Monday, August 10, 2015

Blog / Vlog / Video Log Thingy / New Big Painting!


Who needs to type when you can just make a video?  Obviously not me.  Not this time, anyway.  Since my art is kind of a visual thing, I thought creating a video blog made some sense.  Here it is, and be sure to click to watch it in HD full screen so you can see all those details that took me so long to paint!




And here are some images of the painting.  They're not great because I impatiently photographed it when it was still wet, but oh well.  You can see more detail in the video.

Oh, and her name is "Unity."

"Unity" oil on canvas, 24"x48", 2015 by Heather Clements.


"Unity" (detail) by Heather Clements.

"Unity" (detail) by Heather Clements.








As I said in the video, I'd love to hear comments on this painting!  Comment on technique, concept, emotional response, gut reaction, or anything else!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog/site!

-Heather

Friday, February 6, 2015

"Human Nature" Opening!

33 pieces of art. Hundreds of hours of work, ranging from a few hours to 50 hours of work per piece. Small watercolors, hand-cut paper, layered cut paper over drawings, pencil drawings and black and white charcoal drawings on toned paper. The human figure. Leaves, branches, buds, shadows, images curving around the form on skin. Dense leaves and branches are seen in the shadows of a face. Eyes, arms, hairs, wrinkles, freckles, pores. This is the culmination of years of art in my current solo show called "Human Nature."

Friday, January 30th was the artist lecture and opening reception. It was a day I had been working toward for many months. It started at 3:45am, to be at the exhibit by 4:30am, to be on the news several times for the 5am and 6am shows. Then home to practice my artist talk one last time. Then back to the college, then talk for 45 minutes with large images projected behind me, in front of a full room of students, teachers, and others, then 20 minutes or so of questions and answers. Then home to relax a bit. Then change and back to the college, Gulf Coast State College, to the Amelia Center Main Gallery (a really beautiful gallery space, by the way) for my opening reception.

And at the risk of sounding too proud: it was a hit. The gallery was full the entire reception. The words "thank you!" poured out of my mouth so much the words seemed to pale in comparison to my gratitude. My gratitude was for people just showing up, for the compliments on my art, and for the recognition of all my hard work.

I'm humbled.

I'm grateful.

Seeing most of my recent works up on the clean gallery walls is satisfying. It's not often you get to see a giant room full of the results of hundreds of hours of work. I like to see the works next to each other, across from each other, and how they interact and build off of one another.

It also makes me feel a bit vulnerable. Any time you put a piece of art on the wall it can make you feel vulnerable. You've put your heart, soul, intellect, philosophies, years of experience and learning, and many hours of work into a piece of art. It's a piece of you, up on the wall, for anybody to see and judge. And a solo show is a full room of that.

I am so completely honored that I was asked to have this solo show at the Amelia Center Gallery. I have seen so many amazing works of art there from accomplished artists, national as well as international, and I am beyond honored to have my art hang on the same walls.

My sincerest thanks to all who came, all who have shared the exhibit with others, all who are buying art, and to all who have been supportive of my artistic endeavors over the years.


The exhibit is up until February 19th. The gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 10am-4pm, or by appointment.

Now for some photos!

A quick snap of the crowd gathering before my artist talk:


People shots during the opening reception:








When I realized a lot of the models for my art in the exhibit would be at the opening, I made it my goal to get photos with all of them and the art of them:






Then a couple buyers who I borrowed art from wanted in on the fun!


And I caught Carrie doing this right next to the newest drawing of her:


Near the end of the opening, and the end of a very long day for me, I started the trend of sitting on the floor.




 Thanks for visiting my blog!

-Heather





Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Let My Imagination Flow Freely, and This is What Happened

Lately I've made a lot of small-ish ink and watercolor pieces featuring the nude figure and aspects of nature. Of course, these pieces are all along the theme I have been involved in for the past few years. But there are a few things that make them different:

1. They are on the small side of my art as of late.

This puts less pressure on each piece, and less pressure means more freedom for creativity.

2. They are created more intuitively.

For my larger drawings and paper-cuts, I spend plenty of time brain-storming, inspiration-gathering, and sketching before starting a final piece. With these quicker pieces, that means I don't have a clear idea or expectation of what the final piece will look like.

The intuitive, and more creative approach leads to more ideas for future pieces, large and small.

Creativity runs free when we free ourselves of fears and let our imaginations roam. A little spark can eventually snowball into a larger idea, or even a whole new theme or direction for my work. I see these pieces as exploring new ideas.

3. They are in a different style and medium than I've been working in.

Watercolor is a medium that lends itself to unexpected and uncontrolled moments. That lack of complete control allows me to be looser and more free to play. And the results can be surprisingly great.

While I enjoy great detail, I also enjoy the style of looser works, where very few marks can say so much.  I often enjoy my sketchbook drawings as much if not more than my larger, more 'finished' pieces, so these watercolors allow me to work in my multiple styles.

4. They are created in much less time than most of my work, which is the main reason why they are so much more affordable.

As an artist of humble means myself, I completely understand the conundrum of loving an artist's work, but being unable to afford any of it. But sometimes those artists offer pieces that are more affordable, whether they are prints, or just smaller, quicker pieces. I super appreciate these options because without them, someone like me might never afford art by such awesome artists.

I've definitely heard over the years how people appreciate my art, but can't afford it. So I always try to price my all work for as little as possible, but while also trying to actually make a living.   And I also make art sometimes that is just able to be priced much lower.

I love working for hours and hours on a detailed paper cut, drawing, or painting. But I also sometimes love the freedom and expression of creating quicker, looser works as well. And those pieces that take so much less time, are also able to be priced so much lower. I'm happy to be able to say I have works that people from almost all incomes can take home.

5.  They keep me making art and coming up with new ideas in between the big ideas.

As a full-time artist, I spend a lot of hours per week making new art.  It's not always easy to constantly have the next idea for the next piece of art.  Working on these pieces allow me to create art when I don't have the next large piece figured out yet, and help to stir up new concepts for the next big piece.



I hope you enjoy these pieces close to as much as I have enjoyed creating them.  And I believe there will be more to come...

"Sprout" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. [SOLD]

"Sprout II" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014.  $63 framed.

"Sprout" III 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. [SOLD]

"Rooted" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014.  [SOLD]
"Rooted II" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $63 framed.

"Braided Branches" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $66 framed.

"Branching Out" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014.  $63 framed.

"Branching Up" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $66 framed.

"Encircled" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014.  $66 framed.
"Earth and Sky" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $63 framed.

"Field Within" 8"x10", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $58 framed.

"Natural" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $66 framed.


*Note:  Some of the above images are zoomed in a little, only cropping out negative space (the white of the paper.)  If you're interested in prices of these pieces unframed, feel free to contact me and ask.  Some of these pieces have sold, some are currently for sale at CityArts Cooperative, and some have been made so recently they are still in my art studio.

Green Tip #26:  Donate stuff you don't want.  This is a pretty easy one, but it's one so many people are guilty of not doing.  I can't tell you how much of the furniture and useful things in our house came from the side of the road or an alley put out for trash.  Perfectly good items like 4 like-new matching beach chairs, hand-made small table, beach umbrellas, rain umbrellas, wood crates we transformed into book shelves, perfectly good clothes, and bicycles (that usually need a bit of work and a few parts.)  That's just to name a few off the top of my head.  While it's great we've gotten so much for free, think of all the stuff that doesn't get discovered, and ends up in a landfill.  Perfectly good, useful things, polluting our planet.  That's just too wasteful.  So the next time you are getting rid of stuff you don't want anymore, just make a pile for donations, and drop some off at a Goodwill, Catholic Charities, or other thrift shop.  You can feel good that you are not only helping those who can't afford to buy brand-new, but also the health of your planet.


As always, I thank you so much for your time here on my blog.

-Heather



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Backyard Love and Native VI

Right now I'm sitting on the porch of my art studio in my backyard. I'm in the cool breeze of the morning on a surprisingly not-humid day in Florida in August.  I hear cicadas and the sound of the leaves rustling against one another in the subtle wind.  Every now and then I hear a quick scuttle and then catch a glimpse of a tiny young lizard, quickly hopping or running, but scurrying so fast you can't possibly see the movement of his legs.

The long grass blades arch and bend to caress against one another.  Young bamboo shoots reach up sporadically and slightly branch out their long and graceful leaves.  Shadows of the rustling foliage dance on the ground.

Half of this euphoric experience is because of our decision not to interfere with the nature of our yard.  Really, it's only our yard legally, but much like the Native Americans and many other indigenous people, we don't believe in ownership of the land and the plants and animals that inhabit it.  But, we'll take the legal ownership if it means we can protect the plants.  I know how this may sound, if you're not used to this perspective.  But after just a few years here, this mini ecosystem has begun to flourish.  Some may consider it "unkempt" but we consider it natural and beautiful.  We have a neighbor a couple blocks away who raises bees.  He says he can watch them head straight for our yard, and is glad they have such a nourishing place to go to.  Butterflies, lizards, and birds, too, are drawn to the habitat we have let grow that houses so much more life than a trimmed and mowed lawn, which has roughly the biodiversity of a desert.

I heard a true story of an old man who lived most of his life on a few acres of young, beautiful forest.  He had new neighbors who moved in and worked many hours on the weekends to mow and landscape their yard.  Then when visiting their new neighbor they were taken aback by the beauty of his property and complimented him on it.  "Wow, you have such a gorgeous yard, how do you do it?"  they asked.  He said, "Don't mow for fifty years and it will become a forest."

We're pretty sure the plants know how to grow on their own, so we just let them.

So while many of our neighbors may assume we're just lazy, given some more years, our yard will become more and more appealing even to them.

Our little patch of backyard.



Aaaaaand that brings me to my latest drawing, "Native VI."  I drew from the grass in our yard for the shadows on her back.  The reference photos were even taken in our backyard.  So really, I guess this piece is also about my own personal experience letting the natural world grow and interact with me.  I even modeled for this one myself, as well as my previous drawing, "Growth II."

"Native VI" graphite, 22"x28", by Heather Clements, 2014.
"Native VI" (detail) graphite, 22"x28", by Heather Clements, 2014.
"Native VI" (detail) graphite, 22"x28", by Heather Clements, 2014.


Here are two different versions of this drawing blended with the reference photo.




Inspiration Source #26:  Swoon.   Swoon is a street artist who specializes in life-size wheat paste prints and paper cutouts of human figures.  She is among my favorite street artists and you should check out some of her beautiful work here, and follow her on Instagram!




So many thank you's for taking a gander at my blog.

-Heather


Monday, August 11, 2014

Patterns and Fractals in Nature in "Growth II"

Trees.  Blood Vessels.  What these (and many other things in nature) have in common is they are fractal-like patterns.  There's mathematic equations involved that explain and predict the formation of branches, veins, crystals, river networks, and more.  It's a pattern found in so many living and non-living formations.  [Click these links to read more about fractals and patterns in nature.] I think these patterns are fascinating and beautiful and can illustrate just how inseparable we are from the rest of the natural world.  


"Growth II" pencil, 22"x28",  by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth II" (detail) pencil, 22"x28",  by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth II" (detail) pencil, 22"x28",  by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth II" (detail) pencil, 22"x28",  by Heather Clements, 2014.


My latest drawing represents this pattern connection between tree branching and our own blood vessels.  From the bottom, it definitely feels like a tree, perhaps a tattoo on the skin, but as it follows her form up her arms they begin more to resemble veins, and as they grow up the hands and into the fingers, they begin to sprout new life from her finger tips.

"Growth II" is for sale for $825.  Contact me if you're interested (and payment plans are an option!)


Here is another drawing blended with the reference photo, for fun.



And this Flipogram video briefly illustrates a bit of the process:


video




Thank you for your time spent here on my blog.

-Heather 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Growth

Lines drawn on the skin follow the curves of form.  As they rise, they begin to lift off the skin into reality.  Has she caused this growth?  Have her drawings sprouted to life?  Whatever the reason for this coming-to-life, she seems to be enjoying it, elated by it.

Perhaps this piece is even more personal.  The drawings of the plants are literally coming to life.  Perhaps it is my hopes for the best outcome of my art.  For my art to inspire the conservation of nature, or planting new life, even in the smallest bits, would be reaching the pinnacle of my ambitions.  

Part of me feels like it's egotistical to even dream of such things.  But really, if I weren't trying to make a difference, (however small that may be) then why create art?

Here she is, "Growth."

"Growth" chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.
"Growth" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

For some reason, two of the images above appear more yellowed than they are, once I uploaded them into blogger.  So, sorry about that.

Here is another one of my reference photos blended next to the drawing:



"Growth" is for sale for $975.  Payment plans with no interest or fees are very doable.  

Green Tip # 25: Butterfly Beauty.  Learn a bit about the importance of butterflies to our environment, and ways to help encourage them in your yard.



Thank you so much for reading my blog!

-Heather