Thursday, April 1

Spontaneous Erin

I knew Colleen McCubbin Stepanic for a while, and we'd been thinking about how to work together/exhibit together. But there's a big leap between my tiny embroidered cityscapes and her large-scale painted canvas constructions. Then fortune smiled, and I met Erin Castellan at a Philadelphia Open Studios Tour event in 2008. Erin is another media-crossing artist whose current works involve monoprinting a composition on paper, then drawing with colored pencils and stitching in details. Looking at the image above, at first glance you'd never notice the stitching. But get up close and you make an amazing discovery! Those 3 parallel lines are embroidered! I think it was really looking at Erin's work that made us come up with the "Spontaneous Repetition" title. Her monoprints are so immediate (spontaneous- like Colleen's painting or my photograph-inspiration), but for some reason she feels the need to sustain her connection with that piece (like Colleen's cutting and stitching pieces back together or my meditative embroidery) and so works back into it.
I think this piece is my favorite in the show. It's an interesting blend of cityscape, landscape, weather, and dream. Her colors are so complex! Detail is below of the stitched areas. Here are 2 more details from other pieces. Her compositions are so complex, any part of them could be cropped down and exist as a cohesive mini-print.

Erin will probably be headed off to do a painting MFA next year. We'll miss her here in Philadelphia, but that girl is going places!
Don't forget- the gallery is open on Saturday this weekend (not on Easter Sunday). Erin will be sitting the gallery if you'd like to meet her in person.
Stratasphere Gallery, Berks and Germantown Ave, Saturday 1-5.

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