This month is shaping up to be really interesting – as you can read in my Newsletter.
One of the things that I didn’t mention is that I’m also involved in curating another solo show at the Vanguard Gallery, this time for long-time associate Nick Foschi. I’ll get to hang two shows in two days. About 50 linear feet for Nick and about 7 for me! Just hoping that my flu symptoms wane enough to give a demo/talk on Wednesday evening in Redondo Beach.
The last few days have been so busy – no blogging! I taught a class yesterday and forgot to take pictures! Ugh. Anyway, I do have some news from the Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley – where I will be teaching tomorrow and Thursday. I will try harder to remember to take photos! You might get a preview of the show he mentions in the background.
On Friday I ran the Paint-the-night event at the Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley – and had 11 students, many of whom knew each other, so they were enjoying the evening together. We painted a scene from an open road through fields in the Ojai area – a painting I’d completed in watercolor many years ago and thought would work well as a paint night subject.
Filling in the grassland.
One of the thing that I tell students at these evenings, is that their painting is not going to look exactly like mine – which is why art forgers are paid so much.
Fences going in.
However this group all got really close to the painting we were working from! The main difference was that I had yellow ochre deep – vs yellow ochre which I usually work with, and as I hadn’t used this before, I hadn’t realized how dull this color is compared to regular ochre. I figure I learn something in every class too, so this was it for this one!
Most of the graduates. One had to go home because her baby was crying.
Three concentrating on making round blue blobs into birds.
Last night there were three students at the Paint-the-night evening at the Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley. I’ve guided a different group through this painting before, in case it seems familiar, but they were all first time bird-watchers. They all had a lot of fun, and are looking forward to a different painting next month. If you’re in the area, and you’re interested, it’s on June 23rd. A great way to celebrate a TGIF.
We were meant to be 16 but one student had babysitter problems at the last minute – so 15 ladies, 10 of them from Morongo Casino came to Vanguard Gallery last night to paint Cottonwood Creek. I didn’t take many pictures during the later stages as with 15 that was a lot of time that I needed to give individual help to the members of the group. A few snuck off at the end to grab a burrito next door so not all are holding their finished work, but you can see just about all the paintings that were completed.
Working on clouds
Some of the graduates
Next month on Aug 25th we’ll be painting a sunrise (see below). If you’re in the area and would like to join the class, please contact Rick either through the Vanguard Gallery website or by calling him at (562) 556 5178. Please call him by August 23rd, though as we may have shopping to do. At the last minute we had to turn away four people because we didn’t have the supplies for additional students and it was too late to acquire them.
One of the galleries that I work with – Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley – is again doing a charity project in conjunction with The Salvation Army to raise money for and bring attention to homeless children. Like last year, we had wooden bowls donated by Ikea, and participating artists collected a bowl to decorate as they saw fit, according to the theme. My bowl for this year was primarily poetry, although I backdropped this with a transparent sky-theme coating against the wood. I had intended to do a transparent watercolor layer of blue and ‘lift out’ clouds with cotton wool, but there were just a few patches where I hadn’t sanded the coating off well enough, and they made a few cloud entities, so I decided to leave it as is.
The wording is:
I stare into the bowl –
The bowl is empty –
as empty as my stomach –
as empty as hope –
as empty as the rooms in the house we were forced to leave –
everything sold on craigslist –
or swapmeet or yardsale –
all the furniture gone –
trying to meet the mortage –
only getting the forclosure papers –
the eviction notice on the door –
the staplegun’s shot echoing like an executioners rifle through the hollow of the empty rooms –
as hollow as empty as the hearts of the so-called neighbors –
who closed their doors and looked the other way –
with souls as empty as my Dad’s wallet –
as empty as my Mom’s purse –
as their bank account
and my head is spinning round and round –
like the bowl –
like us driving round and round –
trying to find a place to sleep in the car tonight –
we don’t know where to go to sleep –
we don’t know where to go to find work –
we don’t know where to go to live –
our lives are empty –
our futures are empty –
tomorrow echoes back at us like a threat –
that this is just the beginning
that the empty bowl is spinning –
the wheel of misfortune rolling down the road of forever –
and as it spins it gets deeper and deeper –
and harder to climb out of –
and emptier and hungrier –
with every passing cloud –
that is reflected in its shining chasm –
reminding us that there is no roof over our heads –
there is no food –
there is only hunger and tomorrow –
there is only homelessness and tomorrow –
and going round and round –
to our so-called favorite spots –
is there shelter or not –
is there food or not –
is there work or not –
is there hope or –
no there is never hope –
there is only this bowl –
the hollow bowl –
the begging bowl –
put food in my bowl –
put money in my bowl –
put work in my parents’ bowl –
but if I turn over the bowl –
I cannot turn it into a roof over our heads –
I cannot empty the misfortune out of the bowl –
I cannot empty the hunger out of the bowl –
I cannot empty the poverty out of the bowl –
it just gets deeper and emptier every time a hopeless tomorrow turns into another empty today –
and the world turns –
year on year –
into another homeless today –
year on year –
into another penniless day –
year on year –
into another hungry today