Tag Archives: Abstract Expressionism

The Art of Craft

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The above is my favorite picture taken at Craft & Craft at the Everson Museum of Art.  Taken by my friend Doug from that perch/Juliet balcony of the third gallery upstairs.

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It was such a great experience selling artwork at the Everson!  My set up was right in front of the spiral staircase.

I M Pei Everson

The amazing architect I.M. Pei designed the building.  He also designed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame –

I M Pei rock and roll hall of Fame

and the glass pyramid entrance to The Louvre.

I M Pei Louvre

It was a beautiful day on Thursday and one that I will never forget.  I have always dreamed about doing something like this and so, it was a dream come true.  Loved every minute of it!

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Thank you to all who attended including my Facebook friends, besties and loved ones.  I’m also so grateful to the staff of the Everson who helped me with the set up.  Everything was so well organized and it was so much fun.

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And a special thank you goes out to my mother who came with me (we got there at 3 pm) and was my greatest supporter!  I didn’t get her home until 8:30ish so it was a long day.  She is a jewelry designer and had a few baubles for sale as well.

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This event was meant as a kick off to the Downtown Syracuse Arts & Crafts  Festival.

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The Arts & Crafts Festival continues today until 6 pm, so if you are a local, please get down there and support the arts.  So many talented people to discover!

downtown Syracuse arts and crafts fest

 

Crafty

Pumped, 16" x 12", watercolor, 2002, $95
Pumped, 16″ x 12″, watercolor, 2002, $95

So far, my entire summer has been a giant ball of butterflies in my stomach.  I’m happy – all the time, and excited about all the great things that are happening.  That WILL happen.

good things are going to happen

My little sister is a yoga instructor/interior designer/flea market furniture refinisher/furniture designer/a lot of other things!  She let me borrow a bunch of items to use to enhance my display  at the Craft & Craft function at the Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St. Syracuse, New York 13202 this Thursday from 5 – 9 pm.

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This is what it looks like now all tossed into the trunk of my car.  Hopefully I will create a cute set up that matches my modern, vibrant watercolors with these brass vintage bamboo-patterned fixtures.

Dark Magic, 18" x 24", watercolor, 2002, $200
Dark Magic, 18″ x 24″, watercolor, 2002, $200

I just found out that I will be inside, rain or shine, in the Sculpture Court (main floor), so that is great news.  It’s just one table of unframed paintings in all different sizes and it will be a BOGO sale, meaning you will get two for the price of one but no half price onsies. You will have to buy two.  And see?  It’s a win-win.  You get two, and I have to say that my watercolors do look best in multiples, or you can give one as a gift!  I get to go home with less artwork, which is the goal.

Blue Star, 10" x 7", 2002
Blue Star, 10″ x 7″, 2002

Yes, making money from sales is an obvious goal but the one that really tickles me is the idea that people will enjoy my artwork.  That it will have a home where it will be loved, cherished, what have you, for many years to come.

Blue Mandala, 18" x 24", watercolor, 2001, $200
Blue Mandala, 18″ x 24″, watercolor, 2001, $200

I’m not sure if I told you about my cat situation, but my two knuckleheads had a falling out.  A couple months ago, Georgie got a plastic bag caught around his waist and was running around the house screaming up a storm.  He looked like a bull with a rodeo cowboy riding him as he tried in vain to buck off the bag.  Naturally, Pablo was chasing him up and down the stairs and throughout every room until I caught up with Georgie and helped him out.

pablo & georges portrait

This was approximately less than five minutes of our lives but it took its toll on the siblings’ relationship because after that Pablo wanted to attack Georgie.

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It got pretty awful.  For three weeks, I was living like the Sister Wives with my pets.  One spent twenty four hours living in the kitchen and back porch while the other had the rest of the house and a spot in my bed, and then the reverse.  I tried to give them equal time but whenever Georgie was in the kitchen, he managed to bust in using his giant thumb paws – and then the fur went flying.  Very stressful!

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I tried these $35 calming collars, but Georgie just ate his.  Finally, I brought Georgie to live with my sister and they ended up falling in love with each other.  I visit him and it really is all good.  Georgie just has a new home where he is equally loved, cherished, what have you for many, many years to come!

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Just me and Pablo here now.  So I am no longer a stereotype!  And to add to my sister’s list of attributes, great cat mommy is at the top of the list.

craft and craft

Hope to see you on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at Craft & Craft! $10 for members, $15 non members.  There will be food and drink and art – bring money!

everything you can imagine is real

universe talkAnd P.S.: for those of you who miss my outfits of the day on Instagram – I will be wearing a new BCBG Max Azria dress at the event.  Can’t wait!

The 4th of Watercolor

Basket Case, 7" x 10, watercolor, 2000, $50
Basket Case, 7″ x 10, watercolor, 2000, $50
Force, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Force, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Treasure, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Treasure, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
The Castle, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
The Castle, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50

I spent the bulk of the day preparing more watercolor paintings to sell.  This required price tags, inserting them into plastic sleeves and adding a piece of foam board for stability.  Plus photographing them and giving them all titles to make everything easier to inventory.

Mandala Rising, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Mandala Rising, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Primary Juncture, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Primary Juncture, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Sunlight, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Sunlight, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Solar Vortex, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Solar Vortex, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50

I will be selling them and paper collage works at an event at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY on July 23, 2015 from 5-8 pm.  It’s called Craft & Craft.  I’m one of twenty-plus vendors (crafters) and the other craft is beer.  So it is a beer fest with art thrown in.

Gusto, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Gusto, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Atmosphere, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Atmosphere, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Vision Board, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Vision Board, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Isle, 7" x 10", watercolor, 1999, $50
Isle, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 1999, $50

Hopefully, the revelers will bring pocket cash to buy art.  I am going to do a BOGO sale – buy one, get one free, although I am against doing one for half price.  The idea is to come home with less than I brought there – a lot less!  Customers will need to take at least two, lol.  I have a lot of paintings.  I mean, I didn’t realize there was this much stuff tucked away!  The bulk of these paintings were done between 1999 and 2002.

Really?, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Really?, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Maze, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Maze, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Destiny Tuning, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Destiny Tuning, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Energize, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Energize, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50

The paintings in this post are 7″ x 10″ watercolors.  I also prepped larger pieces – tags and titles, but I haven’t cut the foam board for those yet.  I will share them soon!

Gossip, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Gossip, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Violet Outburst, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Violet Outburst, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Escape, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2002, $50
Escape, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2002, $50
Explode, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2002, $50
Explode, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2002, $50

It’s funny how labor intensive this business/hobby is.  I’m not a fan of this busy work but it all has to be done, holiday or not.  Actually, it’s kind of therapeutic in a way.  A chance to reflect on the process of mark making and the pure joy I felt while making them.  #feelingexcited – and that feeling is like abstract expressionist fireworks exploding inside of me on the 4th of July. ❤

Galaxy, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2002, $50
Galaxy, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2002, $50
Wormhole, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Wormhole, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Internalize, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Internalize, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Inferno, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Inferno, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Fly Away, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Fly Away, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Earthling, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Earthling, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Starlight, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Starlight, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Echo, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Echo, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Swim, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2002, $50
Swim, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2002, $50
Deep Blue, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2002, $50
Deep Blue, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2002, $50
Brown-eyed Girl, 10" x 7", watercolor, 2001, $50
Brown-eyed Girl, 10″ x 7″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Inside the Labyrinth, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2002, $50
Inside the Labyrinth, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2002, $50
Mandala, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Mandala, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Modern Muse, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Modern Muse, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Depth of Character, 7" x 10", watercolor, 1999, $50
Depth of Character, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 1999, $50
Canyon, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Canyon, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Sound Stage, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Sound Stage, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Bleu, 7" x 10", watercolor, 1999, $50
Bleu, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 1999, $50
Rosey, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2002, $50
Rosey, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2002, $50
Exit Strategy, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Exit Strategy, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Chaos, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Chaos, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Blown Away, 7" x 10", watercolor, 1999, $50
Blown Away, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 1999, $50
The Void, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
The Void, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Mark, 7" x 10", watercolor, 1999, $50
Mark, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 1999, $50
Isolation, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Isolation, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Oasis, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Oasis, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50
Launch Pad, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2001, $50
Launch Pad, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Secrets, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2001, $50
Secrets, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2001, $50
Forest Fire, 7" x 10", watercolor, 1999, $50
Forest Fire, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 1999, $50
Connection, 7" x 10", watercolor, 2000, $50
Connection, 7″ x 10″, watercolor, 2000, $50

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!

 

BB & Hold the Banana

Banana Republic cardigan, BCBG Max Azria top, INC pants, BCBG Generations booties
Banana Republic cardigan, BCBG Max Azria top, INC pants, BCBG Generations booties

This week I did a lot of black on the bottom (BB).  So far, I have not done a single repeat in clothing or shoes.  I like the idea of planning what I’m going to wear for people to see because it’s kind of a fun way to look forward to going to work, so thank you to all of the people who liked my Instagram #ootd (outfit of the day) posts.

BCBG Max Azria sweater, Trina Turk leather skirt, Etienne Aigner oots
BCBG Max Azria sweater, Trina Turk leather skirt, Etienne Aigner oots

I went to a funeral this week.  My great aunt died.  I know how some of you don’t like being morbid, but I can’t help trying to see a big picture to life when someone I cared about leaves us for good.  I know, and I don’t even think about dying at all.  I think more about all the living I need to do and the existential quest of what I am supposed to be accomplishing, as though I had a plan before I was born.  I am supposed to find something or someone in a search for happiness, as if I had a bet with someone up there in the ether that even within the parameters of the life I was given, I’ve been challenged to still find it.  Whatever that may be.

Banana Republic blouse, Champion tank underneath, Banana Republic pants, Coach booties
Banana Republic blouse, Champion tank underneath, Banana Republic pants, Coach booties

It reminds me of the famous Robert Rauschenberg story of the Erased DeKooning piece.  In the video made at the time of the 1997 Guggenheim retrospective, Rauschenberg talked about how he had been doing a series of white paintings and he had conceived the notion of erasing a work making it white again (the paper).  The idea of the process backwards, you see?  It is such a cerebral notion for a guy who spent a lifetime laughing.

He decided he wanted to erase someone else’s piece since erasing your own would have this feeling that you already knew how it was made, so it would be a lot easier to erase your own work.  You know how much pressure you had placed on the pencil and how much elbow grease it would require to get rid of those marks.  That makes sense, right?

So he went over to DeKooning’s, a formidable guy even sober.  He knocked – the artist didn’t answer at first and he thought, okay so the idea has now died.  I tried and knocked and …nothing.  Done and done.

erased dekooning

But DeKooning answered, let him in, closed the door behind him and stood in front of it so that Rauschenberg couldn’t escape after announcing his query – in the back of his mind he thought for sure that DeKooning would beat the crap out of him.

But instead, DeKooning said something like. “Okay, I understand what you’re asking.  I’m going to give you something hard to erase.” He handed Rauschenberg a drawing made with charcoal and paint and other materials, and Rauschenberg spent months trying to erase it.

Banana Republic blazer, Bailey 44 top, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West boots
Banana Republic blazer, Bailey 44 top, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West boots

It was a challenge, and that made the idea more fun.  And as much as non-artists scrunch up their noses and think that’s not art with an Emperor’s New Clothes mentality, you really have to admit that it took loads of time and a lot of work to erase that art.  So in essence, it was and is artwork.

Art history scholars tend to relay it as a message delineating the changing of the guard from Abstract Expressionism to the new Pop Art establishment, but Rauschenberg himself insisted that was not his intent.

Bailey 44 top, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West boots
Bailey 44 top, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West boots

No matter what we do, people will put their own spin on things.  Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez are Instagramming like clockwork, and they take the good and take the bad along with it, the negative-nellies who voice their harassment of the selfie variety, and can be very harsh in doing so.

I won’t let that stop me from continuing my journey.  I am having fun with the fashion stuff, which was heavy on the Banana (Republic) this week.

In light of the death, my parents were talking about buying their plots this week.  Preparing for the inevitable in a way to reduce our stress when the time comes.  My great-grandfather bought one extra plot a long time ago and Mom and Dad were thinking of trading it in for their two – but that spot is like my perfect spot.  It is a short walk from my great aunt and uncle’s graves, overlooking  the Comstock Art facility, which is next to Manley Field House at Syracuse University.  I kind of want to keep it for myself.  It seemed familiar, like a part of the puzzle that made sense but didn’t….

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It really is surreal to think of ending up there.  Like, what?  That’s all this was?  Me, dead, with a view of my art school, along with a giant oak tree and a huge gravestone marked MILLER?  What is that supposed to mean?  I mean, I know.

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