Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Dolly and Ava

Artography is the combination of art and photography. All images are transferred to fine art giclées. They are printed with a watercolour overlay and giclée gallery wraps

Pearl's Eye

Bio by Dolly:

My love of photography began at age 3 sitting for what seemed like hours for my Gypsy father. Being allowed into the dark room with Daddy and seeing the awesome finished result made me want to be behind the camera and not in front of it. Watching Daddy train horses for summer fun enhanced my appreciation of equine photography. 

I hold 2 bachelor of arts degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Political Science and studies in photography with years on the lecture circuit for political operatives and am active in conservative Texas politics. However the camera is always with me. 

Romance At American Acres
I shoot from an emotional and spiritual perspective with the desire to impart the feelings of the animals, the aura of the area and the spirit of the people involved to those who view my images.
I see the world as one spiritual all engulfing abstraction and can become so involved when out in the field that I sometimes can not feel my surroundings but lost in the soul of what I am shooting. I want the viewer to be able to step into the picture and become part of it. 

I sign each piece with GTG, Glory to G-d, in thanks for his gift of sight, after having undergone 3 years of continuous eye surgery. 

My images are transferred into fine art giclée prints and gallery wraps. 

Eye of the Brahma

I belong to the El Paso Art Association, El Paso Texas ; Big Bend Arts Council, Alpine Texas ; Southwestern Indiana Arts Council, Evansville Indiana; The Tri State Art Guild, Angel Mounds Indiana, including Southern Indiana, North Western Kentucky and South Eastern Illinois; the Richmond Area Arts Council, Richmond, Kentucky; the Louisvillle Visual Arts Association, Louisville, Kentucky; and the Lawrence County Arts Council, Lawrenceville, Illinois.

  Visit Dolly's WEBSITE

Watching Over Me

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Building Community: One Stitch At a Time by Su Zi

            Fashion, as a genre, has survived the culture wars: so much so that it has become a megalithic industry in itself:  name designers are recruited by big box stores to create a season’s worth of garments, that are then produced by sweatshops to be distributed to millions of stores. Yet, the handcraft is absent from these garments; in future times, their aesthetic will value them as vintage, maybe, but that leaves our moment empty.  

            If we turn our eyes to handcrafted garments as true art, then a flood of possibilities present themselves: in every community are knitters, are artists who work in fiber as pure sculpture, are those who sew, and, rarest of all are the milliners—those who fashion hats by pure craft, one by one. One such artist is Sherri Lower, who has been the single needle behind Hats Off Boutique for over ten years, traveling across the country with a mobile shop of handcrafted hats, driving aprons, jackets and an assortment of skirts, scarves, and bags, all made one by one. Traveling to fifteen carriage driving shows a year, Ms Lower says that,  “some of my clients have become close friends, which is a good thing. There are some people you really enjoy having as a friend and that’s what I like most. You never know when you’re going to meet someone you really hit it off with.”  This is a personal service: while her mobile shop has garments of stunning beauty and craftsmanship, Ms Lower also works with clients to create something exclusively for them, a wearable work of art.

            Carriage driving is an equestrian sport with only a few thousand participants in North America, “ a small sport, compared to Europe, we’re very small over here […] and compared to eventing [ a cross-country equestrian competition over jumps] and dressage [ a precision riding competition that is also recognized by the Olympics], we’re small, but that’s what makes it special” says Ms Lower, who began her business “on my own” because “I was a carriage driver and needed outfits […] I could sew and I made connections with a millinery house.” However, one need not be a carriage driver to access her beautiful work, as Ms Lower maintains an independent website and has begun an Etsy page.   
            As an artist, Ms Lower has spent a lifetime at her craft, saying:
            “ My mother taught me how to sew when I was 5 years old. For me, it’s part of your root. For me, it’s been a job, it’s been something fun to do—I love creating things. Sewing has been to me many things, money-maker, fun, and it created a business.  I feel that when I design something I have a mental picture in my head of how I want it to come out.
It has to be exact or I am not satisfied. I see a vision .
If I see a piece of fabric, I can see it made. Anything you can see and make, to me, that is art. You can physically form your vision into an object or a design, that’s art.”

            A wearable work of art is not the domain of department stores, whose products are exactly that—products with too-often  artificially  inflated credibility that serve to segregate economic classes, and which are neither hand-craft or art, despite their  industry’s self- congratulatory machinations. Fashion has become an entrenched clique with blind eyes to the very vision that inspired it: a beautiful, well-crafted garment. For this, our communities are our answer, for there is the vision, the commitment and the craft. Ms Lower said, “ I love to design. I love creating a look for someone that makes them feel special.”  Obviously,  Ms Lower, and very few people like her,  can provide that which has been lacking in our carefully curated closets: art in which to cloth ourselves, crafted by hand, and utterly fabulous.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ray Carmen and Cut and Paste Records

     I’m Ray, and I’ve been writing and recording music since 1986.  My current catalog features 59 releases, including a couple of free online titles.  Nine of those titles are recordings by friends of mine (R. Stevie Moore, Don Campau, Dead Kennedys bassist Klaus Flouride, Ken Clinger, Velveeta Heartbreak, The Next Big Thing featuring Gary Pig Gold and Shane Faubert, James St. Vrrain, Rich Arithmetic, and a various artists compilation).  The other 50 titles are mostly solo recordings, while some are band and collaboration recording projects I’ve been involved with over the years.  For the most part, I make home made bubblegum art pop, heavily influenced by Paul McCartney, R. Stevie Moore, Emmit Rhodes, Andy Partridge and Martin Newell.  I’ve also played drums in various bands over the years, including Witch Hazel, King Dapper Combo and The Graveyard Rockers. 

This year, I have two new projects up and running with my friend Jim Weiser.  Weeping Barista is a project that features Jim’s original alt-folk and country compositions (ukulele included at no extra charge!).  Our debut, Left Handed Love Notes, is out now and available for purchase through me or through Jim on our Facebook page.  The other project is called abandoned playground, which focuses on my ambient/experimental instrumental pieces.  Our first release, the trouble with angels, will be out later this summer.  It was recorded and produced by me and mastered by Alan Grandy, of the Cleveland-based band sputnik.  It will be released as a cd and as a Bandcamp download.  We will also be releasing an online ep called …and then the crowd went home this fall.  I’ll probably make it available as a physical cd-r too, just for the hell of it.

Speaking of Bandcamp, I have a free 12-song online best-of album download available called

Provocative Repercussions:

  http://raycarmen.bandcamp.com/.  The great cover art was done by my friend Jeanne Snodgrass.

I’m always up for trading with other like-minded musicians, so if you wanna send me something of your own, I’ll send something of mine in return (although sometimes it takes me a couple of weeks to respond).  Drop me a line at: cutandpasterecords@yahoo.com.

OK, now for the links:
http://raycarmenmusic.blogspot – this is Ray Carmen central on the net.

https://www.facebook.com/Weepingbarista  - Weeping Barista’s Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/ray.carmen.108 - me on Facebook, of course.

http://raycarmen.bandcamp.com – my Provocative Repercussions album is
  available for free here, with more coming soon.

https://soundcloud.com/pixilvsn - free downloads of my music.

https://soundcloud.com/cut-and-paste-audio-blog - not really music related, this is my
  other Soundcloud page, where I post excerpts from shortwave radio broadcasts, home
  made records from the 1950s found in antique shops, and other audio ephemera that
  I’ve been collecting over the years…

https://vimeo.com/raycarmen - my video page on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Building Community: In The Street...by Su Zi

Derek Tipton by Su Zi
Divided We Fall, Lincoln’s warning, has come to pass as the effective strategy for the now-thirty-year dismantling of the arts community. Arguments abound between classical art versus craft, high art versus folk art, and the deciding factor is commoditization. Yet, folk art still speaks , still exists without the be-knighting of institutions, despite attempts at appropriation. Folk art can often be seen as street art, being most familiar as elaborate graffiti or public installations--depending—but street art also exists literally in the street in the form of classic cars. Invariably, heads turn at classic cars: their  elegant lines and anachronistic paint excite all eyes as they roll by, a brief respite from the dreariness of modern cars amid a dreariness of corporate structures.It is past time we celebrate the beautiful. We need not be connoisseurs with deep resources to celebrate the beautiful, to appreciate craftsmanship.
            Classic cars are , “ American history”, says Derek Tipton, the owner of Detroit City Customs, an automobile restoration business. “they all have a meaning. In each era we go through, the car industry has put their stamp on that decade, they all had their own individual look. “  Citing  the automobile as a work of art, Tipton says, “Look at how many cars there are in museums.” Certainly, he ought to know, because the cars one sees at DCC are museum-worthy: each detail attended to—customer willing—with a level of craftsmanship superior to that of even many new cars.

            Tipton has spent his life around machinery:
            I always had an interest in cars. My step-grandfather was the guy who had the patience to teach me. He taught me to weld. We hung out doing car restoration, tractor restoration. I took three years of auto-body in vo-tech. I think I was 26 when I realized what my passion was…and it’s something I’m good at. His passion extending beyond his shop, Tipton, through DCC, hosted an automobile exhibition on the grounds of the famed Don Garlett’s museum this past winter; additionally, DCC hosts monthly cruises, where a parade of classic cars takes a community  drive and ends up at a local pub—dazzling all eyes the whole way.
            And unlike what television portrays as classic car restoration (which, in reality, is a paint and patch job with sales as the only criteria), Tipton  says DCC “gets the basket cases: the ones that have been torn apart in a garage for twenty years and they want it done.” Saying he “likes the challenge”, Tipton further adds, “I’m afraid of where the car industry is going—they’ll all look alike…so much more the reason to restore beautiful, old cars.”  Citing the irony of modern automobile designs and history, Tipton adds, “ It’s strange, you look at a Model A from the late 1920s; it was a 40 car: 40 miles per gallon, 40 horse power, 40 miles per hour, and we’re trying to get back to 40 miles per gallon, history is repeating itself.” Yet, as the automobile industry has yet to learn, and as art historians might recall of the Arts and Crafts movement that responded to the first wave of industrialization, function does not have to be ugly.

            In his celebration of these beautiful cars, Tipton seeks what  any arts-restoration specialist seeks: to once again allow the object to be illuminated, and to preserve its beauty despite the  erosions of time. In his efforts to include both the classic car community and the wider eyes of the citizenry, Tipton teaches this lesson: beauty can exist in daily life.  Saying that these cars “are the love of a lot of people”, Tipton contributes his skill and love of beauty for the benefit of  everyone who is lucky enough to be eyes  at the street when one of these functioning sculptures  sweeps by. It is an experience needed in every community:  unfettered by institutions, sublime beauty just there in the day, reminding everyone  that  our capabilities include such loveliness. 

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