Thursday, May 25, 2017

Location is Everything

Now that the Arts in Stark goal has been reached and the campaign is over, now that the next football mural is underway and now that I have a few moments to write, it is time to say something because I saw something.

Yesterday I attended a meeting for a community event in the Pegasus Courtyard of the Cultural Center for the Arts. I parked in the lot out front and entered the building via the main entrance. The latest mural is underway. It made me sad. No, not because it wasn’t mine, that is business. The artist chosen is extremely talented and for sitting on a scissor truck way up on that wall, deserving of every penny so he can buy good life insurance. What made me sad was the location upon which all this time and money is begin spent.

That location is “our” wall. The Arts Wall…..the greatest location ever to hang banners (remember the beautiful Kimono one?) to advertise and promote the Arts which occur within those walls. In case you are not familiar, housed within those ochre colored bricks are dancers, singers, actors, painters….the Ballet, the Theater, the Art Museum, the VOCI and at one time the symphony offices. Now to be honest, not many “art types” are big time sports people as well.  Sports folks have their arenas and stadiums and fields. We have or stages, microphones and gallery walls.

So the location of this latest Eleven made me very sad. I would say angry but what is done is done and I’m too old to waste time on anger. Road construction makes me angry too, but so what, my emotions won’t change anything. No hard hat is going to pack up his cones and go home because I am getting wrinkles between the brows. Yes, I get the purpose of The Eleven project (read about it on the AiS site if you are not familiar with the details).  But why that spot? The location of a 40 foot tall football mural on our Arts complex just seems incongruous with our purpose of supporting the arts. There are a many, many brick walls which could have hosted this latest piece. It does no justice to the Peart Sculpture “Morning Breeze” sitting now in the shadow of Super Joe. I would certainly hope a future football sculpture does not land nearby.

Yes we are a football town. But by meeting the AiS fund drive goal, does that not also say we are an arts town too? Could we have not kept a few acres (or vertical square feet for that matter) as a clean slate for the promotion of the interests of those who do not punt, pass or kick? As I walked into the lobby of our arts complex, for a meeting related to a non-football community event, I felt as if we had been tattooed once again by the Titans of Turf. They have Mount Olympus going up just north of this area with tentacles spreading over schools and symphony halls and homesteads. I feel sad that we (the art types) have been branded with a permanent image on the skin of something whose soul has nothing in common with it.

The completed mural will be great. Who doesn’t love Big Joe, with or without his panty hose? I just wish it had not been located “right there” outside the main entrance….where tourists may not understand that the building is not part of the Village even though it has a big logo on it.  But fear not, we art types will tighten up our tutus, put on the pancake, and engage our easels despite how many times we get shoved aside.  

I know that someone is thinking yeah, jk, but what if it was your work going up on that wall? Excellent question and I am not sure I would feel much differently about the location. But like I said, the choice was not an option presented to anyone, it was just declared. Business is business. As an artist, if someone is willing to pay us for what we do, most likely we will chug the kool-aid and deposit the check whether we like the taste of it or not.  


PS – Congrats to the community for meeting the Arts in Stark goal and supporting those who live creative. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

"Mom Likes It!" at Gallery 6000


"Carousel" by Joe Mayes

"8mm"  by Kendall Roudebush

"Traveling Memories" by Carol Blundell
Gallery 6000 has returned! A new and improved space welcomes it first show “Moms Like It!”  I have quoted the show announcement from the http://artwach.blogspot.com site to save time. Tom Wachunas curated the show so he says it best.

(Quote) Located in the Conference Center Dining Room on the Kent State University at Stark campus (6000 Frank Avenue NW, North Canton), Gallery 6000 is pleased to announce “Mom Likes It!” This exhibit, on view through Friday, June 9, 2017, features an eclectic gathering of new works by seven Kent Stark Fine Arts students working in Painting III and Painting IV. These artists have been developing their aesthetic concepts and techniques under the steady guidance of Associate Professor of Painting, Jack McWhorter, who writes:

  “Building on the technical, formal, and conceptual abilities students have accumulated in previous classes, Painting III & IV aims to assist students in developing strategies required to begin making work independently. Students are expected to participate in an extremely ambitious and self-directed manner, working on projects outside of class more than they do during scheduled class times. Painting concepts are developed through the practice of consistently gathering source materials and recording personal observations.  This includes literal collection through sketchbooks, photographs, journals, and found objects in addition to less tangible resources such as dreams and memories.  Students are required to work longer on each project, allowing their ideas and interests to fully develop through the process of painting.”

The participating artists are: Carol Blundell, Mitch Bonifay, Noah DiRuzza, Samuel Dorando, Joe Mayes, Kendall Roudebush, and Robert Shultz. (End Quote)

Okay, my turn. The show has 22 pieces overall and the first impression is big, bright and beautiful as the space is well suited to showcasing larger, bold pieces. Since there are 7 artists with anywhere from 1 to 8 entries each, I chose one from each person about which to say a few words. I must admit I am not sure why the show has the title it does, but fortunately it dovetails with a Mother’s Day posting!

8mm by Kendall Roudebush greets you first if one walks the perimeter of the room. This acrylic on canvas work is comprised of layers of marks in blues, grays and black that overlap and overlay each other creating a surprising depth of field not appreciated with a quick look. You need to consider the marks (probably doodles to some folks) and the order in which they appear. They do not necessarily connect but rather build up a surface, one that would make a dynamic fabric print.

Carousel by Joe Mayes is an oil of bright colored shapes that do connect and entwine and merge from one to another. Don’t look for horses or other animals per the title however. Think movement, mechanics and perhaps a bird’s eye view of the energy produced by a carousel. Yellow halos and actions marks aid the visual vibration. The more I looked at this piece, a feeling of carousel music also emanated from the canvas.

Traveling Memories by Carol Blundell is reminiscent of surrealism in that seemingly unrelated images work together as a dreamlike landscape. Within this piece I found the corners of papers tacked to the surface, stacks of boxes that hold mementoes, items collected as souvenirs, parts of landscape photographs and a complex but well balanced composition. She could have lost control of this image if not for the smart placement of shapes and colors held together by the use of proper scale.

Mitch Bonifay has 4 pieces in the show. Not traditional paint on stretched canvas per say, but canvas fabric stretched within frames by use of cording. The technique is well suited to his imagery, which is somewhat “dark”, upon closer inspection. This method of presentation could veer towards Pinterest if not for what he depicts and the rather haphazard (but obviously thought out) use of the cording to weave the frame and content together both literally and figuratively.  Crystalline Serpent was my pick because of how the sinuous serpent echoes the cording and his use of light, shadow and semi translucent painting technique make this a very powerful image.

Robert Shultz has 8 works on the walls showing a wide range of techniques exploring the placement of shapes in space. Precipice is a study in blacks, whites and grays, incorporating volume studies, cut and layered areas and the juxtaposition of curves to angles. It becomes more complex the longer one studies the piece. I viewed all of his works carefully before selecting this one because it had the greatest contrast but also there was something…….which I only realized now when reviewing the image on my phone. Turn it 90 degrees to the left and the whole piece suddenly becomes figurative.

Black X Confronts Freak Show by Samuel Dorando is one of two he has in the show. Being on the older side, I had difficulty relating to the imagery, but artistically, he works well with the elements of composition. Repetition of shape, use of scale, eye direction, depiction of volume and form, are all found in this work. The more he works in this genre the more comfortable he will become with the placement of figures to tell the story as shown by the comparison of his two pieces already.  

Noah DiRuzza has the most developed voice of the group. His vision and style is well formed and all 5 of his entries are sophisticated indicators of where is his work will go as he continues on with this series. I chose Acid Precipitation to highlight because it just yells out from across the room. All the pieces are both atmospheric and liquid at the same time allowing the viewer to ignore the title and decide where to go and what to see. To me, Acid Precipitation felt like the view from our explorer satellite as it plunged between the rings of Saturn. I am sure we will see more of his pieces in upcoming shows around our area.


Gallery hours vary but best to avoid the lunch times. Mornings and afternoons are usually fine, just stop at the desk and let them know you are there to see the Gallery 6000 show.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

75th Annual May Show

"Sign Wave Swan Song"  by John Bruce Alexander
Yesterday was not Groundhog Day but it rather felt like it when I stopped in at the North Canton Little Art Gallery May Show. Full disclosure first, I missed the opening because we were traveling and I also did not get accepted this year (no surprise why not).  Rather than commenting about what is in the show, I think I would rather spend my words on the show itself. Perhaps it is time to rethink the May Show as it currently exists. Curator Elizabeth Blakemore and I had a long chat about this and I did warn her I would be speaking a bit honestly about my point of view.  Something I have not done in a long time (hence my blogging silence) because it seems that in today’s climate, the right to do that is becoming almost dangerous. So here are my observations broken down into topics…

Number of accepted entries: There are way too many. When a show has to be hung salon style on every wall, individual pieces become affected by their neighbors. Some artists feel “short changed” by their location, others have their works overlooked. The overall show would do better with fewer final works so each piece can have its own breathing room on the wall.

Too many categories: Eliminate categories all together. No more classifying works by media which leads to an issue in the next paragraph. The artist should be required to list ALL media used in a piece, not just one primary media in order to manipulate two pieces for awards in different categories even though both works are practically identical. The only classifications should be 2D and 3D, and even then, a 3D work MUST be viewable and complete on every side except the one it sits on. If one side has a hanging device for a wall, it is 2D.

Too many awards: I know we all want a trophy but the number of awards is getting out of hand. When a category only has perhaps 3 accepted entries and there are two awards in that category, a “good” piece is just as “good” as a great one that had to compete against perhaps 25 pieces from which to choose in another more popular category. Artwork should be able to be judged on its own merits, not by what it is made of. My suggestion would be offer a Best in Show, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place only, chosen from all the entries. Each juror then gets a Jurors Choice Honorable Mention (1 each) to honor that piece that they felt was deserving without compromise or input of the other juror. Fewer pieces and fewer awards would elevate the show in my opinion as it feels a bit like the county fair right now.  Everywhere I looked, somebody got a prize.

To D or not to D: I refer to digital entry submissions for jury. Don’t do it. One of the best aspects of jurying a show from actual entries is that we can’t “tweak” our pieces to get an edge. No boosting color, no misunderstandings on size, no missing out on textural details that the camera can’t capture and so forth. A good juror judges each entry on its own, not influenced by the location in the room, works located above, below or beside…. a good work of art will hold its own regardless of the neighborhood. Speaking of neighborhoods….

Presentation: Would you go to a job interview with stains on your shirt? Would you show up on a blind date at a 5 star restaurant wearing ratty jeans? NO! So do not submit work that has scratched frames, dust or dirt on the mats or work, fingerprints inside the glass, dirt across the top of your frame, layers of old entry tags on the back, loose framing materials, scratches across the surface….shame on us. This is your job interview, your blind date, your level of pride and professionalism to the juror…speak well of our area, don’t send shabby work as a representation of you as an artist. The curator is not the cleaning crew, take pride in ownership of what you created.

Who are the judges?: We don’t need to know ahead of time. Why? Because face it, when we do, we like to submit something that we think they will like to enhance our chances of getting accepted. It is just another ploy we use to game the system. A truly level playing field is one whose judgement is blind. Enter your best work and let it be judged on the merits under which it was created and presented. The resulting show will be reflection of the voices of the jury, not a yellow hued buffet where everyone submitted cheesy pieces because the judges love mac and cheese.

Framing: Yes I know we have one of the world’s best, most talented, framers in our corner of the world but there is a difference between exhibition framing and display framing. Some great pieces in the show are way “over framed”, more hotel lobby or high end foyer, than gallery show. Yes, they are beautiful but the artwork, though enhanced for display, were over shadowed as art. In cases where were the art is one with the frame, this does not apply of course. Are you selling the art or the frame? Having to get back your investment sometimes puts prices out of reach for the interested buyer. Many folks reframe our stuff anyway once they buy it.

I’ll stop for now….enough venting. I do want to point out some gems and I only have a few words left --- Pat Mother Waltz with “Herman Shepard”, a ceramic and suede sculpture in the showcase (best use of title and materials); Anna Rather’s “Spot Fish” (spot on framing for exhibition, great print too); Michael Nutter’s “The Man with the Pipe” (a beautifully rendered and sensitive drawing, bad location for appreciating the details, victim of too many entries); Tina Myers’ both “Forest” and “Grief” (perfect blend of format, materials and message in both cases); Russ Hench’s “Shoodle #4” (don’t know what a shoodle is, but I like it, best use of new methods to echo former methods, captivating); Tom Migge “Vase #L-105” (I am a girl of the woods so when one creates stunning work with my trees, ya got me.)

My personal best in show is John Bruce Alexanders’ “Sign Wave Swan Song”.  Wrongly over looked by the judges (when 9 of 12 awards in 2D categories are realism based, I understand).  Hard to describe and not to be missed. I think he left off a 1 in front or a 0 in back of his price. The work and creativity and time that went into this conceptual masterpiece is amazing.  You can’t just look at it, you have to “read” it, study the layout, absorb the color shift, and find the surprises…. He puts the “work” into the term “work of art”.


The gallery is looking great, hardwood floor, white walls, good lighting, security cameras, clean lines….very professional and rivals galleries in NYC that are the same size.  We are truly blessed to have this little gem in our own backyard.   

PS - There was not ONE untitled piece in the show...Snarky is a happy happy camper!! 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Shattered Expectations: Guaranteed

Concept painting for "The Eleven", moment #5  -  25" x 25" acrylic on canvas

Shattered Expectations: Guaranteed was the title (well, it is still the title actually) of my submission to the AiS call for a mural for project #5 of “The Eleven” series for the football commemoration throughout the downtown area. This time it was limited to submissions from only Stark County resident artists to give us a fair chance at representation. Of the 30 to 40 applications, (different numbers have been quoted) one was selected as the winner and 5 additional pieces got chosen to be bridesmaids. Dirk Rozich was crowned the winner….my fellow bridesmaids include Scot Phillips, Su Nimon, Tommy Morgan and Tim Carmany, names familiar to all of stark county who follow anything to do with art stuff. Rather than ugly taffeta gowns, we get a nice check…..nice touch and well received by all I am sure.

Being artists, we are of course extremely curious as to who was our competition and what did we each propose? As a creative community, we are aware of each other’s styles, skill sets, and concepts so we can guess but not be sure. That being said, I had no idea who D. R. was….or else I have seen his work but never bothered to read the name which is most likely the case as with the vault mural at Julz.  Anyway… I am reprinting my proposal statement and the concept canvas image (a nice 25” x 25” to add to the storage room) for anyone interested in what my submission was all about. My starting point was one of the offered considerations for the final work….that it be a dynamic piece of art so people, even those who have no interest in football, would want to come see it (or a paraphrase thereof). 

So I thought about my totally nonathletic family and what would make them stand there and look up at a building for a few minutes…at an image about football…(without resorting to a story about panty hose or fur coats). Hmmmm…that same thing that made this little kid sit in a dentist office waiting room knowing it was going to hurt but I couldn’t get this magazine at home (stop that, I was a kid…) Highlights!  Remember that page where pictures were hidden in a linear drawing? Find the ice cream cone in a tree, or the tire in a jungle…I loved that stuff!!  So behold…my bridesmaid for your perusal.


“Shattered Expectations: Guaranteed”
By Judi Krew

This painting is created in a “stained glass” style technique using bold colors and a bit of illusion. Many specific aspects of Super Bowl 3 are depicted as outlined below. The stained glass window is often associated with religious architecture so I consider it a subtle reference to football being like a religion to many people, a game being a moving experience and Joe Namath, well…almost a god to some fans. Joe Namath shattered the expectations of many people that day.  He had given a prediction that some in the media considered a break of tradition or appropriate behavior for players, hence the title of this piece. Technically, a stained glass window is held together by thin threads of lead between glass pieces all working together to remain balanced and stay intact, a distribution of weight and duties. Theoretically, a team works the same way…held together by everyone doing a small and specific part to make the big picture work. There are no paintings on public buildings in or around our area that use this style of art.

Below are the specific images found it my concept piece:

The logo for Super Bowl 3 appears in the upper left, under lights, to commemorate the NFL’s first season to use them. Color and line work create the illusion of lighting. An outline of a football is included in this area.

The score of the game is in the upper left with AFL inside the 6 of the 16, and NFL inside the 7 (scores for each league) and the year of the game, 1968, in the 1, of the 16 so it is placed next to the logo. An orange for the Orange Bowl forms the center of the 6 in the AFL score of 16. A linear Hall of Fame building is the hyphen.

The upper left corner is “shattered” (and left unpainted on the wall) so the wall itself shows through, creating the illusion of a stained glass window being on (or in) the wall.

Joe Namath is depicted with a “number one” hand gesture in reverse to point to the score (leading the eye to the shattered area) as if to say…I told you so. It is also “outside the box” for a reason. His image is rendered in the window looking directly out to the viewer and much larger than life using a combination of “glass” and painterly brushwork. His hand contains a linear Vince Lombardy Trophy.

The team logos are included by using the Jets helmet, angled like a battering ram, and the Colts horseshoe in the middle, almost as if hit by the helmet, but also either hanging on or falling down, however the viewer wishes to see it. The horseshoe is broken because they lost the game. A linear goalpost extends out of the helmet.

All the remaining spaces are filled with 11 football figures in simple linear renderings depicting moves common to a football game and representing the number of men per team on the field. Perhaps they are a bit reminiscent of the ones found on the iconic Hall of Fame bridge over Interstate 77. The outline of a bell is also found in the line work representing Tom Bell, the head referee of the game. The contrasting green along the lower edge represents the playing field.

I did opt out of painting it myself and would not have accepted the budget to do so….fear of heights and no experience at such undertakings made it seem like a good Spock choice.

Congrats to D.R. and my fellow runners-up!


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Can you follow this?

"What is this handwriting of which you speak?"

I was watching a show the other night, okay I’ll admit it, Americas Next Top Model….the new edition. This time (new network, new host, and new judges) the premise is to pick a winner by building the best “brand”.  The contestants are doing tasks and challenges to build their “brand”. It totally rotates around social media, how many followers they get, how many re-tweets etc… to somebody who doesn’t get it, this seems ____. I’ve inserted and deleted quite a few words but decided not to offend anyone so pick what you want.

They are all beautiful creatures and I looked up their bios, all a bit old for traditional new face models. Most are from regular towns with regular jobs but they are blessed with egos and confidence that most of us would consider a bit much, but in the business they wish to succeed, necessary qualities. Just what that business is, I have yet to figure out. They want to be famous for being famous by doing nothing of importance for the welfare of anybody else. They want people to follow them because of “who they are and how they look”.   They don’t really want a “job” where you have to show up and get dirty and be accountable. They want the “job” of being who they are because others want to be them. What happens when they are 56 like me? We have come a long way from the John Glenns and Jane Pittmans of the world.

I should have turned it off, but like a train wreak one must rubberneck. Now these are young women, our daughters and sisters and future female leaders right? They are in their mid 20’s, prime time to start making a difference (minus the pantsuit of course, I won’t abandon fashion that far). So on a recent episode they had to do some task of which I can’t remember but one poor thing was so flustered because (and I will quote as best I can remember)…

“OMG this is so hard! I wish I was back in LA. All you have to do is look cute and you get invited to all the best parties and get to be with the important people. New York is too hard, they expect you to talk to people! I have to talk to them to get them to invite me, but I’m cute, come’on, it not fair, its too hard.”

I am sure my text is missing a lot, I was too shocked to get it word for word. This is what we want for our youth? This is the LA point of view?  Now I have to somehow justify all this with what is happening in my own world, the online one I am attempting to build which unfortunately does revolve around fashion and image and social media.  At least my art roots are firmly ahold of this other world of mine. I see colors and textures and composition in what is being made and pictured. I don’t give a rats ass if anything is “on trend” (I hate that phrase with a passion because it is all BS). I prefer to deal with reality as in don’t go too short if your birthday candles take too long to blow out. Or tights…..they ARE NOT PANTS!!!! I am having a blast playing grown up Barbie with what I make and what I have to make what I make look good in a photo. Did you make it to the end of that thought? The only part of me you will see in a photo might be the toes of a gnarly sock that I forgot to crop out.

I guess I am no better than these waffle heads on the TV show. I am trying to build a “brand” I guess. The trademark for Hoard Couture has been approved and will be official posted this week by the US Govt office that does that stuff. I just pay the bill from the lawyer. I have a Pinterest page now for the fashion, a Fine Art America and Pixels pages for the art and production of products related to that, I have an ancient website for my career works that was what we all needed back in the day when exhibitions were my focus, and I have an online shopping site to market the Hoard Couture fashions both original and reimagined designs. There is also a Facebook page just for me, a Facebook page for the fashions and soon a Facebook page connected to Instagram only (or so I am being advised by my intern). All this means passwords and daily postings and managing data…. Heaven forbid anyone buys something then I will have to go into complete panic mode and find my paypal account and the item and put on some clothes to go to the post office!  Oh yeah, I have this site too and I know I am forgetting something, there is another place I am supposed to be but I can’t remember. I think I even forgot the point of this post.


Oh well, I’ll just end it now while I have some train still left on the track. I think my point was that all this social media stuff has changed our world in ways we cannot even begin to understand just yet, we need another generation to go by for comparison. But it is changing who we are, what we value, who we want to become and not necessarily for the better. There is a part 2 to this but that is for another post later.  In the meantime, if you want to find me, I am evidently all over the place, just not where you can really see me….and I am still in my jammies!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Dirty Little Secrets


Dear Blog,
I am sorry to have neglected you all these weeks and months like that one grape which falls out of the bag and rots in the corner of the drawer. I see you often, but sort of just grab what I need and go. So today I am writing to apologize for abandoning you since I have discovered all these dirty little secrets.

DLS #1 – Begin prolific is a bad thing. It was supposed to be a good thing. I am learning it would have been better to put down the brushes and scissors, and picked up more books. Reading only fills up the brain, not the basement.

DLS #2 – Being prolific is dangerous to one’s health. You see, all these created things have to be put into a cyber gallery space that requires hours and hours of typing. Hours and hours of typing leads to carpel tunnel pain. Pain keeps one away from typing so you poor blog site, get the short end of the straw. I know you will always be there on the screen, waiting patiently for me to return, but those cyber surfers are short on attention and need constant feeding.

DLS #3 – I really should write down all the great thoughts I have for blog ideas that happen to evolve during the night, but I’m just not that dedicated. It would mean waking the cat who then starts to howl thinking it is feeding time. Then the bladder kicks in because it hears the cat howling and thinks great, gotta go…now. So I don’t write ideas down for you blog, I just vow to remember them.

DLS #4 – I can’t remember much anymore. If I don’t write it down, I forget. Of course I also forget where I put the paper I wrote it down on. Let’s just blame this one on the cat again and move forward.

DLS #5 – People don’t really shop on line unless it is with a big company. Maybe they can’t find us little people. Maybe they don’t realize that I refuse (so far) to spend $ “boosting” posts. Maybe they don’t realize that I have yet to figure out Instagram which supposedly is essential to selling. I heard that about Pinterest. My wrist hurts just thinking about it. If thinking starts to hurt, I won’t be able to read, so I guess I’d have to go make more stuff. I think Catch 22 needs an upgrade….more like Catch 82….

DLS #6 – Okay, once one gets all their pictures taken, edited and uploaded without annoying backgrounds and distracting bodies (per trend), one comes to find out that now the pictures are supposed to be with people wearing stuff and in an environment. Really? So now I have to find people willing to pose and then do all that wrist action going through the process of data input again? Can I sue myself for workman’s comp?

DLS #7 – We live in a mobile world dear blog. Well you don’t. You just sit here in your blue W icon waiting for me to feed you words. But people do. Those same people who are supposed to be ordering merchandise from their mobile devices and wanting it shipped. I’m cool with that. I’ll ship you whatever you want to buy, but will you be someplace stationary long enough to get it? I can envision those drones chasing somebody down the street trying to drop off their package…like a scene from a Woody Allen movie.

DLS #8 – Dear blog, I hate to hurt your feelings but nobody reads you anymore. Not since I stopped talking about other people’s art. Plastic Jesus remains a big hit, but nothing else really interests anybody. It’s you and me Snarky. Maybe I should do fake review of shows that should have existed but didn’t. If it works for the Ruskies it should work for me right? This has potential……

DLS #9 – Bloggy, I did avoid you as well because of this tumultuous year. You are supposed to be a place for opinions and comment, but with all the vile rhetoric going around this year, I felt it best to lay low and not wake the sleeping cat.  Keep the claws in the paws, keep the tail low and go, ride the fence and hope everybody calms down…..

DLS #10 – I will put forth promises to you that I will write more. Don’t believe me. Staying home again is rather nice. The world is full of crazy drivers and distracted people so why should I venture out and write about a show that nobody will ever read when I could be sitting on my patio or walking the woods? Hell, I’m old enough to move to the Villages, shop on Senior Citizen’s discount day at many local retailers, and give young hooligans a stink eye without worrying about the resulting wrinkles. I even look forward to watching Hogan’s Heroes every night just so I can sing the theme song (yes, it has real words!)

DLS #11 - There are many more dirty little secrets about this online shopping and selling biz that I wish I knew then but I do know now…. However, if kids can learn common core math, then I can figure out cyber clouds. So Bloggy, while you wait for me to come back again, don’t feel like I have abandoned you. There are so many cool and funny things to write about, but between you and me lies an ornery cat.  


That’s about it for now Snarky blog. Thanks for listening (or recording I guess). See you soon (really, I’ll try harder). Love, me. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Circling the Airport


No, not literally. That phrase best captures where I am right now (for the whole 5 of you wondering). With the closing of a brick and mortar and a return to the home studio process, something happened. I think I retired (for now anyway)…. from the career which defined “me”.

In October, I was presented with the Alumni Gallery of Achievement (Hall of Fame if you will) Award from my high school. 5 of us were inducted. On stage, giving a speech, doing a recorded message for the in school TV station (sure a long way from the nerdy AV guy who hid in a dark room and knew how to magically work the film machine), engraved image on the wall for perpetuity, intro at the homecoming game…all those bells and whistles one would expect for being honored to have been busy and very successful for 35 years in a chosen profession. It was great….but it felt like an ending. Not a bad thing, but like an “okay, you can put the brushes down now.”

Couple that with the timing of empty nesting 6 years after the fact…..I was gone before the kids were….and it just feels weird. Now don’t go thinking I am going to go back to serving on committees and boards and special events and all that time absorbing activity…I am rather enjoying the emptiness.

But nature abhors a vacuum so I hear and down time has never suited me. Now I sew stuff, or rip it up and remake it, or cut things apart, try something new and may ending tossing in the dumpster. It is like creating a painting but without the cleanup. Some may think that rearranging garments is not as “impressive” or “worthy” as creating something on canvas.  Perhaps. But at least I don’t have canvases stacking up along the walls waiting to be disposed of by my kids if nobody wants them. Someday they can just drive a van to the local clothing donation center and say hasta la vista baby with no guilt attached.

Textiles (fancy word for garments and clothes so I sound more impressive) still require an understanding of line, shape, color, texture and space….especially when one never uses a pattern or guide. The elements of design still exist, only in a different form.  I am still working with my hands…more so now than ever before. My brushes were always between me and the surface. Now I am in direct contact with the media…I can feel each stitch and how the fibers are reacting. The colors, especially in denim, have subtle variations that can affect the look of a piece on the human body. Textiles have different weights to them just as watercolors are different than acrylics. The only downside is the number of pins and needles I lose on the floor, in the carpets, on the chair cushions……and the times I stick myself with various sharp objects. Sewing is far bloodier than painting!

Another reason I am circling is personal and related to family. I need to be ready to “go” at any time should someone older or younger than me need help. It is simple to turn off the machine and walk out the door. No clean up. Sometimes life is a holding pattern and other times we can land safely and disembark. My extended vacation downtown is over and I am back on a plane to a new adventure. No idea how long the flight will be, where it will take me or what lies ahead, but there are plenty of drinks and snacks on board and I have a window seat! Will I paint again? Absolutely, I miss it already and ideas are building up, but now is not the time. My supplies are in the overhead bin and I can’t get to them just yet. You will know when I land….and you can bet I’ll be well dressed. Until then, please check out the online shopping site at HoardCouture.com and the associated FB page Hoard Couture Original Denim. The Fine Art America merchandise and print site will be have new (old works) added to the inventory as well over the next several weeks. Plus I have to learn Pinterest, Snapchat and who knows what else…so knick knack patty wack give this old dog a bone and let’s learn some new tricks!