Maryland Hall

A Connection in Clay artist Hank Murrow will host a gallery talk and slide presentation in the Chaney Gallery on Thursday, October 1 from 5:30–7 pm. 

About Hank Murrow


 

My three younger brothers and I endured a Jesuit education which was classical, vigorous, and abstract; so I was a sitting duck for the simultaneous encounter with Bob James and clay at the U. of Oregon in 1958. I was ripe for the idea of developing something from raw materials to an object transformed by the fire. At my first review, Bob turned over each piece to carefully regard the bottom before he looked at the rest of it; and I marveled, 'Hey, there's more to this than I thought!' ... which has continued to be true for 58 years.

David Stannard joined the faculty as I was beginning graduate work, and his gorgeous pots and profound understanding of materials perfectly balanced Bob's commitment to subject matter enfolded in rich metaphor. Together, they created an atmosphere of inquiry in the studio which encouraged us to share and learn from each other while remaining alert to our own calling. I was also very lucky to participate in six-week-long workshops with both Shoji Hamada and Michael Cardew; and to work alongside Jane Heald in our wonderful PotShop in Venice, California.

After earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1967, I went to Mexico to work for an art center in La Paz, Baja California. I married Bev Wickstrom in 1969 and took up a teaching post at Ohio University with George Kokis. During 1970-73 I was teaching at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, Colorado with Brad Reed. Bev and I returned to Eugene in 1974, where she began working for the University; while I divided my time between developing kiln designs and work in my studio there.

Back in 1969 some students from my pottery class and I were visiting the art history prof at his home and studio, when I noticed a box on a side table. I asked what was in it and he said, 'You can open it......if you do it over the carpet'. Inside the beautiful box was a brocaded cloth bag, & inside the bag was a teabowl with a lumpy white & orange glaze. At first I thought it might be rough, but once I got it into my hands I was seduced by its comforting texture and light weight. The pits inside the bowl held tiny pockets of bright green from its use as a teabowl. I asked what it was and he said, 'Shino........four hundred years old.' Well, I put it back in the bag and the box, but never out of my mind, chasing it ever since! 

About the Exhibit

A Connection in Clay - In Pursuit of Craft is an invitational show of American potters displaying how skills are transferred through lessons taught from master to student.  This partnership in pursuit of craft has been ongoing from the time where firing of ceramics was the high technology, traveling through the industrial revolution and into today’s art and craft movements.  

We invited emerging artists and their mentor. Also current masters (who named their mentors and influences) together with artists they are influencing in the next generation of studio potters.  The show displays the story of this ongoing dialog between potters and their relationship in craft.

The current studio pottery in America movement owes a great deal to Bernard Leach (1887-1979), Shoji Hamada (1894-1978) and Soestsu Yanagi (1889-1961).  As Michael Webb in his book, Introduction to Bernard Leach, Hamada & Their Circle stated, “The meeting of Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada in 1919 … started ripples which are still widening today and which may be considered one of the crucial events in twentieth century ceramic history.”  Leach, an Englishman, and Hamada, a like-minded Japanese potter friend, discovered pottery in Japan early in the twentieth century and devoted their lives to utilitarian pottery as an art form.  

Our show illustrates the diverse product from this connection in clay of Hamada and Leach and the interconnections of the potters in this exhibit. For example, Jeff Oestreich was encouraged by Warren MacKenzie to apprentice with Leach at St. Ives, which Jeff did starting 1968 and Jeff is one of the current pillars of the American mingei philosophy of utilitarian beauty today.  Another is Hank Murrow who in the sixties studied with Shoji Hamada for a shorter period of time; the Eastern influence is present in his work. 

Not everyone could have personally studied or apprenticed with Hamada or Leach, but the strength of the tradition, and the passing of knowledge and skills continues. We can see it in the connections between Chris Gustin and Seth Rainville, between Matthew Hyleck and Camilla Ascher and Missy Steele at Baltimore Clayworks (one of the important national centers for ceramics in the US), between Dale Huffman and Justin Rothshank and Missy Steele, between Matt Kelleher and Kenyon Hansen, and between Gail Kendall and Joseph Pintz. Many other connections take place; between Chris Gustin, one of the original founders of the Watershed Center in Maine, and Elizabeth Kendall the current president of the board of Watershed Center.  Even this exhibit can form connections in clay between you and the potters.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on my show that goes up in the Martino Gallery called Analogues which is a collaborative project with Todd Forsgren. Todd used to have a studio right across the hall and we were handed this idea about a dual show. It wasn’t something we pitched, it was just kind of there. We are taking old art history picture slides that we rescued from Anne Arundel Community College that were going to be thrown away. We are covering large acetate rolls with them to stick in the windows. We are hoping for good sunlight in the windows the night of the opening reception because they will look like large stained-glass windows. The slides will project light and shadows onto the floor to create a really cool image.

What are the primary materials that you use?  

I shoot on film still. I generally work on medium format, sometimes large format. For this show I am also using “found objects” and repurposing them into something new. That is a little bit different for me.

What’s your earliest memory of art?

In a way I feel like this question gives the impression that artists have some early childhood epiphany that they are going to become artists and I just don’t think that is true. Just because I liked art class in kindergarten, isn’t the reason I am an artist. Everyone liked art class. I know other people that had that early epiphany but for me it’s just not how I got here.

What work of art do you most wish you’d made?

There are no works that I wish I had made or didn’t make. I hate the sound of it because it sounds kind of… I don’t know. I certainly have a lot of ideas for projects, and with none of them do I think ‘I’m not going to end up doing that’. It’s either been done or will be done.

How do you know when a work is finished?

That is intuitive. I think that it is a real challenge for people. I usually have to try to force myself to push further. You get to a point with a work of art where you think its great and even your friends and artist-friends think it is great but generally in the back of your mind you know it could be better. It’s really hard to push further and take the risk of ruining what people think is really great. But, it’s really important to take that risk.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?

Both. I am going to admit that I do get a real thrill from the result. I like the process, I love the result. It’s just nice to see something finished and to realize you made that – it’s a boost for the ego and it helps you maintain your confidence. A lot of times when you are making something you are not sure where it is going. You start taping slides onto acetate for hours and your back hurts and you think ‘what if this stinks?. It is always nice to hear what other people think but its more of a personal thrill.

What is your ideal creative activity?

I really love working in the dark room at night. Sometimes I will go into the dark room, put on music and make prints for the sake of making prints. 

Which artists do you most admire?

Todd Forsgren. www.toddforsgren.com

Why are they your role models?

He isn’t really my role model. He is an artist that I admire. My grandfather was my role model. He taught me how to live.

Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?

My wife. She is very supportive of me as an artist. Sometimes that means putting more energy into our home than I do. I’ve been married for a long while and there was a time when we first got married where I went to her and said ‘I’m going to quit this job and work on this project and we are going to be poor for a while, is that ok?’ and she was like ‘go for it’. That project helped launch my career. It did launch my career. So I basically owe it all to her.

Who is your muse and why?

I don’t know that I have a muse. I don’t think I’m that type of artist that gets obsessed with one thing.

What is your creative ambition?

I want to take a metals class. I want to learn to weld. It’s not because I want to make sculptures it’s more because I want to make functional objects. I want to learn how to make a coffee table.

What are the obstacles to this ambition?

Time. I’m very busy.

What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition?

The answer is you just have to do it. You have to prioritize it and once it’s a priority you will do it. There is time to do stuff; you just have to decide what’s important. Right now it’s important for me to make certain projects before I make coffee tables. It’ll happen. To be honest it is something I have been planning on doing this year.

How do you begin your day?

I’m a big coffee drinker so that has to be a part of the equation. And, I usually just let my kids crawl around and play in the living room before I go off to work.

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

I don’t really have habits. Coffee is a habit. My wife and I like to go out to breakfast once a week. We are big breakfast people. We like to travel in the summer. But, I don’t really have any obsessive compulsive habits that keep me centered or anything like that.

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?

Creative dialogue is absolutely essential. What’s the opposite of that, you know, right? Hiding in your basement? Creative dialogue has to happen and it has to happen all the time. I have a number of people I can count on for that dialogue. Some of them are fellow colleagues at Anne Arundel Community College and some are my friends or even some of the residents here. Also, engaging my students in dialogue on a daily basis is part of the reason I teach. My job is such a pleasure. Working with those young people learning photography and getting to see them expose their first print in the dark room, I get to see that moment every semester. I can’t have that moment anymore but I get to see them have it and it is really energizing for me.

 

For more information about Matt, visit his Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

Maryland Hall recently added letterpress workshops to their curriculum and staff had the opportunity to spend the afternoon in the studio with the instructor, Bob Hardy. Bob showed us around the studio and gave us an in depth look into the world of letterpress. The afternoon was very interesting and informative. We highly recommend you sign up for the intro to letterpress workshop on Saturday, August 15 from 10 am - 2 pm. Click here for more information on the workshop and to sign up today!

Here are some photos from our afternoon in the letterpress studio. Don't forget to check out the Letterpress as Art & Function: American Primitive Letterpress at Maryland Hall exhibition on display in the Chaney Gallery through August 31.

 

Maryland Hall is pleased to announce the 2015-2016 Performing Arts Season! Tickets go on sale for members only on August 12 at noon. Members will receive an email with the promo code to access tickets. If you do not receive the email, please call the main office at 410-263-5544 ext. 10. Tickets go on sale to the public on August 17 at noon. 

You can purchase tickets online or call the Box Office at 410-280-5640. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 12 pm - 5 pm and two hours prior to ticketed performances. Remember, if you are a Maryland Hall member, you can purchase tickets at a discounted price!

 

Art Sherrod Jr.
Sunday, September 20 | 4 pm
Tickets: Non-Member $25, Member $20

National recording artist and smooth jazz saxophonist Art Sherrod Jr. will be in full concert as he releases his new Gospel Jazz album.

 

The Jason Bishop Show
Saturday, November 21 | 7:30 pm
Tickets: Non-Member $25, Member $20, Child $20

Jason Bishop performs stunning, state of the art magic and illusions. Each show features amazing sleight of hand, exclusive grand illusions and even close-up magic projected onto huge screens. Come see why he’s called America’s Hottest Illusionist!

 

An A Cappella Holiday with The Capital Hearings
Saturday, December 5 | 7:30 pm
Tickets: Non-Member $20, Member $15, Child $15

The Capital Hearings return to Maryland Hall with their signature holiday concert. The Capital Hearings will be making spirits bright with a festive, family-friendly program of beloved carols, smooth vocal jazz, and sparkling contemporary arrangements. 

 

LUMA Theater
Tuesday, April 12 | 7:30 pm
Tickets: Non-Member $29, Member $24

LUMA plunges the audience into a darkened space where a tapestry of illuminated illusions fills the stage. Combining rhythmic gymnastics, dance, magic, puppetry, physics and experimental methods LUMA is a singular experience that mesmerizes and mystifies leaving audiences full of wonder, slack jawed and goggle-eyed; An unforgettable evening.

 

Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio
Friday, April 22 | 7:30 pm
Tickets: Non-Member $20, Member $15

The Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio features top flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual, world class percussionist Tupac Mantilla and stunning bassist Brad Barrett. The trio creates a sound that seamlessly merges flamenco with elements of jazz, world-music and even rock and soul influences.

 

Footworks
Saturday, April 30 | 7:30 pm
Tickets: Non-Member $20, Member $15

Fiery fancy footwork sets the stage ablaze when the aptly named company, Footworks, returns to Maryland Hall for another spectacular performance.  Known for its energetic and imaginative choreography, Footworks combines the elements of clog, step, and tap into a fast-paced, exuberant dance production that leaves both entertainer and audience breathless. 

The Maryland Society of Portrait Painters (which meet regularly at Maryland Hall) is sponsoring a bus trip to NYC on August 15 to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends Exhibit.

The bus will be departing Maryland Hall at 7:30 am and arriving at the MET around 11:30 am. The bus will leave the MET at 6:30 pm and will arrive at Maryland Hall around 10:30 pm.

For more details and to register for the trip, visit the MSPP website or click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m a bit of a scattered worker when it comes to inspiration.  At the moment I have several pieces in the works for my November show ‘Heirloom,’ as well as a large piece I’ve just started for my own enjoyment.  I find great inspiration in the subconscious, so I’ve decided to put some of my more vivid dreams onto canvas.  I’ve decided to work exclusively from life this June and have already completed several smaller pieces just to keep limber and bright.  

What are the primary materials that you use?

Oil on a wooden panel or scrap is my favorite combination.  I love the heaviness of the piece when I’m finished and the stand-alone capability for thicker slabs.  The paint looks more sumptuous on a block than a canvas, and repurposing the wood factors into the philosophy behind my work.    

What’s your earliest memory of art?

Of personal art? I remember being told by a kindergarten teacher not to embellish my work on the edges - I was a doodler- telling me that such behavior would not prepare me for the reality of the school work to come.  Needless to say I doodled in textbooks and handouts for the duration of my education right on into adulthood.  
As for the greater world of art, I remember my father taking me to his then job at The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  We went behind the scenes into the conservation studio and I found myself standing right in front of one of the Degas little dancer sculptures.  I remember these studious people in white coats and gloves treating her with delicate little brushes while taking copious notes.  I knew at that moment that I wanted to work closely with the museum collections of this world.  

What work of art do you most wish you’d made?

Any John Singer Sargent watercolor.  I can replicate a space on paper or canvas, but he had a way of making light and color surreally effortless.  His innate ability takes my breath away.

How do you know when a work is finished?

When I still like it.  I have a tendency to work in hyper detail, and I’m trying to break away from this.  The pieces I’ve loved the most are looser with true and vivid color.  I’ve put pieces away for years before attempting to touch them again because I’ve painted myself into a corner.  Detail is a tricky mistress. 

How has your time as an AIR been?  Was it how you expected?

Lovely so far.  I’m about a third of the way into my 3 year term, and what I’ve loved most about it is the collective atmosphere of such varying styles all in one place.  I’ve reached out for input on many pieces and received some much-needed criticism.  I’ve also found inspiration in others whose styles could not be further from my own.   The space and the light is inspiring every time I walk into my studio.  Before I moved into this space I had been painting out of my home, which isn’t conducive to an open and creative mind.  There’s also something inspiring about being around so many rooms filled with people creating, learning, singing, and dancing.  Though the hallways may be loud at times there’s something wonderful about knowing this artistic hub is thriving and inspiring people in this city.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?

The process.  I love taking out my paints and surveying the space, and seeing the work take shape.  I love that satisfying moment when the brush applies one stroke and the color is perfection.  I tend to feel excited but a bit sad when I finish a piece I adore.  Almost like finishing a good book.  You feel satisfied and inspired at the close, and yet there’s melancholy for having to set it aside and find the next great read.  

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

I always coat my boards and canvas in a red/orange layer.  Pieces without it lack warmth, and I find that I like a peek of brilliant color when I leave it untouched at the edges. I listen to nothing but soundtracks when I paint.  I prefer wordless music to talk radio in the studio.  News, books, a chat on NPR- all of these keep me rooted and I prefer to drift when I work.    

What is your ideal creative activity?

A run or hike somewhere beautiful in nature to find a good sketching spot.  I keep a trusy moleskine notebook in my purse for such times.  Nothing trumps sun and open air.  

Which artists do you most admire?

John Singer Sargent and John William Waterhouse are and have always been two of my favorite painters.  Both painted with such authority.  Sargent handled watercolors like no other artist before or since- I have always envied his ability to convey a space, especially those covered in dappled light.  There’s a looseness about his work that continues to inspire and frustrate me.  Waterhouse caters more to my 10 year old self who retreated into trees with a good book to dream of knights and dragons.  His work more controlled but lovely.  Alan Lee began inspiring me around the same time frame- there’s an eerie beauty to his work.  There’s something to be said for someone with his illustrative capability who still works on paper and not a computer. 

Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?

Too many to enumerate here, but oh lord yes.  I’ve somehow lucked into knowing and being related to some true gems.  A writer, who inspires me to keep my mind open to new materials and the lives around me.  A painter, who keeps a meticulous record of her life and travels in some unbelievably illustrated notebooks.  A gardening enthusiast who keeps my eyes open to the possible uses of forgotten things.  A traveler who keeps my spirit open to the vastness of the world I have yet to experience and be inspired by.  

What is your creative ambition?

I want to create work without pausing to contemplate a pieces usefulness or reception by others.  I crave a truly inspired method of creation that I can feel with every piece.  

What are the obstacles to this ambition?

My own tempestuous nature.   Keeping to a plan is a mechanism that allows me to create without becoming to frustrated with mediocre work.  I think most artists suffer with that internal knowledge that not everything we create is going to be a success, whether by outside standards or our own.  Letting go of that innate worry is I hope something that will grow with time.

How do you begin your day?

Coffee.  An open window.   If I’ve been reading a new book, a few chapters.  

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?

Absolutely.  We all need feedback and a sounding board.  I don’t consult any one person, but have found great input in the other AIR’s since moving into my space.  I have many friends abroad and it can be helpful to suss out ideas with those who have been trained using completely different methods.  I’ll never be so convinced of my own work that I can’t still grow and learn from those around me.    

 

For more information about Anne, visit her Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

The Maryland arts community was stunned to learn that Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts was singled out as the only non-profit to have its funding deleted from the recently approved state capital budget.  This capital project funding was approved by the General Assembly – Republican and Democrats – to continue capability enhancements and renovations at Maryland Hall, including improvements to make the community arts center more accessible for those with disabilities.  This unprecedented action will harm the thousands of patrons, students, artists, volunteers, parents and supporters of Maryland Hall who benefit from this treasure in our community.  The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Annapolis Opera, Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra and Annapolis Chorale are all partners in the ongoing project to update Maryland Hall, and will be impacted from any delay caused by this significant cut in state funding.  We urge that the money be restored so that Maryland Hall can continue to enrich the community and transform lives.  We appreciate the continued support of the elected officials and community members who value Maryland Hall and regard the funding of arts, communities and education as a priority.

                                    Theatre Patron Wing                                                           Theatre Production Wing – Act 2
 

The Campaign for Maryland Hall is a five-year $18 million capital campaign to modernize and expand Maryland Hall, the region’s premier arts center.  We have already completed an upgrade of the main theatre (Act 1) and have made substantial progress with public and private funding sources so that we might soon begin Act 2 which will include the first major construction at Maryland Hall since 1932. But we need everyone’s support!

Thank you to the many community members who have already invested in this important project to expand, add capabilities and modernize Maryland Hall.  Please encourage everyone in the community to provide financial support – large or small – to help Maryland Hall engage more people.  Nothing speaks louder than action.  Over 100 individuals and all of the Boards of 4 of the 5 resident companies have contributed to the Capital Campaign just this year – demonstrating support for the planned improvements for Maryland Hall to enhance important mission delivery.

To contribute to The Campaign for Maryland Hall, click here. For more information, call 410-263-5544 ext. 26 or email capitalcampaign@mdhallarts.org

www.freestaterblog.blogspot.com

Maryland Hall’s Summer Concert series returns with another season of great music outside on our front lawn and labyrinth. Fun for all ages, bring your lawn chair or blanket and mark your calendar for our annual summer concerts! All concerts are free and no tickets are required. Wine, beer and food will be available for purchase. 


Sponsored by RPH Architecture
With additional support from Deborah Love in memory of Joe and Jackie Sachs.

 

Deanna Bogart
Thursday, June 18 | 6 pm
Deanna Bogart is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and multifaceted musician. Bogart combines the best of boogie-woogie, contemporary blues, country and jazz into a splendid blend she calls “blusion.”

 

Blue Rhythm Boys 
Thursday, July 9 | 6:30 pm
Blending the blues of Mississippi John Hurt with the "hot club" swing of Django Reinhardt, the Blue Rhythm Boys have delighted audiences with their tight vocals and hot guitar playing since 1997. Tom Mitchell (vocal,guitar), Jim Stephanson(vocal, guitar), Vince McCool (trumpet) and John Previti (upright bass) bring authenticity and originality to their own smoky mix of hot jazz, blues and hokum.  

 

 

Afro Bop Alliance
Thursday, July 30 | 6:30 pm
Latin Grammy Award-winning group Afro Bop Alliance is an Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble based in Washington, DC.

 

 

Craig Gildner and The Blue Sky 5
Thursday, August 13 | 6:30 pm
Craig Gildner and The Blue Sky 5 perform vintage jazz and swing music made popular by Count Basie, Nat Cole, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview conducted by Gallery Director, Sigrid Trumpy.

 

What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a series of six paintings entitled Body of Water. There are three large-scale paintings and three small, which depict the human form merged with water – ocean, bay and tributary. The concept is to unify the human form with these bodies of water to demonstrate how interconnected we are.

What are the primary materials that you use?
I use oil paint directly from the tube or can, occasionally mixed with plaster, wax or linseed oil to give it some texture.  I work on triple primed canvases. My larger works are up to 5' x 5' and small around 30" x 40."  In order to get the desired affect, I use a variety of palate knives and filbert brushes.

What's your earliest memory of art?
My earliest memory of art is my mother bringing home a landscape painting when I was about 5 years old, followed by her painting of a vegetable still life in oil. It was a very small canvas and tightly worked, realistic in style.  Around the same age, I recall watching my grandfather handcraft a violin.  I remember feeling in awe of him, and knowing at that time I wanted to learn how to create something from nothing.

What work of art do you most wish you'd made?
Great question.  A painting, Marc Rothko's White Center.

How do you know when a work is finished?
Something I learned early on is a work is not finished when someone else thinks you’re finished; it’s about how you, as the artist, feel. To me something is finished when I feel a connection with the work, that it’s able to communicate what I had intended it to communicate.  

How has your time as an AIR been?  Was it how you expected?
My time as an artist-in-residence has been extremely satisfying. I’ve enjoyed the studio space – the scale, the light – as well as having the opportunity to connect with the other AIRs and learn from each other.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?
I choose the result.  The process of laying and shaping paint can be tedious, followed by the tightening and enclosing of the shapes. Perhaps like designing a room, or making a paella, the assembly process is long and often wrought with challenges, but the result is well worth it.

What are your habits?  What patterns do you repeat?
I tend to repeat a combination of smooth and heavy/relief surfaces with paint. Additionally, I float the edges, providing a frame-like finish.  I work left to middle, then right to middle, using both hands.  

What is your ideal creative activity?
Painting.  Alone. Or, with a book-on-tape.

Which artists do you most admire?
Louise Bourgeois for her range of work and feministic themes.  Holding Sunday Salon's - a crit. for student's and creating the movement of confession art.  I love her spider sculpture in DC. Helen Frankenhaler for her gorgeous stain paintings and the first artist who introduced me to the color field style. Also, locally, Claire McCardle for working with marble, which frightens me.

Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?
A childhood friend, a New Yorker, who embodies "the art of living beautifully." 

What is your creative ambition?
I would like to have a greater presence in commercial spaces. Most of my work is large-scale and lends itself to open, public spaces.

I also have an aspiration for the local arts community as a whole.  Artists are challenged to find the right environment to learn, create, and be inspired to hone their craft. My hope is someday we could identify a benefactor to support local artists by dedicating a building to studio and gallery spaces. Think the Arts Tower in Baltimore (Bromo Seltzer tower). 

What are the obstacles to this ambition?
Regarding my personal ambition, it's simply about finding the time - and mental energy- to develop a greater presence on social media in order to engage with architects, commercial builders, etc., instead of going through a dealer to form those relationships.

In terms of community outreach, Annapolis is fast recognizable as an artist haven. Given that, it just comes down to the funding. Build it and we will fill it.

How do you begin your day?
I always start with coffee and the NYTimes, followed by walking my dog, Scout.  I use that time to mentally plan how I'm going to use the studio time for the day.  I try to walk from my home in Eastport to the studio at least a couple times a week to clear my mind.

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?
It is important.  Painting is a singular vocation, and although I'm comfortable with alone time, I do feel outlets for shared passion are vital.  Art speak is in everything -fashion, food, travel, architecture and design.  Perhaps "Sunday Salon" needs continuance.

 

For more information about Lorraine, visit her Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

Artists That Have Influenced My Work

by Patrice Drago

I appreciate all of the masters of early days and today, and I'm grateful for the exposure I have had both academically and independently to such a large quantity and wide variety of incredible work.  Out of all of them, there are two artists that always come to mind that captured my attention and never lost it.

When I was painting still life, landscapes and figure in oil, the single greatest influence on my work was Caravaggio.  While his paintings were often depictions of disturbing events, (see the image), it was how the drama was emphasized that fascinated me.  "Chiaroscuro" - the sharp contrast of light and dark - was exciting, and it demonstrated how to create focus in a composition with contrasting light and dark in the right places.  I remember walking into the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, and immediately noticing - over everything else - a Caravaggio painting in the Cerasi Chapel on the left, with a tiny light on it.  It glowed and even though it was almost completely sideways to my view, it was all I could see.

  

"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" 1601-2 by Caravaggio

For me, creating dark shadows with purple is far more exciting than black, and my art mentor at the time really pointed that out for me.  For the ten + years I painted exclusively in oil, I never once used a black pigment. I only used Dioxazine Purple for shadows, because shadows aren't really black; there is always color.  Even though I have gone back to painting abstracts, I still use dark and light contrast.  

I am and have always been in love with the Abstract Expressionist movement, making it hard to single out one artist.  But one painting had a huge impact on me, and it was Sam Francis' "Middle Blue".  When I saw it in the MOMA San Francisco, everything else I saw fell away and I felt like I was home.  The colors, the line, the white - the entire composition and the combination of colors were so familiar - it felt like a painting of my soul.  A series called "Breakthrough", which was my return to abstract after a long hiatus (since college) clearly shows Sam Francis' influence on my work.  

"Middle Blue" by Sam Francis

All of it has brought me to a place where I feel I am truly painting from what is a combination of all of my experiences.  A healthy curiosity and a never-ending desire to always learn more ensures my work will continue to evolve.  

 

For more information about Patrice, visit her Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

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