My daily gapingvoid cartoon showed up in my mailbox this morning with Gloop. It seemed like a good message for the day.
This is a character I created when I was in college named “Gloop”. Still, he turns up as a makeshift alter ego in drawings every now and then.
Gloop represents the human spirit that is still fighting to keep its dignity and self-belief when circumstance humbles us beyond all recognition. It represents the little voice in the back of our minds assuring us that hope does spring eternal even in the worst of times.
This is for all of the start up guys, the going-deeper-into-debt-grad students and all of us who know that by believing in ourselves we will wind up in a better place.
About those rays of hope—they’re still there and we still need them.
The hallways of the 8thBridge office just got classed up! The building added a number of Michael Birawer prints. It makes the space feel a lot better.
Very nice painting by Michael Birawer at Target Field. It looked about 8 feet wide.
This week we said goodbye to one of the most distinctive art features of our house. In January of 2003 Tammy’s longtime friend Liane McMeen painted a great mural in our living room that surrounded a piece of art that we got in Denver featuring a dog positioned in a Volkswagen Bug door. For over 6 years when people have come into our house and turned the corner to enter the main living area, they’ve been greeted by a very large mural that put a smile on their face and welcomed them to our house. It set the tone of our house: fun, lighthearted, happy.
As much as we liked the mural, we decided that it was time for a change, and that the mural should be retired. We celebrated with a dinner at our house with Liane and her husband Chris. Just this week the actual paint went up and the mural is gone. Some wonderful new pieces of art have gone up in the spot.
In memory of this great gift, I decided to do a new version of the original time-lapse video I did when the mural was put up, with some new photos on the end.
I put in the post 6 years ago that “We live with all of our art, but this is part of every day.” That couldn’t be more true. Thanks again to Liane! We still have the Blue Dog sculpture but it has been moved to a different spot in the house.
My favorite art fair in the cities was a couple of weeks ago, the Uptown Art Fair. (Post from 2005) Tammy and I did our usual routine, going on Friday to check it out, and then going back on Saturday to get our Anniversary present. Some of the artists that were highlights for us.
We decided our purchase was going to be one of Lanza’s paintings. We both really liked this piece entitled “G0L147H vs. Davidia”. It is very wide, and the colors have an interesting depth to them while being muted. The theme is also cool, a futuristic take on the story of David and Goliath.
We really liked Turula’s art as well. We have one of his sculptures from when he and Russ Vogt were working together. He’s branched out into some new areas that are really cool.
Vogt continues to do some really cool stuff with outdoor sculpture. Nice stuff.
Tammy is a big fan of Beth Bojarski’s work. She was at the Uptown Art Fair a few years ago but we didn’t get one of her paintings. She’s regretted not getting one, so this year we had to make up for that mistake and get one of her items. It’s hard to describe her work, I really can’t do it justice. Wait for her website to get launched so you can see it yourself.
Wendy & Marvin Hill
These block prints are really stunning. The complexity of them, and dozens of layers, draw your eye in for a very long time. I’ll definitely keep an eye out on their work.
We went to the American Craft Council Craft Show in the River Centre in St. Paul today. We missed it last year which was a big bummer since Bill Hickman was there, and we have a number of his pieces. This year the show seemed larger than it has been in previous years, and the attendance was really good especially when you consider it was $12 a person just to get in and look at things. Some of the stuff that really caught our eye was…
- Flinn Designs
The artwork from Flinn Designs was very eye catching. The colors were bold, and the texture in the pieces made you just want to touch it and rub your fingers over it. It had a depth and warmth that was really impressive. The story behind the artists was also compelling. They have a large amount of land and take in dogs that need a temporary home, or sometimes a permanent home. They have a lot of dogs as a result, and the dogs have become part of the artwork.
- Raymond Bock
People that do furniture like this are truly amazing. I have to admit that I really don’t know how to appreciate this stuff as much as I probably should. Tammy can tell you about me asking “Where are the nails?” one time when looking at some amazing stuff like this in the past.
- Stoner/Hatton Mobiles
Ok, there are mobiles, and then there are mobiles! These mobiles were just so very, very cool. They had an entire series of mobiles that included these circus and acrobat characters that were just very cool. They were rather large, but I tried to convince Tammy that we should replace our mobile in the living room with one of these but she wasn’t going there. Try, try again.
- Amazing Wind Machines
Okay, so a “whirligig” is maybe not art. Or is it? These were really cool, and made entirely out of plastic so they should last a long time. I desperately wanted to get the one pictured to the right here to use as a Winnipeg Folk Festival “marker”. It would be a stunning marker. But the price tag scared me off.
It was a great show, even with the entrance fee. We’ll definitely go again next year.
Right around 4 months ago Tammy and I spent the evening at our neighbors house with a really cool local artist named Erik Sletten. Our neighbors have several of his works and we were celebrating with them the arrival of two new ones. That night I got to do something I had never done before — flip through an artists sketchbook. I was flipping through Sletten’s sketches and as I turned the page in the middle a sketch caught my attention in a unique way. A couple of weeks passed and we decided to commission the work.
This last weekend we got to do another first. We joined Erik in his studio as he started to introduce color to our piece. It was a fun evening, and a unique opportunity to connect with him and the art. Tammy and I had mixed feelings about joining him while painting. As I told him, I want the painting he would paint, not the painting I would suggest him to paint. But Erik is a cool guy, and very chatty to boot, so it was a lot of fun.
Here is our painting being birthed in raw lines. I can’t wait to see it finished. For scale, the canvas is 5.5 feet square.
Tammy and I returned to the Uptown Art Fair after having previewed yesterday. We brought Mazie with us this time, so we went early to avoid the heat. It was another great day and the crowd was immense even at 10am.
We took a walk through the area we like the most and saw some more artists that we really liked. Tammy also found a custom purse by Laura Maclay that she really liked and decided to get.
Further artist highlights (again in no order):
- We found John Sumner at the art fair. We totally missed him the first day and we have a giclee of his, Moe, that we got in his gallery in Sonoma, CA.
- We were struck again this year by the photography of Edward Holland. We came really close in previous years to getting one of his items. He’s got an amazing eye and produces these striking, vivid photos.
- I was struck by the work of Liang Wei from Washington. He had a number of pieces that I really liked. Tammy wasn’t quite as taken with him as I. Hope to see more from him.
- We really like the work of Jay Long as well. The art is striking. Unfortunately for us it was all framed in oak, and we really, really don’t like oak.
As I predicted yesterday we returned to Keith Grace to make our annual purchase. We got the dog painting that you see in this post. It’s a great piece and we really liked his technique. He combines collage, acrylics and oils to make these striking, graphic pieces. The collage work also ties back to the subject of the painting as well.
Tammy and I spent the afternoon at the Uptown Art Fair. This is by far our favorite art fair in the Minneapolis area. We have made a tradition of going to it every year and finding something for our anniversary gift since we were married just before the art fair. Our visit today was great. The sun was out and the temperatures were in the high 80’s with not a chance of rain and a slight breeze.
I hate to start with a negative or concern, but we were both struck that there seemed to be a marked increase in vendors and food this year. There is still plenty of art, but a big Avon tent, a Court TV spectacle and several other vendor areas seemed to give more focus to the fair part than the art part. I considered for a moment the horrible turn for the worse that the Taste of Minnesota has taken in recent years, and I truly hope the Uptown Art Fair doesn’t follow in it’s foot steps.
There were artists from around the country showing. Here are some notes on what drew our attention (in no particular order):
- Andrew Carson was there showing his wind sculptures. He’s added color to them now which neither of us cared for. I thought it made the sculpture look cheap and wrong. The piece of his that we have in our backyard has remained unmolested, but the other stuff I didn’t like as much.
- We were awestruck by the work of Kristin DeSantis. From a distance it looked like it may be stained glass. As you approach it you realize it’s actually metal work. She cuts out amazing works in aluminum and then applies oils to it. Great stuff. Definitely a contender for a purchase this year, but it’s also very expensive.
- Keith Grace had some very interesting mixed media work. His process is interesting and produces some very intriguing pieces. His work is definitely a strong contender to grace our walls shortly. It would be hard to pick which one though.
- I found the interesting juxtaposition of elegant art and geometric patterns in Suzy Scarborough‘s work very intersting. Tammy didn’t care for her work so it’s not something we look further at. But, I though it was really interesting. Particularly the bigger items.
- Tammy drew us over to the work of Bruce Dunlap, which really surprised me. I asked her why since it’s not her type of art and she said she’s trying to expand her horizons, in small steps. I liked it, definitely worth a gander.
- We really like the work of Daniel Ng. Our neighbors actually have a painting of his in their house. The colors are nice and vibrant, very good.
- I’m always drawn to the kinetic sculpture of Jeffrey Zachmann, who also happens to be the only Minnesota artist that I’m highlighting. He does these great motion pieces. I don’t think I would get one, but I can sit and look at them for a long, long time.
We’ll be back to the art fair tomorrow morning to find one of these that we really fall for.
It is tradition that a husband get his wife a present after the delivery of a baby. After being in the room and seeing in every little bit of detail all that is involved, a present hardly seems a satisfactory way of saying thank you. We decided to celebrate this event with art rather than the classic gift of jewelry. Art lasts just as long as diamonds. I contacted Amy Lynn Stevenson who we already have one piece from and discussed what I wanted to do. She came up with a wonderful painting that she titled “New Addition”. The dimensions are 5 feet wide by 3 feet tall.
I really love it and Tammy was very happy with it. I can’t wait to some day give it to Mazie to have in her house.