visual artist

Filtering by Tag: American artists

Art for National Watermelon Day

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

August 3rd is National Watermelon Day and I've chosen a few art works, including one of my own, to mark this unofficial food holiday.

Still Life with Watermelon, Pineapple and other Fruits,  oil on canvas, Albert Eckhout, Dutch painter active in 17th century Brazil

Still Life with Watermelon, Pineapple and other Fruits, oil on canvas, Albert Eckhout, Dutch painter active in 17th century Brazil

Hoosick Street The Summer Kitchen,  colored pencils, strawberry sepal, acrylic interference paint        Ellen Halloran, American artist, 2018

Hoosick Street The Summer Kitchen, colored pencils, strawberry sepal, acrylic interference paint      

Ellen Halloran, American artist, 2018

Still Life with Watermelon, Pears, and Grapes    oil on canvas, Lily Martin Spencer, American artist, 1860

Still Life with Watermelon, Pears, and Grapes   oil on canvas, Lily Martin Spencer, American artist, 1860

Compassion and the Artist

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

The Winter 2018 issue of The Compassion Anthology contains my essay on compassion and the artist. This essay is my answer to the question "Do artists show compassion to themselves when they create works of art?"

Compassion and the Artist

Ellen Halloran

Compassion is defined as a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress and sorrow accompanied by a desire to relieve that suffering. It can refer to both the understanding of another’s pain and the action that stems from that feeling.

Does an artist offer compassion to herself/himself in the process of creating a work of art? 

How does an artist’s work begin? We have an idea that appears  in our mind, something with a  life of its own that wants to be realized in the material world. We may have a feeling of apprehension. Can we fully and worthily realize this idea that wants to come forth?  Avoidance brings us to a state of intellectual paralysis, to a sense of being locked inside of ourselves as the idea searches for a material existence. Some artists speak of being “blocked,” of feeling depressed. Other artists experience this as a kind of anxiety.

Movement unlocks our feeling of helplessness. We move from an idea to a finished form by simple actions—picking up a pencil, making a mark, tearing a sheet of paper, executing a brushstroke,  joining surfaces together—until what was once only a thought achieves a palpable existence in the material world. 

Flannery O’Connor wrote that in art the self, (the artist) becomes “self-forgetful” to facilitate the demands of the ideas that we see in our minds and the things that we actually create from those ideas. In this self-forgetfulness artists act compassionately toward themselves by keeping their ideas  in motion, alleviating their own anxieties, and bringing them forward as gifts to the world in lyrical, energetic and beautiful forms. 

Ellen Halloran is a visual artist working in several media. She has worked as a metalsmith, jeweler, legal proofreader, art teacher and art therapist. She developed and implemented art programs for child victims of sexual abuse, children who witnessed violence, and children recovering from traumatic events. Her work has been seen in galleries and is in many private collections. 

 

 

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RE-Formation: Moon and Moths

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

I think of "reformation" as change, transformation, a state of transition and even as metamorphosis.

Materials themselves provide me with ideas. The fabrics of this work inspired me as I changed disposable cardboard packaging, something that is usually tossed without a glance or hesitation, into an object to be considered with joy and wonder. I covered it with handmade papers that contain fragments of leaves and plant fibers. The pre-cut circles in the cardboard seemed like windows through which the constantly changing moon can be seen. I thought of moths seeking light at the time of the new moon and I remembered that a friend had given me some pieces of moth cocoon, traces of a very real metamorphosis.

All of the materials here have gone through changes, have been re-formed. Trees and plants and insects have been changed into a small book that I have named "RE-Formation:Moon and Moths."

Our Saviour's Atonement Church in Washington Heights , NYC is sponsoring a Reformation-themed show opening on Saturday, October 14, 2017.

www.osanyc.org/calendar.html

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Art for Aleppo Postcard Art Project Book - Art in Action

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

If you missed the opportunity to purchase an artist-donated postcard in the gallery show you can now purchase a book with photos of all the postcards in the show.

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blurb.com/b/7898748-art-for-aleppo-postcard-art-project

Artist's names, location, and websites are included along with images of the front and back of each postcard. All proceeds from the sale of the book and donated postcards go to Save the Children Syria.

Still Life with Watermelon, Pears, and Grapes

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

This painting by Lilly Martin Spencer is in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.  It is oil on canvas and is assumed to have been painted around the year 1860.  I love the balance of rich colors, the detail of texture given to the surface on which the fruit rests, and the top of the watermelon which appears to have been bitten in enjoyment.

 

I need to make a correction to my post of February 15th.  It's true that Lilly was painting right up until the time of her death, at her easel, but she died in New York City, not in Highland, New York.  She is buried next to her husband, Benjamin Rush Spencer, in Highland. 

 

Nearly every day of the year is a national food holiday here in the United States.  August 3 is National Watermelon Day.  Foods from apples to popcorn to zucchini all have their own commemorative day - sometimes a whole month will be dedicated to a particular food.   For some reason that I don't understand, National Watermelon Day is celebrated in August but July is National Watermelon Month.

Still Life with Watermelon, Pears, and Grapes    by Lilly Martin Spencer (circa 1860)

Still Life with Watermelon, Pears, and Grapes   by Lilly Martin Spencer (circa 1860)

The Artist and Her Family on a Fourth of July Picnic

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

   This painting by Lilly Martin Spencer can be seen at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.  It was painted around the year 1864 and depicts a scene of relaxation, frivolity, and enjoyment as friends and family gather to celebrate Independence Day. 

   At the center of the picture is the artist's husband, Benjamin.   Apparently his weight has been too much for the tree swing and he lies on the ground.  The artist depicts herself with arms outstretched going to his aid.  A child is trying to help him. 

There are at least two people in this painting who appear to be African-American.  While one of them is dispensing a refreshment of some sort, the other appears to be enjoying the day's festivitivies.   The painting is oil on canvas and measures 49 1/2" x 63." 

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An American Silversmith

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

Paul Revere was the third child of Apollos Rivoire and his wife Deborah Hitchborn.  The French-born and Huguenot Rivoire anglicized his surname to Revere.  Paul was apprenticed in the family silversmithing business at a very young age.

Paul Revere is most widely remembered for his midnight ride warning the American colonists of advancing British troops before the battles of Lexington and Concord.  We commemorate that day tomorrow - the eighteenth of April.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem contains numerous inaccuracies but we all learned it as school children.  Here are stanzas 1 and 2 from Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn, The Landlord's Tale: Paul Revere's Ride

"Listen, my children and you shall hear,

  Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

  On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five,

  Hardly a man is now alive

  Who remembers that famous day and year.

  One if by land, and two if by sea,

  And I on the opposite shore shall be,

  Ready to ride and spread the alarm

  Through every Middlesex village and farm."

Paul Revere went on to further service in the American Revolution.  He was involved in the ill-fated Penobscot Expedition of 1779: at that time Maine was considered to be part of Massachusetts.

After the war Paul Revere expanded his prosperous metalworking business to include cast iron and the use of rolling mills in the production of sheets of copper.  His workshop also manufactured cannons and church bells.  Revere remained politically active up until his death in 1818.

John Singleton Copley painted a portrait of Paul Revere in the years before the American Revolution.  He often painted his subjects with an artifact from their life.  In this case Paul Revere is holding a teapot.  Tea was a hot-button issue in the colonies at this time and Revere seems to be giving serious consideration to the work of his craftsmanship.

Paul Revere    Oil on canvas by John Singleton Copley, painted 1768 - 1770

Paul Revere  

Oil on canvas by John Singleton Copley, painted 1768 - 1770

Lilly Martin Spencer

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

Lilly Martin Spencer (1822 - 1902) was born in England to French parents.  The family immigrated to New York in 1830.  Lilly began painting at an early age and was encouraged to do so by her parents who recognized her abilities.  She spent many years living and working in Ohio.  In her marriage she was the main breadwinner and her work achieved national recognition.  She and her husband raised seven children and she was painting right up until her death in 1902 in Highland, New York.

Still Life with Berries and Currants   (!859 - 1860)

Still Life with Berries and Currants  (!859 - 1860)