Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Illuxcon 7

Illuxcon 7

Jeff Jones
Imaginative Realism is the new name for fantasy art.  That covers all the genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror and gaming art that took realistic painting or sculpture in the direction of things only seen in the imagination.  In September I was lucky to attend Illuxcon7, the premier convention for Imaginative Realism, created by Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire.  The Allentown Museum of Art is inundated every September with artists, collectors, and students of the fantastic from all over the world.  Only non-digital work is allowed, so the galleries are filled with the most amazing work in traditional methods - oils, acrylics, watercolors, graphite, and the three dimensional work is beyond description, especially because I haven't the faintest idea what they are using to create their strange and lifelike beings.  There are also wonderful classes and discussions going on in the nearby Baum Education Center, and a stream of students getting their portfolios reviewed by professionals.

Allentown Museum of Art

Here are some of the artists I met and the work that I saw at Illuxcon7.

Stephen Hickman

John Jude Palencar
Bob Eggleton

Marianne Plumridge

Bob Eggleton & Marianne Plumridge

Richard Hescox

Ruth Sanderson

Annie Stegg

Travis Lewis

Justin Gerard

Rebecca Guay

My art display
Mermaid: Blue Eyes

I only have photos of a small part of the show, but more and larger views of the artists' work can be seen at:

Illuxcon is thoroughly inspiring for me.  I love seeing work this good, and find it gets the creative juices flowing in ways that just working alone does not.  It's a pleasure to meet the artists, the collectors, and the fans in an intimate and low key setting.  We all wander around talking and chatting and having a great time.  We also sell some art, which is always good too.

A close up of a painting by Jeff Jones, one of my favorite artists.  Very Whistler like treatment.  There was a special exhibition of Jones' work owned by Robert K. Weiner at Illuxcon.

My room mates Kat and Ingrid


a Studio by the Sea

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stickley Museum

Stickley Museum
Some times you head off the beaten path and you discover little unknown treasures.  In the summer I was looking for inexpensive flooring for a room I was finishing, and found I could get some at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in New Jersey.  On the drive to Morris, New Jersey, I passed a sign that said "STICKLEY MUSEUM."  My head turned, as any one who loves the Arts and Crafts Movement in the United States knows the wonderful furniture made by Gustav Stickley.  Of course I had to find out what this museum could be. It turns out that there was a beautiful property in New Jersey that Stickley bought, and then built as a school for boys to learn a trade.  The school never took off, but he lived there with his family for a short time as his country estate when he was at his most successful, furnishing every room with pieces designed especially for himself and to his specifications.  I took a tour of the lovely grounds and the building with an agreeable and knowledgeable old docent. Below is the main building, called the Log House, which is filled with many of his original pieces, wall hangings and decor.  Every room has been loving restored, right down to an old Cornell pennant on the wall of his daughters' room, as it was seen in photographs.  Inside, the fireplaces are of brass with typical arts and crafts style mottos beaten into the metal.  Everywhere are small soft golden electrical lamps hanging from posts or the ceilings, lighting the dark rooms.  It's like stepping into an illustration for a proper home from the Arts & Crafts Magazines of the time.  I was so pleased to come upon this hidden gem!

The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms

The tour entry
A box of the beautiful joinery used by the Stickley craftsmen.  No nails!
The gift shop is in the old kitchens.  There was a giant stove and ice room because he thought he would have a school here.
I wasn't allowed to take photographs inside so you can get a better idea of the treasures within by visiting their website: 


a Studio by the Sea