Julie Comnick, PC art faculty 4th from right, led an excellent panel discussion with exhibiting artists. Annie Lopez, Phoenix artist on left, is discussing her process on Saturday, Sept 5, 2015. The event was well-attended by local supporters and artists from around Arizona.
I just returned from a two-week solitary retreat at Nada Carmelite Hermitage, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado. This was my seventh retreat. The journal below includes the portfolio of mountain and valley drawings completed while there. The document was set up with facing pages, so some of the images will be dissected. These line drawings will be developed into large scale paintings as a continuation of the "Dwell" series.
"Presence: Enter" has been selected for the 2015 Southwestern Invitational: The exhibit and documentation of Arizona's most exciting contemporary artists, which begins at the Yuma Art Center on April 10, 2015, and travels to five other galleries and art centers in Arizona. Information regarding opening receptions will follow as it becomes available. I'm really pleased she gets to go on an adventure!
Here is the exhibition tour schedule:
Yuma Art Center
April 10, 2015-May 30, 2015
West Valley Art HQ
June 26, 2015- August 7, 2015
Prescott College Art Gallery At Sam Hill Warehouse
September 5, 2015-October 17, 2015
Tubac Center Of The Arts
October 28, 2015-December 28, 2015
Coconino Center For The Arts
January 12, 2016-February 17, 2016
Phoenix Airport Museum
February 27, 2016-August 15, 2016
I had the honor of receiving an Artists Residency Fellowship at Playa at Summer Lake, Oregon, which allowed me to spend 5 weeks in their beautiful location in the Oregon Outback from September 1 to October 3, 2014. Please view the Playa Journal PDF for an account of the time spent at Playa and the work completed.
This small constructed painting, 12.5 x 14" is loosely based on a watercolor study and a photograph of a creek area. The large rocks are made of carved styrofoam wrapped with paper and painted with acrylics. A metal offset plate was cut and painted to represent tumbling water. This was the first of the small constructed paintings, and I found a freedom in working at this scale. It allowed me to be more experimental than I might be with the larger constructions.
I've been working on new digital compositions that include astronomical images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The image on the left was developed in Photoshop. It combines watercolor studies and photos of a beautiful pool along the North Crestone (CO) Creek with the NGC6384 Spiral Galaxy. This one has taken over a year, working on and off, to integrate both earth images and sky images in a composition that honors the differences as well as the unity of earth and space.
I decided to play with smaller constructed paintings. This one, based on the image above, is 12.5 x 14.5", 2 layers of Plexiglas. There is a freedom that comes from working with smaller elements.
The side angle view gives a sense of the dimensionality of this piece.
This image was completed for the YC Alumni Exhibition in April. I used Photoshop to combine elements from two watercolor studies from Surprise Springs, near Granite Basin Lake, and a portion of the Carina Nebula in the southern sky.
I am often asked to describe the artmaking process for my work. It usually begins with a personal experience of "place", as is certainly the case for the constructed painting above, Presence: Enter.
For the past 5 summers I've spent time in solitary retreat at Nada, a Carmelite Monastery at the base of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains near Crestone, Colorado. My weeks there include beautiful hikes into the mountains where I carry a sketchbook journal and my camera.
Presence: Enter began as I hiked the North Crestone Trail a few summers ago where I found this beautiful little place that was filled with late afternoon light. It reminded me of places where I played as a small child, so out came the sketch journal.
It began as a line drawing in my journal using a micron pen. This process is a meditation of sorts, allowing the pen to move as I respond to the sense of place before me. In this case, I took photos and then added watercolors to the study afterward. In general, this seems to work better for me than attempting to do watercolors in the field, which I find to be an unwieldy process.
Along with creating watercolor studies and photos, I developed a digital image using Photoshop. It's quite exciting to be able to try variations of an idea in order to discover the most dynamic image. I consider these archival prints to be finished works of art in themselves. This particular digital image was then scaled up and used as a guide for the large constructed painting on layers of plexiglas.
The following images show the progression from the digital image to the constructed painting.
Bonny Stauffer lives in Prescott, Arizona. She integrates digital and traditional processes in her work. Bonny spends long periods of time drawing on location in order to explore new expressions of her love for the earth.