Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A must see show: Picasso at SAM

This show culled from  Picasso's personal collection of his artworks. As the press release from the SAM states "The works in this exhibition come from Picasso’s personal collection—works of art the highly self-aware artist kept for himself with the intent of shaping his own artistic legacy. Drawn from the collection of the Musée National Picasso in Paris—the largest and most important repository of the artist’s work in the world—the exhibition will feature work representing every major period from the artist’s prolific output over eight decades."

Crowds were evident as we stood in line for the Picasso Show: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris. We were ticketed for 3.40. People stood around listening to the Picasso introduction on the complimentary audio tour. Strange sight. Every where you looked, people stood with the audio device pressed to their ears. Listening, waiting for their turn.

The long narrow galleries are are staged with some beautiful works from all the major Picasso periods.
One of my personal favorites is Two Women Running on the Beach [ The Race].
I was so surprised to see how small this painting is . 13 x 16

This show is a great chance to see these treasure while the Musse is under renovations in Paris.
The show runs till January 17, 2011. There are special member only days. A membership is a bargain at $ 65
and includes admission to the museum and this special Picasso show.  Seattle Art Museum
Go and see this show!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Harbor ART Walk Saturday November, 27th 2010

Jaime Ellsworth, Window Shopping, 40 x 30 Oil,
Happy Holidays to all.

The newest addition to the Thanksgiving holiday events in Friday Harbor is the Holiday Harbor Art Walk on Saturday, November 27th. This is a great opportunity to walk the town of Friday Harbor, shopping for holiday gifts while enjoying the hospitality of these participating galleries. This event runs is from 4pm and continues to 7pm,except where noted.

Arctic Raven, 130 First Street, 360.378.3433, featuring” Gifts from the Salish Sea”, the Annual Holiday Show featuring artwork by First Nation members including glass, prints, bentwood boxes. Andy & Wilbur Peterson, Skokomish, will be on hand for a hot cider reception: New work by Susan Point, Shaun Peterson and introducing jewelry by Tamara Rain Bull & clay sculptor David Groat. www.arcticravengallery.com

Gallery San Juan, 232 "A" Street.360.378.1376, will be featuring "Small Treasures, Simple Pleasures", new small paintings by gallery artists including Matt Dollahite, BJ Dollahite, All Currier and James Moore. Matt and BJ will also be showing their most current works in progress. www.gallerysanjuan.com

Island Studios,270 Spring Street, 360.378.6550 is celebrating the diversity of 200 local artists with music books, paintings, pottery, photography, glass art, jewelry, sculpture, textiles and organic soaps, lotions and oils, just to name a few. Darlene Nixon will be demonstrating how she makes her hand sculpted glass jewelry from 2pm – 4pm www.islandstudios.com

Waterworks Gallery, 315 Argyle Street, 360.378.3060 featuring the “25th Annual Holiday Fete” with the artwork of Jaime Ellsworth, paintings; Tom Small, stone sculpture; and Robin & John Gumaelius, ceramic & metal sculptures; displaying artisan jewelry in exotic beads, silver, glass and gold by Tana Acton, Lexi Bec, Dianne Coe, Kathleen Faulkner, James Minson & Tina Finneran. www.waterworksgallery.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ceramic show at Bellevue Arts Museum

Jason Walker, photo courtesy BAM
Sunday, while in Bellevue I was lucky enough to arrive at the Bellevue Art Museum early in the day.
Wahoo I had the whole place to myself.

A friend had mentioned the current show, Clay Throwdown as a must see.

After spending time looking, laughing and enjoying the vast array of works presented I would agree. The juried ceramic works run the gamut of terra cotta forms to very fine porcelain, very serious to very silly, politically correct to politically irreverent.  The quality of the works represented provides an excellent survey of the current state of the world of ceramics in the Northwest.

My kudos to BAM

Go and see this show. BAM has it's own free parking garage right under the museum.
The show runs till Jan 16, 2011.

Congratulations to Dirk Staschke who received the 2010 John & Joyce Price Award of Excellence

Dirk Staschke, My Beautiful Nothing,
photo courtesy of BAM

Remember to vote as there is a $ 5000 prize for the piece with the most votes, I know which is my favorite!

Chris Antemann, photo courtesy of BAM

From their website...

BAM Biennial 2010: Clay Throwdown! is the inaugural edition of BAM's new, juried exhibition series. With over 30 participating artists, it provides a panoramic survey of ceramic art created in the Pacific Northwest and a glimpse into the many directions in which this dynamic medium is moving.
Clay Throwdown! features a select blend of both emerging and established artists with an emphasis on new and site-specific works. It reflects the diverse responses of contemporary artists to one of the oldest media known to man: clay. From personal gestures to commentary on today's social issues, Clay Throwdown! assembles a wide range of voices unique to the Pacific Northwest and our time.

So what can be better, than seeing some amazing new ceramic works and the museum provides free parking!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The dictionary definition of community according to Miriam-Webster Dictionary is : a unified body of individuals: as  the people with common interests living in a particular area : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location. 

Here in Friday Harbor, I helped to establish the Friday Harbor Gallery Association , a loosely [especially for Friday Harbor] group of small business that are all involved in the business of ART. Ranging from a broad smorgasbord of locally based arts and crafts, [Island Studio]  to specializing in the best of Native arts from NW tribes [Arctic Raven] to a talented husband and wife team showcasing their unique artworks [ Gallery San Juan] to a dedicated representative of a way of art not much practiced ie scrimshaw [ Howie Rosenfeld]  and my gallery [Waterworks Gallery] whose mission is to represent artists whose works reflect the Northwest experience.

These diverse organizations are the Friday Harbor Gallery Association, all working to foster the celebration, cultivation and the collecting of artwork, right here in Friday Harbor, San Juan
Island, Washington state. 
This service is for the benefit of the local community and visitor.

In this diverse island, there are other communities that gather for a purpose, the theater groups, Island Stage Left and the San Juan Island Community Theater. Both organizations offer a diverse palette rich in both theater, music and Shakespeare for the benefit of the local community and visitor.

Kudos to the Port of Friday Harbor for their support of the burgeoning local music scene by sponsoring a concert series of live music that lasted all summer long down at the Port stage.
This series is for the benefit of the local community and visitor.

Island Rec with their Music on the Lawn series [ waterworks gallery has been a supporter for the past ten years] supported by various business including Islanders Bank, IPS. This series is for the benefit and enjoyment of the local community and visitors.

The reason for this rambling is to show the community as one that comes together for many cultural , and artistic functions and events . 
WE as  a community share these assets with the community.
WE are proud of the resources we share.

My point ? This community has no community meetings spot , has no town square, has no community space to share .
This community has no heart and soul spot.

This community has recently gone through a process concerning a proposed green space and farmers market that was political, contentious and created many camps both pro and con. 
This process was the reverse of  typical political process where a few voices against were able to outweigh the many voices in favor of the project. 
The political process is not at it's finest, not listening to it's constituency.

Irregardless of what you think or feel for the project, what has been lost in my eyes was the ability to create a green space, , a gathering space, , a town square, , a place for people to congregate.

The additional benefits of a farmer's market is the local food distribution, a community kitchen to foster new local products and projects, and perhaps new local business and a most important benefit to this community - a place of gathering , a place for the creation of a community space for this community.

This is about making changes in a community that has a hard time with change.
Change is difficult.

Part of this project is also a legacy project - changing the landscape of of this community to do the RIGHT thing for the future of the community.

In the great depression the WPA fostered and created many buildings that are still  in active use today, many years later. ie the Mt Hood Timberline Lodge. These buildings were done with government monies to keep people and artisans employed. With the state grant that was made available, Friday Harbor had the opportunity to create a legacy for the community.

Let's not loose the momentum to create a community space for our community.!

Plan to attend the Brickwork's Rising Event at San Juan Vineyards on Sunday, September 12, 4-8pm.
If you can make a donation to support this process, with your help we can make a difference in the  landscape of Friday Harbor.


Exciting  news about the Brickwork's project  SJI Agricultutal Guild Blog


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Art Fairs and the Economy of Originality...From One Artist's Point of View

Dona Reed, Printmaker & Gourd Artist at the 49th Annual Anacortes Arts Festival.
Sunday, with the sunny beautiful weather, I hopped on a ferry and went to the Anacortes Arts Festival.
I wanted to show support for a couple of  friends who exhibit at this Arts Festival. Tom Rierden, created the official poster.

As the weather on Saturday had been cold and miserable, artist did not sell alot of work in the rain.
All miserable and wet, who wants to shop?

I wanted to visit the Anacortes's Art at the Port Show Fine Art Show . This is a juried exhibition that attracts artists from all over the region. Many media are represented from painting to textile and wood, steel to the ceramic arts. My hats of to a well conceived show in a large open warehouse space. I wish we had a large public open space like this here in Friday Harbor!

After the show, I walked up and down the street, looking for something wonderful. Something artful,I found the people that import these beautiful tables clothes from France.
I thought this was a bit odd as  I felt the show was all about original artwork and designs.

I mentioned this to my friend, Dona Reed [ pictured above] and this is the reply I got from her.

Hey Ruth,
Thanks for coming to the Anacortes Art Festival....

I have been thinking about your blog about artists and art fairs. If 
you really want to make a point...tell people about you falling into
the trap of coming to an ART fair (or what is supposed to be "hand
crafted" work) and buying something that is IMPORTED.  Jurors for the
fairs are supposed to be screening such work. We artists cannot
compete with manufactured work and the prices that come with it.  the
"Walmartization" of America has distorted peoples concept of pricing.
Why buy a hand screened T shirt (with original designs) for $25 when
you can get one at Walmart for $3. quality and originality means

Artists have to watch for people taking photos for fear their designs
will be copied and show up at Target or Walmart.  It has

 The quality of the Anacortes Art Fair has suffered because REAL
artists don't apply anymore. It is known for a low end..street
fair.....fine art need not apply.

Just some food for thought.....Dona

I thought I would share another perspective with you.
This is food for thought.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Arts & Community Support

 Happy patrons eating their salads on a sunny Seattle evening.

The community on San Juan Island is very supportive of all the arts organizations on this island.
From Stage Left,  Island Museum of Art, The San Juan Island Community Theater,  The Whale Museum, The San Juan Historical Museum and The San Juan Nature Institute to list a few.
This island is composed of a generous, well educated compassionate and caring artistic community.
Yet all of these organizations struggle to find new ways to help raise funds for their organizations.

Last week, I traveled with Linda Lighton to attend the Seattle Pottery Northwest's Annual Fundraiser, Salad Bowl 2010. This organization Pottery Northwest is celebrating it's 45th year at Seattle Center.
Pottery Northwest is a 501c-3 not for profit organization that develops and promotes excellence in the ceramic arts.

Funds raised at Salad Bowl support the Artists' Residencies Program, helping artist to develop their practice and portfolio by defraying studio costs, materials and exhibition costs; Going Greener by acquiring a new energy efficient kiln to fire larger scale work; and the Professional Artists' Project, allowing artists in other mediums to cross over the bridge to ceramics.

The Salad Bowl fundraiser is held on a summer's evening as a celebratory supper featuring gourmet salads, and delicious deserts from some of Seattle's best restaurants. One should arrive early to choose your personal salad bowl. The salad bowls are created by the students and instructors of Pottery Northwest.

There are large painted platter created for the Salad Bowl auction by area artists [some who have crossed over to to ceramics for this event] Juan Alonso, Charles Kraft,Anne Grgich, Marge Levy, Akio Takamori, Claudia Fitch and many others. These pieces were fabulous, making me wish I had the additional funds to support this part of the event.

I liked the newness of the event, the spirit of the volunteers all pulling together to create an event a FUNdraiser that was fun. Well Done!

How fabulous, what a great group of artists with such lofty and yet functionally adaptable ideas and goals.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shakespeare on San Juan Island

 Island Stage Left's production of King Henry V, photo courtesy John Sinclair

What an amazing week this has been. The weather was summer, flocks of  friends have chosen to show up on the island. After the gallery by day, I am always looking for ways to share island night life with family and friends.

On San Juan Island, we have a treasure called Stage Left whose mission is to provide free professional quality theater to both the residents of  San Juan Island and its visitors.

This year's Shakespeare under the Stars  is King Henry V.

The performances are usually in the evening just prior to sunset. The evening we attended, I remembered to bring my sleeping bag to sit in. Under the stars on San Juan Island, it does Get Cold when the sun sets. That Sunday night the temperature dropped to 49. This has been such an odd summer.

[One can arrive early, bringing a picnic dinner and have a tailgate party. The property that is home to Stage Left has a newly fenced garden. It is a lovely addition to the locale.]

Zipped up in my toasty outfit, hat on my head, I was prepared to be mesmerized by the words of the bard performed on a simply built sturdy stage in the middle of San Juan Island under a moonlight night after a wonderful meal.

The production is an ongoing ensemble cast with each actor playing multiple roles. Costumes are hung on pegs in the rear of the set and are changed repeatedly as actors change their characters.

As with a simplified set, the scenic changes occur with addition or subtraction of  tables and chairs, helping to create the illusion of a palace or a battlefield.

Sitting under the light of a almost half moon was magical.

I found myself closing my eyes and being transported to the days of Henry V .

Politics ruled the day, accented with the human traits of greed and love, etiquette and proprietary, war and peace and of course boy gets girl!

The versatility of this group of actors, the simplicity of the set design, the contemporary and antique costumes all help create the time of Henry V. It is a fabulous production with a stellar cast.

 As it states on the program, "production design elements are kept deliberately simple and concentration is on acting and interpretation. In this way the company is able to focus on the art rather than the administration."

A must see for the summer season of 2010 on San Juan Island! Their spring production of The Clean House By Sarah Ruhl was fantastic.

The show runs a couple of hours without intermission. And the golden buckets await your  financial contribution as we know it is not inexpensive to produce live quality theater. It is marvelous to have such a theater troupe on San Juan Island.

Their website for more info:Stage Left

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Meeting people at the Museum of Northwest Art

This weekend, I attended the 18th Annual Fundraiser for the Skagit Valley's Museum of Northwest Art.
This museum, located in La Conner was founded by a group of art patrons interested in preserving the rich artistic heritage that draws from the Northwest Mystics and according to their mission statement  is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art by Northwest artists.

Attending both evenings of this fundraiser,[thanks for working Carla] Friday night was the thank you for donating artists and patrons party.We were feted with finger foods and a lovely selection of beverages and desserts. The museum rehangs it's 2 floors of  walls to accommodate the donation of approx 350 pieces of artwork. All works are donated with the hope that these pieces will raise money to help fund this institution work in all areas, including restoration of artworks, exhibitions and educational outreach. The artworks range in price from $ 75 retail to a high of $ 12,000 for the Richard Marquis glass sculpture, pictured on the cover of the Auction Catalog.

Waterworks Gallery had 6 artists participate in this fundraiser. The gallery purchased an ad in the Auction Catalog to acknowledge the representation of these artists to the attendees of the auction. David Eisenhour, Catherine Eaton Skinner, Lisa Gilley, Kathleen Falkner, Sue Roberts and Cathy Schoenberg.
Lisa Gilley demoed the workings of soft pastels. She started a lovely Skagit Valley landscape but due to time constraints was unable to finish.

Saturday night was a bit different, more pressure, more dress up, and way more chatter and buzz. Raw oysters in abundance, yum yum, a lovely red wine worked well with the excitement in the room. The evening involved lots of walking around to both levels of the museum checking out the bids on works that were available. In what seemed like record time, the lots of silent auction were closing. Works were selling for modest sums of money, not top bid or bottom bid most items were sold under retail value. [ Oh to have extra money to bid with !]

Kip Toner from Seattle was the master of ceremonies and the auctioneer. My kudos to the man for studying his materials and for making all feel welcome and involved in the auction process. Pretty young things with large gold decals walked  through the museum rooms selling tickets for a special auction item. For $ 100 donation, you bought a raffle ticket [only 100 were sold] and  if your ticket was picked at random , your prize was to pick any item, regardless of value from the live auction. This item was pulled from the live auction bidding and be yours. Great concept and fundraiser.

The auction began at 7.30, and the result were remarkable. Most items sold , though not at retail value. A few pieces sold way over their value and a few went unsold. Bidding was all over the place, approx 75 pieces were sold in the live auction while patrons munched on a boxed dinner catered by Nell Thorn Restaurant, sipping on donated wines and beers. At the end of the evening , I heard that approx $ 180,000 was raised in the live auction.

The generosity of  patrons, artists and the staff and volunteers created an evening to remember. Congratulations to all. Truly we the community are the beneficiaries in this cultural and artistic endeavor that is the Museum of Northwest Art's Annual fundraiser.

Next year, I want to buy even a bigger ad. I am proud to be part of this community.
Long live the arts!
PS If you want to attend next years auction, let me know.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Value & Money

Fascinating to think about the art world and money. 
SO much money.
Such amazing art!

The current record  price for a painting is from an auction sale that occurred in 2006. The painting [pictured above] is No5 ,1948 by Jackson Pollock. The price was sold at US $ 140 million.

The 2nd highest price at auction is for William DeKooning's Woman III [pictured right] was sold in 2006 for US $ 148 million. This DeKooning was painted 1953.

The 3rd highest price was again from 2006, was for Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. [Picture left]. The painting was part of a group of five canvases recently returned to the heirs of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. The Nazis confiscated his paintings during the World War II, and after the war, the canvases were placed at the National Gallery of Austria in 1948.

What an amazing art auction year 2006 was.
What were you doing in 2006?
So much money, so much art. 
Did these paintings pass over into the world of cultural icons ie. The Mona Lisa ? Da Vinci's Last Supper?

In 2010 spring auctions, the Pablo Picasso painting, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, sold at auction for $ US 106 million.[pictured left]
 Yes, only US $106 million. This painting was not on public view and will remain in another private collection.
One could only image what a record auction price this painting would have fetched back in 2006.

The most expensive sculpture at auction was Alberto Giacometti's L'Homme Qui Marche (Walking Man 1) set a record for the most expensive piece of sculpture was sold in February 2010. It sold for $US 98 million.[pictured below] This bronze is edition of 6 and was cast in 1961.

In most of the above sales, the pieces ended up in private collections. Some collectors loan work to museums and some do not.We may never see some artworks again. For our museum to remain strong , we must remember the importance of financially supporting our museums and the work they do.

Become a member, go to the exhibitions,contribute financially and most importantly, expose and educate yourself to more ART!

Now, in my opinion, the real value, for collectors, is in the art galleries who are surviving this economic downturn. We offer a wide variety of  quality artworks that are both accessible and  have value.

During these hard economic times the antique and Art world has repeatedly demonstrated exactly how  resilient they really are, making it evident in its potential for an area of investment. The type of investment in artwork is one of emotional investment, and perhaps economic investment.
If you had bought that piece of Art  before this economic downturn,  you would still have the artwork!

Remember to visit and support your local galleries.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shoes and toes

The past few days, I have been off island, visiting the studios of gallery artists, taking in a few beautiful gardens on Whidbey Island, and getting to the Bellevue Art Musuem to see the show of Shoes by Beth Levine.

The show is presented in the 2nd floor gallery and divided into various grouping. Looking at her shoe designs from the 1950's to the 1970's, her shoes have a beautiful sculptural quality, as in the shoe above created out of paper in the 1960's. Many of her shoe designs are timeless. With her husband, Herbert, they introduced the stiletto heel into the United States. Beth's love and use of varied materials has placed her as one of the most influential show designers. Beth was the predecessor of comfort and high style for your feet, movement. Looking at her works today, there were a few pairs I would love to own!

Over her long career, Beth popularized such styles as mules, stilettos and fashion boots, and her shoes became favorites among designers and celebrities alike, from Halston to Geoffrey Beene, Marilyn Monroe to Cher, as well as four of America’s First Ladies. A true visionary of the fashion world, she was honored in 1967 and 1972 with the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award, and was the only shoe designer ever to win the award twice. 
Featuring ephemera and over 100 pairs of shoes and boots, this first-time retrospective explores the unbridled energy and creativity behind one of the greatest designers. Bellevue Arts Museum is pleased to be the premier US venue for this exhibition.

The show is up till June 6.Beth Levine Show
[Inspired me to go get a pedicure and paint my toes pink!]
The other event I want to make folks aware of, both on island and throughout the area is the Museum of Northwest Art's Annual Auction Fundraiser.

This Museum located in La Conner, does a great job taking on the task of showcasing art created in the Pacific Northwest'.

 The Mission of the Museum of Northwest Art is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art by Northwest artists.

The date for the Auction is June 19,here's the website for more information:

A few artists represented by waterworks gallery have been generous in their donations to the museum's fundraising auction, including, David Eisenhour, Lisa Gilley, Kathleen Faulkner, Catherine Eaton Skinner, and Cathy Schoenberg. 


Monday, May 17, 2010


This weekend was sunny and very amazing. The arts do flourish in a small way..

At the waterworks gallery in Friday Harbor, the show, Art Hansen - Celebrating 80 opened.
This show was wonderful to curate as I chose images that were created from the mid 70's to the most  recent watercolor' s of 2009. Black and white etchings, color etchings, lithographs and watercolors.  A steady stream of folks coming in to meet and visit with Art Hansen. Good conversation, Art, Food and Wine. Thanks to all who chose to spend the their time at the gallery.It was wonderful.

At 80, many things have constrained to slow Art Hansen down including the absence of his wife, best friend and companion of 50 years Gerta. She is now institutionalized as she suffers from Alzheimer's. Art visits her weekly. He has two grown sons, one lives in NY and one in Seattle. He is a grandfathers a few times over.
Art continues to bike, even after a severe bicycle accident a few years ago. He stays active in both mind and body.

I was introduced to Art 15 years ago by another artist I was showing at the time. I was intrigued by Art's work as he takes everyday scenes, of places in the landscape that he loves.The northwest. He paints the  view from his studio window on Vashon Island and visits his favorite places in the Skagit Valley. His love of gardening is evident as he paints roses with the thorns as a major part of the composition including the pruning cuts. His poppies make us remember the poppies of Georgia O'Keeffe.

His watercolors are a fusion of the stylization and simplicity of East meets West. The line's painted in his watercolors are deceptively simple. Yet each line repeats and builds on the previous line. The repetition of pattern creates the land. We can feel the weight of the barns, the prickliness of the rose's thorns, and the down on the stem of a poppy. He is masterful in his use of the dry brush and watercolor. 

This show is on display at the gallery till June 6
Art Hansen Show.http://www.waterworksgallery.com/artistbios/hansen/hansen.shtml

The following day, myself and my good friend, Laurie Paul went to Seattle to see the newest opera from the Seattle Opera Company, Amelia. As that area of Seattle is all under construction we parked downtown and decided to take the monorail to Seattle Center.

We sat facing with our backs to the route ahead.  This feeling of being seated the wrong way allowed me to see the building at the Seattle Center in a total new way. It was a beautiful sunny day and the light on the Music Experience Building was all reflected bronzes and yellowy sunlight.It was different. I saw  the monorail reflected in the building was intriguing.This experience changed my perception of that building and my ability to be delighted by that experience was evident.

If you have not heard about the newly commissioned opera Amelia. I will only convey a few details. The first difference to traditional opera is that this one is sung in English, yet still uses the Super Titles over the stage. This is a good, as the singing is still very large , sometimes once is so entranced by the sound that one does not even realizing that the language is in English. This makes for a different perspective and different perception.

This opera is also set in a America in fairly recent times.
America of the 60's, Vietnam in the 1960, and a America in recent past tense.

The story is based on letters from a Vietnam era Commander Pilot father to his daughter, the Greek myth of Daedalus and his son, Icarus, and the female flier,Amelia Earhart. The theme of flying and flight is inter woven into a story line about a mother's need to know her unborn child is being brought into a world that is safe and she will be loved." Love is worth the risk."

The sets are brilliant as is the staging.
The music is hauntingly beautiful.
The storyline complex and compelling.
Now that I have seen it once, I want to see it again.

This opera, while non traditional in time frame and in language, fulfilled me.

What is an opera? It is a story that embraces, love, death and war celebrating the art of opera.

This opera  helped me see the world of opera in a contemporary manner.
It was wonderful. Making me wonder about other opera story lines being presented in a current time line.
To me opera, is the ultimate vehicle for suspending one's beliefs.

In the darkened McCaw Hall, we allow the magic to embrace us.
This opera will only run another week, I would see it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Great local shows

Ginny Ruffner, Envisioning Series, A self image

This past Sunday, I asked a friend in Anacortes to join me in a Sunday outing to the Museum of Northwest Art [ 121 south First Street, La Conner]. Fabulous sunny day. The best part, for me, I could walk on the ferry boat and get picked up. What fun! So much less time spent waiting in ferry lines.

I wanted to hear this talk, Resonances in Glass with Ginny Ruffner, James Minson and Masami Koda. Ginny Ruffner, is the queen of Lampworked glass, I just started showing the jewelry of James Minson, and recently saw the works of Masima Koda. The common thread for all three artists is their medium is lampworked glass. The talk was conceived by the curator Kathleen Moles.

But as I learned in this talk, there are more common threads between them. I love all these connections that happen in the art world. James actually used to work for Ginny Ruffner, after her accident, James was involved in the lampworking program at Pilchuck. Then when it was time for him to move on, he had Masima replace him. She too works with Ginny Ruffner constructing her pieces. Small world , apparently years ago, James when he was in an MFA program in Japan, and Masima while,living in Japan, both attended the the the International Glass show. This was the first time both of them saw the whimsical, and wacky, works of Ginny Ruffner. Both, James and Masima fell in love with the newness of the work.
[I think I remember all the important facts from this talk.]

James Minson, The Reef, lampworked glass

The show, Resonance in Glass, currently installed in the small glass Benaroya Glass Gallery in the Museum. This show reflect the differences in these three artists work, yet reflects their passions.

Ginny spends lots of time thinking and asking questions. Her works can be seen as questions or perhaps new ways at looking at old information. James, from a family of industrial science glass workers, spent time diving in the ocean and exploring new frontiers in jewelry. His pieces reflect his interest in ocean reefs and the interactions with nature. Masami concern about her intimate environment shows up in her work. She has translated glass into rain, and her gardens into dreams.

Masimi Koda, Water Crochet, lampworked glass

This show includes works loaned by Anne Gould Hauberg, the Microsoft Collection and Traver Gallery
For me, I had a wonderful time listening to each of them, share a story about their works and perhaps, I caught a glimpse of how and why they work. I felt more intimate about their works. I wanted to take them all out for food and continue the conversations. Kudos to Greg Robinson and the Museum of Northwest Art!

All images courtesy Museum of Northwest.
Next time in La Conner, take the time to discover the Gallery Cygnus, [105 Commercial St.] It is across from Maple Hall at the end of town in La Conner. The show currently on view is a small collection of mixed media sculpture form Philip McCracken and the photographs of Mary Randlett. The space is well organized, and intimate. The gallery is run by a small group of artists, including Peggy Doyle, whom I chatted with. She told me the gallery is celebrating being open one year. Wahoo ! The gallery is open weekends. Stop by and see some Skagit Valley artists.
Gallery. A wonderful opportunity to see these three artists works together.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Traveling to Home

Richard Avedon (American, 1923–2004): Dovima with elephants,
evening dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, August 1955.
© 2010 The Richard Avedon Foundation.

After returning from a few winter adventures, I am writing this blog entry from my home in Friday Harbor. I was able to view a few choice exhibitions scattered around the country.Locally, I hope you were able to go the Calder show here in Seattle at Seattle Art Museum

One of the highlights, the works of photographer, Richard Avedon at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palms Beach, Fl. I appreciated photography as artform, but mea culpe after a few photography classes, I now understand art as photography on a visceral level.

Avedon Fashion 1944–2000, Richard Avedon revolutionized fashion photography in the post-World War II era with his spirited, imaginative images of the modern woman. This spectacular exhibition will feature more than 160 works – including edition and vintage prints, contact sheets, and original magazines – created during Avedon’s long career at Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, The New Yorker, and beyond.

The elegance, and simplicity of the black and white images were inspiring, leaving me wanting to see more of his works. Perhaps it is time to show photography at waterworks gallery.

The other highlight of my winter was a trip to Abiqui, New Mexico, the home of Georgia O'Keeffe. I have admired her works, especially her role as one of the few successful woman artists. I wanted to see the land that inspired her visions.

This was my first trip to Santa Fe. My initial impression of the land was reminiscent of the hills of eastern Washington or Oregon and Idaho. High plateau scubby, sagey devoid of intense color, a desert. Not till I actually got within a few miles of Ghost Ranch, that I saw the RED HILLS.
Oh my god, even on a cloudy day the rock formations were dauntingly beautiful [ Yes, I like rocks].

From the painting show of Georgia O'Keeffe's entitled "A Sense of Place", the landscape tour was created to allow the viewer to fully experience the actual locations of the paintings from Ghost Ranch. A tour of her home is another option. For the landscape tour, a dozen people are loaded into a van and driven around the large ranch to the areas that she painted on canvas. Museum curators and guides have assembled the paintings as placards and the same locations. Highly simplified and yes, there are purple hills. These towering rock formations painted for many years, mark the passage of time. Some sites are still intact , other have changed with time.
Even in winter under rain and clouds, the magnificents of the land is almost holy.

More stories of art shows to follow. Cheers

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


As this is the winter, [with the great sunny weather, you would never know] I 'm taking the time to take a few classes and using this time to travel to studios and meet perspective gallery artists.

waterworks gallery is on winter hiatus and Friday Harbor is very quiet. Most galleries and other business in town are keeping very limited hours. Without the pressure of regular retail hours, life is simpler.
The winter season is the best time for learning new things.

I completed a wonderful Digital SLR workshop at The Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle with Leslie Sabor. [wohoo]. Great class. Good instruction. Great location. A bit of history: I used to print black and white photos many years ago, easy to forget it all with the automatic way we do things. The class helped me remember what I loved about photography and now working with a digital SLR camera is truly a brave new world.
I bought a Lumix SLR DMC FZ18 for the gallery's needs. Limited but functional. Now after this class all I have is camera lust! Nikon or Canon! Not sure, What's your opinion?

Thank god for the delete button. My philosophy is edit the shot mentally, compose carefully, shoot it many times. My experiences lead me to think, I can learn to manipulate the shot later, but somehow I don't want to spend more time on a computer than I already do. Silly me!

I realized what interest me visually are textures and the play of light, both reflected and actual. The gallery 's artist are an extension of these interests.

These shots are from my travels, up to Nanimo, British Columbia. [The top is on a sandstone beach at Gabriola Island, bottom another provincal park on Gabriola Island] I traveled north to meet a painter. He is an avid outdoor painter but instead of plein aire is much more interpretive, a contemporary in the style of the Canadian Group of Seven painter. The gallery will feature this painter late this year.

I am an aspiring photographer learning to shot on manual.
More travels and artists news next time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wheh !

Almost the end of the month.

Am on a bit of a sabbatical. Living in the city, Seattle. Taking photo and photo shop classes.

Very interested in seeing photograph work.

Saw a wonderful show at the

Polaroids: Mapplethorpe

Henry Gallery at the Univ of Washington.

A collection of Polaroid photographs from the early days in NYC. A precursor to who we know as Robert Mapplethorpe. The show is up till January 30th.

another show to see:

Eirik Johnson: Sawdust Mountain

both very informative and very different from each other. This up till January 31st.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Find your muse

Last weekend, I went to Mount Vernon to the beautifully restored Lincoln Theater to see the Metropolitan Opera's rebroadcast in HD TV of Jacques Offenbach, The Tales of Hoffman.

Complex opera with the main character the writer Hoffman telling the tales of the three unhappy loves in his life, from his perspective while in the company of his muse, impersonating his best friend.

Yes, a complex and complicated storyline with different loves and villains.

Battling for Hoffman's creative soul, the muse tries to protect Hoffman from himself and the woman around him.

In driving Hoffman away from love, the muse propels him onto greater artistic achievements.

What consequences does the muse invoke for her writer, or even herself when she envelopes his life with protections from that lived life ?

After the opera, driving back to the ferry, I thought about the word muse.

Such a small word with great meaning and reverence.

Where and what was it's root?

What kind of classical mythology was involved?

  1. Greek Mythology Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.

  2. muse

    1. A guiding spirit.

    2. A source of inspiration.

  3. muse A poet.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin Mūsa, from Greek Mousa; see men-1 in Indo-European roots.]
(myōōz) verb. mused, mus·ing, mus·es v. intr. To be absorbed in one's thoughts; engage in meditation. v. tr. To consider or say thoughtfully: mused that it might take longer to drive than walk. n. A state of meditation.

My wish for the New Year is to find your muse.
To thinking thoughtfully, musing over and doing no harm.