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It all began when my aunt gave me, "The Tyger Voyage" for my 14th birthday...
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I guess I feel like ranting today, so consider yourselves warned, dear readers.
I was just looking around on Pinterest last night, and found a few links to parenting blogs, one recommended '13 great books for kids about artists',. Well, that seems great, until upon looking further I saw that only ONE was about a female artist. Only one.
Where are the books for kids about WOMEN artists?
There are plenty of women artists out there. The ratio of female to male students at art schools has always been disproportionately female. Yet galleries and museums still show a majority of art made by men.
Unless your name is Frida or Georgia, you don't exist in the world of children's books. Even though the majority of editors at publishing houses are women.
I am not saying that there are too many books about these two women artists above, btw. I think these books are all particularly beautiful and well-written. (The last one, Through Georgia's Eyes, was written by my friend Rachel Rodriguez!)
I'm just saying that I think there are plenty of women artists who deserve their own biographies, instead of continuing to be categorized as 'women' artists, and given only a page or two in a book shared with others.
P.S. The reception at Collector gallery
was great fun on Friday night. Thanks to all my friends and family who came to join me! My work will be up until the end of April.
It's all about birds and bugs and springtime...
Hope to see some of you this Friday night, 6-8 pm !
2950 College Avenue
OK, so this is a little late, but here goes.
I like to use blown eggs so I can keep them. ( I blow them out before dyeing, and cover the hole up with a blob of wax before dropping into the dye. Traditional eggs are blown after dyeing, it is easier to dye an unblown egg, as it's heavier and will sink into the dye, but klutzy me is too good at dropping things to even consider this method.)
Here are my dyes above. I get them at The Caning Shop
in Berkeley. They have kitskas, below, and beeswax blocks, as well. All your pysanky needs. Some day I'll splurge on an electric kitska, which keeps the wax hot, to paint it on more quickly. Seems a bit like cheating, though. I love the slow process, and the wonderful smell of the beeswax. (That blackish rectangle next to the candle below is beeswax.) How it works: you heat up the metal kitska in the candle, scoop up a bit of melting wax into the hot little funnel, and draw on the egg with it, the wax comes out the tip of the kitska in a line.
Pysanky is like batik, if you understand that concept. You draw on the egg (or fabric, with batik) with dye, using the kitska. Then, put the egg in dye. The dye doesn't go wherever you've painted the wax. This is after dying, below.
Now, you can put more wax on, or melt all the wax off with the candle, as I've done here below.
For the pink egg below; first I drew my design on a brown egg with wax, then put the egg in pink dye, next I covered up the roses I wanted to stay pink, and put the egg into orange dye.
Lastly, I melted all the wax off.
Really fancy eggs take a very long time, as they are dipped in many colors. Traditional Ukrainian eggs start with white eggs, dipped first in yellow , then orange, red, green, purple, and ending with black.
Here are some links for more info:
It's so much fun, you should give it a try!
In case you can't read that text above:
Art Opening Friday April 12, 6-8 pm
Collector Art Gallery
2950 College Avenue
Can you tell which painting above is mine?
We took a trip to the DeYoung museum on Saturday, to see the Girl with the Pearl Earring exhibit. Gorgeous paintings and Rembrandt prints. I highly recommend it.
Afterwards, we walked through the museum a bit. I found this beauty above, a mahogany sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett. So strong, so gorgeous. A perfect image for International Women's Day.
I decided the next time I go to the museum, I will count all the work by women artists.
I'm afraid of what I will find, or rather, what I won't find.
Yet I did find Anti Mass, by another woman, British artist Cornelia Parker. You really have to see it in person, to get the texture, the way it hangs, the shadows. The pieces hanging are burnt wood, from a church in Kentucky, set by an arsonist. Yes, loaded with symbolism.
She does lots of installations that are floating in air. Look her up, her work is fascinating.
Saturday I spent four hours at Studio Seven Arts Gallery in Pleasanton, demonstrating my gouache resist painting technique. Never having done this before, I wasn't sure what it would be like to paint in public.
It turned out to be really fun! Surprisingly, I started and finished an entire painting , and started work on another. AND managed to talk to quite a few curious visitors. Here I am above, with my aunt Jane Taggart, a marvelous painter herself. ( Look her up, her landscapes are beautiful!)
Here's my painting above... just before I inked it...
and just after inking above...
Here it is after it's been washed off. I'll go in and touch up a few things...
Here's what I worked on in the gallery. Lots of little birds... more to come on those later!
It was such a fun day, and downtown Pleasanton is a charming, old-fashioned town.
I will definitely be going back.
My paintings will be up for 3 months, so if you're out that way, stop in and take a look!
Happy Spring! Well, it sure feels and looks like spring around here. Plum and cherry blossoms bursting out, daffodils, even a rose in my garden. Such a warm spring is a bit strange,
where is the rain?
This Saturday, March 2nd, I'll be out at the gallery downtown, from 10am-2pm, demonstrating my gouache resist painting technique.
If you are in the area, stop by and take a look. I'm told there's a great farmer's market going on right outside the door.
Here's an illustrator who's been around a long time, but I've just learned about her.
is still alive, I believe. Born in Vermont, and mostly raised in New York City, she has lived most of her life on a farm in Maine. In 1939 she had her first solo show at MOMA in New York.
She was hired in 1945 to illustrate The Little Fisherman, above. Written by Margaret Wise Brown, this was her first book.
I just love her chickens! She loves to paint animals and farm life.
She has gone on to write and illustrate over thirty children's books.
Her artwork is in permanent collections of many museums. She continues to paint and exhibit her work today. Some of her books have been reissued recently.
"I have long felt that a child raised without art is as surely deprived as a child raised without love," she said.
Look her up, her work is wonderful!
Seems appropriate for this week, don't you think? It was gorgeous and sunny over the weekend, and now the temp has dropped and clouds have rolled in. I'm stuck at home with a cold. Time to get out my long-abandoned knitting and watch a movie. Have a great week!
PS I now have paintings for sale at Studio Seven Arts
in Pleasanton, CA. I'll be out thereSaturday March 2nd, from 10 am-2pm
, demonstrating my gouache resist painting technique.
Happy year of the Snake! Sounds foreboding, doesn't it? Maybe that's why I made this little guy kind of cute. Hmmm. I do love February, Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day,
all that RED, my favorite color!
Mine has started with a terrible cold. Sniffling along, I'm managing to get a few things done here today. Mailing out valentines has been a priority. So much more fun than doing taxes, don't you think? Lots of that going on here, as well. And chatting with the boy back east who survived the snowstorm just fine, except for dropping his phone in a snowbank. Life without texting is proving to be very difficult. Makes me laugh. I think he is living on facebook right now. How technology has changed our lives in such a short time!
Here's a little growing heart to cheer you up.
Happy Valentine's Day to you, dear readers!
Next post I'll tell you all about the two exhibits I have coming up...
Have a great week!
Here's a little preview of what I've been working on...
And, if you haven't seen this yet and are a Downton Abbey fan...'Sesame Street' takes on 'Downton Abbey' with 'Upside Downton Abbey' [Exclusive video]
A new year, new beginnings. I started taking a Pilates class. Ooo my muscles are sore. But it's a good sore. I've earned that soreness.
And I took a business class for artists last weekend. It was geared towards fine artists, but there was good info, and ideas for getting organized, making and keeping goals.
The next day I got an email that I've been invited to be in a gallery show. How's that for timing? More to come on that later, but it'll be at Collector Gallery
, on College Avenue in Berkeley, in the spring.
Today is Inauguration Day, another beginning. I got up to watch the events. I wanted to here what Obama would say, and I admit I love to see what Michelle and her girls are wearing. I LOVE those solid, rich colors, fuschia, lavender, navy blue, and Grandma in peach. Gorgeous together against the backdrop of winter.
Beyonce and James Taylor? Terrific.
And Richard Blanco'
s poem, One Day
. Here is the last stanza...
We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.
It's hard to get back in the swing of things after a vacation. For me, it almost always begins with a list...groceries to buy, studio to clean and organize, projects to finish...before I can get down to some real work. This weekend I'm taking a business class for artists, something I've been needing to do for a while now. Getting organized and motivated for the year ahead.
The tree painting above may look familiar. It needed some leaves.
One more thing to cross off the list.
Happy New Year to you, dear readers. How was your 2012?
Mine was really pretty good, now that I look back on it. Highlights:
- Had 2 exhibits of my work.
-Hosted an art sale in our garden. We had so much fun, it may become an annual event.
-Set up a family etsy shop. We actually sold a few things, too.
-Made more money from my artwork than ever before!
-Finished grad school: I now have 5 picture book biographies I am excited to send out into the world in 2013.
-Helped our boy finish high school and go off to college. Sent him across the country. He thrived. We survived.
-Celebrated our daughter's 21st birthday, and watched her grow into an amazing filmmaker.
-Moved into a beautiful new art studio where I teach. Trying to remember where we've put everything.
-Saw lots of art at galleries, Art Murmur, museums.
-Traveled: New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, Cazadero, Half Moon Bay, the Sierras of California.
-Turned 50! Celebrated with friends near and far.
-Bought a new computer. This is so much more intense than it sounds. Eventually, I got it all working....by myself. I am quite proud of that.
-Kept up the blog. It's been visited 23,477 times. Wow! My posts about women artists have been the most popular, with Rosa Bonheur leading the pack. Expect more in 2013.
Happy New Year to you all!
May 2013 be a year full of good friends,
good food and great fun!
SFMOMA is now hosting a retrospective exhibit of Jay DeFeo's work.
This above is her most well-known work, titled "The Rose". She spent years on it, layering and sculpting paint, scraping it away.
Born in 1929, she grew up in the bay area, went to UC Berkeley, earning a BFA and an MFA in studio art. Sculpture, drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, photography, she tried it all. Realistic, abstract, and in between. Taught at Mills College for a while.
She was part of the SF art scene, until she died of cancer in 1989.
Wanna know more about Jay and her work?
to express my sorrow.
So I do what I can. I take action...
Readng the paper in bed this morning, sipping tea. Glancing through China Daily, which had appeared on my doorstep for the first time, I found one of my illustrations and mention of
Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Share and Sing in Two Languages.
I'd forgotten all about that interview.
Nice way to start the day!
Yes! I turned it in yesterday. Felt so good.
"Beyond Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keefe"
What's that, you say? Beyond Frida & Georgia? But they are great artists.
Yes, they are, but there are so many other great women artists that I bet you have never even heard of, let alone seen a book or two about. Especially books for kids.
I took a class a while back called Women in Art.
I was surprised to learn about many women artists I'd never heard of before. I got excited, asked too many questions in class, til the professor told me to stop (she did, really).
Oh, I guess I can find out on my own. So I did.
And I wrote five picture books, each about a different woman artist.
Rosa Bonheur, Maria Martinez, Sonia Delaunay, Elizabeth Catlett, Ruth Asawa
Look for them in print some day.
Who would you like to see a book about?
Happy Thanksgiving, dear followers!
I am so thankful for all of you.
I hope you have a lovely holiday with good food and great friends.
And ... a reminder that my artwork is still up
til December 9th.
If you're still hungry... stop by for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.
Thanks to those of you who came out to Rick & Ann's for breakfast. Boy, their food is tasty! Cornmeal pancakes, gingerbread waffles, homefries, spicy sausages, giinger peach scones. YUM!
Don't feel bad if you missed it. My artwork will be up til December 9th.
Stop by if you're in the neighborhood!
These and more will be up and for sale at Rick & Ann's restaurant in Berkeley, Ca.
October 30th - Dec.9, 2012
I'll be there for breakfast from
10 am -12 noon
Sunday November 4th.
Come join me, I'd love to see you!
Here we go... the holidays are upon us. Now, with that thesis out of the way, it's time to make a list and get to work. Working on holiday card ideas today...
I like the silver and gold birds in the tree, but it's just not colorful enough for me.
Back to the drawing board...
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Sunday night Dan made dinner while I finished off the thesis... Look at that gorgeous calzone!
It tasted great, too.
Signed, sealed, delivered. DONE. Yes! We had a drink in the city last night to celebrate. It was fun looking at all the store windows decorated for the holidays. The hotel bars were full of groups of happy people dressed up and celebrating after work.
On a tuesday night. ... Hmm, guess I don't get out much.
I'm back in tea towel production...for my neighbor's holiday bazaar this Saturday.
Requests are already coming. I might just have to make a business out of this.
Oh, and I got some new business cards. I decided, cute as they are, the tiny Moocards are just too small. But look, they're just the same, only bigger. Still cute, don't you think?