Monthly Archives

March 2015

Instagram Woo Hoooo!

By | New Orleans Sojourn

You’ll have to forgive me if I seem over-the-top excited about this — though I’m guessing you’ll understand when I tell you today I woke up to THIS on my Instagram feed:

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Ok, sorry if I’m yelling, but OMG!! That’s MY tarp picada “Tree Houses of the Rising Sun” in front of Rebecca Rebouche’s Beauty Shop atelier!!!

Did you catch the number of likes!? And just look at what she had to say about it:

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Yep. I’m excited.

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Holy Cheeses

By | New Orleans Sojourn

March 19th was St. Joseph’s Day (that’s Jesus’ foster father in case you’ve forgotten) which meant it was time to celebrate with altars, music, and food — because that’s just the way we roll in this town.

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We visited St. Stephen’s on Napoleon and were able to admire the altar up close because the masses were outside listening to an Italian band from Metarie play while they dined on free spaghetti, mirliton, catfish, and piles of fig and sesame cookies.

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Church members contributed foods (which are donated to the hungry after the celebration) like breads, and cakes and cookies which they had baked, and then the altar table was curated and arranged so everyone’s hard work was shown off properly.

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There were some very imaginative contributions like these St. Lucy’s eyes, and the sesame seed sandals:

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but my favorite, was the generous sprinkling throughout the altar of Kraft Parmesan Cheeses, personalized with the St. Joseph and baby Jesus Holy cards.

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Holy Cheeses.

Only in New Orleans

By | New Orleans Sojourn

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Only in New Orleans are you likely to run into a gang of Indians promenading down the middle of the street past the cemetery on Sunday afternoon.

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A gang of Indians, followed by their bone-yard back-up band.

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Only in New Orleans would you decide to set up your grill and have a picnic by the cemetery while you watch the Indians and their back-up bands promenade past.

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Or decide to dress up like a Baby Doll and dance in the street to the music blasting from the impromtu DJ set up on the coardner. Yes, I said coardner.

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Only in New Orleans would your neighbor host an “Improbable Cafe” most Friday nights, where you could just drop by and learn to play dominos.

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Or would that neighbor be Rebecca Rebouche, a rising star in the visual arts with a generous spirit — willing to talk strategy about MY artwork — on the coardner, around sunset.

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Only in New Orleans do your friends become art imitating life — or is it the other way around? — with such colorful results.

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Only in New Orleans do you look at a house like this one…

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and think “if that house were mine, that kudzu would really cut down on the exterior surface I’d have to paint.”

Kidding.

No, only in New Orleans do you think “with a little TLC I could have that house looking like this house in no time….” (Oh yes I could.)

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Only in New Orleans do I feel so completely at home that I often catch myself thinking — “What a wonderful world!”

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Sittin’ and Eatin’ in the Big Easy

By | New Orleans Sojourn

No question that living in New Orleans is easy. We’ve had several days of warm weather with crashing thunder storms which make staying home with the pups a tempting alternative to playing the tourist.

As I write I have Snug and Lula cuddled up next to me on my right:

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and Sirius, anticipating the next clap of thunder, on my left.

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I’m working on “being here now” and not rushing mindlessly through our time in New Orleans, or spending too much mental effort wishing for future outcomes I have no control over — like hooking up my tarps with an appropriate venue for showing them. I’ve done all I can for now, short of just hanging the tarps on the block and having a street party.

Damn, I wish I hadn’t just thought of that!

What I’m trying to say is — I’m spending a lot of time sitting. And eating.

Cafe au Lait and Maple Sriracha and Almond Joy donuts at District Donut:

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Carne Asada tacos with cebollitas from Taqueria Corona:

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Fully dressed oyster poboy at Parkway Bakery & Tavern:

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I didn’t eat all that in one day. But I could have. The eatin’ in New Orleans is easy!

And, lest you think I’m spending all my time sitting and eating, you’ll be glad to know I’m also having fun photographing the Mardi Gras beads which are still hanging everywhere.

I’ve decided to do a series on Instagram and call it #Festooned. Here’s a taste…

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Ok y’all, bye-bye for now, it’s time for Elevenses!

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Tarps Picadas: Overview

By | Tarpage

The Tarps Picadas are an ongoing and ever evolving series of artworks created from 8′ X 10′ polyvinyl tarps, duck tape, and in their “second life” versions, the addition of Sharpie and paint pen graffiti. Images of the tarps are featured in my portfolio on the Public Art, and individual Surface Pattern Design pages.

This page in my website is meant to serve as an abridged overview of my process which began as a public art commission and has evolved for me into a new art medium. If you are interested in reading the entire saga of the Treefort Tarps Picadas you can do that here.

TARPS PICADAS

In January 2014 I was commissioned to produce a work of ephemeral outdoor public art by the City of Boise, Idaho, highlighting the 2014 Treefort Music Fest that March.
My proposal was to create a large installation resembling a banner of papel picado, using polyvinyl tarps. I created a mock-up of the installation using cut paper images which were then photoshopped onto a picture of the site.

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I used individual cut paper images like these in the mock-up:

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8′ X 10′ polyvinyl tarps come in a limited array of colors — blue, brown, white, and silver.
So in order to create the variety of color I wanted in the series I spray painted white tarps — orange, yellow, hot pink, purple, and red using a “plastic fusion” paint.

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The process for each tarp was then to cut out the design from the top tarp, staple the top tarp to a different colored bottom tarp, and then tape the borders of each of the cut-outs with duck tape in a variety of brightly colored hues.

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My living room became my “studio” for the duration of the project because my real studio was too small to spread out a fully opened tarp and be able to work around it — or I should say ON it.

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The installation of the tarps on the outside of a popular music source and venue for live in-store concerts — The Record Exchange, in Boise — was the next step.

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Or so I thought. 24 hours after the installation, Boise had an usually powerful windstorm with 60 mph winds. The tarps were hit hard. We rushed to take them down as quickly as possible before they were completely destroyed.

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One of the tarps, “Treefort Blues” was to be featured on the cover of the Boise Weekly, two days after the windstorm. I had no choice but to work around the clock in the little time I had before publication, and get the tarps, which were not completely destroyed, repaired and rehung. And so I did, finishing the rehanging the morning the Boise Weekly was delivered.

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These are the Treefort Tarps Picadas, as they were before the windstorm, starting with “Orange You Glad”

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“Treefort Blues”

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“Night and Day”

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“Treehouses of the Rising Sun”

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“Winter Trees’ Dreams of Spring”

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“Granny Squares”

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and “Red Tree”

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The Tarp Picada installation stayed up for 6 months, until the weather — which now included 100 degree sunny days — began to take its toll in a more marked fashion. We took everything down for good the end of August 2014, and I then began to think in terms of the tarps’ “Second Life.”

The tarp “Treefort Blues” was sold in the Boise Weekly Cover Auction, and the tarp “Red Tree” was cut up and used in a smaller tarp I created for exhibition in the Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance exhibition, “Foray IV – Pushing the Envelope.” That tarp was retitled “Deja Vu All Over Again.”

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Creating this piece inspired me to take the remaining tarps and play with the same process I used on “Deja Vu All Over Again,” which included once again re-taping where the duck tape had peeled off, and then drawing all over the entire surface of the tarp with black Sharpie markers and acrylic paint “pens.”

Below are each of the 4 remaining original tarps followed by detail shots of their “Second Life.”

“Orange You Glad”

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“Granny Squares”

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“Winter Trees’ Dreams of Spring”

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“Treehouses of the Rising Sun”

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The use of nonstandard materials — polyvinyl tarp, duck tape, Sharpie markers, combined with the graffiti patterning over the weathered painted surface gives these pieces the feeling of Outsider tapestries. Or maybe Ethnic Art Brut wall hangings. They are informed by street art as well as traditional African, and Australian Aboriginal motifs, but are in the end, unique pieces unto themselves.