Sunday, August 26, 2012

Never Tire of Looking at This- Artist as Collector

Hawaii painter and curator, James Kuroda is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.
Whipper Snapper, 2008
Recycled rubber bicycle inner tubes
collection of James Kuroda
about eli:
eli (pronounced L-E) baxter is an award winning hawaii based artist who creates works in various media and also does site specific installations.

i really enjoy this sculpture because of where it takes me. i travel to a place that is both fun and a bit dangerous. i also appreciate the intricate crafts(wo)manship involved in its creation. it's art that i never get tired of looking at.   

James Kuroda has been an integral part of the Hawaii art scene in many facets.  I first met James when he worked at Hawaiian Graphics in Honolulu where I would buy all my art supplies. Right next to the register was this fabulous little painting that I used to look at all the time.  Before I left Hawaii, I decided I couldn't leave the island without it. 

Here it is many years later on the mantel in my house, still making me smile.
Shoe Salesmen, 1991 (on right)
mixed media on canvas
6" x 4"

What's on your walls or in your collection that you never tire of looking at?

I'd love to see what's in your collection? Post a comment below and I will tell you how you can be a guest blogger for my
Artist as Collector Series.

Pay it forward.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bloom Where You are Planted

Bloom Where You are Planted

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:...

Ecclesiastes 3 has always resonated with me as a mantra of patience and an attempt to bring some understanding or at least acceptance of timing and how things happen at their own rhythm, which may or may not, align with our desires.

This summer marks the end of our 4th year and the beginning of our 5th year here in Pennsylvania. It takes a while to feel at home in a new place. Even if you were up for the move, the change, the adventure. The move itself takes its toll- the packing, the unpacking- still haunts my dreams at night. (remember the naked in school dreams?  well now my dreams are of boxes and rooms that I have forgotten to pack!! "how do I move all that stuff??))

Then, there is the settling in, finding a place for everything in your new home. This includes, finding your place in the community.

That takes time, can't rush it. You can put yourself out there, or not. Regardless, I have found it takes at least 2 years to settle in, and beyond, to figure things out.  When I first moved to Hawaii I loved it, but it  didn't feel like home at first. Just a fabulous vacation- not so bad.  I gave myself 2-5 years and sure enough by the 5th year it was HOME.

So as we begin our 5th year here, the first years didn't quite feel like vacation, and last year was memorable in a challenging way, but now, I know the kids are all settled in, loving their teams, school and friends... and for me - I am optimistic and excited.   Just as this 5th year here begins, in the past week I applied and interviewed for the docent program at DCCA, and connected with another artist and printmaker at the Center for Creative Arts in Yorklyn, DE.  I am also taking the time to schedule in what is important in my life- and that includes appreciating the beauty of this area for the time that we are here.

Bloom where you are planted.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Art for Protection in Collection

Hawaii based artist Dorothy Faison is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.

Most of the work I have are antiques and Oceanic artworkI thought I'd show an 18th or 19th Century engraving of animals or birds (have a few) but then I saw these pieces which have been very influential in my "protection" series and got me into working on copper. 

These were purchased in Bolivia in about 1965/66 and given to me by my mother.
St. Joan of Arc
Oil on copper
7" x 5"
Bolivian (prob. or Latin American)
artist unknown
St. Francis of Assisi
Oil on copper
7" x 5"
Bolivian (prob. or Latin American)
artist unknown
They were made to be pinned up over the bed while traveling.

Oil on copper

Oil on copper

These two pieces are part of Dorothy Faison's protection series which were influenced by the work in her collection. 

Dorothy lives and works in Honolulu. She was born in NYC and then lived in South America for several years as a child before settling with her family in Hawaii. She is also the creator of the Historical Lawnboat Society.

"red star at night- sailor's delight, red star at morn- sailor's take warn..."

what hangs above your bed for protection?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Aha! Moment

My "gathering nets" are evolving in the heat of these summer months. It seems they are morphing into hives, serving as both a sanctuary as well as, a holding and filtering vessel.  The original wire, pulp and encaustic structures function more as skeletal supports and inner collections. These organic forms have become encased in netting (ok pantyhose- thanks to a family connection to hosiery, and lots of it) that have been, cut, burned and sometimes embellished. Much like the skin that covers my body (though no piercings- yet.) 

(Note: writing this is one of those self realizations and aha! moments. ah the power of writing about your work)

This evolution is both natural and surprising. There it is again. The body, home, and sense of place all finding its way into my work.  With that in mind, I felt that these nets needed to be in nature, where I am most at peace.  


And here in the Delaware Valley Region of the country that place is in a preserve where I walk with my dogs in and around the creek.
Finding a place in the sun with cool water and lovely shadows.
A sense of peace, a sense of place.
Add caption
The journey is the destination.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Move over Michael

As the 2012 London Olympics wrap up today several things have struck me.

Swimming Eye to Eye
acrylic, pastel on paper
42" x 60"
First, how about those bodies? Incredible. These athletes are ripped. Muscle after muscle. Beautiful to look at, to watch in motion, to aspire to (a long shot perhaps.)

Secondly, their discipline and commitment to their personal goal. It seems that you can have anything you want if you want it badly enough, are willing to put in the time, sweat, blood, and give up everything else.  Of course, not everyone is on the podium with the gold around their neck. We all know about "curve balls", life's lessons, and just plain- "it may not be your turn- or your path."

But it also occured to me, and reiterated something I believe, that we all have the ability to touch someone else in ways we may never even know.

Mr. Santiago & Pigeon Coop, 1991
Ranch Camp Series
 During lunch this week a friend shared with me that her 8 year old son was in summer camp. Petrified of swimming, he clung to the shallow end with dear life.  Watching Michael Phelps swim with ease, grace, power and superhuman strength, little Cary swam across the pool and back shortly after, because "he wants to be like Michael Phelps." Now there is only one Michael Phelps with more medals than anyone in Olympic history (22), but maybe you're a teacher, a neighbor, a friend (I bet you are at least one of those) and you just never know how something you do or say can touch someone or inspire someone in a wonderful way.

Last month when I was back visiting Hawaii, I went to see Mr. Santiago, my neighbor- and muse for my Ranch Camp Series while a graduate student at UH.  As a neighbor, he was warm, kind and generous.  I loved his stories, his smile, his animals and his junk (most of the time.)  All became part of this series in paintings, drawings, prints and mixed media wall sculptures.  Days short of his 80th birthday, when I stopped by recently for a short visit, he "kind of" remembered me,  
Mr. Santiago with Kaala, 2012
but I will never forget him. Michael Phelps? amazing, yes, but Mr. Santiago inspired me in ways he will never know. A champion in my heart.

Who has touched your life in a memorable way, knowingly or not?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Belonging Together- Artist as Collector from Israel

Israeli artist Hagit Shahal is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector series.
Woman in Studio
Oil on masonite
46 x 33 cm, 18" x 13"
In April 2010 I had an exhibition at Stern Gallery in Tel Aviv in which I was forming a dialogue with chosen classic paintings form the gallery collection.
One of the paintings was a beautiful small piece of Mane Katz, a known Jewish artist. This painting inspired me to create a work of my own as a dialogue. The two works hung together in the gallery- they looked so belonging to each other.

At the end of the exhibition, Monday noon time, after taking my work back to my studio, I came home, and my husband came towards me and handed me Mane Katz's painting…
"these paintings had to stay together, so I had to buy it"

Hagit Shahal is a painter and printmaker living and working in Tel Aviv.