Monday, 19 October 2015

Dear Blog, I'm leaving you for a new blog

Dear google blog,

It's been wonderful but now I have to move on. I'm leaving you for Wordpress... Ten years of life together, it had to end sometime.  I can't say I love you, I don't think I ever did. Your limitations outweigh your advantages. Call me fickle, I don't care. You, dear blog, can't incorporate into my website, it's your fault if you can't keep up with the times. You know, that branding thing.

Come here, click and see my new blog : Angie Brooksby Arcangioli


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Paris Today

One of my favorite sculptures in Paris. President Gaston Monnerville. Do what you must.

I can almost feel the block of clay before it was cast into this monolith

Do what you must.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

I won the International Prize Michelangelo!

Congratulations! You won the International Prize Michelangelo.

Dear Artist,
I am very proud to award you with the International Prize Michelangelo - Artists at the Jubilee
The Prize is for the Artists that are worth for their artistic merit

I merit the prize, of course I do. Why else would they pick me? They are very proud of me.

You will be awarded on December 10th, 2015, inside the  Cardinal Cesi Palace in Rome
If the artist will not be present at the awards ceremony, the prize will be sent home.
It is one of the most prestigious art awards awarded in the heart of Rome.
In conjunction with the opening of the 2015 Jubilee, the prestigious rooms of “Palazzo
Cardinal Cesi” in Rome, will host the awarding ceremony of the International event ‘’INTERNATIONAL PRIZE MICHELANGELO -Artists at the Jubilee’’. It is an exclusive prize representing the Mosessculpture, one of the most important works by Michelangelo Buonarroti. 

It's exclusive. Oh yeah!

Important celebrities from the world of culture will be present at the ceremony 
and the talented artists will be awarded with an important prize for their careers.
In the November/December number of the magazine Effetto Arte, we will realize an introductive piece about Rome Jubilee and the several masterpieces of the city; following to the piece the publication of the selcted artists’ artworks. 

I thrilled I've been "selcted." 

The Palazzo Cardinal Cesi in rome, is far just 100mt from Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, where during the same days will take place the Jubilee.

Where's rome?  Maybe they mean Rome. Is that Mount Vatican or Mt One-Hundred? Where's the the in this sentence?

The Palace has hosted important men of culture, including: the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nietoand important Ambassadors from around the world.
The prize is given to those artists who has been chosen by Mr. Someone and Someone Else.

Squee. I'm in good company Neitoand was there.

You will be eligible for: 
A whole page on the November/December number of the magazine into the column “INTERNATIONAL PRIZE MICHELANGELO - Artists at the JUBILEE”
- Publication on a quarter of page into the official catalog of the event.
- Conferment of the Michelangelo Award, a sculpture representing Michelangelo's Moses (20 cm/h) on December 10th 2015 at Palazzo Someplace in Rome.

One of those resin Moses sculptures I can buy at the leaning tower of Pisa?  They're going to put me into a column? What about some of those Leaning Tower of Pisa Boxer Shorts?

- Insertion of the name of the artist into the advertisement pages dedicated to the event on
magazines, posters, totems and invitations.

I've never been on a totem. I can't wait.


- Two copies of the magazine  (November/December). N°1 copy of ''The'' catalog.
- An assignment certificate in a precious celebratory parchment

I get an assignment?  I wonder if I'll have to take exams. Perhaps they need a content writer.

To take part you must send:
- Filled out application form
- 1 Picture of your Artwork
- Copy of the payment
By e-mail to: 
or by mail to: 
Dott. Someone
Via Somestreet

Cost of the proposal: 330€

Wait a minute, I thought I won?

Deadline: October 10, 2015
Please, at the order form pay the requested amount for your choice with a Bank transfer:
IBAN CODE: IT-- XXXX redacted XXXX XXXx @#?! 969
BIC/SWIFT: #@&69#@ redacted             
BANK: BANCO Somebank - 
(Please specify in the reason, your name and the name of the event)
You can also pay via paypal at this address: ..696##!! redacted


I'll put this on my to do list.  Meanwhile, you can take me off your mailing list unless you want to hire an editor or an English speaking content writer.  I'll send you my paypal account and an invoice for editing suggestions to the above.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Sponge Bob Shoefiti in Paris

Hanging from a wire in the fifth arrondissement, is Sponge Bob. He's been there since, like forever. Always smiling.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Expat memories of September 11th, 2001

Parisian Shoefiti hooked by gravity.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

Fourteen years ago we were all somewhere. Some were too young to remember, like when I was little and my father awoke me to show me the black and white television when the first astronauts walked on the moon.  They planted a flag.  The American flag, a flag from the planet Earth.

I confuse this man-on-the-moon memory with the night my father awoke me to show the cat had kittens.  She took to the unused space under the kitchen sink.  Childhood memories spark from photographs and can develop through stories parents tell. Or from remembering extraneous events seemingly related.  Fact becomes fiction and vice versa. They become beleifs.

My memories of September 11th 2001 ring crystal in my mind.

I was in my atelier-gallery in Florence Italy with my ex-husband, a wonderful man and great painter.  We had just opened our painting space after years of street vending.  We opened on September 6th  2001.  Those were the days of plenty in the seven most industrialized countries. Italy was one of them. Our atelier was in Florence.

A wonderful couple came into our shop.  I’ll call it a shop but it really was our painting atelier, in Florence’s downtown gallery district.  On via Ghibellina. Frescoes arched across the ceiling, terracotta tiles covered the floor, our paintings lined four walls.  The couple told me they were on a win-win vacation. They loved our paintings, paid for a few and said they would return to pick up the packed canvases with frames.  We didn’t have a radio, we listened to classical music, heads in the clouds.  On the shop window, I’d taped a photo of one of my best clients who posed next to Bill Clinton, plus several photos of myself on NBC, clearly marking our space as American friendly.  This was the touristic district of Florence.  We made and sold paintings for the tourism market.  We painted poppies by the field.  Americans were our best clients after the Berlin wall fell and the Germans counted their marks and after I was interviewed by Matt Laur live from Florence.

We packed the paintings, carefully.  We waited for them to return.

A Florentine woman across the street who held an electrician’s shop came to tell me what was happening.  I didn’t understand what she was talking about.  She had a TV in the back room. It was inconceivable. A movie.  She drug me across the street and pulled me to the back room.


I saw the television. 

It was after the second tower had been hit. It was news. 

I didn’t react, not immediately. But I got on the telephone to speak with my family.  An expat calling home. It took hours of busy signals before I reached home.  My father was stuck in Washington, he could see the smoke off the pentagon, but he was fine.

A crazy bum on the street walked by the shop. He was a Northern European, with letters tattooed on his forehead.  A vocal, insane man, tall and someone I’d cross the street to avoid but someone I saw almost everyday.  He ranted more than usual, like there was something in the air. He moved on. Then a American lady came in the shop.

She’d just arrived in Florence, rented an apartment and was trying to stay awake to knock jet lag. She’d turned on the television and thought she was watching a movie.  Internet wasn’t available. WIFI wasn’t conceived. She didn’t have cable. After the movie went no where, she realized she was watching an Italian news channel.  She left her apartment and happened into our shop.  I didn’t react. It was all just too weird.

During that afternoon it was like traffic stopped in Florence.  Traffic was insane in Florence. Our shop was up the street from the place were certain guys prayed.  I don’t know what they called the place. It was a shop like ours. Terracotta floors, four walls but barren. Hundreds of these guys walked the street, against traffic, the wrong way. Chins in the air. 

I removed the photos in the window and closed the door. It had an automatic lock, you had to be buzzed in. The wonderful couple returned. Their smiles gone, bewilderment and worry filled their eyes. Their win-win vacation over.

That night a friend of mine told me she went to dinner at her boyfriend’s restaurant.  Many Florentine shop owners, not Italians but nationality is unimportant, dined there, people who sold leather jackets and bags to tourists. My friend told me these people uncorked champagne and told the whole restaurant they would send their children to death as kamikazes. It was appalling. Remembering is appalling.  Others told me the American’s deserved it.  I wonder what they think now? After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, after a little girl carried a bomb into a Nigerian market, while Syria is still happening. Were these people not living it up in the win-win laic land of plenty? Spitting in the hand that fed them.

A news stand window the day after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The front page of every paper from around the world was displayed.
I reacted a week later after seeing my fellow compatriots walk in single file behind their tour guides.  Shoulders hunched. Like dogs with tails between their legs. Dollars locked in their pockets. Worried for their family back home and probably unable to conceive that they were away, partying and incapable to return home. They were stranded in a foreign place because all flights States-bound were cancelled.

I'm reacting now, fourteen years later.

I can’t celebrate this day, September 11th. But I do stand up for my right as a laic woman who can speak freely and dress the way she desires.

I cannot fathom the hate for fellow humans on the planet earth. In a solar system. In a universe surrounded by stars. 

I cannot fathom gravity. How shoes hang from a wire. Fathom why all human beings, plants, animals remain with their paws stuck to a ball made of minerals and gasses. And not fall off into space.  I cannot fathom how fish remain swimming in water and not float off into the air.  I cannot fathom killing for a belief that another human being invented.

Today I am in Paris. I walk the streets and see signs of past wars. Bullet scars on buildings. Plaques on schools remembering deported children. A plaque in the metro station where a bomb ripped open a metro car in 1995.

September 11th 2001, I will never forget. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

The definition of Shoefiti - glossary of Graffiti

Ever see a shoe tree ?

No it’s not this. 

It’s this :


or this

Some people think Shoefiti, known as shoe tossing or Lancer de Chausseurs in French, is  a form of gang communication. See this wikipedia article on Shoe tossing. Holy moly, aren’t we paranoid.

Here is an article I love on shoetrees. Roadside America 

Anyone who loves Street Art, like myself, believes it’s all about the fun, and the exposure. Tossing athlete's foot spores to the wind is not  the exposure I’m talking about.  Street artists want exposure, they force it on you.  In urban environments tagging and Street Art is ubiquitous, so much so, we don’t see it anymore.  It’s nearly as invisible as copy. Like copywriting. 

Though Street Art is about exposure, I think Shoe Tossing is an intimate gest.  You have this pair of shoes you love, which have witnessed great and terrible moments in your life.  You can’t throw them away because they embody your experience like certain songs you play until your family tells you they’ll strangle you.  Those shoes you love so much, that you wore until you felt the tarmac on the ball of your foot.  You have to memorialize them some how.  No one will want them, not with your fungus and that hole the size of a peach stone.  Can’t give them to Goodwill. Can’t toss them in the trash.  It’s like throwing away a slice of your life.  You honor them and toss them over a wire, on a street near home or work, at night when nobody is watching.  At night because, no, those are not your shoes, they just look like a pair you owned.

I threw a pair of shoes off a ferry into the Mediterranean and over the Ponte Vecchio bridge.  No one knew, until now.  I remember one of those pairs.  I remember shopping for them.  One was black roach-killer ankle boots.  Sigh.  The other I can’t remember and now they’re probably in a shark’s belly.

It is believed that Shoe Tossing has folk origins, this article states it has to do with “ancient ceremony or rite in connection with the transfer of property".   

The techniques of Shoefiti often include shoes with laces and a strong arm.  It helps if you aren’t sloshed or if you can free climb.  Lazy souls can throw them off their balconies. Long laces help.  But shoefiti isn't relegated to lace-ups.  Shoetrees someties have themes.

Pump Shoetree from Roadside America

In Paris, Shoefiti is always visible around rue Mouffetard and in Butte aux Cailles.  There is even a Sponge Bob hanging on a wire on rue Monge, but he doesn' count, he's a heel

Where have you tossed your shoes?  Send me your photos and I’ll post them here.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Paris Today: Heaven or water

Graffer's motto:
 The world is our canvas

Can you see where it is? 
Graffers go to Heaven, why do they call these places Heaven spots?  
Because they're high up and
sometimes someone falls, goes to Heaven.

 I went to Honfleur.  Lots of art galleries but not many tags.  It's so quaint.  I was looking for graffiti but didn't find anything until I walked around the port, found this fabulous boat.

The world really is this guy's canvas.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Book tone, what is it?

This is my only blog post about writing craft.
What is the tone of a book ?

After years of following agent blogs and then spidering out to writer’s blogs I kept  wondering what is tone.  Being a painter I should have understood.  Tones are light and dark.  They give contrast to your work and without tone a painting is flat. 

I grew up in the time before digital photography.  In my high school there was a dark room in the art department.  We used to go there, lock the door and smoke while we projected black and white negatives on paper then put the paper in a bath of chemicals.  It was magic to see the image appear.  It took skill to know just when to remove the photograph and put it in the bath of fixer.  To think we smoked when we did this!  It was only when they had to replace a ceiling lamp did they catch us, because the ashtray was the drop ceiling.  We put out the butts and shoved them up through one of the removable ceiling tiles.  Like the place didn’t reek. That was also life before safety-hysteria.  But that’s another story.

In photography there is a greyscale.  

A guide for the tones.  Typically twenty tones from black to white, but there are more.  A black and white photograph with no tone is either white or black.  Boring.  A well developed black and white photograph has a wide range of distinct tones.  Distinct is the key.

It didn’t hit me until yesterday what tone is in a book.

I have to experience things to understand them.  Just reading it doesn’t help, listening to others advice, well, *cough* I’m still learning.

Tone, in crafting fiction, was one big elusive word.   I’ve read the definition in many books on crafting fiction , but until yesterday didn’t understand. 

 David Hood  says : "Tone is also about the effect the writing has on the reader.Yeah okay but what does it mean ?

What is tone? 

Currently I’m rewriting my manuscript entitled White Sky of Paris.  The rewrite was going well but there was something missing.  The stakes were flat.  Just a guy who needs to finish paintings. Finishing the paintings is the protagonist’s goal.  So what? Right.  We all have work to do, things to finish. The real story wasn’t making sense.

It hit me that I didn’t understand my villain’s motives, why he wants to destroy my hero.  I sat my butt in my chair, brainstormed my villain, considered giving him more word count.  When I finished blathering on the page, I reread.  A dark feeling enveloped me.  Like the whole manuscript shifted.  The sensation was overwhelming, like a cloak was drawn over me. I was also overwhelmed because I thought I had to write a whole different book.  I put my writing aside and painted all day, reflected and realized I didn’t have to give my villain more voice, subtext would do.  This was a relief.

This shifting sensation happens when I am painting, when one brushstroke, even a tiny one, can change the entire painting.  It’s like the painting flickers.  Visually.  And no, it is not a hallucination.  If you don’t believe me try staring at a Rothko 

or a Mondrian from his De Stijl period.


 If you don’t stare, you won’t understand.  It may take ten minutes of staring.  Focusing on one of these paintings has to be done in person.  Staring at a photograph of one of these artists’ works will not let you see what is there.

The first time one of my artworks flickered, it was when I sculpted portraits.  The eyes would blink.  But it took years of exercise to see the first time a brushstroke changed the entire painting.

Now that I understand what a book's tone is (though I may not have explained it well), it is clear that characters have tonal differences. The villain is blackest, the hero is lightest, but to be well rounded characters they should have nuances of grey.  Then there are minor characters or appearances who should have less variation on the grey scale.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Paris today

Paris is full of pollen this Spring.

And rainbows.

The Luxembourg Gardens are always beautiful but this Spring the layers of green are more evident than last year.  Last year Spring exploded in one week.  The pollen didn't have time to build up.  This year, Spring is what we imagine and expect. 

I haven't posted in some time because I'm busy rewriting and planning a new website where I can encorporate my two blogs.  No idea when that will be because in October I have a show and have to produce 80 paintings.  Plus finish this rewrite.

Luxembourg Gardens is tourist Paris, though locals hang there too.  I do. It's in my hood.

But there is another Paris, a street artist's city. It's grungy and dark.  Here is a mural, in the 13th arrondissement, near the Biblioteque François Mitterand.  Notice the trees have no leaves.  This photo was not today.

The other side of Paris, the street art scene, is important in the manuscript I'm rewriting.  For the last year I have immersed myself in street art and graffiti.  It's exciting stuff, like the manholes on boulevard Saint Michel, where taggers descend into the catacombs -- backpacks full of goodies.

The working title is White Sky of Paris.  See the sky is?  In Paris the sky is often white.

An artist once told me he would mix phtalo green with quinadricone red and add white.  It was the perfect color for the Parisian sky.  I thought, yuck, you can't mix those two colors but he was right.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Paris Today

This is one of my favorite views of Paris

The sculpture is by Jean Terzieff.  It's entitled La Femme aux Pommes.  Two apples held apart by naked beauty.  The two bad apples represent the opposing forces before WWII.  

The stone building is the Senat but was once the home of Catherine de Medici and was modelled after the Pitti Palace in Florence.  The skyscraper is the Montparnasse tower.

The photo is from last week.

And so is this, the cherry tree blossoms in Parc des Sceaux just south of Paris. 

Under the cherry blossoms everyone was there, like the entire city. It was standing room only.  There were people dressed up like samurai and others in traditional Japanese kimonos playing instruments I've never seen.

This is Paris today.  So much for the May 1st parade.  It's 10°C.