Friday, October 19, 2018

Chairs Review

Very cool article about the Union of Maine Visual Artists (#UMVA) show curated by Janice L. Moore - Some Reliable Truths About Chairs in the Press Herald or the local fish wrap s we used to call newspapers, unfortunately a dying breed.  Just click here.

If you go back to earlier posts you'll see the Homage to Ionesco, my paean to the granddaddy of absurdist theatre and author of The Chairs, which is not produced as much as Rhinoceros or The Bald Soprano.

And I just finished another small (5 x 7") mixed media painting that contains an encaustic wax monoprint on archival tissue paper.  I posted it to my IG, but you can see it here.  

You'll see it at the Holiday show Dec 15th & 16th at the UMVA Gallery at the Portland Media Center, on Congress St., to the left of MECA.

and here's a random photo

Little iPod photo from 2016... although if you like it, and would like a print or a canvas, all you have to do is contact me!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A Little Help from my Friends

Yes, that's me with my assemblage/sculpture piece for the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) "A Few Reliable Truths About Chairs".  My friend and neighbor, Dr. Chris Brigham, who is the principal author, with Henry Bennett, of “Living Abled and Healthy, Your Guide to Injury and Illness Recovery.” Details at

Thanks Chris....

Friday, September 21, 2018

Some Relable Truths About Chairs

Is the name of the October show at the Union of Maine Visual Artists (#UMVA) gallery at the Portland Media Center and yours truly is part of it ... with my "Homage to Ionesco"

Thanks to Janice Moore and the other curator for jurying my work into the show.  Want to see some older work and encaustic work on Etsy?  Go HERE.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Woodland Park Wedding

Woodland Park is a small town about a half hour west of Colorado Springs on Hwy 24.  There is a beautiful campground where my nephew Tristan (my brother's youngest - he's the only one to have kids) married the love of his life, Marilyn.  It was the first time in 14 years that my side of the family had gathered so it was a doubly wonderful occasion.  (The last time we had gathered had been when my mom died.)

Tristan and Marilyn were married by my brother Tom, and you would have thought the wedding party was from the cast of a film about the early 70s (when last I lived out there).  It was low key, whimsical and just wonderful.

my handsome nephew and beautiful nieces

Here's to an expanded family...  welcome Marilyn and the in-laws.... joining the outlaw McElroy clan.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mile High on Art in Denver

I had never been to the contemporary art museum in Denver until this past August when we flew in and out of Denver to attend my nephew's wedding outside of Colorado Springs (you'll see those photos in the next post).  so of course we had to go there to check it out and I'm glad we did as I discovered an artist I had not known of - Derrick Adams.

But first the outside of the museum has this very cool kinetic sculpture.

The name of the show was Transmission and it dove into both popular culture and racism in both overt and subtle ways.
Here is one of my favorites from it... I didn't take too many photos as we were reflected in them.

This is just a few minutes of video from the show... but what really wowed me were his "BoxHeads".

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Finally Reemerging

Well, it's been quite a ride for me over these past six months since I've last posted.  So JK and I realized last summer that our house in Deering Center in Portland was just too big for us and didn't suit our needs as a newly "retired" couple.  And since the market was so hot, we wanted to find someplace first before we put our place on the market.  Mostly b/c of the expense/hassle of storing our stuff and where would we find a place to rent that would take two dogs and a cat?

So since our next door neighbor was a RE agent and we told her she could have the sale when we decided to move, we started looking.  We had deal-breakers of course - like covered parking for us both with access to electric outlets since we are now a plug-in hybrid family and a decent size kitchen and 3 bedrooms and 2 baths ... but not too big to heat and cool.  It's getting hotter and hotter in Maine like it is in your neck of the woods - climate change... please do your part.

Upshot is that while we found a great condo in a 55+ community in Falmouth, much closer to Casco Bay,  we had huge problems dealing with a not savvy (or very good - could never recommend them.) architect who took forever to draw up plans and didn't listen to our requests. If you live in Maine and want to avoid them, please email me for their name.

We had found a contractor who gave us a 3 month deadline to re-do the kitchen, refloor all the downstairs and build a dormer so we could have a 2nd floor master/bath/walk in closet space that would fit the king bed and our furniture.  Nice to have only one set of stairs now instead of three like the old house.

Then we escaped for two weeks to take the dogs in the van to St Augustine FL... to this great dog friendly condo a short walk from the beach.  We were lucky to see my brother and sister in law - Bill & Janine so we could make them dinner one night.  We liked the place so much, we've already booked it for next year.

Of course why not have a back surgery before you need to downsize and move?  If the pain had let me put it off, I might have, but I'm glad it's over and done with today...  had to have a nerve decompression by a talented neurosurgeon here in Maine in the same area where I had surgery out in LA a dozen years ago.

Getting permits was an adventure as well as getting OKs from the HO association.  But we thought we were finally ready to go in January when we started getting some bad weather and they really needed to do the dormer first....  While our contractor was a really nice guy, we realized by March he didn't know how to meet deadlines and we'd have to hold off on the sale of the house for at least another month. 

We ended up having to move in on May 9th b/c our closing was on the 11th and we needed to get a cleaning service in on the 10th... and yes, we had to move into a construction zone and store everything (including clothes) for the bedroom and bath in the garage. 

Better yet, we also had to hire the moving company to come back to move the stuff from the garage upstairs.... glad to report that now there are only a few boxes left to unpack, and we still need to set up the guest room which should happen in the next week or so.

But if you should want to come visit, please don't come during brown tail moth season (May-beginning of June).  The caterpillars have invisible, toxic hairs that float around and if you're wildly allergenic like me,  after a month of stinging, itching, burning, you will BEG your doctor for steroids.  In our little community only the front part of it bought into spraying, but next year, the HO board says spraying will be all over, which hopefully will mean I won't have to run away for May.

If you're local, come on down to the UMVA (Union of Maine Visual Artists) member show opening First Friday, July 6th from 5 to 8 pm at the Portland Media Center on Congress St., right next door to the Maine College of Art (MECA).  This is a new encaustic piece that was developed at a workshop with Dietland Vander Schaff this past April.

For those of you who can't make it...  here it is

"Carbon: a Penguin's Story" is the name of this encaustic and mixed media on wood cradle piece.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Waxing Away

A couple of weeks ago I went down to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton to see the #NEWAX show there... here are some of my favorite pieces in the show.

I do have to tell you that #OttyMerrill is a friend and a former mate from when we had studios at #RunningWithSissors in #PortlandMaine.

Her work is sublime... Symphony in Black

Ken Eason
Pamela DeJong
Donna Hamil Talman
This was done on paper then hung with a plastic sort of hanger so it floated against the wall... this reminds me of the work I've done infusing photos with encaustic and putting them in frames

Angela Dean
  These are encaustic with transfers....something I've done as well

and then these two other sculptural objects caught my eye...

Leo Sewell
I loved this sculpture made from reclaimed objects...

Hank Murta Adams
and this cast glass piece... I didn't know you could cast glass....

Monday, October 23, 2017

October Odditites

September seemed to fly by after we got back from Halifax.  It was a fun trip but it was back to business when we jetted home.  Because I could not vent encaustic wax fumes from my studio, I was on the hunt for another  one with windows - which I found at the State Theatre building in downtown Portland on the corner of High and Congress streets.  I should also be able to set up a mini studio in the back but that hasn't come together yet.  The one thing I miss about Running with Scissors is the community there.  I have peeps there who have influenced my art making and I hope to catch up with them in the near future!

I've got the place mostly set up, but will get some help from Hilary at abode on better organizing the space once a few other events have come to pass.  I've been a member of the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) for a while now and went to a meeting last month where it became clear that someone needed to step up to curate the November member show.  Since I've done this before with Asylum Gallery back in the day in Sacramento, I said sure, I'll do it! 

Then I get an email from the digital art professor Matthew.Smolinsk (UM Orono) asking if I would like to be a visiting artist and talk about my work for two classes in October.  Since they were willing to pay me, I agreed.  I'm looking forward to it this week as I always learn so much about life and art by teaching.

In addition to the UMVA show that opens November 3rd, First Friday here in Portland Maine, there will be a sculpture of a giant, naked woman in DC.  You can read about it here. 

If you're on the opposite coast, you must check out the work of Maria Maiolino in this great article by Carolina Miranda.  I htink it's interesting that she used eggs for her performance but in a different way than I used them in my installation at Running withe Scissors, before I moved.  Yes, eventually, I will be posting all the documentation of that here.  I do need to put it up at another site somewhere.  I need to have the documentation all in order to do this however.

Monday, September 4, 2017


We took a quick birthday trip to Halifax in August.  Neither of us had ever been there before and a new airline was offering some bargain rates and when JK asked me if I wanted to go, I said Of Course!  I love traveling and exploring new places and places where I was once there years ago.  So, yes, I've got some Irish Traveler genes. 

One thing I loved about the city was it's waterfront - Portland you could take some lessons from our Canadian neighbor!  Like the photo above.  Yes, Virginia they are huge hammocks just out there for anyone to loll around in!!  Although you must have to get up pretty early to snag one, as they were never empty when we strolled by.  Had dinner our first night at a great place called The Bicycle Theif while sitting at an outside bar and chatting with the very friendly local folks.  And of course we met another couple from Maine 

You wouldn't know it from the photo of the island that sits right in the middle of the harbor, but Halifax is a boom town right now.  That's why not so many city photos (except the ones I posted on Facebook) b/c construction is not pretty or even interesting at times.

What was interesting was the Arts Gallery of Nova Scotia and that they did a special project with autistic kids as evidenced here:

The photo above shows some of my favorites from the exhibit.

What follows are some other favorites from the museum.

Mermaid by #EmilyFlowers

Titanic by #JimSmith

Tree by #MattWendel
Probably one of the most amazing things they have in the place is the old cabin Nova Scotia's most famous artist - Maude Lewis - lived in with her jerk of a husband.  You must see the movie Maude to understand.  She is the Maritime Provinces' Grandma Moses.  The inside of the cabin is completely painted too.

I think Lewis painted the original "grumpy cat".
I also loved that the museum paid attention to the First Nation artists as well as those whose families immigrated here.  I really loved #MichelleBaikie and her photography featured below:

Spirit Drummer
We also rented a car one day to travel around to the SW of the city to explore the coast and found this charming fishing shack which looks abandoned, just south of Peggy's Cove,


Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove

Low Tide at Peggy's Cove

Low Tide at Peggy's Cove
En Plein Aire