Fur Feathers and Fins Reception

Fur, Feathers & Fins is currently showing at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto, California, where I have three of my Birds & Teacup paintings. Juried by DeWitt Cheng, curator, critic and teacher, this exhibition explores a variety of approaches to depicting animals and our relationships to them from the purely representation evocations of them in their natural habitat to the utilitarian, metaphorical, symbolic, playful and even removed.  I can’t help but think about this subject matter in terms of the Anthropocene, how do we look at animals now that most of their worlds are impacted if not threatened by ours. Is the new wild, one of suburban back yards, zoos and laboratories? Something I think about anyway – Elizabeth Kolbert’s, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is a great book on this subject! This show wraps up March 30, here are a few pictures from the opening reception, with links to artist’s websites, if available, when you click on their names.

Devan John, Gallery Manager of PAL announcing the awards.

First place went to Janey Fritsche for her oil on cradled panel,  Sea Shepherds.

Second Place was awarded to Ellen Kramer for her photograph Discarded.

Third Place was given to Maura Carta‘s oil on panel, Nose-less Bunny.

Honorable Mention for Ann Sismore’s photograph God’s Got Your Back.

A second Honorable Mention for Bob Carlin‘s digital print under resin,  Blue Footed Boobie .

A third Honorable Mention was awarded to Beka Brayer for her one of her Waiting for Wings mixed media assemblage pieces, details shown here.

Me with three of my Birds & Teacup paintings, Tea II, Petunia Tea I and Anemone Tea I.

Kathy Kleinsteiber and her acrylic portraits of animals.

May Shei – Joyful Moment – Watercolor on Rice Paper

(detail)

Judy Kramer, Insect Photography – Fur Feathers and Fins

Linda Maki – Fish on Lahina Wharf – Oil on Canvas

Leah (Jay) Jakusovszky – Amphibian Illustrations

Oleg Lobykin‘s Sea Foam sculpture and a crow painting by Janey Fritsche.

Detail from Peter Koronakos‘s assemblage Penguin.

Jihoon Choi with his painted steel Pink Rhino and Yellow Giraffe.

I was delighted to become familiar with Jihoon Choi and his fantastic work!

To hear the Artist Talk he gave click on this link for the video I shot: Jihoon Choi – Artist Talk

Jihoon Choi photographs of his scupltures in Bay Area locations.

Quinn Peck – Artist Talk

Aside

Tuesday, the Art Docents of Los Gatos were treated to an Artist Talk with Quinn Peck!

Julie Jenkins (owner of JCO’s and fellow board director for the Art Docents of Los Gatos) opened up her ArtHaus for the first time to introduce us to the dreamy and ethereal photo based work of Oakland based artist, Quinn Peck.

Elizabeth Greer, co-chair of the Continuing Education committee welcoming us to the talk, introducing us to Quinn Peck and recounting how his Liminality Series had stood out at Anne & Mark’s Art Party this past fall, on EVERYONE’s top favorites list.

Julie Jenkins describing her reaction to Quinn Peck’s work when she first saw it at Anne & Mark’s Art Party last fall, how the pieces would move as you rounded the corner, lifted on the breeze of the motion of the viewer’s passing and draw you back in, how moving they are and how happy she is to represent his work now here in Los Gatos.

JCO’s gallery director, Bridget McMahon welcoming Quinn Peck.

Liminality: Self-reflection from the space in-between, is a series of archival inject prints on layers of silk. The top layer is a transparent silk organza and the base a heavy Fuji silk, the layers are hung loosely from a bar allowing for space and between the layers. As you move past the piece, viewing it from different angles the images shift slightly, almost like a stereograph or a hologram. The effect is like a dream or a shifting memory, something unstable, unfixed. In fact, Peck was inspired by Civil War era spirit photography which used double exposures to “capture spirits”. Liminality itself refers to thresholds.….(from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete …(thank you wikipedia).

These deeply introspective pieces invite viewers to identify with the subject who is either facing a void or a gate, a passage, a path or a plunge. All of this is emotionally engaging with rich with and powerful metaphors, but what is even more profound is that these pieces were all self portraits from before Peck began his transition from female to male! I am so deeply touched by how many levels this work is operating on, all in it’s quiet and sublimely beautiful way!

Jumping Off Place

Edge

Broken Steps

Tunnel

A native of Cambria, Quinn Peck holds an undergraduate degree in Visual Art (emphasis in photography) from University of California, Santa Cruz, a Masters in Photography from the Academy of Art University, and a MA in Counseling Psychology, Expressive Arts Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is currently  working on his certification in Permaculture Design at Merritt College.

To see all of the work Quinn Peck has at JCO’s check out all the gorgeous images on their website. I love them all but Edge is coming home with me!

The Chelsea Hotel

While staying in Chelsea recently I couldn’t resist stopping by the Chelsea Hotel, of Leonard Cohen fame, and although I couldn’t stay in room 424, (big reno going on) I enjoyed hanging out by the front door (which I held open for a workman with a gigantic spool of electrical wire who in turn took this photo of me on my pilgrimage – he knew my selfies were not going to cut it). One day I’ll come back, in the mean time here’s a link to the song The Chelsea Hotel #2 and a Rolling Stone article about the song. Turns out Leonard and I were both in New York in 68 though I was a little young for him and we ran in different circles (I was crawling then).

 

Snow

Close to finishing Orhan Pamuk’s fabulous novel Snow.

I gave it to my husband last Christmas while he unknowingly gave me A Strangeness in my Mind. So masterfully written, I’m loving it so much I actually sat out in the snow, reading for a few chapters (in Kirkwood not Kars) until the sun shone less brightly and the cold and damp seeped through my snow pants.

So sad to hear the tragic news in Turkey! Anyone who wants a nuanced and deeply human meditation on the social / political climate of this area should dip into his novels!

Aviary on Fifth Avenue

More window shopping along Fifth Avenue at Bergdorf Goodman’s, this vignette is called A Bird’s Eye View. These windows glow  like jewels at night but during the day they play with the reflections of the city, creating a wintery dreamscape. Beyond all the white feathered birds here, I love the languid gesture of both the peacock’s neck and the manikin’s arm! In the final photo a woman seems to materialize from a glowing curtain of feathers!

Gorillas in Our Midst

Window shopping is at it’s best during the holidays and nowhere better than Fifth Avenue in New York City!  Bergdorf Goodman’s was far and away my favorite, each vitrine a world in itself! Beyond the artistry that’s gone into each one I loved the way these fantasies interplayed with the reflection of the city beyond the window! It’s a jungle out there (Trump Tower is across the street (beside Tiffany’s).

womanKind Reception

The womanKIND reception was a warm-hearted gathering on a very cold night at the Citadel Gallery in San Jose. The exhibition, a Cole / Drews Watkins project was held in support of the YWCA Silcon Valley – eliminating racism, empowering women! Last day to see the show is Monday, December 19th from 12 to 6 pm.

Power houses Susan Drews Watkins and Sara Cole who put together the show welcoming us all to the exhibition.

Tanis Crosby, CEO of the YWCA Silicon Valley speaking eloquently about the importance of being there for each other as women, as community. Very inspirational!

                             

We were touched by the powerful spoken word poetry of Diana D’Angelo, Sara Cole and Ashlie Andrade.  Check back soon, I’ll be posting video links to these readings!

Many of the exhibiting artists were present, here I am with my floral paintings.

Jhina Alvarado with her Mixed media encaustics.

Diana D’Angelo and her mixed media paintings.

Ashlie Andrade with Sara Cole’s paintings on paper.

Sara Cole with her self portraits.

Susan Drews Watkins and friends.

Susan Drews Watkins sculpture, metal, water and glass.

Joy Redick and her watercolors.

Lisa Renée Falk and her Citrus Dress – glass, silk and plastic citrus bags.

Lisa Renée Falk and her Citrus Dress, glass, silk and plastic citrus bags.

Trace Galbraith and her slumped glass work.

My Birds and Teacups cards.

Tableart by Henri Mansfield Herns.

Work by Tableart, Gutfreund, Cole, Cameron

       

        

Marti Somers Squirrel over Tumbleweed, Mixed media on panel.

Karen Gutefreund‘s Perpetual Motion,  mixed media on canvas. Karen had been to the show early in the afternoon before racing off to Arc in San Francisco for the opening of the F*ck U! exhibition reception!

Brigitte Carnochan‘s  Pot of Daffodils , silver gelatin print.

Jhina Alvarado’s Alberts, mixed media encaustic paintings.

Jamie Woods, YWCA Silicon Valley’s Associate Director of Philanthropy and Sara Cole.

It was an honor to meet Tanis Crosby and help to support the YWCA Silicon Valley for all that they do – eliminating racism and empowering women! I hope we’re able to raise lot’s of money with this show for the important work that they do in our community!

Anna’s Hummingbirds in the Red Shrub

You know how different herds or flocks have evocative names for their gatherings, like a murder of crows or a brood of hens? Well, a group of hummers is called a hover or a troubling or a charm – isn’t that fabulous?

It turns out that a perfect time to find a charm of hummingbirds is in a giant red flowering shrub in between showers (when they’re good and hungry)!

There were at least eight hummers, several had their territory staked out and the others would try to sneak by for a feed before being chased away.  I based my count both on the ones I could keep my eyes on while hearing the songs of the interlopers. It seems all my shots were of the immature male who’s territory I was also invading.

Anne & Mark’s Art Party Closing Bash

OK – it’s been over a week now and I really should have had this post up long ago but I’ve been suffering from an art hangover like you wouldn’t believe (unless of course, you were at the party)!

In fact, this is what the inside of my brain looks like now – a cacophony of pattern, lights and color like this giant kaleidoscope by Ned Greene!

Or this detail from Emanuela Harris-Sintamarian’s gouache Die Gesteze der Stukturen!

And here are the synapses of my grey matter firing in pops of dreamy florasl and dandelion puffs of exploding fractals seen here in Carrie Lederer’s Clear Night!

The computer of my mind is overloaded and is threatening to crash (detail from Karen Gutfruend’s CTRT ALT DEL)!

And my dreams are haunted by a blind white rabbit, thank you Tulio Flores and Asiel Design….so here we go – one more trip down the rabbit hole before I move on!

First of all I’d like to thank everyone who made it out to see my Florilegia and shared with me their response to the work – this input is simply invaluable to an artist  and means do much!  Thank you , thank you , thank you!

And then there were the visitors who seemed like they were exertions of my paintings!

So Fabulous!

And then there were my art crushes…..like this discarded cigarette packaging piece by Robert Larson.  He was able to take something dirty and disgusting and transform it into something sublime!  I smelled it too  - not a hint of nicotine or anything else. Pure alcmemy!

I also adored this woman’s torso fashioned from safety pins, Lacey by Bob Marzewski, like little stars or snowflakes tenuously welded together.

Lorraine Lawson’s missed media paintings,  Bob Marzeweski’s torsos and Tessie Barrera-Scharaga’s Matrix of Chaos, an installation piece of multiple images of the Virgin and kneeling benches.

So easy to get lost wandering through the maze of galleries – at least if you’re doing it right.

Kristin Lindseth’s prints.

Gianfranco Paolozzi’s Journal, enamel, robber paint, glue on recycled role of paper.

Will Marino’s Paradigm Shift , wound and folded paper

Patrick Hofmeister’s Aware.

Malia Landis’s IIiima in Kiawe.

Marianne Lettieri’s Memory Bank.

Lynn Dao’s Domestic Apocalypse

Love the simplicity of this delicate bowl  against a simple grey background in this oil painting by Deborah Trilling.

John Hylton’s Moon Watcher, canvas, paint wood.

Monica Van den Dool’s Behold in front of Emanuela Harris-Sintamarian’s gouache  Die Gesteze der Stukturen.

Wesley T. Wright – California Coyote – Stoneware, underglaze, glaze, concrete, steel in front of Nanette Wylde’s monoprints.

It was such a delight to meet Natalia Bertotti and Michael Garlington who collaborate on intensely dark, curious and magical images that somehow tap into some cultural core of ours – Grimm’s American fairytale crossed with something ripped out of the headlines of an old newspaper – or rather the stories that was never fit to print or maybe a precursor to a circus side show. They photographed Susan Sarandon in amazing paper dresses here’s a link to this process.

          

Love the flask action!

I Run Out of Every Side. I’m not even sure what I’m looking at here, but it feels like a pierced and leaking Padora’s Box emptying out into a sea of melting glaciers – a big old barrel of global warming by Briget Henry with Ann Altstatt. Feel free to go with another interpretation!

Grant Wells’s  Ocean Structure 1, pigment transfer on canvas.

Tim Craighead’s oil and alkyd on linen, Without Constantini.

Adon Vaneziano’s sculptures.

Brian Taylor’s  Changing Nature, photography.

Dotti Cichon with her installation she collaborated on with Jamila Rufaro.

Pantea Karimi and her paper vovelles.

With Lorraine Lawson and her mixed media paintings.

Sara Cole’s Forgotten Women 2 , acrylic, graphite, gesso on paper.

Oleg Lobykin’s bronze Flex Cube.

Ann Sconberg’s  photography,Thirteen One and Two.

Quinn Peck’s archival ink jet print on fabric.

Betsy Braun-Kernaghan and her mixed media work.

Michelle Longosz photographs.

A detail from Jenifer Renzel’s The Contraption.

Vanessa Callanta’s self portrait.

Marc D’Estout’s A Briefcase of Puppetry  (detail)  found objects, fabricated steel, paint, patina.

Joe Uglyeye – Personal Demons – spray paint, screenpaint, acrylic on birch panel.

Denise Harris-Olenak’s Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, photographic plates on copper and wood.

Beyond the visual art, the big draw go the Closing Bash was the fabulous runway put on by Pivot:  The Art of Fashion!  The lights the crowds, the fantastic music and and even more fantastic fashion! Above are Charlotte Kruk’s  Bossa Nova Bombshells made from recycled Ferrara Pan Chewy Lemonhead & Friends, Lemonhead, CherryHead, Grapehead wrappers!

And her Godiva coat!

                         

Tullio Flores

Lace design work.

                          

Tulio Flores

                          

                         

IB Bayo

                          

Rose Sellery (left) Charlotte Kruk’s Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, recycled Tiffany bags and chandelier pieces (middle) Katraa (right)

Rose Sellery

MC Kim Luke thanking Pivot Oraganizers Tina Brown, Rose Sellery and designers, Charlotte Kruk, Tulio Flores, Katraa, Sudnya Shroff, Ruby Roxanne, Ricochet, IB Bayo and Many others…

Food truck fun.

Rose Sellery’s designs and sculpture

D’Arcy Couture models in front of Khaled Akil’s Requiem for Syria.

D’Arcy Couture.

Model Izzabelly Santos in IB Bayo.

Pivot MC, Kim Luke in front of

Sunya Shroff’s designs and painting and models in a moment of pre-composure

Pivot models in front of art.

Jessica Hilltout’s phtographs of handmade balls.

Pillar Aguero-Esparza’s multicultural Crayolas on paper.

Pivot model in front of Miguel Machuca’s Orchestrated Religion.

Butterfly model wafting by Teresa Cuniff’s There and Back

Glowing butterfly floating by Alan Silver’s oils on canvas.

Finally alighting on chair sculpture.

The morning after….picking up my work there are still a few remnants from the Art Party – Bill Gould’s sculpture tinkling overhead and the fabulous murals painted with Empire 7 glowing in the early morning sun. Farewell Wonderland, you will haunt my dreams until the next occasional and irrational art fest! Thanks to all involved with Anne and Mark’s Art Party – you’re the best!

Update – I’m delighted to hear that Anne Sconberg and Mark Henderson have just been presented with the Creative Impact Award for their extraordinary vision and hard work with Anne & Mark’s Art Party!  So well deserved!

In case you’re still game for more and missed previous Art Party posts, here are the links:

Tower of Bauble

Angels Among Us

Down the Rabbit Hole

Anne & Mark’s Art Party 2014

Beyond the White Hummingbird

The Australian Garden at the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum has so much to offer, and while I was understandably blown away by the spectacular white hummingbird sighting, I thought I might share some of it’s other treasures…

Rare Leucistic Anna’s Hummingbird in the Grevillea.

Me in my official like birding outfit – meant to blend into the garden and attract hummers…worked!

Showy Banksia

Flight fight!

Showy Honey Myrtle

The Rufous and Allen’s Hummingbirds look a lot alike, the Allen’s is supposed to have two white spots on its tail tips instead of three like the Rufous, but even knowing this it’s still hard to tell as the Allen’s does have a sliver of white on that third feather and both can have a substantial amount of green on their backs – especially the juveniles and the females.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrub Jay

Cooper’s Hawk fledglings

Desert Cottontail

Bottle Brush

Lipstick Plant

Common Buckeye

Actual buckeyes – (on a Black Tailed Deer)

The White Hummingbird

I spent a perfect day with a white hummingbird – my new muse!

This Leucistic Hummingbird, visiting the Australian Gardens at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, may be the first sighting of its kind in Santa Cruz County! I’ve been scouring the web for more info and it seems there have been sightings in Santa Barbara as well.  The Leucistic Humming bird (in this case most likely an Anna’s Hummingbird) retains some pigmentation (dark eyes, beak and legs and often there are traces of color in it’s plumage) where as a pure albino hummingbird would have a complete lack of pigmentation, it’s eyes, beak and legs appearing pink.

Seeing this hummingbird in the wild was pure magic and that’s saying something considering how impossibly beautiful a typically iridescent hummingbird is! This was like a little glowing fairy flitting in and out of the sunlight, but a fierce one who was robustly defending his territory from interlopers. I watched him ascend high in the sky to hover then dive balm the smaller Rufous and Allen’s hummers. I first spotted him in his his special perch in a spindly tree where he was perfectly camouflaged, looking like a leaf in the dappled sunlight  (I could hear him singing before I saw him – which apparently is a one way of identifying an Anna’s). From here he could clearly survey his territory and would make his rounds visiting the various proteas in the garden favoring the Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” and the Hairpin and Showy Banksia but he also patrolled the conifers edging the arboretum – maybe looking for bugs and worms? Funny how this bird from the Americas is favoring the flowers from Down Under!

Out of the blue…

A spark in the dark…

Glowing in the garden…

Along St. Joseph’s Trail

I clearly don’t know all the correct names of these creatures and blooms I came across on my hike along St Joseph’s Trail – but I’d like to! If you know the real names please chime in!

Bay Area Checkerspot

Skipper on a yellow Devil’s Paintbrush

Bermuda Buttercups / Soursop

Seep Monkey Flower / Common Monkey Flower / Mimulus guttatus

Sticky Monkey Flower / Orange Bush Monkey Flower / Mimulus aurantiacus

Scotch Broom

 

Yellow Flower

California India Pink

Ladybug

Tadpole

                        

California Poppy, ?. White Lupine

Flowering Shrub

Railroad

White Flowers

White Morning Glory

White Iris

Wild clematis gone to seed

White Lupine

Fairy Lantern / Globe Lily/ Calochortus alba

Nightshade

Clover

Vetch

?

?

Thistle

?

Smallflower Lupine / Lupinus polycarpus  (micranthus)

Blackheaded Grosbeak

?

Purple Finches

 

Poppy Teacups

Oh my, sometimes I can paralyze myself with possibility!

I love how these antique, eggshell thin, hand-painted teacups marked Germany and Nippon photographed in the early morning light with their requisite bouquet of freshly cut poppies! I better just pick a bird or two and get on with it … Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird? The poppy speaks of oblivion in the Victorian language of flowers, I wonder how I will bring that into a Birds and Teacups piece?

 

 

 


 

 

 

Petunia Tea Possibilities….

Your presence soothes me, that’s what the the petunia signifies in the Victorian language of flowers. However, it wasn’t the flower or teacup that was the source to this soon to be Birds and Teacup painting, it was the shy Townsend’s Warbler with its little black and yellow striped face that inspired me to pull together a vignette it could hide in.

While Hunting for a Bunting

Rumor has it there’s been a rare sighting of a Painted Bunting at nearby Ulistac Nature Area Restoration (way out of it’s natural range) and I went to see if I could get luck this morning. This is was I found while out hunting for a bunting…

Maybe next time! This is a wonderful park though, full of birds and butterflies because of the wetlands and native plants – it smells heavenly, sages in the hot sun!