Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Studio at the Brewery!

After a short stay in our current space, my studiomate, Yvonne Beatty, and I have found a studio that will better suit our purposes. So, on February 1st, we're excited to be relocating to 660 South Avenue 21, #3! Below are photos and a map, but what you can't see is that the studio has central air and heat! This will make such a difference in our comfort, as well as that of our friends and guests during Art Walks and tours. Hope you'll be our guest sometime, too!

The entrance, plus some useful storage cabinets.

There are two other day studio artists in the two upstairs rooms.
This shows the doorway to the live/work studio of the artist who
rents her lovely extra space to all of us. 

We'll be adding a 6' x 6' freestanding wall in front of
this side of the stairs to provide more hanging space. 

And we'll have additional track lighting installed when we move in.

The next Brewery Art Walk will be in the spring. Come visit us!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Turkey Platter Museum

Friend and studiomate Yvonne Beatty and I went to "The Turkey Platter Museum" last weekend! The exhibit at Red Pipe Gallery in Chinatown showcases only part of Helen Gleason's huge collection which she has been assembling from antique stores, yard sales, and cross-country shopping trips for over forty years. Helen, who was delighted by the show, is the mother of Mat Gleason, Los Angeles gallerist/curator/publisher. The exhibit is great fun to see, and is a fine way to celebrate the holiday season. Show is up through January 4, 2015. (These photos were shamelessly lifted from Rouzanna Berberian's Facebook album -- thanks!)

With Yvonne Beatty

The walls were filled with platters!

Helen Gleason wore a fabulous turkey brooch and earrings,
and her shirt was embroidered, naturally, with turkeys!

Mat Gleason

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Guest on Experience Talks 11/29: Bruce Gray

I'm taking advantage of my hosting duties for the public radio show, "Experience Talks," to interview an artist whose work I greatly enjoy: Bruce Gray. Bruce makes kinetic art, rolling ball machines, mobiles, giant objects, abstract paintings, magnetic sculptures, functional art, modern metal sculptures, and more. His work has been featured at many museums, art galleries, in over 36 books, and countless times on TV and in movies. I'm particularly fond of his robots, his magnetic sculptures, and, yep, a giant wedge of Swiss cheese! Visit Bruce's website, and read his blog, The Steel Whisperer. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter. Listen to his interview on KPFK-FM at 8 AMPT on Saturday, November 29th. You can also hear it later on the Experience Talks website's Listen Page. Here are some examples of Bruce's wonderful work.

Bruce with his Giant Robots.

"The Big Cheese"- welded aluminum, 25" x 29" x 43"

Slightly oversized motorcycle made of steel found objects

"Friends of Mine" Wall Sculpture 49" x 40" x 4"

With Rebecca de Mornay who took welding lessons for a film,
and "High Heel Shoe #4."

"Suspension" 40" x 39" x 16"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Making of My BOTart Painted Wine Barrel

Before we get too far away from the event -- and the experience -- I want to document the process of making my BOTart painted wine barrel for the WestEDGE Design Fair in Santa Monica, October 16th - 19th at the Barker Hangar.

The idea of creating a collection of contemporary artistic creations on wooden barrels was created by the 300-year-old Can Ribas Winery in 2008 in Mallorca, Spain, under the sponsorship of the Minister of Culture of Spain and the Presidency and Insular Council of the Balearic Islands. The current collection of 90 Barrels is the world’s first and largest Barrel Art Collection. It has been exhibited in well-known European wine regions including Munich and Berlin, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; Zurich, Switzerland; and Madrid and Mallorca, Spain. The exhibition made its transcontinental debut last year at Carmel Mission in the beautiful wine region of Carmel, California, with a specially commissioned, Blessed Stained Glass Barrel Artifact created by the famous Judson Studios and artist Andre Miripolsky in honor of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Father Junipero Serra. Father Serra was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja, CA, and the first nine of twenty-one Spanish missions in California, ranging from San Diego to San Francisco.

Fifteen artists were invited to join the collection and participate in the WestEDGE BOTART show, the first time a BOTART collection was ever displayed in the U.S.  I was delighted to be included!

My art studio at The Brewery has no air conditioning and the temperatures were still hovering around 100 degrees, so I opted to paint the barrel at home. Working at home also would be much more convenient than having to drive to and from the studio daily. The barrel was delivered on September 27th, right to our dining table. And it was huge! I had only two weeks to figure out a design, then get it painted and dry enough to be picked up for transport to the show in Santa Monica that was scheduled to open on the 16th of October.

The first job was to scrape and sand all of the dull, wax-like coating off the metal hoops. I hired help to do this job because it's very hard on the hands -- too hard for me. It took several hours, but the hoops looked nice and shiny. I covered them with tape to protect them, then painted the barrel black.

My plan was to make a much larger, slightly altered version of one of my Geometrix digital drawings. (You can see examples here on my website.) I liked the idea of overlaying angular shapes with black, straight-lined borders on top of the curvy barrel form. So I taped off sections and painted them bright colors, planning to remove the tape and leave crisp, black dividing lines. ~ There's no picture of this step because it looked awful! The colors were not opaque enough to cover the black, even with multiple coats. The sections seemed too large. The barrel felt massively heavy (well, it did weigh about 140 pounds, but I mean that the design itself felt heavy). I knew I'd have to change the base color to white to make anything work. That was going to be a major job and there was limited time to do it. I was in despair.

But, I had to rise to the occasion, so I changed the base color to white. It took four coats of primer, followed by two coats of white paint, with hours of drying time in between. I liked the idea of the black lines, so I left them taped. But the big breakthrough was that I found a song! Most of my artwork is inspired by music and for such a large project, I realized that I needed a specific song to make it possible for me to visualize how to approach it. Painting the barrel white made it seem much lighter. I also thought that, since it was a wine barrel, the design needed a light-hearted theme. That led me to New Orleans jazz, and that led me to the traditional song made famous by Professor Longhair: "Tipitina." It's just about impossible to make sense of the lyrics, but the last lines are: "We gonna hoola tralla walla malla dalla, Drink some mellow wine." Perfect, huh?

Now I had a clean, white barrel with black lines and silver hoops. I needed color, and plenty of it! I thought of confetti and Mardi Gras beads, and went to work.

It takes a long time to cover a barrel that's about three feet tall with a two foot diameter!

A very long time!

I had to tape off some of the black lines and clean up the edges. The black lines represent the streets that are filled with people on parade during Mardi Gras.

More confetti, more beads.

And still more! I wanted the slashes of color to feel like they're falling through the air, so they're kind of curvy and the paint application is streaky.

I decided that glitter paint would be perfect to enhance some of the larger dots/beads with a little texture and sparkle. The smaller dots and shapes add to the festive feeling of being right in the middle of the celebration.

The body of the barrel was done. Time to climb up and paint the top!

I knew that I wanted to use Mardi Gras beads . . .

. . .  so a shiny, metallic silver paint base seemed like the way to go. To my surprise, it took four coats of the very heavy paint, after two coats of primer!

The metal "Radoux" label was already part of the barrel. I looked it up and found that Tonnellerie Radoux is one of the world's leading wine barrel cooperages, manufacturing high-quality French, American and Eastern European Oak barrels. So I featured the label by wrapping it in some beads.

Then I added more to cover the top. Super Glue held them in place!

I think they look great!

I signed my initials using glitter paint!

The very tired artist, right after completing work around midnight on the 14th. Pick-up was scheduled for the following day.

Here's the promo photo of me that was used for the BOTart event.

At last, the big opening night!

The main display area for BOTART prominently featured the stained glass barrel designed by my friend, Andre Miripolsky, and fabricated by Judson Studios in Pasadena.

And right in the center of the main wall: Tipitina! Each of the artists was asked to provide a painting to display along with their barrel, so above it is my painting entitled, "Hot Fun in the Summertime." Zillions of little dots, a cheerful song as inspiration! It fit in with the spirit of the barrel perfectly.

What an adventure! You can see many more photos of the BOTART at WestEDGE show on my Art by Cynthia Facebook Page, including a closer look at barrels by the other artists. Thank you and thanks for following my work!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Painting a Wine Barrel for BOTART

I'm delighted to be one of only twelve artists whose work will be featured at the preview show of BOTART III, the first transcontinental BOTART exhibition. Each artist will have on display a painted wine barrel and a wall-hung work of art. WestEDGE is a four-day curated fair showcasing the best in modern design for architects, the design trade, and discerning design aficionados. Don't miss the exciting OPENING NIGHT PARTY, a special event to benefit Heal the Bay during which there will be a silent auction of the barrels. The display barrels will continue to tour for BOTART (there are several stops planned before the full show concludes in Paris) and the winning bidders will receive their own specially commissioned barrel created by the artist. On Saturday night, join the festivities at the A+D Museum party, an evening of cocktails, prizes and more. Please join me for this very exciting event! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Studio Location + Save the Dates for the Fall Brewery Art Walk

I'm moving into a new studio at The Brewery, and I'm delighted with the new space! The address is 670 S. Avenue 21, which is adjacent to the garden -- the dog park, as Brewery residents call it. Map and a photo are below. Those of you who've visited me at the Brewery will see that it's just up the driveway from my former location. I'm sharing the space with former studiomates Yvonne Beatty and Brenda Hurst. Please stop by during Art Walk and help us celebrate our new home away from home!

Save the dates:

The Brewery Art Walk is a twice-a-year open studio weekend at the world's largest artists colony. With over 100 participating resident artists, visitors will have the opportunity to discover new works, speak with the artists, and purchase artwork directly from the artists' studios. October 25th and 26th from 11 AM to 6 PM. Admission is free and so is parking. Come and support LA’s finest artists, take home some great works, and dine at the on-site restaurant or enjoy the outdoor food tents. The Brewery is where art lives. See you at the studio!

Map to the new studio:

Yvonne, me, & Brenda

Cut/Paste is closing next weekend:

Just a reminder that "Cut/Paste" closes on Saturday the 27th. Art Share L.A. is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to six, so stop by if you'd like to see this excellent show. I have five drawings on display.

Friday, September 5, 2014

"Cut/Paste" Reception at Art Share L.A.

I'm so pleased to have been invited to be a part of the "Cut/Paste" small group show at Art Share LA in the heart of the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles. I enjoyed seeing all of the work and thought it was all beautifully installed (thanks, volunteers!). Thanks to the committee members who selected the artists and thanks to Executive Director Cheyanne Sauter for putting together such a great show!

The colorful building!

The show is up through the 27th. Gallery is open
Wednesday - Sunday from noon to six. Stop by!

The first five pieces on the wall are my drawings (created with
Prismacolor pens and/or color pencils).

With artist Yvonne Beatty, Art Share L.A. Executive Director
Cheyanne Sauter, and artist Andre Miripolsky.

Cool art by another artist, this one in the companion show,
"Rock. Paper. Scissors," in the gallery.

Cool art by another artist in "Cut/Paste."

Nice size crowd came to the event.

Me with artist Andre Miripolsky.

Artist Yvonne Beatty and I are in front of my drawing, "Baroque."

With my partner, John Semper Jr., in front of "Baroque." The smaller
drawing is entitled, "Artie Shaw." Both are done in Prismacolor pens.