One of my favorite art-related activities over the holiday season is visiting the art fairs. Frenzied gift-buying is a great opportunity for artists to make some extra money during open studios, pop-up shops and craft fairs such as Picnic. Some of these are also great opportunities to see what area artists are up to (craft fairs can be really crowded and the live DJs are a little much...). I saw a lot of excellent art this December, and want to give one shoutout to Base Camp Studios in Portland, who hosted Sam Gilbert and Bethany Glatz, two artists using reclaimed materials in very different ways.
One other highlight of my art fair wanderings was the MECA Holiday Sale, which fills the school with students and alumni selling their work and droves of people who want to see what the art school is producing. I ended up stopping at the table of someone I had met at Peterborough's Thing in the Spring last year, illustrator Sam Guay. I bought one of her postcards and signed her email list mostly out of guilt for the time I'd spent chatting with her. It turned out to be a great decision.
I've always loved fantasy in writing, but rarely responded to the surrealist spin in visual art. I think illustration's rise as a predominant art form is changing that, and Guay is a great example. She seems to take the conceptual edge of surrealism with a clear influence from Mucha that lends a delicate yet dynamic aesthetic I love. I've also started reading her blog, and Guay's writing is passionate and compelling. In-depth reviews of watercolor dot charts have absolutely no relevance to someone with a strong aversion to both paint and color (watercolor being the worst offender). However, I read the entire post, and the next was a review of different kinds of pens. She posts about her artmaking with sincere self-reflection, probably in a similar way I myself write about modeling. It's a really excellent blog, and if anyone wants to see how a young artist goes about learning and making a living by her craft, I highly recommend it.
Second thing, I know it has been a while since I wrote about modeling, but it's on its way!