Archive for August 27th, 2012

Artsy Forager

There is nothing I love more than being out & about and coming across a fabulous piece of street art or public sculpture.  Something I’ve noticed lately is a wonderful propensity for decorating public staircases.  Here are a few of my favorite examples from around the world!

Strictly Dih-zayhners on Street Art Utopia | Valparaiso Steps via We Heart It  | Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago | Painted steps on Street Art Utopia | Yarn Bombed Steps via The Daily Telegraph 

Who knew Valparaiso, Chile was so full of street art goodness?  Definitely on my list of places to visit now!  Have a favorite pair of artsy stairs?  Share ’em over on the Artsy Forager Facebook page!

All image sources are linked above.

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Colored drawing on glass

Blog University 3
Can’t draw a straight line? This may be the most dangerous idea for understanding what a visual artist does. It stops conversation with the artist. Except for technical drawing, there is little artists do with straight lines.

How should the artist respond? Was it meant as a comparison with her work? Is the emotion expressed caused by an old pain? We have a history of critiquing early efforts from childhood. The effect discourages future exploration of the arts.

Truthfully we can’t all paint or sing, instrumental music escapes talent. We have to teach from childhood that there are many ways to participate in the joys of all forms: theater, music or visual arts. The desire to learn can be encouraged at any age. The teacher learns as the student learns.

A young lady who had no previous training came to my watercolor class. After the students had been painting, i noticed the most amazing use of color and technique. Her brush was turned so that the handle made dots of brilliant colors! The subject was a lake surrounded by trees. The fall foliage was reflected in the still surface of the water.

The teacher is obligated to suggest what is a positive direction even when it differs from her own work. Creativity is fragile and very personal.

For this student, I suggested not taking classes until she had explored this gift. I suggested artists who used watercolor in innovative ways. There is a lot you can learn by doing and seeing the work of others in museums or books. I was afraid she would become diiscouraged by a teacher who used more traditional methods.

There are many motivations for exploring the artist’s skill. Some may want to do something ‘just for themselves” or all the way to a profession. Those who go on to other arts exploration will be better informed collectors.

Have you had a supportive teacher who encouraged you to like your results? Did you share something you liked before being critical?

Who knew?

New follower? A year ago September, I started Narcissus,Hibiscus and Mandrake on wordpress and this blog. The first 60 daily posts include the poetry book I wrote which remains unpublished. I offer it free to any and all. Additional poems and art are on that site. I hope to update it very soon. In the meantime enjoy and share.

Stay tuned for an announcement from http://bettye-harwell.artistwebsites.com

For your convenience, prints and greeting cards of my paintings can be ordered  from amazon.com.  Check in their Home and Kitchen section.


Alvin Ailey

(posted March 27, 2012)

I wrote about my friendship and professional  relationship with Ella Jenkins. The July 2012 issue of the Smithsonian magazine notes that Ella has a birthday this month. Happy Birthday, Ella, on your 88th!

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