Writeup! General Meeting – May 2022

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Date: May 15, 2022
Author: Raini Armstrong

Chaparral Artists had a great general meeting in May!

Our meeting officially started at 1:05pm and concluded at 2:30pm on May 9, 2022. Participation was up to 17 members and our guest demonstrator was Jennifer Grandi. Intake for the upcoming Judged Photography show was announced. The featured artist venues have Nancy Kimes displaying art at the Desert Hills Presbyterian Church and Raini Armstrong displaying art at the Center for Healthy Generations. Belated mother's day cheer was shared.

Dan Hivner, a new member to Chaparral Artists, was introduced briefly by Nancy Kimes. Dan is an artist experimenting experimenting with mediums, most recently the acrylic medium. We look forward to learning more about Dan and seeing his creations!

Nancy Kimes shared a brief story about how positivity is key to creation and success, by offering an anecdotal account of her drive to the meeting. She had two hours to travel the typically 2.5 hour drive. Nancy respects the power of mantras, in the positive aspects of them, and she simply began the drive and repeated a mantra that helps her in staying focused and open to good things. Her average 2.5 hour drive went smoothly, even when faced with literal obstacles in the road in the form of massive truck-tire tread scattered across the freeway, and veering vehicles avoiding them. Nancy made the drive in time for the meeting and happily shared her feelings on how positive thought can make a difference in so many tasks! She added that sharing your art with the public can feel scary, so many obstacles existing that halt us from sharing, and sometimes even creating. Remember that your artistic voice is important, and sharing it with the public both invigorates and expands your power to create.

Joan Scott shared that 24 of her art creations are on display at the California Welcome Center in Yucca Valley and will be available for purchase through June.

Officers and attendees discussed a possible date for a summer photographic outing and came up with two possibilities - Tuesday, September 13 or Wednesday, September 14. The plan is to visit Keys Ranch for a Night Shoot. The criteria was based on an early rise of the galactic center (Milky Way) and a later rise of the moon. It was helpful to have the outing planned directly after the September general meeting so that reminders of the outing would be offered in person and digitally. The Vice President will make arrangements with the Desert Institute to determine which date works best.

Eddie Tucker reminded participants of the upcoming Morongo Basin Open Studio Art Tours occuring on the last three weekends in October. The signup deadline is fast approaching - May 31, 2022. Artists interested in participating MUST provide all representative photos, biography/artists statement and entrance fees during registration. There is no saving the application.

A Marketing resource available to regional artists includes the Palm Springs Art Directory, an art museum mailing list that goes out to the valley and beyond. Raini promised to register with the art directory and provide a writeup to be included on the next newsletter or at the very least, the Chaparral website.

Victoria Sebanz is looking for venues that will display outdoor art. She is in the process of working on a larger art installation with doors, interactive it its ability to stand upright, provide a feeling of opportunities offered and decisions to be made... Suggestions included the Joshua Tree Art Gallery for smaller outdoor installations and the Joshua Tree Dry Lake Bed - a location that might be able to accommodate larger art installations.

Kathy Miller received the door prize of a Chaparral tote bag.

Discussion with Jennifer Grandi

Jennifer Grandi was our guest artist sharing a special introduction to a mixed media art form that she has truly enjoyed. By using acrylic paint and discarded palm wood.

Jennifer shared that she was always drawn to the large palm wood, their shapes and textures intriguing, and so she collected them when she could. After storing the collected material she began experimenting with it, learning that the slick surface didn't work well with all mediums. Eventually she experimented with acrylic, and after some trial and error, found a happy result.

Preparation is key to using such a natural 'canvas'. Jennifer applies a base medium to aid in acrylic adherence. She also experimented with usable backings to properly hang the resulting art pieces. Jennifer shared that over time the edges to palm wood frays, giving the piece a set lifetime, unless a substance is painted on the back.

Jennifer also shared her artistic decisions with choosing the right 'canvas' for the subject she wishes to paint. Often the palm wood texture and shape reminds her of something from her travels or from the creatures she enjoys in the desert. She has combined multiple palm wood together for larger creations and used single pieces for smaller works.

The artistic style she has developed supplements but does not replace her medium of choice - pastel - but it has provided wonderful opportunities for creation.