Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

This is a Christmas card I designed this year based on a couple of photos I took in Kennebunkport when I picked up my artwork from the Maine Women in the Arts show.  It will go on sale on the Fine Art America site after the first of the year. 

As a special treat for friends and family, I'd like to re-post a story written by a Sacramento friend, Donya Wicken....

Santa Borg
(c) by Donya Wicken

I was just about fed up with Christmas shopping, cooking and
decorating and was ready to cancel the whole thing and buy a
one-way ticket to the Bahamas when I heard a tortured wail
from upstairs.  I raced up to find  middle son Derek
glowering self righteously at littlest son Ryan who promptly
flung himself at me sobbing.  I examined him for signs of
damage and at the same time shot Derek  “the look”
demanding to know what he had done to provoke this storm of

Finally Ryan calmed down enough to tell me himself.   “He
said Santa Claus is really Uncle Robert”  he choked out
and then collapsed again into helpless sobs.

“Derek,  why did you tell him that?”  I groaned in my now-look-what-you've-done voice.

“Well, it’s true isn’t it?  He’s old enough to know
the truth.  Anybody but a dumb little kid could have figured
it out for himself.  Uncle Robert  always wears such a dorky
fake beard and his ho ho hos are totally lame.”

Ryan wailed louder.

“Well, aren’t you going to tell him the truth?”
demanded Derek.

Before I could answer, a voice behind me spoke.  “I’ll
tell him the truth.  I’ll tell you both the truth. “  It
was oldest son Roger, sounding strangely like a super hero.
“I know the truth because I am in junior high school,”
he said.   “I am old enough to know things that dumb
little kids like you are too young to understand.”  He
stared straight at Derek as he spoke and I was secretly
pleased to see Derek cringe.

“All right then,” Derek challenged, “tell us the
truth. “

“Yeah Roger, tell us.”  Ryan looked hopefully at Roger.

“All right, you remember that Star Trek movie when the
Borg tried to assimilate Captain Picard?”



“Well which one was the real Borg?”

“Ha, that’s a dumb question,” Derek replied.
“There’s only one Borg.  All those Borg people are just
part of the collective.”

”Except Captain Picard,” Ryan interjected.  “He
wasn’t a real Borg.  But all the others were.”

“That’s right,” said Roger.  “And that’s how Santa
Claus is.”

Ryan’s eyes opened wide and he looked like he was going to
start to wail again.  “You mean Santa Claus is a Borg?”

“No dummy, “ Derek explained contemptuously.  “The
Borg are bad guys.  Santa Claus is a good guy. “

“That’s right, Derek, Santa Claus is a good guy.   But
he is like the Borg because he is a collective.  He is one
mind but he has many bodies all over the world.  That’s
how he can go to all those houses in one night.  And every
time somebody puts on a Santa Claus uniform he is
assimilated into the collective and becomes a Santa

“Wow.”  said Ryan.

“Oh yeah,”   Derek argued,  “what about when somebody
puts on a Santa suit because he’s a crook and he’s going
to rob somebody’s house?”

“Then it is not a uniform.  It’s just a disguise.  And
when somebody does that something bad will happen to him
because you can only wear the Santa Uniform to do good deeds
and make people happy.”

“So Derek was wrong.”  Ryan announced triumphantly.
“Uncle Robert isn’t Santa Claus.”

“No Ryan.  That’s not what I’m saying.  Uncle Robert
has been assimilated into the collective.   Uncle Robert
really is Santa Claus.”

Ryan gazed at Roger with unabashed adoration.  “Wow.”

“Isn’t that right, Derek?”  Roger demanded.

“Well,  if you tell it like that.  Yeah I guess so.  Is
that right, Mom?”

“It makes sense to me,”  I said.  “It makes a lot
more sense than most things this time of year.”

Roger walked downstairs with me.  Behind us we heard the
joyful sounds of a war being organized between the Evil Borg
Collective and the Good Santa Collective.  “That was
amazing, Roger," I said.  "You came up with a story that satisfied both
of your brothers.  How did you do it?”

“Don’t you remember, Mom?   The principal chose me to
play Santa Claus for the kids at the Head Start Christmas
party.  I’ve been assimilated.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidaze

Saw this in Kennebunkport a few weeks ago when I was there to pick up the work that didn't see at the Maine Women in the Arts show for Prelude to the Season there.  But the good news is that I did sell one piece - the digital woodcut Two Gulls.

 What with being  one of Santa's elves this time of year, I've gotten a bit behind in the blogging.  So the next few posts will be catch up ones in which I share the installation photos from the Windows show I was in at the E Street Gallery back in October and the Lumens show (which runs until Dec 27th).

In the meantime, one of my peeps in the Digital Art Guild Yahoo Group - Wayne Cosshall - is now publishing Digital ImageMaker International.  You can get a copy via PDF and read a wonderful article about Bonny Lhotka, whose work I have admired for many years.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shop Local in Southern Maine

I'll be there show sitting on Friday, Dec 2nd from 1 to 4 pm... hope I see you there!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I'm very grateful to all the readers of this blog for sticking with me through thick and thin as I continue my journey as an artist who works in different media.  I've been all full of visual art matters for some time, so let's swing the set over to the theatre side for just a bit.  Enormous thanks to PlayLab at Snow Lion Rep here in Portland for including me in PlayLab and for the reading this past Monday night of Orestes 3.0, directed by Al D’Andrea with the following cast:

ELECTRA: April Singley
ORESTES: Michael Dix Thomas
HELEN: Brittany Cook
MENELAUS: John Kreutzberger
CASSANDRA: Kerry Ann Loomis
WOUNDED MAN (WILLIAM): Thomas Campbell
NURSE MEG: Brittany Cook
NURSE TISI: Jacquelyn Mansfield
NURSE ALECTO: Amanda Painter

Facing us from right to left:  April, Michael, Jacquelyn, Amanda, Brittany & John
Great thanks to all the members of PlayLab who attended and gave me great feedback.  I'm really looking forward to finishing this puppy by the end of December and getting a full reading of it later this spring. 

Here's wishing each an every one of you a great Thanksgiving and joy and abundance this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gonna Make you a Star

Scams are all around us on a daily basis, but for the artist it seems they appear in an email at least once a day.  Of course we are very vulnerable as we want to think that someone happened to stumble across our art and thinks it's just wonderful.  I almost got caught up in that this morning when I read this:

"Dear Ann,

My name is Peter Sullivan and I am a freelance curator working with Abraham Lubelski organizing a March group exhibition in New York. I am inviting you to participate and take advantage of a unique opportunity to not only exhibit but to also get a full years' worth of publicity/exposure on the web and in print. This offer is the best publicity package available anywhere in today's contemporary art world. The fee for this complete one-year publicity package (and New York exhibition) is $1,950. I am particularly excited and interested in your work Motel Variations: Biggest Little City  and I believe it would be an important addition to our program. By paying close attention to the intuitive works of each artist, we are hoping to construct an exhibition of works that truly speaks to our viewers and subscribers."

The fee was too steep for me at this point in time and it made me wonder if anyone else had ever gotten such a letter.  A little google search turned this up.  Thanks so much Helen Ansell for blogging about it and confirming my suspicions. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

I've been in Sacramento for a couple of days now and think I'm finally over the jet lag!  The Saturday night closing reception at the E Street Gallery for the Looking In Looking Out show was great.  Saw lots of old friends and even took a few photos.  If you go HERE, I've posted them on Flickr for those of you who are not on Facebook.

Had a marvelous brunch at the Fox and Goose with my friends Art Luna and Cherie Hacker and dinner last night with Nancy Heard.
Art Luna and Cherie Hacker at the Fox and Goose, Sacramento

Today it's off to Sonoma for lunch with Barbara Medaille.  You can see her wonderful landscape paintings here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

For those of you NOT out in Sacramento, this is the image that's in the big 24 x 24" light box - "Classic Power with Man and Birdcage".   I shot a photo of it before I sent it off to Lumens.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back in the Saddle

The strangest thing has happened - my blog just disappeared from cyberspace last week!  Now it's back with no explanation or reasons or anything.  I wonder if it had anything to do with blogger changing it's look over the past two weeks. 

I'm finishing up work on the lightboxes getting ready to ship them to Sacramento, where they will be on display at Lumens Gallery thanks to the good folks at the Center for Contemporary Art Sacramento and the marvelous intern Diana Bowers who will be installing the show.

Also looking forward to getting together with good friends and family, now that my brother and his wife are in town now along with my niece Sara. 

One of the light boxes I'll be exhibiting is part of my motel series that I created for the 2009 Greeting from NadaDada Motel show at the Barrick Museum in Las Vegas.

Motel Variations: Biggest Little City

Monday, October 17, 2011

Here are some of the new  images to be exhibited in light boxes at Lumens (21st & K Sts) in midtown Sacramento. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Occupied October

Classical Power 1

Not that September was not busy, getting work ready for the Windows show at the E Street Gallery in Sacramento.  But I knew I had to hustle as I needed to get back to work on the art for the Lumens show in November so I could ship it slow train and have it not cost a fortune.  This is one of the big concerns about showing work cross country like this - getting it there.  One always hopes that there will be enough sales to more than cover it, but any chance I get to ship long before the due date I will.

The image above is the newest edition to the Power Series based on photos taken here and in a special photo shoot at my friend George Streng's studio in Woodland - Photogenics.  What will be interesting about the show at Lumens is that I'll be exhibiting one of the very first pieces I made for the Barrick Museum show in Las Vegas along with new work like the piece above.

As soon as the work gets printed and I can put it into the light boxes, off it goes to Sacramento and on I go to two other projects I have in the hamper, both commissions.  In between all this, we have 3 sets of company coming to "peep the leaves".  Our friends from PA, Bob and June are here now.  I'm glad they're making dinner tonight.  A day after they leave, my sister comes to town for 5 days and then we have another day off and then Cherie Hacker, my artist friend arrives for a few days.  Then about a week and a half later, I'm off for 8 days in Sacto for the closing of one show and the opening of another!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Little Help from my Friends

Pluperfect Window - Mass MOCA

We all need that don't we?  I certainly do right now as it's been over a week since the last blog post and I'm working my butt off on the photos for the group show I'm doing with Cherie Hacker and Carrie Markel over at the E Street Gallery in Sacramento. 

So my fellow member of the Digital Art Guild, Andrew Darlow is helping me out without even knowing about it!  Darlow is a wonderful photographer, writer and speaker who is also a nice guy.  Although I don't deal with promoting your own artwork here much, I think this article that he wrote has some good tips for folks who do any kind of limited edition runs of their work, digital or otherwise.

Personally I like Fine Art America as a place to sell my prints.  If any of my readers out there are using a similar site, let us know what it is and how it's working for you!.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Real Art

Ever notice how some people are so funny and insecure about change?  That thought occurred to me after a conversation with a very nice woman who runs an arts center in mid-coast Maine.  There was an event at which artists could show their work and since I haven't been able to do so yet, I thought it was a good opportunity.  This woman had seen my work on line and cautioned me not to call my work digital paintings as she would get flack about it from other artists.  I told her I would call them digital mixed media since some of them are based on the photos I take.  But what of this my friends:

 This is a digital painting which I created in both photoshop and in corel paint.  Because I like to be a shite-disturber, I gonna bring it to that even and call it a giclee of a digital painting.   Then this morning on my daily digital art email, was a link to a story by Joe Nalven that echoes this theme.

Then I ran across this story the other day about selling digital art (and video too I suppose).  I've also reached out to the digital art community via the Digital Art Guild to see if there are any members from New England or Maine.  I'm thinking of starting a  Facebook page for local digital artists out here and perhaps we can do local shows the way the San Diego folks do.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Empress Has No Clothes

Since Sunday, I've been on an artist retreat at Belvoir Terrace in Lenox, which is a lovely little town in the Berkshires in the northwestern part of the state.  I was invited to participate with theatre women from New York, Massachusetts and Nebraska via my former theatre professor Juanita Rice.  This was to be a week to soak up the ambiance of the area, visit museums and historic places and for me, work on some scripts that need a bit of tweaking.  The Berkshires have traditionally been a place for the rich from New York and Boston to "summer" and this is evidenced by Belvoir Terrace and the other grand estates in the area. 

Theatre professor Judith Hart had been teaching workshops for young girls in junior high and high school.  She wanted to share this experience with other theatre friends and was generous enough to invite a newcomer to the group because of our mutual friend Juanita.  There was also a chamber music workshop for adults going on at the same time. 

I've had the most marvelous time with the seven other women who accepted me into their circle of long standing friendship and I am most grateful for that.  They are all funny, smart and talented and I've been enriched by meeting them. 

Since the musicians perform for each other in the evenings, Judy wanted us  to "give back" to our little community so we presented some short performances featuring women artists of the area such as writers Edith Wharton, Emily Dickinson and actress Fanny Kemble.  Although we had to follow a fabulous pianist, the musicians appreciated our little performances.

This evening we went to see Red Hot Patriot, a one-woman show about Texas journalist Molly Ivins, who was all about calling a spade a spade.  This was produced by Shakespeare & Co and starred company founder Tina Packard.  To say I was excited to see this show was an understatement.  I have loved Molly Ivins columns skewering the high and the mighty in politics for many years.

This is why it's so lamentable to put on my theatre critic's hat (I was theatre critic for KGNR and KXPR radio stations in Sacramento in late 80s and early 90s) and give the show a lukewarm review.  You don't know me Ms. Packard for I am one of the "little people" and you are the grande dame of Shakespeare and Company.  But it's the little people who can speak the truth with impunity, rather like Ivins did.

While Packard has the "look" for Ivins, she tried to do the show in a Texas accent and failed.  Large sections of the show became "veddy" British in accent and Shakespearean in tone and inflection. The script didn't give us Ivins' best that is easily available in her columns and books, but seemed to take the best parts of her obit instead.  The wall projections could have been used to greater advantage visually to punch both the jokes, the story line and more illustrate the Texas lifestyle that made Ivins what she was as a writer.

But when one is directing a long-time theatre star, what director could say the empress has no clothes? 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mo Better

I should always give myself a week after making something before posting it here.  As you can see, I've added to the Power of Autumnal Equinox and I think it's a stronger piece than before.  What do you think?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

This is a new piece of art I created for a mail art show that my friend Jonathan is doing in Cambridge MA. 
It's called "Power of the Autumnal Equinox"  It's 8" x 8".
Here's the info:

Size, Technique Free - No Jury, No Returns - Deadline 16 September 2011

Documentation to all

To be exhibited during the

Autumnal Equinox Circus Performance

At the Plough & Stars

Cambridge, MA

Post artwork to:



The Plough & Stars

912 Massachusetts Ave.

Cambridge, MA



You really should send some work there...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

La Luna

Ever notice how some days are filled with happy coincidences?  Like today as we were driving back from Montreal, I noticed the moon in her glory as she shined down between telephone poles and I thought of the Power of the Moon - yes that will be my next iteration in the Power series.

Then when we got back to the house and I checked email, I found this profoundly beautiful poem sent to me by my friend Barbara Medaille, a superb California landscape artist.

The Moon

The moon can be taken in teaspoons

or as a capsule every two hours.

It is a good hypnotic or narcotic

and relieves, too,

hangovers of those drunk on philosophy.

A piece of the moon tucked in the pocket

is a better good luck charm than a rabbit’s foot;

It works as a love charm,

to get rich without connections

and to ward off doctors.

It can be given as a treat to children

when they can’t sleep.

A few moon drops in the eyes of the elderly

help them die well.

Put a tender new moon leaf

under your pillow

and you will see your heart’s desire.

Always carry a small jar of moon air

for when you are drowning,

And give a key to the moon

to prisoners and the disillusioned,

to those condemned to death

and those condemned to life.

There is no better tonic than the moon

given in precise, controlled doses.

    - Jaime Sabines (1926-99)

(Translated by Rebecca Del Rio)

Monday, August 8, 2011

And Away We Go....

You know you're getting old when you write headlines for your blog and realize that only people your age or older will actually get the reference - this time to that old TV show The Honeymooners starring Jackie Gleason.  But I am in fact going away to Montreal for my birthday tomorrow.  It will also be a short test run for our new house/pet sitter.  We need to dial someone in now before winter hits and we need to go south for a week or so at a time.  This way the critters get acclimated to her before we take off for a big trip.

But that doesn't mean I'm not working my butt off (if only that could happen in the real world - sigh).  I've been doing some pro bono PR work for a group of young artists with whom I'll be showing later this month.  You can read all about it HERE. 

And I'm preparing the work for the show that Cherie Hacker and I are doing in October at the E Street Gallery.  It's based on the photos of windows we have taken over the years.  I shoot windows from the outside looking in and Cherie shoots from the inside looking out.  Yes, you can guess as to what the name of the show will be.  I'm also working on art for my solo show at Lumen's Store Gallery in November.  Thanks again go out to the Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento who arranged the show for me.

In between all this, I'm re-writing two scripts for a couple of theatrical opportunities.  Here's a piece of my show that just arrived back here after being in the solo show at Luna's Cafe.

"Pele's Fire"
© Ann Tracy 2011
Can you guess the medium of this piece?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Strange Dreams Anyone?

I'm sure that we all have strange dreams that seem like string theory in action with several dimensions operating at once.  I was thinking of this when I made this little video based on the stills from Zombie Kickball

Now onto the work that I have already signed up for!  Cherie Hacker and I will be having a show of our photographs of windows.  For years I have shot windows from the outside looking in and Cherie has shot them from the inside looking out.  That show will be in October at the E Street Gallery in Sacramento.

In November, I was invited by the Center for Contemporary Art to show some of my back lit pieces at Lumens on K Street in Sacramento.  I'll be showing some new work there and will come out for the artist's reception.

Then my real estate agent, Amie Joseph,  asked me to do a commission piece - a post modern landscape with figures in it.  She and her husband first lived together in a little house in Falmouth Flats and they even got married there so it has great sentimental value to them.   I've already shot many photos from which to work, but I still need some photos of sunset at low tide on the estuary behind their house, which you can see out the glass doors in their living room.

Both Amie and her husband Jaime are excited about this process and so am I - as it's a first for them to commission work and it's the first non-relative piece I'll have worked on like this.  They will be moving soon and want to keep this special place with them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Zombie Redux

I really didn't like the quality of the MPEG4 file I uploaded this past weekend.  I output that ttype of file because it was the format needed to enter a video competition at the Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento.  It is small in size, but not large in quality.  So I decided to make a QuickTime copy of the video and post it to Vimeo.  Using the "ultra fast" (cough choke) Time Warner cable upload speeds - this effort took 13 hours.  But here it is.  Think there is a quality difference?

I also upgraded my Time Warner account so hopefully the next video will load faster!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Ever wonder why Zombies are so popular?  I often do and when I found out that there was a group of folks who dressed up as Zombies to play kickball once a year here in Portland Maine, I just had to go record it.  This little video is part of the shoot, will post the other one later.  Would love comments,

Zombie Kickball from Ann Tracy on Vimeo.

Special thanks to all the Zombies who showed up this past June!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Gay Marriage supporters at the Round Pond 4th of July Parade

I've been trying to figure out how to form some sort of segue between the 4th of July, (when I went Down East to Round Pond for their wonderfully wacky parade and then onto Christmas Cove for a lovely lunch with JK, the Sista from Savannah plus Amie and Jamie, parade veterans) and the death of American painter Cy Twombly.  I think I've found it in the concept of independence, a highly prized quality of New Englanders and the way that Twombly, himself a New Englander, ignored his critics. 

The parade in Round Pond is a great example of Yankee DIY spirit and inclusiveness.  While there were more homemade floats of the liberal persuasion, there were also some conservative ones as well.  Perhaps this willingness to take aim at both sides comes from the concept of the Town Meeting, which still is the way politics operates at the local level here.  Everyone gets a chance to speak their piece.

There's a wonderful art blog for the area here called the New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.  It's insightful and helps me keep track of what's going on in my reclaimed home turf.  In it, Greg Cook has a link to a great, fairly recent interview with Twombly on a show of his in London.  In that and other interviews that I've read recently, Twombly just didn't pay any attention to what people said about his work, he worked independently of what others might way.

Maybe because I'm still working on my little 3-minute Zombie movie based on short video footage and photos of the Zombie Kickball game held here in Portland back in June, I went to Twombly's website and started to click quickly on the links to his work.  I really think there's a movie there.  The way the work is arranged there is a flow that I liked.  Go ahead and try it for yourself - here.

I'd love to know what you think about it!  Here's one of my favorite paintings of his - I love the energy in it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Marvelous Marin

Ever go to a museum show for an artist that  you've never really heard of or known about and then be knocked out of your socks?  I had that distinct pleasure last week at the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) for their wonderful exhibit of watercolors and oils by  John Marin who shuffled off his mortal coil in 1953 at his home in Cape Split, Maine.  Although his work was championed by the likes of Stieglitz and a retrospective of his work was in New York in the 30s, he was never really lauded as the artist that he was.  Marin was a summer resident of Maine starting in 1914 and his sea paintings show his love of the land here.

PMA chose one of his most "main stream" images for all their PR and marketing.  Some of the work exhibited had such raw energy and verve that is was palpable.  Although he used mostly water color and oils, one could see that he was devoted to mark-making.  On one of the explanatory cards posted in the exhibit, it quoted him as saying that he was using a syringe for painting lines as that was so much better than a brush.  I agree with him as a brush can only hold so much paint

I wonder how he would have reacted to the digital tools that artists use today.  My guess is that he would have at least experimented with them, if not embraced them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By the Sea

Abstract iPod photo

First of all YAY... Ai Weiwei has been released!  Can't tell you how excited I am over that news and I'm sure his friends and family are even more stoked.  It's been a busy two weeks since the last post with workmen finished up details on finally getting AC in the attic so I can work more than half days up there and finally set up the studio.  By this Friday it should be up and running. 

Our nephew Alex came out for a weekend visit and we sent to the Old Port Festival with him; I finally joined a gym so I can do some weight workouts; old Milwaukee friend Bob and his wife June came out last weekend; I rode my bike down to the Back Cove; am finally working on my "How To" guide on PR for artists, photographers and other creatives and finally got almost all the boxes emptied!  I've posted some new photos to Flickr on all of the above.

And  for all artists everywhere who struggle to write an artist's statement, there's this.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1st Friday

It was a beautiful balmy evening for 1st Friday in June here in Portland, so we hit the streets in search of the art scene in a part of the city that I had not explored the month before. 
Crowds outside the Museum which is free on First Fridays.

I also wanted to check out some artist's spaces to see what was available and whether it would be worth it to have a small studio somewhere so that I could participate in the activities and perhaps sell some work! Don't get me wrong, I love making the art but I'm also thrilled when it gets to live in a good home!

You can see more photos from our evening including a YARNBOMB (this is for you Martha and Maggie) I found if you click this LINK.

But of all the art that we saw the most interesting was that of Frank Turek, who was most definitely influenced by Joseph Cornell.  Here are two of his pieces

This is one of his altered books which I loved.  
The whole concept of an altered book seems marvelous to me in that it uses images to create narrative instead of words.

This isn't framed very well, but it's one of his small boxed assemblages.
His web sites are and  Go on over there and take a look.  He's doing some very cool work! 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

For those of you not on Facebook, here are some photos of last night's backyard BBQ here in Portland Maine.  It was a balmy 76 last night and the reason we have Crash on a long leash is because we don't have the fence up yet.  Hopefully they will start on that the end of next week.  Wishing all my US friends and family a happy Memorial Day and Happy Monday to everyone else!

 Latest Hipstamatic iPod self portraint

 Our little back yard in Portland Maine

JK at our little table looking down from the back door

 I marinated the chicken in some local stout and BBQ sauce... it was great!

I also made some German potato salad and a chopped salad of tomato and avocado.

JK with the Green Man that Mark LiCalsi made for us years ago.

The lilac bush in our back yard from which I'm gonna get some clippings so I can have more lilacs!

Crash in the grass - we had to tie him up b/c we're still waiting for the fence guy to finish.   
We also put up some art last night - my friend Barbara's painting is over the fireplace now.
My friend Cherie's print of her mixed media painting of Denali looks great in the dining room.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Getting Better All the Time

Ok, I've still got lots of stuff in boxes, but in the background you can see that I've set up some shelves so eventually the stuff in the boxes will have a place to go!

This corner is almost all pulled together.  Glad that I've got the "desk" set up and am now hard-wired into the internet now.

Notice the fan in front of the window.  When it gets over 65 degrees in here (19 C for my Euro friends), it begins to get a bit "close".  I've got a guy coming tomorrow to figure out which window I should have redone so I can put an air conditioner in it that I will need to remove in the winter.  Even though it won't get as hot as it does in Sacramento, the  attic will be warm and I need to deal with it now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Moving on up...

This is what my studio looks like right now.  I think the space is smaller than my other studio in Sacto, so it will take a bit of readjustment and I'll probably have to lose somethings, which is not bad.  While I'm anxious to get things set up, I know that if I don't focus on getting the rest of the house unpacked, it will take forever to feel moved in.

I find that to really make good art, I need to have a certain comfort level with the rest of my surroundings.  For those of you on Facebook, I've post the photos from last Thursday when the moving truck caught up with us and delivered the goods! 

It's also interesting to go from a very horizontal way of living, as we've had out in California since 1984, to our current vertical way of life in a two-story house with my studio in the attic.  I'm sure all this will influence the art I will make in the future.  Guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Tale of Traveling

Although I was born in Waltham, MA to an apparent family of Irish Travelers, Maine was the place that most firmly and lovingly stuck in my imagination.  Here's the list of places we lived until I was 17 and we moved in the middle of my senior year to Colorado Springs CO:

Hyanis, MA
Somewhere in between when I was under the age of 4
Fryeberg, ME
Cape Neddick, ME
Nashua NH
Chelmsford MA
Tyngsborough MA
N Chelmsford MA
Tyngsborough MA
Dunstable MA
Tyngsborough MA

No, my father was not in the military, but as we liked to say, he did a great disappearing act, leaving my mom with three kids.  I think we were probably moving to dodge creditors when he was around (until I turned 9).  But after that it was always trying to get a better job or a better apartment in a time when divorcees (as they were called then in the early 60's) were looked down upon and discriminated against.  And people wonder why I became a feminist?

After my high school graduation I spent several years ping-ponging between Colorado Springs and Boston - Alston and Cambridge specifically.  Then I lived in Houston TX, Denver, Boulder (too briefly), Greeley (too long) and Manitou Springs before meeting my hubby and then living in Denver with him before we moved to Milwaukee so he could learn how to be a plastic injection mold & die cast die designer from his Dad.  We spent five years there and really enjoyed the cultural scene.

We ended up in California as a default move as we had wanted to go back to Colorado but there was no work in his field.  I was working as a radio/print journalist at the time and I knew the stations HAD to hire more women as that's how I got into the field in the first place in Denver thanks to legal action by NOW since there were no women on the air in Denver in 76.  This meant I had a fairly good shot at getting a gig in a highly competitive field - and I was good at it!

We then managed to live in 7 places in the next 27 years, with our longest stay being 12 years at our last house in Sacramento.  Two of those places ended up just being "waiting rooms" before getting someplace else.

So to the strict Mainers, I am "from away".  But to the romantic Mainers, I tasted my first tang of life by the ocean here at a tender, very impressionable age that has stayed with me for many years now.  That's why I'm gonna proudly call myself a Maniac, defining it to be someone who used to live here and has boomaranged back home.  Yes, I heard the call of the clams of my childhood.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Best of Both Worlds

So here I am in Portland Maine, along with my kitties Vivian and Bob.  We flew in on Friday and JK and Crash the dog are driving out here.  It's been an interesting experience "camping" in the house.  We've got a bed, a sofa and hassock plus a small table and 2 chairs in our large kitchen.  That's it!  The van with all of our stuff will catch up with us in about 2 weeks.  It's  a rather Zen experience in living, only the basics. 

The first two nights I cooked with the limited cookware we fed ex-ed out to the house - spinach and cheese raviolis the first night and the guilty pleasure of fish sticks, tater tots and salad the next night.  Tonight I had been planning to check out a nearby local restaurant that advertises it's cuisine as Brit-Indian.  But then I went to whole foods today and espied their salmon stuff with spinach and feta cheese and Castroville artichokes!  Yes, I cooked at home again tonight.  And there's a local "moon pie" defrosting on the counter for dessert to go with the rest of the bottle of red wine I opened.  This one is different than the traditional New England style... chocolate cake-type cookies with the cream filling.

The kitties - Bob and Vivian - are still freaked out about our plane ride and a new house.  They've been cowereing under the covers of the bed or (in Bob's case) behind the dryer in our 2nd floor laundry room for the past 2 days.  Vivie did come down the stairs of our little Craftsman bungalow last night, but has been reticent today after I moved their food and kitty water fountain out in the hall instead of being in the bedroom.  Tomorrow I have to move their food downstairs as that might be the only way to get them down here.  I miss them.

This is not to say my first few days were without incidents.  I hadn't realized (mis-communication with JK and our RE agent) the water to the refrigerator and the dishwater weren't turned on.  Today I spent about 3 hours trying to get the new washer to work.  Tried every combination of where the water valves to the washer should be set at and no go.  I ended up calling Sears and a repair person will be out here tomorrow between 1 and 5.  So I guess I'm not going out to run errends tomorrow and finish the registration process on the car which includes going to city hall to pay an exise tax and then over to the DMV where I will probably change my CA license for a Maine one.

I've also got an appointment with the guy from Lowe's to measure the stairs that we need to get carpeted for our 12 year old doggie.  And I might as well call a fence guy to have him come over to give us an estimate to finishing enclosing the yard before Crash lands.

But all in all I'm happy right now.  I'm breathing so much better than in the smog laden air of Sacramento and relishing the tang of the salt air and the cry of seagulls overhead.  Yes, I think Maine will agree with me.  Can't wait until JK and Crash are here, so the whole pack will be together!

This is what the exterior of the house looked like this winter when we made the decision to buy it.  Now the trees are budding out and bulbs are blooming.  I'll have to go across the street to shot a new photo this week.  I've already met some friends of the neighbors across the street and the neighbors on both sides.  I think this will be a great neighborhood to start our Maine adventure.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Never Can Say: Goodbye

In a way it's only fitting and just that I do my final show in Sacramento at Luna's Cafe.  Back in 1994, Beyond the Proscenium Productions did it's very first show, Tips by Richard Kamback there.  Over 15 years has elapsed and this time it was an art show rather than a theatre show, but Art Luna, the cafe's owner has always been there for me as an artist, no matter what the genre.

My friend Pauline Tolman, an outstanding metal sculptor who has done several public art projects in the state, was there and did me the huge favor of documenting the show with this series of photos.

Another artist friend, Marianne Bland is now writing about art for the Sacramento Examiner and here's the link to her story.

It was great fun and yes, some folks got free prints just because I'm a generous person and I didn't want to move all of them.. I'd much rather my art go to a good home than stay boxed up in my studio.

This is my "Homage to Vermeer" digital painting based on an iPod photo and appropriated imagery.  It was purchased by Genvieve Shiroma, one of my long time supporters.  A big thank you to everyone who came and especially those who purchased work - you have my undying gratitude.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pretty Pictures

I'm really having a blast doing head shots for folks.  I can remember when I first started to get serious about photography, I never thought that I would be a good portrait photographer.  When I started doing editorial photos for the theatre company (Beyond the Proscenium), I thought to myself .. hmmm ... and how is this different?

Then last year, my friend George Streng and I started the Women's Wisdom Portrait Project, where we went over the Sacramento Food Bank, where Women's Wisdom Art holds court, to photograph the women who are students there and the local artists who are instructors.  Of course we did a twist to the project by also shooting their art work made in the program and integrating that into the portraits. 

So I must offer deep thanks and gratitude to both George and all the women we photographed for giving me the courage to forge ahead adding portrait photography to my bag of tricks.  My latest client is Bonnie Rollin, a terrific ceramic artist here in Sacramento.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Can You GIve me Just a Little Click?

Wanted to share this email I received today...

"Dear Ann,

Thank you for sharing your work and your story by submitting to The Power of Self.  The Self-portrait, in any medium or interpretation, is an incredibly powerful means of personal expression. We recognize the great amount of reflection it takes to create a work of self portraiture and we’d like to offer you some feedback on your Power of Self submission.

Your portfolio is an intriguing interpretation of the self-portrait in the mixed media genre. I really like how you experiment and incorporate all different kinds of techniques into your work and how you give the viewer subtle clues into your narrative. My favorite pieces were the Millennial Ode Self Portrait and the Genetic Pluperfect Self-Portrait. Your work is strong and I look forward to seeing it progress even further!

Our amazing panel of judges will decide our Grand Prize Winner, however, People’s Choice voting is now open, so share your portfolio with all your friends, family and social network and ask them to vote for you!  

Your Portfolio Link:"

What I'm asking you to do friends, is to go to the link above and show me a little clicky love, please?

Now I'll share a little iPod photo love with you 
I've never seen an orange pansy before!  And here I was thinking I had been around the block a few times.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life and Art

There's nothing like preparing for a show of one's artwork while trying to keep the studio fairly neat for the RE agents who are showing the place.  But I should bitch with everything else going on in the world?  No, so I'll stop.

I've been having too much fun with the iPod camera.  The shot above was taken on the plane home from our last trip to find a house in Portland - which we did and we close on it on April 8th!  I watched part of "Black Swan" on the plane and began to shoot images from the film. 

This along with several others will be part of my slide show that I'll present in one of those digital photo frames (thanks to my sista in Savannah for giving me one a few Xmases ago).