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It all began when my aunt gave me, "The Tyger Voyage" for my 14th birthday...
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Nineteen animal paintings are now on the wall at the Rockridge Cafe, until October 9th.
If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and take a look.
I'll be there for breakfast
Saturday September 14, from 10am-12 noon
I'd love to see you!
5492 College Ave
open 7 days
7:30 am to 3pm
I'm getting ready for a new exhibit,
all paintings of animals, at the Rockridge Cafe in Oakland,
going up next week.
These folk art critters were so fun to paint... Folk art is one of my biggest influences. I think it's the simple shapes and the detailed patterns.
And the new school year has begun, with a whole roster of names to learn and match to faces,
new art supplies (!) and new projects to plan.
We kissed this one goodbye... she's off traveling the world, with no return ticket home.
(You can follow her blog her: http://zmfs.tumblr.com/ ).
We skyped yesterday. She's currently in Istanbul.
I am still amazed that we can do this.
In the last week or so of summer I was a flurry of activity, stripping, sanding, painting this cabinet in our kitchen. The back wall is now 'million dollar red'.
I've often wondered who gets to name pant colors. Now that would be a fun job to have.
Stay tuned for some other BIG news coming very soon!
We were lucky last sunday, the sun came out!
we had fun setting up...
with an eager helper...
I sold a LOT of teatowels!
But I do have a few left, will put them in my etsy shop...stay tuned for that.
Now I'm working on color samples for the biography of Sonia Delaunay. Fun!
This last week I taught an art class in the garden every afternoon, with some kids in the neighborhood. One day I did a guided lesson in acrylics, to teach them a variety of techniques quickly. Here are their pear still lifes above, with an underlayer of red paint. Drawing on top of that in chalk is a great technique, as they can erase until they get something they are happy with.
And finished paintings above. Pretty good for 5th-7th graders using acrylics for the first time, don't you think? I am not that experienced with acrylics myself. But the internet is an amazing resource. I found this tutorial very helpful. Pear Painting Tutorial
On another day we worked in watercolor. I like to start off by
guiding students through a chart of different techniques. I think watercolor is the most frustrating media of all, it's so hard to plan ahead where to leave white space.
Roo had a great time, soaking up all the attention.
When I wasn't teaching, I was either reading by our pond in the sun ( The Time in Between
, by Maria Duenas, a great epic summer novel set in Spain before WW2 ) or making teatowels for our upcoming art sale. Stay tuned for more on that later this week.
Take a look at this video about the 2013 Astrid Lindgren award winner... ISOL, from Argentina.
In case you don't know: the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
(ALMA) is the world's largest award for children's and young adult literature, established in 2002, given by the Swedish Arts Council.
Other art news:
exhibit at the DeYoung is excellent, especially if followed by a picnic at Chrissy Field on a gorgeous summer day!
I couldn't resist adding more wedding pics below...
the perfect flowers for a wedding in 100+ degree heat...
Check out that Danish cake on the left, rings stacked up, like a crumbly cookie-full of marzipan. You take off one ring at a time and break it into pieces to eat.
It's a LOVEfest going on over here... The neighbor's plums are ripe, and we LOVE plum jam, so I got busy...
Our niece Erin, the flower girl at our wedding long ago...
is getting married today. Guess who is doing the flowers?
While I was making jam, this was going on in the next room...
Bouquets and table decor above and below...
Corsages chillin' out in the fridge, below.
Orchids for the tables, below. I'll post more later, the man is making it quite elegant.
Hope you are having a happy, love-filled weekend, too!
For the next three months, eleven of my paintings are on the wall and for sale at Lucero Salon
in Oakland. Stop by and take a look if you're in the neighborhood.
A beautiful sunny sunday , and we decided to trek to the Alameda Point Antiques Fair
. It's the first sunday of every month, out on the old navy base runway in Alameda, CA. Yes, on the airplane runway, which is right on the bay and has an amazing view of SF. There was a lot to see...
Someone had taken old wood strips, and made them into a 'painting', above. Kinda cool...
Lots of old stuff, painted bright colors... hmm, maybe not.
Symbols that light up? No thanks.
Pillows and upholstery made from old linens... I like the look, but scratchy, and very expensive...
Some rusty barbed wire, or an old rocking horse? Honestly, I don't know what people will do with some of this stuff. After a while I can't decide what is a great deal and what is awful. The prices have definitely gone up since the last time I was here.
How about a child-sized mannequin?
This old trunk was the one thing I saw that I really liked, I don't know if was a real or fake antique, but I loved the painting on it.
It's always good to have two heads when making these big purchasing decisions!
All we bought was a pretzel, but we had fun looking.
Here's a little film of my students' exhibit this year. The theme was the garden, so the kids named the show 'In the gARTen'. Watch til the end, there's a stopmo of the show going up and coming down much too quickly...
Faith Ringgold is one of my favorites. She is most well known for her storyquilts. And her children's books. Here's the cover of her first kids' book, Tar Beach, below, which won the Coretta Scott King award for illustration. She has written seventeen kids' books!
I first saw her work at the UC Art Museum here in Berkeley, way back in the 1990s, when I went to hear her lecture about her art. She's a fabulous storyteller, and incredibly funny. She had been painting on canvas for years, but was having trouble getting her work into galleries. After seeing an exhibit of Tibetan Thangkas, paintings on fabric, she decided to try painting on fabric, making quilted borders or frames around the paintings. She had learned to sew from her mother, a fashion designer. Faith wrote stories to go with her paintings. Easy to roll up and mail cheaply, she started getting exhibits around the country, first at university galleries, then larger venues.
And the rest is history. I love to show my students a film about her work. She tells of having an art teacher in college who told her her work was lousy. She got mad and worked harder than ever. She sings a little rap about how anyone can DO IT if they try.
Great words to hear from a very successful artist!
You can read more about her at her website:
and some youtube videos of her below:
Here's my Mother's Day bouquet below, which I meant to show you LAST week. Oops.
And breakfast in bed... my daughter calls this 'breakfast salad.' YUM!
I learned to sew from my mother, as Faith had. And so much more from her. Thanks Mom!
Hope all you moms out there had a wonderful day!
Here's what I've been up to...
Transforming this mess above...
Into this garden full of art,
a gARTen, as one of our students aptly named it.
trees, flowers, fruit, birds chirping, fish and frogs jumping.
So much fun to make this garden-themed art exhibit.
I"ll be sad to take it down on friday.
(my paintings are still up for another week)
( these three below stole the show!)
...For my terrific illustrators' group, who bring desserts like this!
(and much needed illustrative advice, of course)
and for my wonderful writer's group, who also make amazing desserts!
(and excellent critiques, too)
... for this glorious springtime...
all of our Cecile Bruner roses decided to bloom at once this year.
...and for time to work on the story of this incredible woman...
Here's a first color sketch for her story, playing with her style... and mine.
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!
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]
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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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?