Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Four Dharmas of Gampopa

Grant your blessing so that my mind may move towards the Dharma.
Grant your blessing so that the Dharma may progress along the path.
Grant your blessing so that the path may clarify confusion.
Grant your blessing so that confusion may dawn as wisdom. 


Friday, December 16, 2011

Rozie Vajda at GroundSwell Gallery

What a fun month at the gallery with the complex and beautiful characters created by Rozie Vajda.  Each marionette with it's own detailed expression, components, and stage is an example of Rozie's true investment into the whole creation of personality and placement.  We are honored to show this work and we welcome you, if you haven't already, to visit GroundSwell Gallery during this heartwarming season - open through January 10, 2012. 

GroundSwell Gallery is located at 3121 E. Colfax Ave. Denver, CO 80206 (Bluebird District). 

Open Monday - Saturday 11am - 7pm, Sunday 12 - 5pm

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gift Givers, this is your jam.

Hello friends!
Just want to shout out about the Holiday Gift Givers Sale we're hosting at GroundSwell Gallery this Saturday (tomorrow) from 5 - 9pm.
There are 10 amazing designers selling their hand-crafted wares (including jewelry, accessories, art, toys, etc.).
Also, it's the holidays after all, so we'll warm you up and sweeten your teeth with a cup of home-made chai and a cupcake from the Shoppe!  Looking forward to seeing you all!
I made these Heads-N-Tails toys!  These little critters' heads and tails can be swapped from one to the other allowing you to create funny little foxy-turtles and hippo-fish. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

“I like to think that some of my work at least will stay in the present tense.”

Ellsworth Kelly at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  Not his usual paintings, but his wood sculptures.  Just wanted to link to this NYTimes Article including some statements from Kelly himself.  I am especially interested in artists like this who are interested most in remaining in the present tense.  This image is of Spectrum V, 1969.  I remember seeing this on a visit to see art somewhere in the world...  Anyway, I remember loving it. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

painting mantras

This month my personal work has been dedicated to 2 projects, one of which is a group of paintings for Qi City Park's Yoga studio.  The entry foyer and studio have been the same for 2 years - just a move-in on a closed studio without giving the place a new look.  Alex Cordoba now manages this studio and she, along with some of her students (myself included) see the opportunity to create a setting with more intention around centering and the practice of yoga.  I'm making 3 large paintings for the foyer (the sort that will cover most of 2 wall areas creating a span of color, etc.).  Each one is an important mantra, invocation or dedication - simply the words on a vibrant color gradient.  My hope is for these words to meet each attending student with a call for intention and wakefulness in their yoga practice.  If anything, the paintings may make the place bright and colorful, cheerful and inviting.  Mantra - Gayatri, Dedication - The 4 Dharmas of Gampopa, and Invocation - Anusara invocation.  If applicable, the words in english are preceded by the texts' original language. 

Gayatri Mantra: 

Aum Bhur Bhuva Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat

On the absolute reality and its planes,
On that finest spiritual light,
We meditate, as remover of obstacles
That it may inspire and enlighten us.

The Four Dharmas of Gampopa: 

Grant your blessings so that my mind may be one with the dharma.
Grant your blessings so that dharma may progress along the path.
Grant your blessings so that the path may clarify confusion.
Grant your blessings so that confusion may dawn as wisdom.

Anusara Invocation: 

Namah Shivaya Gurave
Satchidananda Murtaye
Nishprapanchaya Shantaya
Niralambaya Tejase

I offer myself to the Light, who is the True Teacher within and without.
Who assumes the forms of Reality, Consciousness and Bliss,
Who is never absent and is full of peace,
Independent in its existence, It is the vital essence of illumination.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

City Smiles

Today an Open House at City Smiles Dentistry, 100 Spruce Street, Suite 100 Denver, CO 80230.  Everyone is invited from 5:30p - 8:30p.  This is a great chance to see what Chelsea Mayer, DDS has done to build out a beautiful new dentist office that all who care about design and good space can really enjoy!  She smartly requested good art curation for the office and I reached out to local Denver Artists.  The result, the best dressed Dentist office I've ever been to!  I'm honored to work with the artists:
Sara Guindon
Sandra Fettingis
Rob Mack
Shayna Cohn
Debbie Clapper
Alan Kitchen
Paul Langway
Bethany DeMarco
Derek Keenan 
Jared David Paul

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rozie Vajda at GroundSwell - through Jan. 10

I call this a successful art opening.  The highly detailed and exquisitely constructed characters that are Rozie Vajda's marionettes now grace GroundSwell Gallery.  I am so proud to curate with such a talented and hard working artist!

Please visit the gallery before Jan. 10, 2012 to see this incredible show. 

Below, please find Rozie Vajda's artist statement. 

"I work with found objects. Some discarded, some given, others forgotten, all rediscovered and repurposed. I help these treasures discover a new life with new companions in a new story.

My studio has a floor to ceiling collection of these found, gifted, and salvaged treasures and art parts collected over a lifetime. Chosen for the emotion as much as the aesthetic, in this show can be found roots, twigs, and seaweed, accordion parts and the keys to my first car. When these parts make their way into my art, so too do the people, places, and experiences they represent.

In these most recent pieces, my explorations with assemblage art, doll-making, sewing and felting have come together in a whimsical way that surprises and delights me. With the pull of a string these characters come to life with motion and dance."

-Rozie Vajda

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3115)| +! |(3121 East Colfax Ave.

MAD KING  In Transit  2011
Running the gallery at GroundSwell with Danette Montoya has been immensely enjoyable for me in the months since we opened in May 2011.  I find that I have more fulfilling and inspiring conversations with artists around Denver than I would have thought available to me.  I happily do this work and I'm inspired to keep on with my own art work.

The current show at the gallery with MAD KING is definitely worth a visit.  GroundSwell is open daily from 10a - 7pm and this show runs through November 8th.  If you're like me, you may find yourself brightened by MAD KING's layered patterns, colors, textures and characters.  I especially invite those interested in enriching their visual promotion and representation materials with the skillful and soulful imagery of this artist.

Finally, I want to share, through pictures (below), the happenings between 3115 East Colfax and 3121 East Colfax (GroundSwell).   Artists working this week, and pictured in the first photo here are Denver's own Max Kaufman and Nice One, Denver native, now working from Chicago. 

Max Kaufman and Nice One work out the details of what will be a very large mural on the side of GroundSwell Gallery and Cannabis Boutique

newest stencil in the past month

This wheat pasted painting appeared in the past month as well.  We're into that on our unpainted brick wall, but the stencil to the Right is totally inconsiderate of the brick material.  Boo.  Also, see left, part of Paul Langway's mural from last Summer on the low wall bordering the alley.

"Own Your Soul, Monster."  We're especially into the painting, being not the expected xerox, and the poeticism of this wheat paste.
In closing,
Thank you Denver Artists.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I  am honored to show my work, Migration newly formatted as a stand-on-it's-own sculpture piece, at the Denver Handmade Alliance's Art by Craft exhibition this coming Saturday!  The show runs through October 16th and coincides with a craft Market held on Sunday Oct. 9th.  Exhibiting the work of the artists listed below, Art by Craft explores craft-based mediums in fine art.  I hope you will consider visiting!!

Migration (detail), Rebecca Peebles
Art by Craft Exhibiting Artists:

Adriane Horovitz & Marc Horovitz 
Andrea Thurber
Becky Wareing Steele
Beth Wood
Dea Webb
Hope Morgan of Haunted Sparrow
Lara Nickel
Martina Grbac
Pamela Webb
Patrice Washington
Rebecca Peebles
Sandra Fettingis
Sarah Wallace Scott
Vanessa Gochnour

Friday, September 23, 2011


Laney McVicker of 303 Magazine wrote an  article about myself and my work.  You can see "The Hol Sum Art of Meditation" article on 303's site for the Fall Fashion Issue 2011.

I'm especially grateful to Laney for quoting me when I said about my art work, "Really, it's just a practice of working toward something beautiful or peaceful."  This is true for me.  I am most accurate as an artist when I'm creating work that offers beauty and opportunity to rest in one's own peace. 

hats, sculpture, call them what you will...

The Bard Graduate Center is hosting an exhibit of 250+ hats curated by Stephen Jones!  If I were able to drop everything and travel right now, I'd hop to NYC to see these as part of a long list of shows, meals and otherwise gorgeous outings! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

lettering mantras

Dedication of Merit

By this merit may all attain omniscience.
May it defeat the enemy, wrongdoing.
From the stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death,
From the ocean of samsara, may I free all beings.
By the confidence of the golden sun of the great east,
May the lotus garden of the Rigden’s wisdom bloom.
May the dark ignorance of sentient beings be dispelled.
May all beings enjoy profound brilliant glory.

Studying mantras and poetry for a new project....  Such awesome study. 

Friday, September 9, 2011


JUXTAPOZE - a juxtaposition of our art work. 
Patrick Kelly is a writer and makes art work for special occassions.
I'm an artist, and sometimes I like to do work that's illustrative and narrative.
We thought it might be interesting to put our work side by side to highlight our writer/narrator/illustrator/artist selves.
I'm especially interested to see how our works affect each other by proximity.  Up until hanging our work, we haven't seen what the other is doing.
Hope you'll come out and see the work at Hooked On Colfax (3213 E. Colfax Ave. Denver, CO 80206)!
Opening night - Saturday Sept. 10, 7 - 10pm
Show up through October 5.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

reminder: inspiration is pervasive

Lecture at Cornell University
Given by Agnes Martin
January 1972

I want to talk to you about "the work", art work.
I will speak of inspiration, the studio, viewing art work, friends of art and artist's temperaments.
But your interest and mine is really "the work" - works of art.
Art work is very important in the way that I will try to show when I speak about inspiration.
I have sometimes put myself ahead of my work in my mind and have suffered in consequence.
I thought, me, me; and I suffered.
I thought I was important.  I was taught to think that.  I was taught:  "You are important; people are important beyond anything else."
But thinking that I suffered very much.
I thought that I was big and "the work" was small.  It is not  possible to go on that way.  To think I am big and the work is big.  
The position of pride is not possible either.
And to think I am small and the work is small, the position of modesty, is not possible.
I will go on to inspiration and perhaps you will see what is possible.
As I describe inspiration I do not want you to think I am speaking of religion.
That which takes us by surprise - moments of happiness - that is inspiration.  Inspriation which is different from daily care.
Many people as adults are so startled by inspiration which is different from daily care that they think they are unique in having had it.  Nothing could be further from the truth.
Inspritation is there all the time.
For everyone whose mind is not clouded over with thoughts whether they realize it or not.
Most people have no realization whatever of the moments in which they are inspired.
Inspiration is pervasive but not a power.
It's a peaceful thing.
It is a consolation even to plants and animals.
Do not think that it is unique.
If it were unique, no one would be able to respond to your work.
Do not think it is reserved for a few or anything like that.
It is an untroubled mind.
Of course we know that an untroubled state of mind cannot last.  So we say that inspiration comes and goes but really it is there all the time waiting for us to be untroubled again.  We can therefore say that it is pervasive.  Young children are more untroubled than adults and have many more inspirations.  All the moments of inspiration added together make what we call sensibility.  The development of sensibility is the most important thing.  Some parents put the development of social mores ahead of aesthetic development.  Small children are taken to the park for social play; sent to nursery school....  But the little child sitting alone, perhaps even neglected and forgotten, is the one open to inspiration and the development of sensibility.

Monday, August 22, 2011

GroundSwell presents Alan Kitchen

The start of the GroundSwell Gallery's fourth show, There Was No Sound: paintings by Alan Kitchen, lends us great momentum as we are continuing to develop the workings of the Gallery and relationships with artists and the public.  We are proud to have been reviewed by Kyle Macmillan as part of the Denver Post's Art blog and also the Friday, Aug. 19th Entertainment section of the Denver Post.  Congratulations are certainly in order for Alan as his first solo show of paintings has brought him such positive attention.  We confidently anticipate Alan's growth as an artist remembering his proposal for a show with us.  What a joy to receive a proposal with strong conceptual backing for aesthetically solid paintings.  Seeing the paintings in person for the first time, I felt the delight one artist feels for another's good work. 

Denver Post Blog article:

Denver Post: Entertainment.  August 19th article:

As a reminder, GroundSwell Gallery is open every day from 10am to 7pm.  The Gallery is adjacent to GroundSwell Cannabis Boutique and employees there can help you connect with curators Danette Montoya or Rebecca Peebles.  Otherwise, Rebecca and Danette are present in the Gallery every Friday from 12pm - 4pm and can schedule for appointments with interested patrons.  You may contact Rebecca at or Danette at

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

good show!

Dear Kelsey Dalton, Andrew McClellan and Harold Kleeman,

Thank you for your fine work in the gallery for this past month.  As follows, a photo tribute to your awesome work:

Rose Tunezja - Dalton&McClellan, oil on canvas, 29" x 48"

Twinned - Dalton&McClellan, oil on canvas, 48" x 36"

Rose de Sables - Dalton&McClellan, oil on canvas, 16" x 29"

Granny's Crannies Go West - Harold, gypsum, alabaster, plaster installation

Those interested to have more information about these works can contact GroundSwell Gallery curators: Rebecca Peebles (myself) or Danette Montoya at or

And please let us know if you'd like to be added to our email newsletter list to stay updated on our shows and events. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

the new old debate

The ART OF QUILTING is a phrase that usually makes me think, "Art? Can I be sure?" as I ponder the decorative habits of quilters and the common argument of Art v/s Craft.  It's not that I don't want quilting and other craft media to rise into Art's striking realm of beauty and power.  I too use craft media such as felting, crochet, ceramics, and weaving to create works I call my art.  I recognize the uncomfortable moment when the artist has to ask if the work is really "there."  This is a subjective question and answer.  I think many quilters, crocheters, knitters, etc. look at their awesome expression of creative power and think, "ART!" but I beg to differ.  There is a jumping off point where it's beyond you, the creator, and the work represents a larger beauty than your own and speaks to a larger audience than you can imagine.

Before I begin to sound too grandiose and pompous, I'll bring this back to the point of this post - Shawn Quinlan's Pop Art Quilts.  This weeks email newsletter from Hand/Eye Magazine tells a short story of Quinlan's beginnings as an artist and includes a fantastic slideshow of his work.  I recommend you take a look.  The works are an awesome assemblage of political satire, the hilarity of pop culture, the art of collage, and the craft of quilting.  From the works I viewed, it seems he has two styles of composition: a poster-like, 2D presentation, and a pictorial narrative via a landscape or scene.  I'm fond of the latter style as I recognize Quinlan's ability to use the immediately abstracting fabric pieces to create a strong sense of place and mood.  Below, an example of the landscape style:

So, as the debate over whether Art and Craft can lie in the same bed continues, I believe that artists will decide.  I imagine that the answer will evolve more slowly than art experts and historians prefer because artists will continue to use the media that best represent their concepts.

More about Pittsburgh, PA artist, Shawn Quinlan can be found here:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

thanks Project Hello!

Many thanks to Project Hello for the opportunity to create a collaborative drawing with the visitors of that event!  There were several hundred visitors (each color rhombus represents one) and many a lovely encounter with them.  As planned, the drawing turned out to be an impromptu scatter-plot graph representing the traffic of the event (men, women, girls and boys and about when they came).  Statistical accuracy aside, the event was well represented by this drawing.  See more detail at
Rebecca and Rob Mack draw...             (photo thanks to Jesse Nobbe)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

sneak peak (hello!)

This Saturday at Redline Gallery, I'll be participating at PROJECT HELLO, denver's opportunity to meet artists, designers, poets, writers, and musicians on a personal level.  I'll be making an interactive drawing that will represent the overall traffic and demographic of the event.  You too could have a part in this drawing...  The event is 7 hours long (noon to 7pm), so the window of opportunity is vast!  Please come.  Here's a sneak peak for what I'm planning...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


 About a month ago, I competed in Vitamin Water's "Uncapped" Fashion contest to design a garment inspired by one of their beverages.  My choice was Vitamin Water Energy - Tropical Citrus (sun yellow drink with metallic gold label).  Because of Vitamin Water's sleek graphics and the black-and-white on pop-color contrast, I chose to highlight an urban tropical style.  My model Andi Todaro is wearing a wrap on, tie on, polyester satin gold jumpsuit, a black and white contemporary take on Carmen Miranda's "fruit hat," and a peacock and metal necklace.  All of these things I made - what progress for me!  I hope to receive better photo documentation from Vitamin Water (but the outlook is not good despite the many pro photographers I saw running around).  Either way, here's an okay photo (left) and V.W.'s video documentation of the entire event (The garments don't show up until near the middle, so either fast forward or stay with it).  The winner was Fallene Wells.  She made a whole lot of ruffles for that skirt!  Many thanks to Andi for wearing my clothing as though I made it especially for her. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

hol sum for mukee

As part of Microclimates, hol sum teamed up with Mukee to design some custom jewelry for the fashion show!  Here are some close ups of the pendants I made using Mukee's recycled skateboard deck "charms."  Looking forward to future collaborations with Derek!
In order from top-left clockwise: Dream Charm, Blossom pendant (1), Mayfly pendant, Blossom pendant (2)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Levi Shane Nelson at GroundSwell Gallery

Ladies and Gentleman,
You really can not miss this show of mixed media, large format, contact prints on canvas by Mr. Levi Shane Nelson. 
We're calling it "flawed."  It's a show about the perfection of pattern and digital methods contrasted with the idiosyncratic quality of hand labor. 

Really, don't miss it.
See you at GroundSwell! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I'll be participating this year as one of many artists, designers, musicians, writers and poets at Red Line Art Gallery for an afternoon and evening of "hello."  Our assignment: introduce ourselves to Denver (and everyone else for that matter).  I'm planning on making art that makes your visit count

I hope you'll come on down, ANY time between noon and 7pm on Saturday June 25th. 

below: an intro-flic from last year! Thanks to Mr. Matt Dunn.

Project Hello - Denver 2010 from Matt Dunn on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

thank you Fancy Tiger!

Fancy Tiger Crafts!  You can't beat this place when it comes to the most charming fabrics, notions and trims!  Jamie and Amber have donated such lovely items for our project, Microclimates, and I've been incorporating them into several garments for our fashion collaboration!
  Don't I look like a pro shopper (errr... dog lover)?  That magenta cotton voile made a sweet circle skirt with light pink peek-a-boo hem! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Opening for Microclimates!

I designed and made 13 looks for the fashion show at 7:30.

Super Ordinary Gallery is located at 3126 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205.       June 4th... is a Saturday.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

hol sum & Fancy Tiger

That's right!  Fancy Tiger Crafts teamed up with Microclimates so that hol sum would have some of the most large and in charge finishing touches and POP colors for the fashion event!  Only the best to collaborate with such a color saturated, detail oriented project by Samuel Schimek and Rob Mack! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

many garments

This month is a major garment construction production month for hol sum!  In 2 days I'll be competing against 7 other designers in a contest hosted by Vitamin Water at the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Denver.  The assignment:  Inspired by one Vitamin Water flavor, we each design and create a garment for the runway representing the name, concept, flavor, and color palette of our flavor.  I can't say what mine is (don't worry, I'll share images as soon as I can), but I can say that I really wish I had one of these garments (that I'm making) when I was in southern Mexico last Fall! 

Photos that I can share are from the next big production in the works: Microclimates!  In production by Rob Mack and Samuel Schimek, Microclimates is a walk-through art installation built into Super Ordinary Gallery (On Larimer in Denver's Rino Art District).  Including 3 microclimates - Forest, Cave, and Meadow, Rob and Samuel will build and design all the details of such environments.  It's going to be a fantastical, graphic explosion of happy, adorable critters in the technicolor/technopattern version of their natural habitat.  My job is to collaborate with colors, concept and patterns to create a collection of garments.  There's going to be a fashion show at the opening for Microclimates on June 4th!  ...this will be my first solo fashion show.  How nice is that?!  Real nice.   Above, a sneak peak of some garments that I'm working on these days with my intern McCall. 

grand opened - GroundSwell Gallery

It's real - Our first show at GroundSwell Gallery opened last Saturday.  Paintings by Tony Zellaha were met with smiles, excitement, and curiosity and the gallery was filled with the happy chatter of a good time.  I'd do this again.  Oh wait, we ARE doing it again! 
Stay tuned to GroundSwell Gallery (on Facebook and soon a website) for more good work in the works! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

water and wood

Danette Montoya and I are happy to introduce ourselves as the curators of the new GroundSwell Gallery at 3121 East Colfax, Denver, CO 80206.  The first show we offer to Denver presents curious and magical paintings by Tony Zellaha.  With some new works created just for this exhibition, Tony will show a collection of paintings linked by common elements, water and wood. 

We hope you'll visit the gallery for the opening on Second Saturday 7pm - 10pm (always the opening event each month along East Colfax's Bluebird district).  Or come and see Tony's work Monday through Friday afternoons (Danette and I will be in the gallery on Fridays).
Keep up with GroundSwell on Facebook as we break ground and start building (metaphorically speaking of course)!Our website will be up and running soon!
Stay tuned to Second Saturday's art event happening along East Colfax: 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Noah Sodano & Rebecca Peebles at Hooked on Colfax

New works by Noah Sodano and Rebecca Peebles
at Hooked on Colfax Cafe
3213 East Colfax Ave. (Steele St. and Colfax)
Opening reception Saturday May 14th  7pm
On view May 12 - June 7

Friday, April 15, 2011

sneak peak for May 14

I'm putting some art on the walls at Hooked on Colfax Cafe (3213 E. Colfax Ave. @ Steele St.) alongside the curious work of Noah Sodano.  Here's a sneak peak of my work.  Thematically, the works invite one to "feel."  I'm considering inviting viewers to "Please touch the artwork."

Monday, April 4, 2011

$$ grant $$ granted!

We still need you!
If you've been thinking about funding the Microclimates Grant at Kickstarter and haven't yet done so, I hope you'll do it now!  Microclimates has gained support from 37 backers so far, and even though we've reached our goal of $2250, we need to go beyond the minimum in order to take our project beyond Colorado! 
Please consider giving $5, $20, whatever you can give to support the arts in Denver and REPRESENTING Denver!
We'll use your funds well. 
If you'd like to learn more about the project, here's the website: Microclimates
Thank you for your support, and thank you for believing in us. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

established AND opening soon...

I haven't said this already and I don't know why (in the name of sanity, why?), but Hol Sum has some lovely garments for sale at the ever-so-popular Fancy Tiger Clothing boutique!  Please visit the store, find some great goods, and try on a Hol Sum piece of clothing!
Their location: 18 South Broadway, Denver, CO.

Also, some newer good news:  Hol Sum clothing will be available for purchase soon at the I Heart Denver store!  The Opening for the store is Saturday April 9th at 6pm.
Location: 500 16th Street, Unit 264, Denver, CO 80205 (Denver Pavilions Mall at 16th St. and Glenarm Place)

Congratulations to Samuel Schimek for putting together another great retail venue for Denver and Colorado Artists and Designers!

Friday, March 25, 2011

making things for Spring

This is one piece I'm producing right now that I like very much.  The blue with red/white dot-print Swiss shirting is very lightweight and sheer with a touch of stiffness to create a "float" around the torso and arms.  A kimono cut with banded arms and waist, this versatile blouse will manifest itself in a few different colors.  Lately, I like to start with blue.