If you remember the Underground Music Cafe and the other names under which this Falcon Heights treasure has been over the years — rejoice. It is now the Eggroll Queen Cafe. It’s here. It’s now. And it has Life Affirming Blueberry Waffles and Eggrolls the Size of Burritos. AND LIVE MUSIC.
The Flamingo from the Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul will welcome you in the doorway.
My Friends and Neighborhoods show is almost ready to come down. That it took nearly a month to figure out how to get these images onto a small enough PowerPoint is a miracle. You may miss the show at the Cafe (it comes down on October 20), but here are the images:
Thanks to Rob Wishart, some of my owls are on The Owl Pages, a very cool site with loads of owl photos and everything you could ever want to know about these beautiful and smart birds. Two of my favorite brown owls on that site are below.
Brown Owl from The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul
When I started painting owls I wasn’t confident about getting their faces right. This brown owl waited patiently on my easel for about half a year while I worked on dozens of small owl faces. I’m glad that I practiced.
This Brown Owl is from The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul, which I imagine and excavate from the comfort of my rat-and-bat-free living room studio.The “cave wall” is white gesso that I tint with watercolor. Applying (slathering) the gesso with an offset spatula gives the painting its texture.
Wise Brown Owl
The original owl for this image is very small and very blue. I scanned the image into Photoshop, and used both Posterize and Invert to make this velvety brown owl.
Two wonderful art events this weekend: Do the Dow (at the Dow Building at 2242 University Avenue W.) and Peggy’s Holiday Boutique, a 30+year tradition at the Roseville Oval. Each show has one of my favorite paintings.
Artists with studios at the Dow Building and who are part of Khanh Tran’s Dow Gallery will be opening their doors and celebrating their art. Count on great food and music and lots of fun. Friday 6-10; Saturday 12-6.
A 30+ year tradition with more than 100 artists’ work, the Roseville Oval hosts Peggy’s Holiday Boutique. It is a vortex of creative energy, and the artists’ work includes jewelry, painting, ceramics,glass, fudge (yes! fudge), wood work, leather, candles, and so much more. You will find some locally and nationally recognized artists. Friday: 10-8:30; Saturday 10-6; Sunday 10-4.
Proud to be part of 2015 #ArtAWhirl. I’ll be at the Keg House Arts Building, 34 13th Avenue NE (F8 on the map). I will be among a group of incredibly talented polymer clay artists who will all be celebrate Art-A-Whirl together.
I will have some new work: a Black Cat Clock piece, a number of round menageries, lots of new work featuring Max the Cat, and new cave art including the two cave birds (below) and Three Cave Frogs.
In 1996, a now-shuttered lumber yard in Saint Paul cut the flamingo from a piece of plywood, made a dozen sets of bookends, a random kidney-ish shaped piece, and 24 8-inch rounds. I painted and beaded the flamingo, and the rounds have aged like fine wine in a stack under my stairs.
It is now a pink gesso-covered Cave Flamingo which was part of my Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul installation at the WARM (Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota) Mentor-Protegee final show, Beyond the Surface, in late 2014.
New life for the wooden rounds
Two years ago I bought a dozen 12-inch round sheets of a fine artist paper whose brand is lost in the mists of time. They sat comfortably in the package until I decided to use gesso, the key ingredient in Cave Paintings, to attach the round papers to the wooden rounds.
Wooden rounds meet tiny Flamingos
How this piece was made:
I used gesso to attach the paper to the wooden round, and trimmed the excess.
With a spatula, I splodged gesso onto the paper, and then pressed it with the Ax-Man Gizmo #2, a tube with wire mesh that makes a scaly-sort of pattern. I let it dry overnight.
I sponged color onto the now-patterned gesso. I recommend acrylic paint (as opposed to watercolor), which won’t move an inch when you cover it with acrylic medium. I learned this lesson the very very hard way (subject of another post when I’m over my disappointment.)
Having made dozens of tiny flamingos as ornaments, bookmarks, and gift tags, I am surrounded by them. Three volunteered to be encased on gloss varnish for this project. I glued them onto the round, and waited patiently while the glue dried. (Really? Why are you telling me this? Because I have a life-long history of being too quick to move on to the next step, and I want to save you from the abject misery that will follow a string of bad words.)
Inspired by Dar Bunde, an amazing artist-member of the Northstar Watermedia Society, I used Liquitex Gloss Medium because I want this piece to be SHINY!!!!! I poured it on and set to to dry overnight.
I painted the sides with acrylic paint and covered the sides with gloss medium
I attached a hanger on the back so that this can hang on the wall.
What’s inside the Dow Building? Lots of artists and a great gallery.
What’s inside the Dow Building on University Avenue? Khanh Tran of Frame by Frame opened a huge light-filled gallery for Dow Building Artists (and others), and the Whimsical Wildlife and Geometric Abstractions have a new home.
Two of my pieces were selected by the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery for its February 2015 show honoring “RED, my favorite color. What a beautiful group of paintings to be part of in this Red Show.
The Ax-Man Gizmo 10th Gear
The Ax-Man Gizmo 10th Gear is part of a series of paintings that I made after a Mentor-Protegee Art Adventure with Layl McDill, my WARM (Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota) mentor in the 2013-2015 cycle. We found the flat black plastic gizmo that carpenters use to measure the diameter of wire, and immediately saw ART TOOL! I made ten of these paintings.
Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul: Three Red Cave Frogs
The Three Red Cave Frogs are, of course, part of the Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul. Imagined and excavated from the comfort of my living room studio, which is remarkably free of rats and bat, each piece begins with a layer of tinted gesso. The frogs are stencilled and the whole piece is sprayed with archival spray.
FROM THE COLORS OF HUMANITY WEBSITE: This show will run February 1-31 (sic), 2015. Artists from around the world were called to submit their work and we were very pleased with the response we received. There were 117 accepted works and they came from 26 different states in the USA and 8 other countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Malaysia, Russian Federation, and Switzerland. A variety of styles and mediums were entered including, acrylic, blood, ‘bodypaintography’, charcoal, digital, ink, latex, mixed media, monotype, oil, pastel, photography, resin, scratchboard, watercolor, and woodcut. The judging criterion was originality, interpretation, quality, demonstration of ability, and usage of medium. Other factors, such as the clarity of the images provided and their ability to be viewed online, as well as relating to the theme, also contributed to the decision. “Best of Show”, “First Place”, and “Second Place” winners received a monetary award in addition to special recognition.
We were very happy to donate 10% of all entry fees from this show to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It is our hope that this small act of kindness will blossom and grow to help someone else.
One of the commitments that I made in 2012 at the beginning of the WARM (Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota) Mentor-Protegee Program was to make a really big piece. This was a brave idea to contemplate, because my true comfort zone is tiny spaces (postcard-sized paintings) and tiny, intricate patterns.
Two years later
I did it. The final show for our Mentor-Protegee cycle was up through October 2014, and I made something really really big. The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paulinstallation was five feet high and ten feet long. At one end was the five-foot tall flamingo (The Very Old Flamingo), now covered with pink gesso, that had been in my bathroom for 16 years, and on the other side, standing on a pedestal, was a card rack for souvenir postcards.
The back of each of the five panels represents Old Saint Paul. Each is covered with a gleefully digitized and Photoshopped map from the Ramsey County Historical Society. Thank you, Apropos, for printing the maps on sturdy vinyl and saving me from an ineffective and awkward cutting-and-pasting of photocopied paper map pieces, a project that I would still be working on today. Thanks, too, to Jason Najarak, who cut the aluminum panels for the piece, generously opened his studio for gesso-application, and made space for the Afternoon of Spray Adhesive when we put Old Saint Paul on the back of the painted panels.
The front — all five panels of the front — is Very Old Saint Paul. This installation will travel to your site for a exhibition, and it is available for sale (as a whole or in separate panels and the flamingo). Please contact me directly. (email@example.com).
The Cat Panel documents some of the ancestors of present-day Saint Paul Cats, including the Russian Blue and Striped Cats. Digging through my shapes-and-templates archive, I found a cat that I had used for a needlepoint piece, and for two of my very earliest cat paintings. What better cat to honor the Ancestors?
Cats represented here in body but without cat faces painted yet: striped, dot, Russian Blue, gray, black, brown.Friends of the Cats
Like all of the panels, this one has both hummingbirds (across the top) and frogs (across the bottom).
What about the faces?
Rendering the cat faces is the next challenge, and I can’t do too much navel-gazing about it. Unlike the Great Cave Owl, who sat on my easel for six months while I practiced painting owl faces, this piece is for a show that opens in a few weeks. (Join us for the Celebration on Saturday October 18 from 6 to 9 at the Grain Belt Bottling House.)
A piggish experiment.
One thought is to make the faces even more 3D than the “cave gesso” provides. This pig is my first experiment. Using Golden Brand Light Molding Paste, is an interesting idea, but I am a 2-D artist who has always thought that sculpture was an inaccessible magical skill.