Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Art Stroll

Seaside Cups by Gwyneth Leech
Watercolor on upcycled coffee cups

Summer dog days are upon us. It seems like everyone is headed out of town, following art fairs to the Hamptons or just seeking sea breezes. But for those of us still in the city, there is plenty of art activity to enjoy. If you don't fancy Jeff Koons at the Whitney, or the vast air-conditioned vaults of the Met and MoMA, lots of shows are still open in Chelsea and the Lower East Side. In fact, this Thursday, July 24th is the 5th annual Chelsea Art Walk from, 5-8PM.

Dozens of galleries are taking part, too numerous to mention them all, but be sure to see Redefined Existence at J. Cacciola Gallery at 537 West 23rd Street. It features a good selection of new work by China Marks. Her sewn drawings are a perennial favorite of mine. I do have to declare special interest, having made videos of ten of her sewn books, but I never tire of losing myself in her intricate, processs-driven pieces. She is showing alongside Rick Newton and Sally Curcio and the show continues through Friday, July 25th.

"A Foreign Affair",  Sewn drawing by China Marks 
at J. Cacciola Gallery 537 West 23rd Street, Chelsea

At Michael Rosenfeld Gallery over on 11th Avenue and 19th Street, Edge of Always is an amazing solo exhibit of constructions by Nancy Grossman from the 1960s, made with recycled leather from a prodigious variety of sources. And her ink drawings are terrific. This show is up for just a few more days, through Friday July 25th.

For a full list of  galleries participating in Art Walk click here, but finish up with a stroll on the Highline, which is open into the evening and illuminated, or check out Under Line, a literally cool new coffee bar on 20th Street between 10th and 11th.

  Kate Gilmore photo at Holman Gallery
65 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side
 
On the Lower East Side, there are good shows running into August.
Nicholas Cohn has curated Gatekeepers at Holman Gallery, 65 Ludlow Street, featuring arresting large scale photos by Kate Gilmore, delicate cast cityscapes by Liene Bosquê and striking geometerical paintings by Sinta Tantra; visual pleasure unerpinned by social engagement. Open through August 2nd.
Color as Structure runs through August 2nd at McKenzie Fine Art, 55 Orchard Street - a very strong show featuring numerous wonderful artists bridging painting and sculpture.
And check out the interesting group show of gallery artists at Marc Straus at 299 Grand Street. Just don't trip over Jong Oh's nearly invisible but elegant spatial drawing. The show is up through August 22nd.

To wrap up, head to the Doughnut Plant at 399 Grand Street. They have a most unusual variety of flavors, freshly baked on site. Please make mine a Coconut Lime Yeast with an iced Americano to go. Who says we need to leave town in the summer to stay cool!

Glazed seat at the Doughnut Plant
399 Grand Street, Lower East Side

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring Cup Drawings and Upcoming Exhibtion News



Cup of the Day #119 - Spring on the High Line
Colored ink on upcycled paper coffee cup
By Gwyneth Leech

New York City has been in the grip of a prolonged and flowery Spring. The days have been cool and showery with long spells of settled clear weather. As a result, the succession of tree blossoming and garden flowering has unfolded slowly. No sudden leap from Winter to Summer this year. I have been revelling in this situation and have spent many days outdoors in Clinton Community Garden, Central Park, and on the High Line - blank coffee cups at the ready and a box of fresh pens at my side - trying to capture these all-too-fleeting moments of unfurling, freshness and brilliant color. 
Here is a portfolio of some of my favorite new cups and Spring photos.

These recent cup drawings will be incorporated into my next 365 Cup installation, as part of "Time Frames Marking Time", a group show curated by Elisa Decker and Barbara Lubliner at the Westbeth Gallery, 55 Bethune Street in Greenwich Village. The show opens this Saturday, May 24th 12-6 PM and runs through June 15th with a reception on June 4th from 6-9 pm. There are lots of special events scheduled, including two afternoons where I will be drawing on cups in the gallery, and I will be blogging my progress here. Scroll to the bottom of this post for all the details!

Looking forward to seeing you at Wesbeth - or catch up with me on the High Line one of these sunny mornings!

Daffodils From My Garden Plot
Colored ink on upcycled paper coffee cup
By Gwyneth Leech
 
Cherry Blossom Alley
Central Park at West 90th Street and the reservoir

 
My daughter, Grace, ornamenting a cherry tree in Central Park.

Cherry Blossom Cup
India Ink Brush pens on upcycled coffee cup
Bleecker Street Garden, Greenwich Village, NYC, April

 
Tulip flowering, April
Clinton Community Garden

 
April on the High Line

 
Fresh Green, April on the High Line
 
Railway Ties Garden Cup
India Ink brush pens on upcycled coffee cup
High Line Park, NYC, April

 
Early May on the High Line

  
Flowering Tree Cup
India Ink brush pens on upcycled coffee cup
High Line Park, NYC, May
 
Blossoms and Carpenter Bee
High Line Park

 
Dogwood, Early May
High Line Park

 
Scottish Blue Bell perfection in my garden plot,
Clinton Community Garden

See the latest iteration of my cup art installation, "365: A Year in Cups" as part of
"Time Frames Marking Time" at Westbeth Gallery, 55 Bethune Street, in Greenwich Village
from May 24th to June 15th. I will be drawing in the gallery with other artists on
Saturday, May 31, 1:00-4:00 pm and Sunday, June 15, 3:00-6:00 pm.

All the exhibition information here:

TIME FRAMES MARKING TIME
May 24–June 15

A multi-media exhibition curated by Elisa Decker and Barbara Lubliner featuring
19 artists who engage time as a palpable presence. Each artwork tells its own story, bringing attention to the temporal nature of life and inviting contemplation and dialogue about our relationship to time.

Artists Reception: Wednesday, June 4, 6:00-9:00 pm

Special events will be held in the gallery throughout the run of the exhibition. See schedule below.

Participating Artists

Mara Alper, Fran Beallor, Stefan Beltzig, Elisa Decker, Gwen Fabricant,
Liza Folman, Tony Foster, Ellen Grossman, Valerie Huhn, Suzanne Kelser,
Gwyneth Leech, Barbara Lubliner, John Mendelsohn, Elaine Norman,
Jeffrey Allen Price, Ronnie Seiden-Moss, Drew Shiflett, Linda Stillman,
Tamara Wyndham

Special events in the Westbeth Gallery during “Time Frames Marking Time” exhibition.

Wednesday, May 28, 6:30-8:00 pm
“Silence, Words, and Music,” an evening of song, sound and poetry
Tamara Wyndham, “Evaporations,” a street performance piece.
Pat Robinson, poetry
Hugh Seidman, poetry
Alice Jones, flute and Mary Hubbell, vocals
Miriam Chaikin, haiku and tanka poetry
Valery Oisteanu, poetry and Liubisha Ristic, guitar, “Waters of Time”

Saturday, May 31, 1:00-4:00 pm
“Marking Time,” with exhibiting artists
Several of the exhibiting artists will be on hand drawing in the gallery

Wednesday, June 4, 6:00-9:00 pm
Artists Reception

Wednesday, June 11, 6:30-8:30 pm
“Painting Everest,” a slide talk
Tony Foster, master watercolorist and wilderness adventurer, discusses the connection between being totally immersed in his subject and the making of his “watercolor diaries.”

Friday, June 13, 6:30 pm
“Time Frames Marking Time”
Site-specific dance performance by Sally Gross and Company

Saturday, June 14, 6:30 pm
“Time Frames Marking Time”
Site-specific dance performance by Sally Gross and Company

Sunday, June 15, 3:00-6:00 pm
“Marking Time,” with exhibiting artists
Several of the exhibiting artists will be on hand drawing in the gallery

WESTBETH GALLERY 55 Bethune St, New York, NY 10014
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 1:00-6:00 pm; Closed Mon-Tues.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Gallery and Coffee Hopping: a Day Out on Orchard Street

 
 
Cup of the Day #118
Reconfigured Cup by Gwyneth Leech
India ink, white ink and Encaustic
on used paper coffee cup

This winter just doesn't quit! Who can remember so many snow storms and icy days in Manhattan? Certainly not my children, aged 18 and 10, as they trudge off to school through yet another blizzard. 
I have been pretty much in hibernation since the New Year, not really venturing further from home than my art studio on West 39th Street, 8 blocks away. Actually, this studio-bound period has been a boon, resulting in a push forward into new ideas, tying some cup artworks back to paintings even as I open others up and reconfigure them into sculptural forms. Are they maquettes for monumental works to come, or will they exist as the kind of small scale artwork that draws the viewer close and fills a whole field of vision?
 
Paintings and Reconfigured Cups by Gwyneth Leech
Oil paint, colored and white ink and 
Encaustic on used paper coffee cups
and oil paint on wood panel

Painted and Reconfigured Cups by Gwyneth Leech
Mixed media and Encaustic on used paper coffee cups

Finally last week, a break in the weather inspired me to head by subway to what is, hands down, my favorite art destination in Manhattan: Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. Orchard Street has traditionally been known as a place to buy coats or men's hats, but it has been in transition for years now. You can still get the coat, or even work uniforms, but from Canal to Houston Street it has become a mecca for those in search of intriguing art exhibitions and awesome coffee. 

On this particular day, I hopped between coffee bars and galleries the length of the street and had some great conversations along the way. Lesley Heller, of Lesley Heller Workspace at #54, talked to me for some time about Deborah Brown's exciting and vibrant new painting show, "Outer Limits", These riveting reinterpretations of classic French portraits executed in an explosive abstracting tangle of deft lines are so recent that many came into the gallery with the paint still wet. Lesley also made some excellent coffee suggestions: Lost Weekend at #45 for bracing, locally roasted coffee, as well as Roasting Plant, #81. She proposed I check out Whynot, a new open at #175, which was to be my last stop of the day. 

At #55, McKenzie Fine Art, I was thrilled with Lori Ellison's current exhibition, which runs for just a few more days, through Sunday February 16th. I have been a fan for a number of years. As well as the mesmerizing pen and notebook paper drawings and small paintings lining the walls, owner Valerie McKenzie opened the flat files at the back to let me study several dozen additional works. I was delighted to add the blue circle drawing pictured below to my personal art collection, in one of my intermittent breathless moments of artist buying art.
 
At #83, Muriel Guepin Gallery, I was pleased to see several works by Iviva Olenick, whose quirky narrative embroideries are effectively displayed as light boxes. In this gallery, the main spaces are currently given over to the exquisite artwork of Esther Taugot in a show called "Nurtured Nature". The artist has adorned a wide range of small natural objects with seamless, crocheted encasements of yellow cotton thread or bamboo yarn. I was awed by an installation called "Huddle", of found honey bees, each one belted in golden yellow. This extraordinary and beautiful show is up through March 9th. These truly are the kind of small-scale artworks that draw you in and become monumental in effect, despite or because of their small size! 

 Hardy coffee drinker in the snow on
Orchard Street, Lower East Side.

 Mac, barrista at Lost Weekend New York, #45 Orchard Street.
A surfer-themed coffee bar, book store and art gallery.
Coffee roasted in Brooklyn.


Drawings with ballpoint pen on notebook paper
by Lori Ellison in her current inspirational show 
at McKenzie Fine Art, #55 Orchard Street.


 

Irving Farm,  #88 Orchard Street, 
offers a rustic coffee bar atmosphere. 
An urban outpost for this coffee roaster from Millerton, NY.


Tête (Cardinal), oil on canvas, 30" x 30", 2014 
in "Outer Limits", recent paintings by Deborah Brown.


Lesley Heller in front of 
"Tête (Mariana of Austria)" 2013
oil on canvas 48" X 48"
in "Outer Limits", recent paintings by Deborah Brown
Lesley Heller Workspace, #54 Orchard Street.

  "Seed Dome", Acorns and cotton thread, by Esther Traugot.

"Huddle", Found Honey bees and cotton thread, by Esther Traugot
 in "Nurtured Nature" at Muriel Guepin Gallery
#83 Orchard Street.



Narrative embroideries by Iviva Olenick,
also on view at Muriel Guepin.


Admittedly, three latttes in one day is a lot.
But who can pass up Blue Bottle coffee,
also roasted in Brooklyn, served at 
Whynot coffee bar, #175 Orchard Street.
And it is an art gallery too!



Lori Ellison, at McKenzie Fine Art, 55 Orchard Street, through February 16.
Deborah Brown, "Outer Limits", at Lesley Heller Workspace, 54 Orchard Street, through March 9.
Esther Traugot, "Nurtured Nature", at  Muriel Guepin, 83 Orchard Street, through March 9.


For more about Gwyneth Leech Cup Art:
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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Greetings from the Full Brew


 Cup of the Day #117 - Winter City
Watercolor and White Ink 
on Upcycled Coffee Cup


With All Good Wishes
for a Happy and Prosperous 2014! 
Warm Regards,
Gwyneth Leech


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Cups Take Off At Anthropologie Harvard Square


Cups of the Day #115
Mixed Media on Upcycled Paper Coffee Cups
by Gwyneth Leech

From November 21st - 23rd, I had great fun in residence in the window of Anthroplogie's store at 48 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. This event launched my porcelain cup line in the USA, with an installation of 365 of the original hand-drawn and painted cups and three days of live art-making. Here are my favorite photos of the drawing sessions - two during the day and one in the evening. I was pleased to meet up with old friends there and to make new ones of all ages. The denizens of Cambridge ask great questions! 


365 - A year in Cups - an installation of hand drawn and painted cups, plus the artist, Gwyneth Leech, who was at work in the window of Anthropologie Harvard Square from November 21st-23rd.

I am thrilled that the porcelain cups are now available for purchase from Anthropologie stores around the USA! 
I recommend you phone your local store before you go to make sure they are in stock.  
You can also purchase easily online at this link (click on the colors to see all eight designs).


The porcelain cups on display in the store. Loved how they look with the white espresso-maker.

Next adventure: Miami for art fair week. I will be drawing on cups at various locations around the fairs. I promise to post a full report here when I get back. In the meantime, I will be revealing my coordinates daily on Twitter #gwynethleech), Instagram (#gwynethleech) and Facebook pages. 
Follow me there, or catch up with me if you are in Miami this week!


Anthropologie Harvard Square. The stage is set.

November 21st. Live Art Exhibition, Day One.


Taking a seat in the window on Day 1. I selected the aqua velvet arm chair from the store. 
Very comfortable!

Soon I had friends to draw with.

Appreciative passersby.

The cups at dusk. What amazing colors, between the wall and the sky!

November 22nd. Day 2 is an evening session. 

Outside/Inside.

Explaining the Process

Looking for the Best Shot.

 November 23rd, the final Day. Quick! Sketch this one before he walks on!

I had some fun with drawing a cup of cups. Meta!

 Watching the artist draw

 Friends came to visit.

 And to shop for cups!

To order the porcelain cups from Anthropologie online click here.
For the Anthropologie store locator click here.

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