Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plaster Studio

Plaster Studio: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Carving by artists Judy Wise and Stephanie Lee has just been released by North Light Books and is now available for purchase.

Plaster Studio: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Carving

This is a wonderful book that has opened my eyes to a whole new way to create textured art. The book includes a series of well-explained projects on painting, sculpting, casting, carving, and making books -- all using plaster and related materials. Also included throughout the book are gallery pieces created by other artists. I am happy to share that one of my artworks is in the book as well.

Stephanie and Judy have generously shared their personal thoughts for the readers of The Altered Page about the creation of their book and the process of working together as a team. 

Judy Wise...

"We started on this journey over a year ago and it seems like from the very beginning it was inevitable. Back then it was Stephanie the Plaster of Paris queen meets Judy the Joint Compound fanatic. The more we compared notes, the more we realized that we had a lot of experience between the two of us. More than that though was the friendship and desire to work together on a common goal. Whenever artists combine their vision, things get done. It has been nothing short of thrilling for me to team up with someone as talented and rewarding to be with as Stephanie. She could have easily written a plaster book on her own but I can't believe it would have been as much fun as holding the hand of a friend and riding this roller coaster together. Who knew that collaboration could be this much fun? It has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me; a real "bucket list" experience and I am savoring every sweet moment."

Stephanie Lee...

"This book has been a long time coming. More than a couple of years ago, I spoke with Tonia, my editor, about featuring the medium of plaster in a book. She was more than game for the idea knowing that there were few, if any, books that specialized in the medium. When I was exploring the medium myself, I spent countless hours in search of books that would inform me more about how I could use  plaster in my artwork. While I was having no luck finding such a book, I experimented on my own to see what I could figure out in the meantime. At one point I was whining to my husband about not being able to find ANY books on working with plaster. His [typical] response was, 'I guess you need to write it.'

Right away, I knew he was right. I had done so much research and trail with the medium that I had learned a lot about how it worked and how I could work it. I wanted the book I would write about plaster to be the very book I would have wanted to find on the shelves and so it wasn't something I rushed into. Getting the book going was a stop-start process for a long time. I didn't know what was missing until I had the idea to ask Judy if she would consider co-authoring the book with me. I admired her passion for understanding materials and her experience and wisdom with the creative process is second to none. Once she was on board, we hit the ground running and haven't looked back and I'm so glad. With a year or so behind us and the entire process of writing this book to be very recent history, I can honestly say that it has been the most rewarding creative collaboration for me to date.

I have learned so much about observing Judy's process, her approach, and her ways of being that have planted a deep and sincere trust that I can be totally and fully authentic in life. Of course in relation to my artwork, but also (and more importantly) in relation to me as a human being. She has been the best example of art-is-life for me and has reassured my belief that one can be totally and completely immersed in creative exploration and still be a well rounded human being. No one dispels the "troubled artist" persona myth like Judy. I want to be just like her when I grow up. :)

If you find yourself struggling to know how the urge to satiate your creative inklings fits into the day to day routine of life, I only have to say this: You cultivating your creativity in a way that enhances your life and your ability to be your most authentic self is a big deal. I mean that. When you listen to that little nudge that tells you to honor your creativity, even if you're not quite sure what that all means for you, you are giving a message to everyone around you that they can do the same. When we all honor our creative inklings, we honor our essence and therefore are able to be our highest, truest selves to the world and to those around us. And when we are our highest, truest selves, we vibrate with authenticity and THAT is the kind of energy that creatively finds ways to feed the hungry, clothes the naked, comfort the lonely, uplift the weary, and shine light in all the dark corners where dust is gathering. Just remember that if you get frustrated along the way of your creative journey."

Thanks Judy and Stephanie for sharing your thoughts with all of us!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Past, Present, Future

Past: Three items will retire from my Etsy shop over the course of the next 10 days. I am offering free shipping on all three pieces if bought before the retirement party. 




Present: Thanks to everybody who has responded to the questions in my ongoing survey. You will hear about all the results, some of which are very surprising, in my upcoming 'Your Blog, Your Way' posts on Create Mixed Media. For now, three more questions have been added to my sidebar. Head on over and speak your mind!

Future: Thanks to everybody who has requested information about the newest edition of The Pulse. Over 175 of you have asked for the guidelines! There is still time to join the project. The deadline for submissions is June 12th. Shoot me an email if you are interested in participating.

To those in the US, enjoy the long weekend. To everybody else, enjoy your usual weekend!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Have Your Say!

Did you vote yet? New survey questions were added to my sidebar earlier this week. Go ahead...have your say!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Brian Dettmer

The unique, intricate, and extraordinary work of artist Brian Dettmer is now on display at Kinz + Tillou Fine Art in NYC. His exhibition opened on May 19th and runs to June 11. Dettmer's unique style involves carving into and through the pages of books to create dimensional sculpture. His books have been referred to as 'autopsies' and for good reason -- he cuts through the surface, revealing the insides of each book in a completly and utterly fascinating way. As amazing as these piece are in pictures, seeing them in person elevates the creative experience to another level.

According to Dettmer's artist statement, "Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit or dissect communicative objects or systems such as books, maps, tapes or other media. The medium's role transforms. Its content is recontextualized and new meanings or interpretations emerge. In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating and enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each layer while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories."

You can see Dettmer speaking about his process in the following video:

This is a must-see exhibition but for those of you who live too far away I have included some images I shot at the gallery. Click on each to enlarge to be better able to see the intricate detail of Dettmer's work.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Evidence

Although I have not recently posted too much new art, I am hard at work behind the scenes. I have been working on a number of newer projects and completing quite a few older collaborations. In fact, recently I have been on a creative roll.

The evidence...

What are you working on?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What's New?

New survey questions have just been added to the sidebar of my blog. Head on over and have your say - totally anonymously of course!

The Pulse, edition #5, is starting with an open call. I have already had almost 150 artists ask for information. Join the party and email me. I will send you all the specs!

Iaso debuts in my Etsy shop. She is the Greek Goddess of Cures, Remedies, and Healing.

What's new with you?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pulse V Open Call

It is once again time to take your pulse! The Pulse is an online and print project that has been part of The Altered Page since January 2008. Its purpose is to "tap into the pulse" of the online, mixed-media arts community. With so many talented and creative artists to follow, I thought it would be fun, informative, and inspiring to bring them together through a series of ongoing projects. The aim: to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and to provide a window into the creative hearts and minds of a talented group of individuals.

I would like to put out an open call to all mixed-media artists who would like to participate in the 5th online edition of The Pulse. You can access all prior editions by clicking the links on the sidebar of my blog. You are more than welcome to leave a comment on this post, but if you are interested in participating, please email me and I will forward all the information you need to join in. Go ahead. Email. You know you want to!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sign Language

To sign or not to sign. That is the question. For many artists, signing their work is a question of pride, integrity, and ownership. For other artists, a signature is like a period; a statement that the piece of art is completed. There are some major artists that sign all their work, usually in the bottom right corner. Their signature becomes an integral part of the artwork. Some artists seem to sign some works and not others. And there are artists that never seem to sign their work at all. My choice has been to sign all my work, but on the reverse side for 2-dimensional pieces and on the underside for assemblage and sculpture.

The Art of the Signature

Jackson Pollock

Roy Lichtenstein

Robert Motherwell

Jasper Johns

Alexander Calder


Willem De Kooning

Andy Warhol

Franz Kline

Robert Rauschenberg

Jean Dubuffet

How many of you sign your work? How many do not? And where? And why?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rock the Vote

New survey questions have been added to the sidebar of my blog. Head on over and Rock the Vote!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Price Points

New York is a city of extremes in many areas, and the art field is no exception. I recently visited two venues that prove this point. I attended the preview of the Affordable Art Fair, which showcases contemporary art.  Of course 'affordability' is relative but all artwork in this show ranged in price from $100 to $10,000. At the other extreme, I visited the exhibition at Sotheby's for their upcoming Contemporary Art auctions on May 10th and 11th, where the highest estimate for several pieces is $20/30 million. Regardless of price, amazing art was to be found in both locations.  

The Affordable Art Fair

Gabriel Daujotas

Tom Lewis

Deborah Donelson

Jeff Fontaine

Fernando Alday

Many more artists and images, as well as links to the artists' websites and galleries, can be found in my review post on NearSay.


Anselm Kiefer

Jean Dubuffet

Mark Bradford

Joseph Cornell

Jackson Pollock

Gerhard Richter

Jean-Michel Basquait

See more images from Sotheby's in my post on NearSay.