Monday, August 30, 2010

Our 27th Anniversary

Michael and I have been married for 27 years today!

We've had a great time and it's been an adventure.

We were both living in Michigan, having left and come back though neither of us knew why. Until we met.

We were married 6 months after our first date and left for Colorado within 8 months after we married.  Michael was recruited to be the land manager of the Windstar Foundation. I was the administrative assistant at the Aspen Council for the Arts and did my artwork. Later I worked in the Art Dept at the Aspen Times, which I loved!

We were also property managers for a couple large estates, one of which we lived in. It was a 10,000 sq ft house on the top of Buttermilk Mountain. From our apartment we could see down valley to Mt Sopris, the runs at Snowmass and the Aspen Highlands. It was beautiful.

We met LOTS of interesting and odd people and lots of famous people - Jimmy Buffett, neighbor, Glenn Frey, neighbor, Buckminster Fuller, of course John Denver who Michael worked for, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, neighbors, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, on an on.

And then there were the friends of the owners of the estate we lived in and frequent visitors, Senator Frank Lautenberg, the Glucks (ceo Cesears Wold),  Barbie Benton, neighbor, Mel Simon (developer Mall of America), Leonard and Evelyn Lauder (Estee Lauder), Arthur and Sistie Fischer (one of the developers of Tyson Corners) and Charles Bolla (General Manager of the Beverly Hilton), to name a few.

 Sorry for the name dropping but it taught us not to be intimidated by money or power!

We were in Aspen for 6 years and had a great time. But we longed to be near the water again and in Aspen, even though the sun shone all the time it was still winter 8 months out of the year, 2 months of mud season and 2 glorious months of summer.

We took off in our motor home and traveled through Arizona, NM, Texas, Louisana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and ended up at mile marker 33 in the Florida Keys. We spent the winter there and Michael went to work for Fred Troxel, a local dentist and legend. Fred just happened to be friends with Jimmy Buffett, who has a house in Key West. When he saw Michael at Fred's house he said "don't I know you from somewhere?"

We enjoyed the winter there but knew we weren't going to stay there permanently, a lot like Aspen, one way in, one way out and a great place to visit but......

While we were there we told everyone that would listen that we were looking for a place on the water that was on it's way but hadn't gotten there yet. A retired CIA agent from Duck, NC said we should look at New Bern, NC, "it sounds just like what you're looking for."

We came here, bought a boat that we lived on for 3 years, started Carolina Creations, bought a house in the historic district, 3 years ago built a new house in the historic district.

So here we are twenty years later, still in New Bern and loving it and 27 years later and still loving each other.

Looking forward to the next chapter.

More New Paintings

Here are a few more new paintings for my upcoming show.
This first painting is an oil and about 11 x 14, the photo appears as though the gate is crooked, it is not!
This is my favorite!
I feel like I really made a breakthrough with this one. It's an acrylic. Having worked in watercolor and ink so long I get a little frustrated working with oils. They take so long to dry. I end up with it all over me.
When I still had my Lucy I looked down and there was red all over her beautiful white fur. I panicked! Is she bleeding? No it was a small spot of red paint the size of a dime that turned into a huge spot.

I miss my Lucy.
This is a small painting I did during Mike Rooney's workshop, oil, 8 x 10. I like the simplicity of it. Unlike the complexity of my watercolors but I like the complexity of those!

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Work for my show An Artist Paints New Bern 20 Years

I've really enjoyed this summer, I've let a lot of things go and have been concentrating on painting and developing a style with my oil paintings. I realize I am NOT a plein air painter, I'm a studio artist.

I think if I could sit inside my vw bus and paint then I would possibly paint on site more but I like to get swept up in my painting and carried away. When painting on site people are always stopping to look and talk, which is nice but I loose my concentration.

Don't get me wrong, I like talking to people, I do it every day at Carolina Creations but when I'm painting it's like doing a puzzle and I need to be able to think about what comes next.

I'll post the rest when I get photos.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why is it you don't think of things sooner?

I will often walk around our gallery and look at a display, I've looked at that display a hundred times and one day I think of a new way to do it, we change it and sales take off like never before.

Why didn't I think of that sooner? I guess you can't think of everything.

We've been selling Soap Rocks for many years. Michael shaves with one every morning.

They are beautiful soaps that look like gemstones.

All of a sudden a light bulb went off.

Birth stones!

What a great little gift, only $12 which includes a wood soap dish.

The soaps are a unique blend of whole herb extracts, vitamins and minerals, from aquatic, botanical, and terrestrial sources - extracts of earth: Aloe, calendula, chamomile, comfrey, lavender, vitamin E, vegetable glycerin, chlorophyll, almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, essential oils, mineral earth, kaolin clay, and glycerin.

They are very mild and extra long lasting. they slowly weather away  but retain their beauty all the way through. They contain NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS and are TESTED ON HUMAN BEINGS. Because the soaps are hand hewn they vary in size, shape and color.
You can see all of the different birthstones  by clicking here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

High Line

I just returned from NYC where I went to meet with some of our artists and to look for new work  for the gallery for Christmas.

I had a great time and found lots of neat things for the Christmas season. More about that later.

I did take a few hours and went down to the Meatpacking District to check out the new High Line Park.

Last summer when we were there hardly anyone had heard of it in mid town. Anyone along the line had heard of it because it is transforming the neighborhood already.

Before I go on, this story reminds me of the transformation of our Downtown, how long it took and how it can change everything around it.

A little history - The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district.

No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park.

Just this week they delivered plants to start the second section that goes from 20th to 30th which they hope to open in the spring of 2011. The 3rd and last section makes a u shaped jog and ends next to the Javits.

In 1847 railroad tracks were laid at street level.
1851 – 1929 So many accidents occur between freight trains cars that 10th Avenue becomes known as Death Avenue.
1929 After years of public debate the City, State and railroad agree on the West Side Improvement Project, which includes the High Line.
1934 The High Line opens to trains. It is designed to go through the center of blocks and goes right through buildings.
1950s Growth of interstate trucking leads to a drop in rail traffic.
1960s The southernmost section of the High Line is demolished.
1980 The last train runs on the High Line.
Mid-1980s A group of property owners lobbies for demolition of the entire structure. Members of this group own land under the High Line that was purchased at prices reflecting the High Line's easement. Peter Obletz, a Chelsea resident, activist, and railroad enthusiast, challenges demolition efforts in court and tries to re-establish rail service on the Line.
1999 Friends of the High Line is founded by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, residents of the High Line neighborhood, to advocate for the High Line's preservation and reuse as public open space.
March 2002 Friends of the High Line gains first City support.
October 2002 A study shows that new tax revenues created by the public space will be greater than the costs of construction.
July 2003 An open ideas competition, "Designing the High Line," solicits proposals for the High Line's reuse. 720 teams from 36 countries enter.

September 2004 A design team is chosen - James Corner Field Operations,  a landscape architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an architecture firm, and experts in horticulture, engineering, security, maintenance, public art, and other disciplines.
November 2005 The City takes ownership of the High Line from CSX.
April 2006 Groundbreaking is celebrated on the High Line, construction begins.

June 2009 Section 1 (Gansevoort Street to 20th Street) opens to the public.

It was a very pleasant 10 block stroll and the views were great.

Already you can see the streets along this park being redeveloped. Very exciting!

Here is a link to their website.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Glass by Three Brothers - Mazet Studio

We've been trying to connect with these three artists for a couple years since I saw their work in another gallery. Finally we've got some of their pieces!

It's very interesting to me that many glass artists start out working in clay. There IS a connection with glazes, since they are themselves glass.

These three glass artists do lampwork as opposed to glass blowing.

Glass blowing is a centuries-old technique of forming a glass item by inflating a small amount of molten glass on the end of a hollow iron tube, which is also known as a blowpipe. The technique can be traced back to approximately 50 BC in Roman Syria.

There are two basic types of glass blowing: off hand glass blowing and lampworking.  Both offhand glass blowing and lampworking involve hot, molten glass and a stainless steel or iron rod called a punty. They differ in the process by which the glass is heated and manipulated.

To read more about working in glass there is an informative glass site you can visit by clicking here.

Josh Mazet received his BFA in Ceramics from the University of Oregon in 1999. After graduating he was invited into the Fine Arts Department as a resident artist. For three years he maintained a studio,  instructed the the U of ‘s wood fired ceramics class which included students and community members, and led 15 fires in the university’s Anagama Kiln.

    It was during this time Josh was introduced to lampworking boroscilicate. His work in ceramics gave him a understanding and comfort with flame, atmospheres, kilns, and the chemistry of glass. This compounded with the similarities of the medium, allowed for a smooth and rapid learning of a new medium.

    Timothy Mazet is  the youngest of the Mazet brothers, and the most naturally gifted artist. He has a great eye for detail and precision, which can bee seen in his Dichroic Vortex marbles.

He had always enjoyed drawing, and is a self taught tattoo artist. In 2000, Tim expressed interest in glass to Josh and together they quickly set up a small glass studio.

     Eli Mazet might be the most passionate glass artists you could ever meet. Setting up his own studio space within months of TIm, he was soon on his torch 30-40 hours a week.

In a few years Eli accomplished a level of skill that would take most  people a lifetime  Eli's enthusiasm for glass is contagious!

Next year Josh will be coming to New Bern to do a workshop on lampworking. Let me know if you're interested and I'll put you on a mailing list!

To see more of the Mazets work go to our website by clicking here.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Q Evon

We are always looking for new North Carolina artists that do exceptional work - meet Q Evon!

Q Evon is a leader in the handcrafted jewelry world. Her new collection, named “D.I.G,” is built on the concept that jewelry doesn’t have to be made from materials unethically and harmfully extracted from the earth. For Q, making socially responsible jewelry is not just the “in” thing to do, it has been the foundation of her work for a decade.

She uses gold and silver that have been recycled.

Q Talks about her work - "While attending Parsons School of Design I discovered my greatest skill was in wax carving. With this skill, and a passion for medieval metalwork and architecture, Q Evon Design was born. 

After ten years of doing production jewelry, I realized I needed to expand my skills to move in a new artistic direction. I began studying privately with a master metalsmith and continue this study today.

My current body of work includes fabrication, granulation, acid etching, reticulation & casting of gold, silver, and argentium. During this exploration, I found that incorporating a variety of methods brings about a richness in texture that gives each piece the unique and timeless quality that i strive for in my work.
My work has always reflected a love for ancient metalwork and architecture. My current collections combine both gold and silver with an emphasis on texture. Reticulation, anti-clastic raising, acid etching, granulation, roller printing and the ancient art of keum-boo are combined to create rich metal tapestry.
Each piece is as unique as the individual that chooses to wear my designs."

Evon's designs are a beautiful study in architecture for the body. ... understated elegance that become apparent the moment one is worn.” -New York Times ...

Monday, August 02, 2010

A New Park for New Bern

I'm really excited about the new park that will be developed at the base of Broad Street. It will hold the kinetic sculpture that artist Susan Pascal Beran is creating for New Bern.

The thing I am REALLY excited about is that I'll be able to see the sculpture and park from my house!

I've always loved kinetic sculptures and this one is really special for our town since it depicts

Lycoris radiata var. radiata, RED SPIDER LILY, 1821.
Legend has it that this lily was introduced into New Bern by a US Navy captain in the 1850s and spread across the country from here.

This lily is really interesting because in the spring the red flower pops up out of nowhere, it then dies off and is replaced eventually by spikey green leaves.

Dr. Jim Congleton commissioned the sculpture designed and constructed by Susan Pascal Beran, whose work is featured in the Kennedy Center and major cities throughout the country.

It’s made almost entirely of stainless steel, with “bits of titanium to dance in the wind,” Pascal Beran said, and glass in the center to capture the sunlight. All told, the piece weighs just shy of 2,000 pounds, including the base, and portions of it are specifically treated to be resistant to ultraviolet rays.

The artist has built two similar sculptures for Dallas, she said, but added that New Bern’s is a “super build,” because of the scale of the project and the conditions it must withstand.

Due to utility work that will be done on the site the layout of the park has been modified from the original shown here.

Here is a link to a video at the Atlanta Botanical  Gardens that shows many kinetic sculptures including one by Susan. It's really interesting to hear these artists talk about their work. Click here to watch it.

There will be fundraising campaign spearheaded by Swiss Bear to help develop the park, watch the newspaper for details.