Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Artists of the 2013 Gold Coast Art Fair

I went to the Gold Coast Art Fair (which is actually in Grant Park) yesterday, and was really impressed and inspired by the art and crafts I saw there. It was really nice to see artists I've seen there before coming back again, as well as the new artists whose work I just discovered.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Lisa Toland

Luisa Velasquez

Alla Tsank

Gabor Koranyi

Robert Rydin

Lauren Wimmer Jewelry

Garden Deva

Dan Neil Barnes

Caroline Kramer

TIZO Designs

Enfiniti Design

Carol Long Pottery


Philip Saxby

Casarietti Studio

Carla Bank

Gerardo Leccese

The art fair continues today. It starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. and is bordered by Columbus and Lake Shore Drive on the east and west sides, and Congress and Jackson on the north and south. Click here for the fair's website.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Color Cornucopia: pods, paint, and podcasts

Remember when I said I was "almost finished" with Color Cornucopia several months ago?  I was so wrong.  That painting, like so many other pod paintings, is made of crevices.  Each pod is like a little gaping mouth, hungry for paint.  In the back of my mind a little voice cries out "you missed a spot!" whenever there is a discrepancy.  Pod paintings drive me crazy.  That's why they cost more.

Color Cornucopia

Color Cornucopia

Color Cornucopia
Color Cornucopia
acrylic on cardboard and wood panel
30" x 20"

When I get to the tedious part, the crevice-filling-in portion of the work, I like to listen to podcasts.  It gets my mind off of the tedious task I'm doing.  So I put my phone in airplane mode and listen to the ones I have downloaded.  Some of my favorite podcasts are Radiolab, Snap Judgment, Fresh Air, The Field Negro Guide to Arts and Culture, Bad At Sports, To The Best of Our Knowledge, Filmspotting, and WTF.  Radiolab makes science more fun and interesting.  Their best podcast, so far, was one about the science of colors.  It was so wonderful to work on a painting while listening to it.  If you like Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, you might also enjoy his podcast, The Field Negro Guide to Arts and Culture.  What I like about WTF is the way the show's host, Mark Maron, asks his fellow comedians about how they got started in the business when he interviews them.  I'm always fascinated by those kinds of stories.

Color Cornucopia is now for sale on Etsy. It ships for free and even comes with a free copy of my book.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A special deal on my interior design services

If I had more room, I would call this the Just Got Back From NeoCon and Now I'm Really Inspired to do Some Design Projects and I also Need Money to Pay My Student Loan Bill This Month Special. But that's too long. So I will just post this instead:
So here's the deal. For my readers in Chicago, I will do any room in your home or office for the flat fee of $750. Kitchen, bath, conference room, you name it. I don't care how big it is. As long as you contact me by the 23rd, I'm your designer. And if you're outside of the area and want to work with me remotely, e-mail me and we can set something up.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Design and Desire: Thoughts on NeoCon 2013

Some days I wish I'd never studied interior design, but every June I go to NeoCon at the Merchandise Mart and fall in love with it all over again. Some days I feel like interior design has brought me nothing but debt and disappointment, and then I see things like this:


Then I am reminded of why I loved it so much in the first place. I can't watch HGTV anymore, though I was addicted to it in design school. But now, seeing all those successful designers (which I still am not) and all those happy couples buying their first homes (which I cannot, thanks to the crippling debt design school has left me with) sends me into a jealous rage. So I change the channel.

But I cannot resist the pull of NeoCon, luring me to the Merchandise Mart like a siren song. I can't stay away from the invitation to spend some time, just a few short days, amongst the tribe that has forsaken me. Sorry if you expected this to be some happy little post about how awesome interior design is. Then again, if you expected that, you must not be familiar with my blog at all.

Anyway, let's proceed to what you came here for: the furniture. Here are a few of my favorite things.






As for trends, here's what I noticed.

Accent colors: orange


New colors: quinacridone violet (that's the painter in me coming out)


Popular color schemes: orange and grey


violet and grey


Interesting new products:

carpet that looks like an abstract splatter painting:


carpet that looks like it was spray painted by graffiti artists:


leather made with salmon skins:


There were also a few showrooms that partnered with artists. Some made installations or assemblages from the materials the companies specialized in, like this piece made from scraps of wood left over from chairs the company manufactures. It reminds me of Louise Nevelson's work.


And then there's this gorgeous fiber art by Sheila Hicks.


As a visual artist who is also an interior designer, seeing that inspired me to look into getting my work into some showrooms. If it happens, I will post about it on here. In the meantime, you can see the rest of the photos I took at this link:

As always, it was a bittersweet experience, but was really more sweet than bitter this time. I'm glad I haven't given up on my dream of becoming a designer. I hope to have some new clients soon. If you're interested, please contact me.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Classic TV Shows about Art

One of the latest additions to my studio has been my TV/DVD player. In addition to using it as a monitor, I'm also using it to show different videos that relate to the themes of my art on it during open studios. This month and next month I will be showing classic TV shows for the first time. All of the shows will have one thing in common: an art-driven plot.
While not as common as the clip show or the bottle episode, programs that feature a character trying to become an artist or purchasing a work of art are common enough that I have been able to amass a small collection. Here are some of the ones I'm broadcasting:

"The Hot Minerva," 1961
Two sophisticated thieves scheme to steal an ancient Greek statue from a museum whose very devoted curator would do anything to save it.

The Dick Van Dyke Show
"October Eve," 1964
Laura Petrie is scandalized when a painting that she posed for goes on display at a popular New York art gallery. Though she had posed fully clothed, the artist painted her head on a nude body.


McHale's Navy
"Piazza Binghamtoni," 1965
During his time in an occupied Italian town during World War II, mischievous McHale schemes to have a statue made in honor of his superior, Captain Binghamton, in order to get his friend Ensign Parker out of the brig.

The Dick Van Dyke Show
"Draw Me a Pear," 1965
Rob and Laura Petrie take an art class together. When Rob is offered private lessons at the beautiful instructor's home studio in Greenwich Village, Laura gets very jealous.

Honey West
"Pop Goes the Easel," 1966
Glamourous detective Honey West takes the case of a pop artist whose soup can art has been stolen.

The Monkees
"Art for Monkees' Sake," 1967
Crooked museum guards want to take advantage of bass player/artist Peter's painting skills by having him forge a famous painting.

Sanford and Son
"Tower Power," 1974
When he sees some assemblage art made of scrap metal during a museum tour with his son Lamont, Los Angeles rummage store proprietor Fred Sanford is so inspired that he makes a tower from the junk he's supposed to be selling.

Good Times
"The Art Contest," 1979
Emerging Chicago artist J.J. Evans hopes to win a local art contest so that he will get more students to sign up for the private art lessons he teaches. When his student's painting is mistakenly entered into the contest under J.J.'s name, he is faced with an ethical dilemma.

"Art Work," 1980
Cab driver/gallerina Elaine Nardo tries to help her fellow drivers earn extra money by investing in the work of a dying artist when it comes up for auction.

The Simpsons
"Mom and Pop Art," 1998
Nuclear power plant worker Homer Simpson's failed attempt at a weekend home improvement project is hailed as exciting new outsider art by a local gallery. Has he found his true calling in life?

I will also show some art-related clips from an assortment of shows and movies. I've got Punky Brewster painting her bedroom (so bright her adoptive father has to put on sunglasses when he sees it), Lieutenant Columbo trying to understand the contemporary art of the late 1970's, Detective David Addison making some accidental sculptures during one of the crazy car chases Moonlighting was known for, Ferris Bueller and his friends stopping by the Art Institute on their day off, a teen artist named Craig overcoming his perfectionism and learning to follow his muse in It's Kind of a Funny Story, Agent J making a stunning discovery about Andy Warhol when he goes back in time in Men In Black 3, and scenes from biopics about Frida Kahlo, Basquiat, and Van Gogh.
And what would television be without commercials? Every commercial break is going to feature commercials for my art. Are there any other TV show episodes worth including? Feel free to let me know in the comments.
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