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The Warmth of Kinship

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

This week in ART YARD Advanced Studio we enjoyed a super-fun session titled Still Life and Non-human: Our Unexpected Community with our very own Halli Beaudoin inspired by the paintings of Australian Artist Vanessa Stockard.

Vanessa Stockard, Golden Shred, 2019, Oil on canvas
Vanessa Stockard, Monday Series, 2019, oil on canvas

Asking the class to find the warmth of kinship within their homes, Halli reminded us that community is not just the larger world outside our homes;it is also made up of the objects and non-human companions we live with.

Halli explains her inspiration: “I selected artist Vanessa Stockard because her work shows the humor and magic that can be found in a still life. Her works seeks to capture emotion of the mundane by telling a story. Likewise, the objects we choose to surround ourselves with are so much more than just things taking up space. Working from home a chair or mug may be as constant a companion as a pet or plant.” After we looked at a clear and concise PowerPoint which highlighted the works of Vanessa Stockard and the different ways she tells story through objects and animals we got to work in the medium of our choice.

Inspired by Vanessa Stockards more surrealistic and magical pieces Halli depicted her two cats on what is no longer a basic office chair from Ikea!

Halli Beaudoin, Beloved Things

Catherine joined us from Ofena, Italy for the session creating a beautiful portrait of her dog Olivia on her fuzzy bed dreaming of a bone.

Catherine de Zagon, Beloved Things

Those of us who depicted our pets could think about how these beloved creatures move about our spaces. Jacob perfectly captures Frederick’s impish flicking of the tea box off the counter. Assata captures the after effects of her cat-scratched chair. (I think that cat is gloating.)

Jacob Rath, Beloved Things
Assata Benoit, Beloved Things

Ed and I both found it challenging to give more focus to the items we depicted and leave the background less defined.

Ed Rath, Beloved Things
Meridith McNeal, Beloved Things

We marveled at how Eden captured the glow of Christmas lights on her two feline boys.

Eden Moore, Beloved Things

Sarah writes: “I liked Halli’s session. It offers experience on a significant part of our life that gives us comfort and joy. A piece of furniture that provides us with rest and animals that puts a smile on our faces, it is the things that make our houses into a home. My small terrace view invites a Northern Mockingbird and squeals to eat some leftover bread while I read or work.”

Sarah Gumgumji, Beloved Things

The evening was truly a joyous one and not without a good bit of laughter. Pat positions a mini- Minaloush on top of her router (which she explains she’s developed a deep relationship with during quarantine). Also playing with scale Jane deftly paints (with a problematic paintbrush) her old cat with a looming Swingline stapler which belonged to her father.

Pat Larash, Beloved Things
Jane Huntington, Beloved Things

Zeke’s excellent depiction of the Christmas tree out in the yard where it’s limbs are being sawed off for firewood. He had us all chuckling as he explained that mid-way through the drawing he realized the tree was in fact no longer living so he added a squirrel. And what appears to be the tree spirit flanking the composition.

Zeke Brokow, Beloved Things

Vera depicted the lush tropical plants tended by her grandmother next to a framed artwork (also of flora.)

Vera Tineo, Beloved Things

Marilyn played with the animate/inanimate with a coffee cup depicting cats filled with leeks from the fridge. Wayne, winning the Most Prolific of the Evening award, created one painting of a cat with Morandi-like bottles and another of some fruit.

Marilyn August, Beloved Things
Wayne Gross, Beloved Things (fruit)
Wayne Gross, Beloved Things (cat)

Looking a bit like one of Zeke’s green-tree spirits, Nayarit mid-beauty-regimen in a green clay face masque made an appearance for critique!

Nayarit as Dryad


Teaching Artist Golnar Adili was back at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 282 on Zoom for the third and final session in this cycle Mapping the Inside and Outside of Your Life.

In this session artists were asked to cut and reconfigure artworks made in previous sessions. This proved equally challenging and rewarding! Golnar’s samples, PowerPoint with step by step images and careful demonstration paved the way to success.

Golnar exclaims: “Wow, Another wonderful class with PS 282! It is understandable that some students were initially hesitant to cut into their precious drawings, but they did. I think many ended up with museum quality abstract art.

Not everyone had both previous pieces to work from, so we solved that by working with construction paper and magazines.

Ella, Inside and Outside
Lucas, Inside and Outside
Coco, Inside and Outside
Conar, Inside and Outside
William, Inside and Outside

Everyone was engaged, and getting into the zone. I loved the piece in which a set of stairs was cut and pasted and made even more jagged, there were roads that were interrupted by inside of homes, and strokes of color interrupting maps! I had so much fun working with the young artists of PS282!

Rhys, Inside and Outside
Alex, Inside and Outside
Noelle, Inside and Outside

We equally had a fun time working with Golnar!

For example: Miles who had a great time today was hesitant at first to cut up his artwork but “loved piecing everything together to make sometime new!”

Miles, Inside and Outside

Miles parent adds: “Thanks to all of Art Yard and Golnar for the inspiration the last few weeks. There’s a book called Neighbors that Miles enjoys because it’s similar to these drawings.

Neighbors by Kasya Denisevich

Sabrina just loves participating in ART YARD! Her mother tells us that after our class she kept working for another 45 minutes on her piece.