Longevity

 My studio at Pratt Institute, 2002.

My studio at Pratt Institute, 2002.

It was my grandfather who told me to pick something as a career that could be done for the rest of my life. I felt instantly smart in my choice of becoming an artist, even if at times I still question it. It is, if nothing else, something I can do for the rest of my life.

I joke often that “life is short, art is long.” Art is history- not dead, but really ishistory. It lasts; it is forever, good and bad. Worse than a terrible comment on Facebook, art doesn’t really ever go away. You make something, you make more, you go back to that first thing and wonder what you were thinking. And so on, for decades.

I am thinking about legacy, and also about the act of creating. The long slog that is being an artist- the daily struggles, the agony of failure and the joy of success, in all their forms. I wonder if my work will end up in thrift stores when collectors grow tired of it, or if they will love it enough to pass it on to their children. In the grand arc that is an artist’s career- their oevre- what is their message? What am I saying in painting after painting after painting?

A year or so ago, I sat crying over a painting I thought I had ruined. My daughter and husband came downstairs to the studio to check on me. I looked at my daughter and said, “Painting is just really hard, honey.” I looked at my husband and said, “I could quit, but you’d have to heavily medicate me to get me to stop thinking about painting.” In that moment, like so many moments before, I knew I was stuck with this choice I had made in my life, this artist life. There was no going back.

But it is something that I can do forever.

When opening a show of my work at Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery in Lafayette, California in February, I met one of my fellow exhibiting artists, Michael Rizza, a 90-year-old sculptor. At the artist talk, he said that his granddaughter had asked if he was famous, to which he had replied, “I’m not famous- I am undiscovered!” We all laughed, recognizing that fear all artists have of obscurity. (“Help, help! I’ve fallen into obscurity and I can’t get up!” joked a recent New Yorker cartoon.) Yet many of us keep creating, out of that primal need that art-making is, going back in history to the very caves of our ancestors themselves.

Art is history.


Julia Rymer is an abstract painter and writer based in Colorado, where she creates work inspired by nature, science, and color theory. Learn more at juliarymer.com.

A BIG Announcement...

I've got a BIG announcement!

 

After almost 8 years living in Northern California, my family and I will be returning to Colorado next month!

Leaving California is bittersweet, as we have made wonderful friends here, and I was able to devote my time to my art and art business, as well as start a family. But Colorado is home for me, and I am thrilled to return to my family, friends, the mountains and the art community we love. We have found a home in Littleton, which is about 20 minutes from Downtown Denver.

I will have a dedicated studio space at our new home, and will get it set up as soon as possible. My plan is to continue building my body of work, creating larger scale paintings on canvas and paper. If you are in the Denver area and would like to arrange a studio visit, let me know and I will contact you once I am settled in.

My relationships with Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery in Lafayette, CA and Serena & Lily are continuing. My work will be included in the December show at Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery. Also, I will be back in March 2017 for an exhibition at Danville's Village Theater Art Gallery called "Color Play." The show will feature work by many talented abstract artists, including Elise Morris, Ellen Levine Dodd, Karen Olsen-Dunn and Sharon Pastor. I will keep you all posted as we get closer!

Lastly, thank you to all of my California supporters and art collectors. This journey has been amazing. Please keep in touch with me!

(Photo courtesy of Elise Morris.)

Everyone can be a collector

Art warms a home or office space. It engages people, draws them in, as an element of comfort or of interest. It energizes an otherwise drab space, provides a sense of peace, or provokes conversation. Original art is not boring, and art collecting is not something only the 1% can participate in.

 Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery May Exhibition. www.jenniferperlmuttergallery.com for more info.

Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery May Exhibition. www.jenniferperlmuttergallery.com for more info.

In a world where the latest smart phone or device is obsolete within a few months, art has staying power. It lasts, possibly generations. It creates a tradition.

Art collecting is for everyone. Whether a big painting, a dynamic photograph, or a small print, art gives light and enjoyment to one's life.

This month, Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery is featuring work at all price points for the emerging collector to start their art collecting journey. Please take a look! You won't regret it (or the art you'll buy). I have a large number of pieces available: big and small, framed, works on paper, prints, paintings, and works on canvas. Stop by! The artist reception is on May 12th from 7 to 9 pm.

 Covalent, mixed media on paper, 12" x 12" framed.

Covalent, mixed media on paper, 12" x 12" framed.

Art on the other side of the tunnel...

I live in Danville, a town on the other side of the Caldecott tunnel by about 30 minutes from Berkeley, without traffic. It is a pretty little place, but very suburban. OK, extremely suburban. And in this part of what is called the East Bay, there is a bit of a dearth of cultural ANYTHING, especially for the visual arts.

To be fair, there are some local arts associations made up of primarily painters of landscapes and still lifes, who show their work at a few local non-profit spaces. These are also host to performing arts shows and some juried art exhibitions. I have nothing against any of this, except that I start to crave seeing lots of art, especially contemporary art, and there is not a lot of it our here. In other words, we don’t exactly have any gallery districts, much less a gallery walk on a Friday night or an open studio tour. If you want those things, head your bum through that tunnel or over the Bay Bridge, and get your art fix in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco.

Then again, people don’t live here for the art and culture, they live here because it is safe and clean and pretty and has good school districts. It is great for raising kids- one of which, I have. But if you are an artist, or an art-lover, you start to miss having something interesting and beautiful to look at.

Imagine my surprise, then, when at my place of work in Walnut Creek, a friend mentioned that there is an art gallery in the town of Lafayette! Just two towns over from Danville.

 Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery in Downtown Lafayette, CA.

Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery in Downtown Lafayette, CA.

On a Saturday, my husband and toddler and I drive all of 17 minutes to Lafayette to see this gallery, a cooperative space called the Lafayette Art Gallery. After checking it out (and it was really nice), I stumble upon another art gallery up the street, the lovely and gorgeous contemporary space Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery, named for the fabulous owner of the gallery herself.

Filled with Jennifer’s bold, expressive, and colorful abstract paintings, the space glowed with color. The gallery is clean and simple in design, allowing the art to pop! Nothing is overhung as well- each piece gets its own place on the wall. (No salon walls here!)

Jennifer opened up in February after lamenting the lack of art on this side of the tunnel. (She apparently read my mind.) She plans to rotate shows of contemporary artists throughout the rest of the year, and has some great events planned, one coming up in just two weeks. Learn more here.

I highly recommend checking it out, locals. It is filled with beauty!

Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery
Address:
 3620 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette CA 94549
Hours: Mon-Sat 11AM-5PM