Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The World of Googly Eyes

When you send mail art, a leap of faith is sometimes required.  When you answer a call for mail art with theme O Mundo Como Você Vê (The World as You See) and you decide to make a piece that is covered in googly eyes and send it as a postcard — you can only hope that it makes it.  The piece was weighed, the postage was calculated, fingers are crossed and it is on the way.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Keeping an Open Mind to Meissen

Last week I had a day trip up to Sacramento that included the Crocker Museum.  Currently most of the special exhibits are Japan-focused, including two shows of contemporary ceramics. Japanamerica — Points of Contact explores the role and influence Japanese art on the United States through a century of international expos and world’s fairs. There is also an exhibit with the photography of Ansel Adams from the Japanese-American internment camp at Manzanar.  They are beautiful and stunning photos from an ugly, sad and shameful chapter in American History.
There was one exhibit that I knew I did not need to see.  Forbidden Fruit – Chris Antemann at Meissen.  Sure, as an artist I can appreciate the craftsmanship.  But from my point of view, Meissen porcelain is at the high end of the spectrum of old lady knick-knacks.  Starting at the bottom with the offerings of the Lillian Vernon catalog, to Hummel, to the Franklin Mint to museum-worthy Meissen.  It is one big yawn.
As I passed by the sun filled room, I was like, okay, sure, I might as well have a look….
I love them.  Technically the sculptor Chris Antemann has created beautiful work.  At a quick glance yeah, Meissen — at second glance, what, wait a minute….   They are so naughty.  I can’t resist saying it, but she put the bone back in bone china. 
I was tempted to camp out and wait for a few of the ladies-who-do-lunch to come and have a look and be all, well, titillated. 

The show is in Sacramento until June 25, 2017.  You can get a video preview here. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The start of a new series?

Outdoor Adventure, mixed media piece, 18”x14” on board

My newest mixed media piece that started with some ideas I started playing with at the end of 2016. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

The National Park in the Backyard

Even when I travel all over the Western United States it is easy to forget that I can find myself in a national park by taking a walk for all of 45 minutes.  Living closer to Golden Gate Park, I often “forget” about the Presidio — our national park right in San Francisco.

I have been meaning to check out Andy Goldworthy’s Spire for, I realized, nearly 10 years.  It is one of four installations he has created for the Presidio (details here). We started at Wood Line and then hiked up to Spire.  By the time we got down the hill, the building that house Tree Fall was closed, but we saw the latest installation Earth Wall in the courtyard of the Presidio Officers’ Club.   I had, mistakenly, assumed the Presidio Officers’ Club was essentially used as event space.  Yes, it is an event space, but it also home to a fantastic and free history museum.  What a discovery!  Before taking MUNI back home we had a peak at the brand new and fabulous Visitor Center.  I do love big government when we spend money on our national parks.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Mail Art Marches On

It has been a rainy winter of sending and receiving mail art.  Some of the recent arrivals include:
  1. A new collage piece from Brooke Cooks that came in an envelope covered in vintage postage stamps that remind us what a proper president looks like.
  2. An altered Spanish postcard from Pamela Gerard.
  3. A new piece from Torma Cauli that is a kind of mix between collage and papier-mâché.  I think this is one of my favorite pieces I have ever received from Torma. 
  4. Barbara Stasiowski (aka BarCode Barb) has been producing some swell pink pussy hat zines/booklets.
  5. Sandra Lefever sent a lovely, new year’s-themed-piece from “Scarysota” Florida.
  6. Artist stamps arrived from the Crackerjack Kid.
  7. Marina Salmaso was visiting Spain and still finding time to send mail art.
  8. A wintery piece from Carolyn Oord (aka Kerosone) in Quebec — where right now it is 21° (-6° C).  And we complain about “cold” San Francisco.
  9. And finally, Anna Hollings sent one of her paintings printed on a greeting card as well as two altered postcards form New Zealand.