Everything is Golden

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There’s really nothing I like better than a solo exhibition.  It’s a chance to see an artist’s body of work and learn their point of view. It’s an opportunity to understand the visual and maybe connect with it and the artist in an emotional  way.

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Susan Roth is exhibiting abstract work in three of the four main galleries at the Everson Museum of Art.  She works with Golden Artist acrylics and has a personal relationship with the company. She’s suggested products based on her needs, as written in one of the artist statements on the walls of the show.

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I think these blurbs help the average Joe non-artist/non-patron understand how important her work is.  That she spent a lifetime experimenting with materials to the point that she designed some as well.  It’s just beyond cool.

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There are paintings and sculptures and combinations of these. Unusually shaped canvases that make you want to reach out and touch them.

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Are they hard and crumbly like pumice stone or smushy plastic a la Silly Putty?  They really draw you into Roth’s universe and the more you look, the more you want to remain transfixed.  Each piece dedicates itself to the next and you witness a visual life.  Not sure if I would get the same response if I only viewed one of her pieces, but they are just incredible all together in this space.

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I was at the member’s art reception on Friday night.  The show, sponsored by Pathfinder Bank is titled Handmade: The Art of Susan Roth, and runs through August 30, 2015.  The Everson Museum of Art is located at 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY.  Go to http://www.everson.org for more information.

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On Saturday, I attended an art reception at Wine 105 – Art & Wine Pairing: the Not So Still Lifes.  I was there before for the Diana Godfrey show.  This time Mark Raush is exhibiting his large scale flower still-lifes.

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They are also acrylic paintings, filled with gestural lines of vibrant color and texture!  I think Raush’s work is the kind people want in their homes – a statement piece the average Joe can understand.

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They are artsy-familiar, if that makes sense.  I wish I could do a trade with him. art for art, but these pieces command thousands.  They are in the $7,000-$8,000 range (they take Visa and Mastercard), while I am currently selling paintings at around $200-ish.

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Anne Novado curated the exhibit.  She also coordinates shows for Gallery 4040 (4040 New Court Ave, Syracuse, NY), which has another opening this Friday night.  Mark Raush has more to show us there, as well as Arlene Abend, Katya Bratslavsky, and Walter Melnikow.  Wine 105 is at the corner of Hawley and Green Street (and Catherine Street) in Syracuse.

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Bloggy Woggy Was a Bear

Bailey 44 top and skirt, BCBG Generation sandals
Bailey 44 top and skirt, BCBG Generation sandals

The weather is all flim-flam again.  Hot last week, cold today, rainy tomorrow.  It’s really all over the place.  So for the last two weeks, it’s been dresses and sandals or pants and sweaters, or something in between.

Banana Republic cashmere sweater and skirt, Steve Madden boots
Banana Republic cashmere sweater and skirt, Steve Madden boots

There are four weeks of school left!  Can’t believe how fast it all went. (Go bears!) I have some art shows planned for the summer – more about that later!

Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sandals
Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sandals

I live in exercise clothes and paint smocks in the summer, so I don’t foresee posting outfit-of-the-days (#ootd) between June 24th and Labor Day-ish.  But I can’t rule it out.  I was thinking about going back to the say yes policy  I practiced last summer.  I already said no to a bunch of things this week – I’m still working on it.

Banana Republic dress, BCBG Generation sandals
Banana Republic dress, BCBG Generation sandals

I love this Banana Republic olive ponte knit dress.  It was the last one on bananarepublic.com – on sale with an additional 40% off.  I never get breaks like that.  In a dream world, this fashion blogging would lead to free clothes from my favorite designers.  And if you are listening, I’m a 0 in Banana Republic, a 2 in Trina Turk and a small or XS depending on style and a 0 in BCBG Max Azria.  7 1/2 in a sandal, 8 in boots.

Trina Turk dress, Mia shoes
Trina Turk dress, Mia shoes

I know it’s kind of a fantasy – too bad I wasn’t born in the ’90s, because these girls seem to be living the dream.

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/trends/a10949/how-bloggers-make-money-on-instagram/

http://www.marieclaire.com/fashion/advice/a9812/fashion-bloggers-income-success/

Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sandals
Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sandals

Here is another article about female bloggers.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larissafaw/2012/04/25/is-blogging-really-a-way-for-women-to-earn-a-living-2/

Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sandals
Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sandals

My sister suggested I change out my poses and another person thought my classroom was messy.  But those are my favorite things about my photographs (I am the only person on Instagram currently using the hashtags #fashionintherealworld and #fashioninrealtime). That and my shoes.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard how-do-you-walk-in-those-heels?, I would have that six figure salary!

Edme & Esyllte top, Champion pants, Coach booties
Edme & Esyllte top, Champion pants, Coach booties

I wore this outfit the day I taught gym classes in addition to art in order to help out with the dance lessons – swing, bunny hop and hokey pokey for the WWII event.  I wore Champion fitness gear under that yellow tunic top.  Got very sweaty that day jumping around for the equivalent of four hours.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  It was totally exhausting!

Bailey 44 top, J Crew  cashmere hoodie, BCBG Max Azria pants, BCBG Generation sandals
Bailey 44 top, J Crew cashmere hoodie, BCBG Max Azria pants, BCBG Generation sandals

I feel most comfortable in black.  I usually wear it every day of the first week of school because I am in mourning for my summer vacation, lol, and then I’m partial to black Monday throughout the school year.  I think I have at least eight different pairs of black pants – and a new pair at the alterations place getting hemmed as we speak.  But whatevs, you can never have enough.

Banana Republic cardigan and pants, BCBG Max Azria top, Coach booties
Banana Republic cardigan and pants, BCBG Max Azria top, Coach booties

Purple though – almost nothing.  We do a purple Thursday at work.  I just can’t do it.  It’s so Donny Osmond’s socks circa the ’70s.  I can technically wear that Trina Turk pink dress.  It’s actually the it color of last season – wild orchid.  Or I can do what some of the bloggers do – initiate a pink Wednesday.  That’s from Mean Girls or Clueless or some such ’90s chick flick.  I’m sure those big buck fashion bloggers would know.  🙂  😉

 

 

Land of Oz

autographed picture of Clarence Swenson
autographed picture of Clarence Swenson

Ozstravagaza returns to the village of Chittenango this weekend, June 5th-7th, 2015, with lots of special guests including Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked and other books set in L. Frank Baum’s fictitious Oz.

Jerry Maren in the 2000 Ozstravaganza parade, Chittenango, NY
Jerry Maren in the 2000 Ozstravaganza parade, Chittenango, NY

For many years, I dressed as Dorothy and walked the parade with the 2nd graders from Lake Street Elementary school in Chittenango, New York.  I wore that costume throughout my thirties and wondered what I would have done as a 50-something had I not moved on to work at the middle school.  (A student suggested going as the witch, lol).

with Ruth Duccini and Karl Slover
with Ruth Duccini and Karl Slover

Our float was a collaboration between all 2nd grade teachers.  My colleague Sandy Kennedy (who retired) and I made art projects for students to carry in the parade, and music teacher Margaret Kelsey taught the students a song with a bit of choreography to clinch one of the many awards the Oz Foundation gave to parade entrants. This year is Lake Street’s last foray into Oz because the district is closing the school – restructuring the Bolivar Road elementary to accommodate students.  It’s really an end of an era because Mrs. Kelsey is retiring as well.  They plan to go out with a bang, so it will definitely be exciting to watch if not simultaneously bittersweet.

with Mr & Mrs Jerry Maren
with Mr & Mrs Jerry Maren

Although I have not participated in the parade in nine years, I am still a part of this wonderful community via my 8th graders , who created the illustrations for the coloring contest.  They will be honored at noon at the center stage on Sunday, June 7th.

with Mr & Mrs Clarence Swenson
with Mr & Mrs Clarence Swenson

The pictures accompanying this post are from 2000, specifically the night I kissed a munchkin on the lips.  He was Clarence Swenson (above) and it was the night of the munchkin dinner.  Clarence and his wife, Jerry Maren and his wife, Ruth Duccini, Karl Slover, and Margaret Pellegrini were all in attendance.  Sadly, many of them have passed away.

Margaret Pellegrini and her granddaughter
Margaret Pellegrini and her granddaughter

I was especially fond of Margaret, as she reminded me of my grandmother who, had she been in the right place at the right time, could have easily been swooped up into the Singer Midget troupe.  You see,  I come from a family of the short – my grandmother was only 4’4″ tall, two inches shorter than Margaret.

My grandmother with one of her award winning crochet bedspreads.
My grandmother with one of her award winning crochet bedspreads.
autographed picture of Margaret Pelligrini
autographed picture of Margaret Pelligrini

Margaret signed this 8″ x 10″ glossy that I keep in an over-sized Pottery Barn frame with a big mat border.  It says “to Karen the art teacher” and “Munchkin love”.  She would see me every year and say,  oh, you’re the art teacher!  I just loved her.

"to Karen the art teacher"
“to Karen the art teacher”

People come to Chittenango  from all over the world to attend this event.  It is the birthplace of the author of the Wizard of Oz books.  For more information, check out the Ozstravaganza website here –   http://www.oz-stravaganza.com/

Art Games & WW2

ss projects ww2

There was an interdisciplinary program at our school last night.  It was a celebration of World War II, which included art and social studies projects, and musical performances – chorus, band and orchestra.  I also helped out in gym classes this week, teaching dance lessons – jitterbug, bunny hop and the hokey pokey – for the dance that anchored the evening’s festivities.

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We honored local veterans and welcomed a guest speaker who shared a first hand account of the holocaust.

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In preparation for this event, I created a sculpture lesson for my Studio in Art students.  I’ve been collecting old Barbie dolls for many years and finally figured out what to do with them.

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We made paratroopers!  The parachute shape was done in plaster of Paris built around  plastic bowl molds.  Students painted the interior with metallic paint and the exterior was done with patches of fabric glued with Mod Podge.  Students then had a buffet of materials with which to construct the humanoid – wooden blocks, cinnamon sticks, sponges… and the Barbie dolls, which had to be harvested for parts.

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Hot glue held them together and wires were used to attach the figure to the parachute.

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In addition, we did a watercolor unit, focusing on characteristics of the medium, as well as the principles and elements of art to create abstract expressionist paintings.  Students learned glazing, wet-in-wet, saving the white of the paper, and dry brush.

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Even though this lesson was meant to understand the emergence of the New York City art scene circa the 1940s and the role of abstract expressionism in art history, I shared my own watercolors with students and explained how I create happy emotion and energy via the use of rhythm, balance and emphasis with color.  It really helped them to dissect the work and understand how to both use the techniques and process the use of elements to create the principles.

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My favorite thing about the artwork is that they are all so different. In my own work, I take pride in how my hand moves.  It is unique.  I can recognize my own brushstroke.  These paintings hold  the same sort of identity to the students, like you can identify your art in a police lineup – I mean if your art was a person accused of a crime.  I love that regardless of how silly the analogy.

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The resulting experience was pretty surreal, like a dream or a PG-13 movie.  A successful evening with all of the 8th grade teachers and the librarian, PTA and administrators playing a part.  We like to think of ourselves as the happiest middle school – on Earth or just New York State, I’m not sure.

Happiest Middle School

Just found out that Chittenango came in fourth on a list of New York State best towns in which to live, so there’s that.  It is a pretty great place!

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Bonus – I posted this picture of me on Instagram in my Trina Turk dress, and Trina Turk responded with a smiley face and a star emoticon!  Amazing!  So great.  Or as my colleague from work (who just took leave to have her baby) says – it’s a Yahtzee!

 

Art Tease

Bailey 44 top, INC pants, BCBG Generation sandals
Bailey 44 top, INC pants, BCBG Generation sandals

It got cold again in the ‘cuse this week after 85 degrees last week, so it was back to sweaters and long sleeves.  It also felt right to go neutral palette – black, white, cream, beige, and grey with some navy blue thrown in, which is pretty much my whole wardrobe (heavy on the black).

J Crew cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBG Max Azria leggings, BCBG Generation booties
J Crew cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBG Max Azria leggings, BCBG Generation booties
Bailey 44 top, BCBG Max Azria leggings, BCBG Generations booties
Bailey 44 top, BCBG Max Azria leggings, BCBG Generations booties

When I really like something I buy it in several colors.  I have the above Bailey 44 top in black and in red, and I have these BCBG Max Azria leggings in black with faux leather and in navy blue.

Lucky Brand jacket, Bailey 44 top, Banana Republic pants, BCBG Generation sandals
Lucky Brand jacket, Bailey 44 top, Banana Republic pants, BCBG Generation sandals

It’s already been a month since I got my smart phone, a month of different outfits and about a month of school left to go.

Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater, BCBG Max Azria leggings, ine West booties
Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater, BCBG Max Azria leggings, Nine West booties

Life seems really exciting.  I love that feeling I get when something is fun and the universe is filled with things to look forward to, as though it will fulfill its promises.  Not sure if that is bad for my art. Lots of artists seem to be brooders, creating work out of anger, misery or melancholy.  But I am all into happiness and joy.  I want people to feel good when they look at my work, as if they are in on a secret.  A secret language that enlightens, if that makes any sense.  I am thinking about painting on paper for the “futura” series. That feels right too.

BCBG Max Azria lace top with Victoria Secret camisole underneath, Calvin Klein jeans, Coach booties
BCBG Max Azria lace top with Victoria Secret camisole underneath, Calvin Klein jeans, Coach booties

I will have time to paint this summer, but before I do anything I want to work on the business of being an artist and that includes securing venues for exhibitions.  I have something in the works for July that I am VERY excited to share but I believe it will have to wait to be revealed, as it is some type of top secret thing-a-ma-gig.  Will let you know soon though.  I promise.

 

Dress Week

Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sadals
Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sadals

Okay- fashion blogging is so much fun.  It feels amazing to receive so many compliments.  I was really having a Kim Kardashian moment this week.  Call me Karen Kar-tash-ian!  So funny.

Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Babana Republic dress, BCBG Geeration sandals
Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Babana Republic dress, BCBG Geeration sandals
Banana Republic dress, BCBG Generation sandals
Banana Republic dress, BCBG Generation sandals

We had record breaking warm weather in Syracuse this week, which I doubt people who know us as the snowiest city in the state/maybe the country (won the trophy again this year) can believe.  But yes.  It got to 90 degrees on Friday and without air-conditioning in the school, it can be a little sticky.  So thank you, to Trina Turk, Banana Republic, and BCBG Max Azria for keeping me cool in their fabulous dresses.

Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sandals
Trina Turk dress, BCBG Generation sandals

Not sure what theme I’m planning for next week.  There are still a lot of clothes in my closet that have not seen the light of day in three weeks.  I usually wear things in a heavy rotation until I get bored with them but now I feel an obligation – a responsibility to my fashion followers to change it up.  Sounds like I’m taking this seriously, lol!

Trina Turk dress, Calvin Klein wedge sandals
Trina Turk dress, Calvin Klein wedge sandals
BCBG Max Azria dress, Guess sandals
BCBG Max Azria dress, Guess sandals

School Stuff

The annual school fair is a visual representation of what teachers teach.  Which means that art is the most necessary of all subjects.  Without it, it is really impossible to showcase to the community a school district’s activity.

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Tonight is the school fair and for the last nineteen years I have put up an exhibit then taken it down within seven hours.  I’m off to visit the displays before they are a memory and do the dismantling right now.

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This is the first time I have ever documented the event.  Thank you, smart phone.

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