Interactive Art

I just returned from a trip to Columbus, OH.  One of my favorite towns!  Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend a contemporary art exhibit at Hopkins Hall Gallery of Urban Arts Space called Open This End featuring artwork by Andy Warhol among others.  I found it serendipitously and went on a whim.  I’m so glad I did!

The art itself was interactive, often in 3-D or containing some audiovisual component.  But this exhibit went a step further and constructed a framed background where viewers can create their own selfie and thus become a piece of art, even if for only one moment in time.  Making a personal statement is encouraged.  As an artist, I love this concept!  And I just had to participate in the fun.  The results are posted here.  Enjoy the mini art show by yours truly 🙂

If you have a chance, I highly recommend stopping by the exhibit.  But hurry!  It’s only on display until tomorrow.  Check here for details.

Portrait of an Artist

Artist discovers she’s in a painting but is unsure how she feels about it…

Artist rejects the notion of being viewed as artwork.

 

 

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Viewing the Michigan Petroglyphs

I recently had the opportunity to visit the historic site of the Sanilac Petroglyphs in MI.  As some of you may know, my husband and I have been hunting for petroglyphs in the Southwest, but this is our first time to see some so close to home!  Another item to cross off our bucket list 😉  And it’s a good thing we did.  According to park rangers, they may be gone in the next 20-30 years 😦

In case you don’t get a chance to see them–although I recommend that you do–let me take you on a little tour!  The stories our guide shared were so interesting and made the trip out there even more worth it.  After all, you can’t really tell what some of them are, as they’re getting worn away by the elements.

To start, the one at the top of this page is called Bow Man and is believed to represent a hunter.  As the story goes, he’s receiving the wisdom of the ages and shoots the knowledge into the future.  Cool!

 

As you can see, the one above is almost completely indistinguishable.  Luckily, our guide provided the replica below.  It’s a carving of a very cool creature–a sort of Underwater Panther guarding the underworld and controlling the sea, sometimes even causing storms.

In contrast, we have the underwater panther’s counterpart or rival–The Thunderbird–or master of the powers of the air.  They’re opposing forces that also serve to counterbalance each other.

My personal favorite is this carving of a sea turtle.  There’s a famous Native American creation myth suggesting that part of the Earth grew from a bit of earth on the back of a great turtle until it became an island.  Eventually the turtle held the new world on its back.  Some say it created the entire continent of North America.  The Ojibwe tribe call the turtle spirit Kitchi-Manitou.  There’s also a similar legend native to Mackinac Island about a turtle called Makinauk.

The final petroglyph that I would like to highlight is the Night Walker.  The upside down Y makes up his legs and body.  If you look very carefully, you can even see a small child to his left being lured away by the Night Walker.  Watch out!

It’s fun to see a piece of history carved in stone.  For an artist like myself, it’s especially gratifying to be able to view some of the world’s first drawings.  I hope preservation efforts will prevail and these gems will last forever.  But just in case, you might want to make your way over to Cass City and view them while you can!

 

 

 

Visit My Wonder Chamber: Studio Tour

 

My Studio

Welcome to my studio!  Let me take you on a tour so you understand a little more about me and my process.  First of all, let’s talk about the space itself.  This is supposed to be a kitchen nook, but I quickly took it over and claimed it as my art studio.  As you can see, it’s a little cramped, but for now, it works.  I especially like the natural light coming in from the window.  I use a drafting table for most of my illustration work.  I used to keep it on an angle but quickly discovered this is not so great for sumi-e ink painting 😉  I use the easel for painting on canvas.  I recently purchased a rolling storage unit with several bins that works great for holding all my different art supplies.  I tend not to use my rolling chair though, as I tend to roll away while working!  Sumi-e painting is easier to do while standing anyway.

What inspires me to get to work?  As you can see, I have a poster of Audrey Hepburn.  I love this one, as it shows her quirky personality.  She’s dancing at a club in the film Funny Face.  My mom jokingly suggested I practice doing each of these poses if I get writer’s block 😉  I purchased the hanging scroll in Japan.  It depicts Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Genjiwhich is known to be the first modern novel.  It’s inspiring that the book was written by a female writer.  At the far right, you can also see a poster from the Japanese anime film, My Neighbor Totoro.  I’m a big Hayao Miyazaki fan and it’s sad to hear he is retiring.  Two of my favorite films are Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke.  He is a known feminist, which is especially cool because he’s a guy.

What’s your vision? I have a bulletin board for reference material.  I also post images of artwork I like, especially those with a unique style.  Above my desk you’ll see my current vision board.  This one is particularly large 😉  Vision boards are great for organizing your goals through a creative, intuitive process.  I like to include mantras as well as images.  Creating vision boards is probably how I first discovered my love for collaging.  The best part is when you look back at old ones and realize many of your dreams came true!

Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon

Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon

I just finished reading the new book by the author of Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon.  See my previous post.  In this book, titled Show Your Work!, the author shares tips for how to put your work out there and get noticed.  One of his recommendations is to “open up your cabinet of curiosities,”  which is what I have done for you today.

Here are two of my favorite quotes:

“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste.”  Ira Glass

“Making books has always felt very connected to my bookselling experience, that of wanting to draw people’s attention to things that I liked, to shape things that I liked into new shapes.”  —Jonathan Lethem

Angela Blvd

Kleon also suggests you build a name for yourself.  Welcome to the world of Angie Kidd!  I hope you enjoy your stay.  Come back again soon 🙂

Backyard Art

Recently, my neighbor (the artist) and I had this grand idea to decorate the path between our two townhouses.  I thought we should name it the “Rose Path” so we would be able to remember it.  My neighbor brought along some fresh and dried rose pedals to scatter, I supplied the rainbow sidewalk chalk, and off we went!  Here are some photos of our adventures and the messages we created.

lamppost decorated with rose pedals

scattering rose pedals along the path

Rose Path entrance on my side

Following the Rose Path…

Spotted! Our shadows on the path

Hats off to roses!

our messages: PEACE

our messages: LOVE

our messages: FOREVER

Rose Path entrance
on my neighbor’s side

I’m a big fan of community art.  It works on so many levels including beautifying the community and bringing people together.  Plus it’s just fun!  Of course you need to be respectful when you’re doing it.

Over the summer, my husband and I visited Bayfield, ON.  One of the coolest sights in the town is an old barn turned into an art studio for all ages and levels of art experience.  How cool is that?

Me at Kryart Studio in Bayfield, ON

Want to view community art instead of make it?  Check out my post on The Heidelberg Project in Detroit.  It brings a whole new meaning to the concept.  Artist Tyree Guyton turned the neighborhood where he grew up into a kind of wonderland.  It’s a living art exhibit.  I was saddened when I heard on the news yesterday that one of the homes, House of Soul, burned down.  Arson is suspected.  I truly believe artists will be the ones to rebuild the city of Detroit, even if it’s one art project at a time.

We should all support art in our own neighborhoods.  How will you help beautify your community through art?

Tour of My Mindwork Art Exhibition

Greetings 🙂  Can you believe it’s the end of October already?  I hope many of you had a chance to see my recent art exhibit at the Troy Public Library.  But if you didn’t, don’t fret!  You can still take the virtual tour now.  Enjoy!  (Don’t forget to let your mind wander…)

Mindwork honors the mind as both creator and creation.

That’s all for now…  Until next time!

Tour the Denise Fleming Story Park!

Awhile back I interviewed author/illustrator Denise Fleming and shared that interview here.  I mentioned that her work is on display at the Sanger Branch Library in Toledo, OH.  That library was gracious enough to share photos from the Denise Fleming Story Park.  And now I’m sharing them with you 🙂

Welcome! You are in for a treat. Follow me on an e-tour of the famous Denise Fleming Story Park, which celebrates the artwork of this renowned picture book author and illustrator. You’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into one of Fleming’s books. Guaranteed!

Pond 1

Boy

Pond 1

Pond 2

Pond 3

Pond 4

Squirrel

Fox

Park View 2

Cats

Rabbits

Bees

Gazebo

Firefly Bush

It’s a dream of mine to have my work displayed in a library.  What are some of your dreams?  Please share!  In the meantime, enjoy the warm glow of these fiery fireflies.  According to Ted Andrew’s book, Animal-Wise, fireflies symbolize inspiration and the promise of accomplishment through hope and efforts.  May fireflies light the path to your own dreams so that you can make them come true.

The Heidelberg Project: Revitalizing Detroit through Art

I recently had the opportunity to experience The Heidelberg Project in Detroit.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, it’s basically one huge art installation consisting of a block of houses on Heidelberg Street in an urban area on the East Side.  Tyree Guyton is the founder and artistic director.  He displays found objects in creative and thought-provoking ways.

I’m always up for an adventure, especially one that involves viewing local art in the community.  So when a friend of mine suggested a visit, I immediately said “YES!”  But I had no idea what I was in for.

Follow me as I take you on a guided tour.  But beware.  This is only my personal view.  You have to experience it yourself to get the full story.  A couple of tips:  Definitely bring a camera.  You can simply drive by the project, but I suggest that you walk through it.  Total immersion.  Let yourself feel something.  You might even walk away feeling changed, as I did.

As an avid reader, children’s librarian, and author/illustrator, I walked through this exhibition feeling like I’d fallen into a fantasy story.  Think Return to Oz meets Alice in Wonderland meets And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street meets The Phantom Tollbooth

Here are some of my favorite houses!

Some of the recurring themes are:

Where can God be found?

The Taxi

The political commentary was endless…

There are many faces to the story being told.

Some provide comic relief

While others send a powerful message

Material and environment seem to coexist in some sort of beautiful irony.

There are very few words in this exhibition, so the words included have greater impact.  As an artist, I found inspiration here.

What I like best about the project is that it’s a work in progress. Nothing, not even fire, can destroy it. Perhaps that says something about the city itself.

I’m not originally from Detroit.  I moved to the metro area several years ago.  The city loomed like an enormous tin man.  But my first thought when I got here was that underneath all the industrial layers, it had heart.  Even now, I have to admit that Detroit still remains somewhat of a mystery to me.  At the same time, I support all of its revitalization efforts.  After all, who doesn’t love a good comeback story?