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2006, Dualities in the Natural World


In my studio,  I usually think in terms of  mini-narratives and metaphors. The formal elements come later, after I begin to work on an image.Leaving specific information out helps make the images more open to the viewer. The finished image may not have the same associations or meanings for viewers, but it might.

Recently I've been venturing into Textille Art, using print processes on cotton rather than paper. This has been really fun, I'm interested to see how far I can go with it--

The natural world is my muse. The complex process of printmaking – from the selection of plate surface to the choice of inks – is inspired by the subject matter. The concerns of our environment, man’s impact on his surroundings, and the future of the planet influence my subject choices.  There is beauty in small moments; my goal is to capture the essence of those moments.

I print at Slugfest in East Austin. You can see more of my work by visiting www.tbondartist.com

My art is developed from a narrative fragmenting of images. My childhood was rich with colorful characters, steel magnolias and a confluence of mixed messages. The consequence of this is a creative ability to find humor in most things. My aesthetics reflect these poetic dichotomies: beauty with calculation, the bitter with the sweet, the humorous with the serious; the literary with the familiar; clandestine moments with collected observations. I enjoy the play of metamorphic connections with the subconscious and senses. Sexual entendre and duality of meanings are explored with symbolic and psychological innuendo. Images are juxtaposed, altered, and accessoried with a tongue-in-cheek attitude to form the focus of my work.
       Lately when I create art it is about getting out of my own head. Letting go of control over the world and planning every minute. It is a kind of meditation that allows my emotions to spill onto the page without being filtered, judged, and edited. I try to let my subconscious direct the process. I like to use organic materials I collect from my yard and on walks. I also use cut paper and found objects in my work. I love that what is essentially a weed can turn into something beautiful on the page and it has given me a new way of looking at the world around me. I have found that art helps me to be more intuitive, creative, and relaxed in all aspects of my life.

I strive for Magritte's basic intention, to make art with a "disturbing poetic effect."ť My work presents exotic subjects in the drama of black and white, or the subtle monochromatic tones of printers' inks. The prints are based on my photos of real places and slightly mysterious objects that are embraced by a post-apocalyptic anxiety, which induces a state of psychological unease in the viewer. The images raise questions, but knowing the back story doesn't necessarily provide comfort. The result is by turns intimate, earthy, fragile, universal, and contemporary. The images are full of the organic subtlety showing the naked beauty of weathered rock and plants, contrasted with man-made architectural elements. The organic elements complement the man-made. In purely aesthetic terms, the works use an interplay of tones and textures, with formal qualities of composition in the arrangements of objects under the viewer's gaze. The unfamiliar induces a state of ambiguity mixed with a strange longing or nostalgia. The camera captures temporal events, figurative and narrative, fragments in the cycle of life and death. History is revealed in multiple layers with an underlying order and inherent drama exposed in contrast and detail, painterly and sculptural at the same time.

My Dad died in 2006 after much suffering. Right after I returned to Houston, a blue jay flew into my kitchen window. The impact broke his neck. A few weeks later, not really knowing where I was going with my art, I looked in the flower bed and found his skull and began sketching. As I was trimming some bushes another day, I found his wing--a bone with  the feathers still attached. More sketching. More studying. More searching.

My Dad asked me right before he died, "What is going to happen? Is there something else?" I could not answer his question. But I have found my own answer.
 
I am content in my belief that each day gives us quite enough, if we take the time to look. In the end it is all of life's detritus littering my landscapes--physical and personal--that bring meaning to my life, and my work.
My art is a gift from my Father. I am blessed beyond measure. It is indeed a part of who I am.

Experimentation with various mediums and the manipulation of those mediums is a driving force which provides interesting puzzles in need of solving. When I am in that place...experimenting and trying to solve that puzzle...I am joy filled.

 
I also like to work in series. It is freedom giving. Some series never make it past the first in the series, but had their beginning with a series in mind. Series tend to allow for building. A new concept is not needed each time I approach a blank paper or canvas. There is already something their awaiting to be built upon.

The dance of the brush, the roll of the brayer, the work in progress;  soul satisfying!

AWARDS

KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, Best in Show Fine Arts & Craft, Purchase Award (2015)
KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, First Prize Printmaking (2014)
KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, First Prize Printmaking (2013)
FLORAL FUSSION, Best Two Dimensional Art Award (2012)
KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, Best in Show Fine Arts & Craft, Purchase Award (2011)
FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR, Best of Show, Frankfort, Kentucky (2011)
KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, First Prize Printmaking (2010)
GEORGETOWN ART WORKS FALL ART HOP, First Place Printmaking (Juror Katherine Brimberry) (2009)

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2015 POINT OF VIEW, River Gallery, Chattanooga, Tennessee (Two person)
2014 SECRETS OF PRINTMAKING, Northern Prints Gallery, Duluth, Minnesota (invitational)
2014 ART FOR EARTH DAY, NEW HORIZONS, Waters of Superior, Duluth, Minnesota (group)
2014 HOT, BRIGHT, & BOLD, Completely Kentucky, Frankfort, Kentucky (solo)
2013 SELECTIONS, Gallery Hop featured Artist, Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Louisville, Kentucky
2013 ETCHINGS, Ripple River Gallery, Aitken, Minnesota (solo)
2013 CONTEMPORARY BOTANICALS Living Arts & Science Center (juried)
2013 NATURAL SELECTION, Good Foods Café, Lexington, Kentucky (solo)
2012 TREES AND EXPLORATION, Grand Theater Gallery, Frankfort, Kentucky (solo)
2012 ART IN THE GARDENS, Liberty Hall, Frankfort, Kentucky
2012 Floral Fusion, Scott County Cultural Center, Georgetown, Kentucky
2012 FULL SPECTRUM, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (curated)
2012 EARTHDAY, Northern Prints Gallery, Duluth, Minnesota (invitational)
2012 NATURE ETCHINGS, Capital Sellers, Frankfort, Kentucky (solo)
2012 ABOUT FACE, Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, Kentucky (juried/invitational)
2011 CATOCTIN, ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE, Delaplaine Center, Frederick, Maryland (invitational)
2011 KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, Best in Show – Purchase Award, Louisville, Kentucky
2011 HAND PRINTED, Grand Hand Gallery, St Paul, Minnesota (invitational)

GALLERY AFFILIATIONS

Amity Art Foundation, Inc, Woodbridge, CT Ann Tower Gallery, Lexington, KY
Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, et al, Austin, TX Bluff Country Artist Gallery, Spring Grove, MN
Brown Manufacturing Company, Austin, TX Collectors Art Group, Cincinnati, OH
Dain Bosworth, Minneapolis, Minnesota Completely Kentucky, Frankfort, KY
Hallmark Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri Iowa Artisans Gallery, Iowa City, IA
Kentucky State Fair, Kentucky Artist Collection Grand Hand Gallery, St. Paul, MN
Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, Texas Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY
Minnesota, Mining & Manufacturing, St Paul, MN Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, KY
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA Kirchman Gallery, Johnson City, Texas
Post Properties Collection, Dallas, Texas Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Regents Hospital, Wayzata, Minnesota Northern Prints Gallery, Duluth, MN
Sower Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri Ripple River Gallery, Aitkin, MN
Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, Missouri River Gallery, Chattanooga, TN
Sprint Corporation, Overland Park, Kansas Waters of Superior, Duluth, MN
Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, Minnesota
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
University of South Dakota, Vermilion, SD

ARTIST STATEMENT

Growing concern for the survival of natural areas and the need I perceive in people to understand their relationship to the environment have encouraged me to work with nature related themes. My images are focused on revealing and presenting how nature has functioned. I extract the concepts which I visually explore, from my observations of natural sites, science publications, and maps. By creating these works I hope to direct the viewer’s attention to the irreplaceable value, sublime beauty, and mystery found within our natural environment.

LECTURES/RELATED ACTIVIES

2014 Soft Foam Printing & Mural Project, Josephine Sculpture Garden Arts Festival, Frank fort, Kentucky
2013 Pasta Machine Printing, Ripple River Gallery, Aitkin, MN
2012 Artist in Residence, Petrified Forest National Park, Relief Printing Workshop, Arizona
2012 Art in the Garden, Etching presentation, Liberty Hall Frankfort, Kentucky
2011 Soft Foam Printing Workshop, Josephine Sculpture Garden Arts Festival, Frank fort, Kentucky
2011 Artist in Residence, Catoctin Mountain Park, Presentation and Workshop, Maryland
2009 Artist in Residence, Joshua Tree National Park, Presentation and Workshops, California
2009 Working with Galleries, Women Printmakers of Austin Meeting, Austin, Texas
2008 Printing Demonstration, Annarella Home, Georgetown, Texas
2008 Presentation, Concept Development and Printing Technique, St Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin, TX
2008 Printing Demonstration, Dougherty Art Center, Austin, Texas
2008 Working with Galleries, Presentation, Women Printmakers of Austin, Austin, Texas

PUBLICATIONS (contributing artist)

2014 Historic House and Tree Tour, Tree Coalition Publication
2013 Tree Tour, Tree Coalition Publication
2008 Trail Guide to the Northland Experience in Prints and Poetry, Calyx Press
2006 Response, Calyx Press, Lake Superior Writers & Northern Printmakers Alliance
2005 Dust & Fire, Bemidji State University Publications, Maureen Gibbon

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts, Studio Art 1974; University of Minnesota, Duluth
Drafting Certificate 1976, St Paul Vocational School, St Paul, Minnesota
Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering 1978; ICS Pennsylvania

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

I was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and after moving multiple times my parents chose Minnesota where I lived until relocating to Austin, Texas, and now reside in Frankfort, Kentucky. My college years were concentrated in Duluth attending St. Scholastica, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin, Superior. This was followed by a Drafting Certificate from St. Paul Vocational School leading to a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering during employment with Minnesota, Mining & Manufacturing. My work at 3M was focused on Product Development. I hold one patent for a wire holding devise. The need for a greater involvement with art resulted in a membership at Flatbed Press, a print publishing studio in Austin, Texas. Participation in the Serie Project at Coronado Studio and work at Slugfest Printmaking Workshop evolved into setting up my own studio. Focus on the intaglio process and stratograph, a monoprint technique have resulted in several bodies of work. "Personal Poems” is a series of small biographical etchings dealing with issues of adulthood. "Ideal Mechanical Advantage” presents the transition from the factual world of engineering to sensory perception. "Global Fables” is a collection of pieces that study of the tradition of a short story with a moral from diverse cultures. I am now focused on work which involves the perilous future of the natural world. The common factor in each of these series is the narrative thread which each piece presents.

Figurative work, always a passion, has become the focus of this recent body of work. Combined with mythology, the use of symbols and mythological creatures such as mermaids, I create a classical context for contemporary treatments of the figure.

I am drawn to many aspects of printmaking. I’ve always liked texture and variety of printmaking papers, the smell and colors of the inks, and the fact that you can do multiples. There is something about the transformation that happens from the plate to the paper and the effects you can get that’s just magical.
I have a fascination with nature and I love collecting seeds, bones, and oddities I find in the streets. These often inspire ideas along with images I dream. The evolution of those ideas through drawing and the solar intaglio printmaking process is challenging but exciting. Imagination plays a big part in the formation of images and I find it satisfying when it all comes together.
I enjoy creating art from life. I feel that we are the sum of our experiences and that each moment is an opportunity to become something more. I think we should cherish the mundane, the every day, and the daily routines as they are the root of our personality, the fundamental base of who we are, and which contain the most comfortable moments of our lives.
 
Aside from subject matter I like to blur the border of media. I felt I had reached a peak in my drypoint line drawings. I have always been drawn to charcoal; the softness of the tone; the fragility of the medium. At any moment the marks could be blown or rubbed off the paper. I felt it would be a great achievement to create a reproducible print which captured the very essence of charcoal. Working with hand tools only using roulettes, sandpaper, a drypoint needle, and a scraper/burnisher I have successfully achieved my goal and feel that I have much more to learn.
I'm fascinated with the printmaking process, especially the delightful surprises that come the first time a new plate is pulled. I gravitate towards the textural effects of collagraphs finding platemaking is only limited by one’s imagination. My work has been exhibited throughout the US but primarily in Texas, with a second solo show on the books for Chicago in 2015.
To dream is to visualize... To communicate and share what you visualize is to expand the horizons of others. To grow is to experience and live. Failure to share,to experience, and to live is loss of visions and dreams.
                  
Trade Portfolio Details
CONTACTS:
Chair: Belinda Casey
Co-Chair: Theresa Bond
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The deadline for this event (9/21/2006) has passed.
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