Dropping a nuclear gratitude bomb on all that came out and made Friday’s opening reception for “Meditations” a resounding success.
Kerry Town Concert House Gallery Presents “MEDITATIONS” Solo Exhibition
New drawings by : Astrid Muller-Karger
OPENING RECEPTION : JANUARY 8, 7-9pm
OPEN DAILY 9:30am-5pm, JANUARY 6th – FEBRUARY 1st
For info call 734-769-2999
Kerrytown Concert House
415 North Fourth Avenue
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
My new 15 ft mural for Lampshade Gallery: 206 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
22 North Gallery
November 6 – December 12, 2015
Five artworks by Astrid Monique Muller-Karger
Pictured from left to right: “Meditation XXII / Forget Everything, Remember Everyone”, “Meditation XXI/ A Compulsion : This Is The Place To Go Now”, “Meditation IX / A Question Of Ownership And Free Will”, “Meditation XVIII / Fertile Ground For A Single Organism”
“Meditation IX / A Question Of Ownership And Free Will”, “Meditation XVIII / Fertile Ground For A Single Organism”
“Meditation XIX / The Old Life That We Lived So Fondly Together Is Untouched”
22 North Gallery:
22 North Huron St.
Sketchbooks aren’t something that artists always share but I share mine in this sketchblog because it may spark new folks to start a sketchbook of their own. If I wasn’t driven to share the fulfillment of drawing for oneself with others I would keep it fiercely private. Its real purpose is only for me. Folks wonder why the drawings in my books span so many styles, subjects, and mediums in such quick succession and that’s because it’s a free space, an unfiltered, unjudged place to PLAY. It’s a place where I don’t even judge myself since there’s nothing to second guess about it. There’s nothing about a sketchbook that is meant to be a finished product or a completed thought. The emotions put out there don’t need to be tamed or convenient. The pages don’t get interpreted, exhibited, or sold. They don’t serve the same roles as doing a full body of work where you have a singular voice devoted to pursuing something with laser focus from all perspectives.
In the sketchbook you are completely in the moment. It binds you to the moment. I unapologetically pull it out of my pack to draw regardless of the place, people or setting. The ever patient people in my life learn that my ears and words are fully committed to them even if my eyes and hands are trained on the page. Recently I found myself drawing in the pitch dark during the middle of an Opera. I think it’s easy to feel sheepish or rude, but for me I couldn’t honor an experience more than feeling the need to connect to it even more deeply by making something, anything in that space.
I won’t shy away of trying anything in this precious book. Sometimes I deliberately set out to make something ugly just so I feel even less pressure to perform. I’ll try anything here. On a personal level these sketchbooks are the most important thing I’ll ever make. I pay attention to things over periods of years that appear and reappear on these pages. Those are the things I need to pay more attention to. Sometimes it’s a subject or a drastic shift in the way I’m putting pen to paper. It can tell me a lot about what matters to me, how I’m physically and conceptually responding to things going on and it is in the sketchbook when I notice that my more focused body of work needs to shift in order to stay relevant. I think this is true for anyone who journals and draws. Even if you aren’t a professional artist it is a magnificent tool for both being in the now of life and reflecting on it all.
I’ve been going to the Museum of Flight kind of a lot lately. The first time I went a few weeks ago I immediately bought a membership because I knew that I had found one of my precious places. When you find a spot that you instantly have a sense of place in or are doing something you connect to for the first time it feels like falling in love. My stomach flipped and my face could barely contain my doofy smile. It’s stunning there and it connects to something deep in me that must have imprinted as a child. My father was a pilot and I can remember a time when I sat on his lap as he was flying the plane. As teenager I would hang out in the cockpit when I was on a trip and one of my Dad’s buddies was the pilot. My childhood hero was Amelia Earhart to the extent that every single essay, project and presentation on someone I admired or the like was always about her. I drew giant maps and tracked her every move, made shoebox dioramas, and read every single book. Silly but my cat to this day is even named after her. So coming to this place after living in Seattle for eight years felt very strongly like finding another home. A home that I can escape to, full of mind blowing creations made by the hands of man, to draw on all these rainy Spring days.
This week I took to the road to catch the Samurai Armor exhibit in its last week at the Portland Art Museum or PAM… which makes me giggle and think of it as the Seattle Art Museum (SAM’s) gorgeous amazon of a sister. It puts poor SAM to shame on so many levels.
It was a seven hour drawing marathon replete with a traditional Portland food truck tummy refuel. Although no excuse is ever necessary to
(a) road-trip with good company
(b) draw from life all day long
(c) loiter in museums on rainy days
I had the added incentive to geek out on Samurai history because they were obsene archers. This is when I confess to doing archery… more like I confess to devoting every Sunday to it as though I were going church. Hallelujah! The pay off was nerdgasm level huge. From long bows that towered over my size to a mind numbingly tiny bow and arrow set that could fit in the glove box of your car for, you know, the samurai in a pinch.
The first sketchbook drawing above has a symbol that I found on all kinds of things in the exhibit and turned out to be the symbol for Marishiten the Japanese goddess of archers. The second drawing is a forged creature that was attached as a Kabuto Maedate to a Samurai helmet. I managed to squeeze another measly two in before the PAM closed its doors at five. boo.
It made me remember how much more time and focus drawing from life takes. I probably spent three times what I would have spent if I had been drawing from my head or from references. Sometimes I forget that since I don’t spend entire days drawing from life often enough. Nothing is simplified, or pre-flattened, or imagined in black and white, there are so many distractions and it is GLORIOUS. Consuming everything around you along with what is right in front of you flavors your drawing like herbs to a broth. A delicious broth with noodles in it like pho… and I am so &#%*ing hungry right now. Bye bye. Till next time, my friends.
I shelved the last sketchbook of 2013 before the New Year hit and here are the drawings that capped off that trooper of a book that I battered and beat over the winter. Its raggedy self can rest all taped up and patched together up on that comfy shelf in the sky.