Monday, March 30, 2009

TAG '09 Box Show Closing

March 28, 2009. Saturday night was the closing bids/reception for The Artists' Gallery box show. The rainy weather put a tad dampness to the fun but the event was a success regardless. Lots of people came early, checked their bid status, sampled Dan's light lager and stayed 'till the 8:00 closing bell. As usual they staked out a spot by their chosen box, guarding it's bid like a penguin and it's egg.
One could sense the tenseness in the air as the time grew closer to the end. ( ok, I tend to get carried away ).
But it was exciting . Everyone seemed delighted to take home their winning box...a piece of art work by one of their favorite local a bargain price. Success is also measured in that the gallery brought in a sizable profit to offset expences. As you can see by the photo of the "Box Farm ", not all the entries were restricted to the confines of an eight inch cube. Which makes the possibilities endless. I'm already thinking towards next year. Wanna make one too ?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cherry Blossom Status

Yesterday my husband and I took the first of the season's jaunts into the District to check on the cherry blossoms. The weather has been increasingly spring like with yesterdays temperatures near 70 F . As expected the buds are still rather tight but it looks like they may be right on schedule for the festival which is usually the last week in March through the first week in April. The perfect bud for me is one that is a few days before peak bloom, when it is still mostly pink and all the trees paint a wash of color around the tidal basin. There were signs of Spring every where. The paddle boats are in the water, softball games were starting and there was an increase of tour bus traffic on the highway. I couldn't resist taking the photo of the trolley tour as it passed us. It's exciting to be a tourist but always great fun to watch them , too.
This weekend is the closing of the Box Show at the gallery ! I'll be sure to post an update and photos of the mayhem.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The summer of 1959 my parents and brother and I took what will always be remembered as the "trip of a lifetime". Well, for back then it was. We spent four weeks traveling from Greenville, Pennsylvania to the western states in a station wagon with a tent and a cooler.
It was the summer between second and third grade and I remember it almost like it was yesterday. We thought we would drive all the way to California but we fell in love with Wyoming and decided to extend our stay to take in Frontier Days in Cheyenne and then return to Jackson and the Tetons. The Spur Ranch and Chuck Wagon ( still in operation ) is located in Moose within stone skipping distance of the Snake river and that's were we stayed and I met my first "real " artist. His name was Frank von Fuer. He wore a swede leather jacket with fringe and a hat with a rattle snake band. Originally he was from Austria but lived then in Pittsburg, PA and was the chief staff artist at the Carneige Museum. He did the above portrait of me just on a piece of pebble board with gouache. I remember him telling my mother it would be a better likeness of me when I was a few years older. I know I was always "making" things as a kid but I don't think I ever said that I wanted to be an artist until after that summer. It wasn't an epiphany but rather an idea planted in my subconcious. I may have become an artist any way but I like to think meeting him had something to do with it. This small souvenir is one of my most valued possessions.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Friends and computers

Imagine yourself doing a daily task as food shopping or running errands and you meet someone from your past. Not just anyone but a really, really good friend that you haven't seen for years. This is someone that once upon a time with whom you spent countless hours, sharing great times, bad times, stressfull times and times of unimaginable happiness. Now, multiply that person by about 20. Some of you know where this is leading. Yes, I have fallen victim to FACEBOOK.
A colleague told me about it a few weeks ago and how she had found several friends . I'm sure we all at one time or another think about friends from long ago and wonder why we've lost track of each other. The phrase "Life gets in the way " comes to mind.
I have moved numerous times since leaving my hometown in 1969. I have lived overseas and in five states along the east coast. I've had many experiences meeting many, many people, always making very good friends that are always hard to leave. I have imagined more than once what it would be like to have a party with all the freinds I have from all over the world, seeing them all together in one room. It would give new meaning to the word reunion.
Facebook is a little bit like that. The good thing is that we can't see the effects that time and fast food has had on us. In my minds eye these people are still 19 years old and dragging themselves across the quad to a mid-term test or celebrating its end with an illegal brew.
In past posts I have bemoaned the addiction to this computer, recalling having said how I could never have a job where I would be sitting here all day. I still hate finding myself here. I know there are other things that need tending. But I've always been a people person. And although I highly value times alone, I enjoy the company of friends. So, I suppose this computer has its good points. It hasn't created any more time in the day and in some ways has made the world a little more impersonable, think self scan checkouts. But if when the time comes that I am UNable to leave this chair due to age or physical limitations, it's good to know I can still be a people person.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

As promised, here are a few scenes from last nights opening of the Box Show at the Artists' Gallery in Frederick, MD. Instead of 8 inches of snow as we had the week before, last night was a beautiful evening with 70 degree F temperatures . So a bizzillion people came out to party and bid on boxes. Well, it seemed like a bizzillion. And the first night figures set a new record for bid amounts! Closing reception and the last night for bidding is March 28. That's when the real fun starts with bidding wars right down to the wire. Stop in if you're in the neighborhood, have a glass of wine or Dan's home made brew and enjoy some unique pieces of art work.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Today we "hung " the Box Show. This is the eighth year The Artists Gallery has had a box show as the yearly fund raiser. Each of the 24 members and invited guest artists are given an 8 inch wooden cube to do with what they will. In the past some have completely destroyed the box and then reassembled it as a new form or burned it to assist a raku firing in a ceramic kiln. Most are painted. Some are decorated to resemble anything but a box with all matter of objects attached. I love visual puns or puns of any sort so this year I made a "box turtle". Or is it a "painted" turtle? Or a painted box turtle ? Either way he's on a tortoise shell skate board. My original thought was to have a snail riding the back of the turtle and title the piece "Wheeee" . I may still add the snail. The skate board came about when I was trying different bases and this seemed to fit best and evolved into a skate board. There were only two colors used on the whole piece, quinacridone gold and permanent violet, two of my favorites. Together they made for some really rich browns. Saturday is the opening reception and the silent bidding starts, ending the final Saturday this month. I'll post some photos of the opening. It's always a blast. A very special "Thank you" to Nicholas Simmons for consenting to be my guest artist this year. He turned out a wonderful piece (are we surprised ? ) and I send along apologies for backing him into a "corner" with this project ! But Nick, you won the "boxing match " .