Friday, January 23, 2009

Toying Around: Beauchemin and Bliss

Susan Beauchemin
Schleich Animals, IV, watercolor, 7" x 7", 2009


Lucinda Bliss
Bandaged Deer , graphite pencil and watercolor, 7" x 7", 2008


Susan Beauchemin
Schleich Animals, III, watercolor, 7" x7", 2009



Lucinda Bliss
Bandaged I , graphite pencil, watercolor, and gouache, 23" x 23", 2008


Susan Beauchemin
Schleich Animals II, watercolor, 7" x 7", 2009


Lucinda Bliss
Exodus I , 35 mm prints on Ektacolor paper, 8" x 11", 2008



Susan Beauchemin
Schleich Animals, watercolor, 7" x 7", 2009


Lucinda Bliss
Exodus II , 35 mm prints on Ektacolor paper, 8" x 11", 2008


Susan Beauchemin
Little Dinosaur I, watercolor, 7" x 7", 2009

Lucinda Bliss
Exodus III , 35 mm print on Ektacolor paper, 8" x 11", 2008


Susan Beauchemin
Little Dinosaur II, watercolor, 7" x7", 2009


Lucinda Bliss
Exodus, IV, 35 mm print on Ektacolor paper, 8" x 11", 2008


Two artists from opposite coasts whose work speaks poignantly of an intimate spiritual connection to the animal world. Susan Beauchemin of Morro Bay, California, and Lucinda Bliss of Bath, Maine, are currently, unbeknownst to each other, making powerful work that is dream based, and that employs miniature toy animals. Both artists' work speaks playfully and painfully about, among other things, the dire state of our planet and extinction.

I've had a few pivotal dreams about giraffes. I just skimmed through my old dream journals, but couldn't find the dream I was thinking of. It was a very simple dream where a giraffe and I suddenly saw each other while in my back yard. We stood looking at each other. I knew I was looking at myself through mine and the giraffe's eyes. That was it, but it was a strong dream. What animal do you identify with?

Susan Beauchemin

Immersed in a recent body of work exploring ecological content, I began to conjure injured animals in my sleep. In one of these dreams I was visiting a hospital in which my mother was working as poet-in-residence. Scanning the overflowing waiting room, I began to notice animals waiting alongside humans. Amazed, I looked down at a nearby table to see several kitten-sized, bandaged deer. I was told that the hospital had developed technology for miniaturizing animals, making more space in the waiting room until the animals could be treated. This dream provided a visual starting place for this series of drawings in which I'm interested in reconsidering monumental, wondering whether it might be applied to delicate, representational work and asking how a playful, even beautiful, visual language can speak to grave ecological (and other) matters.

Lucinda Bliss

10 comments:

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Thank you Martha for a lovely post. Both artists are intriguing, their work is stunning and I have spent a good deal of time looking and looking. I live in my own art world and rarely get out to galleries or museums so this has been a wonderful treat!

Martha Miller said...

You're welcome, Blue Sky!

Yes, both wonderful artists. Lucinda has a studio in my studio building in Portland, and Susan who lives in CA is my sister!

Susan Beauchemin said...

Sister here--thanks for posting about my animal paintings--Looks like Lucinda uses those Schielch animals too!

Martha Miller said...

I LOVE these animal paintings of yours! So strong. Safe travels this weekend!!!

xxoo

Lucinda Bliss said...

Martha, It's such a gift when someone really looks. Thanks for the nod. It's also a pleasure to see your sister's work. We're clearly interested in similar subject matter and content.

Martha Miller said...

You're welcome, Lucinda! I loved reading about your dream! I've done alot of dream based work myself.

See you around Portland and Bath!

Lauren said...

Ah, a wonderful compilaton! I've seen Lucinda's work (and your's!) multiple times at the Whitney Art Works Gallery, and love it!

I'm meeting with them this week to talk about being in the paper project! Wish me luck!
Lauren

Martha Miller said...

best of luck, lauren!

Michael Murray said...

Hi,

Just wanted to say hi and to praise Susan and Linda on their brilliant images of Schleich animals.

I too am an artist who has used these fantastic animals for art and it would be great to hear what you thought of them.

http://michaelmurray.myshopify.com/collections/aerial-animals

18 in total.

I hope you like them.

Many thanks

Michael Murray

Michael Murray said...

Apologies for typing Linda rather than Lucinda. Too much coffee. Oops.