Random Acts of Color Opening Reception, December 11, 2016, 2-4, Chase Family Gallery at Mandell JCC, West Hartford, CT

Random Acts of Color
Contemporary Abstract Mixed Media
C. Dianne Zweig

Inspired by 1950's colors, shapes, and designs, “Random Acts of Color" features C. Dianne Zweig's Contemporary Mixed Media abstracts which are anything but "random" as Dianne playfully re-works Mid-Century style for today's collector.  You will find almost 50 works of art on display assembled in Dianne's first Solo Show. This playful collection showcases Dianne's bold use of color and Mark making.  

Opening Reception with the artist: 
Sunday, December 11, 2016
2:00–4:00pm

Gallery Exhibit:
December 4, 2016 – January 15, 2017

For more information visit: JCC 860-231-4571

 

MAKING YOUR MARK IN CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACT ART NEW 6 WEEK CLASS AT WEST HARTFORD ART LEAGUE BEGINS JANUARY 11th REGISTER NOW

WINTER CLASSES 2016

MAKING YOUR MARK IN CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACT ART AT THE WEST HARTFORD ART LEAGUE

C. Dianne Zweig  West Hartford Art League 6 Weeks Level: Beginner to Advanced Abstract artists who would like to add more spontaneity to their artwork will explore a variety of mark making approaches to help reinvigorate and “morph” their contemporary styles into more interesting and finished works of art. Emphasis will be on the language of line and spontaneity, chaos and control, figuration to abstraction, action versus quiet, color, shape using both traditional and unconventional art products, materials and tools. Assignments will integrate the use of wet and dry media, pen and ink products, painting and collage. Emphasis will be on resolving artistic dilemmas in creative ways which incorporate innovation as well as group critiques. All levels of students welcomed. A materials list is available at: http://www.cdiannezweig.com/workshops/ C. Dianne Zweig is a Contemporary Mixed Media abstract artist whose artwork is influenced by the organic shapes and abstract designs of 1950s textiles. She is a member of Connecticut Women Artists and a founding member of Mixus, a group of women artists who work in Mixed media. Dianne is also enjoys teaching art classes and workshops to all ages. 

DZ312|Wednesday, January 11th – February 15th|1:00 – 4:00 Clubhouse Classroom Fee: Member $138.00 Non-member $163.00

To register visit the West Hartford Art League

The Art of Mark Making in Abstract Art: New Facebook Group Created

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It seemed to me that there needed to be a hub for obsessive and casual mark makers who enjoy adding wonderful lines, symbols, strokes, movement to their work. With that in mind, I started a new Facebook Group called "The Art of Mark Making in Abstract Art".  Response to establishing  this group has been very exciting ! Artists from all over the world are joining this lively group. To add a wide range of mark makers to the group, I have been scouting my other FB groups and inviting artists to join and spread the word.  While, I know that a lot of "doodlers" are also Mark makers, causal doodlers were not my prime audience.    my My goal is to bring together Fine Artists who work in as variety of media such as paint, pastels, crayons, ink, Watercolor, digital etc. The art exercise shown is one of my Midcentury inspired Watercolor and ink quickie pieces done on the beach during the summer on a Strathmore Bristol board "Visual Journal".      

Accidentally Slopping Around In My Studio Is Very Satisfying

 As an artist I have very little patience, but I have learned over the years to work with that quirky trait. If I absolutely had to sit and render a very carefully executed vase of flowers sitting on a table, I'm betting over time and practice (and some skill building) , I could truly pull that off.  But I'm thinking that I would frankly be worn out and not energized while TRYING to create a painting of flowers. In contrast to drawing or painting  realistically,  when I slop around in my studio experimenting with  colors, products and applications in all the "wrong" ways I'm "unglued" but satisfied. I really do like the idea of accidentally falling into a project with little preconceived notions and few expectations (ha ha). I really have to get back to stop trying so hard, that's when my best work appears!

C. Dianne Zweig: Contemporary Abstract Art at Open Studio Hartford November 12-13, Arbor Arts Center, Hartford, CT

 I love Hartford, I love the rhythms, the mix of people of different backgrounds, the energy of the Arts community and my amazing new studio at The Arbor Arts Center which is the same building as Real Art Ways. This weekend (November 12-13) is Open Studio Hartford and my new studio, suite 220 will be open for the first time to the public. Just to keep you up to date, I still have my Mid Century vibe going on and I am still working in my usual 1950s colors ...more or less.

What is new in my 56 Arbor Street studio, besides the sink which is still white and not yet covered with paint or my shiny gorgeous restored hardwood floors which are not yet smothered in splattered paint is my decision to keep my studio a workspace and not a gallery. My fantastic TALL white walls are now reserved for work in progress. Therefore.....I need to move many of my earlier Abstract Mixed Media pieces out the door....time to let go.  While I am resisting calling this a "sale"....guess what it is a SALE ! Out with the old, in with the new. http://openstudiohartford.com/artists?artistID=792

Other news to report is that my friend Ginny August a very wonderful potter will be exhibiting her functional and decorative pottery in my studio.  Ginny has great gifts for the holiday season. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applying Paint By Rolling The Handle of a Paint Brush Across An Abstract Mixed Media Piece

Mixed Media artists are always using their tools in quirky ways. While the average painter holds their brush upright choosing to paint with the bristles of the brush, others have learned to get very interesting applications by using their brush handle as a roller or brayer, spreading the paint across the paper in accidental and blotting types of layering. Thank you to Peter Ganick for demonstrating this lovely technique during an exercise on Visual poetry.

Fear of Outsiders: Seth Godin

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Just in time for Halloween, some thoughts on our fear of the other, the people in the shadows, or merely those that don't look like us.It's tempting to rile yourself up about the 'other'. But that's not the real challenge. The challenge is inside. It's the self-sabotage. The projects not shipped, the hugs not given, the art not made. The real boogeyman isn't the other. The one we're afraid of is with us all the time. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2016/10/fear-of-outsiders.html

Advice From Sol Le Witt: Try to Do Some BAD Work

C. Dianne Zweig

C. Dianne Zweig

If you spend a good amount of time in your art studio fussing over and over on a painting that is screaming "cover me with Gesso" or "throw me out" you have probably reached the point where you should just go ahead and "ruin it"!  In other words relinquish the "plan" you had for this piece and just "let whatever happens happen".

Below is an excerpt from a five page letter the artist Sol Le Witt wrote to Eva Hesse. 

"I have much confidence in you andthough you are tormenting yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work — the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell — you are not responsible for the world — you are only responsible for your work — so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be. But if life would be easier for you if you stopped working — then stop. Don’t punish yourself. However, I think that it is so deeply engrained in you that it would be easier to

DO"  

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/09/09/do-sol-lewitt-eva-hesse-letter/

Does Doodling Lead To Serial Pen and Inking?

A few years back I was totally known as the "Doodling Diva" . With a background as a compulsive doodler, word got out that I was the go to person on all matters concerning doodling. I even wrote a humorous manuscript on personality traits and doodling and continued to stay current on all aspects of doodling or automatic drawing as it is sometimes called . When I shifted from an interest in the psychology of doodling to the   actual art of making intricate  doodles, I was encouraged to "upgrade" my art vocabulary by shifting from talking about my work as  "doodles" to referring to my Mark making as pen and ink art. Whatever you want to call it, I like to "doodle" with Sharpies of all sizes because with a lot of experience you can control your lines and movements. I am about to venture into the "real" pen and ink world by trying out "real" ink and "real" old fashioned pens. Wish me luck and check back on my progress.

Mark Making With A Small Remnant of Woven Chair Caning

 In a recent class I taught at The West Hartford art League on making your own mark making tools, one of my students took a small piece of woven chair caning and attached it to a chop stick with tape and dipped the small remnant of caning into black ink and created these wonderful marks on paper. The trick is to pivot the caning in many directions to get a variety of varied black lines. For more information on upcoming workshops and classes, visit http://www.cdiannezweig.com/workshops/

"Ferklempt": Naming Your Art Show

 I am trying to come up with a title for an upcoming Art show. Some days it seems like every good name has been used. I have done what so many artists do when they are searching for a name that will grab attention and hopefully bring interest in their work.... they stare at their body of work hoping the paintings will begin speaking with a brilliant answer!  I've talked to my abstract mixed media collages all week and so far nuttin'. My watercolors were silent too and my pastels and ink  pieces are also keeping under the radar. I've considered following the advice of a favorite author and blogger, Austin Kleon who suggests that one "Steal Like an Artist".  Should I refer to the big box of old Art show promotional postcard from others and recycle a name? Would I be better thinking of a name without referencing others so that I can pretend i was original?  At this moment in time, I am Ferklempt! Hey that has a certain ring to it....maybe that's going to be my name for my show.

Visiting The Blog of Hannah Rebekah Straw: Making Marks in Black & White is Therapeutic

Hannah talks about how therapeutic it is to quiet the mind by using mark making with just black and white and leaving out color. Although I do not know what medium Hannah uses,  I  have spent many hours with a sketchpad and a Uni-ball Vision pen which is water and fade resistant) just mark making into the night. The beauty of the Uni-ball pen over the Sharpie pen is that it doesn't knock you over with a smell.  Hannah gets much more complex in her black and white drawings, using texture and different levels of pressure, movement and "exaggeration" of her marks. Take a look at her other B&W drawings https://hannahstraw1.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/mark-making-black-and-white/

Learning About Shapes In Abstract Art By Looking at 1950s Jazz Record Albums

A great way to learn about cool design when making abstract art is to take a look at Jazz album covers from the 1950s for examples of hip style, design, color and composition.  Many people get STUCK in making the same shapes and sometimes even make the same size shapes over and over. That is not art, it is wallpaper. And I should know, because I have been  a member of that club for years. So I began going online and looking at lots and lots of album covers form the 1940s-1950s. This album cover shown, was designed by Burt Goldblatt for American jazz tenor saxophonist Don Byas. In particular I am interested in Goldblatt's use of the very large pink/white boomerang shape (a very common 1950s) element and it's relationship to the green background. Take a good look at this album and notice how line, shape, color, value relate to each other. You can indeed learn so much by exploring old jazz albums for inspiration for your own artwork. 

Let It Go...Drawing With The Tip Of An Ink Bottle

I have a love hate relationship with using art products as the company suggests.  I usually start off just doing my own thing and then months later I read the directions. This is not always a safe thing to do, so let me go on record saying...don't listen to everything I say. In the case of permanent or even waterproof ink, we are not talking about too much "danger" here. But what we does happen with ink is that people get a little nervous about how to use ink products "correctly". I urge you to simply experiment with "drawing" with the tip of the bottle, dipping a brush into the bottle, loading a pen, using homemade brushes, etc. With practice you lose your "ink anxiety".

Stamping White Dots With The End Of A Pencil Eraser Onto Your Mixed Media Collage

Mixed Media artists simply cannot look at an ordinary object in the same way as the rest of the world. For example, to the average person, a pencil with an eraser is a writing or drawing tool with the graphite end taking top billing. To a Mixed media artist, the rubber tip of a pencil is so much more than a device to eliminate unwanted marks. Case in point, (no pun intended), Lynn Gall an accomplished Mixed Media artist taught me how to use the eraser end of a pencil to stamp perfect dots or circular shapes into a painted or collaged piece. You can dip the eraser in any color, but dipping the eraser into white paint really adds highlights to your work.  

Artwork by Lynn Gall  http://www.lynngall.com/

Painting Laundry Dryer Sheets With Acrylic Paint To Use As Texture In Mixed Media Collage

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 Do you  know how excited I was to "inherit"  this plastic covered cardboard support I used for painting laundry dryer clothes (the things you use for softening clothes in the dryer) ? I didn't exactly "inherit" the thing, it was given to me when my friend Lynn Gall downsized her art studio as she left for a very long stay Abroad. So when you want to add texture to a Mixed media collage you paint these fabric softener sheets, let them dry and incorporate them in your pieces!  Thanks Lynn  for teaching me about this technique, it's one way to get me to do laundry! Visit Lynn at http://www.lynngall.com/

Pouring, Drawing And Dribbling Black Ink Or Paint In Mixed Media Collage

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 Drawing with permanent ink, especially black ink seems so scary for many people, cause it seems so , well you know....permanent!  The fear is that it might smudge, flow too heavy, take a wrong turn when applied etc. And those are all the reasons, I like "drawing with black ink" and adding ink to my Mixed Media collages. I find the process of "playing" with ink liberating. There are many ways to apply ink, sometimes I go for broke, and just pour the ink or black paint right on the paper holding the bottle up high and letting the ink land on the paper.  Oh yes sometimes "accidents" happen, and that is what  usually makes my pieces special.

Let Loose With Creative Aging: New Visual Arts Program for Older Adults at The West Hartford Art League This Fall 2016

Throughout the country, especially in larger cities, older adults are finding more and more programs geared for their special needs. While I have many friends who are artists and in their eighties, with more energy and mobility than plenty of people half their age, there are plenty of older adults who need a jumpstart to leave their homes and make art! With this in mind, I developed a brand new program at The West Hartford Art League in West Hartford, CT geared for adults who may be returning to art after many decades or who finally want to try their hand at something new. My new class "Let Loose With Creative Aging" will run Wednesday mornings at the WHAL. Some unique aspects of this class is that caregivers can accompany  participants to class and that individuals with early dementia can feel comfortable attending.   For more information see http://www.cdiannezweig.com/workshops/

Making Your Mark in Contemporary Art: New Fall Class West Hartford Art League

Scribbling seems so easy when you are a toddler and you just let yourself draw freely without any conscious thoughts about what you are doing. Fast forward to being an adult and all of a sudden you can't move your hand without overthinking your modus operandi. Am I making lines too soft, too long, too dark, too crooked? You get the drill, mark making becomes tedious instead of relaxed and free. Don't get me wrong, sometimes you want a very careful deliberate line or mark, but more often than not for abstract artists, making marks is a very spontaneous process. So with this concept in mind, I have developed my newest art class  "MAKING YOUR MARK IN CONTEMPORARY ART"  which will run at The West Hartford Art League this Fall on Wednesday afternoons. Here is the link for more information http://www.cdiannezweig.com/workshops/  

Spice Up Your Cool Colors In A Mixed Media Collage With A Touch Of Pink

Like so many other artists, I seem to have my favorite palette when I am either painting or creating Mixed Media Abstract collages. A fan of the colors of the 1950s, I'm just not happy unless I have done a piece with a fair amount of turquoise, chartreuse, grey and of course some mixture which includes one of my favorites...Payne's grey along with whatever blue is hanging around on my paint table. It is really hard for me to reach for the warmer colors, but adding an accent of red, or orange or pink is so critical when you need to spice up a piece!