Time Time, Mind in a Bind.
Thoughts in a Mold, Blockages Unfold
Writing by Mary Ahern. February 20, 1978
Illustration by Mary Ahern, October 22, 2013
Time Time, Mind in a Bind.
Thoughts in a Mold, Blockages Unfold
Writing by Mary Ahern. February 20, 1978
Illustration by Mary Ahern, October 22, 2013
I took these video clips in my studio as I prepared for the Northport Art in the Park hosted by the Northport Arts Coalition.
I used a Canon Power Shot SD3500 IS Digital ELPH, holding it in one hand and demonstrating with the other. I used the audio from the camera which is muffled at times since I put my finger over the microphone. I originally started with 18 minutes of video clips and brought it down to about 4:15.
I edited in iMovie with the end credits created in Photoshop.
Fun little project which I wish I’d given myself more time to perfect but there are always choices to be made. Time being the one thing I can’t seem to stretch.
I happily took the Long Island Railroad into Penn Station to then walk to Chelsea in NYC from my perch in Northport Long Island. This venture, on a cold winter day, was to gather in the brilliant colors and environments of the watercolor paintings created by the Artist, Joseph Raffael. These large-scale works envelop you into the tropical gardens and seaside shells which are the models and subjects of his work.
Some feature strongly defined focal points while other subjects are diffused, allowing you to meander through the tangles of flowers, leaves and stems. Koi provide the pivotal “Turning Point” between the water and air while leaving ripples which you know will be gone again in moments. Tibetan prayer flags flutter in the breeze sharing the brilliance of Koi colors. Time, movement and transience are significant subjects in these meditative paintings.
March 21-May 4, 2013
“THE WORK OF FOUR EXTRAORDINARY ARTISTS EACH ONE FOCUSING ON THE UNIQUE AND VARIED WAYS THAT COLOR LIVES IN OUR LIVES”
– William Grabowski – Curator
March 26 – June 17, 2013
Art-trium Gallery. 25 Melville Park Rd, Melville NY 11747
Friday, April 5, 2013. 5:30 – 7:00 pm
With music performance by Sally Shorrock and Friends
This Show is Sponsored by the Huntington Arts Council
SOME OF THE MIXED MEDIA PAINTINGS ON VIEW by the Artist, Mary Ahern
“Light Blue Iris in the Garden”
I grew these delightful light blue Iris germanica in my garden one year but they sadly haven’t come back with such beauty since. Iris borers and not enough sun perhaps. I solve this ephemeral behavior by painting the flowers from my garden. No pesticides, no fungicides, no weeding, no deadheading. They are in perfect condition all year round.
“Lilies in the Garden”
As a gardener and an Artist I’ve been able to combine both of these passions.Though my garden has been featured on various Garden Tours, I guarantee that it doesn’t look as good as the fantasy garden in this painting.
“Siberian Iris Trio”
A small patch of these Siberian Irises were in the garden when I bought my home in 1989. They are short lived during the season but very long lived over the years.
“Daylilies and Rudbeckia”
I paired this combination of flowers on my canvas for the their jovial and robust colors. Noticing their form, color and bloom time I transplanted them to create a seasonal vignette in my late summer garden as well.
“Conversation Piece Azalea”
These multi-colored flowers all bloom on the same shrub in my garden collection. Another nice thing about this cultivar is that it blooms a bit later than other Azaleas, thereby extended the colorful season.
MY ART BLOG
I wrote an article on my Art Blog recently describing how subconsciously I was influenced by the famous Matisse painting, “The Dance.”
Studying Art History for decades seeps into your creative mind and emerges in ways that you don’t expect. Though I majored in Art in college, it’s the years of continuing pursuit that really make the subtle and not so subtle differences in an Artist’s work.
A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.
– Gertrude Jekyll – Gardener, Designer, Writer 1893-1932
MY ARTIST STATEMENT
My Art is driven by the pursuit of multiple passions. In my garden I grow the delicate & ephemeral models which are the subjects of my paintings. I transform them through a complex series of digital technologies and traditional mediums.
I have a degree in horticulture, a degree in Fine Arts and my entire career has been spent in Digital Imaging technologies. These are the tools I use to create my Art.
Creating and reinventing my gardens larger than life size demonstrates the profound importance they play in my own personal centering.
I hope to see you at my show opening and if not please visit me on my website,
or on Facebook: http://facebook.com/MaryAhernArtist
Studying Art History seeps into your memory. Countless visits to the many museums and galleries that New York City has to offer has crept into my subconscious. This lifelong study has taken me through so many happy surprises as well as quite a number of dead ends.
Often Artists are asked who their influences have been for their Art style. Trust me, never would I have answered Matisse. I’ve never appreciated his sketchy use of paint, his lack of detail and apparent lack of a “finished” quality to his work.
And then, when I least expected it, I reimagined Matisse’s iconic painting, “The Dance”. Using flowers from my own garden, I picked up the exuberant rhythm that makes his work such a delight. This work is so light, buoyant and a wonderful interpretation of what spring means to me.
As I was creating the composition of Irises I remember somewhere, behind my eyes, trying to make the circular floating connections of the frilly irises that was suspended somewhere in my memory. I have stood so often in front of the Matisse painting at the Museum of Modern Art, loving the composition while not liking the paint quality. I’ve returned so often to view that painting in the original hoping to find what I missed.
I absorbed his painting just by being there and looking. And looking again. And again…
“…man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots,
whose flower and fruitage is the world…”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
My paintings actually start in my garden. This is where I grow the flowers, shrubs and trees, which are a part of the workflow of my creative output. The sun and shade play a role in all my compositions.
I actually consider the creative work to be seamless whether at work in the garden or at work in my studios. The up close and personal view of the flowers when I’m weeding, deadheading, trimming and tending allow me the time to become intimately aware of each flower’s details. This is something I like to convey in my work.
These light blue irises came to dance in the breezes in the front garden, which I can see through the French doors in my living room. Though short lived, their ephemeral character is part of the fun of capturing them in my Art.
The composition of this painting was created using elements from different areas of my garden. The woodland walks with their large hemlock trunks for the vertical accents, which mimic the verticals of the irises. The rare spots of sunshine in the front garden, which hold the irises and many other perennial sun lovers, give me many sources of inspiration during the seasons.
The finished painting is called “Light Blue Iris in the Garden”. I’m not very original on names but it is an apt description.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mary Ahern Invited To Exhibit Her Art by the Huntington Arts Council
Northport, NY. – February 24, 2013
Mary Ahern, the Northport Garden Artist, has been invited by the Huntington Arts Council to display her Mixed Media paintings in the show titled, “Living Color”. These bold & bright, large-scale paintings are interpretations of the gardens she tends surrounding her studio on Long Island.
Mary Ahern, who has shown her work and been collected extensively on Long Island and many surrounding States, is pleased to have been invited by the Huntington Arts Council to participate in the “Living Color” show. Ahern states, “The title of this show perfectly describes my own large colorful floral portraits. It is a perfect fit.”
The Huntington Arts Council show will be held in the Art-trium in Melville, Long Island, NY. This spacious setting is ideal for Ahern’s large-scale powerful statements.
The show will be held at the Art-rium Gallery at 25 Melville Park Rd., Melville NY. Her Fine Art will be on view from March 26 – June 17, 2013.
Meet the Artist at the opening reception, which will be held on Friday, April 5, 2013 from 5:30-7pm.
Follow the Artist & her work on her website & blogs at: http://MaryAhernArtist.com
The Art League is located at 107 East Deer Park Rd. in Dix Hills NY 11746
Tom Stacey is the Coordinator of the show and can be reached at 631-462-5400
The ALLI website is www.artileagueli.org
The piece that I’ve submitted for the show is “Passion Flowers with Bamboo”.
This painting is a Mixed Media piece created using digital and acrylic painting. The finished work is a 20×24″ gallery wrapped canvas with a 1/5″ depth. The purchase price is $549.
The original models for this work were some Passiflora caerulea commonly known as Blue Passion Flower. I grew them in my deck planters where they entwined themselves on a craftsman style trellis on the sunny outside wall of my home.
The bamboo is also from my garden and is Fargesia robusta ‘Green Screen’. It is a clump forming bamboo and is said to reach a height of 12-15 ‘ but it hasn’t done so in my garden so far. I have it planted on a berm just behind a Japanese maple. For a further description of this Fargesia check out www.bamboogarden.com.
This is the month for the annual silent art auction fundraiser in support of the Huntington Arts Council’s exhibition program at the Main Street Petite Gallery and Art-trium Gallery in Melville.
November 9 – November 30, 2012
Huntington Arts Council Petite Gallery
213 Main St.
Huntington NY 11743
Contact: Florence Dallari, Asst. Dir. 631-271-8423
Huntington Arts Council Website: http://www.huntingtonarts.org
This year I’ve donated my White Rose Montage to this worthy fund-raiser.
I designed this long 8″ x 39″ montage for all the folks who tell me they can’t buy my work since they don’t have anymore wall space. This piece fits nicely between windows or as an accent piece at the edge of a wall. It has 5 individual digital paintings of roses for all those rosarian collectors out there.
The holidays are coming and you can do two nice things for the price of one. Bid on this piece to help support the Huntington Arts Council and then give it as a gift to one of your special friends.
It will last longer than a bouquet of flowers.
Curating an Art Show takes many steps and stages. The process begins with the organization sponsoring the event. They are responsible for setting the dates and timetables of the show, the selection of Artists and in this case, establishing and maintaining a cooperative working relationship with the owners of the hosting venue.
The organization that is sponsoring the Art Show decides if they are hosting a One-Person Art Show or a Group Exhibit and where the venue will be held. This information is included in their prospectus.
For the Art Show I’m having from August 28 through October 9th, 2012, I downloaded the prospectus from the Northport Arts Coalition (aka NAC) website here. Most organizations now offer their applications & information online.
In this case, I applied for a One-Person Show to be held over a 6-7 week period at the Wine Cellar on Main in downtown Northport NY. I was notified of my acceptance and given about a one-month lead time to prepare for the showing.
Normally the lead time for an opportunity for a large show like this is quite a bit longer but I was pleased with the opportunity to show my work so I quickly accepted their offer.
Depending on the organization the curating of the actual show is done either by a designated person within that group or the individual Artists whom they’ve selected for a show.
Since I have decades of experience managing and curating my own and other events I have a particular method of working. In another post, I discussed how I started planning & curating my show. Curating in the sense I wrote about is the decision making process of how the show will look and what work I have available to show.
I usually have various paintings of mine in multiple group shows over a wide variety of time slots & locations so I keep comprehensive records of where my Art Work is allocated at any given time & where the work is scheduled to be shown.
I also know what work is in the process of being created & when the work will be available for the next showing.
Curating is many things. These include finding the venues, selecting the Artists, designing the show itself and creating and executing the marketing campaign.
So I applied and was accepted for a one-person Fine Art Show at the new Wine Cellar on Main in Northport NY from August 28 through October 8th, 2012. The acceptance email was the fun part & then the stress factor hit me within moments.
Yikes. I’m a curator now.
What paintings would I show? How many pieces of Art? What size paintings would look right. How would I stage the show hanging? And since it was such short notice, (one-month) how quickly could I pull this whole show together efficiently & still enjoy life?
Here’s what I did.
I took my point & shoot camera, pencil, paper & a sturdy metal measuring tape & scouted out the available show space. Luckily, my friend Greg Oleanik currently had a show hanging there so I was able to take snapshots of all his work hanging in place.
I measured the height & widths of all the available spaces within the room, keeping them sequentially numbered along with photos of each space. I spoke with the proprietor, Lindsay Ostrander & we discussed the fact that she had installed a hanging system with rails & rods so that I wouldn’t need to put nails in her walls. This info I took back to my studio & headed for the computer.
I imported the photos into Photoshop. I created a panorama of the interior hanging space with photos of Greg’s show. Then I made a mock-up of the walls & created placeholders for the different sizes of my own Artwork since I know what sizes of Art I generally work in.
With this in place I was able to count how many and what sizes of paintings I would need to have available to put into the Art Show.
I felt calmer already. Next step was planning on how much creating was ahead of me & what I could possibly hope to accomplish in such a short span of time while also leaving me time to publicize the show. I wanted to make sure I left enough time to share the news about the show with family, friends, and with all my past, present & future customers.
These are the creative and committed women aka “Commuting Women” who took part in the Delaware Canal Festival winning the “Most Beautiful” decorated canoe prize. These women took part in planting thousands of daffodil bulbs along the canal & other prominent locations this past spring.
I was pleased to donate my “Single Daffodil” artwork for use on their team T-Shirts. I applaud their energy, their commitment to the beautification of their community & their sense of humor. Kudos!
This is a copy of a letter they sent when they donated their prize money winnings to The Friends of the Delaware Canal.
Friends of the Delaware Canal
The Locktender’s House
145 South Main St.
New Hope PA 18938
Enclosed is a check for $75.00 payable to the Friends of the Delaware Canal, representing the prize money the “Commuting Women” won for our “Most Beautiful” decorated canoe in the Yardley Boat Parade as part of the Delaware Canal Festival.
Our theme was “Thank You Bucks Beautiful,” celebrating and thanking the Bucks Beautiful organization for planting thousand of daffodil bulbs along the canal and in other prominent Yardley locations. When the daffodils all bloomed this spring, it was a spectacular sight!
Our group is comprised of “mature” women who commute to work in Philadelphia, either currently or in the past, on SEPTA Regional Rail trains. We had lots of fun planning and constructing our boat parade entry, and we are proud of our ingenuity and resourcefulness – using only items we already had on hand around the house. Lots of paper plates, muffin cups, skewers, and plastic tablecloths – as one young observer commented, “That’s a lot of arts and crafts.”
Along the way we made a new friend, Mary Ahern, from Northport NY who generously donated her daffodil art design to our matching parade-day T-shirts.
All in all, a fun and rewarding experience. Thanks for a great day – this is why we chose to live in the small towns along the Delaware Canal. We are happy to donate our prize winnings to the Friends of the Delaware Canal.
Virginia Hamby, Yardley
Dorothy Judd, Washington Crossing
Jeannette Leighton, Yardley
by Elise Pearlman in The Observer, Northport’s Community Weekly Newspaper 86th Year, No. 9
There’ll be art, music, dance, poetry and plenty of it when the Northport Arts Coalition hosts their ‘Saturday Art in the Park’ Festival on July 14 from 10am to 5pm. The free family-friendly extravaganza takes place in Northport Village Park rain or shine and all are welcome to attend.
This joyous celebration of the arts in all their diversity has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception, said NAC community liaison Lauren Paige who is overseeing the event.
The day promises to be a veritable paradise for art lovers. According to Ms. Paige, 25 artists will be displaying fine art, photographs, jewelry, crafts, books and more, and some are coming from across the tri-state area.
“I enjoy hosting artists from Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey as well as local artists who have been coming back year after year,” Ms. Paige said.
Longtime Asharoken resident and artist Marge Kawaller is coordinating the art portion of the festival. She said that NAC is extraordinarily proud of the line-up.
Northport resident Mary Ahern will exhibit her large-scale fine art digital mixed media paintings which resonate with eye-catching detail. Inspired by her own lush garden, Ms. Ahern showcases the colorful pageantry of flowers as well as fruit. Her oversized portraits of seashells enable viewers to “enjoy the feel of the seashore all year long,” Elise Pearlman.
The Northport ArtWalk is a Free self-guided walking tour of the many galleries, studios and eclectic gallery-for-a-day venues centered around and along Northport’s picturesque Harbor and Main Street. Northport, NY is located on the North Shore of Long Island about 40 miles east of midtown Manhattan between the towns of Huntington and Smithtown.
The ArtWalk is one of the best ways for visitors to enjoy Northport’s bustling and diverse art community by bringing visitors to view the art of established and emerging Artists.
The festive atmosphere of Northport will be punctuated by musical performances; live artistic demonstrations and street decorations as town visitors peruse the art in restaurants, antique shops, boutiques and cafes that are part of this historic village.
I will be showing my Fine Art at Bodyscape Pilates located at 54 Woodbine Ave, Northport NY 11768.
There will be a mixture of Traditional Watercolor paintings, Drawings, and my Digital Mixed Media Paintings for you to choose from. All my work will be for sale. Something for everyone!
Pick up your self-guided maps at Copenhagen Bakery just a few hundred feet away on Woodbine Ave.
One of the methods I use to visualize my Art is to take snapshots of my models and modify them on my computer. Since I’m not a photographer I only have a small point and shoot camera that I use to take photos in my garden or in my studio.
I import these snapshots onto my computer and using Photoshop I delete the backgrounds, modify the colors and otherwise play around with the image. I print the images from my Epson printers onto matte cardstock papers.
In this particular Art work, after making a completed tonal drawing which I discussed in my previous post, I traced the outline of the tulip onto 300lb hot press paper using a lightbox and a 2H pencil.
Then, using Winsor Newton watercolors, I put down my first layer of paint. Once dry I used my set of Prismacolor colored pencils to draw over the watercolor.
For some reason I find this process to be very relaxing and meditative for me. If I need some calmness in my life, I can go to my studio at any time and pick up right where I left off. No fuss, no muss, no bother.