Thursday, May 31, 2012

New York Subway Dancin' Dogs & One Bunny

This is the 2nd color version I've painted from my Animal Subway Series
I decided to pay homage to the awesome dancers that sometimes grace the F train. 
Most of us on the subway are just hoping to get home as quickly and quietly as 
possible, but every now and then, the entertainment is really good! 
There is, at least, one dance group that stuns (almost) everyone with their acrobatics, music & moves. 
It's pretty exciting to watch as they maneuver around the poles and people in the narrow car.

Above is the initial sketch. Can you spot any changes?

There are 5 changes from sketch to final :)

      I visited the Textile Arts Center Open Studios a couple weeks ago. 
They offer classes, studio rentals and artist residencies. 
Artist, Natalie Moore graciously walked a couple of us through her studio.

I gravitated to these whimsical frog and rat dissections. 
Emily Stoneking made these during a previous residency and 
Yes! you can purchase one from her Etsy shop, aKNITomy :)

Sure wish this is what we'd used in my high school science class!

Combs as weights for Natalie's metallic thread on loom :)

I immediately liked these pieces by a Chilean artist, Josefina Concha

and who can resist a tiny loom?

This leads me to my good friend, Melissa Zexter, who embroiders 
patterns, maps, text onto her photographs, creating one of a kind pieces.
You may have seen a post or two about her here before. 
Above, she chats with her studio mate, painter, Valerie Keleman.

I've always been attracted to the world Zexter creates with her images. 
There's often a hint of mystery, a narrative that remains just out of reach, 
much like a fragmented dream or memory. 
The central figure, usually female, in her mosaic-like pieces often seem 
to be disappearing, practically obscured by pattern, 
uncomfortable in their role as model.

     I appreciate the beauty and also humor I see in her newest body of work.
                                     *Side note, if you want to see some reality on the subway, 
                                        the grim & the funny, take a look at her Subway Series!

Another good friend and fellow Local 829 scenic painter
Bryon Finn, held an Open Studio right next door to Melissa and Valerie. 

They all rent space on Richards Street in Red Hook, Bklyn. 
Bryon has been there several years, so I've had the opportunity to see 
many of his pieces in transition and through transformations, of which there can be many.

I'm a Finn fan, for the exuberant color, shapes, sometimes situated  
in uncomfortable relationships and for the pure sense of discovery, 
there is always more to see!

I'm often surprised by which paintings immediately capture my attention 
and which grow on me. I've said to him before, that in a way, each one is like a person 
you're getting to know. In the beginning, they reveal only the traits they want you to see, 
you accept that you may never see all those layers that make them so interesting, 
that contributed to who they are.  

A piece may even look as if something is out of place or unnecessary at 1st glance, 
but if you look closely you realize just how complete each one is, 
move one thing and it loses it's integrity.

Above, artist, Tim Daly ponders the meaning ...

This one wasn't on view, but I liked it from a previous visit :)

You can see more on his site and a couple other faves 
from a previous post 

Knitted Coffee Cup by Juliet Hone

Almost the weekend, have a fabulous one!
xo, A

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Goodnight Gondola

Little Gustavo 
Goodnight gondola, see you tomorrow!
(latest in my Venice animals series)

Red Hook & Carroll Gardens Open Studios are Sat (today) & Sun. 
* Here is a tour map *

I will be visiting two of my favorite people and artists, 

Both studios are on the 3rd floor at
42-50 Richards Street btwn Commerce & Seabring
in Red Hook, Brooklyn 11231

Have a great weekend! 
xo, A

Friday, May 11, 2012

Animals in Venice!

I love Venice, Italy! It's a beautiful, historic, mysterious place. 

Today, I thought I'd share my latest illustration of animals in Venice. 
I think my next story idea will involve a dog gondolier, a day in the life...

My last visit was in spring of 2006 (too long ago)

Here are some of the actual animals I've met in Venice... 

the Glamorous




Animals that shared snacks with my mom & me :)

He needs a drink!

Animals in Galleries

at Home

at Magazine Stands (possible tourist?)



The beautiful  Basilica di San Marco 
in St Mark's Square where people and pigeons flock together.



Elderly and oh so huggable!

The stunning Doge's Palace  


I was happy to catch this shot of a gondolier taking a nap in the sun.


Great dog, great fangs :)

Guard dog

this turtle, bit more sprightly

than this one

My ride in a gondola

Hotel Excelsior on Lido, Venice is absolutely spectacular! 
(and fair deals on rooms off season)

My mom at her best, enjoying life! It's hard not to in Italy :)

Happy Mother's Day Mom
I've had the most wonderful experiences with and because of you!
I hope we have the chance to travel together many more times!!
You are the best.

Hope everyone has a lovely Mother's Day weekend!

xo, A


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