Monday, February 20, 2017

Revealed Landscapes

One of my projects this winter includes a new, 20-page sketchbook that includes paintings of nine places that are part of the National Park Service.  Like many painters, I often notice smaller paintings within a larger work.  Sometimes I even trim a painting on paper to “save” the part that works and discard the bits I am not pleased with.  With this sketchbook, each 10”x10” paintings is preceded by a page where a 4”x4” square has been cut out.  The square frames a “smaller” and often abstract painting.  Only when the page is turned, is the larger painting revealed. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Full Envelopes

There has been some mail art coming in celebrating recent holidays — well, Valentine’s and Chinese New Year – I haven’t gotten anything for Ground Hog’s Day or Chandeleur (could we turn crêpes into mail art?).  Also, a few envelopes full stuffed full of goodies:
  1. Valentine mail art from Katerina Nikoltsou in Greece.
  2. A Blue and Green hand-stitched, collaged postcard from Rebecca Guyver.
  3. Kate Kaminski’s valentine mail art chooses a palette that defies convention.
  4. Barbara Stasiowski turned collaged canvas into postcards to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. This is my favorite piece I have ever received from her!
  5. Some belated Pink Mail Art arrived from Mailarta in Canada with a call for self portrait ATC’s (I need to do that).  I love all the postage stamps, but when is one of my Canadian correspondents going to send me a stamp featuring the Buffalo Sabres?
  6. ATC’s and more filled a fantastic envelope from Cuan Miles n South Africa. 
  7. And finally, two fun-filled envelopes arrived from Virgo in Russia.  That mail from Russia always takes a long time.  I imagine a postman walking across a frozen lake.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Museum Weekend

It was an art museum filled weekend.  Saturday was an occasion to visit the Berkeley Art Museum and check out the new exhibit Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia.  The show is full of ephemera, prints, including some of the work of Corita Kent, macramé and photography form the era including a series Clay Geerdes photography of the Cockettes.  But the exhibit is not limited to what might be the expected memorabilia — the show also explores the world of high tech hippies – yes, high tech hippies, who were exploring and utilizing what was the latest technological innovations in their work.  Examples include the Community Memory Project – a very early “social media” device developed by Berkeley’s Village of Arts and Ideas Commune.  The exhibit runs through May 21st and the website lists a number of related events, panel discussions, etc.  And finally Teri Friedman’s new installation (above right) is a perfect complement to the current exhibit.

Sunday was the annual Member for a Day event in the Bay Area offering reciprocal access to other museums.  The SFMOMA’s costly membership and entrance fee ($25) might seem like chump change to my young, techie neighbors, but for an artist like myself, I’ll take an opportunity to visit for free.  The expanded museum is overwhelming when crowded, and those outdoor “escape” terraces are much appreciated.  The highlight of the visit was Tomás Saraceno’s installation Stillness in Motion — Cloud Cities (see below).  It is clearly a crowd pleaser and slightly dangerous for us tall folk.  There was another, very inspirational discovery at the SFMOMA – but more about that soon….

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New Year’s Mail

2017 is off to a tumultuous start and, while there are horrible people trying to cut America off from the rest of the world, there are those of resisting in many ways.  And just one small act, is to send out positive mail overseas.  It is always a pleasure to receive mail art in return.  Below is a sampling of some of the pieces that arrived in January including from Canada, France, Denmark, the U.K. and Taiwan:
  1. According to Cece Chan, Betty Made It!
  2. Helene Gath sent mail art from France in response to a show I participated in.
  3. Marina Salmaso is one of those mail artists where the envelope is often as much fun as the contents.
  4. William Mellott sent a map-inspired piece.
  5. E. Coles latest piece will be the new one in the “E. Coles Spot” on my bookcases.
  6. An R arrived form R.F. Côté.
  7. Maureen Forys sends a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree, we must dump the chump.
  8. And finally, preparing this for the year ahead, a calendar-themed book of tickets from Sally Wassink to get us through 2017.