Today, Rob and I walked on the University of Kansas campus and came upon a Patrick Dougherty sapling sculpture commissioned by the Spencer Museum of Art. It’s an engaging and fantastic piece of work. The placement of the saplings gives the impression of a tornado surrounding a very calm tree. Further into the walk, swallows circled us in their crazy flight pattern as we walked around Potter’s Lake. While I was studying the birds I noticed Rob fooling with what I thought was a trash barrel. Not. It was a whirly-gig. Perhaps the inspiration was a Merry-Go-Round, but the fabric had come out of the pivot point making the whirly gig only partially operable.
My great-grandmother’s crazy quilts where almost as fantastic as this one. The photo was provided by Barbara Brackman, the material girl. She is a quilt historian, author of over a dozen books on quilting and a fabric designer.
Quilt making was a family artform and I’ve inherited a few. My favorite is the crazy quilt. It’s the surreal foreground in the painting Awakenings.
Maxx’ Mural in progress
Using Maurice Sendak’s story “Where the Wild Things Are” as inspiration, I painted a jungle mural in Maxx’ room. He’s swinging through the picture on a vine, while monsters, lions, tigers and some ‘Gary Larson inspired’ fish play baseball in the creek. It’s a mix. I talked to Maxx about the images in the mural as it developed and one day, at the age of 13-14 months, he walked over to the mural and tried to insert his stuffed lizard. That amazed me and also that he chose an appropriate jungle animal. He’s definitely above average.
Good Gallery: I’m bemoaning the passing of a local art venue, 6 Gallery. The recent rains caused the exhibit space to flood and no alternative, affordable downtown venue could be found. 6 Gallery was created by a conscientious, honest and talented woman, Sally Piller.
A Bad Gallery Experience: A gallery in Aspen asked for two paintings, Romance and Red Wine and Chocolates. Janet Fish was having an exhibit and my work would give art buyers a less expensive alternative. I was thrilled, and so crated and shipped the paintings. Months passed and there was no communication. A year passed. On a trip to Aspen, I found the gallery had moved, but was still operational, though closed. Later that year, a friend in Glenwood Spring let me know the gallery had gone out of business. Still no phone calls or mail answered. I sent a final letter with “address correction requested”. The new address was in New Mexico. Two years after the gallery rec’d my paintings, I knocked on a door in Santa Fe, not far off the square. My 6″2″ muscled brother stood next to me in front of the door. He said out the side of his mouth, “Is this person really old?” No. “There’s a woman using a walker coming to the door.” The mother. Her son would be back in two hours. My brother and I fortified ourselves and returned. The gallery owner answered the door, and didn’t recognize me or my name initially. Then just said, “Follow me.” We drove to a storage unit where he pulled out my paintings. We loaded them up. He said, “I’m sorry.” I said, “You certainly are.”