Wednesday, November 27, 2013

HAPPY THOUGHTSGIVING!!!! … now in its 4th year!!!

Four years ago, a couple of my friends and I initiated a new holiday while enjoying a few pints at The Green Onion (a local pub in Utica, NY). It's celebrated on the eve of Thanksgiving and is kind of a contemplative pause before the hectic holiday. In a way, it's an anti-"Black Friday", anti-commercialization of the holidays thing too. So I am wishing all of you out there in the "bloggosphere" a sincerely happy Thoughtsgiving today! I am thankful for your interests in my artwork!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Where do elements "end up"?

In a way, this is a bit of a follow-up to the last post in terms of how interesting I think it is to see from where elements come and into what compositions they eventually become incorporated. Here are a couple more examples. The first is an older piece (almost 5 years now) that included a beautiful transfer of a detailed angel. If you look at my studio table, you will see some of the elements as they lay waiting to be incorporated into a composition. The other is a newer piece (one that is now on exhibit at the Kirkland Art Center). I had played with where the "ripped guy" might fit in a number of experimental compositions, until he finally found his was on the vintage map background with a colorful hand used as some contrast.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The story of "Two Birds…"

The artists' reception for the "Small Works 5" exhibition at Kirkland Art Center in Clinton was really nice. It was nice to meet the other artists and the event was well-attended. Someone bought my piece entitled "Two Birds, with One Stoned". For those of you who follow this blog periodically, you might remember this piece. There are SO many little stories that this piece "tells", it was bittersweet for me to let this one go. It has had an interesting history.
I did this piece on April 20, 2013. The numbers "4-20" have some pot reference for some of the "hippie types" out there (and thus the allusion in the title). I had been experiencing a "dry spell" with my work and thought that perhaps I had done all that I had to offer in terms of "good" collages. I had had the guy's head as an element for weeks (months?) and had experimented placing it in various compositions (see below, for example). I really liked the gray value and I really appreciated the facial expression and head turn. I was afraid that he was a "famous star" though. I really try to avoid famous faces in my work. I sent off an image to my cousin Dan Sanders, who is a vintage movie expert. He assured me that he didn't know. I felt "safe" using the image.
This past summer, I submitted this piece to the annual regional show at "View" in Old Forge. I was reminded sternly when I wrote out the check that it is "View", NOT "The View". It's ironic, for folks who need to be so precise with the check, that they mis-labelled my piece as "Two Birds with One Stone". I printed the title carefully THREE times on the submission forms for the show. I mentioned this to a friend who is somewhat "in the know" about the organization. She seems to think that it was an intentional change to avoid the mildly "provocative" title. My friend Dan Buckingham was a juror at the show and I thought he would like the piece. As it turns out, it won "First Place - Mixed Media" in the exhibit. Of course, I was hoping that Dan didn't "bestow" this award on me because of our friendship (I really didn't think that he would do that, but…). I was able to ask him directly a month or so ago and he assured me that he didn't even know it was mine. That's cool. I had to have my brother Bill pick-up the piece when the show was over (I was out of town). He was tickled when people reacted so positively about his brother's work when the retrieved it.
This piece was also part of my show in September at The Dev in Utica, NY. It was placed well in the exhibit and folks really seemed to like it. It's interesting to me (and I feel very lucky as well) that when I do a piece that I think is going to be a "hit", it is generally well-received by "the public". I remember vividly the night of April 20th when I completed the piece. I was SO happy about it! I felt that I finally was out of my collage "dry spell", and I just knew this was going to be a well-liked work. I actually spent more money than I usually do to mat and frame the work, because I wanted to "treat it well". I had overpriced the piece a bit at The Dev, because I was "saving it" for the Kirkland Arts Center exhibit. Even with the price up, it almost sold.
When I received the postcard announcing the KAC exhibit, I noticed that the title of the piece had been changed (again) to "Two Birds with One Stone". Argh… I don't do cliche! I consider my titles (at least for most of my works) to be integral to the artwork itself. Fortunately, I was able to notify the folks at KAC and they did change title card for the piece in the exhibit. Several people expressed their interest in buying the piece… and then the "dot" went up. It had sold.
Such stories for such a modest piece! I love it. And now it's sold. I still feel bittersweet about it. But once again, my journey in the world of art has provided me with an enriched life.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kirkland Art Center exhibit (Clinton, NY)

I'm very excited to be part of this 5-person show with artist friends JD King and Dan Bacich (as well as the other two artists). I look forward to the opening reception on Sunday!

Monday, November 11, 2013

another round of The Memory Project

Last year, the Art Club of Utica College was involved with The Memory Project ( for which portraits are made (i.e., painted or drawn based upon photographs) of children from around the world and distributed back to them (see post from February 26, 2013). Last year the children were from Sierra Leone (Africa). This year the students are involved again. This time, we are doing portraits of children from the Phillipines (based on photos sent to us). I'm not sure if we will know if any of these children lost their lives as a result of Typhoon Haiyan. It certainly has made this project much more emotional for me and I hope that our artwork will be a very small bright spot in what might be a very bleak couple of years for the children in this area. Here is a photo of the child for which I will do a portraiture collage (we are required to obscure the eyes to avoid identification). I hope he is safe. Brings a tear to my eye and makes me feel fortunate to be safe tonight. Proud of the Art Club of UC.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I really didn't think I would have any time to spend on artwork this evening; but I ended-up going into my workspace and getting a little bit done. A couple of collage "sketches" re-working some favorite elements I've been interested in lately.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

2013 juried exhibition of the National Collage Society

Most of you who check out this blog might already be aware of this, but here is the link to this year's exhibit. Some REALLY nice work!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

"African-American Saint"

I am hoping to submit this piece as a "last minute entry" into the bau Gallery exhibit along with "Lila Libi" and "Sibyl's Sadness". The theme of the exhibit is "Saints and Sinners".