Marilyn Monroe – Soot on Paper

NCA New Members’ Tea

Not long after I joined Northern California Arts, Inc, I was invited to the New Members’ Tea.  We were asked to bring a piece of our art to show and tell.  This being the very beginning of my art career and my first time participating in an event like this, I had no idea what to expect.  I was assuming everyone was a beginner like me so I was extremely underprepared.  

That morning, I’d gotten up the nerve to finally try painting with smoke bombs for the first time.  I quickly sketched out a small dead tree and began designing a stencil.  I then spent hours experimenting with different combinations of gunpowder and smoke bombs until I finally had a handful of colorful work that resembled a tree.  I took the entire stack with me and headed to the party.  Not long after arriving, I discovered my error; all the guests had beautifully matted and framed art.

After some mingling, each of the artists got up one-by-one and introduced themselves and their work.  When it was my turn, I held my breath and walked to the easel.  I took another breath and decided to just own it.  I confessed I had underestimated the expectations and apologized for being so underprepared.  Then, I began talking about my work and got a lot of gasps and some great feedback. My turn ended and I sat back down.  The lady in front of me immediately turned around and asked to see my work.  I handed the whole stack over.  As she fumbled through and examined each piece, I turned my attention back to the next artist.  After a few minutes, I felt a tap on my knee.  I looked down at her sitting on the grass in front of me; she was holding up one of the pieces and whispered, “How much?”

FirstSmokeBombPainting.BrandiPfleiderFirst Smoke Bomb Painting

My jaw dropped!  Again, I wasn’t prepared (I’m starting to see a pattern here).  After I finally finished stammering I spit out a price and she asked me to sign it (I’m sure you can guess I wasn’t prepared to sign anything either).  She handed me a selection of pens, pencils and markers to choose from.  This woman is AWESOME!  After I signed it, she laid it on the grass so I could snap a picture with my phone (see photo), and handed it over.  Stephanie Lindsay and I are now great friends!

Later, one of the board members I knew from Tuesday nights’ Hang Out and do art at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center introduced me to Carol Brewer, the curator at ACAI.  She and I hit it off and became fast friends.  Over the next few months we ran into each other at other SFAC and NCA events and she invited me to an ACAI art reception.  I showed up and sought her out.  She’s just lovely!  She looped her arm in mine and we made our way through the gallery as she introduced me to tons of other artists.  Later, we made plans to visit again when things had died down.

Invitations to be Featured

Carol and I sat on the back patio at ACAI and chatted about anything and everything.  During the conversation I nudged her and jokingly said, “SO.  When are you going to give me a show?”  She suddenly got serious and I panicked a little, fearing I’d offended her.  She said, “Ok.  Let’s talk about that.  Yes!”  I was speechless.  After a few more meetings, we were trying to land a date and she asked me, “Hey!  Do you want to be in the Black and White Show in January?”  I was shocked again.  So, not only one show, but TWO??  I thought about it for a few seconds, trying to figure out how hard it would be to create gunpowder art without any brown tones and then… “Yes!  I’ll create a piece in soot!”


Soot Painting

It took me a few tries (and a few small fires) but I finally created a perfect image of Marilyn Monroe (see photo) by lighting a candle and holding the paper upside down over the candle to capture the soot from the flame!  You can see it hanging in the ACAI gallery until February 10th, 2018.

Credit to the frame goes to Joan McMurray, who donated the frame and inspired me to create the perfect piece to fit it!

Annual Black & White Show – ACAI Gallery & Studios

Curated by Carol Brewer, the Black and White Show is a collection of 36 artists’ black and white pieces.  The show is fantastic!  Come to the Artist Reception Saturday, January 20th, 2018 from 6pm to 8pm at 7425 Winding Way, Fair Oaks, CA 95628.  You can also visit their website for more information.  Hope to see you there!

BlackandWhiteShowACAIYou can see my Marilyn Monroe “Whatever Blows Your Skirt Up” on the postcard, top center!


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