Like many of you who are alert to the pandemic sweeping the globe, I have had to make some changes to my plans and routines. Trips have been canceled; appearances have had to be postponed. Disappointment and frustration rule the day. When I learned about the importance of “flattening the curve”, I knew I had to do my part. At some significant monetary cost, I have stepped away from my booth at El Museo – I had just settled in there on February 1, and was planning to complete the season. But public health and my health and the health of people I love is at risk. I choose to be proactive and creative.
Home and Studio
So….for the time being, I am working from home. My home studio is already cluttered with scraps of the latest Coral Reef piece, and I am making great progress.
I can also fill orders that come from Etsy and this website. I will be soon joining another online art gallery: Art of Giving Art, which has a charitable donation component. I will have more info on that in my next blog entry.
I have a large stock of cards, journals and posters that make terrific gifts – take a look at my two Etsy shops for ideas.
The Propitious Moment
On the last day of January, a great opportunity opened for me in Santa Fe – a booth at the Winter Market of El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe became available. I know some of the artists and artisans and other vendors of this market, so I was familiar with its layout. They offered me a booth with real walls – that means I could bring some of my big framed Original Collages and have them on display continuously, like a mini- pop up gallery.
After some hesitation, I jumped in the pool – what fun! The Winter Market operates all weekend long, so it is accessible to folks visiting The Farmers Market next door for their weekly fill of fresh New Mexican produce and goat cheese on Saturdays, and appeal to late-rising tourists and locals on Sunday afternoons.
Artist at Work
So as of February 1, I was up and running – DECO fine art collage at the Winter Market. The following weekend, I hauled in my easel and collage tools and I demonstrated my cut-and-paste technique to my visitors. I enjoy showing my approach, especially to kids who are then eager to start their own collage projects. As a delightful bonus, I get to work on my new piece, one of the Coral Reef series – another bright and flowy abstract.
I was welcomed warmly by the vendors at the Winter Market, especially by the artists on Gallery Row. I brought in my Original Collage portrait of Abraham Lincoln and put it on prominent display in my booth. I was pleased when the management asked to use the image of my Lincoln as part of their print ad campaign for the Presidents Day Weekend. The ad went into both the weekly events and culture magazine and the Saturday daily.
So that’s pretty cool. I’m not sure how long I will be doing the Winter Market – it ends in May – but I have some interesting travel planned for the Spring which will take me away on some weekends, so I will have to decide whether to keep a presence in the Market.
I will post my plans here on my website and on FB and Instagram. I have some other “irons in the fire” – exciting new ventures! and I will hear about them next week and post updates.
A recent first-time visitor was befuddled while sitting down to tea and commented that my home was like “walking into a collage.” I laughed, but I came to realize that this sort of arrangement was what I had been doing all my life. I don’t like to follow “rules”, but I suppose I have a few guidelines.
I live in a Santa Fe-style house, which is local code for “hey, it’s small”. So like many locals, I learned to use every square inch to my advantage. I layer furniture and art vertically and horizontally, under and over.
1. Make it cozy and colorful.
Using only a few colors in a bold color palette, I echo color in the sunburst painting and the cushions; the green of the house plants harmonizes with the hue in the tall antique painting. Note the vintage wine baskets under the daybed (great for guests and quick naps!) I stow unused knickknacks and guidebooks and maps for visitors in these baskets.
2. Arrange things in ways that make you happy.
I use the mantel for display of precious items – my mother’s Venetian glass vase and my grandmother’s bronze statue. On the banco below, a beautiful glass mosaic (a Judy Steed original) and a dragonfly firescreen are layered behind candles and plants.
4. Discover you have a collection.
What was the outcome of all this rearrangement and thought? New energy! I have sent submissions to art shows throughout the country and made plans for new projects. New art! I started this one yesterday – let’s see where it leads me.
My two Etsy sites – are thriving: Every week brings new people who want to bring collage to their homes and who want to give meaningful gifts.
I invite you to take a look.
Stars to Start
What a beautiful crazy year. 2019 saw new projects all year long. For me, the year began with moon, sun and stars – and unexpectedly, is ending that way too.
In January, I opened my long-anticipated my solo show, “Universe in Pieces” at the Fuller Lodge Art Center in Los Alamos, New Mexico. I exhibited over a dozen of my biggest and finest Original Collages, all featuring aspects of the Cosmos – from Moons, to Planets in our solar system, and far-off nebulae and star-birth clouds.
Around the State, Across the Pond
Soon after that, my “Hear the Echoes” collage was made into a poster by the Department of Cultural Affairs of the State of New Mexico, who distributed it all over the state, as well as every office in the State Capitol while the legislature was in session. I was proud to know that my work celebrated Poets of New Mexico.
This year, marked a first for me: I exhibited my work in an international collage exhibition, in England, “Fresh Cuts.”
In the late Spring, I debuted an Etsy shop to create a truly accessible venue to people who want to buy my art, from small giftable products to the large Original Collages. I also prepared for a few summer shows “Happy Little Clouds”, “Making Waves” and “Shakespeare on the Wall”.
Stars in the New Year!
And now, how does 2020 begin?
With sun, moon, stars – and galaxies, nebulae, and star birth clouds!
I am launching a New Etsy Shop!! This one is called StarArtbyDeco, here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StarArtbyDeco
As the name implies, the focus of this site will be the Cosmos – everything outer space, all the time. I will also post art featuring my fabulous beasts, like my “Dragon”. Greeting cards, blank book journals, mousepads are here as well as art prints and full framed Original Collages.
Of course, I will keep my other shop: DECOfineartcollage – this is where you can find Scenes of New Mexico, fine ladies dancing, juicy pears and pumpkins, as well as prints of Guadalupe.
Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DECOfineartcollage
Both shops will be frequently updated with new items.
Please click on the items and the hearts to tell me you like them, and it would be great if you could make my shops your “Favorite.”
I am looking forward to 2020. I anticipate new shows, new opportunities, new creations – I can’t even imagine what will be coming! See you soon.
Two Big Shows
Boxes packed! Portfolios stuffed! Display racks stand ready for loading. The two events I have been preparing for months are imminent. I am excited! I have new work to exhibit and I will get to meet new people from all over the country.
Recycle Santa Fe Arts Festival
The first event is this weekend: the big Recycle Santa Fe Arts Festival at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 Marcy St, in Santa Fe. I will occupy the same spot I had last year: lucky Booth #75. There, I will display the new work, and offer for sale Originals, posters, giclée prints, journals and cards. Come by and say hi!
I am also honored that two of my Originals will be exhibited in the Recycled Juried Art show, in an adjacent galley. The two pieces in the show are “Still Life” one of my most awarded Original and “Hear the Echoes” the collage that was commissioned by the State of New Mexico. These are rarely shown, so I hope you find a moment to view them. I will have posters and giclée prints of Hear the Echoes" for sale at my booth (#75.)
Meow Wolf Pop Up Boutique
On the next Saturday, November 23, with barely a minute to breathe, I am bringing the whole shebang to a new venue: Meow Wolf, the storied and inventive arts collective in Santa Fe, at 1352 Rufina Circle. This pop up is one day only! The Holiday Artisans Market will be in an exhibit room with a separate entrance from Meow Wolf, so you won’t need to stand in a long line, and you won’t need to pay the hefty admission fee to the Meow Wolf experience. If you can’t make it to the Recycle Show, this will be a fun way to see more locally made treasures.
And after the Shows...
After these two exciting opportunities, I will take time to breathe and count my blessings, gathering with family and friends. I will be looking forward to the new year and make plans for The Next Big Thing.
The aspens in the mountains near Santa Fe never fail to inspire me. Every season has its charms – the white leafless trunks in the deep snow of winter, the tiny tendrils of baby leaves in spring, the lush green of midsummer, but it is in Autumn that they are most magical. A friend likened the experience of strolling under the golden boughs to walking in Lothlorien.
Aspens to Support Animals
Through the end of this month I am using the inspiration of Aspens to support a worthy institution. I am donating 10% of sales of Aspen themed pieces for sale in my Etsy shop. Included are Originals, posters, journals and greeting cards. Take a look at what is available at my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DECOfineartcollage
Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival
I have been preparing new work for the two big shows coming up in November. The first is the Recycle Santa Fe Arts Festival https://www.recyclesantafe.org/ which is on a weekend in the middle of November. I will be there in my booth on Saturday and Sunday, November 16 & 17, 2019, showing new work and offering many collage items for sale. This is one of the most popular shows in Santa Fe, with people flying in from all over the country to see how artisans have creatively reused and recycled.
You will be amused and amazed. https://santafe.org/Community_Convention_Center/
The following weekend, on November 23, I will participate in a pop-up show at the famous MeowWolf - this will be the Saturday before Thanksgiving and we expect an enthusiastic attendance. I will have a booth and show Original Collages and offer many gift items for sale.
Got to get back to the easel – one month to go and much to do!
Sometimes a fresh set of eyes looking over your work can result in something brand new. That’s the way is was for me last week when I was preparing flyers about my sales promotion for the animal shelter. I had my daughter, a brilliant graphic designer, review the flyer, and suddenly I have a new slogan. I just love it! It’s so obvious, and quirky and true!
The New Slogan
I think it looks spiffy!
Promotion to the Support the Animal Shelter
So, about that sales promotion, here’s the deal – and it’s not too late to get on board. I have several items in my Etsy shop that feature Pear images…I create a lot of Pears! (Just look at the “Mostly Pears” page of my website).
This is harvest season for pears so I thought that I would entice you to reap some luscious pear collages. I will donate 10% of the sales of Pear items in my Etsy shop DECOfineartcollage to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. Prints, Giclées, Posters and Greeting Card sets are all included in this promotion. Here’s the link to my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DECOfineartcollage The Pear promotion ends on September 30, but I will do another featured item next month … hmmm … the aspens are coming into full color in October …
Good news from Española, a town northwest of Santa Fe. Right on the heels of the great honor of local artist Roger Montoya – he was named a “Community Hero” by CNN for his work in establishing a nonprofit youth arts center in Española (https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/15/us/cnnheroes-roger-montoya-moving-arts-espaola/index.html) – more art is coming to the town. Española City Clerk, Melissa Velasquez, is progressing with her plan to have new art adorn the walls of City Hall. Working with the Northern New Mexico Regional Arts Center director Gabriela Silva, she is recruiting regional artists to loan art for a half year. At a recent meeting with the City Clerk and the Clerk’s Deputy, I agreed to be among the first to show there. We expect to install the art in late October, with the public debut at a council meeting, in November or December.
Although this month has been full of delightful creative activities, it has also provided moments of tranquility and contemplation. I found solitude as well as joyous meetings with family and friends. A short respite in Maine, in Arcadia National Park allowed both of these. It was my first visit to that state – hiking, picking wild blueberries, seeing humpback whales, and laying on the rocks to listen to the crash of waves. I promise myself that I will return.
Clouds and Waves
Back in Santa Fe, two gallery events were celebrated within a few days of each other. The first, on July 31, was at the Santa Fe Community Gallery, where the exhibition “Happy Little Clouds” was on the display. The Santa Fe Desert Chorale performed a portion of their upcoming concert there – I got a shout out from the conductor for my work, “Summer Storm”. A few days later, in Los Alamos, The Fuller Lodge Art Center opened its exhibition “Making Waves”. A jazz band entertained us as we viewed the group show. My Original Collage “Too Far Out” was received with enthusiasm.
On another note entirely, the Fest for Beatles Fans roared into town – Chicago, that is – and I was there for the entirety. As part of the staff, I help with set up and I am in in charge of the Beatles Art Contest, an all ages event. My co-writers and I wrote, produced, and directed a short play looking at the legacy of Brian Epstein on the world of the Beatles in 1969. We call our team the Troika, and we plan and write all year for this event and the one in New Jersey.
I took time in Chicago, my old hometown, to visit with family and friends: whole red snapper at Maria’s, Polish buffet (the Red Apple!), water taxi on the river, playing at the Bean, and lunch at the Baby Goat. I am so happy I got to see so many dear faces and have beautiful moments with them.
The Bard Plays in Santa Fe
As soon as I returned to Santa Fe, with the smell of roasted green chile in the air, it was time to prepare for the next event – Shakespeare on the Wall! This eclectic art exhibition is part of the Santa Fe Summer Shakespeare Festival. My work, “Titania Enthralled,” a framed full-size giclee, is on display at A Gallery Somewhere, 3209-A Calle Marie, in Santa Fe, until September 15. The gallery is one block from the new Swan Theater, (showing Measure for Measure and Henry IV, Part I). These are in the lively Theater District, which includes Meow Wolf, and will be part of the Theater Walk on September 14.
Making Waves is afloat at the Fuller Lodge Art Center throughout the month of August. I have one piece in this group show, one of my most intense pieces, also one of the largest, just under 5 feet in length.
My Original Collage, “Too Far Out” is the first of a series of large-scale series that I call “Elements”. The second in the series is titled “My Thoughts Be True” and depicts Fire, whereas “Too Far Out” is quite clearly water.
I wanted to explore how objects in water appear to fracture their wholeness when they are seen just below the surface. At the same time, I contemplated how some people in my life seemed to fracture and lose their wholeness, and begin to disappear, as if they were never there.
The title is drawn from the poem by Stevie Smith “Not Waving But Drowning”, which is embedded on the left side of the collage. The show opens on Friday August 2, with a festive reception, 5-7 pm; live music and good snacks are always part of receptions at Fuller Lodge.
Locally, “Happy Little Clouds” at the Santa Fe Community Gallery, where I have an Original Collage “Summer Storm,” prominently displayed. A special event is coming up in conjunction with this multi-media group show.
An octet of vocalists from
Santa Fe Desert Chorale
will be performing excerpts from Illumination, their Summer Festival program, Wednesday, July 31st, 2019, 6-7 pm in the Community Gallery.
They have invited select visual artists in the “Happy Little Clouds” exhibition to speak briefly about their work and I am delighted that I will be part of the program.
Free to the public; space is limited and reservations are required at desertchorale.org.
At the end of August, I will have a piece in the Shakespeare on the Wall Exhibition, in A Gallery Somewhere, in Santa Fe.
The gallery is affiliated with the newly inaugurated Swan Theater in Santa Fe, part of The International Shakespeare Center.
A framed Giclée print (full-size) of my collage “Titania Enthralled,” is included. A reception is planned for opening night, Friday, August 23, 5-7 pm.
This event is part of the new Santa Fe Summer Shakespeare Festival!
And I mustn’t forget The Fest For Beatles Fans! (I can’t forget – I am too excited.)
As usual, the Fest will be at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, in Rosemont, near Chicago’s O’Hare airport. I curate dozens of pieces of Fab Four Fan Art, professional and amateur, which are entered in a Beatles Art Contest.
I will also host the Beatles Poetry Jam and help produce a play which I co-wrote with two friends, looking at the events of 1969 and the Beatles impact.
August 9-11, 2019
A Splendid Time is guaranteed for all.
Amid preparing for a complicated application for an upcoming art event, I had the occasion to go back through old files, with my earliest exhibitions – postcards, fliers, reminders of art ventures.
One name that came up was “Urbis Orbus”, a much-loved coffee house in Wicker Park, decades before the first Starbuck’s moved in. I had my first “real” solo show there. Tom Handley was the owner who gave me the greenlight for the project. After the month-long show, he bought an original, “Ascension”, my first experiment with clouds and steam in collage. I am so grateful to him for these two acts of generosity.
Urbis Orbus closed shortly after my exhibit, and I lost touch with this supporter from my nascent days. I send good vibes of gratitude to him, wherever he is!
Paper is fluttering in the studio like the elm seeds and cottonwood fluff in my garden. Spring is lush and vibrant in Santa Fe this year, and my studio is envious of the time I spend in my garden, soaking in the sun, fresh air and vivid colors. I have also been busy adding listings to my Etsy shop, now over two dozen items are available for sale. I have expanded my collection from the “gift-sized” items to include some originals as well. I have listed the entire Septet collection, and “Naughty Boy” - all created in the last months of 2018. Joining them is the Original Collage “Tempus Fugit”, my tribute to Edgar Allan Poe and “The Pit and the Pendulum.” I also have Giclée Prints of the Poe art, in two convenient sizes.
Following this literary track, and noting that Bloomsday is approaching (June 16), I have listedon Etsy some Giclée prints of two pieces inspired by James Joyce’s Ulysses. One is the portrait of Leopold Bloom, and the other is my “epic-sized” piece, “Bloomsday at Molly Malone’s." You can read more of the backstory on these by going to my Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/shop/DECOfineartcollage
Have you been seeing Dragons recently? I know I have! My vision of a Dragon proudly displays his bejeweled chest, created by assembling tiny bits of bright color, snipped from magazines and catalogs. The Original is on display in a Santa Fe home, but the image is reproduced as Giclée prints, which are available from me directly or on my Etsy page.
In other happy news, the International Exhibition of Collage Art , Fresh Cuts, opens in Congleton in Cheshire, England.
I sent three Original Collages to them, including “Hear the Echoes”, the sort of landscape they don’t often see in northern England. I hope some of my friends in the UK get to see it. Cheshire is just east of Liverpool….and speaking of which…
The Fest for Beatles Fans is coming up – the Chicago gathering is in August. I will be bring my Beatles Original Collages and Giclée prints of course; if you live in the Chicago area and have a hankering to see other art, please let me know.
Thank you to all who visited my Etsy shop and gave me Love by clicking the Heart! and a big shout to all the fabulous folks who purchased birthday gifts and Mother’s Day presents.
Please check out the new items and click on favorites!
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Facebook | Instagram | Etsy: