Friday, April 29, 2011

So.....Where Is It??

In a few hours I will be moving out the few things that remain in my old studio and turning in the keys. While I am very excited about the new space, I am feeling somewhat wistful about leaving the comforts of a community I have been part of for 6 years. I guess that's to be expected, and I wrote about it before...........but it still caught me by surprise.

Many local readers emailed me last week to ask where my new studio is located. I didn't mean to keep it a secret or anything, it just didn't make it into last week's post. I was curious to see if anyone would recognize the place from the photo I posted. A couple of people did, which was fun.

To answer the question "So.... where is it?" here is the address:  4755 J Street, Sacramento CA 95819

One of the coolest things about my new studio is I will be able to walk or ride my bike to it. I love that! It was one of the reasons I decided to move there. There could be days where I don't have to get in my car at all if I don't want to. I may even challenge myself to see how many days I can go "car less".

I should be completely moved in by next week but I thought it would be fun to show you some "before" photos.

Some of you may recognize the panels. These are the same "Pro-Panels" I use when I am showing at art festivals. We decided to try using these after we discovered that the walls are "lathe and plaster". Anyone that has ever lived in an old house will understand. You don't simply pound a nail into the wall and hang art. It's a little more involved than that.

I know in my house, once a nail has been "inserted" into the wall, it pretty much stays there. This would explain why some of the artwork in my house is hanging a bit higher or lower than it should be. I know there are tricks and techniques, but why go to that trouble if you don't have to. We may decide to use the walls more later, but for now, the panels will work fine.

I am eager to get back to work and have the move behind me. I believe this new space is going to energize my creativity in so many ways and I am excited to begin this new adventure. Off to move the last load........

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Changes.......Part II

A few people emailed me last week curious about why I was moving. I originally deleted that section of the post because it felt like I was rationalizing and/or whining about the situation at my current studio. Also, I did not want to bore the people that were already aware of my reasons and frankly, I was getting a little bored with myself.

The truth is, changes were happening in the building that directly affected the studios upstairs. The most significant one being the declaration that the upstairs was now "Private" and access was by "Invitation Only". This was the owner's response to the order that the building be ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant. If you make the studios private, you don't need an elevator to meet the requirements.

While the other artists in the building are coming up with some very creative ways to get around this, I decided it was more than I wanted to deal with. Second Saturday and other open studio events will still take place and those of you that like to visit "The Building" - please continue to do so!

Besides the ADA issue, the building is in escrow and changes to the upstairs last year helped significantly reduce the amount of traffic my studio received. (I know quite a few people are tired of hearing about that one!)

This week however, I am finished with all that. Instead I want to celebrate and share my excitement for this new adventure. I also want to introduce you to my new studio partner - Judy "JJ" Jacobs. While our style, color palette, and processes may be different, I feel a common bond is our commitment to our work and a strong desire to share that with others. JJ's energy and enthusiasm is contagious and her talent and passion are clearly communicated through her paintings, glass work and jewelry.

©JJ Jacobs "Night Moves"
Be sure to check out her website:

Last week we picked up our keys and I took a couple of pictures.

We even came up with a name for our new space - "Bell'Arte Studios", Italian for "Fine Art Studios". (Amazing how much better words sound in Italian!)

Time to go pack up some more stuff......................


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Changes...........

A couple of weeks ago I gave notice on my studio and will be moving into my new space at the end of the month.............I hope.

As of today, I have not signed anything confirming that will actually take place. It is my understanding that this will simply be a formality, but I think I will feel a little better once I have it all in writing. While I wait for that, I have had plenty of time to process (and obsess about) the fact that I am leaving behind what I know and trading it in for the unknown.

I celebrated six years in my studio last month. I never had a job that lasted that long. Before I moved into the house I am living in right now, I relocated many times. Each time was a new adventure.

The truth is, I love change. I thrive on it and have come to embrace it and welcome it into my life. So why am I struggling with this?

Maybe I am out of practice. I believe you have to flex those muscles and like any other muscle, it will weaken without use.

It doesn't help that I am leaving a large space with incredible light, in close proximity to other artists and a gallery with a good amount of traffic. It only takes one person to say "Really? Are you sure about this?" to make me immediately start questioning myself.

But I have made the decision and I am sticking with it. Many factors were considered when I was trying to decide if this was a smart move or not. After reviewing the list, I am even more convinced I am doing the right thing.

I began sharing that list here and then deleted the whole thing. I think I just wanted to justify it some more. Let's just say there are financial, business and personal reasons for moving.

I will share photos and probably videos of my new space after I start moving in. In the meantime, I am spending as much time as I can in my current studio, taking advantage of the beautiful light and filling up my hard drive with enough floral images to last me a long time...............

©2011 Dianne Poinski

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Meet Jeane Vogel

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I wanted to start featuring other artists on my blog and I am excited to announce my first artist interview!

Meet Jeane Vogel. I first came across Jeane's blog a couple of years ago and was deeply inspired by her work, energy and willingness to give back to the community.

Enjoy the interview and her beautiful images:

What is your primary method of creating your art? Have you experimented along the way with other techniques and/or tools? If you are a photographer, have you gone digital? When? How was the transition?
My primary medium is photography, though I completely embrace alternate process photography over traditional image-making. I am constantly experimenting and pushing beyond my knowledge. Photography is the most exciting and versatile medium, allowing for endless possibilities of creation of images beyond what we can see.

I purchased my first digital camera in 1996. It was a piece of crap, but the most scintillating piece of crap I ever held in my hands. I shoot a lot of digital – all my portrait and corporate work is digital – but most of fine art is still film. I adore Polaroid film, old and new.

I’m known for my hand-altered Polaroid Paintings, infrared photographs and hand-colored photos. Most recently I’ve been combining my Polaroid images with other media – pastels or watercolors – to create mixed images that I find especially excited. I’m not trained as a painter but I’ve taken enough classes – and I know how to open a book. When I experiment I know I’m creating something uniquely mine.

"Summer Garden"
Watercolor Painting & Photo transfer on watercolor paper
9x11 inches
©2011 Jeane Vogel Studios, All Rights Reserved

What are your favorite subjects?
The next one I come across.

Who/what has inspired you?
--Artists: Artist Frieda Kahlo and photographers Margaret Bourke White, Dorothea Lange have been my inspirations. They told the truth in their work. Also painters Henri Rousseau, and Andrew Wyeth. All of these artists produced work that transcends what the eye can see.

--The competition. Sister and brother artists.

--The wonder of creation. I know that sounds hokey, but it’s more than just “nature,” which is inspiring to me, but frankly, it’s inspiring to EVERYONE. The notion of creation -- specifically the Big Bang that created the universe – is overwhelming in its immensity and simplicity. A few chemical compounds collide and –poof!-- events are set in motion that result, so far, in what we see around us. But it’s not all goodness and light and children singing. Creation has no morality, no consequence. Creation is the earthquake in Haiti and China and Chile and Japan. It’s a tsunami that wipes out 250,000 people – PEOPLE – in Indonesia and 30,000 PEOPLE in Japan. It’s hunger and spring flowers, war and a random pattern on the sidewalk. Creation is everywhere. Artists are profoundly fortunate to be partners in creation.

Being an artist is a privilege.

When did it first hit you that you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always thought the answers to all life’s problems could be found in the shelves of an art supply store.

What has your path been like? School, art related jobs, freelance, commercial......
I’ve had a most direct, convoluted path. I’ve always been an artist, but I didn’t always believe in myself. I just work, work, work.

Infrared photograph, hand-colored with pastels
11x14 inches
©2011 Jeane Vogel Studios, All Rights Reserved

How would you describe the current direction of your work? Any changes on the horizon?
Always changing. I can’t understand artists who have one body of work and never deviate from it. I do hope, though, that my work always is thoughtful, careful and honest.

In October of last year I embarked on an major art project, Dare to Touch the Face of God, a series of intimate portraits of people of faith in response to intolerance, hatred and fear mongering. The project will take years to complete, but I’m planning to open the exhibit on 11/11/11, which happens to coincide with my 55th birthday. I like the rhythm of the numbers and that the date commemorates the end of WWI, the Great War to End All Wars.

The project has already been a tremendous learning experience for me. I see “people of faith” in expansive terms, while many people I talk to respond as if it’s just about religion. It’s not. Faith transcends the concepts of religion. The project is not about photographing religious people, but chronicling human ideas and principles that separate us because we fear each other.

I encountered more barriers that I expected – funding for example – but the obstacles have deepened the scope of the project and will enhance it in the long run, I think.

Were you supported in your efforts to become an artist?
Yes and no.

From the age of 10 my father groomed me to be a lawyer. I almost went to law school, but came to my senses a few weeks before classes started. I worked in college as a photographer and writer, and went to work as a journalist. That was almost as important as the law. I thought I was supposed to do something important with my life – change the world. I did not yet understand the overwhelming power of art in our lives.

Other artists, patrons, jurors and instructors have been extraordinarily generous and supportive throughout my career. There are a handful of artists whose work and opinions I deeply admire and trust. I listen to them.
I don’t think anyone in my immediate family, except my husband and children, understand why I’m an artist and that I cannot be anything else. My mother and siblings don’t. A couple of years ago, my mother, a spry, active woman in her 70s, saw my work at an art fair. “People pay for these?” she marveled. She wasn’t trying to be mean. She just didn’t get it.

A lot of artists are up against that attitude and it erodes their confidence. They stop making work. They don’t enter juried exhibitions. They never know if they are any good or if they can get better.
When I do workshops at high schools, I always tell the students that it doesn’t matter what friends and family say about your work. Ignore them. Find people you trust who can mentor you and then mentor others, no matter where you are in your career. You’ll learn more and gain confidence.

Family and friends have one of two responses: all your work is great, or you’re stupid to even try to do this. Both responses are worthless. My husband LOVES everything I do. I ask his opinion a lot, but for ego, not critique. Sometimes we just need to hear the praise of someone who loves us unconditionally.

Unless your mother is the head of MoMA, who cares what she thinks? Smile and move on.

What brings you the greatest joy?
I love the act of creation. There are some days I start working before I take off my coat. I rush into the studio, toss my bags on the bench, and examine what I did the day before. Is it as good as I thought yesterday? Can I make it better? Or, does this one go in the trash?

But creation all by itself is selfish and one-sided. Art is communication and needs another to be whole.
When someone connects with my work, has an emotional reaction that is so visceral and spontaneous that the reaction escapes their being before they realize it – that becomes a moment of great joy. If they buy it, even better.

Does paying my bills at the end of the month count as a “joy”?

"Savannah Breeze"
Polaroid Painting
24x24 inches
©2010 Jeane Vogel Studios, All Rights Reserved
Can you share a little about the workshops you teach?
I love to teach. I have regular workshops for Girl Scouts, homeless teens and "regular" adults! I have two goals in teaching --aside from learning something myself: to encourage students to think more broadly and deliberately about their art than they have before, and to teach something that is not typical art workshop fare. I ask: how can we do this differently? How can I put my own stamp on this work? My workshops are about teaching technique, experimenting, combining media and letting your imagination loose!

For example, when I teach hand-coloring, we start with my favorites: pan and half-stick pastels and watercolors, but I insist we try painting with wine, tea or coffee too. The results can be quite extraordinary! I also teach lots of alternate process techniques: cyanotype, photo transfers, Polaroid alterations and emulsion lifts. Guided photo tours are a personal favorite because I'm enchanted with watching a group of people make very different work from the same landscape, and helping them expose and frame their vision in a photograph.

Any words of wisdom you would like to share?
Art is not frivolous. Art separates humans from every other life form on this planet. We’ve been given a great and precious gift – our ability to create art, our ability to understand art, our ability to appreciate art.

We shouldn’t squander that gift by just trying to make it match the sofa.

It should match our soul.

Thank you Jeane for your insights and passion for sharing your work.
To find out more about Jeane:

Jeane Vogel Photography
Studio: ArtSpace at Crestwood Court

Fine Art:
Dare to Touch the Face of God project: