Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I was there!

I just think this is so cool... It was the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate bridge this past weekend. Now, I had NO Idea, (but that's not was cool) what was cool was that my husband was working in SF this same weekend and I went along with him just to hang out AND he just happened to be working under the bridge by the festivities, but completely unrelated to the party (he had no idea either, which wasn't so great for him as parking etc. created quite the stress)
They had a mobile bike shop set up for any problems people might have as no cars were allowed in the area.

some of the entertainment

art cars

The crowds started to arrive later in the day as the sun came out.

Cars from the 30's when the bridge first opened

A very moving visual symbol of the shoes of people who have jumped from the bridge.

I listened as one mother spoke about her son. Someone asked "How do you know for sure he jumped, and is just not a missing person?" and she said because there was video and the police told me they saw him and he looked like a jumper- they drove by and saw him once and then as they circled back saw him again and then on the third drive by he was gone. "why didn't they stop?" one asked. The coroner who was also present,  answered, we don't know why.

Fort Point (1853) was the site of "International Orange" A site specific installation of 16 artists responding to the Golden Gate Bridge at 75.
Leaving the festivities I walked all the way back to the hotel via the coastline.
I just loved these homes along the harbor.

Monday, May 28, 2012

What if she's an Axe Murderer?

Rebeca in her studio
 Don't you just love it when men half listen? So let me start at the beginning. I was to accompany my husband to San Francisco where he would be working all day.  I contacted a blog friend of mine, Rebeca whom I seemed to have a lot in common with and I knew lived in the area, she was free and invited me to come see her and her art and gallery and studio and artist friends! The only problem was I didn't have a car and the bus takes 3 hours because of all the stops, and the last bus returning to the city leaves at 4:15 which leaves not much time to see and do everything. So I asked my husband and Rebeca asked hers and it was decided that if we ran out of time or were just having too much fun, I would spend the night.

So now back to the 1/2 listening part. As I am getting ready to fall asleep the night before I am to catch the bus, my husband says to me...well I hope your friend is still as nice as you remember her in high school and I say, what are you talking about? and he says, you know your friend that you are going to visit and I say what? I've never met her before! and he says What!? you are spending the night with someone you met on the internet! What if she's an ax murderer? Well then after that conversation, I didn't get much sleep. But Rebeca and her husband turned out to be as nice and gracious as I had expected!

And what a wonderful whirlwind 24 hours we had! She picked me up at the bus stop at 9:40 am and we went straight for a tour of the studio, as the thrift stores do not open until 10.

lot's and lot's of goodies but all very organized

Clear spice jars hold all kinds of small buttons, beads and baubles
part of her collection of doll heads, we had a tutorial on how to pull the heads off dolls.
We had the tutorial because I told her about my squeamishness to tear anything apart and how I mostly just use the item as is. I also told her the story about Nancy's Nightmare.

Finished Assemblage pieces

A piece in progress with interactive parts

Rebeca calls her art  Obtainium Art(click for link to website) Materials used for paintings or sculpture, not bought new, but obtained in other ways, such as second-hand, dumpster diving, chance findings or donations.

After several quick stops to her favorite thrift stores we were off to visit SOFA, the art district and meet some other artists and their wonderful studio's and work.

Cat Kaufman's studio

Cat and her quirky world of assemblage

Fascinating mixed media assemblage
 To see Cat's website visit:
Cat and Mary and a few other artists share a building were they have studios in the back and their own gallery up front. The current show is Mary's acrylic paintings. Some are on canvas and others are on old washboards or board games. Then over the pieces she pours resin. I really like her work. Mary's website is

This is Mary Linnea Vaughan and her current exhibit at the gallery.

Next we popped in and said hello to Jack Jones.
 Jack is quite the character and a great painter, he had my ear for a while and when I found out he was recently written up in the paper I had to google it, it explains more about his 88 years as an artist and designer than I could ever tell. click here: Jack Jones for the article.

From there it was off to the Sebastopol Gallery to see Rebeca's work on display and to drop off a new piece as she had just sold one. Yeah!

Next was a tour of Rebeca's house...

Artsy entrance to Rebeca's home...

...and wonderful backyard

We decided I needed to spend the night so we could go to garage sales in the morning and had a wonderful evening attending an end of the school year party, drinking good Sonoma wine and walking around town.
Assemblage loot- thrift store, garage sale and items given to me
picture frames 10 cents each!
I didn't really want these but the lady at the garage sale kept going down on the price because she really wanted someone to take them. I didn't take them because they were inexpensive I took them because her mother had made them and she had passed away a few years and she was trying to let go of her mothers things that she was hanging on to. I could tell she was a little upset about this so I said I would take them and honor them in some way and she said, I know you will.

some tchotchkes given to me  from Walt's office. When I walked in and saw all the knickknacks and mobiles in his small office I said, NOW I know why you two are married. 
 When we spied a box marked FREE on the side of the road Walt did a u-turn so Rebeca could see what was in it. I know Bill loves me but he would have stepped on the gas!!

It was a fitting way to end our 24 hours of non-stop fun and Rebeca dropped me off at the bus stop with a street taco to go and I was on my way back to the city! What fun! Thank you Rebeca and Walt!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Honoring People and Objects

This seems to be an on going theme through my work right now: honoring people and objects  I receive from others.  At Art Fest I received a lot of "Artist Trades" and I am using them in my art. I don't want to just shove the stuff in a drawer to save, as I would have done in the past. I want to use them  in a work of art and in some instances "honor" it. Or in other words show it off, protect it and give it a "home."

 Inside this art work is a piece of original parchment from 1775 from England. 

the only words I can make out on this are, "in the"

Laura Lee Rose from Feather gave me a feather tied to a crystal. When I looked up her website I was blown away. I thought it would be some new age crystals and feathers thing or boudoir type items but she makes stunning museum quality artwork that uses brilliant naturally colored feathers to make life-size human figures and masks! Very impressive.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the feather. I was thinking a Native American theme. And then I came across this article in the May 2010 National Geographic about Mexico's Shocking New Saints. This guardian of the most defenseless and worst of sinners, La Santa Muerte, Holy Death.

front of tin with door, stones, feather and crystal, wood, prayer coin. Under the door are the words " There are those who have mourned your passing with many a tear."

I grew up in New Jersey of Catholic, Italian descent but I have a connection to Mexico because at the age of 14 my parents relocated to the border of Mexico in far south Texas. I went to McAllen High School it was 80 percent Hispanic. Kids asked me what country I came from. I learned to speak Spanish even joining the Spanish Honor Society and made a lot of Mexican-American friends. I'll never forget my senior year of high school one of my friends heard my Anglo last name for the first time and declared, " What!!??, I thought you were one of us!!" That made me feel proud that I had blended in so well.

inside of tin

One of the reasons we moved there was because of a book, "Safe Places West" this was 1974, and the border of Mexico at that time, in that area- was virtually crime free.

collage and red paint on back of tin
Now the violence on the border as well as in the interior of Mexico is all too well known. This little piece of art is my acknowledgement and prayer for safer times for all in the near future.

some of the cards and ephemera from ArtFest 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Interview, Rejection and Acceptance

Today I got an email that an interview I did a month ago went live today on the Celebrate Green Blog, check it out here.
 a new piece this week using metal frame, ceramic dish, and vintage glass cut necklace

In other news I was turned down for Art in the Park. But I think it's because I didn't make enough money last year and this is the museums biggest fundraiser of the year.

last years booth (9/11)

But on the plus side I was chosen as one of 40 artists for a "Soundstick" installation for the outside of Boise Art Museum. In celebration of the Boise Art Museum's 75th anniversary, BAM will feature an exhibition titled Nick Cave: Meet me at the Center of the Earth from May 19- Nov. 4, 2012. The artists were invited to create soundsticks to celebrate imagination and creativity. These explorations of movement, identity and sound will adorn BAM's building June 2 until Aug. 31, 2012.

sound sticks are 4 feet in length, my idea was to hang the bottles from the antlers but after re-reading the parameters, I can only go 6" out and they measure 12" hmmm
June 2, 2012  noon to 4pm I will be participating in the BAM's Community Day. Local artists will share insights into the process of using found objects in artwork and the public can join artists to contribute to a collaborative community project.
sumi-e painting

I was also accepted to teach a week long summer class at BAM June 11-15 for ages 4-12 The title of the class is Art From Asia and the description: Find inspiration in artwork from China and Japan! Explore both old and new techniques for making paintings, prints, and ceramics artwork. Morning or afternoon session available. deadline to register is June 1.

RAW:The Blend is coming up next Thursday May 17 from 8-12. I have 14 tickets available @$10 each, if interested click here and look for my name in the drop down menu.
RAW events are multi-faceted artistic showcases. Each event features a film screening, musical performance, fashion show, art gallery, performance art and a featured hairstylist and makeup artist. These artists are all local, hand-picked talent who have been chosen to feature at RAW.
This is the first one in Boise and will be a monthly event.  Hope to see you!

Now to get started on my sound stick!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spring Mountain Biking Vacation

Art of the Brush Workshop at the Boise Museum
 My workshop at the museum a few weeks ago went well. I had 10 participants. We toured the galleries and then went back to create quite the plethora of calligraphy and sumi-e paintings.

Drove through, Nevada, Utah and Arizona
Immediately following the workshop my husband picked me up from the museum with the truck and trailer in tow and we left  for 2 weeks out on the road in our little T@B trailer with the mountain bikes.  We had a wonderful time. 
trying our new awning out for the first time

In Arizona I raced my first mountain bike race at age 52! and didn't do so bad. I came in 59 out of 105 including men and all ages. It was a 19.1 mile course, which included technical singletrack and 3000 feet of climbing!

The Whiskey Off Road
Time for gallery hopping in Jerome, AZ
and then off to Utah for some slick rock riding....

Road Runner territory

and in Nevada a local showed us a sweet single-track out of an old cowboy camp...

We rode five miles and 2000 feet up to the snow line. The descent was much more fun! 

...where I picked up a bunch of nicely weathered metal. 

When I arrived home my daughter left me a surprise in the studio....a small cabinet door that her roommate thought I could put to good use!

 This week on the art agenda.  On Monday I am hosting the TVAA board meeting at my house and I have a docent meeting at the museum Monday morning- the Nick Cave preview!  I am also getting ready for RAW, coming up the following week.