My blog has a new home.  After years of saying “I really need to build a website,” I’ve finally gone and done it – blog and artwork are now at beth-kelly.com!  

Another day older, if not necessarily wiser. Been working in the studio over the last couple of weeks trying to work some things out.

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Just a quick update on an older piece – my opossum sculpture shall be resurrected! The one great thing about Superstorm Sandy is the number of fantastic fallen branches I was able to choose from to hang him up. Took a nice drive after work this evening and found something perfect on Chester Avenue.

This guy will be on view soon at Survival Kit gallery in the W 78th Street Studios – I’m in a three-person show opening on November 15 and will post more details soon.

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I’m plugging along on the first of my three museum-specimen-drawer pieces and it’s coming along quite nicely.  I am really enjoying working on a larger scale – besides the two paper-mache sculptures I did last year and the year before, this is the largest I’ve worked since my BFA thesis.  It’s also the most mixed-media I’ve done.  Playing with gold leaf, stencils, collage, gloss medium, and embroidery on wood.  The embroidery is kind of exciting – because it’s on wood, I have to drill holes so it ends up being a mix of hard and soft techniques.

We'll Wait Watertower

Stencil for gold-leaf watertower

Masked off for adhesive

Masked off for spray adhesive

Gold leaf

Gold leaf!

In progress

Gel medium windows under an embroidered skyline

Now that the show at Shaker Lakes has been hung and the work is out of my studio for a while, I’m starting on a new series of collages.  I’ve had these three museum storage drawers in the studio for a while with the intention of fixing them up to use as a support, and finally last weekend sanded them down and coated them with a nice beeswax finish.  Not quite sure how I want them to turn out but I’ve gotten started, which is the hardest part!

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Before (left) and After (right)

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The beginnings of a pattern stencil…

If the only way you knew me was through my blog, you might think I have been up to nothing in the last five and a half months.  Fortunately this is not true!  I have actually been very productive, except in the realm of the internet – we opened our first show of 2012 at Proximity after several months of renovations, and I have been making work for a two-person show that opened earlier this month.

Tectonics, the show we have up at Proximity until September 1, features the work of Paul Yanko.  Paul makes fantastic and colorful abstract paintings through an impressive and time-consuming process of taping off shapes and building up layers and layers and layers of acrylic paint.  The opening on July 6 was a ton of fun – we had a great crowd and met some wonderful new people (in part, I think, due to a write-up in the July issue of Cleveland Magazine!), and then hosted our first artist talk that Sunday with Paul.

We also had blogger Ann Onusko of Design Culture Cleveland in the gallery the week before the show opened for a sneak peek – it was great to meet and talk to her, and here is the post that resulted!

Block Hub Spoke

Paul Yanko, Block Hub Spoke

I have also been busy making my own artwork – I am currently in a two-person show at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes called New Work by Beth Whalley & Kati Hanimagi, which also opened on July 6 and runs until September 28.  Kati and I are both part of the Guild of Nature Artists at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History and our subjects are all animals from the Museum – both live and taxidermied!  Kati is the proprietor of the witty and beautiful letterpress stationery line, Oddball Press (you can purchase her goods on Etsy or find them at fine boutiques and stationery stores around the country).  Her drawing style is delicate and carefully considered, and these precious images are highlighted by her generous use of negative space.

Teal Duck

Kati Hanimagi, Teal Duck

My work in the show is a bit of a departure from the pattern-heavy drawings I’ve been making for the past few years – it is time for a change and I’m really happy with this new-ish body of work.  Opossums and turkey vultures are the subjects of my new drawings.  Both animals are native to Ohio and have over time become well-adapted to city living, though they’ve gotten a bad rap with the general population as dirty scavengers.  Working at the natural history museum, I feel lucky to have the opportunity to hang out with these guys and get to know and love them, and want to make others as enthusiastic about these fascinating animals as I am!

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Beth Whalley, Chester

I’ll post more and better photos soon – I have to spend some time uploading my photos from the camera and organizing them.

Framed work

Framed and ready to go!

I’m also starting to work on some exciting new pieces for a show in November – stay tuned…

My new year’s resolution is to make at least one finished piece of artwork every month this year. At the close of January, I will have a couple, thanks to the instruction, hospitality, and printing press of my friend Jennifer Young! After getting some good prints using the fun process of paper litho, I’m going back into them a little and expect to have some done by the end of the evening, and the end of the month.

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This is a sketch for a piece I’m working on for a benefit at Art House in December – I can’t show the actual piece because part of the auction concept is to cover the artists’ signatures until the end of the evening! So this is just a little clue to “what’s in my house.”  Tickets are available on their website, here, for a rousing good time at Art House Revealed on December 2!

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Greetings friends! Eight months is a long time between posts, but Alex just started a blog and it kind of kicked me into gear (harvardink.com – read it!).  Between work and the gallery, my artwork output has been a bit light, but I did manage to finish two pieces over the summer.

“Who is This Hermano You Speak Of?” (left) got donated to The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s spectacular Women’s Committee benefit on October 1 and was sold at their silent auction.  I traded “The Bird Has Died and You’re the Emergency Contact” (right) for a beautiful Pica Bag from my talented friend, Madeline Hoyle, of Blicksbags Sustainable Transport.  Thankfully, sometimes opportunities come up that give you a reason and a deadline for making artwork – a couple of months ago I was asked to take part in the Morgan Conservatory’s Paper Bank project!  Along with 31 other artists, I received twelve sheets of handmade paper and a lovely handcrafted journal, the purpose of which is to write my feedback about each paper.  Funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, this feedback will be used to determine what kinds of paper they should offer for sale in the future.  I have had some great fun with this paper, which has given me a reason to try some new things including some collage and paper mache!  The Paper Bank Project Exhibition at the Morgan opens on Saturday, October 15 from 7-9pm – see some amazing artwork by artists using some amazing and beautiful paper.

Lots of fun things coming up in the next few months, too – we have a great show up at Proximity now, “Extra Lives,” and our November show will feature our friends Jen and James Young, who are creating collaborative pieces using printmaking and painting.  The Youngs will be our last show of 2011, and then we’re going to take some time before the 2012 season begins to make a few changes to the gallery space (don’t worry – all good!).

In other news, I’ve been soaking up some sweet sweet Cleveland architecture.  My last couple of months have included several exploratory dog walks with Harvard around the neighborhood scoping out interesting buildings – both inhabited and abandoned – that are attractive, run-down, patterned, uniquely-shaped, creepy, and intriguing.  There are lots of ideas clattering around in my mind about a new body of work linking this subject with some of the patterns and animals I’ve been working with already.  Tune in to find out more!

Onward and upward, see you next time…

I got the best birthday present today…work was closed for a snow day!  This has been an incredibly productive one–I got up (fairly) early, swept around the apartment, cleaned the bathroom, ran the dishwasher, ate lunch with Alex on his break, took the pup to a vet appointment, and got my city taxes done–whew!  There’s about a foot of snow outside on this lovely Cleveland day, and though the roads are looking better than they were this morning, I’m in for the evening.  I’ve got a cup of coffee next to me, a pooped dog curled up in the adjacent armchair, and I’m ready to write this blog post.

First, though, I have to post a few photos of our adorable and photogenic dog, Harvard.  Alex took some good ones this week and, like any ridiculous pet owner who thinks everyone wants to see pictures of their animals, I feel a great need to share them.

looks a little like the "Little Rascals" dog, right?

 

I have never met an animal who yawns as much as he does

Okay, with that out of the way, here are some images from an artist that I don’t know personally but whose work I adore, and discovered about a year ago through a now-defunct blog.  Diem Chau lives and works in Seattle and makes these beautiful and delicate textile/ceramic pieces below.  She also has a blog, The Pleasure of Tiny Things, that provides some enjoyable reading.

Long Braid - porcelain plate, silk, thread

Hair - porcelain bowl, silk, thread

Hand - porcelain cup, silk, thread

These next images are from The Fox Is Black, a great art and design site with five creative and connected contributors who always have something interesting to share.  A little over month ago, they started a project called Re-covered Books competition, where readers submit cover “updates” to classic books and one winner is chosen for each book.  The Great Gatsby was first and produced some really unique designs–I’ve posted two of my favorites here.

A winner was chosen for the first competition, and the new book being covered is William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.  The competition for this one ends today, and I’m looking forward to see which cover wins.  One of these days if I find myself with some free time, I may try my hand at this project!

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