American Artist 70th Anniversary Competition

Raindrops by Dee Overly, Colored Pencil The winners have been posted on the American Artist website. The Colored Pencil artist John P. Smolko took the Grand Prize. Absolutely wonderful, he has such a unique style; you must take a look at his work.

The competition has eight categories; Acrylic, Colored Pencil, Drawing, Mixed Media, Oil, Pastel, Printmaking, and Watercolor. My Raindrops piece took Second Place in the Colored Pencil category. It will appear in the December issue of their magazine along with the other winners.

Until October 30, 2007, you can vote for People’s Choice in all the categories. Voters much be or become members of their website forum. Not a bad thing, especially if you are an artist; and it’s easy. Enter an email addy, a password, then verify that you really exist through an email message they send to you, then vote.

But give yourself some time and enjoy viewing all the wonderful art that made the semifinals of the American Artist Competition.

Have a grand day!

Abstract Realism

Looking for a Home by Dee Overly Colored Pencil This River Birch tree lives along the Maumee River in Ohio somewhere between Grand Rapids and Waterville. I was traveling back home to Michigan when I spotted it. After a couple turn arounds and finding a place to park, I was able to tromp through some brush and capture some pictures of the bark.

I’ve decided to jump on the band wagon with this piece, Looking for a Home, and other extreme close-up pieces I’m doing and refer to them as Abstract Realism. I know, another oxymoron to confuse everyone, and a term that apparently hasn’t been confirmed in the art world yet. Dictionaries define the two words separately but not as a union. It doesn’t even appear in Wikipedia. I’m surprised some modern intellectual artist hasn’t swooped in on that yet. But if you type “abstract realism” into google, you’ll find several artists who are claiming the title. There have even been a couple attempts at writing a manifesto for it. However, there must not be enough of us jumping onto this wagon to make a full fledge movement yet.

This reminds me of the room designers on HGTV (which I am totally addicted to) who are always making up “artist movement” descriptions for their room creations. They come up with names like “sheik goes urban” or “the American country Celtic twist” to make their room designs legitimate. It drives me nuts. I know they’re pulling this out of their butts. They do it because people love labels. It makes things real for them.

So, back to my label… Abstract Realism. Why put these two words together? Well, it did feel a bit abstract as I was fighting my way back to that tree, and taking the pictures was quite real. Now you know why I don’t write definitions for Wikipedia. When the definition does get written, I’m sure it’ll be full of words whereby we’ll need another dictionary to understand it.

Meanwhile, what I’m doing and calling Abstract Realism, is taking items from the real world and zooming in to enlarge the focus so that the end result feels abstract.

Oh yes, one final note. The ladybug was not there when I took the pictures, she was added later. Thus, giving the piece it’s title. She’s actually too small for the scale of enlargement I gave the bark. But this way, the viewer has to hunt for her.

Have a grand day!

The Exhibit Opening Reception

Thanks to all of you who made it out for the opening reception of Landscape Bodyscape. It was indeed a festive night. Food, drink, music, friends and art all in the same place, can life get any better than that! The gallery tallied 110 visitors for the evening.

The next day was pretty much a lost cause though, I was a vegetable. Think I spent the day watching golf and napping, emphasis on the napping part.

As you can see by the pictures, this gallery doesn’t have the plain white walls that most galleries use, but it works. In some cases, the artwork blends and flows with the walls, other times the wall color causes the art to pop right out. So, if you have a lot of art work that you want to showcase in your home, don’t believe that you need to restrict yourself to just light colored walls.
The exhibit is up through the 29th of September for those of you in the Ypsilanti area who would still like to stop in and look around.Thanks for reading and have a grand day!
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