Thursday, December 6, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Little Shameless Self-Promotion...

Hi, my sweetest of readers!

Well, I don't normally use my blog to advertise things, but, well, it is MY I guess promoting a show I'm in still applies...

I've already posted some of the work that will be in the show earlier, but this little painting I just finished last week, and I've got another I'm finishing today. Hope to see some of you!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What the **** I've been up to...

Dearies! Lovelies! Oh how fickle I have been this year about writing. So sad. I'm sorry. It is not in any way to be mysterious, or forgetful, or any of those other things. I've just been busting my tail off. And so... here Is what I've got to show for it, for now... I'm working on paintings for a show in November at the Robert Lange Studio in Charleston, SC! November 2nd to be precise. 

(in progress)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Stephanie Pierce

I found this artist a few days ago  and was really moved by much of her work. Her artist statement is also one that I found  to be, for the most part, honest and deliberate. Please check out Stephanie Pierce's website here.

I guess what I am so drawn to, and in a way envious of, is the plainness of her subject matter, and how she brings it to life. She paints her bed over and over again. She plays with light effects, and one gets a sense of things ever so shifting throughout the process of the painting. I have this image of her chasing colors and shapes the entire time, allowing changes to happen at all points of her painting.

I guess I'm really interested in these ideas. I've been exploring the sense of namelessness in a painting, of openness and shifting. Sometimes, it seems to me, allowing for those shifts in the day-to-day is more real than trying to pin a subject down.
 I guess there's a life lesson in that as well.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Painting is not a sofa.

Today I looked up interviews with Alex Kanevsky. I'll say it once, I'll say it again, I love this guy.
One of his interview questions was centered around comfort. Hence the title of this post.

So... I painted this piece a little over 3 weeks ago.  As much as I may have had some fun in the actual technique of this painting, it was definitely NOT A SOFA. It was very uncomfortable to create. Strange, since I think the image is actually pretty mellow.

I guess there was a life lesson in this painting for me (isn't there always when we are looking for it??). As I started, I relied on all the things I know about painting, and even all my little bad habits. Draw lines around things when you are uncomfortable (life lesson: separate yourself and think you are different when you are uncomfortable), make sure everything is clear and drawn properly (life lesson: try to explain everything), and my favorite, make sure you do something that will sell (life lesson: mae sure people like you).


So I started, and realized just how boring I really can be. I mean really? Lines around everything?? Everything as clear as daylight?? Geez. I try desperately hard not to be such a stickler in my life, so why the hell do I paint that way sometimes? Maybe it is the ever-present "hippie within", but I really believe that there is a lot of beauty in the untold. (not a new thought).

 So there.

I decided to paint just that.

Painting the sleeve of Maria's arm kind of put me in a frenzy. You see, I'm a very nervous little animal, and breaking away from what I know can send me into severe anxiety at times. Oh you laugh. But try it.  And so I smeared and repainted and repainted and smeared and wiped that poor dear girls' sleeve. And finally I just decided to be blind to it all, to love it for whatever it was,  in a way, and what you see is what you get.

So, Interestingly enough, I decided to play this little game in my life (surprise). What happens when you do not define, when you simply smear your preconceptions of how things are?

As my dearest friend and companion told me, " The more grateful I am, the more surprised and happy I am".

Painting is not a sofa, and neither is life. It's not meant to be comfortable all the time, but it sure is interesting.

Another quote I love by Alex Kanevsky was this:

"If I give (my paintings) the opportunity to get out of control, my work becomes a form of dialogue rather than a mere exercise in imposing my will on them. "

 Gratefulness is a way of letting things get out of control, in some respects. You don't think of the outcome, you are just humbled by what is there. Anything further is extra. Imposing your will on everything is a monologue, a dead-end.

Hmm. Food for thought.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Seven Days in the Art World.

Oh dear, dear readers! It's embarrassing to realize how long I have not written. So much has happened! The "news" section of my website kind of goes into all the stuff going on business-wise in my life, so I'll leave it at that.

But today I would like to write about an interesting quote I read. I am reading a book I picked up about a year ago in New York called "Seven Days in the Art World" by Sarah Thornton. So far it is both fascinating and totally annoying. The book is about Ms. Thornton researching, for one day, the following aspects that could vaguely be considered to make up the art world: a Christie's action, a student critique at CalArts, the uber-fair of Art Basel in Switzerland, a look into the finalists of the famed Turner Prize, the going-ons of the magazine ArtForum, a visit to artist  Takashi Murakami's studio, and lastly, she goes to the Venice Biennale.
So far I am at "day two", which is the end of the student critique. It's funny, but this chapter was all too familiar to me, but brought out some very weird emotions. I went to the Rhode Island School of Design for a year, until I could  no longer afford the extensive bills. The critiques we had were different than what she talks about in the book, mostly because she is sitting in on a graduate program class. I could not help being both nostalgic and disturbed by how these critiques play out in her book. The general sense in the room is that of arrogance it would seem, which I remember nearly 15 years ago being the case as well. At one point the author decides to ask the students, teachers, and general people she bumps into at the school what it is to be an artist. The vast majority get angry with her, and are clear about her question being vulgar. I guess this is the part that made me want to burn the book, and I may just as well have if I was not on the authors team for this one. It's a pretty innocent question, right?

Funnily, The first "day" of the book, the Christie's auction, has the quote that I want to discuss. At the end of the chapter, the author is walking out of the auction hall. She bumps into the artist Keith Tyson. She discusses what went on in the hall. The artist uses a line I like a lot. He calls it "an Elegant Darwinian system".  As he goes into the plusses of art as a means to money, he finishes with the quote I'm leading up to .

"It's unusual to meet a artist who has such confidence in the ultimate accuracy of the market's aesthetic judgments. Paradoxically, Tyson is also adamant that art is not reducible to a commodity. "Unlike gold and diamods, art has this other value, ad thats what makes it fascinating. Everything else is trying to sell you something else. Art is trying to sell you yourself. That's what is different about it. Art is what makes life worth living."

I'm not sure I agree with the last line completely, since I can think of a few things that also make life worth living. But as far as actual "things" are concerned, yes, art is one of the few objects that can make life worth living.  The moment of brilliance, I think, comes when he says art is trying to sell you yourself. How many times do we go shopping for something that will make us a better person than what we are.... more beautiful, more faithful, more eco-minded, more artsy, more hip, more intellectual, more handsome. Art is the only thing I can think of (and I could be wrong here... I am saying art as also including writing, music, culinary, theater...) that will make you face yourself, both good and bad. Sometimes I think I am drawn to both the ugly and beautiful because those things are both dwelling within me, and are my truths. There is something I see of myself, if I am honest, in the startling images of Jenny Saville and Lucien Freud. There is also a part of myself that I see, and sometimes push away, in the beautifully quiet landscapes of George Inness.
Hasn't this been what artists have sought after since the beginning? Have they not hunted this contradiction? When you go into a museum or gallery, or fair or wherever, when a piece "speaks" to you, does it not speak of something you already know, but have forgotten (or chosen to forget)? Sometimes wen I experience a piece, it is as if it is introducing me to myself and to my world.

I don't have the answers, that is for damn sure. But I do know that this line in this slightly miserable book (so far) has stuck with me during my walks, during my driving, during my painting.

I promise to not spend so much time away.

Happy findings!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How to Feel Miserable as an Artist

I have this list hanging in three different places in my studio, and have made copies for more than one friend. I don't know who wrote this... found it online, but if anyone has an idea, I would love to give props to the author.

How to Feel Miserable as an Artist:
(Or, what not to do, underline all that currently apply)

1. Constantly compare yourself to other artists.
2. Talk to your family about what you do and expect them to cheer you on.
3. Base the success of your entire career on one project.
4. Stick with what you know.
5. Undervalue your expertise.
6. Let money dictate what you do.
7. Bow to societal pressures.
8. Only do work that your family would love.
9. Do whatever the client/customer/gallery owner/patron/investor asks.
10. Set unachievable/overwhelming goals. To be accomplished by tomorrow.

HAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! Wow. Ring any bells???

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Happy 2012!

Now, my dearies, I know I have been absolutely horrible about writing. But all is not forsaken! Not that I think ANY of you are just counting the days until I post or anything.

So, the title of my entry is quite a way to start the year, right?

Let me give you a backdrop.

I have a little ritual I do every New Years Day (no, there are no virgins involved. well, uh..) My ritual is to write one letter to the Universe on what I am thankful for in my life and in the past year. This one is usually pretty long. I get specific. Events, people, pains, loves, growth. You, dear readers, may have even been included. Then I write another letter for hopes and wishes for the following year. I usually put them together in an envelope of some sort, then send them to the Universe by means of an element.... water, fire, air or earth. This year was fire.

Man, I'm a hippie at heart.

This year, I learned how to pray. Not like get on your knees and sing your heart out sort of prayer, although I'm by no means opposed to this. But when I wrote my hopes for 2012, I wrote them a bit differently. Usually I get a bit specific..."Please let me meet a tall, dark, handsome guy......blah blah..... and please let him be kind and generous and maybe own a home in Charleston or Venice, Italy.... blah blah.... oh and I would love to make oodles of money in painting...blah blah...oh and please let me travel to distant lands, ...blah blah....and I would love a pet,.... blah blah... and please help me with the extra couple inches starting to form around my mid-section.... blah blah...oh and I wish for world peace. THANKS!"

Well, I may be more thoughtful than that, but you get the point. I want THIS AND THAT, dear, dear Universe. PLEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEE let it happen!

But this year, by the grace of some beautiful humans whom I am learning from, those humans being my friends, I'm learning a little how to pray.
It was more like this:
"Dear Universe.... please keep me open to seeing the path which is best for me, whatever that may be. Thanks".

The only part about that prayer, or hope, or whatever word you choose, is that it involves a certain amount of trust. And loss of control. And with no control inevitably comes FEAR.

a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil,pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; thefeeling or condition of being afraid.
foreboding,apprehension, consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright,panic, horror, trepidation, qualm.
courage,security, calm, intrepidity.
a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: anabnormal fear of heights.
phobia, aversion; bĂȘtenoire, bogy, bogey, bugbear.
liking, fondness,penchant, predilection.
concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone's safety.
reverential awe, especially toward God: the fear of God.
awe, respect, reverence, veneration.
something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension;something a person is afraid of

See, problem is, in wishing and hoping for one thing that I AM ABSOLUTELY SURE will make me happy (and fancy, and fabulous, and so on) I don't see what may be actually the best thing for me. (Loss of control)
So with this idea, without a doubt, I feel fear. It's one of my more comfortable emotions as a person.. NOT that fear is comfortable, mind you. But I am used to running to it. And that's ok.

My mom has told me for years that the best remedy to fear is action. And she's right. Fear is not to be avoided, but it is not to be lingered in. I bow to it, thank it, feel it's pull and weight, then move on. And action, luckily, is a means to hope. And hope, guided by honesty, is a means to staying open to the path that is the best for us. Trust, if you will.

So part of my hopes for 2012 involve action. And trust. And fear. and Honesty. And loss of control. It's what I do in painting, at my best moments, and painting is a tiny sliver of life, at ITS best moments.

I wish all of you openness for 2012.
Much love.