Friday, October 24, 2014

Highwaymen in South Miami

In the 1950's, 1960's, and into the 70's the Jim Crow laws kept African American artists from exhibiting in galleries. This band of 26 men and one woman, were self taught and sold their paintings out of the backs of their cars along highway A1A and Interstate 95. Hence the name: the Highwaymen. After painting quickly, they would use salvaged wood to build frames. Often the work was bought for $20-$25 a canvas by hotels in and around Miami and the everglades. The income saved the artists from a common destiny of having to labor in the citrus groves. Today the paintings sell from $300 a canvas up to the thousands.
Tonight we visited an exhibition in south Miami of a small sale of a private collector's. The show, at the Archive Fine Art & Collectibles (1559 1/2 Sunset Drive) included a live painting demonstration by the son of one of the original 26, the son of Sam Newton! Needless to say, it was fascinating.
He was painting with OLIVE OIL!


One of the original founders of the group, Alfred Hair, now deceased, was well represented in the collection.
One of my personal favorites was by James Gibson, ...moody like my mood tonight.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

playing with food

Always a good subject for a painting, food takes the center stage for our next project.



We are preparing to paint in fresco secco, somewhat like da Vinci with his Last Supper
But somewhat smaller than his almost thirty foot wide painting. These will be about 8 x 8 inches.
And the spirit is somewhat secular.
I am in total gratitude to my mother for providing the food sculptures as still life objects. 
With these realistic sculptures my students could study a cup of tea or a bowl of cereal without fear of it changing over time, or attracting bugs to the classroom.
Every art teacher should have these kind of props, though they are rare and precious to find.
I even have a broken egg!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We have a coral lab at the school

I love taking my art students in there to sketch and paint. The dim lights and the gurgling water puts them in a trance. Each of the four tanks holds a different experiment. Some of the students imagine their own.








We see how the students are growing coral, and making studies of the invasive Lion fish. It is an awareness needed in this part of the world. The sad and shocking fact is our seas are in peril. Below is a picture off shore Ft. Lauderdale.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Military boots to be recycled by artists, like me

I am in the proud position to have some soldier's worn and weathered boots as ingredients for an artistic dialogue about war, service, freedom and peace. This weekend I received a well wrapped box from the ipads for soldiers organization.
Inside the box I found combat boots from the deployment to Afghanistan. They seem to be from both army and air force. I am hoping to have these transformed into art as part of an installation called, "footsteps to freedom" that will be on display during Miami Basel in December. It's a tremendous priviledge to be given something so precious- and the boots feel precious- because you can see that they once held up a human for a workday I can barely imagine. The risks and sacrifices of the missing owner really fill the shoe with an aura. One of them has pale granular sand in it, and another is so worn down there is barely any tread left, and the inside bears a strong impression of the toes.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Open studio a wonderful success






I think Martha, Mariana, Zanze and Patricia were all very pleased as well. The temperature stayed low, friends showed up, strangers came by, and sales were made. Fun night. All the way to midnight!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seeing Spots

It's always fun to paint the school's theater floor.

Don't ask me where I found the time. I guess it goes to show that if you really like something, if you feel inspired, you will make the time.
Talking to some teachers today we were bemoaning the fact that we have no time to confer with our peers about our teaching practices. How nice it would be to reflect and get critiqued on a lesson plan. Even the time to review the day's preceding events gets swallowed up in the present moment stress.
These spots gave me a vision! Perhaps if I had a teaching buddy as fired up and as inspired as I, we would make the time to review each other's practices! Maybe? Maybe I am just talking in circles.