Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Arriving at the Same Place from Every Direction

Arriving at the Same Place from Every Direction, 2009 (24"x24") The grids on the piece reference quadrants on topographic maps. The "x" represents the destination. "From every direction", in the title represents all the different routes that can be taken to arrive at the destination. "Destination", of course references "destiny". The message of the piece speaks to the many routes one can take to find a meaningful place, the place that is "meant to be", the place that feels right. The "place", is not so much a physical place, space, location, but more the sense that what one is doing, fits.
Above: Fractured Landscape: Spring City, 2009 (24"x24") - Acrylic painting on canvas, cut into pieces and incorporated into a larger encaustic painting.
Above: Pears in San Miguel2009 (24"x24") - Oil painting on canvas, incorporated into a larger encaustic painting.

The ground used for these paintings is an Ikea Lack table top (24"x 24"). Friends gave me three table tops over the weekend to experiment with for encaustic painting ground. The size to weight ratio is excellent. I was wondering about the make up of the interior of the Lack table top in terms of rigidity, strength, durability (all important qualities for encaustic painting grounds) as well as best location and method for attaching hanging hardware. And---I just ran across a video of a factory demonstration of the manufacture of the Lack items in this morning's Apartment Therapy blog post National Geographic Takes An Inside Look at Lack . I learned that I can have confidence in this construction for use as an encaustic painting ground.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"A comeback for sales of fine art"

A former Andy Warhol employee received this self-portrait in lieu of pay when she was working for Warhol in 1967. It's been stashed in a closet ever since. Recently sold at auction for $6 million.

Andy Warhol's painting of 200 One-dollar bills. Recently sold at auction for $43 million
Joan Mitchell's Untitled (catalogued at sothebys.com) Recently sold at auction for $1.1 million.

NPR's Kai Ryssdal discusses a comeback in the fine arts market with art advisor Richard Polsky. I'm hoping for the trickle down effect. ;o) Transcript and audio versions of the interview can be found here:

Friday, November 20, 2009


Here's a multiple business card holder which can be recycled into your paper bin. I originally made it for a vendor's table (Hound's Roo Pet Portraits) instead of buying a plastic business card holder. It's a simple design, easily transported and easy to make. Materials needed: Corrugated cardboard, scissors or utility knife, and jute twine (or other string).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Be careful looking up!

While painting a cabinet outside my shop on the motor court last week, I noticed little green splats beginning to appear seemingly from nowhere on my cabinet and myself. Before too long, I looked up into the huge tree that hangs over the driveway. There I saw a flock of busy Cedar Waxwings dining on whatever was left on the tree after its leaves were all gone. I love these gorgeous little birds and haven't had the pleasure of seeing them in at least a decade. They always travel in a flock and have the smoothest feathers that transition in color from a grey coat to a light cedar on their crown to a sunny yellow chest and belly. They have a back-swept pointed feather crest on their heads, a little black (Zorro) mask and their wing-tip feathers look as though they have been dipped into red wax.  I really mean it---click on the photo for a close up view---I'm telling you!  They are stunningly handsome birds and I'm glad they dropped a calling card that got my attention!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Italian Dogs

Fountain in Syracusa Sicily (photography by Toni Youngblood)

If you are a pet owner, you probably miss your pet when you are away. I have had at least one greyhound since 1997 and love them. I am currently babysitting Virgil, the greyhound for his humans who are vacationing in Italy. This is making me nostalgic for Italy. When I was traveling in Italy---in Sicily and the Lake District of Northern Italy, I was awwwwwwe struck whenever I came upon a canine, and usually asked the owner for permission to pet the pup to get my warm-fuzzy-furry fix. After a while, I decided it would be fun to photograph Italian dogs with their humans. At first I tried candid photographs---the owners did not know they were being photographed. Then I decided that for the best result (still targets), I would ask permission to take a photograph and see their reaction to the request as well as getting them to stand still. This was a challenge to my memory of the Italian language (I spent three months in Rome during architecture school---nearly twenty years prior). Everyone understood my request and obliged. It was very cute in several instances when the human would point to the camera and say to the dog, "vedi, vedi" (look, look!). In all cases I had no doubt that owners held great affection for and were proud of their amici cani. It was a cross-cultural experience. ;o)

Above: This gentleman, from the town of Orta in the Lake District of Northern Italy, chose to pick up his pup for a more intimate shot. I asked what the dog's name was and the man said, "Fritz". I asked why he didn't give the dog an Italian name and he said, "Because the dog is German".
Above: Jack Russell Terrier and friend at the entrance to the Galleria off the piazza adjacent to the Milan Cathedral.
Above: This gentleman told his dog to turn and face the camera and sit.

Above: "Vedi, vedi!"
Above: Galleria shoppers (American fashion influence?)Above: In front of the Galleria McDonald's restaurant (the best place to find a "public" toilet in the shopping center!)
Above: I kept seeing this spotty canine scurrying freely all over the main square in Taormina (Sicily) for several days. Then one day I saw this gentleman with the pup and asked if the dog was his. He said "yes", and I got permission to snap a picture---though the man could hardly get the dog to stand still!
Above: Lady and pooch have the same hairdresser? (Extra points for capturing the nun in the background!)
Above: The hotel cat in Taormina Sicily, who independently volunteered this pose.



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