It’s titled ” Moonshine”. We mistakenly thought it was strawberry jam / street art

I submit for your viewing pleasure

I submit for your viewing pleasure

This mural was ranked one of the best in the world by BuzzFeed. Richmonders agree. It can be found at 1003 W Grace St. Richmond, VA.

Travel Authentically!

Travel Easy

Travel Easy – ATC

Sometimes traveling can seem overwhelming. Preparing for a trip produces a laundry list of things to do…and often it seems never enough time to do them. But exciting it is. I love everything about the preparations, knowing events many not run to plan, but that’s where the “adventure” begins.

Keeping this feeling in mind, I looked through my box of ephemera, letting my Muse guide me. And there they were…my collection of road maps. I love to look at maps. The road systems intrigue me. The names of the cities always sound so exotic. The cool blue of the rivers, lakes, and oceans make a peaceable rest stop from the lines and names surrounding them. Attached to the maps I found a piece of phone book paper. It was just what I wanted. And so my journey began…

The substrate for the Artist Trading Card is illustration board.  As many of my favourite excursions were circuitous in nature, I cut some of my favourite maps into strips and wove them together. And places are nothing without faces, so I added the translucent phone book pages.

Our travels, whether physical road trips or spiritual trips within, are a journey of transformation. Each experience brings knowledge and wisdom. To quote Robert Frost, “I look the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” May you find the less traveled road to your authentic self.

oil study after “portrait of a Young Woman” by Pourbus the Elder / painted by Tim Harriss

art opening debriefing follows

art opening debriefing follows

A friendly guard at the museum told me the employees of the VMFA had a show of their own work called “Inside Out” opening last night in the VMFA Studio School, an old house across Grove Ave. from the museum.

I got there about 6:30 and the empty wine glasses were everywhere. The space isn’t large and it was packed with people drinking wine and engaged in loud conversations. A good time was had by all. I didn’t stay to drink because I didn’t see the guards who talk to me and there wasn’t much food out.

I was curious to see if any of the museum employees are studying the masters. YES ! One of them is! I thought this was the most beautiful piece in the show. I don’t think it was traced. Rock on, Tim Harriss!

Pourbus the Elder was a Flemish Renaissance painter.

At the Milliner by Degas

Degas flipped the bird here.

Degas flipped the bird here.

The VMFA has a lot of beautiful paintings by French Impressionists. This isn’t one of those. It’s a recent acquisition.

You might say this isn’t his best work, but that’s an understatement because he did this annoying painting deliberately. Here’s what the plaque says, quote Degas.
“At this moment it’s fashionable to paint pictures where you can see what time it is, like in a sundial. A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your paintings perfectly plain you end up boring people.”

Let’s talk about plain and boring. The blank face reminds me of the faceless dolls the Amish sell to tourists. I doubt the little Amish girls play with the faceless dolls. With the Amish it’s misguided fear of “graven images” which got removed from the “worship” part of the commandment.

That’s not the problem here. Degas did a half ass painting for the money. He didn’t really want to do this. It looks like resentment to the art world and women. If he painted an expression on the face it would have made the painting interesting, but he chose to paint a flat oval and bore you. Then he made up some bs because there’s no light and shadow in the painting. Do you think he just got lazy? Or do you think he was sending a message?

If a great artist paints a woman’s face a blank that says women are just skirts and hats to him, somehow subhuman.
This is one reason why the art world is fubar. Great artists sell out the art world. Young artists who don’t have the skill to paint a face see this and think they don’t have to try. Then their artistic skill is stunted.

At least I’ll never be faced with the moral dilemma of doing crap art for money because I’m free to turn down work I don’t want. And if I can’t do my best I throw the art away. Does that make me a better artist than Degas?

Amoeba Pillow with mirrors

how to be creative

how to be creative

When an art critic turns up their nose and says “It’s been done before.” you can ignore anything else they say because that person isn’t thinking clearly.

To be creative you have to remember something you learned in the past and combine it with something else. Then you have something new.

I didn’t invent embroidering mirrors on fabric. I didn’t invent using wire and innerfacing to make fabric hold a shape. I only had to find things I like and put them together, then ask “ok, What is this thing I made?” And people think I’m creative but I never invented anything in my life. This is why it’s important to learn from the masters if you want to be a great artist. They can teach you what works. Then you get better results because you have knowledge and experience to draw from.

A Simple Wish…


For You, The Sun, Moon, and Stars – ATC

For quite a few of us on the East Coast of the United States, this has been a glorious Holiday weekend…three days away from the routine of work, wonderful local events to share with friends and family, and best of all, weather sent to us from the Gods.

The ambiance was just the thing I needed to unlock the way to my Muse. Spurred on by my collection of quotes and saying I’ve collected over the years, I kept coming back to one:

“May the Sun warm you, and the Moon restore you, and Stars light your path”

Sitting under the pergola, listening to the birds sing, caressed by the warm Summer breeze, my Artist Trading Cards took shape. The substrate is illustration board. The background is a mixture of sponged Distress Inks of various hues. I stencilled and rubber stamped the patterns in metallic acrylic paint, dusted with Perfect Pearls to add a bit of shimmer. The inspirational quote cut from vintage paper finished the cards.

How often, we as Artists, look to Nature for inspiration. From the simple elegance of a sprouting seedling to the infinite wonder we experience when gazing at the night sky, it is all there for us. We just need to take the time to stop, look, and listen.

My wish is a simple one. May your Summer be filled with Sunshine, Moonbeams, and Starlight…and those you love to share them.

Little Demon Pillows

little demon pillows

The weather is nice today but they say the heat and humidity will be back next week. I’ve been sewing more this year than I did in the past 10 years because of the extreme weather. In the winter when it was too snowy and icy to go out to draw I worked on my slipcovers. Now I’m sewing pillows because I can’t take the heat. I might have to force myself to go out in the heat to draw soon because it gets boring working at home. We could have 8 more weeks of the heat and humidity here, with little breaks of good weather like today. So your plein air artist is sewing at home again. I hope you enjoy the little demons. I entered them at the Henry St. Gallery. Opening night was postponed till July 11 because the 4th of July celebrations conflicted with 1st Fri. art opening night.

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