Drawing the Line with Eileen Blyth

  Overboard by Eileen Blyth

Artist Eileen Blyth's upcoming solo art show “Drawing the Line”, does exactly as its title suggests. It drives us to decide at what point we've reached our limits, exhausted all possibilities, seen all there is to see.

With a nod to graphic arts icon Milton Glaser, the show encourages viewers to look closer, to examine the tiniest details and open their minds to new or unforeseen perspectives.

According to Glaser, no artist should stop exploring and discovering new prospects. Just because an artist has landed on something that resonates-that sells or is widely celebrated at one moment in time - does not mean that the artist is done and should be satisfied to produce within the confines of that success. “When you do something that basically is guaranteed to succeed, you're closing the possibility for discovery,” Glaser said. “The arts provide a sense of enlargement and the sense that you haven't come to the end of your understanding.”

An established painter, sculptor, and installation artist, Blyth is pushing herself to shift and mutate boundaries, to ensure that she is growing creatively. For many years, Blyth has alternated between two-dimensional paintings and three-dimensional sculptures, all falling under the abstract umbrella. Recently, she noticed that some 3-D effects were showing up in her 3-D work. "It was surprising to recognize the 3-D lines and shadows within the confines of the 2-D line and composition. There was an internal shift, a moment of playfulness that intrigued me." Blyth says. “It is not meant to be the purpose of the work; it is just the bonus. The viewer is invited to discover what he is actually seeing, a suggestion that transcends the natural world.”

With this in mind, Blyth decided to take stock, to look back at her purest origins. Last fall, she enrolled in a life drawing class. “I realized I hadn't picked up a piece of charcoal since college,” she explained. “I wondered whether I could still draw the human figure. I didn't forget how to draw, but I had to reconnect my eye and hand, my memory and reality. After a long while, an artist can forget how to actually ‘see’.”

“I was exploring the foundation and inspiration, the origin of my marks, penetrating lines that punctuate so many of my paintings. Was I saying anything relevant with the lines and shadows, or was I just repeating myself?”

Blyth’s new work reflects on the unspoken dialogue that takes place between artist and viewer. It seeks to reshape perspectives and connect with the viewer in new ways. “I want to convey something personal in every piece,” Blyth said. “I want to make authentic connections that are meditative and mindful of perpetuating circles we all naturally experience.”

There is playfulness in many of these paintings. They invite viewers to join visual puzzle pieces, to make their own discoveries within the lines.

“Drawing the Line” runs from February 13-24, 2015, at Vista Studios Gallery 80808 on Lady Street in the Congaree Vista. There will be an opening reception on Friday, February 13, 2015 from 6:00-9:00pm. For further details, visit www.vistastudios80808.com or email e@eileenblyth.com.

Get Osamu Kobayashi While You Can - Thursday night at 80808

Osamu Kobayashi  

The process of painting is a power struggle. I take my paintings one way; they want to go somewhere else. And when they go somewhere else; I drag them in another direction. In the end, the paintings usually wins.

My work is reductive in form, often compositionally centered, and employs a spontaneous and intuitive array of colors, shapes, and textures. Using these elements I create visual dualities: chance vs. control, organic vs. geometric, warm vs. cool, large vs. small, etc.

Like a good story, the elements that comprise each work push and pull off of each other, creating a unified structure that stays contained--but never becomes subdued--within its own parameters.

The aim is to create work with a sensation similar to that of a clear thought: the idea has its bases covered; there’s no room for argument. In reality, however, these paintings can never be clear thoughts; they are much more open than that. They are more of a confrontation: between what I desire to know and what I can never know entirely. -- Osamu Kobayashi


If you read the most recent issue of Jasper you know how proud we are of our native son Osamu Kobayashi whose visual arts career has already lifted off the launch pad, sparks flying, smoke roiling, and is making that last almost slo-mo ascent into space. Right now, we can shade our eyes against the brightness, but soon he'll be another one of those star-like satellites in the sky that we can identify by its placement and history, but no longer actually touch. (Unless we sneak in a visit with him when he comes home to see Shige and the rest of his family on one of those rare, super-artist holidays.)


Watch this video by Brian Harmon starring Columbia Museum of Art chief curator Will South as well as Osamu's very proud brother Shigeharu Kobayashi to learn more about Osamu's upcoming exhibit this Thursday, December 12th at Vista Studios Gallery 80808 at 808 Lady Street.

Don't miss a chance to meet and chat with Osamu while he's in Columbia.

See you Thursday night at this free Columbia arts event.

Read more about Osamu here.