Saturday, February 26, 2011

February in Florida

No writing in this post, just a lot of photos that I took in my yard today. Camelia blooming time ~ my favorite time of year.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Art and Guerrillas

I am so happy that we finally have a place like the Florida Museum for Women Artists. I'm also ashamed to say that I had not heard of Dorothy Gillespie before this exhibit announcement. This is why we need more museums like this one. Why haven't I heard of her before? I haven't been living under a rock outside the art world. I've been to galleries and museums. I've read art magazines and spent many, many hours perusing the art sections of book stores. I've done my share of surfing. Yet.... I had no clue this artist has been out there producing art for most of her 90 years. Of course it could be that I just wasn't looking in the right places but why is it that the majority of art students in the colleges are female yet the majority of artists represented in the museums are male?

Well according to the Guerrilla Girls things have improved for women artists since the 80's but not so much at the higher levels of exhibition. Do you remember these feminist masked avengers in the art world? They're still around and doing their thing. Below is a segment from an early interview with the girls that I found on their website.

Q. How did the Guerrilla Girls start?

Kathe Kollwitz: In 1985, The Museum of Modern Art in New York opened an exhibition titled An International Survey of Painting and Sculpture. It was supposed to be an up-to-the minute summary of the most significant contemporary art in the world. Out of 169 artists, only 13 were women. All the artists were white, either from Europe or the US. That was bad enough, but the curator, Kynaston McShine, said any artist who wasn't in the show should rethink “his” career. And that really annoyed a lot of artists because obviously the guy was completely prejudiced. Women demonstrated in front of the museum with the usual placards and picket line. Some of us who attended were irritated that we didn't make any impression on passersby.

Meta Fuller: We began to ask ourselves some questions. Why did women and artists of color do better in the 1970's than in the 80's? Was there a backlash in the art world? Who was responsible? What could be done about it?

Q.What did you do?

Frida Kahlo: We decided to find out how bad it was. After about 5 minutes of research we found that it was worse than we thought: the most influential galleries and museums exhibited almost no women artists. When we showed the figures around, some said it was an issue of quality, not prejudice. Others admitted there was discrimination, but considered the situation hopeless. Everyone in positions of power curators, critics, collectors, the artists themselves passed the buck. The artists blamed the dealers, the dealers blamed the collectors, the collectors blamed the critics, and so on. We decided to embarrass each group by showing their records in public. Those were the first posters we put up in the streets of SoHo in New York .

Here's a piece of an interview that's more current.

So, are things ok for women in the art world now?

Things are better now than they ever have been for women and artists of color and we have helped effect that change. Right now there is decent representation of women and artists of color at the beginning and emerging levels of the art world. At the institutional level however, in museums, major collections and auctions sales, things are still pretty dismal for all but white guys. We believe that the economics of the art market is responsible for this. As long as art costs a lot of money and can be owned and controlled by individual collectors, it will represent the values of those people, not the larger art audience or the culture at large. We are still condemning the art world for its lack of ethics, tokenism and other bad behavior.

It's good to know that things are improving but apparently there's still a long way to go. For now we can keep on supporting not just FMWA but all museums that are including women in there line up of artists. I can't wait to see this show of Dorothy's work. Just the fact that she's 90 years old and still producing and exhibiting is amazingly inspirational. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Peace, and go look at art somewhere...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Magnolias and monotypes

Magnolia 2

Well, I'm lying on the couch with my laptop - actually on my lap and listening to the gurgling of the fish tank. I'm home from work with a miserable head cold so while my head pounds I've been pounding away at the keyboard doing a variety of things. I've been emailing, reading, posting a strange mix of things on Facebook and working on the Etsy shop.

The Magnolia above is one of the new listings on Etsy. I did this piece from a photo I took of a bud on the magnolia tree in my front yard. Sadly, the tree is no more but I have the memories of it saved in the photos and paintings I've done over the years.

Monotypes are a lot of fun to do. For those of you not familiar.... a monotype is a type of original print made by first painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface such as glass or plexi. Different kinds of paint such as oil or acrylic can be used or you can use printmaking ink. The image is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the 2 surfaces together. They can be run through a printing press to make the transfer or the back of the paper could simply be rubbed with the back of a wooden spoon. Most or all of the ink/paint is removed in the process so only one print can be made, hence the name - monotype. Kelli and I actually have a small press that we share, and I do mean small, but it hasn't seen the light of day in quite a while. Hopefully we can change that soon. I'd like to do some more with monotypes.

For now I'm going to have to settle for another dose of Ibuprofen, Xango and a nap.
Be well everybody,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy to be busy!

It's been a busy time in Etsy land lately! Both of these pieces above sold along with two other original paintings, a giclee and a copy of our book. I love making those trips to the post office.

Mixed Media

Remember in a previous post I had a bunch of canvas panels that I had started on? There were two with nothing but purple handmade paper glued on. Here they are finished. I just added them to the Etsy shop this week. I'm falling in love with violet and blue together. There's some more of that color combo in my future. I also want to do some more with words. Anyone have any suggestions for words they'd like to see added to a little abstract?

Purple Passion
Mixed Media

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Artist Date

Homasassa Springs on the west coast of Florida is a wonderful place to see and photograph manatees, birds and other Florida wildlife.

We were there last Saturday and like to go about once a year. If you are like me, you get really busy with life and start to forget the really fabulous things here in Florida. I have lived in Michigan, Tennessee and Florida and visited many other states, and I can say with authority that this entire country is a smorgasbord of wonderful things to see.

Places like this are a perfect Artists Date and as we artists know, those are necessary. Have fun exploring.
Peace and love,

Monday, February 14, 2011

If you're in Deland.....

...stop by the museum. Last week Kelli and I got to deliver our work to the Florida Museum for Women Artists. We were accepted to the gift shop so our work and our book is now available at the museum. Here you see a few of my pieces waiting to find their spots on the shelves.

Here's a better view of the shop. If you look at the bottom shelf in the middle of the picture you can see the crows painted by our friend Robin Pedrero. It's nice we get to hang out with her again - kind of. Well, at least our work gets to hang out together.

Check out the museum website for exhibition info. Maybe we'll see you there sometime.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


......that's undone - story of my life I guess but I see that as a good thing. It means I started something. In this case it's many somethings. Many projects are underway. Little pieces with papers collaged and texture gels added are waiting patiently for paint. These are heading for the Etsy shop when finished.

This is a bigger one - 48x36 oil on canvas. It's part of the series on adoption.

The next one in the gold sky series is also underway.

I hadn't done one of these larger textured abstracts in a while so I was in need. I have it started and I have no idea what I'm doing with it next but that's the fun of doing it.

TA DA! Something done! This one is for a special project that I'll be announcing later. This is colored pencil with mineral spirits on cold press illustration board. So, I'll keep you posted on how all these projects end up.
Go and be creative!