Lost and Found in Iceland

NOTE: My previous NEWS post about my Iceland adventure described my unforgettable time at the wonderful Gullistan Residency. The post below tells of the work that evolved afterwards inspired by Iceland in my home studio, which is going to debut at Michael Warren Contemporary, Denver from April 18 – May 27

Rehash: Why an Iceland Artist Residency in winter?

  1. I wanted to continue my exploration of darkness and its associated fear: “Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”— Sarah Williams, from “The Old Astronomer to His Pupil” in Best Loved Poems of the American People
  2. Someone in Finland’s Arctic Circle told me that 24-hour winter darkness made the world appear upside down. Dark in the sky, light on the ground.
  3. Same someone told me that there was time in that darkness when just enough light glimmered to turn sky and ground a seamless monochromatic navy blue.
  4. To give myself the opportunity to experience that which is greater than…as in AWE.
  5. A longing to dip into Isolation—void—quiet.
  6. To experience what can be seen in the dark.
  7. A black and white world!
  8. Wanting to ‘see’ the climate change impact in the far North.

The Reality and the Ensuing Art

Having been to the Alaskan and Scandinavian Arctic Circle and the Antarctic the next logical place for me to experience ‘The Great Alone’ was the far North Island of Iceland. The previous 3 travels were done in their summer light so I felt the winter extremes calling me. It wasn’t the cold, which I would have gladly forfeited, but the 24 hour darkness that both appalled and appealed to me. The idea of darkness in a little populated place far away at the end of the Earth called to me.
Darkness is a place of my long-held childhood fears and also a magnet for my wanting to know what mysteries and beauty it holds. I was fortunate because Iceland being a volcanic Island held blackness in its land mass and its winter skies and seas.

I woke in darkness, went to my studio in darkness and returned home in darkness. It was seamless, monochromatic and after a while knowing and soothing. The clear nights with overhead stars and eventually Northern Lights gave me a deep appreciation of cosmic beauty that is unseen in lit skies of city life.

Seeing and hearing people and especially children in the small village where I resided go about their ordinary days in the dark gave me a perspective of the cycle’s normalcy. It is always important to note that I experienced my immersion in Iceland as an outsider not from the perspective of the people who live that landscape from generational knowledge and deep, fond attachment. The Edenesk shadowed by the menacing perspective that I have is that of someone finding themselves in unknown territory without the intuited preparation.

After a few days of vast landscape views it occurred to me that being able to experience that vastness was because there were no trees obstructing the land’s lines. This never failed to astound me in a profound way. I could actually sometimes see the curvature of the Earth that made me feel astronaut-like.

The phenomena of volcanic bumps and fissures and the North American and European plates slippage causing the Island to separate and subsequently fill-in gave my graphite acrylic and wood paintings their vocabulary reflected in their structure and titles.

There are many layers of primer and paint on these pieces and they are sanded and burnished many times with a slow zen-like sensibility. This makes me feel like I am participating in the process of creating and refining a millennium of nature and weather. When completed they are as smooth as nature’s river rocks resonating the depth of maturity, timelessness and ancientness of the land.

The seeming redundancy of the repeated dark forms of my pieces is how the endless Iceland landscape revealed itself to me. It goes on and on and on opening to more variations of patterns but consistent, restrained and heart-wrenchingly beautiful absolutely owning AWE.

Of course in Iceland there was always ice under foot and tires—the dichotomy of glistening beauty and lurking danger. Blizzards of whiteout graced us with sky and earth becoming one. The various shades and nuances of the white defied the myth of white not being a color.

Slowly but surely the whiteness would yield sparingly to the underlying black volcanic rock armature as white and black married into a compatible marble cake co-existence. Thus my dark landscape paintings called out for their counterpart and my white acrylic paintings complied while letting the black show through enough out of deference. These were done with a squeegee in an improvised calligraphy.

I am hoping to seduce viewers with beautiful art reflecting my impressions of the land I experienced and the perhaps they will contemplate the planet’s wonders and want to preserve that. Further to think of the fragile future of our nether regions melting causing our oceans to swell and overtake our shores. Earth’s heartrending beauty could be changed and forever subsumed.

My intention in this work besides reflecting Iceland is to help us all understand our own role in halting the otherwise inevitable and preserving the exceptionalism of our planet for generations to come.(browse the artworks that were inspired by Iceland here)

Upside Down

My mornings are my afternoons and evenings now

As I live in the silence of my hermit white winter —mpl

 

PAUSING: A BOOK OF ART AND POETRY

Available at amazon.com

 

In the cold and rainy month of March 2011, I was an Artist in Residence at the Morris Graves Foundation: The Lake, in Northern California. It is a place of grace, peace and beauty that encouraged me to press my life’s pause button. Living and working in this setting inspired me to think in verse. These poems reflect my state of being or my observations as I passed through my days painting there in tranquility. The simple passing of my days resulted in this work. I hope you sense the simplicity in this volume.        —MPL

Pausing is quite remarkable and beautiful. Some poems tug at me as works of art. What is evident in these pages are poems that are fun, moving and insightful. Engaging poems that feel right at home with the quality and brilliance of Marietta’s visual art.
Dale Biron, author, Why We Do Our Daily Practices

Elegant in its simplicity, Pausing is a collection of art and poetry that responds to experience in a deeply aesthetic way.  Leis gives us the peace of how light strikes water, shades of color, the emergence of blue. It is an unusually beautiful book-we are fortunate to share its vision.
Miriam Sagan, author of Seven Places in America: A Poetic Sojourn

Marietta’s poems are full of quietness, stillness and the calmness of a lake. I love the book’s simplicity of words and art and am especially thankful for the poem Japan’s Havoc. Pausing is a treasure.
Taro Aizu, author of My Fukushima

READINGS:

Saturday, Feb. 25th from 1-3 pm
Weyrich Gallery
2935-D Louisiana NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Stay tuned for more readings!

Exhibiting Ice in North Carolina

           We were so happy to be in North Carolina’s beautiful Appalachian Mountains in July exhibiting our multimedia exhibition, “Melting: Marietta Patricia Leis + David Vogel”. Escaping the New Mexico three-digit heat wave was wonderful but so was our appreciation for the lush greenery of the trees and rain forests that greeted us. A-1.NC SCENEThe almost daily spurts and pours of rain hydrated us as we enjoyed the towns of Ashland, Boone and Blowing Rock. Boone, named for Daniel Boone who blazed a trail over the Mountains into Tennessee, is the home of Appalachian State University and their Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. A-2.Ashville_2585The Turchin is an elegant renovated church with 5 current gallery spaces, auditorium and offices for a great staff. Mary Anne Redding is the Assistant Director and distinguished curator whom I have luckily worked with 3 incredibly rewarding times previously.

       Mary Anne curated “Melting”. This exhibition is a reflection on our expedition to the Antarctic. The exhibition that ended August 6 melded David’s photographs and my art into a cohesive presentation of our experience. During both the reception and ourA-4.Heartspace 6 artist talk, David and I met many people from Boone’s supportive and interested community.

       Our statement for “Melting” and photos of the exhibition follow:

       Drawn to Antarctic because of its unique position on our planet, ‘the end of the earth’ so to speak, we ventured to this primal place. Being hurled through the Drake Passage where three oceans meet by the worst storm of the season made us quickly aware of nature’s force. We were very fortunate to be on a Russian Expedition ship with a Russian crew with much experience and skill.

       On our third day we awakened at three in the morning to the most magnificent sunrise reflecting on icebergs and the snowy peninsular. There were soft yellow, magenta and apricot colors with an incredible luminosity because of the non-polluted almost translucent skies. In the first days of of our excursion we saw nature at polar (pun intended) opposite extremes first dark and violent and then delicate and heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

A-3.M&D       We felt so grateful that we were to have this experience in a region so special, so little touched, so regal in its natural beauty. It did not disappoint. In fact it excelled all our A-5 Transference Installationexpectations. The magnificence of the glaciers and mountains and yes even the crevices were beyond anything we had seen largely because they were raw, untouched. It was like being on a different planet-seeing things for the first time.

       We experienced the animal life like that as well. They were so uninhibited and unafraid of us. Whales slept in the waters like logs undisturbed by us, penguins walked over us as we sat on the stony beaches, leopard seals went about their business of feasting on prey- we felt that we had been dropped into the Jurastic period and we could just observe natural life as they truly exist.

       There were strict rules that we gladly adhered to such as going through a foot wash with our boots each time we returned from shore and not ever touching or relating to the wildlife no matter how cuddly the Penguins were and more obvious things like never picking up and taking anything. The expedition was fierce in their commitment to protect this pristine place.
Pixels Installation

       When our expedition leader was asked why with his concern and love of nature was he bringing people to this primal place he replied, ‘if people see it and experience it they will work harder to protect it”. That resonated with us. Our art expresses the ‘feeling’ of place, the impressions—if people are drawn to beauty in our work they might be also drawn to contemplate the underlying issues of climate change and how to preserve the beauty of the Antarctic and our planet for generations to come.

 

 

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Two Exhibit Announcements:

 1. SURFACE

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Two groupings of my shaped paintings shown in “Melting” are going to be exhibited October 25-December 3 at my Denver gallery, Michael Warren Contemporary.  These will be part of a three-person exhibition with Jenene Nagy and Ramon Bonilla. I will be present at this terrific gallery Thursday November 17 at 5:30 to talk about the art and our Antarctic expedition. In my talk I will also be addressing our endangered planet that prompted the work.

2. WINTER BLUES AND SEASONAL HUES

       Actually it will be a two-fold Colorado opportunity to exhibit art that reflects my travels. Lincoln Center (in Fort Collins, 90 minutes from Denver) will host a 3-artist exhibit, “Winter Blues and Seasonal Hues” from November 18 through January 7, 2017. The other artists are Stefan Geissbuhler and Katharine McGuinness. My “Ascension” painting series and my watercolors both will be shown. These pieces were inspired by the Northern Lights that I experienced during my Artist Residency this past winter in Iceland. Two groupings from my “Shades” series depict the changing skies and waters during the changing winter light.
I will be present when the exhibit opens Friday November 18. There will an artist-guided gallery stroll 5-6:30 pm followed by a reception from 6:30-8 pm. If you’re in the vicinity of either of these galleries when I am there, I hope you come by!

 

 

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2016 International Exhibits

This year has been exciting for me to be invited to exhibit in several international art exhibitions this year. I support art crossing borders as I believe artists and viewers can have a common understanding through art. Here are some of the places my art has shown side by side with artists from all over the globe:
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C-3Macedonia
  • “Sea(s),” Ionion Center for the Arts, Kefalonia, Greece
  • “5 Years Fukushima,” d’Oude Winkel, Oostburg, Netherlands.
  • “Our Fukushima,” Museum of Kumanovo & House of Culture, Skopje, Macedonia.
  • “People and East Art,” Contemporary Art Museum of Ahvaz & Cultural Complex of Dezful, Iran.
  • “East Meets West,” Suwon Arts Center, South Korea.
  • “Park Fine Art International,” Galerie AM Park, Frankfurt, Germany.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Now I am looking forward to a sojourn to the colonial cities and art communities of Puebla and Oaxaca, Mexico. Stay tuned for my report.

ICELAND is Icy!

01.iceland02.-darkNOTE: It is a bit presumptious to write about Iceland when announcing an exhibit inspired by the Antarctic but my Iceland Artist Residency happened most recently and I do want to share my impressions. You can also read about my excursion to Antarctica that inspired my work in the “Melting” exhibition here.

Iceland is a magical place. It is totally understandable to me that early settlers believed in elves in this otherworldly gorgeous place. Its beauty has an ethereal quality. ‘Thin Places’ are thought to be where earth and heaven meet—then surely Iceland is such a ‘thin place’.

I chose to be in Iceland in the winter because I wanted to further explore darkness. My fear of the dark as a child gave me a family nickname of ‘Fraidy Cat’. My adulthood didn’t help me grow out of that fear until just a few years ago when I set about making black paintings. As so often happens in my art practice my issues are addressed even before I understand that intention.

But as I painted black I came to love all the possibilities of the color, all the beauty of nights and darkness and to look squarely at my fears. I recently read that if we didn’t have so much artificial light sources we would see into the darkness and recognize sources of nature that are now unseen, forgotten and unknown. I believe this as my life has become richer for the beautiful revelations of darkness.

“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night”.
~ Sarah Williams, from The Old Astronomer to His Pupil

04So that was my original intention of living in 21 hours of darkness each day in Iceland. A Finn living in the Arctic Circle told me one time that winters turn the world upside down—the darkness is above and the light is below. As a believer in having new experiences, turning my world upside down seemed to be a great choice. Also having been told that the low horizon light shrouded environments in a blue monotone, how could I not apply to an Artist Residency for Dec-Jan. Gullkistan,in Laugarvatn, Iceland turned out to be a perfect place. It is only 1 hour from R04Beykjavik but remote with a population of only 250. It is also on Iceland’s Golden Circle of remarkable nature.

One of the aspects of traveling that keeps me on my toes is always the unexpected no matter the time and effort made in planning. So it was that there was a blizzard the week before we arrived in Iceland and driving to Laugarvatn introduced us to interesting road condit08.ions as we thanked our rental car for the spiked tires that hugged the icy roads.It was also a blessing that David instinctively remembered all his icy weather years of driving in Wisconsin. After a week in Laugarvatn we had what I would call a blizzard. It snowed for 3 days and banks grew to 36”. The plows were out day and night and crews worked relentlessly to clear the roads. This was well choreographed as they had done it many, many times.

Then there was the cold infection I came down with the second day at Gullkistan that sent me to a health clinic with swollen glands and subsequently into Selfoss, the largest Southern town, for penicillin. Even with coughing and low energy I set up my studio at the residency with a wonderful view of the Laugarvatn Lake and the surrounding mountains where the weather and color palettes were constantly changing. Frankly the views distracted me often from painting but I did photograph the views that would inspire my work back in my home studio.

Surprisingly there was more light then I anticipated starting around 11AM and retiring around 3:30. This changed to expand by 5 minutes each day after the Winter Solstice December 21st. So the first work I did was 40 small panels with several coats of black, gray and finally graphite that was sanded and buffed several times and for me held the allure of the volcanic stone and the vast lava fields resulting from the volcanic Island and its now 30 active volcanoes. This work, Winter Lyrics, will be buffed further to a luster and installed on wall ledges.
07. copy 09.
Routines soon became apparent after a couple of weeks of acclimating to not ‘sensing’ the time with dark skies. So like the natives we woke in the dark and I set off to the studio with cleats on my shoes to navigate the prevailing ice. In the studio I worked until it had been dark a couple of hours (around 4-5pm) and then back to our apartment for dinner, mail, Icelandic and Scottish BBC TV and bed again under warm comforters.

1213I soon acquired heavy wool fisherman knitted mittens which kept my hands warmer than gloves and a knitted cap. In Iceland I learned to dress warmly and was rarely uncomfortable unless it was 1AM watching Northern Lights or the wind was gusting. At home in winter in New Mexico with our sunny days I run out with few outer clothes and then complain about being cold. You never forget the cold in Iceland which many days was no colder than in Albuquerque.

So the sights—but to clarify everything was a sight to these unschooled eyes but we did venture further on a windy day to Gullfoss Falls which is a Niagara Falls comparison. A huge, loud, beautiful and in January icy wonder. To arrive there we had to pass through Geysir Hot Springs which has blowholes that became active about 1000 years ago. All over Iceland you see steam bubbling upwards but in Geysir they are more concentrated.

The drive was marvelous as we passed many small Icelandic multi-colored horse herds. Beautiful animals weathering the storm as their sheep buddies were kenneled in barns. The brave horses were captivating as they sometimes would be huddled together against the wind forming a predominately brown hill.14

Then a 20 minute ride in the other direction from Laugarvatn was Pingvellir National Park located on the Mid-Atlantic ridge. It was the original parliament meeting place of the early chieftains. I walked through Almannagia’s deep cliff gully where the North American and the European plates drift apart at 1” a year. It is an odd but impressive feeling to walk where Iceland is literally splitting apart.

Toward the last week of our stay we were alerted that there would be Northern Lights and we did see them softly over the mountains but the third night we drove further away from town into the darkness and had an unbelievable light show. That the Universe could give us such a visual feast brought tears to our eyes in gratitude. It is choreographed to an unheard musical piece as the light dances to changing rhythms, intensities and patterns. It is NOT a cliché—it is a phenomenon of great beauty.

11And so went our days and weeks of work and soaking up our experience. At the end of our 4+week tenure we decided to drive along the East coast’s fishing villages toward the airport. Knowing th15at the Blue Lagoon was closed for renovations gave us a sigh of relief as we didn’t have to go to what is clearly a crowded tourist haven. However we did stay within sight of it and saw some futuristic hydro-energy plants that were huge and spewing thick fog and clouds. These provide the electricity and heat for Iceland.

On 18.our last day before boarding our plane for the US we drove around the Reykjanes Peninsula which gave us a clear picture of isolated fishing villages situated on the rough North Seas with turf houses and churches. Seeing these remote places reinforced for us the resilience and can-do spirit of Icelanders with their fierce Viking origins.

We left the next day vowing to return soon when we could be tourists and when the roads would be more navigable. The West Coast and the North are calling to us and we are anxious to respond knowing as we do now the ongoing wonders of Iceland.

Meanwhile in my NM studio I am continuing to be inspired by the colors, impressions and feelings that I experienced in Iceland.
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Summer into Fall and Beyond

01. Iceland studio.I’m writing this as I’m preparing for my fall exhibitions and thinking about my Artist Residency in Iceland December-January. Do we always just have the perception that the summer passes quickly or does it in reality? I’m like a kid that thinks I’ll have lazy down time in the summer months and then when the good part should begin—boom, zoom the summer is over.

02. Cuba

The hot weather for me started in May on a trip to Havana, Cuba for their 12th Art Biennial. The trip was a packed 8 days of art, artists and revelations! Colorful, chaotic, musical, multi-layered, with a background of romantic buildings in decay and new friends! The biggest thrill was to find out that culture is an economic engine of Cuba.

In June I worked on my Antarctic pieces inspired by my expedition last year. I’m excited that Mary Anne Redding will be curating this 4 month exhibit of “Antarctic Inspirations” with David Vogel and myself at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, NC spring 2016. I’ll keep you posted.

03. LEIS_disturbances in the field install 5

bluesArt Aspen at the Aspen Ice Garden was jumping in August and my Denver gallery—Michael Warren Contemporary showed work from my blue paintings.

September 11th begins my 6-week exhibition at Michael Warren Contemporary, Denver. I’m thrilled to be working with Mike McClung and Warren Campbell, both of whom are 06.path Takenknowledgeable and appreciative of my art—an artist’s ultimate affirmation. I really look forward to this exhibit that was curated with their exceptional eyes. Hope you get to the Mile High to see this! I’ll be there at the opening September 11.

In August I gratefully participated in a group exhibit of over 100 international artists at the Haegeumgang Theme Museum in South Korea. This extraordinary exhibition resonates the poetry of Taro Aizu bringing attention to Japan’s nuclear accident at Fukushima after the earthquake. japanThe tragedy there is far from over—we can’t forget.

07. LuminersIn November I will have a solo exhibit at the esteemed Delaplaine Visual Art Center in Frederick, MD overlooking the historic Carroll Creek Park. “Water + Water” will display work on paper inspired by water! The opening is November 7 closing December 20.

Besides the busy buzz of preparing and shipping work to these various exhibits I have just begun also to plan and schedule a commissioned triptych of BLUES—excited about that! And the editing and planning for a book of my poems written during an Artist Residency at the Morris Graves Foundation is in the works to be available on Amazon.

08. Crates2I am so grateful to have the assistance in my work and studio of Joni Tobin Mayer and Julianne Aguilar. Their loyalty, sensibilities and skill sets are invaluable to me.

In 2016 I’m planning (we know how that goes) to do tidying of house, studio and life as outlined by Marie Kondo in her immensely popular book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. This will hopefully include a studio sale of some of my inventory!

Can’t wait to be in the quiet winter time of Iceland… mpl

northern lights

Sea and Sky, Rockport Center for the Arts

01.Last year John Aasp, the curator at the Rockport Center for the Arts in the Texas Gulf, contacted me about an exhibit idea he had. The Center hosts a Home Tour every spring and he wanted to integrate my art with the woodwork of George Bagnall and Michael Geer. As most of my paintings use fabricated birch frames John thought the art and woodwork would both stand-alone and yet show cohesively. John‘s vision and enthusiasm for the project excited me and I agreed to put the exhibit’s time slot on my calendar for 2015.

We kept in touch as the year unfolded with contracts and ideas. At some point in our conversations John expressed a concept for my work that would express the environment of Rockport’s sea and sky. As my work reflects a sense of ‘place’ this seemed a perfect theme as sea and sky are definitely inspirations for my work.

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We soon chose an inventory of my work to be shipped and decided to use Sea and Sky for the title of my exhibit. I was very curious how John would install my art with the woodwork but had a great deal of faith in his vision as John is an accomplished artist (www.johnaasp.com) and had been curating exhibits at the Center for 8 years.

03.As you well know time passes quickly, especially quickly it seems for timelines of crating and shipping work. I made plane and hotel reservations to be in Rockport for the exhibit’s April 11th opening reception and gallery talk and also the Home Tour. I arrived at the gallery the day before the opening and was so thrilled to see John’s vision unfold before me so exquisitely.

There were wonderful breathing spaces between the art works. The wood furniture echoed my art with simplicity and elegance. In the entry space the furniture repeated its forms just as my work repeats color and shape—the repetitions resounding the intention. The intertwining of art and wood created a cadence of earthbound/sky-bound.

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07Our hotel room faced the Gulf bay with its broad vista. The weather was refreshing for dry-landers like me as clouds, rain and storms prevailed. It created a perfect backdrop for some of my paintings that are inspired by the sometimes chaotic weather systems of sea and sky.

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That evening we began to discover palate bliss with our choice of diverse restaurants. We luckily had guests and eating pals that traveled from Houston for the exhibit and we began eating through 09Rockport starting with yummy Italian cuisine and proceeded to exceptional seafood. The most entertaining meal was a fish boil that literally dumped our orders on our table with a mallet as our only eating tool.

The opening reception was enthusiastic. The Rockport Center for the Arts knows how to throw a party. Their active arts community came out in droves and they were an attentive audience for the artist panel of 11.Michael, George, our moderator John Aasp, and myself. It’s always a pleasure for me to talk about the intentions of my work. Reductive work like mine requires some backstory and deep looking for understanding.

I enjoyed having the woodworkers talk about their approaches to their work and John asked probing questions. Afterwards refreshments magically appeared to add to the festivities and I 16had opportunities to speak one-on-one to the people in the audience.

We then had a day to rest and another to venture out into the nature of the gulf. That was exhilarating. In just a few hours we saw migrating birds, crocodiles, wild turkeys, a cardinal, a pelican, deer and most exciting 2 bobcats! Wow. Nature and art are a great combination to complete a wonderful weekend.

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18.Art centers can be an exquisite way to provide art experiences in a community with exhibitions, classes, and in the case of Rockport Center for the Arts, a film festival, a home tour and an energetic, talented staff and volunteers providing exceptional experiences for audience and artists alike. I am grateful to have worked with this marvelous organization and look forward to working with Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, MD in November.

Best, Marietta

PS: John Aasp left Rockport after the opening of Sea and Sky to become the Gallery Director for the College of Imaging Arts & Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY. I look forward to following his new ventures.

19.

Spring has Sprung

This is the time of year when things blossom and so will my art be springing up in several venues.

pixel-pair-webszThe Rockport Center for the Arts, TX is in a lovely small coastal town on the Gulf of Mexico with a wonderful art community. My solo exhibit, Sea and Sky, will be opening the weekend of Rockport’s very popular Home Tour and showing until May 9th. There will be an Artist Gallery Talk (that’s me) and Reception Saturday, April 11 starting at 4:30 until 7.

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Showing will be my work that reflects the varied colors of the Gulf environment—sea and sky. My oil paintings and work on paper will both be featured. As a bonus local woodworkers will display some of their original furnishings during this exhibition.

The website announcement for Rockport Center for the Arts reads:

Tramonto II-webszNew Mexico artist Marietta Leis brings her deeply rich abstract color fields to Rockport. Her work explores one of the most fundamental aspects of visual art: color. Her abstract color field paintings range from subtly smooth to deeply rich. Leis pursues the infinite variety of color in her work, showing a sharp design sensibility and enlivening the visual senses.

On Friday evening April 10th the Center will have a reception to celebrate the beginning of the weekend Home Tour so it’ll be a weekend of visual sensations. I hope you can join in.

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Back in Albuquerque there are two openings I’d like to share with you. As a continuation of Albuquerque’s celebration of art and design, On the Map, April Price Projects Gallery in the downtown Hyatt Hotel will be opening a group exhibition, Views from the Beach.

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My ink drawings on Japanese lace paper (above), Thin Places 5 and 9 will be shown. All the work in this exhibit will be artist experiences of the river, ponds and trails of the Albuquerque area known as Tingley Beach. The exhibit will run April 6-August 30 with an opening reception Friday, April 3rd 5-8pm.

Additionally the New Mexico Humanities Council in Albuquerque will be presenting, now See Hear, May 1-31 a group exhibition of 8 visual artists paired with 8 poets. The notable poetsgrey-dusk-news will have written a poem that reflects their impression of the painting they have been paired with.

I am pleased to be showing my painting (right), Grey Dusk, paired with the poem of John Asbough. What Fun! The exhibit, co-curated by Vasili Katakis and Bruce Noll, will have an opening reception at 2115 Silver SE at 5 PM Friday May 1, with poetry readings at 6.

I hope to see you at one of these events as I look forward to sharing my art with you and I hope this spring will be a time of renewal and joy for all of us!

Marietta

A Road Trip and A New Gallery…

01. Still. JPG“Long time a-coming” is the subtitle to this story. I have had the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver on my bucket list for too long a time. There was also my curiosity about the burgeoning art gallery scene in Denver—rumor had it that ‘First Friday‘ art crawls draw upwards to 10,000 people on Santa Fe Dr.  A New York Times article about Denver galleries hosting “events” to increase their exposure and even about one having innovative and popular ‘pot parties with art’ got my attention as well.

The clincher was that my new Subaru car (Subby II) needed a road trip and I needed to practice using its GPS and other electronics—yes folks I have computer robot-like thing in my car and a steep learning curve. So after making a few appointments with targeted galleries David and I set off from our Albuquerque homebase with some of my art and a giddy mood listening to “On the Road Again” trying to learn how to ‘set’ radio stations. Many hours later we arrive at our downtown Denver hotel just a block from the 16th Street Mall.

The next days found us moving around Denver experiencing it’s energy and easy mobility—it is truly a visionary approach in re-invigorating an urban city. Santa Fe Rd did get a lot of our attention as we visited the galleries whose spaces could rival Chelsea, NYC. Friendly enthusiastic directors actively engage with prospectus clients expressing palatable excitement.

02. Michael WarrenMichael Warren Contemporary occupies the same space where the legendary Sandy Carson opened one of the first galleries on that street some years ago when I was on her roster.  It has been reinvigorated by Mike McClung and Warren Campbell and that’s the gallery I ultimately decided to 03. Leis_Insights_23align myself after spending 3 hours with Mike (an artist himself) who effusively loves art and more importantly my art! I’m excited to be represented  by this wonderful gallery in this market of art lovers! Make sure you check out my work at Michael Warren and an upcoming exhibit in the fall.

A couple of distinctive Santa Fe Rd  galleries among others to explore are Space with it’s slick contemporary architecture and Point helmed by 2 wonderful artists. Definitely a happening scene with some great restaurants and boutiques thrown into the mix.

Of course the Clyfford Still Museum was a destination point for us and it didn’t disappoint. What a wonderful educational and awesome facility it is. The exhibit we experienced described and displayed Still’s early work and how it evolved into the masterpieces we know. Seeing some wonderful examples of his mature work—the earlier work and the story of the development of the museum itself were fascinating.

04.Still Mus

05An “abstract art” class that I taught was instructed by my using B&W xerox’ of Still’s work. The  students painted the xerox’ guided by the structure of Still’s work. Doing thisexercise illuminated for them how abstract art is not about plopping paint down randomly but a deliberate and educated craft with a structural basis. Besides using his masterful art to teach I also try to emulate his integrity of developing his art regardless of commercial trends to guide my own studio practice.

06A.JChilhuly06B. Chilhuly Before leaving Denver we visited the Botanical Gardens which had Dale Chilhuly’s glass works displayed throughout the gardens making a fantastical illusion. Then we drove to Aspen to visit the new 07. Aspen MuseumAspen Museum designed by Shigeru Ban,  which blew my mind. His intention of sustainability and common materials transformed elegantly speaks to my aesthetics. An exhibit of his designs for disaster victims and for refuge camps is extraordinary. Hooray to his genius and humanity. Also seeing Yves Klein’s blue paintings always inspire me.

We stayed at the Aspen Institute that was originally designed by Herbert Bayer, (1900-1985) a painter, sculptor, photographer, interior designer and architect who adhered to the ethos of the Bauhaus ideals. It’s rather extraordinary in its concept. The landscape especially delighted me and gave me some contemplative pauses.

08. Institute 08B. Institue.pg 08C.Institute

09B. Sand09. SandThe 2 additional stops we made on the return trip to New Mexico were Crestone to connect with artist friends who recently relocated from Brooklyn and then on to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Which was a soulful and extraordinary experience that you will detect from the photos. 

Now I’m back in my home studio working. Meanwhile Mike McClung of Michael Warren Contemporary is ready to show my just unpacked art in the gallery. Mike weaves a wonderful experience for my collectors and prospective collectors with his deep knowledge and understanding of my art. He can also represent anything that is on my website and will be getting new work of mine in the gallery periodically. Look for our announcements of my exhibition in the fall. Can’t wait to revisit Denver then as being a part of that exhilarating art scene. Perhaps it’s time for you to plan a trip and join me there!

11. unpacking 11B. unpacking

“Nature’s Blueprints” Draws Crowds at Museum!

In April I wrote about Nature’s Blueprints’ pending exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. I told about the origins of the exhibit and the process of making the cyanotypes (or sunprints) of the Museum’s specimens. This month I want to share photos of the exhibit and the opening with you as I believe that the images will speak best of the elegant installation, the appreciative crowds and the realization of the intention of the exhibition.






 

I also want to give a shout-out to all that made this possible:

NM Museum of Natural History and Science, Charles Walter, Executive Director
Staff: Chris Elison, Patti Gegick an Ayesha Burdett
My Studio Assistants: Natasha Ribeiro, Joni Tobin, Heidi Pollard
Video Editor, Bruce Shortz, 10,000 Cranes
All the attendees—children, parents, art aficionados, science buffs and teachers etc…
Also David Vogel with his exceptional documentation of the cyanotype process and his elegant photos.

 Also much appreciation for a couple of well done articles that I would like to share with you:
“Artist’s Cyanotypes Are Blueprints Of The Natural World,” by Kathaleen Roberts, Albuquerque Journal
“Nature’s Blueprints,” by Mike English, Local IQ

I hope you have a wonderful July. I will catch up to you in August and share my summer adventures with you then.

Marietta