Exhibiting in "Quotidiana Bellezza" with XIV Giornata del Contemporaneo AMACI

My friend Noemí Arrocha from my residency La Pedrada de Noemí kindly let me know about this exhibition opportunity!

I am exhibiting in the Quotidiana Bellezza traveling exhibition set up by XIV Giornata del Contemporaneo AMACI. The first of the exhibition sites is in the Museo Civico Archeologico Genna Maria in Villanovaforru, Italy, with further sites to be announced.

Honorable Mention at Prairie Village Arts Council's State of the Arts 2018

This was a nice surprise - my sculpture Albrechare won an Honorable Mention award (and cash prize) at the State of the Arts 2018 exhibition juried by Marissa Starke!

If you’d like to go see the show and the full cast of award winners, the exhibition is in the R. G. Endres Gallery located in the municipal building at 7700 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS.  The exhibition runs annually during the month of October. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The Degree of Global Warming

I’ve shared before how climate scientists have a very hard time getting the public to accept and understand the reality of our present and future situation.

Now here’s another recent look at the current and projected scale of global warming and how it compares to the agreements and actual international practices regarding emissions.

Guest Artist Kelli Scott Kelley's Alternate Realities

I am honored to share that my former graduate school professor Kelli Scott Kelley is exhibiting in USM’s Goppert Gallery, with an opening reception this afternoon! Here’s the press release for more details. Come join us if you’re in or around Leavenworth today, or stop in over the next couple weeks!

An Interesting Study on Learning Styles

This is an interesting article about learning styles and how they may not be as important as some believe. I do think the conclusions for this specific study may not be as broadly applicable as the researchers claim, though; I took the VARK out of curiosity after reading the article and here are my results:

  • Visual 4

  • Aural 9

  • Read/Write 7

  • Kinesthetic 6

You have a multimodal learning preference.

What would that mean for the study? Does the VARK actually assess preferred learning styles particularly well? Is learning style equivalent to studying style, particularly if the test isn’t in a format that corresponds to the favored learning style? Does this study on a group of Indiana University anatomy students apply to other, possibly more diverse student populations?

I think the reality is more complex than this article suggests - people can learn from most modalities, but different levels of experience can benefit more from different modalities and a mixture is almost always more beneficial than solely offering one.

Upcoming Exhibition: State of the Arts 2018

My sculpture Albrechare has been accepted into Prairie Village Arts Council’s State of the Arts 2018 annual exhibition juried by Marissa Starke.

It is held in the R. G. Endres Gallery located in the municipal building 7700 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS.  The exhibition runs annually during the month of October with a Gala Reception on the second Friday of October (this year that’s October 12th, 2018) at 6:00pm. The normal gallery hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Beautiful Moths

Spanish as a language doesn't have a real equivalent to the word "moth."  In fact, the most commonly used option is "mariposa nocturna," which means nocturnal butterfly.  I kind of think that's a little unfair to both moths and butterflies, though, as I believe there are many that are so visually distinct - not to mention behaviorally - as to merit a different category, not just a subcategory.  So yay, English, for giving us both!

I've been seeing a much wider variety of insects (and, really, of animal life in general) on my porch this summer, and the moths have been one of my favorite parts!  Here are a few I'd like to share with you.  In order from first to last in the slideshow, they are: the honey locust moth (or the bisected honey locust moth) Syssphinx bicolor or Sphingicampa bicolor, a looper moth (inconclusive regarding the exact species given the closed wing position), a looper or a common oak moth Phoberia atomaris, a white-dotted prominent moth Nadata gibbosa, a common gray moth Anavitrinella pampinaria, and a fall webworm Hyphantria cunea.

New Artwork: Puffinry

I haven't actually added paint to this piece in a couple months, but I also hadn't decided it was done either.  I'm finally willing to call it and say it's officially finished!

This piece is acrylic on birch panel, 20x10", and is titled Puffinry.

Exhibition (already live!): The 9th Annual ISAP Open International Online Exhibition

Exciting news - my painting Reconnaissance has been selected for inclusion in this competitive juried exhibition from the International Society of Acrylic Painters!  The juror for this years' show is Jan Martin McGuire.  Check it out!

Fall 2018 Teaching Schedule!

It's that time of year - this morning USM held its annual matriculation ceremony, and tomorrow classes start!  I will be teaching Sculpture, Painting I, Typography, and Art Career Internship.  I'm looking forward to meeting new students and hearing how returning students have spent their summers!

Upcoming Exhibition: 311 Gallery Landscapes and Seascapes Juried Show

I was selected to take part in this competitive juried exhibition, Landscapes and Seascapes, at 311 Gallery in Raleigh, NC.  The jurors elected to include my painting Reconnaissance.  The show runs from Thursday, September 6th through Saturday, September 29th, 2018. If you're in the area, the opening reception will be held on Friday, September 7th, 2018 from 6 to 9pm.

The address, normal gallery hours, and contact info:

311 West Martin Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Email: info@311gallery.com 
Gallery hours: Thurs - Sat noon-4 pm
First Friday: until 9:30pm
or by Appointment (919) 594-1944

New Artwork: Convergence

Here's a new painting I just finished; I started it during my La Pedrada de Noemi residency, but I didn't get a chance to finish it there so I've been working on it since arriving back home.  It's actually the first painting I began while on residency, so given that you might wonder why it took so long to complete - the answer is that the support is an aluminum panel, and I've never worked on aluminum before.  What I wanted to do on the aluminum kind of clashed with what the aluminum wanted me to do with it, so we had a prolonged battle.  I didn't want to prime or even sand the aluminum, because I feel like the whole point of painting on aluminum is the luminosity of the material.  But not priming it meant that the paint wouldn't evenly stick.  I feel like I eventually came out the victor, though!

The painting is acrylic on aluminum panel, 18x14", and is titled Convergence.  It features a luna moth (Actias luna) atop a barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo).

La Pedrada de Noemi Residency Journal 7

The space at La Canela y Hierbabuena was different than the one at La Casa Museo Orlando Hernández, so Silviu and I had to figure out how we'd display the works.  Silviu had a few Ikea frames he wasn't currently using in his house, so he lent them to me and I spent some time figuring out how to lay out my pieces, spraypainting the backing of the frames to better match the artwork, and getting it all installed appropriately.  We then had to figure out how to get the frames onto the walls themselves which only had a few hooks to use - but Silviu came through again with some ingenious hanging solutions and we got everything up on display in the end - including my two assemblages and a framed assortment of my greeting card reproductions as well!  Silviu brought a portable microphone/speaker setup (singers have some handy equipment!) and opened up the reception, I introduced myself and my artwork as well, and then we headed back.

There wasn't a lot of time left, but somehow we squeezed in a few more events and excursions.  By this time I had actually just moved into Silviu's extra apartment since it was easier than commuting constantly from Noemi's, and because he didn't seem to mind my staying there rent-free (I would have loved to offer him rent as well, but I'd already paid Noemi and I unfortunately didn't have the budget to contribute it twice; I hope Noemi will perhaps share some of her fee with Silviu since his generosity knew no bounds!).  One morning, Silviu and I had coffee with a local artist who is planning to branch out into offering his own artist residency. Silviu started some pieces of artwork under my supervision and learned how I use watered down acrylics and spray bottles to create some of my backgrounds.  We had some lovely dinners.  Noemi took me on one last trip out to see an old volcanic crater, and it gave me some call-of-the-void vertigo feelings since there were no safety railings or anything, but it was a nice hike up the volcanic side and we got to see a couple wild lagartos on the way back down.  Silviu and I went out for one last scuba dive - it was really windy, and the dive group he often works with had canceled their dives that day, so I was a little worried, but I also have full trust in Silviu so when he said it'd be fine I was excited to get one final chance to dive.  It was more than fine, actually - while it was so windy it did cause a lot of turbulence even below water, which kicked up a lot of seaweed and sand, it was also octopus day!  We got to see two different octopi while out, in addition to the other beautiful sea creatures that I've gotten to see before but are nevertheless a joy to get to see again.  I also held my artist lecture and QCC demo at La Canela y Hierbabuena, and sold a decent amount of greeting cards (yay!), and Silviu and I hung out with a local curator and her very sweet friend who had made our acquaintance earlier as we were coming up from a dive a couple weeks before.

My final night Noemi came down and Silviu, Noemi, and I all had late night tea and dessert, and then I started to pack while Silviu and Noemi chatted.  Ricardo came by for a while, and then eventually they all headed out as I finished up packing (I couldn't do it earlier as I had to wait to take my artwork down from this last show and pack it into the bottom of the big suitcase first).  By the time I was done, it was about 1am, and I had to get up at 4am, so I got about three hours of sleep.  As did Silviu, as he was sweet enough to wake up early as well and drive me to the airport.  Fortunately, given how tired I already was, the flights back while long were completely trouble-free.  One interesting fact I did learn through watching Disney movies in Spanish on the way back is that the songs are not the same.  This is probably already knowledge you have, but I did not and I was really startled when the first song in the Lion King was neither just played in English nor a direct translation - I mean, it makes sense because then it wouldn't rhyme, but still.  People all over the world have different Disney songs.  I actually really like the song "Be Prepared" from the Lion King and it sucks in Spanish.  But in my opinion, the song "I'll Make a Man Out of You" in Mulan is perhaps even better in Spanish than it is in English.  When I got back to Kansas City, Susan, another amazingly kind person in my life (my Art Program colleague at USM), came to pick me up and drive me back to my house.

So I am now back and am just getting caught up with the readjustment, which is good, because summer's almost over and I have more artwork I want to do from this residency before the summer ends!  So hopefully I can get a little more done before the school year gets back into full swing... that being said, I'm already getting caught up in work now that everyone knows I'm back!

I feel extraordinarily lucky to have had the opportunity to meet Silviu, as he is, honestly, the nicest, most open person I've ever met.  I have never been received with such hospitality and friendship from someone who has no preexisting reason to do so, and I am fortunate enough to know and count among my friends a lot of amazingly nice people.  And not only that, but he's so skilled in so many areas and he was generous enough to share so much of his time and knowledge and talent with me.  Not only does he know how to scuba dive and how to teach others to do so, he's also fluent in English and Spanish (and many other languages) so I felt safe going scuba diving with him; I don't know how I would have felt about attempting it with someone who, if I was having problems, I perhaps couldn't communicate with clearly.  And then to top it all off, Mother Nature was clearly on our side as well - in our time in Arinaga's waters I got to see a cuttlefish (!!), two octopi, a giant ray, pufferfish, scorpion fish, trumpet fish, a moray eel, starfish, sea slugs, nudibranches, a fireworm, damselfish, a giant crab, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, lizard fish, schooling fish of several shapes and sizes, all wild in their natural habitat.  I also really loved getting to know Noemi, as she's fantastic as well - she apologized a couple times about being so busy that she didn't have much time to spend with me, when she spent the most time with me that any residency director has!  Plus, it is because of her friendship with Silviu that I got adopted by him too.

Overall, this was my favorite residency to date, which is not at all to say that others weren't outstanding as well.  But the combination of everything I got a chance to do this summer - scuba diving, improving my Spanish, befriending Noemi and then Silviu, meeting other wonderful friends and family of them both - it was just perfect.

La Pedrada de Noemi Residency Journal 6

Sorry for the break in updates - I ended up being in several places without internet as I'll be discussing!  Anyway, back to the journal...

It turned out Sunday ended up not being so good for Sella either, and I had gotten wrapped up in a painting, so I had another studio day.  Then Monday was spent getting ready for the solo exhibition Noemi had arranged for me in La Casa Museo Orlando Hernandez (The Orlando Hernandez House Museum); we got the keys to the place from the local government and scoped it out, prepared the exhibition room, and got double-sided mounting tape to help secure my pieces to the walls.  Tuesday evening was my opening, but that morning Noemi had arranged for me to visit the northern part of the island's recycling center for a tour as a part of a group (she had originally planned to come as well, but ended up needing to sit for state exams that day).  I was a little skeptical of how interesting it would be and also had yet to install the artwork or shop for the reception refreshments, but Noemi said she thought it would take around an hour and really wanted me to go.  So I went!  It actually took three and a half hours, and only about half an hour of it was interesting (touring the actual facilities).  The other three hours involved watching videos and protracted lectures and Q&As about the importance and minutiae of recycling - in my case, at least, preaching to the bored choir.  But I got back with - just! - enough time to eat lunch, install my artwork, and run to SPAR to buy some refreshments.  The reception went well, and then the rest of the week I babysat the exhibition (with no internet) and started some new pieces from within the exhibition itself - a sort of performance art in its own way!  On Friday I did an artist lecture and a demo of QuickCure Clay, and then later on another exhibition opened up in an adjoining space, and their reception also flooded over into mine and I had a hopping second reception-of-sorts as well.

Over the weekend Noemi took me to the north to see the towns of Arucas and Gáldar, and we visited the Painted Cave museum, where we got a chance to glimpse aboriginal cave paintings from a carefully monitored chamber so as to attempt to preserve what's left of the paintings after severe degradation from tourists during the late 70's and 80's.  Noemi also thought I should try paragliding, so she arranged for a friend to take me up in a tandem parachute!  I'm up for new things, so I did it, and I'm glad I had the experience - but I didn't enjoy it very much.  I get pretty motion sick, and the turning and swooping set it off quite strongly.  I also got bored with it after the first few minutes - we just sort of looped back and forth over the same bit of land, and once I'd taken it in... the views were extremely similar to what you'd see out of an airplane, so it felt more normal than I would've thought.  I love scuba diving, though, and I know that is not everyone's bag, so I'm still pleased I gave paragliding a go.  On Sunday we visited the Maspalomas area so that I could see the sand dunes, which were beautiful, and I got a taste of the Maspalomas beach as well which is a tourist hotspot (it turns into Playa del Ingles, which is the most well known) and was absolutely crammed with people.  I prefer the beach at Las Canteras in Las Palmas or in Arinaga, honestly.  Then we went up to see Sella, finally, and her place was great!  She runs a retreat center called EcoTara where groups with instructors book in to run yoga and other health and lifestyle retreats.  We spent a lazy afternoon there, and the drives along the way both coming and going were spectacular as well.

Then we took my show down (the other exhibition in the adjoining space kindly babysat mine as well over the weekend), and I went down to Arinaga to rejoin Silviu, who had been busy scoping out opportunities for me to have a second exhibition down there, because he's just that lovely of a person.  We spent the next day figuring out where I'd have the second show, and La Canela y Hierbabuena said they'd love to have me.

La Pedrada de Noemi Artwork 5

And another one - I've done a piece on a very similar frog in relief before (The Slightest Disturbance), and now here's a painting from a different angle of a marsh frog, Rana ridibunda and/or Pelophylax ridibundus, from the Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo.  This piece is acrylic on gessobord, 5x7", and is titled Comfort Zone.