After nearly a year of hibernation, I’m proud to say The Melon’s The Sweet Spot Gallery has returned. Since re-starting the project on a new webspace, I’ve already interviewed and put up galleries for two fantastic and totally unique artists, including The CLAW’s Mark Brill.
Furthermore, I’m incredibly excited to note that as an extension of the online space, The Sweet Spot is partnering with a new Seattle event called whizARTbang. Artists featured on The Sweet Spot each month will also be featuring in whizARTbang’s monthly show. The documentaries produced for the web are shown at the event, and there’s even a physical gallery space. This is a huge achievement for us, as it really allows our artists to come full-circle by being featured online and in front of a live audience.
Sadly, this means that The Sweet Spot will no longer be hosted on The Melon. While the old links will linger, I’ve already copied it all over and there will no longer be any Sweet Spot updates here. I will certainly highlight updates (especially when The Melon hasn’t been posting any material), but all new content will be on its new page. Below you’ll find the latest two artist videos. Head over to TheSweetSpotGallery.com to learn more about them.
I am fascinated by the encounter of consciousness embodied–that is to say, the existential platform of self encountering otherness. I am also enchanted by the exploration of “reality” as an embodied relationship between finitude and the transcendental.
My visual art depicts monsters and suffering as a metaphor for the state of despair and suffering that Self encounters as Separated Consciousness (e.g. arising into a body/Separation from Source). Thus, my art also seeks to explore the embodied point of contact between that state of despair/separation and the state of reconciliation: Enlightenment, the Kingdom of God, Relationship to Unconditional Love.
I feel called to producing visual images because they seem to convey deep and subtle relationships–e.g. between objects that are involved in suffering and freedom or relief from that suffering. My spiritual “work” usually evolves into the imagery I am drawing, and I will find myself in agreement with a principle that appears in the work: of reconciliation or aspects of despair, separation, or transcendent love. Teachers and traditions that have been fundamental to the development of my thought and art are Buddhist Foundations: Chogyam Trungpa, Shunryu Suzuki, Christian Foundations: Soren Keirkegaard, Thomas Merton, Other: Hafiz and other Sufi voices, Martin Buber, Early Indian theology, and my Friends!
My fascination with all forms of art started very early……..my mom says I created murals on the walls with my crayons when I was about 2 years old. I have always been blessed with amazing “artsy” teachers through-out my schooling and a family that felt art is an important part of life.
I am primarily self-taught. However, I did attend the Art Institute of Seattle. My talents cover many types of media: charcoal, watercolor, jewelry, hand-painted glass, fused glass, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I enjoy creating beautiful things. My surroundings, a mood, colors, children, old people, dreams, nature, all are things that inspire and excite my flow of creativity.
“Artistic creativity is a whirlpool of imagination that swirls in the depths of the mind.” –Robert Toth
As a lifelong artist, I never know where my next inspiration will come from. When painting, I often just let the brush move freely on the canvas until an image appears. I choose acrylics for their forgiveness and oils for their depth.
When people view my work, I want them to feel the emotions within each piece. Whether it be sadness, joy, anger, or passion – it’s all there.
My recent work is a collections of images from my experiences of the past year traveling extensively through Italy and will be on display at the 253 Collective, 1901 S. Jefferson, Suite 100, this September.
I attended the University of North Dakota where I completed a BA in Visual Arts in December 2000. During that time I explored a variety of disciplines including casting, jewelry fabrication, sculpture, and oil painting. I’ve worked as a commercial goldsmith, illustrated several books, and worked on commission as a free-lance jeweler and artist. My most recent paintings combine fantasy, surrealism, and expressionism with special emphasis on the human form. Blazing columns of light, bursting figures, and dark backdrops characterize this series, my attempt to represent the polar opposites that seem to prevail both internally and externally.
This selection of works showcases the different artistic avenues I’ve explored since my college studies. Charcoal illustration, oil painting, and metalworking are the primary means of artistic expression that I still embrace today. A traditional artist for many years, it wasn’t until 2004, four years after graduating college, that I began exploring digital painting, photo-manipulation, and graphic design.
The genres I’ve experimented with have been just as varied as the mediums used. Realism has always defined my style, though content has changed over time. As for many young elementary school artists, fantasy appealed greatly to me: Unicorns, dragons, and various mythological beasts all found their way onto my sketchpad. Real life dragons – dinosaurs – were also very popular subjects. I quickly began inventing my own creatures, something I still have a passion for today. Werewolves are classic monsters that I continue to derive much enjoyment from drawing.
When I began oil painting at the age of 13, subject matter was quite different. Lonely seascapes and landscapes of mountains, forests, and plains dominated canvases and continued to do so through college. During that time my focus was achieving desired effects through use of light and dark as well as exploring blending techniques. In 2005 I began producing an ongoing series of oil paintings that combined elements of realism and fantasy, depicting recognizable human forms in surreal environments. Brilliant light against dark backdrops is the prevalent element in these paintings, one that has also been finding its way into my digital art.
My work is available for sale through my website, www.UnstableArt.com. I am also available for commissions in illustration, painting, jewelry, and graphic design. Currently I am working on a graphic novel collaboration.
Eric “Two Scoops” Moore was born in 1958 and grew up making music and art in Boston. He toured and recorded with the late Chicago blues harpmaster, “Earring” George Mayweather (7 years) and ex-Muddy Waters guitarist, Grammy and Handy award winner, Luther “Guitar Jr.”Johnson (6 years). Two Scoops has performed his brand of boogie magic at premier blues venues and festivals in 36 states, 12 countries on three continents. He sold his records to fans all over the world, but one special fan in Seattle stole his heart……Amy!
The House of Blues in Cambridge MA hosted its first ever wedding/blues jam for the couple on Valentine’s Day 1996. Eric is now based in West Seattle and leads his own band, TWO SCOOPS COMBO! He has released five critically acclaimed CDs – Big Buffet, Clean Plate, Hungry!, Music CaféandBIG BUFFET Combo Platter.His songs are included on both of the National Public Radio program Car Talk‘s music compilation discs. He has won six awards for piano playing and songwriting from the Washington Blues Society.
Eric is also an award-winning artist. An installation of his envelope masks took first prize in the Art of Salvage Contest at Second Use Building Materials in 2006 and his sculptures won the award in 2007. As a member of Team Ironic, Eric’s sculpture won the Iron Artist Challenge sponsored by the Tacoma Art Museum on 8/8/08.
I have been creating art all my life, starting with watercolors, then painting portraits of Blues icons on ceramic tiles. My life on the road provides my inspiration. As an entertainer, I have looked out on many a “sea of faces”; they seem to force their way back out of my hands whenever I touch any cast-off material. A body naturally follows and then I think they look happier with something to do, so I give them an occupation. My sculptures represent people from all walks of life, including musicians, revelers, devils, bathing beauties, chefs, mythical characters and some crazy critters.
Materials are anything I find in my recycle bin: Styrofoam, cardboard, toilet tissue tubes, paper towel rolls, pizza boxes, pill bottles, coat hangers, plastic packaging, broom bristles, old yarn, string and dryer lint. I even make masks out of used CD mailers. I’ve developed techniques over the past 8 years using a hot glue gun and wire to build the pieces and acrylic paint and lacquer to finish them.
My influences are Red Grooms and John Taylor’s ships. As my wife Amy’s 24/7 MS caregiver, I started to make whimsical art pieces to cheer her up. When we first met, Amy had figurines from the places she had visited on shelves and for a year I sent her figurines from every country I toured. Now we are thrilled that people who buy my artworks put them in a place of honor on their walls and shelves!
A face is like a melody – you hear it and never forget it.
The body is the harmony in a supporting role.
The hands hold the theme.
The angles of the leg, knee, and ankle (posture and balance) are the rhythm.
Together they create a form that we willingly recognize as our own spirit.
All pieces shown may be purchased; prices range from $100 to $300. I also take custom orders at
Arriving in Tacoma a few years ago, I chose not to unpack my art supplies. No watercolors, no mosaics. No craft projects. I wanted only my camera.
This action stopped other distractions and allowed me to solely concentrate on photography. And photography became a wonderful way to learn Tacoma and the Puget Sound areas. My camera became great company on my walks helping me to look carefully and engage with what’s before me.
Another influence on my work has been the combination of digital cameras, software programs and online photographic websites. These developments created a fast work flow for photography. I can take shots, upload them onto my computer for post-processing and upload them onto websites within minutes. The feedback I gain from these websites is both encouraging and immensely helpful to me. Viewing other photographer’s work shows me how others have handled light and composition – the twin champions of good photography. It challenges me to improve and encourages me to get behind my lens to think, learn and shoot.
As I’ve gathered images worthy of display, the City of Tacoma, through their artslistserve site, has informed me about local opportunities for presenting my work. I’ve had my work purchased twice by Pierce County for their public art collection. I’ve shown my work at juried shows at the Proctor Art Fest and at Franke Tobey Jones. I’ve been part of Art at Work Art Slams and with the Proctor Art Walk. My work is also featured on tourist websites for Tacoma, the Olympic Peninsula and in San Diego.
The City of Tacoma also offered me a wonderful opportunity to organize their Photo Safaris. Safaris are a photo event in which locations, not normally accessible to the general public, are presented for a few hours for local photographers to come and shoot. A few weeks following the shoot, I display everyone’s work in the Mayor’s Gallery at City Hall. During past safaris, we’ve climbed the clock tower of old City Hall; explored the tower and abandoned rooms of the old Armory; and enjoyed the spectacular view from the bell tower at First Presbyterian Church. Recently, we toured the three theaters that make up the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
Thank you for taking time with this site. I thank Elliot Trotter, videographer and creator of this site, for selecting me as a featured artist. He’s a good listener who engaged me in interesting conversation making my time on the other side of the lens enjoyable. If you would care to visit my photo site, you may at:
The Melon and The Sweet-Spot Gallery are proud to present the work of our premier artist Ellen Miffit. Ellen has kindly supplied a detailed biography and slides of her fantastic work. In addition, you’ll find two videos which offer greater perspective on Ellen and her art.
Ellen Miffitt brings over thirty years of artistic experience in the arts to her personal expression and art instruction. Growing up in rural Connecticut kept her close to the earth and nature. When ten years old, “paint by number” kit for a Christmas present started her art career. By mixing the paint and straying outside of the lines, she made that numbered canvas her own. While in high school she was encouraged by an aunt who dabbled in the arts to pursue developing her talent. After moving to the Pacific Northwest, she started painting sumi-e in January of 2002 with Fumiko Kimura and registered “Nine Lives Studio” in Oct of 2002. “As an artist I am constantly involved with that process of transformation: spirit to image on paper, mixing papers to create new textures, combining a variety of papers to create collage. The idea of mixing and blending different materials is exciting and a natural extension of sumi for me. Embossing metal to create texture, modeling Precious Metal Clay to make jewelry and exploring other media are an outlet for my creativity.”
Ellen’s art may be seen at the Puget Sound Sumi Artists group exhibits, The Gallery, Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island WA, The White Dove Gallery in Lakewood WA, and Box Heart Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; as well as exhibits regionally and nationally.
Ellen received a BS (Art/Art Education) from Southern Connecticut State College and a MS (Art/Art Education) from Central Connecticut State University. Experienced in preparation and presentation of age appropriate activities, her lessons are designed to promote growth, develop new skills and build positive reinforcement in a safe and supportive environment. Currently her art classes for children to adults are presented locally in the South Puget Sound area at South Puget Sound Community College Community Education, The Evergreen State College Extended Education Program, Tacoma Community College Personal Enrichment Program, Olympia Parks and Recreation, and other venues.
Ellen is a past President of the Olympia Art League, served as Chairperson of the 2006 and 2007 Capitol City Visual Arts Exhibit and was Secretary for the Puget Sound Sumi Artists from 2005 to 2007. She is active in promoting the arts and sharing her artistic ability in her community.
The Sweet-Spot, The Melon’s revolutionary online gallery is announcing the deadline for its first show, opening in January.
The deadline for submissions is Monday December 8th, 2008.
Our first virtual show is scheduled to open Monday January 5th, 2009, so make with the art.
What does The Sweet-Spot mean by art? We mean everything visual. Photography, paintings, pottery, jewelry, tattoo art, even film. In other words, submit anything that could feasibly appear on our online gallery.