After a long summer off, we are back!
Out first meeting is September 19 at State Bank of the Lakes, Grayslake, 7pm.
Samantha McDonald will demo Leathercrafting
In early June Samantha McDonald, who goes by the name “SamTheJam,” could be found with husband Clint painting an Evanston sidewalk mural. This was part of a “Patriotism and Diversity” public art project for the city’s upcoming 4th of July celebration. Sam’s says her painting is of a Black girl adopted by a gay male couple. “This is the world as we want it to be,” she says. “We want to continue growing as a country.”
By education, Sam is a graphic designer, but prefers the simpler label of “artist.” She started with graphic projects but turned toward acrylic painting, then oil painting, modular origami, modeling, and more recently the detailed leatherwork worn by fictional medieval warriors. We have seen her oil painting before, most recently in our spring membership show. Her recent leatherwork project comes from having seen the fearsome armor and masks of warriors at a Renaissance fair. She soon acquired the tools and materials, is now learning the craft, and to this she adds the expressive flair of an artist. That craft-art hybrid is what she will be sharing with us. The adopted girl in the mural story grows up to join the Air Force in Sam’s imagination, as
both Sam and Clint come from military families. Sam did three sidewalk paintings in
Elgin last year, which are still there, but this one is set to be removed by a city crew in October.
See it yet this month at the corner of Sherman and Church in downtown Evanston. For those who navigate with GPS, the mural is located near a coffee shop at 716 Church St., Evanston IL.
See Sam’s website at samthejamartist.com, follow her on Facebook, and see Jeff Harold’s recent interview of her at https://youtu.be/ke_ixvuC7KE .
The President Jeff Harold wants each of us to understand how accomplished artists in mediums different from our own reach their viewers. Can a watercolorist learn from the rich textures used so powerfully in oil and acrylics? Can a photographer find some way of making the lost and found edges loved by painters?
As artists, we all have our favorite medium, whether it’s watercolor, oil, acrylic, digital or some other of the
many mediums available. But we often find that we get stuck in a rut doing the same thing over and over
again. Learning new techniques in our own medium is always good, but learning about the techniques used in other mediums can help advance our own art to a new level.
Last year we had a demonstration by Karen Sato in abstract composite art (you can find her interview and
demo on the Lake County Art League YouTube channel). Her work was amazing and it made me want to try her style of abstract work in my own digital medium. My first attempt resulted in the image “Iris”. It was an abstract constructed the way Karen showed us. Although I was pleased with this effort, I needed to apply the concepts in a way that worked with my medium and artistic view. This resulted in two different images that were both successful in my view.
“42” was an abstract in the Karen Sako style but not truly abstract in the strictest sense. It was based on the
Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series of books. This image sold when I had it on display at the Starline 4th Friday event. The second image also applied some of the concepts Karen demonstrated, but with more of my own vision and style. This resulted in the image “Blue Moon.” This image took 1st place in our fall member show.
My whole point of this is that our own art can benefit by exploring the style and techniques of artists using
different mediums than our own. With this in mind, this coming year we’ll be looking for some of the
traditional artists that demonstrate unique styles and/or techniques (watercolor, oil, etc.) that we enjoy
seeing, but we’ll also be looking for some demonstrators that work in mediums that we don’t normally see.
If you have an artist that you would like to give a demonstration to the league, or if you would like to give a
demonstration yourself, please contact Fran Issac, Debbie Kalinowski or myself. We are all looking for
demonstrators that can provide the members with insight into their own medium, but also concepts that can be “stolen” from other mediums to enhance our own work.