Monday, December 2, 2013

Crossed Wires---an apology!

Not only am I sketchily abled dealing with calendars, but I am superb at crossed wires!  Durn!

The superb photography of Ayana Muata was supposed to grace the windows this month.  I encourage you to go to look at her website and drool with expectation!  She is a superb storyteller in visual form.  Her forte is portraits, self and otherwise, that share deep narratives without the need for text. She will be showing in October and November, 2014!

For that matter, check out all  the links on the "exhibition schedule" page of the gallery website.  There are some very interesting shows scheduled.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

IN the Windows, December 2013

I have always had some problems managing calendars.  I get lost in the days of the week, the months and their corresponding number systems.  For the most part I do get to all my appointments on the right day and at the right time.  But there are glitches.  December is such a month, a glitch month.  I created an unintentional hole in the window schedule.  So, at the last minute, I had to fill the windows.  So this month the work in the windows is mine.

These deconstructed suits are part of a series that keeps me thinking and re-working, over and over.
I keep returning to them, adding pins, skeletal structures of thread.  I ponder the deconstruction of a symbol of power.

Deconstructing Power

One of the many things that women share world wide is wage disparity with men.  In the US, the average gender wage gap, is 23%.  When considering the wages of CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, the gap narrows to 17%, but the number of women holding the position also reduces.  Women are roughly 51% of the population in  the US, holding 4.2% of the top positions in Fortune 500 companies.

What is it, then, that represents this overwhelming male power?  Perhaps it is the suit.

Deconstructing Power is a series of stitched assemblages that consider the artificiality of the power suit, designed to enhance male images of power. Developed out of European styles of the aristocracy, the power suit, once established, changed little and now is the near ubiquitous symbol of power for the urban male.  The deconstructed suits are stitched onto floral/feminine upholstery fabrics with their artifice prominent. Once splayed open, they become simply the stuff of which they are made: cleverly woven textiles cleverly assembled for effect, often by the hands of women.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In the Windows

Julia Babb has been a favorite artist of mine for a while now.  She thinks long and hard about things and usually comes up with a use of language that astounds and amazes me.  In the windows through November a 2 of her large scale calligraphic works: ALEPH  and AS BELOW SO ABOVE.  Though the performer is absent, to me they are performance works.  The whole body movement necessary to make these is evident.  In my mind's eye I can see Julia swaying to the letters. They sing of music, dance and deep time.  Do walk or drive by at various times of day.  The work transforms with the changing light.

Artist Statement

Julia Elizabeth Babb is a multi-disciplinary artist focusing on broad concepts and deeper philosophical meanings. A professional calligrapher's daughter, Julia developed an early love of letters and the letter arts and later, an understanding of the history and mystery behind them. These pieces then, are her contribution to an on-going conversation about letters, words, language and ideas.

~~"Aleph" is a sort of portrait of the first letter of the alphabet, a celebration of and a meditation on the beginnings of things. 

~~"Below As Above So" is a new twist on an old idea. Instead of being written across the page from left to right, the words are arranged so that they must be read up and down, or down and up depending on whether one begins reading from the left side or the right.

Friday, August 23, 2013

IN THE WINDOWS: Fish Townsend

Fish Townsend
I am 37 years old, recently returned to my birthplace and married to my wife.

My paintings are a strong and consistent, ethereal grounding for my soul. I’ve never focused on training or technique; in fact, I’ve run from it. Something in me absolutely refused to be trained in art. Though I’d love to learn established techniques, there’s beauty in allowing space for the unmanifested. What has developed over the years has come from sitting with and contemplating the canvas itself, or the brush strokes after applying a layer of color. The images emerge in front of me and I turn the canvas until I’ve chosen the most intriquing landscape. I do the best I can to fill in the impression I've received with the colors and movement that will bring it to life. Because I never begin with a preconceived notion, whatever might be waiting there simply moves through me. I am ever in awe of what comes. Whether holding a concept, a person, musician, or absolutely nothing in mind, what arises in these moments entangles parallels that bring me back to this process again and again.

It’s another world, what happens. Otherworldly beings in an otherworldly dimension. It’s the spirit and energy, Divine Spirit, inherent and inextractable from the whole, whether or not in part; and it is glorious. My keenness for the lighting of the witching hour comes through, I think, helping to catch the unreal in the very real levels of perception.

I’ve come to see that this is the consciousness that shines through when I put paint on a brush, apply the brush to the canvas, and listen to what is there.

Of the paintings on exhibit at Susan Hensel’s Gallery, Gifts 1, 2, and
3 show the result of this process in 2007. Hope, Faith, and Love shows a later incarnation, 2010. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 

Like her on Facebook to keep up with her work:

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Works by Marjorie Nilssen

 Marjorie Nilssen installed her show of new works in the Windows on Cedar today.  Marjorie is on the faculty of Ridgewater College, in Wilmar, MN.


My paintings are based on my long time interest in color, texture and unity.
While I am visually intrigued by nature; rocks, algae, moss, etc., my paintings are not
representations or ‘pictures’ of nature.

I am constantly amazed at what happens in my studio when I let go of ideas and allow the
various processes of painting;  melting wax, mixing paint, scraping, etc., to develop into a work.
It is the mystery of this process that intrigues and inspires me.

Studying under the direction of Larry and Paula Poons at The Art Students League of New York
(September 15-October 1, 2012) enhanced my artistic skills by reinforcing the significance of
color development and the concept of losing yourself in order to make a good painting.
I can still hear Poon’s saying “stop trying to make a painting!!”
Although I was aware of this concept prior to my time at the Art League this idea becomes
more clear to me as I continue to work in my studio in Atwater, Minnesota.

Below is a quote from Larry Poons that I really like:

“Ultimately, the issue with art is art.  And you really shouldn’t worry about:  ‘well….if I do this,
it’s not me.’  It’s always you.  That’s the important part of art:  that this thing comes through if
you let it.  The essential part of what you, the artist is, comes through if you don’t try to be so
overly protective of what you think is your way of doing things.  I think you have to constantly relearn this in your working career---that what you think you can’t do is what you already should be doing, and you’re just putting it off.  Simply because you’re afraid to lose yourself.   But when you lose yourself, that’s when the art happens.”

*From a 1989 interview with John Zinsser in ‘Larry Poons:  Paintings, 1963-1990

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A not so lackadaisical summer

Summer is finally upon us.  It is a glorious Independence Day morning, not yet hot.  The birds are singing and the flowers swaying in the breeze. The amateur fireworks have been pretty minimal this year. But tonight will be a different story. The skies will light up with both amateur and professional fireworks.

Last week we lit up the night with words and thoughts about HOME.  We had a one night garden party...that moved inside as more storms, in a stormy summer, moved through the Twin Cities.

Rosemary Davis organized a reading of Minnesota authors:  HOMETOWN: A Language We speak.

Environmental artist, Alis Olsen, installed two sculptures in the side garden.

Julia Jackson Hunt installed text work in the windows.

A special gallery note:  as you can see in the first photo above, I am still in a sling from an accident and surgery.  Recovery is slow...perhaps another 4 months.  As a consequence of needing to schedule physical therapy, Monday hours are suspended for the rest of the summer.  The Windows on Cedar Project continues.  Next up is Marjorie Nilssen.   If you need wool products: hand dyed roving, mohair and handspun yarn....I am still around.  Feel free to call or email to set up an appointment.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Diminuation and lovely memories

It does seem that the whole world should be shaking their collective fists and gnashing their teeth at the passing of Debora Miller. I know I am, as are her friends and family. Memories will loom large for those of us who knew her for a long time.  

But today, in little fits and starts, I will begin dismantling her show.  It seems like such a diminishing thing, as though the magical luminosity had never been.  But it can be a care-filled thing as well.  With gentleness and respect I will begin.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

In Memorium

Debora Miller left her body and the pain behind last night.  Her bright smile, her fierce intelligence, her luminous art work and her determination to live with purpose and love will be missed.

If you are reading this today, February 28, the gallery will be open until 5pm today.  Come and gather to share memories and share Debora's luminous art work one more time.


Debora Miller left the pain behind last night.  Her bright smile, her fierce intelligence, her luminous art work and her determination to live with purpose and love will be missed.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A soft closing for Debora Miller's show

 Because of timing and take down issues, you have a few more days to see the show!Friday night, Feb 22, was the official close of the show I'm me, She's over there.  A conversation with the artists Deb Miller was led by Julia Babb.  Cocoa, tea and desserts rounded out the snowy evening. 
I'm me, She's over there will be open Monday, February 25, 10-5pm and by appointment now through noon, Feb 27.
And now...hibernation!  Check out the Susan Hensel Art blog and Sue's Luxury Fibers blog for what's going on inside the studio.

The Windows on Cedar project continues with the next set of windows installing next weekend: paintings by Jennifer Sandquist.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Reader's Art 14 & 15...and then?Purgatory Pie Press

Life as We Know It by Purgatory Pie Press
I am planning for Reader's Art 15 to be the final show in the series.  I will soon begin work on a compendium catalog of all fifteen years of the exhibition, to be available at the close of the final show.  Wish me good luck, good health and determination to finish this proposed project!

Mission to Japan by Gail Smuda

Progress by Jamie Weaver

Mama by Courtney Lee Weida

Eyes to See by Veronica Winters

A Graph Sampler:New Beginnings by Marilyn Stablein

Paris & Urban Geometry by Michael Shapiro

Learn more about these artists:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Colorful artists books

I am planning to resume  the Reader's Art exhibition in 2014 and 2015. 
Make Up by Carol Morris

Andre Pace
Travel by Maryann Riker
Lean more about these artists:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Autumn, crows in murmuration etc

Autumn by Jes Lee

Murmurations by Celine Lombardi

Nine Seeds by Vida Sacic

Learn more about theses artists:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Variety of book related forms

90 Days Project by Joel McKinney

A disparate group of artists books and book like objects sailed my way through the internet.  Pictured here are a 'zine, a stitched broadside and a beautifully printed 90 day compilation of digital collages.

Muse by Gail Kern
How His Trouble Began by China Marks
Learn more about the artists:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More artists books

Many books have run across my computer screen...just not enough to mount Reader's Art this year.  But next year, the projected penultimate year, is another story.
Recollections by Arini Esary

portfolio by Sally Johnson

Journeys by Jennifer Hines
Learn more about these artists:

Sally Johnson

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Books I have seen

Triangle Book by Elena Mary Siff

 In the ongoing effort to expose you to artists books that were submitted to the Reader's Art show that was suspended for a year...
Pentimento by Claire Jeanine Satin
Making it Home by Gail Smuda

New Beginnings by Beth Dorsey

All wonderful artists.  Learn more about  them: