I have been following Penny Nickels for a couple of years now. The artist and her work are featured in the book, PUSH Stitchery. Penny also writes about fiber art for Mr. X Stitch and Feeling Stitchy. You can follow Penny Nickels, and her husband Johnny Murder, founder of the Manbroidery movement at their blog. Since I kept thinking about Penny and she’s so far away in Portland, OR, I asked if I could ring her up for a fiber art chat. Whoa! One of my favorite things about lively conversatin’ is the way one idea or story triggers another and the sublime meandering that takes you to otherworldly connections.
Chris Piascik does a drawing every day, Monday through Friday and posts it on his website . To date,1147 and counting. Take a minute to contemplate that. Whatever you think this book might be, it’s bigger and badder than you imagine. First, there’s the rare good fortune of 1000 days of sound mind and body. Then there’s the determination and perseverance to complete something you set out to do, regardless of any and all things that can happen over 3+ years. And the biggest, baddest thing of all, is the completely engaging, honest and human narrative of this illustrated documentation. This book is a glimpse into the character of the illustrator that is Chris Piascik and I am in awe.
Artist Toby Barnes settled into Amherst a few years ago and will be part of our LOOK II local group show opening Friday, July 13th. Toby was kind enough to agree to an email and in person interview. We begin with a discussion about Toby’s painting, The Sidekick Lounge (pictured with the photograph of The Beatles that inspired it).
You know the cliche of the tortured artist? Yeah, that’s not Scott Tulay. I’m sure there were times of struggle and uncertainty along his journey, but the man I have had the pleasure to meet, seems like a pretty happy guy. And why shouldn’t he be? Scott attended fine institutions, studied under artists he admired, established a successful career as an architect and creates beautiful, atmospheric, fine art that is an extension of his life, talents and interests. His work has been written about in national publications, his artwork is represented by a Boston gallery, he has won awards and his art is in personal and public collections. And this happy, talented architect and artist lives here in Western Mass with his family. So we’re feeling pretty happy to know him and have his skillfully rendered work in our LOOK group show. Check out his website for the full story and more images of his art. It will make you contemplate the merging of architecture and fine art, light and shadow and if you’re me, time spent in tobacco barns.
We’ve always been interested in art and we’re not special. It took a common path from seeing to making to experiencing, contemplating, appreciating, purchasing and collecting. That’s a pretty awesome path and maybe more than enough, except we decided it wasn’t enough. For us, opening a gallery meant whole-heartedly signing up for more art and more learning. We’re getting what we wanted, and more. And it’s the little surprises and quiet realizations we hadn’t anticipated that make the process fascinating.