In 2010 I had a large solo show titled “Water Defined” at the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland, California. The venue was wonderfully large with 3 tall, long and wide walls. It was a wonderful space to see art as you could see it close up or from a distance by looking over the atrium. Close up you could see all of the materials I used on the painted background. They included lace, tassels, fabric and lots of handmade paper. In many of my pieces you may see blue fabric with white streaks which was in its past life a batik t-shirt. In fact it was one of my favorite t-shirts of all times. I could not bear to part with it so I kept it. Frequently I find a place for it in my artwork.
Mavericks are the enormous waves that manifest themselves between November and March along the California Pacific coast near Half Moon Bay. Surfers travel from around the world to see or compete in this invitational event. These waves are beautiful but dangerous.
Maverick (Image 30″ x 22″) framed in light wood 35″ x 27″. Text me for information.
When I returned to the USA after a number of years living in France, I had a solo show in a brick walled cafe in Pueblo, Colorado. I called it Wind, Wings and Wheels so I thought it would be fun to put it together again. The image above now lives in Washington DC. I used pieces of discarded batik, handmade paper and found objects.
I used Buttermilk Sky for the postcard invitation which really set the tone. This one now lives in Northern California.
It may have been with Morning Glory that I started using puzzle pieces . So paint, handmade paper and puzzle pieces would come out in a variety of ways. This one resides in South Dakota.
Dream Castle Moon I created in Colorado in 2005. That was based on an intriguing show of antique candy boxes I saw in Pueblo. I was fascinated by the Dream Castle Moon idea so I sketched out an idea and started to create it. Then I had the sudden thought that maybe I was copying it. I went back to see the show again. What a relief. What I was making looked nothing at all like the antique candy box. It just sent me away to find my own sliver, crescent moon. She found her home in the East Bay and rests happily there.
The Train is Ahead was made after I moved to Oakland in 2005. It was in my first Open Studios exhibit in Oakland. This train is happily chugging along in the East Bay.
The classic car above was inspired by the way gold spilled out on the black handmade paper. It just reminded me of a convertible and so it came into being. This 1934 Classic lives back east in Washington DC area.
I am pleased to be a part of the Winter Arts Fair at Musically Minded Academy this Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Entrance at 5776 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94618. The event is a fundraiser for this dedicated non-profit who offer individual or group music lessons to both children and adults. We all wish them much success. Please attend and support their first ever Winter Arts Fair.
For your viewing pleasure more than 15 Artists will exhibit their work. TheArthur Wright, Stacy Presson and I show together with Priority Artists at Open Studios. The other artists all offer an excellent variety of work. I look forward to seeing their work.
Musical selections will enhance the event from time to time for our listening senses.
If your sweet tooth is calling, delicious baked goods will be available to spice up your holiday experience.
I went to see the exhibit Flora and Form at the Gray Loft Gallery in Oakland on April 11.
Wow! Was I ever surprised to see such a great show. I went to see and support an artist friend, Lorrie Fink. She does these fantastic botanicals that are thickly done in her oil on canvas paintings. Though I normally don’t like themes of plants and flowers in art work, I admire her work. Her colors are delicate but her brush strokes are wild and done with deliberate intention. The two Thistle paintings above are from her Wild Things series.
The gallery is non traditional in a former studio on the third floor of a live-work building in an area of Oakland called Jingletown. I know Jingletown because before I found my current housing, I went to see a live-work space there. I took note of the great creative vibe.
Third floor walk up but easy. Not many steps to the second floor and then you walk all the way to the back of the building to the stairway leading to the third floor. When I arrived I knew it was the right place as Lorrie’s large painting which I estimate it to be 40″ x 40″ was hanging just outside the entrance. It was the best “Welcome to our Gallery” sign.
The gallery was a lot larger than I was expecting. Two rooms with great wall space. The first room had four complete walls for our viewing enjoyment. The work was of exceptional quality. All the flowers and plants had breathing room. So many flower paintings are so tightly done that it makes me feel like holding my breath. So I was able to breathe freely and observe the art.
I liked Ellen Little’s work which I interpreted as Hollyhocks though they may be some other flower. I also liked Carrie Lederer’s work, particularly the painted rocks–they reminded me of aboriginal art which focuses on the curved lines and patterns in nature.
My favorite wall was in the second room where all the exhibiting artists had work. They were of different shapes and sizes and appeared to be from seeds thrown against the wall, given light from the adjacent window and then sprouted into these exquisite pieces of art. Now that is my type of garden.
I attended the reception on Wednesday, March 26. The art was so globally aware and media diversified. I found all the art to be well executed and each artist had his/her own style. Conversations with viewers and artists alike were compelling. The additional artists’ who were were given decades frequently included in their work references to what the artist had done in the individual year. For example the decade of the 1990s image and artist’s statement included reference to Mandela.
The year 1990 holds much for the world to contemplate. It was a year of explosive launches, connectivity launches, creative launches and the ultimate release of a beloved world leader.
In this work I’ve translated those states into textured layers, the radiance into colors seen by the Hubble spacecraft. As visual reference I use images of what Hubble has seen and Mandela face in different situations. To represent the world wide web I simply constructed the www. Creative launch is keyed in as the Grand Palais Museum in Paris, France where I presented my art to the public.
I work with a water media background to which I add handmade paper, fabric, bits of found or forgotten objects.
I improvise and float the layers over a period of days, adding and subtracting color and texture. I refine the composition by moving the groupings around or completely off the paper. Each day I leave the work, cover it and contemplate the whole in my mind. It evolves over a period of time until the layers find their own altitudes and the colors their own latitude and the textures their own longitude.
The Full Story:
The artwork starts in my mind as I research for events that have happened in the year 1990. I print copies of the face of Mandela as he rides with Queen Elizabeth, as a face that peers out of prison bars, as he reflects on “Notes to the Future”.
I troll thru images of what the Hubble space craft has seen. For me the most symbolic was the Whirlpool Galaxy as it appeared to have a large bright central area. Clustered around the area and were splotches of bright pink, brown and gold. So the Whirlpool Galaxy became the backdrop for Mandela’s face and the backdrop for the entire work.
Then the world wide web has brought knowledge to our fingertips. How could I represent that? That was the easiest of all with the simple letters. I had started to use a type of gold decorative ribbon but eliminated that as it seems overly contrived.
I ended up with constructing the letters from handmade marbled paper– representing the interwoven information on the web and outlining them with thread.
Just in case these forms and figments of my artistic spirit were not enough to indicate what year I was representing, I put in the numbers 1990. I cut and patched pieces of red fabric and a piece of a batik to form the numbers.
My personal creative launch was to show at the Salon Des Independants at the Grand Palais Museum in Paris, France. The Grand Palais was my canvas to start my career as an artist. I felt deeply moved by history as I brought in my two pieces in late 1990. The Museum is so massive and it glass roof and form always intrigued me. If you look at my images for representing the Grand Palais, it started out as a simple piece of fabric that represented the lines of the glass roof. That seemed so blatant that I covered it with an open type of handmade paper and outlined some of it with a pale blue ink. That did not seem right so I settled on using bits (of the universe from the whirlpool galaxy in my mind) torn, cut and constructed marbled paper to represent a nebulous building and grounded the building by outlining the roof with black thread. I chose to place by signature at the foot of the Grand Palais to pay homage to my birthplace as an artist.
I took photos along the way to keep track of my progress. You can have a look.
This artwork is a part of a current exhibit running through July 11, 2014 . See previous post 85 Years 85 Artists for information on the exhibit at Menlo College.
Launched and Released Visual History
Click on any image to enlarge.
A visual history of how the details for the numbers changed :
Numbers begin 1/19/14 Numbers grow 1/22/14 Numbers take form 1/28/14
How the Grand Palais began, changed and evolved:
Grand Palais 1/25/14 Grand Palais 1/25/14 Grand Palais ready 1/29/14
A visual history of the www:
Trial gold w 1/19/14 Placement of www 1/28/14 www finalized 1/29/14
Mandela’s face and the insertion of the Whirlpool Galaxy:
Mandela’s face fully underway 1/19/14 Mandela’s face takes form 1/22/14
Face of Nelson Mandela Changes 1/25/14
Trial placement of Whirlpool Galaxy 1/26/14 Placement of Whirlpool Galaxy 1/26/14
Taking Shape 1/28/14 Finalizing at 10:30pm 1/28/14
I created this work as a part of the exhibit “85 Years, 85 Artists” currently open at Menlo College through July 11, 2014. Each artist was assigned a year about which to create an art piece. My year was 1990 and my artwork is titled “Launched and Released.” For details on the exhibit and reception, March 26 in Atherton, CA please follow the link below: