• October 10, 2017

    Studio Landscapes: The Process

    I have been working in the studio recently on a series of Autumn Landscapes. I took photographs when the colors were at their peak on a stunning October afternoon in the Cascades Park near my home in Jackson Michigan. I am always amazed how much beauty is right outside my door. I had the later afternoon light, which is my favorite. The colors are so rich when the sun begins to get low in the sky and the shadows are long.

    I manipulated the photographs on my computer, to add even more color, so that the photographs looked like how I ‘felt’ looking at the landscapes. I am always concerned with expressing emotion in my work.

    I began the work in the studio, quite unsure about how these emotions could be recreated, without ‘being’ physically present in the landscape experiencing it. I had always painted plein air, out “in” the field, so I was out of my comfort zone. Working from a 2 dimensional photograph to a 2 dimensional canvas definitely left some gaps in my perception.

    In the quiet space of my studio, I felt much less overwhelmed. That made it easier for me to get into the flow of the work. Being in nature is a HUGE sensual experience, and that energy forces me to focus in a very intentional way. That is a good thing of course, because in nature, everything vibrates and shifts quite quickly. Nothing is ‘fixed”. The light changes, the weather shifts, so I am constantly adapting and recreating.

    In the studio, I have found myself to be so much more relaxed. The photographs are ‘fixed’ and therefore my reference point remains stationary. I decided to follow the same process that I use in the field. I made a black and white pencil sketch, considering the composition and the placement of the darks and lights. I then made a light charcoal sketch on the canvas that I had pre-primed with a neutral color.

    Then the dance begins. As i begin to lay in the larger shapes and add color, I am concerned first with the foundation, the composition. It’s so interesting to me that we as painters have named this element of the process, composition. It feels just like creating music, or what i would imagine that to feel like, since I have never written music. I do listen to music when I work in the studio, and it is creates a background to the dance of my brush on the surface of the canvas. There are similar elements. I am composing. I am leading the viewers eye to a focal point and then back around the rectangle so that everything within it can be enjoyed. I am choosing which visual elements are important to achieving that and leaving the rest out.

    I “feel” my way, trusting that even through the struggle of placement, color choices, and that feeling of being out of my comfort zone, knowing that the answers will become clear.

    My intuition is always my guide.

    My realizations in this experience have been vast. I feel that I have opened more to the flow of the process of creating, allowing it to happen. This is the only truth. Too much front brain analyzation and the magic is compromised. I stop working when I feel that I am asking too many questions with my front brain. I come back to work when I am refreshed and can easily access my zone. In the studio, without distractions, I am able to get there quickly.

    I can plug in and allow the work to unfold. So satisfying. I am focusing my creative energies on landscape for a year, exploring the 4 seasons, and staying open to all the opportunities.

  • October 14, 2016

    Nature’s Excitement: Inspired Landscape

    My eyes are constantly buzzing with the full spectrum of light and color that delight all of my senses everyday. The gift of being alive on this incredibly Beautiful and Magical planet fill my heart with gratefulness. Sky, trees, grass, flowers, plants, fields, rocks, mountains, lakes, streams; I am so amazed and overwhelmed by the perfection of all of these elements and the way they all come together to create the seasons, weather, and the delight of experience of living on the Earth. MOTHER Earth. I love her so much because she nurtures and expands my horizons, opening me up wider to her gifts every day.
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  • August 11, 2016

    Why? The Study of the Nude

    As artists, we strive to express beauty in all its wondrous forms. Throughout history, the Human form has fascinated and challenged artists with its amazing complexity and endlessly interesting variation.

    The process of drawing is a skill that every artist needs at their disposal to bring their ideas into the visual realm. In LIFE DRAWING, (Drawing from the live model) we hone our observational skills and along with that, see to ‘let go’ and become part of the experience of “being” in the moment with pinpoint focus.
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  • August 5, 2016

    Statement From Avé Madiol Veneklasen

    I open…I fill.. I overflow
    I dance to the tune of my feelings.
    Their rhythms fill me with the energy of LIFE

    It pulses through my veins my heart my soul
    Those inner places, sometimes quiet,
    sometimes screaming…
    Places to be explored, places of adventure and
    excitement…inner landscapes.
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  • August 2, 2016

    Joy of Process

    Creativity is a part of all of us and springs from a deep human desire to envision and bring into reality our ideas, our thoughts, our dreams. As an artist, I am constantly using my materials to express not only ideas but emotions as well. The Figure has always intrigued me. Body language, expressed by the pose itself speaks volumes. Color is my vehicle because it speaks very directly with emotional impact, and the marks that I make on the white surface of the rectangle are my commitment to responding not only to the subject matter but to the piece itself. As the marks are made, the piece takes on it’s own “life”; A life that is separate from the subject and the creator. Most of the time this is a process that involves getting in touch with that deeper place where everything disappears but the “Moment” and in that moment the flow can begin. It’s a “trance dance” where energy is exchanged and the layers reveal themselves as the minutes turn into hours.
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