Friday, October 29, 2010

The Grades are In!!!

"Did you ever bring home a bad grade on a report card as a kid? What about an F in the arts? Hard to imagine. Well, our U.S. Senators brought home their grades, and although they weren't graded on their paintings or musical scales, many managed to fail the arts. And some failed while the other Senator in their state received an A or B!" - Americans for the Arts 

Americans for the Arts

The "Arts Action Fund" of Americans for the Arts graded how well or poorly senators have voted to support the arts. Over the past two years, 3 opportunities to support the arts were presented to senators. Twenty-eight of them received "F's". Twelve of the 28 have been singled out as "The Dirty Dozen" - click on the following link to find out why (NOTE: Use your mouse to hover over each one's picture, then click his or her picture to learn more):

Interestingly, in some states, one Senator received an "A or B" while the other failed miserably:

To view the grades for all Senators:

A final report will soon be available about those Senators who champion the arts.

To learn more about Americans for the Arts:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jeanne Martin: The Fabric Chef

Breakfast and Pastry Platters - Jeanne Martin

Jeanne Martin creates soft sculptures of food (from flannel, fleece, linen, broadcloth and other fabrics) so realistic that it takes usually takes a while for viewers to realize they have been created from fabric.

Fried Chicken, Texas Style - Jeanne Martin (a tribute to Bobby Flay)

Magic in the Fabric - 3:20 minue YouTube Video

Sculptures that Look Good Enough to Eat - Interview by The Denver Post [NOTE: You'll need to scroll 1/3 way down a seemingly mostly blank page]

The Fabric Chef - Jeanne Martin's website - shows many detail views of her work

Friday, October 15, 2010

Free Online Expressive Drawing Class

Steve Aimone, author of Expressive Drawing: A Practical Guide to Freeing the Artist Within and Design! A Lively Guide to Design Basics for Artists & Craftspeople, is offering a free online course in Expressive Drawing. It is a six-lesson class which has just gotten underway. Every two weeks, Steve will " a drawing exercise, a game, a video or something else to inspire you as you pursue your art."

You also will be able to upload your drawings or paintings where your "...virtual classmates will be able to see - and thoughtfully critique - your work. Steve will visit the community on a regular basis and comment on pieces that draw his attention."

Additionally, after the "semester" is over, Steve will continue to post monthly exercises for you.

Following is the link to a video about Expressive Drawing:

More info about the class:

The current session is on Circles, Squares and Triangles and can be accessed through the following URL:

To learn more about Steve:

NOTE: I have taken several of Steve's workshops in New Smyrna Beach, FL
 - he is a superb teacher and I recommend him highly.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Whitehouse Proclamation About the Arts

In honor of October being the National Arts and Humanities Month,
President Barack Obama has issued the following proclamation:

Throughout history, the arts and humanities have helped men and women around the globe grapple with the most challenging questions and come to know the most basic truths. In our increasingly interconnected world, the arts play an important role in both shaping the character that defines us and reminding us of our shared humanity. This month, we celebrate our Nation's arts and humanities, and we recommit to ensuring all Americans can access and experience them.

Our strength as a Nation has always come from our ability to recognize ourselves in each other, and American artists, historians, and philosophers have helped enable us to find our common humanity. Through powerful scenes on pages, canvases, and stages, the arts have spurred our imaginations, lifted our hearts, and united us all without regard to belief or background.

The arts and humanities have also helped fuel our economy as well as our souls. Across our country, men and women in the non profit and for profit arts industries bring arts and cultural activities to our communities, contributing tens of billions of dollars to our economy each year. Today, arts workers are revitalizing neighborhoods, attracting new visitors, and fostering growth in places that have gone too long without it.

As we work to bring the power of the arts and humanities to all Americans, my Administration remains committed to providing our children with an education that inspires as it informs. Exposing our students to disciplines in music, dance, drama, design, writing, and fine art is an important part of that mission. To promote arts education and pay tribute to America's vibrant culture, First Lady Michelle Obama and I have been proud to host a White House Music Series, Dance Series, and Poetry Jam. We have been honored to bring students, workshops, and performers to "the People's House;" to highlight jazz, country, Latin, and classical music; and to invite Americans to listen to the music of the civil rights movement, hip hop, and Broadway.

By supporting the fields that feed our imagination, strengthen our children's education, and contribute to our economy, our country will remain a center of creativity and innovation, and our society will stand as one where dreams can be realized. As we reflect on the contributions of America's artists, we look forward to hearing their tales still untold, their perspectives still unexplored, and their songs still unwritten. May they continue to shed light on trials and triumphs of the human spirit, and may their work help ensure that our children's horizons are ever brighter.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2010 as National Arts and Humanities Month. I call upon the people of the United States to join together in observing this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to celebrate the arts and the humanities in America.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

"National Arts and Humanities Month is a coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America. Held every October and coordinated by Americans for the Arts, NAHM is the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation." The NAHM Events Map shows many of the nationwide activities that have been scheduled:

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Coiled Art of Carol Eckert

"Kingdom of the Birds" by Carol Eckert

Carol Eckert has taken the medium of basketry to a new level by using a signature "stitch" and universal symbols to illustrate legends, parables and creation stories by using the technique of coiling. Although she describes this technique as "simple" and only requiring the use of a threaded needle (to wrap copper wire with DMC cotton embroidery floss) her work is very sophisticated and complex. Through it she tells stories using a variety of forms such as staffs, shrines, wall art and books (as well as the occasional "basket" as she defines it).

DETAIL - "The Raven Addresses the Animals" by Carol Eckert

Smithsonian Archives of American Art Interview - An 2007 interview of Carol by Jo Laurie for the Smithsonian's Craft and Decorative Arts in America documentation project can be read online:

To view more of Carol's art:
Carol's Website:

Jane Sauer Gallery

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fundraising for Individual Artist Projects

In April of this year, I did a post about the Diastrous State Budget Cuts Proposed for the Arts ( and there were comments regarding the need for artists to find or develop alternative funding sources that don't rely on state funding which seems to be rapidly drying up. A follow-up post in May on Fundraising for the Arts( looked at some ideas being tossed around and tried out. Now, an opportunity has been presented to me that I would like to share with you and hope that you will at least "peek in" every once in a while to see how its progressing and to determine if this is this is the type of alternative funding avenue you should investigate.

I am pleased to announce that I have been selected to participate in a new online community of America’s finest artists called Project Site ( ), created by United States Artists to expand its mission of investing in America’s finest artists.

I’ve been asked to join as a pioneer member!

Project Site is still in an “Alpha” stage in which a very few artists have been selected to participate. My Profile and Showcase are already up, and I’ve just launched a new project called Katrina Narratives: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

Check it out here:

I have some great perks available for anyone that’s interested in supporting me in this effort, and if you can’t support the project financially, I’d love it if you helped to spread the word and tell your friends about it.

Come explore a new online community of America’s finest artists!

Project Site is a community where America’s finest artists and those that love and support them can share their latest work, discover new artists, enter into a dialog with each other, and make direct donations (of any size, all of which are tax deductible) to new projects created by each artist. This is the first website in our knowledge that allows direct public donations between art patrons and accredited artists on the Internet.

Thank you for your support and interest.