Sunday, January 29, 2012

Drawing Energy of Form

Sculptor Stan Smokler is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector series.

9" x 12"

"I am writing this after returning from NYC and visiting galleries.  

I find it almost impossible to enjoy one work that I see.. bits and pieces......but some time ago - perhaps 7 years  or so...I discovered a wonderful artist by the name of  Bernar Venet... and was spiritually moved by the way he used line; creating exciting movement in space.  

He did this by his ability to draw with "steel" both on paper and physically.  ....So, I purchased a work on paper from the artist  Bernar Venet's that captures the movement and energy of form.....Most sculptors cannot draw - including myself! ...but they can see the volume and complexity of the material ...I am thrilled with the work..."

About this week's Guest Blogger:
Stan Smokler is a sculptor, adjunct professor at DCAD and curator.  He also teaches an intensive weeklong welding workshop at his studio in the summer that I hear is awesome
(and HOT).  I also know that he is a passionate and skilled squash player when he is not welding, teaching, curating or looking at art.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This exists for me-

just have to find your path to it." 
bex, Leeway Foundation Transformation Award Winner '09

Participants in Nanci's Leeway Foundation
Art and Change Grant partnering with YoungMoms,
at the Garage, Kennett Square, PA

Last week I attended an informational evening at the Leeway Foundation regarding their Transformation Award.   This award is unrestricted. I was awarded a Leeway Art & Change Grant in 2010 which is project based.  

3 prior awardees sat on a panel with Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, the Program Director, they were bex, Ruth Naomi Floyd, and Magda Martinez.  All were generous with their time, information and words of wisdom.

Here are a few gems to keep close to your heart, whether or not this award is for you.

Tell a story- don't be afraid to go to the dark places. Be honest about the struggle.

Be truthful about your work in the most basic way. Double speak will fade away.

Give yourself time to get there. 

Answer this question; I am the most me when I am...

If you were offering this as a gift to someone, what would you want this gift to be?

Art through Social Change is through relationships. What's happening to the people who are with you?
What's happening to you? Why are you there together?

The Leeway Foundation is a tremendous resource for women and transgender artists living in the Philadelphia area.  They offer workshops, a great blog and numerous support sessions for those interested in applying for either their ACG or the Transformation Award.

What exists for you?  Are you on that path?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Visual Meditative Treat

Warm island thoughts on this frozen east coast day...

From the island of Kauai, this week's Artist as Collector post comes from A.Kimberlin Blackburn.
Michael Harada
Boy in Water, 1993
Acrylic on board
13" x 13"
This is Michael Harada's Boy in the Water.

I bought it from a show in Honolulu in the early '90s
I was just taken with the contemplative feeling
surrounded by the ocean
feels to me like love

its a visual meditative treat especially when i can't get  into the ocean
as it reminds me how much i love just hanging in the water

Kim's work is my collection, as is Mike's. Great memories of art making, exhibiting and being in a critique group than met on a regular basis. Mike Harada also shaped and glassed my beloved longboard! 
Nanci & Her board, Wailalua, HI
Joe Solem Photography
Artwork on board by Nanci,
Shaped and glassed by Mike Harada
Note to Kim, Mike and Joe... Lucky you live Hawaii. (but you know that) and Mahalo, Kim.

What's on your walls that reminds you of where you love to be?

About this week's Guest Artist Blogger:
A.Kimberlin Blackburn is a painter, sculptor, bead, fiber and installation artist.  She also lives on the beautiful island of Kauai and grows things. We met many moons ago when we exhibited together on Oahu at the Art Loft and her work graces my home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Generating an Art Buzz for an Altered Book Workshop

A hunter & gatherer by nature, I am in the process of gathering materials and samples for my upcoming Altered Book Workshop at DCAD (Delaware College of Art & Design) on Saturday, March 3, 2012.
My Gratitude Journal gets a facelift
Selection of Altered Books in progress
This too, Shall Pass (detail)
Altered Book
The college has a catalogue, both in print and online, but we all know that there are so many things vying for our attention- and time, that as artists, we often need to educate, inform, and yes, market our classes and workshops.

Here are some things I plan to do.

Create a Facebook Event.

Blog about it.

Blog some more.

Create an email blast.

Create flyers to be distributed on DCAD campus,  Hockessin Book Shelf (owner, Rebecca has even offered to generously donate old books to be altered for workshop participants), Tideline Gallery,
and Willow on State, Kennett Square, PA.

And of course, offer a link online to register. Course # FA0204

Any suggestions? What have you done in the past to generate a buzz on a workshop or class that you have taught?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Timeless Travels and Inspiration

This week's Artist as Collector is from photographer Niki Berg who sent me this post from a stopover en route to India where she will be traveling this month.
Magdalena Abakanowicz
from Facing Sculpture
©2012RicardoBarros from

"Hello from Germany,

Here I am sitting in a cafe in the airport waiting for my flight to Chennai, India. The reality of being a traveler is already felt with the awareness of a very large and diversified world to explore. Time has become timeless somehow. Traveling through multiple time zones and feeling fluid enough to function in the present.  I hope I will feel this way for the next leg which is even more dramatic.

Some years ago I read about a workshop being given by Ricardo Barros on "Marketing Your Photos". It was given in Cape May, New Jersey, where I had never been.  It was a marvelous experience. Richardo is a wonderful person, photographer and teacher. 

We did a trade of photographs and I chose two of the wonderful and inventive portraits from the project "Facing Sculpture". One of which is this photo of Magdalena AbakanowiczShe is an amazing sculptor. I chose this portrait for her magnificent face and satisfying expression, as though she just finished one of her magical pieces.  Her expression says "life is full and perfect." 

Thanks NIki- safe and wonderful travels... looking forward to seeing the new work that will transpire from your adventure!

What is your collection that speaks to you of joy and satisfaction?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wyeth's World

Little Stenning Farm
Landenberg, PA 
Little Stenning Farm
Landenberg, PA
These two photos are of a farm I walk past with my dogs.
Remind me of the beauty the Wyeth's found in
this area.
Earlier this week I visited the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA for the first time. Known for its Regional and American Art, and comprehensive collection of three generations of Wyeths, located in a renovated old Grist Mill, it is a beautiful setting not too far from my home.

There were treasures on every floor. I pulled out my "cheaters" for the Still Lifes (with amazing trompe l'oeils) and Portraits, and was then, drawn into the Wyeth's world.
N.C. Wyeth from
Treasure Island
I love the light and design
in this painting. The colors
in the painting which is at the museum are

All 3 generations impressed me with their undeniable craftsmanship and skill. I found myself drawn into N.C. Wyeth's paintings for Treasure Island (Pirates, Adventure and fabulous dramatic light!) and studying Jamie's draughtsmanship and composition.

But, it was Andrew's work that moved me- almost to tears.
Andrew Wyeth
It was his drawings and studies for his paintings alongside the paintings - that I could see, not only his technical abilities, but his humanity.  He painted his farmlife in Pennsylvania, his home in Maine, and the people and animals who touched him.

It was not trite, or sentimental, just a lifetime of looking, working - and loving.

Doesn't get any better than that.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Little Corner

This week's contribution to the Artist as Collector Series is from the heartland of America.  Located in Nebraska, Patty Scarborough, artist and blogger sent in this week's post.

Happy Corner from the art collection of
artist Patricia Scarborough

"(Here is) ... one photo holding 3 of my favorite pieces of art.
The box is from Mary Linnea Vaughan of Sonoma County CA.  The little bowl on top was turned by Harold Adams of Grand Island, Ne. and the alcohol reduction vase was created by Leroy von Glan of Norfolk, Ne.

Why?  There's something happy and casual about these pieces. I know the artists personally which gives them a deeper resonance.  I hide little items in the vintage art box like little secrets just for fun, acorns, a tiny china bell, a feather.  They look beautiful together on a desk my grandfather made decades ago.  It's a happy little corner in my house."

I love learning about new artists, seeing their work and... peeking into their homes!  Hope you do, too.  Thanks Patty for opening your door.

On your walls-  or in your corner...Where is your happy corner or sacred space?

Friday, January 6, 2012


Stone & Fork on Seaglass
Wire, pulp, encaustic collage
8" x 6" x 4"

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breath more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours! ”
Swedish Proverb -

Love this... came into my email box on April 5, 2011 from  You could also say "Talk less, LISTEN more... to others and to your true self.

Make art, make art, make art... my new mantra. Off to my studio....

Have a wonderful First Friday of 2012.  How will you be celebrating that today or this evening?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Seeing Red

New Year. New Post. And for guest blogger, painter Denise Bellon West - in the coming days, New Home and Studio.

Here's Denise's selection for this week's Artist as Collector Series.  As you can see, the painting is off the wall and ready to be crated for the move to its new home.

Phase Blanket
Acrylic on Canvas
©2012David DeVary

I knew I had to have this painting the moment I saw it. I saw the color, it made me gasp, and that was that. The blanket was bright red; the woman was beautiful; she was blond (being one, I’m maybe a little partial to blonds); the stripes and angles energized the painting for me. But mainly, it was that RED!!! Or maybe the stripes!! No, it was the beautiful blond woman, with her coy look!! No, the red!! 
In fact, it was all those things.  It was painted just for me. 
It was priced VERY high, for me, (heck, my first car – a Toyota Celica - cost less than this, brand new!), but I knew I had at least that much in my checking account. I didn’t care. I should have haggled on the price, at least a little (I will never hear the end of it from my daughter and my husband, who were with me at the time and thought I’d lost my mind!). But all I could think of was that I wanted to see this painting every day. It would excite my eyes every time I saw it.
         That was several years ago, and it still does. 
         Thank you, David DeVary for the spark this painting adds to my life.  

Good luck in your new home Denise!

What work of art adds spark in your life?