Sunday, December 17, 2006

end of semester artist's statement

this is what i learned in school this semester.

Mark Phelan
Artist’s Statement
Fall 2006, Relief Printing

This semester started out as a lesson in discipline for me. I wanted to work my way through a lengthy period with good plans and drawings and end up with good results on the other side. However, my emotions got the better of me, and I ended up spending most of the semester working in a different medium, and with no real plan, shooting from the hip, and drawing what I felt inside me. I do not have regret concerning the latter part of this statement, because I feel that I connected to a part of me that has been previously hidden. But I did discover that I am not as naturally disciplined as I once thought. It took real work for me to turn this semester around and complete the required assignments. I found myself almost resentful of the fact that I had to get them done.
It’s interesting when a person finds something new about himself. Whether good or bad, if he can then find a way to use it as a tool, it can be a very powerful thing. I found that when I work from raw emotion, I have a very difficult time dealing with the world around me. I have a tough time at home. I have a tough time at work. I even have a tough time at school, where I want to be most, if the work to be done there is not exactly what I want to be working on at the time. The monotypes that I worked on simultaneously with the assigned work got me in touch with something that I didn’t know previously existed. It is a hard thing to deal with. This untamed emotion welling up from down there somewhere. I don’t even know why I feel it. I do know that it needs to make its way out on paper as soon as I can make it happen. . I also found out that when it comes down to it, I can get that assigned work done, and do it fairly well. But it does feel like work.
Beyond that, I did learn a few things about technique in relief printing. I learned that when I pay close attention to composition, the print comes out well. I learned that when I make a piece that I want to make it comes out well. And I learned that when I take a few deep breaths, and start carving that linoleum with my knife, I am quieted. The process is cathartic, and the rest I find in it is revealed in the prints I make.

But I do wonder how often I will be put in the position of having to make something that I am not connected to in some way. I wonder if I will need to leash that emotion and save it somewhere while other work gets done. I wonder if it fair to ask an artist to do this.

This semester I learned how to feel through my work, and I learned how to wonder.

Friday, December 08, 2006

sometimes, i forget how to breathe

i love this one. i don't know what else to say. sometimes, i forget how to speak.

'sometimes, i forget how to breathe'

'sometimes, i forget how to breathe' detail

Thursday, December 07, 2006

you had to be there

this is what happens when you drink blue liquid from beakers. or maybe when you have one too many white russians. or something. you had to be there. or there. or maybe it's more ominous than that. or more hopeful. or something.

'you had to be there'

'you had to be there' detail

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

upon this rock

'upon this rock'

finished another. not too many words. i'll let the pictures tell the story. like i've had to say way too many times, "if i was good with words, i wouldn't NEED to make these pictures." it's just what i do.

'upon this rock' detail
those images on the right are getting cut off, and it's driving me nuts. i can't figure out how to fix them. argh!

show opening

went to the print and pottery show opening this afternoon. got to do a little mingling and networking. all for the good no doubt, but i'm a bit uncomfortable with all that.

i saw the gallery director a couple hours after the show closed, and she said that there is someone interested in 'this house' (previously untitled). i was kinda hoping to hold on to all the monotypes until they are done and can be shown together, but i might work something out. we'll see. i'm supposed to let her know, and start the negotiations. it's weird how some buyers want to remain somewhat anonymous. makes you wonder if it's your mom buying it to make you feel good. we shall see...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

annual print and pottery show

massasoit college opens its annual print and pottery show monday, with a reception tuesday from 12:30 to 1:30. i got several pieces in, including 2 of the italy prints, the caryatid print, and a preview of 4 of my new monotype drawings. hopefully this will cement the solo show that i am trying to land in the same gallery this coming spring. the akilian gallery is part of the milton art museum, which is housed currently inside the campus of massasoit.
details of the show are listed here:

info on the museum here:

and here are a few pics of the show, before it opens:

a few of mine:

'echo' and 'upon this rock'

'this house' and 'a tear in the fabric'

'the caryatid rests, 'gheto vechio', and 'gondola'

and a peak at some other artists' work:

mallory powell

beth gilmore and brittany halstead

liz delorey

karen hays

karen hays

this stuff in on sale cheap! most linocuts and monotypes are priced from $20 to $50.