Worth the Wait

 I actually chose a later date for my knee replacement surgery so I could attend the last two last weekends' gallery openings, and I'm glad I did. 

As I've stated previously, I am not an art expert. When I majored in art in community college a million years ago, the art scene and the art were much different than they are today, or at least they have evolved from what I had access to back then.

Visiting Gallery openings and blogging about my responses to the art is part of my self education. Trying to analyze what pleases me helps me self analyze my own art.

On Thursday evening, I attended the opening reception of "Out of the Black,"an exhibition highlighting new paintings by two Tulsa artists.

First the Joseph Gierek gallery is located on a very cool corner in the Medowgold district of Tulsa and on the iconic Route 66.

On that corner, you'll see Buck  Atom's Cosmic Curios, a mural that includes the Golden Driller and the Medowgold sign, as well as other Tulsa icons. Decopolis, a Tulsa Art Deco museum is situated on the opposite corner. 

When I walked into the gallery, a large triptych by mural painter, Marcia Myers, whose large-scale color field abstractions emulate the traditional fresco painting techiques of ancient Rome immediately caught my eye.

. She used layers of marble dust and acrylic, but the effect seemed almost waxy to me and I really had to exert self control to keep from touching it.

Thomas Conrad displayed a series of beautiful koi based on inspiration of the koi at the Gathering Place.

Michelle Firment Reid displayed multimedia abstracts from her "Free Woman Series."

This blog is getting long and I am sitting in the hospital  recovering from knee surgery, so I'm just including images of pieces I found intriguing. 

I liked this one because it is of Cherry Street!
Once you know that, it makes perfect sense, but it's intriguing even without knowing.

This painting by Tammy Kushner reminded me of an encaustic painting but it isn't. I love the light. I recently acquired a book on how to achieve the look of encaustic without the hot wax. Maybe she used some of those techniques or figured it out herself.

These paintings by Darren Dirksen, are beautiful, and his handmade frames are beautiful and intriguing.

This multimedia piece  "Africa " by Larrt Hefner, really caught my attention. It is just very pleasing to the eye, and it pulls the viewer in. I looked at it a long time, trying to figure out why I liked so much.

I am really trying to capture the names of the works and artists, but sometimes I fail. I am really sorry. I will try to do better.

Please excuse formatting weirdness thar I can't seem to fix on my phone.

Gallery Hopping Last Weekend

First I want to state that I am not an expert in galleries or contemporary art. That's why I'm attending gallery openings and writing about them on this blog. I'm learning so much!

Last weekend I attended two openings.  The first was at the Doran Gallery on Peoria.  MOMENTUM OF COLOR AND FORMA Group Show Featuring Abstract and Non-Objective Artwork.

Multimedia ruled this contemporary show, making up at least half, if not more of the paintings. I was interested to see both gel plate, resin, cold wax and encaustic works, as well as those using fabric and thread and acrylic, and college.   The offerings today are so much different than they were when I was an art student a million years ago, but what fun!

These works by Brad Ellis are made up of encaustic and collage on board. I have to admit that I had to look up "encaustic," but now I'm hooked and must try it. I also really like the surrounding college covered with translucent color. 

When I first saw "Funhouse" by Sarah Sullivan Sherrod from a distance, I thought it was a mounted and framed quilt, but it is much more. Although the base consists of handwoven fabric sewn together, the design is created using what looks like machine embroidery, accented by acrylic paint. Fascinating.

As a Frieda Kahlo groupie, I loved this sculpture.

Sammy Peters' "Isolation: resounding independence," a textured multi-media oil and Mixed Media piece can keep the viewer engrossed for quite a while. It just pulls you into its multiple levels.

"Fly Catcher" by Dennis Johnson was one of my favorites with it's bright, clean colors in an abstract-geometric style.

I'll probably have to go back and visit this show again. It's my self-education program, and learning was never so fun!

The second show I attended was "Amused Bemused," by Tara Booth, held at the TAC Gallery on East Reconciliation Way.

Besides attending the show, just being downtown on First Friday was a treat!

All kinds of vendors, artists, musicians and protestors make First Friday in Tulsa a must-attend event.
The subject of this show is digestion in the female body and her medium is ceramics. This show has been exhibited nationally and internationally. 

So now it's time to don my student hat again and see what Tulsa offers this weekend. Maybe I'll see you there!

Doodle Bug

 Now it all makes sense, and if I'd figured out the logic behind my actions much earlier, maybe I could have convinced my school teachers? Sigh. Probably not....

During  classes in school, I often doodled. I did take notes, but the pages were covered with as many doodles as words. I kept telling my teachers that doodling helped me concentrate on what they were saying, but they never bought my excuses. Would you?

When I was in the business world, I doodled during business meetings. Sure, some of that was to try staying awake, but also it helped me concentrate on the highly technical and intricate engineering problems and their solutions I needed to be able to break down to help users learn how to use the hardware and software we were building.  My bosses and peers may not have been impressed, but, believe me, it was to their benefit that I did doodle.

Recently, since I have had time to pursue my art again, I have been listening to audio books while I paint. I just finished a book about the story of color  and now I'm "reading" one about a group of early 20th Century women artist.

What does all this mean? I think I figured it out. When I doodle during very left-brained meetings, I'm keeping my right brain occupied while I concentrate on all the important stuff.

When I paint, the audio books keep my left brain busy while my right brain paints and creates away. Does that make sense to you? It does to me.

So there teachers and bosses! There is and always was a method to my madness. I just figured out what it was!


 In the evening of a very hot day, I visited the opening of the show at  Liggett Studios early.  That was a mistake. I was thinking that an early visit would allow me to see the pictures in more depth, but next time, I'll wait until later in the evening so I can gauge the dynamics of the crowd. I am new at this game.

Here are my takeaways from the experience:

The space is wonderful for showcasing art. It's large and well lit. Even filling the space with two artists, it has plenty of room for both to display a hefty body of work. This show displays the works of two very different, but complementary artists, Allyssa Fields and Patrick Romine.

Allyssa's work is beautiful. Her paintings reflect the themes of love, romance, and emotion, often with a floral touch. Her portraits of her baby have almost a religious connotation, but being the mother of a newborn baby is somewhat of a spiritual experience for most mothers. At least it was for me, many years ago.

Patrick paints beautiful still lifes. Most have a rustic feel and include fruit, old fashioned cookware and lamps, etc. My favorite of his has a travel bag and a map. If I were to buy one painting from the show, I think that would be my choice.  

Patrick's works tend to be fairly small, while Allyssa's, on average, were larger.

Both artists are talented and create intriguing realistic paintings. And they both seem to have a clear direction and purpose to their work.  What I did not see in this show, interestingly, were abstracts, landscapes, and huge paintings for very large spaces.

I'd stopped by another gallery beforehand that is between exhibits, and was being painted and prepared for the fall season. Although they just had a lot of random pieces around, not a real show, I came away asking myself if size (huge) was more important than the paintings themselves and how they were rendered. The Liggett Studios show took my thoughts in another direction. Each painting told its own story. No chaos. The visit was a calm and uplifting experience. The crowds were just starting to drift in when I left. Like I said before, I will not be the early bird next time.

If you get a chance, take time to visit the studio in the East Village to view these artists' work for yourself.

314 S. Kenosha Ave.

Tulsa, OK 74120

Tel: 918-694-5719

I LOVE Crackles!!

First, how do artists paint for hours straight on a painting? I work with quick- drying acrylics, and I am always waiting for something to dry before I can move on to something else, but in interviews with artists,  I hear some say they paint straight through an eight hour day. How? And some even use oils, which takes days if not weeks to dry! So I work on multiple projects at a time, and have time for experiments.

 Today, my experiment was crackle paste. It just arrived today, and I couldn't wait to play. I have a crackled painting as the background for my phone, and I admire it every day. And the project I started today could use a little crackle, but I need to know what I am doing before I actually use it on that project.

The crackle paste I ordered is 

I decided to experiment on a small (5×7) wooden panel. I used a stencil on the top and just smeared it on thick on the bottom.  When I finished  it looked like this.

I  also used a kind of stamp at the bottom. I  couldn't wait to see what it did, so I used the blow dryer on it  and here are some pictures after that.

It'll probably be more cracked by tomorrow.  Then I'll wash it with some thin darker or contrasting paint to emphasize the cracks. I'll add "after" pictures tomorrow.

Have you ever used crackle paste. Do you think you ever would?

I promised to show the painting after applying a wash. I also included a close-up. As you can see, The blue wash does accent the crackling ( and it did crackle more overnight). I will probably push this experiment further later. I'm not exactly sure what I'll do next. Any ideas?

Gallery Opening: Living Arts Oh Tulsa! Art Show

Last night's opening of the Oh Tulsa! art show at Living Arts of Tulsa drew a lively, eccentric crowd of artists and Tulsans enjoying First Friday downtown. The streets were crowded, the temperature outside was hellishly hot, and the gallery offered a cool place to meet friends, enjoy the creativity of Tulsa artists and have a drink from the cash bar. The crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and to be in no hurry to leave for other events.

The show included all kinds of artwork, including paintings in oil, acrylic, ink and multimedia, sculpture, pottery, photography, jewelry, and some works that seemed to defy labels or merge several into one visual experience.  

One sculpture that somewhat defined the artwork offered in the show, "Realities & Perseverance" by Bailee Green, seemed to capture the struggles of an artist. The figure sits on discarded artwork as it finally finds its voice to create. I loved the realistic touches of discarded crumbles of waste paper covered with paint and the figure's paint stained hands. I assume the cracks in the body indicate that the artist feels somewhat broken. I am reminded of the well-known combination of quotes by Hemingway and Lenard Cohen, “We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in.”   

Some work really hits you with a bang! Because of size, subject or something else, these works could not go unnoticed. The giant portrait, entitled "Patty Ryan," of a monotone cowboy with one prosthetic leg on a bright yellow background is a perfect example. The piece is huge and actually uses two canvases.

Another large painting, "Sugar" by Faith Green, a closeup of a singer, radiates  energy.

You can't walk past "Fallen" by Colleen Stiles, which you see as you enter the venue from the parking lot, without stopping to to view it from all angles.

Another piece that tickles your curiosity is a large UV print of plexiglass titled "When I Make it Back to Bluebird Ct." by Justin Ortiz. I had to Google UV printing  to find out what it is and discovered that a large flatbed scanner lays ink on a variety of materials and then immediately develops it with UV light. Who knew? Now I do! The image is of a face.

And finally, who cannot be delighted by "Lobby Boy" by Faith Green, obviously taken from the Wes Anderson movie, " The Grand Budapest Hotel" ?

Some works capture  your attention and won't let go until you dig a little deeper, because they offer so much, usually layers of meaning. In "Sun Catcher" by Vanessa Pettit, the title character is drawn against a collage of small black and white prints. What story do they tell?

A lot is going on in the mixed media giclee print, "Greenwood."  The closer you look, the more you see that it tells a tragic Tulsa story.

I revisited one photograph a few times to admire and marvel at its complexity. Entitled, "Fever Dream 11," it consisted of two joined photographs by Destiny Green. Not only was I fascinated by how she mounted the photographs together but at how she managed to give the model so many arms. I couldn't help thinking of Kali, the Hindu Goddess of death and destruction. But that's just me, projecting.

I haven't even touched on some of my favorite pieces, but I have to add a plug for myself. I have three framed photographs of Tulsa in the show, a black and white of a chilly day in front of the Williams Center with foggy steam escaping from underground pipes, a color photo of the Circle theater, and a shot of the roofs of downtown Tulsa. All are framed in museum quality frames.

If you want to see all the things, there's a catalog, where you can see them all and which are still available, and which have sold.  Click here or use the QR code below. Click "catalogue" on the top menu. 

I enjoyed the show and loved looking at all the work and being inspired.  But I can't wait for the next Tulsa gallery opening. I'm hooked!

This show runs through August 18th.  It's open for viewing Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12:00 - 4:00 PM at Living Arts of Tulsa307 East Reconciliation Way, Tulsa. OK 74120.  918-585-1234

Worth the Wait

 I actually chose a later date for my knee replacement surgery so I could attend the last two last weekends' gallery openings, and I'...