Wednesday, May 30, 2007

All Things deMeng

Hey gang,

getting ready to head to NYC for the Book Expo, to pimp my book...actually the publisher wants me to be loud and pyrotechnic in my demos to draw attention...so I'll be using my Dremel to make lots of sparks...cool. A quick note before I go...

Michael deMeng & The Artists' Nook present an Assemblage Emporium
My business partner, Christine now has our on-line store, All Things deMeng, up and running. Right now we just have the basics: aprons, books, stamps, anatomy men. But pretty soon we'll have lots of other goodies including: signed and numbered prints, rusty things, found objects, paint kits, and perhaps even some cool power tools...oh, did I mention liquid nails. Pretty much the idea is that we'll eventually have all the goodies I use...and more. Check it out here: http://www.theartistsnook.net/shop/cart.php

I'll chat with you all when I get back. I've received a ton of positive responses from the book already...hope everyone is enjoying it...don't worry yours is on the way...promise.

Michael

Monday, May 28, 2007

deMeng playlist

One of the frequent requests I get from my students is to put out a cd with the music I play in my class. Well I can't legally sell such things, but I decided I'd periodically play a video or music selection from my class playlist. Those of you who have taken classes know that my taste in music is pretty eclectic...a little this a little that...so here's installment number one of deMeng playlist.


Buena Vista Social Club
The first is from the very popular Buena Social Club album. If you don't have this album (the soundtrack to the movie)run and get it. The song I'm featuring is Chan Chan, and I am convinced it is one of the best songs...ever. Something beautiful yet haunting.
Chan Chan -- Ry Cooder and the Buena Vista Social Club


The Shins
So here's my most recent addition to my playlist...Phantom Limb by the Shins. I heard this song for the first time at the airport listening to my IPOD (I had downloaded the album but had not heard it all yet). It was a great song that seemed to match the airport environment. Listen to this song while watching people glide by on the moving walkways and hustle to departure gates...it makes for a nice soundtrack to this setting.


Hope you enjoy the tunes
Michael

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Here's a secret for you...the book is now available


Guess what is ready to ship! My biz partner Christine just got her first shipment of "Secrets" in. She'll be sending them out next week. She's busy adding the signed bookplates and the Artist
Cards as we speak.

If you're interested in having a special edition "Secrets of Rusty Things" you can visit the online site here http://www.theartistsnook.net/p-secretsofrustythings.shtml

If you have already pre-ordered the special edition....she'll be in touch and a book will be on the way....hooray

Hope you enjoy them
Michael

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Back from Down Unda,

Hey all,

Twenty four hours of airplanes and airports has finally brought me home. What a treat...think I'll just rent a condo in LAX.

Okay have to do some back-tracking
First
Random Arts Saluda,
I never got to finish my post about my trip to Saluda and Jane's place Random Arts. What a great place to teach. She is such a wonderful host...as usuall she bent over backwards for me. Of course one of the best parts of teaching in Saluda is the people. The people who support Jane's venture are a great warm hearted bunch. Quite nice to see a number of familiar faces as well as meet a bunch of new ones. Oh and I must give a shout out to Jen who works for Jane...she is great and extremely helpful...thank Jen.
The first day we made cigar box shrines and then on day two we did "Head Sea Scrolls" aka toilet paper dispenser art. The work turned out great. Here's some more on the topic at Jane's Blog.

A weird thing happened on that trip...one of the students...one of Jane's freind, Cheryl, went out to dinner with us and it turns out that she went to a high school I attended for one year in Mission Viejo (Capistrano Valley High). She was one year behind me and I had moved by the time she went there but it turns out that she knew my best buddy when I lived there, Adam....of course she knew oodles of others that I hung out with as well. Very strange.

Next
The art for Bob,
As I mentioned in my last post I was working on a piece of art for Judy's ex. He was so kind and generous with the goodies that he donated to my art-making cause, much of which was from his mother's collection. I decided to create a piece that used a number of these pieces to create a theme important to Bob, the tree of life. So here is what I came up with and Bob was quite appreciative and has already given this work a place of honor in his home. The piece is about 14 inches tall.
Next
The Photo Shoot

Well as expected the week wen by too quickly and it will be a bit before we can be together. Short but a lovely time together as always. At least now we have some photos to remind us of each other...with any luck it will make 6 months fly by.


Those of you who jump between Judy and my blog already have seen images from a photo shoot that we had done the last evening I was in Sydney. It was in a beautiful area at a deserted bunker by the sea. I won't post the same images as Judy (hint hint go check out her blog).
I give a sampling of my own. Ingrid did such great work and what a great location choice. Here's a smattering. Thanks Ingrid!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Human Body is Lame-O

Hey all,

Still in Sydney for a few more days and then I have to take that monster flight. I finally am getting my internal clock adjusted just in time to screw it up again. I have a few days home before I head to NYC for the Book Expo.

I have mostly been chilling...visiting friends and hitting some very cool flea markets.


The other day we went to see an exhibit entitled the Human Body...we thought that it was the exhibit that was traveling round the states...Body Worlds. Well it aint. This is a super sucky exhibit and for 23 smackers its a rip off. First off its about 10 muscle dudes (like Body Worlds) in very uninteresting stances. I think you would have a better show at you local med-school. The rest of the exhibit is brains in in jars...skulls...blah blah blah...absolutely nothing new here. The kicker is that the curation is attrocious. It's like a craft show with a bunch of different colored velvet coverings on the display tables. In fact the table coverings have lint all over them and are scrunched up. It feels like they threw the exhibit together in a half hour....as for the lighting...not so good. I have to say this is one of the most unprofessionally displayed exhibits I have ever seen. Don't do it.

Been working on a piece that will be a gift. I'm a bunch of the goodies that Judy's ex left for me. I'll post some images before I go.

thats it for now...cheers,
M

Monday, May 14, 2007

There and back again...

So I'm home for a day and a half. Enough time to mow my rather overgrown lawn and to do laundry before my big flight across the Pacific. My darling Judy awaits.

So to keep everyone up to speed...
I had a great week in North Carolina. Had a couple days of to myself after Virginia to regroup. so pretty much just chilled out and did some junking . I had some great finds. I found some great old padlocks for about five or six bucks a piece in Hendersonville. Big time score.

Later that day I went on a hike to Bradley Falls in Saluda. There is a beautiful perch high above the big Bradley falls...quite a drop I must say...it would be a long drop before you even hit anything. So I sat up on the edge of the rock and took in the view...after a several minutes I looked over and saw a raven perched in a tall tree about 20 feet away. We were about eye level...he looked a me and I him. I tried my raven talk but he only squawked at me once.

The next day I went into Asheville, had lunch with my buddies at Lark Books, Nicole McConville and Terry Taylor. A little Thai food and we hit a few galleries. First was at the Blue Spiral. Some good work by Lisa Clague, but the work I was really drawn to was some slightly erotic work...yet a bit melancholy, by Mark Schieferstein.

Next stop was a skateboard shop called Push. A fun retro-ish show by David K. Rose. I'm a sucker for 50's robots and devils.

After that I said ciao to the pals, and hit the Tobacco Warehouse antique mall. Found a number of things but the really cool stuff was larger than I wanted to deal with. I can only imagine how much I would spend if I lived in this neck of the woods.

Later that night had a nice reception at Random Arts. This is a great little store and Jane is a great host. After the crowd arrived I did a little "Secrets of Rusty Things" pimpin'...read some passages and answered some questions....did a few magic tricks (not really but how cool would it be if I could do that...something to think about). Fun time...then off to bed...the next day was a teaching day. Whats on T.V....Addams Family...perfect...not long before I was fast asleep.....
To be continued............

Thursday, May 10, 2007

You have to see this stuff


Still in North Carolina, getting ready for my workshop tomorrow. At the moment I am in the WhistleStop Cafe eating what may be the best scone I have ever had. It's actually sort of a cross between a muffin in a scone...not really dry, not really moist...but damn it's good.

My beautiful girlfriend, Judy, just posted some image from her latest creation. It is amazing...sure I am a little biased...but I think most would agree that this book is pretty spectacular. Here are some images and more on her blog HERE



Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Idyllwild Arts

Hey gang,

Had a great time Hampton, now I'm in beautiuful and lush North Carolina.

Had a moment so I thought I'd mention a venue coming up in California. It is in Idyllwild, a mountain town above Palm springs (great little town). So if you're in the So. Cal area you may be interested...here's the scoop

July 16 - 20
including Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Holy Rolling Hot Wheels
and Trash to Treasure Assemblage Alchemy

here's the link
http://www.idyllwildarts.org/summer/programs/adult_arts_center/adult_arts_courses/adult_arts_courses_a_courses.html

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Waiting for a pizza...


I thought I'd drop a line. I am in Virginia for Art and Soul right now...drinking a glass of Glenlivet single malt, and waiting for a pizza...not much else available at midnight.

What a crazy day. One thing that sucks about living in Missoula (aka the cultural Mecca of Montana...also aka "a place...sort of") is that it means never having a direct flight. So today was a day of running from terminal to terminal. It started when I got to Denver...no record of my next leg...you see I was flying United but US airways was the carrier. So I get in...check in as US Air and they say "no record of the flight" and I should check with United. So across the terminal I go...way across...bare in mind I have 45 min till the flight leaves. I get to United...they say "yes I do have a flight booked on US Air and the dude prints me out some thingies to show the US Air dude. Meanwhile he's badmouthing US Air.

So all the way back to where I started...finally the US Air guy finds my reservation with 2 minutes to spare....meanwhile he is badmouthing United.

Okay so I'm on board to Charlotte...

So I get in to Charlotte 20 minutes late...10 minutes till the plane leaves...guess what...my gate is a bajillion miles away...AND they didn't have time to print me out a ticket in Denver...so I have to do it at the gate. I am sprinting through the airport, sweating like a pig (i assume pigs sweat)...get to the gate as it is closing and they let me in.

So flight get in and of coarse I'm missing a bag...tool and art supplies showed...just no clothes...oh well. I can't complain...at least I got to my destination, I was figuring I'd be spending the night in Denver or Charlotte. Besides the baggage claim lady was really sweet and funny. Talked to a super nice cab driver. Checked in, order my double scotch and as I write this my pizza arrived.

Sometimes you need the stupid annoying stuff to help you appreciate something as simple as a pizza. mmmm good

Books to Pre-Order

Here's a few books to keep your eyes on. You can order these books by clicking on the icon under the "Interesting Reads" section of the blog on the right hand column.

First is Rice's book....I actually have some work in this book. It has my "never seen before" retrato series. After the book is released I'll post the images...but you'll have to wait...

Here's the skinny
Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspirations from Working Artists (Paperback)
by Rice Freeman-zachary
Book Description
Broad appeal for collage/mixed-media artists, paper crafters, jewelry makers and all other creative individuals looking for new ways to tap into creativity.

Features quick creative jump-starts and exercises from established artists in a variety of mediums.

This book answers questions that every crafter ponders: What is creativity anyway? Where do ideas come from? How do successful artists get started? How do you know when a piece is finished? Creativity is different for everyone, and Living the Creative Life offers a wide range of insights from 15 well-known and admired full-time artists, including: Linda Woods (art journaler and author of Visual Chronicles and the forthcoming Journal Revolution), Michael DeMeng (mixed-media assemblage artist and author of the Secrets of Rusty Things), Melissa Zink (New Mexican mixed-media artist and bronze sculptor), James Michael Starr (collage and assemblage artist), Scott Radke (puppet maker) and many others. Colorful and engaging artwork fills the pages alongside the chronicles of artistic awakenings, creative techniques, inspired strategies, unique ways of thinking, and high-energy brainstorms by the very artists these readers admire in magazines, learn from at retreat workshops and buy work from online. Full of been-there, can-sympathize-with-that, have-you-thought-about-trying-this stories and insights, The Creative Life will appeal to artists of all mediums and skill levels.


Next book is from my buddy Laurie Mika. She is one of my all time favorite people...and she and her husband spend a ton of time in Mexico...so we have plenty to chat about. Her book is now availble for pre-order too...so here is the skinny for that

Mixed Media Mosaics: Techniques & Projects Using Polymer Clay Tiles Beads & Other Embellishments (Paperback)
by Laurie Mika


Book Description
Great crossover potential--introduces a fresh creative medium and process for mixed-media, collage, assemblage, polymer clay and mosaic tile artists.

Project variety--along with more familiar surfaces (like tables and mirrors), mosaic work is introduced in refreshingly new formats, such as jewelry and shrines.

Features an extensive techniques section and 18 step-by-step demos designed to be accessible to all skill levels.

Mixed Media Mosaics uses polymer-clay, mosaic-tile work as a new and exciting platform for mixed-media/collage artists. Readers will learn to craft highly textural and vividly colored icons, boxes, tables, items of personal adornment and more, using a combination of manufactured tiles and handmade tiles. Techniques for creating the tiles include painting and glazing, stamping, embedding items like beads and buttons, mixing pigments and mica powders with clay, adding metallic leaf, creating molds, combining the handcrafted tiles with traditional mosaic tile, grout alternatives and more. In addition to learning techniques for making their own tiles, readers will discover helpful processes for working inspiration (such as an homage to a loved one or a memorable getaway) into their tile-work, using personalization techniques such as stamping words or adding personal ephemera and found objects.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Judy just emailed me a link with Danse Macabre images (oh, she knows me too well). The Danse Macabre was a theme during the Black Plague days, in which death is personified and dances away with the victims. A great movie that addresses this issue is the Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman. Max von Sydow plays a knight who wanders the plague ridden countryside, shadowed by Death...they even play a game of chess...quite civilized.
In any event, as most of you may know I am obsessed with the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. The concepts behind the Danse Macabre are very similar to the personifications in the Latin holiday. Jose Posada's woodcuts from the early 1900's are very similar. Very comical yet grim reminders of mortality. It's my belief, that in both cases, they are very necessary examples of comic relief...they are attempts to laugh at death despite the reaper's inevitable victory. This plays into my theory that only by recognizing ones own mortal fragility can one really appreciate life...perhaps this is why the Mexican culture always seemed happier than the American culture (which is interesting given the obvious economic differences). Just a thought.

Here is a piece by Posada...more dead dudes dancing....they have pretty good moves...considering....they're dead.
Then, of course there is my version...these stamps are from my Stampers Anonymous line...haven't gotten to the dancing theme yet though...