Every now and then it’s a good idea for artists to look to each other for inspiration. Viewing art on-line is one thing, but going to a show and seeing art up close and personal is quite another. Appreciating texture, examining brushwork, pondering substrate solutions, taking in new and unique mediums.
I had the sincere pleasure of taking a few days off and heading to visit my dear friend Mary in Indian Rocks Beach this past weekend. Mary and I met through art, she and her friend Brenda road tripped all the way from IRB to Jacksonville, FL to see my Noah’s Ark Exhibit some years ago. She invited me to teach my Paper Paintings Collage Workshop at the Beach Art Center and then to join her in taking Dreama’s oil painting workshop there.
We go way back and we have lots in common.
So much in common that when Mary informed her husband Dick that we were going to dinner with Debbie and her husband Mike, Dick said “I’m not going if I’m going to be the only man there, and if you are only going to talk about art for two hours.” Mary and I gave each other the look and she told Dick “You won’t be the only man there, you can talk to Mike. And what else IS there to talk about?”
I get it. We laughed. I have the best Art Friends.
Dunedin Art Center
Mary wanted to take me to the Miniature Exhibit at Dunedin. We drove over there with much anticipation of the teeny tiny realistic work. So teeny tiny that there were big old magnifying glasses hanging next to each display. I had never seen such an exhibit, it was truly mesmerizing. Mary and I looked carefully at each piece and enjoyed a few artists demonstrating how they paint with a single hair brush under a magnifying glass. Mary and I agreed that we would have to be sedated to accomplish such a task.
And then the paper in an adjoining purple room caught my eye.
Rick Entel’s Cardboard Menagerie was an exhibit that excited my senses and made me ooh and aaah. Just Wow. Entel’s whimsical work gives broken stringed instruments a new sense of purpose and a new voice. These geodesic, intricate sculptures are an imaginative and ingenious fusion of discarded cardboard, paper with type and text, and stringed instrument parts and pieces transformed into a menagerie of soulful animals.
The paper, type, text, and violin parts made my heart sing.
I immediately looked up Rich Entel. Rich Entel, M.D. of Portland, Maine, was selected for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony. His work has been included in a Portland Museum of Art Biennial. He is an alumnus of Dartmouth College and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. He grew up in Dunedin, FL.
Next Stop, Temple Beth-El
The next morning Debbie and Suzy joined us for a trip to the very well attended 43rd Annual Art Beth-El. I had met Debbie in Dreama’s workshop, Suzy was a new friend. You see? Every now and then you have to get OUT of your studio and meet some new people, be inspired. What a wonderful and diverse display of art they had at this festival. There were a few artists I know personally, from Orlando represented. There were a few artists Mary knew personally from Indian Rocks Beach represented, who she introduced me to. There was not only visual art, but sculpture, glass, jewelry, and student art.
Tomorrow is Cheries’s birthday and I’m making the trek to Vero Beach to spend the day. I bought her a stained glass heart (top left) for her bedroom window. I thought it would add some color and light that she could appreciate, and to remind her that I love her. I was dazzled by the color of the glass and spent a lot of time looking. I suspected this would be a birthday gift that might make Cherie happy.
What makes me happy, is seeing student work included with professional work at such a well attended event. Pinellas County High School Students had an amazing exhibit of imaginative and talented work that was just as crowded as the rest of the artists’ space. Mya Nowicki had some amazing dresses of paper, bubble wrap, glass and magazines.
You know how I feel about art and fashion.
I fell in LOVE with Speed Dial by Mallory Lundquist. I looked up Gibbs High School, found the email for her art teacher, emailed him about her work and asked him if she would sell it (the student exhibit was not for facilitating sales). He told me she needed the work for her Senior thesis, She emailed me and told me it was committed to a year of exhibits.
I told her I could wait, albeit impatiently.
I’ve got a year to make room on my wall. Thank you Mallory! Not only am I thrilled with the sculpture (I absolutely adore the spiral cord curly hair, and I can relate to land lines) but more so I am thrilled with the idea of inspiring and supporting an emerging artist and student who has been been accepted to the Art School of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston! She was awarded a presidential scholarship of $14,000 annually and shared with me that she is now hunting for ways of paying off the rest.
Your Inspiration Inspiring Others
Mary has a great little home studio, I love her space. Her and Dick sold their house in Ohio recently and Mary had to downsize. She managed to donate a lot of her supplies to a school that could use it. She donated some things to the Beach Art Center, and then she and Dick found ways to store the rest in her extra bedroom studio. There is something wonderful about being able to work from home isn’t there? The commute is great and you can paint in your PJs.
Mary inspires me because she creates a huge amount of work in her cozy space. She has the perfect setup, an easel next to the north light window, a computer with a big oversized monitor, and great storage shelving. Oh! And they removed the carpet and painted the concrete floor. THAT’s the best–not having to worry about the floor.
The paint covered PJs are easy to deal with.
Thank you for being
a part of my