Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Madera Ag Show

Last Tuesday was judging for the Madera Arts Council "Ag Show" and the reception and awards were on Thursday evening, September 16th. There were about 74 accepted entries and the judge was Paul Buxman, a artist and farmer from Reedley. I love his work, but I wasn't sure he'd love mine. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that "Fowl Weather Friends" received a second in the Poultry category. Good friend Grace Rankin's wonderful Rooster got first place and fellow Timberline artist Janet Morita's beautiful white chickens got third place. Here is a photo of my entry:

My second entry was entered in the "Vines' category and it is called "Rose Window" because it is a painting of bottles of (Rose) wine in front of a Rose Window. A play on words, as is often the case. :)

Painting a half sheet painting still feels very strange to me--I'm not in MY element while doing it, but it is nice to have paintings in a variety of sizes available. The poultry painting is my normal full sheet, framed to 30" X 38" and Rose Window is framed to 22" X 29". This is Rose Window:

The Ag Show is held at the Circle Gallery in
Madera and is a show well worth viewing. For
future reference, the categories offered are these:

Farm Machinery & Structures
Fruits & Nuts

Entries are made by category rather than by medium, so this is a unique show in that respect.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Calling All Artists--the search is on!

If it weren't for doing things at the last minute, I wouldn't get anything done at all! I don't think it's necessarily that I work well under pressure--it's just that I have to take one thing at a time, complete it, and move on to the next "deadline", so to speak. Yesterday and today, I was entering a competition that I've intended to enter for months. When was the deadline? Today, of course! At 5 PM--and I finished about 3 PM. :)

My favorite inspirational magazine is called "Cloth, Paper, Scissors"--promoted as
"Collage, Mixed Media, and Artistic Discovery". One of the high points of my month is the day that I find it in my mailbox! The magazine is  sponsoring an Artisan Search 2011, searching for 5 outstanding artists--1 each in 5 different areas of creativity: Mixed-media Stitch, Art Journal and Book Making, Printmaking and Silk Screening, Mixed-media Jewelry, and Collage and Assemblage.

Yesterday, I started the submission process, knowing that I had what I needed on my computer already. The first images I submitted I decided were not right for the category "Collage and Assemblage" since they were of a painting with no collage at all. Deleting the pieces proved to be the most challenging part of the whole process, but I was semi-successful doing so. Sometimes, we love a piece and aren't willing to admit that it isn't really the right piece for a certain show or theme or whatever. Once I got past that hang-up, I moved on to quickly upload 1 large and 2 thumbnail photographs of 3 different  projects and write a description for the 3 pieces.

Front View of Candy, with ribbons hanging below
After some time spent in thought, I selected 3 of the 3D mannequins that I did last year. They all use lots and lots of collage and actually are assemblages. They should "stand out in the crowd", hopefully, and I am proud to introduce you again to Candy, Sherry, and Clementine.

An unfinished Candy, showing doilies and texture of collage

This is "Parallels" and it compares/equates women and wine. :)
This is Candy, so named because she is "pink and white and, oh, so sweet"! You see here a front and back view of the finished mannequin and an unfinished view of her, in progress, where you can see the paper doilies etc. that make up her camisole. She is all different types and textures of pink and white paper, with embellishments of off-white ribbon and lace and a pink ribbon rosebud.

Next, you see Sherry, so named for the type of wine! Sherry was entered last year at the Madera Ag Show and she received a second place in the "Vines" catagory. She is a small bust, painted with skin-toned, thinned gesso and then covered with images and cut outs of wine bottles, grapes, leaves, glasses and vineyard rows. Her skin is enhanced with gold-outlined calligraphy words that describe both wines and women. The idea is much like what I used in the painting "Parallels", which compares them in even greater detail.


Sherry/Front View

Sherry/Side View

Clementine/front view

This is Clementine, my favorite of  the mannequin "sisters". She was entered in the Citrus category at the same Madera Ag Show and she received a third prize. She is more detailed than the other 2, larger, and has a lot more embellishment. She has old doilies and lace, buttons, and an asymmetrical ribbon "hem" and shoulder decoration.

Detail of Clementine showing texture etc.
Clementine/back view

So, wish me luck, please, since there are so many entries in this competition. If you have a chance to look online at, please do. When you get to the site, click on "Galleries", then "Artisan Search 2011" and then Collage/Assemblage.There are about 630 entries (3/person) so about 210 people have entered. Five semi-finalists in each category will be selected to send their pieces in for 1 year and then a winner will be selected in each of the categories as an Artisan for 2011. Quite a process! Take a look, vote for your favorites, and make some comments. I think my 3 pieces are on page 6 but it might be page 5. . . .

A long and difficult post for me today because I struggled with the images and their placement. Will I ever learn? When I first started blogging, everything was difficult. Now, only a few things are difficult and image placement (and prediction) is the hardest for me.

Onward and upward! Sparkle and Shine! :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How it "Ended" with Fleury 2. . . .

. . . . actually, NOT how it ended at all! But at least a step in the right direction with a blog post for the first time since some time in July. Yikes! Where do the days and weeks go? I realize I've been doing too much on Facebook and not enough here so I'm going to try to switch that around and start doing my longer posts here because they will wind up on Facebook FROM here, anyway. Makes a lot more sense but it isn't quite as portable nor as easy as doing it on the iPhone or the iPad.

Since July, things have been pretty busy. I was painting for the Ag Show (judging is this week and the reception is Thursday evening in Madera) and for the Alliance of California Artists' Arte Americas show and for "Walk on the Wildside" which began at Timberline in Oakhurst last Monday, September 6th.

So, to back up a bit--I finished the paintings for the Ag Show and was working on 2 paintings for Arte Americas. After a great deal of contemplation, I decided that one would be a painting I did a while back but hadn't quite finished and the other one would be the Fleury 2 painting that I talked about and showed a couple of posts ago.

The first painting was an abstract but as I worked on it, it started looking more and more like an aerial view of patio umbrellas. I put it away for a few weeks and when I got it out again, I knew exactly what I needed to do to finish it. I needed to add a very dark "pathway" connecting the umbrellas, with some symbolic planter boxes and a fountain. So, I finished it, framed it and named it "Mai Tai" to go along with my earlier work called "Pina Colada" and my newest piece called "Strawberry Daquiri". (Can't you see what's coming next?)

Then I begin to add the flowers to the red origami painting. The first painting had white rice paper flowers but for this painting, I used embossed blossoms from a different handmade paper. Very beautiful, but more "structured" and denser in appearance and feeling than the flowers in "Fleury". As the painting neared completion, I posted some photos on Facebook and someone fell in love with it and will be the loving owner of the second Fleury painting. I asked some of my Japanese friends to help me with naming it and I'm so happy to say that Danny Okamura (trumpet playing friend in Fresno and Clovis bands) suggested "Origami Ohana" and that's what she is to be called. Some paintings are genderless but some are definitely masculine or feminine. There is no doubt that Origami Ohana is a "her"!

So, off they went to the show and off I went to sit at Timberline on that judging day.
The judge was Kevin Bowman, curator at Arts Visalia, and I love to watch the judging because I always learn so much from it. I was sorry to not see it and when I didn't hear anything from anyone, I assumed neither painting had done anything spectacular. But later that evening, I checked my email and I had a congratulatory note from Val Dann saying that "Origami Ohana" had received a second place in Mixed Media. . . and that "Mai Tai" had received a Best in Show!! Yippee! I was SO excited and I still am but I wasn't sure that I'd ever receive the top honors because often abstracts are less likely to be seriously considered by some judges. So, thank you, Kevin Bowman! I am so honored!

And if that weren't enough, when we went to the Art Hop reception on Thursday evening, September 9th, people were asked to vote for their favorite painting and "Origami Ohana" received the "People's Choice" award. Can you believe it? I've had a very exciting couple of weeks and I'm pleased and proud and happy! Thank you all for your notes and congratulations! They've meant a lot to me.

So, the saga continues. . . I surely can't stop painting NOW, can I? Next time I post, I'll show you my 3 entries for "Walk on the Wild Side" and tell you about the Ag Show judging and reception later this week.