Beyond the mirage in Santa Fe

The clarity that comes from returning to a place once a year is very special.

An evolution is unfolding in Santa Fe and I was primed to be a witness, as I have enough distance and enough references to observe the change.

Full disclosure, I had some help, a guide if you will, to enlighten me to the bright new art energy. My insider was the art writer, Jordan Eddy. He generously showed me around the Stranger Collective's collaborative group show that he was instrimental in curating, along with Alex Gill and Kyle Farrell. This show entitled Mirror Box is an open expression on how these artists view reality. 

Art by: Kevin Bond, Derek Chan, Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill, Erin Gould, Julia Haywood, Chaz John, Kat Kinnick, Shannon Latham, Ariana Lombardi, Emily Mason, Nate Massé, Drew MC, David O’Brien, Josh Palmeri, Sarah Palmeri, Alicia Piller, Julie Slattery, Dion Valdez, Emmaly Wiederholt, Ona Yopack

The worked touched on explorations of reality and of space. Questioning what can be tangible or what exist in a parallel world. Some works were reflections of a phantom idea, surreal landscapes or delusional relationships. The brilliance of this show was that this concept served as a springboard to invite many different threads to be delicately woven into subtly beautiful, and transportive moment.

This would not have been so masterful achieved without the thoughtful curation. It is apparent while viewing the show that each artist and piece of work was deeply understood and arranged to guide the view on a nonlinear journey with the art.

I can say with certainty that the artists and the community behind this show is the most promising energy to manifest itself in Santa Fe's. Shows such as these will lead Santa Fe’s art scene to a new horizon, and it’s not a mirage!

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Los Angeles in Pieces & Parts

Images from Culver City gallery walk on Washington Blvd between Helms Walk and Fairfax Ave.















Deer at Getty Villa the Italy in LA

The calm and serenity of this recreated Pompeii Villa is easy understand, when in  Disneyland-style a deer frolics so near!

LACMA is always an iconic art stop

and bright experience especially when you start our day in the neighborhood with pastries and beyond from Republique.


This museum is so potent and dynamic that my experience fell into two distinct categories. The Armand Hammer Collection revitalized my love of some long life favorites, mainly Gustave Moreau. There is always so much to learn from the skill of these traditional masters. The beauty of these compositions and my, clearly bias, love of bouquets translated elegantly into "The Stories Of Almost Everyone" exhibit. Every object has a story. What does it mean when you place that object and that story in an institutional setting and burden it with a canon of higher meaning? Some of these works were pure cheek, while others were heartbreaking records of human history. 


The pop up shop at Hammer (Rat Bastards), GUCCI (another theme park moment waiting in the long Rodeo Drive line to get into the storefront) Laduree Salon de Tea (the height of French decadence, eventually I’ll patron every Laudree in the world)

The End

at the Castle in the Rain - Greystone Mansion and Park

An icon in the film industry. It was worth winding up into the Beverly Hills as this epic house made for a great last look at the L.A. cityscape, even through a rainstorm.


I can not tell you how many time when chatting with a fellow artist that I hear "Oh, First Thursday, I haven't been to that in years..."  

Well, I go out. I find it important to know what is going on outside of the studio in my own city, even if it is uncomfortable or disappointing, and sometime it is a disappointment. I am pleased to say that February's events brought artistic delights!

A refreshing range, variety and the new. Here are the highlight for those of you that missed out on the sights: 

PDX Contemporary Art: Night & Day  Jeffry Mitchell January 12, 2016 to February 27

Museum of Contemporary Craft: Work Time by  Rowland Ricketts January 29, 2016 – April 23

Immerse yourself fully in the world of indigo! These huge swaths of cloth hang on the celling overhead, obscuring the spotlights at night one was enveloping in blue.  

Pond Gallery: Wild Apple Girl by  Rebecca Artemisa 

NEW gallery UNION KNOTT: Wages of Fear by Sean Croghan

So new fresh and tiny that there is not a web page yet but this is a hip and authenintic space @ 2726 mlk jr blvd portland, oregon

Getting Friendly

I was asked to use my skills to help with the Friendly House Charity Fundraising auction, by my good friend, fellow artist, and comity head Ellen Goldschmidt. How could I turn down an oppurtuinty to be a part of the glorious  "Ambiance Comity?"

Creating the 1930's themed deco decor, turned out to be an enormous task, literally, the piece I over saw was HUGE! Luckily, I had a lot of friendly help!

All of this effort, was a wonderful excuse for adults to make art with abandon. Myself included. Knowing these pieces were temporary and for a fun party, led me experiment, to let go, and to focus on what I love about making. In the end it brought people together in new ways which is at the core of the Friendly House.

Peony Violence Blossom in Portland

Glorious Guardino Gallery is hosting the Peony Violence series this month in an artist pairing with talented ceramic artist Anne Goodrich.  

This has been a wonderful process, from the burst of creativity needed to create this body of work, to the meeting of the Alberta Arts community. All of my focused energy was rewarded the night of the February's "Last Thursday" with a big turn out and great support.

If you missed that fun night not to worry. This coming Saturday at 2 pm at Guardino Gallery I, along with my fellow artists, will be giving a talk about this body of work. wish me luck. see you there!

A special thank you to Donna (for bring us all together) Meg (for getting it on the wall), Anne (for being gracious and talented) and Bark & Bless (my first virtual to live artist friend).

This new series is about the convergence between nature’s graceful softness and nature’s violent destruction.

These peonies are about the romance of a bouquet given while the heart bleeds.

A firework exploding as pedals fall.

Traditionally, I am an oil painter. However, I produced this series in colored pencils and gouache, both light materials in order to emphasize the delicate quality of these flowers.

Best of New York and Flowers

...where I needed to go. When I wobbled to a stop, facing in the right direction, I walked headlong into a freestanding forest: A grove of ficus trees, potted and crowded together beside a stand of Dieffenbachia and dwarf Albert spruce, or maybe a half-dozon Areca plums in big black plastic tubs -of chores I don’t remember exactly which plants they were anymore, but I do remember the shock of seeing this quiver of greenery on the gray Manhattan sidewalk....
— The Floral Ghost by Susan Orlean

Like most magical places the more you search, the more it alludes you. This is especially true in Manhattan. We had stopped searching, just enjoying your walk through the Flower District on your way to lunch, when the art magic, I was searching for all trip, found us.

The Flower District, already sets you up to be transported beyond the bad-ass city, to a city that is beyond amazing. The smell of the greenery,  giant orchids and jungle plants brushing up against you all existing right on the sidewalk. Still,  there is endless beeping, steam billowing from the subway grates, and the pressure that you have to keep on walking with great detriminaton.

Admists all of this... in the window.... A R T  chatches your eye.

The Plant House Gallery is the best contemporary art gallery in Manhattan. 

A clean unassuming place filled with work that is consciences of it's space and time. It is challenging in it's simplicity, very intelligent yet transportive.

The show I was lucky enough to see was The Floral Ghost and I loved everything about it.

It was a well curated, varied group show, that flawlessly interrogated many mediums from silk screen by Philip Taaffe to writing by Susan Orlean.  Katie Michel, the owner,  was friendly but not pushy. She and her gallery partner are also printmakers. Tactile show cards and texture rich walls showed off the attuned skill of seasoned printmakers. The taste of the whole gallery was rich yet palate cleansing. 

(All pictures from Plant House website)

Another excellent review : New Yorkers Are Desperate For Greenery 

Fantastic Feathers

Feathers are natures fashion. The riot of colors are symbols of lust and the length of the plumes show your status.

This shoot from "W" Magazine has Jeniffer Lawrence showing of the best of both worlds.

Accompanied by other expressions of wings.

Taking great inspiration from Wesley Younie's solo show "Dark Paradise" at Mark Whoolley Gallery. Up now until March 15th.  Wesley is a fellow feather lover.

You know what the say about flocking together.

See many more of my favorite feathered loves at  BIRDS IN COMMON.

Pieces of New NEW York YORK....Museum

The Museums of New York are huge institutions of art, serious, grand, and mind blowing!

I visited as many as I could and soaked in as much as I could, this is what I absorbed. 

NEUE GALERIE museum for German and Austrian art

This jewelry box of a Museum was featuring the work of Egon Schiele.

The exhibit was intimate and yet crowed (bonus sighting of Bruce Willis). Hung salon style you were plunged in to a raw world of psychological portraiture. 

I have been a long time fan of Schiele ever since my first year of art school when I graduated from the joyous work of Gustave Klimt (I should mention that the most stunning Klimt painting I have ever seen is part of the Neue Galeries’ collection among other striking art nouveau and deco artifacts) onto the darker work of his protégé; Schiele who instead of using pattern and design to build up the magic in his portraiture (like Klimt) striped all of the ornamentation away leaving you with an honest confutation of the subject. This helped him to pushed the social limits in portraiture. He had a brief but potent career, dying at an early age. This exhibit was intimate and yet crowed (bonus: sighting of Bruce Willis). Hung salon style you were plunged in to a raw world of psychological portraiture. 


Pieces of New NEW York YORK......Museum

The Museums of New York are huge institutions of art, serious, grand, and mind blowing!

I visited as many as I could and soaked in as much as I could, this is what I absorbed. 




At the time of my vist The Guggenheim was featuring "ZERO a countdown to tomorrow 1950- 1960."  Zero is an art collective of German artist born in a zeitgeist of positivity and exploration in post war Germany.  

Zero (1957–66) founded by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene and joined in 1961 by Günther Uecker, and ZERO, a larger international network of likeminded artists, including Lucio Fontana, Yayoi Kusama, Yves Klein, and Piero Manzoni.  Work by more than 40 artists from 10 countries who were united by an aspiration to transform and redefine art following World War II.

These works were stunningly cohesive with the unique architecture of the fabulously spiraling Guggenheim. The show was laid out not only chronologically but by artistic expression. Starting with minimalist color fields Yves Klien "Blue" the tastiest among them (this "blue" is one of the great loves of my life), kinetic paintings on timers kept me enthralled and added to the whimsical spontaneity that these artist where trying to capture, the artist then stated deconstcutying the canvas but punchering ripping and burning the surface. All of these exploratory gestures evolved from 2-d into 3-d  kinetic light instillations, some of which were intragted with film and performance, all timed to push these installations into the realm of grand happenings! 

On Fashionable PDX Thursday

It has been my zietgeist lately to support all the creative people in my life. This has been leading me to many different places ranging from Folk music at "Dr. Who" theme dive bars to the white tents of PortlandNXT Fashion Show on Thursday evening.

It was a fabulous time, with micro local celeb sightings (Project Runway Stars), confusion and  Pinot Grigio NOT Chardonnay and wonderful INSPIRING runway shows.

It is not surprising that the show I liked the most was that of Myriam Marcela, who happens to be a striking acquaintance I met at an art opening, and who I was there to support. Her vision is all about vintage made current or as she describes, "Vintage Revival".  Everything that walked the runway seemed new but had well edited vintage spirit as well as a strong since of print with a bit of Spanish flair (her homeland).

The other stand out designers that made the evening amazing were:

ATIZ who wowed with a cleaver mixture of fabric textures and prints. Ranging from light and airy to luxuriously thick.

"The inspiration and scope behind the Àtiz collection is rich and wide, but each piece contains the blending of Eastern sophistication with Western originality. Though her Indian heritage informs all of her looks, Padmaraj nonetheless translates this historical and cultural legacy into a refined, timeless international look."

Sonia Kasparin "Bespoke Couture" stunned the audience with this simmer full length simmer gold number!!!

Wendy Ohlendorf gave the audience fantasy and whimsey with headdress in and dramatic defined shapes.

an Art Talk with Christopher Russell

Dissonance, Coincidence & Errant Gradations of Light  "altered Photography" was showing last month at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery.

It was one of those Saturday mornings where it was difficult to leave the house but I am so glad I made it to Russel's artist talk.

He has quite the affinity for the written word (which may be apparent by the title of the show). Because of this he has an elegant way of describing his work and navigating the world of making with both frailty and bravery. He is all ready well know in the art world having work bought for museum collections and exhibiting solo around the world.

It was one of those art meeting where I felt like our work and approach was so similar I was wrapped and highly engaged, sensing that I all ready understood intrinsically what he meant (however more elegant he was at expressing it) yet different enough that I clearly had so much to learn.

Christopher Russell created his work in a kind of balancing act between writing (by making large handmade image based books and act of child like story telling for every show) and altered photography (in which he diligently folds and scratches ornate designs into a pigment print). These are such different processes but he needs both in order to creatively feel satisfied.

What drew me to his work is the use these baroque or ornate designs. I myself use damask patterns to accent my paintings of nature. For me it is a layer that goes beyond aesthetics (all thought beautiful).  I have always had a difficult time expressing what moves me to use these reoccurring motifs. Russell summed up his usage of motifs as: "everyday affirmations of something special, each motif is a like a portrait of an individual and it is important to think about these designs as an expression of who we want to be a way to glorify our status, beauty and uniqueness."

Ghana IN Vermont

These bright and colorful patterns are amazing no matter where you are. My fabulous friend Lizzy hand picked this print to bring back to this side of the globe all they way to her lovely new home in Vermont. This first print is a custom design from her two year peace core adventure in Ghana. As a friend she teaches me so much with her bright sprite and as a maker she brought the crafts of the village home with her, together we made Shea butter cream and strung African beads. Her world is a true fashion inspiration!!

For more information about the process of textiles in Ghana: GHANA TEXTILE

Beyond Brick and Ivy in Boston

This is such a beautiful buttoned-up town.  Surrounding the red brick covered in ivy and way too many college logo sweaters, there is an under current of exploration and exuberance!

I mainly explored the southern neighborhoods, as that is where my art trail lead me. 

I should mention that one of the absolute best art museums in the city is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, it is a fabulous cultivated mansion. Everywhere you turn is more ascetic vignettes and visual stimuli. This woman curated a vast range of art, so effortlessly, you are transported to a timeless world of treasures.  Her collection of Japaneses screens stands out in my mind as dose the nicknamed "Leather and Lace" room with embossed leather wall paper and her collection of antique lace on display, but the courtyard alone will take your breath way! Alas you can not take any pictures there so you simple must go in person!!

These are my finds:

first stop                           Harvard Museum of Natural History

The flowers, the Jelly-fish, and sea slugs are hand blown glass by father and son Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, I know it is hard to believe, the skill and the scientific accuracy are beyond amazing!

Second                    Museum of Fine Art, Boston (trust me call it MFA)

The stand out Artists where:

Shinque Smith a female artist using feminine street art gestures in mixed media painting that are laden with fabric and connected to fashion, glamor and fantasy.


Jamie Wyeth a master painter that pushes water color to a its limits, with effortless gestures, using classic landscape motifs of the "Brandy wine" tradition in a pop culture context. The stunning portraits of Andy Warhol left me scratching me head at the juxtaposition (in a good way)!

around Boston:                       The Library and more

I really got to now the artist John Singer Sargent as so much more than a masterful portrait artist his mural at the library are vast and wonderful. (I also loved his array of works at the Gardener Museum raging from sketchy studies to jaw dropping Flamenco dancers!)

Bonus:                               ICA at the Institute for Contemporary Art

Refelection of Art Shows for Caffe Mingo

From the first to the last,

all of this work was a made for the very inspiring space and community of Caffe Mingo in North West Portland.

This is a community I have been proud to apart of for the last seven years, that time is drawing to a close and in time of transition it is important to reflect on successes!

(each of these show as not only wonderful to make, but allowed me to connect with a specific and important art audience)

special thank you to Micheal Cornan for supporting my artistic side, and to all the patrons that bought these pieces off the wall.