2019 Residency

The Power of Limited Distractions

Goetemann Studio, post Marilu

36B5E2E4-F730-4AC9-857A-609396C8506CYou know how it goes—you mean to get to that list of chores at home and then to the studio to get art work done, then something gets in the way.

But if you’re taking a month to just focus on your art, what great things you can accomplish.

Marilu Swett has made the most of her month. In fact, she has been able to redecorate the studio. That’s one way to look at it: she’s simply run out of space for her ink and acrylic drawings. “Sketches,” she points out, “not finished work.”

See all (or a lot) of Marilu’s work at her closing Talk this Thursday, June 27, at the Goetemann Studio. Go to the end of Rocky Neck Ave., and turn right. The Studio is on your right (where all the people are hanging out!).

2019 Residency

Marilu Swett Opening Talk


Artist Marilu Swett

Artist Marilu Swett introduced herself and her work on Monday, June 3, at her Opening Talk at The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck.  Gorgeous forms and intricate masses constitute Marilu’s art. And her descriptions increased our vocabulary.

As Marilu tells it, she traveled to London some years back in a studio exchange with another artist. She went to London as a painter — and came back as a sculptor.

It’s easy to see the connection: her ink drawings made up of layers of vellum and paper let her to see — and then realize— them as sculptural.

She started with rubber roofing material that could be cut into thin strips, then woven together. That led to casting the rubber in custom-made ceramic molds. Multiple-part molds of her first pieces were rubber, into which she cast wax to bring to a foundry to be cast in bronze. Eventually other materials came into play, including cast resin, then duralar (a semi-transparent plastic drafting sheet, similar to Mylar—strong even when cut into thin strips), and eventually an expandable urethane foam that she molds and paints.

When some of us mere mortals might shrug our shoulders at any process that takes more than two or three steps, Marilu dives in to complicated processes that yield unique pieces that still betray a biologic center. Thrilling stuff (and with a sense of humor).

A selection of images of Marilu’s work:

Snap Judgement, 2018. Ink, acrylic on duralar and paper
Lesson in Logic, 2018. Ink, acrylic on duralar and paper
Catfish John, 2019. Cast bronze, resin, wood, paper, pastel, acrylic, leather
Mass, 2019. Foam, urethan foam, burlap, tubind, enamel paint

”I get inspiration from tools, from the docks,” she said. “I love being here!”

Her plan to is work on black-and-white ink drawings and play with them. Give her about a week to get settled, then feel free to visit her at the Goetemann Studio. Knock on the door and if she’s in she’ll be glad to talk!

2019 Residency

Jason Burroughs Closing Talk

A lovely evening to see all the work that Jason accomplished during his month-long residency — and he accomplished a lot.

He spent as much time as possible painting outdoors, sometimes with local artists Caleb Stone and Stephen LaPierre.

In his own words: “Painting’s a process. I spent about 1 to 3 hours on each painting. I’m trying to get truth in my paintings: atmosphere and changes. This residency was a big push to give me a purpose.”

It’s hard to maintain the support that a young artist gets from teachers and peers in art school. Jason used every minute of his residency to build a support network and to get the work done.

And, he says: “It’s a blast being around Rocky Neck.”

Jason Burroughs with Dawn Steele Dexter.

Special moment: The sister-in-law of Residency founder Gordon Goetemann attended. Dawn Steele Dexter, Judy Goetemann’s sister, added the perfect ending to the evening: “I know Gordy would be so proud.”


2019 Residency

Opening Talk by Jason Burroughs

Spring is finally here in New England —and so the 15th annual Goetemann Artist Residency program has begun. Monday night, May 6, Gloucester Invitational Artist Jason Burroughs gave us an overview of his artistic heritage and training, as well as a hint of what’s to come this month during his residency.

Jason Burroughs at Opening Talk

For a Gloucester boy, Jason has, not surprisingly, been attracted to the harbor, its piers and pylons. In fact, pylons, with their “long verticals and repetition of lines and forms” figure in many of Jason’s early pieces, which focused on sculpture.

Once Jason graduated from Montserrat College of Art, he began exploring different Gloucester neighborhoods with drawing materials at hand. He wanted to work plein air, onsite, taking down information.

But it was a process: “They didn’t feel finished,” he says of his early drawings (which are really lovely). “I was overworking them. It took a long time and I felt I was missing something. I had to capture the light,” and he knew he had to be outside to do that.

So he picked up his oil paints, using a palatte of colors similar to noted local painter Emil Gruppe and started to work. He aimed for two hours — but found he was spending eight hours apiece on each work.

54473C7B-2BAE-4DA5-9536-B04B982D7339He entered the Cape Ann Quick Draw event. He not only won an Judge’s Merit award, but learned to keep to his projected two-hour time limit.

He’s painting on panels and had learned not to be concerned with a piece being finished. Doing such sketches forces him to “just go out and do it.” Great advice for all of us!

Jason will be focusing on plein air for his Residency in May. If you’re on Rocky Neck, stroll down to the end of Rocky Neck Ave. to see if his sign’s out and he’s working in the studio. Otherwise, keep your eyes open around Gloucester — you’re sure to see him working outside.

Jason’s closing talk is May 30, at 5PM at the Goetemann Studio, 77 Rocky Neck Ave., #10 (Madfish Wharf, facing the parking lot and the Marine Railways). Check out Jason’s website: JasonBurroughsGallery.com