Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown

It's two days before Thanksgiving, and I have wild turkeys asking to come into my backyard. I was told that turkeys are very smart birds. This is not smart! They might as well just ask if they can hop into my oven. Go away you crazy birds, play hard to get, will ya?

I look out to the garden, and there are three more!

And a final glance shows me the whole gang is here. How can I eat these beautiful big guys? I'm changing the menu to macaroni and cheese. Perhaps that was their plan. Perhaps they're not as dumb as I thought!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And the Winner Is....

Minnesota Medicine Magazine Cover, July 2008


I can't resist posting this, although I posted it last year after completing the collage. I was just notified that this cover that I did for the publication Minnesota Medicine Magazine won a Silver Award for Best Single Cover for Associations in the Minnesota Magazine & Publication Awards ceremony last week. Yee haw! Am I happy? Yes, I am happy!

P.S. The doctor's bag is painted and the physician is a compilation of various magazine and vintage photo fragments all pieced together to form one figure. The theme was an announcement of the winners of the annual writing contest for physicians, hence all those words flying out of the bag.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How I Survived My Open Studio Event-Part 2

I pulled into the parking lot, and who should I see but Heinz Brummel photographing his latest creations. Yurts. If you don't know what a yurt is, that is understandable, but if you don't know who Heinz Brummel is, where have you been? Heinz is a legend in Minneapolis for just being Heinz (too many zany stories for here) and his extraordinary contemporary jewelry is not only sought after by collectors but exhibited internationally in galleries and museums. But now Heinz is into yurts, and you should be too. You don't have to go to Mongolia to appreciate the yurt, you can go camping on the weekend or have a cozy place ready your mother-in-law's next visit. Really - with a wood-burning stove in the center, these well-crafted portable structures are very cozy! You can find the whole story of Heinz's new passion here: www.harlankhanyurts.com. And if you want to be bowled over by beautiful jewelry, step this way: www.heinzbrummel.com.

Next I spied Cathy and Steve in the Magic Bus Cafe. This is the first year that the purple bus (a 1978 ex-school bus) has joined the art festival, and what a great addition it proved to be. It was parked by the entrance to the building, and was busy the entire three days reviving weary art buyers who needed a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.

It is the brainchild of Chrissy and Cathy Lockyear, two sisters (can ya tell???) and Cathy's husband Chris, all who who share a love of cooking and catering. Their experience and enthusiasm were evident in the delicious healthy food - hot dogs with no nitrates, vegetarian & organic choices, and a menu with enticing names: "psychedelic relish", "magic chili dog" and "grateful dog" to name a few. Wouldn't this entertaining bus complete with charming hostesses be a great addition for your next family reunion? Check out their website: www.magicbuscafe.com.

Here's where Cathy treated me to a steaming hot French Roast Coffee.

Here's where Cathy spilled the entire cup of steaming hot French Roast Coffee.

We're almost to the door, you can see my paintings on the hallway walls....

We're in! And here is Cathy (guest artist for this year, I forgot to mention this but I thought you knew) taking one last look before we officially open. Her intricate mosaics are witty and poignant and filled with soul. I kept finding new details all weekend long, as did our visitors. Check out her website: www.mambo2mosaic.com for a closer look at an ancient art form gone contemporary.

Renee is doing some last minute arrangements here, she arrived only minutes before we did. Her business, bettyscagnetti, features one of a kind clothing and accessories, some of which are her original creations, some she refashions, and all of it has been adopted by a huge fan base that grows every year. You can see more of her playful fashions at www.bettyscagnetti.com.

The three days were filled with visitors, sales and sunny days, an extraordinary combination for a November weekend! Thank you to all who came, you made it all worthwhile!

Monday, November 9, 2009

How I Survived My Open Studio Event

I was driving to my studio on Saturday morning, heading for the annual Art Attack Open Studios event, in which I was participating. I was late of course, eating my lunch because I knew I wouldn't have time once I got there, when I had the idea that it would be fun to document the event. So I took out my camera and began shooting "landmarks" along the way to the studio. I became one of those idiots that I loath, mindless jerks who text and apply mascara and search for a book in the back seat while driving their car. Only I was holding a camera in one hand, a chicken sandwich in my other hand, and the steering wheel in my third hand. (?) Hold onto your hats, I'm exiting the freeway.

I drove over the Mississipi River, which contrary to a non-resident's usual assumption, does not divide Minneapolis from St. Paul. It actually snakes around and through the town of Minneapolis. Look at this gorgeous brewery sign - it's for sale. It's been a fixture here for over 60 years, and used to light up the night skyline until its owner went bankrupt and couldn't pay the light bill. It can be yours for few 100 thousand dollars. If I had the money I'd install it in my picture window, even though it must be 10 stories high. An article about it is here.

After I crossed the river, I drove by Nye's Polonaise Room. Oh, how we all adore Nye's - it's the first place we take our visitors. It's been entertaining locals since 1949, and several years ago, Esquire magazine named it Best Bar in America. The piano bar is the domain of Sweet Lou Snider who has been filling requests with undiminished good humor for over 40 years. When asked when was she going to retire, she replied, "When I'm dead". The side room hosts The Most Dangerous Polka Band every Friday and Saturday night, and the large banquet room is always filled with every day diners as well as large parties who are recuperating from every event from weddings to funerals. Even their website is entertaining (be forewarned, it opens with music): Nyespolonaise.com.
And the Esquire article is here: here

OK, so now I'm turning the corner to pull into the parking lot of the building, and what do I see but this classy oh so professional sign. It says, "BARGAINS GALORE".

Here's the main entrance, and I see that the place is already hopping with visitors! Yay!

Here I am. So tomorrow, Part 2, with some very interesting folks I'd like you to meet!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Art Attack

Yes, it's that time of year. My glorious studio building, filled with over 200 crazy talented artists (we're one BIG family), will be open this weekend with everyone sharing their wares with the public. It's Fall and Northrup King Complex celebrates with Art Attack!

Potters, tile makers, painters, sculptors, musicians, photographers, jewelers, print makers, and textile designers - you'll have lots of eye candy and inspiration to brighten your day, complete with lots of free parking!

I'm in Studio 350, which I share with bettyscagnetti, a unique shop of re-fashioned garments and accessories all embellished with playful finishing touches.

This year our guest artist is Cathy Young, who will be showcasing her gorgeous and well, quite frankly, mind-boggling mosaic pieces. Carefully crafted from broken tiles, pottery bits, beads and paper, these complex constructions have to be seen to be believed, and you can get a sneak preview here.

Hey, c'mon down!!!!

Friday, November 6 – 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 7 – Noon to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 8 – Noon to 5:00 p.m.

P.S. If you'd like directions, or more information about the event, visit the building's website: NorthrupKingBuilding.com