It just leaks out.
October 18, 2009 by machare
October in Wisconsin brings the two day Fall Art Tour which traverses some of the most beautiful areas of the state, extending from Mineral Point through Spring Green and Dodgeville up to Baraboo. We look forward to the opportunity to visit the studios and homes of working artists.The challenge is to try to get to as many artists as possible perhaps even all of them something which my sister and I have never been able to accomplish.
The countryside is beautiful with hills and sweeping landscapes with roads that wind and turn to reveal picture perfect settings for the landscape artist or tourist. Late in the afternoon, we navigated our way down one of the narrow country roads near Spring Green on our way to Art Tour studio <17 which was supposed to be our second last stop of the day. We turned into a rutted gravel road and parked next to a 1940s trailer. Following the grass path up to a long, tin roofed building with a glass front, we opened the door to the prolific world of Linda Kelen.
Linda Kelen in her Spring Green, Wisconsin Studio
We were greeted with Hello, its been so busy
I apologize for not being organized, but people started coming at 8 this morning when I was trying to arrange a space. I did get a walkway cleared from one end to the other
What at first glance appeared to be complete disarray turned out to be the most delightfully chaotic creative space, one which gives a glimpse of the artists sense of humor and thought process.
From one end of the narrow space to the other, every wall space was covered with paintings, drawings, metal reliefs sculptures and prints. Ropes hung across with drying block prints, samples of work produced for advertisers and publishers were arranged on counter tops. A small 200 year old French printing press stood at one end next to the small heater which belches just often enough to make one jump. And on the opposite end in one corner were the sardine tins.
Sardine Tin: part of the salvage art series by Linda Kelen, Spring Green, Wisconsin.
Made from real sardine tins, Linda has experimented with the metal to create incredibly detailed, high reliefs from the peel away covers which she sews back on with different types of wire and then adds found objects. These whimsical one-of-a-kind sardine tins have made an impact with collectors who bid against each other to obtain one. (As soon as my son is done with college, Im putting a bid in!)
While showing us her printing press, Linda turned and opened her flat file to show us some prints and drawings. As she picked up some of them, she exclaimed, It just leaks out. She draws everywhere on anything. One day it occurred to her that she could take metal plates and draw on them while on vacation and make prints when she returned.
What is apparent in Lindas work, besides the quality, quantity and variety, is the unique sense of humor that winds its way through everything that she does