Art of the Land

Starline Gallery & Studios, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

I was invited to the "Art of the Land" show by Mary at the Old Courthouse Gallery in Woodstock, Illinois after showing at their "Woman's Works" show. I have to thank her so much for introducing me to this benefit for The Land Concervancy of McHenry County (TLC). It is so cool to know that sales of my artwork will be going toward saving lands that future generations will be able to admire, walk, and hike in.

Starline Art of the LandErin K. Nolan by artwork

This past weekend at the "Art of the Land" benefit was just wonderful. I want to thank the patrons who generously purchased my work. I would be interested to hear from you!

1. Mr. Anderson's Magnolia: SOLD
2. Surface Tension: SOLD
3. Eaeth Goddess: SOLD
4. Blue Heron: SOLD
5. Blue Heron: SOLD
6. Dragonfly (unframed): SOLD

Art of the Land

The food, the wine, the people and conversations made the evening memorable. I met so many other wonderful artists such as photographer Angela Swan, intuitive painter Laura Brown, a freaking awesome jeweley artits Leanne and Ivan at Triskele Moon Studios ...seriously, check them out!Another artist who uses lost wax casting of natural items such as dragonfly and cicada wings, burr oak leaves, etc. His name is Paul DeMuth and works under the name of Silver Cloud (silvercloud.net).

A&E at Art of the LandA's Peppermint Waxwing

The bar's name for the evening was "The Green Bastards Bar." I guess one of the members of The Land Conservancy was at a board meeting objecting to a change of land use and the opposing side said, "Sure, let those "green" bastards have their way." So, that is now the name of the wine bar. It cracked me up. Having a great sense of humor can go a lot farther in furthering an agenda than fighting anger with anger. That was awesome!

Spoon-i-pedeA's photo Art of the Land

I can't wait for next year! Thanks to Cheryl Perrone and all the organizers–you did one fantastic job organizing this event. Thank you for your hospitality.

Starline Gallery & Studios interior

The space at the Starline Gallery is top notch. I highly recommend it. The building's 100 year old history includes housing a manufacturer of toy bicycles and a farm implements manufacturer. The building itself takes up three blocks and the interior is an expanse of thick wood timbers reminiscent of a forrest, old brick and stone. Despite it's age, or maybe because of it, the space has a warm and inviting, yet modern clean feel. All the modern conveniences have been added as well. Plus, it is right on the Metra line for convenience.

Starline windows

Paul and Al & Elinor and I found the old boiler room. It is the largest boiler in McHenry County and was one of the old "twin sisters" boilers. Now it has been retrofitted into an awesome greenhouse space with patio furniture and a golden chandelier!

Starline Boiler RoomStarline Boiler Room

We were looking at one of the old photos which was mounted on the wall outside the boiler room. It showed someone working a monstrous machine which bent huge thick pieces of metal. The man sitting before it didn't have any safety equipment around him. Paul, my husband, came up and said "Oh, that's ol' 'Bendy' he was a great guy, but had only three fingers on one hand." We all laughed and talked about doing EVP work with ol' Bendy. I guess we have a sick sense of humor.

Starline Boiler Room turned greenhouse

I felt so good when I came back home, that I went right to the studio finishing up a block I've been working on and drawing another that I had time to glue onto the block with nori paste.

ready to carve

Next stop... Sycamore's Art Walk: a benefit for the Art Attack School of Art in Sycamore, Illinois on Saturday, October 2, 2010 from1–7 pm. I'll be at the Taxco Restaurant right downtown.


Off to Door County to deliver framed prints

Driving up to Door County by myself was an adventure! All I can say is that I'm so, so glad that my phone has Google maps and it could tell me where to go. If only it could tell me not to merge into another lane when there is a car in my blind spot! I got lost in Milwaukee on the way up AND on the way home. Let's just say there are some neighborhoods that are WAY different than in my humble little rural town! Yikes!

Finally I arrived and checked in at Beantown Campground to get my tent site. I had been driving for five and a half hours in the rain. I noticed the creeks and rivers were high which meant it had been raining for quite some time, but really didn't mind. Camping in a tent in the rain in Door County was still better than not.

So, anyway, I arrived and John, the owner, asked if I still wanted to campsite. "Umm... yeah," I replied a little uncertain. Were there no campsites left, I wondered? Then he said these magical words, "It's not that busy and there are some sleeper cabins open." I thought about it a bit. Money is tight and just driving up here was a luxury. "No thank you," I said. "I can't afford that, I'll just take the tent site." Then John says to me: (angels start to sing and a bright light opens up) "same price." THEN he gives me a heater!

Hands On Art Studio, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

It was 9-11 and John gave me faith that good people are still in the world. So, if you have to go camping, or need a sleeper cabin or nice cabin or RV site; please go see John at Beantown Campground in Bailey's Harbor, Door County, Wisconsin. He is the bestest!

I dropped off my framed prints at Plum Bottom Pottery with Chad Luberger. We talked a bit about what direction we both want to go towards. I was able to meet Angela Lensch, a jewelry maker who creates woven gold and silver jewelery. She is a Plum Bottom artist as well. They both seem intelligent, soft spoken, capable and down to earth. I think we are going to get along just fine. I get so nervous meeting people, though! If you asked me five years ago if I thought I would be driving up to Door County by myself, talking to people I don't know, to drop off my artwork at a gallery I would think you were crazy. This will be one wild ride where I push myself to do new things and take chances on myself. It feels good.

I had asked Chad and Angela what restaurants they recommended. They suggested the Coyote Roadhouse - which I remembered as a biker's bar from when I was younger, but now is an mid-priced, comfort food type of place. They asked if I liked seafood (which I do!) and suggested the in downtown Bailey's Harbor. That was the choice for me. I never noticed this building before. Once I stepped inside, it was as if I was transported to a Gentleman's English cottage. One room was lined with books with weathered tables and chairs. I didn't want to take up an entire table for just one person, so I requested to sit at the bar. Everyone was so friendly. Chad had suggested the mussels. I've never eaten a mussel before, so I had to ask the bartender how to eat them. I was horribly embarrassed. All that disappeared the moment I put a bite into my mouth. Oh my goodness! I've never tasted anything so wonderful - at least not for a very long time. The next thing I ate was a Brazilian inspired chicken stew with white meat seared in dendê (palm oil) and simmered in an aromatic broth of coconut milk, lemon grass, chilies, and, Cachaça rum, paired with steamed rice. (Description is straight from the menu).

Towards the end of the meal I met a couple from Davenport, IA. We both knew Jodean the director of the Venus Envy Show there. We had a great conversation and as I left, I felt so wonderful.

That afternoon, before dinner, I went to the Hand-On Art Studio and painted a bowl with a dragonfly and a butterfly from The Ridges brochure.

goodnight perfect daythe old trusty coleman lamp

It was an absolutely perfect day.

Toft's Point, Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin, USA054

I awoke after a fitful sleep and went to shower at the campground facilities - a LONG, HOT, calming relaxing shower. I took my time putting on my makeup and drying and curling my hair. Another luxury! The primping wasn't for anyone else but me. In fact, my plans included hiking, but putting on makeup and doing my hair just made me feel good.

Toft's Point, Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin, USAToft's Point, Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin, USA

Afterward, I packed my belongings and went to Toft's Point. It is a refuge for plants and animals just next to The Ridges in Bailey's Harbor. There were three distinct areas: the deep woodlands, grassy areas as the path led towards Lake Michigan and then the rocky shoreline. A family had raised 7 children in a cabin there in the 1860s. I tried to imagine how free, yet how hardworking they must have been.

Toft's Point, Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin, USA067

As I walked the path, the little red squirrels chittered after me. I was all alone, so I spoke to them. "I'm sorry little squirrel, I won't hurt you, I'm just passing through." But then they kept following me! "Little squirrel," I said with exasperation," How can I leave you alone when you are FOLLOWING ME!" Then his friends came along. They chattered and whistled at me to leave also. They only left me alone when the wood ended and the grassy open areas began to appear.

Toft's Point, Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin, USAToft's Point, Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin, USA

I was amazed in the woods how I couldn't hear any sounds other than nature. It was so quite. The needles from the trees cushioned my footsteps and muffled sound. I wanted to just lay down and take it all in: the light shining is slivers through the trees, making the leaves shine like Tiffany stained glass and resting upon lush mosses.


I have a new place to love and it is called Toft's Point.

Toft's Point, Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin, USAToft's Point, Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin, USA


Mr. Anderson's Magnolia

Mr. Anderson's Magnolia, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

This poor print. I've been trying and trying. I just wasted sheet after precious sheet of sekishu paper. It was a new paper for me and I do love it. It is thin and translucent, but strong. I think I found a new favorite paper. Finally I have Mr. Anderson's Magnolia just the way I pictured it from the beginning. It has only taken 3 months! LOL! Here was it's first version.

I had created multiple blocks for the different colors, but did not use them in the final version. I prefer the softness of hand painting with watercolors. Again, I need to learn moku hanga techniques to achieve this softness in a print form. On screen the print looks as if it was done in black, but it is really a dark sepia.

It ended up being an edition of just 4. One was sold at the Bliss Bead show. One is being delivered to Plum Bottom Gallery next week (along with some other prints) and one will be used for the Kishwaukee College Gallery Show in November of this year.

That is the latest news! Al and I will be having a show at the Kishwaukee College Gallery in November entitled: "cricket & sparrow." It is a joint exhibition of prints and drawings discovering and responding to the visceral qualities of our natural world.

Here my artist statement:

"Beauty can be found in the simple natural forms around us. Organic shapes, colors and textures are harnessed using design elements to guide the viewer to see the energy and life hidden within. In this way, the seldom noticed details of the natural world become elevated to the sacred."

"Pattern, texture, and energy are my primary intent, not realistic depiction. I use personal life experiences, memories, and stories as my inspiration. Each piece is representative of thoughtful reflection. The intricate style of the work leads to meditation which aids in correlating natural law with current personal, political, or social events. This process results in a deeper meaning found within the specific time and place captured in the digital reference photos that I take. "

It seems as if my artist statement is being pared down and streamlined. I like that I am more specific about what it is that I'm trying to accomplish. It is so difficult to put instinctive reactions and emotions into words that others can empathize with. Over the years the paragraphs are describing my work more accurately.

Enough about me! I hope all is well with you. Drop me a note when you get a chance.