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2008 Multiple Originals XIII

I was diagnosed with talent at an early age, and was always the artist of the family. I was proud of my draftsmanship, but as time went by, I realized that I couldn't take credit for my talent; it was a gift. What I do take credit for is the effort I have made through the years to master my craft, those areas of printmaking that I focus on: mezzotint, etching and linoleum. My preferred subject is the human face and figure.  I am fascinated by faces, and in trying to capture them I increase my understanding of what it means to be human.
I respond to both my physical location and the environment of ideas. Expressing contrasts, making comparisons and weaving dichotomies into the meanings of images. I combine traditional and non-traditional techniques, hand-coloring, collage and chine colle.

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

I am a printmaker living and working in Austin, Texas. My work is informed and inspired by the myth, culture, and traditional arts of the lands of my heritage: the American South and Eastern Europe.

I create fantastical characters and use them as a means to explore ideas of the bittersweet moments of human interaction.

I wrap these characters within worlds of magical realism that evoke a history and culture that could be found in folklore or fairytales, both of which are a big inspiration for me.

More recently I have been exploring ideas of memory and burden, and ideas of sin and redemption.

I am currently working on a series of eight 3 x 5 ½ foot hand-carved woodcuts titled "The Villagers: Carrying Things from Home.” I’m using these Villagers as a way to depict the intention and accountability of one’s actions and carrying the burden of those actions’ consequences. I am currently co-publishing the series with Flatbed Press in Austin, Texas.

MY WORK IS AN ONGOING AUTOBIOGRAPHY. DREAMS, LEGENDS OF MEXICO AND PERSONAL FANTASIES ARE THE PRINCIPAL SOURCES FOR MY IMAGERY. HOLDING NOSTALGIC IDEAS ABOUT MY PAST.  I TRY TO EXPERIENCE THINGS AGAIN THROUGH THE ILLUSIONS I CREATE. I TRY TO TELL A STORY TO ANYBODY WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT.

My experience creating hand-pulled woodblock prints spans over twenty years—a lot of time for the quiet meditation of carving and the splinters that go with it. I print without machinery, using palm gouges to carve and a simple wooden spoon as my press. I only make one print because in our times of material and media abundance only one is necessary. I work reductively, carving and printing in stages so that each block is reduced or destroyed as the image is produced and created. Each image remains singular, thus sacred, reflecting one experience in time.


The many contrasts inherent in these woodblock prints keep me engaged—the fast gestural line that is carved slowly, a random splash that takes hours to create, the raised rough wood becoming a dark smooth inked line, the obsessive pattern throughout providing both unity and noise.


Through my imagery I seek to obfuscate, deconstruct, reassemble and transform my everyday relationships with the shapes and patterns of the world. I seek images which deliberately set on edge the associations we bring to forms as our perceptual associations drive our entire way of thinking. I am not a symbolist nor a pure abstractionist: I use forms which might mean many things, have several names, or be both whimsical and terribly dark at the same time. The images serve as a metaphor between the visual impression of something and the conjuring of its name. Each image is an invitation to explore our ever-changing stream of perceptions and from that experience gain a type of wisdom for which there are no words.


       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.

Melanie is an experimental media artist and printmaker with an affinity for color and texture. Her work embodies the historically iconic and metaphorically rich and expressive imagery of the horse. Her focus is not necessarily upon the physical aspect of individual breeds, but upon the unique and universal attributes of legendary equus and its dialog with the human spirit.
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 natural forms that permeate our world too often become background patterns in our hectic lives. For the most part, people no longer feel the wonder of the complexities and intricacies seen in forms such as a single seedpod. The subtle changes and cycles in nature are often unnoticed, and I work to bring attention and give power to them. What happens when we slow down to truly notice and examine what is around us? Examining these organic forms allows me to reflect on and bring forth these rhythms of nature. The images I work with address this issue and elucidate the beauty I find within these natural forms. In the course of exploring my connection with natural forms, I imbue them with my own feelings and experiences. The printmaking processes I use give me an invaluable vocabulary of marks that feeds my thoughts and work. The process of manipulating each copper plate parallels the history of the forms, images, and their metaphors. Through using mezzotint and various etching techniques, I am able to achieve a wide range of tones and textures to complement the images and ideas.

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.

It is never easy to live a busy life and still have the time to create masterful works of art. Those who achieve this effort should get a medal or at least a giant chocolate donut every morning until life gets easier. This is my life in a donut box. I am ready for an artistic revolution! I am ready to put art on the top of my list and see my artworks come to life with a new vibrancy! Check-Mate! I'm there!

Charred bits of wood perfected by Pacific fires, pigment-laden solutions, torn papers, woven fibers, heart and soul – materials that evoke and inspire my visual language to articulate pain, sorrow, joy, the intricacies and complexities of relationships.

Printmaking inspires me, painting feeds my soul, and incorporating castaways in works of combined collage fulfills my desire to extend life. I work on canvas and paper with always a symbolic bit of jaune interspersed for the light of the sun, a sacred reference for hope.

I graduated with a B.A. in Art and English from Houston Baptist University, August 2003.

I became an artist on March 28, 2008.  For 54+ years I knew I was an artist, but early disappointments stifled my desire to attempt anything artistic other than needlepoint and embroidery.  On March 28th an artist friend sat me down in her studio here in Michigan and showed me how to do drypoint and copper plate etching.  It really was like a lightbulb turning on.  I was hooked - drove home, turned my guestroom into a studio and have been producing , somewhat feverishly, drypoint on plexiglas ever since.  In May my first print was accepted into the Muskegon Museum of Art's regional show.  In June another print was accepted into the Kalamazoo Institute of Art's regional show.  In September I was one of 10 featured artists in a show "Glass Printmaking Ceramics" at a Spring Lake gallery.  My life has changed in a way I cannot begin to explain - what does one do when a dream comes true?
 
The biggest event though, was when a local university accepted me as an art major upon viewing my 4-month-old portfolio.  I felt completely validated and could finally say, without hesitation, that I was an artist.
 
Now, having calmed down, I continue creating plates in my studio and printing once a week at a friend's studio about 30 miles away.  I take workshops and one-day classes instead of pursuing the BFA - life is too short to spend it in a classroom!  I was thrilled when my sister-in-law, a fairly new Austin resident, sent me your website info.  How exciting.  I just wish I lived closer to Austin to take advantages of all the WPA has to offer.
 
I will be in Austin from 12/23-28/2008.  I hope I can get a couple of prints down there to be in the show and to get to see the show itself.
 
Exhibition Details
WHEN:
12/1/2008 - 12/29/2008
WHERE:
Dougherty Arts Center
CONTACTS:
Chair: Durae Lenore Maxstadt
Co-Chair: Marcela Kourkova
Participate
Event Deadline
The deadline for this event (11/24/2008) has passed.
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