I am thrilled to have been accepted as a member artist at Archway Gallery. It is a 30-member artist co-op — Houston’s oldest artist-owned and operated gallery.
My initial installation I have titled “Playing all my cards”.
I spent untold hours growing up in the 60s and 70s playing cards. Solitaire, hearts, spades, pinochle, old maid, gin rummy, mille bornes, etc, etc. One big assignment for a computer science class at ISU was to program a game of solitaire (in FORTRAN if I remember). Later I got into playing bridge, competitively for a short time.
Taking this influence from my past, mixing in some of my spinning technique, and adding a nod to the game strategy that is a certain aspect of today’s art business, I came up with the title “Playing all my cards”.
This will be my primary exhibit through November, so stop by Archway Gallery for a closer look. They are at 2305 Dunlavy St, 77006, which is a little north of Westheimer, in the Montrose, just west of the Westheimer curve.
For Labor Day we visited NYC, complete with a trip to the Museum of Modern Art where I saw Jasper John’s iconic encaustic flag and targets. More on those in a later post.
You may think this is horrible, but the thing that gave me the most inspiration was not any of the masterpieces in the gallery, but this cheap 3D doodle contraption that was in the MOMA gift shop.
How could I use encaustic & image transfers to create 3D art?
This led me on an Internet quest through the various methods in use today. While I concluded early on that I could not hand out the blue-red 3D glasses to everyone to view my pieces in all their 3D glory, I did spend quite a bit of time researching stereoscopy — having two images side-by-side with the left eye look at the right image and vice versa. This website has many example of what are called cross-eyed stereograms. You may also recognize some of these as those laser prints that were in mall kiosks in the 90s. I could certainly do some diptychs with the two images.
I eventually concluded that I could not expect people to stand in front of my art for 5 minutes while their eyes blurred into cross-eye. I only had about 2 seconds to make an impression. And this whole concept didn’t veer toward modern or fine art. So that idea got shelved.
This past week I started using a deck of cards intending to create more of my guilloche spinners with them, but as I started doing pieces with a single card image, I found I could deconstruct the layers and separate them between layers of encaustic. My King of Spades piece has 5 image layers. The result is a pretty darn good 3D effect if I do say so myself.
I heard again that collecting buyer/prospect/fan contact information is vital to building up ones art business — don’t just rely on FaceBook as I have been doing. So I did a little research, tinkered around a little, and have made the next strides in social interaction.
I have set up MailChimp to build an email distribution list of those interested in my upcoming exhibitions. Events I create in MailChimp will automatically post to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.
I set up Chimpadeedoo on my android tablet to take to art fairs and have people easily add their names to the list.
Here on this website I’ve added my email list sign up and Twitter contact information on the right widget. And I should see any blog posting feed into FaceBook and Twitter. So let me hit the ‘Publish’ button and see if all this really works!
My 3rd place win at Archway Gallery’s show inspired me to create more pieces that spun an image round and round (like a record, baby).
My next piece, Red wine guilloche, took the spinning to the extreme: twelve image layers with two encaustic medium layers between each. Atop that I etched out a string art effect and colored using oil stick. This is also my first piece successfully using color image transfers vs black & white.
Getting back to my New Orleans-ish flourish themes, I next made Tchoupitoulas, just four multi-color image transfer layers. For this I managed just a single encaustic layer between each, giving a subtle transparency between layers.
Spin the bottle is a variation on the earlier red wine piece, with eight image layers separated with single encaustic layers. I was really happy with the result of this and here my black float frame really makes this piece pop. I have gotten several reactions that people first think it is a red flower until they recognize the wine bottle and glass.
Finally, Girando el muerto (spinning the dead) is a nod to the approaching Dia de los Muertos.
The First Saturday Arts Market was the first thing I applied to back in April of this year. I’d wanted to be in the June event but September was the first available open spot for me other than July when I’d be on vacation. Looking back, there is no way I would have had my tent and display ready, much less any reasonable inventory to sell.
That day will be a test of a number of things:
Do I have everything on my art fair take-along list?
How well does the outdoor exhibition gallery (aka big tent) set up and tear down?
Does everything fit into my car?
How do my encaustics handle the peak summer heat?
What art pieces interest people, and which don’t?
What’s the reaction to my pricing?
The preparations for this have been a really fun experience. Not wanting to pay big bucks for professional display panels that wouldn’t fit into my car, I opted to make my own. While I think they look pretty good, I way underestimated the time and effort this activity took. And everything has been a new adventure:
Researching & designing my own label/price tags
Settling on standard pricing
Planning exhibit arrangement
The experience of getting my tent together also helped me achieve my major goal of making my application for the Bayou City Art Festival next March. The submission deadline was this week and they needed five photos: four of representative artwork, and the fifth being of your booth as you would be displaying it seven months from now. The art photos I had, but for the booth shot I needed to have all the display panels done, and enough inventory on-hand to fill up the walls. I’ll find out in October if I made it or not. But in the meantime I will have gained the outdoor exhibit experience from the Heights art market.
I will be participating in Lawndale Art Center’s BIG SLIDE SHOW on Wednesday July 30 (2014) at 6pm where I will give a 5-minute talk on my art and the creation of “Song of the whippoorwill”, my piece on display at THE BIG SHOW through Aug 9th.
I submitted the following 9-slide presentation which you can view below in case you can’t make the presentation in person:
In a nutshell: Friday night I had one piece in Houston’s Lawndale Art Center Big Show which I sold within 5 minutes of my walking in the door. Two more pieces were at Archway Gallery‘s 6th juried exhibition Saturday night, one was already sold by the time I got there for the reception, and the other took 3rd place. I could not be more thrilled!
And here is the YouTube video of Archway Gallery’s jurist Mark Larsen announcing my win:
My husband Arnold makes leather harnesses and vests, and we have this male mannequin modelling his latest creations. I thought it would be fun to bring it to life, plus get more experience with using my green screen and Photoshop.
The result is a three piece progression, small and simple to large and complex. After completing the last one I held an unveiling ceremony which I recorded.
Via the Visual Arts Alliance I learned of the Lawndale Art Center’s call for entries. Figuring it was worth a shot I paid my $30 entry fee and submitted three diverse pieces.
Their entry form said that if you hadn’t been called by 6pm Friday that you had not been selected. By 5:20 I was already moving into the grief ‘acceptance’ stage, but 10 minutes later I got the call: I was in!!!! Whoop! Whoop!
Of the three I submitted, the jurist selected what I considered my strongest piece, based on feedback from the VAA.
So my artistic debut will be at the Lawndale Art Center’s BIG SHOW Opening Reception on Friday, July 11, 2014 at 6:30pm.
Congratulations on having your work selected for The Big Show at Lawndale Art Center. We received 981 submissions by 382 artists. Guest Erin Elder, Visual Art Director of Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, selected 115 works by 106 artists for this year’s exhibition and that includes you!
At the annual Bunnies On The Bayou shindig in Houston this year, I noticed a couple of guys (ok they were bears) wearing T Shirts that had ‘Be’ and ‘Ar’ from the periodic table.
It got me to wonder what other words or phrases could you put together. First I started looking at the periodic table and manually trying to put together cute words that came to my head. Then I tried a Google search, hoping someone had already come up with every last word and phrase. I found a couple, but none of the words were particularly stellar. (I might do a Canabis at some point.)
But then I thought of a few words in Spanish, and soon had some full phrases put together. Devising the framing to accompany these was also a nice diversion.
So here is the piece I call “Periodic Conversation in Spanglish”.