Friday, October 29, 2010

The Ties That Bind

During the past year or so, I've been exploring the nature of family relationships - the ties that bind. Discovering that within a family unit, there are some who step forward and some who step back, and some are forced back, and some cannot get their glow on...hidden in the shadow of a blazing star.
Is the quiet one less special?
Can someone really be too sensitive?
Does the loudest voice always win?
What happens when one person values justice over attention?
Does letting another take the spotlight diminish one's own importance?
Can one family handle more than one narcissist, more than one diva, more than one enormous talent? Who's turn is it on the stage?
Ah...The ties that bind.
This year, more than any other, we learned about duty, about love, about illness, about death. About fear & bravery, about humor & pain, about nobility and adversity. The roles we play within our families change - dutiful child becomes dutiful parent, caring sibling becomes care-giver, we must stretch, do things we never dreamed of doing, suffer horrendous loss, look to the future and find ways to lean upon each other.
We learned about each other and what meaning, what values rule our lives. We surprised each other.

Today I finished a portrait of two women. Sisters, perhaps. Together for a portrait, yet very removed from one another.

Is one stepping forward? Is one stepping back? Is the one in the background really duller? Or is she allowing her sister her moment in the spotlight. Are they posing? Are they happy in their roles? You'll need to discover the answer.
Ribbons of color weave in front, through and behind them. They hold them together, and keep them apart. In their moment, they don't even notice them.

Like all of us, we have ties that bind, ties that hold us beyond our control - through all of life's experiences. Like it or not, the ribbons flow around and between us - through our pasts, the present and the future.

Where do your ribbons go? Do they flow freely or hold too tight? What have you learned about your family this year? No matter your feelings about your family members, the ties that bind will last your lifetime.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Buy Local, Bid on my work!

I'm an advocate of the "buy local" movement.
Way back when I worked at St. Mary's Food Bank, I made sure the organization joined Local First, Arizona and when I started my own business, I joined, too.

The Fall Festival is coming up in two weeks, and to lend my support I have donated
an original piece of art for the silent auction. 
"Thinly Veiled Attempt" is 16x20"
It is a junk mail mosaic, embellished with gold netting and jewels. 
It's not a good photo of the piece, but here it is:
If you're in Metro Phoenix on November 13th, I hope you'll attend the Fall Festival and bid on my work - it goes to a good cause.
Shift your spending!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Free to a good home...

And the winner is...

What a great honor and delight to present Sisters Linda and Lydia with my artwork!

Our Lady of Guadalupe
A donation of a devotional nature, no kidding, no strings attached.

This portrait belongs in a church, and that's where you come in.
I created this portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe a couple of years ago.

It is a paper mosaic, created from junk mail & Christmas cards. I tried really hard to get the details right.

This photo is not very good, It is very shiny, has a lot of metallic paper, jewels, etc. The canvas is 24x48", it is in a very heavy,gilded and carved wood frame. It is wired, ready to hang. See more photos below...

This piece of art has been on display at three museums:
Arizona Museum for Youth
Springs Preserve Museum
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe
the Coconino Center for the Arts.

I have no intention of selling it.
Based on the work I sell in galleries, a piece of my work this size would sell for over $4000.00 - but remember, I don't want to sell it.

I am donating it - giving it a Catholic Church in Maricopa County...[no offense, Tucson, Flag...etc.] that really, really wants it.
I'll deliver it, or someone from the church can pick it up.  
No kidding.

So here's how this will work... 
If you want your church to own it, 
  • Comment on the blog - see below, at the very end of this blog, and all the comments you'll see the words post a comment in blue. Click on it!
  • You can post anonymously - I don't need your name. 
  • Name the church you want me donate this to... 
  • The church with the most comments gets it! [Make sure you let your church's admins/clergy know about this... I don't want any trouble!!!] 
  • Please make sure you not only give me the correct name and spelling of the church, but the address, contact name at the church or parish, phone # [at least the first comment, so I make sure there are no duplicates].
  • This is not a competition between parishes, I just want the church that wants it - to have it.
    Comments start now. I will tally the comments up and the church of choice will be announced on Monday, October 25th.

    I promise, this is a totally free, no strings attached offer. I will not solicit ANY kind of business or anything from your comments, your emails, etc... I'm not kidding. This is not for publicity, I just want to give this piece of art to the right place. Why am I doing this? I'm nice!

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Mind over Matter

    My artwork is not about the material used, instead it is about the mind, the thoughts behind the composition. What I use as an art supply - is something I happened on as a solution to a problem.
    1. When approaching a new canvas, I don't think about the material, I think about the composition. I have long conversations with myself about what I am doing. Every line, every movement is thoughtful.
    2. My purpose in creating my work is totally about the feeling I wish to evoke through the portrait, through the image.
    3. I use paint to create a face. The colors I wish to use, the decisions about where on the canvas the subject goes... shadows, eye color - everything is in my mind and not influenced by material.
    4. I respond to my resource image [real or imagined] and the improvisation starts there.
    5. The process that begins once I finish the painting is all about manipulating the materials at hand.
    6. Sometimes, the material used relates to the subject or the emotion, but it is not ruled by the material.
    I want you to look at the work and respond to the image first. Then, you can look closer to view the materials, then you can think about the process I created to place each piece exactly where it needed to go to create the image.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Blame it on a movie! If I wasn't an artist, I'd be...

    If I wasn't an artist, I'd still be an artist of a different sort.

    Throughout my adult life, I've done a lot of different things to earn a "living," and some that were very fulfilling, but the "living" wasn't always so great.

    And, I can blame it ALL on a movie!

    Cousin, Cousine (1975, French). Directed by Jean Charles Tacchella.

    Just so you know, it is incredibly charming and romantic, but that's not the point.

    In the film, Ludovic, a main character, talks about his life, his career path [or lack of]...he purposely changed jobs every two years. I don't think this was wise from a financial standpoint, but he was never bored.

    He worked on a cruise ship, he was a musician, a dance teacher, etc. This little piece of the plot is a TINY side note... not a main theme of the plot at all. None of the reviews even mention it.

    But, this bit really spoke to me, stuck with me, and has affected me since seeing the film...probably in the late 70's. [no, I'm not ADD]

    After college, I ended up in retail.

    What else do you do with a B.A. in Psychology?

    In my spare time, I did needlepoint - and became a needlepoint designer. Art...of a sort. Not for a company, just on my own... but I sold to stores from NY - CA and had a following. It's just incredibly tedious. I stopped doing it because I couldn't keep up with my orders... and I hated to repeat myself!

    After slogging around retail in different management areas, I decided to be a display artist. Art...of a sort. I loved it. I love dressing mannequins, designing window and interior displays...

    I left that job to become a handbag designer. I did that for a year.

    Then I went back to display, changing department stores and moving up the ranks. And started a T-shirt design company. Art of a sort...My designs were hilarious, but I was always under-capitalized and had to back off that, too.

    I finally made it to Visual Merchandising management and so naturally,

    I left and started my own display company. An art form, a legitimate art form...

    My partner and I had a great idea, but we did a lot of satellite projects that were SO MUCH FUN but very confusing to sell as a business niche. We did ALMOST a million dollars in sales the first year.

    We did retail visual merchandising, window designs, built props, worked with independent retailers and shopping centers.

    We built fixtures and props for big companies.
    We designed centerpieces and sets for events... it was all great.

    And then the economy tanked.

    I got a job. I ran a big department at a hotel chain - including the staging and design dept., retail and floral...not so arty...but I did get to design some BIG events, BIG props and even some floral designs.

    So, naturally, I left after a year to work in nonprofit.

    At least I kept it creative at the 3 organizations I worked at. Until one day...

    I quit [I did give notice] to become an artist...full time... absolutely 100% devoted to being an artist. This is not exactly "out of nowhere," however, I thought people would say "How DARE YOU!!!" - actually, some probably are.

    Obviously, I was a kid artist. A teen artist, A college student who forgot to take sculpture and ended up with that B.A. in Psych [I did get the BFA later]. I always, always painted. I did murals, I did custom portraits, I've always had a studio somewhere. Sure, I went to school "for art", but, I didn't go to "art school" or pay attention to HOW to be an artist, and to this day I can say:

    "What I know about art is that I don't know anything - except how to make it."

    I feel like an outsider [art industry wise], but that is probably my fault. I'm not a joiner.

    But I have a vision, talent, and can keep from getting bored by creating something new every day. I'm not changing careers anymore, but I can always change colors!

    Rent the movie if you can. You'll see love, death, family...There is sex, there are pastries, it's funny and romantic.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    a note to galleries

    If you've been to my web site, you'll see quite a hodge-podge of information that might be confusing.

    Allow me to clarify who I am and what I am doing.

    Yeah, I am somewhat self-taught, I do not have degrees, residencies, etc. to back up my work. I'm not much of a joiner, so I don't belong to guilds, collectives, or attend meetings [but I am going to one in a couple of weeks]. I don't really read the publications I should. I might just be an outsider. I just don't know everything I should know about the art world in general. And, I don't want to - I would rather be in my studio making art.

    I have done some art festivals - mostly to get my work out in the public. After a few years of doing this off and on, and at some awful ones and some prestigious shows. I know it's not for me... aside from the absolute grind and physicality of this exercise, well...let's be honest,  I'm honestly good at it, and don't enjoy standing in an 100 square foot space to try to sell my work... it gives me hives. I would rather be in my studio making art.

    I've made the mistake of listening to outside voices - my natural style gave impresario's the impression that pop stars and celebrities would be a great way to bring attention to my work. A gallery owner who showed my work insisted I create giclee's, and against my better judgement [and conscience] I did. I am no longer going to do this, and wish I could just sell them and be done with them. So, there are images on my site of this sort, please know it's not my "thing," but they're there to show what I've done, I'm pretty happy with a lot of the work.

    So yes, there are some giclees around, some prints and cards - perhaps a mistake or experiment gone awry. I will not create any more.

    Do I have a "storefront" on my site? I don't list prices for original work, I direct inquiries to the gallery where the work is located. If it is not located in a gallery, I will communicate with the potential buyer. My sincere wish is that every piece I have is in a gallery. I would rather be in my studio making art.

    So far, I've been the pr/marketing person for my work. I used whatever methods seemed appropriate [outsider, remember?] and I suppose this has been good and bad, for different reasons - but I have had my work featured in the media. And, I have had solo shows in galleries, I've had solo shows in museums. I really would rather not do PR anymore, I would rather be in my studio making art.

    I am not a ballet dancer, I do not blow up bridges, I do not work in a factory, a store, an office... I am a full time artist. I am completely dedicated to making art.

    I like painting women, I like faces. I like creating mosaics from paper to embellish my paintings. It is incredibly tedious - but think I have a unique vision and a unique technique. 

    Is it green? You bet. Is that important? You decide.

    My plan for the summer was to create a body of work relating images of women to an emotion influenced by a song. I started this journey, but the "body" of work is a small one. My summer ended up to be a horrible one - my mother died. A lot of time was spent as dutiful daughter... no regrets... My brother moved in with my father...more dutiful sister/daughter time logged, and then a tragic car accident took my brother's life - just 10 weeks after my mother... I am just getting my head above water.

    At this point, I am bound to create a series based on pre-conceived notions... ageism, racism, etc. What we believe about others before they have a chance to speak... I am including my own bug-a-boo's in this series. It will be under wraps until I have a group to show you. As a citizen of Arizona, the first piece completed touches on SB1070 - the illegal immigration bill. 

    In the meantime, my goal is to get my work into galleries that understand my history, my passion and vision. And, I am seeking a champion that will undertake my career - pick up the ball and run with it - take my work to the market - to galleries, collectors, shows... so I can stay in the studio and create art. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to get my work out there. But, I'll gladly listen to your advice.

    If you have questions, or would like to speak to me directly, please email me.