Friday, October 2, 2009

Avalon Art Opening - Dresses

On Thursday I went downtown to see the opening for an art show titled "Dresses" as Avalon Gallery on Magnolia. This show produced by Donna Dowless featured paintings sculptures and mixed media from a number of contemporary women artists. I arrived early and wandered the exhibit in a relaxed setting prior to the crush of the crowds. The exhibit had paintings of dresses, welded metal sculptures of dresses, and of course actual dresses. I like one piece that had a shadow box with a crumpled napkin inside, and on the glass surface of the box a dress was drawn inspired by the abstraction of the napkin.
I was pleased to find work from Dina Mack and artist whose work I have come to admire from sketches I did of "A Confluence" and her magical journaling workshop. Her work had tiny 2 by 3 inch panels with butterfly wings glazed into them. Cellophane and other materials were also layered into the pieces.
I picked out a comfortable chair at the back of the gallery and started to sketch out the perspective of the space. I was right in front of a false wall that art work was hanging off of. As the gallery started to fill up, members of Voci dance showed up and went into the women's room to change into their costumes for the night.They came out and dances elegantly around the space until the room became to crowded to move around in.
This sketch was a major challenge. I found I would barley have time to see a person then they would disappear behind someone crossing in the foreground, never to be seen again. Several artists and friends I had sketched introduced themselves to me. A waitress from the Social Chameleon introduced herself to me and after a second I recognized her since I had sketched her a few nights ago when I sat alone at the Chameleon taking in the ambiance. My attention was constantly being fractured and re focused. People must truly think I am rude as I keep sketching even when in a conversation. Halfway through, I almost gave up , but a fellow artist who sat in the chair next to mine asked to see the sketch book and she pointed out the aspects of the sketch that were working. When she handed the book back, I decided to keep forging ahead despite the constant flow of humanity. I am glad I stuck it out. This is rougher than I usually work and the evident struggle adds I think to the sketches character.
When I finally finished this sketch, I picked up shop and went to watch a harpist and guitar player in the next room. It was past 9 PM when the event was officially supposed to end, but I decided to sit down and do another. This sketch came effortlessly. Then I put the sketchbooks away and talked to friends who stopped over to say hello. I've never enjoyed an opening more.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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