Colleen Blackard- Fluid Lives

You may remember Colleen from Greenpoint Open Studios. She has graciously agreed to share more of her intricate creations here on ALSO THAT as September's guest poster. This series is part of a new collection called the "Abandoned Series". Learn more in her artist's statement below:

Sunken Depths

Colleen Blackard combines natural, celestial and man-made elements in occasionally surreal compositions that explore light, memory, consciousness and change. Her signature style uses continuous, circular, intersecting lines to create a luminosity that clarifies the subject and gives life to every detail. Whether in ballpoint pen, archival marker or ink washes, she is constantly pushing the envelope on the types of atmospheres and effects she creates with these dynamic lines and the light between.
Currently, she is creating the “Abandoned Series” to discover the light within her experiences of sibling rivalry, heartbreak, and loneliness through the trials of an abandoned barn. These dramatic scenes can be interpreted through a variety of perspectives, ranging from the very real dangers of global warming to personal responses to the constantly shifting changes and conflicts of our modern fluid lives.

-CB

Visit her website here.

Like her Facebook Page here.

Follow her on Instagram here.

 

Yoram Gal: Adhere to Your Inner Truth

I recently had the pleasure of meeting artist Yoram Gal at the Bruce Museum Art Festival. I took an immediate liking to him as we spoke about his work and life in general. I offered to interview him for ALSO THAT and his graciously accepted. Super excited to share his work and his unique perspective. Check out his website here!

MT: When did you first decide to become an artist? How did you get to where you are today?

YG: I felt in my gut from about age 12 that I wanted to write and paint. It evolved throughout my adolescence. I painted since age 12 all the time, while also doing theater and cinema, and above all, writing. I put off having children till I was 48, so that I can be free not to do art only if it brings money. I was fighting against "a well paying career" in order to remain true to the truth. Gradually, as I matured, I was able to achieve success and not compromise my sense of truth. It took 50 years of painting and finding the right partner in life and in business (Tzlila Hurvitz) to be ripe for my own gallery, and so in 2 weeks our new Open Studio - Gallery will open (by appointment only) in Old Jaffa, Israel.

MT: What do you want your audience to take away from your work?

YG: I want to make the world better by having people experience new insights gotten from my work, which might make them see new truths and therefore pass on a new message of goodness. I want them to keep enjoying my art, because if they do, they feel elevated. This elevation is an emotional spiritual triumph.

MT: Do you have a piece you are particularly proud of, or one that means a lot to you?

YG: I have many. All are my kids. Offsprings of mine. I have a few favorites but too many to list here.

MT:  Being an international artist, do you find any difficulty in reaching different cultures with your work?

YG: I find when I meet different people of totally different cultural backgrounds that most of my work strikes a chord with most of them. In China, I was happily surprised when Adam and Eve appealed so much (they don't grow up on our Bible stories). Indians, Europeans, in fact, a vast array of different cultures connect to something that seems to be universal and this brings me joy.

MT: You are in a unique position being both a painter and a writer. How do you balance the twin disciplines?

YG: This is tough when I need to keep painting and cannot take months off for bouts of writing. So I have basically put my writing aside in the past 13 years, keeping it alive on a very small flame. I did manage to write one book in this period and another is simmering. Quietly, deep under the daily surface. I will have to set time aside and dive deep into this novel by deserting the intensity of painting for months at a time.

MT: What words of advice can you offer to aspiring artists?

YG: Love it. Adhere to your inner truth. Strengthen your inner fiber of morality and love of truth all the time. Learn from everybody and everything. Read endlessly, dedicate your life to it, be ready to sacrifice everything for it, never be discouraged, remember Van Gogh, Von Kleist, and many others whom no one understood when they were alive and don't be discouraged by "failure". Tenacity, passion, love of art are all you need.

It's All In Your Head/ This Could Be You

In preparation for the MAC festival this Saturday (happening in Downtown Milford from 10am-5pm), I have been working frantically to produce some art to sell.

Maria Theebs  suggested that I make some collages. So I did. 

Here they are in all their glory. Click to see them full-sized. Both will be available for purchase this Saturday.

Guest Post: Transitions - Helen Brechlin

The fabulous Helen Brechlin makes her return to ALSO THAT with new work. 

Check out her Behance for more work. 

This collection of work was created over the course of my senior year at MassArt. I set out with the idea of painting hair. My previous post explains that hair stemmed from a project where I was making paintings to break stigmas of rape survivors. I wanted to create cogent discussions of how survivors are viewed and treated, whether it be by their school, community, or the media.
Hair is a substance that is full of metaphor and meaning. To individuals it can stand for opposite ideas. It is revered when attached to a person, and then the instance it is taken from the setting of the body it is thought of as disgusting and dirty. A stray hair on anything means that thing has been contaminated.
To me, hair is a recording of personal histories. Hair grows with you through your experiences, whether they are struggles or triumphs. In my paintings I focused on the hardships and depicting emotionally traumatizing events with hair. How will the hair manifest itself when the person it belongs to is a rape survivor?
My concept comes before my preferences; I am a representational figure painter who has forgone both the body and observation to better express my ideas. As this project has continued there has been a slow transformation from strictly observational studies to purely abstracted realities of swirling colorful tendrils. The hair I paint tangles within itself to ebb and flow as it fights its way to completion.
My most recent paintings, many would say, do not resemble hair at all. I gave myself my last semester at school to be a period of painting where I step away from my preferences and politics and begin to dig deeper into the medium of painting itself. I still think of hair when I am creating paintings, but not in the literal sense when I first began this project. Instead, the hair is referenced in the brush strokes, line and form. These works I call “Transitions” to reflect my emergence from school and observational painting. With these works, I hope to gain better insight into the kinds of paintings I wish to create in post-grad reality.
— HB