• In Honour of Life Collage by Denise LeClaire 10 Questions to the Artist – Denise LeClaire

    Photograph of artist Denise R LeClaire

    Denise R LeClaire
    Denise is our 2017 ArtWalk artist.  She is a West Michigan artist and high school counselor. Denise creates collages using found paper objects such as antique sheet music, atlases, and books.  Often, she applies a photo transparency over the collage and then, paints over those layers allowing you to see or hide different components of the canvas.  This artist focuses on an idea such as belonging, forgiveness, mortality, or love. Her goal is to create a connection between people and her art with shared experiences.  All of Denise’s work is personal, a combination of the ordinary and the profound.  Like a soft kiss on the forehead for no reason.
    In Honour of Life Collage by Denise LeClaireIn Honour of the Fact that Life is Short

    ArtWalk Voting Code:  Artist number – MM14. Category – Mixed Media

    Denise answers our
    “Ten Questions to the Artist”
    so that we can get to know her, just a little.  

     

    1. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
    I heard a quote once, I think it was Marianne Williamson who said that the spiritual path is just the journey of living our lives and we are all on a spiritual path, sometimes we just don’t know it. I love this philosophy and feel like it falls together with my own belief in the importance of small moments, the little things that end up being the most memorable. So, it’s just everyday life that does it for me. We get to decide in the first world, what to do with our days, how we respond to life, and how we are creative; it’s a huge gift that not everyone has, that’s a pretty big turn on.
    2. Do you have an influence or theme that guides your work?
    I think the theme is connection through common ground. I think there is a spiritual and emotional element to my work with the combination of ideas, words and photographs and I see and feel this when I talk to people about what’s drawn them to a particular piece.   
    3. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
    Travel photographer/writer
    4. What profession would you not like to do?
    Police officer
    5. Who are your favorite artists?
    VanGogh, O’Keefe, Gustav Klimt, Mark Rothko, Jim Dine
    6. What is your favorite tool used to create your work?
    A “mop” brush.
    7. What is your favorite word?
    Serendipitous
    8. What is your least favorite word?
    Can’t think of one.
    9. Who is your favorite musician?
    Impossible to choose. I love all kinds of music.
    10. How much formal education have you received?
    My B.A. is in Sociology and Fine Art. I’ve taken art classes on and off my entire life including in photography, pottery, painting, drawing & collage. What I’m currently doing with regard to the combination of collage, photography, photo transfer and painting is self taught, trial and error.
    Thank you, Denise, for answering our questions.  Stop in to the gallery to see her exhibit. She and I will be hosting an Artist Talk beginning at 7:30 pm.  Denise will be in the gallery, Friday night, October 6, 6-9pm.  
    Time for the Daffodil collage by Denise R LeClaire

     

     

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  • Mikey McGhee Teapot Check out who will be at Chicago’s SOFA

    Mikey McGhee teapots

    So much fun last night.  Mikey McGhee and her teapots are a hit!  Michael Drost played beautifully.  We had several visitors sit down on the couch for an extended period, listening to wonderful guitar music and looking at the art around them.  I would like to say, “thank you” to Mikey for inviting several Holland friends.  Several of Michael’s friends appeared also.

    Michael Drost performing

    Mikey amazes me with her focus on getting her work out into the world.  Her teapots have traveled from Las Vegas to New York City to Grand Haven to Cincinnati to Toronto.  Last night, I heard her telling Brian that she has been accepted into Chicago’s SOFA exhibit this coming November.  This is a BIG DEAL for her and her work.

    SOFA-Chicago 2014SOFA Chicago 2014

    Congratulations, Mikey!  You have been focused, determined, and you continue to move forward.  Keep doing what you are doing.  It is working.

     

  • Mikey McGhee Teapot 10 Questions to the Artist – Mikey McGhee

    Mikey McGhee

    Mikey McGhee is our June 2014 artist.  She is a ceramic artist originally from Alaska, currently residing in West Michigan.  I was talking with Mikey as we set up her show today.  I learned that when she started making these teapots, she had a 30% success rate.  Now, 50%.  Can you imagine spending time creating something, whether it was an object or work project with only a 30% success rate?  You have to be thick skinned in so many ways to survive as an artist.

    Mikey McGhee teapotMikey McGhee’s Teapot

    Mikey told me how she has to build each teapot on a kiln shelf.  As she builds/connecting the two main bodies with coils, Mikey builds clay supports.  After the bisque firing, she needs to be able to chisel/knock away the support form.  When you see her teapots, think about building the forms around it, and then firing them to 1800 degrees.  Clay shrinks as it is fired.  Imagine the torquing that takes place inside the kiln.
    Mikey answers our
    “Ten Questions to the Artist”
    so that we can get to know her, just a little.  

     

    1. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?

    Creatively I get a charge from viewing art either in person or in a book. Listening to artist describe their work and express their passion excites me most.

    2. Do you have an influence or theme that guides your work?

    Originally,  I was determined to create my teapots because an instructor said they cant be done. Now, I continue to build them to see how far I can push the boundaries successfully. With that, I lose more than achieve which makes the achievements more rewarding.

    3. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

    Unanswered.

    4. What profession would you not like to do?

    Unanswered.

    5. Who are your favorite artists?

    Picasso reminds me that anyone can be an artist, even if you don’t think so. If he can sketch a masterpiece in 30 seconds, I can take one a week and draw one too.

    6. What is your favorite tool used to create your work?

    If I didn’t have the wheel I dont know if I would of pursued art. It is my starting point and most of my creativity comes out during throwing.

    7. What is your favorite word?

    My Family is why I’m following this path. Their support has nurtured my art. Without them, I would of gone a completely different direction.

    8. What is your least favorite word?

    ‘I can’t’ is probably the hardest words for me to hear. If I looked at something and thought, “I can’t” life would be impossible. When someone tells me “I can’t” I usually smile and say something like, “sure you can” but I really want to shake sense into them.

    9. Who is your favorite musician?

    Unanswered.

    10. How much formal education have you received?

    I had a year of ceramics in a community college. Within that time, I sold several pieces and was accepted into a gallery. I then took a year of independant study and taught a ceramic instructor how to throw on the wheel so he could teach his students not only amazing hand building techniques but also the basics of wheel throwing.

     

    Thank you, Mikey, for answering our questions.  Stop in to the gallery to see her exhibit.  Mikey will be in the gallery, Friday night, 6-8pm.  Or, if you don’t live in West Michigan, check out our virtual exhibit.  We will ship.

    McGhee teapot.

     

     

  • Mikey McGhee Tapot So, Mikey McGhee says this is a teapot?

    I met Mikey McGhee about a year ago.  I was throwing on my potter’s wheel in my workspace at C2C Gallery.  She stopped in to have a look with her husband.  Mikey asked if I was taking on new artists, which I wasn’t at the time.  They left.  Her husband would stop in periodically to chat seeing how we were doing as a business.  Then, one day, I took the time to look at Mikey’s work and read about her.  What impressed me was her desire to create a form that should be impossible to make in clay.

    Mikey McGheeMikey McGhee

    Her tenacity is another thing.  She continued to ask if she could show her work at C2C.  I finally paid attention.  Mikey’s teapots are amazing.  She has worked hard to exhibit them all over the country.  They were on exhibit in New York City recently.  I feel fortunate to be able to show them to our West Michigan market.

    McGhee teapot.Posy by Mikey McGhee

    Stop in and tell me what you think.  
    Better yet, stop in on Friday night, June 6 and meet Mikey.