“The Visitor” – silverpoint drawing on prepared panel, 6 x 6 inches
“The Visitor” is one of several silverpoint drawings that I’ve done in the last few months.
It is based on a photo I took while meandering through Longwood Gardens and admiring the waterlilies. The quiet presence of the dragonfly going about its day was a special thrill to witness.
“Safe” – silverpoint drawing on prepared fine paper, 6.5 x 11 inches
It looked as though the fingers of this seedpod were meant to be cradling or protecting something – so, why not a glass sphere? After spending a sometimes noisy, hectic day of working with wood and bamboo, I turn to the contemplative medium of silverpoint to relax and unwind. No complaints, I love doing all of it.
There’s simply no end to the exquisite designs and sculptures of Mother Nature. Being seduced by Her beauty, we artists continually strive to express this profound bond. At least, that’s what it feels like to me.
~ Your questions or comments are always welcome ~
This was such a pleasant surprise! It is uncommon to hear of an art exhibition that is focused on the Renaissance Era fine-line drawing medium of Silverpoint, let alone be asked to participate. The gallery card shown here lists the 12 contemporary artists whose works are currently featured at The Arts Barn in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The show is running until closing hours on Sunday, January 7, 2018.
Silverpoint requires patience of an artist, as tones are created by the gradual build-up and layering of lines with a wire of silver. Over time, the lines will acquire the warm sepia patina that is characteristic of tarnished silver. I’ve enjoyed being a silverpoint artist since the mid-1980s. It’s a meditative medium for quiet explorations. Below are three drawings that I have in this show.
LIGHT – 25″ x 25″ / bamboo and poplar, cedar, mahogany blocks
Earth’s sunrises and sunsets were the inspiration behind “Light”. Bamboo, with its pale color, is the light source at the center of this work; sliced into thin strips with a knife and assembled into a pattern. Like a sunrise, the light gradually travels across the forms, as do the eyes of the viewer, in search of light. I made good use of the bandsaw for this work, to cut asymmetrical facets into each of those blocks of poplar, mahogany, and cedar. They are painted and then sanded to catch the light.
“Light” won the BEST IN SHOW award at “Works in Wood 2017” at New Hope Arts, in New Hope, PA. It is a real honor coming from the juror / woodworkers: Mark Sfirri and John McDevitt.
There are so many artists who work long and hard on their creative path. It is filled with uncertainty, sometimes luck, and a great amount of trust in one’s self. 2017 has turned out to be a wonderful year of recognition for my artistic efforts. The following work was awarded during the SCULPTURE show…
SPACE – 23″ diameter / bamboo and paint
I was thrilled to discover that “Space” received a Jurors’ Recognition Award for Wall Relief in the show SCULPTURE 2017 at New Hope Arts. This work was created from a pole or two of bamboo that I honed into rings, strands, and thin flat curves. The inspiration for this work came during my nighttime walks. I’m a daydreamer, night dreamer and sky-gazer, who enjoys the challenge of turning my abstract thoughts into visual things.
Wanderlust, Walk with Me, and Of Field and Sky are some of my most recent landscape drawings in silverpoint, all are approximately 6 x 8 inches.
I’m honored that two of these images are currently being used as the banner for two Facebook groups: The Society of Metalpoint Artists, and Silverpoint / Metalpoint.
“Walk with Me”
“Of Field and Sky”
My interest in this centuries-old art technique began a few decades ago when I was an assistant in the shop of an artist-woodworker. We experimented with traditional grounds and with many modern ones, and then designed and built the frames for our drawings.
Silverpoint is a drawing that is made with a silver wire on a specially prepared surface. The surface must be slightly abrasive to provide a way for the silver to deposit its shimmering trace. A silverpoint drawing initially appears gray, like pencil, but over time it will acquire the characteristic luster of tarnished silver. (The term Metalpoint encompasses any metal, including silver, that can be used to draw on a coated surface.)
The months since I last posted here have passed quickly by. Time is gathering speed, or so it seems! At some point in life you get to the heart of things. This year was a turning point for me as I said a last goodbye to my beloved mother. I learned to live in the moment with her, as that was truly all that mattered.
We took many walks together over the years, through the parks in Bucks County, PA, picnicking by the water, and gathering seedpods, twisted vines, and other natural objects that I would later include in paintings or silverpoint drawings.
Life seamlessly blends into art in my world. During this time, I created a trio of bamboo relief sculptures that were inspired by the bird feeder activity outside my front window. At the swaying, cockeyed feeder, there is always a lot of movement with finches coming and going, jostling for position at the feeding ports, or waiting in the nearby bushes.
“Tree of Life” (39.5 x 11.5 inches)
“Songs of Nature” (23.5 x 11.5 inches)
“The Meeting Place” (23.5 x 11.5 inches)
Many thanks for your interest in my work. As always, I’m open to your comments and suggestions. I’ll meet you here again in a few weeks. ~ Norine
I’m so happy to report that I’ve received the 2016 Craft award from the American Bamboo Society!
The American Bamboo Society Arts & Crafts Competition (ABS) is held online every two years to celebrate bamboo in craft, design, fine art, literature, and the performing arts. This year I submitted 14 sculptural bamboo mosaics to the competition, work that I’ve created over the past few years. In late September, I was thrilled to discover an email informing me that I won the Craft award!
An article about my work, with accompanying photos, was published in the current issue (October) of BAMBOO magazine. Many thanks to the people at ABS for the opportunity to see and share the excitement of bamboo in all its forms!
Here are a few of the pieces that I submitted to the jury: Vigil, Of Sea and Sky, Pipe Dreams, Offerings.
The title of this juried show caught my attention when I saw the “Call-for-Entry” in Professional Artist magazine. I decided to enter these three wood mosaics, circa 2000-2006. They seemed just right for this theme, and are now included in the show. I’m really interested in seeing interpretations of this theme in various mediums, and meeting the artists, during the Opening Reception on Saturday, January 23, from 2-5 p.m. at Nails in the Wall Gallery, in Metuchen, NJ.
This bamboo and wood mosaic will be shown for the first time in the national juried Works in Wood 2015 at New Hope Arts. The idea for this started with all the talk about the California drought… The rainstick happened first. Then came rain drops, leaves – movement. I began to see a pattern taking shape from the rain lines criss-crossing over each other. I enter each mosaic project wanting to explore new territory, wherever that leads, and being open to experimentation.
Creating this kind of work requires that you jump in, trust your intuition. It’s a very spontaneous approach with no preplanned pattern to follow, and always a multitude of creative problems to solve. I hear the sound of rain, and focus myself on conjuring up ways to make that visible, and visually exciting. It helps to keep that first impression fresh – throughout all the wood-crafting and bamboo-cutting – until the thing comes to life. All the elements are vying for attention. You need to put them in their place somehow. That takes time and patience, but – you’re the conductor!
“Rain” and “Vigil” will be on view during the Works in Woodat New Hope Arts. This eagerly awaited show runs from November 13 – December 13. New Hope Arts is located at the corner of Bridge and Stockton, 2nd floor, in gorgeous New Hope, PA.
This is Gwen Shrift’s review of the currently running Members’ Exhibit at New Hope Arts. Each artist is exhibiting a single work. You have until September 27 to see such a wide range of work from your regional artists! New Hope Arts is situated at Bridge St. and Stockton Ave., 2nd floor. Hours are from 12 – 5 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
I have “Of Sea and Sky” on display there, which was previously posted on this blog. It’s a small mosaic consisting of natural elements: bamboo, vines, and small beach stones. I incorporated fishing line and a glass sphere in there too. Gwen Shrift described it well in the article!