UPDATED MAY 1, 2020 with new studio reflections from our artists.
What is it like for an artist as the world slows down? What inspires their work, or pulls them from it? How has their purpose changed, if at all? Why this work, at this time? Answers to these questions, and others, are being considered by our artists. Enjoy this updated log of our artist’s experiences and reflections.
April 27, 2020
When we all started taking serious actions around the pandemic I had a desire to try to help people in my community in some way but I didn’t quite know what to do. For years now I have tried to grow a good portion of our own food. Friends started calling to ask for help so they could start gardens themselves. I put up a poster at the post office using a beautiful image from the 1930’s Victory Garden campaign. So far I’ve helped six people start or improve gardens. We started with cool weather crops but on May 1st we will put out the tomatoes I started in March and plant summer things like squash and beans. When these folks call me to tell me what is sprouting I can hear excitement and hopefulness – and this is before they have even eaten what they grew.
We had a cool, wet spring and I wasn’t feeling like going out to paint. For a while now I have wanted to get back into printmaking. I started making prints in high school and, until I learned to paint in 1988, my work was in silkscreen, intaglio, lithograph and monotype. Lately I have been experimenting with wood block printing. I took a composition from a painting I did in 2014 and have been breaking it out into color blocks. This has been quite fun. It’s tedious, not easy, but somehow meditative and satisfying.
In one more bit of news – we got 24 new chicks on March 25. We have 18 hens that are 3 years old and they don’t lay many eggs anymore. When you order chicks they come in a box to the post office and, as one can imagine, there isn’t anything cuter than a box of new chicks. But now, 3 weeks later, they are in that awkward and curious stage.
April 18, 2020
“Rivers and streams are so integral to my life. They are truly my favorite subjects. My father and I had a strong relationship that centered around fly fishing. He would always say “it’s not the fish so much as the places they live.” We certainly agreed on that point, and it helped feed what became arguably “obsessive.” Big rivers are like novels and streams little poems, with each visit telling a different story I have logged in memory. Mountains and fields or rocks and desert can have similar looks day to day and even year to year, but rivers always surprise me with change.
I have actually painted in waders, and dangerously perched on bridges to get the right vantage point. That is not an exaggeration. I once flipped at least a hundred dollars worth of brushes into the Davidson river and had to chase them around in frigid water barefooted to get them back. I love rivers and I love painting so when the two intersect I hope I am at my best.”
~Marie Figge Wise~
April 18, 2020
“Among my memories included from painting Lower Roaring Fork is a beautiful day of fishing below Carbondale with the water reflecting a nearly cloudless blue sky and seeing the acid green grass in bright sunlight on the far bank. Each day on the river is different, and I never tire of the experience of witnessing its change. Spring into Summer and Summer into Fall are magical times on this great river. Almost as magical as watching Spring burst forth in this time of Quarantine. I’ve been a captive audience and I applaud Mother Nature for all her magnificence.”
April 17, 2020
“I grew up right on the Roaring Fork River. My parents had a place between Glenwood and Carbondale. We were so lucky. We were either playing in it, fishing on it, swimming in it, tubing on it. My brother and I would leave in the morning with our fishing poles and a bagged lunch and be gone all day. I’ve always had a connection with high mountain streams, but the Roaring Fork River is the one I grew up on. An artist can portray their subject better when they know it well.”
April 16, 2020
“Winter Haze depicts the Spring Creek in northern Utah, and was painted en plein air. The fog was breaking allowing a soft light to define the area and give a sort of warmth to such a cold day. This creek has had influence on me all of my life, from playing in it as a boy to being the namesake of my middle school. Anyone in a rural setting has emotional ties to the waterways that gives their community life. I hope those who view this piece feel the same sense of nostalgia that it evokes in me.”
~Ewoud de Groot~
April 15, 2020
“Crossing Elk Nocturne is inspired by my fishing trips. This particular elk painting is inspired by an elk I saw crossing Warm Creek in Ketchum this summer. This was one of those magical occasions standing in the river focusing on the fishing and then suddenly this majestic animal crosses the river a hundred yards away.”
April 10, 2020
“The whole idea is that we are who we are, but we are not alone. We are in this race together.”
April 9, 2020
I was surprised to find out that my chosen lifestyle has a name, “Self Quarantine” ! My world hasn’t changed that much. I am fortunate to still be able to spend a lot of time outside which is something I have always done. That has always been my escape and inspiration. That will continue. I hope my connection with nature comes through in my art and continues to bring solace and inspiration to everyone who views it in these tough times. I believe all the arts will help us get through this.
I have spent many mornings just watching sunrises. They give me a quiet time to pause and watch as the light and colors quickly change. I can’t help but to be optimistic with every new day. We will be closer to getting through these difficult times.
~Paula Schuette Kraemer~
April 8, 2020
In a conversation with Paula, we discussed what projects were “on the table.” She sent us photos of her dining room covered in old photographs from her parents, including this sweet one of a young Paula holding a pair of puppies, exhibiting “her love of dogs from a young age.”
April 3, 2020
“Inspired by a new cobalt/ ultramarine marine blue crawl glaze at the Studio, I envisioned the herd of 7 ceramic blue mud horses using this glaze that looks like dried cracking mud. They appear both ancient and contemporary. I started by hand sculpting/ building each horse in my favorite red sculpture clay. This red clay fires to a beautiful rich chestnut color that reminds me of the color of my horse Tic Tac. The red of the clay is not evident under the layers of black underglaze and blue crawl glaze on the sculptures, however, it is an important element to me.
I created each horse in relationship to the other. Each unique in gesture and personality. Once the horse bodies are sculpted, hollowed and refined, I allow them air dry slowly. The herd was then fired in a kiln twice. First the sculptures are bisque fire to a lower temperature to convert the clay into a more durable and semi-vitrified porous stage to accept glaze. After glazing, the Herd of 7 were fired to Cone 5 around 2185 F Degrees / 1196 C Degrees.
After successfully surviving the bisque and glaze firings, each Horse was mounted to a steel base inspired by museum artifact mounts. The design of the bases allows for the pieces to be configured close together and rearranged in different formations.”
Why 7? 7 is my favorite number. It is also a powerful number in numerology and cross-culturally.
Aesthetically there is a visual power to a group of seven individual sculptures coming together to create a singular piece. It becomes a community, or visually, an abstract formation…for me the herd of 7 horses form a landscape, flowing river or a mountain range.
Several people have commented that the Blue Mud Herd reminds them of Franz Marc’s Blue Horses poem by Mary Oliver:
Franz Marc’s Blue Horses
by Mary Oliver
I step into the painting of the four blue horses.
I am not even surprised that I can do this.
One of the horses walks toward me.
His blue nose noses me lightly. I put my arm
over his blue mane, not holding on, just
He allows me my pleasure.
Franz Marc died a young man, shrapnel in his brain.
I would rather die than explain to the blue horses
what war is.
They would either faint in horror, or simply
find it impossible to believe.
I do not know how to thank you, Franz Marc.
Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually.
Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
is the piece of God that is inside each of us.
Now all four horses have come closer,
are bending their faces toward me
as if they have secrets to tell.
I don’t expect them to speak, and they don’t.
If being so beautiful isn’t enough, what
could they possibly say?
~Paula Schuette Kraemer~
March 28, 2020
“At Christmas time, we’re always talking about what animals we’ve seen, and this was based off of a pictured shared of an acclaimed animal sighting. When I looked at the picture, I didn’t know what I was looking at until I saw the rabbit, but the white on white on white really intrigued me. This is the only version of the print out in the world right now! [Ann Korologos Gallery has] the first.”
March 28, 2020
“Back to my Colorado sketchbooks for a memory of summer. Light in the Clearing is based on a memory of a walk through a conifer and aspen forest one morning and stepping out into an opening in the trees to see brilliant sunshine on the aspen trunks.”
March 23, 2020
“I started [Weathered] with the idea of Resilience in mind as Covid-19 was first starting to spread in the US,” shares Peter Campbell from his studio. “Using a barn image from a ranch up Woody Creek as reference, I saw it as an American icon withstanding the ravishes of time, where even after the painted surfaces have been worn away, its beauty and strength is in the patina of weathering any storm. The power line echoes the waxing moon and symbolizes its connection to the world at large. It is really meant to be a portrait of resilience.”
We appreciate your taking the time to tune in and learn more about our artists! To take a deeper dive into their available work and style, great videos, interviews, and more, please find them on our artist page, or contact Ann Korologos Gallery in Basalt, Colorado by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (970) 927-9668.