When The Community Calls, Answer

I think of calls for entry as assignments from the local art community to add my two-cents-worth to whatever subject is at hand. “Lucky Cat With Pinups,” “River of Forgetfulness” and “Joanna and the Whale” were all direct responses to curatorial requests. Left to my own devices they would never have been painted but how glad I am to have them! The latest works in process are arriving via a similar route.

“Goose Goddess” was completed in anticipation of being a featured artist at Gallery 3060 in February of 2020. I’m consciously concentrating on smaller, sweeter things which might appeal to a general viewership and are more likely to sell. As is often my habit, I started out with a coloring page of Greek Goddesses and went from there.

Aphrodite on Swan Source Drawing

Another smallish piece, “Nude With Horn” was entered into an upcoming Erotic Art show slated for the Vanderelli Room this summer.

“Nude With Horn” by Lynda McClanahan

I figure there will be plenty of semi-pornographic images but not many with the impishly sweet naughtiness which I favor. I hope this one makes it in.

The most labor intensive of all the things I’ve been working on was initiated by a call for nudes put out by Val Pennington of the Pennington Arts Studio. When I first read the specs, I thought the call was just for unusual treatments of nudes. A later, more careful reading revealed that life studies and other traditional figurative pieces were being requested, not the wacky neo-primitives I produce. It’s too late now because I’m nearly done with the latest piece of mischief, “Do What I Say.”

“Do What I Say” by Lynda McClanahan In Process

The call for nudes may have been the initial catalyst behind “Do What I Say,” but what popped to the surface quickly morphed into an anguished response to the “Heartbeat” bill supported by Mike Dewine, current governor of the State of Ohio. Anti abortion forces in our state are strong, loud and passionate. Strangely, none of them seem to find making a woman’s body property of the state to be troublesome or even of note. Why sovereignty of the body, the most basic requirement for status as a full human being, is so hard for women to acquire and maintain is anybody’s guess.

Detail “Do What I Say” In Process by Lynda McClanahan

I’m a bit embarrassed at the sloppy reading of Val’s call but I’ll submit anyway. Why not? When an artist dips her hand into the well she never knows what will come up, and neither should anyone else.

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Open Door Studio Opening: “This Inspired That”

“Lucky Cat With Pinups” finally made its public debut at the Open Door Studio’s show, “This Inspired That.”

The idea behind the exhibit was to choose a work completed by a resident artist and respond with a work of our own. I chose Jenny DeBrier’s “Farrah” as my starting point and ended with “Lucky Cat With Pinups.” The project drew something forth from me which would have never manifested otherwise and for that I’m grateful. The opening was last night.

“Farrah” by Jenny DeBrier and “Lucky Cat With Pinups” by Lynda McClanahan

I believed my entry was well conceived and properly worked out, but I worried a bit about how it would look hung next to “Farrah.” Frankly, I was concerned my piece would appear weak next to Ms. DeBrier’s work, which is bolder and graphically stronger than mine. The sizes of the two pieces are comparable and the colors work together nicely, however, so they hang together just fine. My only regret is that Jenny was not at the opening. I enjoy her art so much and would have loved to meet her.

The gallery at Open Door is spacious and well-lit and the opening was well attended. “Farrah” and “Lucky Cat” generated some interest, which is always nice.

“This Inspired That” Opening Attendees

Friend Maddy Weisz at Open Door Studio Opening
Open Door Studio Opening

There’s a sense of satisfaction at having completed a task in such a thorough fashion. The nervous system is a bit worn out by it all though. Usually when this happens I do some small things to recover my strength. Onward and upward with the arts!

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Operation Monarch Show: Columbus Cultural Arts Center

The flurry of openings and shows continues. I have two openings this weekend. The first, “Operation Monarch,” opens tonight at the Cultural Arts Center. The exhibit centers around the issues of substance abuse, recovery and the role of art. The state of Ohio is in the middle of an opioid epidemic, so the show has generated a lot of interest.

“River of Forgetfulness” by Lynda McClanahan

The curators invited several artists to be “ringers” and issued an open call to the rest of us. I submitted two small things, “River of Forgetfulness” and “Joanna and the Whale.” I usually stick to small things when entering special interest shows. If the works aren’t accepted or turn out to be hard to move, I don’t have too much time and money invested in them. Luckily for me, both of my submissions got in.

“Joanna and the Whale” by Lynda McClanahan

I did a nice, long walk-through of the show earlier in the week. Experience has taught that it’s next to impossible to really see art at an opening. Receptions are for schmoozing, not tarrying! Due to the subject matter there won’t be any booze at this one. Oh well.

The show is emotionally rich, with lots of personal stories and text. It’s also exceedingly well-hung. It’s not easy to organize a large, wide-ranging show in salon style. I’m always appreciative when an exhibit includes attention to sight-lines and displays a good visual rhythm. You never know how your work will be positioned in a group show so it’s always dicey. I once had a painting literally hung in the dark and out of sight from the rest of the show but this time I got lucky.

“River of Forgetfulness” and “Joanna and the Whale” by Lynda McClanahan With Assorted Robots

I think this grouping is very fortunate, indeed. The blue of the lady’s legs matches the far right almost exactly, and the orange accents act as a color bridge between my work and the other artist’s. Red and blue always play well off one another and the blocking of the pieces is elegantly balanced and quilt-like. At least one of the people who hung the show is a fabric artist so perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising. It is so nice to show work. I’m supremely satisfied at present, a condition which might take some getting used to!

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