Pop-Up Park

IMG_0571Pop-Up Everything is the new rage across the country.  Pop-Up means that nothing is permanent.  It just happens. Usually, there is not a lot of publicity because by the time it opens, it has already closed.  It’s kind of like a “happening” — performance art that started in the 60’s.  I remember creating one when I was studying theatre at NYU at that time.

I like this approach to art.

A block from my gallery is this Pop-Up Park.  I couldn’t resist going to see it.  A combination of fake grass with real plants.  A bench to relax on.  Sitting on a wooden platform that can be moved from place to place.

Here’s what the people who have created this park said:

“The park is designed to honor (PARK)ing Day, an annual worldwide event on Sept. 18 where artists, designers and residents transform spaces into public parks. The effort will convert a single parking space into a temporary public park.”

We will see how long it will last in this location.  I’ve already seen people sitting on the bench doing work or having lunch.  It creates a sense of community.  I like that too!





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The Process of Creating Art

Lots of people want to know how art is created.  I don’t know how other artists do this but I do know my own process. Most of the time, I have this idea and I try to make it.  I don’t plan, draw it out, or put too much effort into restricting my ideas in the beginning.  I just start and let the piece take me where it wants to go.

However, I am now taking a class from Randy Hale, a wonderful watercolorist here in Denver.  He believes in doing value studies before even starting a painting so I have been trying this approach and thought I would share my first effort with you.Abstract

Being inspired by this photo (love urban art!) we were instructed to make a value study.  I chose to concentrate on the right side of the photo and made this rough guide.Abstract2

As I started to create my watercolor, using the value study as a guide, things went awry.

As usual, my piece began having its own voice and I just went with it.  I am pleased with the outcome but perplexed about how this process can help me in the future.

WaughCan you see the progression?

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Why Do I Teach?


One of my students made something really original!

Many artists do not teach because they don’t want to share the special techniques or materials they use to create their art.  They don’t want to create hundreds of “copycats” who will confuse the market by making art that looks like theirs.  I have to confess, when I started teaching Stupendous Stitching and began seeing pieces come into view that indeed, looked like mine, I began to worry about this myself.  Especially when one of the pieces ended up in an online auction for an organization I belong to!

But then I calmed down and drew a breath.  I teach precisely so I can help other people discover their artistic side and if it meant teaching them how to make art like mine, so be it.  After all, I told myself, I didn’t “invent” any of the techniques I teach — just my unique way of putting these techniques together.  And, over the years, as I’ve now taught many thousands of students all over the world, 95% of these students go on to create their own unique look and feel for their fiber art creations.

I’m about to fly off to teach at a quilt exhibition in DesMoines, Iowa and I can’t wait.  Being in the classroom with a roomful of eager learners is always a pleasure for me.  I can’t wait to see what they create!


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Street Art

Over the past few years, I have been more and more attracted to street art.  Coming from NYC, I always thought spray painting on subway cars, alleys, and buildings was vandalism and a sign of gang activity. But here in Denver, street art is rising to a new level and is appearing everywhere — especially in RiNo where I have my studio and gallery.

In fact, Denver promotes it!  This weekend is “Colorado Crash”.  Denver sponsors artists from all over the country to descend on Denver and spray paint to their heart’s content.  And we Denverites, get to see their art all year round until they come back, destroy what they created, and create something new.

IMG_0517Two artists from LA are collaborating together to paint this mural.   They have been working on it for two days already and have just today and tomorrow to finish it.  I can’t wait to see it done.

One of the artists goes by the name MDMN and you read an interesting article about him here.

The other artist ran out of business cards so he just spray painted his information on the wall.  Here’s an article about him.IMG_0519

The most interesting thing I learned today was the reason LA artists like coming to Denver! Not our weather.  Not our mountains.  But because there is so much “art” in LA, it’s hard to get noticed. Here in Denver, the art scene is just starting to thrive and they want to be part of it.


Posted in Denver, Inspiration, Public Art, RiNo | 1 Comment

Artist Highlight — Leona Lazar

IMG_0514Today, I had a chance to visit the Santa Fe Art District in Denver and while I’m usually not impressed with most of the art shown in co-op galleries there, Leona Lazar is obviously heads and shoulders above most of the emerging artists.

I’ve known Leona for several years as she has a studio in the Dry Ice Factory where I also have my gallery.  She is an amazing person.  Small in stature but a giant in energy, courage, and innovative ideas. And her new exhibit is very powerful.  She doesn’t work in traditional ceramics or sculpture. Her figures are not realistic — but the emotion she conveys in every work is powerful.

This exhibit is called “I am Music”. I only wish I had the money and space to purchase this musical set.  I know looking at it every day would give me great joy.

Catch her show at Spark Gallery until September 20th.  You won’t be disappointed!


Posted in Art Exhibits, Artist Highlight | 4 Comments