Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop

Hosted by Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House
316 Willow St, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524

Responding to Art
Movement in Stillness: Exploring the Drawings of Bonnie Lebesch

Have you ever been so drawn to a work of art that you just couldn’t look away or stop thinking about it? Join us on Sat., September 15th, from 3 – 5 p.m. to interpret, inhabit, confront, and speak to the drawings of Bonnie Lebesch, which are showing throughout the month of September at Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House. All artists are welcome!

Our 2018 Poet Laureate Natalie Giarratano will host this second edition of the responding to art workshop. Be ready to react, take notes, and listen to the artwork. And listen to the artist, too, who will be on hand to discuss her work and answer your questions.

This event is free and open to the public!

Natalie Giarratano is the author of Big Thicket Blues (Sundress Publications, 2017) and Leaving Clean, winner of the 2013 Liam Rector First Book Prize in Poetry (Briery Creek Press, 2013). Her poems have appeared in Beltway Poetry, Tupelo Quarterly, TYPO, Tinderbox, and American Literary Review, among others. She edits and lives in Fort Collins with her partner and daughter and is the city’s 2018 Poet Laureate.

Bonnie Lebesch is a Fort Collins abstract painter and mixed media artist. Her life and work are informed by practices in mindfulness, intentional healing, and tai chi. Bonnie had a career as an artist and designer in Seattle’s high-tech industry before dedicating herself fully to fine art in 2006.

Studio Tour in September

This year Fort Collins is hosting the Tour during the last weekend of September. See the Preview Show at the Carnegie Center for Creativity, reception September 14th, 5-7 PM.

Be sure to visit me at my new studio at 3 Square Art! As always, FREE and open to the public.

Fort Collins Studio Tour: September 12-30, 2018
Preview Exhibit: Carnegie Center for Creativity
• Reception & Awards: Friday 5-7 PM, September 14
• Hours: Wednesdays-Saturdays 12-6pm, 200 Mathews Street, Fort Collins

Tour Weekend: 3 Square Art, Studio 107, 2415 Donella Ct, Fort Collins
• Friday 5-9 PM, September 28
• Saturday 10-5 PM, September 29
• Sunday 12-5 PM, September 30

My Art. Your Eyes.

I can't wait to show you my newest artwork! On First Friday, September 7th, I'll be revealing a series of drawings at the Wolverine Farm Event Room. Grab a beer and join us upstairs for an evening of fun conversation and enticing artwork. Plus, at the Farm, live music is always a possibility. Just saying'.

It always starts at the beginning. This series began when I was teaching Mandala Drawing classes. In my own mandala explorations, I began drawing in this simplistic, repetitive, meditative way, and I thought, what if I could JUST draw this way for an entire drawing? What would it feel like to limit myself to this one constant expression? Could I maintain this composure without giving in to the whim of wild lines?

And so I continued like this for quite some time, and it was exquisite. I found the drawings to be grounded in a way my artwork rarely feels. They are like distillations of much more complex things, like nature, or sound. They could be cross sections or waveforms. They speak. I get still around them.

Recently I was talking with a friend about the nature of my studio practice. Actually, of my studios practice - as in, I have two studios - one at home and one at 3Square. The work I do in each place differs because I have each space supplied with different materials. At 3Square I paint. At home I do more technical, clean work.

When I paint, I tend to experiment and play and explore. I push those boundaries into uncomfortable places a lot, in an effort to get comfortable with new ideas, and to improve my technique.

When I do more technical, clean work, I often put on my designer hat and plan ahead. Not that explorations don't happen - they do! But the experience is more about setting constraints and working out solutions within those boundaries.

Which means my work gets pushed in two directions: one outward, one inward, simultaneously, or at least within hours or days of one another. It's a tug-of-war I have often thought I have to resolve, to commit to one direction in my studio practice.

But, it turns out, I don't have to decide after all. I can do both! And not just because I have two studios. I can do both, because, I can do both.

The show at Wolverine Farm will have two XXL large tiled drawings on paper. One is as still and simple as I could go. The second, well, I wanted it to be wild... but I could only go a certain distance towards wild within the same constraints of form and media. They represent two directions, the yin and yang of expression. I want to know what you think when you see them!

September 7-30, 2018
Reception September 7, 6-9 PM
316 Willow Street, Fort Collins
* Check their online calendar for scheduled events in the Event Room.

Artworks Loveland Exhibit of Love Letters Series

The LOVE LETTERS Paintings by Bonnie Lebesch
Artworks Loveland
February 9 - March 22, 2018
Opening Reception: 6-9 PM Friday, February 9
Painting Demo: 1-2:30 PM Saturday, February 24
Closing Reception: 6-8 PM Thursday, March 22

Studio Practice, Practice, Practice

Five (5), F-I-V-E, months off! Oh my. What have I been doing? Purging, packing, planning, moving, unpacking, purging, shopping, rearranging, reassessing, assembling, installing, purging even more! And I still don’t have art on the walls - except for the studio, of course. That took only four months.

And in the studio? It too has downsized. I am now an expert at organizing and fitting things into small spaces. Friends gape at the wall shelf fitted with bins and drawers with nary an inch to spare. But even so, I am still faced with so many things gathered over years of art-making, like this painting on paper for example. I clipped it to the wall and after several weeks I saw its new incarnation as this…

And since I had a few more paintings on paper, I kept on going…

So it seems I am in reassess mode. After all, when your living space demands being tidy every day and your one bathroom acts as the master bath AND the guest bath, you change your habits completely. Hidden storage, small furniture, a designated place for everything - I’m so compartmentalized its no wonder I had to recompose my paintings.


I’m working on another studio project - practice really - working on six different panels and reworking them again and again. I’ve only done a few layers so far, but I’m already feeling the freedom of not considering anything so precious that it can’t be transformed further.

I’m certain this will be a challenge at times, which is why I am considering all of them finished at any given moment. They are available for sale to preserve their current state forever - so if your heart melts at the sight of a work of art, best to snatch it up right away. There’s no saying how long it might last before I continue my studio play.

The series Evolution/Revolution will be on my website in its current state, so check back regularly to see what has transpired, and email me if you want to see it in person. I’ll be going through every idea that comes to me - so they are sure to transform wildly. Practice, practice, practice!

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Community Love Letter Painting

During the Love Letters Exhibition invited visitors to contribute to a painting in progress.

People loved being able to play with paint, which in itself can be quite transformative. Here are a few snapshots of the piece in progress... no plan, just play!

To set the space for this community healing piece, I had these words for people to contemplate:


This piece is a community project. 

I invite you to write, draw, scribble, scratch... 
to express yourself, to lay your burdens down,

Like lighting a candle, or hanging a milagro, 
spinning a prayer wheel, or making a wish,

Just open your heart and let it out. 
That which weighs you down every day does 
not need to be a burden forever.

Release it.

Let it go.

Feel your heart be light.

I will complete the piece, with all your offerings remade into a work of beauty and brightness.
Thank You for your heartfelt contributions to this community healing.

After the show I completed the piece following the process used in the Love Letters paintings. This underpainting has been transformed to the blue painting below. Only some of the images are visible, but all of the energy remains.

Work in Progress, Community Love Letter Painting, 2016

Final, Community Love Letter Painting, 2016

August - September, 2016
Community Creative Center, Fort Collins

A Silent Meditative Hour

My mind was empty,
my lips still,
and my heart lighter.

You might be wondering why I have scheduled an hour each day in the gallery for a "Silent Meditative Hour" (noon-1). It's unusual for an art exhibit to observe this practice, but when you understand my studio practice and the intentions behind the series it makes a lot of sense.

In the studio I sometimes work on technique, or experiment, or just play. Sometimes my play takes me much deeper into an idea or even a mediation, and that can turn into a profound experience. This was the case with the Love Letters paintings.

While working on each piece, I set an intention to work until I reached a resolve. With each step of the painting, I knew what I was searching for - not necessarily an aspect of the composition - but rather a feeling about what my energy and emotions were telling me.

In abstract work this is common, but in this series, the healing intent meant I was going very deep into my psyche in search of the root of an issue. Each painting had a story that needed to be told, and every bit of it dredged up and expressed until it was all out of me. I always knew when I reached that stage because my mind was empty, my lips still, and my heart lighter.

Then it was time to progress onto the next stage, the flip side if you will. You see, with the muck out of the way and the waters clear, there could be another message waiting for me. Sometimes this message was very clear, and other times I just felt relieved. Regardless, that message is in the paintings. That bit of my soul is there waiting to talk to whomever will listen.

Some people have had profound interactions with the paintings, and I want to give that opportunity to others too. It is a way for me to honor the process that these paintings came into being. So come early and sit in silence for a bit and see what the paintings have to say.

August - September, 2016
Community Creative Center, Fort Collins