Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fresh Impressions: Part 2

Today's Part 2 focuses on the exhibit, Lessons from Things and the process of working on the still lifes that are part of it.

3.) What makes this exhibit stand out from others that have happened here locally in Davis?

Sara Post has gathered a wonderful group of artists together and given them a traditional subject, namely, familiar objects, and added a twist that is particularly hers, looking at art-making through the lens of another culture.

"In our object-rich culture, there is a tendency to skim over the presence of things, to cease to see them because of the sometimes overwhelming amount of objects in our lives. This exhibit offers an opportunity to slow down, to focus, to be with and perhaps to add to our understanding and enjoyment of objects that surround us," notes “Lessons” curator Sara Post.

Within the structure of the exhibit, she weaves in an educational component, so that the viewer comes away with more than an encounter with the works of art themselves. The unique quality of Sara's lively and provocative themes set her exhibits apart.

4.) What do you hope to gain from the exhibit (in any aspect, whether, spiritually, emotionally, or if more aimed toward the community)?

Lake Okoboji, ©1977, watercolor

The greatest gift so far took place in my studio. In order to create these still lifes, I've been reaching back into my days as a young student and drawing on my youthful enthusiasm. It was a magical time; so much seemed possible and everything was fair game for the canvas: a plein air landscape, the view from my apartment window, pieces of fruit placed on a worn wooden table.

Recycled take out containers for colored papers

As I've re-explored the subject of still life, I've been able to tap into that enthusiasm and ebullience. But there's a twist. I am older and the experience of the life I've lived since that time filters into these  collages as well. I see it in my approach; the willingness to take the objects I've studied "out of the box" and off of the linear plane. I experiment more freely with media and feel  confident in the way that I handle the colors and patterns; letting them come together in a sort of seeming randomness that is actually the result of working with composition for so many years.

The beige take out container has it all
I also look forward to the reception for the exhibit, to those equally random moments when I watch other people study the artwork on the walls and hear their exclamations as they move around the gallery. I love seeing so many people that I know from so many times of life here in Davis. I've never lived anywhere as long as I lived here: 22 years. That creates a rich tapestry of friends and acquaintances and you never know whom you're going to run into or what you might end up talking about. Perhaps I'll meet a new artist friend or even find the thread for a new series of collages.


  1. Greetings Hannah,

    Thank you for your kind words and to answer your question, I exhibited images of fishing flies, like those in my book. We also had Orvis make a presentation along with master fly tiers from all over California. It was also the hottest day of the year with temperatures at 104.

    I appreciate your posts as I try to view them from a number of different angles.

    Wishing you all the best,

  2. Hi Hannah, I'm enjoying your interview and the supporting images very much! You help me to think about the still life process and subject matter differently - it's not one I've really explored much, other than during required assignments in college 30 years ago. Reading your return to the process as a more experienced artist is exciting - the outside the box freedom is a wonderful thing :) Congratulations on all, Karin

  3. Hi Hannah, I am loving your interview and your presentation of it. It is always fascinating to see where artists have come from and how their past has influenced their artwork. I like seeing your organization and the thought that goes into your creating. Good luck on your show.

  4. Egmont--I wish I could have seen that--fly ties! This reminds me of a story the other day at work. The State was coming to inspect our pediatric floor. The manager in a rush, remembered that there was a whole fish, head to tail, fins and all in the freezer, belonging to one of the nurses who had just caught it. What to do? I don't know what their solution was, but I wish I could have gotten a photograph.

    It's so true about the 30 years. I have to admit that it took me a while to warm up to this new approach, still lifes by request,--but I learned so much about myself and ended up enjoying it greatly.


    Thank you for your support. As you said, I know my history (at least one view of it!) but that doesn't mean anyone else does. The show, btw, looks great.

  5. I'm a litle late popping in here but I'm so excited to hear about, and see, the process that has unfolded for you in working with still life. Your descriptions are so inviting...I feel like a want to explore my topic from a similar persepective...so you've been a wonderful and inspiring teacher... as I head out the door to an encaustic retreat I'll be even more open to stretching my boundaries.
    Thanks so much for sharing this interview...I've so enjoyed it!