Friday, December 10, 2010

Make It Red in Tucson and Other Adventures

Part One: Before the Opening
No, the image below isn't red nor was it part of the Make It Red exhibition. But those large cacti do reside in Tucson. Sure---we have cactus here in Texas too, but you have to admit these cacti are pretty spectacular.
Side-of-road pictures on my way back into town from Desert Museum. 

Dec. 4th, (last Saturday) was the was the reception for the Make It Red Exhibition at Conrad Wilde Gallery in Tucson.  Some of my paintings were selected for Make It Red, so while lots of folks were in Miami,  (Art Basel Miami) I decided to make the trek to Arizona. Below is the gallery.

Conrad Wilde Gallery (the one with the white sign above the window)

I arrived into Tucson mid-afternoon on Friday and with some time on my hands I was looking for something to do.  On the way to the hotel's little restaurant to get a bite to eat, I noticed a lot of activity around the entrance to the ball room. Hmm. What? A Cat Show? After my Quesadilla and margarita,  I stopped in at the ballroom  to see what a Cat Show was all about. It was the TICA Cat Show sponsored by the Coatimondi Cat Club and it was going on the whole weekend. Would cost me five bucks to get in.
This is one of the more elegant breeds of cats at the show. All were pretty spectacular.
I'm not necessarily proud of this but I have four cats of my own so I was curious.  Long story-won't bore you about how I happen to have four cats, but suffice it to say that I know my cats would hate a cat show.  However, I thought it wouldn't hurt for me to kill a bit of time learning what well behaved, beautiful cats do in a cat show.  I bought a ticket.
Stay with me just a bit longer. The Short Haired cats were interesting to look at but kind of skinny. Even skinnier and stranger were the Hairless cats. They were very pink. I thought they might be embarrassed. I would give the Sphinx cats the blue ribbon for being the strangest looking. Spinx supposedly are of Egyptian origin but I think they are really from Mars.
The Sphinx cats at the show looked stranger than this one I found on Wikipedia.

Seriously though, the cats were beautiful and exotic and they didn't seem to mind at all being handled and prodded by strangers.
Also, I am sure the Hairless and Short Hair have more exotic names than just Hairless or Short Hair.
Next day, I met up with artist Catherine Nash in her large and lovely Tucson studio. Her studio (shared with her husband, Robert Renfrow) is large enough for her to hold classes for about 10 or more students. Among other things, Catherine makes paper for her projects like handmade books, sculptural pieces or mixed media collage with Encaustic. The studio can be turned into a dark room for her husband's use.Click here to see one of Robert's and Catherine's collaborative pieces.

Catherine Nash in her Tucson studio with some of her paintings against the wall behind her.
Studio from the back of the room looking toward front door.

Paper making flats on shelf high on the wall. Her pulp beater and felts were in a large closet for when she needs it.

One of Catherine's paintings and sorry, Catherine for the blurry photo and not remembering the title.

Catherine is a collector of things, many of which wind up in her paintings, assemblages or collages. She had many treasures tucked on shelves and in boxes all around the studio.

Boxes holding some of Catherine's collections.
I was curious about how she develops her ideas when combining found objects in her Encaustic paintings. She told me she works with a print makers sensibility in initial stages of developing ideas, having done print making for many years.  The sketchbook image in the picture below is a demo for one the classes she teaches.
Part II: Make It Red

Visiting the gallery was next. The shot below was taken earlier in the day on Saturday. As you can see,
all the lights haven't been turned on. My photo suffered a bit from that. Here is am near the back of the gallery looking toward the street. My monotypes, Queen's Cape I and II are on the half wall in front of the window. Mari Marks four paintings are next. My painting, Tan My Hide is next then Margaret Suchland's paintings.
Inside Conrad Wilde Gallery-Make It Red Exhibition
One of Mari Mark's paintings-Spectrum Series

Paintings by Mari Marks
Above and below: Paintings by Margaret Suchland.

Beata Wehr had three pieces in this exhibition. Two pieces were books. Below is one of Beata Wehr's books. The red metal box holds the book. Book pages are made from pieces of linen Beata purchased in Poland. The lightly primed linen has been torn to shape and stitched to make a codex type book. Pages are decorated with found rusty metal objects that have been stitched onto them. Beata said she finds these objects all over.

Red Toolbox Story, Beata Wehr

Beata's Encaustic painting
A Very Long Story by Beata Wehr

Left: A Story Line, Gwendolyn Plunkett, Encaustic and oil bar on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Guston,  Elizabeth Sheppell, Oil on Panel, 48 x 48 inches
There was a good crowd at the reception. Artists in attendance besides me were David Clark who flew in from Palm Springs, and Beata Wehr, who lives in Austin. David is pictured on the right side of the photo below.


Reception: L-R Ryan, Beata, Gwen, David

Tucson artist, Sherrie Pasternak, here in this photo talking about her recent stay in Mexico.
L -R Beata, Sherrie, Gwen

Queen's Cape I and II, Encaustic Monotypes on panel, 19 x 15.5 inchees

Larraine Seiden

Larraine's painting above, and Carrie's below literally glow. They are wonderful to look at.
Carrie Seid

Skin Game, Gwendolyn Plunkett, Encaustic, 24 x 24 inches

David A. Clark, Monotypes

Tan My Hide, Gwendolyn Plunkett, Encaustic/Lokta paper/Oil bar, 30 x 24 inches

Many thanks to Miles and Ryan, to Elizabeth, Nicola and all who participated in this exhibition. It is always exciting to see your own work on the wall in a fine gallery like Conrad Wilde Gallery along with other fine artists' works. I very much enjoyed my visit to Tucson and hope I get to return again soon.