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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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

What does "no value" mean in the classroom?

I am constantly lecturing my drawing students to perfect their value scales and to understand the graphite tools from 6B to 2H at their disposal. We have been in school four weeks and, after finishing still life drawings ,they were allowed to pick their own-source photographs to work from. These are some of the free drawings they have tackled.

When I say "the work has no value", I do not mean that only their grandmother will like it. I mean that there is not enough variation in lights and darks. These kids are getting their lights and darks into a good place and making a very happy teacher!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February Foliage

One of my favorite lesson plans... takes a couple weeks and throughout the process I am able to introduce, or revisit, line weight, contour drawing, positive and negative space, warm and cool color concepts and focal balance.

I got this lesson plan from my colleague Dandelyon back in the days when I was working for the Mill Street Loft Jr. Art Institute. (Poughkeepsie, NY)