Monday, November 25, 2013

the Art of Falling

well...I resolved to write my blog regularly and then I had a bad fall - so, this is what it's been about the past few weeks
All images © Anne Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

things are improving..slowly, slowly
so I will
be back 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

the Art of Apology

oh me, oh my! how bad I have's been a while. A lot has been going on in my life and I am afraid my blog was sidetracked for a couple of months...well...I'M BACK! And I am sorry I ignored you - I will try - honestly I will - to blog at least twice a month. If I don't, feel free to yell at me to get going and write a note to you all!
I won't go in to all the details of what went on - some was bad, some was good. And some were just plain old joyful - like spending time with my sister again for the first time in nearly 4 years! And seeing an old friend recover from sadness and start to rebuild her life. We all go through these things and they make us stronger. I don't fold often and I rebound quickly. Expect to see some changes in the months to come...
Just to get started - new stuff ahoy! The Delaware Division of the Arts stopped by my new studio and made a short video of me for my solo show in December. Check this out and let me know what you think...

Meet the artist - Anne Jenkins

My website grows and I will be working on it more often to update it...
My facebook page is actively at least 5 days a week ... join the discussion and fun

Speak with you soon

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The art of moving and preparing for a museum show at the same time

is not to be recommended. Especially in a record breaking heat wave. But we survived, we moved the house and the gallery. I delivered my work to the Biggs Museum of American Art. I need to sleep for a week...
opening bash is this Friday. Photos to follow

Friday, June 28, 2013

The art of installation

I have been remiss in posting regularly - however, I have a grand excuse. The installation piece I am doing for the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover is galloping along at a good clip, just as well the deadline is just around the corner.
I have changed my mind on nearly every aspect of it, and every time I do I think the whole project has been improved. I am heading in to the final stretch with it and I am pleased with it.
A friend stopped by a couple of days ago and as I walked her through it, she gasped and tears came to her eyes. This is a huge compliment. I was so moved, I got tears in my eyes!
I am nearly finished the scary process of sealing the watercolour paper pieces in to the burlap. When I put the goo on it and the painting completely disappears under a white film, all you can do is think, "It will reappear. It will reappear." But I can't help holding my breath each time.
I have 3 more pieces to sew on to the burlap, attach the dowels and get rocks for ballast. Then it will be done. Here is a 30-second video of 2 of the panels just to pique your interest -  All images © Anne Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The art of sculpture

I have always had a yen to try sculpture, and now, thanks to the award I received from the Delaware Div of the Arts, I have. And I love it! I spent time in Maine, a gloriously beautiful state in the NE of the USA and I drove my talented teacher, Anne Alexander quite crazy during our intensive one-on-one workshop. I am a lousey student. I chose to do stone and we worked on alabaster. I made 1 and a half... here is the first "Warm Welcome" (in honour of my youngest nephew and his wife giving our small family the joy of their second son's arrival the day I started the course!)

Friday, May 17, 2013

The art of history

Art should make you think. And I am embarking on a new project - an installation piece for the Award Winners Show at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, DE, a show it's a great honour to be in. My first ever installation piece, no less. I am very excited about this piece - it is on the Underground Railroad. It is the anniversary of the Civil War, the Underground Railroad and the indomitable Harriet Tubman. I was born and raised in South Africa, now living in Delaware - which was part of the escape route of the railroad, and I am working with Zulu women in South Africa on The Vukuzakhe Project. It is the full circle of women helping women.
I gave a lot of thought to how to do the piece and decided on burlap. I use burlap a lot in my art anyway and it is a very ethnic fabric. There will be seven to nine 3-foot pieces hanging from the ceiling, each piece will be a different colour from dark to light. I intend to attach paintings/sketchs in charcoal, watercolour and acrylic on paper and canvas depicting the trip. Each piece will be weighted with chain to start finishing with sand.
There is a lot of symbolisim in this installation and I hope it will pack a powerful punch.
What I hadn't anticipated was how hard it is to paint. Depicting scenes of slavery is painful and difficult, but history must be told. I struggled with TVP because of my intense attachment, memories and love of Africa. The whole continent is in disarray and trouble and struggling with diseases right now - depicting the torment of AIDS in KwaZulu Natal cut to my soul. But there is always hope. And there are always people ready to stand up and do something positive to change the way things are - I needed to think that to complete TVP. I can see I am going to have to think like that again.
The outcome of the Underground Railroad is positive - freedom came, change came - slowly but it did, and continues. This is what I need to keep in mind. Otherwise it would be very depressing to work on - at least this piece finishes in the light and with freedom.
I do believe this installation piece will make people think. Dare I hope? Perhaps, especially, it will make young people realize what history there is and what it means.

trying to get a feel for it
a sketch for the first panel
all art © Anne Jenkins

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Art of Music

I seem to be sketching musicians quite a bit lately. The past sketching night was really cool - the musician strummed his guitar and it was so peaceful, tranquil and soothing I regretted not being able to stay long. I didn't have time to do any watercolour with the charcoal sketches - I was only there for half an hour. So this is what resulted ...

all images © Anne Jenkins

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Art of Return

It's said you can never go back, and I often find this true, but we've just been back in New Orleans for a week. I was interested to see how I felt...and it was just wonderful. We spent time with great friends, wandered about our old neighbourhood, got lots and lots of hugs and ate marvellous food, listened to superb local musicians and rode the ferry wistfully. Its a crazy place, alternatively you love or loate it but there's no escaping it gets in your blood.
I did some watercolour and charcoal sketches while there...all © Anne Jenkins

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The art of an ending.. and a new beginning

The past few weeks have been crazy busy, I've fallen behind in my posts... but I've feverishly been working on the boat project... and today the Parks & Rec came to take them away... first the committee came by and checked them out and approved them (YEAH!) and now my studio feels empty.
Carrying out boat # 1...

sitting side by side en route to their new abode... sorta - they'll be at the launch and then go to their permanent home
next time I see them will be at the launch! it has been a very interesting project, a worthwhile project and a fun project. Certainly can't moan about that...
and now - a new beginning and a new project. Ain't life grand?
check out my facebook and "LIKE" to get my updates.. thanks

Friday, March 29, 2013

The art of public art

This project is so much fun... my second boat is very cheerful and quite different to the first....
here's an update video..

and here is a wonderful article and video report by our new NPR station, Delaware's first.. WDDE 91.1
great station..very supportive of the arts...check it out  here

happy long weekend all!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The art of young talent

This public art project is keeping me on my toes and I'm learning so much - especially from the student I am mentoring, Ann. She is a lovely person - strong minded, intelligent and very talented artist... and we have slotted easily in to a working relationship.
I'm not only enjoying learning about her art and her view of art but of seeing life through the eyes of a 17-year old. One the first questions she asked was did I find it strange or annoying to have someone sharing my studio. The question surprised me... I hadn't thought of it in that way. But she is right, painting is a solitary occupation. I told her no, I am enjoying it. It's exciting and fun to see art through another's eyes and opinions. We discussed working alone and she is a wise young girl. She said something  like 'I am not afraid of being alone, I'm comfortable with it.' And I couldn't agree more - there is a big difference between being lonely and being alone. We both enjoy being alone and working alone, but we are also enjoying this short time working and learning together.
Ann faces a life filled with adventures, love, despair, laughter and joy. I wish her a long life of all of them. Go grab it with both hands and head on out... make a difference, is my advice to her.
I am sure she will.
SO ... meet Ann - my new artist friend, I'm glad we're having a grand old time doing this project.

Friday, March 08, 2013

The Art of Ugly

My boat # 1 is at the ugly stage... all art goes through this stage, well, at least most of my pieces of art. I'm determined to just do a video every Thursday morning to chronicle the progress. If I do too many it will lose the impact...
I am excited the student who will be working with me on this project is arriving for her first visit on Saturday. It will be fun to share the adventure and I am sure to learn a lot from her! Young minds don't know limitations.
Instead  of posting the video though, here's a photo - I started gessoing and base painting boat #2 because time is short for this project.. my fault. I've other things planned as well.
will I ever learn?
have a grand weekend...........

Friday, March 01, 2013

The art of video

I will be chronicling the progress as I paint the 2 boats for the public art project in Milford, - here's is video
 # 1. I am still learning how to do this, edit etc... so much to learn with new technology! Have a happy weekend
this video © 2013 Anne Jenkins

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The art of public art

I will start chronicling my adventures painting 2 boats - each one 4-feet long - for a public art project in Milford. We (the 4 artists doing this) have submitted our concept designs based on the "River town, art town, hometown" theme, been approved by the committee and now we have the boats and must be finished early April. We will each mentor a high school art student during the process. I will video the whole thing and post as I go... let the fun begin!
The first one I am doing is the "River town" theme honoring the 7 ship building yards way back inn the day when Milford and the Mispillion River were full of ships and ship building
I posted the process on my website when I did the "big" locomotive in Georgia..
Hope you enjoy the ride!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The art of workshops

I attended a 3-day workshop this past week offered by the Delaware Economic Development Office... free workshop, free breakfast and lunch and LOADS of good information, hilarious quotes. I met a great group of business people and my brain is is overdrive.
The access we have in this state to officials is wonderful and I am grateful for it. Funny to say this considering the size, but Delaware is like Nevada... good access to your state officials. DE is small and NV is big, so when I say this folks say how can this be? It's population size, NV is a big state but small population. DE is small state, small population - both lead to the good access. It really makes a difference.
Here's my graduation photo... proves I did it! ... we not only learned a lot but we had a grand amount of fun ... a big THANK YOU to DEDO.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The art of sharing art

I am one of the world's lucky people - I have a supportive family who love me as I am and they don't take me too seriously, friends who do the same and put up with me by choice. And a big advantage, my artist friends are willing to share their knowledge, their skill, their advice and listen patiently when I'm rambling because I haven't a clue what I'm talking about. For instance this new thing I am working on.
I have an interesting idea for an installation piece for one of my shows during this "fellow" year. And I have basically talked it in to shape with fellow artists, their suggestions have opened up new ideas and possibilities to me and shaped it.
I don't actually know if it can be installed in the locations yet - I had hoped to visit one of the places on Monday but some sad soul shot up people at the courthouse and central Wilmington went in to lock down. However, I continue working on the idea. It will be simple but I think quite powerful.  
It revolves around the "underground railroad" the slaves used to escape to the North - a part of it goes through Delaware. It's fits the theme of my shows: women helping women, Africa to USA, South to North, women in need and changing the world. 
I've heard of artists who refuse to share but I don't think I've met any yet. The artists I know are warm and generous, many are totally crazy and interesting, but they share because they want to help. I belong to a couple of art groups on one of the social media sites and I am saddened by how some artists have at last found a place to open their art and their souls to other artists. They have been alone, or surrounded by less than supportive people. How sad for them, but luckily, with this new media they are able to let it all out. The internet might allow some folks too much freedom to say things but having a platform to share their art and their ideas has made a world of difference to many, many people.
It's a lovely thing to see. And it re-enforces how truly fortunate I am.
This is a little doodle I did a couple of days ago in watercolour with three colours. I think I'll call it "Support"
visit my website and my facebook page... see you soon.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The art of museum shows

Such excitement in my life - the date is confirmed for my participation in the Delaware Division of the Arts award winners group show at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, Delaware. The opening reception is Friday, 2 August so mark your calendars - I'll post more details nearer the time. It is prestigious and an honour. I had 2 small pieces in a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Atlanta a few years ago.. and still experience the thrill.
There seems to be so much on my plate right now, I am pleased about this - I've a had a slow year or so, so the buzz fills me with energy and more ideas! As if I need more on my calendar but 'go for it' is my motto.
My solo show will be in December on the Mezzanine floor of the DDOA building... I am swimming through ideas for this one.
I'm thinking of revamping my website, so check it out in a few days to see how I'm doing! All comments gratefully received... constructive criticision that is  :)
I am very excited to have found a wonderful artist who is willing to work with me 1-on-1 for a 3 day workshop in sculpture. Once we are all sorted I'll let you have the details. But I will be heading up to Maine to do the workshop! Chilly Maine... it will be wonderful. While we were at the Hirshhorn Museum we spent some time in their sculpture garden... awesome work, a couple of samples as a teaser for you:
this one is by a Spanish sculptor, regret I forget his name
This is by Tony Cragg, a contemporary British sculptor from Liverpool. It's title? Subcommittee. Perfect!
Sculpted 1991

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The art of the exhibit

     Saturday was a glorious crisp, sunny day after the snow storms and dull grey skies of Friday. We zoomed in to Washington, D.C. revelling in the sparkly countryside and dry empty roads. Everyone stayed home thinking the inclement weather would continue all weekend.
     Parking was a cinch, right outside the Hirshhorn Museum and the cluster of the awesome collection of Smithsonian Museums. The Hirshhorn had a special exhibit by Ai Wei Wei, the dissent contemporary Chinese artist. I was particularly keen to see his Zodiac sculptures... they were in a circle in the outside courtyard inner-circle. They are big and uniform in colour, all situated in the circle according the the Chinese calendar and look dominant. And they are mesmirising, but - although I enjoyed each one individually, the whole didn't do much for me. They were cold and a little sparse emotionally as a group.

We wandered through the whole Ai Wei Wei exhibit, some of it very interesting or entertaining, and as with all exhibits, some we thought "How did that get in here?" But we both commented and were pleased to see how many young people were at the museum!
The Cube of Light was quite spectacular

I'll go in to the other art we saw in the next blog, too much to put in to one! It's a treasure to have these sort of worldclass museums just a drive away, changing exhibits. Living in D.C. would be a cornucopia of stuff to do, quite exhausting!! But so inspirational - art you like, art you're not sure about and art you just plain don't like - is all good, it makes you think! Go explore this wonderful world.

and please, keep up with my meager offerings at my website
and my daily thoughts at facebook

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The art of memory

Last week when I wrote about my friend, Nana Berthelot - a wonderful sculptor in Mallorca, in the Balearics... it brought an avalanche of special memories of our time together for a couple of years when we lived there. Lee and I were living on our 30' sailboat, mostly anchored in the bay off Puerto Colom, a delightful small town with a big natural harbour and an atmospheric old town with high rampart walls and large cathedral dominating it's skyline.
Our mode of transport was 2 fold-up bicycles... old and rather rusty but they worked. Nana lived in a finca surrounded by olive groves in the tiny village of Son Prohens a couple of kilometers away. We'd often ride our bikes over with food in our front baskets. We'd prepare the meal while she worked away at chipping stone. When it was ready, we'd set the table under a tree away from her dusty work and we'd all enjoy a long leisurely meal and wine, talking and laughing.
Other times she'd drive by the harbour, hoot at us, we'd row over and hop in the car and go with her to the quarry to order stone. She drove a little Renault 5 and we'd go barreling down in to the dark mouth of the quarry inside a mountain. I was always sure we'd get lost down there but Nana drove with great panache and speed through dark tunnels, stopped at the right place, placed her order and we'd shoot out the mouth of mountain in to the sun without mishap every time. The day after placing her order a flatbed truck would show up at her olive grove and begin dumping the pieces off haphazrdly. She left them where they were and whether they were horiztonal or vertical, on their sides or flat it didn't matter ... the stone told her what do create.
This photo is of 2 pieces in progress - they weathered naturally as she worked on them since they sat out exposed to all the elements. The man's legs behind the tree are a friend of ours who is about 6 foot, so you can get some sense of scale. These were 2 of her smaller pieces.
Nana's real name is Anne, but everyone called her Nana - a beautiful, tranquil woman who makes beautiful things, we are fortunate indeed to know her. I can hear her lilting voice with her fractured English, mixed with Spanish and French as I write this. Such happy, treasured memories.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The art of plenty

I always enjoy getting the art supply catalog from my favourite art supplier, Cheap Joes, I leaf through it wishing I could just buy whatever I like. I buy online but searching through the actual book is more fun for me than surfng the website! I received the 2013 one a few days ago and started my ramble through it. I had gone a few pages thinking "Ooh, wouldn't that be nice..." when it dawned on me... this year I, happily, CAN make up a wish list, and probably buy it all using my award money... art supplies are allowed. I guess the reality hadn't properly sunk in yet... it sure opened a whole new way of looking at the catalog. You can't believe how many pages have been bookmarked with a sticky note.
That led me to thinking about the "further education" option attached to the award. I can use the money for... classes? workshops? but not degree-related study. What media/subject/style shall I go after? I really don't have much interest in taking painting classes, but I have always fancied trying my hand at sculpture.
So, I thought.. why not? Take a couple of sculpture workshops and incorporate sculpture in to my one-woman show I have to have by the end of the year. It would give it a good texture and the 2 and 3 dimension appeal.
For the past couple of days I've been searching the internet, and really, there is surprisingly few workshops on offer, but I am finding some. Even with a grant some of them are a bit steep $-wise, but I've already sent off a couple of queries. This is so exciting. Another new world opens up to me.
Sculpture makes sense. I've always adored it, during my travels I've tried to see the all time greats from the David to the Burgher of Calais... some multiple times. Whenever I see any work by Rodin or Michangelo, Claudel or personal friend - marvellous French/Spanish scupltor in Mallorca, Nana Berthelot, actually, if truth be told, just about any good scuplure, in front of me -  it just takes my breath away.
Getting stranded in a small rural French town during a blizzard led us to a free tour of Matisse's (one of my very favourites) home, now a museum. The lady was so happy to see visitors in this appalling weather, she let us wander at will. We saw paintings, sketches and sculptures we'd never known about. It was in the same town the very large dog at the auberge ate our cars tail lights... but that's another story.....that whole blizzard episode remains one of those unplanned marvels of  travel.
Maybe my new interest in figure sketching... abstract and free form, are the first steps in a new direction... or at least, an added dimension to my art. Ain't life grand?
© Anne Jenkins   A couple of 5 minute scribbles, January 2013 

Monday, January 14, 2013

The art of sketching what you see

I went to the fun sketching group last Wednesday evening at the Mispillion Art League Gallery - we were lucky to have a great model, Christopher Clawson ... he is a dancer and so good at posing and holding the pose. He's relaxed which adds to the fun. Everyone does their own thing - some do bits of him but all pretty much paint in a realistic style. I just can't... I look at the pose and a lightbulb goes off in my head and out comes something more abstract...sometimes charcoal with watercolour, sometimes just chalk... whatever, that's the fun of sketching I am discovering. Sometimes 3+ figures turn up on the page. But that is what I see, I have no interest in attempting to paint realistically... because I can't. I admire the talent and discipline it takes to paint this way but I can't do it myself. Christopher understand this a dancer and writer he is an artist himself and his partner, David Rule is a fabulous artist, especially in figurative work, so Christopher is used to artists and how we see things. He liked one of mine so much I gave it to him. Next day I took them dinner to make up for the fact I forgot money to put in the tip jar for the model. Brain like a sieve. Here's my sketch now happily residing in the Towers Bed  Breakfast!
© 2013Anne Jenkins

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The art of lists

Sorry if I sound like a stuck record, but I've just had the best start to 2013... I made some very impressive lists (hear ye! I bang me drum loudly....)
The official notice came out today from The Delaware Division of the Arts and I'm the in the top list. I usually get irritated if my name is not spelt correctly, but this time I don't care... I'm in awe and it's such an honour to be on this list at all!

Then I made the renown artist, writer, teacher and more good things, Annie Strack's, list of top 10 artists to watch in 2013. Thank you so much Annie Strack ... .

so... no pressure, just think art. HA! My feet are hitting ground after all these accolades and it's starting to sink in. oh dear, the pressure, the pressure...I'll start to feel it once I've wiped the smile off my face!

thank you and I hope I can do these honours justice.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The art of a brand new year

I have been so up in the air about my wonderful award from the Delaware Div of the Arts, I've pretty much forgotten to do a whole lot of stuff. Including write this blog weekly. But I do wish you a wonderful art-filled year of joy and peace.

I came across this blog/article today and I think it is very interesting - an insight to cultures, how art can affect your thinking, cross-cultural exchanges and how more people need to meet more people from other cultures, religions and race to broaden our outlook. It will build tolerance. The world needs this right now, more than ever it seems. Travel is one way to do this - I encourage everyone to pack a small bag and go... you will grow because of it. Bon voyage!