Monthly Archives: April 2018

May First Friday Art Walk | Open Studio Mode vs. Work Mode

~ by Maria Benner

This Friday, May 4 is the first Friday of the month, which means that most local art galleries will have new art shows and will be hosting receptions.  The artists are normally present at these events, and often there is live music and complimentary refreshments.  Most of the action happens downtown, but there are many venues around town that host First Friday events.  The Anchorage Press is a good source for event listings.  Scott and I usually open our studio to the public for First Friday Art Walk, but not every month.  This one in May will be the last one we’ll host at the studio until October.  Scott will have an art opening in June, but it will be at Midnight Sun Brewing Company.  In preparation for an open studio event, we always have to do quite a bit of cleaning and rearranging of paintings and studio equipment.  Work mode and open studio mode are very different.  We completely clear my desk to make room for prints and greeting cards, put away all the painting stuff and scrub the floor.  Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what the studio looks like in work mode, versus how we make it look for visitors during open studio events.  We hope you’ll stop by this First Friday from 5:00 – 7:30 pm.  We’ll have cookies that Scott will bake from scratch, and new paintings that have never been shown before.  The address is 333 W 4th Avenue, Suite 4 (inside the 4th Avenue Market Place).

Work mode

Work mode

Work mode

Open studio mode

Open studio mode

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Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #136. Abstract Teku Glasses in Kandinsky Style.

I was thinking how much I love Wassily Kandinsky’s work, and so I decided to revisit the beer parodies of famous paintings once again.  I might make a few more of these since I liked doing it so much.  I put an icon of current artistic design in this painting too, the Teku glass.  Teku is a combination of names Teo and Kuaska.  Teo Musso from the Italian Baladin Brewery wanted a glass that was universally perfect to consume many styles of beer.  He worked with sensory specialist Kuaska to create this shape glass which has been very well received internationally and is used in many upscale pubs, brewery tasting rooms, and beer specific bars.  I find it to be awesome due to the reverse taper.  It concentrates the aroma, and makes one savor the beer more as it seems to make the beer last longer when compared to a traditional pint glass.  Plus it looks cool!  I really enjoyed making this painting, because it was so fun to work with abstract forms, colors and shapes.  I like channelling Kandinsky for beer art as he was a Russian who lived most of his life in Germany, working as a professor at the Bauhaus for 20 years.  I wonder how much beer Wassily enjoyed, if any, while educating the most avant-garde design students.  Sometimes art history leaves out the most pertinent information about an artist.  Cheers to good design and keeping things on the cutting edge of artistic endeavors!

The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday #136. Wassily Kandinsky Beer Parody. 11"x14", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday #136. Wassily Kandinsky Beer Parody. 11″x14″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

 

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #135. Octopus Drinking Beer.

Did you know that after a male octopus slings its sperm with a specially affected arm (not a tentacle, they are called arms) it then withers and dies?  The female receives the gametes in her mantle cavity then finds a protected spot to deposit the fertilized eggs, after which she also withers and dies.  Pretty depressing that right after achieving your reproductive goals in life, to simply sit back and die, never to see your offspring.  This octopus is not even thinking about reproduction though, he is only thinking about how he still has six arms left without beer!  That is like only having 1/4 of a beer in your human hands.  It also might be a problem that this guy is underwater and I am sure that this beverage is leaking out into the sea.  Better get on it you suffering cephalopod, and slurp the suds down your beak before it dissolves faster than you can say octopus ink.  Octopoda are smart, and this guy proves it by choosing beer as his beverage of choice.  Cheers to intelligent decisions!  Drink beer!  Be merry!  Don’t spawn out too early!

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #135. Octopus Drinking Beer. 16"x20", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #135. Octopus Drinking Beer. 16″x20″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

5 Alaskan Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

~ by Maria Benner

I’ve lived in Alaska most of my life, and when I shop for gifts, I always try to buy from small local businesses, because they make this place quirky, interesting and cultured.  Without our artsy community, Anchorage would be a sad place.  So, I came up with a list of five businesses that offer perfect gifts for Mother’s Day.  You can feel good about supporting the local economy, while giving a unique and meaningful gift.  FYI, Mother’s Day is May 13th.

  • Food & Wine Class at Marx Brothers Cafe.  Mom will get to explore wine pairing with 18 foods and 9 wines.  That will surely make her forget all her worries.  The last class until next January is May 19th.  The cost is $95.

Marx Brothers Caesar Salad Class

qiviut hat

  • Yoga Classes.  There are many local yoga studios that offer classes for all ability levels.  Mom would come home relaxed and centered after a class.

Cheers to all the wonderful and caring Moms who make this world go round!

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #134. Lucybelle Saison by Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

Lucybelle from Sante Adairius Rustic Ales is a wonderful brew that is worth the effort to find.  I was lucky enough to get a bottle in the mail from a patron who commissioned an oil painting of his wedding day in Monterey Bay, and wanted this beer in the painting.  It might be easier to stay at home and drink your generic regular beer, but a trip to the coast is always worth the money, the effort, and the time.  Looking west over the Pacific Ocean, a beautiful sunset on a perfect beach.  A crisp, delicate, dry ale served in a classy tulip glass making the perfect accompaniment to the departure of the sun.  A trip to find Sante Adairius beer is definitely rewarding.  With a tasting room at the brewery in Capitola and a great pub in Santa Cruz, the destination is worth the trip, not to mention the delicious ales you’ll taste when you get there!  Lucybelle is a great Saison, not that bubblegum sweet beverage some breweries call a Saison. This is a real, crisp, slightly sour, and refreshing version with a lower ABV so you can remember the night, and be ready for some late night fun!

Cheers to the California beaches, and beers like Lucybelle, a real Saison brewed the old fashioned way!

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #134. Lucybelle by Sante Adairius Rustic Ales. 11"x14", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #134. Lucybelle by Sante Adairius Rustic Ales. 11″x14″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #133. Day Old White Beer by Anchorage Brewing Co.

What do you do with some day-old bread… besides eat it?  If you are Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, or Anchorage Brewing Company, you make an avant-garde Belgian wit-bier with it.  Some 130 pounds of day-old sourdough bread from the delicious Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop were added to Anchorage Brewing’s mash tun to make this untraditional wheat beer.  Wit-bier by definition is a Belgian-style wheat beer with as much as 50% wheat in the mash.  It is spiced with coriander and orange peel.  The world’s most famous wit-bier, Hoegaarden, made in a huge factory in Hoegaarden, Belgium makes the whole town smell like SweeTARTS candy.  ABC’s Day Old White Beer is a good representation of the style despite its unique addition of whole loaves of Alaskan sourdough bread.  I thought I would taste some sour notes, or funk, but I guess that was all killed in the boil.  Delicious beer made by one of my favorite breweries and tied to my favorite neighborhood bakery!  If you haven’t had some baked goods from Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, you are due to take a field trip there and get some goodness!  Also get in to ABC to pick up a four pack of some of the last remaining cans of Day Old White Beer, as this is probably a one of a kind batch.
Cheers to Anchorage making some artisanal goodies!

The original oil painting was a commission, but 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #133. Day Old Wheat Beer by Anchorage Brewing Co. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #133. Day Old Wheat Beer by Anchorage Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel

BREAKING: President Trump Threatens to Bring Back Prohibition if Congress Doesn’t Approve Mexican Wall

WASHINGTON — Congress has rejected Trump’s demand for $25 billion for construction of the Mexico border wall that he promised during his campaign. The budget that Trump reluctantly signed a week ago includes $1.6 billion for border security, enough for just about 33 miles of new barrier plus about twice that much of replacement fencing.  However, that was not enough for the President.  On April 1st, President Trump tweeted, “Enough is enough. If Congress doesn’t fund the Mexican wall, I’m going to bring back Prohibition. That will teach them!”

Only 69 of 292 Republicans on Capitol Hill supported the wall project, but after Sunday’s tweet, 100% percent of Congress agreed to fund it, rather than risk losing easy access to alcohol.  Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) had concerns about paying for the project, but is now in full support, saying, “I don’t care how much it costs, we just can’t have Prohibition again!”  That was a common sentiment among members of Congress on Sunday, as many consider the threat of Prohibition real, and are afraid that it would significantly harm America’s economy, not to mention increase crime rates, and inflict significant damage on citizens’ morale.  Members of the House were especially concerned about a huge public outcry, and large demonstrations if President Trump followed through with his ultimatum.  Congress scheduled an emergency session on Easter Sunday, which also happens to be April Fool’s Day to pass a bill that would appease the President, and eliminate the possibility of Prohibition.  Many Democrats were seen shaking their heads in disbelief that one tweet could have so much impact on the country’s leaders.

This story is developing.  Check back soon for more updates.

Maria Benner is the Business & Marketing Manager for Real Art Is Better, and has no journalistic credentials, but she did want to prank blog followers on April Fool’s Day.