Small Works by Stephanie Cramer
Stephanie Cramer has been an artist at Obelisk for over 10 years. Throughout her time with us, we have seen her work shift and transform. Her 2021 collection, “Bend”, features work that has shown a new artistic side to Stephanie. Breaking away from her colorful palette, there are multiple paintings in this collection that are dominated with neutral colors. This was not the only creative path Stephanie chose to walk upon in 2021. She decided to dive deeper into smaller works. This was a major transition for her. She is used to creating paintings that range from 24-60 inches, but her small works range from only 14 inches to as little as 4 inches.
When expressing her feelings on creating these smaller works, she says, “It goes against my instinct to work small. I have to push myself.” Her process has changed. With larger pieces, she would have a collection of ideas, but she has to “zero in and focus on one idea” when creating small pieces. Her process is more calculated. Each mark she makes is smaller, so they have to be more intentional.
By stepping out of her comfort zone, Stephanie realized that there is an advantage to working small. She describes these smaller canvases as objects that she can manipulate. They have a sculptural quality that have opened up so many opportunities for Stephanie. In 2021, she truly explored her creativity.
You can come check out Stephanie’s work at Obelisk: 214 W Phelps St #101, Springfield, MO 65806
We are open Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm & Saturday 10am – 5pm
The Hand-Stretched Canvas: Featuring Meganne Rosen
Besides Meganne’s unique approach to her paintings by pooling paints onto raw canvas, she also hand-stretches her pieces making the entirety of the artworks her creations. We were excited to visit her studio the week following her show to witness her process and learn more.
From sourcing the wood for the stretcher bars, to drilling pilot holes, and installing metal brackets and cross bars for support, this practice is not one that is new to her. She has been stretching her own canvases for over a decade. Her Drury undergrad professor, Todd Lowrey, taught her when she was 19 years old.
One of the benefits of this skill is the opportunity to be selective about the material she uses; she does not always paint and stretch specifically canvas. In her current exhibition, “Ephemeris”, her titular painting is created on raw silk. She also has several paintings from her previous collection on linen and cotton blends. Each material reacts differently to her process of soaking paints.
Another advantage to hand-stretching is the versatility it provides. Pre-stretched canvases are limited to certain standard sizes. Not only can she create exactly the size she or the collector needs, but the variation from standard sizes makes the artworks more unique.
She admits the undertaking is more difficult completing on her own, and she is thankful that her supportive husband, Ken, is happy to assist her. She also explained canvas plyers are an essential tool that eases the process as well—one so tried and true that they were used as early as Leonardo da Vinci.
Her newest collection featuring these hand-stretched works can been seen through May 4th in our main gallery.
A Look Inside Jane Troup’s New Studio!
Jane recently moved back into Springfield after living on 275 acres adjacent to Mark Twain National Forest, of which some of you may be familiar if you had been to one of her Open Studios, or at least will recognize the many inspired scenes in her paintings. She and her husband Gary still have 55 acres and a cabin on the property for when they need to retreat, but they are enjoying being in town especially living so close to her sister. And even in the city Jane still finds inspiration from nature. While she does have a great view of Pearson Creek in her backyard (which she has already painted of course), Jane has focused in on her allure with mushrooms and lichens as of lately which is the inspiration for her show, “Studies in Fungi” showing in our gallery in March 2020.
Jane’s new home is warm and open, her love of nature evident, and her artwork from over the years adorn the walls. Her studio is built on the south wing with large windows to bring in natural light, with a partial wall and work table to split off her painting area from her storage and supply area (Jane works best in an uncluttered space after all). It has only been up and running since December, but it’s quickly filled with new work. She had a large painting of a blue coral fungus on her essential crank easel when we visited—still laying in her basic shapes and working toward honing in on her form. Other studies were propped up, hanging on her studio walls, and even one was already hanging in her living area.
I asked Jane what gets her creative juices flowing, and her answer proves she’s a true creative veteran: she said that the urge is pretty much always there. A blank canvas is all it takes for her to want to paint. There is always an idea she’s been stewing that wants to come out.
To see Jane’s final “Studies in Fungi” collection, click here: https://www.obeliskhome.com/jane-troup-studies-in-fungi/
Why buy original art?
Last month we discussed what original art is and now that we’ve defined it, let’s explore why we should buy it.
Pablo Picasso once said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Aesthetic value tops the charts according to statista.com for “Reasons for collecting art among millennial art collectors in the United States as of February 2018.” I believe these collectors understand Pablo Picasso’s words concerning beauty and the need for it in their day-to-day life. Our minds and emotions are affected by our surroundings and because of this, bringing original art into our homes inspires and uplifts our senses. Below are the next three top reasons to buy original art.
As you begin collecting original fine art, you might start with a local artist in your home town or nearby. This artist might be a beginner or expert at their craft, developing either skill level or acclimation for their work. According to Alan Bamberger, of Artbusiness.com, “Early works are often worth more and tend to be more collectible than later ones whether the artists become famous or not, especially those earlier works done in styles for which artists eventually became best known. This is true for several reasons. From a historical standpoint, early works tell us the most about how an artist’s mature style evolved. From collectible and supply/demand art market standpoints, in the case of more famous artists, the majority of the earliest pieces are usually in museums, private collections, or in the families of the artists and are not available for sale.” Collecting art is an investment, in the way that you may find your piece grows in value over time as the artist becomes more sought after.
2. Be a participant in the art community
Springfield Missouri has a thriving art scene that is continually growing and searching for new people to join the community. There are many ways to get involved, a great place to start is First Friday Artwalk. Through this monthly event, visit many Downtown Springfield art galleries and view countless pieces of artwork. Purchasing local artwork is a wonderful way to support local artists and experience being part of the art community.
3. Art appreciation as a family value
According to EdSource, “Art appreciation helps young children learn to think and express ideas.” Using the visual thinking method, children are asked three questions when viewing art: What’s going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can we find? EdSource also says, “This approach teaches students how to take the time to observe closely, describe what they see in detail and provide evidence for their observations.” Bringing art into your home enriches the lives of all who encounter it and creates skills that children will benefit from for the rest of their lives.
What is original art?
In this blog, we will discuss the differences between mass-produced and original art.
Whether you are a new home-owner or redecorating your current space, original art is one of the best ways to add new life to your walls. Original fine art is one-of-a-kind, unlike large quantity mass-produced prints. Below are three points explaining what original fine art is.
Just like a fingerprint, original fine art is unique and has no copy, making it personal and valuable. Having the opportunity to own such a treasurable version of artwork will cost more, but is well worth it. If an immense amount of people own the exact artwork it no longer holds the same value, this describes mass-production art. Between mass-produced and original fine art, is a limited edition. A limited edition is a controlled print quantity usually between 1-300 copies and the lower the edition quantity, the more valuable the artwork.
Artists spend hours, days, months, or years creating a finished work of art, this is a time-consuming process. When you purchase an original piece of art, you possess an intimate endeavor. To calculate the worth of this labor, along with earning what is fair, the artist must charge a higher price. Mass-produced and limited editions cost less because of the loss of intimacy and quality in the printing process. Original hand-crafted artwork holds quality authentic to the project.
Although printing quality can vary within itself, some canvas and paper choices will show deeper elements of the art, the original work of art has organic nature. Original fine art is a direct link to the artist, showing their hand-crafted effort. Printed reproductions are only a copy of the artwork. The quality of original fine art is undeniable and significantly higher value.