Tag Archives: Art

Dear, Charley Harper

Charley Harper (August 4, 1922 – June 10, 2007) was a child. More like a grown-man child who created the illuminating illustrations that wore the covers and insides of textbooks, magazines, and posters in the mid-twentieth century.

No matter the work, his geometric style and minimalism bring me back to childhood, back when a single intricate shape or color would astound me, grapple my attention, and keep me wanting more.

Last Christmas I received one of the best gifts from my sister. It was the gift of imagination. The gift of my youth. The gift of more than 400 page of beating art in a big fat coffee table book. It was Charley Harper in a box.

charley harperI love his images of natural settings.

charley harper

I love all of his images of animals.

charley harper

I also love his images of people with animals.

charley harper

And I equally love the more morbid images of animals.

More info about Charley and images for your viewing pleasure.



Filed under Art

Glorious Weekend Happenings: Garden Party, Studio Tours, National Peanut Butter Month

This weekend is certainly happening.

I’ve already started celebrating National Peanut Butter Month by baking  mounds of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and I will continue to do so this weekend by baking a gut-wrenchingly beautiful peanut butter pie, recipe courtesy of my favorite Homesick Texan. So, that’s happening.

east austin studio tour

Along with peanut butter pie we have the East Austin Studio Tours, a free nine-day artist-run event that started in 2003 to bring the community and artists to East Austin’s studios and art galleries. It’s going to be nine days and and two jam-packed weekends of more than 200 artists, 154 galleries and studios, and work in a multitude of mediums including painting, sculpting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, metal, and mixed media.

The event runs from November 14-22. Studios are open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th and again on Saturday, November 21st and Sunday the 22nd.

Check out some of the studios, exhibitions, events, and programs on EAST’s Web site.

The Austinist has been ramping up EAST preview coverage with some stellar artist interviews. Read Tolly Moseley‘s interview with Bonnie Rue of Model Citizen and another Austinist interview with Abi Daniel.


And if last week’s Austin Bleet-Up wasn’t enough fun for you, Austin Eavesdropper and Bad Seed Promotions have put together another swank and sassy social event, this time with a theme and costumes, to support sustainable living and urban gardening.

It’s the Austin Garden Party, a 1920s kind of night at The Liberty with swingin’ ’20s and 2000s tunes by Richard Gear,  a photo booth (these never get old!) by Trevor Ray Thompson, and door prizes (bottles of rum and plants!)

The party is from 6-10 p.m. and the cover is five bones ($5, wink).

The Liberty
1618 1/2 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 600-4791

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Austin, Food, Music

Bookmaking with The WonderCraft Part 2/3: The Flag Book

This week in Part 2 of The WonderCraft bookmaking series we made flag books. These gorgeous art books serve as wonderful centerpieces for a coffee table or an interesting wall hanging. I especially love making these books because it’s a great way to make use of old art cards or greeting cards. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Austin, Bookmaking

My Trip to Philly Part 2: Art, Chairs, and Tattoos

The thought of visiting such a historical city intrigues me, but most of the time it just bores me. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the First AND Second Banks of the United States, and the building where the very first insurance company started … all this never really gave me the urge to pack up and run to Philadelphia. But then I read about all of the street art, sculptures, and museums the city has to offer.


Philly from the top of the Rocky steps!

My traveling gal pal and I spent our first day in Philly completely absorbed by art, but we had to start it off with Dunkin’ Donuts. Some readers may think, “What’s the big deal about Dunkin’?” But we don’t have Dunkin’ Donuts in Texas. Actually, we may have a couple of franchises, but they are few and far between. So I began the first full day of our trip with ice coffee and a bag of assorted Munchkins. Yummo.

Dear Dunkin', I Love You

Dear Dunkin', I Love You

On our way to the museum ... me in front of giant sunflowers in the JFK plaza

On our way to the museum ... me in front of giant sunflowers in the JFK plaza

Museum entrance with giant columns. I am the little person in the front.

Museum entrance with giant columns. I am the little person in the front.

Our main point of interest for the day was the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You might be thinking of Rocky and his incredibly famous sprint up the museum stairs. That’s the same building that houses more than 225,000 objects in more than 200 galleries spanning more than 2,000 years. We saw everything from permanent installations of cathedrals and Japanese temples to the original “Sunflowers” by Van Gogh. We spent probably four hours strolling through the galleries and it would have been even more stellar if we had the time or brain capacity to read about every piece that made us stop for a longer look. But one of the most intriguing exhibitions was of Marcel Duchamp’s Ètant donnès, which has been described as “the strangest work of art in any museum.” It really is. The piece was permanently installed in the museum and revealed to the public in 1969.

Ètant donnès is extremely difficult to describe and the entire exhibition was a series of photographs about the making of each part of the tableau. The piece looks pretty basic and extremely eerie from the outside, consisting of a large wooden door with two peep holes for you to peer through to see a nude woman on her back, face hidden, legs spread, and holding a gas lamp in one hand. There is also a backdrop of a landscape with a moving waterfall and trees. It’s completely freaky at first, but I went back for a second or third glance just because I found the whole concept to be kind of unbelievable. We walked through the rest of the exhibit and learned about how Duchamp used an old wooden door, bricks, velvet, twigs, a female form made of leather, glass, linoleum, and an electric motor to create the piece. He also included instructions on how to assemble and disassemble the entire thing.

The outside of Etant donnes ... not going to reveal what's behind the door ...

The outside of Etant donnes ... but I can't reveal what's behind the door ... just Google it or go visit 🙂

Another one my favorite exhibits was in the annex, or the Perelman Building, which holds even more galleries for more modern collections. We saw an exhibit on Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, who designed outrageous clothes along with David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” persona, and, my personal favorite, a collection of twentieth-century chairs. I almost sat out from walking through this gallery because I was unbelievably tired and this was the last stop, but I am glad that I didn’t because the design of some of these chairs was so creative and some looked really fun to sit on.

Twentieth-Century Chairs

Twentieth-Century Chairs

More Twentieth-Century Chairs

More Twentieth-Century Chairs

After completing our artistic escapades through time, we checked out and quickly left the museum gift shop ($100 staplers and $75 candy bowls made of melted plastic soldiers, no thank you) and grabbed a falafel before we hit up our favorite Philly bar called Tattooed Moms on South Street. We just sort of ended up there randomly because the posh club with Parisian-themed décor across the street was no fun. I found some fellow tattooed citizens, cheap beer, and dum dums and plastic tops to keep me full and entertained while I sat at the bar. I even ran into an old friend from Austin at Tattooed Moms. He and his boyfriend were busy playing battleship, coloring pictures, and stealing googly eyes that were left over from craft night at the bar.

We saved the historical sights for the last day of the trip. More to come on this final leg of our adventure in Part 3.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100

Tattooed Moms
530 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 238-9880

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Travel