Thursday, October 31, 2013

Banksy StrIkes Again!!

Banksy, as the ever illusive Trickster strikes once again in NYC, a leopard appears on the side of Yankee stadium.  His announcements are posted on his website and for some reason are getting later and later.  Is there more to follow, or is Halloween the end of his months escapes in NYC?

Banksy posted this latest on his website late yesterday.                                                  from google for education only

Tuesday, October 29, 2013



Banksy                          from google image for education only

Banksy is a pseudonymous for a satirical graffiti artist from the U.K.  He is a mysterious figure of which little is known about. No one knows for sure what he looks like, almost like a changeling.

Bansky's Images are often satyr and always striking

His work is done with stencils and is satirical and always striking. He refuses interviews and is famously illusive.  As I was reading about Banksy and his recent artistic escapades in NYC it  brought to mind the Native American Mythic entity, the Trickster.   
For the Hopi he appears as Kokopelli and for other North Western tribes he appears as a coyote who often takes on the form of a coyote head and the body of a man.

 Like a modern Trickster, Banksy assumes mysterious changing forms and is famous for playing artistic pranks and stunts on the streets of the cities he visits.  The city streets literally becomes his canvas and nothing is spared from his creative imagination.  This past month in NYC his work shows up as graffiti, an art stand that sells print reproductions( but instead sold his real work for $60), and also as  a truck with pig puppets squealing on the way to market. It is almost Halloween and Banksy is said to have three more pieces to do before he leaves.  There is such excitement in the city to see where he will strike and what he will do. 

Bansky Graffiti Art

Quiet is the New Loud by Bansky     from google for education only
Not everyone is happy with his artistic stunts, Mayor Bloomberg wants him arrested.  Some New Yorkers defile his work while others steal it for hope of profit and others just enjoy the fun of it all.
It is believed that Banksy is from Bristol, England and grew up as an English school boy .  His work begins to appear in the 1990's in and around Bristol.  His work then appears in London and throughout England.  Then his work begins to appear in Europe and now cities through out the world. The spray can movement may have started in and around Bristol with graffiti artist in the 80's and 90's, but Banksy certainly has taken it to a new high art form that has captured peoples attention world wide.
Flower Chucker by Banksy


"We can't do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves."
— Banksy, Wall and Piece[119]
Banksy once characterised graffiti as a form of underclass "revenge", or guerilla warfare that allows an individual to snatch away power, territory and glory from a bigger and better equipped enemy.[26] Banksy sees a social class component to this struggle, remarking "If you don't own a train company then you go and paint on one instead."[26] Banksy's work has also shown a desire to mock centralised power, hoping that his work will show the public that although power does exist and works against you, that power is not terribly efficient and it can and should be deceived.[26]
Banksy's works have dealt with an array of political and social themes, including anti-Waranti-capitalismanti-fascismanti-imperialism,anti-authoritarianismanarchismnihilism, and existentialism. Additionally, the components of the human condition that his works commonly critique are greedpovertyhypocrisyboredomdespairabsurdity, and alienation.[120] Although Banksy's works usually rely on visual imagery and iconography to put forth his message, he has made several politically related comments in his various books. In summarising his list of "people who should be shot," he listed "Fascist thugs, religious fundamentalists, (and) people who write lists telling you who should be shot."[121] While facetiously describing his political nature, Banksy declared that "Sometimes I feel so sick at the state of the world, I can't even finish my second apple pie."[122]

Monday, October 28, 2013

Art Friends are some of the Best Friends!!

The First Gathering of the Quarterly Meeting of Our New Art Group
Yet to Be Named  at Mark Phillips and Lyman Zobell's
The gathering of artists has been more than a month ago, but what a group it was! Represented were a lot of involved movers and shakers in the Tampa Bay Area. This is a photo of the women of the group..mostly, some were elsewhere.  From left to right:  Betsy Lester, Rose Marie Prins, Leslie Neuman, Michele Tuegel, Elizabeth Gordon, and Barbara Synes. Some of the most creative and wonderful  artists you would want to meet, but great human beings as well.  Not pictured here is Nathan Mark Phillips and David Bewley, Elizabeth Suggs and many other friends of artists attending.
The next part is to be held on Betsy Lester's boat in December!!  
Barbara and Martin Stynes, British Abstract Landscape Artist
and his wife, who is also an artist in her own right
Now this may seem local and of regional interests as this blog is read worldwide, but what I want you to draw from this is the wonderful comraderie that a group of artists sharing and relaxing with art can have.  There is a spirit among artists that is so unlike any other I have known.  It is the creative spirit and the fact we all must be highly trained observers in one way or another.  That night was a close to artists perfection as one can think of, everyone shared their ideas, projects and networked with each other.  There was no agenda, just relax, eat, drink and meet other artists and share.  So there is no pressure, no competition, just being with fellow artists.
I urge you to form a group like this in your community...just get together and open your arms and homes to each other.  Artists need all the support and affirmation they can get.  This is the way to build a  community of artists, to support artist in your area, share ideas and network!

Lyman Zobell and Rose Marie Prins Sharing Art

AN ADDENDUM: No follow up was planned before this meeting, the artists participants themselves decided they did not want it to end, but to continue.  We all talked about how often to meet and how we would decide where to have the next party...funny every one was volunteering, but none of us could turn down an offer of a part on a boat!!!  Thank you Betsy Lester!!

Thought for group name...In the Company of Artists!  What do you think?





This site offers, trade and sale of left over, used and unused art supplies!!  Check it out!

CREATIVE RESALE(click for link)

                                                                                                                                                        from google for education only

 I cannot tell you how many times when I was teaching art and doing shows I wish I had had access to a site like this.  Good hunting!

Saturday, October 26, 2013


The Incredible Moving Collages of Hilary Faye(click)

All of Hilary's Art is shown with her permission.

Hilary Faye is an artist from Melbourne, Australia.  I first saw her collages on Hyperallergenic.  I was immediately mesmerized by her work in collage, especially, the moving collages made with bits of film complied in pieces and bits the same way a regular collage would be except in film.  I took experimental film as an addition to my masters and for continuing education points toward my teaching license in the 90's.  I was fascinated with the creativity one could achieve in film.  Dali's surrealistic clip( un chien andelou) that begins with the cutting of an eye and continues is Dali's style with ants crawling out of a persons mouth and nose was just captivating with what one could create using film as an art  form.

But Hilary's work was even more interesting in that it was like a paper collage, but it moved.  It is only done in short clips of time and that even makes it more effective as a piece you are viewing like a wall collage.  I think you will find them as amazing as I do.
Hilary's background is in design and photography. This however, is a very nice direction she has taken and new to the world of collage and art.  
I wanted to use her images, but as I do most always I wrote and ask her permission which she gave very generously so I could share them with you.  One of the real perks in writing this on line art advocacy magazine for you is that I am getting to meet more and more artists through the process of researching the articles. I hope you find Hilary's work as fascinating as I did and the art magazine Hyperallergenic did also.  Treat yourself and check out the work of Hilary Faye!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Flip Flops Starry Night
When I was doing the previous post with the quote from Vincent Van Gogh, it reminded me of an incident that happened when I was teaching art at Rawlings Elementary in St. Petersburg, Florida.  We had been working on a unit on Van Gogh.  
I even took a mannequin and dressed it up to look like Van Gogh with straw hat and all.  I put a paint brush in his hand and had him standing near where the kids sat on the rug for motivation before going to their tables to draw.  
We had looked at all his periods of painting, from the darker somber Potato Eaters, to Sun Flowers to Starry Night.  Elementary children love Van Gogh, the colors and movement of his work appeal to them...and of course the cutting off the ear thing!  
from google for education only
One morning a 4th grade boy came in so excited.  He drew out of his pocket lined writing paper with a pencil drawing. It was folded and a bit wrinkled.  He unfolded it, the biggest grin shown across his face and his eyes lit up as he said, "Look what I have drawn Ms. Gordon!" There was a drawing of Starry Night, just like we had been studying...but it was drawn on the side of a Nascar Racing car, as if it had been spray painted on!  I knew I had made it as an art teacher!  If I could get my kids from very poor homes and challenged lives to love Van Gogh so much that they would paint the side of their race car, I had really done well!  So if you see Starry Night on a NASCAR Race track car, or on at tattooed arm, or on a prison might just be one of my ex students..and if you do, tell them Ms. Gordon is so proud of them!!

So lets look at some of the images in all kinds of media and on all kinds of surfaces I found! Vincent Van Gogh would probably roll over in his grave if he could see where some of his art appears!  But we know when an image is so assimilated into our culture it is well loved. There must be some other very successful art teachers out there doing a great job!!!

Domino Starry Night

                                                                                                                                                                 from google for education only
Starry Night Tattoo

Starry Night Car Design on a Honda

Quote by Vincent Van Gogh

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.” Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh   Starry Night                                         from google image for education only

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Article by Friend and Artist Martin Stynes After His American Visit

“OK, let’s do it!

Martin Stynes   British Abstract Landscape Artist
Photo by Nathan Mark Phillips 

by Martin Stynes

Often this is the simple response to an invitation to meet for a coffee, but in this case they were the final words in a two year long conversation between myself and Betsy Gordon.
Martin Stynes,  Reflection
Our conversation started in facebook; I don’t think this networking site ever envisaged its participants taking their contact from the realm of cyberspace into the real world. But in our case this is exactly what transpired.

Early on, Betsy was encouraging me to exhibit my work in the United States and through her mentorship and contacts in the Florida art world, I did just that at the Morean Arts centre in St Petersburg Florida in 2012.
Charleston, S.C.
Pretty soon the idea of actually visiting Florida then took centre stage. At first it seemed just wishful thinking, but obstacles were steadily dismantled until the point came when it was time to fix a date and book the flights.

The moment we all met at Orlando airport, it was clear that we were all just as we expected. Sharing the same interests and passions, having a mutual respect and interest in each other’s cultures and traditions, were just as we anticipated.

This set the scene for what I consider to be my best overseas trip ever. Yes we shared meals and riveting conversations and visited places of mutual interest, but mostly we talked of art and what it meant for each of us.
South Carolina BBQ 
We visited galleries in Florida and later, on our way to Asheville NC, in Charleston SC and later in Asheville itself. 
Seeing the incredible variety of works and the plenitude of exhibition spaces in these places was a feast for an artist. It also gave me much inspiration. So much so that, at Betsy’s invitation, I started painting in her Asheville studio. This painting was inspired by my time there and is now on its way to the Dunedin Fine Arts Centre for jurying at their annual show.

photo by Martin Stynes

Betsy Gordon is the most generous person and artist. Generous in her time, support and encouragement. She spent her life educating people in the wonders of art and is still performing this task, but now on a global scale through her blog, Rabbit's Moon Studio. It has a huge audience now and an impact that will only become evident in time to come. She brought me to America - and my work to a worldwide audience, and for this I will be eternally grateful. 

But more than this, I am grateful for our friendship. A friendship that is still going strong even though I am back in chilly Manchester UK. And with good fortune, I hope to be able to reciprocate when Betsy visits us here in the Spring of 2014.
That will be just the next step in this fascinating world of opportunity opening up before us all through the internet. 



Made by Survivors

from google image for education only

This is a program that is a nonprofit agency whose mission is to fight slavery and other human rights abuses with employment, education, and empowerment.  The run programs in India, Nepal, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Thailand.
They partner with other agencies in Fiji and Ghana. Many of the women are survivors of slavery, child marriage or child labor.  Others were born in brothels or victims of extreme poverty or a disability which puts them at a higher risk for being trafficked into slavery.
 The statistics are staggering with 27 million people enslaved in the world today and 200 million children involved in child labor( according to the organization).  

If you are interested in the artisans products or supporting the organzition go to for more information.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Asheville Artist Journal Fall 2013

Taking a camera with where ever I go lets me keep a visual diary.  I highly suggest it for artists.  So much can catch your eye and then be forgotten later.  Just in a  few short minutes something catches you eye and then works its way into a piece of art work. So get a small camera, that you can stick in your pocket, you won't leave behind because it is too heavy or bulky.  Take quick shots and go back and edit later.  Just think of it as a visual memory journal.  Elizabeth Gordon, RMS

75  by Elizabeth Gordon

photo by Elizabeth Gordon

Photo by Elizabeth Gordon

Photo by Elizabeth Gordon

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I know what I like!

Art is in the eye of the beholder.

A child could do that! 

These are all expressions one hears about art and often it is in response to art that we either don't understand or that we have a strong reaction to.

Art is constantly evolving and changing as well as peoples reaction to art. TODAY Impressionism is still one of the most popular art forms, but only a short time ago it was rejected by the art critics and public of the time.  Impressionists had to hire their own space to show their work to even have it shown to the public. Before Impressionism art was less colorful and more exacting in realistic replication.  It was called sloppy, junk, and blurs in the newspapers in Paris and art collectors snubbed Impressionists artists of the day. So why the strong reaction of the critics, the public and the news papers...why were people so stunned by this new art style?

If anything, what came to be called Impressionism was a natural consequence of confluent forces, social, technological, and economic, as well as aesthetic.

Monet's Water Lilly's      Impressionism      
from google only for the purposes of education

"Change was inevitable. Whenever art becomes institutionalized and rigid in terms of what is and isn’t permissible, artists are going to seek new solutions to old challenges. The history of art is a continual response to changing social conventions, political events, and cultural influences, and the second half of the 19th century in Europe was especially volatile.
Among other things, technology was developing rapidly and dramatically. Industrialization had taken hold, and the steam engine was becoming practical, facilitating rail and ship travel. Most important to the history of art, photography had made enormous strides since its introduction by Niepce and Daguerre in 1839,2 and it contributed to the rise of Impressionism in a surprising way.
For the Impressionist painters photography could tell them what something looked like, but not how one saw it.
It’s easy to think of photography vs. painting in terms of reality vs. a transformed version of reality, but that’s deceptive. For the Impressionist painters photography could tell them what something looked like, but nothow one saw it. Early black and white photographs were a record of what was at the moment the photo was taken, but it couldn’t come close to replicating the experience of seeing." From the article by  by John Crowther  

Neo-Classism was the accepted art of the day
from google image for education only

So we evolve from handprints on caves to Egyptian body image to Da Vinci's anatomically correct bodies, from the Greeks' perfect proportion to raised perspective to 3 dimensional.  We learn more, we invent something else and things change along with peoples ideas about art.  Even artists disagree about what is good art and what is not.  We ask our selves the basic question of what is art.   Duchamp's r.e. Mutt presented confronted us with that dilemma.

Marcel Duchamp, Surrealist questioning " What is Art"

So do you have to like something you do not like, No.  But you do need to ask yourself why...why do I react to this?  Is it because I can 't understand it or is it another reason?  To have an open mind, to be curious and to react are what artists hope for in their public.  

Artists basically reflect our times, values, and questions back to us, that is their basic function...shaman of their times.  It may be an in your face selection, a pleasant non threatening reflection, it may ask you to think or feel or experience, but art does ask something of us.  Man will always replicate his world and environment in visual elements, as well as, reenactment as drama, and in music.  We constantly seek to understand the world around us and our experiences in that world.  Art is the first language of man and since time began we seek to increase our vocabulary.
by Elizabeth Gordon, Rms

Saturday, October 19, 2013



Zak Ove's art is often concerned with the white dominance over African Culture and Peoples.  He ask you to question also with thought and deep inquiry by presenting you with images that challenge how you view the world and the media that presents a Western and Eurocentric view. His art is intelligent and commanding, it smacks you right in the face of any hidden prejudice and opens your eyes to a world you may not have seen if he had not pulled back the veil of ignorance.
Elizabeth Gordon, RMS.

ZAK OVE    from google for educational purposes only
When I was looking at Zak's work it brought me back to something that had happened when I was teaching at Nina Harris Exception Child Center in Florida.  Our population of students were trainable, educable and profound..along with autistic, multi handicapped, and other.  The students graduated at 19 and went on to group centers if they were capable.  One day there was a big commotion in the front office as I was walking through and there stood an African American young man about 19 or 20 who had painted himself completely white.  I was told he was a  past student, and somehow manages once or twice a year to catch a bus and then walk to his old school....and he is always covered in white paint.  They said he watched tv and saw all the people on the commercials, in movies and tv shows were white.  He just wanted to be white to be like them and have  what they had!

zak ove, London artist             from google only for educational purposes only


        ZAK OVE              NEW ART TRENDING

                    London based artist of Trinidadian heritage

In an article I read recently from MSN, the art world believes that wealthy buyers in Africa are wanting to buy and support local, home grown artist.  Some of the most recent shows in London have supported that trend. A look at some of the artists that are being looked at, is worthy of our interest as well.  African art and art style has been of interest to artist for a long time.  Picasso based a good bit of his ideas of cubism and other art on the African style and culture.  Europe long looked at the world of African art with interest, but always with the eye of of being Eurocentric:white artists, copying African style. 
Zak Ove  Changing World            from google for education only

One of the new artists of interest is Ove.  He is London born, but has a Father of Trinidadian heritage and an Irish Mother.  In his younger years he went on movie sets and did filming with his Father.  His interest are in video, photography and now developing into fine art. He delves into the subject of a white dominated world and its effects on black people and culture.  He looks at the European centered world in contrast to the African struggle to attain stable government, respect, and financial stability.

Zak Ove   London based Artist
google image only for educational purposes

"The trend is spurred by wealthy Africans supporting home-grown talent and European collectors searching for the next big thing. Several London galleries focused on African art have opened in the past few years, the flagship Tate Modern has set up an African acquisitions committee, and this year's sale of African art at the auction house Bonhams has passed the 1 million pound ($1.6 million) mark.

London's Somerset House is hosting the 1:54, the British capital's inaugural contemporary African art fair, this week. And the mood there is buoyant.
"People are caring more in the press, collectors are opening their doors, and museums are showing more African artists," said Mariane Lenhardt, whose Seattle-based M.I.A Gallery is selling fierce-looking, nail-studded busts by London-based sculptor Zak Ove."
Bonhams auctioneer Giles Peppiatt, whose annual Africa Now auction took in a record 1.3 million pounds ($2.1 million) this year, said he has never seen so much interest." Msn 

Zak Ove    London Based Artist                         from google image for educational purposes only
If I were still teaching art I would certainly choose Zak's work to build a lesson or series of lessons around.  His multi-media approach lends to the ability to do many projects with children and his topics are excellent to build tolerance, understanding and acceptance.  There is a decided lack of coverage of African and Black artist in art history and in the training of young art educators.  I think it is important that we correct this, and pay attention to the art of all people and culture.  The art world had been long dominated by European and Western art, it is time to be more inclusive. 

Friday, October 18, 2013


Monogram                           google image
I can remember the first time I saw Monogram I was in Washington D.C. and there was this seminal piece of art I had studied in art history in college.  The University I attended was relativity new and wanted to pattern itself after Berkley in California which was novel for a conservative Florida of that time.  My art professors came from some of the best programs across the United States because they were drawn to the promise of building a new program with liberal funding and choice equipment. What was happening in NYC was the basis of much of our curriculum and we were abreast of the latest trends.  Rauschenberg was definitely in his prime and there for much revered by my art professors, as well as other movers and shakers of the time.  Rauschenberg always remained my favorite, he gave me permission to do something I had been dying to do, but didn't know I could break the rules, the art rules.  He taught me I could and I should. Later I saw the gold version of monogram all dipped, slick and smooth, but it would never hold a candle to this earthy raw version Rauschenberg first did.




Thursday, October 17, 2013



Merhaba Turkey! 

 When I saw Mehmet's large clothes pin it made me think of Claes Oldenburg's large sculptures

Mehmet Ali Uysal     Turkey/Turkiye                       from google image for educational purposes only
Mehmet Ali Uysal                                   from google image for educational purposes only

Claes Oldenburg       from google for education only

  After living in Turkey for two years, in Izmir I have a great deal of affection for the country and its people.  I often think there would be world peace much sooner of we only experienced each others cultures up close and personal.
I was on sabbatical from Pinellas County School System to study Islamic art and Turkish folk arts.  I was welcomed into communities and treated as an honored guest. Dokuz Eyul Univerisy in Izmir and the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul were very supportive and helpful during that time. 
Mehmet's sculptures are playful and seem to transform what ever space they are in.  I encourage you to learn more about this young artist and follow his career. Since 1990's Turkey has changed a good bit, and the art scene has grown tremendously. Now Istanbul host the Istanbul Biennial which is one of the art worlds most famous venues internationally.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


What is G.A.S.?

De Ja Vu all over again       from google image for education only
Liberty by G.A.S. 
Generic Art Solutions is an art enterprise that is founded by Matt Vis and Tony Campbell.   Matt and Tony are based in New Orleans.  They use a variety of art media to human drama and dysfunction of modern society.  Their art is always founded in performance in which they play every character in their work.  They stage many recurring dramas in history and in epic style.  They combine elements of Romanticismthe Baroque, and Classicalism in their work.  

I love the muti-media approach of the duo, from performance to video to photography to sculpture. It was one of the things I always admired about Dali...his vision was not limited by time or media..he was curious and intelligent and also had a air for drama.  I am not sure at all that Matt and Tony would see any of Dali in their approach, but in art history when we look for curiosity, and vision, and interest of drama and pitching it to a larger audience we can not leave out Salvador Dali.  
Matt and Tony acting as the Art Police              from google

Get to know this pair of artists for I think they are on the rise and will have staying power in the art scene.  Check them out at the New Mindy Soleman Gallery in Miami. 

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