Archive for the ‘AAGNE’ Category

Last night, Saturday, August 29th, was the reception for “Transcending Reality”, the annual exhibit of the Abstract Artists’ Group of New England. It was a lovely reception – lots of conversation with both old friends and new acquaintances, live music by Barbara London and Rick Kress, lots of art to check out, fresh flowers as well as food & wine.
This is our largest show ever, with over 150 individual works of art by 20 artists. We even ended up with a small works wall containing lots of very affordable pieces of art 8” x 8” and even smaller. The exhibit will run through Saturday, September 5th at Newburyport Art Association, 56 Water Street, Newburyport, MA.
I’m always extremely proud of this show. Although we are not a juried group and we don’t jury the individual work, I still think that our shows are amongst the most interesting and the strongest exhibits at Newburyport Art Association.
You’ll find lots of color, lots of creativity, a variety of mediums and sizes. We have wooden sculpture, textile pieces, large oils, small oils, acrylics, collages, encaustic, mixed media, watercolor, pastels, and even mosaics. There are large pieces and small pieces and lots in between. And don’t forget to look for my mixed media collages while you’re there.

Here are a few of my pieces from the exhibit –

If you go to the exhibit, please let me know what you think.

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Please join us tonight for the reception for “Transcending Reality”, the annual exhibit for the Abstract Artists Group of New England. The reception is from 7 to 9pm at Newburyport Art Associationar, 65 Water Street, Newburyport, MA.

In addition to a fabulous collection of abstract art in various styles, colors, mediums and sizes, there will also be live jazz performed by Barbara London and Rick Kress. Not to be missed.


Postcard for Transcending Reality

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It’s that time of year again. A couple of exhibits are ending and new ones are beginning.

Yesterday we drove to Plymouth to pick up my work from “Force of Nature – Exploring the Power of the Feminine” at Plymouth State University. It was sad to see this exhibit come down, as it was a wonderful exhibit with work from all across the country. I had hoped to get another day at the exhibit earlier this month, but the rest of my life was just too busy.

The exhibit at the Sheafe Warehouse which is part of the Prescott Art Festival will come down tomorrow. Just this weekend left to view it! If you live in the area and haven’t had a chance, it’s worth the effort to get in. Plus the location on the river is breathtaking.

Tomorrow we start another exhibit. The Abstract Artists of New England is having their annual exhibit at  Newburyport Art Association starting Tuesday, August 25 and running through Saturday, September 5th. Tomorrow evening we’ll all drop off our work and let our hanging committee do their magic. Since the gallery is closed on Mondays, Tuesday will be the first day the exhibit is open to the public.

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Here’s one of the pieces that will go in the show today.

Ethel Hills - "Vivaldi - Summer" - Mixed Media Collage on Panel - 8" x 8"

Ethel Hills – “Vivaldi – Summer” – Mixed Media Collage on Panel – 8″ x 8″

This is a combination of a couple of things, a hybrid if you like.

The underlying painting “Summer” was based on some of the initial sketches and notes I made for this project. And imposed on top is a little ink and watercolor drawing/painting/sketch.

The ink and watercolor sketches were another attempt to get at the nature of this music. I think I did about 15 of them. I did the sketches in ink and then painted them with watercolor.

At some point, it just seemed like combining the two made sense. In this case, my initial idea about the music become the background or border for another idea. I like this juxtaposition of ideas. It’s similar to what I’ve been doing for years, but it’s also different. It’s more combining two complete, yet different, ideas than just combining pieces to make a whole.

I’m not sure if this is the beginning of a new series, but it’s certainly the beginning of some more exploration.


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On Sunday, we (AAGNE, Abstract Artists Group of New England) will hang our annual exhibit at Newburyport Art Association. I just got back from the studio where I’ve been busily finishing the last few pieces for this exhibit. More on this over the next week or so.

I thought you might like a peek into this group of diverse artists. Barbara London took some snaps of artists and their artwork at our last meeting. We were all being a bit silly and it shows in some of the photos.


Ethel Hills& Joshua Marcus getting ready for the AAGNE show – D’illusions




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Ethel Hills - Vivaldi - Spring #1 - Mixed Media - 7 1/2" x 7 1/4"

Ethel Hills – Vivaldi – Spring #1 – Mixed Media – 7 1/2″ x 7 1/4″

It started out innocently enough, a simple idea to add some fun to our annual exhibit. I belong to the Abstract Artists Group of New England, a group of abstract and experimental artists based at Newburyport Art Association (NAA) and we’re adding Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” to our annual exhibit.

Now, 4 months after our initial discussion, I’ve decided that I had procrastinated long enough and it was time to finally start. Last night I listened to the “Four Seasons” one season at a time. I took notes about the music and made sketches of ideas I might use. And today I started doing small watercolors based on these rough notes. The image above is a sketch of an idea for the “Spring” painting. I’m going to reserve judgement until I get further into this process.

Have you ever tried to interpret music in a painting? For me, it’s not all that easy and I think my initial ideas will just be jumping off points. In some ways, it’s a fascinating exercise. You’re taking something abstract, reprocessing it and returning it to something abstract, but different. I’m not sure if these particular pieces will be successful, but I think it’s going to be both fun and helpful.

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We took down our exhibit last night. “Eye on Abstraction” was the annual exhibit for the Abstract Artists Group of New England. In some ways, I hate to see an exhibit come down, particularly a short one. Our annual exhibit at Newburyport Art Association is usually 2 weeks long and that never seems long enough to really have a proper exhibit and a proper celebration. That’s the other thing this exhibit is – a celebration of abstract art and a celebration of the artists who make it.

The group started over 10 years ago by a small group of abstract and experimental artists who were feeling lonely and unsupported in a crowd of representational artists. We still have 3 of the original group and are going strong. This years exhibit featured 22 different artists and slightly over 100 pieces of art.

A big thank you to all who came out to help us celebrate and those who decided to take a piece of art home with them. And a big thank you to this fabulous group of artists who regularly share their work, their inspiration and their advice.

If you missed the exhibit, check out our Facebook Page for some shots of the exhibit.


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Our glorious show of abstract art is up and it looks fabulous! Please join us for our reception on Saturday. Over 100 pieces of colorful, exuberant, solemn, irreverent, outrageous art in all sizes and colors by more than 20 local artists. And if the art isn’t enough to drag you out, then come to listen to Barbara London and Rick Kress.

Abstract Artists’ Group of New England’s
Annual Art Exhibition “Eye on Abstraction” June 26 – July 8
Newburyport Art Association, 65 Water Street, Newburyport, MA
Reception:  Saturday, June 29th, 7 – 9 pm
Music by Barbara London and Rick Kress

NAA Gallery Hours:  Monday – Saturday  11-5, Friday eve until 8pm, Sunday 1-5

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One of my volunteer jobs is hanging shows, not by myself, but as part of a committee. I do it for NHAA (New Hampshire Art Association) almost every month and occasionally on other group shows. Yesterday morning, we hung the exhibit for the Prescott Park Arts Festival, PPAF. This is a satellite exhibit sponsored by NHAA and PPAF, but hung in a historic warehouse right on the water in Portsmouth, NH. The lighting isn’t the best, but it’s a beautiful spot. For this one, we use moveable panels (hinged doors painted a neutral color). Initially it took a while to figure out the best configuration of panels. Once that was sorted, it actually went fairly quickly. And the show looks great!

While discussing when the next NHAA exhibit would be, we all came to the realization that it was next week. And I came to the awful realization that I was hanging 4 shows in 8 days! Last night my favorite band of abstract artists, the Abstract Artists Group of New England, AAAGNE, hung their annual exhibit at Newburyport Art Association. On Saturday morning, we’re hanging another AAGNE exhibit at a local bank. And next Tuesday, I’ll be back at NHAA again to help hang the next exhibit – “People’s Choice”.

OK, hanging shows can be fun and all that. And I really like all my artist friends, so spending time together isn’t a real hardship. But after saying all that, I don’t think I ever want to be involved in so many things at the same time.

So that’s two down and two to go.

And that’s just the ones that I’m actively working on. I’m also involved in a two other juried exhibits which just involve dropping off my work and my paperwork. YAY!

Look for a future post on tips for hanging a group exhibit.

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On Sunday, we removed the final paintings from our exhibit “Driven to Abstraction”, the annual exhibit of the Abstract Artists Group of New England. We had an excellent exhibit, but it’s always too short, only two weeks. We’re hoping to extend the exhibition by posting more information about individual artists on our blog.

As one exhibit ends, it’s time to look for the next opportunity whether it be an exhibit or a different venue to explore. In the last week or so, I’ve gotten several tips on upcoming exhibitions and venues that might be appropriate for me. This week I’ll be spending some time checking these out.

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