Thursday, August 26, 2010

Welcome to Chicago: My Kind Of Town

Left Side: Anatomy of The Artist                       by Crystal Neubauer

Tomorrow night, Friday August 27th, I'll be setting up shop with my art and objects at the Cloth Paper Scissors Create Retreat, Artists' Faire and welcoming you to my neck of the woods. Chicago is just a short jaunt from home for me and I'm commemorating the occasion with a new series titled "My Kind of Town".

Anatomy of The Artist                               by Crystal Neubauer

This series of collage & acrylic works incorporates a small series of digital collages I previously created from photographs taken during a visit to Navy Pier in Chicago, November 2008. 
Side View: Anatomy of The Artist         by Crystal Neubauer

"Anatomy of The Artist" speaks of the complexity of life, our Creator and the beauty to be found in all of creation. It measures 6" x 18" and is sealed with a textured acrylic gel medium that has a subtle wheels and gears pattern made with stencil from MaryBeth Shaw's line.

Reel Life                    by Crystal Neubauer

Also measuring 6" x 18", "Reel Life" is a skyline view of the city from Navy Pier with a dreamy surreal quality designed to evoke thoughts of a life that is larger then the individual, with consideration to the role one was created to play.

Right Side: Reel Life                       by Crystal Neubauer

In addition to these larger canvases, I have created a few small collages for the series "My Kind of Town" for purchase, along with my new series "For The Birds", many of my abstract collage works, some of my jewelry items, and of course a wide variety of my unique objects and paper packs for you to use in your own art projects. If you are planning to attend the CPS Create Retreat, or are in the Chicago area tomorrow night, be sure to stop by the Artists' Faire at the Hilton Rosemont, Chicago O'Hare, just outside Chicago from 6 - 9pm. The event is open to the public.

Left Side: Reel Life                       by Crystal Neubauer

Friday, August 20, 2010

Finding My Way Back Home

 Finding My Way Back Home                          Crystal Neubauer 2010

One thing I have discovered to be true, I am a collage artist. First and foremost, above all other mediums, my first and truest art love is collage. I could rip and tear and glue papers from now and through eternity. I have bins full of saved scraps of papers and old books in the worst of conditions are stored away on book shelves as if they are literary classics bound in the finest leather covers. I am a hoarder of language. I've described in previous posts how this art form is therapeutic, meditative even, and can be a form of worship for me. As I spend quiet hours in my studio these papers take a turn toward an unspoken language between myeself and God. A groaning of the Spirit as I push and pull and tear away with physical papers I am opened to see with greater clarity whatever it is God is working out in me through my love of collage.

But then came encaustics. When I first set out to explore with encaustics I thought this would be an aside from collage, a detour, if you will, but I found that it so perfectly suited the work I was already doing that it did not compete for my time in the studio, but completed it. And though I still have just scratched the surface with what is possible to do with this medium, I have fallen in love with the waxy substance that binds the papers and protects and enhances and adds a luminative quality to the textures I so love to work with.

And then came monoprinting, With fickle infidelity I fell in love again. This time with inks and brayers and new possibilities that stretch out endlessly in front of me. Monoprinting is fun and freeing. Where I had no knowledge of painting, I can paint. And where I did not know how to draw, I draw, and it is deeply satisfying. Again, I believed that this would be just a detour, that there would be times I would want to express myself through monoprint and times that I would work with encaustic and collage. But how could I not find a way to marry all of my loves?

And so I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting my new line of monoprint encaustic collages next week at the Cloth Paper Scissors Artists' Faire in Rosemont. If you are attending the CPS retreat or are in the Chicagoland area on Friday don't miss out! I will be selling my art and objects alongside many talented artists from 6-9pm at the Rosemont Hotel O'Haire in Rosemont, Illinois. I hope to see you there!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Home Is Where the Art Is

Home is Where the Art Is                          Crystal Neubauer 2010

It has been a busy summer with many full days to come before Fall presses in. In the midst of the hustle and bustle I had a much needed break attending the Midwest Collage Society meeting yesterday. We each brought out our supplies and visited while we worked, ate our lunches and listened to two guests teaching on a variety of papers and the best applications for using them. First up, Susan Clark of Graphic Chemical & Ink Company, shared her knowledge and answered questions. The company is a local family owned business with an international clientele and a wide variety of paper and art supplies. Next, Andrea Harris, an Artist Representative for Strathmore Artist Papers, talked about the paper making process. Each woman brought a nice selection of samples to share. 

 Andrea Harris, Artist Representative for Strathmore Paper

I pieced together the collage above titled "Home is Where the Art Is" as indeed, sitting among these women I felt very much at home in spite of it being only my second time sitting in on the monthly meeting. 

I was able to sit next to Jerri Reimann, the current president of MCS. Jerri and I first met years ago in one of the online groups we were both active in and lost touch over time, so it was a nice surprise to find her at MCS. And in one of those serendipitous timing type of things, Jerri was carving printing stamps, which I had just the day before decided I wanted to try my hand at. Jerri generously sent me home with a piece of the Soft-Cut material and I am looking forward to having a go at making my own stamp. 

Oh the idea wheels are turning....

 Jerri Reimann carving her printing block