Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday evening- Halloween- Oct 31

I am very excited to be announcing the installation of my new mailbox "art" this week. As you can see on my blog, there is the picture of the Mermaid mailbox on the right side which was my original one. I have had it for 7 years and over that period of time, it has become a local stop for dog walkers, neighbors, visitors, and spectators, even some who directly modeled their own boxes after it. But now, I will have the most unique pictorial postal piece, using birds and flight as indicative of the creek behind my home. I partnered with a local mosaic artist, Kathy L. who worked on it with me over the last 4 months. I found/discovered/purchased objects from a variety of antique fairs, flea markets, consignment shops, and small eclectic shops and designed a way to use them in a story about birds around my home.The front of the box spells out "PAR AVION" as a metaphor and literal reference. Kathy has been a "mosiacist" (new word) for a long time and has previously taught her craft when there were classes at Brookfield. She and I met, clicked immediately and found that my vision and her craft could be modeled together into this final beautiful piece. I plan to start a business from doing these boxes, with people coming to me to design their special boxes-  with them telling me their specific "loves" and my finding appropriate objects, colors and shapes and being the artist designing the entire theme. For example, I have a business friend contemplating a start up business specializing in dog grooming and doggie day/ pet care so I suggested making her a box centering around dogs- ceramic, glass, wood, plastic and other materials that would evoke her particular needs. Anyone could think about any subject, animals and birds as well as objects, like old cars and sports, and even ART objects. The mailbox conforms with U S Postal Service rules and could come in small, medium, and large. We have protected this particular box from the freezing temperatures by using material that will neither crack nor disintegrate in the weathers- from cold to hot. All the objects on it are one of a kind, as is the design. I am so excited to introduce it to decorative magazines as well as garden shows where people who live in places where their mailboxes are safe (from vandalism) and who want an expression of themselves and their lifestyle can contact me to develop new and wonderful ways of making Mailbox ART.
Please enjoy looking at the pictures of how it came to fruition, and after it is installed this week, I will post more pictures from its proper place at the end of my driveway.

I hope you can comment on my post so I can find out what you think!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday- Oct 27th- The beginnng of Printmaking

Hello Readers!
I am back from the Center for Contemporary Printmaking and am exhausted from the first day of my 4 consecutive day workshop with Ron Pokrasso, who is teaching 8 students different monotype styles and printmaking techniques. He lives in Santa Fe, NM when he is not traveling throughout the country, and I feel blessed to be able to share in his talent and techniques, and eat up every tasty morsel of his experience.
It goes from about 10 AM-4 PM respectively, except today it lasted until after 5:00 PM as Ron shared some of his own work in his portfolio as well as some very talented class members that he has tutored in the past.

The morning was spent with some simple and straightforward instruction and Ron's working a quick  monotype drawing/painting. Then he showed us the fundamentals and let us loose in the afternoon. I became frustrated with myself as I don't do well in an abstract art class, but I am looking forward to tomorrow when he lets us in on collage and chine collage as it mixes with printmaking and painting. That is more my milieu as an artist!
Please enjoy some pictures I took of the Center and Ron in his element.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Upcoming weekend's festivities-Oct 23rd and 24th

Planning is everything!
This weekend I am very excited and am thoroughly looking forward to my taking a mini-MONOTHON warmup workshop at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, located in Mathews Park in Norwalk. It is in anticipation of my 4 day workshop starting Oct 27-30 from 10 AM-4 PM taught by the renowned Ron Pokrasso whose work I touted a while back in another post. The workshop helps experienced printmakers brush up on their monotyping skills, introduce new techniques, and prepare novice montoypers (c'est moi!) for MONOTHON. Ron Pokrasso has been a print artist for more than 25 yrs. and exhibits his work throughout the country. He teaches in Santa Fe as well as holds classes. See his work @ Taking these classes will help me to evolve as an artist using different media and skills from my previous studio forums (Isabel O'Neill and the Finishing School) as well as my decoupage and art/design venues in order to develop original art using printmaking, collage and decoupage together. Then, I plan to apply my vintage acessories, like collectible antique buttons and jewelry and the like, to the frames for individual embellishment. Hopefully, I will have pictures to share with you in the next 2 weeks as the classes spur me on to a new frontier! Tell me pleez if you like any of my new work.
On another front, there is an Antique show in Greenwich, CT- the Kiwanis Antiques Show in the Old Greenwich Civic Center on Sat. 10-5 and Sun. 11-4. See u there or be square!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

As promised...

Yesterday I said I would post pictures of some of the art items I have happily purchased from the people @ Hillsdale Barn Antiques. I have also included a picture from the artist, Chris Roberts-Antieau, whose work I followed to the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD last weekend. Thought u might enjoy seeing: SCRATCHING THE WEINER DOG.

October 14th early morning...

I could not pass up the opportunity of sharing with you the excitement of a photo of this morning's first frosty air rising over my beautiful, still warm water, backyard creek.
It was too lovely to pass up with the camera in hand...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upcoming Antique Show- October 16 & 17 and more...

Hello groupies!
Thought I would check in and tell you that this Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 11-5 there is an antique fair in Bedford Village,NY by the Bedford Historical Society and you can visit their website for further details at
AND, the weather has been great for leaf peeping so if you are so inclined to make a car ride to the upper Hudson River Valley, boy, do I have the place to visit! Located in the rolling hills of Columbia County, NY which borders the Berkshire foothills of Massachusetts, Hillsdale Barn Antiques is a single owned shop by Frank and RoseMarie Francis, who have over 35 years experience as dealers and collectors of mostly American art and artifacts. They have it all housed in a beautiful barn on their property overlooking the valley below and is right off the road. Please visit their website for directions as I always need to do the same whenever I take my semi-annual trip up there- Be sure to get up there before Thanksgiving as they close for the winter months. Their barn features unique American Country furniture, eclectic accessories, baskets, quilts, stoneware, woodenware and 19th C. Folk Art paintings and "objets". In addition, they have a sincere passion for 20th C. Contemporary, Self-Taught and Outsider Folk Art,  featuring all sorts of hand crafted pieces made from found and recycled materials using pencils, bottle caps, cigarette packs, textiles, gum wrappers, buttons, twigs and license plates. Make it a point to enjoy RoseMarie's artwork whose naive style has garnered a positive interest and whose works can be found sprinkled in the shop and online. In fact, I am intending on sending her a few photographs of my own property and house when the Spring's first flowers sprout up so she can do a small painting, in her own style, for over my fireplace mantle. She will do custom paintings upon request on an individual basis.
In my next post, I will include one of my recent purchases made from the Big Barn for you to see how interesting some of the art really is. Discover it soon! Tell them K-art Design sent you and maybe, as an extra treat, they will take you for a tour of their home next door where the artwork is so bountiful that there is nary a free space for anything! My kind of people! Frank's collection of PEZ dispensers is by far the most significant with over 300 dating back early into the 1940's.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weekend in Maryland- Oct 5

This past weekend I went to Baltimore on a visit and made it my business to visit the Visionary Art Museum which houses a collection of self made/outsider art unlike any other I have ever seen. Of course, I forgot my Coolpix camera and had to impose on a friend's use of their Olympus so I cannot vouch for the pictures I put up. Nevertheless, this is the most spectacular event because it coincides with my vision of art, using mosaic, found objects, collected memories, inspiration, and downright talent to come up with something that speaks to your very soul about the maker. To start, when I came from the car to the museum, I was enthralled with a freestanding 3 story high painted metal whirligig in front of a round building, not unlike Frank Lloyd Wright, encrusted with mirror pieces, ceramics, tile and general stuff in a swirl of glitter and sparkle, a harbinger of what was to come. The restaurant sits atop the building outside and inside hidden from view but high enough to see out over a park and possibly to the bay on the other side. We had lunch there eventually beside a bar with mirror mobiles lining its length and paper mache heads of a cow, walrus, and buffalo, all beaded, tiled, sparkled, and formidable. The food was incredibly unique and wonderful, especially the homemade pretzel balls they brought to the table hot and crusty and soft on the inside with a splash of salt and dark mustard. But I digress from the space.
When one enters the building, there is a ceiling at admissions leading all the way to the center with hanging airplanes and other air vehicles, each seemingly different but when put together, they look like a small airshow for the viewer. Then there is a shop called SIDESHOW and there I spent much time culling their art, books, fun gifts, jewelry and excess. I specifically went to this museum because of an artist I bought in a gallery in Philadelphia on a visit there 3-4 years ago. Her name is Chris Roberts-Antieau and you can find her work on her website: which will give you her bio and some of her work for sale, etc. Simply put, she is a brilliant collage fabric artist with a very edgy wit and definitive humor about life, liberty, and the pursuit of dogs and cats and the entire animal kingdom, including us. In the SIDESHOW shop she has about a dozen or so pieces for sale and in the museum itself 2 works which say everything about who she is- one features the devil and an angel discussing the good and bad of habits and ways of humans in a funny complex of small puzzle pieces stitched carefully by hand. The other features Howdy Doody in a wonderful likeness for those of you who are old enough to remember him and hangs next to the restrooms so you can be sure to see it when traveling to the loo. Some of the other art in this particular building, (there are a total of 3 buildings), illuminates the mosaic artists- using cracked china, glass, mirror, tiles, statues, and anything else handy.There are stories galore about how each of them was propelled to do their pieces. In the case of one such artist, his replica of the Lusitania cut in half spans about 6 ft long in perfect proportion, took 2 years to finish and is made exclusively of toothpicks and glue. I believe I read that he used just under 1 million of them.
The second building has a sculpture garden and fountain with its facing having a bird's nest off the 3rd floor, made from metal woven onto the outside of the building. You can stand inside it if you climb the stairs. A two story bird made from metal with an oversized cello for a body stands guard over the nest and then there is an egg, about 8 ft tall nearby made of ceramic, mirror, stone, and tile. The same artist made a gate to the sculpture garden and also the railing to the "pallazio" which connects the first 2 buildings.
The 3rd building is an enormous warehouse like space with oversized pieces- for ex. a 20 ft high remembrance of Divine done in paper mache and a totem of carvings of Morrison, Joplin, Lennon, and Hendrix. There were a great many small automaton pieces for you to interactively push buttons to make move and were incredibly intricate, tongue in cheek in their delivery. The reason I even knew about this incredible spot was reading that this was a place to see more of Chris Roberts-Antieau's work but I ultimately found so much more than I ever expected.  For me, it was an experience I won't forget and was so apropos to where I am in my art process right now.
I can't wait to show you the pictures of my new mailbox which I will be posting soon and will be installing the first week of November outside my house. It is so indicative of where I want my art to go in the future with combining all the ideas of these mosaic artists and my own vision: humorous and also creative, into a free standing piece. In the meantime, the woman, Kathy, who put it all together for me, and who has worked diligently to improve and also implement my vision has a website- which you can visit at your leisure. She told me that I expanded her artistry and molded it into the piece we have completed of which I know she is very proud.
Below see some of the pics I took of the Visionary Art Museum and hopefully it will stimulate you to go make a trek to this place very soon and get inspired like me!