1:00pm March 10, 2014, car loaded, gas tank full, tires checked, ready to roll! Cheesehead Road Trip! 10 fwy East from Los Angeles, California to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Holiday Inn El Paso, Sunland Drive was very nice! Joey, at the front desk, was super helpful. He recommended fajitas, not on the menu, they were delicious! We had breakfast at the hotel, very good. Even the coffee in the lobby was excellent. Tip: I booked through Expedia, Joey said Expedia is known for leaving off details like requesting a room that allows pets! So always call the hotels yourself to confirm that all your requirements have been noted.
Curator Phillip Graffham invited me to create a piece for "Moosylvania: A Group Show Tribute To Jay Ward".
The exhibit opened March 1, 2014 at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks CA, closed on March 15.
Research and Inspiration
Jay Ward was one of the creators of Rocky and Bullwinkle and other memorable characters. I had not seen a "Rocky and Bullwinkle" cartoon in decades so researching this project was very nostalgic. The dialog was oft times far from childish babble, it was sprinkled with subtle wit and wry observations of the times. I found lots of inspiration, here are some of the highlights:
Rocky and Bullwinkle Opening Theme
Hokey Smoke! Rocky and Bullwinkle
Mr. Know it All - How to Be A Beatnik
Intermezzo #1 Pushing Up Daisies
The Ah Ha Moment!
I have never been able to force an idea; the more intense the search for ideas, the more fleeting they become. The idea for "Rama Rocky & Brahma Bullwinkle" flowed into my reality as I woke from a dream. I woke up chanting Brahma Bull...Brahma Bull...Brahma Bullwinkle! Ah Ha! The concept took off from there. The characters became divine reincarnations of themselves, doing yoga, practicing mudras, meditating and chanting for world peace.
My New Year's Resolution for 2013 was to try new things with my art. I created many works and exhibited in nine events. The goal was to explore the creative process and see where it would lead me. I made tightly rendered portraits in pencil for the Mirror/Mirror project, created a sculpture out of recyclables for the Santa Fe Recycle Art Festival, created digital graphics to promote World Peace for "Paper Trail" at Monkeyhouse Toys. From a triptych of skateboards for "Tunnel Rats" to an Impressionist unicorn painting for "Chroma Go Go, A Lisa Frank Tribute Show", every exhibit inspired me to push my skill set and expand my tool box.
The year of experiments was fun and informative, concluding with three digital drawings, hand embellished with food coloring for "Appetite:Tasting Hunger And Desire".
Selection of 2013 works:
Summer 2013, I began experimenting in creating forms with cardboard and recyclable materials. "Elton John Dream Vision" will be showing in the Santa Fe Recycle Juried Art Exhibit, Nov 15-16, 2013.
"Elton John Dream Vision" was inspired by a bizarre dream that could have been a nightmare but it was so silly! Elton John entered the room with a huge grin, big overcoat with huge shoulder pads, his trademark sunglasses, wearing a hat that resembled a bull fighters hat. His entrance was followed by "Gumby" and "Pokey" and then "Badly Drawn Box Man", all figments of my dream mind. I did sketches of the dream and then began creating sculptures to capture the feeling of the vivid dream. I wanted "Elton John Dream Vision" to visually describe the feeling of dreaming, transcending waking memories or perceptions. I started without looking for reference of the popular celebrity, Elton John, relying on my impressions of him. The very act of trying to remember a dream brings a rush of fleeting notions, snippets of images and a barrage of moments.
Dimensions: H 24" x W 14" x D 19"
Cardboard shipping box
Paper Doilies, purchased in 1988 in Wilmington, NC, finally had a reason to use
Paint brushes worn out from use
Wooden Chopsticks from Take Out food
Epson Printer Ink packaging
LA Times Newspaper coupons and color advertisements
Junk mail Handyman Listings catalog
Morgan Stanley Advertising Junk mail booklet
Left over Mixed Colors of Acrylic Paints
Gourmet Chocolate wrappers and foils from Godiva, Lindt and Bassinger
Organic Coffee Wrapper
Fortune Cookie Fortunes, collecting since 1990
Cardboard inner rolls from Doggie bags
Dogs Hair bow
Water Quality Report, Summer 2013, Los Angeles, CA
Meta Prayer, hand written, gold ink, from my World Peace Buddha project, June 2013
Star Glitter from my 40th Birthday, sometime last Century
Paper Towels used to clean brushes from my last painting in Oils, Summer 2013
String from Newspaper
Package from Flower Seeds, Bee Attracting assortment, planted Spring 2013
Hummingbird Logo from Greeting card
Sticker from found Chinese Cigarette package
Black cardboard from Arbonne Make-up packaging
Hello Kitty Gift wrap from Son's 31st Birthday August, 2013
E.D.D. envelope paper
Lid from Liquid Calcium, Magnesium Supplement
Batting from pillow
$2 Nickel Wrappers found
Champagne top twisted to look like chair from New Year's Eve 2000
Dark Blue Tissue paper from Son's wedding February 2013
White Button from Mother's Dress
Non Recycled Materials:
Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue
Liquitex Gloss Medium Varnish
Pentel Ever Gel Ink Pen
Prayer of Loving Kindness May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to
the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.
Horses are a part of my psyche and appear throughout my work. One of my earliest drawings, at age five, was of a horse. "Believe", my first Unicorn painting, was inspired by series of events. In February 2011, I was visiting my husband, Kevin Mack, at a film studio in Brooklyn. In his office, there was a random B & W Xerox of a photo of a Unicorn. I was fascinated by the image, the only personal touch in a completely empty office. I wondered who left this wonderful image behind when they cleared out of the temporary space. A few months later we were sightseeing on the Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center, looking out over the various areas of New York City. Finding the sites on a tourist map, one location caught my eye; The Cloisters claimed to have the largest collection of Unicorn Tapestries in World! The Cloisters completely transport the visitor to a world where mythology coexists with reality.
I had a chance encounter with the artist Camomile Hixon. Hixon was preparing an exhibit at Frank Pictures Gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica CA. I was fascinated to learn about Hixon's Missing Unicorn project. In 2010, Hixon began a NYC wide installation putting up 1500 posters in Manhattan. Within a few hours more than 1000 calls had been made to the Unicorn Hotline.The project is ongoing. I asked Hixon to sign the photo of the Unicorn I had found in Brooklyn. She signed it with a quote from "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll, "I'll believe in you if you believe in me.". I was inspired to create a Unicorn painting, titled "Believe" with a frame titled "Myth".
I began making frames for my art in the early 90's. The concept for the frames was inspired by an abstract painter's gallery exhibit in Santa Monica. The simple paintings were presented in elaborate frames. I decided I wanted my frames to give the illusion of being elaborate, ornate and beyond the norm. I experimented with small toys, cast offs and bits and pieces from everyday life. After attaching the objects to the frame, a coat of gold paint transforms the ordinary into a surreal device. The frames have an energy that comes from the human transference of special meaning onto things from our lives. The frames evoke memories of dreams, childhood and travels. I continue to collect items for future frames and will gladly accept donations.
Usually, I do not design the frame until I have completed a painting. Sometimes the painting will inspire the items used on the frame or the items are chosen at random to create the best design. From experience, I find small lightweight toys and objects work best. If an item is heavy I will secure it to the frame. For the most part, the items are arranged and placed onto the frame covered with texture paste. I buy white Texture Paste at Nova Color. Before spraying the frame with Montana Gold spray paint, I use masking tape to cover any items I do not want painted then gesso everything and allow to dry before spraying. Work in a well ventilated area with the Texture Paste. I only use the spray paint outside. Avoid working in humid conditions. Also, do not allow pets into the room when the paint is wet!
Gesso is available at many art stores
I am inspired by the fleeting memory of dreams, the mystery of history, the gift of the future and the sublime now.