Sunday, March 28, 2010

Timothy Chapman Guest Blogger

The members of our party have been mystified concerning the
possible advantages of the fantastical and varied patterning of the large ruminant Giraffa venustus. Dressed in botanical curlicues and arabesques, the “lovely giraffe” is a startling animal when encountered.
What is just as remarkable is this animalʼs easy disregard for the
predators which are its neighbors... we have witnessed small groups of these giraffes amble right past a pride of lions to reach a spring for water. Calves poke their insouciant snouts where they ought not be... the tail end
of a leopard sleeping in a tree is just as interesting and unthreatening as a
harmless ground tortoise.

Allison Serofim's livingroom re-imagined with Timothy's art
Photo Paul Costello

A typical giraffeʼs hide is remarkable enough... why in the world
would a beast of such presence take on a raiment of checks and
polygons? What purpose could so obvious a banner serve this giant? It has been suggested that it is, in part, a mimicry of a dappled tree trunk when the giraffe is feeding on a high acacia tree. But of course, as it
moves from place to place, a giraffe in the landscape is as subtle as a hailstorm. We can only assume that the Creator was feeling a bit frivolous as He thought this creature into existence.

The Field Artist has noticed that when a specimen has met its demise, which is nearly always through old age, the corpse may lay for days undisturbed by hyena or vulture. It seems that nothing will touch the
apparently toxic flesh itself, although the locals will strip the glorious hide, provided it has not been too weather beaten, to decorate shields and fetishes. The Field Artist has somehow been able to ingratiate himself with this small indigenous population (which does not seem to care much for the rest of us) and has learned that when a bit of hide scrapings are
carefully combined with certain herbs and ingested, remarkable
hallucinations are produced in the user. These visions, apparently, fit neatly into the spiritual beliefs of the locals.

The Field Artist has reported one of his experiences to me shortly
after its peak. I was awakened one night as he crashed through the brush back to our camp... how he managed to pass from the village back to uswithout eventually winding up as some nocturnal creatureʼs meal remains a mystery. While he was clearly excited about what he had just been through, he said that he preferred not to write it down himself, although it seemed fairly obvious at the time that he was fully incapable of focusing his vision, let alone holding a pen in his trembling hand. I attempt here to relate the details as faithfully as I can.

What we might bring to wear on safari with Timothy

The concoction is taken as a single drop on the wing of a still living
butterfly. Certain species of butterfly purportedly offer up certain types of these visual dreams. This act only takes place in a special hut, decorated in venustus hides, only at certain positions and phases of the moon, and
only under the supervision of the native elders most experienced in these matters. Assuming the user is able to actually swallow a living butterfly and then deftly skirt death, he (or she; apparently there is no gender barrier)
begins to “travel”. In the case of our Field Artist, he floated up to the middle of the small chamber and, in a series of convolutions that defy our notions of space, he watched as the patterns of vines and flourishes of the hides swallowed him up and turned the entire room inside out, allowing him to see the room as some subgeometrical solid, all surfaces of which he was able to see simultaneously with one sweep of his gaze.

After a few more indescribable out-of body contortions, the Field
Artist found himself astride a large bull venustus, its pelt of flowers and fleur-de-lys throbbing, in the middle of a too-bright grassland afternoon (mind you, his experience had played itself out during the African night). The air was pulsing with butterflies of all description and glittered with the opaline scales of their wings. Through the thick glaring light he could discern several black crescent moons in the sky. There were a few other giraffes surrounding him. They stared in his direction, their individual patterns writhing like serpents. Their large wet eyes said nothing, but he had the sensation that they were waiting for him to do something, to act. What they were expecting, he could not determine. As he tried to speak, he suddenly realized that there was a great roaring in his ears like a cutting wind, though the air around him was unmoving. The Field Artistʼs unlikely steed breathed a great impatient sigh, its rib cage expanding like a bellows. As it exhaled again, the Field Artist began to slip, slowly as a struggling scarab in honey, trying in vain to lift his heavy limbs.

The Bornjinee Expeditions 1874-1883

The next thing he remembers is crawling through the darkness, far
away from the small complex of native huts, bleeding from gorse and briar. He made his way back to us, related his story as I have written it down here, drank a gallon or so of water and collapsed into an unnerving sleep.

Whether driven by a fierce dedication to his craft and Science or by an unhappy and imbalanced mind, the Field Artist claims he wants to revisit this experience. Up until these few days later, he has not mustered the courage to walk back to the tiny village and its inhabitants. He has so far, instead, elected repeatedly to go down to the river to listen for the comforting quacking of night frogs.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

C.M. Russell's Lucky Charm (hey - isn't everyone Irish today?!)

"Shape Changer #10" by Rocky Hawkins

It's that time of year again! No – we are not talking about green beer and shamrocks . . . although we love those too.

We're talking about the annual C.M. Russell Art Auction. But this year is a little different, as the C.M. Russell Museum has branched off from the auction and will, for the first time ever, be hosting its very own art sale and auction called “The Russell," which will solely benefit the Museum.

Brilliant artist Rocky Hawkins will be showcasing his dynamic work at this exciting new event.

"Dark Moon Shield Thief" by Rocky Hawkins

"Never Sleeps" by Rocky Hawkins

Above are three new paintings by Rocky, which will be part of the live auction on Saturday, March 20th. All three paintings can be viewed tomorrow evening (Thursday, March 18th) at The Russell reception (for more details and full schedule click HERE).

And, in the spirit of this exciting new show, Rocky will also be doing something unique this year: showing artwork along-side his youngest daughter, Cheyenne! Here is an example of Cheyenne’s work ,which will also be on display at the reception tomorrow evening.

"Spirit Woman" by Cheyenne Hawkins

WAIT . . . we are not done! There is more exciting news to report! On Friday, The Russell is having an event called “Art In Action,” where Rocky and Cheyenne will display their talents live, as each paint a new work to be auctioned later. All proceeds will be donated to the C.M. Russell Museum.

Like father, like daughter.

Without question, The Russell will definitely have the "luck of the Irish" on its side this weekend.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Friday, March 12, 2010

How To Have A "Green" Weekend

A) It's Friday!!!
B) It is almost St. Patrick's Day so why not explore & celebrate all things "Green".
We want to give some suggestions for a really great and "Green" weekend.
With so many amazing forms of ART and design using existing or recycled materials we just had to talk about it.

These are not your typical recycled items. These pieces are redesigned, reimagined, reconfigured, redone . . .

Genius artist Tom Deininger creates his amazing artwork using found objects. His work is like a contemporary "Green" form of impressionism. Van Gogh would be proud. Just click HERE take a look at Deininger's process!

As for your "celebratory" weekend beverages . . . why not reuse them when you are done, like artist/designer Mark Roeder did.

Now there are a few things we all hate to do on the weekends - like laundry.

But if you are really inventive (and lazy) you could attempt to recreate this piece of furniture art titled "Meltdown" . . . because you know we have all had that one load of laundry that pushes us over the edge.

Now stop reading this blog and go out and enjoy your weekend already - geesh!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Accessories for Wonderland

Everywhere I look lately, things seem to have taken on a "Wonderlandish" twist! Can you believe these amazing and functional suitcases by Sarah Williams?

We can only imagine what might be packed in here!

The modern Alice toting this luggage-turned-ART might be inspired to wear something a little dramatic.

If the trip is long, take along a pack of cards. Ruby Lane stocks vintage cards and games. A great resource whether you're looking for some arcane game or a popular old board game.

Depending where the travels may take you, you might be able to see some of artist Nick Cave's fantastical work.
We were amazed to learn that these "Sound Suits" (as he calls them) are totally wearable and meant to be danced in!

Fun environmental sculptures by Finish artist Jonna Pohjalainen recall something you might find down the rabbit hole!

Lest you find yourself lost after a trip down the rabbit hole, Elisabeth Lecourt's navigable clothes (They are really meant for hanging not wearing) might help those who are directionally challenged.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Down The Rabbit Hole

Photo courtesy of

March seems like the prefect month for Tim Burton to release his remake of the children's classic Alice In Wonderland.

Photo courtesy of

March is the month where the longer days begin melting the frozen landscape and a world we have forgotten (buried under months of snow and ice) reveals small parts of itself. March opens up the rabbit hole, disorienting us with the potential of a new season. Like most of the characters in Alice In Wonderland, March is never what it seems. It teases us with brief moments of warm weather and small glimpses of grassy earth. But as frustrating as this journey might be -- for both Alice and all of us struggling for the "real" spring -- it is also an exciting time with adventures to be found and old treasures to be rediscovered.

The musical artist A Fine Frenzy puts this perfectly with their new video for "Lost Things."