Thursday, May 21, 2015

Little Pockets of Joy (or how do you eat an elephant?)

Work In Progress: S.O.S. (Save Our Souls) 30" x 36" collage by Crystal Neubauer
Work in the studio goes slow these days. In the midst of one of the busiest seasons of my career as an artist, we moved to the south side of the city from the far north suburbs. It is a time of transition that came by surprise, but is so right. The next right action in a series of actions that have brought me closer to who I am and what I want my life to look like.

I drive back to my studio several days a week, but I'm limited to a set number of hours when I'm there or I deal with heavy traffic that lengthens my commute to nearly twice it's already long drive.

I feel it. the separation from the ability to create on a whim, to be able to run down before breakfast, or again after dinner to paint or glue. But the next has not fully opened up yet, and so I accept and I wait. And I seek out other means to feed my creativity.

A walk along the lake front with my husband. A drive after dark just to look at the city lights. Lunch with my girls, laughing as they make similar dance moves from their seats to the music without even looking at each other. These moments are my little pockets of joy.

I know the next will come. Incrementally it opens as I take the step before me. It's funny, I am being bombarded with reminders of this step by step process. Like the elephant analogy - how do you eat one? One bite at a time. Or the butterfly effect theory; how one small fluttering wing somewhere in the world can create a storm on the other side of the globe.

I am a work in progress.

Back at the studio this piece is nearing completion. It speaks of the global impact one person's actions can make. For the good or otherwise, how we treat other people matters. Oppression isn't a problem to be solved out there somewhere.

Just like the eating the elephant, climbing the stairs, or the near imperceivable movement of a tiny wing, how we view and treat other people in our daily lives is a step that makes a global difference. It is the thing you can do in the here and now. It doesn't have to be big. Smile at a stranger. Befriend someone who is not like you. Don't cross the street or look the other way. Move into the neighborhood. Defend the person being treated rudely. Rise up and own your own power and help empower your sister and brother.

And share your own little pockets of joy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How Many Times Can We Meet In June?

How many times will we have the opportunity to meet in June? Well, three, to be exact! Read on to find out about a Chicago exhibit and two workshops to kick off a creative summer!

In case I haven't enticed you enough, feast your eyes on the delicious hand made mark-making tool I taught students to made at my recent Mark-Making and Collage workshop in San Antonio. Doesn't it make you want to drool?

Join me in Kansas City for "Mark-Making and the Painted Collage" in just a few short weeks and kick off a creative summer learning to make your own mark-making tools, and then put them to good use in your very own collage!

If you've never been to Kansas City, you'll want to leave room in your schedule to explore. By several accounts I've read, KC has the distinction of boasting the highest percentage of visual artists per capita in the country! And it just so happens that the workshop falls on the same weekend as the popular First Fridays in the Crossroads, an event that draws thousands. Now that is an inspiring way to kick off the weekend! 

Don't miss out - head on over to the registration page here. See you in Kansas City!

As soon as I get back from my trip to KC, I'm heading over to hang my work at Motor Row gallery, where I have the honor of participating in a group show with 10 other very talented Chicago artists. Just featured on Art World Chicago, check out the details and mark your calendars for this very special exhibit and sale!
Chicago’s historic Motor Row is getting some zoom from 11 artists who are bringing energy and experimentation to this near-south neighborhood. Once home to auto showrooms and Chess Recording Studios, this stretch of South Michigan Avenue is being re-invigorated and re-imagined by artists and entrepreneurs.
Motor Row Gallery will be the epicenter of a celebration of art and rebirth called unchARTed. It will feature 11 emerging and established artists, along with live music, food and craft beer from Motor Row Brewery.
Opening Reception:
Friday, June 12th, 5pm- 9pm
There will be live music performed by the acoustic duo, Pearl Morning, complimentary refreshments and wine, and craft beer from MotorRow Brewery.
Opening weekend:
Saturday, June 13th, 11am-6pm
Sunday, June 14th, 12pm – 5pm
Motor Row Gallery
2345 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
Motor Row, once the home of the largest auto-mall in the U.S. and major recording studios, including Chess Records, is undergoing an urban Renaissance and quickly becoming one of Chicago’s trendiest neighborhoods. Motor Row Gallery’s non-traditional space is a uniquely apt setting for this creatively rich pop-up show and sale.
The unchARTed art exhibit at Motor Row Gallery will showcase 11 artists who leap into unknown territory to share their neo-expressionistic visions in mixed media painting, collage, clay and photography.
Amy Van Winkle /
Bill Sosin /
Crystal Neubauer /
Cynthia Lee /
Dianne Martia /
Eve Ozer /
Janet Lewandowski /
James Edward Scherbarth /
Nancy Pirri /
Pam Peterson /
Turkan Ilkdemirci /
Motor Row Gallery 708-354-4333/630.248.4437
And as if all that goodness wasn't enough to make my summer complete, I have a very special workshop planned with my good friend, award winning artist and designer, Jan Avellana at The Healing House Art Studio. Jan and I rarely have the occasion to have our feet on the same piece of land. And this time around I get the once in a blue moon opportunity to share her with you!

Jan and I will be joining forces for a very special one day workshop on June 20th and we don't want you to miss out! Head over to this link to register for "Encaustic Wax Collage Doodle in a Box". 

"Encaustic Wax Collage Doodle in a Box". That pretty much sums the techniques up nicely, doesn't it? In this fun filled day, you will start by creating an encaustic collage designed to fit inside a container or box of your choice. After lunch, spend a relaxing afternoon working on some fun doodling exercises with Jan, and then bring it all together by picking one to become the focal point of your box assemblage. We'll show you several great image transfers to achieve this and Wallah! You've got yourself a mini-masterpiece and a memorable fun day spent in creative community!

Be sure to find out more about Jan on her website here and then run, don't walk, on over to register here. See you in June, smiles included!