Earth, Wind & Fire at Kaleid

Bay Area artists Dotti Cichon and Jamila Rufaro have a joint exhibition, Earth Wind & Fire at Kaleid this month in downtown San Jose, California. The show focuses on the use of natural and weathered materials, rworn and rusted materials, silk papers and metalics. I was so happy to attend the Aritsts’ Reception which coincided with Kaleid’s fabulous Two-Buck Tuesdays!

Artist Dotti Cichon at Kaleid, 88 S 4th Street, San Jose, California.


Dotti Cichon’s silk panels have beautiful abstracted patterns printed from her manipulated digital photographs of global architecture. They can be worn as scarves as well  (I’m a proud owner of one not depicted here).

In this gold leafed panel Dotti Cichon  strikes an elegant balance between the organic, “worm-holed” treatment and the sumptuous gold finish.

This copper-leafed textile is another beautiful metallic treatment of an organic feeling surface.

Here is a detail of silver leafed papers, some with remnants of calligraphy from the silver kimono assemblage below.

Silver kimono assemblage.

Kimono Angel assemblage by Jamila Rufaro and Dotti Cichon.

Book art by Jamila Rufaro is inspired by imaginary sea life and Cortez. I have one of here pieces from this series that was exhibited at Sanchez 50/50 2017!

I love the forms that Jamila Rufaro has created manipulating book pages!

Such a Fascinating interactive sculpture with video depicting the origins of the cosmos by Dotti Cichon.


Jenifer J. Renzel – Studio Visit

I first came across Jenifer J. Renzel‘s assemblage art a number of years ago at Kaleid Gallery and was struck by the erie and magical worlds she created with bits of vintage ephemera and lots of imagination and sensitive handling of materials.

Jenifer J. Renzel - matchbox art - skeleton and shell arteries - photo by Marie Cameron 2014

Not long after, I found this beautiful sample of her match box art at Three Sisters and scooped it up. I loved how she threaded the worm shell with red thread like an artery,  a little cabinet of anatomical curiosities in a matter of square inches.

Jenifer J. Renzel asslembage and antique dolls - photo Marie Cameron

So call me a fan, I found her Facebook page and followed her, fascinated to see the wild creations pouring out of her studio. Delightful!  But I didn’t even think of contacting her personally until I saw the crazy cute pictures of her cat Bon Bon hanging out in the studio.

Jenifer J. Renzel and Bon Bon - photo Marie Cameron 2014


So based on nothing more than how much I loved her work and studio (and now her cat) I sent Jenifer a message about painting her, having no idea what she actually looked like and she said yes! She graciously let me into her studio for the the photo shoot and I was thrilled to see her finished pieces, the work in progress, the masses of carefully categorized materials, and tools of the trade – drills, tweezers, glue and magnifying lenses. It was like wandering into a madhouse with thousands of little eyes on you.

Jenifer J. Renzel - eyeballs - photo Marie Cameron


Jenifer J. Renzel and her assemblage - photo Marie Cameron     Jenifer Renzel eyes - Marie Cameron          Jenfer J Renzel - drill - photo by Marie Cameron

Jenifer J. Renzel - assorted natural objects- photo Marie Cameron                               Bon Bon                              Jenifer J. Renzel - eye stems - photo Marie Cameron

Jenifer herself turns out to be compelling portrait material too!  I think she comes across as very strong and direct and though I haven’t painted glasses yet I think they really work here to emphasize her eyes, her vision and their is a certainly an obvious resonance with the dolls eyes, a real staple in her work. So now I’m kind of torn between the warm and fuzzy shot of Jenifer and her cat and this dramatic one below that really focuses on her eye and kind of portrays her as the magician that she is.

Jenifer J Renzel in her studio - photo by Marie Cameron 2014

When More is More

Nilofer Merchant, author, speaker and a Silicon Valley dynamo purchased a little assemblage painting from me last year. Bliss has hung in her office across from her desk as a reminder that happiness is not all rainbows and kittens but has an edge to it too, and maybe in the end it means more if you have to work for it. But she spoke more eloquently about this when she blogged about it in  Are You Experiencing Bliss?

Nilofer Merchant & Mug photo Marie Cameron 2012

I’ve known that she is quite the Wonder Woman for some time so when Good Housekeeping approached her for some photos of her inspirational mug (which ran in the Dec 2012 issue) I was only too happy to help out. It was then that we began sharing our other Wonder Woman bits and bobs. She had a box full of postcards depicting early WW comics and I had a little cropped photo I’d kept taken of a some street art in San Francisco from the late ’90s.

WW Mug Shot- Marie Cameron 2012   ww postcards - Marie Cameron 2013   Wonder Woman peeking through - photo MarieCameron 2012

This was the seed of a fun, collaborative process that would lead to the commission of four new works based on the idea of owning one’s onlyness and the acquisition of three earlier works that fit into Nilofer’s vision. The result was a portrait of sorts, one in which individual pieces not only say their piece but come together and spark a conversation. It takes a vision and a curatorial eye, but surely this is an instance when more is more!

Twinkle in the eye - Marie Cameron 2013

One of the first stars to echo the one on Wonder Woman’s tiara was the twinkle I placed in her eye.

Do It - side view - Marie Cameron 2013

Do It was inspired by those vintage Japanese match boxes from the deco period. I loved how the registration line was off either intentionally or by accident, either way, the black shadow line for the lips looks like a Nike symbol – hence “do it”, as if the ruby red lipstick wasn’t enough encouragement to kiss!

Speak - Marie Cameron 2012 - side

I love how the text balloons hover empty while the blacked out speak seems to implore one to break the silence. Pretty appropriate for a speaker!

Kapow - Side  Marie Cameron2013

The canvas edge doesn’t show a lot when these pieces are hung together but it makes for a great space to reinforce the playful graphics of the work.  Kapow! was inspired by artist Harry G. Peter who’s original was for issue # 27, 1948. I fixed some metalic rope that was unearthed in a dig from Latvia and some Soviet military stars to reference the cold war sentiment behind much of the Wonder Woman comics – rebelling against the “evil power structure”.

Nilofer interviewed me about my process for this series and my thoughts on onlyness and how it relates to this project to art and to life. You can check out the interview on her blog post Unanswered Questions to Ponder.

Onlyness Series - Marie Cameron 2012- 2013