Yesterday presented an opportunity to “Buy Local” at Steamboat Landing, the site of the ongoing Ithaca Farmers’ Market. Instead of produce, plants, artisan foods and the usual array of craft vendors, the market was filled with sixty-eight Fine Artists, seventeen Arts Organizations, food and beverage booths, live music, performances and even tours on Cayuga Lake. The hot, muggy day with threats of showers didn’t dampen the spirit or resolve of the exhibitors and the visitors.
I look forward to this annual event to connect with my favorite local artists and to also gather inspiration for my own work.
My husband enjoys the conversations with the artists and generally we move at different rates from artist to artist. He takes a little longer with each artist in order to gather information and share artistic insights. I am happy to view the art, buy a few pieces and take some photographs. This opportunity to meet and talk with many artists in one place is an event not to be missed. Works of many different disciplines including paintings, prints, photographs, crafts, sculpture, stained glass, blown glass, collage, fiber arts and digital media were all available. A feast for the senses- there was something for every type of art lover. The Arts are alive and well in the Finger Lakes Region!
I am particularly drawn to the design element of texture. Surface treatments on ceramics, textiles, collages, sculptures and glass were among my favorites. Interesting ideas and processes fueled my determination to create a collage which would better utilize the printing blocks my daughter gave me as a souvenir from her trip to London. Many of her photographs of architecture, her visit to Stonehenge and the cliffs and castles in Ireland also contributed to my direction for this piece.
An artist at the market worked with oxidizing surfaces. The rich, rusty surfaces also appealed to me and I tried to interject some areas in the collage that suggested this process. Printing the wood cut blocks onto smooth paper helped to print the detail I desired. The symmetrical format is possibly more predictable than I would like, but hopefully some of the brushstrokes and drawing have helped to create more energy in the composition. The black with gold lettering background paper is from an Arches watercolor block. A bit of the lettering shows through the paint, matte medium and drawing. It reminds me of eroded, carved lettering on ancient buildings and seemed to mesh with my vision of stone architectural surfaces weathered by the elements. One way or another, much of what I observe eventually comes to the surface in my art.