Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recreational Reading

I think it's so much fun to stumble upon a book whose plot revolves around art.

While searching among the shelves of the "new" library I found an entire shelf of books by author
Aaron Elkins. He has a couple of mystery series: one about a forensic anthropologist who finds and solves crimes the world over and another about museum curator, Chris Norgren, who solves crimes that happen in the art world. Chris might find himself examining a newly discovered Rembrandt (authentic or fake?)  or flying off to the Louvre to discover a killer (the collector or the gallery owner? ) It's just fun to read about all this juicy intrigue that goes on in the world of artists, forgers, museums and galleries. 

Old Scores: a Chris Norgren Mystery by Aaron Elkins.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quote of the Week

" I shut my eyes in order to see."  Paul Gauguin

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quote of the Week

" What lives in art and is eternally living, is first of all the painter, and then the painting." Van Gogh

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy Anniversary

It was two years ago today that I posted my first entry on this blog. Blogging was new to me then, but I was willing to learn. Well, I managed to increase in knowledge and experience and images eventually became part of the blog. But I still have lots to learn and hopefully this blog will continue to evolve.
The very first post I entered was a book review, so I thought I'd tell you all about another book on this anniversary.

Frida Kahlo: the brush of anguish by Martha Zamora.
I started to read about Frida in the early nineties because I was fascinated with her images and because I was interested in Mexican art. But it seems as if since the movie Frida came out, in about 2005, there has been much more information.
Every book written on Frida emphasises her battle with pain; it influenced every part of her life, most importantly her art. Brush of anguish tells how this complicated woman portrayed her pain on canvas, wood, tin & glass. Information that was new to me was how hard she and husband Diego Rivera had to work at making art, just to maintain their lifestyle. They had two homes, servants, and Diego was building the Anahuacalli Museum that can still be visited today. The largest collection of Frida Kahlo's paintings are at the Dolores Olmeda Collection in Mexico City. Much of the work of this husband & wife artist team is still on display in Mexico. It makes me want to make the trip. But one painting I would really like to see is The Suicide of Dorothy Hale which is in the USA in Phoenix, AZ. Do I see a trip to Phoenix in my future?
Although author Martha Zamora's selection of paintings and the images of Frida, her husband and friends is not new, this book does contain some information about Frida's life that was new to me and makes this book an interesting read. But any book on Frida Kahlo is interesting, even if you only look at the pictures.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Layer by layer, art strips life bare." Robert Musil

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quote of the Week

" Surrealism is the magical surprise of finding a lion in a wardrobe where you were sure of finding shirts." Frida Kahlo

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Word for Wednesday is...


A 20th century art movement that began with literary expression & moved on to the visual arts. The Freudian method of free association gave writers & artists the freedom to draw on the private world of the mind & illustrate the realm of dreams.
Some of the visual artists who were active in this movement were: Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro & Man Ray.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Word for Wednesday is...

Hallelujah !

Genesis records that God said : let there be light and there was light. I wonder if all the angels sounded a mighty Hallelujah ?

Yesterday the sky lights were installed in the studio and I was singing Hallelujah as I did a happy dance! How wonderful to have all this wonderful natural light filling my designated creative space. Now, I move to the next stage: moving everything in and setting up. I'm itching to create masterpieces!

My goal is to have an open studio with clayprinting demo before Christmas. Will I make it?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Word for Wednesday is...

Kaleidoscope: a device that produces beautiful designs.

Kaleidoscope: a book to spark creativity, edited by Suzanne Simanatis.

Suzanne has managed to gather a group of mixed media artists who were willing to share their thoughts and advice on the creative process. Subjects include; how to get past a creative block, how to design a great studio, creative prompts and wishes, and a few specific projects with instructions as well. This is a book with enough ideas to savor for a long time. Of course with mixed media, anything goes; but these artists have learned to direct the "anything" to produce work that is a style all their own.
One problem with this book: the print is very small, and often printed on top of complicated art pieces which makes it hard to read. But if you can get past that you can find plenty of inspiration.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ink & Brush

Doc Martin is my new best friend.
 I found a set of his colored India inks and a couple of brushes, and with a piece of plastic to protect the surface, a corner of the kitchen counter became a "for-the-time-being" work space. It was great to just put color on paper. The paper: a new blank journal that I had packed to use at my new home. Of course I had to hunt in several boxes to find the journal, ink and brushes. But now I am decorating pages so they are ready for words about a new phase of my OK creative life.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Word for Wednesday is...


Studio completion is on hold for two more weeks. That's how long I have to wait until the sky lights can be installed. I am past ready to start arranging my studio and getting to work at creating. In the meantime I am painting-but only walls.

But today I found two blank journals, and maybe I can set up a temporary creative corner so that I can decorate some pages. My creative juices need someplace to flow.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Quote of the Week

"What intrigues me is the secret of color relations. This excitement has never ceased." Erich Heckel

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Word for Wednesday is...

Horray!!!!!!! The walls in the "studio" have been painted. More news to follow.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Moon and Sixpence

New city and new library. As I strolled through the stacks I came across The Moon and Sixpence. I'm sure that it was Garrison Keillor who mentioned the book by W. Somerset Maugham. It is supposedly based on the life of artist Paul Gauguin; well if it is, it is very loose. I believe that Maugham had quite an imagination. It is an interesting read about a man who must paint; it is his passion. And passion can drive a person to do wild and crazy things. Maugham's artist, Charles Strickland, leaves a career, a family, and lives in terrible poverty just to pursue art, and then dies before he can receive fame and fortune for his genius

The real artist Paul Gauguin spent part of his childhood in Peru which probably shaped his eye for the exotic. He is noted for his use of pure color and some of his greatest paintings are of the Tahitian people in their natural setting. My childhood recollection of Gauguin is seeing one of his paintings in the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Quote of the Week

"I don't understand it. Jack will spend any amount of money to buy votes but he balks at investing a thousand dollars in a beautiful painting." Jackie Kennedy ~ First Lady 1961-1963

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Go to your studio every day, so you'll be there the moment inspiration calls." Unknown

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sign Saturday

My thoughts and heart have returned to Taos after I visited Mitch Lyons' web site and learned that he will teach another clayprinting workshop there next June. But since I'm moving back to the east side of the state Sept. 5, the drive will be twice as long to Taos, but a clayprinting workshop would be worth the effort. Look for a clayprinting workshop near you at: www.mitchlyons.com.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Diane Arbus

I found it in a box, my 2004 journal. It had not been bound so I took it to the printer and got a spiral binding on it. Of course then I had to sit down and read it, and I came across my 2004 visit to the Houston Art Museum to see the Diane Arbus exhibit.
I wasn't excited about driving 10 hrs to see this show. I had seen many, many of her photos, and figured I had seen enough. But to see the originals was a treat. B&W in a 12x12 format made me understand how truly unique these images are.
In 2006 the movie Fur was released. I love Nicole Kidman but thought she was a poor choice for the lead. The movie was a quirky interpretation of Diane Arbus's life. And BTW she pronounced it Dee Ann.
There are gobs of her pics on the web, just Google her; it is worth the effort.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Quote of the Week

"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know." Diane Arbus

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Here's Kristy

Local artist and teacher Kristy Patterson is sooooooo talented; I think she can work in any medium. Right now one of the things she is working on is drawings on dictionary pages. Here she is with the one I bought, "Travel" at the Sunflower Festival. I have commissioned her to do another for me; I get to see it tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Objects in pictures should be so arranged as by their very position to tell their own story." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I get the feeling that Mr. J. W. von Goethe wouldn't be a fan of abstract art.

"Radio Waves"
Here is one of my clayprints. I am a big fan of abstract; it seems to be in my blood, and comes out whenever I let it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quote of the Week

"I think the artist has to be something like a whale swimming with his mouth wide open, absorbing everything until he has what he really needs. When he finds that, he can start to make limitations. And then he really begins to grow." Romare Bearden

Saturday, July 14, 2012


My friend Marilyn just emailed me that Google had showcased The Kiss to commemorate Gustav Klimt's 150th Birthday. Check out my 12/5/11 post for more on The Kiss.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sacred Sunday

Father, Son, & Holy Ghost are popular images for retablos. This trio is painted on wood and is part of the Harwood collection. What I saw at the Harwood was a collection of religious images, and Taos paintings from the"golden age" of artists. I've been hunting for my Mexican Retablo book so that I could appear more knowledgeable about the subject; I'll keep looking.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sign Saturday

The Plaza was open for business.
My plan was to be on the road by noon on Saturday; that left me a few hours to explore. The first sign that caught my eye was an "estate sale" sign, and I had no business turning in, but I did. The car was pretty full of treasures when I pulled away; a trunk full of "stuff" for only $35.
The Plaza stores were open, but with few shoppers trying to beat the afternoon heat. First thing, I met Mitch  & Meredith on their way to breakfast. I continued on to see what I could see. The art market in Taos seemed slower to me; the economy? And the shops seemed more geared to tourists rather than art collectors. Don't get me wrong I saw some spectacular pieces of art work; work that could cause me to at  least contemplate leaving my day job for a life of just creating beautiful things. And the art at the Harwood was definitely an inspiration; more about that later.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Quote of the Week

"The painter who stands before an empty canvas must think in terms of paint." Ben Shahn

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sacred Sunday

Santos! Santos! Santos!
Saints abound in Taos; they're in galleries, museums, art & tourist shops, homes, and churches as well. Santos are religious images of saints, angels, and other religious figures. They are usually carved of wood or ivory. If they are carved in the round they are called Bultos. After carving, these figures are covered with gesso and painted in bright colors.
I found this figure in the Harwood Museum, which has a great collections of figures and retablos.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sign Saturday

I spotted this sign on Ledoux Street as I walked back from the Harwood Museum. The Harwood is just a couple blocks from the plaza. I was beginning to feel more comfortable getting around Taos, and I should have since this was my sixth visit.
Ledoux Street is lined with interesting shops and galleries; lots of things to look at as I strolled along on a hot June day.
Then I came upon the "horse of a different color", that as far as I know can only be spotted in Oz, Taos, and Amarillo, TX.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Clayprinting continued

Miki adding color to her plate

Rick checking a print

 There were seven of us registered for this workshop; we came from both coasts and in the middle, plus our Taos host couple. We all caught the vision and worked diligently to produce a clothesline full of prints each day.

Finished prints hanging out to dry

Thursday, June 28, 2012


The reason for my trip to Taos was to learn clayprinting from Mitch Lyons. Mitch was a printmaker, then moved to ceramics, and by trial and error combined both of them for a unique printing experience.

Kathy & Michael prepare their plates

Pricilla prepares her plate with Ammador clay
 Printing is done from a leather hard clay plate.

Plates drying in the New Mexico sun for 20 min.
               Mitch says that the process can't be explained, so he demonestrates.
Mitch preparing color

Pots of color

 Adding color transfered from newsprint
Adding powdered pastel to the plate

Plate is ready to print

Here's the print!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


Look at this beautiful handpainted garden banner. It's on display at the Wild Horse Gallery in Guymon, OK. And for a contribution of only $150 to Art Incubation it can be yours. Contact Becky at director@atistincubation.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On the Santa Fe Trail

I followed the Santa Fe Trail on my way to Taos last week. Taos was the gathering place for artists interested in learning "clayprinting".

Mitch Lyons is the inventor and teacher, and says the process can't be explained; and so he demonstrates. Check out his work at http://www.mitchlyons.com/

Workshop pics to come later this week.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

Google celebrates "Good old Dad"!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sign Saturday

Last Saturday's Sunflower Festival had a little bit of everything. Booths displaying paintings, drawings, photographs, jewlery, ceramics, and face painting. Face painting isn't just for kids any more; the adults were lined up as well. There was also food and wine tasting going on. Everyone was set on having a good time.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Quote of the Week

"One never knows what one is going to do. One starts a painting then it becomes something quite different..." Picasso

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sunflower Festival

Today's the day. It's happening on Main Street in Guymon. The annual Sunflower Festival.
You will find: Art
                    Vintage cars
                    and a crowd enjoying it all.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Birthday P G

My art education began in the galleries of the Minneapolis Art Institute. I lived in south Minneapolis and close enough to walk. I loved the place and visited often. No one ever questioned a girl roaming the galleries by herself. I saw so many great things there; one of which was I Raro Te Oviri by Paul Gauguin. It was an image that stuck with me, at the time not knowing about the elements of design. It probably was the color that attracted me to it.
I Raro Te Oviri by Paul Gauguin
Today is Gauguin's birthday. He was born in 1848 and was part of the Post-Impressionist movement. Vincent van Gogh idolized him and in 1988 they even painted together for 9 weeks in Arles, France. But a friendship never clicked between them. They both suffered from boughts of depression; maybe they just got on each other's nerves. I have many fond memories of the Minneapolis Art Institute; I'm having pangs of homesickness as I write this.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Ladies Have a Show

Kayla Helms


Kaye Spriggs
 The OPSU 2012 Senior Art Show was a gathering of talented women: Kayla, Kaye, Hannah, Shannon, Nancy, Mallory & Nikki. The show was a visual treat for all who attended. The artists displayed, with flare, their best work from four years in the OPSU art department. This show is a requirement of all art majors; it requires a lot of planning and work, and these ladies were up to the challenge and put on a great show. 

Nancy Angeles

Hannah Harrington

Shannon Smith

Nikki Treon