Sunday, September 30, 2012

Basement Find Inspires this Artist

Hawaii based artist Karen Gally is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector series.
Gouache on board
12" x 12"
collection of Karen Gally
I found this painting in the basement of my grandmother's house in Philadelphia as I was organizing her estate sale in the 70's.  When she was about 68,  the house-  a small brick bungalow and it's contents were bequeathed to her by her boyfriend, a traveling magician. 

At the time, I was living in Maryland.  I didn't know anything about tropical flowers and assumed the artist had taken liberties making the anthurium curvacious and the white ginger broken at the stem.  The painting was a bit dusty and had acquired a water stain in the right hand corner, but I loved it for it's vintage look and kept it. It has no date or title but has a very clear signature of inez in lower case with the dot over the i as a circle.

Years later I moved to Hawaii and understood how the artist captured these very real tropical flowers.  There is a mastery of color, balance, and romance, with beautiful fluid brush strokes that are simple and expressive. The taupe colored background is the unpainted color of the mat board. had the picture matted and framed with Koa wood. 

I have tropical flowers all around my garden. Images of flora pervade my art in the form of appliqued art quilts, fabric collages on wood  panels, and even imaginary botanical graphite drawings. This piece is wonderful to glance upon daily and surely has influenced my own style of eloquence and color choices.

Karen Gally lives and works on Kauai, Hawaii.  Her lush and intricate quilts, paintings and drawings are represented by Galerie 103 owned by artist Bruna Stude in Poipu, Kauai. In addition, this week, on October 4th  Evolution: Mixed Media Works by Karen Gally  opens at the
Honolulu Museum of Art First Hawaiian Center on Bishop Street. Nineteen works of the last ten years will be displayed through January 30 2013. For more info, Karen can be reached at

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Recipe for Burnt Offering

Next Sunday I will be teaching a workshop at DCAD called Mixed Media Mash-Up.  A perfect opportunity to bring out your found objects and other materials that somehow "spoke to you" but weren't sure what you would do with it.
Burnt Offering, 2005
Encaustic, plastic, nails on wood,
 12" x 12"

"Creative insights often occur by making connections between ideas or experiences that were previously unconnected."
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

Burnt Offering is part of a series I did in response for surgery for breast cancer.  The tree cutoffs were a metaphor for loss and the materials that I used with each one varied.  This piece began with a floral plastic placemat that melted in the drawer below my oven when I used the self cleaning setting. Everything else fell into place with that.

Give yourself the time and space to find connections that Sir Ken is referring to in the quote above from his book, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative.  

Come join me Sunday, September 30 from 1-4 at DCAD at my Mixed Media Mash-Up workshop.
A sure fire recipe for the unexpected!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pressure Prints - Just for You

Minnesota based artist Diana Eicher is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.

Just for You, 2009
Pressure Print

I coordinate the Printmaking and Papermaking areas at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and was working at the school art sale last November, 2012. It was there that I saw Rachel Nusbaum’s work. Rachel had been a student at MCAD and I had seen her prints before.

There are hundreds of prints at the Art Sale, but for some reason, these caught my eye. These were pressure prints that Rachel had done in a class on the Vandercook press, and I knew that I had to buy them. I decided to buy several of the prints so that I could have option of framing them all together or frame them each independently. 

I love the colors she chose, and the themes that she used in this series. With their small size and the pressure printing technique, she created very unusual prints that I found very unique from the rest of the work. I put them to the side, and at the right time, I purchased them when the Art Sale crowd was at a minimum. 

Diana Eicher is a printmaker and paper cut artist. She recently had a solo exhibition of her work in Shanghai, China at Donghua University.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Born Again Lamps

New York based artist Rebecca Kelly is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series
Recycled spoons and found objects
17"(h)  x 16" (w)
Collection of Rebecca Kelly

I was curating "transFORMations: Making art from recycled and reclaimed materials" for the Bucks County Community College Artmobile and I knew I wanted Dumpster Diver Ellen Sall's lamps in the exhibition. I travelled to the Dumpster Diver temporary gallery in South Philly and fell in love with a menorah Ellen had made out of silverware. 

It reminded me of a childrens' book that told a story about Jewish prisoners in a concentration camp who put together stolen spoons to create a menorah to celebrate Hannukah in the darkest of times. 

I had to have the piece- but, you guessed it- it was sold. 

Ellen kindly offerred to make a new menorah which was in the exhibit. I had to wait a long time to actually get the menorah (the Artmobile exhibit traveled for two years around Bucks County) but it was worth the wait. The piece now graces our Manhattan studio apartment. 

Rebecca Kelly is a mixed media sculptor and book artist who draws upon her experience as an actor and teacher, as well as a storyteller, to create her work as a visual artist. Rebecca is also currently expanding her oeuvre into textile explorations when she is not curating, teaching or doing her own dumpster diving.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Empty and Full with a Fresh Eye

Virginia based artist, blogger and teaching artist Donna Iona Drozda is this week's guest blogger for the
Untitled, 2010
Mixed media collage
8" x 8"
Collection of Donna Iona Drozda

My artist pick is Sharmon Davidson…the piece in my collection is 'untitled' but I find myself calling it  'Empty and Full' since those words are prominent in this mixed media collage.

I find myself drawn to all of Sharmon's work.  I see this piece in my collection with a fresh eye each time I take in the layers of color, the calm, the juxtaposition of geometric/meditative imagery. 

The words that Sharmon has included are smart and provocative. I'm a fan and so happy to be able to share her worldview with your readers.

In addition to her studio work Donna Iona Drozda, Donna is busy with a public art project she designed, Life in Transit for "women who have liberated themselves from domestic violence, abuse and poverty," her rich and inspirational blog: Following the Moon, and all her workshops

Donna says this about her life/work:
My vision is to live a natural life, in harmony with the rhythms of nature, creating and sharing a balanced physical, emotional and spiritual environment where true creative wonder resides.
My vision is to turn scared into sacred inspiring the expression of joyful creative gifts and talents thereby 'Making Life the Master Peace'.

Thanks Donna for this... and so much more.

Whose work fills you up with a fresh eye?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fall Into Art- Workshops

Collaborative Mail Art (detail)
Nanci Hersh
Donna Payton
Meta Arnold
According to the Roman calendar, the first day of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere does not begin this year until September 22. However, Labor Day weekend is upon us, and with that the transition to Fall begins. I also love all the energy that comes with this month.  Back to school, back to a routine and the art world comes alive with opportunitites to see (Rafael Ferrer retrospective this month at Lancaster Art Museum) and study art wherever you are.  I am excited to be teaching 3 workshops this fall at DCAD (Delaware College of Art and Design)  as part of a new series.

Arts and Crafternoons: Sundays at DCAD

Join artists and designers to take part in fun make-and-take activities that get you out and into an artistic environment where you will be inspired to create.  All makers, creators, crafters and those who wish to take a few hours to learn something new are welcome.  Come prepared to experiment and have fun.

No registration fee is required to attend these workshops. 

You can sign up for one or all three.  And there is a 10% discount if you sign up for the whole series (there are 6 in total with three other wonderful artists.)

Collaborative Mail Art (detail)
Nanci Hersh
Donna Payton

Mixed Media Mash-Up
Instructor: Nanci Hersh 
Sunday, September 30, 1 PM – 4 PM 

Tuition: $40 
What can you do with old ticket stubs, maps, ribbon, paint, 
ink, found objects, wax, tape and more? Create a beautiful, 
poetic or mysterious mixed media mash up in 2-D or 3-D and 
amaze yourself with new ways to create. 

ALTErED booK WorKShoP 

Instructor: Nanci Hersh 
Sunday, October 14, 1 PM – 4 PM 
Tuition: $40 
Combine painting, collage, stamping, transfer techniques, 
photomontage and recycled books to create an intriguing new 
work of art. 

ThE PAinTErLy PrinT: MonoTyPE WorKShoP 
Instructor: Nanci Hersh 
Sunday, November 4, 1 PM – 4 PM 
Tuition: $40 
Using a tabletop press, explore and create one-of-a-kind prints 
with Plexiglas, ink, found objects and an assortment of papers. 
Explore color, textures and collage in a direct and spontaneous 
way. This technique lends itself to improvisation and is suitable 
for all ages and levels of artistic ability. 
are included in tuition and participants are welcome to bring 
their own materials to further personalize each project. 
No registration fee is required to attend these workshops. 

Sunday afternoons- a perfect time to carve out for yourself to take that idea or old book or found object to an altered state- and set the tone for a week of inspiration!