Posts in Category: art show

Collaboration

Collaborative Painting for Paintpushers "Collision" Show  36 x 36 Acrylic on Canvas Artists Chris Vance & Melynda Van Zee © 2016

Collaborative Painting for Paintpushers “Collision” Show
36 x 36
Acrylic on Canvas
Artists Chris Vance & Melynda Van Zee © 2016

Dear Creative Heart,

Over the past few months I’ve been working on a collaborative painting for our yearly Paint pushers show. I attend a monthly critique group with artists from the central Iowa area and once a year we create an art show together. The goal for the show this year was to pair two artists together to collaborate together to create a 36 x 36 piece of art. Each individual artist was also to paint 3 10 x 10 pieces of work to hang alongside of the collaborative piece so that viewers could see the individual styles. We could also create individual smaller works to be hung on walls with the work of all contributing artists blended together.

First layers on collaborative painting

First layers on collaborative painting

At our monthly meeting in April we drew names out of a hat to decide which artists would be paired together for a collaborative work. I drew the name of artist Chris Vance and we began the collaborative process this fall. Chris typically paints on wood panels so he provided me with the 36 x 36 wood panel and I began the piece by laying down line work with polymer medium. I added a thin glaze of fluid acrylics in turquoise and golden yellow colors and then made myself stop and turn the painting back over to him.

In the middle of the collaborative painting process...

In the middle of the collaborative painting process…

After he finished his first layers, we traded the piece again and I set to work adding multiple layers of translucent fluid acrylics. When finished with my layers, I gave the piece back to Chris to add the final details.

Collaborative painting by Chris Vance and Melynda Van Zee  10 x 10 paintings on the left by Chris Vance 10 x 10 paintings on the right by Melynda Van Zee

Collaborative painting by Chris Vance and Melynda Van Zee
10 x 10 paintings on the left by Chris Vance
10 x 10 paintings on the right by Melynda Van Zee

Friends- Collaboration can be a very useful tool for your work. To let someone else interact with your work while it is being created…to give up control…to release a specific outcome…to not know the final direction…to interact with changes as you go…to wrestle with variety of techniques or art supplies…to face the challenge of colors or vision for a piece…to work with someone else who is not you with different viewpoints, skills, technique, ideas…this is the world we live in. Working together makes us stronger, brings new energy, stretches our flexibility muscles, teaches us new skills, and helps us to see our work in new ways. Collaboration may not be without anxiety or frustration. It will probably push us out of comfort zone. But, I encourage you to look for opportunities to collaborate in your world. If we as creative individuals are going to face the challenges put before us in this generation, we are going to need the skills to collaborate with a wide variety of individuals across our cultural landscape.

With Passion,

Melynda

“Collision”, a Paintpushers collaborative showcase, hangs from now through Jan. 2 at the Des Moines Social Club with purchases made possible through the Viaduct Gallery.

“Collision”, a Paintpushers collaborative showcase, hangs from now through Jan. 2 at the Des Moines Social Club with purchases made possible through the Viaduct Gallery.

 

Monster Walleye & Unwinding

Dear Creative Heart,

I’m sending out this letter a couple of days later in the month than I usually write. We just got back from our summer vacation.

This is what I did on my summer vacation…

Monster Walleye Ontario, Canada June 2016

Monster Walleye
Ontario, Canada
June 2016

Yes, we fish. We go to a beautiful cabin by lake in Canada and fish. Fish for “monster walleye” as my boys like to say. What you see here is me with one of my monster walleyes (I caught a few and a nice big pike too). Check out that huge fish in my hand and my big smile of accomplishment, but what I want to point out is what you don’t see in this photo…

What you don’t see is all the hard work to get to this point…all the steps involved in getting this smiling photo with a big fish from a fishing trip…

  1. Schedule: There is the rearranging of the schedule-the saying “No” to some really great things to carve a space for a family trip with the boys.
  2. Time: There is never a “perfect time” to go but putting time on the calendar and committing-there were sacrifices for all of us to be able to set this time away to go and sacrifices for those who prepare for our arrival.
  3. Logistics: Travel, gas, groceries, passports, cleaning out the van
  4. Gear: Rods, reels, heavier fishing line, nets, jig heads, minnow bucket, cold gear, gloves, sweatshirts, life jackets, tackle boxes, trips to Bass Pro and Fleet & Farm, Canadian fishing licenses, live minnows, sunglasses, bug spray, sunblock
  5. In the Boat: Actually getting in the boat-gathering all that equipment, putting on all the cold/wet gear, grabbing the poles and tackle, walking to the dock and getting in the boat (rather than a nap or card game or leisurely breakfast-which we did too:)
  6. Fishing: So many ways this process gets complicated-getting minnows out of the bucket and actually on the hook (rather than swimming in the bottom of the boat!), tying jig heads on line again (getting harder to see that minuscule hole to put the line through), wet socks/shoes, underwater rocks/sticks, poor casting (possibly due to a bad reel-time for a new one!), boat motor issues, bad weather cropping up
  7. A complete circle-all the planning, scheduling, gathering supplies, actual time with pole in the water fishing, persistence amidst obstacles, and then the goal…pole in water, sunshine gleaming off the rocks and waterfalls, shouts of “Fish On”, fish in net and then in the hand, laughter, sharing the catch and the fun.
Unwinding 24 x 48 Acrylic on Canvas Melynda Van Zee © 2016

Unwinding
24 x 48
Acrylic on Canvas
Melynda Van Zee © 2016

And so it is with creativity and making…

When someone walks into my art booth and admires a finished work, they don’t necessarily grasp all the steps required for that piece to hang before their eyes. One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “How long does it take you to finish a painting like that?” That is an extremely difficult question for artists to answer. How do you account for all the of the labor involved in each piece from conception, beginning sketches, gathering supplies, multiple layers of paint and dry time, to stopping and starting and analyzing along the way, to finishing details like final layers of isolation coat, painting sides black, two protective coats of varnish, titles, and hanging wires? How do you factor in the care and feeding of the artist-emotionally, physically, spiritually? What about the sacrifices of others who help and support our creative processes? (Not only did my grandparents teach me to fish as a child, but they also helped me order my first paintbrushes from an art catalog). All of these tasks and steps are hidden inside each of the paintings on the wall and behind each snapshot of a smiling fisherman with a prize fish in hand.

Dear Creative Heart-don’t underestimate the system of tasks and steps that support your creativity. Dedicate time to finding your own “monster walleye” and please share the big smile with us all.

Art Show at Warren Cultural Center

  • Melynda Van Zee Acrylic Paintings Solo Show Warren Cultural Center Greenfield, IA
  • Melynda Van Zee Acrylic Paintings Solo Show Warren Cultural Center Greenfield, IA
  • Warren Cultural Center
  • Warren Cultural Center
  • Melynda Van Zee Acrylic Paintings Solo Show Warren Cultural Center Greenfield, IA
  • Warren Cultural Center
  • Great helpers at Warren Cultural Center
  • Ed & Eva's at Warren Cultural Center

The Warren Cultural Center in Greenfield is hosting an exhibit of my work from now until January 28th. The exhibit features some of my newest pieces with the theme of swirls and spirals.

Thanks to Mandy Billings from the radio station KSOM who interviewed me before the show opening. She shared the following in her article about the show…

“I really decided to develop a body of work with that theme and the reason is because the spiral is the symbol of growth and transformation and so I wanted to explore that even more because I think we have a lot of change going on in our world and the spiral then becomes a visual metaphor for all of that change going on,” explained Van Zee.

“I believe it’s really important for artists to be really reflective on their lives and be authentic in their work and so that’s kind of where the artwork arises from; just sort of what’s going on with me internally,” said Van Zee. “Sometimes it’s kind of hard for people to grasp maybe what that means and so I like to call my work emotional and spiritual landscapes because I think that that is helpful for people as they view the work.” To read the rest of the article, visit KSOM’s website.

Ed & Eva’s is a retail gallery that features the work of local Iowa artists and is a part of the Warren Cultural Center complex. You will be able to find some of my With Passion art pendants and small paintings at Ed & Eva’s year around.

Thank you to everyone at the Warren Cultural Center for warmly welcoming me and my work. It was a pleasure to meet you all.

 

Melynda Van Zee Art Exhibit- West Des Moines, IA

My paintings are a brief glimpse in vivid color of the emotional and spiritual landscapes of my soul. For the months of October and November 2015, you can explore some of my work in the art gallery at the Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, IA.

In this collection of acrylic paintings on canvas, I use text, color, line and image to give voice to pieces of my life- experiences, emotions and prayers. Painting is a time of quiet reflection and process for me- a space to have conversation with God in color.

One of my biggest challenges has been to allow myself to paint the good…and the difficult, the beautiful…and the painful- to allow the breadth of my life to find its way onto the canvas and to intuitively transfer the invisible into shape and form and color.

Works will be on display from October to mid-November.  The Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines is at 925 Jordan Creek Pkwy and is open seven days a week.

 

Melynda Van Zee Art Exhibit at Lutheran Church of Hope

Melynda Van Zee Art Exhibit at Lutheran Church of Hope

"The Calling" at Art Exhibit -Lutheran Church of Hope

“The Calling” at Melynda Van Zee Art Exhibit -Lutheran Church of Hope

"Fragments" at Art Exhibit -Lutheran Church of Hope

“Fragments” at Melynda Van Zee Art Exhibit -Lutheran Church of Hope

Melynda Van Zee Art Exhibit at Lutheran Church of Hope

Melynda Van Zee Art Exhibit at Lutheran Church of Hope

"Observing the Recovery" at Art Exhibit -Lutheran Church of Hope

“Observing the Recovery” at Melynda Van Zee Art Exhibit -Lutheran Church of Hope