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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Visiting the studio of Sara Stites and Fountainhead

Stites pointing out artists in books and art history that inspire her

There is nothing quite as powerful as exposing your students to a working artist's studio process. I was fortunate enough this spring to get 10 of my AP students to visit the off-the-beaten-track Fountainhead Residency Studios just north of Little Haiti, Miami for a day of inspired expanding dialogue. Katherine Mikesell is the contact at Fountainhead. She was very helpful in pulling together a roster of diverse artists willing to take the time to talk to my group of kids. Part of the mission of Fountainhead is to encourage art education and the contemporary art dialogue. It is safe to say that Sara Stites, painter and sculptor, blew their minds. Full of whimsy and humor, Stites shared her process, her sculptures, her paintings, her sketches, her bookshelves, and even the maquette for an upcoming show being planned in Maine. The kids learned how (contrary to sequential high school art classes), the art world cross pollinates and artists use a mixture of media to convey their messages in singular pieces.
We also got to visit the studio of Lori Nozick and Andrea Nhuch. Those artists shared about their search for abundant affordable material and the path to being a professional artist via, grants, school, and the workforce. It was a very refreshing day for me as a teacher and artist. I loved getting to know new talent and look forward to seeing their work again.
In fact, Lori has work in the I am Woman Hear me Roar show in Wynwood now.
Nozick discussing practical routes to afford life as an artist

Nhuch sharing her bubblewrap sculpture fabrication process

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Dimensions, an intimate show of artworks

Michael has 6 beautiful drawings in a show at a new gallery in Wilton Manors, Florida. He hangs with George Goodridge and Gerbi Tsesarkaia, two artists who work both on and off the wall. It is a sweet grouping put together by the gallery owner/artist Aster da Fonseca.(He is on Instagram)
2201 Wilton Drive

Show is up until April 22nd


Astor , Michael and Bruce Gellatly and artist Krisse Pasternack

Gerbi and her husband rest for a minute

Doing the art talk thing
 For these drawing Michael built small models of iceberg-like characters and photographed them in different lighting. He then rendered them in an assortment of media such as pencil, graphite, ink, and collage. They are very  soft, intricate and evocative of the iconic fragility of our climate issues.

Gerbi with fellow Bakehouse artist Tina Salvesen

A nice crowd for the mid show reception

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Tumultuous Times of April

There seems to be a stirring and awakening of humanity all around us in this season. Is it the sounds of spring? We just dropped 50 Raytheon-made Tomahawk missiles (what a nice Indian war game name for them) on Syria in the middle of the night, and now the media are commenting on how "presidential" our president has become. The call of "real" government seems to be war and oppression. The call of humanity in response is to personalize the drama. RISE UP ARTISTS.
April is called the "intense" month. Poe wrote about it being the "cruelest month". It takes us to our edge outside the comfort zones. Many give their lives up. It happened this month in 1526 with the first slave revolt in the USA. Can you imagine the drama of that historical moment? This is the month of recorded hyper anti-immigration laws (Arizona 2010), the One Million March on DC for LGBT rights (1993), the acquittal of the police for beating Rodney King (1992), the launch of the Bay of Pigs (1961) and Martin Luther King assassination in 1968. The calendar is full, and this is not unique to our country or our own time. This is the month Jesus was tortured and put to death.

Small theatrical paintings starting at $10 on sale on eBay this month. Satisfaction guaranteed.  Check it out here

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April Auctions

 Bid for Country Dream Bed here.
 Bid for Jump For Joy here
 Bid for Symbolic Painterly Brush here
 Bid for Unique Pop Talk here
Bid for Atmospheric Mountains here
I have listed nineteen paintings, so far, as part of my #SurrenderforLent project. Collectors have won original paintings as far away as from California to Connecticut, and Illinois to North Carolina. All bids start at $10. All paintings worth at least 9 times that. Great gift ideas. A bio is on the eBay page.  Good luck!. Good Lent.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hints of an un-made bed

In honor of the lovely naps we enjoy, alone or with a lover...
This little painting is an intimate look into a bedroom after everybody has left.
It is what remains when light filters through the shades and day has continued.
A fond memory of nap times...
I painted this in 2010 when I felt self-care to be a high priority.

This painting will look good propped on a shelf or
in a small gold frame.

It is signed on the back.

In honor of Lent I am surrendering and letting 40 paintings from the past few years go to auction starting as low as $10.
This is painting number 13.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

country dreams for sale

8 x 10 x .25 inches. Unique one of a kind acrylic and wax collage painting on eBay now!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The planets have lined up with my feet

Today is the first day of Spring... I felt it was a good time to do a moving meditation. There is a Labyrinth at the Congregational Church down the road. The intricate passageways lead you both toward and away from the center. Walking it as a ritual, you are supposed to feel the symbolic relationship of the pathways of the labyrinth to the pathways of your life. I felt as though I was peeling back years like an onion...sometimes I had a clear vision of the goal and at other times I was way out on the edges facing the opposite direction. I could see my ages from the childhood years of self absorption and glee in details of nature, living in the wide arc of unending summers, through the knotted teenage years of reversals and more reversals, to the wisdom of motherhood, a time erect and purposeful. To the present where I tread carefully wondering at the age of my limbs and the invisibility of grey haired women. In America we no longer even pretended to prioritize any care of the elderly or the infirm. They are being rapidly cut from social services. Better for business to put them out of sight.
If the history of other man-made cultures repeats itself, the artists and writers are next. I shudder.
The name Labyrinth has ties to the Greek Minoan royalty. There is a story that the king of Crete had a large labyrinth built to hold in the dangerous Minotaur. (We have been studying Picasso's art all week in class and I can see the half beast, half man in his etchings.)All I know is that when I got to the center of the Labyrinth I felt a swelling glee. I spun with arms outstretched embracing the planets above and dancing across the earth at my feet. I was half woman and half beast, for just a moment of spring.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Burning Bed

These are fiery times full of explosive action.
Fire is part of renewal and growth. It is a way of shedding the past.
Relationships ignite in passion. Then risk going up in smoke.
There are times in Life when you embrace the fire.

I painted this in 2010 when I felt as though I had been traveling through a ring of fire and emerging into a whole new life. I believe anyone who can relate to persevering through hell, or burning with new sensations, will "get" this picture.

This small acrylic painting on wood is a reminder that
some things have to end in order to have the brighter future you dream of.
Why not light the match? Fan the flames?

It is signed on the front lower right corner

In honor of Lent I am surrendering and letting 40 paintings from the past few years go to auction starting as low as $10.
This is painting number 11.
I don't always want to let work go. This REALLY is one of my favorites.
Selling on Ebay helps me make space, keep the flow and pay for materials.

My collectors are the most fiery awesome people out there, from Texas to Raleigh, Sacramento to New York, and Boston to Miami!
Why don't you join them?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Full Moon Tango Fever

This is a reason for staying another year in Miami! Calle Ocho on can dance all night (or till 2am). Michael and I are on a mission to learn how to tango. If nothing else it makes us laugh a lot.
how we think we look

 I love spinning and he loves spinning me. After two hours we collapse.
how we actually look

Sunday, March 12, 2017

6, 7 and now 8 paintings (out of 40) on eBay

From sexual to tragic, the arc of painting the bed as a refuge continues! I am offering over a dozen of my painted bed series on auctions starting as low as $10. The purpose is part discipline and mostly surrender. I am letting go of 40 paintings for a Lenten practice. Please check it out! Search by "Tilly"

Shake Her

Moth Queen

Pulp Fiction
The dime is included in many of the photos for scale as well as for comfort. My great-step-grandad sculpted the head of Roosevelt for the currency. We are in this together!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

5th painting on Ebay

For Lent- for letting go...

A painting about Leisure... on wood panel. Every auction starts at $10 and includes free domestic USA shipping. Have a great Monday! Search for my work under "tilly strauss"

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The second of 40 small Paintings put on EBay

Its time for me to surrender and de-clutter the studio! I am placing smaller works on eBay this month. I love to paint every chance I get and my poor children are in danger of getting squashed by tilting piles of paintings. Can you picture them buried in colorful canvasses? I can't let it happen! I am going to do right by them and sell as much as I can through the whole period of Lent. This is part of letting go and clearing the path for new opportunities and insights.
This painting is 5 x 5 inches on board. I was inspired by losing track of time in a good book. This is a modern day princess and her pea.
Check out my ebay paintings by searching Tilly Strauss or clicking here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Just loving the Boston curves

I was fortunate enough to have winter break coincide with unseasonable spring weather in Boston. Though I do own a winter coat and three pairs of socks, I was not sure I had the fiber in my Floridian bones for a full blown winter experience. The warm 70 degree breezes that blew through Beantown kept us out and up.

There was so much to see! Across the street from our hotel was the Old City Hall, built in the second empire style of french Emperor Napoleon III (1850's). It set the standard for the capital buildings and many other public offices across new England.
Right next to it was this building, Louis Sullivan-esque, with stripped down details, some ornament along the street level, but basically the Chicago style of the early 1900's. There was such a feeling of old and new everywhere you looked. Mostly from afar the city looks new. The pavement and bricks keep the history tangible.
And the curves! We marveled at the curves. I am convinced it is because the streets are rumored to be built along meandering cow paths. Why else the strange curvaceous buildings?

I'd love to know any thoughts on this!
Bye bye Boston. Hope to see you again soon

Thursday, February 23, 2017

100th Anniversary Of Women's Suffrage Art Show

I am very happy to be included in a huge show curated by Bibiana Mathies at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon NY. It will open on March 4th. My Rock Stars, a mixed media painting and drawing about our oldest sculptures (which happen to be female figurines) will be on display.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Back on eBay with Open Door Attitude Painting

It has been a while... and eBay has always been good to me. I am starting to put up small paintings for auction, starting at $10 and with a "Buy it Now" price of $50. Free shipping in the domestic USA.

The first work I have put up is inspired by spring and the rains... It seems to be raining in Sacramento, in Boston and in Miami! My little mudroom, adds a bit of color and organization to the coats and the shoes. The door is open... literally and symbolically.
In this time of sanctuary cities being called out, and talk of walls being built, I invite you to celebrate the friendliness of an open door!

5 x 5 inches, acrylic on board   Find it on eBay- by looking for tillysartblue here

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Anniversary of the Japanese Internment camps

On this day, 75 years ago,  in 1942 FDR signed an executive order to round up all Japanese American citizens. It started a dark period in our history. How many living people remember? As artists we have to be vigilant, and remind others of history, or it will repeat itself. Read about it here.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

#Streetartmankind exhibition

Billed as "a call out from street artists to end child slavery," this exhibition of large canvas murals at the Fountainhead studios is stunning, saddening and hopeful. Giant containers are piled high to form a maze in the yard next to and across the street from the Fountainhead studios in northern Little Haiti, 7401 NW Miami Ct. The exhibition runs until Monday the 20th, from 10 am to 6 pm.  Over 35 local and international street artists created paintings to be auctioned on the 20th to support StreetartMankind's (SAM) pledge to save children of the street.
 There is a hashtag #atthisage asking us to consider a photograph of a child slave and remember what you were doing at their age. There is a wall of answers with priviledged childhood photos juxtaposed next to the street child or slave child's photo.
The quality of the murals is dizzying. There is graffiti writing, stencils, and collage work. The control over line with a spray-can is pretty phenomenal. I wish my students could see this! 

look at the shapes and forms created with spray paint!

Torn paper pasted collage by Jo Di Bona


details of Jo Di Bona's Work
Jo Di Bona is a french artist who covers trains and walls in his signature "graffiti pop". It is sure to be a hit in Miami because Miami is all about Pop. He has at least three murals up for auction.
by KinMx

KinMx (aka Kathrina Rupit) comes from Mexico and now lives in Dublin, Ireland. She uses an array of mediums such as spray paints, newspaper collage, urban markers, to assemblage of cardboard, door parts and even Popsicle sticks. She is influenced by her Mexican roots, addressing social issues such as pollution, discrimination, injustice and embracing a culture without the curse of violence.
Hoxxoh, pure spray control

 Yuhmi, a local Miami art collaborating couple were represented (I didn't photograph their work), but I want to say that the artists involved were both our best locals and the most creative internationals. And the field was an even mix of gender. Its a strong show!! It is a good cause!

Funds raised (via ticketing and the sales of the arts) will benefit the foundation of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, especially the “raid and rescues” activities along with the creation of “child-friendly villages.” To learn more go to