Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here's to 2010

Just after I had made a resolution to put more just artwork up here on the blog, I read Nanny Goats in Panties and see that it's not too late to join in her Resolutions Party Post.  So not wanting to be a party pooper, I'll have to make it public here!


OK....  this is called Electric Landscape from my Power Series of 2007.  It's also the new wallpaper I put up for my Twitter account.




So my other resolution is that I will learn more Romanian, so that perhaps I can be nice to the folks that don't have any English.


Of course I have really bad language skills so even if I can get one or more rudimentary phrases down like:  Boy, that show was a stinker!  I loved the way the actor used the stage space.  I also got a subliminal CD that tells me learning Romanian is easy and that I'll succeed!  I have until April, when I return to my wonderful friends in Bacau.  This is a photo of the Romanian flag that proudly waves over a bulletin board in my studio! 

And when I get over to the Nanny Goats in Panties blog, I find that her friend over at Mama's Losin It, is doing something similar!

Since I'm not a power blogger, I hope that I'm doing this correctly
5.) It’s time to list your New Year’s resolutions for 2010.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Happy Merry Merry



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Art of Time

Do artists resent the fact that most of us work in the dark so to speak?  I know that I'm a compulsive art maker and while it's a hoot to sell the work and have work in a show, it's always seemed like the icing on the cake.   I like the work!  It's so much fun and if it gets noticed - wonderful - but it won't stop me from plugging away.  We all joke about how we'll be famous after we shuffle off this mortal coil. 

For one artist, that keep plugging mentality has finally bought her some fame and fortune!  We can thank New York artist (and member of the studioNOTES group) Tamara Wyndham for this inspiring link.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Public Art Across the Pond

Yes, that fiesty street artist known to all but his mom as Banksy, is at it again...  Special thanks to Mark Westall, Owner at FADwebsite from my Visual Artists and their Advocates group  on LinkedIn.  


Just click here to see some fabulous new works!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas is Coming

waaaay too fast if you ask me!  I hate years when Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November.  It's like a week gets taken away from us before Christmas.  So much for my good plans to design a Christmas card for the folks who have purchased my art work in the past - guess it will  be a New Year's card!  I'm also going to give them a small print of some new work I'm doing based on the photos I took up at the Gladding McBean Pottery in Lincoln.

The Sweet Hubby did get lights up on the house and make a tree out of pvc pipe and wire and lights for the front lawn.  Now it would make just too much sense if I posted a photo of that here, so I'm not going to do that.  In the email box to day were too funny as hell photos that I don't know who took.  If you're one of the photographers for this, please let me know so I can credit you!



You really have to admire the chutzpah of  the Ditto neighbor.

There's a story that goes with this one:


"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas  decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Come to Viewpoint Gallery on 2nd Saturday

Not only will you find a great show there... but I will have some new work there, some all matted and ready to go.  Viewpoint is on J St in midtown Sacto between 20th and 21st Streets:  2015 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95811-3124      (916) 441-2341

I've got a selection of both black and white, hardly manipulated photos to color photos to downright digital collage - but all work is based in photography.  Why talk about them, when I can show you?  Prices range from $75 to $15.  All you need to do is go to the gallery and ask to see the work in Ann Tracy's drawer!

Cally Lilly

  American River Bannon Slough
Dream of Tulum Ruins
  
Electric Landscape 
Ghost Horse Colorado 
  Heart of the Matter
Homage to Joseph Beuys 


New York Day

New York Night
















 

 
Something strange is going on with blogger right now... it won't let me label the images...  But do check them out in person....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sudsy Performance


I don't know about you, but to me, Hollywood actors  - like James Franco, pictured to the left - are entertainers rather than artists.  I make that distinction between theatre people as well as in the film world.  Entertainers, to me, are those that like the familiar and are not interested in seeing how far they can stretch an art form.

In theatre these are the folks that would love to do Sweeney Todd (or insert the name of any popular play that is at least 10 years old) again, for the 5th time.  In film, those are the folks that like to do the big blockbusters with cars exploding and breasts exposed and people being killed and/or mutilated.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this, it's just something that I've noticed. 

Then there are the people, in both theatre and film, who long to stretch the boundaries of their genres.  They aren't happy unless there's some way to do something differently to make a point or to perhaps give new life to a text.  I consider these folks the artists of their genres.  That's why Viewpoints training (movement training) was so important to me as both an actor and a director.  It was a way to re-conceptualize a show or a portion of a play.

Back in 2003, I was accepted into the Director's Lab West workshop held that year at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena.  It was a great learning experience and I now get group emails from folks who do the workshops each year.  This morning Dan Wilson told a tale of eating lunch in front of the TV and watching a soap opera in which Franco appeared.  Franco, if you don't know, was in both Spiderman and in Milk.  Later he caught an episode of Fresh Air, the NPR show, in which Franco called the soap opera gig a performance art experience!?!

He included a link that was in the Wall Street Journal - who knew that bastion of fiscal conservatives would have any truck with performance art?  Even if you think much performance art is pretentious (and I agree with you on some of it), please read the article HERE.  It might make you think twice.  I know that I've changed my concept of Hollywood actors thanks to Franco!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Burn the Art, Not the Duck

I think it was the 2nd time that I went to the Burning Man Festival out in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada (north of Reno) that I saw a beautiful, huge, balsa-wood duck.  It was as big as a car, or maybe bigger.  And I think that someone sat inside it and drove it around.

This was back in 1997 I do believe.  At that point in time, the Fest was a little less controlled than it is now.  Back then anything out on the playa near The Man was fair game to be burned.  So when it got dark, I was surprised, no horrified, so see that the duck was traveling out to the playa center - the "we'll burn anything" zone.  It was late that night and I was bushed from riding my bike all around Black Rock City, so I decided to let the rave music rock me to sleep.  One of our camp mates - my good friend Art, owner of Luna's Cafe here in Sacramento, go there for lunch sometime - decided to stay up and go out and shoot photos.  As Art walked away from our rented RV, I could hear people yelling  "Burn the duck".




Apparently the guys who built that duck didn't understand the burning rules - if it's out on the playa and if a flamethrower is near it, bring your marshmallows!  A little bit of research on the Burning Man site, showed that it was called Trojan Duck Lounge by Robert Burke.  Robert, I was sorely afraid for you and the duck.  But the next morning Art reported that the duck was safe - whew!

So I think this is the windiest into to just about anything I've written lately.  Aside aside, I want to thank Paddy Johnson of ArtFagCity who is down in Miami at Art Basel Miami Beach for this link


Wish I could be there to "feel the glow".



Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Art Basel Miami Beach

I think they call this international art fair Art Basel Miami because it's too damn cold in Switzerland this time of year and this way gallery owners and artists get an opportunity to write off a trip to Florida! There was an article and slide show at the Art Info website and I pulled out a couple of  photos of work that I think really express the times we are living in.

All this talk about the economy was probably the genesis of this piece.     At least that's what I thought until I went back and looked at the name of the artist - Cildo Meireles, Zero dollar (1978-84).  OMG, Cildo died in 1984.  But like many works of art, I guess this is just timeless.

And then there's this piece by Kirsten Pieroth, Inflated Dinghy (2009). Harmonica, rubber dinghy, hose, and video. My question to you is does this make music?  Looks like you could fill the boat with air and just let it deflate into the accordion - which they are calling a harmonica?  It's a German gallery that is showing this so it could be a language glitch.

I also liked Gerhard Richter's abstract painting, plus works by Robert Longo, Barbara Kreuger and John Baldessari. But these are only the picks from the Art Info folks.  One of these days I will go there myself,  with my own work, which will sell like hotcakes and get me a wonderful high profile gallery.  Girl can dream can't she?

Will be interesting to compare the faves of Artinfo.com with those of Paddy over at the Art Fag City blog.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Starry Night Music


My dear friend Debra Ayers is one hell of a pianist - be it rag time or contemporary classical music!  So we have to give her and her Montage Music Society a BIG shout out for their excellent review that just came out:

GRAMOPHONE
December 2009
Review of Starry Night Project
Montage Music Society

“Richly colored music inspired by some equally colorful art.…illuminating (Starry Night)…

absolutely delicious  (Seurat)

…sumptuously lyrical (O’Keeffe)  …purely joyous and exuberant (Gauguin)..”

“..an effective and natural unifying idea which musical organizations and concert presenters frequently use to inspire both their audience and themselves.”

Although the Montage Music Society’s Starry Night Project is one of those scary-sounding not-for-profit projects that involve more logistical support than small naval skirmishes, any commissioning initiative that results in such lovely music written exclusively about works of visual art is its own justification. In fact, it’s an effective and natural unifying idea which musical organizations and concert presenters frequently use to inspire both their audience and themselves.

In this case, the featured paintings belong to prominent collections including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Matthew Harris leads off the night with illuminating and perspective sketches based on paintings by Van Gogh, Rousseau, Picasso, Ensor, Matisse, Dali, and Mondrian, their brevity making this an excellent game for classical music parties.

Stephen Paulus contributes a beautiful adaptation for cello and piano of his rhapsodic, hypnotic song-cycle Art Suite, inspired by Brueghel, Degas, Seurat (absolutely delicious) and Larry Rivers. Libby Larsen’s “portrait” of six Georgia O’Keeffe paintings are suitably ominous and spare, and every now and then sumptuously lyrical. Andrew Lists’s Noa Noa, inspired by a monumental tableau by Gauguin, is the most purely joyous and exuberant music on the program.

The recordings were made in 2008 at Merrimack College’s Rogers Center for the Arts in North Andover, Massachusetts. The sound is full of life and detail, just the way composers like it. The booklet-notes by the composers or collaborators is a historic document in itself.
Laurence Vittes, GRAMOPHONE, December 2009

If you like contemporary classical music as much as I do, you can go here to order it on-line.  Do it now, you won't regret it!



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Art from Left Overs??

Hope all you folks in the US had a great Thanksgiving. I'm still in Florida with the Sweet Hubby and his huge family not only celebrating the holiday but also his aunt Lu's 90th birthday.  We had Thanksgiving dinner at the community hall of her mobile home park along with 30 of the relatives and some of the other residents.  But instead of the traditional pumpkin and fruit pies, we had chocolate birthday cake!

As you can tell I wasn't the only one taking photos...

When we get home, late tomorrow, I'll begin preparations for "another turkey dinner that couldn't be beat" (lyrics from Arlo Gutherie's "Alice's Restaurant").  No matter how well something is catered, there is nothing like roasting a turkey at home and making gravy in one's own kitchen, for the aromas if nothing else! When I checked on my email this morning, I found THIS - which is making me think differently about the left overs. 

It also reminds me about one of my favorite artists,. Joseph Bueys, who sometimes worked with food-type substances.  In looking for an image to illustrate that, I stumbled upon this great blog (Art, Life, TV, Etc.)by Cheryl Bernstein.  Thanks Cheryl for making my search so easy and for your great post!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Video Art

This morning was the day to shoot Renee Rhodes' video art piece up at the Bernal Heights park.  Luckily it was only drizzling, not pouring rain.  Out of the 30 people that had said they were GO  on the project, only 20 showed up.  Ever moved as The Borg with 19 other people?  It's quite an experience and perhaps not one that I'd like to repeat in the near future. 

Perhaps it's because I'm a director and used to bossing people around.  I really had to bite my lip a couple of times when some of the group spoke up.  After all it was Renee's project and I was only there as an "actor".  Here are some shots that I took with my camera phone of the site and the people I was working with.

Renee looking over her notes before the shoot.

















Renee wanted everyone to wear either yellow or orange.  Of course I don't own any clothing that is yellow or orange so thankfully she brought some bright yellow plastic raincoats.  I would include her website URL, but when I went there some dumb asses had hacked it!  I can see hacking a corporate site or something like that, but why hack the site of an artist?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Figuring out the Art Market

It's difficult at times and varies from place to place and event to event.  This past weekend, I was at the St. Mary's Art Fair in East Sacramento.  I had only sold one print last year, so this year I thought I would be a smarty pants and make some special art specific to the event.  That worked when I did the NadaDada shows these past two years! 

So I made some kanji transfers onto 4 inch square canvases that were about 2 inches thick... think blocks.  Then I painted into the transfer and over the sides.  I (under) priced them at $35 each with a $5 discount for each additional one you bought.  Did they sell?  Hell No.  What did sell were my digital floral woodcut prints and canvases.  OK, please remember I just took these photos on my dining room floor so they're not the best.  I will have to take some better photos for the Etsy site sometime later.




 


 




Please no comments on my bad photography, but what do you think of these? 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Such a Deal

Yes, I'm talking to all my local friends (sorry everyone else) about a special deal just for blog readers - get 25% off any framed art or print at the St Mary's Fine Art and Crafts Fair this Saturday, Nov 14th from 10 am to 7 pm.  The only thing you have to do is to print out this blog post.  And I'm working on being able to take credit cards!



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Peace


It's the Blog Blast for Peace today.  You might wonder about the reason that I designed my peace globe with the image of a Muslim woman on it.

Peace be upon all Islamic women in this day and age of fear, anger, hostility and rage toward them.

I have a facebook friend who is not religious and is a student from the United Arab Emirates.   She shared a scene about her mother and father with us.  This scene showed how women are not treated well in the Islamic world because of how some Imams are using religion in the name of politics. 

I think that women must lead us to a world of peace, even if Barak Obama did receive the peace prize.  After all, the men haven't done such a great job.  Or should I say the men who have not recognized their female side.  We all have differing degrees of male and female sides, and it's in the balance that we will find peace.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Moving bodies through space

This Saturday, it's off to San Francisco, Bernal Heights Park to be exact for a rehearsal for a film project I'm involved in.  Not your run-of-the-mill narrative film, but some actual  video art!!!  Whoo Hooo.  Can you tell that I'm really jazzed about working with Renee Rhodes on her new film?  Got an email from her today with this LINK

Pretty exciting that we haven't even had a rehearsal and she's getting some major press on the project.  I don't think she'll have too many problems getting this into festivals etc.  She's a very interesting artist, who shares my love of movement, photography and video.  This is a LINK to her website.

I just might have to bring my little video camera with me and maybe shoot as I'm moving around at rehearsal...might create some interesting footage to be used at a later date.

And don't forget about new afforably priced art that I will be offering on Sat, 11/14 here



Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Legend

How does one become a legend in one's own time?  One way is to make a movie about it, as my friend and NadaDada artist cohort SK James has done.  He promised me that my scene will be in the next installment.



But this also brings up the topic of artist promoting ourselves.  It's hard to do I know, but the more we do it, the easier it gets.  Maybe I can get sk to help me with a video one of these days...

Friday, October 30, 2009

BOOOOOO arf


Hi... Ann just stepped out of the studio so I jumped on the computer to say Happy Halloween!  I love to bark at the kids coming for candy, hehehe. 

Sometimes I like to look really mean like in this photo she took that shows my teeth.

Who'd mess with a 4-legged pumpkin?  I think it's really dumb that she tries to dress me up like this.  Wonder why she doesn't try to dress the kitties like this?

But be careful not to let your dogs get any chocolate because it can make them sick or even kill them!  I found a link about this HERE

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Brief Respite

Have you ever had to switch computers and try to get all your stuff off one and have someone put it on the new machine?  Sounds very handy right?  Sure it does, until you realize that you have to stop using the computer in order to make that backup.  If you're like me, juggling a few projects, it's hard to choose a deadline.   It's gonna have to be tomorrow no matter what... so I might not be posting for the next week dear readers.

So for your dining and dancing pleasure, I'm gonna post a couple of random photos.





Remember when I went out to Fallon to see my friend Elaine Parks' show at the Churchill Arts Center?  They have a great art bar there and holding court over said bar is an "important" bull with a blue garter on one of it's horns.  I was told the bull was important but never got the whole story.

Elaine... it might be a couple more weeks before I get those photos to you... sorry it's taken that long.  I had to take some photos of Elaine and her wonderful ceramic work and am going to send her a CD with the images, after I get the computer swap completed.  She might be able to use them for any PR stuff she might do.




This photo is from the Eat Your Art Out fundraiser for the Sac Metro Arts Commission.  One of our stops was Mulvany's restaurant where we not only had great champagne and home-made motzarella cheese, but were entertained by a young troupe of modern dancers. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

RIP Riki


Got some sad news this morning - one of my oldest friends passed this past weekend.  Riki Matthews was a dancer who I met when I first started taking classes with Robin Cole in Colorado Springs many years ago, back in the early 70s.

We lost touch over the years and restablished contact a couple of years ago via the internet.  She had a career as a dancer and choreographer and ran her own performance group in Denver for a number of years.  She taught English at the college level and was just a dissertation short of getting her PH.D, when she became disabled by fibromyalgia.  She also realized that she was anorxic as well.

If you go to her blog here, you'll see that she was a true progressive politically and socially.  I helped her with that blog since the disease had started to affect her mind, as well as her body.
She cared about the people, like herself, trying to survive on a pittance in this money crazed world we live in.  She was also a poet, as you can tell by many of her posts, who had a unique vision of the world and history.  She was curious about many things beyond the arts and literature.

We have lost a truly one-of-a-kind voice in the wilderness.  But now she is at peace and out of pain.  We will miss you Riki!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thank You Readers


Here at Waiting for the Muse we are pleased to announce that we have had over 3,950 visitors to date! I'm saying over that amount because it took me awhile to get hip to the free visitor counters.



And for my non-facebook friends (there must be a few of you), here's the newest photo post there in the spirit of the season.  If I were a bird I'd be spooked by this out in the garden.



Yes, I had to take a day job as a scarecrow in the community garden of my neighborhood.  What's a working girl to do?


I know that times are tight all over, but at least I've not been reduced to eating acorns like this poor critter.



I don't know about you, but I've never really watched a squirrel eat an accorn before.  Very tidy little critters.  Of course they are just like rats with bushy tails, you know.  And they can be even more dangrous than the Rabbit with Pointy Teeth in Monty Python's Holy Grail movie. 

How?  Well my friend, the cute, harmless little thing is thought to carry diseases like The Plague.  And you thought you had to be worried about that H1N1 flu!  Beleive me, there are tons of other stuff you could worry about.


But being a disciple of the philosopher Alfred E Newman, I've decided not to worry.  After all, I have limited control over what seems to be the world, so why sweat it?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just Say Yes to Yourself



This cap was seen on the ground last week after a lunch meeting.  Does anyone know what the kanji symbols on this mean?  Speaking of meaning ....

Aren't self esteem and self confidence just different sides of the same coin?  I don't know about you, but from time to time I have suffered from "The  Imposter Syndrome", which is really self doubt in a different costume.  

As I've gotten older, I've realized that I couldn't be an imposter and done all that I've done in my 50 odd years on the planet.  I've also realized that I needed to be more loving to myself, to trust my intuition and go with my gut.

One of my artist friends on the Yahoo Digital Fine Arts Blog, Karen Sperling, recently posted a very personal look at how she climbed out of the deep hole of no confidence into the bright sunshine of self confidence and knowing that she IS indeed an expert, as we all are!

Here's the link to her blog post or copy and paste the following into your browser
http://artistrymag.com/blog1/?p=27



Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Right Kind of Award

If you've never heard of the Yes Men, now is the time to learn about them.  Here's the news about a great award they received
http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/32762/yes-men-to-receive-annenberg-prize-for-art-and-social-change/

I mean how could you not like a group that is into "Identity Correction!  Impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them. Targets are leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else."
Here's a link to their site:  http://www.theyesmen.org/

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Angels, Coyotes, Motels





New Digital Fine Art by Ann Tracy

Enotria Annex
1439 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815
 
2nd Saturday Reception
October 10, 2009 - 6 to 9 pm
 
featuring work that has only been exhibited at NadaDada Motel, Reno and Barrick Museum, Las Vegas

and new work from the Angel Series

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Artist Scams

While you'd think that scamming an artist would not bring in any money - they do!  Got a fax the other day from Princeton's Who's Who of Executive, Professionals and Entrepreneurs informing me that "you and your business have been selcted to be published for free in the 2009/2010 Edition" of the aformentioned.

All I can say is hurray for google!  It turned up this little post about this Who's Who.  Here's the url if the link doesn't work for you, just copy and paste into your browser:
http://meera-subbarao.blogspot.com/2008/09/princeton-premier-registry-scam.html

And then I found this comment
http://www.consumer-action.org/alerts/articles/whos_who_hard_to_tell_with_princeton_marketing_scam/

By the time I found this comment
http://www.sermonaudio.com/new_details3.asp?ID=21724

I realized that I had my three sources and they all said the same thing....it's a scam!  It's amazing how vanity can be used to scam folks, especially artists who are not given much respect in this country.  So ifyou get a fax or an email, just ignore it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

 
This past July, my digital painting called Message 3, from the Power Series,  was invited to be part of a group show (through the Digital Fine Arts Guild on Yahoo) called Synthesis-Art and Science.  The show was this past June at the Escondido Municipal Gallery near San Diego.  I had forgotten to post this, James Respess, another great photographer and digital artist, was great in that he took photos of all the work as it was on the walls...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Eat Your Art.....

And drink too... join me as I put together a group of 10 folks who will eat and drink their way through midtown and downtown Sacramento on Saturday, 9/26 from noon to 5 pm.  I've got two people signed up and need 8 more.... tickets are $35/person, which is a great deal for eating and drinking one's way thru town.
Proceeds from the event go to Friends of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission for arts and education related initiatives to support the arts.  www.sacmetroarts.org

Raising funds for all the arts through SMAC projects is very important because of the funding cuts they face.  Their funding goes out to many different arts groups in the area.  So, email me to tell me you're in on this fun time!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pep Talks

I suppose I'm not the only one that gives myself pep talks every once in a while.  I learned many years ago that if you need someone to pat you on the back, and there's no one there, it's good to go DIY!  But there's another woman out there, Rachel Simpson, who has a blog called Daily Pep Talk from a Best Friend.  What a great positive idea! 

She and I are both members of a Linked In group and she asked artists to send links to their work.... and whamo here you go:
http://dailypeptalkfromabestfriend.com/post/174115169/atlantaabstractafterthetornado-by-ann-tracy

A big shout out Thanks to Rachel for featuring my artwork.

Today I will go over to the Enotria Annex, where I will have my solo show this coming October.  Since I've never really shown the big light box pieces in Sacto (just Reno and Vegas), I'll need to measure the wall space and see what the electrical outlet situation is so I can display them.  I also will have some new work as well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where's Waldo?

Remember that? The book was released in 1987 by illustrator Martin Handford. Who has apparently made a franchise out of it! There are six books now and word on the street - OK, the internet - says that it's being made into a movie !?! Check out this link or copy and past the following into your browser: http://www.worldhum.com/travel-blog/item/travel-movie-watch-wheres-waldo-20090602/
A few weeks ago we went to San Francisco and of course had to go to MOMA as they had some great photography on exhibit... a showing of Richard Avedon's work from 1946 to 2004; a showing of Ansel Adams photos along with Georgia O'Keefe's landscapes (which ends Sept 7th) and great photos by Robert Frank (ends Aug 23rd) whose work I was not familiar with, but really liked.
As we were walking down the stairs, I glanced out the window and who should I see but Waldo!?!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Workshop Reading of New Play Coming Soon

Go ahead, call me lazy, but I'm just going to put the news release here. This will be a one-night-only event, but it will be free or if you can spare some change, donations gratefully accepted...
The money’s gone, the Vineyard must be sold, but Lucy Ravine and her brother Leo are living in the glorious past, not in 1980s California Wine Country. Ann Tracy’s “The Vineyard” is an adaptation of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”, a story of rural development, lost love, losing your home and how absurd people can be when facing change. This Playwrights Collaborative workshop reading of “The Vineyard” is set for 7 PM, September 6, 2009 at the Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815. The event is free but donations are gratefully accepted.

  • Tracy is not only a playwright, but also an actor, director and artist. She founded Beyond the Proscenium Productions in 1994, where she directed dozens of world and regional premieres. She has written nine scripts, seven of which have been produced in California. She is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, alumnae of the Directors Lab West and a member of the Dramatists Guild.>She was the first female voice on the air at KTLK, Denver in 1977 as an overnight radio news announcer. This first job in radio news led to a ten-year career as a broadcast journalist in the Denver, Milwaukee, San Jose and Sacramento markets. Ann is also an artist working in the digital and video mediums. Her fine art has been exhibited from Japan to Maui to New York City. In 2003 her work, “Stop” was included in the catalog of the “Violence Against Women”, Group 78 Amnesty International show, Tokyo, Japan. Her digital painting “Message 3” appeared in the 2008 edition of American Art Collector.
  • The Playwrights Collaborative is an organization of writers, actors, directors and others interested in the theater, working together to promote the development and production of new plays in Sacramento and elsewhere. Through a cooperative process of peer review, Playwrights Collaborative assists in making plays ready for production and helps in finding suitable venues where shows might be performed. For further information or if you have a play you would like workshopped, contact Gary Agid, chairman, at gary@agid.com (916-383-9267). See I was able to give a plug to the Playwrights Collaborative and Big Idea Theatre!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Can you hear it?

I can't hear the ocean from the 90 miles off the coast that I live, but I love the sound of waves crashing on the shore. It has a very soothing effect on me that rivals none! Hence the interest in this project - Sea of Seas, an international video/photography project. Artists are being asked to shoot 2 min of video of the ocean and then send it to her and upload onto You Tube.
It was conceived by Orly Aviv, an Isreali photographer, and will be exhibited 6th October to 13th October, 2009 at the Slade Research Center, Woburn Square, University College London, Camden, London WC1H, UK. If anyone is in London at that time, pop by the show and let me know how it looks!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Goldwell

is an outdoor art museum near the ghost town of Rhyolite, about 100 miles north of Las Vegas in Nevada. In efforts to clean up my hard drive, I'm trying to use all the little stuff that's been hanging around since this past spring... Enjoy and thanks Kevin MacLeod for the use of your music, it's a perfect fit!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

No Comment

This very funny sign was seen in a bar in Ashland, Oregon. I made me think of my "beware of ____" series that is posted from our Santa Fe Trip on the Flickr page.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Passages - Part 2

Here is the 2nd part of JD Jarvis' thoughts on meaning in art, something that I have thought about as well. Much of the work I've done not only in the visual arts, but in the performing arts as well, has had a specific meaning for me, but was sometimes obscure for an audience. And he got to be at the same table with two other of my art heroes!

In 1975 I was sitting in a cafe in Berkeley, CA with Jerry Hunt a friend and electronic music composer from Dallas, Texas. We were there to attend a banquet marking the end of The National Center for Experiments in Television, which had played a formative and supportive role in my study of Video Art. Up to the table came John Cage and Merce Cunningham who turned out to be friends of Mr. Hunt. I was flabbergasted and spent most of the encounter just sitting and listening. I did not even marshal the gumption to mention to Mr. Cage that as a result of his writing and theories I had created a video composition (which I had dedicated to him) using chance operations and had set it to the music of one of his compositions "HPSCHRD" which had also been composed by chance. Perhaps my hesitance was due to my star-struck condition, but maybe I kept silent because of my own doubts concerning the piece.

To make a long story short, there was a section in that video that (even though it had been determined by chance) I felt did not work at all. It was a dead zone, not energetic, not restful, not in anyway poignant or interesting. When I showed the work I sat and cringed through this segment. I wanted to go in and change things... to make it "better"... but that would require breaking with the intention of the piece to be composed strictly by chance. So, I found myself in the predicament of having created a piece I did not like and could not change due to my own self imposed dogma. Where did my responsibility lie? To the process or the piece? Chance did not care about the outcome so why should I? But, then chance did not have to sit and watch the video or show it to others.

My way out of this dilemma was to admit that I am too much of a sensualist to let chance and randomness make all of my decisions for me. And, since the whole premise behind using chance was to free the work of meaning, chance itself was not the point but rather the effect that using chance had on the issue of meaning. Meaning was an important point for me in that I had noticed that even when I created an abstract video piece devoid of any intended narrative that people went ahead and created a narrative of their own. Further, that they then took this narrative, which they had created and used it to evaluate and discuss my work. For purposes of my thesis I called this a "quasi-narrative", because of a combination of effects having to do with motion and the fact that each piece had a beginning, a middle and an end and was being presented on a TV screen. People expected a story from the TV and when there wasn't one, they created their own like a kinetic Rorschach test. But we know that what people where seeking was meaning.

So, I decided in order to avoid creating what I saw as cold-hearted work which could get bogged down even by the lightest form of dogma that I would create compositions that in various degrees of coding held meaning for me. But in doing so I had to remove any shred of ego concerning the desire or expectation of that coded meaning actually registering within the viewer a meaning that was in any way similar to mine. In my mind this was the way to create work that held the ember of human warmth but retained its freedom from meaning. If the work is to convey or "communicate" anything it was just this presence of a human hand and nothing more... the rest being a reflection of the viewer's own quest for meaning and therefore their own mind.

Well, guess what... people are not at all comfortable with their own minds and still want to blame or award their creations on the artist. Thus, my own feelings about art as communication. There is none. This, remind you, comes from a student of so-called "Mass Communications." I have studied all the various models of communication... sender, message, receiver... message, sender, transmitter, receiver, message... all as arcane, incomplete and worthless as economics equations. Depending on one's intent and how direct you want to be in your presentation an artist may claim a degree of communication, but this is variable and spotty at best. This is why I say that art is a presentation with slim hope of communicating an intended message.

There is another definition of "communication" that being simply a "connection"; such as, this artery communicates with that vessel. In that respect there is communication in that the artist and viewer are connected in the experience of presenting and viewing a piece. This definition being devoid of any intended message, therefore, better describes my understanding of how I approach and what I expect from my artwork and those that view it.

Peace, Paint and Pixelate,

JDJ

http://www.dunkingbirdproductions.com/

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Passages

This post is written by JD Jarvis, one of the members of the digital-fine art yahoo group that I belong to.... I too have been very influenced by these artists in my creative techniques and thought I would share this with you. Thanks JD for letting me re-post it!
With the recent passing of Merce Cunningham and (last year) Robert Rauschenberg and much earlier the death of John Cage, a group of artists who began shaping contemporary art about the time I was born has died out. Of course, I knew little of these artists until I had to come to grasps [sic] academically with the work I had been doing in pursuit of an MFA in Mixed Media and Video. By then, chance operations, electronic music and art, the nature of performance, multi-layered visual experience all took on an enhanced degree of importance.
Ultimately their work brought into question the role and place of "meaning" in a work of art; more specifically the role of the observer in creating art's meaning. This is a rehash, perhaps, or (more kindly) an extension of earlier Dadist theorizing. But removing meaning from the work did not remove thinking from the process, in fact, their work often required more of it. Their work was often seen as uncomfortable, challenging, and provocative and offered lessons that I have continued to exploit and explore in my own work. Which is why I write about art so much. Nothing helps straighten out your own thoughts more than writing them out and reading them as if they are someone else's.
As for meaning, I have come to the conclusion that if the work I am creating has no meaning for me then I cannot expect it to mean anything to a viewer. At the same time, I have no need or expectations that the meaning a work holds for me will be the same meaning that is created in the mind of that viewer. I do not believe art is communication, but rather a presentation of experience. As in life the experience is yours from which you create your own meaning.
Personally, I do not think that digital media's primary role will prove to be to recreate or simulate that which has been done before. At the same time, I do not expect that a single digital style will prevail, as did all the previous "isms" within art history. The digital creation of art is something much deeper. What that is I cannot see or say. I feel as though it is almost evolutionary in scope. What I do carry with me from these three artists is the realization that the thoughtful, uncomfortable, challenging art we make today describes a society that lies perhaps two generations ahead of us.
JD Jarvis www.dunkingbirdproductions.com

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Webism's largest Internet Museum

And I'm part of it! Woo Hoo!! if you click on this link here or copy and paste the following into your browser
http://www.lastplace.com/EXHIBITS3/NatureAsArt09/index.htm
scroll down until you see the word Exhibits and then click on the number 3, then enjoy the work of many other talented artists from around the world until you find the two submissions I created for the show.
another place you can see some new work is on You Tube, I made a small edit in Salt, the video that I made based on a clip I shot at a salt mine when I was in Bacau, Romania. I like the opening better, do you? And now, here's the link or copy and paste this into your browser
http://www.youtube.com/user/anntracy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Help a Local Gallery

I'm donating work and so is Cherie Hacker! Although I won't be in town for the reception, go ahead and go and buy some great work! Help the ladies at Tangent.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Crazy Creatives?

When you're an artist, it seems as if many times you get that "you're out of your mind" look when trying to describe projects you are working on. Or when you meet someone and they ask you what you do, you reply that you're an artist, but then they ask, what do you do for money. The linkage of money and success in our culture is truly despicable, IMHO. I've started to ask people I meet what their passions are, instead of about what kind of work they do.
In doing some research on my application for the Montalvo residency, I came across this very interesting blog:
http://www.productiveflourishing.com/the-schizophrenia-of-americanism/
I think Charlie, the guy who writes this blog, is very perceptive about how creatives are looked down upon by American society. What do you think?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hot off the Presses...

This is a new piece called Opera Dreams that I created last week. It combines a photo of my best model (guess which one) along with an image I photographed from a video on the computer along with an image from my trip to Romania. Of course my method is always rather intuitive so I can't really answer questions as to the why I would put these images together. But I hope that it evokes something for you, dear reader!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Brava, brava

Goes out to Deborah Ayers, my good friend and fabulous pianist, and the rest of the totally talented musicians who make up the Montage Music Society of Boston. Why the applause? Because their incredible CD the "Starry Night Project" is now being carried at MOMA-NY's gift shop! Woo hooo.
If you like contemporary classical music, you have got to get this CD. Montage was able to commission some of the finest composers to write pieces based on art of the 20th century. You can get more info at their website HERE or copy and paste the following into your browser:
http://www.montagemusicsociety.org/starrynight.html
They are a remarkable group of musicians who have a great sound together. Can't sing their praises long or loud enough!
Ms Ayers and I have know each other since 1976 - when she didn't hurt me too much when I couldn't hear the harmony line when she played it with the melody for a song I was learning for the melodrama we worked in out in Colorado. I think we did end up having me stand next to someone who was singing that harmony line. I've gotten a wee bit better now... but that's why you will rarely see me upon the musical theatre stage!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Why I love Peter Sellers

I first began to suspect that Peter Sellers, the theatre and opera director, could be a kindred spirit when I heard/read about him using a stack of newspapers as a character in a play. I have the honor of being nominated for an artist's residency at Montalvo and went to their website to see what was there and found this incredible speech Sellers gave this past March. He's a true visionary and I hope that one day I have the honor of working with him! It is an hour long, but a fabulous hour you will spend listening to a visionary. He truly understands that we are all human beings on the same planet.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Get along little doggies...

down the Santa Fe Trail... which we actually drove on going from outside Albuquerque to Santa Fe.
However, this photo is from our trip getting there through Nevada and Arizona this past May.
The photos are up at the flickr site which you can click HERE
Or if that doesn't work, copy and paste the following into your browser: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ann_tracy/sets/72157621118377839/
First reader that can tell me what the photo is, and give me the state it was taken in, gets an 8 x 10 of it!