Friday, April 30, 2010

Need a vacation? Vacation is all you ever wanted.

Lots of things going on, so thought I'd get you up to speed with my vacation retreats.

The Big news is that registration for my New Orleans: A Place for Notions and Potions Class has begun.  Kathy has done a great job with the site.  She'll be heading over there soon to get some of the tours figured out.  Makes me want to go....oh yeah I guess I am, but I have to wait till February.
 Click Here to check it out.

down Mexico way.  My Oaxaca deMeng de los Muertos organizer is busy collecting data for this years class: Altar'd Faces.  Mostly what she has been doing is getting info for our class excursions.  Always trying to find something new to experience.  Of course....all the photos she has sent back so far are of her drinking margaritas...hmmmmm.  
Registration is open for that as well, 
contact Colleen Darling:  805-688-1221
Class Info Here

check out the PodCast inteview that I did with the ever-colorful Rice Freeman-Zachery.  Head over to the Voodoo Cafe for a listen.  Click Here

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Just in case you wanted to know...
There is an App for me.  That's right, I have published an App on ITunes.  
You can download it to your IPhone or ITouch. 
It is totally free and has current RSS feeds to my blog as well as Workshop Schedule and Exhibition Schedule. 
 I'm going to be adding a gallery section pretty soon.  So stay tuned for that.
In other words I have entered the world of super geek...but its kind of cool.
If you can't get enough of me...head on over  to ITunes or the IPhone App Store 
and then just search for "Michael deMeng's App-semblage".
Even if you just type "deMeng" you should find it.
Have fun.
M (super geek)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Small Thing

Thought I'd mention a workshop venue that is new to me this year:  The Small Studio Workshop in Lake Avon, Ohio.  Some of you may know that the proprietor of this is Ginny Carter Smallenburg and her husband John.  For those of you who don't know Ginny, she was the founder of Art Continuum, one of the first of the whole art retreat trend.  Since that time she and her husband John have decided to do smaller scale and more intimate retreats in Lake Avon, OH...and thus you will find me there the 11th, 12th, and 13th of June.  

Classes that will be taught are 
Cave of Pages  (1 day)
deMented Toys (2 day)
Also Friday night I will be doing a book signing of Dusty Diablos as well as an artists talk about the new book. The book is really my homage to Mexico and my love affair with a place and culture I hold very dear in my heart.  Specifically I'll talk about how my works relates to Mexican culture and and how it evolved from my frequent excursions south of the border.   I'll also discuss how as Americans we have a lot to learn from our southern neighbor about the value of art in a society.  I'll also do a question and answer session.  
And maybe......
I'll even wear my Luchador mask...if you're lucky
Hope to see you all there...every single one of you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Humble "Thank You"

Thanks everyone for the amazing response to my last post.  I am so glad that what I said resonated with so many of you.  It is what I believe and I am glad to see that I am not alone.  Time to take back the ArtWorld! Vive le Art!   

Strange Angels

Next:  I'd thought I'd show you the haps in the studio...been working on a series of Strange Angels.  It is amazing how many angels there are in various traditions.  There are angels for just about everything.  I even found one for bankers (fallen no doubt).  so here are a few I've completed so far 

This is Rahab
A demon angel of the see
..Leviathan is another incarnation of him/her (angels are often sexless). 
 Notice the name...Rahab....Ahab is hidden in there.  
Coincidence...probably not.

Next is Metatron
the scribe of the the heavens.  Angel of thought

Here's one that I'm still working on not quite sure if I'm finished.
this is Eistibus
the angel of divination

Dusty Diablos Book-signing and Artists Talk
Tues April 27
Shakespeare and Co.  
103 S. 3rd St. W.
Missoula, MT 59801
Stop by and say hey next week...I'll sign Dusty Diablos for ya...Hell bring in any book and I'll sign it...War and Peace, Joy of name it.
Had some nice press this week about the upcoming event.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Artistic Timeline

I have always held the FIRM belief that artistic ideas belong to no one single person.  I have always held the firm belief that Art grows from the ideas of others.  If it didn't we would still be drawing in the mud.  Ever single art that has ever existed comes from a gradual development of a concept or a technique.  Art movements are about artists working on a similar theme, but from those themes come individuality.  If you look at the Renaissance with blurred vision you it would seem that all the artists were sort of copying each other...and guess what, they were.  Of course, I tend to think of it less of copying and more of "learning" from new ideas.  If you look closely you start to notice subtleties in each artists work.  Bosch and Bruegel are very similar...but look closer and they are not.  That is the point, there is no possible way for them to be identical, no two minds will never be able to create exactly the same thing (unless you are a forger which is a different kind of thing altogether).  Art movements are about trends that are interesting or pertinent to the time of the creations.  If there wasn't a fair amount of "learning" from each other there would be no such thing as an art movement.  Otherwise Raphael would be doing Renaissance painting while DaVinci would have been busy inventing Abstract's not what happens.  Artists grow, and expand on the ideas of other Artists.

Now I'm going to pull out a quote from Picasso...well at least it has been attributed to him "Good artists borrow.  Great artists steal."  The reason this is important is that an artist's role is to move ideas forward.  The way they do this is by paying attention to what's going on around them.  I promise you that Michelangelo was well aware of what Raphael was doing and vice versa.    I view art as a science.  Like scientific discoveries, artistic discoveries are built on the bones of its predecessors.  It seems ludicrous to me to have to reinvent something that has already been explored.  All styles and techniques are worthy to be reexamined and rediscovered.  It is what we as artist's do.

So the reason I have sort of a bee in my britches over this issue is that I am amazed at how many of my students seem surprised that I am willing to share my ideas with them.  Of course I'm going to share my ideas.  Art MUST grow!  It must move forward.

I have absolutely no fear that someone is going to "steal" my style and run with it.  Let them, but it won't be my art.  They may use my techniques but it will never be mine and anything I do will not be their's.  It is probable that other artists using certain techniques of mine will grow in directions that I would have never thought of.   In some cases perhaps better.  So be it!  That is a good thing.  If nothing else it keeps me motivated to stay on top of my game.

So for those teachers worried about someone stealing your "secrets"...well you have the choice not to teach or share those secrets.  Of course, by now,  you know how I feel about that point of view.

The reason I am so avid about this position of sharing is that, to me, art is sacred and magical.  It is perhaps one of the most sacred and magical things we have on this earth.   The idea of keeping artistic ideas, techniques and thoughts hidden from other artists seems like a spit in the face of everything that I hold as divine in the Universe.  It is sacrilegious to everything that I believe as an artist.  I believe, as an artist I am here to explore this place through my eyes and hands.  At some point I will have shuffled off this mortal coil.  What greater honor is there than inspiring others and knowing you have contributed to the continuity of the artistic timeline.  Before I die that is what I hope I can achieve, but I can't achieve it unless I am willing to share.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Shoes, Ships and Sealing Wax

"The time has come," the Walrus said,

"To talk of many things:

Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--

Of cabbages--and kings--

And why the sea is boiling hot--

And whether pigs have wings."

Okay so I'm not going to get into all of that, but I do have a bit of business to take care of...

Okay first off..
Attention all Missoulians!!!! 
 Dusty Diablos Booksigning
Booksigning of Dusty Diablos is just around the corner...time-wise and location-wise.
I'm going to be at
April 27th at 7pm.
103 S. 3rd St. W.
Missoula, MT 59801
(406) 549-9010

I'll be scribbling away and doing an artist mark it on your calendar.

Dusty Diablos Exhibit coming up in June!
Speaking of Missoula... Next thing to chat about is a show coming up in June at a new gallery in Missoula...well they are so new the haven't settled on a name yet. 
Melissa and Brian are the owners of Wood Fusion Studio and have turned part of there space in to a loft style gallery.  They are going to be exhibiting all of the work in Dusty Diablos.  We were chatting the other day...there was talk of margaritas, mexican beer, and latin music for the opening.  We even discussed a pinata.  
More on this later.  
(insert gallery name here)
1001 South 4th St West Missoula MT 59801 406-829-9800
Dusty Diablos Art Opening June 4
on exhibit the month of June

Okay last thing to chat about is my new website...same address different look.
My sister slaved and slaved over getting this up and running.  Take a peek and let me know what you think.  Especially if you notice any glitches.  I really like the new look but you'll need Adobe Flash to run it.
let me know what you're thoughts are.

next post I'll show you some of the Strange Angels I've been working on