Friday, January 30, 2009

HotArt in Hotlanta: SUNDAY

On Sunday morning, I packed and we straightened the house. While we read the paper and perused the brochures collected over the weekend, we talked. Conversation over good coffee and a blue jug of daffodils quickly becomes more than just chit-chat and so, we touched on life at our decades, focused on what is really important to happiness and wondered how to grab more of every day. We were glad we had not succumbed to the temptation to fill the time with one more gallery. Kembra had opened her home to her high school buddy and, with great graciousness, welcomed two strangers as well. Her straight forward approach to life was a great foil for our artists' conversations.

Soon it was my time to leave. Kembra and Linda dropped me at the bus station. They returned to the little comfortable house and I traveled home. I was happy to see the little ones and my daughters; but, oh, so glad for this very special time to see, absorb, discuss and enjoy HotArt in Hotlanta.

And so ended Sunday. . . .

BushStrokes (c) AAB

HotArt in Hotlanta: SATURDAY

Appointments for Kembra and Karen meant our schedule started early -- and in three vehicles! We arrived at the busy Buckhead neighborhood which houses the Lagerquist Gallery and could feel the creative energy as we rode past. Even on a Saturday morning, there was a buzz on the street of former homes now converted to interesting businesses, shops and restaurants.

As is the custom at Lagerquist, the door was opened for us and we were greeted and made welcome. Our friend Karen (Jacobs) has been represented by Evelyn Lagerquist and Kay Lagerquist Bragg for a number of years and it was her show which we had come to see. Her work was mostly in the front gallery, the large canvases filling the walls.

Linda, Kembra and I wandered through the three story space, noted the lovely garden views out the windows and spotted more of Karen's paintings while she handled a little business with her gallery team concerning inventory and sales. Karen's work is among the best and we could have stayed quite a while looking at each piece: studying compositions, surface textures and color subtleties; but after a photo op, we were off for more adventure.

We located the Trinity Gallery which is now The Alan Avery Art Company and were overwhelmed by what we found -- as we had been yesterday at the new Lowe Gallery and which I forgot to mention. The staff was busy, yet warm and welcoming. They knew we had come to look and also knew that we were probably not buyers (they were quick!) The contemporary feel to the space was enhanced by excellent work in many genres. And the room of exquisite sculptures by Frederick West was breathtaking. They told us not to miss the ArtHouse and to look for the Chuck Close and Robert Rauschenberg paintings and the large collection of West sculptures.

We lunched VERY well at BRIO to celebrate Karen's show. Kembra departed for her appointment as we said our good byes to Karen who was driving back to Birmingham to prepare for her upcoming retrospective. Linda and I headed for the ArtHouse with our tickets in hand. We had learned that there were more than enough rooms for the 28 members of the Atlanta Gallery Association to have a space, so we were excited about seeing what each one considered their best.

As we crossed the lawn to the "Pink House," the tall trees swayed gently and the sounds of fabulous piano music floated on the breeze. The house itself deserves its own visit (not the decorator show house kind) with its beautiful windows and open spaces; its painted walls and contemporary bathrooms and its wine cellar which is fit for any soireƩ. But to see a Warhol sketch next to a bathroom and the Rauschenberg in the breakfast room slows the step and stops the eye.

Tew Galleries' Corky Davis was in the house for the afternoon and continued to pop up in the rooms we were viewing. At one point, he found us excitedly taking pictures of the room where we had found one of Karen's paintings! It was in small suite with a large arch connecting the bedroom and an adjoining the bath (with a sunken tub and a fireplace) which opened onto a rooftop terrace. It was a perfect place for the long narrow painting.

At the top of the house, we decided we could just stay: there was a marvelous studio with kiln and excellent pottery and skylights with spaces for easels and long, lovely tables and benches for projects in the works and . . . and . . . . A kitchen and a perfect little suite of rooms truly made it an artist's hideaway. Finally, we wandered back through our favorite spaces and listened to the music once more. It was time to leave.

Linda and I then took some time to stroll through shops in the tiny square in Decatur before heading back to home base and a supper of odds and ends. We talked a little about our collaboration for a future show, wondered how we might pull it off with the miles between us and finished the evening with random conversation about what we had seen.

And so ended Saturday. . . .

Evelyn and Karen @ Lagerquist
Close-up of Karen's painting at ArtHouse
2 views of the Suite at Art House showing Karen's painting near the carved armoire

BushStrokes (c) AAB

HotArt in Hotlanta: FRIDAY

The Friday schedule was carefully mapped out to give us time for some of our favorite galleries. Karen's i-Phone GPS managed to get us exactly where we needed to be.

First stop was TEW Galleries
where we always love, love, love most of the work. This time for me, it was Sarah Wolfe's figures -- exquisitely simple in its complexity, her work has a poignancy not often seen. And there, sales director Corky Davis was so enthusiastic about the Atlanta Gallery Association's ArtHouse that Linda and I bought our tickets for the next day.

Then, on to the Bennett Street Galleries and Tula Art Center. There's always something interesting here, but this year, many of the studio/galleries had closed and others looked a little stressed. Even so, we found most artists and gallery staff to be upbeat and friendly. The presence of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) in the old Lowe Gallery space is sure to make a difference.

I was delighted that we did not miss the Lamar Dodd show which closed after the weekend. As a student at LaGrange College in Georgia, I knew his home, his hometown and his connection to the College. My paintings hung as the last alumni art exhibit in the old campus gallery before the opening of the Art Centernamed for him. At MOCA GA (whose Founder and President/CEO Annette Cone-Skeleton is also a LaGrange College graduate), a small retrospective of his enormous body of work, from more than 70 years, gave us a sense of his abilities.

I was goose-bumpy when I recognized a few of the pieces from his "Heart Surgery Series;" I had seen that amazing show some years back. And I enjoyed seeing one of granddaughter Lucy's favorites, "Bargain Basement" on loan from the collection of the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta.

Lamar Dodd's influence on artists and the people of Georgia has spread even to those not in his Art Department at the University of Georgia.
Director Emeritus of The High Museum of Art, Gudmund Vigtel curated the show and his excellent essay in the catalog sums it up:
". . . his (Dodd's) persistent search for integrity in art . . . enlightened the minds of Georgians at a time when there was little opportunity to know and understand the meaning of art."

Lunch at Sunflower and a few galleries later which included Thomas Dean, Mason Maurer, Anne Hathaway, Anne Irwin and Bennett Street, we were ready for a break, so we headed to the house and put our feet up. Soon, we were ready to tackle the Castleberry Hill ArtStroll.

In a seedy, rundown area of town, Castleberry Hill Art District offers some fine art, some fine food, some fine loft apartments with fine prices. From experimental to high end, we discovered that no gallery should be missed. I particularly liked Marcia Wood
, Meg Aubrey's work at Gallery Stokes and the paintings and the fabulous space of Besharat Gallery where glass stairs played tricks with my vertigo.
The evening ended with pajamas and late night conversations and a view of the garden.

"How is it possible to absorb a day of such images?"
"How does what one see affect thought processes, direction in the studio and artists' relationships?"
. . . ."

And so ended Friday....

iPhone Photos:
--Atlanta Trees
--Lamar Dodd, (details) 2 Heart Surgery paintings

--View from Resting Place

BushStrokes (c) AAB

HotArt in Hotlanta: THURSDAY

Last year, Karen and I visited Linda in Central Florida where we were joined by Kaye and Martha on various days for a whirlwind tour from Orlando to Gainesville and Ocala, from Tampa to Daytona and New Smyna Beach. What a treasure of impressions and interactions during that week!

This time, Linda initiated the trip to Atlanta to coincide with the Karen's gallery show and the Castleberry Hill Art Walk. Linda's friend, Kembra, offered her house and e-mailed a map. I put it on my calendar and checked the bus schedule.

Karen collected me from Greyhound and we headed north to Atlantic Station: I wanted to see the big green watery figures; she wanted to stop at IKEA. Later, we joined Linda and strolled through downtown Decatur with plans to come back for dinner and a stop at the DeKalb Farmer's Market. (DFM) Settling in at Kembra's, we snacked on a variety of breads, cheeses, fruits and wine from Trader Joe's and filled the kitchen with conversation.

Suddenly we realized that it was late and a quick trip to the DFM for breakfast goodies was in order. What a wonderful place to shop!

A genuine international market with marvelous images. (My apologies to the DFM for taking photos. My excuse for not seeing the sign near the entry prohibiting photos was "we were hurrying before they closed. . . it was late. . . it couldn't have been the wine. . . .")

And so ended Thursday....

iPhone Photos: images from not to be missed Dekalb Farmer's Market

BushStrokes (c) AAB

Thursday, January 29, 2009

HotArt in Hotlanta: Filling in Some Blanks

Last week, I wrote: "A full schedule is planned for Gallery hopping in Atlanta with Linda, Karen and Kembra. More when I return on Sunday."

The first part of the week sped along and even that little bit didn't get posted on Tuesday and by Thursday, I was on my way . . . . There were lots of visual impressions and some fun memories.

Now, it's Thursday again so, this week, I'll be filling in some blanks.

photo: iPhone image outside the New Lowe Gallery
BushStrokes (c) AAB

Quote of the Week: He Has Spread His Influence

I'm a secretive bastard. I would never let anybody watch me painting... it would be like somebody watching you have sex - painting is that personal to me.
(Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2009)

I did not intend to let the week go by without mentioning the loss of Andrew Wyeth. I thought this quote was a good one to consider for this week. Maybe we couldn't observe his process, but from him we have learned just how personal painting should be. We have watched his paintings for evidence of his work ethic, his abstractions, his unstated truths. And over us all he has spread his influence.

i-Phone Photo: The Old Kitchen in Late Afternoon
Quote: This and others from Wyeth at Robert Genn's excellent resource:

BushStrokes (c) AAB

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Voters

A few thoughts on Inauguration Day, elections and "my voters."
My retail manager husband always said that success starts with the way a customer is treated at the cash register. There is probably a little more to it, but I think it is the same with elections. Voter turnout has a lot to do with how the voter is treated where the vote is cast. As a precinct manager who is responsible for the satisfied voting of a few more than 2400 registered voters, I have become aware of what makes my voters leave the polling place with smiles and warm greetings. And I know that if they don't come to vote, elections don't work.

In November, when I arrived at 6 AM, to get ready for the day, there were already close to 100 lined up at the door. The number had doubled when we opened the polls at seven. Later, when someone asked if I had arranged for crowd control, I discovered a line of about 250 weaving its way through the parking lot. I asked if there was trouble; I thought maybe arguments or fighting. Oh no, I was told. "Everyone is visiting, laughing and talking. They're just in the way of cars!"

By mid-morning, our lines were down and only a few at the time waited by the door. They moved through the process quickly and, twelve hours later, fewer than 500 had passed up their chance to help make the decisions of the day. My voters come from two very different socio-economic precincts, one which is heavily Democratic and the other which is Republican. My oldest voter is a tiny little lady in her mid-90s; the youngest, just old enough to vote for the first time. Who they vote for is not my job. That they are able to vote is.

At close of polls, the decisions have been made -- the votes just need to be counted. The road to Inauguration Day begins and ends with my voters.

November Tree
My Voters -- by Rainier Ehrhardt - Augusta Chronicle - December 4, 2008

BushStrokes (c) AAB

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quote 0f the Week: What Works Best

"For me, photos as direct references tend to get in the way. . . . The photos of things I like and notice have their own importance to me -- quite separate from paintings that arise from memories or visual impressions of those things."

Rebecca Crowell
in her blog "Rebecca Crowell Art"

Looking back on the images I have selected to accompany my blog, I have noticed that, quite often, they don't seem to "match" what I'm writing; yet, put together, they make a connection for me. I understand Rebecca's statement that they tend to get in the way as direct references.

I don't want to paint a photograph or write a snapshot. I want the photograph to help me share a "memory or impression."

Sometimes I forget what works best.

Photo: The Path
BushStrokes (c) AAB

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Photo of the Week: The Mouser

Boomie looks so proud. She should probably be called Little Bunny Foo-Foo because she catches so many little field mice . . . and an occasional squirrel. Of the five cats at our house, she is The Mouser.

BushStrokes (c) AAB

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Maybe The Vision Is Enough

I have been thinking about the exhibit since we made the trip last week to the South Carolina State Museum to see Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion. Some of the machines were so familiar I had to keep reminding myself that it has taken the world five hundred years to catch up with the visions which Leonardo recorded in his notebooks with simple drawings and backwards text.

Walking through this interactive exhibit, it occurred to me that the visions did not stop with daVinci. There was never enough time for him to do the things he dreamed or explored. Since then, others along the way have had visions, too. Over the centuries, they have learned to implement the ideas, modify the designs and make his dreams reality.

And now the creation of these forty workable models from information in daVinci's notebooks has involved great vision from the teams of craftsmen, historians, and financiers. As the exhibit travels from Italy to other continents, hundreds of people from little kids to old folks will be able to touch and explore "Leonardo's Machines." How cool is that?

I'm no Leonardo, but it occurs to me that when a thought, an idea, a vision comes in my head, it's okay if I don't know how to make it happen. Maybe it's not for me to do. Maybe it's a job for someone else. Maybe I should make good notes. For now, maybe the vision is enough.

Note: The Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion exhibit is in the Lipscomb Gallery. Guy Lipscomb is a well-known SC artist who was responsible for raising a good portion of the millions needed for the State Museum. A good painter, a good friend and a visionary.

BushStrokes (c) AAB

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sometimes It's Gingerbread

A random conversation at the AT&T store last week reminded me of the age of my town and a comment from Karen Jacobs reminded me of how much I take for granted about the abundance within a two mile radius of my house.
-- President George Washington visited my high school which was located nearby in 1781!
-- My church was established in 1798.
-- Our Augusta Museum of History, Sacred Heart Cultural Center, The Morris Museum of Art, the main library, James Brown Arena, and the Ronald McDonald House are an easy walk.
-- There's always something fun to observe on the street.

Sometimes there funny ways that all of this comes together. Sometimes it's in gingerbread.

Daughter Kathryn and I decided to create a gingerbread house for the annual history museum fundraiser. Neither of us had done a REAL gingerbread house before. Neither of us knew what we were in for! The resulting entry had to represent a historic structure, be architecturally correct, be made entirely of edible materials and be no larger than 24 inches high/wide/tall.

We made several excursions around town to determine what to use. We agreed on the St. John's 1822 building -- our own church.

We had ideas; we had designs; we had ingredients and we began . . . . Days later, we made the deadline with about two minutes to spare.

We were not embarrassed about our first-time entry although it was not as polished and perfect as the professional ones. We loved hearing that it made people see new things about the architecture of the church. We learned what to do, what not to do and that we need to buy enough to replace what little fingers sneak away. Next year, we'll start earlier and build smaller.

Yes. History and art come together in strange ways. Sometimes it's gingerbread.

NOTE: Our support is gingerbread; the medium is various edible ingredients:
the cement, trim and snow are royal frosting,
windows are fruit roll-ups and crushed lifesavers,
paths are poppy seeds,
shrubbery is cornflakes/ marshmallows/ sprinkles/redhots, candies and gumdrops;
and towers are ice cream cones and striped Kisses.

BushStrokes (c) AAB

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Wish I Made Paintings Like That

Jim said, "It was a difficult concert."

I agreed.

I had watched the hands and feet moving across the keyboards and pedals as if the organist were weightless. The discordant notes of Locklair's The Aeolian Sonata handled with power and confidence. Ragtime by Diemer which was written for pedals only was teased by the feet. The Bach Toccata was danced through with grace. The three parts of Larsen's Aspects of Glory were strange, yet joyous, and . . . .

"Yes." I agreed. "It WAS a difficult concert.

Then, Jim said. "We usually have only one or two difficult pieces on a program. We're not used to this."

AH. I understood. This was a difficult program for the AUDIENCE. Again. I agreed.

W. David Lynch had had a great time in his performance while we struggled to listen. Indeed, he had said, "This was probably more fun for me than for you!" He did not play down to his notion of who the audience might be in this series of free concerts where his former student is the Music Director. He played what he knew and loved! For many of us, it was "Wow! I didn't understand some of it, but it was wonderful."

I wish I made paintings like that.

NOTE: W. David Lynch was presented as part of Concerts With A Cause at St. John United Methodist Church . The concerts are underwritten by donors and the Intermission offering goes to a local Cause.

Photo: Three Planes
A tickley throat and a cough meant I spent a portion of the concert in the foyer. "Three Planes" was shot with my iPhone through the glass door into the sanctuary reflecting the windows behind me and including the video screen which shows Mr. Lynch's hands.

BushStrokes (c) AAB

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quote of the Week: One Word

Get quiet and listen to your Wise Self.

Christine has once again suggested selecting one word to define one's focus for the year. I haven't settled yet on one of my own nor one from her clever list. Maybe I need one which will help me with matters of indecision. I'll think about that. Maybe I need to choose one for procrastination. Maybe I should just pay attention to today's quote and just wait for my One Word.

Christine's lists of words are here:

Today's photo:

BushStrokes (c) AAB

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Photos of the Week: Time To Get Things Done

Daughter Susan just showed me these photos which she took on Christmas morning.

I think they might explain why our house decor this year included a Charlie Brown tree and Kohlmeyer-inspired Medusa snowflakes and why there never seems to be enough time "to get things done."

Medusa snowflakes & Charlie Brown tree


BushStrokes (c) AAB

Friday, January 09, 2009

Lessons from Lucy: Seeing Paintings

Thursday was Toddler Time at The Morris Museum.

The children talked about landscapes and looked at paintings of nature and then went to the activities room to create their own art. During these times, Lucy has painted a still-life of found objects, a texture rubbing, a Medusa snake (after Ida Kohlmeyer's Medusa chair) and, this week, a pet rock -- rocks are in nature, you know.

She loves the quiet of the museum and seeing the pictures. Since before she was two, she and I have had museum days.

Seeing paintings with Lucy makes a difference in seeing paintings.

photo: Toddler Time
BushStrokes (c) AAB

A Plan I Can LOVE!

I have been reading all the weight loss articles. Isn't that what you are supposed to do in January? (Although, reading about food does not seem to be conducive to weight loss.)

I have put together my own fitness plan.

1. I can eat anything I want -- just half as much.
2. I get to take long, lovely walks everyday.
3. I am allowed to do something everyday to remove stress.

Diet, exercise, stress-relievers. I don't think so. I'm going for small amounts of great food, long walks in the neighborhood, and my one-hour ME TiME.

It's a plan I can LOVE!

Photo: Lucy and Belle
BushStrokes (c) AAB

Thursday, January 08, 2009


There's a funny thing about a "Quote of the Week."

Sometimes it's forgotten before the day is over; other times it's still around week later.

I had made note of "So -- where has the day gone? Who took it?" when I first previewed Danny Gregory's little book, "Me TiME." "Good quote," I thought.

I read that he decided to get up one hour earlier each morning to have an hour just for himself. "Good idea," I thought.

And then, it began to play with MY days and I began to wonder about my TIME. Hum . . .

What happened to the hours which used to be filled with painting and sketching and art activities? I keep forgetting that there are three new people, an extra cat and a dog in the household now . . . . And that two of those are my grandchildren.

Who has stolen the minutes from my day which were set aside for blog writing and editing photos? Did the days just get shorter or wasted? Maybe I just need to be better organized . . . . a priorities list, a task timer, a(nother) little notebook, a creative coach . . . .

Why haven't there been in any blog entries in months, or new paintings, or completed illustration projects, or weeded flower beds, or daily walks, or . . . ? Maybe the day wasn't stolen. Maybe it was substituted. Maybe it's reading little books in my morning chair or dancing around the dining room table to CDs of silly songs or exploring the grocery store with the letter of the week or finding leaves with patterns and colors or pushing dolls in painted strollers . . . .

So, I decided to look at my days and guard the door to my minutes. I decided to try Danny's one hour earlier scheme every morning -- well, almost every morning.

I'm going to create some "Me Time." Maybe I'll blog about it.

photo: Barkley and Baby guard the door.
BushStrokes (c) AAB

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Just a Tiny Little Epiphany

Lucy and I often stop by our Sacred Heart Cultural Center where she has to visit the gift shop and stop in the Great Hall. In spite of exploring with a three year old, who likes to sing "Oh, My Darling, Clementine" from the altar stage, I am always awed by the illumination in this former sanctuary.

On our last visit, a singular beam of light soared through high back windows and lit just one of the angels among the sculptures on the altar: she glowed from within; she suddenly seemed to be a divine being; she was frightening. We thought the shepherds near Bethlehem might have felt the same way we did when the angels appeared to them on Christmas Eve.

Yesterday marked the end of The Twelve Days of Christmas. For me, it has been twelve days of family, quiet times, comfort foods and joy. It has been a time to enjoy the Promise of Christmas and to think about new directions for 2009 -- resolutions, goals, the diet.

Today marks The Epiphany. It is a day in Christianity when "God created man in his own image" (Genesis 1: 27) and the Light of the Christ was revealed in a small corner of the world. For some, Epiphany represents the Visit of the Magi who followed the light of the Star and then returned home to tell their strange story of the Birth of the Son of God. For others, it is the Celebration of the Baptism of Jesus and the beginning of his ministry to the people of the World. For all of us, it is a day of illuminating discovery, a day for perception and understanding, a day for changing lives.

So, today I am waiting for the power of The Epiphany to inform my path. I don't expect a frightening divine being, a blinding light or a chorus of angels. I think just a tiny little epiphany will do. . . a little revelation, a little acceptance, a little courage.

BushStrokes (c) AAB

Monday, January 05, 2009

Quote of the Week - It's About Time

SO -- where has the day gone? Who took it?
Danny Gregory in Me Time

Danny Gregory has taken charge of his Everyday Matters after five years of blogging. I think I'll follow his new focus and new directions . . . or maybe just review some of his old wisdom . . . .

BushStrokes (c) AAB