Summer is Ending

Somehow in my crazy hectic schedule in trying to be on top of things, I wrote this post in advance and saw that it never posted. Although summer has just ended, I think it is still timely…

Summer is ending; time to say goodbye to carefree, playful days. I love the fall but I’m already missing my vacation spent on Ocracoke Island in NC and the whimsical days of feeling back to Nature, with beach combing, peaceful kayaking and relaxation.

I came back to non-stop, pull-out-all-the-stops work to get a new website up and running. I was ahead of the game until a program I was using to upload 6,000 variations randomly just duplicated my 2,000 images, multiplying them to 19,000!! I deleted them from the server but also had to delete them from my WordPress site, which still recognizes them until they are permanently deleted from the Media Gallery. Ugh and another ugh!! I had to delete them manually. It only took @ 10 hours over the course of several days. Oh, I discovered this mess when I decided to do a little work on vacation. Big mistake. My Internet was slow b/c no one cares about going fast on an island and I knew I had a huge task to come back to. I can happily say I’m back to where I started. Never thought going backwards would be such a relief. Although, now I have an issue with the database remembering other items and preventing me from re-uploading fresh data, no matter how many times I delete. Funny that no one: StudioPress, WordPress, WooCommerce, BlueHost, web programmer or my web person has an answer. I just hope I can resolve soon.

At least now I can get a fresh start on the images alone to either do it correctly or find a way around the problem.

This all reminds me of the symbolic dichotomy that I think is represented by the Swiss Family Tree Robinson tree house.

Swiss Family Robinson movie set_AIE

I was always fascinated with what a convoluted yet totally cool maze-structure the fictional island family created but it was hard to determine where to go and how to get around their home. And yet, their tree house is supposed to be playful and carefree, devoid of stress. (I’m migrating my site to WordPress to avoid having to know code-to-be-able-to-edit stress. Ha….I wish it were so!) I was amazed by this fantasy tree house as a child and always wanted to live in such a structure, now I like a little more foundation with clear, easy routes (roots) to follow. This sculpture by Rob Heard summed this all up for me. I had been saving it for a while and now seems the perfect time to reveal:

Rob heard tree sculpture on Art is Everywher

It seems like your house, your work, your life can have many different facets that all twist and turn to form this beautiful place. This structure is both complex and always lively no matter how arduous it can be sometimes to get around. In other words, Life is good but “so complicated.” One of my favorite videos:

The Military Artist

Although Veterans’ Day has past, I did not get a chance to discuss or show my support in a blog post so I want to mention a few items of note in this one. We have so much to thank our Veterans for. I’m thinking of this as I travel to New Orleans for a family reunion. I think of my many blessings of family as Thanksgiving comes around and the incredible sacrifices military families have given with service and loss to their country — all for our gain and to preserve the American way of life and freedom.

I was glad to see the army has kept its long tradition of official artists to document ongoing wars and military history. Sgt. Martin J. Cervantez was profiled in the Washington Post recently for his painting and military service as one of the army’s official artists. Here is some of his work

Sgt Cervantez-combat artist via Washington Post, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Sgt Cervantez-combat artist via Washington Post

Cervantes-fiield sketches via Washington Post, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Cervantes-field sketches via Washington Post

Heading out-water color_Cervantez via Washington Post, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Heading out-water color_Cervantez via Washington Post

Huge Responsibility_Sgt Martin J. Cervantez via Washinton Post, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

A Huge Responsibility_oil by Sgt Martin J. Cervantez via Washinton Post

This last painting is interesting to me because the light on the military personnel’s shirt in the foreground is painted in such a way to suggest that the commander has a priestly robe – the duplicity of wearing both military garb and performing the role of making life and death decisions. I’m not sure if this is intentional, but it’s what I first thought of when I saw it.

Here is the link to all the galleries of the Army’s official military artists at the U.S. Center for Military History. Viewing the other artist’s works is well worth the click.

Here’s a previous post I wrote on Combat Art for Veteran’s Day last year and another post on The Art of Camouflage.

Another mention regarding Eric Grohe’s military mural, Liberty Remembers, the artist is described in this article as still being moved even though his public art is now 10 years old.

eric-grohe-mural via Bucyrus Telegraph Forum, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Liberty Remembers, mural by Eric Grohe via Bucyrus Telegraph Forum

Ocean City, Maryland has a new Veteran’s Day Mural by Carla Migliaccio.

Ocean-City_veterans mural via Shore News Today, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ocean City Veterans Mural by Carla Migliaccio via Shore News Today

Since I haven’t added music here in a while, here’s a little Talking Heads, Life During Wartime, to Kick Start the Weekend. I always feel like I should be doing an aerobic exercise when listening to this music. As it turns out, I probably was when dancing to it in college but now,  just watching the video wears me out!


Artistic Self Rating

I never thought of lists and self-rating charts as being artistic but they give you great insight into the creative minds of some artists.

While on vacation last weekend, I will be doing some sketching and reflecting so maybe these artistic charts will provide some inspiration — of course I’m writing this post in advance so we’ll see if ideas actual get enacted.

Adolf Konrad's graphic packing list, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Adolf Konrad's graphic packing list, Dec. 16, 1973. via The Atlantic

Harry-Bertoia_Sefl-rating-graph via The Atlantic, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Harry-Bertoia_Sefl-rating-graph via The Atlantic

Well, some sketching did get enacted and how appropriate that this post with this title would be my 500th. I don’t know but that’s a lot of posts and maybe worthy of retirement soon…

Cabin in the woods 1 sketch by C. Ashley Spencer, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Cabin in the woods 1 sketch by C. Ashley Spencer


Cabin in the woods 2 sketch by C. Ashley Spencer, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Cabin in the woods 2 sketch by C. Ashley Spencer,

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any videos out there of Aaron Neville singing Respect Yourself but you’ll have to just listen here and it might help to Kick Start the Weekend.

A Million Little Pictures

Is an idea that came out of The Sketchbook Project, which has already passed the deadline in which to become involved (November 15th 2010). It’s a program where anyone can sign up to receive a sketchbook, where they sketch daily for a certain time period and then submit their drawings to be a part of a traveling art show. The exhibit starts touring in Brooklyn on February 19 and then continues around the country into the summer. This is a similar idea to Urban Sketchers but it is open to all and features and exhibition more than a community.

The Sketchbook_Project as seen on Art Is Everywhere

A Million Little Pictures is the same premise by the same organizers but instead uses photos from a disposable camera, which is sent upon signing up. Pictures are taken daily and then submitted. Anyone can enter and everyone is guaranteed at least one submission in a traveling photo exhibit. Act fast, as the deadline is March 31st and then the Photomobile exhibition starts traveling in the fall! I’ve added these two links to my blogroll, in case you want to check back on their sites for updates.

A Million Little Pictures as seen on Art Is Everywhere

A few more artistic opportunities, include Brooklyn Art Project is open to all artists of all nationalities to download and color this graphic below (at their link provided). Fold it and take creative pictures with it. Submission deadline is May 5, 2011. The most creative 100 selected by the staff will be published on a website.

Brooklyn-Art-Project, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Finally, submissions for the Cleveland Arts Prize have already passed in December but stay tuned for their announcement of the four winners, who will be awarded cash prizes of $5,000 each for their submissions in either: literature, visual arts, design, and music and dance. The awards gala is Tuesday, June 28th at The Cleveland Museum of Art.

Cleveland Arts Project as seen on Art is Everywhere

The Public Art Network is also a resourceful place to check for ongoing public art opportunities.

Public-Arts-Network, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

For a little different type of music to Kick-Start you Weekend, here’s some interactive music by Play the Music at the G-Shock event in Madrid in September 2010. If you view all their videos, you’ll see that they are all interactively made with light from a flashlight pointing on selected images to creat the music.

G-Shock_Building Music by Play the Music, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

G-Shock by Play the Music. Links to video

Designer Show House for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra

Rothesay, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra League’s Designer Show House, is well worth the trip. My husband and I took a four hour round trip  road trip to Richmond on a crisp, fall-like Sunday to view Mary Douglas Drysdale’s room in the RSOL Designer Show House. We arrived early to meet Mary there so we could take some pictures.  Getting there before it opened to the public, allowed us to meet the day crew captain and volunteer staff and help them by turning on all of the lights in all of the rooms. There were so many rooms, that I lost count. You could tell it’s an older house, come to life with all the renovated interior design, partly because of the “old school” punch light switches. Georgie, the caged finch in the Morning Hall, which was designed by Karen Farrow and Jonathan Williams, was chirping away, happy to be greeting people. There was some necessary vacuuming and then before we knew it the house was abuzz with visitors.

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Back view of Rothesay. Photos by C. Ashley Spencer

We still had time to take a few preliminary angle shots for Mary in anticipation of the photo shoot next weekend.

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Photos of Mary Douglas Drysdale’s Living Room Design at Rothesay

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3RSO_MDD_0025_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls

When Mary arrived, she went right to work explaining her room to a group of visitors. She reiterated what she had explained to us that her objective in the room was to combine traditional elements with modern, all in a balanced, sustainable room. The geometric floor pattern that Mary designed is contemporary but repeats the hexagonal shape found on the 18th century American piece and the stenciled bell flower harkens to a well known folk-life motif.

9RSO_MDD_0052_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls
Geometric pattern in the floor repeats the pattern in 18th century piece

The carved Great Dane above the fireplace by Mark Perry, a well known folk-life artist, was carved just for this space. Its stark dark contrast compared with the subtle decorative finish of the cream walls lends a modern feel.

4RSO_MDD_0051_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls

The two large portrait photographs by Max Hirshfield, purposely captured in one shot, serve as bold injections of color as well as unusual pairings with traditional, Cuban, folk-like furniture. These photos have an uncanny look of hyper realistic paintings.

7RSO_MDD_056_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls8RSO_MDD_0057_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls

Mary carries the subtle geometric patterning into the stenciling below the crown molding and with patterning on the drapes. The textiles for the furniture and curtains are made of the softest alpaca and linen and striking side tables are made from reclaimed river wood, all proving sustainability can be beautiful.

5RSO_MDD_0026_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls

Mary is a master of proportion and balance. What I like about her work is it unveils itself like a well written story with subtle yet sublime reflections that reveal themselves through discovery; however, she has thought of them all in advance. Like a true spatial architect she works with the foundation and presents the details with significance.

6RSO_MDD_0030_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls

We were able to grab a coffee, talk with more volunteers about where to go afterwards (that pleasant and gracious Southern hospitality just comes naturally in Richmond) and then we took in the spectacular grounds with the beautiful vista of the James River. I had a little time to do a quick 5 min sketch.

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Rothesay grounds looking over the James River & Bridge
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Rothesay. Overlooking the James River.
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Quick sketch of James River Vista
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Terrace — drawing spot

Rothesay_Fountain_0047_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls

Fortunately, we also had a chance to see the informative movie that the RSOL had produced about the history or Rothesay leading up to the present owners, George and Anne Anderson. Rothesay is an 8 acre estate built in the grand English Tudor tradition. However, the original house looked quite different, complete with a large tower at the entrance. It was built by Jonathan Bryan in 1913, brother of  John Stewart Bryan a newspaper publisher, and named for their grandfather’s hometown in the Isle of Bute in Scotland. Family friend, Charles Gillette, a well known landscape architect completed the landscape design. After his brother’s death in 1933, John Stewart Bryan sold the house to Edward and Isabel Anderson. Isabel, herself an accomplished pianist, was also one of the founding members and patrons of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, so it is very fitting that her house is a part of this designer tradition today for the RSOL. It is her son, George and his English born wife, Anne, who presently hold ownership of the house and their daughter, Randy Trainor, coincidentally enough, is the interior designer who’s work is in the library. Music evidently was constant while growing up through generations in the house.

RSO_Library_0036_csartblog on Slipcovers for your walls
Study and colored books by Blaise Adams & David Barden

Here are few more pictures of some of the other designers’ marvelous rooms. There are 32 interior designers, 28 interior spaces, 12 landscape designers for 14 exterior vignettes. Every one of them had a different feel, which makes this Show House so interesting. Go quickly, it closes after next weekend, on October 11th.

RSO_Tobie Fairley_EntryHall_0029_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls
Tobie Fairley’s Entrance Hall

RSO_Fairley_EntryHall_0031_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls

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Jennifer Stoner’s Dining Room

The designers’ inspiration in the sunroom below was to highlight the fretwork to make  the room feel as if one was inside a Chines Porcelain jar.

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Sunroom by Kevin Malone & Kathy Morgan. Photography by John Magor
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Sunroom (with little sun). Photo by C. Ashle Spencer

I couldn’t help but get a kick out of the David [Hick’s] & Kelly [Wearstler’s] imagined romance spaces for the loft by Kat and Mike Liebschwager. I actually was drawn to the Kelly room before I knew the significance. How clever.

RSO_UpstairsAlcove_0039_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls
Imaginary romance loft space by Kat & Mike Liebschwager

The bamboo upon leaving also struck me as enchanted.
Rothesay_Bamboo_casartblog on Slipcovers for your walls

Richmond is a perfect spot to take in some fall color and while there, I’d recommend the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and dining at the Water Grill, where we lucked out in finding it in Carytown and had a delicious and reasonably priced meal. A wonderful way to top of a great adventure.

Water Grill  on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

WaterGrill on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

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