Tag Archives: art challenges

The 9th Street Women

27 Apr
Hard cover book "The 9th street women"

The 9th Street Women by Mary Gabriel

The 9th Street Women is a book about the New York City art scene from 1930 through 1950s written by author Mary Gabriel.  The book covers five influential women who helped to revolutionize the modern art world: Lee Krasner, Elaine DeKooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler.

This book is long at 944 pages but it kept my interest the whole time.  I was impressed with the way Gabriel developed the characters into memorable artists weaving history into the stories.  I was able to see how these artists impacted the art world.

Each woman played a role in the new art movement.  They challenged the traditional roles of women, questioning what society was telling.  They challenged the male dominated art scene of New York and in their own personal lives.

Elaine DeKooning boldly rejected the housewife role to take up her brushes with a more fulfilling role to her as an artist.  There were even times when other women discouraged her, yet she ignored their criticism to pursue her art career.

The book does a great job setting the stage with American history and gives the reader both historical and artistic reference.  I liked that Gabriel took time to point out the men who supported these women throughout their various challenges.

I find it inspiring that these women set aside discouragement and negativity to exercise their talents by pushing forward with their art.  They didn’t do it for fame or fortune but to become the best artist they possibly could be.  This book reminded me that we all have talents and need to continue to use them and develop them regardless of who acknowledges or approves.

Reading about how the women networked, strategized, and developed their art made it clear to me how challenging it must have been for them and how brave they were to push ahead with their art.  Although women still have a lot of challenges in the art industry we can draw encouragement from these 9th street women.

Have you felt challenged to give up your art?  Have you overcome artistic discouragement?  Please share!

Breaking Away From The Brush (Just for a little bit)

22 Nov

Holiday Pocket ATCs - my first SMALL

 

I’m pretty comfortable around my brush and palette, so when an opportunity to try something new recently came up, I dove right in.  I had to say yes to trying a Pocket Letter swap.  It’s something I have never tried before so I figured it would be a great exercise.  I am familiar with ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and have been swapping with other artists for years, but what is a Pocket Letter?

A Pocket Letter is an interesting way to communicate with a pen pal or friend.  You fill up a 9 pocket trading card sleeve with ATCs of a theme, then inside the pockets you tuck in little goodies.  These goodies might be washi tape samples, homemade papers, ribbon, stickers, buttons, embellishments, tea bags, sequins, etc.  One of the pockets holds a letter from you to the recipient.  To keep from paying too much in postage make sure you keep the items relatively flat so the sleeve can be folded in thirds and mailed in a business sized envelope.

I found it interesting to design the pocket as a whole larger piece that was still able to break down into individual ATCs.  I was able to use a favorite vintage photo in my piece and it fit the composition well.  It was a fun exercise and I may try it again sometime.

Here are just a few links with various info on the Pocket letter movement and how it’s done.

What Are Pocket Letters Janette Lane

Jane Lane Shows Pocket Letter Sample

Another video of sample Pocket Letter