Friday, March 9, 2018

I've Moved!

This is just a reminder, in case you're still following me on the blogger feed, that I have moved to a new website and blog. I hope you will follow me on over there and read my new blog posts! The latest one: 

Vintage Ephemera: Persistence is about a new collage piece, and some of the vintage and antique ephemera I use as materials in my work. Please join me!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Goodbye and Hello

I'm not talking about saying goodbye to physical places, but rather, to online places. This will be my last post here. Blogger was really my first online "home", and of course, it seems a bit sad to leave it. Here, I shared many aspects of my life, both professional...

and personal...

I shared new work...

and work in progress.

I shared my thoughts, hopes, and dreams...


...and always, my inspiration.

Most importantly, I met other bloggers and became part of a large and very supportive online community. I'm proud to now call many of the people I met here my dear friends, even if we've never met in person.

When I first began the "re-launch" of my art career, I felt alone, scared, and very unsure of myself and my work. These kind and generous people have supported and encouraged me, cheered my successes, and been a virtual shoulder to cry on when times were hard. I have learned so much from them, and will always be grateful. I have watched them struggle and succeed, and tried to be there for them as they were for me. The importance of listening can never be overestimated. It's been a wonderful experience, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that blogging opened a new world for me. That new world includes selling art online through my website, enjoying the work of and learning from so many incredibly talented and inspiring artists, and becoming part of the new social media world.

I have spent a lot of time over the summer building a new website and blog from scratch. I started by researching for quite a while, until I felt I'd settled on the best course of action. I had virtually no web development experience, and I have no idea why I thought I could do this. It turned out to be more of a learning curve than I had ever imagined, and I came up against many brick walls, where I had to call for help, back up and start over again with some aspects, and change my so-well-laid plans. Often I felt utterly frustrated. I want to thank Megan for her expert help, without which I could not have done it.

Change, as they say, is good. (Or at least, unavoidable!) So, I will be moving to a new blog and website, which I very much hope you'll visit and enjoy. I have also added a print on demand shop on, and I will be adding new work to those sites often. This blog will be here as an archive; feel free to come back and browse whenever you like. Most of the content here is still relevant, and hopefully remains helpful or interesting for some time to come.

And finally, it seems I have gotten the timing right for once; tomorrow morning at 11:28, we mark the winter solstice. On this day, the sun travels the shortest path through the sky, giving us the least daylight and the longest night.  There are many traditions and much spiritual significance associated with this day, not the least of which is setting new intentions or making resolutions - looking forward to growth at the first turning toward the light. 

I'm very grateful to all those who followed me here at True Adventures of an Art Addict, and hope you will follow my new blog as well. Blessings to you all, my friends; I look forward to seeing you at the new place! Happy Solstice!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC: Art, or Craft?

 This isn't my photo, but I wanted you to see the outside of this gorgeous building. It came from the Smithsonian site, here.

New York City-based artist Leo Villareal has pioneered a particular type of “light sculpting,” using tens of thousands of individual LED bulbs and a customized computer program to illuminate them. This is stunning in person.

"Craft for a Modern World" is how the Renwick Gallery, one of the Smithsonian Museums, describes its collection. This was probably my favorite museum in Washington. Every object in the museum is unique and handmade, and each one begs the question, "What is the difference between art and craft?"

I've often wondered where to draw the line. If there is one, it seems to me to be incredibly thin and extremely wiggly.  I often hear people refer to beautiful things like a hand blown glass vase or an exquisitely woven basket as 'just' "crafts". Yet when we study art history, we study things like this: 

Silver-gilt rhyton for libations or drinking, Greco-Parthian Hellenistic 2nd century BCE, Metropolitan Museum of Art

And this:

Neo-Assyrian Amethyst Vase, c. 8th century BCE

Do we now regard these as 'art', because they're no longer being used as utilitarian objects? If we put flowers in the vase, would it then be 'craft'? So what qualifies as art, as opposed to craft, and what are the criteria for determining which is which?

I can't give you a definitive answer to this question, but perhaps some food for thought.

"Parallax Gap transforms the Renwick Gallerie's Bettie Rubenstein Grand Salon into a visual puzzle. This immersive, site-specific installation explores examples of interplay between craft and architecture through a ceiling-suspended structure running the length of the gallery. The installation embraces both Eastern and Western concepts of perspective through trompe l'oeil effects and multiple vanishing points to create a sense of soaring architectural volume."

While this installation references architecture, it doesn't really function as such. Based on a form that we might call craft, it focuses on one aspect of that craft, and expands on it to form a sculptural installation that highlights what we could call the visual beauty of that craft.

This one, I believe, was modeled after the architecture of the historical Union Terminal in Cincinnati, Ohio!

Bottom: Robert Ebendorf, Lost Soul, Found Spirit. found materials and metal

I wasn't able to find information on this, but I think it's very cool. I know, I know, I should have photographed the identification tags in the gallery. 

Anna Von Mertens, 2:45 am Until Sunrise on Tet, the Lunar New Year, January 31, 1968, U.S. Embassy, Saigon, Vietnam, (Looking North), 2006, cotton

Monopoly, 2007, by Kristen Morgin, unfired clay and paint

Steven Montgomery, Static Fuel, earthenware and oil paint

 I couldn't find information on this, but I included it because I think it's a thing of beauty, and that what it might be used for doesn't really matter.

John McQueen, burdock burrs and apple wood

Albert Paley, Portal Gates, 1974, steel, brass, copper, bronze

 Dan Webb, cut, flamed, spalted, 2013, maple

 Karen Lamonte, Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery, 2009, glass

Gullah Fanner Basket, Lunette Youson

Andy Paiko, Spinning Wheel, glass, cocoboho, steel, brass, leather

While this lovely spinning wheel certainly can't spin any thread, I enjoy looking at it for its aesthetic properties. But then, I also enjoy looking at this very functional one:

antique spinning wheel

Barbara Lee Smith, Lay Inlet,  synthetic fabrics, acrylic paint, silk pigments

I fell totally in love with this piece. While it is made of fabric, a traditionally functional material, it wasn't made to be worn or to cover anyone's bed.

 Judith Schaechter, The Birth of Eve, 2013. flash glass, vitreous paint,silver stain, and copper foil

I don't see how anyone could look at stained glass as a craft, do you?

Glass chandelier by Dale Chihuly

I'm not sure I can shed any light on the "art or craft" question, but here's a video that explains how this division came about.

So, what do you think? Is there a difference between art and craft? Or is the line just too difficult to draw? I'd love to hear any wisdom, insights, questions, or thoughts you might have!