Friday, March 27, 2009


Remember the cliche about "one man's trash" being another's "treasure"?

Once I began to save appealing chocolate wrappers and make collages of them,  I realized that I was looking at all household packaging with a different eye. Perhaps I would need that background for my next piece, or "what a strange re-purposing of that word" - Perhaps I could restore its meaning in a collage, or use irony to further obliterate the meaning of the word. Advertising words  started  jumping out at me at strangely inappropriate  times. "light", "green", "crush", "dove", etc.

I take daily walks with my dog, Elgee. Occasionally, I spy lenses from a broken flashlight, or a series of cardboard dots that say "HA", which I put in my pocket for future use. I pass on the many cigarette packs, wondering why smokers seem more prone to toss their trash on the ground that purchasers of premium chocolate, whose wrappers I never find. I can't  make art out of cigarette wrappings.

I spent some time with another artist who does collages, trading material. I began to feel a bit uncomfortable about using something I hadn't found or purchased for another use. Something that hadn't come from my home or hunger or need seemed strangely inauthentic. There is a different connection to my own trash, which now mostly goes to the studio before being offered to a dumpster. I'm becoming a diarist through the detritus of daily life.

Images have always been easier than words for me, but now the two seem to be forming a meaningful relationship.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another Santa Fe Painting, "Chillies"

"Chillies" is a  32" X 32" oil on canvas, painted after a recent trip to Santa Fe.

Painting Santa Fe Color Workshop

 “Alfred Morang House”, above, painted in Santa Fe

A Plein Air Painting Retreat with Sandra Kaplan

Spend five nights and four June days at the spectacular Don Gaspar Inn in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This award-winning Bed and Breakfast, a short walk to Santa Fe’s historic Plaza, will be home for the nights of June 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18, 2009.
Sandra Kaplan will provide a small group of artists personalized guidance and attention in a workshop that will include critiques and discussions, in addition to four days of painting. Special attention will be paid to the remarkable quality of light and color in New Mexico.
We will visit the Acequia Madre, the oldest irrigation ditch in the US, and several galleries and museums. Hidden private gardens and Chimayo are possibilities.
This workshop is limited to about 10 participants. Non-participants are welcome on a space available basis.

Media: watercolor, acrylic, oil, mixed

Ability Level: sociable artists looking for new challenges

Workshop Details:

Lodging at the Don Gaspar Inn the nights of June 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 with breakfast each morning
Four day Plein Air workshop with  lunch
Taxes are included, but gratuities are not

Fees and payment schedule:

Workshop & private room / bath may be shared: $1100

A non-refundable $300 deposit is due by April 10, 2009

A $50 discount will be given to those sending in deposits by March 30, 2009

The fee balance is due by May 15, 2009

Contact Information and Inquiries:

Sandra Kaplan

Other information about the Don Gaspar Inn may be found at by clicking here

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Chocolate Phiolin

Finally, I can show you my contribution to the Denver Young Artist's Orchestra's fund raiser, "The Painted Violin". Click DYAO to see the other entries, and to buy a raffle ticket.

This collaged violin uses images from some of my obsessions - Sudoku puzzles, Fibonacci numbers, Premium Chocolate wrappings.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Check Out this Art Business Blog

Katharine Smith Warren, an experienced art advisor, artist and blogger suggests the Art Biz Blog to those of you interested in promoting your own work, or in need of art business advice.

I love to check in and see what Katharine has been painting. She shows her own paintings at

Alyson B. Stanfield writes the Art Biz Blog, and each time I read it, I find surprisingly informative and  useful ideas for promotion, checking out and dealing with galleries, and info on a myriad of other art related subjects.