June 26, 2012
It doesn’t seem possible that four months have passed since first I started on this new adventure. Today would have been my grandmother’s 115th birthday. She only made it to 80 but she is remembered, still. Especially when I am working on one of my projects that involves sewing, embroidery, beadwork. It was from her I inherited those skills through my mother, although Mother did not do much embroidery of beadwork.
For those of you with a passion for the work of John Singer Sargent, you need to read “Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the fall of Madame X” by Deborah Davis. An historical novel, it tells the story of the painting of “Madame X.” She was an American, Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau, from Louisiana whose father fought in the Civil War. After he died of his wounds, her mother took the two daughters back to Paris where they lived with the French grandparents. Sargent did the painting for free as he thought it would raise his standing as painter of the upper classes. Amélie thought it would raise her standing in society. OOPS! Who would have thought a dangling strap could cause such a scandal?
I also had the pleasure of hearing Deborah Davis speak at the Designer’s Guild about her book, “The Secret Life of Frames: Lowey—100 Years of Art and Artistry.” It was so engaging that I visited Lowey’s Frames in New York last December with my friend Susan. It was a memorable experience. We were treated to a tour of the entire facility from the top down.
5th floor, art conservation
4th floor, gessoing & gilding. We got to try burnishing with an agate burnishing tool. We also saw a 17th century frame about 12″ x 15″ that would have been $15000. Too much? They had created a reproduction that was about 9″ x 12″ that was a mere $4500. It had been gessoed and was ready to be gilded.
3rd floor, matting.
2nd floor, archives—over 4000 historic frames of all shapes and sizes.
1st floor, display and sales.
Needless to say, the company caters to museums, galleries, and collectors. But it was an awesome experience. The second and third generation of the family who owns it could not have been more gracious. The company has been in existence for over 100 years. Next time you are in New York, do visit. Can’t go? Google them. It is an experience, too.
Have finished two assemblage sculptures: :Run, Rabbit, Run: and :Love Is Blind.” When the photos are back—when Sasha has time to breathe between her job up at Idyllwild Arts as Assistant Technical Director for the summer program and her school work—I will post them.
Until then—have a happy and relaxing summer.
February 20, 2012
Well, this is a new process for me. It has always been a battle for me to decide to work on art and design projects or just write about it. For some reason, there is seldom time to do both. However, I will endeavor to write something—anything—to get me started.
Yesterday, I presented a very successful workshop on my PASSION FOR PATTERN art work. This was the lesson written up and published in School Arts Magazine in January. When it arrived, I almost screamed with delight as the publishers had used one of my images for the cover. Talk about excitement. Then, yesterday, one of the women got so excited because she had that issue of the magazine and had shown her students the cover. She didn’t put my workshop together with the article until I showed them my copy of the magazine. She just kept babbling about how excited the students would be when she told them she met the author. My day was made. This is the third time I have done this presentation and it is always so well received.
Now, as you know, I am always sharing new finds with people or turning them on to some of my favorite destinations. If you have not yet seen my sister’s blog from Istanbul, you are in for a treat. Go to tricivenola.wordpress.com. Not only does she talk about her drawing process, she shows each days work. Part art lesson, part travelog, part history, she puts it all in and it reads like a novel. Even my brother, Richard, a professional writer says he wishes his writing was as superb as Trici’s. Can you tell I am very proud of both of their abilities and passions?
Am presently working on two new assemblage pieces so look for new updates as they progress. Run, Rabbit, Run is in the beginning stages of construction. REAL TO REEL is still in the incubation stage but I know what it will look like and how it will work—it is interactive—but I am trying to figure out construction problems.