Shan Bryan-Hanson

Twitter, Art and Namasté

digital identityShan Bryan-HansonComment

We establish personal learning networks with individuals to promote learning in specific areas. The images above reflect some of my personal learning networks: higher education and art education, the broader art community and yoga/contemplative practice communities.  I find great value at the intersections of these communities. For instance, representations of yoga in art are of great interest to me and it was enriching to research this topic for an honors tutorial I taught last fall (check out these stunning paintings from the little known tradition of Tantra painting).  As a relatively new member of the Association of Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, attending the ACMHE annual conference this past October provided opportunities to expand my network with others interested in both art and contemplative pedagogy.

I'm currently enrolled in a digital identity course which has me reflecting on opportunities to expand personal learning networks in the digital world. I'm an introvert by nature and a person who tends to value a small group of close ties rather than a larger group of loose ones.  Like most people these days, I'm also busier than I'd like to be and want to reserve a good chunk of time for my family. This makes expanding networks a bit intimidating. Social media platforms like Twitter, however, offer unique opportunities for expanding personal learning networks in ways that seem manageable. As a teacher I'd like to better understand these platforms in order to confidently teach students to use them to grow their own personal learning networks. 

These days I most enjoy, and best learn from, networks that move back and forth between the digital and the material worlds.  It's great to chat online, but every now and again, let's gather in the studio--yoga or art--or meet for a cup of coffee. 

Namasté.

Digital Identity Mapping

digital identityShan Bryan-Hanson2 Comments
Visitor and Resident Map

Visitor and Resident Map

The visitor and resident map pictured above was created as part of an assignment for a professional development course I’m currently enrolled in on the topic of digital identity.  This continuum, created by David White, is a tool for mapping our online lives.  The horizontal axis is the visitor/resident axis.  As I understand it, visitor actions are those which do not leave a public footprint, such as information searching and using email.  Public online activities like Twitter are on the resident side of the continuum.  The vertical axis represents the levels at which we use these tools for personal or institutional/professional purposes.  

I decided to paint the map to create a somewhat messy visual because that is my perception of the digital world. As much as I’d like to curate the heck out of my visual footprint, doing so entirely is not possible and, I suspect, closes off avenues for meaningful connection.  Though part of my desire to carefully craft digital presentation comes from a belief in the value of editing and curation, it’s also a result of my discomfort with context collapse, the collapsing of many possible audiences (i.e., family, work colleagues, past acquaintances, close friends) into one context. 

Bonnie Stewart writes about this in her post,  In Praise of Living in Public.  On blogging, she writes“...you have to cobble that self together from the nearly infinite contexts and selves reflected back at you by the disco ball of the blank screen.”  The disco ball metaphor is apt because it speaks to the illusory nature of perception. Pushing perceptions aside is difficult though, and to make the daunting task of crafting the self in public a little bit easier it’s helpful to bring empathy and an open mind to the table. 

My own visitor and resident map leans heavily toward the institutional/professional axis.  This may be in part because what I do professionally is what I love to do personally.  It’s also the result of my tendency to curate and compartmentalize. There is a part of me that would like to be a bit braver online, to engage in more public discourse and collapse some of my compartmentalized spaces.  

That said, I do think it's important for artists to have somewhat focused websites and/or social media accounts. As a curator, these are the spaces I visit when considering an artists work for exhibition. Many student and professional artists have confided to me that they think posting their art, awards, gallery events, etc. looks too self-focused.  As an artist, I’ll admit I’ve struggled with these thoughts myself. However, when I’m wearing my curator hat and I hear this, I want to emphatically say, “No, it’s not!" I love it when an artist posts about a project we’re working on together. It amplifies and expands the reach of a gallery or museum’s marketing efforts. Directors and owners of small galleries and museums usually have limited resources for marketing and we greatly appreciate when artists share our exhibit information and images on their own social media platforms.  Additionally, for art lovers, viewing photos of an artist’s studio and reading about successful gallery receptions is fun. I get a little hit of happy when an artist on Instagram posts about the sale of a work of art or participation in a sought-after exhibition.  

To collapse context just a little bit though I'll end with a just-taken photo of my studio table, where I sit typing this post.  I usually clean it up before taking a photo to post online but this is how it typically looks, messy and cluttered but well used and loved.  

Summer Exhibits in Door County

Shan Bryan-HansonComment

These past few weeks the weather has been beautiful, and I’ve been celebrating the joys of summer in Door County.  I hope you find a bit of rest, creativity and relaxation this summer, wherever you may be.  If you are in the area, I invite you to the following exhibitions.

Cappaert Contemporary represents my work in Door County.  Visit anytime throughout the season.  For a fun night out, the season reception is this Saturday, June 25, 4-7 p.m.  There will be art, live music, food, drink and even a s’mores’ bar!  What's not to love?

http://cappaertcontemporary.com/artists

Float, a collection of my recent paintings, will be on display in the Third Avenue Playhouse Art Lobby Gallery from June 28-July 24.  The exhibition compliments the play Isaac’s Eye. The New York Times review described it as "a play that devotes much time to the working of light…”  Watch the play, see some art and contemplate the optics of light! For more information visit

http://thirdavenueplayhouse.com/art-gallery/

Two of my paintings will be exhibited at The Hardy Gallery’s Annual Collection Invitational from July 17-August 21.  I always love participating in this show. The Hardy is located on the beautiful Anderson Dock in Ephraim, WI. Opening Reception: Friday July 22, 5:30PM - 7:00PM
https://www.thehardy.org/

In September, as summer comes to a close, there are still many great opportunities to see art in Door County.  One of them is the ARTrageous benefit at the beautiful Rehbergers Hidden Acres Farm in Sister Bay.  I'll have a painting in this benefit that supports the Women’s Fund of Door County.  There will be live music, food and drink.  All art is $99; the art sold out last year so arrive early and get your favorite piece!  The event is on Saturday, September 24 at 2:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00.  

Dutch Floral Paintings

Shan Bryan-HansonComment

This past year I've been diving into a study of 18th c. Dutch floral paintings.  The detailed imagery and artificiality of these paintings is so compelling. 

This past year I visited two Dutch floral paintings at the National Gallery and the Detroit Institute of Arts. The first is this painting by Jan van Huysum at the National Gallery:

Jan van Huysum Still Life with Flowers and Fruit c. 1715 Painting, National Gallery of Art

Jan van Huysum
Still Life with Flowers and Fruit
c. 1715
Painting, National Gallery of Art

This image above is courtesy of the National Gallery but I also took some detail photos at the museum:

The insects that show up in these paintings are fantastic reminders that this state of bloom is temporary and fleeting. 

The decadent use of color and value creates a rich contrast between the realism of the paintings and the artificiality of the scene.  Living in Wisconsin, with our long winters, I understand why these paintings would have been desired; they provided a much needed glimpse of vibrant color during winter.

At the DIA I visited this painting by Rachel Ruysch:

Rachel Ruysch Flowers in a Glass Vase c. 1704 Painting, Detroit Institute of Arts

Rachel Ruysch
Flowers in a Glass Vase
c. 1704
Painting, Detroit Institute of Arts

You can find the museum photo and description of the piece here

Inspiration often comes from art that is, on the surface, quite different from my own. Though I work in abstraction, my recent work has been influenced by the movement, color and energy of these paintings as well as their emphasis on the inevitability of change. 

Framing a Large Work of Art

Shan Bryan-Hanson
Excess paper is being torn from the edges of the drawing in progress.

Excess paper is being torn from the edges of the drawing in progress.

Linen tape is used to adhere the drawing to the backing board. 

Linen tape is used to adhere the drawing to the backing board. 

I recently completed a large-scale drawing.  Since I usually work with paint on stretched canvas or cradled panels, I was surprised by a few of the challenges I bumped into when framing the work and would like to share the solutions here. The drawing is 46” x 46” and framed in a 48” x 48” frame.   

Step 1:  Mount the drawing to supportive board

The first challenge was figuring out how to back the drawing. Oversized mat board is sold in 40” x 60” sheets--not large enough.  After scouring frame and art supply vendors for larger stock I ended up using a 48” x 48” sheet of white gator board which worked well.

The drawing is mounted with a series of folded hinges made of archival linen tape. This allows the work to be mounted to the board with no visible tape showing.  To make these mounts, fold a piece of linen tape in half, sticky side out.  One side sticks to the drawing and the other side sticks to the board it’s mounted on.  Place another strip of tape, sticky side facing down, over the bottom layer of the hinge to reinforce it.  

Linen tape hinges

Linen tape hinges

Step 2:  Prepare glazing

The acrylic glazing was purchased at a local glass shop.  48” width is the largest plexi sold locally so I’ll be sure to keep future drawings under that width. Acrylic plexi was chosen over glass because of the size of the drawing.  Plexiglass is much easier to transport. 

Protective paper coating being removed from the plexiglass. 

Protective paper coating being removed from the plexiglass. 

Step 3:  Assemble Frame Moulding

The frame moulding is from Westfall Framing, a company I’ve purchased from in the past.  The  moulding can be ordered with pre-drilled holes and plastic inserts, their “Max” system, which makes assembling the frame easy.  With the max system, wood glue is the only additional item needed to assemble the frame. I also ordered spacer bars which are placed between the glazing and the art.  This is a great way to allow art to float in the frame while also keeping the glazing off the art.

Glue sets for 24 hours after frame is assembled. 

Glue sets for 24 hours after frame is assembled. 

              Layers of moulding and spacer bar

              Layers of moulding and spacer bar

The "Max" system in the corner

The "Max" system in the corner

Along with Westfall Framing, both Metroframe and the Artist's Guild provided great advice during this process.  The Artist’s Guild is our amazing local art supply store and Metroframe sells beautiful frames which I’ve had good results with in the past.

Step 4: Add drawing and secure back. 

The mounted drawing goes in last and is secured with picture framing tool that operates much like a staple gun. 

In this image you can see how the spacer bars provide distance between the drawing and plexiglass. 

In this image you can see how the spacer bars provide distance between the drawing and plexiglass. 

Final piece, framed and ready to go. 

Final piece, framed and ready to go. 

Finally, hanging wire is secured to the back of the piece and it is ready for display!