Thursday, October 29, 2015

'Relic 27 (Grace [after Eric Enstrom])'

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WLFI's coverage on the new Bauer mural

Lots of thanks to everyone who braved the cold and wet weather to come to the unveiling of the new Bauer Family Resources mural. Here's a clip of the event from WLFI ...

Monday, October 26, 2015

You're Invited!

bauer family resources mural

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Bauer Family Resources Mural: "PLAY"

lafayette indiana mural

i went out and finished up the mural at Bauer Family Resources yesterday. all i had to do was add in some shadows to give a little bit of depth to the space. this ASAP class did really well. the process was the same for this class, as it has been for many previous classes. i get the kids talking about art, then i get them sketching, then we develop a plan out of their sketches and conversations. during one of the sketch sessions, one of the girls in the class had created all these little scenes of stick figures with kind of a manga-style look to their faces. so we turned them into stick emojis and had them doing things that they would do in the park (the wall sits behind a newly renovated neighborhood park). the stick figures were something i thought the class could handle installing on the wall in large scale. we produced a sketch for approval, got it approved and got to work. i had 12 kids in the class, so this piece went quite quickly. we got it complete in just 3 hours across 2 different class sessions.

tippecanoe arts federation

Bauer Family Resources Mural: "PLAY"

bauer center mural

it's always fun to paint in neighborhoods, because the people who live there tend to stop by and chat. everyone wants to know how, why and what you are doing to that wall. it is nearly always positive, save for a few random jerks that can holler from their car windows. but i love when people stop to talk. yesterday was no different. i had intended to get out there early and get the shadows down in most likely less than an hour, then get back to the studio to get some new work started. i ended up staying out there until almost 2 o'clock in the afternoon talking with people who came through the alley. it was great fun to learn about people's lives and the tangible impact the artwork has on their quality of life. positivity can change perceptions, even if under all the happy smiling emojis, there is a quite serious message about the intersection of tech use and childhood, which some will see, and some will not, the point though is to give everyone the opportunity to think for themselves about it.

zach medler art

the mural is entitled, 'play,' which one of the figures is writing in graf bubbles on the wall. the title plays off of the park across the alley, but also off of the idea of understanding 'play' in the context of today's tech driven existence. the word contrasts the idea of the idleness of smart phone with the tangible playground.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Progress on the Bauer Center Mural

Zach met the After School Arts Program kids on Tuesday evening for their final painting session. The kids finished out faces, painted in the clothes, and used stencils to spray some fancy patterns on t-shirts and dresses.

bauer center mural

bauer center mural

Tippecanoe Arts Federation ASAP

bauer center mural

Tippecanoe Arts Federation ASAP

lafayette indiana mural

Today, we went back to the wall so Zach and I could clean up some of the drips and blowouts. Zach just has some little additions left to make before the official unveil next week. We'll share more details about the event on a later date so if you'd like to, you can come support and meet the kids and the staff of Bauer Center and TAF who made this mural happen!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New Bauer Family Resource Center Mural in Progress

For the last couple of months, Zach has been working with kids from the Tippecanoe Arts Federation's (TAF) After School Arts Program to design and paint a new mural on the side of the Bauer Family Resource Center.

Zach took me out to check out the work in progress after the first painting session. Here are some pictures if you'd like to see ...

I love that the all the characters on the wall have emojis for faces. The intersection of the influence and prevalance of technology and the innocence of childhood paints such a sincere portrait of life in 2015. The second painting session will take place this evening. Stay tuned for updates!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Our Blog Turns 4 ... and a very special announcement!

Our blog turns four today!

We realize we haven't updated quite as frequently as we used to, so thank you for following along if you're still reading. To our loyal readers, we have a very special announcement to make. After holding our tongues for months, Zach and I are overjoyed to share that we are expecting a baby!

I'm happy to report that the pregnancy has been smooth-sailing thus far. Everything regarding growing a baby has felt so incredibly magical to me. I'm a chronic worrier, but that doesn't seem to faze this baby. This tiny one is an easy-going camper who jumps for joy over ice-cream, loves belly rubs, warm showers, long rides in the car, kicking Zach in the head, and stomping on my bladder.

And while we are already head over heels in love with this little one, we're honestly still trying to figure out how much of baby we'll be sharing on the blog. We don't want to turn this space into a mommy blog, but we'll definitely let you know when baby gets here! :)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday Cookie Date Night

Zach's favorite home baked treats are chocolate chip cookies. Since the forecast was for a very cold Saturday night, we decided to stay in and have a cookie date night!

ready for the oven! :)

The whole house was warm and smelt so delicious afterwards! If you are looking for a consistently awesome recipe, this one is my all-time favorite :)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

More of the "Relic" Series

I stopped by Zach's studio after school today. He's been working on his "Relic" series for a while now, and I've still only seen pictures of the works. So I thought it was time to go see the pieces in person.

Zach showed me four new assemblages:

zach medler art
Relic 22 (Fire)

zach medler art
Relic 19 (Buffman Brown)

zmedstudios art
Relic 20 (Found on eBay)

zach medler
Relic 21 (Off Main)

I wish the camera could capture more than just the shapes and colors of each of these pieces. They may appear simple, but the rich textures, the honesty of the materials, as well as the size of these pieces, all contribute to the intricacies of the compositions. This latest "Relic" series presents a more developed concept of the dialectic of wo/man in nature. It relates also to larger ideas of materialism, consumerism, mass culture, and our understanding of stewardship. It brings up questions of our constructed environment and growing synthetic culture. These paintings beg to be seen in person. Just be warned that if and when you do see them, you'll leave with this urgent want for more dialogue. Your brains might hurt.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Relic Series

i'm not working on anything that i haven't made before, i guess i'm just kind of looking at it differently. assemblage work is nearly always built from junk or found objects, and obviously, the first step is laying out the pieces. in the past, it was simply a step to what i was working on, but now i'm finding interest in the puzzles before the paint.

'relic 13 (guarantee)'
in looking at older work, i've done this type of thing before. i made a series of 4 square assemblages a few years ago, using mostly pattern stencils, as-they-were pieces, and a few found images. it's a series that has never been ripped up, because i really like what they are. and now i'm taking a similar approach, with new angles and understanding. so far, i'm intrigued with what i'm doing. i hope it can continue, and it can help get me out the creative funk i've been lingering around in this year.

i've been referring to this series as 'relics.' and they are relics. the parts and pieces that i use to build these assemblages, themselves are relics of my studio and of my community. the pieces are discards either by me or by people in my neighborhood or near my studio. my year of frustration is evident in the many of the pieces that have been a part of other assemblages that i've painted and torn apart only to rebuild and repaint and tear a part again. they end up simply as abstracts, some looking a bit like a landscape or cityscape, others simply looking like color studies. but for me, they are abstract social studies. the pieces that i build with have a history of their own, sometimes that history is known, most times it is not, but history is evident in each collected item that i build with. many of my previous series of assemblage work has been focused on a social message, like the poetry of rap music. this series is still focused on a social message, but the poetry is more understated and layered like a buddhist koan.

these works are an obvious response to my overuse of imagery. in these pieces, i'm eliminating the meaning of the image all together and focusing much more on using the cropped, cut, and broken pieces to create a visually balanced psychological narrative based in the understood history of the parts and pieces of each assemblage.

'relic 14 (seed mill)'

'relic 15 (x x x x x)'

'relic 17 (twilight in the alley)'

'relic 16 (one cent sale)'

'relic 18 (original cut rate)'

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Annual Cup Show at Charlie Cummings Gallery

Both Zach and I enjoy supporting fellow artists whenever we can. Last year, I perused the Cup: The Intimate Object X show online and ended up purchasing two really beautiful handmade ceramic mugs. But this year, since we are on a much tighter budget, I tried my very best to resist looking at the new offerings. 

Top to bottom, left to right: Brad Schweiger, Maria Dondero, Patrick Rademaker, Sue Tirrell, Lorna Meaden, Deborah Schwartzkopf, Philip Wiggs, Barry Rhodes, Tilla Rodemann        

The fact that this post exists means I ultimately caved. I didn't purchase any cups, but I had a good time looking at all of them (almost 900 pieces!!). If you are in the market for a beautiful handmade work of art, check out the Cup: The Intimate Object XI show here.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

{harvest} hot peppers

We harvested most of our hot peppers and are getting ready to put them in the dehydrator!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

reincarnations (after the buff)

after i buffed a whole series of assemblage work, i began thinking about what to do with them. we had just visited my parents and for some reason the drive seemed really flat, all the fields and sky and landscape features were looking like flat color shapes to me. i thought i should reapproach my paintings with that in mind. so i turned the first one into the landscape i had just driven through, using just a few colors. that made me think of concepts of where nature and structure intersect. so i did a piece all in black white and grey, then sprayed a waving and hazy tree shadow over the assemblage, so it resembles the hodgepodge side of a building. then it was on to other ideas. i painted a wide angle landscape on a left over piece of galvenized siding with little street lights and car lights in the black of the landscape silhouette. i began also tearing apart the assemblages i didn't like, and then reassembling them into new forms. i really liked the plasticy spray paint with the natural surfaces of the found objects, so instead of painting the assemblage as i typically do, i left it be, and started building on similar ideas. i'm moving away from all of the narrative imagery that has defined much of my work over the past decade, and it seems i'm moving more to something abstract, focusing as much on what is already there, as what i wish to add.

'indiana fields'
'shadow of a tree'
'on the edge of the suburbs'
'untitled assemblage'
'untitled assemblage'
'seed mill'

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

the white-washed series

in an effort to seek something 'quieter' in my work, a couple of weeks ago, i whitewashed several paintings i had been struggling with.  i was attempting to just wash over some of the imagery through the buff. these were a start at ending my studio frustration. i've already painted over or disassembled and reused half of these pieces. the approach was a response to not knowing what to make. i washed them out as i felt washed out. i had no ideas, so i wanted no imagery. just blank. and i was trying to ally my thought process with the idea of buffing graffiti, just to have something new pop up in its place. here's to something new popping up. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

studio struggles

this year has been pretty up and down creatively.  i've done a couple of pieces that i'm quite proud of, including the Seurat mural, but for the most part, i've really been struggling in the studio. typically i make work that has this visual narrative poetry to it, each piece telling enough of a story to be rather succinct in its statement, while still being open to interpretation by the audience, however i've found that i'm getting tired of the images and the aesthetic that i've been working in over the past few years. i've made assemblages just to tear them apart. i've printed piles of paper that have never seen the light of day. i've painted several pieces just to paint over them with something else and then buff them of any imagery at all. i just can't seem to find something that i'm satisfied with. if art is a meditation, then this period is the search more than the find. but it is really wearing on my patience. i've never had a problem producing piles of work in a given year, but i feel like, this year, the time that i've put in is not evident in the amount of finished work i've produced.

it started with making zines in the winter. i love books and the idea that something static can be time based also, so zines were an affordable and repeatable media to play around in. after a month or so of playing around with the imagery, message, and layout, i realized that it was too time consuming to produce a hand printed zine in the manner that i was working in. so i finished one copy each of 2 different zines. then i started in on the assemblages, which are easy for me to build and very difficult to paint. i started splicing and cropping my imagery attempting to create a kind of abstract expressionism in images and message that i was calling social abstraction. then i moved my studio. and i started repainting assemblages that i wasn't happy with and making new ones as well. very few of which are not still painted white and hanging on the wall so my studio. its just been a struggle.

these days everything seems so overdone, like artists are screaming for attention (as evident by the onslaught of street art everywhere), and i'm not immune to that approach. lately though i've been thinking that quiet is a better approach. i very much believe that creating is a meditation, and i want that aspect of creating to be evident in my finished work, but it's been very difficult for me to overcome the idea of image and narrative. hopefully this down period will not continue much longer, but it makes me thankful for the times that feel like my work just finishes itself. these days, though, i'm just punching through it and wasting a lot of paint. here's a look at some of my underwhelming works from the year. ps...only some of these still exist in the state they were photographed in.

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