Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some thoughts on art education...

I conducted workshops during the two day Hunterdon County Teen Arts Festival last week. There were a lot of talented teens from middle and high schools in the area, who participated in an array of workshops, critiques and showed-off their Art, Music, and Theatrical abilities. Teen Arts was special to me when I was in high school as well—I had my first painting displayed in a museum because of the program. I was blessed to have great art classes and teachers throughout my education.

The lack of arts education in most schools these days really saddens me, there are so many talented students who would get so much from the kinds of courses that I was able to attend. The Arts build character, self-awareness, self-expression and imagination. Balanced education to me is not Academics only, it's like overworking one side of the brain without paying attention to the other. Creativity and imagination must be nurtured, not only to build our culture, but also our progress, you can't invent things if you cannot imagine them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Buying Art

Buying an original painting can be a great experience for both the buyer and the artist. While we know the artist needs to make a living, a sale does go deeper than a simple retail transaction. Their thoughts, ideas and feelings are in the piece, it is not a mass produced item it is personal. When someone makes a connection with a painting it is just as fulfilling emotionally to the artist.

I have been painting for over 20 years now, and have known some collectors since the beginning of my career. It is so heartwarming to me when someone tells me how one of my pieces has touched them; remembering a loved one, or a childhood memory or just simply grabbed their attention and they still enjoy it years later. It is so inspirational, it really gives you the urge to paint! So, if you see a work of art that really grabs you, please mention it to the artist.

Painting: "Moment of Solitude" watercolor © Beatrice Bork

Friday, May 15, 2009

Vista and Canyon

I really had fun working on these Burmese Mountain dogs! Vista, still a bit of a puppy, and Canyon are both big, energetic, lovable dogs. I don't often take on commissions, but working with pets seems to offer a fulfillment that is enjoyable. Getting to know the pets and what they mean to their owners, then being able to create a work of art that will bring a lasting joy means a lot to me. I had a pet bird, Okie, who was the subject of many sketches, drawings and a few paintings, they evoke nice memories.

Painting: "Vista and Canyon" © Beatrice Bork 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Well, the show opened May 9th, and it was a nice opening! It was a relaxing evening with friends, family and some new faces. A bit of nerves at the start of the event, one hopes the art is as enjoyable to the viewer as it was for you to create them... a glass of wine helps there, lol. Based on the reactions, the evening went well, a couple were sold before the opening even started!

There is something special about having my latest work framed and hanging on display, I don't usually get to see all of them together like that, there's not that much space in the studio... it's a nice overall look at what I've been doing over the last few months.

Painting: "Busy as a Bee" © Beatrice Bork 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hanging a show...

I spent some time yesterday hanging my paintings for the exhibit opening this Friday. All artists seem to approach this differently, some sketch every detail of their display and others simply bring what they want to show and figure it out when they get there. I generally will have a rough idea, but don't plan too much. After 20-ish years of hanging shows, it seems that if I plan less, I won't be as stressed if things don't work out exactly as I thought. My strategy was to just lean the paintings along the wall, look at the groupings and re-arrange until they all worked well together, I am pleased with the results.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Artists' Gallery

I am a member of Artists' Gallery, a co-op gallery in Lambertville, NJ. We meet the 1st Monday of the month to discuss gallery business, which happened to be tonight. I joined a couple of years ago, and have found it an enjoyable experience. Members are juried in, and display work in the gallery 10 months a year, with a duo feature exhibit once a year. I joined up with Joe Kazimierczyk for our exhibit, "Connections" May 8 – May 31, with an opening reception this Saturday, May 9, from 6 to 9:00pm — all are welcome! I'm working on final preparations this week, and am looking forward to getting final details completed, paintings hung, and then capping off the week with a celebratory opening.

Friday, May 1, 2009

One week to go...time to update my website

My next show opens on May 8 and time is ticking away! So the plan was to update my website prior to the show, and am pretty happy with the outcome. The website has six new paintings that will be exhibited for the first time, as well as an updated design. The website changes were a bit of a challenge, it took some time to find the right colors, and I'm happy with the addition of artwork on some of the pages, it really helped make it a bit more friendly. I also really like the "pop" I get with the green text here and there.

The exhibit "Connections" will be in Lambertville, NJ where I will have a mix of local (to central NJ) and exotic animals featured in the show. The watercolor here is a female Black-throated Mango, there are 17 different species of hummingbirds in Trinidad and Tobago.

"Black-throated Mango" watercolor © Beatrice Bork, 2009