Taking Care of Business

StudiomeandJenn

This past year I was able to boost my art business to a new level of success. I entered and showed my art at 8 festivals and acquired 3 new galleries (Kentucky, Laguna Beach and Truckee)  to represent my work.  Lo and behold, I finally hired a studio assistant!

Jenn comes into my studio every Friday and helps with a myriad of production jobs, from rolling clay slabs, to hammering copper wire for hangers.  She has brought her energy and friendship into my life and helped to transform how I approach many aspects of my art production. It’s funny, but when I need to train someone I suddenly find myself needing to break each step down, designing a kind of recipe for each art piece’s construction. What had been sheer intuitive action by myself before, now needed to be duplicated, step by step. I am fortunate, Jenn is also a creative, has a nose for good design, and a keen eye for efficient processes.

The end result?  There is a lot more art being created in my studio and this amazing woman has become an integral part of it!  Here’s to you Jenn!

Visit my website to view more of my art!  www.mmackenziegallery.com

The Connection

GraceWhiteHorse14x16 GraceHorsedetail

In the routine of working with my sculptures everyday in the studio I sometimes forget how a  sculpture or painting  evokes an emotional response in a viewer seeing it for the first time.  Every so often someone comes into my booth, or studio, and experiences a strong emotional reaction to a particular art piece of mine that speaks to them. At an outdoor show in San Francisco a young woman viewing my abstract paintings began weeping quietly with a sweet smile on her face. She connected strongly to a piece I had titled “The Present Moment is All There Is”. Her tears took me back to the very instant I felt my own emotional inspiration for the painting, and we had an amazing conversation about each of our lives and the connection we all have with each other.

Since then I have made it a practice to speak about the initial inspiration of each piece during shows and exhibitions.  Not just explain the process of creating the piece, but the “why”.  The why is really where the connection to each viewer lies.

So friends, I created “Grace” as a visual expression of what horses symbolize for me.  Grace, innocence, faith, compassion, forgiveness, freedom.

What do you see and feel when you view this sculpture?

Michelle

Visit my website to see more of my art!  www.mmackenziegallery.com

New Horse Head Sculpture

Just finished! This month has been very hectic for me, but successful! I hosted an Open Studio with my art pal  Kristen Hoard, and opened my own store on Etsy.

But I also have been working on this new sculpture of a horse head, and tonight I’m putting the finishing touches on him. He is hand sculpted by me out of ceramic clay and recycled copper wire that has aged to a nice green patina. I have glazed him in a color called Root Beer, and added turquoise to the dragonflies that adorn his neck.

This guy will hang on the wall nicely, and measures 23″w by 18″ h. He is the first horse head in what I intend to be a new series of wall sculptures.
You can view more of my artworks at http://www.mmackenziegallery.com

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My Studio Right Now

This is the second dog sculpture I am creating for my show, “Animal Attraction”, in November at Little Relics Gallery in Sacramento. I love how little terriers run, you know, with all four legs off the ground? They’re really funny, they are just so full of energy! When I started sculpting this guy, all I could think of was “the flight of the bumble bee”. So of course I had to put a bee on him! Note the snail staring jealously up as he flies over! Sometimes I crack myself up…:)

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Relationships

Art is about relationships in my opinion. The relationship an artist has with her subject matter, the relationship of elements in the composition itself, and the relationship the viewer has with the finished artwork. I’m sure I haven’t named them all!

My love of animals, especially horses, is an ongoing love affair that began when I was around the age of 4 and first sat atop our neighbor’s paint horse, Lilly. Lilly knew she had a rube on her back and proceeded to brush me off on a low hanging tree limb. I didn’t take it personally, and began riding daily until my confidence grew and Lilly came to respect me. Horse lovers out there will tell you horses have much to teach us, and I agree!

My sculptures express my lifelong

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fascination with the spirit, beauty and grace of horses.

Ceramic Heart with Twig

This is one of my hearts with what looks like a twig growing through it, in progress on my work table. I first have to piece the heart and create a hole slightly larger than the twig, to allow for shrinkage as the clay dries. Later, after the heart is glaze fired, the twig is inserted and glued into place. Then I also add a hand sculpted bird to the twig. I just love the organic feel to this series of hearts, each one is one of a kind!

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