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Pattern And Watercolor Painting “Lighthouse, D9”

Pattern: it is about repeating lines, colors, shapes, values and sizes in a painting.

Reviewing Work For A Portfolio.

I have been preparing a portfolio of my work for submission to the online literary magazine Cascadia Subduction Zone.  In the process, I was looking at some of my works that I haven’t thought about in awhile.

It’s Like Looking At Pictures Of Friends.

Take, for instance, the watercolor Lighthouse D9 (or Design 9).  I am delighted to reacquaint myself with this painting.  The Grays Harbor Lighthouse, Point Chehalis, West Port, WA, inspired me to create this series of work.  You see, for a time I lived nearby and have always loved lighthouses.

Pattern: As Used in Lighthouse D9; Watercolor

Playing With Pattern.

When I created the design for Lighthouse D9 I was interested in exploring pattern.  When I say pattern, I am referring to a specific use of the term.  That is, I repeated and clustered smaller shapes in such a way that they “read” visually as one larger shape.

Examples:  Grass & Clouds.

Take, for example, the cloud shapes or the “v” grass clump shapes. Together, the smaller “v” shapes and the greenish color add up visually to tell you that I’m describing a grassy area.  The same goes for cloud shapes against a blue background on the upper portions of the painting.  I’m signaling “sky”.

OH!  A Way To Simplify!

Put another way, I’m using pattern to simplify my design.  Plus, add meaning.  And, it was fun!

What About Meaning?

The meaning?  For me, I’ve always liked lighthouses.  I grew up looking at lighthouse paintings by my father, artist John Stermer.  My feelings were pretty simple; I liked them.  They looked like remote places, but also beacons to the traveler.

This painting, with its festive colors and simple patterns, alludes to the brighter side of lighthouse symbolism.  That is the beacon that guides the navigator through rough seas.

Enjoy!

In closing, I hope that you enjoy my Lighthouse, D9.  Furthermore, you might want to keep a look out for pattern next time you go to an art show.

Thank you!

The post Pattern And Watercolor Painting “Lighthouse, D9” appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Pattern And Watercolor Painting “Lighthouse, D9”

Pattern: it is about repeating lines, colors, shapes, values and sizes in a painting.

Reviewing Work For A Portfolio.

I have been preparing a portfolio of my work for submission to the print literary magazine Cascadia Subduction Zone.  In the process, I was looking at some of my works that I haven’t thought about in awhile.

It’s Like Looking At Pictures Of Friends.

Take, for instance, the watercolor Lighthouse D9 (or Design 9).  I am delighted to reacquaint myself with this painting.  The Grays Harbor Lighthouse, Point Chehalis, West Port, WA, inspired me to create this series of work.  You see, for a time I lived nearby and have always loved lighthouses.

Pattern: As Used in Lighthouse D9; Watercolor

Playing With Pattern.

When I created the design for Lighthouse D9 I was interested in exploring pattern.  When I say pattern, I am referring to a specific use of the term.  That is, I repeated and clustered smaller shapes in such a way that they “read” visually as one larger shape.

Examples:  Grass & Clouds.

Take, for example, the cloud shapes or the “v” grass clump shapes. Together, the smaller “v” shapes and the greenish color add up visually to tell you that I’m describing a grassy area.  The same goes for cloud shapes against a blue background on the upper portions of the painting.  I’m signaling “sky”.

OH!  A Way To Simplify!

Put another way, I’m using pattern to simplify my design.  Plus, add meaning.  And, it was fun!

What About Meaning?

The meaning?  For me, I’ve always liked lighthouses.  I grew up looking at lighthouse paintings by my father, artist John Stermer.  My feelings were pretty simple; I liked them.  They looked like remote places, but also beacons to the traveler.

This painting, with its festive colors and simple patterns, alludes to the brighter side of lighthouse symbolism.  That is the beacon that guides the navigator through rough seas.

Enjoy!

In closing, I hope that you enjoy my Lighthouse, D9.  Furthermore, you might want to keep a look out for pattern next time you go to an art show.

Thank you!

The post Pattern And Watercolor Painting “Lighthouse, D9” appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

New Works, Summer/Fall 2018

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo

“Hill Song”
Oil on 12×16″ canvas
$295

The secret to creating the illusion of great distance in a two dimensional painting is… well you’ll just have to take one of my workshops to find out! This piece was a demo for my Depth and Distance workshop through the Sacramento Fine Arts Center this September.

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo

The fascinating thing about painting in plein air is that extra elements are incorporated into the work, sometimes without the painter knowing it. Returning to this piece on a cold winter night, I’m transported right back to the lavender fields in Oregon’s Applegate Valley. I smell the sun-baked earth and hear the hum of bees. I wonder: Is there perhaps some lavender pollen embedded in the paint? Is there still a summer breeze wafting from the distant trees? I can feel it. Can’t you?

“Lavender Fields Forever II”
Oil and sunshine on 16×20″ canvas
$495

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo

Sometimes it’s the painter’s job not just to capture the beautiful moments in life, but the difficult ones, too. Here in southern Oregon we survived eight weeks of dense, unhealthy smoke in the late summer and early fall. When the sun did appear it wore this red disguise — like a warning light, asking us to change our ways.

“Summer Sun, 2018”
Oil and smoke on 12×9″ canvas
$195

Don’t Fence Me — or my feet — In

Every year the Rogue Gallery & Art Center in Medford puts on a Members’ Only Show. They have a great theme for it this year — “Don’t Fence Me In”. The show runs just a couple more weeks, until December 21, so while you’re out there doing your holiday shopping be sure to stop in the gallery and check out all the great art! Eighty members contributed this year, with everything from watercolors and oils to sculptures and photography.

My contribution to the Don’t Fence Me In show, titled Autumn Notes, is pictured below. I went a little bigger than usual for my plein air work, composed it in an abstract style and challenged myself to break out of my usual routines as I painted on a beautiful fall day at a friend’s property south of Ashland.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

Autumn Notes
Oil on 24×18″ Canvas
$695

 

A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

As a little holiday present to my blog readers, I wanted to take you “backstage” on my plein air process. First, check out this quick video clip of me doing my work. See if you can find the “hidden technique”.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

In the picture at right, the painted scene for Autumn Notes is in the background.  For the sake of the composition, I removed a few trees and tweaked the perspective.

Have you figured out my hidden technique yet? It’s going barefoot! If you’ve never tried it, you should! Taking off your shoes to paint (or embarking on any creative endeavor) is very grounding. I find that I can immerse completely in the scene I’m painting when my feet are bare.

The final image below is a close-up of the foundational stage for Autumn Notes.

I hope this inspires you to do some plein air painting in the coming year! I plan to host more outdoor classes in 2019 so stay tuned for announcements.

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

 

Ashland’s First Friday Art Walk, December 7th from 5 to 8 PM

Ashland Gallery Association Art Exhibit Openings & Artist Receptions

First Friday Art Walk, December 7th from 5 to 8 PM

Stroll the galleries and take in the visual delights in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District.  Enjoy this free year-round community event, filled with a diverse array of artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and lively conversation!

Ashland Gallery Association December Spotlight Exhibits

Ashland Gallery Association Art Happenings!

Photographers’ Gallery

Bittersweet: Yosemite 20 years Later.

 

 Bobbi Murphy’s new show, Bittersweet: Yosemite 20 Years Later, opens on Friday, December 7th at The Photographers’ Gallery At The Ashland Art Center and will run through January.

 

Yosemite holds wonderful memories for me – of autumn walks in golden meadows and full moon nights along the Merced River listening to great horned owls call to their families on cold evenings. Tramping through spring meadows flooded with snow runoff, riotous with wild flowers.  John Muir walked here and helped create America’s second great National Park.

 

There is no denying the impact of climate change on the park: drought, fire, pine beetles have killed 129 million trees in California and Yosemite has not been spared. It is heartbreaking to see and experience while remembering how magnificent it was just a few short years ago. But the tourists come in crowds greater than ever.

 

Despite all that we have done to it, Yosemite is still a glorious, spectacular place that makes a heart sing, even in the midst of destruction and devastation. We are loving it to death and yet, somehow don’t love it enough to save it and ourselves.

Bobbi Murphy, Lone Tree, photograph

Ashland Art Center

Giving Tree Program

Help a local child and celebrate the Holiday’s by donating to Ashland Art Center’s Giving Tree.

December First Friday will be packed with excitement at Ashland Art Center.  We will be kicking off our First Friday Weekend Sale, 10% off, December 7, 8 & 9th.   Handcrafted work by local artists will include: paintings; photography; prints; jewelry; scarves; fiber art; woodwork; ceramics. 

Shop, enjoy wine and music and help a child in need!  We hope will you join us and spread some holiday cheer.  

Giving Tree

Giving Tree

Gallerie Karon

Gifts By The Gifted

Gallerie Karon’s December show features all of our artists with gifts for the holidays. Let us be your personal shopper – bring your list – we’re here to help.

The biggest news is that Gallerie Karon is expanding! Our new addition, “The Feathered Wing”, will be open by the holidays! In this new area, accessible through our main gallery, is a two-part section. The first is full of small, multiple use furniture pieces for smaller spaces. The second is a special area for Oriental furniture and accessories with larger scale antique Buddhas and Quan Yins. It’s a serene room far away from today’s problems and filled with things that you can use to create your own serene space at home.

We’ll have a Grand Opening once the expansion is completed, but the move is on!

Gallerie Karon

Gallerie Karon

The Shepherd’s Dream

A Study on the Transition of Life

Nora Costley, Watercolorist, shares her artistic evolution through self-discovery and the mystery of the universe. Nora is a world traveler and holds a BA in Fine Art from the University of New Mexico.  Her work has been displayed in the National Museum of Art in Washington, DC.  She currently resides in the Rogue Valley. 

She enjoys many forms of art including sculpture, traditional pottery making in Japan, Installation and Photography.  Even as a watercolorist, Nora feels an artist does not need to stick with the same subject or medium.  She prefers an artist’s creation to reflect the transient beings they are, and continue to demand an evolution as individuals.  She states…”for me art is a constant exploration and experimentation of self and the universe, which parallels the exploration of medium and processes.”  Also…”a driving force is art that stimulates personal power and freedom in myself and others.”  Her practice has evolved from that of discovering and resolving the internal, to decoding the world at large.  Often her ideas flow, and it’s not until a piece is complete, that it either is understood or not.  The universe is of great curiosity to her, but as with Nora’s artistic endeavor, she is satisfied with the mystery.

Nora Costley, “Take Your Power Back” watercolor

Nora Costley, “Take Your Power Back” watercolor

Special Event!

Lithia Artisans Market

Lithia Artisans Holiday Market

Friday, December 14 ~ 10am-7pm
Saturday, December 15 ~ 10am-6pm
Sunday, December 16 ~ 11am-4pm

Our Holiday Market is moving to the Medford Armory after 13 seasons with the Art Wing at Briscoe Elementary in Ashland. For 2018, we plan to host over 60 artisans at this new location, featuring some of the finest locally crafted gifts you’ll find. Enjoy live music, a family-friendly atmosphere and a chance to support local artisans while shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts.

A raffle drawing will be held on Sunday afternoon at both of our holiday events. The winner receives a $100 gift certificate.  This Holiday Season Support Local Handmade. Join Us!

Artisans Market holiday wares

 

For more information about all of our exhibits and to download the December Gallery Tour map, please visit: www.ashlandgalleries.com  

 

Please see the attached “Spotlight Exhibits” and December Gallery Tour Map.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Thank you for your support of the Visual Arts in our communities!

Meaning in Painting? Regarding Still Life With Rabbit and Egg

The “Meaning” Question.

A fellow artist, Sandra Neary, asked me about the meaning of this still life composition.  In particular, why is the egg larger than the rabbit?

Meaning: Drawing with Rabbit and Egg

Dinosaur Egg & Pygmy Rabbit?

Well, all sorts of silly responses bounced around my head.  For instance, what if the egg were a dinosaur egg and the rabbit was a pygmy rabbit?  All birds are dinosaurs so it could be true.  Alright; it is a chicken egg and a replica of a rabbit netsuke.

Short Term Answer.

However, the question was put forward. And, I thought I’d quote part of the answer I gave.

“I chose them because they were all white objects..I was studying light and form. But, the incongruity of the rabbit and egg amused me. However, the narrative is sending me places I don’t want to go. It was the form that I was after. Sometimes you can’t escape narrative. Though, I like the ambiguity.”

Margaret Stermer-Cox Fine Art Facebook Page, 1 November 2018

And, What About Meaning?

However, I did start thinking about the meaning of this composition and, perhaps two dimensional art in general.

And, I came to the conclusion that it is reasonable to ask about the meaning of a painting or drawing.  After all, the arts, including the visual arts, are a means of communication.  Therefore, it would be natural to want to understand a piece of art.

Meaning: Painting of Rabbit and Egg

How I Select Items For This Still Life.

That being said, this artist, (ahem, yes, I mean me), is prone to selecting subjects for reasons other than symbolic or iconic meaning.

Shape and Value.  For example, when I selected items for this particular still life set up, I chose them for their shapes and tonal value. To explain, I was interested in studying form free from the distracting influence of color. So, I selected the items because they were a neutral, light or white color.

Geometry.  Furthermore, I was interested in the basic geometric shapes depicted here.  The egg cup, for example, is a modified column.  The egg is like an elongated sphere.  The rabbit has similar rounded forms.

Personal Interest.  And, I liked each of the items.  They’re from my personal collection of knick-knacks.

Still Life Set Up.

So, once I selected the items for my still life study, I had to arrange them.  Keeping in mind composition, I set about placing my knick-knacks.  You will notice that clustered the three together in a sort of triangular shape.  It is like they are in huddle over to the left.

By clustering the items to the left, I set up a problem of how to balance the right side.  My response was to see if line and small shifts in tone will be enough to achieve balance.

Meaning: Still Life with Rabbit & Egg. Reference Photo
I am including a photo of the still life set up so that you may get an idea of what I was studying. However, I drew and painted from the life; not the photo.

Academic; No Spontaneity?

Hmmm, you might think, this all sounds academic.  Well, I think it is at this stage of the process.  That is to say, I am purposeful in my set up; not spontaneous.  In other words, I’m experimenting and teaching myself by doing.  I take the rules and principles of composition, apply them and then see what happens.  The process is like an informed trial and error.

Learn By Studying & Doing.

You see, one reads the books, studies the demos, and takes the workshops, in an effort  to learn how to draw and paint. But, along the way, one needs to do the work.  So, I start with the principles and then go about the process of learning how to use them.

That is, I need to try out ideas using pencil or brush on paper.  At such times, I feel compelled to ask the “what if” questions and see what happens.  In other words, I’m studying the art of drawing and painting by doing.

The Concept of “Meaning” Deserves More Study.

So, let us go back to this idea of meaning in drawing and painting.   As I am writing and considering this question, I realize that meaning might need to be studied just as form, value or color.  So, with that, I think I will close with the thought that this ought to be the beginning of a series of articles about meaning in paintings.

What Does It Mean To You?

And, a final word about this particular still life.  Could it mean more than my intentions?  Well, as the viewer or receiver of the visual message, you bring your own experience to the conversation.  So, yes, it could mean something entirely different to you.  And, that is just fine with me!

PS.  Note with the variation below, I changed a couple of things.  Does meaning change as well?  What do you think?

Meaning: Drawing of Rabbit and Egg

The post Meaning in Painting? Regarding Still Life With Rabbit and Egg appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

3rd Friday Art Reception – November 16, 2018

Nov 14 2018 artblast Sheryl Swift
Detail of Journey’s End by Sheryl Swift

3rd Friday Art Reception, November 16, 2018

IN THE MAIN GALLERY

Don’t Fence Me In:
2018 Annual Members Exhibit

November 9–December 21, 2018

Jorizzo Paul Pounabrone Dolmen
Poulnabrone Dolmen by Paul Jorizzo

Reception:  Friday, November 16, 5:00-8:00 pm

Member artists of the Rogue Gallery & Art Center were encouraged to express themselves without boundaries as the title “Don’t Fence Me In” implies. Exhibiting artist include:

Bruce Allen, Charles Anderson, Robert Arieas, Betty Barss, Sue Bennett, Linda Boutacoff, PJ Boyd, Susan Eileen Burnes, Sarah F. Burns, Leonard Burton, Violet Burton, Katy Cauker, Millie Clarke, Dawna Curler, Valerie Dann, Susan DeRosa, Anna Elkins, Cynthia Flowers, Alx Fox, Miles Frode, Tom Glassman, Jay Gordon, Nancy Graham, Kelly Gratton, Carla Griffin, Phyllis Gustafson, Lane Hall, Claudia Harlow, John Hawkins, Rebecca Hawkins, Linda Henning, Anna Hinkle, Howard Hunt, Marilyn Hurst, Zelpha Hutton, Jennifer Ivey, Paul Jorizzo, Joan Kennedy, Susan Hoppe Krempa, Judy Benson LaNier, Shahnaz LeRoy, Betsy Lewis, Katherine Lundgren, Mary Ann Schofield Macey, Christina Madden, Dave Mathewson, Vivian McAleavey, Vera Melnyk, Kathy Morawiec, Victoria Morgan, Kay Myer, Judy Ghetti Ommen, Kristen O’Neill, Walt Padgett, Carolyn Patten, JoAnn Pearce, Cecilia Pestlin, Charlotte Peterson, Linda Purdom, Susan Quinn, Janice Rosenberg, Mary Ruzich, Barbara Schack, Ginny Schaw, Desmond Serratore, Lo Smucker, Darlene Southworth, Leland Struebig, Sheryl Swift, Eva Thiemann, Greg Thweatt, Silvia Trujillo, Peter Van Fleet, Cherri Van Syoc, Mary Joette Vannice, Daniel Verner, Doug Wallace, Gerald Westgerdes, Marilyn Westgerdes, Charlotte L. Wirfs, Walter Wirfs, Eve Margo Withrow, and Sue Yamins

. . . . . .

Last chance to see these beautiful pastel paintings!

IN THE COMMUNITY GALLERY

Southern Oregon Impressions
by Marilyn Hurst

October 5 – November 16, 2018

Hurst Marilyn The Grand Giant Sequoia
THE GRAND GIANT SEQUOIA – pastel, Marilyn Hurst

Southern Oregon artist Marilyn Hurst finds inspiration for her paintings in various subjects like a peaceful landscape, beautiful flowers or the character of an old barn. She works primarily in pastel and watercolor.

 IN THE ROGUE STUDIO

Artist Teen Program Georganna ATP
Build a Future in the Visual Arts

The Artist Teen Program, or ATP, offers local teens a realistic career experience of a professional artist. Students will be paired with artists from the community to create exceptional works of art and to build their art skills. The program culminates with an exhibition of the art they have created. This year, students will work in Photography, Drawing, Painting, Mixed- Media, printmaking, or Sculpture.
Program runs January – April annually.
The Artist Teen Program is $300 for tuition, includes ALL materials and framing expenses.
Financial assistance is available.
ATP APPLICATION HERE>>
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, December 7, 2018

For further information please contact Ashley E. Clasby, our Education and Events Manager at (541)772-8118 or [email protected]

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT

CLAYFOLK
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Call the Gallery for more info: (541) 772-8118

Check out more fun activities at: www.roguegallery.org

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center is the Rogue Valley’s premier non-profit community art center founded in 1960 to promote and nurture the visual arts in the Rogue Valley. The Art Center showcases emerging and established artists, presents fine crafts by area artisans, and offers a broad range of visual art classes and workshops for all ages.

Rogue Gallery & Art Center is located in downtown Medford at 40 South Bartlett Street. The hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We are open every third Friday until 8:00pm.

November 2018 Art Du Jour Newsletter

Art du Jour Gallery | 213 E. Main StreetMedford, OR 97501

Haines and Friends Fund Grant: Update

As those of you who subscribe to my newsletter already know, I received a substantial grant through the The Haines and Friends Fund this fall! As an artist who has always relied on patrons and students to stay afloat, it was immensely gratifying to receive this gift.

In applying for the grant, I proposed to create some large-format works that recreate the immediacy and spontaneity of plein air work in the confines of my studio. As soon as I got the letter saying I’d received the grant, I looked around and realized that my studio is going to feel a bit smaller than usual!

Nonetheless, I ordered the canvases, all 30″x40″ and larger. Now that they’re here, they’re urging me to get to work. These paintings will be ambitious and time-consuming to complete but worth their while. As I’ve spent time this fall reviewing photographs and paintings I’ve done on my many excursions through southern Oregon and Northern California, I’m once again captivated by the landscape. My hope is for my paintings to make these places larger than life, so that many more people may fall in love with them and work to protect them.

The Haines and Friends Fund is a southern Oregon institution with several respected figures in the regional art world on its board. I am honored to have their blessing and support!

Be on the lookout this winter and spring for updates and show announcements featuring my larger works. In the meantime, I encourage you to give the gift of art this year. I am still accepting commission orders and many of my smaller works are on sale in my eBay store.

Meeting Bob Dylan and My Forrest Gump Life

Meeting Bob Dylan and My Forrest Gump Life

by Wendy Gell

Last revised November 18 , 2018

I was living near the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal street in 1975, at the center of the West Village. My songwriting days were over, and I had started my jewelry business. Dot and Dora two black sisters worked for me making barrettes.

pink floral barrette by Wendy Gell

One of my floral barrettes

Dora would set them up with the hot glue gun following my designs and Dot would then glue them with epoxy. My apartment was 3 flights upstairs a railroad flat. The rooms were all in a row. My bedroom looked over Bleecker street, the bathroom at the other end. The bath tub in the kitchen had a table top that came down and became the kitchen counter. I loved it. I would be fast asleep when the sisters came in to work.

I went out some nights to a bar on MacDougal street, called Kettle of Fish to relax with a glass of vodka and my journal, a big black book filled with drawings and clippings pasted in. I settled in for a night of juke box music with my book and colored pencils.

A tall handsome man with piercing blue eyes and a cap asked if he could sit down with me. My heart stopped beating in my chest and I lost my breath.

Oh My God. It was the man who had written the sound track to my entire life. Bob Dylan.

Wendy at age fiften wearing her Fernwood High jacketMy first boyfriend, Bill Steigerwaldt, and I fell in love to Dylan’s music. I was the new girl in school having moved to the outskirts of Portland from NYC when I was fifteen. Someone tugged on my hair, I turned around to see the bluest eyes I had ever seen. Bill was 6 feet 5 ½ inches. One half inch more and they would not have sent him to Viet Nam. They didn’t make the uniforms that big.

We fell in love. I had the star of David around my neck. I didn’t know then I was the only Jewish person in school. My mother said not only did you bring home a giant but a German!

And his song– She Belongs to Me, was My Song, Bill said.

“She has everything she needs, she’s an artist she don’t look back. She can take the dark out of the nighttime and paint the daytime black.”

I could not believe my eyes. I mumbled, “of course.” And motioned for him to sit down.

“She never stumbles, she’s got no place to fall, she’s nobody child, the law can’t touch her at all.”

I heard he frequented the neighborhood but never saw him before this night.

I was dumbstruck and couldn’t say a word. I stared at him like a moron. He looked at the bright elaborate rhinestone bracelets on both my wrists and asked about them. I said I made them. He said liked them and they looked like they were from under the sea. He asked about my book if he could look at it. I said sure. He glanced at the pages of drawings, pages cut from magazines collages, some of my favorite poems and there were pop up 3 D- pages I had glued in from kid’s books. Also, a language I discovered or invented where I see words in impossible places, I call Wenglish.

'Paint with Gratitude,' from Wendy Gell's picture journal.

“Paint with Gratitude,” from my picture journal.

 

A collage with a picture of Jerry Hall in my Statue of Liberty Crown and Torch in Vanity Fair

A collage with a picture of Jerry Hall in my Statue of Liberty Crown and Torch in Vanity Fair

I wanted to tell him that his music meant the world to me.

“If today was not an empty highway. If tonight was not a crooked trail if tomorrow was not a long time, then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all.” Bill had gone to Viet Nam. Bob’s music, Masters of War, The times they are a Changing’, were Everything to us.

I looked at him while he looked at my book as I tried to gather myself together.

He might as well have been the Pope or the President. I was numb. He was the coolest, most important person I had ever met, and I could not say a word.wenDYLANd

Half a magical hour flew by and many questions later as he did all the talking. He smiled a big grin said good bye and left, and I was too numb to even ask for his phone number. I was so mad at myself. We could have been friends forever if the damn cat didn’t get my tongue.

I had a whole gallery on my previous website called Wendyland. It is all artwork inspired by the songs of Bob Dylan. There is a lot of word play in Wendyland, Dylan is always in the middle of Wendyland.

beast, one of Wendy Gell's custom made dolls

Painting of Beast and my dolls

Once when I went to a Dylan concert with some friends and my doll Beast was with us, we were fooling around. Someone from Bob’s group came to us and said, “Bob doesn’t mind that you brought her but don’t forget whose concert it is.”

So, I put Beast on the floor quietly and watched. Thankfully she didn’t act up and bite me.

“Shut Up!” growled Beast!

A dog purse. Wendy Gell never wore a regular handbag

A dog purse, I never wore a regular handbag

I went to every Dylan concert within 100 miles all my life and went to more then I can count. All us Dylanophiles would recognize each other after so many years. We knew each other and had a ball. I had a jewel and icon decorated video camera I sometimes brought with me Painting of Beast and my dolls to film the crowd. I used to carry a purse made of a stuffed animal and jeweled.

Wendy's embellished concert poster for Paul siman and bob Dylan - Hottest July Ever

So, I was especially recognizable. It was before the days of AIDS and Fear and everyone was happy and playful. I would publish my concert review on the pages of Bob Links for years, they are still online there. I saw him with Paul Simon, Jewel, The Dead, Tom Petty, so many people in New York, Oregon, Jersey, Connecticut, all over. I made and sold art out of the Concert posters.

Wendy Gell with her bejeweled video camera.

With my bejeweled video camera.

One of my friends told me my life was like Forrest Gump. I always seem to be in the right place at the right time to meet the right people. Well I wasn’t at Woodstock, but I was kind of everywhere else.

In the giant earthquake in Guatemala City in the 1970’s I was there. Got so shook up my boyfriend and I broke up then and there after he shit in his pants. He threw my passport at me and I never saw him again.

When the tanks rolled down Michigan Ave at the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968, I got tear gassed and terrified and met my next boyfriend in a doorway hiding from the cops. I went to live with him in Cambridge Mass where he was going to Harvard to be an architect. I learned to make the best apple pies from the New York Times Cook Book and they would bring their professors home for my pies. It was my only year of domestic life, my boyfriend Howie Konick was a bear of a sweet guy, a Taurus. But I left him to go study scientology in LA with one of his roommates. I wish him well. I never saw him or scientology again.

I was on Oprah’s show in 1986 as her favorite Jewelry designer. She was going to go national the following week. I had just come back from a tour of California for Nordstroms and was exhausted, I didn’t know who Oprah was back then she was only local in Chicago and I said no. They called back. Please, you are her favorite jewelry designer! She wears your earrings on her show 3-4 times a week. Her best friend Gail doesn’t like them thinks they are too flashy for daytime, but Oprah just LOVES you. Please come! So, I did. She was super nice to me. She gave me two segments and even had me do a demonstration. When I did, she said, “it’s just like vacation Bible school.” When I showed my crystal wristies she said,” You must be in a high spiritual plane from working with these crystals,” and I said, “I sure am.”

She asked if I knew what I was doing, and I said, “No, I just say a prayer, take a breath and do my best.”

When asked about the prices of my things, she said, “if you can’t afford $120 for a pair of earrings don’t buy Wendy’s.” She also stated she loved me so much that she was sharing me with all her viewers and had a fashion show with models of all races and ages. I was totally charmed by her. I had no idea she would become the icon celebrity and world leader who she is now. At that time, I was ironically more famous than she was. It was the year of the Statue of Liberty’s Birthday and that was part of the tour I was doing.

Wendy Gell on Oprah's show with her jeweled Liberty crown Wendy Gell on Oprah's show with her jeweled Liberty torchI had my Statue of Liberty Crown and Torch with me and she held it up and said “there’s a liberty celebration in my neighborhood. This is what to wear!”

She was just phenomenal. And hilarious. I loved her.

 

cover of single written by Wendy and Jackie de Shannon, Jimmie, Just Sing Me One More SongWhen I was a songwriter in the 1970’s I rode alone in an elevator with Clive Davis at Columbia Records going 31 floors down and got up the nerve to introduce myself and tell him we had a song coming out on his label with Jackie de Shannon.

We made it to bubbling under on the Billboard charts but no hit. It was the follow up to Put a Little Love in Your Heart.

I also rode in an elevator alone with Jesse Jackson once going to a fundraiser for him held by my friend Princess Lilly Lawrence who I made jeweled tiaras for. It was in a hotel in New York where she lives.

I even met Mohammed Ali waiting for our baggage alone in an airport and we got to talk for 20 minutes. I could see it was hard for him to find words, so we talked about simple things and sat silently as well.

Maurice, Wendy Gell's first laptop computer

Maurice, my first laptop computer

I also spent a few sublime hours with the writer of Roots, Alex Haley, before I ever saw the show because he saw me typing in my computer Maurice in an airport lounge. He asked if we could have dinner together.

I said of course. He told me he became a writer in the army when his friends would have him write love letters to their girl friends because he had such a good way with words. The reason he wanted to sit down with me was because of my computer named Maurice.

I had painted a Buddha’s face on Maurice and when it was open I guess people across the room could see it. I was in airports often. I traveled all the time doing truck shows for my business. I worked on my writing in my computer on the road.

In this case Play.

One of Wendy Gell's favorite all time fashion photos of her work.

One of my favorite all time fashion photos of my work.

A picture of my jewelry with two wristies, Statue of Liberty Crown worn backwards and ring, and earrings.

I loved this editorial shot. It was in a book about costume jewelry, All that Glitters, The Glory of Costume Jewelry, by Jody Sheilds, Max Vadukul Photographas, published by Rizzoli New York.

I love her eating Chinese food, and the tin foil wand. I always thought it was a joke for me.

I have the opposite of paranoia. I made it up. I call it pronoia. When you think people are doing nice things for you behind your back. It’s not a mental illness, it’s a mental wellness.

I guess I was born on a lucky day. It was in the giant snow storm of 1948; the same year Israel was also born, on the first day of spring. The night before I was born my Mom and Dad watched a 5-alarm fire sitting on pickle barrels, in downtown Manhattan. My Dad was kind of a fire buff and loved to watch them put out fires.

Mona Lisa assemblage, by Wendy GellHe was a true artist and took me to the Museum of Modern Art when I was only 3 for classes because I was so precocious. My mom was mentally ill and very abusive. She called me Garbage and Ox, Miss Pimples of 1966. But my Dad would take me to the museums in New York all the time and saved this little girls creative spirit by buying me anything I wanted at the gift store there. I clearly remember when I saw the tall twisted forms of Giacometti’s figures, I understood at that young age of three how the artist sees something with new eyes in a way that creates a reality of their own. At the gift store there was a painting of a tree with hidden figures of children in it I remember so well finding the children in it counting them and delighting in finding more each time with my father. It’s the only thing I remember that he bought from from the museum. I remember being older and hearing a fire had partially destroyed it at the Museum of Modern Art and later it was restored. I never remember the real name. We called it the Tree of Life.

I was always obsessed with the Mona Lisa and have done many versions with her likeness. In this version-American Mona Lisa. The reason she is smiling is because she is covering her wrist, her bejeweled bracelet cuff, that I make and wear, with her hand. You can see the jewels pouring out behind her fingers. It is our little secret. La Dee Da Vinci.

 

 

 

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