Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'll Have Mine With Milk...

Con Leche, an exhibition of work from four members of the very talented Larsen/Crawford family, is currently running through June 4th at Le Marche St George in Vancouver, BC. I was also included in this show as a guest artist. Con Leche is Spanish for With Milk, a nod both to the white color palette of the exhibition as well as to Mexico, the home of artist Patricia Larsen. This show was originally suppose to open on the night of my book signing, but a scheduling conflict for the exhibition space meant that the show opened one week later, on May 10th. Although I do not have pictures from the exhibition, a beautiful post from Le Marche St George captures the opening perfectly.

The work I contributed to the exhibition was quite a departure from my usual approach and style. I created two "installations" consisting of multiple panels of artwork: The Milky Way and Udder Nonesense (sic). Each was driven more by the theme of the show rather than the execution of the actual work. In that sense, this is as close to a conceptual installation as I am likely to get.

The Milky Way

Udder Nonesense

and placed far away from all the other pieces:

Text also appeared on the edges of each panel:

Sending thanks to the crew in Vancouver for this special opportunity - the first of many I hope!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's Still Life

Before their was The Pulse of Mixed Media the book, there were 5 editions of The Pulse online. Or 4 1/2 to be exact. At the time of the book's release, I placed the presentation of the latest edition of The Pulse, which included survey responses from over 125 artists, on hold.

A little reminder of what came before:

And now, an announcement of what is to come next:

Every Sunday beginning June 3rd.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Inspiration Board IV

When asked the question "what inspires me?" I often answer simply walking out my door into the streets of NYC. While that is 100% true, I actually do not even need to lift my butt off the chair in my studio. That is because I have filled my studio space with enough stuff that all I need to do is look around and I am immediately inspired. When I am creating, I love to be enveloped by the things that speak to me: art, supplies, collections, doo dads, trinkets, ephemera, flotsam, jetsam... Well you get the point.

Some people crave constant change and move their things around daily. In effect, they are curating their lives into ever changing exhibits. I, on the other hand, find comfort in consistency. I would rather curate a very long running show! That being said, I also believe that change is good and in that spirit, I am in the process of updating my studio, both to make it more functional for me and more inspirational too.

Where to begin? My inspiration board - which is slowly turning into an inspiration wall. Thanks Lisa Hoffman for inspiring that! If you look closely, you will see pieces from many familiar faces. You may even spot something that you have created!

May 2012

I have posted images of my slowly evolving inspiration board before and am including below the three pics that I have already shared on my blog:

June 2009

February 2008

August 2007

And predicting that many of you who comment will note my, ahem, "tendency toward symmetry", I am including the following pic of my work table to show you that when I work, I am as messy as the best of them!

Have a picture of your inspiration board? Leave a link in the comment section and let's all get even more inspired!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mixed Media May

Mixed Media May

Artist and blogger Cindy Jones Lantier has put together a wonderful project called Mixed Media May. She is highlighting a single artist on each day of the month. Each artist has provided responses to the same series of questions and shared images of their artwork. There are 30 artists participating and Cindy has promised a special surprise for May 31st!

She has chosen a very eclectic group of artists, many of whom are new to me. It has been great fun "meeting" these new artists...and getting to know some old friends better. I am one of the featured artists and today is my day. You can see my interview here and keep track of all the postings by following MMM on Facebook.

Friday, May 18, 2012

One Artist Journal

Today's Book Guild post is one of many celebrating the release of the self published book One Artist Journal by artist and blogger Orly Avineri. 

Orly is the creator of a popular blog, also called One Artist Journal, which highlights her own journal pages and related thoughts and which has become the basis for her book. 

I am happy to say that she is also a contributing artist in my own book, The Pulse of Mixed Media, in which she wrote the following artist statement:  

"I am a gatherer. While on my tracks I find sky-kissing mountains and deep valleys, barren deserts and lush rainforests, wandering nomads and firm settlers. My tracks take me places. At times I get lost. Enchantingly, as soon as I gather my findings, lay my images and words on a physical or virtual canvas, I get found."

Orly doesn't know this (until now) but I had read her artist statement at everyone of the artist talks I hosted for my book.

I greatly admire Orly in terms of how she expresses herself in both images and words. As such, I was thrilled to be asked by Orly to contribute some words of my own to her back cover. As can be seen in the image above, I wrote:

"When I discovered Orly's blog, I found a feast for the senses. Orly's posts highlight spreads from her journals. They are always layered, complex, detailed, thought-provoking, and filled with movement and color. You get the sense that each and every aspect of the pages has deeper meaning and a personal significance. Her artwork is fascinating to look at and she has a way with words. Much like the details in her artwork, every single word seems carefully chosen and important. Her writing is eloquent, descriptive and powerful."


You can buy One Artist Journal on Amazon or in Orly's eStore (which ends up being a better choice for Orly). You can also enter a giveaway to win a copy of the book by leaving a comment on the giveaway post on Orly's blog.

I am not the only person today to celebrate the release of Orly's book. Click on the following links to see what others are saying:

Brian Kasstle:
Cindy Woods O'Leary:
Donna Cetorelli:
Erin Faith Allen:
Gina Rossi Armfield:
Irene Rafael:
Jane LaFazio:
Kelly Kilmer:
Liesel Lund:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

You Rule!

In their utterly unique voice that is immediately recognizable from their earlier books, Linda Woods and Karen Dinino, sisters in arms, have created the ultimate rule book: one that breaks all the rules. 43 pages of in your face, fearless, funny, and 100% authentic advice. This is a guide that not only makes you laugh but truly provides a road map to taking charge, making change, and becoming the person you always wanted to be. AND they encourage you to eat cookies too!

This book is not easy to categorize and I can imagine it in many sections of a bookstore. It is ostensibly a book about journaling, as it provides prompts so that you can create your own, personal journal of life rules. But really this is a book about life itself. And about how you can help yourself to create a life that is closer to the one you really want to live. Linda and Karen present 20 of their own rules but truly encourage you to make your own.

As an artist I was inspired by their original illustrations that illuminate each rule. As a psychologist I was impressed with their no-nonsense way of cutting straight to the core of taking charge of your own life. And as a very busy person, I was excited by the fact that I could easily read this book in one sitting.

Some of the rules are common sense...and quite polite, such as #6 Say thank you and #19 If you break something fix it. But most of the rules are bold, no nonsense and in your face. Consider #1 No responding to jealous bitches who do ridiculous things to get attention. Or #9 Don't expect rewards or sympathy for acting like a dumb ass.

You Rule: The Art Of Taking Charge is currently available as an eBook from Amazon and in print from Blurb. For more info on Linda and Karen, visit their blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dreaming from the Journal Page

Artist, author and fellow New Yorker Melanie Testa has recently released her second book: Dreaming From the Journal Page: Transforming the Sketchbook to Art. At my request, the folks at North Light Books provided me with a review copy. From the little bit I had seen online, I had a feeling that this was going to be a wonderful book. Now that I have read it cover to cover, I can say that my first impression was correct. Dreaming from the Journal Page is a keeper.

It states on the back page "Inside you will find all the techniques and inspiration you need to bring your dreams alive inside your art journal." While many of the projects inside the book are shown as part of Melanie's journals, just about everything you find in this book can be applied to projects outside the journal too. In fact, Melanie focuses not only on working on paper but on fabric as well.

Like many how-to books, this one starts with the requisite section on supplies. I often find this section in books to be a very basic and cursory review. However, I found myself fascinated by all the details and tips that Melanie provided. She included genuinely useful and instructive information that I think would benefit both beginner and advanced artists. And I have to say that section one set the tone for the whole book in terms of being rich in content and filled with those extra tidbits that make a book special.

Eighteen pages are spent on color theory and in this section Melanie also provides useful info about color mixing, creating your own color wheel, and more. The bulk of the book presents a series of exercises that go beyond the common techniques that are found in many books. As examples, Melanie introduces exercises focused on exploring watercolor, dyeing fabrics, creating resists using liquid frisket, acrylic mediums and soy wax, making transfers using tracing paper and Saral paper, hand carving stamps, and hand making stencils using both plastic and frisket paper.

There is a separate section presenting simple tips and exercises to help you learn the basics of drawing. And all the instructional sections are followed by throw down challenges where multiple techniques from the book are combined. The artwork from the book is all from Melanie and is rich in color, depth, and complexity. 

The book is even more impressive to me given that it was written while Melanie was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, a fact that is given the briefest of mentions in her Acknowledgments. For me, this just adds to the inspiration I felt when reading this book. My sense is that this will become a reference that I will revisit many times in the future.

You can learn more about Melanie by visiting her website and blog.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Featuring: The Gift

There is a new kid in town. Born on April 20th, it is 75 pages long, and measures 8 1/4" x 11 3/4". It is the new magazine Featuring: Art Journaling, Mixed Media & More... and you can watch the birth here or preview the pages here. Featuring is a dream come true for Marit Barentsen, the artist and blogger from the Netherlands who has put together a gorgeous, informative, and inspiring Issue #1.

The physical quality of this magazine (large size, glossy pages, professional layout) is special and it is filled with fascinating features, including a themed art gallery, the results of a survey about Etsy, artist and museum profiles, artist interviews, drawing and journaling techniques, a studio tour, and so much more. You can learn more about and purchase Featuring here. And learn how you can submit to Issue #2 here.

I am also happy to report that an altered book collaboration that I completed with Jill Zaheer can also be found on the pages of this inaugural issue. Called The Gift, Jill and I collaborated to create two books, each of which was filled with art that was inspired by original poetry.

Poetry by Seth Apter/Art by Jill Zaheer

The Gifts

Horizon's edge just out of reach
a lesson learned, a thought unleashed
these are the gifts placed here for us
these are the times we've both come to trust

Objects found and sometimes lost
our souls defined but at such a cost
these are the gifts, they appear, they arrive
this is the engine that keeps us alive

Training wheels, sometimes attached
making deals when ideas are hatched
such are the gifts that we have deep inside
ready to give, though tempted to hide
with generous hues, the depth we confide
thank you for coming along for the ride

Monday, May 14, 2012

Got the Itch?

Then scratch it. Scratch Cam it that is, the vintage photo app for the iPhone. Every month, David Hayes from Clearer Reflections sponsors the Recipe Book Project, an online collaboration of iPhonography art. I have been playing along for several months now and have decided to go abstract, using the Scratch Cam app to create my contribution:


A recent guest post on Create Mixed Media provides a great overview of the project, several sample recipes, and guidelines for you to play along. It is not too late to join in this month, as my post is a bit early. The project officially runs on May 16th, at which time Dave will provide links to all the participants on his blog.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Pulse: Rewind

The last few months have been an adventure of a lifetime. I have traveled throughout the United States and Canada, celebrating the release of my first book The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists revealed. I have met countless bloggers and artists along the way, many of whom have been good friends online for years. Now they are good friends in "real life" as well. 

I wanted to share with you, and document for me, the highlights of a journey that has itself been one of the highlights of my life. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

At my first book signing held at Annex 24 Gallery in Lancaster, PA in conjunction with "Out of the Dark", an exhibition by Loryn Spangler-Jones based on the artwork she contributed to the book.

Contributing artist Jen Crossley, in NYC all the way from Australia, seeing her art in the book for the first time.

My artist talk, book signing, and art exhibition held at the Gallery Link at the Ellenville Public Library and Museum in the Hudson Valley in New York.

You haven't had fun until you co-host a podcast with Mark Lipinski on Creative Mojo. AND talk to contributing artists Michelle Ward, Julie Prichard, Lisa Hoffman, Pam Carriker, and Angela Cartwright. Talk about art all stars! 

It just kept getting better and better. On the last day of March The Ink Pad in NYC hosted a panel discussion and book signing with contributing artists Michelle Ward, Jill Zaheer, Roxanne Evans-Stout,  Danny Gregory, Karen Cole, and Julie Prichard.

Barnes and Noble? My book? Facing out? Really?!

Visiting the art salon at Judith HeartSong Fine Art Studio and Gallery in Glen Echo, MD. That's contributing artist Lisa Jurist on the far left.

Book signing at the Barnes and Noble in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA with Karen Cole and Leslie Marsh.

Don Madden in NYC

Momo Lomo Coffee House in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 Lisa Hoffman. Sarah Fishburn. Need I say more?!

Two Hands Paperie in Boulder. CO. Amazing store and amazing panel with contributors Fran Meneley, Lisa Hoffman, Sarah Fishburn, and Marie Dante.

Artist and Author Jill Berry came too!

Into Canada! Party, signing and talk at Le Marche St George in Vancouver.

Contributing artists Patricia Larsen, Lelainia Lloyd, and Leslie Avon Miller were there to celebrate.

Final stop on the tour was Bellevue Art and Frame just outside of Seattle, WA. Big turn out of contributors for this one including Alicia Caudle, Robert Stockton, Leslie Avon Miller, Delorse Lovelady, Lisa JonesMoore and Donna Watson. Artists John Arbuckle and Jeane Myers are in this picture too!

Contributing artists Delorse Lovelady and Lisa JonesMoore

Artist Katie Cahill and contributing artist Alicia Caudle

Who says there are no men in mixed media?? Contributing artist Robert Stockton and artist John Arbuckle.


Sending out thanks to Elizabeth Wix, Lisa Hoffman, Lelainia Lloyd, Cheryl Ford, and Leslie Avon Miller for allowing me to use some of their pictures in this post. And endless thanks to the mixed media community that supports me and inspires me. You all are truly the greatest gift an artist can have!