The End AND The Beginning!

Jackson Pollock Day!

Jackson Pollock Day!

First of all, I woke up this morning thinking, “Well, better get to painting!” then I remembered that I was done, finished, complete and I had zero paintings left to do with this particular challenge.  I felt a rush of relief, then sadness and then confusion.  This project had infused itself into my life and I’m pretty sure there are elements of it that I will never rid myself of.

I learned so much this past year.  Yes, I learned technical aspects of art, TONS of art history, was introduced to new materials, styles and movements.  I’ve painted paintings I would’ve never thought of or wanted to paint (I said YES!).  I’ve painted some of my best work and some of my not so great work.  I accepted failure graciously and also moved on instead of lingering on that failure.

One of the biggest things I realized was how much I enjoy just the process of “doing”.  This challenge forced me to just “do” and not worry about the result.  And boy wouldn’t it be great to live the rest of my life like that?  Live for just now and not worry about the past or present.  Well, this project was an exercise in that for sure.  I had gotten the question, “How are you doing this?” from so many people and the only answer I could give was, “I just do it.”

This project started out as a personal challenge.  I never imagined how many people it would inspire and

Early on the the project...seems like yesterday!

Early on the the project…seems like yesterday!

affect.  I am so glad it did and I am so happy I decided to share it, declare it to all my friends.  I think that in doing so it gave me the motivation and a slight amount of pressure to make sure I did it every single day.

I also made new friends through this challenge.  People who followed and commented on my blog, relatives of some of the artists that I paid tribute to (writing me to tell me that they appreciated my tribute to their grandfather, uncles, grandmothers etc.) and even some artists themselves like Gerard Sendrey, Pierre Silvin, Sophie Orlicki, Anne Billon (Ruzena), John “CRASH” Matos and Matt Sesow.  Gerard Sendrey writes me regularly and we have become friends.  He and his son Pierre Silvin have both sent me their own personal artwork in thanks to my tribute.  Gerard has also written an article about my project/art in a French publication that will be published in a few days!  I was also interviewed by Scott Lefebvre who is a writer and maintains his own blog where he interviews interesting people.

So like I said, so much has come from this idea that I had for this insane project.

That one time (and the last time) I painted with my mouth...

That one time (and the last time) I painted with my mouth…

I am going to continue to paint (of course!) and I have many ideas for series of paintings.  I’ll be putting all this experience into larger pieces and I’m going to continue to promote my own art and live my life in the mind frame that I’ve adopted while engaging in this challenge.  My experience has grown and so have I as a person.

I hope I don’t sound too bold when I say that I am damned proud of myself but I also cannot believe that I actually did it.  I hope that this project has inspired you and that people keep on discovering it and it continues to inspire people to challenge themselves, enjoy the process of creating and just “do”.

Keep creating, start creating in whatever shape, form, sound or action you feel.  Don’t worry about people liking it, it being a masterpiece or making money.  Do it because it makes you happy and you are learning something from it.

I want to end this blog with some kind words I received (or people posted about my project).

My friend Rohan had this to say…(He expressed my project in a way that I couldn’t have…and of course it made me cry)

I’m not one to promote other people’s stuff too often on Facebook, but today I would like to profess my sincere admiration for Linda Cleary. When I first met her, now 8 or so years ago I was

Buried in art

Buried in art

immediately impressed by her unashamed, unpretentious, and very hard-working creativity. She has always been writing books, painting pictures, making music and acting the whole time I have known her, and unlike so many other folks I know, almost every project is followed through and finished. Those who know me personally will be aware how prolific (and unedited) I am, but Linda puts me to shame. Last year, on Jan 1st, she embarked on a massive, and deeply un-egotistical project – to paint a painting per day, for a year, each one a sincere homage, either stylistically, emotionally, or conceptually, to an artist she admires, some famous, some personal friends, some just worthy of her admiration; a different artist each day for a year. Believe me, having watched the project progress, this is not an exercise in “look what I can do” so much as a genuine pilgrimage through the styles and visions she admires and have influenced her along the way. As the project progressed her blog began

Last day!

Last day!

to attract interest, and in some cases, artists she had paid homage to to got personally in touch to express appreciation (and send her pressies). All of this with no intention of making money or becoming famous. Just because that is one of many things that art is about. Yesterday she posted her final, 365th painting of the series. So today I applaud Linda Cleary, and recommend you go and take a look at her Day of the Artist.

My friend Clay posted this:

Today is the last day of my very good friend Linda Cleary’s incredible project. She has created a painting every day, each honoring a different artist, for the past year. When she first told me of her plans to do it, I didn’t believe there was any way a person could be so committed to pull that off. Today however, will be her 365th installment in the series. I highly encourage you to check out some of the work on her facebook page and at dayoftheartist.com, where she also includes a short bio of each artist for each day. I’m so incredibly proud of her and she inspires me so much every day. I’m also crazy excited to say that I will be partnering with her for next year’s project. More info on that soon, but wish us luck. In the meantime, check out her stuff and tell her how awesome / insane she is pulling this whole thing off.

I am honored and humbled for those posts!  SO many of you have written me, commented and told me in

Whew!  This is just a portion of the paintings...there's about 50 hanging and a whole other stack of the 3-D paintings that can't stack.

Whew! This is just a portion of the paintings…there’s about 50 hanging and a whole other stack of the 3-D paintings that can’t stack.

person how inspiring this project was to you and every word means so much.  Thank you to you all for your support, encouragement and inspiration.  I love you all!

P.S.  I could keep writing and writing about every single thing I learned from this project, but I’m saving that for my doctoral thesis.  Does that even make sense?  Sorry, I don’t have a Ph. D. 😉

Best,

Linda

Day 322- Ruzena (Anne Billon)- Teeming Overcrowded Worlds

It’s Day 322 and I’m starting to feel more normal (health-wise)…knock on wood!  I worked on today’s piece last night and today because of the amount of pen & ink detailing I had to do.  I forgot how much I miss working with pen & ink (which is one of my favorite mediums)!

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

I also had the pleasure of corresponding personally with today’s artist who lives in France.  She is a little elusive and I’ve read that she doesn’t like to talk too much about her art.  It was hard to find her biography and current pieces online so she emailed photos and a bio to me.

Her artwork has rapidly become one of my new favorites and I am so exhilarated and honored to do a tribute to Anne Billon A.K.A. Ruzena today!  I hope my tribute does her justice…It was hard to figure out what exact materials she uses and when I zoomed into her pieces…they just intimidated me with all their detail!  Such haunting and beautiful artwork!  I translated her biography and CV from French so please excuse any awkwardness. 🙂  I included tons of her artwork because I love it so much.

Anne Billon (Ruzena)

Born in 1971, Anne studied Social and Economic Administration and History of Art, which led her to work in the field of culture for fifteen years. She is now works

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

at an administrative job.

She has always drawn and is self-taught.

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Anne’s maternal Czech grandfather wanted to call her Ruzena. It seemed more appropriate to her parents to choose a name for her to live a less detonating journey for a young French girl. But the reasonable choice was not enough to obscure innate predispositions for refractory behavior.

With exacting detail drawing, Ruzena expresses a world with teeming, overcrowded arabesques organized around angular shapes and mysteriously balanced chaotic compositions that express the ambiguity of being torn between legal requirements and thirst for total freedom.

But humor watches over this tragic universe to bring it a generous subtle tone; a secret humor, tender and painful, like a fragile bow playing on the sharp teeth of the suffering she wants to tame.

With a constant ironic wink, another way to ask the eternal questions that agitate humanity since its origins,

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena built a profoundly original work that takes its strength in doubt, holder of any authentic creation.

Text is from:

Gerard Sendrey Catalog Extract and dissenting Visions Publishing 2001

Expositions:

  • 2009   . “The world of design and creativity,” group exhibition, Rives (France).
    • “Private Collection” collective, Alter-Art exhibition in Grenoble (France)
    • . Gallery Ex nihilo in Grenoble, France (exhibition organized by the Association Œil’Art)
  • 2010   . “Phantasmagoria”, group exhibition, Gallery Myiawaki, Kyoto (Japan).
    • “Young contemporary painting” sale at Drouot, Paris (France)
  • 2011   . Outsider Art Fair in New York, represented by the Henry Boxer Gallery.
    • “Young contemporary painting” sale at Drouot, Paris (France)
  • 2012   . Collective exhibition in honor of Postman Cheval Gallery Yutaka Miyawaki, Kyoto, Japan
    • . 4th Biennial art shared Rives (France)
    • Ruzena (Anne Billon)

      Ruzena (Anne Billon)

      . “Because what I write can be read in the dark,” solo exhibition, Dettinger Mayer Gallery in Lyon (France)

    • . Outsider Art Fair in New York, represented by the Henry Boxer Gallery
  • 2013. Outsider Art Fair in New York, represented by the Henry Boxer Gallery.
    • Shared collective exhibition in Saint-Trojan les Bains (France) art
  • 2008   . “Black Drawings”, group exhibition, Galerie Beatrice Soulie, Paris.
    • “Shared Art” group exhibition, Rives (France)
    • . Solo exhibition, Galerie Dettinger Mayer, Lyon (France)
    • . Group exhibition, Gallery Dettinger Mayer, Lyon (France)
  • 2007   . “Contemporary Cabinet of Curiosities” group show, Beatrice Soulie Gallery in the exhibition “The Art Elysées” in Paris (France)
    • . “I Margini dello Sguardo – Arte nella Collezione Irregolare Menozzi” group exhibition in Reggio Emilia (Italy)
  • 2006   . “Confinement,” group exhibition, Aubagne Art Festival Singular (France)
    • . “Shared Art” group exhibition, Rives (France)
    • . Personal exhibition, Museum of Creation Franche, Begles (France)
  • 2005   . Solo exhibition, Galerie Dettinger Mayer, Lyon (France)
    • . “Art Brut and Affiliated Works,” group exhibition, Institute for the Humanities, University of @19.04.13-30x20Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA)
  • 2004   . “Interlacing”, group exhibition, Staffelfelden (France)
  • 2003   . Group exhibition, Gallery A Sardine stuck to the wall, Geneva (Switzerland)
  • 2001   . “Visions and Creations dissident” group exhibition, Museum of Creation Franche, Begles (France)
    • . “Interlacing”, group exhibition, Staffelfelden (France)

 

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Permanent:

. Henry Boxer Gallery in Richmond Hill (England)

. Dettinger Mayer Gallery in Lyon (France)

. Jeff Ross Collection in Seattle (USA)

. Collection Dino Menozzi, prints Reggio Emilia (Italy) Cabinet

Biography, CV and photos are courtesy of the artist.

I hope you enjoy my tribute for today.  I had so much fun creating it and it inspired me to do more pen and ink work.  I’ve been painting so much that sometimes I forget the other mediums I love so much.  My arm does feel a little like a zombie’s though.  I also forgot how taxing it is on my tennis elbow to draw so much…but it’s so worth it.  The biggest challenge was mixing the different mediums.  Ruzena’s style with that is seamless.  I wasn’t sure if she used colored pencils and it was hard to do that part.  I enjoyed the pen and pencil part, but I think I wasn’t successful with the color part!  Oh well!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 323!

Best,

Linda

My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Side-View My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Side-View
My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 1 My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 1
My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 2 My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 2
My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 3 My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 3
My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel