Prize

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Texture Goddess

Yesterday was one of those perfect days where I did everything I set out to do.  It was kind of a thinking week and I finally executed decisions from the think tank.

Diana Godfrey

I was thinking about the Academy Awards.  In the past (read: up until yesterday), I scoffed at those who thanked their families for an award they received at work.  It seemed to me that the SHORT speech should reflect the specific aspects of the work and thanking co-workers was the way to go.  But then I had the flu and the subsequent bout with a debilitating sinus infection and the truth is that I could have never gotten through the week without help from Mom and Dad.  Mom for running to the grocery store to get me oranges, bananas, Jello, and meds, and sitting with me without any fear of getting sick herself, and Dad for helping me shovel/snowblow my driveway at least three times so that when I was ready to go out, I actually could fall back into civilization.  No matter what other successes I may have had otherwise, I owe so much of it to them for being there for me always, including supporting me and my decision to be an artist.  I am grateful they decided to get married when they were basically kids and are still going strong after fifty-three years of marriage.  So thank you, Mom and Dad.

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I don’t care if you call me a cat lady (at least you think I’m a lady) but I would also like to thank my two little indoor gin-gins for their companionship.  I tend to think they loved having me around this week.  My life was much like theirs.  Eat a little, dream a lot.  Go up and down the stairs and wonder what the hell I was doing up there once I got there, etc.  So thank you, Georges and Pablo.  Georgie is named after Georges Braque and Pablo for Picasso.  I’m kind of hoping they will want to help me make abstract watercolors this summer – I would love to see their polydactyl footsies stomping on Arches paper.

me and gin-gins

They are not my first multi-toed nutters.  I found a picture of Meet-zee and me recently.  He was our first cat.  We got him on Halloween when I was about nine from a house on Erregger Terrace.  I was telling the story to some students the other day and it did seem a little weird, like not something that would happen today unless scripted into an episode of Criminal Minds or something.

me and Meetzee 001

My sister, Kathy, and Anita Suritis and I were invited into the trick-or-treat house, went into the downstairs rec room and saw the orange and white kittens along with their mother in a comfortable cardboard box.  Their eyes had just opened making them about six weeks old, I guess.  We called Mom from the house and she came over in her bathrobe (not uncommon) and we got Meet-zee.  He only lived a year, hence no artwork.  Thought he ran away but only a few years ago Mom and Dad revealed that he was buried in the yard.  He’d been hit by a car over by where Kathy lives now.  Yeah, we used to let him go out at night and he would go hunting at Barry Park.

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So, back to yesterday, I re-joined Gold’s Gym, went grocery shopping, came home, gung-hoed on doing pilates, and went to an art show! Thank god for people like curator Anne Novado of Cappuccilli Fine Art, LLC!  She’d posted the event on Facebook, called Fine Art pairing at Wine 105 (105 Green Street, Syracuse, NY), and I had checked that I would be going.  Then the weather got all snowstorm again and I could have easily reverted to my specialty, staying home in jammies with a Duraflame log in the woodstove, but I did it.  I said I would and I did.  I ventured out (and I’m really glad I did)!

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I had a great conversation with the eternally youthful sculptor Arlene Abend and saw and chatted with Cheryl Chappell, Marna Bell, Sherry and Peter Allen, Linda Bigness, Anne Novado, and many others.

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I really love a captive audience so here it was – an art show at a wine store.  And I really, really love it when it isn’t a group show, when it is a one artist thing showcasing the depth and breath of one person you can truly fall in love with.  That person is Diana Godfrey.

Diana Godfrey (left) with Arlene Abend
Diana Godfrey (left) with Arlene Abend

Now, I’m not an art critic and I find that it isn’t really a job I want to have being that I am a colleague, a fellow artist.  With that said, I am completely head-over-heels for Diana’s work.  She is a texture goddess.  There were straight paintings, and paper collages – paintings on paper then torn and arranged in magnificent compositions on display, all framed by Cheryl Chappell from Edgewood Galleries.

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I met Diana for the first time last night and she had such a regal elegance.  I was born in Syracuse, lived two years in Florida – end of story.  I mean family is what brought and kept me here.  But Diana recieved her Master’s in Iowa and came here because her spouse had gotten a job at the university – not sure how long ago.  She spoke to me about the business of art and I loved that she could bridge both worlds – to be that talented and business savvy.  She makes a living selling art and well she should.

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I just love her sense of color and the texture in her work and the holy trinity of putting those together with the ease of rhythmic expertise. There is so much to see in her world.  It’s what I’ve always wanted in mine – a sense that once you are drawn in, you never want to look away.  You never want to leave.  Her prices are reasonable so you may want to head down there and pick up a few.  While you’re there you can throw in a few bottles of wine to enjoy while watching the female Superbowl tonight.  You’re welcome.

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My Booty Valentine

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There’s no such thing as a vacation when you are an artist because once you have free time, there’s almost an obligation to throw yourself into a project.  And by you I mean me.  I’m the never ending artist, except when I get sick, which is normally never until last week when I experienced the flu.

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I’m still all over the map with symptoms.  Yesterday I thought it felt like bronchitis and today I have the sinus headache, which I’m hoping will just leave on its own.  Blech.  But I still managed to FINALLY create the boot inserts I have always wanted to make.

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I bought duck cloth, polyester fiber-fill (JoAnn Fabrics),  Ziplock bags, and pinto beans (Target) and went to town.  I had a pattern from the Internet but it was really too big so I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out the right size and more time adjusting the filling.

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They take one straight sewing machine pass.  Add a rubber band to the bottom and fill them first with two handfuls of beans in a plastic bag then the poly fiber-fill.  Each top had to be hand-stitched but I did that while watching Anchorman 2 on Epix, so I laughed through the process.  I added the pom-poms this morning after viewing a tutorial on Youtube. The trick is to wrap the yarn around your hand 60 times to get them nice and full.

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I made eighteen of them, so nine pair.  The original plan was to make some to sell but I have eight pairs of knee-hi boots so I either have one pair to sell or the more likely choice – I will just have to buy another pair of boots!  It may not look like it, but this project represents an entire day of my life so selling them would not be very profitable unless I sold them for $25 a pair (at least).

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I guess I could do that but now that I finished the task, I really don’t feel like making any more.  Booty Valentine’s Day feels like a one-off.

Knowing Your Meme

It’s already half-way through the school year and with the semester over, we decided to try to replicate some of the latest photo fads to contribute to the school yearbook.  They are so much fun to do – no photo shopping.  I think I might turn it into a class lesson, maybe they can come up with new ideas for fads that can go viral.  I just love these.  I love anything stupid-funny, and the kids are such great sports!

#owling
#owling

 

#Tebowing
#Tebowing

 

#planking
#planking

 

#horsemanning
#horsemanning

 

#playing dead
#playing-dead

 

#Vadering
#Vadering

 

#kamehamehaing
#kamehamehaing

 

#makankosappo/hadokening
#makankosappo/hadokening

 

#tuba gunning
#tuba-gunning

 

#241543903 (head in freezer)
#241543903 (head in freezer)

I’m still hoping to try #cookie-on-shoulder, #eating-money, #batmanning (way too dangerous!), and whatever else is out there.

The Winter Recipe

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My work colleague, Sherry Spann Allen, is the lead artist in a group exhibition at the Tech Garden.  It is an office building across from the Hotel Syracuse in downtown Syracuse, New York. This city is all about alternative venues for artwork where a captive audience is forced to make visible what is ordinarily invisible.

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Sherry’s work is all about texture, playing with it to the degree that her canvases literally pop off the wall with geometric, amorphic and combination shapes that emit a feeling of the sea.  Gorgeous turquoise encaustic and oil pastel mix with pinks and creams to produce the feeling of being on vacation in the Mediterranean.  I will be surprised if she doesn’t sell every one of those paintings in the next three months.

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I know that at least one artist made a sale last night at the reception, which is great news for our talented community.  Steve Nyland curated the show from a list of emerging and already out there localites who’d been queued for a coveted spot at a local Armory Square bistro.  When the place changed hands, the art space was nixed in favor of god-knows-what.  Kind of a blow, but we artists are like cockroaches, emerging from the disappointment and ready to infest the world with our aesthetics.  Beware – we are not going anywhere!

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Joan Applebaum was the only other artist I knew who exhibited – landscapes of familiar landmarks that resonate with local audiences because of their emotionally charged nostalgic-inducing vibe.

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I took a few pictures of some other work as well, and I couldn’t help but take a few snaps of the food.  They had quite a spread.  In their defense, it was an excellent turn out for a night that started out fine and quickly turned into a blizzardly drive-from-hell-frozen-over drive home.

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The show, entitled Winter Recipe, continues through March 27th, 2015.  The Tech Garden is located at 235 Harrison Street and features in addition to Sherry and Joan, the artwork of the following: Holly K. Austin, Theresa Barry, Emily Bender, Willson Cummer, Christophe Ennis, Cat Gibbons, Arianna Lynch, Ashley Marie, Yegor Mikushkin, Kathryn Petrillo, Gail Reynolds, Doreen Simmons, Ray Trudell, and Missy Zawacki,

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Immortalize Me

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The above picture is the current state of my classroom blackboard.  We’re working on a portrait lesson in Studio in Art and these are some of the drawings I created as samples.  They all began as class demonstrations.

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The above is a self-portrait in the style of Gustav Klimt.  The portrait lesson has since transitioned from self-portrait in colored pencil to celebrity portrait in pencil.

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sleepy hollow Tom Milson

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young bill murray

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I can’t find the photograph I used for this 19″ x 22″ colored pencil on Canton paper illustration of Colin Firth or as I like to call him, perfection-in-a-man.  Created this one in 2004.  I can’t believe it’s eleven years old.

colin firth sag award

Here’s a picture of the actor winning a SAG award.  I don’t think any of my sample actors are nominated for a SAG this year.  Too bad, because that would have made a way better blog post.

colin firth and wife

I’ll be watching tomorrow night anyhow.  The fashionista in me prefers award season over sporting events (I haven’t watched a Super Bowl in I don’t know how long), although you know I will be watching the kitty half-time show of the Animal Planet puppy bowl.  That’s just perfection-in-cuteness.

kitty half time show at puppy bowl

 

 

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