Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back to the Land of the Blogging ...

The City Wide Open Studio Exhibit is over. It was grand fun and I met some wonderful people - but I'm glad it's over. It's a lot of work and time - and I'm old and tired!

The object of Open Studios is for artists to find a space of some sort to create a temporary exhibit space. There are several hundred artists who participate, and it's a very eagerly anticipated event here in New Haven.

My fellow cohorts, Richard Montanari, Mark St. Mary, and Peter Webster, and I discovered an abandoned floor/loft in a lovely 19th century building in downtown New Haven. It was filthy and absolutely filled with debris and the accumulations of decades and decades of disuse. We spent two full days emptying, cleaning, sweeping, wiping, washing, and generally acting like a crew of Dickens' charwomen.

Here are a few pics of the just-before-the-opening result ...

The corner below shows the space used by artist/director Peter Webster. His work utilizes gouache, acrylic, oil stick, graphite, watercolor, and color pencil.
This is the space chosen by photographer Mark St. Mary. Mark's photographs are just exquisite - he finds the most minute moment of beauty in an object and photographs it like a rare jewel.
This photo shows more of the room we were using. We found the wonderful decayed columns in the space, and decided they really needed to be included in the exhibit. Leaning against a wall with many layers of various wallpaper peelings and paint, they exuded a mournful sense of past splendor.
This is my space. I only exhibited a few wallhangings and mini-theatre - oh, and one art quilt. I kept thinking I should bring in more work, but I felt the space looked "complete" as it was. My collaged wallhangings, inspired by a workshop with K.C.Willis, looked very at home against the aged brick wall.
The fourth member of The Gang of Four was Richard Montanari. He is sculptor of soft vinyl Japanese toy figures. They are truly remarkable little treasures...and there's the added fun of they light up with blinking lights when touched! His toy business is called Mutant Vinyl Hardcore - which pretty much says it all!
Now all the unsold work has been returned to the studio, and that little event has come to an end. It was a success - except I don't think my back will ever be the same!

I still haven't signed up again to take part in Beverly's Pink Saturday ... I just can't seem to find the time to scour up fun new pink images! However, when I saw this fabulous Orlando Diaz-Azcuy designed nook, I knew that it would be a terrific offering for Pink Saturday. I'm posting it here today on Grey Gloomy Rainy Tuesday - but it's still a gorgeous pink room! Don't you just want to crawl up on that daybed with a box of Godiva chocolate truffles and a good novel?!
Speaking of fabulous, how about these amazing napkin rings?! I have never really been a huge fan of napkin rings - but I may have to just change my opinion of them! I love the idea of setting a table with great monuments of the world! ... or preparing a table for a Thai dinner with giant pagodas! How much fun!

The first circus piece has been completed and crated and shipped and received. The owner sent me this photo of the wallpaper and ceiling paper that will be used in the room where the three circuses will be installed. Isn't this the most fanciful wall-and-ceiling paper ever?! And, as it's going to be in a ballroom instead of a bedroom, there will be even MORE room for the wonderful wonderful Victorian designs!

I always enjoy checking out the unusual European discoveries of Antiques Diva ... and couldn't resist these two fabulous photos of art nouveau architectural jewels. Wouldn't walking into one of those buildings every day make you feel like absolute royalty?!

And, from the The Peak of Chic, comes these exquisite wall murals. Everytime I decide that I'm completely over wall murals - or Asian inspired decór - along comes a room like this amazing Allyn Cox mural to make me realize how foolish I am to dismiss things so casually! This is the dining room in the Goodrum House - or, as it's known, Peacock Mansion - in Atlanta.

... just an option under consideration for Halloween. I wonder if Dusty would go along with playing Tinkerbell for the day!
These art nouveau wall sconces just totally knock my socks off! Reverse painted glass, they are mid 19th century Austrian. They must have looked exquisite with candles flickering behind them. They most certainly were for quite a large house as they are 24" high! ... now that's a lotta sconce!

From my favorite auction site, this obelisk is the most unique birdcage I've ever seen. I've seen more fanciful ones - but nothing this unusual. I do have a rather disturbing image in my head of some poor bird attempting to fly, and bouncing off the four walls like a pinball...I mean, it's not very wide! But I love it. I would even get a (tiny) bird for it!

During my absence I received several lovely blog awards. The first from my dear friend and artist Anne, of el Milagro Studio ...
I love the bottom quote: "Friendship Isn't About Who You Have Known The Longest, But Those Who Came And Never Left Your Side" So, so true!

And the other award I have been honored by receiving THREE times (I guess it's meant to be!). I received it from three bloggers whose sites I never miss! First from Georgina at LaLlorona Arts. She makes the most wonderful Day of the Dead pieces! Check out her etsy shop as well!

The next person who honored me with this one is Baroness Bijoutery, creator of enchanting jewelry. If you enjoy adorning yourself with delicate treasures, you will want to visit her, as well!

And, thirdly, Lulu of Gypsy Lulu Delights also graced me with this award. You must visit her charming website - and be sure to check out the September 28th post, in which she shows off her gorgeous crown of thorns-new york beauty variation quilt!

Thanks so much to all of you ... your presence in my online life is very important to me!

If you get all excited about worlds of enchantment and magic and thrills and adventure and faeries and falling stars, be sure to rent the film "Stardust." I thought all the good faery tales had been told - not so! This is an intriguing and lovely tale of a quest in a magical realm, filled with brave lovers, handsome villains, beautiful villainesses, and mysterious creatures. It stars Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, Ben Barnes, Sienna Miller, and Charlie Cox.

The cinematography is a wonder - and the special effects are both appropriately gorgeous and eerie. Minimal use of CGI - thank goodness - and the special effects are wondrous because of it. The script is a mixture of sly humor and honest faithfulness to the faery tale genre (no madcap skewering like "Enchanted" or "Shrek"). I found myself being returned to my childhood, and in that instant I again believed in unicorns, wicked witches, and falling stars that make dreams come true!

I honestly don't know why this film was so ignored - it's even difficult to find a review of it! Most curious for such a large "spectacle" film - and one with so many A-list stars. Speaking of A-list stars - you will never - NEVER - see Robert DeNiro the same again!

If you are an artist that is inspired by "other worlds" and enchantment and magic and all things that sparkle and shimmer, this is a definite must-see!

Okay, so if the exhibit was completed over a week ago, what have I been doing? Well... I'm also in a play that opens this weekend ...

It's a new play - and hardly one for the kids! There are a few times I'm not even sure it's one for the adults!...even broad minded ones! I play a new-age therapist involved with two highly dysfunctional families. Lawyers, soccer moms, Jews, Africans, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, teenagers, you name it - this has something to offend everybody. I'm hoping we don't get stoned. So, I've been very busy working on that during the late afternoon/evenings, while working on the second circus theatre during the day. I've been busy bee!

Well, as grumpy as it might make me, I really need to get back to my studio ... I'm sure the balcony has dried and is ready to be applied to the main structure on the circus! It's time to get out my special glue and glitter and paint and ribbon tools and create a little fantasy!

Enjoy the rest of your day! ... and remember, after making your blog rounds and getting inspired, go and make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥


Beverly said...

Tristan, it is so good to come here and find you. I'm glad your show was a success. You know, I have definitely endured some project that took an everlasting toll on my body. We have a saying here at work, "I'm old, I'm tired, and I don't give a ..."

Oh yes, I do love the pink daybed, and chocolate truffles would so improve my day.

I've seen The Peacock House, but I've never been inside.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

The before and after of the art exhibit was amazing---having restored an old victorian that was just the pits, I have some feeling for what you went through. But my gosh! It was well worth it, and shows eloquently how old buildings can be reused and beautiful, even in their decay.
I don't know how you do all you do Tristan---I've hit the point of year I want to:

Drink tea (or wine....)
Tell everyone to piss off!

Okay, that's a bad attitude but I think the swift changes October brings also instills a bit more grumpiness in SOME of us.....ahem!
beautiful post, as always!


Anonymous said...

The building the exhibit was held in was perfect for the job... I loved the industrial look & the high ceilings. Too bad so many of these buildings are being left to decay.
I loved your post as it is like a novel.... So much to comment on My Dear Friend but suffice it to say it was so nice to hear from you again!!
Have peaceful Evening!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Tristan dearest,
I missed your blog so much! But it looks like you were doing what you love, and thank you for sharing it with us! I hope you have a chance to visit my latest blog on the ballet. OH! And I love Stardust! Robert Deniro is awesome as always and the sets....enchanting! Have fun, Anita

Kaerie Faerie said...

Your blog post made me laugh and smile a lot, haven't done that in awhile, spending to much time at the Dentist(bummer)
Your art space is/was divine, and the murals are wonderful, I use to do that, and a play, you are so busy, thanks for all the great inspiration, and making me smile, I celebrate a birthday this week, going to Disney World to act like a Kid, what else would one do in their 50's LOL

Anonymous said...

I am happy to hear you had fun at your event. Now, where do you get such cool pics to share with us? Love em just as much as I love "your" castle painted on my creamer. :)

mo.stoneskin said...

The loft looked absolutely incredible. I'm so impressed, you guys did a great job. Hope the back sorts itself out soon!

William Bezek said...

Wow, The Gang of 4 did an amazing job on that nasty old space and turned it into a fantastic gallery! Bravi! And I love that pic of the Chinoiserie Dining room, Chinese Chippendale is one of my faves! You rock Tristan!

The Joy of Nesting said...

Hey Kiddo,

You guys did an amazing job creating wonderfully chic avantgarde studio-galleries!!!

So happy to hear that your always incredible theaters had the owner of circus number one over the moon!!! Which is exactly where they should be. They have to be sooo mesmerized by all the beautiful details you put in your theaters! I know I can look at them forever and still not see every thing and I'm seeing them on my screen and not in person!!! Hmmm perhaps I can give myself a theater for my birthday when we get back from the Northlands :)

One of these days you will have to "splain" to me what a "Newage Therapist is" !! ((G))

Let me close with a HUGE apology for being a horrible Bloglandian Sis.!!!! It's not that I haven't been avisitin, I can always find time for that :) It's just that the days are now racing by as we get closer to departure day!! and I'm having small episodes of sheer panic :(

So on that note it's back to my little art corner for me!!! Come visit when you have the time, I'll keep the libations good and cold.
Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

Lenna Andrews said...

what a great post, tristan! i am amazed at al that you have been doing lately . . . and i am going to check things out and see if i could possibly make your play this weekend, i hope so!! wil let you know : ) lenna

Faerie Moon Creations said...

Congrats on the success of your exhibit. Sorry I wasn't able to attend and meet you (since New Haven is not far from me)! I am sure there will be a time in the future to do so!

I'm so pleased that you mentioned "Stardust." I love that movie. The book upon which the film is based, by Neil Gaiman, is one of my all-time favorites. Such a beautiful, enchanting faery tale. I also wish many more people had been able to see it. It is HIGHLY recommended to all!

Take care...was happy to read one of your fantastic blog entries again.


Shell said...

Wow, Tristan, you have been busy! They keep showing Stardust on showtime after your review maybe i will watch it.
Also have a great show, it sounds like a lot of fun.

friedaquilter said...

Wonderful to be able to read your latest blog and what a stunning place for an exhibition! Just amazing. Having seen all the beauty on show I would have loved to have been there even more.
Hope the play is going well (i.e. no stones!!) and thanks as ever for all the gorgeous pics!!

Anonymous said...

Glad your back, it doesn't seem like you were'nt busy. Congrats on the exhibit, and awards.
P.S. I am a Stardust fan too!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Tristan, mon cher,

Thank you so much for visiting my ballet post! You are such a popular and busy man....and you take the time to visit with me!!! I thought you would love the ballerina signed slippers....aren't they divine? Ah, those were the days of bliss, in the dance studio. Painful on the feet, but what sweet times. Good to see you back in the blog saddle again with your beautiful art. Keep it comin'! Fondly, Anita

g said...

Wow, the things you do!! I am going to have to read your whole post and comment about each section!!

I love the Open Studio thing. What happens to the building next? Does it become artists' studios? My city has renovated an old airplane hangar and turned it into permanent studios that are rented at superdiscount prices to artists.

Sue said...

Again, don't know what to comment on there is so much yumminess in this post!

Tristan, you and your fellow artists did an amazing job on the loft for the exhibit and I think your section looks fabulous!

Good to see you back blogging!


Bill C. said...

There isn't anything left to say, so I'll just add that I love reading your posts!


Tamerie Shriver said...

Sure miss you when you aren't around. Glad your show went well. I hope your back does recover. It's not fun having a hurt back. I love your pink room on a gloomy Tuesday. You could start a new trend! And good luck,( or should I say, break a leg?) in your new play!

Tamerie Shriver said...
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Nice and Easy Antiques said...

Hi Tristan! Thank you so much for stopping by today and all the inspiration you gave me with this post!!
Just wanted to tell you that the pictures I used and that you commented on (thank you!) are the cover of some of my altered books. If you have a minute, I would love for you to stop by at my other blog and look at them. You can check them out at

I usually don't talk/show my work, but I really trust your eye!
Thank you so much for being there!

Gabriela said...

Hello Tristan,

What an awesome post!

~ Gabriela ~

julie Haymaker thompson said...

I am blown away by what you idd with the space!!

Gayle Pritchard said...

Wow, what a room for the circus installation. Gorgeous! Love seeing the open studio pix. Everything looks so clean, and, uh, tidy. Haven't seen that look for awhile, so you have inspired me to skip yardwork today, and straighten up my rooms!

Deborah said...

No wonder we don't see you around here. You have been having the time of your life. Congratulations on a successful exhibit. I certainly wish I had been there. You must let us see all your pieces so we can enjoy them vicariously.I love that pink room. Your description made me laugh. So sybaritic. I am sure your play will be a great success. Break a leg!

Renee' said...

Tristan, hello! I found your blog through the kind comment you left on Deborah's blog a little while ago. And what a little treasure chest I found! I have thoroughly enjoyed looking around -- it's like looking through a little jewelry box . . . pure escapist pleasure for me. Thanks!

charkstudios said...

Hey Tristan,

Looks great to see your name on the marque board and glad your show was a success...sorry about your back though!

As always your pictures are inspiring. What about those cute plastic monsters your friend makes! I like the Godzilla like creature.

Simply marvelous darling!


Becs said...

Hey Tristan, glad to see you blogging again! Congrats on your exhibit! What an amazing thing to get to do...(except the work of course) Did you snatch up those columns? I sure would have...Love that stuff...Becs

Life with Kaishon said...

It surely sounds like a lot of work! I am glad you had a great time with your friends. I hope your back feels much better soon!

I thought those napkin holders were very cool! LOVE them!

Judy said...

Good for you for sharing your collages from KC's workshop!! Hope you had some good collages of the characters that populated the Wild West.

Great blog today!

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