Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Pity of War - Once More

Tomorrow night is "Art After Dark" in San Luis Obispo and my show The Pity of War will be opening for a month's run at Linnaea's Cafe. I'll be there from 6:00-9:00 to meet and greet and talk about my art. Drop by if you're in the area.
The show runs through July 31. The cafe's hours are 6:30 AM - 11:00 PM daily.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

When is a cigar box not a cigar box? When it's a western themed boot box. My favourite cowboy boots came in this box and it's the perfect storage place for all things cowboy.

From caps to chaps, paper dolls to paper posters,
cowboy fabric and cowboy fringe.

I delve into this treasure trove often and every time I do I feel like my five year old self - buckling on my six shooters and pulling on my cowboy hat. Yee-haw!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Travel & Art

Last summer I was asked by Gill McCowan from the UK to be a founding member of her new project Travel & Art. Well, it's been almost a year in the making, but well worth it. The website is now up and running for the public. Check out the photos of travel journals, the blogs by different members, tips, techniques, book reviews and handy travel journal hints. Jump over to Fran's blog for a full-blown description

spread from my 2005 travel journal Philly in the Fall

I have always kept travel journals, long before my mania for mixed media began and I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of this. Check it out and contribute your travel journaling knowledge!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Walking in Fog - Dreaming of Sun

Once it's summer here on the Central Coast, we have lots of overcast and lots of fog. We may see some sun late in the day, but basically it's pretty much fog if it's summer.

So, whilst surrounded by fog and mist on my morning walks along the beach, I dream of sunnier climes. I know, friends who live where the temps climb up to the 90's and 100's say they envy me.

But what can I say? I may be walking in the fog but I'm remembering this lovely warm sun from our 2005 trip to La Mansanilla in Jalisco, Mexico.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Life on the Coast

First Summer Sunday; BBQ with friends, good food,
good conversation, good fun! Life is good!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

Down this path lies the Bachelor's Grove Cemetery in Midlothian, Illinois. My good friend Destiny recently returned from a trip to Chicago and environs and while she was there she visited cemeteries! So the next few Saturdays we'll be viewing some wonderful shots Destiny got in the "city of broad shoulders", as Carl Sandburg called it.

Flowers yes, even the beads - but the air freshener?

Weathered stone, spring green.

One lived to 89, the other only 54.

All photos courtesy Destiny Carter.

Friday, June 24, 2011

From the Bookshelf

One thing I love almost as much as seeing the inside of other artists' studios is seeing the inside of their sketchbooks. Luckily there is an increasing number of books that let us do just that.LinkThis one is the latest from North Light Books and allows us a glimpse into the sketchbooks of 45 established artists. It is fascinating to see the different styles used, as diverse as the finished works are. Each artist has a four page spread that shows several of their sketches, gives a short biography and a narration by the artist of how they use sketching and what it does for their art.
Highly recommended and a very enjoyable read and see!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What are you doing next May?

Anne, Erin(me) and Lynne in Taos, 2009

Just found out that Lynne Perrella and Anne Bagby will be teaching together again, for the first time since 2009. Next May 4-6 at the Interlaken Inn in Lakeville, Connecticut. No details yet, planning stage has just begun - but my calender is already marked, my vacation slip turned in - haven't quite started packing yet, but soon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

When is a cigar box not a cigar box? When it's a vintage dress box from I Magnin & Co., San Francisco, complete with period postage and labels. My friend Susan gave this to me several years ago and I just love it.

It holds my feather collection: big, small, colourful,
purchased and found and given to me
by people who own exotic birds.

Many of these will be finding their way
into the project I spoke of yesterday.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

From War to Birds and Billiard Balls

After seven months of producing work for the two exhibitions of The Pity of War, I now have piles of supplies on my art table for a new project.

As usual, these will sit there and marinate for awhile. I'll pass by, rearrange stuff, add, subtract, think about palette, get ideas, discard them...

...and then one morning I'll start to work, it will all come together and art will happen! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Breakfast on the Terrace

We're enjoying a delicious breakfast here on the terrace at The Bath Street Inn this beautiful Monday morning. Followed by a leisurely beach walk and late lunch. Ah, relaxation - gotta love it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Life on the Coast

A birthday overnight in lovely Santa Barbara
for my lovely wife Margot.

A trip to the Art Walk along East Beach,

lunch at La Super Rica (Julia Child's favourite taqueria),

a bit of shopping downtown,

a delicious Italian dinner

and a relaxing stay at the Bath Street Inn.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

Our last visit to Pere Lachaise - two phenomenal singers and one brilliant writer. Maria Callas - her ashes were stolen, then recovered and eventually scattered in the Aegean Sea in her native Greece.

Edith Piaf's grave - no regrets, at peace at last.

Oscar Wilde's final resting place - a monument as flamboyant and over the top as Mr. Wilde himself. Signed by many admirers. The epitaph reads:

And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn.

Friday, June 17, 2011

From the Bookshelf

These are so much fun! Just for browsing, for reference,
to make copies and use in collage.

Reproductions of actual pages from the ultimate wish book. I have the three pictured here and love to pour over them for inspiration and, if I'm honest, an occasional giggle or two.

There are also ones for the '50s and '60s and one dedicated to just children's clothes from the first half of the 20th century. Fun to see the fashions, amazing to see the prices!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Art Girlz Marketing

Margot, Debra, Destiny and I got together for our monthly marketing meeting last Monday. Our venue this time was Lily's Coffee House in Cambria - part coffee shop, part bakery, part art gallery, and all fun! We had all done well on our lists for the past month and brain stormed lots to do in the weeks ahead. This monthly get together has been very beneficial - keeps us on track and allows everyone to share ideas and support.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

When is a cigar box not a cigar box? In this case when it's an old film canister. I've picked up several of these at Art From Scrap in Santa Barbara. They were donated by a hospital after records were transferred to computer. So not only are they good to store things in, they are covered with interesting codes and medical ephemera.

This one has old weathered bits of painted wood in it. I used several of these when doing The Pity of War series, on pieces that depicted the blitz.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First Stencil Results

Finally got everything together and managed to get some time to start stenciling. The first lesson is on making a portfolio to keep our stenciled pages in. And here's mine. It was lots of fun - I did learn that spray paint is lots harder to get off than acrylic, LOL! Guess who's going to wear gloves next time?!

I love how easy it is to get these marvelous layers -
just keep spraying!

Next I'll start working on stenciled pages to fill up the portfolio.

The spiderweb and gear stencils used are from Mary Beth Shaw.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Age Old Music

Age Old Music 36x24"

The theme of the current show at the Cambria Center for the Arts is "Beauty in the Eyes". My entry is Age Old Music. This piece done on red rosin paper and then mounted on canvas features different sized xeroxed copies of Caravaggio's The Lute Player. I used water soluble oil pastels on the faces in several colour combinations and both vertically and horizontally. The blue, white and red palette is one I use often, but the addition of yellow was something different and really "pops".

The show runs through July 31,
every Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11-5.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life on the Coast

An early morning latte, a walk by the harbour
and two days off - Life is Good!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

The two biggest roles I ever did back in my operatic days were Rosina from The Barber of Seville by Rossini and the title role in Bizet's Carmen. Above is Rossini's crypt in Pere Lachaise. In 1887, twenty years after his death, his remains were moved back to Florence, but the crypt stands today, always adorned with fresh flowers from operatic fans.

Me as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, 1992

Bizet is still in residence here, interred in 1875, a few months after Carmen opened to less than enthusiastic audiences. He never knew that his opera would become one of the best loved and most performed of the entire operatic repertoire.

Me as Carmen back in 1995