Monday, April 30, 2007

Gatorland: this looks like a great exhibit

So I was just forwarded an announcement to an exhibit in Charlotte, NC. It looks great. It's entitled Gatorland. Very funny stuff...though darkly favorite kind of funny.

I'll be in this area in a week or so (though it is about a two hour drive) I might have to wander that way. The artist's name is Russel Biles and he's exhibiting at the Center of the Earth Gallery. Here's the announcement.

Center of the Earth Gallery
3204 North Davidson Street
Charlotte, NC 28205
NODA Art District, In the heart of historic North Charlotte
Ph 704-375-5756

Hours: Monday by appointment, Tues - Fri 11 - 5 pm, Sat 12 - 5 pm
ARTIST RECEPTION: Friday, May 4th, 2007, 6-9 pm
Please join us and meet the artist!
Sure to be a THRILLING night!
EXHIBITION: May - June 2007
Fear, love, anger, and morbid curiosity - this is the stuff of Russell Biles. Every sculpture is subversive. In this new body of work, Biles mocks the media's curious exploitation and obsession with animal attacks. Always a challenger of social norms, Biles' work presents layers of meaning such as innocence lost and the idea that our culture is consuming our children. Exaggerated, contorted, and sometimes disturbing poses and expressions are presented with incredible detail.
Representing Russell Biles for over 15 years, Center of the Earth is proud to present this exhibit. An internationally collected artist, Russell Biles is currently making headlines in New York and Chicago. Regularly exhibiting at SOFA Chicago, his work is included in numerous private collections and museums.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Australian Workshop Scoop

As most of you know by now I'll be in Australia for about three months beginning in it looks like the Aussies are putting the Yank to work while I'm there.

So here's what I have so far....

Perth: Dec. 7-10
Fri December 7: VooDoo DooDad Dolls
Sat and Sunday December 8th and 9th: 2 day Assem-Books
Monday December 10: TBA
Contact Jo at Artistic Journey

Melbourne: Feb 2-3
Sat and Sunday February 2nd and 3rd
still trying to figure out what to teach
contact: Marg Byrne

Sydney: Feb 16 -17
(in the works) Might be in an area overlooking the Shoalhaven River.
Sat. and Sun February 16th and 17th
It will probably be a two day workshop but we'll see.
contact: Janine

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rust, Tools and Bubble Wrap

Just getting ready to ship some boxes. Nothing very creative going on around here. I'm trying to get ready for Art and Soul Virginia and so I'm gathering supplies and shipping the goodies off.

Spent the morning at Pacific Steel...lots of rusty goodies there. Love the big cranes swinging overhead and all the pointy tetanus transmitting devices...and whats not to love about the smell of gasoline and mud.
This is neither Judy nor me...but it is my dream date. Judy and I did have a few moments like this in Sydney junk yards, but no fiery oil drums....maybe in May when I get there...with a nice Chianti...what could be better?

Next stop the hardware store...the usual stuff...Liquid Nails by the case...Dremmel blades...and a new Dremmel tool (nothing fancy just a extra one for when I hit the road).

Oh yes, the bane of my existence....bubble wrap. I hate it...not as much as styrofoam popcorn, but I hate packing up stuff and the fact I have to buy it really irks me. I used to spend my days driving down alleys of stores getting the stuff for free, but its a little harder to find with the recycle bins...and I have to admit I no longer want to drive from store to store attempting to find the bubble wrap mother load. So Staples it is.
Not very interesting...but hey I've got to do it.

Oh...good news may be on the horizon for you Sydney-ites who are interested in taking a class from me. There is the possibility that I might be doing something in mid Feb, there. I'll keep you posted as I hear the skinny.

time to pack boxes...yippee

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Musty Tuscan Closet

Photo by Jane Rosemont

Last May/June when I taught in Cortona, Italy, we had the most amazing class setting. The classroom was the top floor of an old Monastery. The view from the large windows overlooked the Tuscan valley. Hard to beat.

During class we had a large pile of junk in the middle of the room from recent salvage expeditions, but we needed more. So being the snoop I am I started looking around. There was a door that had not been looked into...and I figured with a raw space like this, that there was a fairly good chance that junk got stashed away in there. Sure enough. It was the "stash away room" know the place you put things you don't want to throw away, but really do want to throw away. There were boxes of paper and knick knacks, but the most amazing thing was the broken life size saint statues covered in plastic sheets. Noooooo....I did not use the statues in art....I have some respect....but my photographer buddy Jane Rosemont went crazy with her camera. She got some amazing shots. She has an amazing ability to capture the humanity in all things (living or not). Her photos of people are incredible.

So Jane has exhibit and a book coming out with images of here recent global travels. You should take a peek.

here's the scoop on the exhibit
Photographs by Jane Rosemont
Exhibited at:
The Teahouse
821 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico • 505-992-0972
June 1–30, 2007
Opening Reception Friday, June 8, 4–7pm
For purchase or other information, contact:
Jane Rosemont

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Attention all you Aussies

Okay here's a question for ya...
as some of you know I'll be in Melbourne teaching on Feb 2nd and 3rd. So I'm trying to figure out the low down on whether to teach a two-day class or two different one day classes. Now if I had my druthers I would opt for the two day'er just because it allows time for things to dry before the painting, but it also allows a bit more time and allows for the pieces to be a bit more involved. Perhaps we might be able to take an hour out to go junking as well...if there is a place nearby.

One option for a two day class would be a random shrine making class...where people make various types of shrine using all the items they bring...find etc.

Another option is creating
Assem-books...or should it be Assemblooks...whatever....found object book constructions. This really requires two days to complete...especially if people want to add pages etc.

Anyway let me know if you have any input...
Here are some sample assembooks...or blooks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Listen hear

About a week ago I did a little interview over the phone for Crafting Voices. It was part of a segment that focused on artists who dealt with discarded materials. The other artists in the segment are Bryant Holsenbeck (an environmental artist) and Boris Bally (who's work is made from discarded traffic stuff).

It was a lot of fun and Nicolotte Tallmadge, the host and creator, puts together a very professional show.
Take a listen.

Art Classes in Helena, MT

Spring is starting appear and things are starting to look green and flowery. So it's a perfect time of year for a road trip, thus I'll be heading to the historic town of Helena this weekend to teach some classes at the Holter Museum.

So here's a shout out to all Montanans who are interested in some ShoeShrining (also doing some pez totems as well) this Saturday from 9 to 4...give the Holter a holler and join us. Click here for more info

Friday, April 13, 2007

Yep it's true....Italy 2008

I'll be heading back to Italy for workshop in Sept. 2008, This is just a teaser but I just wanted to let everyone who may be interested that I'll be back in the beautiful fortress town of Cortona. We had such a great time last year that It's time to go back...hopefully I'll lure a few of the "Grupa de Stacie" clan back and gain some new faces. I confirmed everything and we'll be getting the same killer room in the top of the converted monastery that overlooks the Tuscan valley.

More info to come...for instance what I'll be teaching, the various junking trips, etc. I just wanted to get you all thinking about art, junking, wine and food...not to mention it will be grape harvest time then. Beautiful.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jane Wynn's book...part one

My pal and fellow mad art scientist, Jane Wynn, has just revealed the cover of her book, Altered Curiosities. It's due out in the fall. Looks great, don't you think? By the way she has the same wonderful editor that I do (hi Tonia). Hooray Ms. Wynn!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Missoula Art Critique Group

Just got back from an Art critique group that my friend Carol O'Bagy started. I have to say that I can't encourage people enough to do this type of thing. Those of you who have taken my classes, know that I always end with a critique session...which often means my classes run a bit late. When I was in Art School I LOVED the critiques. One thing to remember is that often what you see in your head is not what everyone else sees. Remember, Art is communication, and the idea is to get your ideas across. The creator must be willing to defend his/her position and intention. Both the creator and the viewer grows from such and experience. My critiques are NEVER NEVER negative. I believe they should be about helping people grow, and not about shooting people down. I love when people give me suggestions...I may not always use them, but I always consider them, and sometimes when I do use them I wonder..."gee why didn't I think of that"

The hardest thing to do in a critique (if not down right impossible) is to be totally aesthetically neutral. We all come from a different point of view aesthetically, and we all have biases. But that is okay, those biases are worth hearing and considering. I do try and take on the position of "if I had your aesthetic, what would I do differently?". I'm not saying that it is easy to do that, but it is worth attempting, because it helps me understand and appreciate art that I may not initially gravitate towards. Plus, some of the issues that are addressed in the discussion, probably are applicable to my style.

In a nutshell. I think it's worthwhile venture. Thanks Carol and keep up the good work. Those Missoulians who are interested in participating drop me a line and I'll forward it to Carol. Those of you who want to start something in your neck of the woods, I did find a good article on starting and maintaining such groups online at Fiberarts Magazine. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hmmmm...I see...very interesting

Stephanie Lee
just sent me this image from ARTFEST. This excellent hat was created Sue Hadden, one of my students in the Mad Hatter's Tea Party class. Shhhhhhh...I'm thinking.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Gather's storytime

I was visiting Ursula's (my new aussie friend) blog, and one of the comments was quite intriguing. With her permission, here's what Lysh had to say:

My comment is actually a story:

Once upon a time there were three artists: daddy artist (for he had been a teacher), mummy artist and baby artist.

One day mummy & daddy artist decided to go on a pilgrimage, far across the land to see an art guru called deMeng. Baby artist was very young (and her piggybank was not rich enough) so she stayed at home.

Before leaving on the pilgrimage, this artistic trio was somewhat eccentric but reasonably traditional. They lived and used things that most artists did – paper, canvas and paint. Mummy artist had aspirations to use other things and had once cajoled daddy artist and baby artist into painting a tin… and she had re-crafted a shoe, but apart from that things were relatively normal.

Like all artistic families, they practised hunting and gathering. Once again mummy artist was the most ambitious. She had collected far and wide and had extreme talent for the craft. Mummy artist had every tool there was to have including a GMC. Baby artist in the meantime wondered what Mummy Artist was going to do with all this stuff and more importantly, how like Mary Poppins she seemed to fit more and more into the same space.

So off Daddy and Mummy Artist went to see the Guru deMeng. Upon their return baby artist watched closely for signs of the Guru’s influence. Daddy artist appeared much as before, if not a little tired. Mummy artist though was different. She had a strange desire for the tools that she had so carefully gathered to break. She started frequenting undesirable places and returning with bits and pieces of metal. Baby artist was worried – it looked like shrapnel for bomb making (maybe Guru deMeng was not a nice person and mummy artist was planning on killing daddy and baby artist!) Mummy and Daddy artist had a fondness for a new substance as well – it was called liquid nails. This perplexed baby artist somewhat for it whilst it was liquid it wasn’t the colour of nails at all. It also had a yucky smell, but Mummy and Daddy artist didn’t seem to mind.

And then, just as Mummy artist had wished for, one of her tools broke. Baby artist was surprised because Mummy artist was so overjoyed. So overjoyed that she smashed it up and seemed delighted when yet more bits and pieces of metal emerged. Mummy artist went straight out to buy a new and improved tool – a dremel!

Baby artist then realised that guru deMeng was not a bad man at all. In fact, guru deMeng must have preached having the best tool for the job and this had rubbed off on Mummy Artist. She also guessed that guru deMeng had decreed that no piece of metal is trash and that landfill is evil. So when articles ended their life as their intended purpose, disciples must pull them apart and find new artistic uses for the pieces. Baby artist was still a little concerned that guru deMeng had seemed to fuel the hunting and gathering streak in Mummy Artist. But baby artist was no longer worried that mummy artist meant her any harm.

Posted by: Lysh | April 06, 2007 at 11:22 AM

I was informed later, by Lysh, that she played the roll of baby artist. Thanks Lysh for the fun fable.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Guess what I have that you don't have...yet

Well...yesterday was the day. After over of year of prepping, writing, arting, and then waiting, the Secrets of Rusty Things is in my possession. Tonia, my editor, mailed me a copy as soon as she saw it on her desk. All I have to say is...amazing. What a thrill to open and then to hold in my hot little hands. I don't know if I can explain the sensation of having your own book in your hands and having a Library of Congress number. A little bizarre.

The bummer is that it still won't be out in the stores for a bit. It still looks like it won't be available until June, but at least I know it's for real.

So enjoy the sneak peak...don't want to give to much away.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Puerto Vallarta in May...what could be better?

Just something to think about

Michael deMeng
Lost, Found and Reinvented in Mexico
Contemporary Found Object Shrine Making
Arrival May 18 - depart 24, 2008
a five day workshop, 6 night stay
Well, if deMeng is teaching, it usually means something involving shrines, and who am I to disappoint you. This is a 5 day art adventure in which we will be creating shrines using mixed media and found objects...found objects we find wandering through the Mexican town of Puerto Vallarta. Old shoes, rusty machine parts, license plates, who knows what we'll find and that is the adventure. Then, back in the class, we will assemble, collage, paint, etc. the work into fruition. Mexico is so rich in inspriration when it comes to shrines, that we'll explore a number of possible styles and designs including Nichos, Quadalupes, Ex Votos, and Retablos. Time to turn that trash into treasure. Oh, and don't worry, we'll still have time for margaritas.
Five day workshop, 6 night stay.
Price is $1400
Based on double occupancy

For information and reservations call toll free 1-866-263-9717
or contact Sam @

Visit website:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My buddy Bev

Hi again

Just a not to those in Colorado (or anywhere, I guess). My friend (and once upon a time fellow organizer/founder of Missoula's Day of the the Dead celebration, and before that University schoolmate), Bev Glueckert is teaching in Fort Collins at the Artists Nook. She is an amazing teacher, especially when it comes to printmaking. We both studied under one of the founders of the collagraph (prints made from texture) technique, Don Bunse. So don't miss a chance to take a class from here. Not to mention she's alot of fun.

So if you're in the area April 13th through 15th...go to the Artists Nook

Art and Soul Portland Registration is on

Hey gang,

Classes for Art and Soul Portland are up for grabs.
I'm teaching three classes: Assemblage Retratos,
Six Million Dollar Anatomy Men, and Extremely 3D Forced Perspective Polaroids. Hope to see you there. Click here

Monday, April 02, 2007

Thanks to Teesha, Tracy, Teresa, and Tonia

Well I'm home. What a crazy week.

Lots of fun, lots of stuff to do, but I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo exhausted. The classes went great. Wonderful artists in all the classes. It all started with bowling pins, then moved to madhatter hats, and then to soda pop icons.

Now what made it so exhausting was the tight schedule I had because of two nights of Art openings and a vendor's night. Now I'm not was all really fun and I meant tons of great folks at both events. But I'll tell you what, when everything was over I about collapsed. In fact after it all I was sitting in a restaurant with a group of friends, and at one point my friend Michelle was talking to me but I was just spaced out on some planet looking out the window. Then the martini arrived, and all was well again.

I should say a few things about artfest...first off I love it. What a great bunch of attendees. That said I should also say that Teesha and Tracy Moore are amazing. They do so much and have such great souls. Did I mention that I owe so very much to Teesha. It was really her that convince me to take the plunge into this weird wonderful world I'm absorbed in now. I owe her oodles. I can't thank her enough. And Tracy...well what a fun guy with a huge heart.

As for my gallery experience...another person I can't say enough about is Teresa, the owner of Artisans on Taylor
She is wonderful. If you're lucky as an artist you will manage to find someone in the gallery world who really gets your work and is willing to go to bat for you. I definitely feel this way about her.
She has big plans for the future of the gallery, and it sounds like she is ready to move on them. She also managed to pick up a few new artists for her Port Townsend space. After all, with an extra 500 arty people in town, we were easy for the pickens. So thanks for everything Teresa. You and your staff broke your back for me and I really really appreciate it

Since I'm thanking people with the letter T in the beginning of their name, I should also thank Tonia, my editor, who was also at ArtFest. It was great hanging with her and she of course is a big part of why "Secrets" is coming out at all...soon. We had a nice discussion about a future book idea to pitch. I think we've come up with a good one. Nope I'm not going tell you.

Ok...I'm ty ty...time for bed.