Japanese Garden at Maymont / oil

I took this painting to a critique .....

I took this painting to a critique …..

I like that gallery in Mechanicsville, the Windemere. They have a nice place out there. The critique thing, I wasn’t so sure about, but I thought if I want to show my art there I should give it a try. And it was better than I anticipated.

When Shelby and I were young chicks in art school at York Academy of Art, we had to endure some harsh critiques from teachers that didn’t care if they hurt the student’s feelings. Fortunately for that experience, it’s impossible for an art critic to hurt my feelings.  But you learn so much from a real critique, and I think modern art students never hear it from their teachers these days. I still think no one outside of the academy can critique beyond, “I like it.” or “I don’t like it.”  OK. Everyone’s a critic including me.

What I was glad to learn today is that piece of architecture I painted in the foreground is a Japanese Lantern! I always imagined they were duck houses! hahahah I know if I was a duck, I’d move in to it.

Also, I got an idea of how to paint another duck house so it might come out a little better next time. ( I mean lantern )


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

I submit for your viewing pleasure

Kids around here are mixing their shine with something red.

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.

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.

Boob Pillows With Wardrobe Malfunction

This is my 2014 contribution to the feminist art movement.

This is my 2014 contribution to the feminist art movement.

In the early days of the “Women’s Lib” movement I was as wild and free as a flower child could be.

When Shelby and I were in school at York Academy of Art the National Organization of Women had a meeting in York and we went to hear what they had to say. We both laughed when we left the meeting because neither one of us wanted to pay to join NOW. We thought they should let us join for free because we were both already liberated women. Or better yet, they should give us some money.

Over the years I’ve seen some “feminist art” and I wondered why they made such a big deal over it because it seems weak to me. Why do feminists represent the female figure so ugly? Why do they demand you say all women are beautiful? If it was male beauty in question would men feel better about themselves if women said all men are beautiful?

Looking back, I can’t tell if the women’s movement had any effect on my life or not. If I wasn’t a liberated woman would my life have been better or worse? At this stage in my life I am the most free and liberated woman in the world, but I don’t know anything with any certainty about feminism so I can’t debate the subject. I’m very thankful for my freedom but I give the credit for it to great men, not women’s lib.

If you have insight on the subject of feminism and art please feel free to weigh in and I’ll post it.

I don’t know if feminists would like my pillows or not. Do feminists have a sense of humor?

I can customize these pillows by embroidering yo Mamma’s tattoos on them for an additional charge. What? Yo Mamma didn’t tell you she got ink? hahahahahaha

Giant Rubber Duck by Florintin Hofman

Duck gets killed 3 times so far.

Duck gets killed 3 times so far.

I wonder what the artist thinks about the duck getting deflated . I looked it up. There’s a lot of stories from different cities that had the duck.  Hofman said, “the duck is a universal symbol of happiness,” as reported on abc.net.au from Sydney. He says,” it’s about us as one big family because we share the oceans around the whole planet. We basically have one big piece of water which is the oceans combined and we have to take good care of it.”

I wonder if the vandals who stabbed or exploded the duck are art critics. Why do they h8 the duck? Most people seem to like the duck from the comments I saw on it.

Will there be another duck? Is the artist too idealistic to think we’re one big happy family all around the world that can share the oceans?

Did they catch the guys who killed the duck? What do those guys say? Stay tuned in 2014. If I get any answers or hear more duck news I’ll post it. Happy New Year.

Mountains, Navel, Anchors, Table by Arp

 gouache with cut outs 1925

gouache with cut outs

Shelby, Thanks for sending the image to me!

Questions for our readers:

How many times have you heard someone say “My kid could do that.” when you’re looking at modern art?  If you’re an artist does that statement make you angry? Do you think a child doesn’t have the mental development to do a masterpiece? ( What with all the deconstructing going on these days)  Or do you think art can come out of the subconscious mind?

At York Academy of Art our teachers told us “Don’t clean the cobwebs out of your mind in your art.” I can’t remember if it was Fitzgee or Wise  or both of them that told us your subconscious gives bad art. They said it’s boring to everyone except the artist and if you want someone who is interested in your subconscious you have to pay a shrink.

As always, feel free to disagree and it will be noted in comments.

Back to the 1st question: Can your kid do this or do better? The answer is YES . And kids should be encouraged to do art. Most kids who are born to be artists don’t get much support to follow the art path. At York Academy of Art we were told to do our roughs and get the plan worked out before we start on the finished piece. A child can do that if they want to.

When I work on a painting I ask myself 100 questions and find an answer to all of them before I call it finished. The problems I’m solving are questions like “Should I erase this line and draw it again or is it ok?” “Do these colors and values look right next to each other?” What do I need to do to make it look better?” “What is the next step?” It’s not a philosophical question. It’s not something sounding like it came out of the ozone. There’s a trend in modern art that Shelby and I laughed at ever since we were in school when artists write statements meant to confuse non artists. They make it sound like if you don’t ” like” their painting it’s because you don’t “get it” because it’s over your head. This is a falsehood in art. The pendulum started to swing back the other way last year. Deceptive artists will be known as fakes and forgotten soon. Art is a universal language and real art is understood by everyone including kids.

Mountains Navel Anchors Table is a good example of honest modern art. It was made to get a reaction out of you. Does this make you laugh? Does Mona Lisa with a moustache surprise you? Does Urinal Fountain by Duchamp make you angry? Are you desensitized and nothing will make you raise your eyebrows anymore?

5 photos from Rebirthing the Classics opening night at Art6

debriefing follows

debriefing follows

This shot shows the hall looking towards the front door on Broad St. with my work on both sides. The camera shots on the wall show the original masterpieces from the VMFA and Hollywood Cemetery that are the inspiration for each piece. Last Sat. was the day to take our entries to Art6. I loaded up my car in the morning and got there at noon. As I was unloading my work in the gallery Helene talked about putting my smaller pieces in the hall. That meant a bigger showing for me so I drove home and loaded my car again. I also brought 4 landscapes and some things I made up from my imagination. They don’t all fit the theme but it’s ok because they show continuity.

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