Thursday, December 31, 2009

Erotic Art

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

It is very frustrating, but sometimes my work is not permitted to be exhibited because of “rules” against nudity in art. This despite the fact that most people are extremely complimentary of the sensitivity in which I portray people in their most vulnerable state (or so they tell me).

So, if you cannot beat ‘em, . . . join ‘em.

And I actually feel a bit excited to be joining the ranks of many of my predecessors, including lots of the “Big Boys” such as Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Théodore Géricault, Rodin, Pablo Picasso, and my friend and mentor Vasily Fedorouk. Even Michelangelo painted quite a lascivious “Leda and the Swan” composition. I suspect that besides the Japanese, Egyptians, and the Greeks, every culture has birthed some form of erotic art.

While exploring various compositions, I was trying to think of a title to inspire me and keep me on track. I was seeking eroticism, not vulgarity. My ex-roommate Elena, from Italy, unknowingly named this pastel and charcoal drawing. She and I happened to be corresponding shortly after I began work on this piece. She often addresses me as “tesoro,” which is Italian for “treasure” and is a term of affection among the Italians.

Thus, I would be happy to introduce to you my first published work of intentionally erotic art.

22” x 16”
Charcoal and Pastel Drawing
Roma-brand paper
$1800 (+ $20 shipping + applicable sales tax)
by Kelly Borsheim

And I wish you a sensuous and joyful 2010 full of passion and amore.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Anatomy and Line

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Although I have not spoken much about this, I am not trying to make a copy in marble of an actual human being. While I am thinking about anatomy and using real bodies for references, I am constantly looking for that beautiful line.

The depressing thing about doing art of a more representational style is that people judge the piece for what it is not more than what it is. I mean that the tighter a work gets towards recognizable, the more people critique it for the artist’s mistakes. If would not matter if someone creating an exact replica of a specific person that was 99% accurate (on a scientist’s terms I suppose). The viewer’s eye would immediately find that 1% inaccurate part and it would ruin the rest of the effort.

It was not until my first visit to the Benson Sculpture Garden in Loveland, Colorado, about a decade ago, that I realized that there was a limit to how far I wanted to depict reality in my own work. Too much reality bored me. Art is in the details, but the KIND of details makes a world of difference. In Italy, especially, I have been learning to understand the difference between art and copying.

So, anyway, these images that follow show you how I am inspired by Nature’s anatomy, but that I am seeking a line that flows beautifully. In the latter two images, I have drawn the line of the legs that are covered up by the hands. This not only helps me to shape the legs underneath the arms and hands, but also helps me know how close to carve the hands and how much more marble I must remove.

The most difficult thing to do in stone carving is to have two things touch without overlapping in a weird way or becoming too far apart.

Enjoy your New Year’s celebration.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Top Ten Artist Blog Post Award

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Well, I would first like to thank several of my readers for nominating various artworks of mine that were posted on this blog in 2009 for artist and author Katherine Tyrrell’s Making a Mark blog’s “Best of . . .” competition. Two of my drawings were chosen in the semi-finalist stage for the Figure Art category, but I was not so lucky on the shortlist. However, I do appreciate your support and interest. Thank you.

You can vote for one of the three finalists by clicking here before the 29th of December:

Then to my surprise today, I found out that one of my blog posts won a listing on Casey Klahn’s “The Colorist” blog. It made me laugh to see which of my blog posts struck Casey as memorable and why. Perhaps you will enjoy his point of view as well. Check it out:

Thanks, Casey Klahn, and thank you to you ,too!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tabernacoli Fiorentini – Florence Tabernacles

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

In my recently published art newsletter I wrote about the devotional art in Florence, Italy, specifically, the tabernacles. In Italian they are called tabernacoli fiorentini.

I have shared with you what I know of the history of these devotional windows, as well as many images I have taken of various tabernacles around the central part of the Renaissance City over the last few years.

Check it out:

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Marble Hair

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I have not yet decided just how realistic I want to go with the stone carving “The Gymnast.” I know that my style tends towards realism, but I am not necessarily thinking strictly in those terms when I work. And I tend to use hair as a compositional device more than as a depiction of reality.

That said, I still find inspiration in Nature and models. In this case, I have been using my most available model. And I have a lot of hair. I put it up into a ponytail and moved my head about, looking in the mirror and touching my head to see how the hair fell. Often I see better with my fingertips.

Also, there is so much symmetry in this pike pose that I wanted the hair, along with the toes, to be obviously asymmetrical. You may see in the first image that I have redrawn the skull to a more proportionate size. I had left so much stone around the head because I had not yet decided on how I wanted the hair to fall. But it was time to reduce the size of the head so that I could continue to work the rest of the stone sculpture.

If I let something go for too long, my brain will start to make order out of the disproportion and I will no longer see my error as such. At this point, I am working the masses of the hair only from three sides, still allowing myself to change my mind as I go along. The trick is to shape the form as I reduce the mass of marble.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stone Expansion Art

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Often the view you would see the least is the one that gives the most useful information about the form in sculpture. Here I show you the bird’s eye view so that you may see just how large the skull really is in comparison to the rest of the figure, “The Gymnast.”

Although I am a bit cautious about cutting away too much stone, stone expansion -- a term I believe was coined by sculptor Scott Owens -- seems to come into play a lot. I find at some point, I have a difficult seeing the proper proportions of my figure because there is simply too much stone in the way.

I have been carving away at the marble feet, shaping as I go along. I realized that I could not sculpt the hands until I saw more clearly the size and position of the feet, because the ankles (among other things) helped me to define the size and positioning of the legs, upon which the hands are resting.

In the same way, I began to have a difficult time reducing the arms until I got the head carved smaller. Somehow small hands on a body with a large head messes with my mind and vision.

And this is why it is important to work the entire piece instead of focusing too much on the"Bath Tub Technique.” This is what I call it when one starts to work a piece from top and then moves lower and lower until reaching the bottom of the artwork, in the way that your body would be revealed as the water is slowly drained away in the tub (if you were sitting in the tub, of course).

In this final image, you may see my markings for the next cutting. I am refining the line of the trapezius at the shoulder and needing to remove material under the right arm along the drawn-in rib cage. And in a brown crayon, you may see the width of the skull, marked along the uncarved shoulder blades so I can keep my measurements for a while longer.

I wish the days were warmer and that I had some anti-vibration gloves.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Menu For Hope – Divina Cucina

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Oh, wow, I just placed my order of raffle tickets for Menu for Hope. And I had to include a bid to hang with my friend Judy Witts Francini of Divina Cucina's. The Diva for Italian cooking and all things food is offering tickets for two for her “Monday at the Market Tour in Florence” (Italy).

The markets in Florence are truly wonderful – practically and sensually. The energy there is so enriching! But it can be a bit intimidating to a newbie. I do not know much about cooking or shopping, so I had to bid on the Fabulous Judy’s prize. She will take you around tasting, smelling, touching, learning & shopping. Then you get to have lunch at a place she frequents. Value is 250 euros and the
prize code is EU24.

Read more: Divina Cucina – Menu for Hope Prize Details

Quoted from Judy’s blog entry:

Every year Chez Pim with the help of bloggers all over the world, runs the Menu for Hope. It is a win-win situation, by participating in the auction of items donated, we raise money for a United Nations Project. This year, we are supporting a new initiative at the WFP called Purchase for Progress (P4P). P4P enables smallholder and low-income farmers to supply food to WFP’s global operation. P4P helps farmers improves farming practices and puts more cash directly into their pockets in return for their crops. This will also help buoy local economy by creating jobs and income locally. We food bloggers understand the importance of buying locally and supporting our local farms, P4P helps do the same for farmers in low-income countries around the world.

Go ahead, the prize list is delectable. Besides Divina Cucina and yesterday’s blog entry about Ms. Adventures in Italy, there are an incredible selection of donated prizes, including lots and lots of wines. Indulge and help others to grow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Menu For Hope – Ms. Adventures in Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Last year about this time, I joined other bloggers from Europe and donated a prize (in my case, I gave away six of my giclées on watercolor paper of various photographs of Italy) to help the Menu For Hope program. This year I was not organized enough to get it together in time.

However, my friend and fellow blogger Sara Rosso aka Ms. Adventures in Italy has got it goin’ on.

What is Menu for Hope?

Quoting from Ms. Adventures here:

Menu for Hope is an annual fundraising campaign hosted by Chez Pim and a revolving group of food bloggers around the world. Five years ago, the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia inspired her to find a way to help, and the very first Menu for Hope was born. The campaign has since become a yearly affair. For the past three years, Menu for Hope raised nearly a quarter of million dollars in support of the good work of the UN World Food Programme, helping to feed hungry people worldwide.

This year, we are supporting a new initiative at the WFP called Purchase for Progress (P4P). P4P enables smallholder and low-income farmers to supply food to WFP’s global operation. P4P helps farmers improves farming practices and puts more cash directly into their pockets in return for their crops. This will also help buoy local economy by creating jobs and income locally. We food bloggers understand the importance of buying locally and supporting our local farms, P4P helps do the same for farmers in low income countries around the world. More on P4P at

Basically, this is a raffle of prizes donated by bloggers. Each ticket is only $10 and you choose the prize(s) that you are interested in. Ms. Adventures is offering two incredible prizes this year (and I WILL be buying a raffle ticket or two for those luscious Italian chocolates myself), so please follow this link to her site. It explains the raffle process, as well as telling you more about the prizes available.

Or go straight to the source: Menu For Hope:

Please help – and get rewarded for helping others learn how to use the resources they have. This program is empowering others! Buy as many raffle tickets as you can and then spread the word about Menu for Hope. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carving Stone

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

So many wonderful things happened today, I feel grateful. One thing is that I was able to carve stone again before the cold front expected tomorrow.

Normally, in carving stone, one works three of four sides. That way, if something breaks off, such as a nose, one can push everything back towards that fourth side. However, sometimes I feel blocked while attempting to preserve this “safety feature” in the stone carving process. And I must be an optimist because I find at some point, I need to cut away this stone so I can see better what I am doing.

In this first image, you may see how I changed the energy of the pose by pulling the legs and feet into more of a diagonal towards the head of “The Gymnast” in the pike position. I thought the more vertical position was a bit dull. The brown crayon is my new drawing upon the stone.

This second image only proves that I could get my work done faster if my camera did not have a timer on it and I was not so fascinated in documenting the process. I was afraid to leave the diamond blade running on an unattended tool as I ran over to my camera to start the timer, so please pardon the lack of actual cutting in this image.

I spent the rest of the day removing material until it was too dark to work safely.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Marble Sculpture Process

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Today was a beautiful day, much warmer than lately. I was able to get in several more hours of stone carving. At first when I stood before “The Gymnast” I worried that I had already cut too much stone from the forearms. But I had forgotten a little about “stone expansion,” a term that sculptor Scott Owens coined to explain how stone seems to grow overnight.

Stone carving is an interesting dance: too much cut and there are no second chances, other than redesign. But there are the evenings when you feel you removed the right amount of stone, only to wake up the next morning and see that you still have a ways to go. Such is the subtractive process.

Generally when I sculpt the figure, I need to get the pelvis situated, then the rib cage, and then the rest seems to fall into place for me. It is a process, with the destination becoming more visible with each mile marker passed. However, in this case, the hips were at the bottom of the composition. And I was a little bit worried about cutting the bottom so much that the stone might become stressed in that area as I worked the upper parts. Stumped.

However, I hear the voice of my friend Vasily Fedorouk often when I carve. When I am not sure what to do next, I remember him saying, “Define your line, your idea, and then make all else work with that line.” I also know that I cannot always work the way I was taught to do. If something bugs me, I just need to take care of it so I can focus. So, I decided to refine the line of the hips. I needed to start the curves that had inspired me in the first place.

In the second image here, you can see the brown crayon I used to draw the curves of the hips up into the legs. I have also loosely sketched in the hamstrings. The back of the leg does not the silhouette make from this view.

As the day started to close, I stopped my diamond blade and looked up to the light streaming in through the trees. The stone dust flying away emphasized the effect. I hope you find this image as beautiful as I do.

Finally, I have worked more angles than I show here, but the line is starting to clean up.
Stay tuned and hope for a warm winter.

If you like what you read, enjoy the photos, and would like to help support this blog(ger) / artist, click here . . .

Friday, December 11, 2009

Borgo degli Albizi Florence Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I hope that you are enjoying all that the seasons have to offer. I myself have been carving stone and painting portrait commissions, as well as enjoying all of the art events that I have been invited to attend.

I am also missing Italy. Borgo degli Albizi is one of my favorite streets in central Florence. I rode my bike down that street often on my way home or into centro. I like the variety of shops along this street and the stone buildings in the ever-changing light. And so, I would like to introduce to you my latest charcoal and pastel drawing of a couple walking in a nighttime rain down Borgo degli Albizi.

"Borgo Degli Albizi - Firenze, Italia"
64 x 46 cm (25 x 18")
charcoal & pastel drawing 2009
Roma-brand Italian paper
by Kelly Borsheim
[Updated: 14 December 2009: This drawing has sold to a private collector in California.]

Also, I just published my latest art newsletter, which includes some cool images of devotional art by Florentine artists throughout the centuries. If you would like to receive these as an e-mail (only 6-8 times per year), just subscribe on my site. It is free.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shimmering Sugar Stone

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

So, I began to trim up the feet on the bottoms, and the sunlight hit the natural beak in the stone . . . really, it takes my breath away sometimes. I ran indoors to get my camera.

Marble is "Shimmering Stone" - can you see the light on the crystalline specs in the naturally broken part?
In 2004, Dr. Fabio Biselli gave me a tour of one of the "cave" (quarries) in Carrara, Italy. He bragged to me how the famous Carrara marble was "like sugar" in its whiteness.
I suggested that he not use that terminology with many American carvers. In Marble, Colorado, when we refer to a stone as being "like sugar," we are referring to the quality of softness -- dissolving easily. Sugar stone is cut away and redesigning is done as needed.

Yin / yang works that way -- the same word can be interpreted to be a strength or a weakness. I do not have sugar in this stone (at least thus far), and my regret at the moment is that these images have not truly captured the lustre in the stone. She is a beaut!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Marble Carving Gymnast

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Many years ago, I had an idea . . . yup, just one ;-) It began back in 2003 or 2004. I created a maquette (French word for a small sculpture that will be used to create a larger one) in plastilina of a gymnast in a pike position. I needed to make it so that I could calculate what cut of marble I needed. I had been itching to work larger for a while now.

I then contacted the quarry in Colorado and ordered my marble. I had them cut out a block of stone above the gymnast’s head to save me the effort, but more importantly to save the stone for another project. Until I can get enough of the proper tools (for example, a diamond-bladed chainsaw), it is best to outlab these kinds of things. The idea for this sculpture is a symmetrical vertical composition, with a bit of asymmetry in the feet for a fun element (the way no proper gymnast would pose).

I have been collecting stone whenever I have my van with me and a few bucks (or more) in my pocket. The Colorado Yule Marble for "The Gymnast" (center) sat around for many years, but it is the second of the three large stones that I brought home over time. Going to Italy for extended stays postponed this project. In the summer of 2008, I decided to work on the stone a little bit, knowing that I may have to finish this over a long period of time.
Unfortunately, the railroad ties I bought for support and height began to rot and, as you can see in the 1100-pound block of marble to the right, some leveling needed to be done.

Despite the years of dust covering this raw marble and the impending storm (leaving only a diffused and subtle light for my photography), one can still see some translucency in this marble near the top edge of the block.

After cutting away some of the marble block, I had to redraw my design. I am a direct carver. That means that I do not make a large sculpture out of plaster, clay, or wax and then measure and copy it into a block of stone.

Instead, I draw directly on the stone and cut what I do not wish to have there. Yes, I have my maquette, but that is only a tool to help me determine my basic proportions. Soon, I will abandon it and work only with the stone.

And now, for a little self promo of another kind:
Wow -- something I wrote made the # 1 Business Tip on MorenaMedia's blog. So cool!

(Click on the image to enlarge.)

Happy Birthday, Lexi!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lana Thompson Tribute

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I heard about Lana Thompson before I met her. I was told that this woman was a powerhouse, turning heads, changing minds, and making lots of art sales in the small community of La Grange, Texas. Lana and her husband Joe Mole ran a gallery, filled with a large variety of art. As a fabric artist herself, Lana promoted all creative efforts and carried her enthusiasm with her wherever she went. Lana was thrilled to exhibit and sell my art in her gallery and even got me connected to a gallery in Chicago. She was always sharing and helping others.

Lana and Joe closed the gallery several years ago so that Lana could focus on determining just what was wrong with her health. Lana Thompson left this world on November 2, 2009. She had a form of leukemia and her marrow transplant never took hold. She fought this disease with her exuberant energy, saying, "death will just have to sneak up and catch me." After a three-year battle, Lana allowed herself to be caught.

Lana’s changing diagnosis and problems with the US healthcare system has been blogged about in detail by her step-daughter at, but as I checked my links, I discovered that this site has been removed.

I feel honored that Joe asked me to come over and take Lana’s paintbrushes and create more art with them. I also received many other wonderful things of hers – clothing, music, art materials, and art books. While I was visiting Joe in their home, he shared with me the following and gave me permission to share this about Lana and his life with her.

Our Miracle

Lana J. Thompson, my wife of twelve years was an artist, writer and poet, and had been very ill with acute myelogenous leukemia. Her symptoms started nearly three years ago but her first bone marrow biopsy proved negative. She had no definitive diagnosis until early January of this year. She died on November 2, at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Twenty-four days earlier she had had a bone marrow transplant but it did not regenerate. They could not keep blood in her; even daily platelet infusions were no help. Her blood simply would not clot.

I held her hand as her heart beat for the very last time and she breathed her last breath. It is not altogether a sad story, in fact we did get a miracle it just wasn’t the one we were looking for. At 2:30 Sunday morning the 1st of November while I was at home in La Grange, Texas, and in bed asleep I had a vision. Lana had been in room 23 in the C pod on the seventh floor of the hospital, the ICU floor. Her room was the first room you see as you come around the corner from the ?F? elevators and look into the C pod. All of the rooms have patio doors so that the end of each room is glass to make it easy for the nurses to read the monitors without coming into the rooms.

What I saw in my vision was light – ten times brighter than daylight – streaming from her room. I knew that angels had come to escort her spirit up out of her body. As soon as daylight came I drove to Houston which is two hours away. The first person I spoke with was the RN on duty in her room. She was not busy and we spoke for half an hour. I told her of my vision. During the next two hours, twelve to fifteen MDs and RNs wanted to speak with me concerning end-of-life issues. A chaplin also wanted to see my legal papers, medical power of attorney etc. Every thing was in order. Their decision Sunday was to give Lana another five days, so I came back to La Grange.

The next morning at 10:30 I got a call on my cell phone from her transplant surgeon Dr. Ciurea. He said to come back to Houston as soon as possible. I arrived at 12:45. The same RN was attending Lana and made the comment, “Mr. Mole, do your remember the story you told me yesterday about what you had seen. The ventilator (the machine which was assisting her to breath and which is a computer and has a monitor) recorded the time you said as the time your wife could no longer breathe on her own. After you left yesterday your wife had a CT scan of her head and it showed swelling in her brain.” In other words, Lana became brain dead at 2:30 Sunday morning.

During the next hour and a half I talked with all the people involved in the process of “termination-of-life supports.” Finally I was connected to an MD by phone who said that all I need to do was to say yes to terminate life supports and Lana would be put on “comfort care” only. That involves only a sedative and painkiller. Lana had been on dialysis and that was the first thing to be disconnected. With that done I was able to go and stand next to Lana’s bed and hold her hand. Over the next 20 minutes the RN disconnected the 22 IVs which were on three stands, and then she left the room. The monitor above her bed was displaying her pulse, which initially registered 64 beats per minute. Every minute the number was one less: 63, 62, 61, 60. When it fell to 32 the next reading was 0. I noted the time, 15:33. One minute later the RN came back into room and said, “Mr. Mole, your wife has just died.” I waited another minute then left the Lana’s room.

Of all the people I spoke with during those two days none thought I was a crackpot or some kind of weirdo. Basically what I had done was to tell all of them when Lana had actually died. The machines simply kept her body alive for another 37 hours. Life supports were terminated at 2:45pm and it took only 48 minutes for her to pass away.

I am a classical music fan and had been a Chicago Symphony Orchestra season ticket holder for many years. Concerts are rebroadcast on the Internet and the radio every week. A week earlier I had recorded one from the Internet at but had forgotten what I had recorded. It was a two CD set, a recreation for the very first concert ever held in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, one hundred years ago. When I went to Houston Monday morning I played the first CD and all but ten minutes of the second. Ten minutes after Lana died I left the hospital and began driving towards the freeway. Just as I reached it what should come next as the final selection of this concert but Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah. I played it over and over for the next two hours about 24 times.

The sun began to set as I neared Columbus, Texas. There were no clouds in the sky and it was a perfect day. The sunset stretched for miles across the vast Texas landscape. When I turned off interstate 10 towards La Grange I looked over to the right to see the most beautiful perfect full harvest moon which had just come up over the horizon. It was glorious! What this meant to me was that all creation was celebrating for Lana. She didn’t just get some old spare parts from another woman to keep her going for a while but a whole new body.

Obituary of Lana J. Thompson

Lana Jean Thompson age 64 of La Grange, TX died Monday November 2, 2009 at 3:33pm in Houston, Texas, from a three year illness. She was born Wednesday December 13, 1944 in Ellicottville, New York. She is the daughter of Elizabeth Hilbig and Chester Konieczka, a merchant marine who died November 29, 1966 in the shipwreck of the Daniel J. Morrell off the thumb of Michigan. It was the sister ship of the Titanic and also split in two in a storm. Lana’s mother had no attending physician or midwife. Bernard Thompson, who later married her mother and raised Lana died this year on July 25th. Her mother died in 1994.
Lana is survived by her husband of twelve years, Joseph L. Mole and her daughters Anna Christen of La Grange, TX; Carol Armstrong of Yoakum and a son Leonard who lives in Hallettsville. She has one brother Bernard Thompson and three sisters: Mary Drake of Johnson City, TN; June Lyness of Winter Haven, FL and Betty Moss of Kissimmee, FL; five grandchildren, and two great-grand children and plus one due in a few months.

During her life Lana was an award-winning artist working in all forms of water media and collage as well as fabric arts including fine art quilts and wall hangings. She is also a poet and writer and was an avid reader. For six years she and her husband owned and operated the Thompson ? Mole Gallery in La Grange. The gallery was closed due to her illness. Tommy Taylor is handling her final arrangements; there will be no funeral service or wake.

A pink glow at the edge
of the horizon
heralds the arrival of the sun.
The earth is quiet,
in hushed anticipation.
The wind holds her breath.
Beams of light explode over
the rim of the earth,
rising to the heavens
like the arms of angles singing
Allelujah! . . .
Allelujah! . . .
Lana Thompson

Be A Rose
A rose is a rose is a rose,
an unfolding of petals
much like the unfolding of life.
The scent growing
stronger?robust with life.
Even after death the scent of life
lingers, holding memories of its once
glorious life.
Be a rose
Caress the delicate
velvety petals as
you would a lover.
Kissed by the sun
moistened with dew drops.
Note: during this time Lana was confined to bed at the Seton Medical Center in Austin. She had had chemotherapy in late May and now had the dreaded “neuprogenic” fever. Her white blood cell count was 0.00. She nearly died on June 2nd from dehydration and again on June 11th before the correct medication was administered.

Journey Home
Humans: on a journey home.
It begins somewhere beyond the stars.
Fill your cup with the juice of life
for the return trip home.
The Gods are very thirsty.

Lana had a long and difficult struggle with the medical system. Lana and Joe were denied some coverage and treatment at times. Joe could always use more help financially. If you can help, please enclose a note saying "Please deposit to the Lana Thompson Medical Fund" and mail checks to:

National Bank & Trust
P. O. Box 310
La Grange, TX 78945

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Charcoal Drawing Daydreaming Nude Woman

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Back in January my friend Dana and I hired a model that I knew to pose for us. Jessica is a Sicilian artist based in Florence, Italy, where I met her while street painting. She has that dark, dramatic Mediterranean beauty. Over the course of several months, Dana and I drew Jessica every chance we could pin her down for a modeling session.

I took my unfinished drawing back to my studio in central Texas and finished the other, non-figurative compositional elements there. Originally I was thinking of the title “Rectangles and Circles,” but each time I looked at the drawn expression of the model, I kept thinking that I caught her lost in her own thoughts.

So, I present to you:

“Daydreaming of Yesterday”
Charcoal with Pastel
Roma-brand Italian paper
46 x 64 cm (approx. 18” x 25”)

“Happy Thanksgiving” to all Americans and their friends and anyone else who appreciates the idea of gratitude. Be well.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Diverse Art Austin Texas

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I write as I am preparing for the last weekend of E.A.S.T. (East Austin Studio Tour). I am a guest artist at Schoen Sculpture Studio, 1406 Smith Road, Austin, Texas. And I have the coolest artists in my building, including one working with holograms, another with Tesla coils, glass pulling, concrete, mosaic, paintings in many media, soaps, and of course: sculpture! Join us ??

Enjoy the images of my colleagues:
Marci Robinson serves up some of Tito’s Hand-made vodka.

Nubian Queen Lola and Lisa Marie Mitchell serve up Homemade Cajun Cooking – Crawfish Etouffee and Gumbo with cornbread. All proceeds go to feeding the homeless.

Paintings by Jan Knox.

A recording studio: Sweatbox exhibiting works by their clients

RC Hot Glass with guest artists on exhibit

Flo Vazquez with one of her glass bowls (East by Southeast Studios)

Visitor Kimberly Watson-Hemphill pulls on the gooey glass while RC Hot Glass staff member Morgan Graff supports the glass on a metal rod.

Love these scissors! I must say that I am not crazy about the lack of safety gear during this project. Guests are given glasses, but . . . maybe I am just too cautious, but I would be wearing more and require others to do so as well.

Holograms by Sally Weber

And Craig Newswanger (right) shows off a Tesla coil recently used by the Austin-based, but world-traveled band ArcAttack in a free concert at the Smith Road Art Complex.

ArcAttack then gave a free concert last Wednesday evening in front of the UT (Univ. of Texas) Tower. Very cool, I wish that my photo could convey the atmosphere. Hanging out with physics people can be quite fun!

Per the catalog, here is a list of artists at the Smith Road address (in catalog order):
Glenda Kronke – kiln-formed glass sculpture
Flo Vazquez – kiln-formed glass
Ruth Heffron – oil painting
Rebecca Cole – RC Hot Glass
Craig Newswanger – Resonance Studio (computer controlled music)
Sally Weber – holography, photography, light and sound
Germaine Keller – conceptual art
Gladys Poorte – painting
Jim Sipowicz – photography and art printing
Judy Jensen – reverse painting and drawing on glass
Rino Pizzi – metal sculpture
Faith Schexmayder – foam sculpture, mosaics, fabricating
Lisa Linbrugger – jewelry design and metalsmithing
(Beth) Schoen Sculpture Studio – portrait sculpture and classes
Rebecca Bennett – abstract ethereal oil painting
House 11 Studio – concrete
Suzanne Stewart – oil painting
Valerie Walden – original interpretive oil and pastel paintings of nature
Etsy Austin – collaboration of artists utilizing various mediums
Kelly Borsheim – figurative stone carving, bronze, paintings, and drawings
Jan Knox – paintings, acrylic, collage
Nepenthe’s Bathtime – artisan soap and bath products
Kreeger Pottery – ceramics

And this is only one location of E.A.S.T. !
Will you not join us all this Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm each day. (Ok, you may visit only part of that time, if you wish ;-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Faith Schexmayder Flatfork Studio

Faith Schexmayder Flatfork Studio

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I was attempting to have only one blog post to show you the wide variety of art that is in the building that I am exhibiting in during East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T.). However, my new friend Faith Schexmayder is doing something too cool to have only one photo about. Faith is the artist behind Flatfork Studio and is a staple (read also landlady) at 1406 Smith Road in Austin, Texas.

Faith created mosaic quilts among other sculptures. I am including some images I asked her if I could take of her display during E.A.S.T. In an effort to simplify a rather involved process, let me sum it up by saying that she starts her sculptures with an armature of foam, sometimes supported with metal (see the dog later). She has to cut the foam much smaller to account for the thickness of the materials she will add to the art.

Then she starts to apply the cement and mosaic tile pieces. When satisfied, she will then grout the mosaic. So, this constructed quilt on a bench that you see here is truly a unique work of art!

Faith also created this whirling composition in paintbrushes. There are uses for almost anything in the hands of a fertile imagination!

Come check out the art of Faith Schexmayder this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm both days. And say hello to me too, I will be up near the front of Faith’s building. And artists – she is renting additional spaces to more cool people.

E.A.S.T. - East Austin Studio Tour (Texas)
1406 Smith Road, Suite E
Austin, Texas 78721
Tel. 512.389.5000
Web site: