Sunday, March 31, 2013

Solar 3D Printing with Sand

This is amazing to watch and this new technology will offer artists a new pallet to create upon.  When science and art meet it is always an exciting event.

I can only imagine what sculptures, installations, and movie sets will come from this. If you are an artist, how would you use this new idea?

Friday, March 29, 2013



The Answer is YES! yes! YES! 

 For many reasons one needs to exhibit, just as a writer should publish and a musician should play a gig.  To grow in your art, you cannot hide away and never share your creations.  Part of the act of doing art is sharing it with others.  For some artists it is more painful than others.  Those of us involved in a creative life are sometimes very inward, shy or reserved people and in sharing our art, it is like the sharing the most intimate vulnerable parts of ourselves.  And then we think, what if no one like it, what if not one stops to look, or what if someone says it is no good.  In truth any of those things can happen and may, but how you learn to deal with it will allow you to grow more as an artists and communicator.  

University of South Florida Center Gallery

From early in my career as an arts teacher I decided it was essential to exhibit my work and keep involved.  It is not easy when you are teaching young students, for at the end of the day you are worn out giving all your ideas and insight to others.  But it helps to soldier through all that.  One of the side effects of continuing to do my own art and show it was I continued to understand how the student felt as a often put me in that role, so I was more sensitive to their needs.  
I also grew more as an artist.  I learned that I had to consider the source of the criticism and to determine whether it was valid.  I learned to take criticism with a grain of salt for the most part and have more strength in my own conviction as an artist and my own vision of my creativity.
So do I still have to push myself to show?  Yes I do.  Recently a show came up with my university I graduated from called Made at USF.  I called and found I could enter as an alumni and did.  It wasn't a huge show, but it was worth me doing.  I met students and staff showing their work as well besides it keeps me in the flow of showing and exhibiting.  Push your self, don't shy is the way you grow and the way you communicate your work.

Oh Piet Your Colors, Your Colors!

The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel. 
Piet Mondrian

Piet Modrian       from google image for educational purposes only

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Amazing Murals of Philadelphia


Actually the program started with a severe problem for the city of Philadelphia, gang graffiti.  Violence in neighborhoods was rampant and building were being defaced by gang messages and language.  Then a creative solution came that worked and worked well.  The city put artists and neighborhoods together.  As they worked with the communities needs and interest the artist found strength in healing qualities of art.  The murals have not been deface because the neighborhood protects them because it is theirs.  The city now offers a program to teach any one how to replicate this successful system.  I highly recommend a trip to see the murals and your communities involvement in a mural project.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art looks to have a wonderful collection of art.  You may want to add this link to your bookmarks.  I am already in awe of the cities mural program, which one can take three different day tours to see murals in each part of the city.  
More recently I have had two friends move there.  One was the co-creator of Creative Clay, a wonderful organization for special needs graduates who needed a place to go and work after graduation.  Our next post we will go more into how two young social workers created a wonderful successful non profit art organization in our community.  It is a model that can work in any area for special needs individuals.  
Those steps may look familiar. Sylvester Stallone ran up then in the famous scene from Rocky.

from google image 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


"Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings, the artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another to cause vibrations in the soul?

from google image for educational purposes only

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Virtual Sistine Chapel

I thought you would have fun with this.  A friend sent it to me and I was amazed at how I could move around and look at ever aspect of the Sistine Chapel.  I have never been, so this was a good substitute.  Explore and enjoy.  Think of Michelangelo on his back on a scaffold painting long hours for many years. 
Just scroll over the arrow and then you can move around the room from the floor to the walls to the ceiling!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013



Isn't this great?!  There are so many ways to bring art alive and to have a sense of humor about it. I ran into this on you tube and just loved it.  The next costume party I go to this is it, I can hardly wait!!!  So it must makes you wonder what else one could do?  Picasso, Mona Lisa, Dali....hmmm the list could be endless. 
So have fun, do you own design, send me ideas or you pictures and we will post them!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Almost Illusion

Washington D.C. Metro   photo by Elizabeth Gordon

The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.
Lucian Freud

Friday, March 15, 2013


I think everybody deserves freedom.  Freedom is such an abstract word, but it's all we need.

photos by Elizabeth Gordon  taken
 Hirshhorn Museum Washington D.C.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Looking at Life a Little Closer


I was driving on the interstate back from doing a round of errands when this reflection of lights on the back of a truck.  It was almost like a mirrored surface it was so reflective.  I found the oval shape interesting as well.   The traffic all came to a stop several times, so it gave me an opportunity to study the visual effects closer and photograph what I was seeing.  I almost always have a small camera with me. I use the camera for many reasons, as a journal, documenting events or things I want to come back and look at closer.  There are millions of images we see daily and filter out.  We are busy, rushing here or there.  Whether you are an artist or not, living life takes precedent.  But I have tried to train myself to look at the things that catch my attention, as this truck did, or things out of the corner of my eye..just on the edge of my vision.  There can be so many things we miss in a day just because we are too busy to focus and life is such that these fleeting moments may never happen again in the same way.  As humans we think oh, tomorrow I will see this again or the next day.  The reality is in our short life span as human beings on this Earth there is a myriad of things that just happen for that moment never to be repeated the same way again.  
How will I use this in my art work?  I am not certain, but I know if fascinates me.  I particularly like all work trucks and day workers going or coming home from the job.  I love the colors on the back of trucks, the tools, the lights, the warning labels, and government stamps...I love the symmetry and organization of images.  
You know how they say in the movies, don't try this trick at home?  Do take pictures, but not while driving!  I am sometimes tempted to do just that.  I even love the movement the photographic image makes when there is movement and it is a blur.  
As I look at the progression of this image, it almost seems as if my car drove right into the truck..entering a time portal.  Hmmmm...idea emerging...artist at work, artist at work, beep, beep, beep.

An Artist in the Making

The Education of Quinton Merada, An Artist

Quinton and his Mother, Denise

I first heard Quinton's name from my elementary art teacher friend Maryanne Hamilton.  She had this wonderful student who had a great family she told me about.   She also told me he was very talented. Through the years she stayed friends with Quinton and his Mother, Denise.
 Quinton we on to an art magnate middle school where another friend of mine was an art teacher.  Julie Smith is an exceptional middle school art teacher. So I continued to hear  about this talented fine young man through time. 
  And this past week I ran into him again with his Mother and friends at his senior art show at the Morean Art Center with his art magnate high school (Pinellas Center for the Arts).  It is adynamic show with all of the art teachers showing their work with a student senior show. 
Colored pencil drawing  by Quinton
Quinton had some of the finest art teachers one could have from a public education system that supports the arts.  He was fortunate, not all school system support the arts and many talented artists do not receive the education and support they need to succeed.    
His work is exceptional, his talent outstanding and his skills polished by fine teachers and a supportive family and community. 

UPDATE: Out of 200,000, Quinton chosen among top students for National Scholastic Award of Arts! A Trip to NYC for Award!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This was once a seafood packing plant before renovation
with over 7,800 sq. ft 
the vision of one artist is a role model for others  in the arts


I can tell you in every community all around the world, large or small this is how it begins with one person with dedication and passion who effects another or many.  Their influence bathes others in their light of creativity and vision, and then like a planted seed it takes growth.  Duncan McClellen's Studio warehouse is one successful example.
Main gallery of Duncan Mc Clellen's Studio
How can I be so certain this is the path you may ask?  It has been my journey, I answer.  I have been an artist and arts teacher for well over 37 years.  As an artist I have practiced much longer.  I have also been an active art advocate all those years and to present. I have sat on art council and lobbied for the arts at our state capital.  I have seen how one person or a small group of dedicated people can change attitudes and communities.   
Living Room of studio, off to the left is the deck below
Front deck has sculptures, exotic fruit trees and seating
The element of fire is in several areas, carrying out the image of fire in the
process of glass blowing
Now envision your town, your area, your village, neighborhood or wherever you are in the world.  Do not think of money or resources, not right away.  Think of a dream, think of a vision, think of a passion you have in art.  Start with your talents and abilities, join with others who have other abilities with a vision or dream...that is how is comes into reality...that and a lot of hard work. Ah, one more thing...always be generous to other artists, students, schools, and patrons!

Bar with Duncan's etchings on the side deck of warehouse

In  future post we will look at other artists and communities that have transformed warehouses and depressed areas into art studio's, art centers, and art class areas that in turn build a more vibrant community.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg

Madonna in Prada  by Joseph Cavalieri                   photo by Elizabeth Gordon
Joseph Cavalieri and me at Duncan McClellan's Glass Studio Open House
Wonderful work, wonderful artist, and nice guy!

 Some people are just good people, they are good, kind and humble.  Joseph Cavalieri is an very talented artist who is fascinating to talk to, down to Earth and extremely generous.
Joseph is also a very talented and energetic man.  His work is highly detailed and crafted.  There is an element of surprise to every piece.  It is almost art come alive, for the light of the glass and colors feel like a living thing.
Joseph Cavalieri's work is at times wonderfully humorous if not a bit
cheeky and serious with historyview from a modern touch 

Meeting my cousin Lisa for the first time at Joseph's show! Lisa and her
husband are huge supporters of the Arts in our area.  Two of her sons are
artists themselves.  A community that invests in the arts has many champions.

R Crumb Influence is wonderful in these art pieces 

Duncan McClellen's Glass Studio where Joseph's work was
shown.  Duncan is very generous with other artists, supporting,
encouraging and promoting.  


The Art Walk
The Glass Art of Steven Rolfe Powell

Stadium Seats to View Art!!!  That is Big!  
You would think it was a rock star, but no, it is a glass star!!!  Steven Powell is a start in the glass blowing world and here he wows the crowd with his awesome talent.  I am trying to think when I ever saw stadium seats set up for the viewing of art. It is just so impressive there are almost no words.  If you doubt for one minute the power of art, the just look at these pictures. Now imagine what your community might do.  This was once a dream in Duncan Mc Clellen's mind...only a thought, only an idea.  But then with vision and leadership he made it a reality.  It is evidence of what one person can do, when they have passion and persistence.  Of course there are many others supporting and helping, many who have become partners along the way...but first there must be the spark that catches flame.  I am not sure how this community will ever thank Duncan for all he has done.  I hope you have a Duncan in your community or perhaps, with his example, you will become a leader of the arts.

Pack crowds, standing room only left!

The fire is roaring hot, the glass is molten, art is about to

Steven describes the process of glass blowing
Viewing Joseph Cavelieri's Awesome stained glass art

Stunning Decks at Duncan Mc Clellen's Studio

The night is set for art and the crowds are coming

Duncan has a flare for style with his designs etched on the bar!

Studio living Room and hall gallery

Entering the huge doors of Duncan's expansive studio

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Community and Art-A Very Good Thing!

from google image for educational purposes only

I am not sure whether your community does this or not, but it is a great idea.  Get art shops, galleries, artists studio's, and museums to all open up on one night a month.  It promotes community gathering and it helps a town economically.  So it is a win-win situation.  Tonight my area is having one of their monthly art walks and I plan to attend and take friends.
Even if you live in a very small town or village you can organize something similar to this.  Get people who sell food, their crafts and art, get people in your neighborhood out to meet, eat and talk.  I don't care how small a gathering is, you can make it work.  And it is a good thing, a positive thing, and a peaceful thing.  It doesn't have to involve politics, arguments, violence or disagreement-all things our world is too full of.  Build positive good things in your town or village and I promise you it will reap rewards, like a pebble dropped in a pond, the good will ripple outward wider and wider.
And tomorrow my in my post I will share my experience with you.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Steven Rolf Powell                               Glass Artist

St. Pete once again proves it is an Art Town!
When a community focuses on the arts it enriches itself economically and culturally.
Dali Museum Art Night Opening

On the Florida Gulf Coast in the middle of the state lies an area that comprises the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg and surrounding areas.  It is becoming known as the Tampa Bay Area. The communities are blending in ways that make them almost one big city and that is a good thing. There is much art in both areas, and together it is a wonderful offering for those who live there and those who visit.

Steven Rolf Powell    Glass Artist                              from google for educational purposes only
Dale Chihuly at his new St. Petersburg Museum
This is going to be a great weekend of glass arts in the Tampa Bay Area.  St. Petersburg really has become a town that puts a huge focus on the arts. First it was the Museum of Art, then came Dali Museum, the Morean Art Center, the Florida Craftsmen Guild, the Train Depot(clay center), and now a new stunning Dali museum and the Chihuly Museum. 

Duncan Mc Clellen's Art Warehouse Studio, the hub of the warehouse arts district

 Duncan Mc Clellen's huge warehouse studio will be buzzing with an open house and guest glass artists demonstrating and showing their work. 

Joseph Cavalieri 
Duncan McClellen's  Wave 
Joseph Cavalieri will be there and Steven Powell.  Dale Chihuly will be in town speaking at the Vinoy and highlighting his museum in St. Pete. (the only museum of his work in the USA other than his home of Seattle). 
 Wow! What a weekend!  And there is an art walk with all the galleries and museum open this weekend!!!
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