Studio Progress

If you’ve followed our pursuits in the past year,  you know about the fast transition we made to the making of boats and books this year.  We have a working process of experimenting with materials and techniques on our art for the wall, and then these new ideas are incorporated into the boats.  With Robin  taking time once again to experiment on hammering, embossing and patina work lately, I can see already such grand statement pieces utilizing the approach in this new 12″ square.  These are hot!

Embossed & hammered copper w/chemical patina

Embossed & hammered copper w/chemical patina


Embossed and hammered copper w/chemical patina

Don’t Miss the Boat

Artists can’t afford to miss the boat.  A lost opportunity means a harder journey.  In order to grow, which is the ultimate aim of the artist, one has to take risks.  You have to experiment and many of those turn out badly.  You have to take chances to evolve.  Not just any risk, but one that sets sail with good intention.

The boat is the symbol for the spiritual journey and as such it is the perfect icon for Robin and I to explore.  The first date we had, he revealed to me that he owned a 17 foot red, yes I said red, Old Town canoe.  Without missing a stroke, I asked him to marry me.  I was kidding of course, or so I thought.   One’s subconscious knows infinitely more than the conscious and so maybe she already knew his soul and knew he was who I was looking for.  She probably already knew he had similar goals and philosophy. A year after that we began a 24/7 relationship that is going strong and can survive which ever boat life presents.

By the way, later that first evening, I told him that I was an artist and that as a matter of fact that very afternoon I had bought a new table saw.  He said, “Oh, really!  Will you marry me?”

Pea Pod Boat

Pea Pod Boat

Long Awaited Website

We’ve been working with a web-designer, Megabytes,  on a new web-site and it’s up!    The beauty of this one is that I’m not dependent on anyone else to update photos, itinerary, etc.  We’ve got capacity for videos and will be adding more regularly.  We’re showing some installation shots which we didn’t have before.   You can check out our itinerary, read our various artist statements, check out our resumes and enjoy videos of our home & studio, process, TV interviews and our sculpture.    Our collaborative mixed media work has advanced and new images are being added weekly!   Same address as before:

Kimono detail

Artists Wear Many Hats

It’s been slow-going with my clay sculptures.  Robin was hospitalized week before last with a copperhead bite!  We learned a lot from that experience.

Our collaboration with Growing Media has moved us to a new location–much better than the space we had in the mall.  But the move has meant building all new sets for The Spiel with Angie & Julie.  We got behind with Robin’s injury so we’re scrambling now before the official opening of the space August 1st.  We’re nearly finished and then we’ll begin displaying our sculpture not only on the sets, but in the offices and our gallery within the building.  So for now, I’m juggling building walls, painting them, marketing our work, making 3 new insect sculptures, finishing a wood relief sculpture and playing with the clay!  I’m just much slower then I used to be.

I’ll be posting photos of the new TV studio space soon.  We made an awesome interview desk for them!

So Much Going On

We’re working with a web-designer on a brand new web-site!  It’s gonna be beautiful and sexy and provide detailed images and lots of video!  Watch for it to go online in a few weeks.

Also you can see our work featured on the sets of The Spiel with Angie and Julie on Saturday mornings on FoxTV.  See episodes on

To Miami–one last time

The Dead-End Tour continues (February 12th) –On the road for Coconut Grove–the last leg. Just had the van in the Ford dealership yesterday—the starter went out–suspected that it was going bad and took it in last week–they couldn’t find anything wrong–of course yesterday in preparation for this trip it wouldn’t start.  We had to use the old hammer on the starter trick to get it going and take it to the dealership to make our weekly $400+ donation to the “Ford recovery program”.  Last week we gave them $129 to fix the ABS sensor in the rear differential, because the $450 dollars we paid them to fix the problem two weeks before didn’t work–of course that was on top of 2-$100 diagnostic tests previously done.  We’ve spent more on repairs on this van than we initially spent to purchase it new!  This is the kind of headache that we and lots of artists deal with trying to get to a show.  Patrons have no idea of the expenses we incur.

So we left for Miami this morning–would normally be there tomorrow early evening, but Mother Nature is not happy with the world.  Atlanta iced over–Birmingham too, so we’re going the long way around–through Memphis, down thru Jackson, MS to the coast and turn left!  We’ll help the big oil companies, using lots more diesel!

Well, well, well….got near Memphis and our old friend is back—the ABS light went on again!  I will not miss the stress of traveling to the shows, worrying about the weather, the van and whether the patrons will show up.

When we began doing The Coconut Grove Art Fair  back in 1999 it was one of the two best art fairs in the nation.  All the top ranked artfair artists did the show, the economy was strong and sales were great. It was free for the people to walk and more than 375,000 attended.  It was wonderful people watching—everything from the lady with the little dogs dressed as clowns in a stroller, to International jet-setters shopping for art and multi-million dollar yachts at the Miami Boat Show.  But that’s all gone.  Now it’s drastically different.  Show promoters  by and large have come to view art fairs as big business.  Sponsors (like car dealers) get prime locations in the layout.  The show is now enclosed by fencing and patrons must pay $15 admission to pay for the bands that now play non-stop.  Attendance is down to 100,000 but there’s still 350 artists each paying $800 for their booth spot (and more for a corner or double). Most of the people in attendance don’t seem to be interested in or knowledgable of the art. And it’s more than just the weak economy that has devastated the shows.  It’s that everyone has jumped onto the art fair bandwagon and so there are way, way too many venues now.  The result is that the shows aren’t “special” anymore so the patrons don’t feel any need to buy when they see you.  There’s always another show nearby next weekend or next month, or they think they’ll just go online anytime they want, which in actuality they rarely follow-up on. It’s a shame because doing art fairs was one of the rare ways that independent visual artists could make a living from the sale of their art.

A patron that I made a special piece for some years ago brought her girlfriends to see us and one purchased from us which was a great way to start off the weekend.    In the end we had a good solid show—but mostly work we have to make and ship elsewhere.

I won’t miss the tension of sitting there all weekend feeling the pressure to make sales to cover expenses.  Buyers feel they have the upper hand now in negotiations and it’s so very difficult to keep your confidence up.  Set-up and tear-down are physically grueling.   Tear-down is particularly hard because you’ve sat at the show under stress waiting and waiting for a sale.  However this time we were smiling all through tear-down knowing that it was our last!

We’re headed home now and feeling so free!  We are ecstatic about the opportunity to now make art that we couldn’t do for the artfairs.