Monday, December 13, 2010

Everyone's A Critic!?

I took my daughter to National Portfolio Day so she could meet art schools she is interested in attending. I always thought she had talent, she's been drawing since she was a baby. In fact her drawing at age 2 led her to the Center for Academic Precocity.

She gets straight A's in Art, has taken extra-curricular art classes and is the president of the Art Honor Society and volunteers for Free Arts.

I know I am biased. But I thought the schools would be somewhat impressed...

She brought a portfolio with drawings and paintings.

Now, mind you, she's an honor student, taking AP classes, with great grades...and when not doing homework, she's in a band [and writes music], lies on the couch and has pretty normal life. So, I suppose she should have spent more time making art or taking more art classes... perhaps her portfolio was a bit slim?

Is she the most talented 18 year old? Probably not... I wasn't expecting her to be swept up museum curators upon entry.

I expected a little more consistent feedback. Oh, no one told her she was awful, or wasting her time, but I was surprised that the critiques were completely contradictory!?

School one - Do more figure drawing. Not from photos, from life. Your paintings are your worst work. Work on shading. Your drawings in graphite are your best work. Forget Fine Art, go for Illustraton. Not impressed, but the critic is in the photography department. Do more drawings and send them in [uh... deadline for application is NOW-ish?] not exactly encouraging, but not bad... at least they had a conversation and he was not discouraging her.

School two - Do more still lifes. Your paintings are flat. No other feedback.

School three - Very positive, actually really liked some work [paintings] and gave her some hints on improving work and how to edit her portfolio for submission. They talked at length about the school, the town the school is in and how she would fit in. But, this was never a school she considered.

School four - Your paintings are your best work. Your work is best when telling a story. Come visit the school. [I know this school values academics as highly as art work]. It was worth waiting over 2 hours in line for that...

The lines for the other schools she was interested in were WAY too long,  so we were out of time. I wouldn't say she was discouraged, though - she was given a lot of good ideas, inconsistent as they were. She has a lot work to do - too bad finals start this week.

BTW, she wants to be an Art Teacher.

If you think I"m a whining, unrealistic Mom - NO - I know she will be faced with criticism throughout art school - same thing with any artistic endeavor. And I know better than anyone you need to develop a thick skin and a strong point of view.

In college, my life drawing prof absolutely ignored me the entire semester. Would not look at my work or speak to me, gave me no feedback whatsoever... until the final critique, when she said my drawings looked like cartoons...[thanks for all the help, bitch!] and one painting prof told me to stay home and create 12 paintings...that I didn't need his class [lazy me did so, got an A, but didn't learn a flipping thing from him!]. And I would suggest not taking Art History at 7:00 a.m. - they dim the lights and a monotone professor will put you right back to sleep during the slide presentation.

I was wondering what would have happened if I had taken MY portfolio in for review. At every art show or gallery opening, viewers positively swoon over my work, but I can image the comments from critics now... don't worry, I can take it.

Here's some I've had in the past mostly from galleries that actually SELL my work:
You should paint celebrities.
You shouldn't do close-ups... put your subjects in a room.
Your strongest work is portraits,
Ah, your work is just pretty pictures, it needs to be about something.
Don't put writing or words in your work.
Work bigger, much bigger.
We can only sell smaller pieces.
Don't paint celebrities.
No one like portraits, can you do landscapes?

Do you think being an artist is easy? Do you think being self-employed is a dream? No bosses?
Ha - a self-employed artist has a million bosses - critics, gallery owners, art-collectors and everyone who sees your work in person, everyone's a critic!

Get ready, daughter!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


My husband & I went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for vacation a couple of weeks ago.

Really, a V A C A T I O N!

He really works hard, and for the past several years, has been using his vacation time to help me with Art Festivals. Those "mini-vacations" are really no vacations at all - between long drives, the grind of physically setting up a booth, tent, merchandise, and then standing around for 2 - 3 days is pretty tiring. Evenings are usually spent grabbing something to eat and sleeping.

So, it was about time we took some actual R&R.

Krystal - Pool
Lucky for us, we have a time-share [we haven't been for years]. Lucky for us, we had enough frequent flier miles to get there for [almost] free. My best friend met us there and stayed at our hotel.
Krystal - New Tower [stay here]

The beach at Yelapa
Wow. What a difference. We didn't have to wake up early, we didn't have to be anywhere at any time. We decided to take casual clothes so we didn't hit any "fancy" restaurants.The only thing we did was take a cruise to Yelapa... and snorkel, and kayak. The cruise was fun, it was a beautiful, cool day, we got wet suits. By the time we got to Yelapa, it was warm and sunny. We hiked up through the "sleepy" village, supposedly charming, to a water fall. It was nice... not fabulous, then hiked down a different way to get to the beach. This sort of "easy hike" is NOT good for older people, or people who are not sure of themselves. The hour on the beach was an hour at a restaurant [we just had lunch on the boat], the water was too cold for swimming, but it was pleasant enough watching the group in front of us sporting "Hedonism" visors drinking and shopping every beach vendor. Then back to PV, the crew decided to put on a show which was pretty lame and unnecessary - but hey, it's open bar and that was the best pina colada I've had in a long time.

Some things to know about traveling to Puerto Vallarta. It's safe. There are a million things to do, or you can sit on your butt and ask Ramon to bring another round of margaritas and chips & guacamole.
You can rent a car, or you can take the bus [cheap!] or taxi's [fairly cheap] to anywhere.
Looks a little run down since last we went, but not awful...a little dustier. Maybe the stores are moving toward Nueva Vallarta and La Punta Mita?
Anyway, you will be constantly assaulted by time-share sales people. They will offer you free lunch, free massages, free boat trips... they'll pretend they met you before. You will also be pestered constantly if you hang out on the beach. Our hotel has security, but that's to keep beach vendors out of the pool area. You'll start out being nice, but within hours you'll be saying "No, gracias" or "No tengo dinero" and by the second day, you'll be holding your book over your eyes to avoid contact. Anything sold on the beach can be purchased elsewhere for less. Walking down the main streets is a contact sport, avoiding those listed above AND everyone trying to get you into their restaurant, bar or nightclub.
There are great restaurants, and you CAN drink the water. Try Pipi's for fun and fajitas [not on Fridays, tho], and El Arrayan was fabulous - not typical "Mexican" food. There are many more... we had a great lunch at Daquiri Dick's in the Romantic Zone.
Walking is an easy way to see everything. We walked from our hotel into town [5 miles?] and from downtown all the way to Las Conchas Chinas one day [okay, we took a cab back].

Although I feel like I've already seen everything, I really enjoyed Art Walk on Wednesday night [sorry, didn't buy anything] I missed Sergio Bustamente's gallery TWICE, but did get ice cream at Bing. I've gone there forever, get Espuma de Angel every time, and this is the first time someone explained the flavor in English [I still don't get it, but it's unique and yummy!]
Sharon wanted to see the houses Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton lived in during the filming of "Night of the Iguana" - Casa Kimberly [Liz's house] is under construction to be made into condo's. Nothing to see [except the run-down bridge] and pretty sad.

If you can swing it, make sure you get a massage [or ten]. The spa at the Krystal had a promotion going - 75 minute massage for $40.00. Best ever, no kidding. Ask for Rosario.

Yarn Painting
Huichol Bead Animal
This is the first time I took some time to check out the Huichol art. These are the Peyote People. Their art represents their visions, and each animal/symbol has meaning. At one store, my husband and I were set to BUY a piece of art [yarn painting], but it was our first shopping stop, before we left, the manager offered to sell us the work for about half price...IF [and only if] we would take a cab to a timeshare presentation, spend 90 minutes hearing about it, and then cab back. This was out of the question...[but Norm was thinking about it]. We checked out other stores. We also loved the bead work. We went back to the store another time, same schtick. Darn! We should have just paid full price, because we just wanted it... next time, we'll go here, instead.

I read a book, played solitaire, slept, sat at the pool, on the beach and did my Zumba workout every day. I was inspired, relaxed and had lovely times with my husband and my best friend. Wow, I guess that is what vacation is for!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Saving Stuff for "Someday"

And, many of you know my Mother was an artist, an author, a relentless business woman and tireless volunteer. I'm honored to have inherited creativity, eye for beauty and maybe a healthy dose of Chutzpah, from her, too.
Mom left a lot of "stuff" for me... to look at, think about and most importantly - use. Art, frames, canvas, brushes, beads, wire & jewelry tools, a dremel, clay tools, paint... and so much more. And, then there are baskets, cookbooks, journals filled with her drawings and notes. Because she was ill, so much of this was put away, not being used or enjoyed. So many things saved for "Someday." It made me think about how many things we hang on to for another day. As if we don't deserve to use those special things "now."

Why do we keep the good china for special occasions? Why don't we burn those beautiful candles, or use the fancy lotions we got for our birthdays? Do people still put plastic on their couches?

Why are we putting off our ability to enjoy our stuff and our passions - now? I remember a great Nora Ephron comment about how at the end of her life she'd be sorry if she skimped on the Dr. Hauschka's lemon bath. And, I had a wonderful lunch in Asheville, NC... the chef's philosophy "Don't Postpone Joy" struck a note. Read more about Laurey's here.

I remember those days when I was one of those "starving" artists... and hoarded every piece of  ruby-lith, scraps of fabric, buttons... for "someday." I still laugh when I'm flipping through my stores of paper and find a piece of graph paper from what seems like 100 years ago. I stopped saving things for another day and put it to use now!

I let my daughter use [almost] all of my art supplies. Yeah, she's ruined a couple of brushes, and doesn't always put the caps back on the paint tight enough...but gee, I'd rather encourage her amazing talent than hoard some paint. I can buy more paint, I can never replace amazing time with her in the studio!

I think it's better to enjoy what you do have...even if the dogs ruin it [have you seen my couch? nibbled!].  Use your stuff, drink that bottle of champagne at the back of the fridge, slather on that lotion, wear your "good" jewelry... otherwise, your life is all about just storing your possessions. Oh, geez I sound like George Carlin's riff on "stuff!"

I brought my Mom's dremel tool home. Now I guess I need to read the instructions so I can use it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

See you in NYC!

New Release:
Mixed Media on Canvas
see more of what's coming to NYC

Monday, November 1, 2010

Contemporary Art Fair NYC

I am really excited about participating in the Contemporary Art Fair NYC. I grew up in New York, and my two oldest, dearest friends live there, so it will be a great time!

I hope you'll come see the Contemporary Art Fair and Craft Fair which run at the same time. 
For a discount ticket, go online to click on a discounted ticket. 

I am bringing only 10 - 12 original works, 
most of them are new.

I've gathered these from gallery shows in several states, and I'm thrilled to show them in NY.

Please visit November 19, 20 21
Jacob Javits Center
655 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001

Show Hours

Fri. Nov. 19, 3pm - 7pm
Sat. Nov. 20, 10am - 7pm
Sun. Nov. 21, 10am - 4pm

Visit my web site to see the entire collection.

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.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Robert Schimmel - brother; funny, ill, pain in the ass

    My brother, Robert Schimmel was in a terrible car accident. He is badly injured, but his need for a liver transplant actually exacerbates his situation...and ability to heal. The past several days have been a living horror show for Robert's family. In addition, his daughter Aliyah was also badly hurt. Neither of them were responsible for the accident, but those details are not as important as hoping for their recovery.

    We all love Bob [we've known him longer] and are hoping he'll snap out of it, make a recovery and stay with us... but man, he was on our last nerve.

    Things you might not know about Robert: Obviously, he's funny, he always has been. He was a musician & composer way before comedy. He is incredibly generous; to a fault...he has a penchant for gadgets [electronics & cameras] and pens [who needs so many sharpies?]...and is the condiment king [try this mustard] and foodie [thank him for the success of Bristol Farms, Whole Foods and A.J.'s]. He is gracious to almost everyone and a good friend to only a few. 

    He loves his children. Parenting is not one of his skills, but unconditional love is.

    Blame it on his liver, if you like - but Bob is so unorganized...bordering on hoarder behavior. This was making us crazy. He moved in with my Dad a few months ago - bringing a huge mess to an orderly house. We lost our Mother just days before, but Bob is going through a divorce and waiting for a transplant...seemed like a good idea to have him close.

    He was at my house just before we went on vacation, he saw my Dick Blick catalog. He said "this must be like porn for you."

    My husband & I were in North Carolina - and visited Biltmore House, where "Being There" was filmed. Peter Sellers was one of Bob's idols, and he liked this movie. The day of the accident, I tried calling him, so I sent photos of the house to him [and my brother Jeff], letting them know where we were. Here's a still from the movie... I was thinking of Bob. At the end of the movie, the main character "Chance" walks on water. My interpretation has always been Chance is so innocent, so child-like - he doesn't know he is supposed to sink. Bob is kind of like that.

    the end of the movie... "Being There."

    Right now, Bob is currently walking on water - or floating on love - a description a doctor made when Bob's son was at home in hospice care...almost 18 years ago.

    I have no idea what Bob's chances are, or what we can expect for him. But if he makes it, I started a list of things he needs to do, and my brother Jeff added to it. Maybe you can think of more.

    Things Robert Schimmel still needs to do [not necessarily in this order]: 

    1. Go to Smeeks [a candy store in Phoenix]

    2. Take a cruise to and/or visit Alaska

    3. Go on stage and hear the laughter and applause again

    4. Watch his children and grandchild[ren] grow up

    5. Heal

    6. Clean his room

    7. Get a liver... new or used

    8. Have... a little Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar in his morning juice

    9. Drive his sports car [now that it's repaired]

    10. Use his keyboard

    11. Perform a come-back special

    12. Enjoy his life

    13. Finally go to Hungary with our Dad

    14. Thank everyone for their prayers

    Please help me with more... I hope he can read it someday soon.

     Jeff Schimmel More things Robert Schimmel still needs to do:

    (a) read the instruction manuals for all of his electronic gadgets.
    (b) sell most of the same unused electronic gadgets on eBay.
    (c) track down all of the teachers he terrorized over the years and... apologize to them.
    (d) do a video blog for more than three days without quitting.
    (e) go on Howard Stern's show without divulging embarrassing family secrets.
    (f) write another book, but this time about being the recipient of a successful liver transplant.
    (g) stop chewing ice.
    (h) stop falling asleep while eating Creamsicles in bed.
    (i) stop hitting dolls in the head with hammers.
    (j) stop driving Dad crazy.
    (k) get a sunburn, if that's possible.
    (l) hit a Royal Flush with me on a poker machine.
    (m) watch the news just once.
    (n) record a new CD.
    (o) finish that screenplay.
    (p) start that screenplay.
    (q) mop up the chocolate syrup you drip on the kitchen floor while under the influence of Ambien.
    (r) make me laugh.
    (s) do the fucking Letterman show.
    (t) instantly make up filthy lyrics to songs on the radio.
    (u) start writing in cursive.
    (v) date a woman who is within a decade of your own age.
    (w) sneak into another movie theater with me.
    (x) imitate Granny.
    (y) not let me have to be the only one who gets dragged to Mickey and Lili's house.
    (z) wake up.

    We love you and we're waiting for you, Bob.


    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Ever Fallen in Love with Someone...

    With someone you shouldn't've?

    There are two songs that inspired this new piece, "Ever" - 
    one is Queen Bitch by David Bowie, the other is  Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) by the Buzzcocks...I like this version by Billy Talent.

    You know the feeling - you're pissed - you're heart's in the basement your weekend's at an all time low... you're up on the 11th floor...gazing at your hotel walls...and you're phoning a cab, and you're stomach feels small...
    You've fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have fallen in love with.

    Love doesn't always end well. Sometimes it just STINKS. If you haven't been there yet, you will be someday. It's good to have a great song to blast and sing along with during those moments of fury. These two worked for me [oh, a long time ago, kiddies... I'm happily married].
    So, here's a hot red-head. Naming her "Ever" just 'cause it's pretty. What YOU need to figure out is whether she's the mean one, or if she's the angry one because her lover is fooling around somewhere else [perhaps with someone in a bippity-boppity hat?]. 

    "Ever" is a lovely mosaic created entirely from junk mail - 24x36" on all my other art.

    Have you seen my slideshow on Planet Green? 
    Did you know I am teaching art classes in Phoenix?

    Hope to hear from you - let me know what you think!


    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    I can hear the bells...

    New work - "Dear Diary" inspired by I Can Hear the Bells from Hairspray.

     Our subject is deliriously happy - joy...floating up through the air...just like champagne bubbles [hand-written out-takes from a diary posting]. Colors - blues, lavender... mustard background. A little sweeter than the past few images, but I needed a happy break!

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    What's with the Green Fine Art?

    A lot of people ask me why I am a green fine artist.
    There are actually many reasons
    1. I've been an artist since I was a little kid. Art classes, art major, artist as a profession. You're always around toxic stuff - paints, fumes, dyes, etc. I'd wake up at night wheezing after exposure to these chemicals. I know how dangerous many of them are. I made a promise to myself a few years ago to stop using toxic materials. 
    2. Artists have a tendency to hoard. Okay, I'm not on the scale of those who end up on reality shows, but I do have a room where I store all my paper [junk, mail, postcards, calendars, etc.], paints, crayons, pencils, Styrofoam balls, moss, needlepoint canvas, beads, yarn, tile, glass, mats, stickers, frames, ink, magazines, colored sand, buttons, toys, broken stuff... a whole lotta potentially useful "art supplies" that I always intended to use for something.
    3. I am a recycle/upcycle individual by nature. I can't help it. I have 10 times more trash for the recycle bin than the trash bin... and if I hadn't found a giant RAT in my composter, a couple of months ago, I'd be doing that too. I buy art at yard sales, and re-use the canvas, the frames... why not. I ride a bike. I buy local. I use green products.
    4. I think of myself as an artist first. I happen to be a green person. My work happens to be made from non-toxic stuff. You could eat it [you can't digest it].
    So, it's somewhat from self-preservation, a life-style, a habit, and kismet. I created a technique that is unique to me... and happens to help the environment. It's all good.  I hope you like it, too.

    Hope you can attend the opening at Translations Galley in Denver next month!

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    S A Schimmel Gold - Schimmel Art: Which painting fascinates me most?

    S A Schimmel Gold - Schimmel Art: Which painting fascinates me most?

    Which painting fascinates me most?

    This one.
    The Arnolfini Marriage.

    The drapery is amazing.
    The brass, the convex mirror, the cast off shoes, the little dog...the lighting, the details!
    The artist signed the wall [early grafitti] and is reflected in the mirror.
    When I was a student, what impressed me most in art is skill. The ability of the artist is amazing.

    read more here:

    What's your favorite?

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Love is Touching Souls

    Original - 24x36"

    This is one of my newer pieces, inspired by love.. Adoring, desiring, willing to
    The lyrics are written on the image, and phrases on border.
    She's in the blue TV screen light...
    Part of my newer series of "Emotional Influences" An image, an emotion, a song... inspired by
    "A Case of You"-

    Lyrics by Joni Mitchell:

    "Just before our love got lost you said
    I am as constant as a northern star
    And I said, constantly in the darkness
    Where's that at?
    If you want me I'll be in the bar

    On the back of a carton coaster
    In the blue TV screen light
    I drew a map of Canada
    Oh Canada
    With your face sketched on it twice

    Oh you're in my blood like holy wine
    You taste so bitter and so sweet
    Oh I could drink a case of you darling
    And I would still be on my feet
    Oh I would still be on my feet

    Oh I am a lonely painter
    I live in a box of paints
    I'm frightened by the devil
    And I'm drawn to those ones that ain't afraid

    I remember that time that you told me, you said
    Love is touching souls
    Surely you touched mine
    Cause part of you pours out of me
    In these lines from time to time..."

    [there's more] listen here:

    Remember falling in love? Me too, and I hope you enjoy this original work that captures that emotion...forever.

    Another emotion - feeling not so confident in love is expressed in this piece:

     "I feel unsteady, where's my love?"

    This image reflects that sinking feeling when you're not sure about your lover... where they are, what they're doing... and the depths of that emotion...fear, longing, feeling unsteady. Inspired by "Lilac Wine," performed by Katie Melua. You can hear that here. This piece is huge - 36x48" Acrylic, Ink, Tissue & Junk Mail on Canvas.

    Visit my website to read more, find events, galleries, etc. 
    Email me for pricing.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Time Enough...

    We've got all the time in the world...

    Yes, when we're children, we have no concept of time... the limited amount of time we have on earth - our lives seem to stretch out forever - a week seems like a lifetime.

    I've just faced the passing of my Mother. Her time on earth was not short, but was it enough? Time enough? She imparted wisdom to her children and grandchildren... don't wait, if there's something you want to do - do it NOW. Of course, this makes me think of my own mortality... and I think of my child, who has a lifetime ahead of her. I hope she appreciates this gift.

    We have nothing left... only love...

    This is my newest addition to my "Emotional Influences" series. The image of a child, surrounded by a clock, time - linked with the song "We have all the time in the world." Click on the link to hear the song, performed by Iggy Pop.

    24x24" junk mail and tissue on canvas. $2300.00

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    The Journal in my Head

    I've read that artists, designers & craftspeople keep journals: filled with inspiration from travel, gallery visits, etc. They're filled with sketches, swatches, tear sheets, photos... all for future use. I keep one too, but it's in my head.

    I have a "thing" [call it a phenomenon, a condition, a talent or a quirk] called Eidetic Imagery. Here's the Wiki definition. Anyway, almost anything I see, that really makes an impression or resonates on some level, goes into that mental filing cabinet for future use. I can actually physically recall images from the past - a face, a place, a set of tiles, a painting... a movie... and see it in the air, as if there is a projector in my head, using my eyes as the lens... an invisible screen at my disposal is within 15 inches of my face.

    I often stammer for words - just can't remember the right one...and please don't ask me what year something happened [other than birth of child or year of wedding] or what I had for lunch two days ago...or what I walked in here for... but images, they're always there for reference.

    Another thing - my 8th grade science teacher told our class not to study - that we should "rely on our ability to recall," which I might have taken a little too much to heart - not knowing yet about Eidetic Imagery. I remember things that happened in that classroom [Hi, Gaelyn], but I would say, that's not the best advice for teenagers more interested in drawing daisies on their hand during science class.

    So, my journal - my head - is filled with images of the classic works of art - from art museums and books, not to mention photos from magazines, charts, maps, comic strips, ruins in Ephesus, people I know, couture collections, my room in Reading, PA, my dorm room in Oneonta, my room on a Kibbutz in Israel, a pair of shoes I bought in Italy when I was 18, a pair of shoes I wore in that 8th grade classroom, the shoes I wore to my high school reunion, jewelry, paperweights, and the image of my husband the first time I saw him in a swimsuit [think Vitruvian Man]... you get the picture [!]... all jumbled and/or filed. And, all available for use.

    I usually don't watch a movie more than once, I can see it any time I want. I actually watched "District 9" again the other day, it's so filled with images...but I really liked the story. I could watch "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" another 35 times... but that's just for laughs. I try not to watch scary movies, because the image stays with me forever.

    Disclaimer: I do have a few photos taped up in the studio, but I rarely refer to them. I also have a drawer full of photos that might be a jumping off point someday. I do have a shelf full of books - art books, Dover books, reference books...about costume, medieval design, beaded flowers... all kinds of stuff. And, a lot of music to listen to when I'm working.

    When I fill a canvas with thousands of images, photos, words... it all makes sense to me, I could point at my head and tell you "You should see what it looks like in here."

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Time for tough decisions and new directions

    Although I did go to school for art, I'm really sort-of self taught. I never learned, or took the time to take classes about galleries and museums, residencies, grants, etc.

    For the past few years, I've tried everything I could think of to make art, get it out into the marketplace and sell it.

    From day one, I got a lot of input from all sorts of resources... some of it good, some questionable, some took me off into different directions - enough to make you crazy! I asked for some advice, didn't ask for most of it.

    When you see the list below, you'll see I use the word "paint," let that cover painting, cutting paper, mosaic...everything I do. 

    Some of the messages I got were:

    • anyone can paint, do something different
      • no one can paint like you
    • make art as fast as you can so you can sell it at art festivals
      • don't sell at art festivals, you'll never get into galleries
    • your prices are too low
      • your prices are too high
        • you're not famous enough to get those prices
    • paint celebrities
      • "if you paint Jackie O, my gallery will sell it immediately" [not!]
        • "if you paint Marilyn Monroe, my gallery will sell it immediately" [not]
          • paint the Beatles, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Lady Gaga...
      • conversely, don't paint celebrities, you'll have copyright issues
    • paint Oprah, Ellen, Tyra and give it to them - they'll put you on TV
      • don't paint Oprah, Ellen, etc... if they didn't ask for it, it has no value.
    • spend an equal amount of time marketing yourself as making art
      • don't market yourself, that's the gallery's job
        • don't promote yourself, you're supposed to be discovered!
          • get a PR agent
    • put your subjects in rooms
      • do watercolors instead
        • paint dogs
          • paint landscapes
            • paint flowers
              • do abstracts
                • don't do figurative work
    • get into galleries
      • don't sell in galleries
    • your goal should be to be in museums
      • don't waste your time trying to get into museums
    • get a rep
      • don't get a rep
    • you want to be in New York
      • you can't break into New York
    • you're too old
      • you're never too old to be an emerging artist
    • you're not supposed to make art to sell it, you're supposed to make a statement
      • you're allowed to want to make a living as an artist
        • no one except a RARE few make a living as an artist
          • you'll be famous when you're dead
    • make art that speaks to social commentary
      • do what you like
        • do what sells
          • your art is awesome
            • your images are just "pretty pictures"
    • you're conceited
      • you're shy
        • why are you self-depricating?
    • only do custom portraits
      • don't do custom portraits, your clients will make you crazy
    • join art groups and alliances
    • give your work away at charity events
      • don't give your work away, it diminishes the value of your work in other collections
    • You should teach workshops
      • why would you share your technique with anyone?
    • Your art is GREEN - the green community will support you! 
      • who cares if your work is GREEN?
    How's that for a lot of noise?

    I'm not criticizing ANYONE for their input. It was all good and necessary to hear. I'm in a good place... so NOW...

    I'm taking the summer to create a new body of work.

    You know how some songs help you get through a hard time...or remind you of when you were falling in love? You know how you have your favorite pissed off song, your favorite holiday song? My new collection will reflect the connection between a song and an emotion. This time, not just pretty pictures. Stay tuned to see more.

    I've put together a plan - on paper - for the next year. In order to reach my goals, I'm getting some help. My delightful husband will be taking on some of the tasks I've been doing so I can spend more time in the studio. 

    I look forward to hearing from you when you see my new work!


    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    Business Stuff- About the Company...

    About the Company

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words. "My pictures are made of thousands of unrelated pieces – of images and text – upcycled from paper that might otherwise go to waste. Assembled like a mosaic; the “tiles” create an entirely new image - a portrait, a landscape, a fantasy - directly from my imagination."

    Schimmel Art showcases the work of Arizona artist Sandhi Schimmel Gold and was established in 2005 as a response to the enormous demand for her eco-friendly fine art. It is now collected world-wide by private and corporate collectors; museums & notable galleries as well as hospitality and healthcare facilities. Her work is highly prized due to its nature; completely and meticulously and expertly hand-crafted, totally green - only a small number of pieces can be produced in a year.

    An internationally recognized Synesthete, Sandhi’s art work reflects her natural affinity for color. Sandhi attended fine art school and studied mosaic work abroad. Her interest in design, fashion, art and history has led her to invent a completely unique art form. You will not find another artist creating work like this! It is intricate in construction, innovative in style, inventive in technique, inspiring to own. It’s gorgeous, it’s groovy, it’s green.

    Sandhi’s work has been featured in several national publications including Interior Design and Martha Stewart Magazines and on television, including an appearance on Access Hollywood.

    To complement the high quality of Sandhi’s work, only the finest, museum quality giclĂ©e printing techniques are available. Only a few images are available as a reproduction and are part of a small, exclusive limited edition.

    Visit the Schimmel Art website to choose from available artwork: portraits, landscapes, graphics, floral, abstract - or contact us to discuss your clients’ needs, along with lead times and pricing. No toxic chemicals or adhesives are used in creating this work!
    Imagine a stunning conversation piece to enhance any or all of your project needs! The artist will collaborate with your design team to create your vision. Custom portraits and images are available as wall art, as well as custom murals or other architectural uses.

    All work is priced unframed. The artist believes the designer/architect should specify framing options for the client.

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Art Festivals...Why I do a few a year

    Just like a comedian who works small nightclubs to try out new material, I participate in a few Art Festivals here and there.
    Here's why:
    It is a great way to meet people, show my work, get feedback and input.
    I get a good read on what is in favor with a broad group of people.
    Sometimes I even sell a few pieces to collectors I might otherwise not have had the chance to get to know.
    I work solo in my studio, so I need a little face time with the public on occasion.
    My husband likes to travel.

    Which ones?
    Some, because they are close, some because they are prestigious.
    Some because they're located near family, some just because.

    What I don't do:
    Undercut the galleries that represent my work.

    See you this weekend at one of the highest rated art shows in country: Scottsdale Art Festival in Arizona.
    Next month in Palm Springs and San Diego.
    You can always check the events page on my site: to see if I'll be near you.