Sunday, August 31, 2014

Goodbye Summer...

Toshiki Ohashi-Keisuke Konishi Illustration Poster for the collected works of Jean Genet

Like it or not (this year I don't), Labor Day means fall is coming with its serious air of renewal and buckling down to work.  I am going into the new semester with one foot still in the summer.  Part of me looks forward to a crisp breeze and rich velvety purples, greens and ochres but another part is not ready to leave behind the carefree studio days and bloated air of this summer.  I hope with this new season I can maintain some sense of these easy, good-spirited days even while stress from teaching and other boring responsibilities crowd my plate.  Goodbye summer you have been so nice...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Pick: Deineka's Works on Paper

Alexander Deineka (1899-1969) was a Russian painter with quite an oeuvre of work; some quite nice, others downright bizarre.  Some feel a bit too rooted in political subject matter, like they can't overcome their social message and simply read as good paintings years later.  Which is why I especially enjoy his watercolors and gouaches, mostly made in the 1930s, which seem much more spontaneous in subject, composition and make -- and as a result feel quite timeless.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last Minute Philly Shows

There are two shows I recently saw worth getting to in that last two weeks of their run.  The first is All Different Colors at Fleisher Ollman.  Many beautiful drawings and sculptures to be seen in this exhibition.  

Here are two I snapped a picture of:

Paige Donovan, all acrylic on paper, 12 x 18 inches

Carl Bailey, Untitled, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches
But click here to view more images and these in better quality. 

This is the second show worth the trip:

The annual juried show at Woodmere, which I saw about two weeks after the Fleisher Ollman, felt like something of an extension or compliment to it, very personal works, sometimes narrative, with an emphasis on color.  Makes sense that the juror is the wonderful Sarah McEneaney. 

Here are two pieces from that show:

Philippa Beardsley, Pizza Parlor, 2014, Wood, acrylic and mixed media on wood

Morgan Hobbs, A New Haircut, 2013, Oil on Canvas
They have a nice online catalogue here if you can't get to the show or aren't local as well.

All Different Colors closes August 30th, the Annual Juried Exhibition is up through September 1 (with a free closing that day.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Caught in the Studio: Leggy Begonia

I like this corner of my studio.  Leggy Begonia and a few favorite other things.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Second Look: Elizabeth Blackadder

Self-Portrait with Cat, 1976, Oil on Canvas

Bathers, Esterel, France, 1966

Japanese Flowers Still Life, 1969

Still Life on White

The crazy thing about Elizabeth Blackadder is how well known she is as the 'cat and flower' painter.  Its not actually only crazy, its annoying, because I find her work to be so much more than its subject matter.  

Of course many of the painting's subjects come from the things around her life.  But she is an incredibly interesting and varied picture-maker.  The compositions are cobbled together in a way that feels they could be scared away with a whisper or crumble any second.  The picture planes are often very flat and things are able to float about until a strong vertical appears.

Her work also seems very relevant to work being made today.  Look at Katherine Bernhardt's new work of hamburgers and rugs, or the painters in this  article on 'new imageists'.  Painters taking stock of the things around them, at times nearly documenting them in a visual list.  

So many painters can benefit from looking at her work, it is one of those bodies of work that is giving to other painters.  Unlike an artist like Van Gogh, a wonderful painter, but someone so individual you can't learn from and take much back to your own studio.  Her work seems to have something for everyone, not just cat and flower lovers.

Do yourself a favor and instead of google imaging her name, add 'still life' or 'interior" to the end.

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Stufffff

Night Noodles, 2014, Oil on Masonite, 7.5 x 9

Vase and Clock, 2014, Oil on Masonite, 11.5 x 14

Cassis Breeze, 2014, Oil on Masonite, 12 x 10

No title yet, 2014, Oil on Masonite, 12 x 10

No title yet, 2014, Oil on Masonite, 24 x 24

No title yet, 2014, Oil on Masonite, 16 x 16

Night Cart, 2014, Oil on Masonite, 24 x 24

Wilty Ranuculus, 2014, Oil on Masonite, 14 x 11

I've been making a lot of stuff.  Above are a couple. 

I've been pretty productive over the summer, probably made about 30 paintings, plus or minus, and feel like I need to look at what I've been doing.

The main things: I have been working with the figure from invention which has created a lot of weird and bad stuff but also been very, very satisfying.  

I have been pushing myself consciously away from so much white and 'atmospheric fog' as I call it.  Trying to establish different sense of space which has brought me to working with a lot of blue and black.  I can't decide if I am now relying on it in the same way as the white but I don't think so.  

Unconsciously, I have started doing a lot of scraping and wiping through to previous layers which in person has added to the surface in a way I like.

I have continued to try to make paintings I have never made before: especially in color and composition; attempting to both empty out and fill entirely in terms of comp.

I put a couple other things on my website too.  It feels good and weird to have so many new things floating around.  I'm just not sure what to make of them.  I don't feel like they completely belong to me yet, if you know what I mean?  All these strange new personalities marching around the studio.