A short hiatus

Hello one and all...collage clearinghouse has been quiet this past couple of weeks. I am sad and miss my many quiet moments at the table, but my own health and preservation has been at the top of my pile in this past month. I have some upcoming bogus female surgery on Dec. 28, right after Christmas. I have been going to tests and shoring up things at home for this moment of downtime. There's a lot to do with Christmas alone, without adding all kinds of household and personal duties that are boring but necessary.
I want to pause for a moment and enjoy the silence before the storm. I have several new ideas percolating, and I am certain that new artwork and exciting things will come in due time. Please forgive me while I take a short hiatus, while I take care of my health...in the meantime, enjoy the wondrous holiday, the wind and blowing snow and the peaceful miracles of winter.


It's hard not to do art

As with anyone, my life has it's ups and downs, it's busy moments, and it's dead moments. I have grown accustomed to this natural cycle and accept it. But I don't have to like it!

I was really in the groove artwise the past month. The show left me feeling exhilarated and excited about exploring new territory. I was able to do around 3 good works a week and life was wonderful. But soon enough, my own life gets in my way. I took a small trip to Philly to visit my father and his new wife. Thanksgiving came and required family dinners and extra activities...I love these moments of rejuvenation and love and they light the fire for those more quiet moments when I am at home in the studio. I wish I had the hours in a day to do not only loving family things, but intense creative things. It just doesn't work that way for me. So here I am, kind of depressed and lost because it's been 2 weeks since I have gotten my hands all gluey and sticky! It's natural, I tell myself. I need that ebb and a flow.
This year, with money tight and most people focusing on the more humble aspects of this upcoming yearend holiday, I am trying to keep things on the downlo. It doesn't seem like a holiday of excess. It seems this year like my mind is focused on simplicity and being humble. So gifts from me are going to be handmade, and I am heavy into the crafts at this time. Instead of collage pieces of fine art, I am making glitterhouses. Instead of assemblage, I am sewing. It feels good to get my hands dirty in another way! I love the challenge. Truly, for me, it's all in the doing...in that moment of creativity...when the thing I am working on "becomes"...THAT is why I am an artist.
So bear with me if art posts seem lean for the moment. I am in a good way, doing humble good deeds for fam and friends. Soon enough, I will pour my soul back onto the awaiting canvas...and into this blog.


Review of "Doubling, Cutting, Pasting: Figures Re-Invented"

Portrait of K Polaroid Transfer Print 24" x 18" 2008
Today I offer up for your blogging pleasure a review written by fellow collagist Steven Specht. Thanks Steven!

Review of "Doubling, Cutting, Pasting: Figures Re-Invented", an exhibit of the works of AJ Nadel at the Edith Barrett Art Gallery at Utica College (Nov. 9-Dec. 21)

The Eyes Have It - and So Does Nadel

On the curved surface of the back of the inside of the eye lies the retina - a thin "film" of many layers of neurons including the rod-shaped and cone-shaped photoreceptors. As a physician specializing in retinal surgery AJ Nadel is well-acquainted with this neuroanatomical landscape. But wait a minute, this is a review of an exhibit of artwork, not ocular anatomy. In the case of the collection of impressive artworks created by AJ Nadel and currently on display at the Edith Barrett Gallery at Utica College, art truly imitates life - and transforms life experiences and manipulates photographic images of life. In this case, a career concerned with retinas and surgery and vision informs and inspires exquisitely creative and visually stimulating photomontages, collages and mixed media artworks.

Snapshots 19: Artist and Company Emulsion Transfer, Collage 7" x 21.5" 2009

Through the lens of a camera, light creates a representational image of the world on photographic emulsions. When these images are "surgically" removed from one substrate (i.e., the Polaroid paper backing), manipulated and combined and placed onto the artistic space of the surface of paper, or wood or cloth, the resulting images are at once aesthetically exhilarating and thought-provoking. The viewer views what was once viewed through the viewfinder -- but deliberately not in high fidelity. Rather, the viewer of Nadel's work is exposed to creative manipulations of the images in various ways. Some of the pieces represent single large-scale images of once dynamic, folding, twisting and wrinkling aqueous films of photoemulsion captured on various substrates -- still strong with allusions to actual motion and psychological flow. Other powerful pieces in the exhibit integrate multiple exposures of related images in beautifully composed photomontages and collages, perhaps reminiscent of what the brain does after multiple retinal images are encoded and manipulated by emotions and meaning within our gray matter (ah, the multiple frames of memory). And sometimes Nadel enhances the photographic manipulations with inclusion of gestural marks of paint, ink or charcoal.
Through his work then, Nadel invites the viewer to join him in the interplay of images meant to challenge a representational view of the world and instead acknowledge the transformational intricacies and complexities of true vision.

Mixed Polaroid Transfer
22" x 30"



The continuing theme for me currently is family history, or my heritage (if you read regularly this blog, you are probably sick of it already). I was working with the key symbol for awhile and altho I have not created any keys in my artwork in a couple of weeks, I do believe the idea has carried over. I seem to be satisfied with making elaborate headdresses for my characters. This piece, called Diana, is an example of this idea transfer. To put a key on this piece would have been redundant, as she is wearing the most elaborate of hats.
I have been working on watercolors lately. I miss pushing and pulling the pigments, so I have challenged myself to paint more backgrounds if at all possible. This watercolor was based on the photo I took (above) on my way home from college a few weeks ago. My painting lacks the depth and breadth of color in the pic, but I liked the pastel sky and decided to use it for another heritage collage.

This watercolor only has 2 layers of paint. I want to try another where I go 13 layers. If only I could concentrate that long! HA! This piece seems a bit empty for my work, but I am working towards a better balance of painting and collage. It's hard to know exactly when I am done.

The second piece for this week was one that went together rather quickly. The elements sat together on the table for a few days and it didn't take too much to solve the composition. It has a vastly different look than the past 10 works.

No keys. No hats.
This piece has a pic of my grandma as a young woman. I cannot explain the effect this has on my work! Having grandma staring back at me as I cut and paste, it's unnerving. It also makes me try harder. Grandma was my Lithuanian relative, and she wrote tidbits of family history on notebooks and scraps all over her house. She married a norwegian man, my Grandpa Frank. The embroidery is Lithuanian along with the little building in the left. THe middle building, however, is a Norwegian church. She holds it in her hand. This artwork symbolizes her accepting Grandpa's Norwegian heritage as her own. This piece is probably the most serious work in this series.

If that last piece went together quickly, this final piece of the weekend--was crazy. I swear it went together by itself. The pieces rose up off the floor and out of the boxes and landed on the table. It felt that correct. I felt guided, as tho someone else was doing the work. This woman is not a relative of mine. She was a friend of my Grandma from the old country. She is in a few pics, so they must have been close friends. I named her Zemyna, which stands for the Lithuanian earth goddess. I think the bird, the snowy forest, it all reminded me of an earth mother.

This project will probably now take a back seat to holiday fodder. I am broke this year, with my car taking most of my money for a myriad of annoying maintenance type repairs. I plan to make gifts this year, to try to help my wallet out.


A Book About Death — Halloween Distribution System

I went out on Halloween weekend as promised and created mini exhibitions throughout the Mohawk Valley using my duplicate A Book About Death Postcards. I am sorry I couldn't take the time to credit these individuals in these captions. I may go back and fill them in when time permits.
The project lives on.
Ironic right? After all, it's a book about death.

There aren't a lot of places to post anything in Fort Plain, NY.
Here I sabotaged the For Rent bulletin board with 6 cards.

I liked tucking this card in this little shelf out in front of an antique store on main st. It matched the antique bottle and old toolbox so nicely.

There were these pots on the sidewalk with dead plants. What a good place for A Book About Death cards.

Old Stuff This Way! A Perfect prop!

These little plant arrangements were begging for some action. I was hoping this display would tempt passersby to take a card and look closer.

I tried to attach them to this iron post. It didn't work that well, but 2 cards were placed here.

Another plant arrangement with A Book About Death offerings.

This empty store window (also for rent!) had some old DVDs and VCR tapes in the window. The cards I stuck on the window blended in so nicely.

I liked the white backdrop. Looked like a little white gallery wall.

This telephone pole was on the side street by the laundromat. I used it as an outdoor gallery zone, and posted 5 cards here.

This brick ledge was close to where a lot of people enter the laundromat. Perfect slot for some cards.

Inside the laundromat, I stuck some cards on the magazine rack.

And then used every available tack to place as many cards as I could on the bulletin board. Unphased, laundering customers didn't even notice me.

Another white wall begging for some posts!

I wanted some in the country. There's a barn on a 4 corners out in the country that is quite abandoned. I picked out cards for this particular setting that had a lot of green in them, since the background behind was red. They really stood out.

And finally, my favorite pic of all. She seems to be glaring at the man with no face.
Last time I checked, these 2 cards still were hanging on the barn, withstanding winds and rains over the past week.



Originally uploaded by misphit
Okay, so now I got it! A winner. I love Emilie and the way she came out.

This piece has 2 stories.
First, the watercolor. I am recycling these older watercolor studies and making collages with them. This one really had some color punch and was a joy to revive. It was a half done study that I did in 1997. The right hand side mountains and the whole lake were still white and incomplete. I guess it wasn't looking right at the time and I shelved it.

Emilie...is another of my grandmothers' sisters. I think Emilie was a younger sister. I made her a little huntress. I liked the juxtaposition of little girl with weapon. I may use this idea again.

As I started working on this piece, I was staring at the scenery in it. The lines were familiar. I looked again and guessed that I did this watercolor at Mud Pond, a favorite bog of mine on the Powley-Piseco Road in Stratford. I was just there a couple of months ago and did another watercolor study recently and it looked familiar.
Sure enough. There in pencil were my notes from the original watercolor in 1997. I guess it wasn't a successful watercolor, but amazingly enough, I recognized the place!


Originally uploaded by misphit
Aunt Bernice...she was my grandmother's sister.
Bronislava was her Lithuanian name.

The building in the background is from a vintage Sveksna postcard.
I was looking for some color magic on this one. Working towards a folk art look. The orange is supposed to vibrate with the purple. (complimentary colors). Not sure that's working on this piece...
I like it better than Julija, however.


Originally uploaded by misphit
I don't have much to say about this piece.
It started out in my head as a very light colored work, pastel even, like a candy confection. I ruined it with the acrylic. And later on at night, I wanted to draw swirls which REALLY ruined the lines in this piece. (note to self: save swirlies for doodling!)
Not all works --work out.



Originally uploaded by misphit
The woman in this piece is not LIthuanian. She is from an old brown toned English newspaper. I am not sure what country she hails from.
I liked her European attitude, however, and she became a visitor in my little Lithuanian key world.
I am almost done practicing on these key portraits. I will be ready to use my family portraits as soon as I work thru this key thing a bit more. I need to now start adding the Lithuanian iron cross influence to the keys and then I will be ready. I am eager to infuse these with actual family people, instead of random LIthuanian folk from my picture stash. I am also going to experiment with some Norwegian themes. I have pictures on that side of the family to use too....And so the project continues.


Originally uploaded by misphit
I am cleaning out my loft and finding old treasures of my own. This was an old watercolor that never got finished. I guess it didn't look like I expected it to and I abandoned it. For 10 years it has sat in the envelope. I decided to recycle some of these backgrounds and use them in some collage work.

Keys again? yup.

Memory Song

Memory Song
Originally uploaded by misphit
This place is but a memory in a wooden box of the past. They were my Grandmas' treasures. They were her memories and now they are but an ancient song in my mind. An unknown melody of mysterious memory.

Working on small pieces to problem solve this key thing going on in my head. I am looking for a folksy, airy, fantasy, elaborate kind of feel in these pieces. The elaborate keys are the hardest part to achieve. I'm still not certain that these even look like keys!


A Book About Death —

On Halloween, I plan to post my duplicate A Book About Death cards all over the Mohawk Valley. Random Style! Here there and everywhere! I have about 150 duplicates. Should be fun.
I will be tacking them up in various places, handing them out, leaving them in laundromat, taping them to peoples' backs, etc...
I will be documenting each placement via photograph.
I will be creating a digital artwork using these photos as my part of the Cecil ABAD project.

A Book About Death — Isn't Dead Yet

A message from Cecil Touchon:

A Book About Death - 2010

I am putting out an open call - please spread the word.
I will be putting on a Book About Death exhibition/performance next October using the set of cards, posters, artifacts, etc. that I have and I invite everyone to send a postcard sized collage for next year's exhibition. You could also send any sort of small sized artwork,
objects to put in a box with other people's objects
event score for performance,etc.

everything should say on it somewhere: A Book About Death

I will attempt to do a book around it that I will be fashioning over the course of the year. If there is anyone who is actually a good book designer and knows how to use better software than word for windows, I invite you to contact me and collaborate on the creation of the book. I want it to have many images, stories, poems, etc. - possibly a multi-volume set over the coming years. I can see that A Book About Death is going to have a long and growing life over the coming years. I invite collaborators to help out with the organizing and we'll need some performers to show up for the opening. We could also coordinate simultaneous or traveling exhibitions around the country or world.

Louise, maybe you can announce this to those who are sending things for your show at the Queens or make a flier to give out at the show there?

Send to:
A Book About Death 2010
6955 pinon street
fort worth, texas 76116


Make a Chair!

Here is an interesting project you can participate in. See all details at: www.theglobalchairproject.org/

1. Create a chair that will fit into a box no larger than 8x8x8 inches (21x 21x21 centimeters) . It can be a sculpture, a painting, a song, a story, a photograph, a video. Almost anything goes as long as its collectible and durable and chair-related.

2. Photograph your chair in a low-resolution digital jpeg, 72dpi and no larger than 8 inches (21cm) on any side.

3. Send a picture of your chair by using the Upload button on the menu. Remember to send it in a low resolution jpeg. In the message box put your name, eMail address, title of chair, size of chair, materials used and value(optional) .

5. If accepted by The Project you will be notified as to where and how to ship it.

You will need to pay for shipping. Your chair will be professionally photographed for the auction, so please send a low-res, jpg image. No high resolution images will be opened. We'll take care of the rest.

The Project will pay for shipping to the purchaser.

6. You will be notified when your chair is to be auctioned. Let your collectors, family and friends know so you can raise the highest bid possible.

7. Bids may be higher or lower than the actual value but please know you are doing your part to help a world in need.

8. Be creative and good luck!


Land of Keys is in my Head!

This whole key thing is out of control. ALL I DID was see a cool monogram key done by Aubrey Beardsley in a book. I am obsessed! Now everything has to have a key in it. My man Chris hooked me up with wads of vintage keys...seriously. I have skeleton keys, car keys, vintage keys, flat keys, OMG so many freakin' keys. I have been sketching them all over the place hoping to be able to make the basic shape recognizable, so then I can embellish at will.

At the same time all this key nonsense is floating in my head, I am also re-addressing my pile of geneology papers. I have all sorts of vintage photos from my family and I am working on compiling a book, a family history. The challenge will be to illustrate it. Why is this the challenge, you ask?? Because in this book treatment, I will need to reign in my propensity to totally warp out peoples' bodies!!! I will have to work on backgrounds and try to leave the main character of each piece intact. If this book is to have any historical value to my relatives, Aunt Diana has to look like Aunt Diana, not like a bird with Aunt Diana's head!!

As I peer into Lithuanian history, I have found that they have this custom of creating very elaborate iron crosses. They are most common, and they decorate not just churches, but also the tops of barns and homes. Poles are erected at the edges of fields, and these poles have crosses and other symbols on top of them. I am intrigued by this, and I am in love with the beautiful patterns. As it usually happens in my head, all these topics get kind of mashed up. The keys have turned into the Lithuanian crosses/poles and I am making images that are a cross between the two. (ha! pardon the pun!)

This is my first practice piece in this series. I wanted to put family members faces on these women, but I didn't have any printed out and at hand when I was working, so I ended up putting these random faces on instead. I love the saturn, it's my favorite spot in this piece.

The second piece is a companion to the first. I am not pleased with the lack of yellow in this second one. It's too late to embellish it at this point, so it will have to fly. On this second one, I started out with a Lithuanian pole, and I used symbolism from an actual sample. But halfway thru the collage portion, I tried to turn it into a key. Strange, now it doesn't look like either.

Regal Winged Blackbird

Regal Winged Blackbird
Originally uploaded by misphit
This weekend I worked on a piece for a small exchange. This artwork goes to someone who is fond of birds. I am in the Halloween mood, but didn't want to use the usual crow or raven.



Originally uploaded by misphit
Working with some new ideas. I am thinking about producing a book about my family history. I am in possession of the mother load of our families information. I would like to produce the info, and also illustrate. I don't want to morph the people too much, I am seeking more to portray them in artful portraits and settings. With this one, I almost went too far I think. It doesn't resemble a portrait. Maybe a portrait of her in the street?

I am back to using as much ephemera as I want on this project. I got really good feedback at my show. It seems that most people are seriously intrigued by the contents of the work. (of course, me posting the ingredients below the titles may have had something to do with it!)

The Lithuanian part of my family was quite large. They had a lot of children back then, hence the rabbit in this piece. I stamped with a vintage key on the background on this piece, but I didn't really like it. I ended up covering most of it. I want to draw a key in some of the "white" space...but I don't think I have the room in this one. Next time, perhaps.



Monogram Keys

Monogram Keys
Originally uploaded by misphit
Now that the excitement of the show is over, I have started to look at my new series of work. I saw these cool monogram keys in the book "The Early Work by Aubrey Beardsley". These key monograms are practice runs I did in my moleskine. I am thinking of using in a new series of work I am starting.
I want to work with some of the images from my family photo archive that I recently inherited. There's so much emotion underneath that pile. I can feel the past thru them and I have already tried to work with them. It's harder than I thought it would be. The memories and my questions about the past plagued me as I worked. I hope this time around to peer back into my own deep closet of thoughts and put some serious depth into my work.
It feels really good to embark on some thing entirely different for a change. It's going to be exciting!


bits & pieces of Bits & Pieces

Steven Specht was kindly enough to email me some scans of some of the amazing artwork he has in the Bits & Pieces show.
I really like the hues he chose for these pieces. Reminds me of the current state of affairs outside my window. Autumn Browns, with turquoise in the sky.

"Blue Ossa I" and "Blue Ossa II"
4" x 4" collage; matted and framed in 16" x 16" frame


Review of SSDK — by Steven Specht

This was the review that Steven Specht has composed that will be posted on www.collageart.org.

September 27 - October 28, 2009
The Mohawk Valley, in the heart of New York State, has been historically significant since before and during the time of the Revolutionary War. The scenic towns and villages along the Mohawk River and the old Erie Canal served as important cultural and commercial stops along the corridor between the Western frontier of Ohio and Pennsylvania and the Hudson River and harbors of New York City. Although the Mohawk Valley still offers a convenient navigation route for travelers these days, the commercial viability of the area has suffered since the hundreds of industrial mills have fallen victim to more global economic opportunities. The good news is that the cultural events which fill the valley continue to create exciting artistic vitality in the area. One of the gems along the river is the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts in historic Little Falls, NY. I recently enjoyed the opening reception for collage artist Julie Sadler whose exhibit "Sharon Springs DK" is now on display at the MVCA gallery (through October 28). The exhibit was inspired by Sadler's exploration of the ruin-like remnants of what had been a thriving health, mineral springs spa for wealthy New Yorkers and others in the late 1800s.
With over 40 pieces, this exhibit speaks to Sadler's creative vigor and varied interests. The exhibit consists of a number of exquisitely constructed collages, such as "Lady DK", which resemble ornate portraiture. In addition, a number of pieces, including "Hanging in the Balance", portray interactions of Victorian "couples" amidst intricate, vaguely narrative backgrounds. The composition, color and balance within Sadler's pieces invite the viewer to enjoy further exploration of the scenes and create a feeling of vague, kaleidoscopic nostalgia (a la the dada works of Max Ernst and Johannes Baargeld). Also included in the exhibit are small wall hangings incorporating wood elements added to small collages, and more elaborate assemblages such as "Star Juggler" and this reviewer's favorite - "Eddie had a Pileated Heart". Sadler is also exploring new areas including incorporation of more original sources of collage elements such as her own photography of the Adirondacks, rather than relying on ordinary ephemera. She has also been experimenting with painted elements in her collage. Both of these approaches come together impressively in such pieces as "Mother Nature Looked at What She Had Done and Saw It Was Good". Some of these pieces can be seen on Sadler's website: www.sharonspringsdk.com as well as her blog (see below).
Ms. Sadler has also recently been creating short videos using seductive music and various elements from her still collages which she tapes in stop motion photography and combines with a variety of other interesting digital enhancement techniques. Reminiscent of Gilliam's collage animations from Monty Python-but without the silly humor-- Sadler's work is smart and provocative at the same time being visually impressive. A couple of these videos can be found on Sadler's website: collageclearinghouse.blogspot.com.
For anyone interested in collage art and within 100 miles of Little Falls, this exhibit is a "must see". I enjoyed Sadler's works so much, I bought one!
Steven Specht (c) 2009 New Hartford, NY

SSDK - The tale of the show - Volume III

The Second Opening

After such a nice first show, you would figure I would have relaxed and enjoyed the second show. But for some reason, the whole thing got under my skin. Maybe I let my guard down and my anxieties took over...I don't know. When Saturday came, I was a wreck. I knew a lot of coworkers were planning on attending because they had committed themselves thru the Facebook Event. My Dad, who has never really seen my art, was planning on visiting from Philadelphia. Talk about nerves.
This time the day was not sunny, but rather kind of gloomy and damp, typical for upstate NY in September. I had wondered if the second show would be a bomb....and I hoped that the gallery wasn't wasting their time having 2 openings in a row. My fears were alleviated when immediately folks began to arrive! Several friends from work attended, including both of my bosses and their spouses. Bruce and Kelly Button, Richard Brown and his girl Tracy, Jess and Joe, Donna and her little girl Sara, Pauline, Beth, and of course....can I ever leave out my right hand man, Travis?? Travis brought along Joshua Thomas, who is editor of the local paper, The Courier. He ended up doing an article on the show! I really felt the pressure of it all when I saw my coworkers streaming in. I wondered what these people I see everyday would think of me after they saw my work.

So many people came to the second show it surprised me and the gallery!
Next came Margrethe Lauber and Susan MacLeod, friends of mine from Town of Root. Professor Lauber is my mentor at SUNY Cobleskill and is helping through my first year as an adjunct teacher. (I am teaching Typography and Layout). She was on the grant committee for the Tri County Council for the Arts the year I entered my grant proposal and she had voted for my work. Later on, we found we were neighbors and since then we have become friends. To commemorate the event, she purchased Golden Hand Me the Fly, from the SSDK series. I was once again honored to know my artwork would hang in the home of someone I know.

A crowd of my coworkers discussing proof of the strangeness of their coworker

I knew that the Stanley's were eyeing up my artwork thru the pages of Facebook and Janet had already asked me personally about a couple of pieces. When Matt and Janet came to the show, they ended up picking out something they had never seen before and purchased it to hang in their newly renovated bathroom. She had picked out 2 that she really liked...one would have hung in a spare bedroom and would have been seen rarely. The other would hang in the bathroom and be seen quite regularly! I was happy they chose the latter...

Yours truly standing with Matt and Janet Stanely in front of "Seeded", the collage they purchased

My father drove straight from his home in Philly right to the show. It's at least a 5 hour haul, (and that's if you drive like I do...pedal to the metal!). He arrived by 3...altho he was a bit disheveled by the weather. He took a look around and asked me a lot of questions...I was amused that he noticed my fondness for using nudes! Ha! My Dad is quite a religious man, and I had to give him an intelligent reason as to why I use them. (which was....the nudes represent closeness with nature in my work) He totally threw me off by purchasing one of my larger works as a gift to his new wife that he will be marrying this Saturday. (My Mom passed away 2 years ago). I was floored! My father has never really paid much heed to my art pursuits. I really felt pride when he bought Mother Nature Looked Down Upon What She Had Done and Saw It Was Good.
Near the end of the opening, a couple came in that had read about the show in the Little Falls paper. Apparently, the woman's father used to come to the baths for therapy --back in the day-- and she really enjoyed the slide show depicting Sharon Springs. She was sad about the decay, and I guess I am too....or else I wouldn't be attempting to preserve what is left.

Magnesia Temple in it's rusty glory

Denise and her husband also attended the opening. Denise is the owner of the house that stands behind the Magnesia Temple...and she's also owner of the Magnesia Temple itself. The property is posted, and rightly so. The couple warns people to stay off the property and actively post it. BUT but but, I really wanted to see the inside of the dome!! I was lucky that Denise invited me to go there and see the structure up close. Travis and I spent an hour there with her one day 2 autumns ago...She was so gracious to let us on her property. I am giving her one of the SSDK works as a gift, once the show is over. I think we all need to do good deeds along the way in life. These people were very good to me and really helped me with a major part in the project. I felt it was only right to bestow upon them an artwork.

Inside the dome is a field of azure with stenciled stars, it's just scrumptious!

Soon enough the time came to an end, my friends filtered out into the rainy day and the second show came to an end. Chris and I took Dad to Beardslee Castle for dinner that evening and discussed it all.
I never expected things to go so well! It's a great feeling inside when people have seen your work and you get some feedback. I can't say enough how this helps me to understand how my work affects the viewer! Sometimes it really pays to get out of your box and live dangerously. Put it out there. You will be surprised at all that you receive in return.

Visit with The Royal Family

Yup, that's what I said. You, lowly you, can meet the Royal Family! I've always wanted to sit and have tea with the Queen. (Or even Prince Will or Harry...?ha!)

The Royal Family will be visiting Toronto, Ontario in the coming weeks. Creatively enabled by Aprile Elcich, "The Royal Family", a mixed media collage series inspired by a found scrapbook dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, is a trip back in time to the '50's and '60's and then infused with 2009 attitude. Aprile recreates her own imaginative set of scrapbooks pages and presents The Royal Family in an entirely different light!
The family is receiving visitors at the ...industtress gallery in Canada from October 16th through November 12th, 2009. Opening night, 8pm, English cheeses and drinks will be served. Long live the queen!

...industtrees gallery
1234 College Street
Toronto, Ontario


Art Tribe - Show in Illinois

There is no end to the collage goodies available this month. Seriously, no matter where you live, get out and see some stuff!
Click on the image for a closer view of the details.
This show should prove quite interesting, with pieces by Laura Lein-Svencner, Pamela J. Hart, Cheryl Holz and more!!


Willem Dafoe Quote

Reading Flaunt magazine this morning, I was struck sideways by the appropriateness of this Willem Dafoe comment:

"Making stuff is satisfying, because it always involves a shift of consciousness out of your everyday, wear-you-down consciousness...The world drops away, and you get caught up in this thing I can only describe as becoming. The same thing can happen while making a beautiful meal. I think I'm always attracted to that. I don't think I'm a very neurotic person, but I'm a nervous enough person and a fearful enough person that when I'm making things, all that goes away, and why does it go away? It's because I feel kind of useful. I don't feel petty. I feel like I'm in the mix with nature. I'm in the mix with the divine, and making it for what? That's even the best part-If you don't know why you're making it. That's what's so great about art sometimes. It's just beautiful in it's usefulness."

luv that nature divine stuff. lap it up.


SSDK - The tale of the show - Volume II

Opening # 1, September 20, 2009
And so the day came.

Hanging in the Balance - sold to Steven Specht
Imagine my surprise when I entered the gallery to see red dots already on some of the pieces!!! They had sold "Hanging in the Balance", which was one of my favorites from the SSDK series!! Several other smaller works also had red dots. I immediately could relax because the pressure was off. Time to enjoy the show!

Upon my arrival, Barbara Boucher excitedly informed me that Steven Specht had attended the show already and was interested in interviewing me for a web review. I was honored to find out that he had purchased some of my work. We were able to talk at length about the art of collage. Truly humbled, he made me feel like I really am an artist. It's funny how I am the last to finally believe it. You work hard in the studio, and it's all so far removed from the public eye and the feedback. The creation portion is every so private. It's such a contrast to the showing of art, which is so very public. You have no idea what other people think, till you put it out there. It's kind of scary.

The 20th was a beautiful sunny autumn day. It was so gorgeous, and it provided a really scenic nice ride for my out of town guests. The gallery had set up a table in the middle with some really good appetizers. I was impressed with the quality of the treats. It wasn't just some frozen minibites, but instead yummy specialties that the MVCA committee members cooked up. Red and White Wine in carafes was miraculously kept filled during the entire reception and it certainly added to my festive mood! (not to mention the calming effect).

Unfortunately, I have to mention the bogus flies that also wanted to attend my show. The front door was open and apparently they also got the email that food was being served! We swatted flies and bees both shows. I deserved it I guess, since I had asked them to take down the fly tapes! It's fall, and I guess the pests are frisky!
There were several committee members that attended my first opening, Good friends came from far away to see my work. Karen Chapel and her daughter Danielle brought along Nancy Goff, who is Karen's mother and also a renowned pastel artist and Jessica Friedman. They all traveled the distance from the Binghamton area, driving over 2 hours in the autumn sun! Such supportive friends...I love them all. Lisa brought Aaron up to see the work. I haven't see him in over 2 years, and it was good to have him there. Rosemary made sure that August, my grandson, was there for his first art event. Grandma was tickled he could attend! J.D. King visited the show and offered his commentary on the pieces. I can't list them all. I was so glad to see that the gallery was full....the entire 2 hours of the opening reception.

Travis was on hand as my right hand man. Speaking with folks and explaining the works, helping me with the computer, he was invaluable before-during-and after both shows. Talk about support!! Chris also came along and held me up when I wanted to fall over. It seemed like an exhausting 2 hours. Honestly, I was so humbled by the experience. I went home and my chest was swelled up in pride and love for all the great family, artists, friends, and neighbors that came to see my work. Of course, selling a few pieces didn't hurt!
I was fascinated by the interesting questions that people asked me about the art and the slideshow. A lot of folks were mesmerized by the slides...being able to see up close some of these local intriguing places was acting like a magnet. It all worked pretty well together.
The show ended and I floated home...happy...content... Ya know, sometimes the life of an artist ain't half bad!

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