Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the fine art of riding a recumbent; spring time in Bayside

Gordon and Steve take off for an afternoon of riding on this blustery spring day. To justify posting this in my ART BLOG, I am attaching one of my bicycle art pieces: Blue Rider

Sunday, March 29, 2009

North Coast Painters of birds; Carol Anderson and others

In preparation for Godwit Days I decided to list the local painters of birds that I know of. If you know of others please add a comment. This is a photo of Carol Anderson at her exhibit at The Piante Gallery in Eureka, in the fall of 2008. Carol's studio is in the StewArt building in Arcata. Joan Dunning is know for her books The Loon and Secrets of the Nest, and others, and her paintings of birds and nature. Amy Granfield paints birds in oil on board and gives them a certain unique attitude. She will have a show at Garden Gate in Arcata this spring.  Patricia Sennott's monotypes of birds are lovely. Patricia's work can be seen at Plaza Design in Eureka in April and May. Linda Parkinson's watercolors of birds are both beautiful and scientifically correct.  Derek Bond's birds have a serene feeling. Derek has shown his art at Meridian Gallery in Arcata. Sarah Starr paints photorealistic bird portraits in watercolor. See her Godwit Days poster below. Gary Bloomfield is a prolific artist with a booth of paintings and cards etc. at our bird festival.  I have learned how to sketch birds in the wild from him.
Many of these artists will participate in the Godwit Art Exhibit

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009; turn off you lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Look at the video about Earth Hour. Join us in turning off the lights.

the fine art of great design; Ringit Gurlich's bags

Scored two bare root semi-dwarf cherry trees at Pierson's Garden Center in Eureka. Half size trees, half off price. Both of them fit comfortably in my big orange bag by Acme Baggage's Shop
Check out Ringit's designs and prototypes in her website,  listed under useful links.

Friday, March 27, 2009

making a monotype at Ink People for the Arts

First you brayer on the color, then you wipe with vivas and que-tips and brushes and whatever might work, then you wet the paper and put it on the colored piece of plexiglas, and run it through the press. It is fun! And the results are not always what you expect. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

two abstract pieces by me - to paraphrase Bartheleme: they are not about something they are something

A poem by our poet laureate Kay Ryan and a quote by Donald Barthelme got me thinking about abstract art today

But how dark
is darkest?
Does it get 
jet-or tar-
black; does it
glint and increase 
in hardness
or turn viscous?
Are there stages
of darkness
and chips
to match against
its increments,
holding them
up to our blindness,
estimating when
we'll have this
night behind us?

.....Saul Bellow argued that the modern novel was "predominantly realistic" because "realism is based on our common life". Bartheleme countered that a "mysterious shift....takes place as soon as one says that art is not about something but is something", when the literary text "becomes an object in the world rather than a commentary upon the world." This excerpted from The Story Artist by Colm Toibin, NYT Book Review March 22. 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Deadline April 2, for stimulus money for the arts

50 million in stimulus money  to the National Endowment for the Arts....but who is going to run it? Read about it in the NYT. Do we have anyone here on the North Coast putting in an application? We are shovel ready, right? Brushes, paper, pigment: go!

Godwit Days, April 16-22, cover artist Sara Starr

Godwit Days is a birding festival held on the North Coast. It consists of  a huge number of field trips, seminars and a lovely "Wildlife and Landscape" arts exhibit, curated by well known nature artist Linda Parkinson. The festival is headquartered at the Arcata Community center with good food and plenty of parking. This year's poster is by watercolorist Sara Starr, who for many years lived right next to the Arcata Marsh and knows the birds intimately. She is a fine watercolorist who layers transparent glazes for vibrant color and luminosity.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Redwood Art Association's Juried Spring Exhibit at the Morris Graves Museum for the art: my entry

On this blustery spring day I drove over to the Morris Graves to deliver my entry: The Bridge of Sighs, mixed media painting on handmade Indian paper. The RAA was, as always, very well organized to receive the art work. About seven volunteers involved.  First you go through a check for "fitness" of the piece, for a painting that means that it is well framed with a secure wire in the back. Doug Blair's framing work always passes muster. Then there are several other steps including the one where you find out if you are up on your dues or not. There is no fee for entering the show - but I often end up paying my yearly dues at this time. I got to wander about and look at the submitted art work. I recognized the hand of many artist. Supposedly 134 or so pieces had been submitted, fewer than last year. I learned that Stock Sleuter and Jim McVicker had decided to pass,  since the juror is the owner and curator of a gallery in Sonoma in which their work is shown. ( see my entry in the blog on March 4th, and see the RAA website in useful links)  To my disappointment I found out that the juror was not going make a presentation about how she went about choosing the art. This selection will take place tomorrow, and the results posted online on Tuesday. In the past, we had to go to the Morris Graves and look at a typed list to see who was in or out. It is good to have the RAA online!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rose the violin player, watercolor painting

Rose, who is now a grown young woman with a family of her own and a preschool, the Children's Cottage in Eureka, is the model for this painting.  She is, if possible, even more beautiful now.
The photo that I worked from was taken at her parents Montessori preschool in Salmon Creek in Southern Humboldt - during a lesson by now legendary violinist, and Suzuki music teacher Hal Lepoff.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Feeling blue, nasty cold stuck in me

Patricia Sennot showing monotypes at Arcata Marsh Commons, March 2009

Here's a photo of Patricia when she was in the middle of hanging the exhibit, standing infront of "Adders Tongue". I saw her create the "Hellebore",  see entry in blog  2/24,  here it is completed with the third color of blue. Outside on the blustery day at the marsh this bush of ribes was in full bloom.  In looking for Patricia online I found this illustrated article about monotypes in the Daniel Smith online catalogue.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

family art from Mexico, my sister Susanna's mishap, Waldemar Sjölander, Swedish artist in Mexico

In 1958 my parents bough this old painting at the famous flea market in Mexico, Lagunilla  and yesterday it came apart and fell on the floor in my sister's condo in Uppsala.  Ouch that hurts!
It made me think of that time in Mexico and of  the small collection of paintings we have from there. I think the flea market find was the first one. Later  my parents met Waldemar Sjölander, a Swedish artist who made his home and reputation mostly in the lively arts' scene in the vibrant capital of Mexico City. Over the years they bought several of his works.
 I would be very curious to find out if anyone has a painting like the old one pictured here. Would it have been painted in Mexico, or brought over from Europe? My parents also visited San Miguel de Allende and picked up a couple of paintings here.  In my the digital Lucia image, my sister is the model.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saw thirty thousand Aleutian geese take off at dawn

The Aleutian geese are almost ready to fly  - at 45 miles an hours  - all the way to the Aleutian islands. The geese are right now taking off from the bird sanctuary by the Hookton Slough at dawn to fatten themselves on the green pasture land all around Humboldt bay. It is a peak experience! Here's a photo by G. Inkeles, and a digital image inspired by his photo, by me, of the cross stitch patterns the geese make in the sky. Our friend and neighbor David Fix, birder and  coauthor of our most used birding book, Birds of Nothern California, coined the cross stitch description.

It is well worth getting up early for this springtime phenomenon. It will end suddenly in a week or so. After standing in the chill air with the birds cackling overhead, you can head to King Salmon and breakfast on crabs Benedict at Gills on the Bay. If you are lucky you can sit at the large table on the raised area of the old time diner, and study the Aleutian islands on a map baked right into the table. 

Artists are shovel ready! Stimulus money comes our way.

Read the  article in the Atlantic about the money allocated to the arts in president Obama's economic stimulus package.  We, artists are always ready to make new art!
Does anyone in our North Coast community plan to access any of these funds? If so please share the information in a comment.

I am ready! 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Wonderful video by Amy Uyeki and her students at NPA in Arcata

The video is called Morphology - enjoy! I love it, thank you Amy!

Also see Amy's webpage in the list of useful links.

Note: I find that the video does not always play on this imbedded YouTube screen. So here is the URL for Morphology; and did you know you can watch it on a full screen by clicking on the icon at the R bottom of the page, next to the sound icon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

About blogging, user interfaces, Steve Jobs and Marissa Mayer at Google

So what do all these items have in common? Well, I have been trying to make a useful, and attractive blog using standard Google formats, and  I noticed a story in Sunday's New York Times business section about the multitalented  and chic Marissa Mayer  - VP at Google and Google's user interface tzar. Now, I love user interface thinking, and I love  Steve Jobs. And I worry about him and I worry about Apple computer without him in the lead. I was there when he was in charge the first time around, and I saw what happened when he was ousted. So, I hope you are doing well Steve! In the meantime I think Marissa Mayer might have some of the talents that Steve has and the chutzpah too. Could she be the one to step into those insanely great shoes?

I also happen to like her aesthetic, she like I,  grew up with Marimekko designs. My mother was a friend of the founder Armi Ratia.  They worked together at Taucher's Advertising agency in Helsinki. I spent my teenage years dressed in Marimekkos. Now I sleep in Marimekko duvets.
She also likes Dale Chihuly -  and collects his work.  Does she like Miro?
And she studies the users' reactions to the Google interfaces and says: Design is a science not an art; imagination is a muscle; and the user interface needs to be fast and easy to read  (no subtle gray on gray).  So read about her, and check out her technical speeches for Google. And tell me what you think.  
And see if you think my art is influenced by sleeping in Maija Isola's flowered sheets?

Found Charlie Rose's interview with Marissa Mayer! Cool!

RAA, juried spring exhibition, be sure to participate!

The venue for this exhibit is our wonderful flagship for the arts,  the Morris Graves Museum.
Everybody should enter a piece. Check out the RAA website for the details. Entry deadline: March 22. 
The RAA website contains massive  links to artists and arts' organizations in Humboldt County. I've added it to my useful links. (see left side of blog)
I gleaned from the RAA site that the
juror for the upcoming RAA show is Manette Fairmont, curator, owner and award winning artist of the Fairmont Gallery in Sonoma. It turns out Jim McVicker, and Stock Schlueter are represented by this gallery. 
Here's one of her  paintings  " Sonoma Valley Winery".
I hope she does not mind me posting it here. There are many more images on her website, from near abstract watercolors to very representative landscapes in oil.

Often the visiting jurors give a presentation about how they went about choosing which art to include. It goes beyond selecting individual pieces of art to trying to create a cohesive show. Quite a challenge, I'm sure. One recent juror from Sacramento said that she wanted the show to be representative of Humboldt County. Wet, green and windy!?
I think participating in juried shows, open studios and alternative galleries as a fun form of community service. It adds greatly to the enjoyment of living here. I am grateful to the volunteers of art organizations, store owners and newspaper editors who give of their time to make this happen.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

EPUG exhibit of members' digital art at the Hagopian Gallery, March 2009

Members of the Eureka Photoshop Users Group are showing their work at the Hagopian Gallery on the second floor, of our fine main library on the bay in Eureka. The show will be up for the month of March. My contributions are two digital collages depicting figs from our friends the Allen's orchard.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monotypes of butterflies, hot off the press!

A pair of lovely butterflies that have found each other. The monotypes are based on a photograph of lilac bordered coppers, by Peter Haggard, coauthor of Insects of the Pacific Northwest, published by Timber Press. Used by permission. I have played with the colors. Tell me which version you like best!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

North Coast Environmental Center, donation to 2009 auction, Sat. April 11

Another worthy cause. Lots of good art! Check it out on the NEC website.

My watercolor painting Purple Muse is part of a series of purple calla lilies I started painting in Bob Benson's watercolor class at College of the Redwoods. Bob brought the callas  to the class in a pot and we saw them open and change color during the class. Bob, kneeling on the floor, created several powerful paintings. Later I planted my own purple callas and I enjoy their brief bloom every spring. They change shape and colors in dramatic ways - and if you look closely they harbor a little pineapple in their longs throats.