Friday, October 4, 2013

Rock'in the Good on a Whisper Walk, Work'in the Art Life, The Great "De-Frazzler"

On the Whisper Walk
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My Interview on Santa Fe Creative Tourism by Luke Fannin:

The Whisper Walk
Ah, life can be so hectic, busy, commanding of time in the "should do" category. Some periods run amok as we attempt to "do all that we can do".  I was having such a week.  I received a rejection from an art project I thought would include me; my horse was diagnosed with Pigeon Fever (a bacterial infection that eventually will have to be lanced-poor boy-which comes with a rather a large bill); I lost my checkbook; I am fighting time with all my projects that need to be finished or move along more quickly; and finally, the Walmart Lady yelled at me for having 27 items instead of 20 in my cart.   I promised myself I would not mention (the government shutdown).

So I took a "Whisper Walk" to calm the person of me whose overwhelmedness was straining my "me relationship".  I wanted to listen and hear the whispers 
of nature and my own inner voice surrounded by sky, earth, and growing forms.  It was a calm and cloudless day in the East Mountains with sun warming human and earth in a place of great quiet.  My camera was tasked to document, as I explored the scattered presence of wildflowers, chamisa, and scraggly things.    

Scraggly Things
Walking past my neighbors property, I was greeted by Denny and Molly, Ziggy Starman's fellow compatriots, grazing peacefully and happy to visit with me.  
The equines, ever curious, touch my heart and fill me with great joy as they
live each moment with full attention and focus. What great guides!

Denny Greeting
Touches of wildflowers appeared at random moments.  They cheered me and 
greeted me.

My Whisper Walk allowed me to breathe and focus on the physical world at my doorstep. My brain rested and woke to nature wonder.  The me of mine showed up to explore and enjoy as I walked and heard the soft voices of earth and soul speaking.

Mind to Work
We artists are creatures of perpetual creative havoc.  The mind continually flows towards ideas and "witchy" places that intrigue and torment the creator to keep up the pace. I find myself desperately holding onto time as hours and days fly by in my attempt to finish my large Marina Semyonova pieces, develop new work through my I-Pad and WiFi printer (that will also be used for a new workshop), continue my mixed-media Photoshop imagery, apply to art or job opportunities, and keep up internet sites and contacts.  
The whirling dervish in me is on speed dial.  Yet, the excitement of chasing the often illusive idea is an innate challenge and act of living for an artist. 

Joy Series, Digital Mixed-Media from I-Pad Manipulation and Monotypes

I was fortunate to have Luke Fannin write a wonderful piece about my work 
and art process for Creative Santa Fe.  Luke is a fabulous writer who 
listens and writes with a sensitive ear and hand. The link is listed above. 

A Goat of a "De-Frazzler"
Pogo is a great "de-frazzler".  She was born during difficult circumstances 
and nursed to health by my friends, Deb and Chuck.  I met her when she was
a couple of weeks old, living in Debs kitchen, sleeping on a small cat pillow
with baby gates to pen her from wandering.  She was a tiny thing and 
had won her fight for life with an incredible spirit.  Bill and I went to visit
last weekend and had a fabulous time with this little Nigerian who at 5
months old, owns the world.  She adores being held and scratched and 
thinks humans are the next best thing to food.  She shines up the world
and lifts the spirits.  How great is that?


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mucking Around with my NEW ANIMAL ART website, Revisiting My Dancers, and Riding Ziggy while Trying to Keep it ALL TOGETHER!

Abbakiss and Cloud Take the Stage

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                                New Animal Art Web Site :   


New Animal Art Website
Sometimes a moment can change an outcome that is perilously close to falling into 
a dark abyss.  Such was the case with my first attempts of beginning my animal art
website, a new site dedicated to animal images and animal lovers.   Just as I was 
about to have a very formidable computer meltdown {that can happen after hours 
of no progress} while searching for the correct template on, the phone 
rang.  My friend, Marilyn, in New York, calling at her regular hour, listened to my 
rantings about the depths of computer hell and said one word, Wix.  Wix? 
is a web building site.  I could feel my computer begin to smile at the possibility of
a solution that would end the nasty atmosphere contributed by the owner person
of mentioned computer.  The following morning, Wix and I were together.  And 
Wix worked!!  I shutter to think, "what would have happened if Marilyn had not 
phoned that night?".  A close call.  


Please come and visit my new animal art web site.
It is set up as a commercial venture, selling affordable images created by photo manipulation and monotype processes.  I have also added my collection of animal 
paintings to the mix.  They range from acrylic, oil, and mixed-media to encaustic 
works on canvas or board.    I have added comments about my own animals who I photograph mercilessly.  Abbakiss is proud of his new darker coat and tends to "hog" 
the photo shots.

Revisiting Marina Semyonova
Revisiting Marina Semyonova  (photos by Bill Kleinschmidt)
An artist may work on a body of work for years but need a time and space
"intermission" to replenish the thought and idea process that is all consuming.  My 
dancer series of Marina Semyonova began 3 years ago.  Marina Semyonova was a 
Russian Bolshoi dancer whose career spanned from the mid 1920's to early 1950's.
She retired and  became a famed teacher of the next generations of Bolshoi dancers.
Her death, at age 102, was mentioned in the New York Times obituary section
where I discovered and became intrigued by her life story.  U-Tube provided wonder-
ful old black and white grainy videos of her dancing and teaching.  I was very moved
by the "dancer inside the teacher" as she demonstrated the steps of a ballet to a young 
ballerina.  Her movements were fluid and passionate and she held a mystery of the 
art in her older body that was magical to me.  

Marina Teaching
 I have written before of my own history growing up in and around New York City as 
a young dancer who studied at The School of American Ballet, the feeder school of
The New York City Ballet.  Many of my teachers were Russian dancers brought to 
America by George Balanchine, the director of the company and school.  Marina re-
minded me of my beloved teacher, Antonina Tumkovsky. 

Working with mixed-media on 3 sheets of 38" x 50" paper, with 3 figures on each page,
I struggled to capture the dynamic combination of movement and grace that I saw in 
the video's of Marina Semyonova.   Working through my process, I discovered how to 
use spray paint and pattern, with grounds, pastel, marker, and pencil to manipulate 
the figures, space and textures into a world of light, color, and movement that occupies
the fantasy of ballet.  

After a failed attempt to hang the pieces by metal rods, I decided to mount each
piece on large plexiglass sheets with a 2 inch border as a frame.  Behind the 
frame area, I would adhere layers of material and lace to act as a soft surrounding 
surface that "floated" the images into the space of the wall.   It was a wonderful 
idea and a technical nightmare.

One of the images was curated into an exhibition of New Mexico art in Albuquerque,
which meant I would have to complete the mounting of the piece quickly to meet the 
show deadline.  With great assistance from my partner, Bill Kleinschmidt, we completed 
the plexiglass assembly of one of the pieces.   The technical task of  gluing the approxi-
mately 50 layers of media on paper onto the slick surface and then cutting and placing 
the material on the back for the framing pattern took great thought, research, experimentation, and much hope.  

The piece was delivered on time and hung.  A few weeks after the opening I received 
a call that a corner of the art was pulling away from the plexiglass.  I rushed over 
with super glue and adhered the corner and other small areas that were beginning
to slip.  I left the gallery hoping the piece would stay vertical for the remaining show
time.  Yes, it did. Whew!!  

In My Studio Again to Finally Finish (photo by Bill Kleinschmidt)

After the exhibition, I called a series of framers for help adhering the pieces correctly. 
Only one brave person took on my project, Colgate Craig of Framing Concepts. Colgate
and his crew were courageous and curious enough to explore the technical difficulties 
of  working with plexiglass and adhered each piece securely along the top edge. I was 
also given instructional guidance of gluing heavy weighted paper to plexiglass.   Please 
give Colgate a call for any art framing needs.
The dancers were then placed in a back bedroom to "hibernate" away from my brain 
and vision.

A month ago, Bill and I brought the dancers back into the studio to finish the
mounting process.  I needed to complete the pieces, because they weighed on my mind 
as I began to tackle new work.  It has taken us weeks to "finesse" the technical aspects 
of the process.  And as often happens when revisiting pieces,  I began to work back into 
areas that "begged for attention".   But my "Ah" moment is coming and I am deter-
mined to bring all to completion this week.

Ziggy Starman and I 
Moving Ziggy in the Round Pen

Ziggy Starman and I have been together for 14 years now.  He was a young a 2 year old when he came to live with me.   Recently he was diagnosed with Cushings Disease, a muscle wasting  and neurological illness affecting the pituitary gland.  His genetic make-up is a factor in is his predisposition for Cushings and I was well aware he could develop the disease.  We have great help with health management and I continue to ride him and teach and learn from my boy.  

I have recently been taking lessons again with a wonderful horseman, Loal Tucker.  He
has taught Ziggy and I many helpful maneuvers.  Loal has a gentle manner and genuine
love of horses.   I am starting to feel the joy of riding again and I am so grateful for his
help.  His web site is   Zigs is a smart savvy horse that tolerates  
my shenanigans and fumbling.  He and I can really dance together and know each other well.  After all these years, having a horse in my life continues to be an amazing  venture.  

As I end this rather long posting, I feel very fortunate  to be able to live my life with
curiosity and multitudinous interests that allow me to travel in a variety of arenas 
and meet wonderful people along the journey.  I particularly want to thank, Bill, for 
all his terrific support and help -  especially the drawing of straight lines {something I cannot do with a ruler).  

Bill with the Butterflies

Friday, April 26, 2013

Traversing the Universe but Missing LA, While Coming Up Green, and Visiting Tim Nero's Studio

Contact:   Email me!                              Art Web Site:   TEXT
Computer Screen Reflection out my Door in the "Tangles"

One evening, a few weeks ago, as I peeked out my back door to call in my dogs, I
noticed my computer screen  reflected on the rectangular glass surrounded by "veins"
of  honeysuckle vine.  I ran for my camera to imprint an image that intrigued me.
As I "travel my internal universe"  and attempt to traverse what is happening around
me and in the world at large, I often feel I am in the tangles of mystery of how to live
a life - a good life.  I struggle with a place in the world as an artist and as a peaceful
person walking the earth.

The recent bombings in Boston stopped my heart. My father, sister, brother-in-law and
nephew live in and around Boston, a city I know well since I was a resident for eight
years.   Yet the will to make sense of "impossible to understand" circumstances as
well as the magical curiosities that surround us, bring us back to a humanity that is worthy
 and lead us to new ventures, people, and incite. That, I suppose, is called living.

Swimming in a Hot Tub of Intrigue and Curiosity
And as life  moves along so does the twists and turns of ebb and flow.  Yesterday, Bill and
I had planned to fly to LA for a week of art, architecture, and beach time.  Our trip came to
a big "blowing of the nose" halt the night before, because I came down with a horrendous
cold.  I was so disappointed that my body was not cooperating with the "plan".  I had been
very excited to venture into a city I do not know.  It has been cold and very windy here in
the East Mountains for much of April and I was looking forward to warmer weather and
a sandy beach and ocean waves.

Awaking the next morning, I felt a  mysterious sense of peace and tranquility.  Green had
appeared with trees and plants suddenly blooming.  The air was warm, and the sun
showed up with just a small breeze. Ziggy's beautiful Spring coat was giving him his
very handsome look and I felt so happy to be home with my animals with no particular
plans except to nurture my health.   It was a surprising and quite unexpected feeling.
Magic appears at the most needed moments.

A Little Blue and Green

Frog Guardian
Artists enjoy visiting each others studio's, but often good intentions are thwarted by all
kinds of time constraints and busy schedules.  Timothy Nero and I decided to make a
determined effort to get together at his home and studio.  Last weekend, Bill and I drove
to Glorieta, a town southeast of Santa Fe, to see Timothy and his wife, Trish.  As we
approached the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Santa Fe, a a stunning display of rolling
dark clouds and pelting rain dramatized our trip and reminded me of how the skies in the
West create their own "theater in the sky".

Theater in the Sky
The mystery of New Mexico is off a county road, onto narrow dirt lanes that lead to
immensely interesting living environments that are buffeted and hidden by natural
phenomena such as forest land, mesa, or arroyo.   Timothy and Trish's cleared land is
found off such a lane surrounded by forest that provides privacy and a sense of seclusion.
We parked at the studio and were warmly greeted by Timothy, Trish, and the weekend
visiting dog. It was exciting to step into Timothy's studio and view all the "going's on"
of an artist/alchemist experimenting with materials and "potions" that brought forth often
humorous and personal work.  His sense of freedom to experiment with ideas and materials
allows him to venture into unknown worlds of delight and oddity.  I was fascinated!


          Mixed Media Relief Diptyk                          Painting Mixed Media                                             Drawing on Paper                                                    

Bill, Trish, and Timothy in Tim's Studio

Trish is an amazing person - a holistic nurse, artist, and "jack of all trades".  While building
their house from a four car garage into a splendid two story home with sauna and
steam room (to be finished), Trish learned all the skills necessary to build me a house!
Her mixed media art work is full of inquiry and innovation that combine disparate
materials on a single surface.

Bill and I had a wonderful afternoon with Tim and Trish.  Please visit Timothy's web site at
Http://  His work has the Wow of an honest and delightful artist "talking to"
and taking in the world, but not too seriously.

As I end my post for the month of April (just under the wire), I want to acknowledge the
gifts and love my mother has given me as we approach the first anniversary of her death,
May 1, 2013.  These include, her love of nature, quirky individualism, smarts, enthusiasm,
and sensitivities (sometimes too many) .  I miss our talks each day and continue to go to
the phone to tell her about my news and upheavals in the world. Happy Early Mother's
Day, Ma!

Anita Georgia Rolnick

Thursday, March 7, 2013

One Fine Spring Day and Computer Madness

South Mountain, March 7, 2013, 7am

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I walked out my front door this morning and was engulfed by the warm sun, a huge blue sky, and the wonderful stillness of the air.  My body and senses were very alert and I felt a surprise of relief from the winter cold and wind as I delighted at the early Spring day.  At the corral I shed my winter coat and gloves and proceeded to begin my morning animal chores.

I entered the barnyard and was was greeted by my goats; Finian, Rainbow, Abbakiss, and Cloud.  Ziggy Starman came towards me then changed directions with his "move away"  horse dance.  I decided to work with Zigs and asked for his attention.  He walked further away and then turned to face me.  The goats were hugging my legs and little Cloud, vying for attention, was nipping at my boots.  I gave the goats all pets and scratches, which is not terribly easy with 4 goats and 2 hands.  I called to Ziggy and he did not move.  I clicked a few more times and I could see the slightest change of stance towards movement.  He finally began to move towards me and stopped at a distance facing me.  I clicked again and he stopped within my body zone but not too close.  I took two steps and blew in his nostrils (which horses do to greet one another).  He let me pat him then moved off and away.  Back to the goats, we had a love fest.  Then I clicked to Ziggy and repeated the the same routine of steps to bring his attention to me until he came forward a second time.

Paradise in the corral is communicating with my animals on a gorgeous Spring day.  I finally walked away to feed everyone and fill up water buckets.  My dogs, Rooe and Cooper, were let in the corral as I began to muck up.  Two large ravens flew and landed, which caught Rooe's attention.   Coops came over for pats.  Rooey ran off to look for rabbits, which she hardly ever catches.  It was a beautiful morning and the the animals and I felt good.

The "boys" enjoying the sun.                                                            Abbakiss expressing
Cloud curled up and scratching winter coat

As Spring has begun to "sprung", so have my computer problems.  The large photo
manipulation files that I am developing have exhausted my computer memory and hard
drive.  The search for a new computer that will fit my needs has taken me two weeks,
many phone calls, internet investigations, huge amounts of stress, and great pulling out
of hair.  The question that I never thought I would ask myself "Mac or PC?" arose.
This sent me over the edge as I have always been a Mac user and love the interface,
intuitive operating system, and general applications.  Could I move to the "dark side"?

As my needs as an artist have grown to involve more intricate and complex computer manipulations with my photos, I need more power and memory. "Drawing and painting" within my  images create many layers of information. I am also excited about using the results for other mixed media projects. My poor, four year old, Mac Book Pro is limping along and does not appear to "enjoy" my new work.  As a result I have (and I do not write this lightly) decided to Buy a PC!!!

My decision to go to "the other side" was not made lightly.  After a fruitless visit to the Apple Store where my questions about my needs were not answered clearly and my exploration of the limitations of an IMAC (expensive and the screen is difficult to calibrate) and Mac Pro (has not been updated for three years and is cost prohibitive), I decided to have a PC custom built for me for less money and superior parts.  I continue to hyperventilate as I leave the MAC world, but I know that will pass.

I wish to thank my friend Patrick Carr of Carr Imaging, a fine art digital printing business in Albuquerque, for allowing a MAC person onto the premises and then spending time with such a person  and divulging information about PC's.  Please visit his wonderful facility for any fine art and other printing needs.  Patricks web site is 

Still Hyperventilating!