The year 2011 for ArtHouse 23 was a big one.  We saw a 25% increase in new members; the birth of a new gallery; a group show outside of our studio attended by people we don’t even know; all of the studio spaces in the Big Yellow House belonging to ArtHouse folks, enriching the day-in and day-out of studio time; and our first European art trip.  Quite a year!  Cap any year with the usual holiday frenzy AND a local sport’s team victory in a prestigious game that causes nail-biting, yelling and cursing; and a sunny morning on the 3rd of January warrants a big Aaaahhhh and some reflection. 

To a person, the growth of the work in the last year has been notable.  Each and every one of you have reached to express, with your own voice, all the many approaches to the painting process that I’ve thrown at you.  We’ve moved from basic design and color exercises to figure work.  Then we’ve tackled collaborative exercises; calming exercises; exercises to throw you off balance; exercises to put you in balance; sprinkled in a bit of technique—metallics; collage; charcoal; powders and potions, perspective, etc.  A little art history and learning about artists we love to love have added influence. We’ve written artist statements and worked on developing your ideas in your own visual language along with assimilating the ideas of others.  It has been a well-rounded, busy year and your work represents honest efforts in embracing that which resonates for you.  That’s the key—keeping in touch with what is personal and important regardless of what I cast your way. You’ve boldly demonstrated two of my favorite maxims:  “Notice What You Notice”; and “Question Authority”.

The group has a life of its own. It’s a heady brew and I am grateful and proud that every individual adds to the whole.  The Whole, which is worth more than the sum of its parts–what a gift of community we share!

With so much under our belts going back to basics seems like a perfect start to the New Year.  You will need a FRESH SHEET of paper, not smaller than 16”x20”. Think about format—sq or a rectangle in a standard frame size.  Bring an image that elicits an emotional response and that you can make into a good composition. Or find one from our source piles.  Take a deep breath and lets dive into 2012 together.

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