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

     Contact:   Email me!                              Art Web Site:   TEXT

                                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 blogspot.com, 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?  Wix.com 
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.  http://animalartdianerolnick.com
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.  http://www.framingconceptsgallery.com
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  http://loaltucker.com   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