Thursday, November 5, 2009

Taos Art Gallery plus the good the bad and the ugly

My newest blog taosartgallery.blogspot.com will be coming soon and will only feature artwork from Two Graces Gallery. Eventually I hope to post all the artwork in the gallery on it, but this will be a long and ongoing process. When I saw that this site had not been snatched up yet I jumped on it, I think it's a good website name to have with lots of presence.

Today my dilemma is that there is a GAS LEAK in the shop, after 6 different plumbers passed on even giving me an estimate I finally hired a good reliable plumber. The leak is either under the floor or in the wall, this could be a catastrophe except that these guys seem to know what they're doing. They will bypass the old gas lines and put a gas line on the roof and down into the 3 heating units inside the shop, saving oodles of money. YET when I asked, will it cost more than $700, or more than $1,000. the plumber in charge said, think higher, over $1,500. and that he'd let me know. As of right now I haven't heard back from him or my landlord about this whole thing.

Even though there's a full page picture of me in today's Taos News and that there have been lots of people coming by to see the altar exhibit, I'm not making oodles of money.
So, say a prayer for me, light a candle or whatever works from where you are but this is quite the money-pit and I'm afraid that this just could be the straw that breaks the camels back.

Bad news part 2: While we were away in LA someone stole the bench out front of Two Graces, a bench I'd made and that had been there for over 2 years, now gone. People actually sat on that bench and waited for their friends while they were shopping. Argh, I hate thieves!

Good news: I'll be donating my time to help out with the Taos Community Foundation auction & Antique Roadshow appraisal on Nov. 13 & 14
Holly & I will be decorating a Christmas Tree for the Taos News auction to benefit Taos MEN, we hope it helps raise a lot of money for this great Taos non-profit.
Tomorrow I'll get to see my mentoree that I work with through Taos MEN, I'm really looking forward to that.
...and tonight we're having dinner with one of our friends.
So see it isn't all bad!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My last notes on LA

Self Portrait in front of Red Rothko, if you ever have the opportunity to see an actual Mark Rothko painting, listen up and do this... Start from the furthest point in the room away from the painting, face the painting and walk towards it, slowly, at a point you will feel as though the painting has enveloped you creating a vortex, sucking you in. The later paintings do not create this experience they block you out and are meant to. Warning: the Museum guards tend to frown on this sort of behavior!!! But, tell them I told you to do this and it will all work out. This one is at LACMA, where we saw the Warhol and Koons of the Broad collection, the Warhols are terrific, the Koons if one were offered to me as a gift, I'd paint over it or re-use the frame.
Holly in front of a great abstract DeKooning, when we were first dating I took her to a DeKooning exhibit at the MFA in Boston, so we always feel any of his work has a special meaning to us. Below is a renaissance altar, and what an altar it is, from the Getty Museum collection. We were only able to visit the Getty Museum and LACMA, both worthwhile and inspiring. The Getty Museum is an amazing place, LACMA is a bit confusing and divided up in such a way as to confuse and not be too user friendly (the parking garage is easier to get around in). Driving around LA takes a lot of time, parking is expensive at $18-22. for parking lot fees and a $60. parking fine ticket keeps you running back to the car before the meter runs out, and egads puts quite a dent in the checkbook. We never did get to any of the galleries I hoped to see the Kenny Scharf exhibit and a few others, but lack of time put a damper on that. I could probably count on my hands the number of stores I went into, which means not many, far too much driving. When I'd ask parking lot attendants how to get someplace they'd look blankly, no not at me and say "I don't know", wow really you don't know, did you understand the question. Thankfully, Holly is a great patient navigator, and can read a map so we were never lost, (you've got to have the patience of an angel married to me). The store sales people were anywhere from bored indifferent to informative, helpful and glad you were there.
LA seems like a place where Halloween would be quite a spectacle, on the day before we began seeing people in costumes on a fairly regular basis, Or, were they in costume at all, could they have been just in their regular dress. The Japanese men trying to look like Rock Stars and the Rock Stars trying to look Japanese, put a nice spin on what's fashionable in LA. Yes, Holly put that $3,000. Stella McCartney dress back on the rack in Barney's before you damage it and are forced to buy it, and yes it would be stunning on you. Sorry, Holly but the mortgage is still due, and I don't think the bank would take the dress as payment. LA Men either have finely coiffed hair or have shaved it all off, all of them looking like they are up for a part in the next big hit TV show if they could just get a break before they turn 30. The Barista at Barney's Cafe probably has the scoop on any upcoming projects, so befriend him, although he's probably already screen tested for the role anyway. As for LA women, sorry but I really tried not to look, which also means I saw no movie stars, I couldn't even purchase a map to the homes of the stars.
"Taos, isn't that a ski resort", was the question of the day at the tourism/American Airlines non stop to Santa Fe convention on Wednesday, (although these same ski enthusiasts could not tell me what an ice scraper was). The fact that people know Taos for it's skiing and not for the over 100 year old Art Colony, the Taos Pueblo and San Francisco de Asis Church was startling to me, although it says oodles about Taos Ski Valley and it's marketing. The town & county of Taos have a lot of catching up to do. No one asked about the Whitten hotel mogul who had been seen on CNN, MSNBC & MSN just the day before, interviewed about his racist attitude toward Hispanic people. Not a single person asked about what had been a national news story the day before, only about 'how's the skiing'!
Ah, Americans, we do love our vacations, I know I did!
I must thank Joannie Griffin and Cathy Connelly. The hotel that JG found us was a treat to stay at, the Custom Hotel in Santa Monica, great rates, great service, truly a room with a view. Joannie made it all easy for us, no pressure, very professional and worked the entire time nonstop to LA. Just the fact that these 2 people chose me to go to LA to help promote Taos was an honor, would I do it again, well...... ......let me put it this way, I wouldn't want either of their jobs, I love what I do and when I can help out with something, I'm there, so thank you both.

Meanwhile, Back in Taos

Back in Taos, the Taos News paper our weekly local newspaper, published another story on our Dia d los Muertos exhibit at Two Graces. They gave us the coveted Cover Story of the arts magazine section Tempo, all over Taos a picture of part of my Taos/LA Altar is on the front of Newspaper boxes throughout the town. Plus there's a picture of yours truly in the paper with a blurb of how much an asset and supportive Taos News has been to galleries like mine. I've been smiling from ear to ear since we got back HOME.
No relaxing there's always more to do, and getting these drawings done for the SMFA school annual benefit sale was a must. They are mixed media works on paper 7" x 9" in shadow box frames that are slightly larger than those dimensions and have been shipped off to Boston for the sale, at $150. each. I really hope they sell, the money goes towards student scholarship funds. Above is "CAT" with "Black Cat" shown below. ...and yes, the "Black Cat" painting looks about the way I felt on Saturday morning with a big head, I proably could have titled them Holly & Robert!
While I was teaching at School of the Museum of Fine Arts this was always a terrific event, the turnout was enormous and sales were brisk. I sold more artwork at this sale over the years than any gallery showing I'd ever had, (that is until I started my own gallery).
www.smfa.edu go to SUPPORT and click on the Inside/Out link, there is a flicker link to see images of some of the artwork that will be included, I would purchase the Mike & Doug Starn twins Tree photo-collage if I were solvent. The Sale runs November 18-November 22, with a sneak preview for the high muckie mucks, so if you're interested in anything at all jump the line and call SMFA! If mine are already sold, contact me directly, this is a series of small drwings I'm currently exploring "Hello Kitty type CATs". Thank You, R

I like LA food & drink

Above the Skull Vodka bottle at Renee's. Yes, LA has wonderful food! The first night, not so great as I've said earlier, but the next night we went to Mario Battalli's Pizzeria Mozza with HH, it's on N.Highland not to be confused with Osteria Mozza which is the sister store next door on the corner, we got them confused. We stopped at Amoeba Records to shop & pick HH up, what a place, and there's an upstairs, vinyl old school records, CD's, DVD's, if you're looking for it, it's there somewhere, amazing, look up the website, that's what HH does for them, webdesign, amazing. Since we couldn't reach Mozza on the phone we headed over there and were seated at the bar, no rez/no table policy. Dolce d'Alba wine, 2 pizzas, one with Fungi, one with prosciutto, apps. of HOT olives heated in the woodstove and a bowl of mussells. Dessert of pudding, everything was delicious, and with it being HH birthday and his fiance away on a Jaimie Oliver gig in W.Virginia, we had a nice birthday celebration. Afterward HH took us to an indie bookstore called "Family" GO THERE, it's specializes in Art Books and Indie Comics, GO THERE.
Crabs in the case of SM Seafood, my Dad would have loved it, I'd have said he'd have been in heaven but I know he is. The next night we got together with P&MMcD, they took us to a place called Renee's, it's a bar that they like to go to and enjoy a Martini, all sorts of them mixed with vodka straight out of a crystal skull head. I almost jumped over the bar to get one of those skulls! Delicious-o, then over to Musha for Tokyo Cusine, OH MY YUM, GO THERE. A filetted side of Mackerel is served on a Banana Leaf to your table where the waiter comes over with a BLOW TORCH and lights it up to perfection, dipping sauce and wasabi and away you go, Poke Tuna and more fired up fish dried Skate Wing was cooked on a hollowed out stone with burning embers placed inside it, P took care of cooking this delicacy up for all of us. Egads could there be more, YUP, then P&MMcD took us to a Taqueria for an assortment of Tacos, duck, lamb & beef, with a couple of Margaritas in me I was lit up needless to say.
Above formerly the place where the mackerel was presented. Last day in LA and still drunk from the night before, even in college I never got that wasted! We went to Santa Monica Seafood, where an enormous case of fresh fish awaits you're devouring. I tried to explain to a woman at the counter how to cook sardines but when she told me she was making it for her baby, I tried to talk her out of it. This was her or someone's idea probably someone on a website like Goop, for healthy baby food!
We sat in the cafe where a young woman came over with a big "HELLO, how are you guys" thatmade us feel like we've been there a million times before, nope a first but a nice trick and cudos to her for a great future acting career. After that she could do no wrong. we ordered Oysters, Fish Chowder, and Fish & Chips, perfect for the land of hangover I was experiencing still, and delicious, may I have seconds please.
HH above trying out the Dolce D'Alba (at Mozza), which by the way Il Piatto in Santa Fe serves, (go there too). Thank you to our friends in LA. My idea of friendship is that I consider you a friend when I have had the opportunity to sit down and eat with you, conversation, food and a bit of drink(even if it's just a Coke)=Great Friends, so thank you all.