Post Cards….check…

mac invite

You all are officially invited….

Hope you can make it!

Michael and Susan


Still Buzzing Around…

This week finds us editing pieces for the Mendocino show. Trying to find a cohesive representation of what we are currently doing is always challenging. Especially when we are constantly using differing materials on our surfaces. I often sneak around this problem by using similar frames.

But that brings up the point of frames, we don’t like using new frames. We like real wood, even if it a bit “used.” A frame can be cleaned up and given a new life. But that brings up another point. Those of us who prefer used, good quality frames, are you finding that these frames are skyrocketing in price? That was the case for us last year. Then earlier this week we went frame hunting and had better luck. Are the prices dropping, or did we just hit a good day? Anyway, it seems to be working out….

Below, I have used a great old frame. Re-painting and collaging have given it a new home. It’s one of the most ‘transformed’ frames I have done. It would be interesting to see what other artists are doing with their frames. Maybe in the ‘comments’ section of this post….?

Find us at the opening of the Mendocino Art Center’s opening next month, April 14, 5pm-8pm. The show runs April 4-29. We will be in Gallery 10.

‘A Universal Mind’ -Susan Spencer


Getting Ready For A Show

michael mac 2

Add It Up-Michael Wilson

This week finds us buzzing around the studio. We are getting ready for a solo show at The Mendocino Art Center in April. I must say the wonderful support the center has given The Beat Gallery has been great incentive for our studio to keep pushing forward in a media that employs common objects in an uncommon art form.

As artists, we often live in a vacuum of our imaginations and our work environment. We are solely responsible for the product of our efforts, and that’s good news and bad. But beyond the walls of the studio we need to take pause and recognize that a whole world out there is cheering us on, wishing us success  for putting ourselves out there.

More later on the particulars of the show…

Iron Clad Artists


Louise Nevelson and 2 works

(image photos courtesy of yahoo images)

Picture this:

You see a call for artists at a local show. The show is titled, “Changing Things Up-Discarded Objects As Art.” It sounds pretty good…soon you are getting emails from art friends forwarding the show announcement. They cheer you on, encouraging you, “This one’s for you!” So you submit your 3 photos and pay your fees. The show is all abuzz amongst the assemblage artists. When the list of accepted artists come out, 200 artists have submitted! And 135 artists have been  chosen to show… are not one of them.

Assemblage artists are a misunderstood lot. (boo-hoo) You won’t find us along the country roads in large sun hats painting impressions of light on the vineyards. We will be the ones stopping to scrounge the rusty hub cap at the turnout. We tell our stories of humanity through broken parts, forgotten. ( I was once told I lost a sale because one of the items in my assemblage was a broken piece…)

We are the ones most likely to hear the wafting whispers, “…my 5-year-old could have done that…” as polite head shakings steer them toward the lovely florals.  (yeah, well bet you wouldn’t have pulled over to get that hub cap for her…)

On the other hand, there is the camaraderie  of misfits with us. We share bits of stuff and junky items inviting pals to take what they want from our larders. We can be mysterious and intellectual, rough and raucous. We are the ones working with the grit of life. We create composition, balance and sometimes beauty using these items. And we may have a story to tell in there…

To help with the lonely times I offer some suggestions:

  • Try learning about the history of assemblage art and its major players. (It’s a short story) And it will help with that intellectual thing…
  • Next time you are at a group opening try engaging a stranger in conversation about them. It could be more interesting that hearing Matilda wax poetic over the ducks she painted in her landscape. ( Sorry, Matilda)
  • Hone your skills. Learn to manipulate your background and foreground. Pat yourself on the back when you figure out that tricky connection that fools the eye…
  • Dress outrageously at the opening. At 65 years, 5’2″, and 140 lbs., I’m tired of trying to look sophisticated at openings. Rock those bell-bottoms and head scarf like the Louise Nevelson you were meant to be! (I’ll let you know later how that one goes…)






New Series by Susan


‘Raw’ by Susan

Finally! The large piece that has been taking up my workbench for the past 5 weeks is hanging in the downstairs gallery.

This was a large piece for me, measuring 36″ x 24″. And the subject matter was a bit on the rough side…but once it got going it took on the “life of it’s own” that happens in assemblage. It was definitely a growth piece and I am looking forward to composing two smaller pieces in the same style for showing this spring.

It looks a bit out of alignment in this photo, but, that is the photographer’s fault!

Growing as an artist lately has been the direct result of working with my art pal Alexis on our Influence and Inspiration Project. You can see what we are doing by stopping by that blog:


Yay! Happy Monday!


Hmmmm…Now What’s He Up To?

Looks like we have a lot of ongoing projects up in the studio lately.  Michael is back to the assemblages, myself as well. Here’s a couple on our tables in the ‘getting there’ stages.

Michael is working quickly these days, my piece on the right, however, has been a slow-goer. I need to change out that egg-beater.

I imagine both will be finished up next week and I can post the finished pieces.



Hurrah For Diversity

red circleWhat a great surprise! I was gone for a week to Florida (Grandson time!) and when I got home, Michael surprised me with a new piece he is working on. I snuck a quick photo behind his back to show a work-in-progress.

We are both expanding our art edges this year and finding it more enlightening  than we ever could have imagined. Playing with new ideas and techniques is profoundly rewarding. We are finding that not every piece has to be a masterpiece; now we are free to grow. I read this quote while on the plane: ” Play is the cornerstone of creativity and innovation.” Amen.