Friday, February 26, 2010

Chuck Close - Presidential Arts Committee Appointment

I just read this in my University of Washington Alumni news letter...

Feb. 11, 2010 Arts and Humanities
Obama to appoint artist and UW grad Chuck Close to presidential arts committee
Catherine O'Donnell

Chuck Close
Photo: Jon Marmor

Chuck Close, an internationally known visual artist and University of Washington graduate, will soon be appointed to the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, according to the White House.
Close is a 1962 UW graduate and 1997 recipient of the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award, the highest honor the university bestows on a graduate, recognizing a lifetime of achievement.
As a visual artist, Close is noted for highly inventive renditions of the human face and is best known for his large-scale, photo-based portraits. He also is a printmaker and photographer whose work has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions in more than 20 countries, including major retrospective exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and most recently at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2000, President Bill Clinton presented Close with the National Medal of Arts. Close is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
The other six appointees include Jhumpa Lahiri, the Indian American writer, and Sheila Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television.
"I am proud that these distinguished individuals will serve in my administration," President Barack Obama said. "The arts and humanities enhance the vibrancy of our society, inspire us and strengthen our democracy."
Close is a great artist of our time, and an inspiration. These two wonderful films (DVD) are available on Chuck Close, Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress (1997) and Chuck Close (2007), both by Director Marion Cajori.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Farmhouse Table - Thursday Sight Hound

What: Rustic Farmhouse Table
Where: You make it yourself
Price: Whatever it cost for salvaged materials and your time (Ana spent only $9.98) versus buying it at Restoration Hardware for $2750

Restoration Hardware Table $2750
Photos above and below: Table made from salvaged lumber by Ana from Knock Off Wood

Ana is amazing. She does her own knock-off on many items from Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and other furniture pieces and works out all the mechanics of putting them together and she shares! She provides materials lists and measured drawings for this table and many more furniture pieces. I'm not sure I'll make anything as industrious as this farm house table, but I learn a lot about how furniture pieces are put together from viewing her drawings and that information comes in handy for smaller items and repairs.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I LOVE this book!

I love this book as a resource for 20th Century design of furniture, arts, crafts, graphics and all things related. I own the edition pictured here, published in 1999. There is another edition published in 2001, the cover of which is pictured in the last photo of this post. The book lists designers, and movements alphabetically and also contains two helpful time lines in the back of the book to aid in understanding the historical placement of all elements. The footprint of the book is the size of a typical paper back novel, however there are more than 750 pages which makes this little book more than two inches thick! I keep it handy for fun especially now when I'm in need of inspiration or explanation of significance of some of the Mid-Century Modern icons I see which have gained a renewed popularity. But don't think for a minute that it's all about "modern". There's Arts & Crafts, Aesthetic Movement, Art Nouveau, Art Deco...all happening in our 20th Century! In interior design/decorating, I love mixing them together, too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February Salt Lake Gallery Stroll TONIGHT

I'll be at Charley Hafen's (1409 S. 900 E.) for Dayle Record's opening reception at 6pm and then I'll head down the street (9th East at 2030 South) to Ginkgo Gallery/Frollic Farm for the wool spinning demonstration and open gallery. Oh---I have three of my small encaustic paintings at Ginkgo Gallery AND one of my watercolors (with a red ribbon for Award of Merit) at Michael Berry Gallery (163 E. 300 South) Hope to see you out and about tonight!
~ Sparky
List of Galleries...
February Gallery Stroll - February 19th, 6-9 pm.
For a printable (PDF) version of this list, click here.
A Gallery – 1321 S 2100 E; 801-583-21002nd annual Start Your Collection, an opportunity for potential collectors to get started at reasonable price points and current collectors to add to their collection at a great value.
Anthony's Fine Art and Antiques – 401 E 200 S; 801-328-2231Featuring Minerva Teichert, John Hafen, J. T. Harwood, G. M. Ottinger and others. Also, important and beautiful Tiffany Studios stained glass.
Art Access – 230 S 500 W; 801-328-0703 Presenting House. Home., the mixed media art of Justin Wheatley as he examines memories and realities associated with where we live. In Access II, Cindy McConkie's photography exhibition, Flow in Light and Color.
Art at the Main – Ground floor of the Main City Library, 210 E 400 S; 801-363-4088 Presenting Figuratively Speaking, new works by Colleen Reynolds.
Artistic Framing and Sugarhouse Gallery – 2160 Highland; 801-486-4893The Magnificent and Mysterious, a wonderful exhibition of paintings and sculptures by artist Helenka Bimstein. These works are full of creativity, color and symbolism. With an Egyptian motif and a multi-cultural edge, these works create a sense of otherworldliness and life-everlasting.
Beans and Brews – 268 S State; 801-328-4148Beans and Brews is proud to feature local photographer, Randy Laub. His exhibit is a unique taste of Italy, “I love wondering the narrow streets of Italian cities and villages, so I can photograph amazing pictures and also to enjoy the culture.”
Caffe Niche – 779 E 300 S; 801-433-3380 Presenting large-scale photographic images by Ian Booth and Michael Brown.
Charley Hafen Jewelers – 1409 S 900 E; 801-521-7711Love is Not on the Table, recent watercolors pastels and digital mixed media by Dayle Record.
Discovery Gateway – 444 W 100 S; 801-456-5437This month we unveil our new workspace and gallery for Studio 444! Mark your calendars to attend the opening of Winter Wonderland in the new gallery space - a unique art show featuring the German art of paper cutting, Scherenshitte, by local artist Cindy Ferguson.
Evergreen Framing Co. & Gallery, Inc. – 3295 S 2000 E; 801-467-8770Starting the new year with bold, contemporary landscapes by Jodi Steen and fresh, bright florals by Cassandria W. Parsons.
Every Blooming Thing – 444 S 700 E; 801-521-4773Featuring new pottery by Sean Jaeger and Richard Barker as well as the work of Leonard Romney, Jody Plant, G.J. LaBonty, Carole Evans, Aaron Stills, Christina Pelligrino, Marjorie McClure, Kathy Grossman, Clint Whiting and Maryann Free Smith.
Finch Lane and Park Galleries / Art Barn – 1340 E 100 S (in Reservoir Park); 596-5000Trent Alvey, painting, collage & assemblage and Corey Bowman, installation.
galleryuaf – 230 S 500 W Ste 120; 801-322-2428 Presenting the photographic work of Savana Jones, Cat Palmer and Miranda Whitlock.
Hope Gallery and Museum of Fine Art – 151 S Main; 801-532-1336Featuring a distinct collection of European masters from the 16th to 21st centuries, including the largest collection of original Danish works (outside the national museums in Denmark) by notable artists such as Bloch, Kroyer, Henningsen, Wegmann and Molsted.
Michael Berry Gallery and Custom Framing – 163 E 300 S; 801-521-0243 Presenting the Utah Watercolor Society Miniature Show. Live music provided by Tango Noir.
Phillips Gallery – 444 E 200 S; 801-364-8284 New figurative paintings by Heather Barron and Gerald Purdy.
Red Kiln – 339 E 1700 S; 801-484-4016Naked: An intimate look at two bodies of work. Featuring new work from Lara Carroll and Chuck Parsons.
Rio Gallery – 300 S Rio Grande; 801-533-3582Three Mormon Towns, featuring the photography of Mark Hedengren and the poetry of Kim Johnson, Susan Howe, Lance Larson and Nathan Robison.
Salt Lake Art Center – 20 S West Temple; 801-328-4201 Jamie Wyeth: Seven Deadly Sins, Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art.
Salt Lake City Ink – 1150 S Main; 801-596-2061M & M Photography Show. Visually exploring life’s moments and finding hidden forms within the elements. The works of Mikelle Best, Maureen Brannelly a.k.a Mopho and Megan Bracken a.k.a Meggio Omega.
Tin Angel Cafe – 365 W 400 S; 801-328-4155Presenting Kathy Grossman with Winter Juices, large acrylic paintings in vibrant colors featuring musicians, Parisian cafe sitters, women in intimate settings and scenes of the Arab world. Live music will be provided by Will Romney. Call for reservations.
Williams Fine Art – 200 E South Temple Ste 100; 801-534-0331Featuring new arrivals by Minerva Teichert, Charles Muench, Dennis Smith and Erin Berrett.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sicilian Chandelier - Thursday Sight Hound

What: Hand-made Sicilian Chandelier
Where: Taormina Sicily
Price: XXX Euros = less than a Pottery Barn Chandelier (Not really a thrift find, but a had-to-have find that didn't break the bank!)

While I was on a wonderful trip to Sicily with all these people...

and in the same town where I met this fellow and his frisky pup...

and spotted these people having a friendly conversation in the middle of the street,

and Mt. Etna was erupting just three miles from our hotel,

I spotted this lovely little chandelier...

We passed by the antique shop daily in our week-long stay in the beautiful little seaside hilltown of Taormina. I admired the chandelier which the shop owner would hang outside his shop door every day. Close to the end of our stay, I mentioned it to our wonderful tour "hostess" from the alumni group, and she went with me to see it. Danie speaks much better Italian than I do. I was able to ask the price in Italian, and understand the answer, but not much more than that. Danie agreed it was a pretty special little chandelier and also agreed that I'd never find another like it and it wasn't likely I'd be back to Sicily any time soon! Danie suddenly with ease began bargaining with the shop owner over the price. And she continued to bargain with him until he dropped the price to an amount that made him grumble a bit and what was likely he'd ask a local to pay, versus the "tourist price". I was very happy that Danie took the initiative to get a good price for me, and I happily paid for the chandelier.

The shop owner told me that he designed and made the chandelier himself, the shop contained antiques and new items and that the shop had belonged to his family for over one hundred years. He proceeded to wrap the chandelier with brown paper and packing tape---in a big wad that looked like a bomb! I was concerned about getting that on the plane back to the U.S. without hassle.

My tour companions all ribbed me about the trouble I'd have getting the "bomb" home. They also ribbed me that I'd never get it to function in the U.S. because of the different electrical requirements and designs the Italians have. I was very determined to get this sweet thing home AND make it shine. I received a lot of stares from other passengers at the airport. I was a bit concerned myself the first time it went through the X-ray and you could see this thing with wires coming out of it in all directions! But no one in the security made a comment. Nor was I held up through security in any of the legs of our trip home. I brought it as carry-on luggage and squeezed it safely in the overhead bin.

When I returned to Seattle, I took the chandelier to a lamp shop to see what would be required for installing it in my home. The shop owner pulled out three little items which looked like small light bulb sockets and dropped them into each of my chandelier's light bulb sockets. He said, "This is all you need!" Wow, that was simple and not expensive. A great tip to know when you decide to buy a European light fixture.

The chandelier design is configured like an ancient oil lamp bowl with "ribbons" draped and tied in bows around it. I installed it in my Seattle bedroom and when I moved to SLC, I installed it in my bedroom here. I also brought the rest of my chandelier collection from Seattle to the SLC home.

To diffuse the light for the bedroom, I added the shades.

Happy Hunting Houndies!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day...


The following message appears on artist Betsy Eby's website in her 2010 Message. What do you think---can we all make the idea that kindness is cool the soul and heart-felt director of our actions?

It is the dawn of a new era and a new decade, and here is my campaign. Kindness Is Cool. You don’t need to be left or right, political or spiritual. It’s about reclaiming decorum, discernment, and kindness. It’s about reaching deep into yourself and making the world better than you found it. It’s about changing the world one smile at a time. For a KINDNESS IS COOL bumper sticker, visit and spread the word.

Thank you, Betsy for sharing this! ~ Sparky

Just for can see a large collection of vintage Valentine's Day cards from a diverse group of collectors when you visit A Vintage Valentine's Day Party at Anything Goes Here. Click on the following button...

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Architectural Renderings

Following is a small sampling of some of the architectural renderings I have done over the last twenty-five years. Various media were used including pen and ink, watercolor, color markers and color pencils.

Toni Youngblood, 1988 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1991 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1988 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1989 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1989 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1999 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1988 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1991 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1995 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1991 ©

Toni Youngblood, 1991 ©



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