Monday, January 30, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Kim Evenson


 A 2D memory palace, underline, highlight, illustrate, alter texts, juxtapose image with text, find a word, a line, a verse to start the mind on an inner journey.  Wonder at something.  Invite others to wonder with you.
 
Kim Evenson creates mixed media art work from inspiration of poetry.



 She is a scientist by day, an artist by moonlight.

 
I remember making my own books when I was a kid.

 
Her first love is nature.  She likes to take walks in nature; one of her first interests—plants, biology.  As a child the nature books were not beautiful and interesting to her.  Poetry connects science and draws together her interests from childhood and her fascination as an adult with science.  With science she enjoys learning the names of fungus or plants; it opens the landscape for Kim to have more meaning.

 
She has an interest in going to explore the Grand Canyon.   Workshops that she has attended through her work at the University, take her to intriguing places.   One bog in particular had her fascinated.  Cedarburg Bog is near Saukville Wisconsin - North of Milwaukee. It was a surreal environment– especially on that rainy day in May when we walked the boardwalks looking at Mosses & Liverworts. It was located in an area not frequented by humans.  As a result, she said that it felt like she was seeing plants from 1,000,000 years ago.  She saw horsetail, sun dews, and pitcher plants.  She expected to see a dinosaur raise its head at any moment.  




She is fascinated by the spontaneity of little children in their artwork.   As children grow up, they seem to lose that spontaneity.  Everyone wants to find the joy of their youth.  How do we guide children to grow up and nurture the deep truths within?


Kim may start with an embroidery piece and then place it in a box to continue with it later.   She may work on 5-6 things at the same time, adding color, words, stitching until it clicks.


Details of Heart Bag
 
When she adds words, she may paint over the words to give a ghost like image to the thoughts on the page.  Sometimes she adds a little door to open or a window to look under.

 
This black watercolor was painted during the time of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
French saying translated to English, “In my reflection of the details, I find myself asking if it was real or in my dreams.” 
Her room has space with a small desk, a weaving loom, some small tables for things that she collects and an enclosed book shelf.
 

The fabric lives in a red box on the floor.  It comes out when Kim wants to begin some stitching.  Files, and pencils and artwork share the space this afternoon.


She really likes her students.  She likes to see how smart they are.  Some are just brilliant.  She is interested in students for who they are and what interests them.  Students show their appreciation for her work with them through sending her articles that they think she may be interested in.  Kim says that her first interest is putting together materials and articles that bring her teaching alive.  When I talked with her, she was in the midst of the beginning of the second semester.  It’s a busy time getting everything set up and going after winter break.  Soon there will be more of an even time and she will take time to work on her art again.  Mornings are her best time.  She gives herself time to work on her art Saturday or Sunday mornings. 

Kim thinks that people need to write or paint to stay fresh in their day to day work.  Her inspiration is poetry.  Poetry fits into a frame of time of a moment of life.



4am to station
Boarding 5:45
Please listen for any changes

And mystical cities I remember
but have lost now to dreams.

When I asked her if she has favorite piece/s, she said that each is a reflection of a moment in time.  Each tells a story about the time that she made them.


 Soon!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Creating a Vision Board

Creating a Vision Board of my hopes and dreams for 2012 with help from my friends


A vision board is a creation of images that express what a person wants in her/his life, or what makes one feel happy, passionate about life. I create mine on a bulletin board so that it can be a growing, shifting, set of images that reflects the changes happening in my life.
 
Last fall, I had taken my Vision Board apart during a massive clearing and reorganization of my studio.  I have wanted to create a new one for many months but it felt like too big a project to take on.  When I got invited to a small gathering of women to create one on New Year’s Day, I was thrilled at the thought.  I spent some time before we gathered locating images that appealed to me—for their meaning?  No, because they were interesting, beautiful, or had some appeal that I could not give meaning to yet. 

In preparation for this Vision Board making, we smudged each other with sage. Dried sage is burned and the smoke created is fanned over and around a person by another. This is a Native American tradition that helps a person focus her intention and it clears away confusion. 



Making a collage is one of my most favorite activities.  It’s an art form that involves images, and words, and colors and design and movement and unity and balance and space.  I like to layer the images to give the artwork depth.  The Vision Board feels successful when I am pleased with how the end result looks.  This often takes moving images or adjusting how they are put together to get the look that works for me.  If I find another image has to become part of the Vision Board, I can add it easily by removing some pins and shifting images around.

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