Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Alcott Center and LA Contemporary present “The Many Faces of Art”

This is the latest fundraising event that I'm participating in. Please consider attending if it sounds interesting to you and is within your means. It's a great cause.

"The Alcott Center, a non-profit organization that works with clients who struggle with severe and persistent mental illness, presents its annual artWorks fundraising event. With the recent cuts in State funding, this event has taken on even greater importance in order to service those in our community who suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and chronic depression. Funds raised at this event will benefit residential programs, such as the Graduate House, which provides transitional/permanent housing and encourages Alcott residents to live as independently as possible and lead more meaningful lives.

This year’s event, “The Many Faces of Art,” will be held on Sunday, April 25, 2010 at the prestigious LA Contemporary, a venue which has been host to numerous well-known artists’ exhibits. Artists include such well-known names as Chris Ayers, Farzad Varahramyan Daniel Alonzo, Les Biller, Huguette Caland, Laddie John Dill, Linda Jacobson, Muromasa Kudo, Brett Livingstone Strong, Jeffrey Manpearl and Suzye Ogawa. Located in the heart of LA’s exciting La Cienega art district, the evening, which begins with an exclusive VIP Champagne Reception, promises to be a fun-filled celebration of art with an auction, delicious food, good wine and interesting guests."

When: Sunday, April 25, 2010, 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Where: LA Contemporary, 2634 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90034 (310) 559-6200
What: Art show, auction, food, wine
How: Purchase tickets $75 by contacting the Alcott Center at (310) 785-2121
Special: VIP reception at 5:00, tickets $125

Friday, April 16, 2010

Los Angeles Festival of Books - April 24-25, 2010

I will have a booth at this year's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. This annual celebration of all things literary on the UCLA campus is filled with books, food, and fun for the whole family. Author signings, panel discussions, music, and children's activities galore. Come check it out and stop by the Daily Zoo booth to say hi!

The Daily Zoo
Booth 030 - Zone B

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
UCLA Campus
April 24-25, 2010
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 10am-5pm
Admission is free!

April Events - Midwest Book "Tour"

I don't know, can it really be called a book tour if it is only a week? I guess so. Anyhow, I will be in Minnesota and Wisconsin in a few days to do a variety of Daily Zoo-themed events (presentations, gallery reception, workshops, book signings, etc.). Many of the events are in conjunction with the Midwest Arts in Healthcare Network which is having an Arts and Health Community Celebration during the month of April. Please see below for a complete listing and details of each event. If you have the time and are in the area, please consider checking one out!

Penny George Institute: Presentation & Book Signing
Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 2-5pm
Penny George Institute for Health and Healing
2833 Chicago Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55407

As I mentioned in my previous post, fifteen Daily Zoo prints are on exhibit at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis through May 26. There is a reception this Sunday afternoon from 2-5 pm at the Penny George Institute. I'll be presenting the story of The Daily Zoo and will have books available for signing if anyone is interested. There will also be presentations/readings/live music by other artists. Light refreshments too. This event is free and open to the public. Map & directions here.

Bethseda Hospital: Lunchtime Book Signing
Monday, April 19, 2010 - Lunchtime (I should be set up shortly after 11am)
559 Capitol Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55103

Bethseda Hospital in St. Paul, MN invited me for a book signing and also to do some drawing workshops with some of their patients in the afternoon. The lunchtime signing is open to the public. Map & directions here.

Hudson Hospital: Healing Arts Event
Monday, April 19, 2010 - 7-8:30pm
Hudson Hospital Conference Center
405 Stageline Road
Hudson, WI 54016

Free and open to the public, however registrations is requested (please call the Health Resource Center at 715-531-6250).

At the invitation of Hudson Hospital's Healing Arts Program I will be presenting a digital slideshow at 7pm and then be available for signing afterwards. I will be specifically addressing how my artwork has been a healing factor in my experience with facing cancer.


University of Minnesota - Boynton Clinic: Presentation & Book Signing
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 12-1pm
Lunch will be served at 11:50am

The Roen Room

At the invitation of the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality & Healing I'll be sharing my cancer experience and the therapeutic properties of creating artwork with medical professionals as part of the U of M's Continuing Medical Education program. Sorry, this event is not open to the public.

University of Minnesota Campus Bookstore: Book Signing
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 4pm
Coffman Memorial Union
300 Washington Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

I'll be signing at 4pm. More info here. Map and directions here.

Hennepin County Medical Center: Presentation & Book Signing
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 11am-12pm
HCMC Blue Bldg, Room BL.320
900 S. 8th Street
Minneapolis, MN

I'll presenting & signing at the Hennepin County Medical Center as a part of the Inspire Arts program's participation in the month long celebration of arts in healthcare. This is free and open to the public.


Holy Family Elementary School: Student Workshops
Wed-Thurs, April 22-23, 2010
Green Bay, WI

Two days of art workshops with the K-8 students at Holy Family school in Green Bay, WI. Sorry, this one is not open to the public.

The Reader's Loft: Book Signing
Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 6-8pm
2069 Central Ct, Suite 44
Green Bay, WI 54311

Map and directions here.

Hope you can make one of these!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Daily Zoo Exhibit & Presentation: Minneapolis

Greetings all!
An exhibit of 15 prints from the first two Daily Zoo books just opened at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. It is being put on by the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing as a part of their Healing Arts program. The show is located on the lower level of the hospital by the LiveWell Fitness Center and will be on display until May 26, 2010.

Additionally, I'm going to be presenting a slide show and telling the story of my cancer and the Daily Zoo at a reception on Sunday, April 18. The reception is from 2-5pm and will include a talk by fellow exhibiting artist Sarah Schaleger, as well as live music, poetry readings, and light refreshments. I'll be signing books for anyone interested after my presentation. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The exhibit can be viewed during clinic hours:
M-Th 8am-9pm
Fridays 8am-4:30pm

A PDF file with directions and parking suggestions can be found here.

I hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

LLS: Man & Woman of the Year Campaign

Each year, many local chapters of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society hold a fundraising campaign called the Man & Woman of the Year. Candidates are nominated and then spend the spring raising much-needed funds for cancer research and patient services. The candidate who is able to raise the greatest amount is bestowed the title of Man or Woman of the Year.

This year, the local Minnesota chapter of LLS asked me if I would be their honorary chairperson of the campaign. I've been involved with them in the past, presenting the story of my cancer and The Daily Zoo at a Survivor's Night celebration last year, as well as donating signed books and prints to some of their other fundraisers. Needless to say, I was honored to be asked and as part of my involvement I created some artwork to be used as a secondary logo for the campaign. The LLS staff suggested a pair of animals adorned with the red sashes that are given to the winners. I decided hippos might be fun. (When are hippos NOT fun?) The final piece is shown above and below are some in-progress images showing the development which led to the end result.

If your local chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is having a Man & Woman of the Year campaign, please consider donating (or even participating as a candidate yourself!).

Everything started out with some quick thumbnails done with water soluble wax crayons. I liked the idea (and challenge) of doing the final piece in watercolor. By no means do I feel very confident with this medium, so I did a few small test "renders" of the hippos, experimenting with color, paint application, and detailing with different types of additional media (colored pencil, ink pen, etc.)

Then it was on the actual final artwork. I lightly sketched the hippos out with a Col-erase blue pencil before painting with watercolor. As you can see from the in-progress shot, the color palette was much different than what I ultimately ended up with. It just wasn't working for me, so when I scanned the painting into the computer I played around with color adjustments and settled on a drabber blue-gray color for the hippos which I felt worked better with the red sashes.

I also drew a separate line drawing of the two characters, scanned that in separately, and added it as a digital overlay. Why not just do this step on the final image and avoid the compositing work in Photoshop? Well, I wasn't exactly sure how it was going to look, and since I didn't have much time to do the piece, I didn't want to do something I would later regret. That's one of the benefits of having a digital component as part of your workflow. I could experiment more freely and not worry about having to start over completely. When overlaying the line drawing on the painting I was able to control its opacity and add it only where I felt it was needed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Happy" Anniversary

Today is the first of April. April Fool's Day. It also marks the fifth anniversary of my leukemia diagnosis. Usually we don't associate bad news - such as being told that you have a life-threatening health condition - with cause for celebration, but I take a long moment each April 1st to reflect on the many ways that my life has changed since that fateful moment in the doctor's office. Many lessons have been learned, many questions have been raised (a few of them have even been answered), and the current of gratitude coursing through my life has become ever stronger.

It also marks the beginning of a brand new year of The Daily Zoo. Year Four was completed last night and a new sketchbook was pulled from the shelf to begin the journey of Year Five. Yes, a blank page can sometimes be intimidating, but it can also be a vast playground where anything is possible. Let your imagination run wild!
Onward ho!