Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Pick: Angelina Gualdoni

Opal Hours, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 52" x 48", 2013

I'm hugely enjoying these paintings by Angelina Gualdoni.  The three particular pieces here are part of a series or section of her website called 'held in place.'  That definitive title in contrast with the ethereal titles of the individual paintings like 'Without a Net to Catch the Days' creates the same great tension that the paintings have.  They seem absolutely rooted in a particular moment, a particular time of day or point of view but slip through your fingers (eyes, really) and dissolve into abstract color and line.  They are specific and deeply personal which, in turn, makes them feel universal.  That all too familiar feeling of Sunday afternoon sun slipping away...

Without a Net to Catch the Days, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 38" x 34", 2013

Glorious color relationships and compositions of space.  Looking at them makes me believe I might not have to face Monday morning tomorrow if I stay right here and keep looking for long enough.

Screens, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 34" x 28", 2014

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pool Days are Coming

Michael Childers' portrait of David Hockney at Rising Glen, Hollywood, 1978
Only three days until spring.  Cannot wait.  Somehow in the last few years everything seems to be getting faster except winter.  The years are rolling by at an alarming rate but the winters drag on and on.  I felt the warmth of the sun yesterday and the vision of a day at the pool floated into my subconscious.  I feel like I know what it must have been like for Hockney to arrive in California with its pool and palm trees from dreary, gray London.  Warm weather, please come soon.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Interview with Rebekah Callaghan

I did an interview with Philly painter Rebekah Callaghan that was just published on Title here.  She's a great painter and a really nice person.  Plus, her answer to "What is one unshakeable truth you believe when you are in your studio and making work?"  was "snacks—bananas, almonds, dark chocolate."  So how could you not trust her thoughts on process, beauty and heroic painting?  Please click the link to check out the full interview.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Star Gazer/Ancient Light @ Trestle Projects

Press Release for show opening this Friday 3/13!...


Curated by Polly Shindler and Will Hutnick

Aubrey Levinthal and Jenna Ransom

March 13 -April 16, 2015

Opening reception:
Friday, March 13, 6-9pm

Trestle Projects is pleased to announce STAR GAZER/ANCIENT LIGHT, a group exhibition of painting featuring works by Ginny Casey, Lauren Collings, Aubrey Levinthal and Jenna Ransom.

This is a show for and by dreamers.  The pieces herein are dreamscapes of awareness and knowledge, scrutiny and perception.  There is a trace of reality in each piece, a glimpse of the recognizable; then it all disintegrates into the static and confusion of a dream.

Dreams sometimes come to us as déjà vu.  Aubrey Levinthal’s paintings read as delusion or implanted memories because they look so closely like our own.  Her reality mingles with ours and looks somewhat hallucinogenic in its familiarity.  Ginny Casey’s paintings are downright Lynchian.  Hat and Scarf, whose elements seem benign, quickly turns unfriendly and chilly in its mood and tone.   Two blue figures might look at us with curiosity - but more likely - stare at us as inhospitable beasts.  Collings is unflinchingly aware of her surroundings.  She makes the world appear far more interesting in its complications.  Her images are magnified to such a degree that they become auxiliary to the vehicle driving them.   Jenna Ransom’s paintings are meandering scenes bent on repetition.  The viewer can easily get lost in the continuity and shifting gray tones.  She creates a wilderness akin to a jungle, with Easter eggs hidden throughout.

Each of these artists focuses on minutia in order to show us larger scenarios at play.  This micro/macro experience asks the eyes to both squint and zone out, the mind to simultaneously investigate and unfocus.

Image Shown: Ginny Casey, Blue Figures, 24"x 24", oil on panel, 2014

Trestle Projects:  400 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
Gallery hours: Fridays & Saturdays, 12-4 and by appointment

Thrilled to be showing with these three painters.  I really like the themes the press release gets at too.  I feel very connected to the work and ideas of this show and am looking forward to seeing it on Friday.  Please stop by if you find yourself in the area!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Pick: Nathalie Du Pasquier

I've been frequenting Nathalie Du Pasquier's wonderful website.  The crispness and specificity of looking carefully in the work is really refreshing to me.  Makes me want to paint from a big still life set up.  

Du Pasquier was born in Bordeaux in 1957 but has lived in Milan for the last 35 years.  She was a textile designer at the start of her career but fully committed to painting in 1987.  Her website is full of images of work, her studio and just a good website representative of a personal vision.  Really nice.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

How I Frame Paintings on Panel

Today I'm doing something here I have never done.  A how-to if you will.  I write my blog mostly to myself.  Well that's not true, to myself and in hopes that there are other painters or people out there that might get excited about the same things as me.  

But recently Alex said to me 'Are you a Blogger?' And I was like 'no way.'  And it made me upset and I wasn't sure why at first.  But I realized its because it signifies something I don't think of this as (even though it is a blog and I am the -er).  And that's not to say a blogger is a bad thing but I definitely don't consider myself one or want to be one.  

I think of a blogger as someone who is doing what they do as their profession or hoping to make it their profession and someone who wants more readers.  More readers = more money, power, whatever. I am a painter first and then probably an adjunct second and definitely not a blogger third.  I just like to write about and look at art and I am happy to be in a dusty corner of the internet, hanging out, because that means I can say what I actually want to say about painting and what is the point if not that?  If my mom and those who googled 'Susan Rothenberg Drawings' were the only people to stumble here that would be ok by me.  But in reality I guess there are quite a few more than that.

So all this is to say I have gotten emails from people who do read this blog and have asked me about different things.  I usually just write back and we talk about painting and its nice.  But recently I have gotten like 4 emails just about how I frame my paintings.  And so while I think this will be a one time or rare thing, I decided to answer in a visual presentation, the how-to.  So that is how this came about and also hello to whoever you are, thanks for stopping by.

How To Float Frame a Painting on Panel or Masonite

1. You have to cradle the back of the picture.  This means running strips of wood around the edge to give it depth.  (See Photo 6)  A cradle also keeps panel pieces from warping.  I like to use select pine 1x2x4...about $2.50 a piece at Lowes.

 2. Make a 45 degree cut into one side.

3. Line it up with the back of your painting (this one is on masonite) and make a mark where the other side needs to be cut.  This doesn't have to be too exact because it can be a little smaller than the back, just not bigger.  Don't want it to hang over in the front.

4. Do the same for the next piece.  

5. You want the strips directly across from each other to be exactly the same size so line it up like this to make your pencil mark.  If the painting is a square you will line up all four pieces.

6. There are all four cradle pieces, now they need to be glued on. 

7.  Using wood glue and clamps, get a secure fit in the corners and let dry for at least an hour.

8. Now for the frame you have to do those same steps.  I start with moulding that a friend builds me (bottom of picture) but you can join two long strips yourself as well.  I use poplar (little less expensive) if I am making a painted frame and maple if not.  The finished frame above is maple.

9.  Here's where I have a little bit of a photo lapse but you can see the four separate pieces of cut moulding.  Depending how big you want your float, measure the cuts a little further out.  I like somewhere around a quarter inch float, bigger or smaller depending on the size of the painting.  Once you cut all the frame moulding, check your cradled painting inside before gluing the pieces together.

10.  When you are ready to glue the corners of the frames I suggest corner clamps.  My studio mate lets me borrow hers and they make a world of difference.  Glue the two L's in as tight a fit you can get.  Let dry for an hour plus.  This is a problem for me I always rush it.  

11.  Glue the two L's together and let that sit for a few hours to get really solid.  (envision four clamps around the corners of the frame above)

12. Once the frame is dry, time to sand.  Least favorite part.  If you are painting the frames you don't have to be as perfect with it but still you need to sand well.  Either with a sander (thank you again studio mate) or by hand go around the whole thing with medium, fine and extra fine grit sandpaper.  Make sure the corners stay sharp but get addressed well.

13.  If you are painting, make sure to dust the frame off really well.  Then I use a sponge brush and basic white eggshell paint, about 3 coats.

14.  If you are not painting you may like to oil or wax the frame wood to protect it.  Then pop your painting in and using foam pieces or paper get the float secure so when you turn it over it doesn't shift.  Turn it over and hammer in 4 little nails from the back of the frame to the cradle on all sides.  Put in the hooks and wire you desire, remove foam/paper pieces and its all done.

15.  Put it on the wall.  I also sign the back of the frame.  (this is a painted version, I used a slightly tinted paint)

Hope that may be helpful.  I actually don't consider myself a talented framer so its kind of weird to be doing this post but I have experimented with a lot of frame options when it comes to working on panel and this is by far the best I have found.