Encaustic watercolor by Ann Mavor

“Inspired by photos of ancient monuments in Europe and New England, my goal is to express the tender and deep connections between humans and the places and cultures in which they live. In particular, my work is a love affair with the places my family has been connected to over time in an effort to find connection for myself. To reference time passing, I developed a painting technique that blends the fragile transparency of watercolors with the luminosity and depth of encaustic.”

Don’t miss seeing Ann Mavor’s encaustic watercolor paintings from her Mounds and Stones series.  They will be included in a three person show at The Art Gallery at Lower Columbia College in Longview, WA. from September 24-October 17, 2014. The other artists are Al Crane and Chia Hui ‘Tracy’ Shen. The reception is Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 4-6 pm.

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Connecting Heritage and Place

Artist Beth Yazhari (Artist #96) recently interviewed fellow artist Anne Mavor (Artist #60)

Anne Mavor, who is a talented writer in addition to being a visual artist, is influenced by many diverse sources. Her father, an Astro-Archeologist, was fascinated by ancient stone mounds built by Neolithic and Bronze age cultures, and Anne has painted many images of these Stonehenge-like sites using some of his 40 years worth of research photos as inspiration. Her encaustic watercolor paintings feature transparent layers of color and often have an ethereal watery quality. Anne enjoys the experimental nature of her unique painting process, but she also spends a great deal of her time working on large installations that deal with personal and philosophical themes.
During my interview with Anne, she said of her artistic process, “For me, it’s a lot about heritage and family, and home and place—where do I fit in, where do I belong? Where is my people? Where can I be?”
In her brand new studio, which is adjacent to her home and which she is building in preparation for this year’s Portland Open Studios tour, Anne will be looking for feedback from the public on a prototype of her newest creative endeavor, an installation project called “I Am My White Ancestors: Self-Portraits Through Time.” This will consist of large photos of herself dressed as such ancestors of hers as Eugenia Buchanan (b. 1823), who lived in South Carolina and owned slaves (see photo below).

Anne is trying to figure out what made her own ancestors take part in oppressive systems; she describes her work as “a love affair with the places my family has been connected to in an effort to find connection for myself.”
Portland Open Studios is an opportunity for Anne to share her thought-provoking and beautiful art with others. The goal of her paintings is to “express the tender and deep bonds between humans and place,” and she wants her art to be a catalyst for helping our generation to heal racism and to have a healthy and sustainable relationship with the earth. The opportunity to be one of the first to visit her in her new studio this October should not be missed!

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Sunday at Muse

The last of our four artists to appear at Muse this weekend is Faie McGuire, a mixed media artist. )http://www.portlandopenstudios.com/artists/McGuire/

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Sunday at Muse

On Sunday, Muse is spotlighting Lynne Patton,  who will create in oil.  http://www.portlandopenstudios.com/artists/Patton/

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Saturday at Muse

The second artist at Muse on Saturday is Jennifer Love, another ceramic artist. )http://www.portlandopenstudios.com/artists/love/

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This weekend at Muse

Muse is spotlighting four artists this weekend.  (see http://museartanddesign.com/news/) for more great events at Muse). These are not formal demonstrations, but a chance to meet artists, observe them at work, and ask questions about their techniques, materials, and inspiration. The first, on Saturday,  is Mandy Stigant, a ceramic artist, http://www.portlandopenstudios.com/artists/Stigant/

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” I like when you can see things in process. You can see a painting at the beginning and something they’ve finished. The tour personalizes it.”

Here’s the second interview, a couple named Lauren and Evan,  young collectors and committed Portland Open Studios participants. They have just begun to purchase local work.

Tell me about the first pieces you purchased. Were those from your first year on the tour?

Evan: Those are from the first studio we went to.

And you bought something? Were you planning on that?

Lauren: No. We just picked her out of the calendar. She had some huge pieces, which were really beautiful, but a little outside of our price range. These made us think, we can get something! Let’s get something!

What drew you to them?

Lauren: They are pretty unique. They sort of glow with light. At the time we were living in a house that had lots and lots of blue walls, so when we brought them home they looked really perfect. Just the little slivers of blue picked up on all the colors in the house. I think the paintings just seem sort of magical and wonderful. We’re not too into realism, so I think that was appealing. And they were attainable.

How has your experience been interacting with the artists?

Lauren: For me, it’s interesting to see the different personalities. All these people and they open up their homes to Portland, which is amazing to me. All of them, whether they’re organized or not. I don’t know how on earth I would prepare for open studios if I were an artist.

Evan: It’s nice to get the artists who are personable and will reach out and explain the process. The process and their process. How they conceptualize it and go about doing what they do. Certainly there are items we would never be interested in buying—a gilded sword or a mace—but are just beautiful and amazing. To have people say: I do this and then I do this. Really, that they’re so passionate about it. It’s neat to see that.

Lauren: Because you don’t get that at museums and galleries. If you go to the gallery opening, maybe you can see the artist talking about their stuff. But I love that it’s so unique. There have been very few places where we haven’t had the opportunity for a one-on-one.

Has participating changed your perspective on art?

It makes me appreciate being able to see the open studios more. When we go to museums and things. Its just there’s a booth with a bunch of art in it and you don’t really know how it came to be there or why they’ve chosen these things. I like when you can see things in process. You can see a painting at the beginning and something they’ve finished. The tour personalizes it.

How will you decide what piece you will buy?

Lauren: Part of the great thing about the tour is getting a piece and being able to talk about it. There’s a potter or sculptor in north Portland who collected his mud from very specific places and they all had different looks. When you fired them, they looked totally different. Those stories are the kind of things that are important.

Evan: In the past, we’ve walked into a place, looked around, and starting looking at each other and then looking back at a couple of pieces. For something like fifty bucks, if we like it, let’s get it. For our largest piece, we thought about it for a year. It’s what plops in front of our eyes and grabs our attention.

But the story is important?

Lauren: Yeah. And having a good interaction with the artist. In a situation such as open studios, I can’t see us walking in somewhere, seeing something we thought was cool, and then without talking to anybody, checking the sticker and saying, we’ll just take that. Being able to talk about it is very important. Even if no one ever asks about it.

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A peek into what the tour is like for visitors

Awhile back there were several interviews done with people in the Portland art community and visitors to the tour.  In the next few days I’m going to share them with you so that you can get an idea of what you can expect when you participate in Portland Open Studios yourself.

The first interview I want to share was done with Donna Guardino, the owner and curator of the Guardino Gallery in Alberta. http://www.guardinogallery.com/The Gallery has been a staple of Portland’s art scene for over fifteen years.

 Q.  How do you think Portland Open Studios has affected the art scene in the city?

A.  I think it has opened the eyes of people. There was a time when Portland was not an art town. And Portland is an art town now. Everybody recognizes it. There are a tremendous amount of artists here.

Q.  You show a lot of emerging artists.

 A.  I like emerging artists. I want someone to come in with a nice portfolio, a CD and a resume and all of that kind of stuff. But if they come in, and they don’t have it, and their work is dynamite—that’s all that matters. I have to keep my mind open because I’ll miss it if I don’t.

I was on a panel for emerging artists about getting started and somebody else was saying the portfolio has to be this way or that way, it has to be slides, etc. I thought, you know you could be missing that gem there. Over the years, I have given people their first shows. Shows where I’ve watched them develop. It’s pretty exciting.

The tour helps me keep abreast of the scene. I always look at the calendar to find out who’s who. I think it’s good for Portland because it does expose the fact that there are a lot of artists and a lot of studios in Portland. A lot of people are working here.

Q.  How do you choose what will show in the gallery?

A.  I really like to look at the artwork personally. Touch it. Hold it. And talk to the artist. It’s important to me to know the direction of an artist.

Q.  How does that affect your experience of the work?

A.  I can give you a little example. Somebody came in and showed me six paintings. Three I liked a lot and for three, the direction was strange. So I asked the person, what do you think? What’s your direction? And they said, oh, those three there, those are the past. I don’t want to do those anymore. And the three that I was less interested in were the direction they wanted to go in. So, when you get to talk to an artist one-on-one, you get to find out where they’re going, what their ideas are, and what kind of a show they would give you.

A  lot of what I do in the gallery, even though the artist is not present, I really want to know about the process. If you ask me about solar plated intaglio, I can tell you about solar plated intaglio. I grill each artist to find out about their process. My belief is that when you come and buy a piece of art you want some identity with it, you respond to it somehow, and sometimes when you get that extra bit of information about well, this is done this way or this person has this kind of history. You know, she used to be a potter and now she’s a glass blower or whatever. Those things factor in to how you buy or how you look at a piece of art.

I don’t believe in telling people this means this or this means that. I think a viewer should look at it and respond to it in their own way. The open studio does the same thing. A person goes in, sees a piece of art, and they connect with the artist or they connect with the process. There’s some history there. I know that in my house I have lots and lots and lots of art from over the years. And when I look back on it, it is all from people I have connected with in some way.

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This week at Muse!!

Stan Peterson will be at Muse Saturday  working in wood! (see http://museartanddesign.com/news/) for more great events at Muse)http://www.portlandopenstudios.com/artists/Peterson/

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Continuing with Open Studios at Muse on Sunday

Be sure to stop by the ongoing weekend artist in residence program Muse is hosting for many of the artists participating in Portland Open Studios this October. They will create art, live at Muse. http://museartanddesign.com/news/ These are not formal demonstrations, but a chance to meet artists, observe them at work, and ask questions about their techniques, materials, and inspiration. This Sunday, you can see Christopher Wagner(Artist #88) , working in reclaimed wood and paint (http://www.portlandopenstudios.com/artists/Wagner/)

and Karl Ramentol (Artist #74), working in oil.  http://www.portlandopenstudios.com/artists/Ramentol/)

 

 

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