Monday, April 27, 2015

See You at the Art Walk

You know warm weather has returned when local art walks resume after a winter hiatus. After a winter that can only be described as miserable, I'm ready to go stroll around the Marietta Square this coming Friday evening to look at art. And of course 2Rules Gallery at 85 Church St. will be my number one stop since they represent me!

I popped in at 2Rules the other day and found owner Helen busily arranging a slew of new offerings. The gallery is featuring lots of new artists with lots of fantastic art in all media. Looking for a special gift for newlyweds, Mother's Day, Father's Day or the graduate? You can't go wrong giving an original painting, or one of a kind piece of pottery, jewelry, fiber art, or decor item. How much more imaginative and thoughtful those items are than tired old standbys like flowers, chocolates, toasters or ties! You don't have to be a Rockefeller to afford originals, either. There's plenty to choose from for less than $100 at 2Rules and other art venues all within a couple of blocks.

Anyway, I hope to see you at the Marietta First Friday Art Walk this week. Come out and stroll the many shops and galleries, sip some wine and have some fun. It's a party that gets bigger and more exciting every year!

© 2015 Lynn Edwards

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, April 26, 2015

"I have made my world and it is a much better world than I ever saw outside." -- Louise Nevelson

A Must-See: Woman in Gold

Woman in Gold is one extraordinarily fine movie. Whether you're an artist or not, the true story about the return of Gustav Klimt's world famous masterpiece to its rightful owner decades after it was seized by the Nazis is as compelling as it is poignant.

Helen Mirren's performance as Maria Altman, an aging Austrian ex-pat living in L.A. and the painting's rightful heir, is nothing short of stellar. Also stellar is the performance of Ryan Reynolds who plays her young and very green but persistent attorney. Together, they take their fight to reclaim the painting from the Austrian government all the way to and through the U.S. Supreme Court and, ultimately, Austria's virtually impossible-to-access Restitution Committee. At every step, Austrian officials with far deeper pockets are equally determined to thwart them.

The painting is valued at $135 million, but Altman isn't interested in it for the money. She wants it back to regain a precious connection to her family, most of whom were annihilated by the Nazis following the Nazis' confiscation of the family's extensive art collection, jewelry and household possessions. For Maria, the Klimt painting is intensely personal and meaningful because it's the portrait of her beloved aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer, who helped raise Maria.

Amidst the mindless dross that characterizes so many films today, Woman in Gold stands out like a brilliant diamond. There are no stupid car explosions, nor sex scenes, nor endless gratuitous expletives in this film. (The f-word is used just once, I believe, by Reynold's character during an emotionally charged outburst.)

Is there violence? Absolutely, but not in the typically gory fashion you might expect. Instead, the violence wrought is the mental and emotional violence the Nazis subjected Austria's Jewish population to in their arrogance and deliberate cruelty. It's the terror they incited with their midnight arrests, property confiscations, and "removals" of thousands of innocent men, women and children to Nazi death camps, where they exterminated six million of them.

There are still an estimated 100,000 pieces of art that were unlawfully seized by the Nazis during World War II which, to this day, have yet to be returned to their rightful owners. Many are sitting in museums which are unwilling to relinquish them. These works are stolen property and as such they should be returned to the original owners or their rightful heirs. No matter how important the works may be to the institutions' collections or their countries' tourism industries. To do anything else but give them back is a disgrace.

I wanted to see Woman in Gold because Klimt's magnificent painting, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, has always been my most favorite work of art. The movie about it exceeded all my expectations.

Today, the painting hangs in the Neue Gallery in New York, by special arrangement with Maria Altman, now deceased. I think we all owe Maria a debt of gratitude for fighting so hard for what was right. In her case, justice was hard won, but it finally prevailed.

©2015 Lynn Edwards

Monday, April 20, 2015

An Update on the Updates: Anybody Got an Aspirin?

Well finally my website, is updated. Somewhat. It was like pulling teeth until I finally got the hang of navigating through Artspan's redesigned format. I did manage to add a shopping cart (yay!) but still can't figure out how to remove watermarks from previously uploaded pieces so I can offer prints on demand. I'll just have to tackle it in small doses or I'll go crazy. What I need is a grandkid.

Where, oh where is my gadget??

Next I tried adding the Daily Paintworks gadget to this blog. When I added the Etsy Mini gadget several months ago I found that process to be fairly easy. Not so when I tried uploading DPW. I went through the step by step at least 25 times with no luck. The popup window containing the HTML/Javascript icon I needed wouldn't pop up. At 1:15 in the morning I posted a request for help on Blogger's Help Forum. A very nice person promptly responded with a couple of suggestions as to the cause of the problem. I called in a rather sleepy Hubs to help me figure out how to implement their advice. He sat down at the keyboard and in two keystrokes the DPW gadget showed up on my sidebar. Seems I had so many tabs open the popup window was hiding behind them. Stuff like this could drive me to drink.

Just shoot me!

There's lots of new work still waiting to be uploaded to the website, my Daily Paintworks gallery and Etsy shop -- at least 17 paintings and mixed media collages. I can easily scan the smaller pieces but need to photograph anything larger than 8 1/2 x 11 inches. So my next task will be creating a place somewhere in the house or studio where I can do photo shoots. I used to take my work to a photographer in Atlanta but with this many to do at once the cost would be prohibitive. I'll just have to put on my best DIY pants and pretend I'm Richard Avedon. Will let you know how that goes.

It's so easy even a child...well, you know the rest

Then it will be taking on Facebook. I do have a FB page but need to learn how to use it. If you're one of the people who has been trying to friend me or share stuff with me on FB, please don't take it personally that I haven't responded. I just don't know what I'm doing yet, so I'm doing almost nothing until I can educate myself. I don't even have my photo on there. Yes, I know even kids use FB. I told you I was a Luddite!

Anyway, I hope you'll check out the changes on the website and visit my new DPW gallery, too. Please let me know if you encounter any problems, or have any suggestions for improvement. I welcome your feedback and am grateful for it.

©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, April 19, 2015

"...The first time you get paid for doing what you love to do will be one of the most thrilling moments of your life." -- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thursday, April 16, 2015

More Rainy Nights -- and Days -- in Georgia

Ethereal Trees - Blue              ©2015 Lynn Edwards

It's still raining here in the Peach State. The crummy weather has an upside, though: it has allowed me to get in even more studio time than usual. (I normally spend 20-30 hours per week painting.) With the weather being so bad I just don't want to go anywhere in the rain.

Since last weekend I've been reworking a 24 x 30 abstract (I wasn't satisfied with it so now I'm treating it to a major overhaul). Today I put the final brushstrokes on a nice 11x14 grid composition abstract in shades of blue, gray, black and white. And I've also begun some smaller works that will soon be listed in my Etsy shop.

And -- drum roll, please -- I've finally gotten around to figuring out how to use Daily Paintworks, and have uploaded several pieces to DPW's gallery. Much to my surprise and delight, DPW chose to feature one of them, Ethereal Trees - Blue, shown above, on its Facebook page yesterday as one of its Top 10 picks!

My relationship with computers has been like a bad marriage: more unpleasant than happy. The desire to avoid frustration is why I kept putting off familiarizing myself with DPW for over a year. I was equally intimidated by all the changes and new features at Artspan, my web site's host service. But my web site desperately needs updating. With several more days of rain predicted, I'm going to tackle it this coming weekend. I'm hoping the updating process won't be any more difficult than learning to navigate my way through DPW was.

DPW is wonderfully easy to use. They have a new member's start up tutorial that spells out, step by step, exactly how to do everything without tearing your hair out. It's actually written in plain English! No geek-speak! If all tutorials were this comprehensive yet simple to grasp, computer-challenged people like myself would be in hog's heaven. So kudos to the design folks at DPW! If I could I would send you a dozen roses. Not because DPW chose to honor one of my paintings, but because you've made using your service such a pleasure. For me, that's even better than a sunny day!

©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, April 12, 2015

"When we are authentic, when we keep our spaces simple, simply beautiful living takes place." -- Alexandra Stoddard

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spray Paint: Magic in a Can

Ever feel like you're in a whirlwind? I do. The past couple of weeks have been filled with frenetic activity as Hubs and I prepare to dive into some major home improvement projects. One includes turning our screen porch into a three season room. Along with that, I've vowed to make our front porch look more welcoming and attractive.

Because today was actually sunny and clear for once (!!!) with only a light breeze, I took advantage of these ideal conditions and went crazy with the spray paint. I spray painted two large wicker chairs and a wicker plant stand. The chairs, formerly dark-stained and drab, are now a crisp white. The plant stand -- originally dull brown with ugly black trim -- was transformed with a dreamy shade of pale blue. Holding a lush Boston fern, it'll be the quintessential Southern porch accent.

More wicker pieces still remain to be painted: a sofa, a glass topped side table and a glass topped coffee table. For those items I'll need to buy more spray paint. Starting Monday, the rain is supposed to return and be with us for at least a week. Plenty of time to shop for the paint. As soon as another calm, sunny day comes along, I'll be all set to break out the Rust-o-leum, Krylon and Valspar. I absolutely love the stuff. It's magic in a can.

Spray paint and upcycling/rehabbing go hand-in-hand. All these wicker pieces were thrift shop finds from Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul. The chairs, sofa, plant stand, and two glass topped tables cost just $200 total. Throw in $25 worth of spray paint on top of that. My kind of decorating -- fast, fun and on the cheap!

©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, April 5, 2015

"Gardening is an instrument of grace." -- May Sarton