Monday, January 20, 2020

The 2020 Outsider Art Fair

DJM at The Outsider Art Fair

This year's Outsider Art Fair was special to the Markels because our brother, David Markel, had three works in the show at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. He was represented by Wilsonville of East Hampton, N.Y. My sister, Jeanne Markel, friend, Sarah Prescott, and I joined David on a visit to the fair on a cold January day.

The Fair is a dizzying array of works which attract you as you zig-zag your way through the booths. One must be well fortified to keep up the mental and physical energy necessary to absorb it all.
Collage by Della Wells
Portrait Society Gallery Milwaukee, WI
DJM, David Markel, at the entrance to the Fair.
Photo by Jeanne Markel
 Painting by David Markel
Two of David's smaller paintings.
Tony Nickalls of the Portrait Society Gallery
wearing a dress by Rosemary Ollison.
Ollison's repurposed fabric "flowers" are on the
wall and floor.
David Markel, Mark Wilson, Jeanne Markel and Carol Markel
Photo by Sarah Prescott via Facebook Post
I can't resist a girl with a hat and a flower.
Photo by Jeanne Markel

Two colored pencil on paper drawings by
Minnie Evans from Hirschl & Adler Modern
 Chairs carved from a single piece of wood
Leon Thiebauld
Bottle People by Fred Palmer
A whole village of wooden people by a Canadian artist.
 Sarah Prescott, Mark Wilson, David Markel and Jeanne Markel

 Lunch after the Fair at Westville.
Photo by Jeanne Markel
Selfie, David and Jeanne.

A Bientot!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Visit to Sparkling Amazons at the Katonah Museum of Art

A Convergence of Art, Women,
Style and Birthday Cake

On Saturday, a group of friends traveled north from New York City on a Metro-North train to Katonah, N.Y. There we met my sister, Jeanne Markel, and continued to the Katonah Museum of Art to see "Sparkling Amazons: Abstract Expressionist Women of the 9th St. Show," a 1951 exhibition of 11 artists who showed work at a pop-up gallery (to use today's term) in New York City.

It was Jeanne's idea to plan this trip, not only to celebrate my birthday, but also to see the work of artists who had not been shown together since 1951 and who were dynamic leaders in a world of art dominated by men. It was Thomas Hess, an art critic for Art News, who called them "Sparkling Amazons". It was an apt sobriquet, as they were dedicated to making incandescent art and were fearless women in their practice.

The well-known names, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler and Grace Hartigan are joined at the KMA by lesser known ones: Perle Fine, Anne Ryan, Sonia Sekula, Day Schnabel, Jean Steubing and Guitou Knoop.

We were 10 fearless, sparkling women who love art, style and creativity. There could not have been a better segue to a joyous day than the convergence of these elements.
Jeanne Markel and Carol Markel.
Jeanne is a trustee of the Katonah Museum of Art.
Arriving at the KMA are Carol Markel, Debra Rapoport 
and artfulcitystyle.
 Michael Gitlitz, Executive Director of the KMA with 
Inge Brouard Brown, trustee emeritus and the
founder of the Katonah Gallery which later became the
Katonah Museum of Art.
Jean of the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.
Our KMA docent, Bonni Stanley, informed us
with her deep knowledge and vibrant  anecdotes.
 1959 painting by Elaine de Kooning entitled "Bullfight".
I love the passion of its color and brushwork.
1957 masterwork by Lee Krasner called "The Seasons".
On loan from The Whitney Museum of Art.
I respond to its swirling forms and lush color.
Here is our group at the KMA with Valerie of the
Idiosyncratic Fashionistas front and center in the harem pants with orange splashes.
Photo by Katonah Museum of Art
Did somebody say "Birthday?"
This day was also my birthday.
We gathered at The Whitlock restaurant in Katonah for lunch.
 Jeanne ordered a beautiful pear
and dark chocolate mousse cake from L'Anjou Patisserie Francaise in
Mt. Kisco, N.Y. 
Ready to make a wish. 
 Because she knows I love all things French, Jeanne
make these place cards and used one of my drawings.
She also created a trivia game for each person.
Trivia questions.
Debra Rapoport got the most right and won the prize.
 Darsie Alexander, Chief Curator at The Jewish Museum
in New York, (center) with Inge Brown.
I told Jeanne no presents, but guests made
the most imaginative cards and gifts anyway.
Of course they did!
 Maryann Van Dongen in a
beautifully embellished sweater.
 Maryann made this magnetic board using pictures of me, 
my art and my dresses. Each picture is a separate magnet that
you can take off and move around.
It's amazing.
Farewell shot at the Katonah train station.
L-R: Debra Rapoport, Valerie of Idiosyncratic Fashionistas,
Nonnie Balcer and Jean, of Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.

A Bientot!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Some Time in Brooklyn

No Passport Needed:
A Trip to Brooklyn

On a crisp, fall day in September, I took the F train to Bergen Street to meet my friend, Elke, for a lunch date at a cafe called Bien Cuit, or in English, well baked. From my time in Paris, I remember that at la boulangerie you can ask for une baquette bien cuite if that is your preference.

Elke and I ordered a turkey and Swiss sandwich on a croissant, coffees and desserts. It was all delicious.

 At Bien Cuit, I tuck in to a chocolate gateau while
a grapefruit treat awaits.
My blouse is by the French label, A.P.C.
 After lunch we walked to a charming store
called Salter House.
The owner, Sandeep Salter, discovered a
trove of little-girl dresses
from a label called Pom' Flore in a
barn in Normandy.
 The company was founded by three French sisters in 1988.
One was a ballet dancer, one was a classical singer
 and one was a business woman.
 The fabrics are all from Liberty of London.
 Elke and Sandeep in the shop.
Elke is wearing a necklace that I designed
and made.
 Salter House carries a selection of items for the home.
 There are dolls.
 Elke and I enjoyed a cup of Earl Grey at 
Salter House.
 A view across Atlantic Avenue
looking toward the Long Island Restaurant.

A Bientot!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Some Hand-Painted Dresses by Carol

I designed some dresses
and here they are.
A few years ago, I got the idea that I wanted to design and hand-paint some dresses. I chose a simple a-line style and decided to airbrush geometric designs on the fabric.

My fabrics were cotton which I purchased from B & J in the garment district. B & J is a well-organized fabric store that makes choosing fabric easy because it's all displayed on large, hanging samples, and you do not have to sort through jumbled rolls of cloth like you do at Mood.

I did a lot of airbrushing in the 70's when I was making geometric, abstract paintings so I knew my way around an airbrush. For these dresses I had to set up a table, lay the fabric down, which had already been cut in to the a-line pattern, and tape off the shapes, being careful to cover the areas that I did not want to paint.
Grasshopper Green Dress with
beads and hat of my own design.
The hat is covered in vintage fabric and
hand-painted cotton.

A friend of mine asked me to supply some photos of my dresses for a book that she was writing on wearable art. I engaged a professional photographer to take photos of me in the dresses. The book never did get made, but I now have a record of my dresses.
Pappillon Dress with beads and hat
of my own design. The fedora is covered with
hand-painted cotton.
Cornflower Blue dress with beads
of my own design. The hat is store-bought 
and trimmed with a flower from La Sirena,
a Mexican folk-art store in the East Village.
Framboise Pink dress with beads and hat
of my own design. The hat is one of my
signature patchwork cloches.
 Beads ready to be paired with dresses.
 In the studio.

I was invited to pose in the Museum of Modern Art
garden for sketchers of all ages.
This is a drawing by a young girl of me
in one of my dresses.

The dresses are a size six and available for purchase.
Thank you to Paul Levitt who helped me for
the photo shoot.

A Bientot.