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Fantasie Sopra la Città di Venezia (Fantasy upon the City of Venice)

by Luca Rajna These three sequences are inspired by what Wolfgang Goethe wrote about the gondoliers’ songs during his Italian tour.             Luca Rajna is the ...

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Variations on a Theme

by Susan Heggestad   Susan M Heggestad received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from the University of South Dakota, and her Masters of Fine Arts degree, with ...

David Feingold, Seeing the Light

Teeth is Tears: A Collaboration Series

by David Feingold and Michael Quaintance “Teeth is Tears” is a collaboration series between artists David Feingold and Michael Quaintance. Michael writes poetry in response to David’s images. As Michael says in ...

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Fantasie Sopra la Città di Venezia (Fantasy upon the City of Venice)

by Luca Rajna

These three sequences are inspired by what Wolfgang Goethe wrote about the gondoliers’ songs during his Italian tour.

 

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luca_rajna_3_bio_picLuca Rajna is the founder of the photographic studio Luca Rajna Progetti Fotografici (Photographic Projects) and works mainly with weddings and photo shootings. His team of world-class professionals consists of storytellers who have won all the most important awards: World Press Photo, Sony World Photography Awards and so on. The know-how of his team allows him to avoid a single standardized working methodology, getting the most suitable style for every client.

When he takes photographs he always looks for conveying emotions and feelings beyond what is represented: “There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect” taught G.K. Chesterton. Before to become a photographer Luca was a musician and researcher specialized in baroque Venetian music. His wife Maria Rosa is from Venice: her slang easily stands out, so…They got married in 1996, the year in which he did his last concert and was already the leader of a photography studio since two years, after studying photography in Milan from 1992 to 1994 at the CFP Ricccardo Bauer.

At the end of the 90s he was among the first Italian photographers to have a full website and after noticing on the Internet the work of his colleagues from abroad he made the wedding photojournalism philosophy famous in Italy, which was virtually unknown in his country then. In private life he is still fond of ancient (and ethnic) music, loves to translate the Bible from the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts and… would never stop playing Subbuteo (a kind of “Table Soccer” very common in Italy). Luca and his wife chose to live in the country, out of a big city. Their children names are Mattia (Matthew) and Noemi.

Among famous names, Luca learned to framing his images reading the treatises of Vasily Kandinsky, looking at the cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky, and to discover the poetry of the light from the black and white of William Eugene Smith. His favorite photography books are from the analogue era: “L’Isola Intima” [The Intimate Island] by Carmelo Bongiorno and “Venice” by David Hamilton. Recommended Movies: Ushpizin (2004), Fireproof (2008) and Courageous (2011).

Main Website › www.progettifotografici.com

Instagram › luca.rajna https://www.instagram.com/luca.rajna

Facebook › https://www.facebook.com/LucaRajnaProgettiFotografici

Google+ › https://plus.google.com/+ProgettiFotografici

 

Variations on a Theme

by Susan Heggestad

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susan-heggestad-bio-picSusan M Heggestad received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from the University of South Dakota, and her Masters of Fine Arts degree, with an emphasis in Printmaking, from SUNY at Buffalo.  She creates mixed-media works on paper utilizing collagraph, monotype, screen-printing, and relief processes, as well as larger works in sculpture and installation.  Her work has been showcased at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Sciences in Sioux Falls, the Haydon Art Center in Lincoln, Neb., North Dakota State University in Fargo, as well as numerous other venues. In addition, she is the recipient of several awards, including a South Dakota Arts Council Artist Grant in 2007 and 2011, and is currently on the Artists in Communities and Schools roster for the South Dakota Arts Council.

Susan lives with her family in Vermillion, where she maintains a private studio, and works in public relations for her local public library.  For the past twelve years she has worked in this region with a particular focus on creating opportunities for artists, advocating for arts education at the state and local level, and working toward cultural development in her community.

Website: susanheggestad.com

Facebook: facebook.com/SusanHeggestadArtworks

 

Next Creative Thresholds in two weeks

Due to illness, there will not be a Creative Thresholds issue today. We will be back with a wonderful issue full of art and writing in two weeks. 

Teeth is Tears: A Collaboration Series

by David Feingold and Michael Quaintance

“Teeth is Tears” is a collaboration series between artists David Feingold and Michael Quaintance. Michael writes poetry in response to David’s images. As Michael says in his bio, “Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as.” Both artists’ works are informed by their lived experience of disability. This is the first in a series of their collaborations to appear on Creative Thresholds.

David Feingold, Seeing the Light

David Feingold, Seeing the Light

 

Teeth is Tears

The first thing you learns
Before the silence and the shame
Is the high cost of suffering and the impudence of pain
That god’s gone a-callin’
and the devil’s home to stay
That the hurt gon’ hurt forever
But you bes’ laugh hard today.

The second thing you learns
Is you a ditch for irrigation
A furrow in the fields
So all the blood run fresh and free,
Wait, with yo’ legs spread
For the plow to split you open
Pray the Lord gon keep his promise
That you be free, one day, to flee.

My daddy was a teeth man
My granddaddy too
They smiled for Mr. Charlie’s
Number one and number two,
They tilted they heads backward
While they smiled and smiled and smiled
So they tears fell back behind they thoughts
And their rage got washed to ground.

My daddy was a teeth man
My mamma cried in pain
She told him it was sorrow
But he knew that it was shame,
That everythang he loved he’d lose
Get stripped and passed away
If they saw the fire in his eyes
If the laughter turned to rage.

My daddy died a toothless man
My granddaddy did too
He never brushed the stains away
Kept proof of their abuse,
He ate the rot
Day after day, felt the grit rough on his tongue
He kept his breath rank and stale
So they breathed in what they’d done.

The first thing you learn
Before the silence and the shame
Is the high cost of suffering and the impudence of pain,
So, our niggers, keep on smiling
Niggers new and niggers old
All our bent and limp and cracked and gimped
Made to stand out in the cold.

The second thing you learn
Is those yellowed teeth, are tears
Lines of carefully coded history
Passed down through generations
And ignored
year after year.

 

david-feingold-2Artist: David Feingold

David Feingold was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1951.  Feingold works in the medium of digital art.  Much of his art is used in conjunction with his anti-stigma awareness campaigns to the lay public as well as professionals and academicians.

Feingold has a varied education and professional background, which along with his personal experience with bipolar disorder, influence much of his art: Bachelors in Art Education; Masters in Visual Design; Masters in Social Work; and a Doctorate in Disability Studies.

His work has been represented both nationally and internationally in both brick and mortar and online galleries. His ultimate purpose in creating “bipolar art” is to present the inner struggles of those with psychiatric disorders and through understanding and acceptance, reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with all mental illness.

Feingold worked for 15 years as a visual designer and 15 years as a school social worker, when he had to take early retirement, due to advancing cognitive impairments stemming from a closed head injury from a hit-and-run accident in his teens. The closed head injury was the genesis of Feingold’s temporal lobe epilepsy and bipolar disorder. He resides in rural Michigan in a simple, one room dwelling, complete with a wood burning stove and a pond in the back yard. Feingold states that his home provides a perfect environment in which to produce his artwork as well as a harmonious balance and stability in light of the unpredictable challenges associated with his diagnoses of bipolar and seizure disorders.

This is Feingold’s second art collaboration. His first collaboration was with a musician/composer, whose music was informed by his own seizure activity as well as Feingold’s art imagery.

Website: www.feinart.me

 

blog-hotsauceanddill-blogspot-comArtist: Michael Quaintance

How long has “depression” been a central part of your life experience? Before answering, I need to respond to the assumptions and preconceptions that haven’t be voiced, but have proven to be inherent in this kind of question.   “Depression” (for me) is a region of sight and insight that exists outside of the constraints of belonging and the constructs of being used to set the terms and conditions of normalcy.  I also need to add that I use the term “depression” for the sake of convenience, so that you and I can begin our conversation from a shared point, even though our interpretations will differ at the outset.

So, what is depression… for you? Depression is not—depression does not—depression will not.  Is, does and will, belong to form, formality and functionality; the need to assert, discern and determine.  What you call depression, I call imposition and the limitation of the unique by mandates of compliance that have little to no tolerance for difference, or that which cannot/will not be defined.

My work, my writing is motivated by this unfinished—recently began—lifelong discussion. Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as. The gift of isolation and aloneness over the past few years, has opened doorways and pathways that I’ve only begun to discover; and in word, design.

Ex-Dancer—Actor, Bachelors in Philosophy and Performing Arts, Masters in Education, presently completing a Doctorate in Disability Studies

Blog: hotsauceanddill.blogspot.com

 

Postcolonial Thoughts: Thoughts on Pedagogy-the Apprentice

by Christopher Hutchinson

Note 8- the foundations are the foundations

 

Many students start off with a foundation course with the wrong intentions, perfection being one of them. This idea of being a perfectionist actually slows the learning process and sometimes renders that foundation course useless. The “perfectionist” student is having a philosophical debate about something that actually has linear steps to grow in art pedagogy. The steps of the foundation course cannot be skipped without proper understanding of the previous lesson.

The foundations are repetitive exercises to build the individual artist’s tool bag. Questioning these foundation steps confuses the “perfectionist” student, not the professor. The professor already knows how to accomplish these steps. The foundations are the foundations. These courses are arranged to crescendo based on the previous lessons learned. Foundation courses work much like learning your addition and subtraction math facts. Imagine trying to learn addition and they constantly challenge the previous fact learned. That is the difficulty with challenging the foundation classes, especially when there are so many facts to be learned before a true challenge to the art-making practice can be articulated. In the foundation courses you get the tips and tricks to make the steps easier and gain actual repeatable knowledge that becomes second nature.

 

 

Many of these “perfectionist” students may grasp one lesson and then have a hard time getting the next lesson. The classes crescendo. The stopping and starting, coming late, setup time, and flow of the class have a lot to do with grasping all the facts necessary to move on effectively. These students complete the course and move on to another art class only to run into the same “art facts” skipped in the previous course. These students are choosing to accept only the lessons they feel suit them. This then breeds an incomplete artist with limited experience and low-confidence to attempt things they feel to be too difficult. This person ends up not challenging anything, becomes super sensitive during critique, and ends up quitting or changing majors. Confidence begins with knowing as many foundation art facts as possible. Develop the patience and drive to achieve and exceed every lesson—that is the “perfectionist” that is a joy to teach.

 

Note 9-The Apprentice

apprentice

[uhpren-tis]

noun

1.a person who works for another in order to learn a trade: an apprentice to a plumber.
2.History/Historical. a person legally bound through indenture to amaster craftsman in order to learn a trade.
3.a learner; novice; tyro.
4.U.S. Navy. an enlisted person receiving specialized training.
5.a jockey with less than one year’s experience who has won fewer than40 races.verb (used with object), apprenticed, apprenticing.
6.to bind to or place with an employer, master craftsman, or the like, forinstruction in a trade.verb (used without object), apprenticed, apprenticing.
7.to serve as an apprentice: He apprenticed for 14 years under a master silversmith.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/apprentice

 

Today’s lack of work ethic, required of an apprentice, may derive from the success of postmodern ideals. Ideals that advocate the erasure of craft and praise celebrity rather than grueling art practice. This generation of students wants to completely skip the foundation process and go directly to postmodern conceptual practice.  A real artist would enjoy every bit of every mundane exercise presented in foundation courses.  Only in going through and mastering those exercises will the artist begin to develop a vocabulary that could articulate a postmodern discussion. Postmodernism and conceptual art are only two movements in the history of art already dated.

Once again one may want to have a discussion on postmodernism and conceptual practice but run into the same issues that were not mastered in their foundation.  If students do not achieve smooth transitions in their compositions of still lifes, their postmodern and conceptual ideas will certainly be rough as well.  An artist has to have had exhausted the foundations to begin their art theory practice.  One has to learn multiplication and division before being ready to solve for x or do calculus.  One has to practice communicating successfully before achieving the subtlety of irony.

 

Christopher Hutchinson 2Christopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

Selections from “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See”

by Charles Williams

CONFRONTATION III - JULY 17, 2014 - 48"X48"- Oil on Panel

CONFRONTATION III – JULY 17, 2014 – 48″X48″- Oil on Panel

CHOKEHOLD - Harlem, July 1964 - 22"x30" - Oil on Watercolor Paper

CHOKEHOLD – Harlem, July 1964 – 22″x30″ – Oil on Watercolor Paper

NIGHTSTICK - Harlem, July 1964 - 22"x30" - Oil on Watercolor Paper

NIGHTSTICK – Harlem, July 1964 – 22″x30″ – Oil on Watercolor Paper

RIOTER - Watts, August 13, 1965 - 22"x30" - Oil on Watercolor Paper

RIOTER – Watts, August 13, 1965 – 22″x30″ – Oil on Watercolor Paper

KID WITH LUCY - Newark, July 1967 - 22"x30" - Oil on Watercolor Paper

KID WITH LUCY – Newark, July 1967 – 22″x30″ – Oil on Watercolor Paper

 

“Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” is showing at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC from September 19-November 11, 2017. There is an artist talk and gallery walk-through Thursday, October 20 at 7:00. Info here.

More of his work can be seen in the exhibition “BLACK on BLACK,” which runs from October 7-27, 2017 at VAE Raleigh.

 

charles-williams-todd_turner_photography-5-2Charles Williams is a professional contemporary realist painter from Georgetown, South Carolina and a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art. From utilizing oils for the basis of landscapes, each painting captures his reflection of human emotions in response to and in sync with the natural environment. Recent achievements and awards include a Hudson River Landscape Fellowship, featured work in the Artists Magazines 28th Annual Art Competition, honorable mention from Southwest Art Magazines 21 Emerging Under 31 competition, 2012 Winner of the Fine Art Category from Creative Quarterly and featured cover artist of Composite and Professional Artist Magazine. Williams’ works has been shown in American Art Collector, Empty, Charleston Magazine, Grand Strand, Studio Visit, Bluecanvas and other national publications. He was recently interviewed and broadcast on ETV/ NPR station, entitled: Nature Through the Eyes of an Artist. His contemporary landscapes have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in galleries in New York, Vermont, California, Georgia, South Carolina and several other southeastern states.

Website: cewpaintings.com
Blog: cewpaintings.blogspot.com

 

 

On Canvas

by Raewyn Senff

a winter's walk

a winter’s walk

chasing them down

chasing them down

raewyn-senff-flying-south

flying south

kite flyer

kite flyer

let them play

let them play

strolling Mujimba beach

strolling Mujimba beach

taking flight

taking flight

the fisherman

the fisherman

the squabble

the squabble

watchful

watchful

 

portrait_raewyn_senffArtist: Raewyn Senff

Many years ago I started studying photography but never completed any formal education, life took over instead. Now 30 years on I have gone back to study and completed what I started.

My work has now evolved as I am now influenced by the great painting masters Monet, Matisse and Degas. I would now say my work is painterly. I love to create images of atmosphere and beauty which go beyond a representation of day to day reality.

I use in camera movement techniques to creatively portray my subjects, then in post processing I add textures and layers to paint a story. This is a reflection of my life through my eyes.

 

Website: http://www.gallery61photography.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gallery61_photography

 

 

Creative Thresholds will take off the month of September.

Dear readers,

I’ve been struggling with many health issues recently and finally decided I needed to take some time off to try and fully recover, which includes taking time away from Creative Thresholds this month. We’ll be back next month, though, with some really amazing work by both visual artists and writers. It’ll be worth the wait. I promise.😉

Thanks so much for your continuing support! You guys rock!

Best,

Melissa D. Johnston
Editor/Curator Creative Thresholds

Dialogue with myself

by Melinda Matyas

The red curvature (dyptich)

The red curvature (dyptich)

Seven days (dyptich)

Seven days (dyptich)

Hope, the thing with feathers

Hope, the thing with feathers

I’am going to be a pilot

I’am going to be a pilot

The Silence of Animals

The silence of animals

6 Melinda Matyas Mama, I’m coming home

Mama, I’m coming home

The wind blows where it pleases

The wind blows where it pleases

 Lorelei

Lorelei

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

And the walls were restless under chalk drawings

And the walls were restless under chalk drawings

I’ve been here before (dialogue with myself)

I’ve been here before (dialogue with myself)

 

Melinda MatyasArtist: Melinda Matyas

My artistic preoccupation is mostly based on existential explorations of the human condition. Very much interested in the intensity of sensation experienced from the subject’s presence, I’m looking beyond the body, discovering that beyond our well-lived triviality in each individual the spirit is made flesh, under its surface in each one the whole creation breathes. Though the starting point is always personal, emerging out of my obsessions and the emotional intensity which flows through myself and through people living around me, this intensely personal content of the work invites a reciprocal identification on the part of the viewer.

http://melindamatyas.com

https://www.facebook.com/MelindaMatyasPaintings/

https://www.instagram.com/melinda_matyas/

 

Postcolonial Thoughts: Thoughts on Pedagogy of the Visual Artist Continued (Color)

by Christopher Hutchinson

“Postcolonial Thoughts: Thoughts on Pedagogy of the Visual Artist Continued (Color)” is a followup to “Postcolonial Thoughts: Thoughts on Pedagogy of the Visual Artist.”

 

Note 5-It is not a style and it is not new

(noun) – A tint is a color to which white has been added to make it lighter. Take pink, for instance. Pink is a color, but it’s also a tint of red. Sometimes tints are referred to as “pastels.” While this is technically inaccurate (pastels are a type of crayon), it’s such a common phrase that it’s worth noting here. http://arthistory.about.com/cs/glossaries/g/t_tint.htm

The bad habits developed by so-called illustrators filter into the model for every other pursuit in art. Usually these poor traits, when challenged by a professor, yield a common response: “its just my style.” The harsh reality is that it is not a style and it is not. It is just lazy. The poor understanding of value gray scaling in drawing has been transferred to color. Where color has an even more demand for tint and shade.

Many of these illustrators employ a “style” of the easiest, laziest color palette possible: primary colors squeezed straight out of the tube. This is readily identifiable by artists as remedial, nowhere close to being an original style. Using colors straight out of the tube is not an artistic choice and it does not lead to a personal expression. The only possible outcome is mass marketed expression. For the non-artist all one has to do to see the proof of this is look at the difference between Ford company white versus a Mercedes Benz white. They are not the same. Using a manufactured color off the shelf is the equivalent of identifying with Walmart as an expression of “my personal style.” The most generic as special. This may be the point for instance in Pop art, but if that is not the point, then you have actually achieved a banal, mundane expression about something you care about.

(noun) – A shade is what one ends up with when black (or some other dark color) is added to a pure hue. Suppose you had some green paint and mixed a bit of dark gray paint into it. The resulting paint would be darker than (also known as a shade of) the original green. Think of a dazzlingly sunny day with intense color all around, then picture the way the light and colors change when you place yourself under the leafy shade of a tree.

The opposite of shade is tint. http://arthistory.about.com/cs/glossaries/g/s_shade.htm

The first painting does not use shade, tint, value, or any formal element to suggest a reason for the viewer to entertain this image for longer than a millisecond and then move on. Yet somehow this artist/non-artist is content to present this image as something other than generic.

 

Note 6- Ugly color

It is a misconception that complimentary colors are harmonious. They are actually the violent. All one needs to do to confirm this is look at nature. The most vibrant complimentary colors reside in all the poisonous animals as a warning not to proceed further. Complimentary colors in abundance are actually violent and should be used with the utmost care to make sure your concept is not overshadowed by violence. That violence is ugly.

The attraction to the highly contrasting and violent color schemes by these “artists/non-artists” are directly related to the lack of patience required to master the many levels of gradients skipped over in their drawing practice.

Pedagogy 3

Primary Colors: Red, yellow and blue
In traditional color theory (used in paint and pigments), primary colors are the 3 pigment colors that can not be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues. 

Secondary Colors: Green, orange and purple
These are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors.

Tertiary Colors: Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green
These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color. That’s why the hue is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange. http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory

 

Note 7- Still flat

A plane surface is a flat surface, and any distinct flat surface within a painting or sculpture can be referred to as a plane http://en.mimi.hu/finearts/plane.html

The flatness achieved by the painting above is also achieved by the way the color is applied. Certainly the lack of tint and shade also attributed to its flatness. Here the focus is on application. This flatness can be attributed to the mechanical pencil and the sharpie. The mechanical pencil to pen to sharpie is rough.

If the upper right hand corner and the lower right hand corner of a painting has the same color and color value it might as well be a solid sharpie line around the image. You have successfully flattened the image. If every color is also evenly distributed through the piece from top to bottom you may as well have the background blank, because you have now suggested the entire piece was completed at the same time. Same time equals flat.

 

Pedagogy

 

Many of these students are allowed to keep their bad habits while passing through the high school years and are confused why they have difficulty on the collegiate level. Artists calling themselves artists without ever hearing the term “formal elements of art.” Considering all the formal elements of art are the very basic understanding needed to actually begin to understand your identity, pallet, and purpose as an artist.

 
Christopher Hutchinson 2Christopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.