Archive for the lessons in Art Category

Some Beautiful work…


that I felt I must share.

I have been following Tracey’s work for years and delighting as it gets better and better. Her use of color is astonishing  and her composition is delightful and yet mysterious!

Someday I am going to own a Tracey Physioc Brockett.

“On my Home Health visits I see the effects of war, the wearing down of age, the ravages of disease, the entropy of life. As well as stories of pain and loneliness, of loss, there is love, joy, beauty and above all hope. Sometimes when I am tired and overworked, I forget to look out the window as I drive, to see the sights. Sometimes, as when I am working with a profoundly deaf woman, it is the light streaming through an old window pane and onto a glass ornament that can spark us to look deep into each other’s eyes. At night, when I am exhausted I ask myself, is this all there is? To eat and sleep and get up and do it all over again, to dress and wash and settle people for the day? Is there a future for this planet where we have done such wonderous things, where there is so much incredible beauty that it makes me hungry for it, even as it is plundered and disregarded, where so many people are taken advantage of, or, worse, ignored? Then I pull out my colours and let my mind quiet, and I paint for all the hurt and beauty of the world. I can not know if it is enough for the future, but it is enough for the NOW.”

~Tracey Physioc Brockett

Tracey Physioc Brockett

Cricket, 2012
Tracey Physioc Brockett

For more work see her website at, and for mer musings, see her blog at

Tracey Physioc Brockett

Slow Turn diptych, 38 x 50 inches acrylic and oilstick on paper, 2012

Diagram B; Tennis
30.5 x 31 inches
acrylic and oilstick on paper, 2012


Goya and Cholla and the Betwixting Art Connection

Posted in Animal Stuff, art, Art & Competition, Artists, Exhibits, lessons in Art, Miracles, The meaning of life, The Process of Art with tags , , , , on October 18, 2008 by Admin

Equine artist to make international debut in Italy

By Sandra Chereb, Associated Press Writer
RENO — His artwork has been described as having the “fire of Pollock” and the “fixed gaze of Resnick.”

Now, a Reno artist will be making his international debut, having been invited to exhibit his work in a juried art competition in Italy.

He won’t be going abroad, however, to bask in the aura of great Italian masters. Instead, this artist will remain at home, contemplating his next masterpiece while gnawing on his paintbrushes — between mouthfuls of hay.
Cholla (pronounced CHOY-ah) is a mustang-quarter horse mix whose paintings have been featured in art exhibits from San Francisco to New York and now overseas.

His creation, The Big Red Buck, was selected for exhibit in the 3rd International Art Prize Arte Laguna, Oct. 18-Nov. 2, Mogliano Veneto, Italy.

Since Cholla rhymes with Goya I decided to make this an educational post. Preferably and pointedly after the plein air pony pics with palette and poserly poise. I am stuck on alliteration today.

Pensive Pony in plein air.

Pensive Pony in plein air. Cholla, the painterly pony of pleasing palettes. I think I'd not have chosen that frame for that painting however but that's just Moi. Cholla is thinking the same thing, as one can pleinly see, by his pondering pose.

Goya, at tea time. Don't be afraid - he's just playing.

Goya, at tea time. Don't be scrayed, he's just playing. I have been using 'scrayed' over 'scared' since 2000. Some typos are worth keeping. Don't go changing. But really, this is the real (ish) title - Saturn Devouring His Son, 1819. The title, like all those given to the Black Paintings, was assigned by others after Goya's death.

Cholla in his plein air studio posing for the photographer.

Cholla in his plein air studio posing for the photographer.

Amazing coincidental facts about Goya and how they relate to Cholla. It is truly inexplicable, the similarities betwixt the two artists. A true head scratcher…
Continue reading

Available today! MOSAIC: finding your own voice

Posted in Artists, lessons in Art, Life Performance Art, Literary, Narcissisim, The Process of Art with tags , , , , , , on September 5, 2008 by Admin
Mosaic: Finding Your Own Voice is full of inspiration and information for both advanced artists as well as beginners who are serious about pursuing mosaic. Not just limited to mosaics, the book delves into design and composition to help you find you own style, regardless of art form.

The inspiration section of the book features chapters on the works of internationally renowned fine art mosaicists Mo RingeyElaine M. Goodwin, Sonia King, Dugald MacInnes, and Brit Hammer-Dijcks. 200 pages.

Available via

Years ago I met Brit Hammer when she interviewed me for an article in her online magazine, Earth, Wind and Tiles. we’ve kept in touch over the years and I have come to know Brit and discover what an amazing person she is. For, Brit is kind and honest, selfless, extremely bright, talented, generous, wise – you get the picture. Brit has been really encouraging me to write my own book, which will be in response to the letters I get from around the world asking various questions about my process – the most frequent being, “what adhesive do you use? – and so I have started and am 4 pages into it and it will be available soon.

Finding your own voice, by Brit Hammer

MOSAIC: Finding your own voice, by Brit Hammer

Today, however, Brit’s book is finally available to order. The book features the work of 5 international mosaic artists whose work she is most in admiration of and I am honored to be one of them. My pages can be seen here.

I will be joining Brit at the SAMA conference in March in San Diego and keeping her company as she signs copies of her books and I can’t wait for the chance to spend a few days together.

Sometimes people just show up at your “doorstep” in life and the most amazing of doorbells will ring. Answering that doorbell has been an overwhemliming experience for me.

I hopy you will all enjoy this book as much as I am enjoying my copy. Oh my – what amazing company I am in betwixt these pages. My bedfellows are a wondrous sort.

Hopefully this will not increase my pest population for, in an effort to not be straightjacketed, I have decided that the fruitflies and mice and skunks and Brown Recluse spiders stop by to watch me work, rather than stalk and try to get me.

Fruit flies seem to love wet grout, by the way, with the acrylic additive being the cherry on top that they clamor for. All that… for my book. Love ya, bye.

Another accident at Race and Dwight

Posted in Adventures and Interludes, being defensive, Exhibits, lessons in Art with tags , , , , on June 28, 2008 by Admin

Accident at Race and Dwight saturday, June 28, 845 ish pmIt was a somewhat vehicular evening, the common denominator being “vehicular”. When I lived on the north shore of Boston and commuted to my office in the leather district I always thought about making a blog with daily posts and pics of what I called the daily “Vehicular Altercations” but back then blogging software was not free, and, well.

The road rage was so rampant that I started listening to Howard Stern get in fights with his staff and guests as a means to remain calm for the duration of the commute; music merely added a soundtrack to the myriad rages and did not serve as distraction. On a weekend that ride took 45 minutes but at weekday rush hours – which was all hours between 5 and 9 am – it took 3 hours. I telecommuted 2 days a week but I felt lonely those days, even though I could do the laundry and wear a mud facial mask while I worked in my pajamas with those pedicure toe separator thingies inserted between little piggies going to market while my toe nail polish dried. I only used clear polish, BTW. Sometimes I ate bon bons while I worked.

Anyway, tonight I went to the Zea Mays reception at Wünderarts in Amherst, a really beautiful, spacious and somehow peaceful gallery – even jammed with people – showing really beautiful work by the Zea Maysers. (google asked “Did you mean: wonderarts Amherst, Ma” and I said no, I want the u and the dots)

The Printmaking Studio at Zea Mays in Florence, MAThe work that comes from Liz Chalfin’s Zea mays printmaking studio is all non toxically created and so beautiful that I want to ask her what her secret is. Some up-budget day I will take a class there, for certain, and then I’ll ask. Like that resonant scene in Six Degrees of Separation (wikipedia says “This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject.”) where the Donald Sutherland character has a dream that he is in a Kindergarten classroom full of the most amazing art in the world, ever; ever. His character, “Flan”, wants so badly to be an artist but his skill lies mainly in making overloads of money. So he buys art and gets involved in vicariously monetary ways. I lived at 123 Sutherland Road in Brighton for years and thought of him often, as you might imagine.

Donald Sutherland in Six Degrees of SeparationIn his dream the Donald Sutherland character is awestruckishly wandering about the kindergarten classroom looking at the watercolors clothespinned to the dozens of clotheslines hanging from the ceiling. Then he encounters a woman, all in soft focus dreamscape. She is the teacher. He ups the awestruckness and, with tears in his eyes, humbly begs her to please tell him her secret for he has never seen such work. She smiles Mona Lisa-ishly at him and says, “I know when to take their paints away.” Brilliant scene. Maybe when I ask Liz Chalfin how all of the work coming from her studio manages to be so amazing she will say, “I know when to take their Prints/Inks/Relief Printing Linoleum/Inking Plates/Ball Grounds/Aprons/Lunch away”, or some such thing. She already knew to take their toxins away.

If Flan had wanted to be a writer and had a paralell dream I wonder what the Kindergarten teached would have said; “I know when to take their tangents and segues away.”, or, “I know when to take their extraneous topics away.”, or maybe even, “I know when to limit their punctuation palette.”

sartorial splendorOn the way to Wünderarts there was some sort of sartorially-enhanced function happening on or about the Lord Jeffrey Inn and a car in front of me braked fast for a parking spot and so I had to throw on the brakes as well. Then another threw open her car door right into my path and I had to swerve to avoid it. She was wearing a lovely dress which I noticed as she cluelessly unfolded from her car, simultaneous with my swerving and noticing.

I arrived to the reception unscathed due to hapful maneuvering and as I was driving into the parking lot (galleries with parking lots rock) I saw Dorothy Osterman and her son Jeff walking in and I waved and yelled so they smiled and waited while I hastily parked and caught up with them for hugs and comraderic arrivals and such. I am a big fan of Dorothy’s work and we reiterated my long ago promise to trade a website for a piece of her work. I can’t wait to own a Dorothy Osterman.

Other friends showed up late-ish because their car had broken down just 4 blocks away, which I felt was fairly decent of the car, so they called a tow truck and we chatted, for at receptions people chat.

Tow TruckAfter many huggings, fawnings, tapenades and lemonades, I left with my broken car friends to give them a ride to the tow truck and then back to Northampton. But when we got to my car I was embarrassed because there it was, appallingly parked all askew. My first thought was to blame the ubiquitous culprit Somebody, as in somebody unparked my car and reparked it obnoxiously, but I had a feeling it was me and my haste. My second thought was that it was high time to remove the State decal for Missouri that ovally reads MO from the bumper. I was embarrassed and I thought, given all the minor skirmishes, this is a day to be more careful driving, which is every day in Holyoke, really. I stop at every cross street in Holyoke even though the light/stop sign is on the cross street because someone seems to have painted all the stops signs with invisible ink. I have avoided many impacts to my passenger-side door this way. I have saved the lives of many passengers. When people come from out of town I tell them to slow way down at every cross street. I met a guy who got his car totalled here that way, by an uninsured driver no less. He was sad. I’ve met other hims, slammed into from swiftly and non-stoppingly approachers from side streets. I have also witnessed two hit and runs on the corner of Race and Dwight, across the canal from my studio, in which the hitter throws it into reverse and speeds off, sometimes followed by the hittee. It seems that public perception of Race Street is that it is eponymously named.

amoebaAs I dropped off my broken car friends in Northampton they said “be careful driving” because it was getting dark and they know that after dark the world to me resembles any of a large genus (Amoeba) of naked rhizopod protozoans with lobed and never anastomosing pseudopodia, without permanent organelles or supporting structures, and of wide distribution in fresh and salt water and moist terrestrial environments. Yeah–the lines on the road are like vague shapeshifting organelles to me after dark.

Back at my studio I was sitting in the garden about to dial up a friend with whom I had plans when I heard a louder than usual bang (I often ponder the volumes of such and wonder if they are fireworks or gunshots) and then a CRASH, in all capital letters, squealing tires, and then a horn on permanent honk and yellings, lots of yellings. So I called 911 instead as my heart was racing. You never know what you’ll say to a 911 operator or what you’ll say in any given emergency situation till after you say it. Later it’s not unusual to ponder what you said or did in a situation that does not allow for forethought. A friend told me a story once of driving with a few friends in a car when suddenly they were sliding down this really steep hill and it was apparent that a crash was imminent. And right before the impact the driver turned to her with a funny smile and said, “Here we GO…”

Amelia EarhardtSo when I got the 911 operator and I heard me say, “There’s been another accident at Race and Dwight”, it was telling.

Quotes from Six Degrees of separation:

Paul: Always remember the wine from the even numbered years is superior to the wine from the odd numbered years.
Ouisa: We could have been killed! Oh, my God! The Kandinsky!
Flan: The Kandinsky!
Ouisa: It’s gone, oh my God! Call the police!
Flan: Oh, no, there it is. Oh! The silver Victorian inkwell!
Ouisa: How can you think of that thing?
Flan: What kind of behavior is this?
Ouisa: Tell me Flan, how much of your life can you account for?
Flan: Are you drunk? What’s the matter with you? Don’t you realize how important she is? What are you unhappy about? The Cezanne sale went through, the Matisse went through, we’re rich! Rich enough. Next month there’s a Bonnard.
Ouisa: These are the times I could take a knife and dig out your heart! Answer me! How much of your life…
Flan: -my life can I account for? All of it!
Flan: I am a gambler.
Ouisa: We’re a terrible match.

[sic] That’s what everyday is like

Posted in Free Pile books, lessons in Art, Literary, Philosophy?, Popular Culture on June 15, 2008 by Admin


From IT HURTS: New York Art, from Warhol to now, by Matthew Collings

New York art, from Warhol to nowChapter: Need for discipline, Essay: The culture of art

You can’t just say anything you like. You have to join in the official discourse. There are discourses for everything. But with art the discourse is incredibly tortured and unreal, and you have to get to know it over many years. At first you can’t believe the phoneyness and unreality. It’s like a bad film, set in the art world. It’s so extreme you feel sure everyone is joking, and that suddenly they’re going to admit it. (For mad people, of course, that’s what everyday is like.) But they never do, and actually their laughter at the occasional joke you might make about the discourse and the need to maintain it more or less 100 percent at all times, however absurd it gets — just to give your aching mind some relief — is always uneasy, and you learn not to make them after a while. You go along with it even though there’s a permanent uneasy feeling and you know you’re playing a role.

Innovations in art often seem to be about calling the bluff of the discourse. The new often feels satirical almost. The discourse reels, then adapts. The new often feels solemn.

The best barometer of the grotesqueness of the changes in discourse is the collectors. Because there’s something about their nature that makes the buckling and straining of the changes the discourse is going through show more clearly. They’re like a parallel universe to actual art, but one where everything is a little out of joint. In art, the moves make sense, the system makes sense. But when collectors say how moved they are by the new moves, it all becomes absurd. They go from being deeply moved to finding stripes beneath contempt and being deeply moved by video instead.

…Everyone knows a Serra fell on someone once and killed them in the 70s. And in the 80s another one fell on someone else and they were badly injured. It adds to the seriousness. Obviously if a Richard Prince psychiatrist joke on a piece of paper fell on you, it wouldn’t make any difference.

…It was reality again and I was at a party in a loft. There were a lot of mustaches, white T-shirts, work boots and overalls. Todd Haynes was in charge of the music. It was all Glam Rock selections because he was currently editing The Velvet Goldmine, his 70s Glam Rock film. Suzi Quatro came on. Devil Gate Drive. Ha ha, some lesbians were saying. This is the music we liked when we were twelve!


The great critic David Sylvester is an admirere of the new Serras, and I was recently on a television discussion programme with him in London when he attempted to eulogize them. But unfortunately as he was gathering steam the artist Tracy Emin, who was also on the discussion panel, which was being transmitted live to give a sense of breathlessness to the ocassion, stole his thunder by announcing in a frankly drunken way that she was going home now to phone her mum.

bye everybody, she slurred, terrifyingly, for a live TV station. And then she staggered out of thr lighted space of discourse and into the chaotic darkness. I’ve had a really brilliant night out — fuckin’ excellent! she called from the void of non-discourse, to the dozen or so critics in their chairs, and to the half-million or so TV viewers. This is a parable of how you can never control the discourse.

Forgot about arrest

I forgot to ask Stella about the stable of racehorses he runs and and what it’s like being a millionaire, and about when he had a phase of buying Ferreris and other fast expensive cars and speeding in them and the time he was arrested for that.

There goes the neighborhood

Jeffrey Deitch made so much money he used to live in Trump Tower. Before that he lived at The Gramercy Park Hotel. But then he had to move because there was an old woman who lived there too, on the same corridor, who was dying. And she used to leave her door open and he would see her naked on her bed on his way to his room for the evening.


… Is Yoko a good artist? No one can tell. She’s too legendary. She was one of the Fluxus artists. They made ephemeral art and films and weird music.

Coiffley Millinery Delights

Posted in Animal Stuff, art, lessons in Art, Popular Culture on June 9, 2008 by Admin

I keep finding these hair hats all over the internet and so I googled the artist who has a website with lots of pandas and a brief wiki entry: ”

Nagi Noda (野田 凪 Noda Nagi?) is a Japanese pop artist born in Tokyo in 1973.

Her works include the short film Mariko Takahashi’s Fitness Video For Being Appraised as an “Ex-fat Girl”, the half-panda-half-something-else Hanpanda life-sized figures, and the video for Japanese singer Yuki‘s song “Sentimental Journey”. Other works include: Direction of a television advertisement for Coca Cola (which Jack White from The White Stripes did the music for), Collaboration with Medicom Toy to produce Nagi Noda Be@rbrick and she also had some fun with a horror themed cafe project for 4 days.”

Nagi Noda Hair Hats

I imagine a hair hat fashioned in the likeness of a wolf’s head would go nicely with a sheepskin jacket. And so on. Hats make me think of a Millinery which makes me think of my drag queen next door neighbors in Brighton who once went to Key West at Halloween and upon their return regaled me with tales of the big Fantasy Fest parade (among other shenanigans). Their favorites were a group of drag queens who marched in the parade wearing the most fantastic of hats wearing huge buttons that said, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” while carrying a banner that proclaimed, GAYS IN THE MILLINERY.

Nagi Noda also has a pretty fabulous video on youtube:

Nagi Noda Youtube video stills

Shoes: Form, Function and Higher Beingness (literally)

Posted in art, lessons in Art on June 4, 2008 by Admin

Stripper Lucite Shoes with money slot

After randomly finding this image online I decided to scan images from my book, Shoes, ( Published in 2005 by Grange books) about the history of… shoes!, which was a birthday gift from a friend last year: “Aside from noticing a shoe for its comfort or elegance, contemporaries rarely take interest in this necessary object of daily life. However, the shoe is considerable in the history of civilization and art.

In losing contact with nature, we have lost sight of the shoe’s profound significance. In recapturing this contact, in particular through sports, we begin its rediscovery.”

The shoe above is clearly profound in its rediscovery of significance.

“Princesses, bourgeoisie, soldiers, clergy and servants were differentiated by what they wore. The shoe revealed, less spectacularly than the hat, but in a more demanding way, the respective brilliance of civilizations, unveiling the social classes and the subtlety of the race, a sign of recognition, just as the ring slips on to the most slender finger, the “glass slipper” will not fit but the most delicate of beautities.”

The show above clearly is a sign of recognition, designed for only the most delicate of beauties.

The shoe transmits its message to us by the customs which impose and condition it. it teaches us the deformations that were forced on the feet of the chinese women and shows us how in India, by conserving the unusual boots, the nomadic horsemen of the North attained their sovereignty over the indian continent; we learn that ice-skates evoke the Hammans while babouches suggest the Islamic interdiction to enter holy places with covered feet.”

The shoe above is clearly built for attainment of sovereignty and suggests interdiction to enter only the most holy of strip clubs.

“You never truly know someone until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” — Anonymous

“I was sad because I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet” — Irish proverb

Platform, Jeweled Shoe

This is called a ‘marriage Shoe’. A metaphor for life and marriage?

Both of the above images above are worth clicking for a larger view.

Imagine stripping in these, below. You’d also have to add a thing sorta like a nail-ey sidecar for the tips. People could spindle the bills onto the nails like how we used to jam customer receipts onto a spindle at Joe’s Cafe. If you missed you’d jab the palm of your hand, so it’s all relevant.

You could be like the ‘podiatarily crucified’ stripper act. What an angle. If you had the upper body accoutrements to pull it off you’d be famous — A level of infamy not yet attained in the stripper world perhaps, even by Jenna Jameson. Maybe she’ll come visit and be on my radio show since Sue Tilly can not make it, as it turns out. Jenna-call me. I’ll introduce you to Salman.

And rather than wearing glittery pasties etc you could wear soiled rags wrapped about your lady bits, accentuated by jewelry made of outward-facing nails rather than sequins. It’d keep the letches away who might violate the ‘no touching’ rule. And maybe you’d bill yourself as ‘Mary Stripdelene’. Imagine the free publicity! Oh my. I am going to hell for that idea. “The road to hell is paved with unbought stuffed racehorses.” <–[sic], (literally and figuratively), excerpted from The Sun Also Rises — Ernest Hemingway

Above = Totally worth clicking for a larger view. Imagine if you could click on life for a larger view. Maybe that’s what is meant by enlightenment. Or maybe that click-through is seeing the trees for the forest given the significance of clicking through life for a larger view. Heavy, dramatic Sigh. I give up on trying to understand life. These are shoes. I can grasp that much.

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