49 episodes

Artists Valerie Allen and Armin Mersmann invite you to join them in their studio discussions about art and the creative process. Each artist brings a unique perspective to the podcast. Valerie, an abstract painter and Armin, a draughtsman working in realism compare and contrast topics on art that will help guide artists as they climb the ladders of art one rung at a time.

Art Ladders: The Creative Climb Valerie Allen and Armin Mersmann

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Artists Valerie Allen and Armin Mersmann invite you to join them in their studio discussions about art and the creative process. Each artist brings a unique perspective to the podcast. Valerie, an abstract painter and Armin, a draughtsman working in realism compare and contrast topics on art that will help guide artists as they climb the ladders of art one rung at a time.

    Episode 50: The Healing Power of Art with artist Audrey Phillips

    Episode 50: The Healing Power of Art with artist Audrey Phillips

    Episode 50 is a conversation with artist Audrey Phillips. We learn more about Audrey and her beautiful acrylic paintings and her incredible journey through life that included both dark and light, tragedy and triumph.

    Audrey received her Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Florida. Audrey has exhibited in solo and group shows in Florida, where she currently lives, Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, California, Texas, New Mexico and New York. Her work is can be found in corporate and private collection in the United States and internationally. In 2019, 54 of her paintings were acquired by the University of Tampa for permanent installation in their newly renovated Southard Family Building.

    Audrey states, "My art practice started quite by accident—a collision of tragedy and creative healing. In 2000, I started painting faces that were somewhat representational but mostly raw, darkly expressive and strangely abstracted. This work sprang forth from a deep loss. In my search to heal, my newly formed art practice became a visual healing process. After this ten-year journey, I started painting abstractly. This abstract work allowed me to tap into the internal energy I had learned to access through my yoga and meditation practice that also started in the year 2000," in an interview for Arts on Douglas.

    Audrey's paintings are expressive, bold and large, with beautiful colors and gestural mark making. Nature is her primary springboard and she often works in diptychs or two panels that symbolize the duality of life, the yin and yang, the light and dark. Her influences of artists are Joan Mitchell, Cecily Brown, and Willem de Kooning.

    Audrey teaches week-long workshops throughout the country. Her teaching style includes sharing her lifestyle with students. This includes the practice of meditation combined with full sessions of painting. The students work large in spacious studios in venues that have those types of facilities. This year she is teaching at Beverly Todd's Santa Fe Artist Getaway (you can hear more about this venue in our episode 46 with Beverly) and Paint Space NOLA in New Orleans. She accepts students after doing a portfolio review to make sure it is a good fit for intermediate to advanced painters. Check out the show notes for information on enrolling.

    Many thanks to Audrey for sharing her story with us. This episode is a powerful testament to the power of art in regards to healing and uplifting your life.

    Here are links with more information on Audrey.

    Audrey Phillips Website

    Interview with Audrey by Arts on Douglas, a gallery in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

    Article in Growing Bolder on Audrey Phillips (page 30)

    Audrey's workshop at Santa Fe Getaway Dates: September 25-30.

    Audrey's workshop at Paint Space NOLA Dates: November 6-11.

    • 58 min
    Episode 49: An Artful Summer

    Episode 49: An Artful Summer

    Join Val and Armin as they discuss setting intentions to keep your art practice engaged throughout the summer. Setting a few intentions of what you want to accomplish will help you stay focused but still have time to just relax and daydream. The trick is to keep your plans flexible and give yourself a lot of room for improvisation for some spontaneous experiences. These experiences can then pop up many years later and supply narratives for works of art or topics for ongoing series.

    Summertime recommendations to keep in your radar!

    Pack a travel set of art supplies. Could be as simple as a sketchbook and a pencil. Val likes to take a sketchbook, Sharpie pen, some charcoal, and oil pastels. Armin is a light packer with sketchbook and mechanical pencil. Some travels such as month-long stays or artist residencies can have a much bigger supply list, especially if you are driving.

    Take time to daydream and/or just look at the clouds. Those quiet times yields future ideas.

    While driving, be sure to leave time open to stop for photographs along the way. Great way to collect reference photos.

    If staying home, spend some time making your studio just the way you want. This could mean organizing and cleaning or adding new equipment to your studio.

    Continue your journals, if that is one of your rituals.

    When going to museums and galleries, pace yourself. Smaller time periods in museums allows more retention of the memories.

    Keep flexible. It's more important to collect experiences than sketches so be easy on yourself.

    Show notes:

    Your Brain on Art Written by: Susan Magsamen & Ivy Ross

    Urban Sketchers: A Global Community of Artists

    Travel supply ideas from My Modern Met

    Littlefield Gallery with Jane and Kelly Littlefield

    Intermediate and Advanced Online Drawing Class with Armin Starts Wed. May 24

    Abstraction Now! Summer Session with Val Starts Wednesday, May 31

    • 42 min
    Episode 48: Conversation with Kelly Anne Powers of the Learn to Paint Podcast

    Episode 48: Conversation with Kelly Anne Powers of the Learn to Paint Podcast

    It is our pleasure to introduce our audience to Kelly Anne Powers. We have listened and enjoyed her Learn to Paint Podcast throughout the year. Val connected with Kelly via Instagram and invited her to interview with us and she accepted! In the meantime, we learned that several of our listeners were already taking full advantage of Kelly's in-depth and practical painting episodes after we had shared her posts on our social media outlets. Now is our chance to get to know Kelly even better!

    More about Kelly that we learned from her website which we will list in show notes below.

    Kelly is a third generation artist. Her grandmother, Jan Kunz, taught watercolor workshops across the country and has written a half dozen books on the subject. Her mother, artist Lynn Powers, started a business with her Dad, Jim, called Creative Catalyst Productions that brought live workshops to video format. Youtube wasn’t around yet. Growing up in that atmosphere of artistic process and marketing inspired Kelly to learn to paint and become an entrepreneur in the business of art.

    She started the podcast with the goal of helping artists become better painters. By interviewing artists, primarily painters, she asks the questions we all want to know. How do painters work? How did they learn to paint? What advice do they have for other artists? Her interviews are formatted and produced with attention to details and leave listeners with lots of food for thought to ponder as they continue their journey in art. She also has a wonderful Art Club through Patreon with extra content and art challenges to reach for even higher heights as an artist. All of her projects have the stamp of quality and professionalism that attracted us to her podcast from the very beginning.

    We encourage you to follow and subscribe to Kelly's Learn to Paint Podcast. You will be happy you did!

    Kelly Anne Powers Website

    Learn to Paint Podcast

    Learn to Paint Podcast Most Recent Episode

    Learn to Paint Blog Post with Artist Mark Eanes on The Importance of Drawing

    #20for20ArtChallenge Information here

    Family background links:

    Creative Catalyst Productions

    Kelly's Grandmother, Jan Kunz Bio

    Kelly's Mother, Lynn Powers website

    • 53 min
    Episode 47: Homage to My Father

    Episode 47: Homage to My Father

    In this episode, Armin and Val discuss the close relationship Armin had with his artist and author father. Their bond helped make Armin the artist he is today Stories about art lessons, studio practices and big dreams of art round out this episode and encourage us all to honor the pivotal guides and mentors we've had in our lives.

    Fritz Mersmann came to this country in August of 1962. He was commissioned to create paintings for Zehnder's in Frankenmuth. Fritz was a professional visual artist until he was in his mid-fifties. He went on to write 5 manuscripts as an author. These manuscripts were never published but are valued by the family nonetheless.

    Fritz's teachings to Armin have become an integral part of Armin's classes and he often breaks into a heavy German accent as Armin tells "Fritz Stories". Val's memories of an older Fritz and his wife Carolyn are told with a fondness for the couple's daily drives and lunches. She remembers Fritz as a huge personality full of charm and wit.

    We hope you enjoy this homage to Armin's father or as Armin calls him even as a child, "Fritz".

    • 46 min
    Episode 46: Conversation with Beverly Todd of Santa Fe Artist Getaway

    Episode 46: Conversation with Beverly Todd of Santa Fe Artist Getaway

    What a wonderful conversation we had with the effervescent artist and creative entrepreneur, Beverly Todd. It's always remarkable how much we find in common with other artists who are connecting all the dots with artists. Bev connects artists with workshop leaders and/or space to create their work either during a class setting or a totally independent on-site residency. And what better place to do that than the magical and artistically rich city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Put this on your bucket list and we will, too. We will lists links so you can see the details on connecting with Bev. In the meantime, here is short bio on this working artist, Beverly Todd!

    Through large-scale abstract painting, Beverly interprets nature. Connects with ideas. And explores emotion. Her painting process is physical, using hardware-store brushes. Broken sticks. Rags. And hands. To move paint. To add layers. To pull back layers. To drip. To scrape and wipe. And to pull the paint across the surface.

    Beverly grew up in rural American near Union, Nebraska. Often happily lost for hours in the open prairie landscape that inspires her work. Today, she paints in her Santa Fe, New Mexico, studio and takes cues from the high desert landscape. Wanting to give other creatives the same experience, Beverly opened Santa Fe Artist Getaway in 2019 - a place for all artists to stay, play, and create.

    A former non-profit executive, now a creative entrepreneur, Beverly is a workshop leader and creativity coach, sharing her passion for exploration, adventure, and creativity. Blending her two passions – art and personal development – she founded TeamPaint , an innovative team-building workshop that uses arts-based learning. As teams paint together, they think strategically, build bonds and open communications.

    Beverly Todd Website

    Santa Fe Artist Getaway Website

    Ninth Street Women

    Hans Hoffman: Color Creates Light

    A Guide to Santa Fe Art                                                     

    • 48 min
    Episode 45: Art Mentors in Our Lives

    Episode 45: Art Mentors in Our Lives

    Have you ever had a mentor or a coach who brought out the best in you and propelled you forward just from their belief in you? It is a wonderful transfer of energy that can be helpful in all works of life but especially so for artists as they navigate the creative process with emotional stamina. The definition of a mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. Top qualities for an art mentor are great listening skills, amazing critique technique, and the mentor is passionate about art. Both Valerie and Armin have had mentors during their art careers. Armin speaks of his dad and artists Larry Butcher and Todd Burroughs. Larry was Armin's college prof who pushed him forward with strong critiques and work ethic influence and Todd was influential in developing positive people interactions by being a friend he could model his life after. Valerie was connected to her high school art teacher, Mrs. Morris way back in the day. Mrs. Morris believed in Val and stressed to her that anything was possible. Very empowering to hear as a teenager. Later in life while Val was going thru life changes and divorce she connected with art coach, Ghislaine Mahler. She introduced Val to Julia Cameron's Artist Way and Morning Pages that she still practices. This podcast topic came about to share a very special announcement that Valerie and Armin were selected to be mentors for Mastrius, an online global community for artists. It is full circle for them both and they are excited to start small groups soon online. This is where all the art skills and knowledge they have accumulated through the years can help other artists. Here are some show notes to study.

    Mastrius Mentor Program

    Armin's Mastrius Mentor Group starting May 2. Limited to 8 artists

    Valerie's Mastrius Mentor Group starting May 2. Limited to 8 artists

    Valerie's Art Coach Ghislaine Mahler

    Ghislaine Mahler's Facebook Group: My Journey to Self-Mastery

    Armin's friend and mentor Todd Burrough's Atelier School of Art

    Valerie's guiding book: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

    • 42 min

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