Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Metal Squall Drowned What Could Not Be Shouted

 This time I have set out to make a mask using a tool in some capacity in order to prepare for the class I am going to be teaching this year at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point (WI), Toolin'.

I decided to start with a flat wood surface, rather than a found object, so I selected a 10" X 20" cradled board. Using various mixed media techniques I got a background down on the surface.

Then I attached an auto license plate that I just found lying on a downtown Milwaukee street. Then I worked on that metal surface to get it ready.

My mask substrate is a piece of metal I found somewhere (but I no longer remember when or where). 

After I got the right tool (a sharpener that will be a nose) I also found a dentist tool for making teeth that I thought would be cool to use. The eye is some kind of electrical motor part and it still spins after being attached. 

Then it was time to do the final painting.

Thus we have The Metal Squall Drowned What Could Not Be Shouted. It consists of a Metal Find, Cradled Board (10"x20"), Sharpening Tool, Dental Tool, Electrical Remnant, Glass Eye, License Plate, Mexican Tin Heart, Tin, Nails (13), Metal Ban, Paint and Collage. It is 29"H X 15"W X 5"D.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

2023 01 Self Portrait or The Winter of My Discontent

My first work of art in 2023 is a confluence of two things. 

The first is a show I saw at The Warehouse gallery in Milwaukee in late 2020 called I Am a Story: Self-Portraits. This show at The Warehouse featured 50 artist self-portraits from the collection of the gallery owners, Jan Serr and John Shannon. The artists in the show included Cindy Sherman, Jim Dine, David Hockney, Carrie Mae Weems, William Kentridge, Keith Haring, Edward Steichen plus more. What impressed me (once I got over whose work I was looking at) was how many different approaches there are to making a self-portrait.

The second is a continuing blue feeling I have over the current state of affairs in the world. Mainly, I thought we had pushed past the Covid-19 pandemic but more and more I realize the disease may be here for quite a while, the world has changed because of it and I am cranky about my wants and needs being limited by the experience (with apologies to those who have suffered real loses because of this disease). Also I am worn out by what appears to be my country's inability to govern itself. 

While I would not call myself depressed, I would say that I am not happy as I wish to be. So, why not make a piece of art to challenge my state of being. And, why not a self-portrait. 

I bought a child's sled and from the start it was tied to Rosebud and the great film, Citizen Kane. I knew some day I would make a piece of art with the theme of Orson Welles' film in mind. So I got that Sno Plane sled out for this project. 

Denice was kind enough to assist me in make a self portrait to use on the sled. 

Then, it was on to the art making. 

Thus we have Self Portrait or The Winter of My Discontent. My from a Sno Plane sled, two paint brushes, a metal star, a clock face, a strip of copper metal, foam core, four crystals and collage with paint. It is 39"H X 24"W X 9"D. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

2022 12 Toolin' Samples

 In June of 2023 I will be teaching an assemblage class at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. The ability to register for the class starts on January 4th at the Shake Rag website. 

Here is the course description: "What is assemblage? According to the Encarta Dictionary: Assemblage (is) a work of art made from a collection of different objects. Have you ever wanted to do assemblage but feel like you do not have enough stuff? That has never been a problem for Gary. He has been collecting tools for 15 years in order to add them to his art and he has way too many in his basement. So Gary is offering an assemblage workshop where ALL THE TOOLS YOU COULD WANT TO SEE are going to be provided. Gary will be teaching the basics of assemblage construction plus mixed media techniques so that you will be able to create a work of art from a tool that will become your core central object. You will be able to select found object tools for your projects from Gary’s stash and then learn how to build an assemblage. Attach objects together and decorate them into a unified work of art with the goal of creating an assemblage work made from found objects that tells a story. The three days should allow for more than one project to be started if not completed. Throughout the class there will be time built in to share ideas, review our work and learn from fellow participants. 

3 days, free crap, cool works of art and lots of fun—what more are you looking for?"

I made two samples to explain some of the ways a "tool" assemblage class could go. 

My Picture Drowned In A Transparent Tear

Tell Every Dream That Knocks To Go Away

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

2022 11 Oaxaca With Michael deMeng Dia Nueve

Thursday, November 3, 2022

With our class over and our excursion set for 10:00 a.m., I did not go down to breakfast until the shockingly late 7:30 a.m. 

After that I decided to walk up to do the other half of the Xochimilco cemetery that I did not see yesterday but the gate was locked. I guess I did not realize that after Dia that would happen. However, I was still able to walk the neighborhood on the other side of the cemetery that I normally walk.

At 10:00 a.m. we boarded the van for our extra excursion on this after class date.

Out the Window #8

The weird thing about street photography is that you shoot to get a photo like this:
a guy juggling all by himself

A photo about fotos

Gotta go

This morning Mija, Rex and I went with a driver to the Tierra Antigua weavers in Teotitlan. We learned about dying and weaving from one of the grandsons of the founder. It was very personal with such a small group. Had a three course lunch (taco, soup, beef with mole) that was elegant and excellent.

This rug was made in the style of Diego Rivera.,,and yes I did see the sin fotos sign but well...

The natural dyes

Mija with her rugs

Out the Window #9 and the last

After we returned to the hotel I went out for a walk.

Walkabout #11

I walked to the Instituto Oaxa Queno de las Artesanias (the Artisan’s museum).

Next was a stop at the Photography museum which had an exhibition of photos, "Veinte Anos de Dia de Muertos" by Ernesto Bazan. 

Also on exhibition was "Archivos del Antropoceno" by Luis Paredes.

Next I walked down to the Benito Juarez market where I got to buy some tin and a shirt.

My last stop was the Taller-Galeria Siqueiros where I bought a print of a photographer with hummingbird, a fitting work of art to close out my experience in Oaxaca with my camera.

Why not end the day with a rainbow?

Tonight's Farewell dinner at 7:00 pm is at Criollo.

Thanks to Jennifer McGee for this photo

I was back to the hotel by 9:15 pm to do final packing and get to bed by 10:00 pm as I need to rise at 3:15 a.m. to get ready to catch a 4:15 a.m. taxi to the airport. 

Friday, November 4, 2022

On this return home day, I catch a United Airlines out of Oaxaca to Houston at 6:45 a.m. After about a two hour layover, I am on the next leg to Chicago and arrive around 2:30 p.m. I was able to catch a Coach USA bus back to Milwaukee and Denice picked me up at the bus depot at 5:00 p.m.

And so with that, the 2022 version of Oaxaca with Michael de Meng comes to an end. I want to thank Michael, Colleen, Mija and all my art buddies for another magical time in a magical place.