Monday, November 08, 2010

13th Annual St Thomas the Apostle Fine Art Fair

Once again I co-chaired the event and participated. How lucky can I get? I got the best spot of the main room with perfect lighting. Sales were moderate but I got to see lots of my old friends and neighbors who stopped by and some repeat patrons came by to shop for cards. The weather was fantastic this weekend.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Milwaukee Art Museum

Yesterday we travelled to Milwaukee to visit friends. Dave and Mary were fantastic hosts. They took us to the art museum where we saw an historic quilt, then we viewed more than 100 of the most incredible prints of Warriington Colescott. He is a Wisconsin based printmaker, who has trained his brilliant artist eye on the fashions and foibles of human behavior since the 1940's. Using multiple ways of creating prints he absolutely blew me away with his skill as a printmaker. Having briefly studied printmaking (etching, dry point and screenprinting) I could really appreciate his skill.

My Canadian Art Friends

Abstract Play

Recently I took a vacation to Lake Winnipeg to stay with our dear friends Karen and Gord. It was a much needed rest but the best part was that we dedicated a whole day to art making. Mary, Karen and I visited Karen's sister a retired art teacher and we spent the day in her studio being artists. I just played with my acrylic paints. The first was done on canvas the second was done on acrylic paper. As I Iook at these little vignettes I feel pure joy. No specific intentions or goals with these two playful pieces. I am still thinking that more will be added to them to become a more complex piece. But at the moment I have them in my studio to remind me of the great vacation week in Manitoba Canada.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Latest Exhibit of the Midwest Collage Society

This weekend The Midwest Collage Society hosted a reception at the Paper, Process and Perception Exhibit at the Norris Cultural Center in St. Charles Illinois. The turnout was good and we had a spectacular table of refreshments. This is an especially wonderful venue with two floors of wall space to hang art on. I have four collages and am honored to have my piece, Remembering Mandala on the postcard that went out to patrons and friends. I was delighted to see my friends, the Craigheads, Julia Thomas ( a patron), fellow art tribe members, Maureen and Cheryl.

This weekend I also attended a memorial service for a dear fellow artist and friend, Nancy Ahlstrom who passed away at 79 from cancer. She was a stylish, friendly, remarkably likable and talented artist and will be sorely missed by many. May she rest in peace.

And now I venture back into the studio to test out some new acrylic painting techniques that I will incorporate with my collage work. I am also working on some art journaling just for fun.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My heart soars when I am surrounded

My heart soars when I am surrounded by my art supplies, inspirations, books, pieces of collage materials. I have made it a goal to get into the studio daily. I depleted my inventory of cards so I have been recycling old watercolors into new collage cards. The studio is so full of possibilities. These 4X6 cards represent an opportunity to experiment, with no fear of investing too much time and the feeling of completion at the end is healing to the soul who has been crying out for time to create.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Studio

During the last few months I have not been active in my studio with creating because I was very much occupied with preparing, organizing and putting out fires for the wedding of my daughter Victoria. During the first week of June the studio also became a dormitory for visiting young people as they slept in blow up mattresses and sleeping bags. There were 5 in a section of the studio. Yet, my brother's partner, Michelle came to the wedding from Philadelphia and insisted on seeing the studio so as artist to artist I allowed her to enter my private space which I don't easily share with others unless I know that they will not judge me on my chaotic ways. Here is her review of my studio.
"The moment I entered Tania Blanco's studio I felt the powerful pull of a woman who congers magic out of chaos. Everywhere I looked in the studio there were projects in motion, surrounded by myriads of textures and colors, a tantalizing alchemy of gold and silver shimmering through oceans of visual vignettes, tattooed by a calligraphy of organic symbols and rhythms. I was dazzled by Tania's ability to reach in to this treasure trove of the human spirit and weave her consciousness into a harmonious tapestry of radiant transcendence. In her collage workshops which were set up on large tables in the studio she has the rare gift of inspiring other women in the ways and rituals of releasing their own powers of creative expression. Tania Blanco is an artist who understands the universal and archetypal temple of her soul and choreographs for us with the force of her vibrant heat, the dance of her visual poetry, that continues to inspire us all with the wise and wonderful woman that she is."

Monday, April 05, 2010

Reconnecting with Nature

The spring like weather is a big tease after a long and cold winter of mostly indoor living. My inspiration comes from those walks in nature parks. On Easter Sunday I strolled through the paths of the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. The magnolias were in full bloom. The aroma was intoxicating. Even the high winds could not deter my resolve to walk the paths.
On Easter Monday I took a lunch break at the Lincoln Marsh in Wheaton, Il. It was a feast for the senses. Birds accompanied the acappela chorus of frogs in the marsh. The browns were in full force. Light brown from the left over stalks of cattails and dark brown from the controlled burn. All in all it was a diverse collage of plant and animal life. The trees showed their skeletal compositions which soon will be covered in shades of green. The first sightings of spring were my very favorite: trillium leaves with specked green . Soon these plants will show their chocolate brown flower. The possibilities of renewal are inspiring.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Memories of Dancing Days

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This is a collage I had exhibited at Mays Lake in Oakbrook, Illinois.It is a combination of papers, acrylic paints and image transfers onto a canvas measuring 12* X 12".Every time a look at this collage I get a happy feeling. I guess it is because I love to dance and don't get to do it too often.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Winter Wonderland

As much as I am quite tired of winter, there are days that make it worth the discomfort. Occasionally I take a walk in a nature preserve about 1 mile from my office. It rejuvenates the soul.

An award for Kaleidoscope of Memories

This is a collage painting created for the Memories exhibit for Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oakbrook, Illinois. It is a collage on canvas, measuring 18 X 24. The Midwest Collage Society of which I am President had over 90 pieces of art on exhibit for two months. Today was the closing reception. I was delighted to have received an Honorable Mention Award. The judge's comments: "I love the writing against the defined circles, there is a balance of what we 'say' speaks to the universe."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Second Place

This is a photo of me standing next to my acrylic on Yupo paper entitled Fugue. This was one of my early attempts in working on this interesting artificial paper called Yupo. I recently had it shown in a church lobby and it is currently on exhibit at the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois. It used be called the Chiropractic College. Well the good news is that this show was judged last week and I received 2nd place award. That is always exciting. This piece will then be eligible for another show entitled Best of the Best and will be on exhibit in April. I hope to have 3 entries at that show. Only art that has won an award in the last year can be shown.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fleur de lis


There are lots of reasons to celebrate. This week New Orleans celebrates a Superbowl Victory. These are 4" x 6" collages that were inspired by a co-worker of mine whose husband is from New Orleans.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy and Sad

I am both happy and sad today. I am visiting my daughter Victoria in Minneapolis this weekend which makes me very happy for the one on one time we are sharing. We talked about so many things yesterday and watched a movie and reviewed wedding plans and shared an excellent Chinese meal. Today there will be more fun things to do. She and Andres live in a sweet little apartment overlooking a quiet snow covered street. The view is very calm and peaceful on this sunny winter morning.
And now for the sad part. I will miss being at the Midwest Collage Society exhibit reception tonight for which we have been preparing for so long. There are 90 pieces hung. I have 4 on exhibit in this show. The title of the exhibit is: Memory and it is hanging in a beautiful mansion called Peabody Mansion in the Mayslake Estate in Oakbrook, Il.
Sometimes our lives get so busy and so many difficult choices to make. This is one I had to struggle with. I wish all of my fellow artists in the show a great time at the reception.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Old Becomes New

I have tons of old artwork that never stood on their own. The watercolors I produced fill two bins. On occasion I look through and try to find some inspiration in them. This particular one was a large experimental piece using the wax resist method I was in love with at one time. The watercolors were bold, and I think I even experimented with gouache with this one. At any rate, it was fun but not an award winner by a long shot. It spoke to me as a dessert-like hot environment. The horses seemed to fit in. Only 4X6 I was pleased with the result.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Simplify and Expand

It is the first day of a new year and I am taking time to reflect the past year and to make some determinations of intentions for the coming year. Last night as the clock turned from one year to the next I stood outdoors for a moment to contemplate the beautiful full moon, the blue moon. It held so much promise and magic. I was surrounded by my immediate family and my good friends, Marsha and Austin. We remembered the challenges we overcame last year and shared fortune cookies to bring good fortune into the new year. This morning I committed to simplify some aspects of my life and so I went to the studio and looked onto my collection of over 1,000 books to see what could be donated or gifted to friends. The first book I touched was Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro. The marker was set to page 138 where I read the following prayer:

Peace and love, O Lord, I pray
Shower on this friend today.
Heal his(her) troubles, bless his(her) heart
From the source of strength and love
May she(he) never have to part.

As for Expand, I aim to expand my creative endeavors by learning new techniques and making my work larger.