A gallery closes

I started working with Sm’Art gallery I think 3 years ago, maybe 4.  It was a strange start.  I received a cold-call email that sounded good, not the usual scam stuff, but the attachment wouldn’t open.  After some thought I replied.  It was a real offer, Alana had managed to have an email blast sent to the local attendees of ‘Art under the umbrellas’ show.

I signed up for the co-op gallery – we share the rent and working in the gallery.  I have made many good contacts and friends over the years, taught a lot of classes (Alana was instrumental in the design of the ‘Painting for Absolute Beginners’ class and the contact that let to a season of intermediate classes, the contents of which become follow on exercises for ‘Absolute Beginners’.

At the end of October, Alana decided to close the gallery.  A combination of factors came together at the end of the lease and we had our final evening.  Here are a couple photos from the first 20 minutes before the crowd got there.

sm'Art studio co-op gallery

Just getting set up. Holly had created some ‘Day of the Dead’ paintings.

sm'Art studio co-op gallery

Sitting around chatting. We did quite a bit of business that night, especially Janice – who is the one with the gray shirt, on her device.

Tales from the field #31

A few years back I was travelling from Southern California for a show in Bellevue – right next door to Seattle.  It’s a two day drive, pretty much up the entire west coast of the US.  I had kinda planned on stopping just north of the Oregon border, but didn’t make firm plans as I figured I wasn’t sure if my tiredness would get me that far, or my awakeness would let me press on further.  I’d actually spotted a well-priced motel in my aim area, and sure enough, just as California disappeared in the rear view mirror, the eyelids started to droop.

I pulled off the road at what appeared to be a motel-bearing town in this rural stretch of Interstate 5.  Miraculously I passed the very motel I’d seen on the internet.  The parking lot was only half full. It was late, though.  The office only had a dim light on.  I knocked on the door.  In a few moments the motel clerk appeared.

In fairness to the man, he was obviously of Indian origin – India Indian, not Native American.  Different culture.  I asked ‘Is there room at the inn?’  ‘No,’ he replied.  Oh, ok, nevermind, I thanked him and turned to leave.  I’d gotten as far as the truck when he came out after me.  ‘I have room at the other end!’  Huh?

Turns out he’d misheard me as ‘Is there room at the end?’ and had completely missed the Christmas reference!  In his further defense, he’d only been in the US about 5 months.

Sonnet Challenge #35

Here’s another sonnet inspired by the work of my peers – Pete – another artist I know from art fairs in Southern California, creates kaliedoscopes.

 

Kaleidoscopes

They might be colored or quite plain outside;
all understate the beauty that’s within,
the most amazing starburst hid inside –
just put it to your eye and you begin
to see the fireworks bursting on your eyes,
riot of twinkles emphasized by sun
or lamp or kitchen light – always surprise
and never the same, but guaranteed, it’s fun.
Much better than taking some kind of bad drug –
and good for kids! No age limit to awe
of sparkles, vibrant dance of shapes, the tug
of gravity on confetti’s what you saw.
When stress is high and you don’t think you can cope,
sit down and pick up your kaleidoscope.

Newer Work #90

Watercolor collage

#1404 “Stretch” 7.5×5.5 watercolor collage in mat to 9×7. $45

“Stretch” is reminiscent of a painting I did in the early days where the tree reaches into the sun.  This one though has a poem – a haiku – written for it and into it:

Stretch into the light
My leaves are needing the sun
Food comes from the sky.

Cloud Appreciation Society

The Cloud Appreciation Society Newsletter is always a welcome item in my in-box.  I especially loved the item about the Horseshoe Vortex.

A Forever home in Joshua Tree

I had a most unexpected sale from a small group show I participated in in Yucca Valley. The group I belong to is called Chaparral Artists and we had a group show at the Center for Healthy Generations in Yucca Valley.  We often have one of our members having a solo show on their wall and we have our meetings here.  Over the summer we had a group show with interested members displaying one or two pieces.  We took the art down at the end of August.

At the first meeting of the season in September I was approached by another artist who commented that she had loved one of the paintings I had displayed, but it had been out of her budget.  A quick conversation followed and we soon had a deal.  I had to bring her the painting the next time I was in the area, and last week she blessed me with a picture of ‘Dark Water, White Wave’ in its forever home.  It’s very flattering to sell to another artist!

painting on wall

“Dark Water, White Wave” in its forever home in Joshua Tree.

Glass Outhouse Gallery – ‘Fleeting Passions’

A few years ago I was introduced to the Glass Outhouse Gallery in Wonder Valley – just east of 29 Palms.  It is in the middle of nowhere, even more than I am, and has a small gallery where Laurel and Howard hold month-long 2-artist shows, and a sculpture garden made of recycled material art, created by Howard.

Artwork in gallery

Four skies in the Glass Outhouse Gallery

I had a show there a few years ago with my Mixed Media work and am scheduled to have another show there with that medium in January 2021.  Yes, artists do plan ahead.

Artwork in gallery

The cart shows that this is a hanging day.

As I have another body of work and enough Mixed Media to run two shows concurrently, I’m on their ‘waitlist’.  A list of artists who, in an emergency can put together a show in a couple days.  Last week I got the call.

Artwork in gallery

The outgoing artist hadn’t picked up her work yet.

I had planned to take my oils and acrylics to the show in Monrovia this weekend, but with a quick call I managed to get that changed and this body of work was available for the month.

Artwork in gallery

Nice little row, the last 4 ‘diamonds’

My fellow artist is Tami Wood.  We both joked that our names are two four-letter words.  Her work is made exclusively of recycled materials.  We’ve called our show ‘Fleeting Passions’ because we both explore ephemeral aspects of our environment.

Artwork in gallery

And room for the bin, that holds paintings I did in or for paint and wine evenings that I’ve taught.

After the show in Newport I brought everything up and hung the show.  Howard will pin up the prices later.

Artwork in gallery

I’m surprised the one on the left hadn’t sold at Newport, it had a lot of interest.

Because of existing commitments (Monrovia), I can’t be at the reception but Tami will handle that and I’ll do my share of gallery sitting during the month.

Artwork in gallery

The painting on the right is one from my house – I’m down to the last few oils and acrylics and am selling at discount prices!

What I didn’t realize until I told another friend in 29 Palms about the late arrangement, I’d scored a show during the Highway 62 Art Tour – three of the four weekends in October, and the Glass Outhouse Gallery is one of the stops.  Wow, I’m sure glad I decided to go for it!

Artwork in gallery

Almost exactly the right amount of space, there was only one suitable painting I didn’t put up!

I feel bless that because of various issues outside of my scope, I now have a show with both bodies of work on the Highway 62 tour – I have Mixed Media work at the High Desert Medical Center!