Saturday, January 28, 2012

Julian Hatton Lecture

Headdress Blue Leaves, 2011, Monoprint

This past Thursday I went to Julian Hatton's lecture at PAFA during my lunch break.  Rarely would I rather listen to someone talk about themselves than gobble down my lunch but this was an exception.

Accompanying Hatton's talk were a ton of visuals of his work and his inspirations in his slideshow.
Spring Melt, 2007-8, Oil on Canvas

He spoke a bit about a little voice in his head.  He said he didn't know how to verbally explain what he did with color or composition but a little voice would say 'use yellow', or 'make a big blue shape--that would be funny' or 'try lines'.  He said for the longest time because he didn't have an MFA or feel formally trained he didn't feel like an artist and just went with his instincts.  He said he always was drawn to landscapes and the challenge of marrying them with his hand and the abstractions that it made.  
Places in Between, 2010, Oil on Canvas
These things really resonated with me, even having gone through an MFA program I still many times feel like I improvise to the finish with little comprehension of 'the rules', just a little voice guiding me through.

I am guessing a lot if not all artists feel like this at some points, doing what they can to express that which they are drawn to.  I would also guess this is when the best works are made, Hatton as the first example.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Upcoming in 2012

It is a new year and I think it's going to be a fabulous year for art.  There are so many things I plan on seeing and have just seen that are exciting.  On the list:

1. Interiors at Andrew Kreps
From the press release: "The show highlights the rich optical and visual layers and patterning consistent in each of the artists’ work, depicting interior spaces full of feeling, psychological depth and a sense of remembrance – a domestic hedonism, or meditations on the nature of time, perception and memory." 

Couldn't have said it better myself.

2.   The Common Object, Zeuxis  at MICA
"The artists showcasing work in the exhibition are: Martha Armstrong, Richard Baker , Rita Baragona, Lucy Barber, William Barnes, Temma Bell, Suzanne Biggins, Rick Brazill, Susan Cohen, Kate Emlen, Bevin Engman, Phyllis Floyd, Stanley Friedman, Elizabeth Geiger, John Goodrich, Christine Hartman, Robert Jessel, Mark Karnes, Catherine Kehoe, Tim Kennedy, Deborah Kirklin, Carmela Kolman, Lynn Kotula, Penny Kronengold, Richard La Presti, Ginger Levant, Ying Li, Sydney Licht, Anthony Martino, Margaret McCann, Ruth Miller, Janice Nowinski, Don Southard, Sandra Stone, Amy Weiskopf, Megan Williamson and Sharon Yates." !!!!

3.  Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard at The Phillips Collection
No need to elaborate here--this is a dream come true

4. Working Drawing at Camden Rutgers Center for the Arts
The exhibition features the work of Julian Hatton, Sangram Majumdar, John Newman, Bruce Pollock, Bruce Samuelson, Joan Snyder and Sandy Winters. The exhibition explores the continuing vitality of drawing as a means of expression in itself and as part of a process leading to other bodies of work.

Right across the Ben Franklin Bridge!

I figured instead of giving a summary after I see the show, I would post these before I go because I hate when there is a show I read about in the paper or online and its too late to make it myself!  Can't wait for all of these wonderful shows!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Etsy Love

This gouache painting is titled 'Enjoying a Beer at a Bar on the Beach' which is exactly what I wish I was doing.  But having Monday off for MLK day is a good alternative.  Enjoy and check out this artist, Katja Stienen, shop name Calle Ocho, on Etsy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kyle Staver at PCAD

Kyle Staver, Dead Dog, 2007
Kyle Staver, Cinnamon Rolls #2, 2007
Kyle Staver, His Turn, 2005
Kyle Staver, Fub and Tippy, 2007

Here are four paintings from the best show I have seen in a VERRRYY long time.  Ever since my good friend Lauren in my MFA program found this artist online we have brought up her name to each other.  When we are down on our work, we say "remember Kyle Staver!"  But we had never seen her work in person and a minuscule part of me was afraid to.  

Having built her up in my mind to be so amazing, I was a little worried they wouldn't live up to expectations.  This was the worst assumption ever.  The current survey of her work at PCAD in Lancaster blew the three of us who trekked up there away.  We were ebullient standing in front of them.  Formally, the color, compositions, shapes, and mark making were exquisite.  They were enormous too.  We felt like we could follow her thought process as she searched for and found ways to express these subjects.  We realized that every mark seemed to be in touch with the sensation she was trying to show; we could feel the steam of the shower (his turn), dark of night envelope us (dead dog), sadness of morning descend upon us (cinnamon rolls #2).  I have never been more invigorated by a 1.5 hour roadtrip! (to lancaster no less :))

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Piled Up Perceptions

This phrase -- piled up perceptions -- has been stuck in my mind.  I think I made it up but when it floated into my head recently it felt so important , like the answer to the impossible question : what am I trying to to paint?   

I'll try to put it into some words and examples.  It has to do with the content.  Piled up or accumulated memories -- but not a specific memory of a one time occurrence -- rather the compilation of the same thing happening over again (i.e. sitting at the table in fall with a cup of coffee, walking down my street in the winter)  Trying to express the sensations of these rituals in regards to the weather, light, smells, perspective etc.

Second is trying to formally replicate these perceptions.  Picturing this swimming image in my mind I use color, composition, etc. to try to express this.

I find myself creating compositions where everything is stacked on top of each other, or floating around the perimeter. I use graphic patterns as a relief from this -- as somewhere to latch onto and rest -- as I see it in my mind.  Everything is a bit blurry but the pillowcases' checkered pattern. 

This search is why I respond so immediately to these artists and works:   

Kyle Staver Before Breakfast 2003

Jonas Wood Gus's Room 2007 (look how space collapses right in the middle of the painitng!)

Pierre Bonnard, Nude in the Bathtub, 1935

Tshuta Kimura, The Fountain in the Clos-Saint-Pierre, 1972

 Mamma Andersson, Untitled, 2009

David Park, title and date unknown

Elisabeth Cummings, The Shearer's Kitchen, Mt. Murchison, 2011

Chie Fueki, title and date unknown

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!  In light of a brand new year and the closing of an old one, I spent a lot of the last week reflecting on a lot of things, including my paintings.  I have to say this has been a really great year in terms of my work.  I finally started making paintings that are satisfying a year later.  Although still lacking.  But I have figured  out what I am after in them -- which feels pretty exciting.  I'll explain in my next post, for now I'm too tired from thinking about a whole year.

Here's a new painting I finished over the break instead:

Black Coat, Walking Away, 2012, 24 x 30