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2009 Vashon Island Holiday Art Studio Tour

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The 2009 Vashon Island Holiday Art Studio Tour has come and gone.  My studio is a bit off the beaten track (even by Vashon standards), so I was surprised and very encouraged by the numbers of people willing to brave the cold and the unknown in search of art.
I want to thank Tiffany Huslig,  Sooze Bloom de Leon Grossman and Benjamin Grossman for the wonderful artwork they created to exhibit during the tour and to say thank you one more time to my family and friends for traveling long distances to help make the tour so much fun and such a success.

I had many, many inspiring conversations with art patrons and fellow artists during the tour.  Making art is a peak experience for me and the next best thing to making art is talking about art.

Thanks so much for your interest, patronage and for visiting my studio.

Above are shots of my print studio in exhibition attire.  Below is a shot of some of Tiffany Huslig’s beautiful ornaments.

Achilles Complex

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This evening I am posting an image of my (still a little wet) painting, Achilles Complex. It will be exhibited for sale in my studio during the Vashon Island Art Studio Tour.

When Thetis became convinced that her son Achilles would die if drafted into war with Troy she hid him on the island of Scyros, disguised as a girl, among the daughters of Lycomedes.  (Imagine a young Brad Pitt in a dress.)

The Roman poet Statius wrote about the repressed Achilles, his sexual awakening among his “sisters” and the subsequent end to his feminine masquerade by Ulysses in his poem “The Achilleid.”

Based on this mythic evidence psychiatrist Demetrian Delias suggests that the violence and aggression that the adult Achilles manifests might be traced to trauma that began during this pre-Oedipal period. The person who suffers from an Achilles Complex is dominated by sadistic, murderous impulses that may be turned against the self or may ultimately be enacted against others. 

Achilles Complex is an oil p…

The Titans

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The Titans were deities of Greece’s mythic Golden Age.  Born of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (Sky) the twelve Titans who ruled the universe were the brothers Kronos, Koios, Krios, Iapetos, Hyperion, Okeanos and their sisters and consorts Theia, Rhea, Themis, Memsoyte, Phoebe and Tethys.

Kois, Krios, Iapetos and Hyperion were each associated with a cardinal point representing the four great pillars which in early myth separated the earth from sky and later supported the entire cosmos. Kronos (Time) represented the fixed point, around which the world/cosmos ticked, while Okenos was the river/ocean or fabric wherein the world/cosmos moved.

In this Monotype, Kronos is depicted as a Sphinx, symbol of question and answer,  the cosmological constraint or constant that simultaneously embodies the past, present and future.

Posted above is an image of my Monotype Titansmounted on wood panel, 14 1/8 x 35 1/2 in.    Look for Titans on the Vashon Holiday Studio Tour at my studio (#15), December 5-6,…

Sweet, Holiday Ornament by Tiffany Huslig

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Tiffany Huslig’s beaded holiday ornaments are remarkable, beautifull, one-of-a-kind designs.  Made from the artist’s collection of glass and metal beads.  Each handknotted beadwork ornament incorporates traditional and original beading patterns and stitches.  I am delighted that Tiffany is exhibiting with me during the Vashon Island Studio Tour,  December 5-6, 12-13, 10am-4pm.  See the  tour map at: www.VashonIslandArtStudioTour.com.   Above and below are examples of her unique art.





Alpha Beta

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My painting Alpha Beta was created for Vashon Allied Arts Miniature Show at the Blue Heron Gallery (19704 Vashon Hwy. SW)  in December.
The elements of our alphabet, the alphabet I am using as subject for painting and that you are reading now, were first developed as cuneiform writing in Sumeria. ca. 2500 BCE.  Egyptian civilization also adopted the representation of symbols as syllables at about the same time. Phoenicians subsequently adopted and adapted those systems and the Greeks, around 800 BCE, began to use letter names of Phoenician letters to represent a word that began with the sound represented by that letter.  Aleph, the word for ox became A,a.  Bet, meaning house, became B,b and so on.  Romans then adapted the Greek system, ca. 600 BCE.  The Anglo Saxons used the Roman system to write (English) beginning in the 7th century, CE.

Alpha Beta is a painting in oil on canvas, mounted on wood, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.

Laughing Magpies

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I am so pleased to be sharing my studio during the Vashon Island Artists Studio Tour with my good friends at Laughing Magpies, Sooze Bloom deLeon Grossman and Benjamin Grossman.  The skeleton above and mermaid below are wonderful examples of the imagery they make with fused glass.  Their glass kilns and studio aren’t far from my own and I am always excited to see what fun they are up to.  I am always inspired.

The Centauromachy (Battle of the Centaurs)

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I have completed another Monotype to be exhibited when my studio (23520 147 Ave SW, Vashon Island, WA) is open for the Vashon Island Holiday Studio Tour (the first two weekends in December).  This work, titled, Centauromachy, (Battle of the Centaurs), is my riff on a classical Greek theme, and favorite subject of European Renaissance artists.

The Lapiths, in Greek mythology, were a pre-Hellenic race who lived with Centaurs in Thessaly in the river valley of the Peneus.  Mythic genealogies make Lapiths and Centaurs a kindred race, the Lapith King Pirithous being the son, and the Centaurs, perhaps, sons or grandsons of Ixion.  (The myths of Ixion are confused and very interesting.  I am working on future imagery inspired by his story).

During the celebratory wedding feast of Pirithous and his bride Hippodamia the Centaurs, inflamed by wine, attempt to abduct the bride.  In the battle that ensues the Lapiths with the help of legendary heroes like Theseus, defeat and subsequently drive …

The Bull, the Bee and the Goddess

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I have completed another Monotype whose imagery draws on the bull, the Goddess and Cretan ritual for inspiration.  It is called The Bull, the Bee and the Goddess.  It will be exhibited at the Heron’s Nest during Vashon Island’s Holiday Studio Tour (December 5, 6 & 12,13) and is one of several paintings and Monotypes I will be exhibiting at The Heron's Nest throughout the month of December.

A few years ago two good friends walked the El Camino de Santiago in Spain. Later, while describing the experience of hiking through Galicia and encountering shrine after shrine to “Our Lady”, one commented that these alters were probably manifestations of the Goddess filtered through the Christian tradition.  Her observation struck a personal chord and inspired my own arm chair research and subsequent visual exploration.

The Goddess or Mother Goddess is the oldest deity in the archaeological record. Her manifestations are legion. One of her earliest (neolithic) forms is that of the Queen Be…

Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Art Auction

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The Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Crab Feed, a much loved tradition (1969-1994), party and auction fundraiser,  rides again.  This 2009 gala promises to be spectacular!  In addition to beautiful glass. sculpture. painting and print art donated by local and regional artists there will be such exceptional items as a flight over Bainbridge in an historic airplane, Emu Topsoil Garden Compost (really!), a Sage fly rod, and tickets to the Elton John/Billy Joel concert.  The party starts a 6:00 PM, October 24 at Banbridge Arts and Crafts.  Purchase tickets at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts or by telephone at 206.842.3132.  The image above is my donation to the Art Auction, a Monotype print, titled
The Garden of the Hesperides.

The Bull from the Sea

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Today I am posting an image of and detail from The Bull from the Sea. It’s a Monotype I have just completed and will be displaying when I open my studio for Vashon Island’s Holiday Studio Tour, the first two weekends in December. Lately I have been reading about bulls and the richly various rolls they have played in human history. If you are familiar with the myth of the Minotaur you may remember to what the tittle refers.
Archaeological discoveries of ceremonial objects and art from numerous Paleolithic, Neolithic, and particularly in Minoan and Mycenaean sites attest a long symbolic life giving connection of the bull, to seasonal waters, vegetative regeneration and the incarnate generative force of the Goddess. Dorothy Cameron in her book “Symbols of Birth and Death in the Neolithic Period” offers diagrammatic comparison that the likeness of the head and horns of the bull in Neolithic art may also be a symbolic depiction of the female reproductive organs.
Cretan culture is rich with b…

PrintZero Exchange 6, Night Garden

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Beginning in 2003 PrintZero Studio, founded by Brian Lane and Jeremy Cody, has hosted and coordinated the exhibition and exchange of prints with the admirable intention of promoting the art of printmaking.
Participating print artists must submit an edition of 15 small (5x7) prints created through any traditional printmaking process. There is no assigned theme. Each artist then receives in exchange 13 randomly selected prints and the opportunity to exhibit in a wonderful traveling venue.
Past PrintZero Exchange shows have exhibited in Seattle WA, Portland OR, Miami FL, Homer AK, Laramie WY, Buffalo NY, Madison WI, and Naestved, Denmark. This year 383 participants representing 21 countries will be exhibited.
My submission, Night Garden, is a simple linocut and visual exploration of a poem by a friend called “Madam of the Secret Garden”.
The opening reception for PrintZero Studio’s Exchange 6 exhibition will be held on Saturday August 29 from 6-10pm, at Airport Way South, Sea…

Cabbages and Kings

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Earlier this summer, VIGA, the Vashon Island Growers Association, invited regional artists to submit imagery, for reproduction, representative of island growers and garden produce. My Monotype, Cabbages and Kings was selected to advertise the VIGA markets as a promotional poster for 2009.
Now Greg Wessel, manager of the Two Wall Gallery, has invited VIGA and all artists that participated in the competition to show their poster entries and related work. In addition to wonderful imagery, art patrons may also sample tasty food made from Vashon-grown produce at the opening. The show will hang through September and opens Friday, September 4th, 6pm at Two Wall Gallery, 17600 Vashon Hwy SW. Posted above are the two Monotype images, Cabbages and Kings and Harvest Kings that I will be exhibiting.

Postcards from the Edge

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George Wright, sculpture and director of the Heron's Nest Gallery on Vashon, invited seven artists to create work for an August show in the gallery. She chose Postcards from the Edge as theme and everyone has approached the subject quite differently. I frequently print at an almost postcard scale, particularly when I am searching for accidental compositions to develop as paintings or larger print imagery. The cards are 6 3/4 x 5 inches. Above are a few of the twenty Monotype and Collograph print images I made for the exhibit.

Trojan Mail

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This weekend is the 19th annual Vashon Island Garden Tour and the island is humming. This much anticipated tour benefits Vashon Allied Arts. Six island homes open their garden gates and welcome plant and garden design enthusiasts on Saturday and Sunday June 27 and 28, 10 AM to 5 PM. For all the details visit www.VashonAlledArts.org. There are lectures by Karen Baer, on Friday night, a sunset garden dinner at the home of landscape designer Daniel Klein with guest speaker Valerie Easton, a wonderful exhibit at the Blue Heron gallery of sculpture by Mike Urban, watercolors by Donna Botten, paintings in oil by Kristen Reitz-Green, and not to be missed, a chamber music concert by world renowned cellists Rowena Hammill and Doug Davis with piano accompaniment by Francoise Regnat.
Who could ask for anything more? How about a chance to bid on an artist-created mailbox. Twenty island artist have turned ordinary mailboxes into works of art. Here is my take on "mail box&…

ATLAS

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And so, the world turns. In archaic Greek cosmological explanations of the heavens the Telamones became one and and the one was Atlas. Described as the sufferer or bearer of the heavens, Atlas was a second generation Titan. His brothers, Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Menoitios were all sons of Iapetos and Asia, or perhaps Iapetos and Klymene. Homer, in the Odyssey, writes,"Atlas the baleful, (oloophron); knows the depths of all the seas, and he, no other, guards (or holds) the tall pillars that keep the sky and earth apart." After Atlas leads a failed revolt against the Olympian gods Zeus condemns him to this fate and he becomes the one who turns the heavens on their axis, causing the stars to revolve.  I have been playing with compositions for digital prints with Atlas as subject.  Above is an example.

Telamones

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I am making progress on Telamones, the video cabinet commission, and presently working out the painted pattern that will be applied to the outside. I still need to give it another coat of gesso before I begin transferring the pattern and painting.
The specifications changed from a wall mounted flat screen to one that sits on a table and so the design also changed to accommodate the base that is part of the flat screen video and a roof element to visually balance the base. I think it is starting to look pretty fun.

Pillars of the World

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I have been listening to Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel as I work on a new comission. The book is constructed around letters from his daughter Sour Maria Celeste and is about Galileo Galilei's life as the foremost Italian scholar of the seventeenth century, his earth shaking discoveries, all framed by his eventualclashwith Catholic doctrine. I am often drawn to the investigation of definition as subject or the edges of redefinition. The place where one myth is replaced by another or theexplanation that reflects current discovery and the truths of a new epoch take hold. The science and art of Italy in the seventeenth century were all about new truths and redefinition of the accepted truth. While listening to Galileo's Daughter I have been working on several images and a commission who's subject is “Pillars of the World.” These originally began with a Monotype print titled Telamones. Telamones are themale equivalent of the female Caryatids of classical architect…

Archives An Art Sale

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Today I have been looking through older work trying to decide what I might show in Vashon Allied Arts Archives Art Sale at the Blue Heron Gallery. I came up with several collaged monoprints from a series dating from and referencing the invasion and occupation of Iraq.


In 2003 we were being bombarded by euphemisms to sell and provide cover for war. Preemptive War, promoting a war to prevent war is a good example, as is Collateral Damage, people killed in military actions who were not the intended target. How about Enhanced Interrogation? I mean torture. I was offended and thought a print series highlighting these tittles of misdirection and militarization of the US media was an appropriate response.


The print titledIDon't Know But I've been Told, (originally words from a military marching cadence,) is about people's willingness to believe. Without question, they march in the direction they are told.


The Archives Art Sale begins May 29 at 5pm for VAA member…
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