Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009 Emelyn's ashes

Emelyn's ashes in a container set under a tile that Doug and I brought back from San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. This seems a bit fitting since mom had always wanted to go to San Miguel, I found references to San Miguel in her sketchbook writings - where to stay, the Instituto and Belles Arts and where to take classes, etc. Fleta's paw prints added for protection of her ashes, always aware she will spend hours in the studio once finished. Albeit backwards to the wall once the walls are put up, this corner is in my dad's studio, under the windows and is a safe spot to occupy. It is also on the south brook side of the building. Minutes later, I spread some more ashes over the concrete on the living space side of the building. I am guessing that we will place more of mom's ashes around as the building comes together. This building would not have happened if it was not for my mom, always creative, always encouraging my dad's creativity and always looking out for the best in life. Her work and her legacy is one to reflect upon and continue, creatively in this new space. Thanks Mom and Dad! I am so happy that Dad's building is coming along and am looking forward to dad in the studio again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Journey & Transition" Exhibition closes at White Water Gallery

The two person exhibition "Journey & Transition" has just closed as the gallery season itself closes at White Water Gallery in East Hardwick, Vermont. The gallery will re-open in Spring when the weather gets warmer. I have moved the work out of the gallery, and am looking forward to moving the pieces into the new studio. For now many of the pieces return to the walls of my home, comfortable to occupy the walls where some of them have lived for years. My space becomes once again familiar, each piece has it's place and serves as constant inspiration, comfort and visual feast.

The foundation walls are up on the building that is my dad's living and studio space, and my studio.
I am still packing up the old studio and my tools and materials - the yearly ritual to preserve liquids from freezing and everything else being ransacked by mice. One year they ate my metallic Sennielier oil pastels, the expensive ones!!! Why they would be possessed to chew oil impregnated with metals is beyond me. What stays in the building goes into mouse proof tubs, and I am hapy to think that this yearly ritual, and my stopping production of artwork over the winter season, will end with the new studio space, and begin with work continuing over every season. What joy in that thought.

It snowed this morning, a beautiful reminder of the season to come. I love the fall colors with the contrast of snow - oranges and yellows with the dark bark and softened delineations of line and form. By mid morning the snow was gone, melted in a mist of rainy wet hills, beyond my vision of fog and damp cool air. Last night V shaped squiggly lines of geese could be seen and heard overhead. Fall.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Photo's from "Journey & Transition" at White Water Gallery

Final days of my exhibition "Journey & Transition" at White Water Gallery

More photo's of my exhibition. It was great to have such a flurry of work preparing for this show, I worked an entire 33 days straight with two days off. Now there is a lull as I pack up the studio for the winter and next week, take down the exhibition at White Water. As the building progresses I still think it will be Spring when I am able to move into the space and begin to work and with Spring comes a new beginning in celebration.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New work at White Water Gallery

Spirit Boat:narwhal's journey
Lian Brehm
papier mache, plaster, bamboo, powder pigment

Spirit Boat:guardian offerings
Lian Brehm
papier mache, plant stalks, digital image, plaster, ink, graphite

Spirit Boat:night landscape
Lian Brehm
papier mache, plaster, ink, coal

Spirit Boat:meridian point
Lian Brehm
Papier mache, plaster, copper, paint, powders

These are some of the new pieces in my Journey and Transition exhibition with Phillip Robertson at White Water Gallery, East Hardwick, Vermont.

The pieces are on sculpture stands, which is new to my work as I used to create wall sculptures. The stands provided in the gallery were narrow, and Doug and I found that the wood decking that was previously from my outside studio deck was perfect to use - the perfect color gray, with lichens, and how appropriate that is came from my studio! There are red tipped lichens growing on the wood under the narwhal piece, although you can't see them in this photo angle.
Many of the artwork in this show are for sale P.O.R. (price on request) contact James Tuescher at White Water Gallery 802-563-2037 or send a message to me.

I'll post more soon. Thanks for visiting!

Lian Brehm -Artist Statement


I am a gatherer of things that seem to attract me in collective whispers of meaning. It hasn't always been this way. As we mature in our work, we take time to refect and take stock of our surroundings. For me, the act of gathering plant stalks as visual line forms a creative connection to the earth and making use of what is offered. I delight in exploring a vast inventory of materials gleaned from a wide variety of sources over time.


My work has for some time been about the journey of creativity. The boat shape has come to represent this journey. When thinking of ways to explain what I do I often relate this concept to others and refer to it in both the physical making of art and the emotional connection of my work. I often use the visual and spiritual connections of places I have traveled; the landscape and architecture of place, space and meaning.


When my mother Emelyn, a fiber artist, passed away recently, I found I clearly missed the connection of creativity that we often shared. She was my first art teacher and so our journey of creativity was shared from an early age. After her death I found myself drawn to the concept of a spirit boat carrying bits of offerings to guide her beyond her connection to this earth. This spirit boat represents her soul passing through space and time. With her passing, the boat now has added meaning. My offerings are elemental, coal, salt, leaves, feathers each representing earth, water and air. The salt is a metaphor for purification. The salt boat surrounded by kelp, becomes a floating island of safe passage on its own. With my mother's passing I had the opportunity to make use of the bits and pieces of materials she to had gathered in her studio. When I am working with these materials I feel that I am continuing to have that conversation, with her presence. It seems fitting that I am using these materials as tribute for her safe passage.


I have chosen to include in this exhibition, an artwork of my mother's entitled "Time Scroll". This piece seems to bridge both Phillip's work and mine, and on another level transcends both.




Journey & Transition at White Water Gallery

My work is currently on exhibit at White Water Gallery in East Hardwick, Vermont through October 11, 2009.
I am exhibiting with Phillip Robertson, a local printmaker who has new work of woodblock prints and lettertype on hanging scrolls. My work in this show includes seven new papier mache sculptures created in memory of my mother, and in the spirit of her passing, hence the image of"spirit boats". The older works, mostly wall sculptures are from 1986-2004 and are based on boat forms. These older works explore the boat as metaphor for the creative journey in my work.

LianBrehm Art Blogspot begins!!!

Today is September 30th, and I want to share my artwork and my world with others!!
I am really excited about this and it looks like it will be a wonderful, fun journey.
This is also the day that we are scratching the earth here at the Stone Bottom House, where I live and work on my art. It's an exciting day because we are building a space for my dad, a jeweler, to live and work and a studio for me as well.
Since my current studio (I've been there for 8 or 9 years) across the road has no running water, no heat and no bathroom, it will be a huge change in my work environment and will mean that I can work all year around. Right now I am still planning on my annual clean up and pack up anything that freezes mode, which is quite the interruption to my work. I typically do not get much done over the winter at my house, but that is soon to change!

I am a mixed media artist and I work in ANY material that I find challenging. The daughter of creative artist and teacher parents, I consider myself incredible lucky. My mom was my first art teacher, of course. She maintained a studio at our home on Long Island in New York. At an early age,my sister, Pia and I were taking trips into New York City to take art classes, at the Museum of Modern Art!! While I don't remember much of that (My mom told me I was only 6 at the time), I do remember going through the museum and spending lots of time looking at Modern art. Reflecting back to that time, I realize the museums were practically EMPTY, and quiet, not like the current supershows that draw tens of thousands to expensive tickets, long lines and constant moving, not to mention the white noise of all those folks talking!
My mom, Emelyn, also took it upon herself to help start a Children's Cultural Workshop nearby in the town of Amityville. she would hire artists from around the area to come and teach workshops to children on Saturday mornings, and I remember taking jewelry, pottery, puppetry, drawing and sculpture classes typically for about 3 hours every Saturday for years. I still remember fondly some of my teachers: Julian Wolff, glass and ceramic craft artist from Long Island, Louise Kramer, sculptor now living in NYC and a long time member of the cooperative A.I.R gallery, and Lynn DeRosa, art teacher and artist from Huntington, now living in Arizona.

These people shaped my life, as well as a constant good dose of creative encouragement from my Mom and Dad. THANKS Mom, she passed away in November 2006 of kidney cancer, and THANKS Dad, who is currently living in an assisted living facility here in Vermont, while waiting for his building to take form and shape so he can work in his studio, albeit new, again.
It seems so appropriate that I begin here, on this day since I owe so much of who I am to my parents!! YAY! What a journey this will be.