Tag Archives: Lynette Hensley

Lynette's Work table

Edmonds Art Studio Tour 2014

This year,  September 20 & 21, once again I will be participating in the Edmonds Art Studio Tour. This event has become a destination, gaining in popularity and acclaim, and is now in its 9th year! I was fortunate to be a guest artist at Cami Smith’s studio that first year, was at Lynn Scott’s studio last year, and this year will be in Studio 11, with Mona Fairbanks in her studio, along with Robin Westbrook with her beaded jewelry.

This year I will have paintings as well as some 3D work, assemblage figures that I’m working on as of this summer, as well as some less expensive work, drawings, paint sketches, small collages and prints. People have shown an interest in these works, so I’m bringing them along for the tour.

In preparation for this year’s tour, we thought it would be good to give folks a chance to get to know us better, and so we put together an artist interview project. Here’s mine!

Photos from last year with Lisa JonesMoore and Lynn Scott:

windowLynette

LisaJM

LLL

Photos from the first year with Cami Smith, Cami’s mom and Pat, pictured below with happy hands!

fstudiotourlynette

studiotourpat

studiotourroom

Here’s the link to the Edmonds Art Studio Tour 2014!

#EAST #EdmondsArtStudioTour #LynetteHensley #FlyingRedhead

September 20 & 21, 2014

The Sketchbook Project

Blank Pages

My sketchbook arrived in the mailbox today. So small and empty it is, and also full of promise. It’s like the beginning of every good idea, every project that seems exciting. This is yet another project that seems exciting. Good news is, this project has a due date and someone is waiting for it. Someone, and then a truck that will transport it to multiple cities. This is powerful — as powerful as I make it. It’s tempting to think too hard on this, to make it too important. It’s not — it’s a sketchbook…a receptacle for ideas and incubation. I will just choose some idea and get started. I think it’s best to have a theme. My best thoughts so far: Faces and hands inside of costumes costume details people from vintage photos Let’s get started!

Play it Again

Where music and art come together

Attending the Wintergrass Bluegrass festival 2014 yesterday brought a few new musicians into my attention. When I like a band it’s usually for a few reasons, 1. fun to watch, inspiring to listen to; 2. I would like to do some of their songs; 3. I would love to make art while listening to their music.
How do the art and music puzzle pieces fit together? As an artist and a musician I spend time actively doing both, and it seems that when I concentrate on one, the other suffers. Or maybe I will turn that about and say that there is a season for each — there is time to move forward with art, and a time to learn new music. I think they are not exclusive, they both feed the same creative mind and build up each other.
Some people say they can see sounds and hear color.  Few of us are synesthetic, but for most, music and art convey emotion, say ideas, and can bring us along into a mood or story. One band yesterday (Milk Carton Kids) sang a single line that sticks with me, “Our young hearts grow old.” One line offers a powerful and lyrical image and brings it to the people witnessing the words along with the tune. It brings a hush. And how does that bring us into the art studio? Sometimes silence is preferred as it turns the creative switch over to the on position. Sometimes singing along greases the inventive cog. Sometimes wordless music is the thing, sparseness is appreciated and one can find visual creativity in the quiet chinks in the music. Sometimes a wall of sound will release an inner monster to overcome.  Most often a quiet mood works best in my studio.
Music quiets the brain of other concerns, focuses on the work at hand. Musicians might prefer that listeners listen intently, but here’s where familiarity can cause inattention – allowing focus on other creative pursuits. Still the music is appreciated as time flies by.
Where does your attention go in the creative mess? “There are no worries, you can clean up later,” is part of my self talk. Let’s see what happens…make mistakes…lay down the paint on canvas…what you do is not wrong.  Are you using a brush without rinsing? Well good, not rinsing makes some beautiful mother colors to tone paintings and make beautiful shadows. Not following a pattern in music can cause something called fusion – often enough it’s a happy surprise. How do you get a mother color in music? Find an unusual transition between major chords with a minor 9th/added 11th or something even better to surprise us. What does a harmonic look like in painting? I wonder.
Art for me is mostly a solo pursuit. When working solitarily, it’s important to have good self talk. Music can help. Be kind to yourself. Exhibit a little kindness. State your intention, colors, a feeling, a brief description. Be curious about the outcome rather than attached to it. Play some music in your studio and practice joy.
New musical discoveries:  Väsen, Chris Thile and Mike Marshall, the Milk Carton Kids.
PirateHeadsm

What paint can do

Discovering the joy of painting is like learning a new song. You learn the notes, the tempo, rhythm, where to breathe, where to be fast or slow, to pause and go. Theres a time for loud and a time for soft. Painting is the same but it’s in another language. I’m working on some little fun paintings right now that are helping me uncover some interesting color combos, discover the power of gray, and when to choose a cool one or create a warm one. I’m putting more paint on the canvas than in past work. Maybe this is obvious, but when you get enough paint on the canvas to be a little dimensional, it looks more like, well more like a painting.

Putting down a layer of tissue paper or rice paper changes the surface enough for me and takes away the problematic canvas texture. Ofcourse tissue paper can also be a problem if there is an unfortunately placed wrinkle in it. But that can be overcome with…more paint, or even some molding medium.

I’ve made a decision to paint more and collage less, and also not to use images for collage…no photos or pictures from books. Ok Paint…teach me!

Three Eggs Over Easy

Crossing the Bridge from “Art” to “Product”

I remember when I first began to consider selling my art. There were a few factors that led to this decision. I wanted to be recognized for the work that I had accomplished, I wanted other folks to like it enough to put it in their homes, and hey, I could use some extra cash! That began a thought process that has taken me on an interesting journey. I’m going to talk about these in some order, though the process was anything but orderly!

First there were practical considerations. Where would I sell the art? Who would want to display it? Where did my art “fit”? How much should I ask for each piece? How much would I actually make and how many of those dollars would I have to share with the venue? How would I get the word out? How much time will this take? How do I balance art making and marketing my work — not to mention the other aspects of life?

Second, there were the emotions. Was I confident that people would like my art enough to buy it? How would I measure up to more experienced artists? How would I feel about rejection? How far will this go–could I possibly make a living making my art?

Third, there was the resistance to actually parting with my work. Related to the emotional aspects of deciding to sell my art, I called the resistance “this hump I have to get over”. These were my precious creations, and like babies growing up and going off to foreign lands, I knew I’d never see most of them ever again! I know this is not unique to me.

Here’s a bit of background. For about 20 years I was a costumer and a costume designer, so I had almost always used my creativity for something that I didn’t keep in my possession. The costumes stayed with the theater, put into storage after the run of a show was over. But these pieces I was now contemplating selling were things that I made without someone else’s direction, not theater collaborations. I had not made them with the idea that they would become “products”, in fact, by it’s very nature this work is much more personal to me. It speaks of my thoughts, humor and ideas. So on the one hand I was used to letting go of my work, and on the other, this new non-theater work, the paintings, collages and assemblages were all made solely from my own creativity.

To be honest though, after awhile I didn’t have enough room for it all!

The first thing I had to find was the willingness to part with the art. So how did I get over “this hump I have to get over”? For me it was a conscious decision to let go of the art. That sounds simple, and it really was like crossing over an emotional bridge. It was a shift in my thinking about art as a precious thing to keep close to myself as opposed to a product to sell. (Truth is, it’s actually something in between.)

I also had to find the confidence to put myself out there in the public eye. Sometimes a lack of confidence will creep in, but overall, I LIKE my art, and others seemed to like it as well. It really takes both for success in selling art. And the good news is, one can find acceptance even in tiny niche markets. My and your art don’t have to be universally liked to succeed, it just needs to appeal to enough folks so that the effort of selling the art one makes is a sensible proposition.

In addition, focusing on the practicalities of getting ready to sell my art helped to allay the fears and resistance that I had. Taking action helps! So does inviting company along for the journey. In order to boost my own confidence, I applied to my first show with two other local Seattle area artists, Maggie Yowell and Amy Peacock. I studied up on what needed to be included in an application, we all set up a day with a friend to shoot professional photos of our work, labeled everything, and together we put together a proposal. Submitted with slides and cover sheets and clever artistic packaging for the submission, that carefully worked out application got us the group show, though it was scheduled for 1.5 years into the future. I wasn’t going to wait around, so I submitted applications in several other places. Many were even accepted.

It may be cliche’ but it’s true: success breeds success.

My first art show was actually a solo exhibit, way before the group show, and I lucked out. I entered and was accepted into the Greenwood ArtWalk, and placed into a dress shop that was about to close permanently, Moki Dugway. The proprietors were extremely welcoming, and allowed my work to stay up all month. As their inventory dwindled, so did mine. I had decided that as a beginner exhibiting artist, I should price my art reasonably. I really wanted folks to take it home. And take it home they did.

By this time I was hooked and the issues I listed at the start of this article were nearly all moot points. This decision to sell my art launched a highly creative time in my life. I’ve since learned so much about marketing my art that I’d like to share with you. There are lots of practical things I can share, and there are things I’d love to talk over as well. I’m far from expert on the art process–I’m definitely still learning so so much!

To close off this post I’d like to share one more thing. One of my fears was that I’d be selling out in order to sell my art. But I found as time went on and I spent time talking with people that took my work home, this is far from true. It surprised me to discover that people sort of fall in love with the art they choose to take home which is a charming and humbling side benefit to sharing my art in public this way. Relationships like these are unique to artists and artisans. I get to make personal connections in a way that most people don’t.

We’ll be talkin’.

Lynette Hensley
Flying Redhead

Details: Let’s Play What If….

What if shoes were soled with fur?
Then you would walk softly…

What if collars were lined in maps?
Then the world might know your pulse.

What if corset stays were made of feathers instead of bone?

What if quilting was done with glass rods?
What if I stitched fortune cookie fortunes into pocket tops, collars, cuffs?

What if I wore a picture of my love on my sleeve?
What if thread was elastic?
What if clothes were higher than our heads, wider than our shoulders,
longer than our hands….etc.
What if clothes were only for comfort and not for beauty?
What if a shirt told you exactly what I was thinking?
What if pants truly fit?
What if socks were the gaudiest thing I wore?
What if the reason for wearing clothes was to make the most noise?

More to come….

Details: Idea flows

I’ve begun a canvas by using Golden Matte Medium to essentially laminate linen canvas to my canvas. It was a canvas that had another idea start on it, one that didn’t take. That happens a bit. Oh well! It gave me an interesting surface, with some scattered bumps on it.

Now while it’s drying, I want to get an idea flow started. I begin with my inspiration, and dump ideas on it. What can I do with this, how far can I push it? What is the nature of the materials–what can they do and what can’t they do? Do I want to use materials other than the traditional fabrics to see what will happen? This is a non-judgmental moment. I don’t care if it’s been done before, I don’t care if it’s a stupid idea…it’s my process and nobody has done my process before in this present time…they are not me, now. Judgment and editing comes later.

Stays, boning–very interesting to me
edgings
lacing
buttonholes
buttons
hooks, loops, eyes
collar
slashing
cording
quilting
pleats, gathers
pockets
applied decorations.
shoes
sheers
leathers
silk
linen
grosgrain
linen thread
silk thread
silver/gold bullion trim
cotton net

good design
colors–all whites? not sure–like contrast too

Hawaiian shirts and other prints excavated
no people
Just details

like museum display?
Like Audubon drawings but clothes not birds?

set limits
materials
colors

not a fabric experiment, but an art experiment.

nothing to wear.

Shapes,
different size canvasses.
most small–it’s details!

I love 12×12
I wonder if the wood ones will work best. check cost

Fabric canvasses will allow me to sew.

Sew before it’s assembled? or after–depends on detail

Details:
1. back of stays with tabs
2. buttonhole ground — useless buttonholes and buttons
3. grosgrain ribbon edges–what’s inside?
4. lacing (cris-cross)
5. leather vest manikin
6. sheer pleating
7. linen collars.
8. silk roses.
9. straps with hook and eye closures.
10. Shoe buckle on sheer — sheer shoes. Incongruity
11. sheer stays–sheer bra
12. velvet ruffle

There’s a few ideas. More are allowed!

Lynette Hensley, The Flying Redhead