Friday, October 31, 2008

My Favorite Holiday

Yup, it's today! Halloween. Numerous reasons for this including wearing goofy clothes and wigs without people looking too askance at you.
You don't have to buy anyone anything, unless of course you have a close friend or relative who's birthday is today. So that makes it probably the least commercial holiday of the year.
Except for the fact that you have to buy candy to give to the trick n'treaters. But there's no law that says it can't be chocolate and that you can't have some too! Maybe I do have a sadistic streak in me as I love to dress up and use my "witch" voice when the children come to the door to see if I can scare them!
Special thanks to my good friend Diego for posing for this photo that was shot out in the Dixon Corn Maze. It was great fun.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

PSSSSSTTTTT

You're looking for secrets aren't you? Trying going here: Secret? OK... I was trying to get you there without being so blatant about it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

busy as a Bee

Check out the story that was in today's Sacramento Bee Ann's way to break through creative blocks
I know I shouldn't be a whiner, but I wasn't all that crazy about how the article was edited. And it is good to do things with your non-dominant hand! Go on, brush your teeth with the other hand. go ahead and just throw (see photo) to the winds!
Speaking of creativity, one of the most creative of singers and performance artists - Laurie Anderson was at Mondavi Center in Davis with her new "Homeland" show. It was funny, profound, political and without caution. here's a link to a little interview she did on Swedish TV One of her best lines was: "Your silence is your consent."
and it sparked some other creative thoughts for the performance piece I'm writing to be performed at Asylum Gallery with the wonderful digital music composer and performer Mike Crain. We're doing an "Experiment in Performance" at Asylum on Friday, Nov 21st. Save that date, we'll be looking for you. Here's a link to Mike's website

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Take a Drive out to Woodland on November 7th

Why? Because it's First Friday and I'll be the featured artist at Photogenics, 415 First St., Woodland from 6 to 9 pm. The exhibit will feature work from the new Motel Variations series as well as the Power: Grids and Shapes series. Also on hand will be Cynthia Burdick with her line of hand-crafted jewelry she calls CynStones.
I was just in Woodland last week checking out the space, which is owned by photographer George Streng, who I met at Nada Motel up in Reno last June. He's very interested in sharing his fabulous studio/office space with other photographic artists. George is a wonderful photographer himself and a very generous guy to boot.
Don't forget to mark your calendars for January 23rd in Las Vegas for the Artists' Reception for "Greetings From Nada Motel" Barrick Museum, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154 (702) 895-3381 Jan. 23rd thru March 20th 2009
I'll be showing some new Motel Variations" Reno work and you'll see work by these other wonderful Reno artists: Trelaine Lewis, Kai Prescher, Ned Peterson, Dianna Sion Callender, Stephanie Hogen, Dusty Hartman, Dean Burton, Franz Szony, John Molezzo, SK James, Dave Cherry, Craig Smyres, Elaine Jason, Elaine Parks, Jeff Johnson, Andy Munz, Jerry Tarner, Thomas Willis, Leah Craig, and Chad Sorg.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lives of Women Artists

For anyone who is female and makes art, we know how tough it is, no matter what our family situation or the art at which we got serious about making art. Someone has now made a documentary about it. The NY Times article is here: http://tiny.cc/1Aq23
The painting to the left was one that my mother had since I was a little girl in the 1st grade. We lived in Cape Neddick, Maine at that time and maybe that was critical to me becoming the artist I am today. The painter was a woman named Sandy Lyndahl (I think that's how you spell it) and was one of the things I HAD to have when my mother passed away four years ago. I love it because it's so 50s and it's beautifully done.
I wonder what life was like for her? For myself it's a different story since I only became serious about my visual art-making for the past 6 years or so. Before that I was (and still am) a theatre artist doing just about everything except for set and lighting design.
This is the first time in my life that I've been making art and didn't have to have a day job - I have the time to get serious now. But in a way, I've been lucky in coming to visual art later in life. My financial situation is stable and my Sweet Hubby is a big fan and supporter. I've lived through many crazy emotional situations which have fueled certain pieces. And finally I've matured enough to not go off half-cocked on some things... most of the time.
But of course there is something that I share with all women artists no matter how and when we came to it - we all feel the slings and arrows from not being accepted in the "bigger" art world. We're still all marginalized in one way or another. Thank god for the Guerilla Girls. Check them out here: http://www.guerrillagirls.com/

Friday, October 17, 2008

Why BIG is BAD

It's probably not news to you that we live in an exceedingly small corporate world, inasmuch as who owns what. There are only a couple of Huge Corporations that seem to own, well, everything - like AT&T. I'm thinking about getting one of those new I-phones now that the price is 50% off the original price - I like bargains. But I'm beginning to re-think this because of stupidity on the part of AT&T.
Went to their website to look at my wireless phone bill the other day and saw this message:

We have recently enhanced our site security with new secret questions. To make your account more secure please click here.

So I did and found that they were "upgrading" security by asking you to choose from the following questions: What is your favorite film? .......... um... don't really have one - there are many films I like
What is your favorite hobby? .... um.... don't have a hobby because I'm a freelancer and an artist and I'm always working on art projects.
Last name of your favorite elementary school teacher? ..... WTF! .... elementary school teacher? I don't remember any teachers from that long ago. It's been too many years. I mean really once you reach the age of 40+ do you really remember your elementary school teachers?
What is the name of your favorite childhood pet? ... come on.... we had lots of them, I forget all their names... it's been a LONG time and finally.... Who is your favorite author? Gee, I read lots of books I don't have JUST ONE FAVORITE. OK... I'll do some Zen breathing now.
Here's my theory on this: They could give a rat's ass about anyone over the age of 25! When you're that young, sure you can remember elementary school, especially if you didn't go to college either. So, they're going for the young and the uneducated. What a concept for marketing, sure makes their job easier.
Why can't you make up your own question? Other websites with sensitive information have done that, why can't AT&T?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

When Remodeling is Bad

Maybe it's just me, but the past few times I've been to old San Francisco hotels, that I loved for their charm, that have been remodeled in the past few years, I'm always disappointed. Last year it was the venerable St. Francis Hotel on Union Square. The Sheraton bought them out and then remodeled it into a postmodern (or pomo as we wits like to call it) disaster. Don't get me wrong, I like the ultra modern look, but when it's poorly done and without a regard to functionality, it just pisses me off.
OK, OK, I know I get pissed off easily these days without the estrogen load, but sometimes a remodel can be done tastefully with regard to the original style. So we pulled up to the Stanford Court hotel on Nob Hill - scene of many visits when my mom used to come visit me and when my friend Deb used to do PR for the Aspen Music Festival - and the driveway area which is actually part of the 1st floor of the hotel is the same. and the new entry isn't bad, then we walk into the reception area which is sterile and vapid (am I being too subtle here?) No place to sit and wait for folks. Then it opens up into this very badly designed dining room and bar area.
Come to find out Marriott had bought them out. Maybe this is what happens when hotel chains take over old, beautiful hotels - they screw them up. Needless to say we won't be staying there anymore - sigh.
So we check in and go up to our room - which wasn't bad except that you had to look at this horrible carpeting. Me brudder the Atomic Blogger says it's because drunk guests throw up and they want something busy to hide the stains. Maybe he's right, maybe I should have been drunk and I would have appreciated it more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Everything's Better with Byrne

David Byrne has to be one of the most amazing artists in the world - musically, conceptually and visually. He's a Renaissance kind of guy, who as members of the Extra-Action Marching Band (EAMB) of San Francisco tell me, is very down-to-earth sort of person. Well I had the great pleasure not only of seeing Bryne's concert last night in San Francisco but to meet and dance with members of the EAMB!
  • I'm sure that Davies Symphony Hall has not been rocked so heavily in perhaps years or eons. But when Byrne's band took the stage and began playing new songs from his latest album with Brian Eno and then old favorites from his other albums, it was difficult NOT to dance.
Not only did he have two drummers/percussionists along with a keyboard player, other guitarists and amazing back-up singers, but he had three dancers with him! I suspected something was up when I saw what looked like a portable dance floor on the stage along with all the instruments set up before they started.
  • They did a closing number and got called back for an encore, which they did and got the whole joint jumping. The Bryne says, please clear the aisles for the Extra-Action Marching Band, who began to march down the aisles, as Bryne and his band left the stage, then proceeded to take the stage. As you can tell from the photo from their website, EAMB is not your run-of-the-mill marching band. As a matter of fact, don't think they'll be invited to any high school football games at any time in the near future.
Then Bryne and band and dancers come back to the stage for a truly smokin' version of Burning Down the House. The energy was amazing both from the stage and the audience.
  • So, after we leave the concert hall, we go back over to Jardiniere, which is only a 1/2 block away, for a drink after the show. Before the show we had met our niece Brandy over there for dinner. It's an upscale restaurant serving wonderful French-influenced California cusine. We each get a drink of wine and sit down and in marchs..... yup .... the Extra-Action Marching Band who proceeded to take over the bar area. They played and the pom pom kids (2 men and 3 women) did their shimmy-shaking thing. I even got pulled into a dance with them. We chatted one of the trumpet players named Rick (I think, I was on my 2nd glass o'vino) and one of the dancing girls - Ena.
We asked them how they got to play with Bryne and they told us that they descended on him at a book signing in the Bay Area a few years ago. He really enjoyed their shtick and musicianship and asked them to play with him down in LA a while back. Bryne then told them he'd comp them into the show that night, forgetting there were so many of them - 30 at their largest, but it seemed like there weren't that many last night.
  • All in all, a night to remember! Not so memorable was our stay that evening at the Standford Hotel on snob, I mean Nob Hill. More on that in the next post, where we will ask the question why hotels have terrible, gaudy carpeting in the halls!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Good Reason to Go to the Big Apple - Cheap Opera

If you're a fan of contemporary classical music, my advise to you is to get a cheap plane ticket to New York and go see Dr. Atomic, an opera about the development of the atom bomb by John Adams and Peter Sellars.
Even if you're on a budget, you should be able to fork over $30 for a seat that generally costs from $100 to over $220 at the Metropolitan Opera. According to the NY Times, two wealthy opera lovers Agnes Varis, a managing director of the Met’s board, and her husband, Karl Leichtman, have bought $500,000 worth of prime orchestra tickets to the up-coming production, so they can be resold at $30 each.
October 13th is the opening and there are supposed to be 200 of the $30 seats available at the Met box office on the day of the performance for each of its nine performances.
The Sweet Hubby and I saw this back in 2005 - can't believe it's been three years - at the San Francisco Opera. I'm not a fan of the traditional opera, but I do like it when it's contemporary. SF Opera is just finishing up a production of The Bone Setter's Daughter, based on the book of the same name by Amy Tan and she was writing the libretto too. We didn't get to see that and hope it one day makes it to NY and that Agnes and Karl do their good deed again.
It's also smart of them to do this, as it's a way to get younger audiences to opera. They've got to do something as their subscriber base is dying off. So the gold star of the day for promotion of the arts goes to Agnes and Karl!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another opening, another show

My entry for the members show at the Viewpoint Photographic Arts Center made the postcard! Granted it's the back side, but it was a black & white image - my broken angel taken at Joshua Tree National Park this past spring. If you go back in the posts to April ( I think) you'll find that story.
  • Of all things art, the studio tour was the most disappointing. The only folks who showed up were neighbors and some friends, not anyone else who toured studios in the midtown area. But then again, there wasn't really any PR for it in the local daily paper or the weekly, just a map in the Midtown Monthly. But maybe that's the way it is when you're all of 4 miles out from midtown. Another artist friend who lives south of the midtown area had the same response. I really don't know if I'll do it next year.
But I do have yet another solo show coming up for First Friday out in Woodland. I'll be showing work at my friend George Streng's photo studio. I'm really looking forward to that.
  • The Pasta Benefit at Luna's Cafe was great! We had marvelous food and wine plus a short scene from BPP's next show that opens Oct 17th - Matt & Ben and Nick showed videos that he had made as promos for the past couple of years. Big thanks to Art Luna who walks the walk when it comes to supporting the arts, Claire Guest who made a great salad for us and Cynthia Burdick whose macho meat sauce was very good. Also thanks to the actors and director for the scene and everyone who donated wine or helped sell tickets.
So that's the way it is, good night and good luck.