all artists have inspiration

I am embarking on an artistic journey that I began writing about in my post on June 2, 2021 – looking forward
Christo has proven that ambitious projects are attainable; and even possible beyond one’s death.
I love Macron’s reference (in the Architectural Record article excerpt below) to “making “a crazy dream” come true”.
I too have a crazy dream.
My “Waterfall Portals” project is ambitious to say the least. I dream of my animated video art projected onto waterfalls – ultimately Niagra Falls. But, I see this dream as a beginning. Waterfalls can be a new medium, a new artist’s surface – one that undulates and transports our imaginations. Portals to consciousness.
I dream of a more awakened world facilitated by art.

“Inaugurating the wrapping, French president Emmanuel Macron hailed Yavachev for making “a crazy dream” come true; the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, thanked “this couple whose works will remain among the most striking of our times”; while culture minister Roselyne Bachelot described “this monumental gesture as a call for freedom… a fantastic present to Parisians, to the French, and to art lovers everywhere.” …
“I never thought it would ever happen,” Christo said of L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped before his death last year, from an exclusive interview with RECORD. “But I want you to know that many of these projects can be built without me. Everything is already written.” Which is to say this may not be the last Christo work the world will see, as over 40 projects for which he and Jeanne-Claude never obtained permission are waiting in the archives.”

– September 20, 2021Andrew Ayers

complete article:

4th Fridays at starline resume!

Here are a few images from june 4th Friday at Starline. “Synapse” could be seen through my studio door window. I wish I could have been there. I look forward to the day when I will be at the comfort level to once again welcome visitors inside my studio.

looking forward

What the pandemic did for me.

I really had to focus. Focus on two exhibits (X-rE*al and synapse) which I was totally committed to. So, I had to rely on others to install them – thank you Vicki Senn and John Heng, and even more disappointing, I was not able to enter the building to view them. Now, this was somewhat self-imposed. I have been extremely self-quarantined. When your big date for the week is ordering groceries on-line and having them put them in your car for you …

I am starting to feel comfortable around other people who are vaccinated, but I do not want to sit in a restaurant or stay in doors anywhere for more than a few minutes.

I also had to examine where I wanted to go with my art and how did I want to share it. Some of you may have already checked out the on-line presentations. But, this entire experience has given me the desire to do more on-line. I am honing my skills in animation and you will be seeing some of that soon. But, I also want to do more projections onto WATERFALLS. Yep, waterfalls. So, as my plans evolve, I will update you. Right now I am in the research and development phase. But, here are a couple of concept images.

The project is called “Waterfall Portals”. I will be searching out waterfalls, incorporating them into my art, and projecting the art onto waterfalls.

Why waterfalls?

“I believe awakening consciousness has healing power – not dissimilar to the power of water. A steady drip can create a canyon. One person’s awakening can send a stream of enlightenment into the Universe. Both are vital. We search the universe for water and for consciousness. Projecting my images onto waterfalls connects these universal figures to water and to us, creating portals to the universe – to consciousness.” 

So, imagine the sound of rushing water cascading over the edge and pounding the earth below; mindful beings, not necessarily human – no specific gender, nationality, race or age, emerge from inside the waterfall and enter portals. White noise is a backdrop for colorful visuals vacillating from illusive abstractions to vibrant figurative forms.

As you may have noticed, light plays a significant role in my installations. My focus, however, is first on the painting and then the light and its effects as an added medium. I have used smoke, video, animation, 3D elements, sound and now waterfalls. Waterfalls are new canvases, new textures!

If you would like to get updates on this project, please sign up for my newsletter .
I will send the first 25 people that give me their full name and address a small limited edition print on an 8×10. Everyone that sends their name and address will receive an art postcard for this project.

synapse – the last day

Today is the last day for the art exhibition “As It Happens”. My installation “synapse” will continue on with an on-line video with the poetry by Annie Hex & Jen May at:
You will also find videos of the process and the collaboration with poets Hex & May at this link.
You can see screenshots of the video below.

And, for more info, statements, links, etc:

I am sad to see this exhibition close. But, maybe even sadder to see the gallery close. Just the memories now. My first exhibition and introduction to the arts center was a group show I was juried into, “Women’s Work”. The reception was during the filming of “Ground Hog Day”. There was fake snow all over the Woodstock Square and on the steps of the Old CourtHouse Arts Center. After the reception we went to El Niagra (still one of our favorite Mexican restaurants – we were familiar with the one in Dundee – we lived in Elgin at the time). We saw Andie MacDowell (and her daughter?) walk in while we were eating and the servers led her to a private room… The beginning of a long relationship with art and artists in Woodstock.

The exhibition is ending, the art center at the Old CourtHouse is closing. Good things coming to an end…
I only wish this pandemic would END.

Enjoy these screenshots and check out the movie – I think you’ll like it. 

“synapse” art installation will be at the Old CourtHouse Arts Center (OCHAC)thru December

The installation is now in the small vault in OCHAC – so it is protected and at the same time expanding/reaching beyond.
Photo by Victoria Senn

My art installations are nothing new to OCHAC. “In To the Ellipse” was in this same small vault in 2014. I created “Listen to Colour – Colour Voyage” in the large vault in 2017. In 2018, “Streaming Reflections” extended from the large vault into the adjacent gallery. A large gallery installation, “the END is the Beginning”, was seen in 2015. Some other smaller installations included BridgEs in 2019 and “Ocular Fracture” in 2020. These were in conjunction with E-artgroup (now E*) exhibitions which I co-curated and facilitated.

“Into the Ellipse” in the small vault at OCHAC
“streaming rEflections” in the large vault at OCHAC
“streaming rEflections” inside the large vault at OCHAC

OCHAC included my installations in “the Sheriff’s House” for the Woodstock Art Walk. One memorable exhibition was a moving tribute to 9/11 held on September 11, 2015 – a collaboration with sculptor Angela Swan and musician Cellmod.

It’s fitting that I returns to the small vault, where I created my first vault art installation, for this final installation. THE ARTS CENTER IS CLOSING at the end of 2020. This is a great loss to the artists and the community. The vision of Beverly Ganschow resulted in a 30 year history offering opportunities to artists – locally, nationally and internationally, and enriching the cultural development of Woodstock. Like so many things, we do not truly appreciate them until we lose them. I am so grateful for the freedom I have had to explore my artistic vision at OCHAC. What a great adventure! And, during this pandemic, I want to thank the gallery directors, Victoria Senn and John Heng for making it possible for me to share my work.

For more info and to watch the movie of the “synapse” collaboration check out:

videos on vimeo:
and the web page with photos, poems and more:
and you can visit our documentation blog at:


I am excited to be working with Atrocious Poets on a collaboration. My art installation and their poetry responding to it will be installed in the small vault at the Old CourtHouse Arts Center in Woodstock, IL in November.

I have created a blog dedicated to this project:
JOURNAL – As It Happens – Atrocious Poets project
You can follow along my art process at:
There are currently two posts. The second one contains a video of me painting and another video of a color check of the lighting on the paintings.

1 the beginning
2 the middle
I will do a completion post also.

a family story – Looking BACK

I wanted to tell you about my one experience plein air painting.

32 years ago on 9-18-1988 my Dad died. So, I was thinking about him. And, I pulled out this paint by number he did in 1961. Dad and I always admired paintings of rustic barns and rustic frames.

He was so supportive of me and my art career. I could write tons about that, but this is about barns and paintings of barns. One thing he did wonder was why (after all, he had paid for most of my college education) so, why couldn’t he get me to paint a barn for him.

In college I discovered contemporary abstract art and never intended to paint barns. But, I kinda wanted to give him something for everything he did for me. So, I put my easel, brushes, turpentine, a canvas and oil paints into the back of my car and found a barn I could see from this beautiful forest preserve. The weather was great; I wasn’t plagued by insects or animals; only saw one person and the ranger. So, after a few sessions I painted this barn and later finished it in my studio. It was a pleasant experience, but I was not sold on plein air painting. But that is not the point.

I found the grasses and flowers and abstract shapes much more interesting than the structure of the barn. I gave this to my Dad in 1975. Given the lack of importance I put on the barn, it is not surprising, that in 1988 not long before he died, when I asked him to tell me the truth, “Dad, you don’t really like the barn do you?” He truthfully said “No”. I smile every time I think about that. You may try to please someone, but, you can’t always. I guess the important thing is that you try, and that they appreciate that you tried.

Interestingly, I pulled out another painting I did in the same year 1975. It is structured – like the barn – maybe I was influenced by that barn. I noted that the color palette is the same in all three paintings. Maybe in a way my Dad and I connected/collaborated – maybe that is the point.

what artists do in quarantine


delivering my work to “XrE*al” art exhibition at the Old CourtHouse Art Center during COVID19

Galleries are beginning to open again.

XrE*al is coming to a close. It has been a challenge, an adventure, an accomplishment!

gallery directors carry in my 12ft x 18ft painting. A little help from my friends. I am too scared to enter any buildings.

I found my art practice dysfunctional at the beginning of this pandemic. It was difficult to clear out my studio to make room for my 12ft x 18ft painting, let alone muster up the energy to paint it. You saw the three small paintings in an earlier post that became my creative lifeline and were the jumpstart to the larger painting “Ocular Fracture”. In past exhibitions I lit my large art from the front – this large painting is back-lit with color changing LED lights – fractures of changing color lighting. I am exploring consciousness in a seemingly unconscious world; reality in a world that seems increasingly unreal and yet more real or maybe surreal – XrE*al. This unimaginable world-changing, reality-changing pandemic has intensified my need to connect to mindfulness. My vision of normal is shattered – “Ocular Fracture”. 

Like other scheduled exhibitions, the E* artists considered our options: cancel the exhibition, reschedule the exhibition (we did move it from June to August), and/or go completely digital. Regardless, we committed to a digital format. Unsure of a physical exhibition, with everyone’s optimism that things would go back to normal again soon, the thought was to carry on and be flexible. So we alerted the participating artists of our desire to proceed with the exhibition, even if it would be just digital.

We were lucky. The gallery opened. So we proceeded with a physical and virtual exhibition. Now, I won’t go in any buildings, so I did not get to hang, light or see the exhibition – only on-line. I did test hang it in my great room. When I have an exhibit, my entire house becomes my studio!

test hanging “Ocular Fracture”
my painting at the end of the gallery

So, that is what artists do during a pandemic. They keep working; they keep exploring their artistic vision; and they keep sharing their work with the world any way they can.

The artgroup E* in conjunction with the Northwest Area Arts Council presented this themed all media art exhibition, XrE*al at the Old CourtHouse Arts Center on the historic Woodstock Square in Woodstock, Illinois. It closes Saturday 8/30/2020, but can still be seen on-line!!!

You can see the XrE*al art exhibition on-line at:

And you can see all of the XrE*al videos at:

artists in quarantine

Many artists and art groups have been trying to come up with virtual art experiences for our fans and collectors.

SO, during COVID19 as we struggle to adapt
and be productive:

  • I have participated in a three artist group discussion with E* (formerly E-artgroup) about the XrE*al world we are living in now — how it is affecting us, art, our art, the art world and our world. In addition we individually uploaded videos about our art that we are making for the exhibit XrE*al which may be a physical exhibition, but will definitely be a virtual exhibition. We discuss our challenges and the world as we are now starting to see it. You can see these videos at:
    The concept for XrE*al was conceived of last fall before the world became so unreal, so incomprehensible. We could not have imagined how appropriate our title would be.
  • I just put up a virtual gallery layout of my exhibition at TAC. Whether you saw it or not it is kind of fun to play with the interactivity. You can try it out here (my experience – some browsers work – chrome does; safari does not):
  • I am working on a movie of the exhibit that will include the colored lighting effects. I’ll certainly let you know when that is available, but until then you can visit my website: and find links to my videos on vimeo with changing colored lighting effects.
virtual exhibition of bert leveille’s “streaming reflections” at TAC Highland Park
  • And, I am using #wcachicago on Instagram when posting along with other Chicago Women’s Caucus artists to bring together what our group is doing during COVID19

I finished the third small piece I wrote about last time.

Guy Clifford came up with a name for the one on the bottom… “Deflection”.
Thank you, Guy!
So, I still need a title for the top two! Any suggestions?


Ready to tackle the big one

I have these two and the third small almost complete. Anyone suggest any names for these two? I’ll upload an image of the third one next time. They are mixed media with metallic and acrylic paint on stretched canvas, 24inches x 12 inches. The new piece for XrE*al will be 9 feet high and span 18 feet – It will be in pieces but will seem like one piece. I am excited to get started on it. I will keep you updated and do some video.

And now a story: My paintings result from my experiences and my connections to my world around me. But, often, I do not control which experiences or when these experiences will be filtered into my paintings. In other words, when 911 happened, artists around the world were creating in response to the event. It took 4 years for me to creatively process and paint my “911” painting. Several years later I did an installation collaborating with another artist, which became a tribute to 911. I will do a special post on that in September.

“911”, acrylic on canvas, 10ft x 7ft

I paint from my subconscious and it usually determines to some extent the meanings found in my paintings, which may not be revealed to me until nearly finished or even later and sometimes never. My “crossover” paintings dealing with the border wall are an exception to that, and for another post. It is yet to be determined how Covid19 will affect my art. Aside from it being extremely difficult to work, the artwork I am doing currently is still deciding Covid19’s influence. The fear and uncertainty, the changing of a world I thought I could control. My idea of a figure… of reality — it is all shaken, yet I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. — to be continued…

surviving covid19

Unlike many, I am very lucky to have a wonderful studio that I love to work in. One would think that I would be happy just to be tucked away doing my art. I am embarrassed to say that I have been somewhat paralyzed. Don’t get me wrong. I have been exercising (I cannot go to the pool that I love – so I am now biking on my stationary bike – I did 15 miles today – but it took 1hour 20 minutes!), learning new art related things, doing some art and gradually organizing my digital and painting studios.

My studio before I cleared things out and vacuumed the floor. The paint stays on the floor until I paint over it!

Sometimes you need some inspiration and I have this — my largest watercolor hanging on my studio wall. It is 39 inches x 7 feet wide on 180 (150?) pound watercolor paper, my artist/lifelong friend gave me some years back.

I was taking a grad-level class from Charlotte Rollman at NIU when I did it. She does beautiful large watercolors, so I challenged myself to do a huge watercolor. It was challenging to wet it (in the tub via the shower!) and I tacked it to a 4×8 foot homesote board. I never did like stretching canvas or watercolor paper, which is why I generally use 300 pound watercolor paper and often work on unstretched canvas). The uneven paper adds to the character of the artwork. Here are some details of this piece.

What strikes me looking at these images is that they tend to speak to Covid 19. The figures are isolated and separated by windows or transparent planes. And, maybe this is just evident of my exploration of consciousness. How do we connect? Oh… we can’t even connect physically now. So, connecting to consciousness is not a physical connection, so maybe we are experiencing connections in a more spiritual way right now. Just some thoughts…. 

The task at hand is to finish these three small pieces and then to tackle a large piece for XrE*al.