Ye Olde Artistry

The object of Art is to give life a shape.
~ William Shakespeare

Oh, fellow artists, lend me thy ears! For I come to speak to thee of the noble art of creating.

Verily, I tell thee that the act of making art is a most divine and noble pursuit. It is the very essence of being human – to express oneself through the medium of art.

So let us not be afraid to pick up our paints and brushes, our charcoal and clay. Let us not be afraid to explore the depths of our creativity and bring forth our deepest thoughts and emotions, to create something beautiful and unique.

  • This week’s artist is – Sharon Abshagen – whose work I stumbled across while wandering around the Smiley Building’s ArtRoom.  I’m sure that I’ve seen her work around town previously, but it caught my attention this time (isn’t it funny how that works? Sometimes art jumps out at you, and other times we look over the exact same pieces.) Check out her website and facebook for more.

  • Alice Neel would have been 123 on Saturday.
  • For a few years now I’ve had the idea that a bunch of plein air artists and urban sketchers should coordinate on a Doodle/Draw Durango project. Everyone picks a building or a block and, together, we capture a day in our town. Seeing Sharon’s work, above, brought that idea back to mind. I think that James Gurney would call those pieces non-motifs.
  • The Butterfly Artist Collective is sponsoring an art contest for artists between the ages of 15-30. The theme is Transformation. Entries must be received by March 21st. All artists who participate will have the opportunity to show their work March 28th at Create Art and Tea. Cash prizes and other fun perks. More info here.
  • Here’s some history and detailed info behind quinacridone red.
  • There’s been a lot of chatter about AI and how it’s going to change the future. It’s worth remembering that no matter what tools we have available to us, we have to make work worth making.
  • My daughter continues to delight me with the things she comes up with. This isn’t hers, but I expect it’s only a matter of time until I discover something like this.
  • Along the lines of humorous things – Why was the art student always so hungry? Because he spent all his time drawing food!
  • Sometimes we over think things (most of the time, in my case). Here are some simple suggestions for writing a book.
  • Snowdown starts this Friday, January 27 and runs till Sunday, February 5 – here’s their official calendar. This year’s theme is “A Shakespearean Snowdown”. (I thought it only proper to join in the fun with my opening and closing thoughts to this week’s email.)
  • There are classes/workshops/projects available at Let’s Letter Together, the Scrapbook NookCreate Art and Tea, the 4 Corners Gem and Mineral Club, and the Durango Arts Center. There are a lot more things happening that I don’t include – so if you’re ever looking for something to do, start at
  • Every routine could use a little refresh now and then. This week, we’re featuring a variety of notebooks with a variety of papers in the hope that it can help reinvigorate your creative regimen! Have you tried them out yet, or do have alternatives? We’d love to hear what you think.

For art is not just a pastime or a hobby. It is a way of life, a way to connect with the world around us.

So let us embrace our inner artists and create, create, create! For the world needs our art, and our art needs us.

Until next time, may our paints never dry and our muses always inspire!

Mathias & the Art Supply House crew

P.S. – As a heads-up, we’re going to be having a spring clean art supply drive in April. We’ll take in donations of art supplies and materials that you aren’t using and distribute them all to an organization or two who can really put them to great use. So while you’re looking through your supplies, keep that in mind. Note the things that you aren’t using and haven’t in some time. We’ll send out reminders when we start accepting donations.