Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Arctic in LA

Lawren Harris, Lake and Mountains, 1928

Normally when the temperature dips below 50° people start to hibernate in Los Angeles, and Sunday morning it was below 40° breaking records (a temperature of 36° was recorded at USC).  It seemed the right type of day to go see some awesome and icy Canadian art.  Taking a break from holidaying it was time for a visit to one of my L.A. favorites — the Hammer Museum.  After checking in to say hello to Dr. Pozzi, it was time to see the special exhibits. 

A few years back I discovered Canada’s Group of Seven landscape painters and added a wonderful book to my personal library.  I’ve been itching to see more of the work in person.  On a chilly LA day it was time to get better acquainted with Lawren Harris.  It’s the first major exhibit of his work in the United States.  As a fan of both Rockwell Kent and Georgia O’Keeffe, Harris’s arctic landscapes and scenes of the shore of Lake Superior were naturally appealing to me.  The show at the Hammer is up until January 24, 2016.  If you don’t have a chance to get to L.A., I strongly recommend checking out the museum’s website which has done an excellent job previewing the show.  I wish more museums were this thorough. 

The day remained chilly and at lunch in Santa Monica.  Many people could be seen dressed in scarves, hats and gloves.  It was finally a day where those Uggs might make sense, might….

Sunday, December 20, 2015

December Mail

Christmas is less than a week away, my holiday cards are all mailed and some new mail art, Christmas-themed mail art and Christmas cards have been coming in.  Here are a few of the new pieces received this month (so far):
  1. Nico Van Hoorn sent some symbolic mail art – I think this might be a new fashion logo (I’ll be sending my sizes).
  2. Adrienne Mason couldn’t resist sending one more pink piece.
  3. Meral Agar sent some very wintery New Year’s greetings.
  4. Punkie Ebert sent a stitched bag of Christmas.
  5. A woven piece from E. Coles that has me looking for hidden messages.
  6. Angela Behrendt sent me a Tales of the City-themed piece of mail art.  Alas, Maupin’s dear City seems lost at times.  But just as I think it’s all gone, I still find some glimpse of delightful San Francisco-ness – like Sugarman, he is one of the men who still does occasional maintenance on my apartment building.  80 if he is a day, and riding around on an over-sized “chopper” bicycle.  So cool.
  7. Torma Cauli’s latest piece seems to signal the end of 2015.
  8. Katerina Nikoltsu send “minimal” holiday greetings and a zine of her meetings notes with D.B. Cooper.  I had no idea he was hiding in Greece.
  9. And Ren Fracture sent an “Office Butt” reminding us to get out of that chair.
Thank for another great year of mail art, or as this blog mentions my, “global network of artists who send him postcards…”   I feel so powerful with a global network, but then why I am so broke?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Inspiring Paint Samples

Tickets, MUNI passes, maps, postage stamps, postcards, there have been a number of different types of material that have been used in my mail art and collages.  Now I have Meral A─čar to thank for my latest inspiration.  After the holidays it is going to be all about paint chips. 

Above (left) is one of my favorite pieces received for the Pink Mail Art show in Sacramento.  Meral used paint chips and of course, as she lives in Turkey, I like how they are all in Turkish.    As part of Pink Week, the San Francisco Correspondence Coop was up at the Crocker Art Museum where we helped visitors make some mail art.  We did an exquisite corpse piece that has been cut up into postcards and is now being distributed.  This piece (above right) using a paint chip is on it’s way to Istanbul.

Starting in January, I want to do some mail art incorporating paint chips.  I really like the idea of multilingual pieces that are all about color and language.  If you want to send me a piece of mail art using paint chips, you eventually will get one in return.  And, if you want to send me some sample paint chips, especially ones that are not in English, you know I will but them to good use.

PO Box 170681
San Francisco, CA 94117 USA

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Post-Pink Week Postcards

Pink Week 2015 and the exhibit in Sacramento are finished.  There is still one piece of unfinished business.  One month ago the San Francisco Correspondence Coop was up at the Crocker Art Museum helping visitors make some mail art.  We all worked on an exquisite corpse piece.  Last night at our holiday party the piece was laminated, cut into postcards and pieces were addressed to the participants.  Keep an eye on your mailbox….

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winter Trail

Winter Trail, acrylic on paper, 5”x5”

I welcome winter at the Point Reyes National Seashore.  It is a place I love to escape to any time of the year – but there is something special about those bright crisp days of winter light after the rain passes through.  I was up there last week and need to head back again soon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Collagescape Boxes with Hidden Paintings

This latest series of collagescapes are done on small mounted boards (4”x4” by 1 ½” deep).  Furthering the idea that collagescapes are a mix of painting and collage each one has a small hidden painting when you turn it around.  A painting that reflects the place represented in the collagescape on the front of the piece.  From the shores of Lake Tahoe to the pier at China Camp State Park in Marin County to the view under the dome in San Francisco’s City Hall.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Photography of Jim McDonough

Jim McDonough (1959-2015)  grew up in the Boston Area and after graduating from college ended up working at the gas company.  He was a meter reader.  We creative people often build resumes that are a patchwork of jobs.  He had dreamed of moving to San Francisco or New Mexico — he settled on San Francisco.  Soon after Jim, moved west I found my own home in San Francisco.  We became friends soon after I moved here 1990.  A few years later we realized that Jim was my meter reader when I briefly lived in Medford, Mass.  Fate is a strange thing.

A job opportunity detoured Jim to Florida.  But, when it was time to escape, re-entry into the Bay Area was all but impossible.  Jim found a new home in Albuquerque, New Mexico and began to get serious about photography.  He began exploring some fairly remote corners of the state going down roads that probably were not meant for his Toyota Echo.  Soon his work was being exhibited and even won a few awards.  Sadly illness cut Jim's career short and he passed away in November 2015.

Here is a sampling of some of Jim’s work.  I am the fortunate owner of a Sprung.   A few years back he placed some of his work on fineartamerica.com and you can see more, and even get prints here.