it’s about the quality

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.   W.F.

Deborah Sussman asks, Who’s idea was this?
Mine! I say as I stand up. Hers! everyone points my way. I enjoy the moment, as I take credit for grouping this collective of quality artists. Also for being the catalyst to the 4 person exhibition.

Why? Deborah asks.

  • I wanted to both work and exhibit with Carolyn, Sue, and Mary.
  • They’re observers. They study, look, see, and then they put it down in meticulous form that carries impact.
  • Exhibition is bound to be good.
  • Fun.
  • It’s also an attempt on my part, to create and support community.

Deborah clarifies for me, A community of a specific sort.  She’s right.

I draw a conclusion. Each of us does what needs to be done to continue to make interesting and relevant art with sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution. These woman exemplify something valuable to an exhibition and worth the blog writing.
A note…two important connecting threads are experience and a Master of Fine Arts.

Everyone’s energy has filled me up and I’ve gotten really big, I say laughingly at one point, while answering Deborah’s question. Carolyn says, with amusement…Write that down and quote yourself in the blog!
Seriously, I’ve outgrown my old self in this experience. Even the studio has grown, it’s taken over the back-end of my house, I tell them as I point to all my new space.

Simply put, I wanted a quality creative and working connection, with each of them.

Today’s meeting is high in energy:  natural, fun, and…kind of…loud.
Deborah asks questions.  We answer. Question, talk, laughter, seriousness, question, discussion, pause, more questions, more discussion. Insight. Deborah writes fast.  She relates to some things, and shares connections to her experiences as a writer.

I learn a bit more about everyone.  They all have history together,  ASU connected. I’m the odd woman out,  NMSU grad. Mary has made art the longest.  Sue is the most recent to receive her MFA. And Carolyn is one good story-teller.  She talks about Louise Bourgeois  and Arshile Gorky as though she’s talking about old friends.

Deborah asks us to give her names of a couple of artist we are looking at. Mary and I respond in a similar way…this group, we’re looking at each others work.

Everyone brings something along to show and discuss.
Sue has 4 very personal, brightly colored, small (8″ x 8″…Carolyn measures)  works on paper.

Great White Shark

Sue on her materials of choice, I paint on paper because I do not like the texture of canvas.  I also rip canvas when I try to paint on it. Also I draw. Drawing and canvas do not work together for me.  I see a stretched  painting as almost a 3-D object…I know it is not…and I have a hard time making 3-D things.  Stretching the canvas etc.  I love gouache and feel like I can’t use it on canvas.   I LOVE paper or board. Drawable!

Carolyn brings many (wonderful) digital collages…and a graphite and gesso baby squirrel portrait, on 6″ canvas board.

Squirrel Portrait

She says of the image, This single image of a squirrel is meant to carry with it the memory of my large “Portrait” piece. The larger piece will have the 200 individual animal portraits all on one piece of canvas. This small squirrel portrait will carry with it some of the monumental impression of the larger work. It will be a souvenir of the large work. It is my expectation that will give this little portrait more power than it would have had on its own.

I had hoped to have more of these separate portraits for the opening, but I may do more during the exhibition.

Mary's maquette

Mary pulls out her laptop and shows images of her sculpture, in progress. The image above is her detailed, including surrounding space, maquette. That little process piece looks like one fabulous object. It gives her (and us) a sence of how her work fits into the area and what sort of shadows it may drop. We all agree she should include it in the exhibit. She also talks about video and sound recordings of her working and drawing. We discuss how it all might be incorporated into things. We learn interesting things about Mary’s education and discuss when  both women’s art and drawing, were not taken seriously. We’ve come a long way baby.

I have 10 very small renderings of body organs. They’re pretty self-explanatory…studies for the larger work. Materials are casein, egg tempera, prisma, gauche, and graphite. The colors are symbolic, more esoteric related than literal. We talk about framing and balancing picture plane and border, and the idea of the precious.


Each group of work laid out on the table is different, but connecting elements come through clearly.   Sue’s and my work resonate through line, color and material. Mary and Carolyn’s work connect via the digital, clear, clean and precise marks. All the work is meticulous, and the result of high intention

Deborah Sussman is here to look at our work, and to get a sense of how we interact as a group, so she can write about it all. She fits right in, presenting quality question and comment which result in insightful conversation. One more high note to the experience.

We’ve called this a project, we’ve called it a collaboration…What is it…
It’s creative work and yes, it’s fun. You can see the result on the walls and on the floor next month, at Modified Arts, opening February 18th.


About monica
This entry was posted in art, art exhibition, art process, brochure and text, phoenix, women artists and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to it’s about the quality

  1. Mary Peralta says:

    I love the squirrel Carolyn and I cannot wait to see the rest of the portraits. Looking forward to the whole exhibit.

  2. wright says:

    The exhibit seemed so far off when you first started writing – congratulations – I’m looking forward to see it all.

  3. monica says:

    Time flies when you’re having fun.
    Thanks Wright.

  4. Miriam Sagan says:

    Very fun ad I love the collaborative element.

  5. This is going to be a fabulous show. With wonderful artists such as you four collaborating it will be very, very special. I am looking forward to it.

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