Spring winds have wafted to me three simultaneous shows! Art work never shown in New Mexico before is now on display in three separate locations.
The first to open was the Spirit Lines show in the Fuller Lodge Art Center in Los Alamos, New Mexico. This is a group show exploring the concept of Wabi Sabi – finding the beautiful within the broken. I was very pleased to have four pieces accepted into this show. The exhibit opened on March 23, to the beautiful sounds of a Celtic harp. The reception was well-attended, and I was excited to be in the presence of such moving art and their creators. The show ends on May 5.
Last week was the opening of my solo show in the Convento Gallery of the Northern New Mexico Regional Arts Center, in Espanola, New Mexico. I have 15 originals on display as well as framed giclee prints. And very pleased about an 8-page newspaper article in the Rio Grande Sun, with plenty of photos of my work; they are giving this newspaper with every purchase. A classical guitarist played 2 hours of melodious Beatles music. Old friends and new came to view the art, most of which had not been formally exhibited before, and I was able to tell stories about each picture. Prints, posters and cards are available in the Convento gift shop. This show closes on April 30.
Already up and on display is the Bistro Show at Fire & Hops in Santa Fe. Five of my largest and most serious pieces are on display in one room at this upscale pub. I plan to have an informal celebration at Fire & Hops on Monday April 16, at 5 pm. Everyone is invited to stop in and see the art; great beers and ciders are on tap. The art will be on display for a few months.
Meanwhile I am cutting and pasting away at the Santa Fe Railyard Artisans Market, and offering for sale prints, posters, cards, and original collages. I am exploring the possibility of presenting a workshop on creating collages soon, looking for the appropriate venue.
Peace and Love,
The wild cavorting colors of the collage pictured here depict the passion of interior thoughts; the material world burns away.
A few years ago, a Santa Fe gallery solicited work for a juried show with art focused on the human body. I entered and was accepted into the exhibition which was to start in the Spring. The collage I had been working on would be perfect for the show; the second installment of my Elements Series was large, intricate and colorful. I was delighted. At the time, I was also experiencing extreme pain in my eyes – like a thousand tiny daggers stabbing repeatedly – and I could hardly see well long enough to work more than 30 minutes at a time, but I was determined to complete the piece. Then 3 weeks before the art delivery date, the gallery canceled the show, with no explanation. I was devastated.
The moment has come. “My Thoughts Be True” and three other collages will be displayed in a show in Los Alamos. The show is called Spirit Lines and its aim is to “find beauty in the broken and imperfect in the tradition of Wabi Sabi.” The Portal Gallery is in Fuller Lodge Art Center, located at 2132 Central Avenue, in the center of Los Alamos, New Mexico. The reception will be on Friday, March 23, from 5-7 pm. firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be participating in the Fest For Beatles Fans this weekend in Jersey City, on the Hudson, displaying Fan art, and creating a multimedia live presentation of a tribute to the legacy of Brian Epstein. Enjoying Music and the Friendship of Beatles Fans.
Love and Peace!
I went on a hike in the foothills to day around noon; the sky was clear and the sun was warm. We had had some snow throughout the week and snow capped every mountain in five directions. But the air had the feel of Spring. It astounds me every year; it seems that Winter darkness is going to last forever. But that is a falsehood. I wake before sunrise nearly every day, and I no longer see the pitch of night when I draw the curtains open. I sit at a table at a window facing east and as I write my daily notes, I watch the lightshow of dawn coming to New Mexico.
I took some photos of the snowy mountains standing serenely against the blue blue sky. The snapshots can not do the moment justice. Somehow the scale is not honored, the vastness of the landscape is diminished. I was reviewing the photos before writing this blog entry, and I was struck how different my interior vision is from the view I see from the mountains. On one hand, I see the landscape as a still and magnificent abstract in subtle tones, and on the other, I see in my latest work (Coral Reef Series) the swirling and thrilling chaos of my thoughts and feelings in brilliant and colliding hues.
When I am cutting and pasting in public, as I do at the Santa Fe Railyard Artisans Market, demonstrating my technique, people watch me, and ask questions about my procedure. One comment I hear frequently is “Oh my, you must have such patience!”
I always laugh, because while my process is slow, my thoughts are always racing; I experience the thrill of discovery every time I sit at my easel to work.
A few weeks ago, the Railyard Artisans Market hosted a Valentines Collage Workshop. I showed my technique to the participants and we all sat together and made emblems of love for the holiday.
At the end of March, I will be hanging my show in the Northern New Mexico Regional Art Center, in the Plaza in the center of town of Española, New Mexico. The show will be open by March 23, although I plan the Reception for the week after Easter; Holy Week in Northern New Mexico brings tens of thousands of pilgrims to the Sanctuario of Chimayo, and the highways will be crowded. Besides the Opening Reception, on Friday April 6, I plan to do a demonstration of my technique and a workshop, on Wednesday April 18.
Love and Peace,
Join me on Sunday, February 11, at the Railyard Farmers Market Pavilion in Santa Fe, when I will be conducting a Valentine’s collage workshop. All supplies are provided, including a hefty stash of magazines and catalogs, so you can just arrive ready to cut and paste a gorgeous Valentine card for your sweetie. Truly a gift from the heart! The workshop is free, and all ages are invited, from 11 am to 1 pm. See you there!
I will also debut a new line of cards: Scenes of New Mexico. These 5” x 7” greeting cards are bundled in an attractive packet, five blank cards + envelopes. They are derived from collages I have created here in Santa Fe. I now have 4 collections of Greeting cards: Fine Ladies Dancing, Rising, and Perfectly Pear. They can be purchased directly from me, or from the new online store, Art of Santa Fe.
The past weeks have been busy. I made a quick trip to visit a friend in Florida, and to approve the framing and installation of a giclee print of one of my largest collages, Bloomsday at Molly Malone’s. The piece depicts a pub interior and pays tribute to the Centennial Celebration of the fictional day of renown in James Joyce’s Ulysses. And speaking of Joyce, I returned to Santa Fe in time to join my fellow Joyce geeks at the James Joyce Birthday Bash (something like the traditional Bobby Burns celebration, but without the Haggis.)
Meanwhile, I am busy at my easel, cutting and pasting. I am working on the eighth collage, in my series the Coral Reef. A few more to go and I will exhibit them all at once. You can come see me at work on Sundays at the Railyard.
In the coming weeks, I am preparing for a show in nearby Española, New Mexico in April. I am very pleased to be asked to display my work in the Northern New Mexico Regional Art Center, in the Plaza in the center of town. Besides the opening reception, I plan to have a demonstration of my technique. I will post the dates and times as soon as they are finalized.
More shows to come!
Love and Peace,
We had a sprinkling of snow in Santa Fe this morning; although many of you have been socked with heavy snow and plunging temps, we have enjoyed a mild winter so far. We have been longing for the white stuff, just a bit; when snow comes to Santa Fe, the mountains are bold against the crystal blue sky; the air is crisp and fresh. So I left my studio this afternoon, promising the work would wait till my return. I strapped wire coils (yak trax) to my hiking boots for traction, and I drove to a trail in the foothills. I love the quiet of the pine woods. Despite the bright sun and the mild air, I was one the few that went exploring today. My footprints marked a pristine trail (although I saw bobcat paw prints occasionally); Mount Taylor, over a hundred miles distant, was clear on the western horizon. Yes, the excursion takes me from my scissors and paper, but I returned refreshed, ready to tackle new projects.
New for the Year
I have listed some of my work on an online gallery. I love the name of this gallery: Art of Santa Fe. I have several items listed and I will add more. It is easy to use this new site for purchases because it links to PayPal. The site is www.ArtofSantaFe.com and my work can be found under DECO//fine art collage.
Two days into the New Year, I received some exciting news. I was selected to create the art for the 2019 Poetry Out Loud recitation competition state finals. This national competition was conceived by the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation to encourage the reading of poetry. The State of New Mexico’s Department of Culture, New Mexico Arts conducts the event. The state finals are held in March, so I will have most of this year to prepare the art for 2019. I am thrilled, and I already have ideas for it.
What else is new?
I am continuing work on my Coral Reef series; I started the eighth one a few days ago. I will be working on it in the studio and at the Santa Fe Railyard Artisans Market on Sundays.
Coming up next month, I will be conducting a Collage Workshop at the Market on the Sunday before the holiday. I will post information about this event both here and on my Facebook page.
New shows are in the works as well! stay tuned!
Love and Peace,
Is there a day in the year filled with more hope? Winter’s grip, with grasping fingers – Marley’s talons, Scrooge’s claws – tightens, and the icy whistling wind seeks tiny clefts: under the door, down the shaft of the range hood, through the cracked clerestory window. Insidious and insistent, cold creeps in. Where are my gloves? I need warm slippers! Let’s hunker down. We need warm food – tea, green chile stew, lasagna. Let’s gather together: drink deep, tell old stories, laugh in the face of the dark night. Light the candles, all of them! Put twinkly lights in the trees! Against the encroaching gloom, Solstice arrives: the first dawns are not encouraging as the sun appears stuck in its lowest arc; but then its arcs grow larger and the days lengthen. The tables are turned, the long night is vanquished, we welcome the return of light. Yes, yes, thank heavens for the solstice; we have hope for our days in the approaching new year.
I am thinking of family and friends now; I listen to the aches and sorrows of the year, I weep for the untimely passing of the ones we have loved, and I celebrate all the goodness and greatness as well: new babies, weddings, new homes, new cars, new schools: bold steps in an uncertain future. Hooray for the courage and the blessings to fortify the new year.
I recently added a few pages to the website, under the new tab “Buy Some” in order to make greeting cards and posters available to readers who would like to purchase small items. Of course, originals and giclee prints are always available for most of the images on the site.
Greeting Cards Collections
These Greeting Card Collections have 5 collage designs in each set - click on each one to see the collections. Six collections are available at $20 for each set of 5 cards and envelopes. Cards are also available singly - seventeen card styles to choose. See Greeting Cards.
In addition to these two full-size posters, ($25) look on the Posters page for six additional Mini-Posters: only 11" x 17" and so affordable!
Large, 18" x 24" $100
Medium, 16" x 20" $75
Small, 12" x 16" $50
See you next Year!
When a rose blooms in December, it captures my eye and I am stopped in my tracks; I have to go and regard the bloom with wonder. I am drawn not because the rose is lush and fragrant, nor an element in an abundant display of splashy flowers. No, a December rose is usually a solitary bloom, smaller than its summer siblings, with only the mere hint of fragrance. The tender rose petals are the only bright spot in a winter-blasted garden, when the brightness of autumn leaves has been bleached by frost and stripped by wind. The pale rose appears fragile in this setting, but I see its strength and its graceful stubbornness.
At least that is how it appeared to me in Decembers in Chicago.
Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin had an experience of roses in December that was entirely different than mine. He had visions of the Virgin Mary and reported them to the archbishop of Mexico City in 1531 with the instructions to build a church, but the bishop sent Juan Diego back with an order for proof. The beautiful maiden of the apparition agreed to provide miraculous evidence and told Juan Diego to gather flowers from Tepeyac Hill, normally barren in December. He found Castilian roses, a flower not native to Mexico, and he gathered them up in his tilma, his cloak. The Virgin arranged the flowers, and when Juan Diego opened his cloak in front of the bishop, the roses fell to the ground revealing an image of the Lady imprinted on his tilma.
Juan Diego's tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe is preserved in a shrine in Mexico and has become an icon, appearing everywhere from key chains to bumper stickers. A representation to this image appears over my booth at the Santa Fe Railyard Artisans Market, and one Sunday I looked up and I knew that I needed to create a collage of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I worked on it eagerly – I wanted it complete before the Feast Day, December 12. I am pleased to report that she is ready. I have titled it “Our Lady of Peace in Love.”
I will display the original of “Our Lady of Peace in Love” throughout the month of December at the Market.
The Market has added extra days and the schedule is printed to the right. It would be lovely if you could come see the original of “Our Lady.”
I have also made high-quality giclee prints of this collage, reproduced on archival art paper. I have three sizes available: small (12” x 16” for $50), medium (16” x 20” for $75) and full size (18” x 24” for $100.) Of course I ship, and each giclee is signed and numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Our holidays are often manic and sometimes lonely, but my wish for you is that you find peace in stillness, and that you find grace and strength in solitude, like a rose in December.
Peace and Love,
A walk in the woods this morning astounded me with color. I arrived at the trailhead (near Big Tesuque) just as the sun was lifting over the mountain, and the topmost branches of the aspens caught the slanting beams, as if they were radiating light themselves. The area around Tesuque Creek is known for the aspen groves gracing the mountainsides – every year visitors come to walk under the quivering amber leaves – some even ride the ski lift to view the trees from a hawk’s perspective. Often I like to walk alone in the aspens world – the sunlight filters through the leaves, bathing everything I see in a golden glow. Today, however, I walked where the aspens were fewer, and they mixed in with the Ponderosa Pines and the gambel oak – their splashes of bold yellow: canary, marmalade, saffron - appeared all the brighter in contrast to the firs surrounding them.
Harvest season had produced an abundance; squashes are piled high in the markets and bushels of pears and apples are waiting to be chaperoned home: cakes, pies, and cider. (Have you ever tried perry? A pear cider! Special pears go into perry – they are called wildings!)
I have been busy producing new collages and I have brought new items to the Market. I debuted 4 new greeting cards and created a new collection called Fine Ladies Dancing. I now have over a dozen individual cards and 6 card packets (collections of 5 blank cards and envelopes).
The “Perfectly Pear” and “Fine Ladies Dancing” collections feature five different images, while the others - “Dragon’s Lair” “Have No Fear” “Pluto” and “Loosen Your Soul” have feature one image for the five cards.
Many of my customers find these collections make lovely gifts; if you would like to purchase, click here to go the Contact Form to reach me. Yes, I do ship!
While Harvest is a celebration of what we have, it is also a practice of hope and expectation. We are grateful for what we have and we look forward with faithful hope.
Hope. Something that Chicagoans are familiar with.
I am still thinking to a Road Trip: I think I will. I will report back with my adventures.
Love and Peace
A recent jaunt out of town brought me to the lovely small city of Spokane, Washington. The weather was autumnal, crisp enough in the mornings to appreciate a scarf, with balmy sunny afternoons. Trees were beginning to tip their leaves with red and gold, and the last harvests of the fruit trees were fewer but sweet. Flower gardens were vivid in bright hues: I saw dahlias with blooms the size of my head, koi soaking up the sun, a Great Blue Heron contemplating stillness. Nearby mountains framed the views, and Idaho was just an hour drive away.
Being “away” is so restorative – as if just breathing different air makes a difference in my being. Of course, more than fresh air contributes to renewal: meals with unusual flavors, new dialogues mix with old family stories; a slower pace lets lazy hours spool away untroubled by the cares of home. Like a retreat with intentional moments, I found I was calmer and stronger, able to handle the madness of the world, which shivered like a crashing cymbal on my return to “real life.” But not right away. My return flight took me over the snowy peak of Mount Rainier, near sunset. Like the mountain asana in yoga, the promontory was solitary and wholly at rest. I thrilled to see it – first in front of the wing and then behind it. I like to sit in the window seat when I fly; sometimes the reward is the mountain, and the reminder to grow in stillness.
And then home. Autumn is beginning to appear in the High Desert Plains – we have had record breaking rainstorms in the past week. Snow sparkled on the ski basin. Before the harsh days prevail, however, we celebrate the clear brilliant skies in New Mexico by adorning them in gorgeous color: The Balloon Fiesta! Look up! Balloonists from all over the world come to Albuquerque, and aficionados rise before the sun to see them launch. The festival lasts for ten days, and[D1] includes a variety of celebrations. When they are not watching the balloons loft away into the mountains, many fans come to Santa Fe to while away their hours. We artists at the Santa Fe Railyard Artisans Market would like to invite these visitors to come see our wonders too, so we have added an extra day to our schedule. Not only will we be open on Sundays, but we will also set up on Friday, October 13, 2017, in our usual location, The Farmers Market Pavilion, for our usual hours, 10 am to 4 pm.
Portraiture is a time-honored expression in any medium, but I find that using cut paper collage to be especially challenging. For me the gaze of the subject is key to capturing the soul of the piece. Not every artist would agree with this assessment. One only had to think of Van Gogh’s quickly rendered portraits of the townsfolk of Arles (I am thinking especially of “La Berceuse” and the woman’s averted eyes): the lack of engagement with the artist, and thus the viewer, tells its own story about the subject, and can be powerful. On the other hand, in his self-portraits, Van Gogh fixes his gimlet gaze on us and compels us to engage with him. His expression may be confrontational or melancholy, or simply at ease, but his gaze, rendered in those powerful rapid brushstrokes, demands we engage with him as a fellow human.
I have created only a handful of portraits, but I find them to be profoundly rewarding. My first collage portrait was of John Lennon on his wedding day. Dressed in his signature white attire, he stands with his hands on his hips, letting his jacket tail behind him. To my eye, he looks nervous; not the confident performer, nor the cocky activist, but a bridegroom contemplating a significant moment in his life; no family and few friends surround him; perhaps he is thinking about the press waiting outside the door, and what controversy his marriage would create. I used copies of newspaper clippings about the wedding to create the collage, keeping to a monochromatic theme.
I belong to a James Joyce reading group, and we celebrate “Bloomsday” every June. On this day, Joyceans around the globe gather to commemorate the day that the fictional Leopold Bloom lived life in Dublin, on June 16, 1904. I wanted to create a portrait for our Bloomsday event, but Bloom is not described much in Ulysses. However, while I was in the Joyce Museum in Trieste, Italy, I glimpsed a drawing of Bloom - a scribble really – that Joyce himself made while visiting an artist friend in Montparnasse. The drawing showed Bloom in a bowler and overcoat with absurdly large white buttons. I based my collage on this scribble, incorporating slivers of the text, both the 1922 and the 1963 versions, in the background.
Another portrait in which I used text as the background was the one of Abraham Lincoln, “So Costly a Sacrifice.” I wanted to depict a leader who understood the cost of the people during a war. During my research, I found a facsimile of the original condolence letter that Lincoln wrote to Mrs. Bixby of Massachusetts, who lost 5 sons in the war. This was a treasure to me, and it required careful slicing of the letter, line by line, and arranging the minute fragments around the head of the President. The title of the portrait is taken from the text of the letter. Three of his generals are to the left of his face. This portrait was on display in the White House for a few years.
My latest portrait “Mr. Googly Eyes” is more whimsical than the others, and is pure fantasy. I wanted to render this one in swirling carnival colors, and yet convey a sense of uneasiness. Sometimes people ask me what is the meaning behind him and his ambiguous gesture, and I reply, with a wink, as Shakespeare might, “Oh, what you will.” At this point, Mr. Googly Eyes is not telling.
I recently brought these four portraits to the Market one Sunday, and had them on display together. It was fun to see visitors interact with the portraits.
These collages are available as originals and as giclee prints; click here with your inquiries for these or any other pieces.
I would love to hear from you.
You will find me at the Railyard Artisans Market most Sundays, although some days I play hooky. And with the change in the weather, the blooming of the chamisa, and the glory of the aspens emerging, I am thinking of going on a road trip. Hmmm. We shall see. I’ll let you know. Till then…
Love and Peace,
What Goes On:
New Etsy Shop:
greeting card sets, posters
blank book journals
Art of Santa Fe
Online Community Marketplace
Offering collage items
DECO//fine art collage
Collage items in the online store include these:
5" x 7" featuring an original collage design on the front, blank inside, available for purchase, on line or at the market.
Greeting Card Sets,
5 blank cards + envelopes, bundled into gift-ready packages
includes Scenes of New Mexico, Fine Ladies Dancing, Rising, and Perfectly Pear
Loosen Your Soul and Harvest:Fruition
each is 18" x 24", add comes rolled , ready for framing.
Prints, posters, journals, and cards make beautiful gifts
accepts payment through PayPal and Stripe!
When you are in Santa Fe:
Studio Visits in Santa Fe:
by appointment and with a smile!
And, as always:
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Deco - Artist