine. Annie has painted for years but had a major setback when a stroke left her partially paralyzed on her right side. But nothing slows Annie down for long; she taught herself to paint with her left hand and kept right on painting.  People who know her work can see no difference in her skills. She loves to paint people's pets and also enjoys commissions.

I could tell you more about these three remarkable women but the ball is now in their court and I'll leave it to them to tell you more about their own work.
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