Archive for September, 2013

Today, I am jetting back to New Hampshire from my quick trip to Kansas City, MO.

Sadly, I am leaving KC just before the 82nd Annual Plaza Art Fair which is set to take place this weekend – Sept. 20-22 in the city’s Country Club Plaza district.

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The Plaza Art Fair is one of the largest art fairs in the Midwest and attracts artists of all types from all over the country.

About the Plaza Art Fair: “After celebrating its 80th year in 2011 with 240 artists from across the country, the Plaza Art Fair has impressively become a top-ranked, national art event. But, perhaps even more impressively, it continues to be a weekend of people simply celebrating art and each other, as well as Kansas City’s unofficial welcome to the fall season.”

If you happen to be in the Western Kansas/Eastern Missouri area this weekend, check it out.

Find all the information you need to know about Kansas City’s Plaza Art Fair here.

As you read this, I am on a quick business trip to Kansas City – which means I am taking a break from my Weekly Read.  However, it is very likely that I am reading while traveling, so I will have plenty to share with you in coming weeks.

In the meantime, I hope to find that everything’s up-to-date in Kansas City – and if I do and  it is – I will share it all with you here!

Cheers!

MACELI love the idea of Macel & Company. Their business model is very simple, they sell “chic and stylish linens for everyday utility tables.” Which basically means they offer coverings for the various folding and buffet tables that usually look shabby when you haul them out for special occasions.

With a basic covering and a topper from Macel & Company, even your most dumpy of tables can look quite elegant.

About Macel & Company: “Macel & Company was created out of a desire to take something great and make it even better. Style and function came together and created the perfect accessory for commonly used utility tables. With easy care instructions and so much versatility, our tablecovers are the ultimate solution to making buffet lines, dinner seating or your office work space look completely chic and stylish.”

In addition to dressing up a table for a party or special event, I think the linens of Macel & Company are perfect for anyone looking to class up a booth at an art fair – like me. Have you seen the tattered sheets I have been using on the tables in my art show booth?

See all the chic and stylish linens of Macel & Company here.

CCSThe forecast here in the foothills of central New Hampshire is calling for temperatures to dip into the upper 20s tonight. Yikes! But the calendar still says it is summer and the farmers’ markets are full of fresh cucumbers…

…which makes this recipe for Chilled Cucumber Soup, which I found in Country Living magazine, perfect – despite the freeze.

Country Living describes this Chilled Cucumber Soup as: “cool and refreshing, this soup gets its creaminess from healthy Greek yogurt. Serve it with our Dill Croutons for added crunch.” I just call it yummy.

This Chilled Cucumber Soup is not only delicious, it is super easy to make – spring, summer, winter or fall.

Find the Chilled Cucumber Soup recipe from Country Living here.

Visit Country Living magazine here.

…alas, my vacation is over and it is back to the grind (if you call spending another glorious autumn in the mountains of New Hampshire a “grind”).  Here is one of the glorious sunsets we were blessed to see in Wellfleet this past week:

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wwwffAs a reader of the Lost Cowboy blog, you know how much I like to cook.

I like to cook on vacation too, but I also like taking a break and let others do all the work.

Thankfully, Wellfleet has some really great eateries which makes it easy to avoid the kitchen and enjoy a nice meal out.   S0, on my last day in Wellfleet, I wanted to present a few of the places that have been feeding us all week.

Here are a few of the places we have been hitting this week in Wellfleet:

  • For a casual lunch and the best food for a picnic at the beach, I love The Box Lunch.
  • For a night out with my friends, nothing is better than Mac’s Seafood. (Try the edamame!)
  • Right in town, just steps away from our rental house is the Winslow Tavern, which is great for cocktails, a casual lunch or a fancy dinner.
  • For a casual dinner or a quick lunch, the pizza and salads of Wellfleet Town Pizza is excellent.
  • For a nice dinner on Wellfleet Harbor, the best choice is Pearl, where the food and atsmosphere is great.
  • Last but not least, the Bookstore and Restaurant can be relied on for a nice meal and good browsing in a genuine bookstore.

The sculpture garden outside of The Box Lunch in Wellfleet:

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A couple of weeks ago I posted about my planned day out in Portland, ME to attend a couple of big arts festivals. Today, while I am wrapping up my vacation, I take a break to present a few of the great artists (and art) I found in Portland.

FF: The engraved and embossed art of Island Designs

ID2First up, are quite literally the very first artists I came across at the 48th Annual Portland Sidewalk Art Festival, the husband and wife team of Chong and Judi Lim of Island Designs.

This talented pair use traditional techniques of pressing paper and metal into beautiful works of art.

About Island Designs: “Our primary focus is embossed and handmade paper. We create the original design, carve metal plates and emboss each piece in our studio. We also do all our own framing and make many of the homemade papers that we use. Our images are highly representational, sometimes bordering on surreal, with a style somewhere between Eastern and Western. The emphasis is on clean, fine, and delicate detail. We believe that we are preserving centuries-old traditions of metal-plate engraving and paper embossing.”

Island Designs’ work goes from relatively simple embossed works like this Scallop Shell (above right) to more ornate pieces like these Hummingbirds (below): “embossed paper, with air brushed and hand painted birds”:

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Check out Island Designs here.

FF: The original oil paintings of Linda Tenukas

LT1I love all art, but I am a sucker for oil paintings and cityscapes in particular. Which is why I fell in love with the work of Linda Tenukas, whose paintings of people and street scenes are right up my alley, like her work “Don’t Walk” (right).

About the artist Linda Tenukas in her own words: “I can’t ever remember not drawing. From the time I picked up a pencil, I drew everywhere, the margins of books, scraps of paper, probably a wall or two. I was particularly fascinated with the angels in my childhood prayer books, with their long flowing robes and condor-like wings. Drawing was as natural to me as writing was to most other children.” Read more.

I love Ms. Tenukas’ work “Connection”: “A crowd of people proceed down a street near Times Square. The couple trying to hold hands while negotiating this sea of people caught my eye.”

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See the original oil paintings of Linda Tenukas here.

FF: The whimsical silkscreen art of James Polisky

jp1On another end of the art spectrum is the silkscreen work of artist James Polisky, which I fell in love with at the festival in Portland.

Mr. Polisky is not only a talent graphic artist, he has a great sense of humor and his works are absolutely fantastic. For example, check out this work at right titled “One Bulb Short Of Genius” – just great.

Were I to discuss all of the works of Mr. Polisky that I fell in love with, my blog would be taken over by his art – that’s how much I love it.

Instead, I will direct you to his website and highlight this work titled “On Tuesday William Dreamed Of Elephants” – which I think is a masterpiece:

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See all the silkscreen art of James Polisky here.

FF: Potter, sculptor and bookbinder Nathan William Murrell

NWM1While walking around large art shows like the one I attended in Portland, something I call “art fatigue” starts taking over and everything starts to blur together. This syndrome was starting to kick in for me when I spotted the work of Nathan William Murrell and I was instantly inspired all over again.

About Nathan William Murrell: “Nathan William Murrell is a potter, sculptor and bookbinder working near Providence, Rhode Island. In 2006 Nathan graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with a Masters degree in Ceramics. Since that time he has been actively making and showing his pottery and mixed media artworks in addition to working as a bookbinder at Rag and Bone Bindery in Pawtucket, RI. His current body of work is inspired by his travels to such places as Mexico, Italy and Thailand. Employing simple imagery and rich surface decoration he creates layers of vibrant color and texture then painstakingly peels back through them exposing each layer. It is not his intent to reconstruct a certain time or place, but to craft enigmatic pieces which appear to have been crafted in equal parts by man and time.”

As a fan of mixed media utilizing found objects, I am a big fan of Mr. Murrell’s PO Box Door Reliquaries (above right): “These boxes are made from brass PO box doors that were originally cast from 1902 to the 1930’s (pre WWII). Each closes, locks and has a combination that still works to re-open the piece. A small shelf runs across the inside of the box for small mementos or pictures. My original inspiration was the book, An Indian in the Cupboard, which was about a magical cabinet. I really like the idea of it being a magical, mysterious space that instantly sets the imagination working.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Murrell’s Mixed Media and Found Object Originals are right in my wheelhouse and are broadly in the world of my own art. However, works like Mr. Murrell’s River System 2 (below) tell me I am just an amateur:

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See more about “potter, sculptor and bookbinder” Nathan William Murrell here.

I am just scratching the surface of the great art I found on display in Portland – more to come.

One of the best things we have ever done on our Wellfleet vacation was to bring inflatable rafts to the beach. The brainchild of my friend Lynda, we tie the rafts to sand bags and set them adrift in the bay. We lounge in the rafts for hours as the tide comes in or goes out – and it is awesome.

We have had so much fun on these rafts and it is the perfect way to enjoy the beach and the beauty of Cape Cod Bay. In fact we had so much fun on the rafts on last year’s trip we have literally been talking about them all year – so you can imagine how much we were looking forward to getting back in them this week.

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CCNOf course I have my camera with me here on Cape Cod and I have been snapping a ton of pictures. However, my camera usually gets put away after the amazing sunsets as I have never had much luck taking night time photographs. Thanks to photographer Timothy Little, I can leave great night time photos of the Cape to a professional with his wonderful new book, Cape Cod Nights: A Photographic Exploration of Cape Cod and the Islands After Dark.

About Cape Cod Nights: A Photographic Exploration of Cape Cod and the Islands After Dark by Timothy Little: “From the recognizable Bourne and Sagamore Bridges stretching across the canal, to rarely seen broken down docks and piers reaching out from the sands of Provincetown, this book chronicles Cape Cod in a way that few people stop to notice and even fewer take the time to photograph. In this entirely new perspective on an incredibly popular New England destination, step into a world lit by moonlight, flashlights and street lamps and experience how Cape Cod appears while residents and visitors slumber. Explore the ‘dark side’ of Cape Cod and the Islands in the first book devoted exclusively to the area as seen after nightfall.”

In this book, Mr. Little gives us amazing views of some of Cape Cod’s best known landmarks in a way they are seldom seen, along with exciting images of this lovely place after hours. Cape Cod Nights: A Photographic Exploration of Cape Cod and the Islands After Dark by Timothy Little is a must for anyone who loves the Cape and appreciates fine photography.

Cape Cod Nights: A Photographic Exploration of Cape Cod and the Islands After Dark by Timothy Little is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

jbrIn addition to putting miles on my bikes while on vacation in Wellfleet this week, I plan on spending several hours cruising the shoreline in a kayak.

I love kayaking, but for many years I was afraid to go out on the ocean, preferring to row on ponds and small lakes. However, last year I was coaxed into trying out a kayak on the relatively calm waters of the Cape Cod Bay side of Wellfleet. Not only did I survive my stint kayaking on the ocean, I enjoyed it, and can’t wait to get back out there this week.

My friend Lynda has a great kayak, which she brought with her, but it only sits one person. So I will be renting an ocean kayak from Jack’s Boat Rental in Wellfleet.

About Jack’s Boat Rental: “Whether it’s surfing, canoeing, sailing, or kayaking, Jack’s Boat Rental, Inc. has the equipment and a location suited to your needs. For more than 30 years, visitors to the Lower Cape have included Jack’s Boat Rental in their vacation plans! Jack’s customers appreciate the updated and varied inventory and the “hands-on” service that keeps people coming back for more each year.”

Jack’s is great – they will deliver and pick-up the kayak right at the beach so I don’t have to worry about transportation.

Now I am just hoping a wayward whales lost in the bay won’t surface underneath me.

Local residents’ boats lined up at Power’s Landing in Wellfleet where I will be launching my own kayak adventure this week:

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