Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Etsy: A great place for holiday shopping!

I challenged my dear friend Beastmomma to an Etsy throwdown this Christmas. The rules of the game - approximately $25, anything on Etsy, Go!

This is actually a tough challenge, because there are zillions of neat things on Etsy in this price range. I have chosen my gift for her, but I won't post it here because she's a reader. (Not that easily foiled, Beastmomma!)

While browsing, I came across something quite awesome (well beyond our $25 challenge) that I just have to show you...

It's a Wall Tentacle by ArtAKimbo from Redding, CT.

Link to the artist's blog:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review of Maria and Deanna's show at 709 Penn Gallery

There is a very nice review of "The Forest Through the Trees" written by Kurt Shaw in the Pittbsurgh Tribune-Review!

Link to article:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Trinity Gallery and Anne Lee

Tell Us About the Party, watercolor and ink painting by Anne Lee

As part of their annual Holiday Show, Trinity Gallery in Lawrenceville is currently exhibiting the work of several artists. Trinity Gallery’s noble mission is to help establish unestablished artists, by offering opportunities for artists who have yet to show their work in a gallery, while keeping prices affordable to help inspire potential collectors to invest in art. It’s a great place to discover something new!

Anne Lee, whose work, “Tell Us About the Party,” is shown here, is one of Trinity Gallery’s success stories. Since 2008, when she had her first solo show at Trinity, Anne has honed her style and illustrated a children’s book called Old Abe, Eagle Hero by Patrick Young and published by KaneMiller. She has recently shown her work at Sirani Gallery, and was also accepted as a member of Pittsburgh Society of Artists for which she now serves as Treasurer on their board. Anne credits Trinity Gallery for launching her career as an artist, learning from Dan and Tina Gaser (the Gallery’s owners) about preparing pieces for a show, marketing a show, and the Pittsburgh art community.

Anne says she can’t help but think of Dan and Tina of Trinity gallery as her mentors, people she would turn to for advice or criticism. “I was working like crazy to create and frame pieces, and I ended up with a beautiful portfolio of work, a website, and validation that my work was meaningful and beautiful to people. I began sending submissions to publishers, and in 2009 finally heard back from KaneMiller. They had seen a painting (of Lawrenceville) on my website and felt like it was the right style and color scheme for a non-fiction picture book of the Civil War. A year and half later, Old Abe is out on bookstore shelves.”

While at Trinity, you’ll also enjoy gallery co-owner Dan Gaser’s own black and white photographs, many of which are of Pittsburgh. He manages to capture the poetry of the city in his images.

Related links:

Dan Gaser Photography and Trinity Gallery:

Anne Lee Studio:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

3 of my portrait paintings, including the new one in my previous post, are now at Boxheart Gallery through December 31!

Boxheart Gallery, 4523 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 Phone: 412-687-8858

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Forest Through The Trees (cntd.)

Some photos from last week's opening at 709 Penn Gallery, The Forest Through The Trees by Deanna Mance and Maria Mangano...

Artists Maria Mangano and Deanna Mance

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Forest Through The Trees

Postcard image for The Forest Through The Trees by Deanna Mance and Maria Mangano (above)

The Forest Through The Trees, featuring works by Deanna Mance and Maria Mangano, opens tomorrow, November 5, at 709 Penn Gallery! The opening reception is from 6-8pm.

In The Forest Through The Trees, the two Best in Show winners of the 2010 Three Rivers Arts Festival collaborate to explore themes of chaos and order, systems and searching, nature and humanity.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Julia Margaret Cameron at the Frick

On Saturday, we went to the Frick Art and Historical Center to see the exhibit For my best beloved sister Mia: An Album of Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron. Julia Margaret Cameron is one of my favorite historical photographers. Her work epitomizes Victorian portrait photography, often with allegorical themes.

The exhibit showcases the album that Cameron assembled with her sister, Maria “Mia” Jackson, consisting mainly of portraits of family, friends, and neighbors, including Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Modern Woman

Portrait of Mrs. Grace Dalrymple Elliot by Thomas Gainsborough

Last weekend, we journeyed to see Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman at the Cincinnati Museum of Art, a truly wonderful museum.

The Modern Woman featured sixteen of Gainsborough's portraits depicting renowned society women of eighteenth century Britain, most of which were life-sized and full -length, wearing finely detailed, glamorous gowns in rich, silken fabrics. Some were posed in scenes of nature, reminding us of Gainsborough's famed identity - that of a highly acclaimed landscape painter.

Loot from PIX!

With a tardy follow-up to my last post...

While at the Indy Comic Expo, we went on a little shopping spree of locally made, independent comics. One treasure we came away with was a piece of original comic book art from Pittsburgh comic book illustrator, Ed Piskor. Piskor gained fame for his illustrations for Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor: Our Movie Year, and he lives right here in the Burgh!

The illustration we bought is from Wizziwig, his latest series creation and self-publication. You can check out Wizzywig here:

We also bought a bunch of local comics by other writers and artists, and another awesome poster from Mike Budai to add to our collection. It was a super fun day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

PIX: Pittsburgh Indy Comic Expo this weekend!

PIX is Pittsburgh’s first ever exposition devoted solely to creator-owned, self-published, small- press, and handmade comics. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. PIX will be held at the newly refurbished 17,000 square foot top floor of the Guardian Storage facility located at 2839 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, just outside of downtown. PIX will run from 10:00am to 5:00pm on both Saturday and Sunday. The event is organized by Copacetic Comics and presented by the Toonseum. Can't wait!

Big Momma

At the Pittsburgh Zoo, we saw this giant aluminum praying mantis by Don Jones called Big Momma.

Don also builds the wonderful toy train display with the ginger bread houses at PPG Winter Gardens for the holidays, a project he started himself which is now a Pittsburgh holiday tradition. He also creates robots out of kitchen utensils, oil cans, and other found objects.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pittsburgh Sketch Crawl

Don't miss the Pittsburgh Sketch Crawl this Saturday, October 9!

It's a 6 hour drawing marathon (10am - 4pm) in some of Downtown's scenic plazas, and it's free to participate. Bring a sketch book and preferred art supplies.


10:00 a.m. – Registration at Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education Center (805-807 Liberty Avenue)

10:15 a.m.– 11:30 a.m. - Katz Plaza / Magnolia Tree Sculptures

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. - Arch (Robot Sculpture) / the Seventh Steet Bridge from the River Walk

1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. - Market Square

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. - Free Draw! Recommended Location: Mellon Plaza

Watercolor by Courtney Mead

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This oil painting of Tara Gainfort and two more of my portraits are now on display in the back gallery at Box Heart Gallery in Bloomfield, up through Oct. 2.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nature in Glass @ 709 Penn Gallery

Here are some snap-shots from Nature in Glass at 709 Penn Gallery:

Totems, glass "stones" stacked on raw wood bases.

The artist, Gary Guydosh, with his beautiful, giant glass lily.

Gary with his joyous, giant glass sunflower. The stem and roots are steel.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nature in Glass: Gary Guydosh

Gary Guydosh, Leggy Birds, glass and steel

Nature In Glass, a solo exhibit by artist Gary Guydosh, opens on Friday at 709 Penn Gallery.
Opening reception 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Flowers and other nature-inspired pieces are sculpted larger than life to create a landscape of fragile beauty.

709 Penn Gallery
September 10 – October 24, 2010
709 Penn Avenue, in the heart of the Cultural District

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday - Thursday (11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Friday - Saturday (11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Department of Education and Community Engagement. Visit or call 412-456-6666 for more information.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Portrait of Heather, 2010
oil on panel
(click image to enlarge)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Alternate Histories: Pittsburgh

Unusual Happenstance by Matthew Buchholz

Yesterday we dropped into Wild Card to see Alternate Histories: Pittsburgh, a show featuring replicas of old posters, engravings, and historical photographs of Pittsburgh that have been doctored by artist/filmmaker Matthew Buchholz to include sea creatures, monsters, flying saucers, and other touches of science fiction. The combined images are seamless and clever.

We bought several posters. One called "Unusual Happenstance" is a map of Pittsburgh & Allegheny when they were two cities side by side, and a Godzilla monster roves in the distant cityscape. Another is of a flying saucer hovering over a now unrecognizable Fifth Avenue in the late 1800s, with horse-drawn carriages in the street. The third poster we bought is of a 1902 map of Pittsburgh with a sea monster's tentacles rising up from the Monongahela River, clutching a steamboat.

Read Marylnne Pitz's review of the show in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette here:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kathryn Carr's Scherenschnitte

On Saturday we went to the I Made It! Market Mini @ Bike Pittsburgh Bike Fest and Swap.

I Made It! Market, organized by creative event planner Carrie Nardini, is a nomadic craft fair that takes place several times a year in various venues around the Burgh. Saturday's bike-themed mini market was in the most unusual place yet -- the empty Leslie Park Pool!

Somewhere above the deep end, I visited Kathryn Carr's booth and I was totally captivated by her beautiful paper cuttings. I bought several cards from her. I just love her work!

Kathryn's paper cuttings, or "scherenschnitte" (German for scissor cuts), are so charming and beautifully designed...

When I got home, I checked out Kathryn's web site, and I was delighted to discover her "little films" as well!

Kathryn Carr's art is available through her web site,, and at Wild Card in Lawrenceville.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Edvard Munch: Master Prints

While in Washington, D.C. last weekend, we went to the National Gallery of Art, one of my favorite museums in the world. In the East Wing, we saw Edvard Munch: Master Prints. It was a small but wonderful exhibit of lithography, woodcut, and intaglio prints.

The exhibit included series that were variations pulled from the same plates. It was very interesting to see each image transform from print to print within a series. While each image changed in color, density, and technique, a somber mood permeated them all.

The exhibit will be up until October 31, 2010.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kurt Shaw reviews Tar Baby Jane and DooWop

Art critic for the Tribune Review, Kurt Shaw, wrote an excellent review of Vanessa German's solo show at 709 Penn Gallery, Tar Baby Jane and DooWop: Everything Useful for Your Modern Household. The article includes many insightful quotes from the artist herself-- absolutely inspiring!

Link to the article:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The last time I had been to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, I had a group of students with me. We explored more of the folk art, unique crafts, and unusual sculptures such as Larry Fuente's Game Fish made from children's toys and game pieces.

Game Fish by Larry Fuente, 1988, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Among the most unusual art in the museum's collection is James Hampton's spectacular assemblage The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly. Interesting story - James Hampton was a janitor who created his assemblage in secret, working in a rented garage. He added to it every night over 14 years using discarded materials, mainly shiny pieces of foil. It was intended to become the centerpiece for a storefront ministry the artist hoped to open. The owner of the garage discovered Hampton's work after he had died. Imagine the garage owner's amazement when he opened the door and discovered this...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Telling Stories

Norman Rockwell, Shadow Artist, oil on canvas, 1920 - Collection of George Lucas

Saturday in Washington, D.C., we went to see Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg at the American Art Museum. It was an amazing exhibit!

Along with the exhibit, there was a film in which filmmakers Spielberg and Lucas talked about their fondness for Rockwell, their collections, and the influence Rockwell has had on them personally. There are several scenes in Spielberg's movies that are derived directly from Rockwell's paintings. Toward the beginning of Empire of the Sun, Jim's parents tuck him into bed, and the scene is composed like Rockwell's Freedom From Fear. The scene is a moment that Jim would long for when he becomes separated from his parents in Shanghai during WWII and finds himself interned at the Longhua Civilian Assembly Center. He carries this image with him.

Norman Rockwell, Freedom From Fear, oil on canvas, 1943

Rockwell's paintings often inspire a happiness to long for, or optimism that can tug at the heart-strings, making you want to smile or even cry. He was masterful at telling a story in a single image, so it is no wonder that movie-makers Spielberg and Lucas found inspiration in his work.

This exhibit was quite larger than I had expected, with many popular paintings as well as impressive, full-scale drawings that informed us of his meticulous process.

Check out the exhibit on-line. Click "View the Slide Show" here:

But go see the show in person for full impact. The paintings and drawings are large and wonderful. He was an expert painter and his use of color is terrific. It's an exhibit I'll remember for a long, long time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New web site

I created a web site for my latest paintings.

I used i-web and kept it simple. I will keep adding new things to it as I go along. Here is the link!

Once you get there, click Play Slideshow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Now at Boxheart!

This painting of mine is now available through Boxheart Gallery!


Boxheart Gallery
4523 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
P: 412-687-8858

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pittsburgh Art in Public Places: Downtown Walking Tour

I picked up a neat little publication by Pittsburgh's Office of Public Art, a book that highlights Pittsburgh's public art and noteworthy architecture all mapped out for walking tours. It is a perfect companion for artful sight seeing around the Burgh.

Meant to be taken with you on your journey, the little 6 inch high book is filled with colorful pictures and brief but informative descriptions of each sight. Free copies can be downloaded at

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh @ Carnegie Museum of Art

The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh's 100th Anniversary Exhibition opened yesterday at the Carnegie Museum of Art. It is an elegant showcase of exciting work by local artists.

There is a catalog which accompanies the exhibit that is so well produced, I was surprised that it was free. Certainly a lot of care went into this exhibit, making their centennial a special celebration.

Check out the award winners here:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fiberart International

Indian Summer by Jóh Ricci, United States (PA)

The Fiberart International, organized by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, inc., is a must-see exhibit. It is shared between two venues - Society for Contemporary Craft and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts - and it lasts through August 22.

Check out the on-line catalog of works here:
And see more of Jóh Ricci's beautiful work here:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gallery Crawl this Friday!

Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District this Friday!!
Click here for a full list of events:

The footprint is expanding to include the D.H. Lawrence Convention Center. Handmade Arcade will be there making these cute totes with a special design label screen-printed by hand.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vanessa German's solo show @ 709 Penn Gallery

Some photos from Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop: Everything Useful for Your Modern Household, Vanessa German's solo exhibit at 709 Penn Gallery...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop

Vanessa German, Crisco for Cakes Frying Pastry, mixed media, 2010 (above image)

Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop:
Everything Useful for Your Modern Household
Installation and performance by Vanessa German

709 Penn Gallery
July 9 - August 30, 2010

Opening reception: Friday, July 9, 2010 (6:00-8:00 p.m.)

In Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop: Everything Useful for Your Modern Household, Vanessa German creates a historical fantasy, an imagined storefront of art objects that seem to have existed long ago. While the sculptures are “useful” with an implied function for the home, each has a spirit beyond its purpose.

The installation provokes thoughts about our interaction with the material world, what we use and how we use it, and the history within objects that have performed tasks through their use over time, as experience.

Describing the inspiration behind Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop, Vanessa German said:
“I am very interested in old things, specifically old domestic objects – the items my grandmothers and their mothers would have used to make a life and a world for the people around them, from tools to utensils, to the advertising ware of these things. I am imagining that there are stories in these items, that these stories remain present, in the skin of the objects. I think, Who used this item and why? What were they thinking and feeling while using it?

What stories are in the object? What history is in the object? Does the object do the obvious-stated thing in the clear and obvious way? Or, does it also work in a spiritual way? I imagine that these objects are the power objects of my life and imagination – that they are imbued with levels of purpose and intention – doing the stated useful thing and infinitely more.”

Vanessa German is a nationally recognized Pittsburgh-based multi-disciplinary artist, well known as a sculptor, photographer, performance artist and poet. Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop: Everything Useful for Your Modern Household, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Dept. of Education and Community Engagement, opens on Friday.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fine Lines

Drawing by Deanna Mance (above)

Wren, Intaglio print by Maria Mangano (above)

Two local Pittsburgh artists won the two Best in Show awards (one per weekend) in this year's Three Rivers Arts Festival's Artist Market. Both were Emerging Artist Scholarship winners, and this was their first time participating in the arts festival.

Deanna Mance won for her imaginative drawings inspired by the mechanics and inner workings of nature, and Maria Mangano won for her intricate intaglio prints, inspired by nature's little critters (primarily birds and insects).

See more of their work on their web sites:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Claudia Hart

Claudia Hart: Empire at Wood Street Galleries closes on Sunday.

The exhibit includes "Empire", a 10-minute animation installation inspired by Thomas Cole's "Course of Empire," during which the light slowly shifts across a virtual monument from sunrise to sunset.

The exhibit also includes an animation of a drowned Ophelia, and a black and white semi-abstract animation of a dreaming woman called "Dream". My favorite is an animation called "The Seasons" in which a seated figure of a woman, plaster white, is engulfed in a flowering rose vine that slowly blooms and withers.

I found this exhibit to be overwhelmingly beautiful, both feminine and romantic.

See more of the artist's work on her web site, here:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Rivers Arts Festival

Waking Up to the Arts by Stephen Haynes, grand prize poster contest winner for the 51st Three Rivers Arts Festival (above)

The Three Rivers Arts Festival starts 1 week from today on Friday, June 4! The Festival will feature hundreds of artists with work for sale, music every afternoon and night, gallery exhibits, special performances, and more.

Opening night, there will be celebrations at galleries throughout the Cutural District (Liberty and Penn Avenues, Downtown) from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. including pretty amazing art exhibits that will be on view just for the Festival!

To take it all in, I recommend the following schedule for Day 1: Start early in the Artists Market in Gateway Plaza and Point State Park to get first dibs on what the artists bring. (Note -Artists' booths open at noon.) Then at 4pm, treat the evening as you would a gallery crawl in the Cultural District to see all the special exhibits and some special performances. Have a drink and enjoy a little music at Katz Plaza between gallery stops. Then, head down to Point State Park to have your once-a-year funnel cake while enjoying the concert in the park that night!

Visit the arts festival's web site for a complete listing of events!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Remembering John Metzler

John Metzler was both an inspiring artist and an inspiring person. He was the founder of Urban Tree Forge, President of the Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors, and an incredibly gifted sculptor. He was a friend to many artists and a leader in Pittsburgh's creative community. He found inspiration in trees, and loved sharing his passion with others.

John used salvaged wood from downed trees from Pittsburgh's urban forest to create stunning artworks and beautiful, functional furniture. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Post-Gazette wrote a lovely feature article about John's work.

The Pittsburgh Art Blog features a very touching tribute to John with images contributed by his friends and loved ones.

John was an inspiring force in Pittsburgh's artistic community, and I am grateful to have worked with him on several different projects over the past five months. I enjoyed working with him very much because of his kindness, humor, and gentle spirit. He was a truly wonderful individual -enthusiastic, humble, hard-working, creative, and always positive and friendly. I feel so sad for his friends, family and those who loved him, but I know his memory will live on. He leaves a legacy through his example and through his beautiful work.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Photographs by Abelardo Morell

Abelardo Morell, The loveliest garden you ever saw, 1998, printed later (above)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Photographs by Abelardo Morell, a premiere exhibit for the Three Rivers Arts Festival organized by the Silver Eye Center for Photography, opens this Friday at 709 Penn Gallery. A reception is scheduled for June 4, for the kick-off of the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

From Betty Boop to James Joyce, Salvador Dali and Tim Burton, Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland novels have inspired more than a century of literature, music, film, fashion, art, photography and much more. Renowned photographer Abelardo Morell has reimagined Alice in Wonderland by combining cutouts of Sir John Tenniel's classic illustrations for the book’s original edition in 1865, with his own ingenious photographs that comment cleverly on the text. Morell’s work brims with a wit, delight and imagination that Carroll himself, a pioneer photographer, would have relished.

Organized by the Silver Eye Center for Photography; Presented by the Three Rivers Arts Festival and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Department of Education and Community Engagement

May 7 – June 25
Reception/ Three Rivers Arts Festival Opening Party in the Cultural District: June 4 (4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)