Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Figure Works

Staying in practice as a young artist after graduating from college can be difficult. One of the best things I have done since leaving graduate school and moving to Hattiesburg is joining a community of fellow artists in a weekly figure drawing meeting. I missed having the same type of critiques on my work that I had when I was in school. These weekly get togethers with old friends have improved my work significantly. Here is a series of work from the last few months:


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Improving Your Blogging

As some of you may notice, I have been writing a lot more on The Wastepapers lately. To improve my writing and overall blogging skills I registered for an online class sponsored by Elsie Larson of the popular blog A Beautiful Mess, which is currently being featured in Martha Stewart's Blog Circle. By taking this e-course I hope to streamline the schizophrenic nature of my blog into something that will help emerging artists and business-minded creatives.

Before Wastepapers I had been blogging for years. In high school I had numerous Xangas and (I can hear the laughs) Live Journals. For an introvert, I had no problem with writing about my personal life for the stage of the internet. The love and interest in blogging never went very far away from my mind. My master's thesis was even totally based on the use of blogging within the context of an art museum, to emphasize the use the medium as an educative tool. In the past year I have discovered an additional use for blogging. 

In the past when people "hit the big time" they traveled to Los Angeles, Hollywood, or New York. I believe that the internet is the new LA, thanks to the platform of blogging. Daily I visit websites of artists who have completely built their successful businesses and networks through blogging. 

A few months ago I quit my job as an art teacher because I felt really unfulfilled. I took a job at Hobby Lobby and blog on the side. Honestly, I couldn't be more happy with my decision. Having the life of someone who has chosen to pursue a career field in art is a difficult one. By creating a successful blog about my own experiences and those who have "made it", I hope to inspire others to keep pushing to not give up on their own artistic aspirations.   

Good luck. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jen Davis: An Honest Portrait of Body Image

Pressure Point, 2002. Jen Davis and Lee Marks Fine Art
Photographer Jen Davis documented her feelings about her appearance in a very captivating way. In a photo series spanning ten years, Davis took multiple self-portraits of herself performing different everyday tasks. Some of the photographs depicted the artist both before and after having Lap Ban Surgery. One of the most gripping images to me is one of Davis sitting fully clad in a black tank top and shorts among her thinner, bikinied friends on a beach during a college Spring Break trip. As a woman, I've been through the body image battle myself. I can remember swimming with my wispy friends in middle school, hoping to God my boy shorts covered my thighs enough so people wouldn't notice that I was bigger than the other girls. Davis' photography shows how caged we can feel in our own bodies. It is a brave, honest series that shows human venerability and the path to becoming comfortable in your own skin.

Untitled, 2013. Jen Davis and Lee Marks Fine Art

Learn More:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

USM Spring Sculpture Show

Last night I went to The University of Southern Mississippi Senior Sculpture Show at Hattiesburg's new Art Factory. This is a phenomenal newly renovated space Downtown is affiliated with the Oddfellows Gallery.  Senior sculptors Ashley Mel and Hilary Fairburn developed their work as part of their senior project for a BFA degree in sculpture. While both artists used ceramics as a chosen medium, each body of work showed a unique touch guided by the artists' individual personality.  

Hilary Fairburn

Ashely Mel

I always enjoy going to the senior exhibitions. For anyone who didn't know this, a senior student showcases the work they have done over a full semester. It is the end product of what students have learned about craftsmanship, form, and artistic concepts in their undergraduate academic career and how they personally interpret what they learned in their own work.  It is an incredibly rewarding and stressful time for a young artist. Following this show, Mel and Fairburn will defend their work to a faculty panel and write a twenty page paper explaining their process.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Matisse's Studio

I was browsing Philadelphia painter, Aubrey Levinthal's , blog today and found this great link she posted from a website displaying a lot of the artist's work.  I love looking at photographs of where an artist worked. It almost feels like you are there and you can learn about their process through the visual. Of course, the only authentic way is to learn about anything is through practice. So, begins the dance.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hattiesburg Bar Listings on Tap Logo, "Your Map to a Great Night!"
This has been a progressive couple of years in Mississippi for America's liquid past-time. In June 2012, laws changed allowing higher gravity beers to be sold in Mississippi as an effort to stimulate the state's growing beer culture. Earlier this year Mississippi became the 49th state to legalize homebrewing. These recent developments mean good news for Hattiesburg's pub owners and the city's overall economic growth. Perhaps on of the most notable developments is the future opening of Gordon Creek Brewery and Southern Prohibition Brewing Co. in Downtown Hattiesburg.  

If you are looking for an excellent map to Hattiesburg's growing beer culture, the newly launched is your guide. Hattiesbeer is the brainchild of local artist and Oddfellows' gallery director Kyle Goddard. The idea behind Hattiesbeer to have instant access to all your favorite Hattiesburg bars and pubs in one place. The website will eventually have a listing of every beer, liquor, and wine served at your favorite haunt. Not only will Hattiesbeer have drink listings, but it will also feature where to find local entertainment and a great meal to complement your brew. You can also check out the events section to find out what local bands are playing at a bar near you.

Hattiesbeer is another step in establishing Hattiesburg as a vibrant Southern community with a lot to see and do. It is a well designed website that personifies beer culture by honing in on the fermented beverage's link to music, food, and socializing. As the iconic television show Cheers illustrates, the local pub isn't just a place to drink; it's a cultural watering hole where old friends can catch up and talk about the big and small things of life. Hattiesbeer is your map to a great night and your map to the soul of Hattiesburg itself.        

For more info on check out (and "like", please) the Facebook page!  

For more info on Hattiesburg and Mississippi Beer Culture:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring 2013 Art Walk Recap

The Hattiesburg Spring 2013 was a big success this weekend! It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and visit some of my favorite haunts. This year the the University of Southern Mississippi senior painting show was featured at the Oddfellows Gallery on Front Street. The show featured work by graduating seniors Kellie Grantham, Kellie Gutternman, Hayley Ivy, and Megan Sauls. If you missed it, don't worry. The show will be on display on the second floor of Oddfellows until May 4th.

This was a big weekend for some of my former art colleagues from USM. Meghan Cochran had a great  turnout at her art and jewelry sales venue next to Oddfellows. Meghan is also part of my Sunday night figure drawing session (another post on that later). She is a very talented painter and craftswoman. To find more of jewelry and paintings check out her Etsy shop here.

When I came back by her shop later in the day everything here was sold!

 The South City Records Music Fest sponsored by Benny's Boom Boom Room and Click Boutique provided an excellent back drop for Art Walk. In case you didn't know (I didn't before I got there) South City Records is an independent music label ran entirely by local college students!

This is the first Art Walk I had been to in a few years and it was an enlightening one. There is a lot bubbling under the surface of downtown Hattiesburg. It is pleasant to see that so many people are dedicated to promoting the arts and making our town into a buzzing southern culture center. As a resident of the city for the past three years I have seen it grow tremendously as of late. I am excited to watch what happens next for downtown. 

For more info on downtown visit the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Big weekend Hub City residents! Spring is afoot; the blog has gotten a facelift and downtown is buzzing. All the local artisans will be out today. There are going to be several art shows going on at different venues. Also, including the South City Records music fest. Here's a list of some of the main events and local arts/music based businesses:

Benny's Boom Boom Room
SCR Music Fest from 4-10 pm
 A free event featuring:
K. Juan at 4:30 pm
Roundhouse Groove at 5:30 pm
The Drew Young Band at 6:30 pm
Pell at 7:30 pm
Cardinal Sons 8:30 pm
Oh, Jeremiah 9:30 pm

Lucky Rabbit 
Open from 1pm-9pm

Oddfellow's Gallery
University of Southern Mississippi Senior Painting Show
Reception 2nd floor from 5pm-7pm
Usual hours Gallery open 11am-6pm

Joe and Spence Townsend
210 N Main Street (Next to Main Street Books)
Reception from 5pm-7pm

Click Boutique & Gallery
10 am- 7:00pm

Grill & Grocery
10:00 AM - 3:00 AM6:00 PM - 3:00 AM

Hope to see everybody there!

image courtesy,

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