Working from Dark to Light

July 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

July 31, 2010

I’ve been looking at the contrast between objects hidden in darkness but revealed by light.  In a round about way I’ve been thinking about science, art, biology and spirituality.

As you may already know I’ve been recently doing research on microscopes and microscopic organisms.  Microscopes are fascinating because the very act of looking in the microscope is one of looking through a dark tunnel with a light at the end.  It’s interesting to think of a scientific instrument this way, as going toward the light is a metaphor usually reserved for a near death or spiritual experience.

Carravagio | St. Jerome

Carravagio (Italy) | St. Jerome

{image courtesy of Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caravaggio}

Strong contrasts from light to dark in art are  known as chiaroscuro (literally light-dark in Italian) and the use of chiaroscuro as a major style device is known as tenebrism (seen in the Caravaggio painting above). Tenebrism was a popular effect in both Mannerist and Baroque painting styles and is often utilized in emotive religious and historical paintings of the time.

These techniques were often employed in still lives (pictured below) making the objects depicted seem serious, intense, and mysterious.

Josefa de Obidos (Spain) | 1676

Josefa de Obidos (Spain) | 1676

{Image courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josefa_de_%C3%93bidos}

So what does this have to do have me wanting a rad microscope and my artwork? I’ve recently learned about dark field microscopy, which creates a microscopic image which has a dark back ground and causes the specimen to have stronger coloring (see below).  Since my own work already has saturated colors on a dark background I’m really excited to try this method out.  You can build your own dark field adapter relatively easily out of common household materials!

Example of Dark Field Microscopy | Blood Clot

Example of Dark Field Microscopy | Blood Clot

{Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/matysik/3499979185/}

I feel like right now is an exciting time to start looking at microcosmic environments – this week the BBC featured an article that described the 1% yearly decrease in plankton populations.  Although the article is about algal blooms in the world’s oceans studied from space it is quite relevant to our everyday experience.  Phytoplankton produce half the oxygen we breathe and is the basic building block for all life in the ocean!

At the end of the day what readily comes to mind is a quote from William Blake:

“To see a world in a grain of sand And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand And eternity in an hour.”
Source: “Auguries of Innocence,” in Poems from the Pickering Manuscript.

As always,  thanks for reading!

❤ Grace Willard

Postscripts from the EDGE | Opening Friday 8/6 | Collective Visions Gallery

July 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

July 29, 2010

An exhibition showcasing the dynamic artwork of 15 graduates  from the 2009 Artist Trust EDGE Program.  Come see the compelling art that includes glass,sculpture, encaustic, painting, and photography and reflects the varied stories of the exciting group of emerging nad mid-career artists.

Participating artists include: Kathie Bliss, Tracy Boyd, Minh Carrico, Jeanne Dodds, Jessica Dodge, Miguel Edwards, Sara Everett, Joy Hagan, Shaw Osha, Teresa Ray, Victoria Raymond, Juli Sipe, Anne Simernitski, Thomas Schworer, and Grace Willard

I hope you’ll join me Friday, August 6th at Collective Visions Gallery for the opening (5:00pm -9:00pm). There will be an artist talk at 7:00pm in addition to light refreshments.

CVG is located at 331 Pacific Ave in Bremerton, WA which is a short walk from the Bremerton Ferry Terminal.

The show will be on display from August 4th – 29th, 2010.  CVG is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm and on Sunday from 1:00pm-5:00pm.

Collective Visions Gallery can be reached at 360-377-8327.

Sprout Proposal Accepted!

July 28, 2010 § 2 Comments

July 29th, 2010

Sprout Logo

I’m excited to announce that my proposal Microcosm: Portrait of the Interurban Biosphere has been accepted to be presented at the inaugural Sprout event!

About: Sprout is a locally sourced, community dinner that funds emerging Seattle artists with a vote.

Participants  pay a sliding-scale entrance fee for which they will receive a home-made dinner and a ballot. Diners will vote on a variety of proposed artist projects. At the end of dinner, the artist whose proposal receives the most votes will be awarded funds collected at the door. The work will then be presented during the next Sprout. Artistic genres of all kinds are accepted and are encouraged to be works that are sustainable, local and forward-thinking.

The inagural Sprout is a joint venture between Seattle University MFA students Kristen Hoskins & Sarah Steininger and the Fremont Abbey Arts Center.

I hope you’ll join me August 13th at 7:00pm at the Fremont Arts Abbey located at 4272 Fremont Ave N in Seattle, WA.

Tickets can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/120587

You can also learn more about the event by visiting Sprout on Face Book

As always, thanks for reading!

❤ Grace Willard

Rethinking Space for Art & Community Development -Tonight!

July 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

July 27th, 2010


Shunpike Arts Leadership Lab  (ALL)

Creative Conversations – 7/27 | 6-8:30pm

Rethinking Space for Art & Community Development

Join Arts Leadership Lab for a panel discussion with some of Seattle’s most distinguished arts leaders at Canoe Social Club at Theatre off Jackson (409 7th Ave. S, Seattle, WA).

Following a short lead-in film, the panel discussion will ask: How can the arts help drive community development in an equitable way? How do we best utilize the arts and Seattle’s creative resources to build more engaged neighborhood communities? This event is co-sponsored by Great City, a strategic urban advocacy group that believes smart and responsible urbanism is the solution to many of our social, economic, and environmental challenges.

KUOW’s Marcie Sillman will be moderating five panelists:

– Cassie Chinn – Deputy Executive Director, The Wing (Wing Luke Asian Museum)

– Sara Edwards – Interim Cultural Use Project Director/4Culture Staff Liaison for Historic Seattle’s Washington Hall

– Randy Engstrom – Founding Director, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center; Seattle Arts Commissioner

– K. Wyking Garrett – Director, Hip-Hop Youth Summit/OmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center; Seattle Music Commissioner

– Cathryn Vandenbrink – Regional Director, Artspace

Admission is FREE and open to the public. There will be a cash bar in addition to light refreshments.

CreativeConversations_Canoe_GreatCity

Tips for Taking Better Photographs

July 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

July 24, 2010

Cheap and Simple Tools for Better Blog Photography

Cheap and Simple Tools for Better Blog Photography

{Accessed 07/24/2010 at  http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2010/07/cheap_and_simple_tools_for_bet.html}

I’ll be the first to admit; I’m not a professional photographer.

Luckily, I came of age when slides where just going out of fashion and the age of digital photography was just beginning. While I was relieved that I’d no longer have to pay the exuberant prices for slide film or to have it developed it didn’t solve the problem of not knowing how to take a decent picture.

So in short, I need  all the help I can get! Luckily Cheap and Simple Tools for Better Blog Photography via Craft Zine has some really amazing tips and tricks using materials you’d probably already have around your studio.

I use these tips all the time – I hope you find them useful too.

As always, thanks for reading!

❤ Grace Willard

Microcosm: Portrait of the Interurban Biosphere

July 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Diatoms!

This week I’d thought I’d share my proposal for Sprout – a new community based funding program for creative people.

Participants pay a sliding-scale entrance fee for which they will receive a home-made dinner and a ballot. Diners will vote on a variety of proposed artist projects. At the end of dinner, the artist whose proposal receives the most votes will be awarded funds collected at the door. The work will then be presented during the next Sprout. Artistic genres of all kinds are accepted and are encouraged to be works that are sustainable, local and forward-thinking.

The Inagural Sprout is a joint venture between Seattle University MFA students Kristen Hoskins (who is also a member of Shunpike Arts Leadership Lab)A & Sarah Steininger and the Fremont Abbey Arts Center.

Selected artists will be announced in August – wish me luck!  If you’re an a Seattle artist and interested in applying the deadline is July 25th.

As always thanks for reading!

❤ Grace Willard

More diatoms!

Microcosm: Portrait of the Interurban Biosphere

Project Summary
I’m requesting funds to purchase a USB Digital Microscope which allows users to capture both still and live microscopic images via computer making it a valuable learning and observation tool.  Inspired by geometry, botanical illustration, and biology my works examine the relationships between macro and microcosms. Having a USB Digital Microscope will allow me to create works based on structures, plants and animals that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

In gratitude for this piece of equipment and related supplies I will offer a series of free art classes that will engage participants in art and the microscopic realms of the urban biosphere.

How will your project manifest at the next SPROUT, to be held in approximately 12 weeks?
At the next SPROUT event I will be available to give a presentation on using the microscope, provide insight into my findings, and share new drawings based on my discoveries.  At this time I will also have scheduled art classes that I will offer as in an in kind donation to the community and will use SPROUT to promote them.

How will you use funding (up to $1000) towards the realization of your project?
$125.00  USB Microscope
$50.00  Prepared Slides
$25.00  Glass Well Slides & Standard Slides/Covers
$25.00  Misc Lab Equipment (pipettes, test tubes, etc)

I am requesting $225 for my project.

Why is this project critical to the community?
Our community relies on a foundation of microscopic entities without ever seeing them.  Microcosm: Urban Biosphere will give the general public a unique opportunity to work with a professional artist and to use new technology to examine their surroundings more closely.

*Update: I’ve been selected as one of the presenting artists! Check newer posts for more info!

Professional Artist: Grants for Artist Projects

July 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Lovely mahonia tree and white tailed deer

Morning at Centrum - 2009

Decaying buildings in Fort Worden - 2009

Decaying buildings in Fort Worden - 2009

This week I wanted to share my proposal for the Grants for Artist Projects.  Last summer (2009) I had the honor and privilege of serving as an intern at Artist Trust.  As part of my internship I worked as a volunteer coordinator for the first cycle of the EDGE program, a one week residency in professionalism & business for artists.

I spent a week at in the beautiful coastal town of Port Townsend, WA and had an amazing experience that is one of the highlights of my career as an emerging artist. Its my dream to return there for a week next summer to focus on my artwork.

This is the second year I’ve applied for the GAP – winners will be announced some time in October.  Wish me luck!

As always, thanks for reading.

*Update:  While I wasn’t a winner this year I’d like to extend my congratulations to  the  62 winners of the GAP – nearly 800 artists applied! Look for a new project next year!

❤ Grace Willard

Another view of Centrum - 2009

Another view of Centrum - 2009

Reclaimed by Nature – A Residency at Centrum

I am proposing a one week residency at Centrum located in historic Fort Worden (Port Townsend, WA).  During my stay I plan to develop a series of sketches, collages, and photographs that will be translated into original artwork at my Seattle studio.

I specifically would like to complete a residency within Fort Worden because of its unique ecology.  Built in 1897 and decommissioned in 1953, Fort Worden is now an example of how human development is slowly reclaimed by nature.  Its 434 acres and 2 miles of shoreline make it an ideal location to study a variety of plants and animals.

Additionally my residency would give me the unique opportunity to work with the nearby Port Townsend Marine Science Center where I could study invertebrate marine life up close.

I am also requesting funding for a digital projector.  Having this piece of equipment would allow me to make my work more accessible through lectures and teaching.

Upon my return to Seattle I hope to facilitate a series of lectures,workshops, and panel discussions surrounding the issue of preserving the environment through protecting undeveloped areas and naturalizing vacant spaces.

Although I currently hold two jobs and an internship, I won’t be able to afford this residency without additional financial support.  As an emerging artist, I feel this residency would give me with the opportunity to develop my work to the next level and provide me with the means to begin engaging creativity as a means of activism.

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