Monday, March 16, 2020

Gibbes Museum

So glad we got a chance to visit the Gibbes Museum in Charleston SC.  Not only to meet the resident artist there, Ms. Andrea Hazel, but I discovered some Southern artists I had not known about before.  This is why I love going to local museums and kudos to the Gibbes for offering residencies for local artists. Here is a selection of my favorites from the other day:

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Was it a Folly?

Only time will tell as much of the country shuts down to stop the spread of the Corona Virus.  But we had already paid for our rental house here in Folly Beach and months ago arranged with our cat/house sitter to take care of things up north while we took the dogs and drove south.  So on the 8th of March (my departed father-in-law's birthday) we loaded the car up with not only clothes and pet supplies, but two jars of Lysol wipes and a spray disinfectant and paper towels. 

We figured if we were mindful about washing our hands carefully and also using hand sanitizer, we'd be OK because we were in a car.  We're trying out Folly Beach (outside of Charleston) as a winter refuge as it's a one-day shorter drive from Maine. 

Folks fishing from the Folly Beach Pier
We had two delightful days with Bill & Janine who traveled down from the mountains of N. Carolina to have a few beach days.  We took the dogs to the Wag Factory on Saturday, the day after Bill & Janine left, and ventured into the city which so reminds me of Savannah, where my sister used to live.  We had a wonderful lunch at Husk, a farm to table restaurant that mostly uses only local purveyors and then it was just a short walk where we saw this modern rendition of Monet's Luncheon of the Boating Party...

We explore the Gibbes Museum, which had an interesting exhibit of Southern Women Artists as well as having an artist-in-residence; Ms. Andrea Hazel, a very talented watercolor painter.  Ms. Hazel, who grew up in Charleston, got old historic photos of the city and areas where she grew up and is re-creating these scenes in watercolor to preserve the history of the era, before they built the freeways into town.

Ms Andrea Hazel with three of her wonderful watercolor paintings.
 Had a lovely conversation with her and her grandson (who was visiting while she worked that day) and discovered that pluff mud is NOT something you want to get stuck in.  Details here from Charleston Magazine, who I hope will soon do a feature story on Ms. Hazel!

JK & I were just talking about our drive back and we decided to get rooms at Residence Inns on our journey home so we can have the space to order take out from local restaurants rather than going out to eat, which is what we normally do.  And as a note to my friends back home complaining about the TP shortage,  it's hit Folly Beach today we found out.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Searching for Compassion

A couple of months ago, a Facebook friend invited me to create a work for a Stations of the Cross show at an Episcopalian Church in Arlington, VA.   First thing I thought of was my usual retort that If I walked in or my art walked in the church would be struck by lightening.  I was brought  up Catholic but left the church many, many, many years ago.  If I were forced into labeling myself, it would probably be something like Druidic, Feminist, Spiritual Humanist.

After getting assurances from the show's curator that I could contribute something digital and abstract, I went in a direction that mixed abstraction with more realistic images... digital alchemy.  In looking at the Stations of the Cross, I was struck with the 6th one, which is Veronica wiping Christ's face with her veil and the image of his face being transferred there.  What is the deeper meaning of this, I thought to myself and came up with compassion.

If you'd like to see all the images in the show, or will be in Arlington VA on March 1st, there will be a reception for the show.  This link will take you to the website with the pertinent  info.
Unfortunately I can't be there as I'm going all the prep work now for tehy show I'm co-curating with Christine Sullivan in May at UMVA Gallery in Portland -  Rage/Love: the Goddess in All Her Guises.  More on that later.

I wonder why Christian groups have not been more vocal about the government's plans to warehouse CHILDREN in detention facilities and then deny them basic necessities and medical care.  I have a friend who is a doctor in California and she's trying to give free medical care to those seeking asylum as refugees but is being prevented from helping people by ICE.  I guess for some people compassion is only for white people.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Got Plastic?

I'm seeking clean, colorful plastic for a project that Maine artist Kim Bernard is doing.  This marvelous artist, who I first learned encaustics from, got her grants to make portable machines that chew up plastic and then heat it and extrude it for making sculpture!  It's called her PUMP Project and you can get more information on it here in this video.

This is a brilliant way to take an obnoxious material and totally transform it into something of beauty!  I had thoughts of doing this myself but it hadn't coalesced into anything solid that I could write a grant for.  This is why I have to help Kim on this project.  So, got plastic? 

I'm going to be collecting plastic for Kim so email me at anntracy51 - at - if you would like to drop some off at my studio (when I'm here which is generally 1 to 6 pm) down here in Portland's East Bayside Neighborhood, just down the Street from Cove St. Arts and the Indigo Institute on Cove St.  Please start collecting plastic and email me when you have a small bag full so we can set up a time to drop it off for Kim...  You could also have a studio visit too!! 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Twitter Art Exhibit Art is On Its Way

So, what is a Twitter Art Exhibit (TAE), you ponder?  Back in 2010, David Sandum, an American artist living with his family in Norway wanted to help his town of Moss buy books for children.  He sent out a call on Twitter for art that is postcard sized that could be donated for a sale to raise funds for books.  I was lucky enough to be one of the first artists to donate a piece of work to the cause.  Nine years later, I'm still donating art.  This  year it will go to a deserving charity in Mrytle Beach SC ...

This 4 x 6" piece is my contribution, entitled Life's Journey, mixed media on watercolor paper.  Here are the details and a link to the website is above.

TAE 2020

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

April 3rd – April 15th

William H.Miller Studios & Fine Art
714 Main St
Myrtle Beach, SC, 29577

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Clear Vision in the Year Ahead

That's what I'm aiming for in 2020... half a joke and half seriousness.  Another artist friend of mine says she doesn't make resolutions anymore in the new year, but finds a word that will fuel her intentions in the new year.  That seems like a very reasonable thing that I might alter (alchemy you know) to include a phrase - Clear Vision.

But to break up all these words.... here's what our Christmas tree looked like this year.  We've decided we need to go smaller b/c of the size of our little downstairs living space.  Ceiling height barely big enough for my tall guy.

I already have three different shows coming up in 2020, which I've begun work on in the studio in between trying to clean it out and re-organize after a very busy fall.  But even though it's making me kinda crazy, it's always an honor to be invited to create a piece for a show and to have work accepted for a show!  I am Grateful.

I was invited to create a Station of the Cross for a church in Arlington, VA by an arts writer friend on Facebook.  I decided to participate when she told me that it could be abstract.  I was drawn to the 6th station, which is Veronica wiping the face of Jesus with part of her veil, which was transformed into a print of his face.  Very interesting project for a fallen-away Catholic (don't get me up on that soap box) and someone who disdains just about all religions that are misogynist in nature, which includes just about all of them except maybe the Unitarian Universalists. 

The Domestic Considerations series was all about misogyny, like Titan's Daughter here:

Some work of mine - digital alchemy and abstract photography - was juried into the Portland Regional Chamber 433 Gallery show which is up from next week until the end of April.  B/c of the Chamber's schedule, we don't have a First Friday show until April.  So more on that later.

The other piece I'm working on is for TAE 2020, which will be in Myrtle Beach, SC from April 3rd to the 15th.  Here's a link to the site.  Money of course goes to a charity.  Ironically we will be in Folly Beach SC beginning of March for a week.

And I was surprised not to find my name in this blog post from Hyperallergic, hahahahaha. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Happy Happy Merry Merry

Hope you have the loveliest holidays full of laughter and joy.  Me?  I'll be working on cleaning the studio over the holidays and finally getting my art work organized into a program that will track things for me, like editions etc. 

The Dada Art Santa Installation Selfie Photo Project went well with me raising over $200 for #UMVA (Union of Maine Visual Artists) and #ILAP (Immigrant Legal Assistance Project).  One of the artists at the Holiday Sale which ran concurrently, Tracy Ginn, had some big fun posing in the installation with artist Chris Reed taking the photos.  They were done with a sorta-like #Hipstamatic app called Vignette, which I'm gonna have to get for my droid phone.  I really liked this one

Then the strangest thing happened at home - we received a package addressed to Ann Tracy, but to an address in San Francisco.  JK emailed the company to ask how we should return it as we had not ordered the set of Green Egg pots and pans with a ceramic coating on them.  The company congratulated him on his honesty and then said to either keep or donate them!?!

Since our pans and pots were just about 40 years old (we got them for a wedding present), we decided to upgrade to the new ones and donate our older (but still very serviceable) ones to a church that helps settle African immigrants here in Maine.  Guess the universe wanted us to have new kitchen stuff!!

So I finally uploaded this new piece of digital art to the Fine Art America sales site - click here

What I like about this double exposure iPod photo with filters, is that it walks a very fine line between abstraction and narrative.  But you know I've always kinda been like that.

After I get the studio a bit more organized, it's on to the next art project: a postcard size painting for  #TAE20  - the Twitter Art Exhibit which raises money for many worthy charities.  It will be in Myrtle Beach SC this coming April.  If you're going to be in the area, would love for you to send me a photo of the work in the show. 
April 3rd – April 15th
William H.Miller Studios & Fine Art
714 Main St
Myrtle Beach, SC, 29577

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Selfies for a Cause...

That's right, you can take a selfie with the UMVA Gallery Dada Art Santa and half the money goes to the nonprofit gallery and the other half goes to ILAP - the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project.  Click here to read all about this wonderful group that is helping new Mainers from Africa get their legal status squared up.  Imagine, having to leave your home country because of physical danger, traveling on foot through Central America and ending up in a country where you don't speak the language and the customs and weather are so different from your homeland!  And we NEED these new Mainers as the population of Maine is older than all the other states. 

If the text is too small, click here to see the article in the Maine Art Scene.

The Biggest Thanks go to my friend and fellow UMVAer - Andrew Chulyk!  He's the genius behind the Dada Art Santa Head.  Also big thanks to Chris Reed, who helped out on a couple of work sessions. And while I'm thinking of thanks, a hearty future thanks to John Kreutzberger for helping transport Dada Art Santa and the silver tree (part of the installation) from the studio to the gallery and to Christine Sullivan who is going to help me put said installation up.

So this big event along with the UMVA Holiday Sale goes up on December 6th, First Friday from 5 to 8 pm.  We also continue on the following Saturdays, the 7th & the 14th from 10 am to 5 pm.  So don't worry if your schedule is already full for 1st Friday, come visit us on either Saturday.  Hope to see you soon.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Kusama Dots and Migration at the ICA Boston

 A couple of weeks ago, JK & I threw the dogs in the van and drove down to Boston to see Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Room Installation with my buddy Jonathan and his girlfriend Melissa.  We drove (at least half an hour on electric battery and then hybrid) down with the dogs b/c we couldn't find a dog sitter and we were leaving the following week to go to Seattle for Thanksgiving with the Christiansens, JK's sister's family.  When we lived out in California we used to share hosting Thanksgivings, until Al Kreutzberger, JK's dad got too frail to travel and then I hosted them all at our house, which luckily had a big dining room to fit a dozen people around a table.

But back to the ICA and Kusama's work which was amazing.  Here are a few photos from the installation:

Then we saw a Nick Cave sculpture, which really reminded me of the huge installation he did out at Mass Moca a couple of years ago.

 Which lead nicely into work by Lavaughan Jenkins, who was unknown to me, but Jonathan had met him a few years back.

The following are all from the Migration series they have up there now and I highly recommend you get down to see it.  I didn't post some of the most powerful videos but do go and see them.

Sorry about this not being focused, but it should be fairly legible. 

What I found the most amazing was this wall installation by Reena Saini Kallat: