Friday, August 31, 2007

Saluda Shoals Park: Finding Our Places

Through the Eyes of Art at Saluda Shoals Park

Yesterday; we had our meeting at Saluda Shoals Park. Many of the artists attended and we enjoyed a BEAUTIFUL DAY walking along the river and the nature paths. Dolly led the way and showed each of us where we would be performing for the October 7th art event; " Through the Eyes of Art".
On the Nature Path; near the River the following artists will be demonstrating their art...
Barbie Mathis will be doing an oil painting en plein air overlooking the river; on your right side. She will be high above the water and have a unique vantage point to paint from.
Next on the path; to your left; Jean Bourque is posted in a shady area with many vines and old, bent and loopy looking trees. This should make a real interesting backdrop for her pastel and acrylic abstract painting on canvas.
After that; you will continue along the path and to your right meet Ruby DeLoach who will be performing Haiku Poetry & Watercolor Painting.
Next up on your left will be Jean Ehler. She will be painting in oil paints on canvas a landscape scene inspired by Saluda Shoals. From her position there are many paths that could be painted so it will be very interesting to see what she paints.
Along the water's edge to your right is Melinda Smith. She will be painting a watercolor with collage inspired by the Saluda River. Melinda had brought a sample of her water color painting of Saluda Shoals giving us all a preview of what she will be starting with.
Of course; there are many more artists than this. However; this is the group that will be along the river and this is the area that I actually toured; since this is where I will be on October 7th. We all hope you take the time to come out to enjoy a unique day at the Park.
Saluda Shoals Park is located off Old Bush River Rd. which is located off St. Andrews Road in Columbia, SC. It is a 350 acre park overlooking the Saluda River in Columbia, SC. They are hosting the event "Through the Eyes of Art" on October 7th 2007 from 1-5 PM. The Park will be hosting some of Columbia's most talented artists; which will feature the above artists as well as: Betsy Brown, J. J. Casey, Beth Cavanaugh, Eboniramm, Martha Brim, The Columbia College Dance Company, Julianna Gillespie, Vicky Saye Henderson, Howard Hunt, Barbara Anderson's Interpretative Dance with Invasion Performance Group, Alicia Leeke, Susan Lenz, Michel McNinch, Roy Pascal, and Tina Milhorn Stallard.
From I-26 take the Piney Grove Rd. exit; go about one mile and then turn right onto St. Andrews Rd. Get into the left lane; take your left at the first traffic light. Go a little more than 1.5 miles on Old Bush River Rd. and Saluda Shoals Park will be on your left. For more info ; please call 803-213-2035 or visit their website at

Monday, August 20, 2007

ART Blogs ARE Fun and Educational too

"Jagged Edges" c Jean Bourque a 36 by 24 inch oil painting.
Blogs are so educational...

I scan the headlines from my own blog, I read the news of what's happening in the art world.
I read blogs by many artists and I learn a lot. Every artist I know, that does a blog has a different style and a different emphasis. As you can see mine is mostly trying to share opportunities and highlight art that has won awards as well as talking about the art leagues. While Susan's is about creating fiber art works and altered books and sharing that adventure. Harriett's is about her discovering a career as an artist and Michel's showcase her paintings and tells a bit about herself. That's what makes art and artists so fun; we are all very unique.

Follow the art world news by reading the feed on my blog. Watch the videos of Val's Art Diary to the right, scroll, down and click for a video art adventure. Then find out more about SC art and artists by reading my art blog and then by seeing these blogs; for an artistic adventure.

Susan Lenz Fiber Artist
Michel McNinch
Harriett Hilton Artistic Musings
and my website at
Jean Bourque

Enjoy...your days, Jeanee

Inside My Art... Lately, by Jean Bourque

It's funny to me...when I think about it. Often times people will say have you been doing any art lately? I'll say; "not much" almost every time I am asked. But yet; when I get around other artists, I discover what I think is "not much" is actually quite a bit. To be honest; I rarely have a day go by when I don't at least draw. If nothing else; I draw. I draw a lot. I love materials; I use pens, marker, pastels, pencils and even crayons. I do not believe in limiting my materials by "age" appropriateness. I do what I love whenever I can and that means when I can't paint; I draw. So what have I done lately? I know; not any previews here...makes you wonder doesn't it? (it is intentional)

I actually have been painting a group of irreverent spaces, often empty; much like a barren landscape. Why empty spaces...? Did I tell you there are interior spaces? These rooms are interior spaces with perspective and some with an odd angle to blow the entire shot out of its "perspective" realm. It's like illusions of interior landscapes.... with and without drapes over the windows of the world. Where they came from; I could not tell you. However; I tend to feel as though they are a real positive thing. For sure a departure from the many stylistic venues I have travelled; no longer bright psychedelics, and not like my blue period, or the pastel era or even my splattered, covered and smothered times. No; these paintings feel fresh, free, minimalistic, in your face, right on target, and yet there is a slight tension in each.

This past week; I drew a lot and painted little since I was extremely busy. It does seem if I have a blank spot in my schedule; that I am committed to filling every moment of my life with "something" to do. The drawings; have taken an interesting turn as well. Suddenly; I am finding people in all my drawings. It's all about people. I did work on one painting and in that painting which I thought would be about spaces....


PEOPLE started popping up!

This is a good thing. Since people are everywhere... it makes sense they show up. After all one cannot have barren landscapes forever. With art just like with so many other things in thing leads to another. To look at my work from 1995 is to look at work created by a different artist than the artist Jean Bourque is today.
I will be hanging a new art show at Palmetto GBA on Thursday August 23rd in Technology Circle at the Carolina Research Park; Columbia, SC. Palmetto GBA is a division of Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Jean Bourque
About the painting: The door above is "The Mondrian Door" and it was sold and hung in front of John Delgado's office until 2006 when it retired from Columbia, SC and was moved to the Mountains.

Artist Getting Grants

"The Importance of Grant writing for Artists" was presented by Janet Kosachek at our Artists Round Table Meeting on August 7, 2007 at the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, in Columbia, SC. Janet, our very gifted speaker; earned her M.F.A. in Painting from Parsons School of Design in New York, NY. She was also awarded a Certificate of Graduate Study in Chinese Art, Beijing Central Art Academy Beijing, China and has received many awards including 2004 Second Place, Sculpture, Piccolo Spoleto, Charleston, SC. We found out that she has a blog now, click on her name to go there.
The Artists Round Table is a wonderful way for artists of various mediums to relate, meet, collaborate and enjoy one another's company. We find that sharing our various artistic gifts with each other enhances the entire artistic community in our state. If you are an artist interested in being among professional artists seeking to expand their horizons, with opportunities, education and fellowship; please join us at our next 7 PM meeting which will be held Sept. 4th at 930 Richland St Columbia, in the Chamber of Commerce building; which is also where the Cultural Council is.

Trinity Cathedral Seeks Artists for Annual Bazaar
Sidewalk artists needed for Trinity Cathedral's Annual Bazaar on Saturday, November 3 from 10 am - 3 pm, in Columbia, SC. The bazaar will be located on the church block at 1100 Sumter Street. For application, please visit

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Movies I Want To See

Well; finally I trekked back across town to a theater even further away and was able to at long last see the "Sicko" movie. It was about the difference between our country with it's health care system based on insurance and pharmacy vs the free medical care in other countries. It was very thought provoking. That said; it is a debate that I do not care to enter. My only desire in that regard was to be educated about the possibilities here and abroad.
I had seen Sienna Miller speaking about a movie on late night TV; much like Michael Moore did for his above mentioned movie. I was looking forward to seeing "The Factory Girl" when it was released. I should mention that I have averaged seeing 5 just released movies every month; for at least the past 5 years. (don't ask; I do not remember them all!) Since I am constantly seeking the latest happening movie; I really couldn't wait to see this one.
Sienna Miller played Edie Sedgewick; otherwise known as Andy Warhole's muse and she was in many of Andy's movies. I knew when the movie was to be released and waited longingly. The day of release I searched the Internet; only to find not one theater in Columbia was showing this movie. Boy was I bummed; then thought okay; I am going to Myrtle Beach, SC next weekend and checked to see if it were playing there and it was not. I knew I had a pending trip to Atlanta so I checked there. It was playing there. But that was three or four weeks away and I knew it may not be still there when I got there. So everyday; I checked hoping against hope and finally when I went to Atlanta and the movie was no longer playing there, I returned to Columbia, SC defeated and gave up the idea that the movie would ever come to our city.

I know there were other movies over the years I wanted to see; that to the best of my knowledge never played in Columbia and it does seems it's the artsy ones. You know
Michel Basquiat never played and I know there have been others. Come to think of it; he hung out with Andy Warhole, too. (mmm?) If anyone that reads this has any influence over what movies play in Columbia; myself and the 1000 or so other artists in this area would sure love to see some art movies! Of course; we did get to see Frida played by the lovely Selma Hayak and for that we were very thankful.

Color Trends 2007-2008 Websites


Lenzing Colors
Annual Color Forecast

Always check Pantone for the palettes of the season and forecast of color trends for the next year. Another excellent resource is Fashion Trendsetter, although they tend to discuss fabrics and clothing more than home decor; they have lots of links on their website and it is very interesting.

I love colors and enjoy the discovery of the wonderful fresh look of the future. It helps to know what colors will be hot for the year ahead.

Painting with a Friend

Thursday, I painted with a friend on a 30 x 30 canvas. We discussed what to paint, she had lots of ideas. I listened, she wanted to learn to paint with a lighter hand. She knew the latest colors and wanted to work with these. I encouraged her to start with the lightest light. We both started with gesso and bleached titanium acrylic paint and using our palette knives, we applied the mixture onto the canvas. While that was drying we talked some more. I suggested she pencil in her idea, for her painting which would be primarily geometric in lighter tones.
While she did that, I used charcoal to sketch onto my canvas. I really wasn't all that clear what I was sketching, I just went with what felt like a natural flow. Then I applied iridescent gel medium, with my palette knife. I got the spray bottle and sprayed away the thickest areas just letting the drips, do what they do. Yes, it was messy and I encouraged my friend to do the same by outlining her pencil marks with charcoal and spraying them off.
We then went to the next color which was a flesh tone based on the colors she was using in her painting. I knifed and brushed it into several of the blob shapes on my canvas. She put hers where she envisioned it would go in her design. We both did another layer of transparency creating a very thin veil over our art work.

What began to emerge in my painting was people. It became real clear there were 3 people, possible a fourth. The fourth figure was dauntingly larger than the others, I developed it a bit, then didn't like it, so I sprayed it down and rubbed off with towels a large portion of that section. Next I added yellow to one of the shapes at the top, I then scraped and pulled it so it was smeary and not blob like. I went outside the lines of my sketch and kept going. Once again, I added a layer this time in white with a hint of blue. Layer upon layer was built and defined as I went on to develop an interesting painting.

Sometimes, after applying a layer, I lost my design and had to redraw it. After many layers I realized the colors were suggesting more than people, I saw the sun and the sky; so I drew flowers up above the heads and below the sun. My friend's painting was coming along nicely. We had reached a good stopping point. She asked that I leave my painting there, because she wants to see what else I do. Okay, that's fair enough and I really understood. I love to paint there, because every time I do, I paint a masterpiece!
Jean Bourque

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Rita Smith Gallery Opportunity

The Rita Smith Gallery is located at 3400 Forest Drive in Richland Mall in Columbia, SC and features numerous SC artists including many painters, jewelers, and potters. The newest artist Rita has added to her artist roster is Harriett Hilton a realistic painter from Orangeburg. Hilton's work often features scenes in nature and life. Her primary medium is acrylic and she typically works on canvas. Harriett is also a very active blogger and an excellent writer. Feel free to take a look at her blog at Artistic Musings. Harriett told me that the Columbia artist Michel McNinch was very inspirational to her when Michel spoke at the Orangeburg Art Guild a few years ago. Michel also has an art blog, you may want to read for more art info.

Rita Smith Gallery is currently taking applications for artists that are working in 3D; such as functional pottery, mosaics and unique items that do not already exist in her gallery. Her gallery has been there a long time and she has an excellent reputation. Even though I was only there for ten minutes, I saw quite a few shoppers and was impressed by this much traffic on a hot Friday afternoon.

The Rita Smith Gallery is located on the first floor of the Richland Mall. The way I got there was by cutting through Barnes and Nobles and then walking across the hall. For me, that was a great way to go, as I discovered a wonderful display of art magazines I had never heard of or seen before, including some that focused on abstract art which is my deepest artistic passion. As an avid reader, any time I can go through a bookstore I am very happy. Art and Books all in one trip to Rita Smith's Gallery in Columbia, SC. Fun!

While at Rita Smith's Gallery the work of Jean Berry caught my eye. She has done some wonderful horse paintings which you may want to take a look at. They are realistic and lovingly rendered. Go ahead and take a trip over to Richland Mall and get a look at all the exciting work at The Rita Smith Gallery.

I have to go now...
Jean Bourque


Friday, August 3, 2007

Artist Round Table Meeting Tues. 7PM Aug. 7th

"The Importance of Grant Writing for Artists" by Janet Kosachek
Tuesday August 7 at 7PM
at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Building
which is the same location as the Cultural Council
930 Richland Ave. Columbia, SC
between the Governor's Mansion and Finlay Park
The Artist's Round Table meets once a month on the first Tuesday of every month and is open to all artists that perform, entertain, dance, sing, write, paint, sculpt and create art.
For further details please see the website at:
Artist's Round Table