Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I started two new paintings today. This is the background for another scene from the Spring Revolt (Diamond being the instigator.) I thought it would make for an interesting and fitting background if the sky is distorted. Thank you photo shop. On my way.
The other is called "Unikoi." You can guess what that one will be in my world. Sort of my own take on "Unicorn." It's a bit cheeky, yes.
Unicorns ore THE most recognisable word and image in mythology, though they aren't present in Greek myth. Greeks were convinced that they did exist in reality somewhere in India. And there were other supposed accounts throughout ancient history and they had great significance in various cultures. I have a mind to paint what the account describe, which is differnet than what we have been exposd to. Unfortunately, most of us think of a cartoon when we hear the word "unicorn." Because we are ruined. It's the same reason we hear Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody and think "That's that Bugs Bunny song!"
close up, "Pen's New Day Rising"
I always take comments very seriously. I found that they even help me make a decision about a painting. Not always in a direct way, but often in the side door. My fellow artist Sheila made a comment about "Pen" saying "the red beak is like a scarlet gash stabbing into a velvet sculpture." I just love that visual and in thinking more about her story, I imagined her appearing to be like a crack in the window of time; in the moment of that landscape. Hope to get a final excellent photo of the entire work as soon as I can get my "assistant" to help.
So, Sheila, my friend and comrade in art, many thanks for the inspiration today.
I am messing around....back to the easel.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
"Sitting Bull Returns" at the Drive-In
1976, Willard Midgette (about 11 ft x 9 ft)
Willard Midgette was an American realist painter and print maker. I can't find a lot about him and it may be because unfortunately he died at the age of 40 from a brain tumor. The painting is in storage at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I am going to research a bit more and see what I can come up with on our artist brother, Willard Midgette.
So, it is later on Sunday evening. I had very little luck in finding much about Willard except that he did quite a few large works focused on Native American life. Sheila seems to know who he is, but I have never heard of him. Not only did I find a lack on info on him, but I could not find any images of his other work, either.
Friday, March 27, 2009
After my post about the painting in my blog banner last week, I decided to do a regular post called "What's that painting?" on the weekends focusing on a fairly obscure painting in each post. Cool, right? I think so. We all know the top 20 or so artists and paintings. How about a little light on the other thousands?
No painting of the day (because it is too late in the afternoon to shoot), just "painting mess" of the day. But slowly, it is coming along. I think I hate cleaning up brushes more than just about anything.
In thinking about the stag, I am gathering elements of nature to begin laying in. Memories. I am chewing on how powerful nature is in triggering memories, in carrying those memories over our lifetimes like containers. Most of us make deep connections in nature and the power of those connections is transcendent. Pieces and occurrences that have always been, before we were. Seeing certain objects take us to a place we know we have been before and we connect with others over history knowing that they have seen these elements of nature, too, and had memories connected to them. I want to create that effect in my mythological world among the animals.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
OK, so I thought I was done with the head, but I lied. So, a few details and punches up in the highlights today. Here is a close up. Difficult go at photo'ing on a rainy day, but pretty darn true other that that glare at the top. I am getting my memory elements compiled, too, and hope to be on that tomorrow.
Today, I also researched a handful of new ideas and am really excited about what's next.
How do you get your ideas for paintings?
What to do with Pen.....Is she done?
(these are not rhetorical questions, all.)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
In the 40's, the Army Corp of Engineers began work in the Midwest to harness the Missouri River. Benton, who was born in Missouri, used the Greek mythological story of Achelous and Hercules as a parable to portray this great work. In short, Achelous, Greek god of the rivers, took on the form of an angry bull, tearing new channels through the earth with his horns. Hercules defeated him by tearing off one horn, which became nature's cornucopia, or horn of plenty. With my great fondness for myth, I am always enthralled by it when I visit the museum and make a point to spend time gazing.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Have a grateful weekend everyone and many, many thanks for all of your encouraging and challenging words.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Thinking on about our stag hanging behind me. He will be a bearer of memories. Funny how things come to us. I was on a run yesterday and suddenly there was a change in direction for this painting. More later.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
We saw "The Kite Runner" which was an amazing movie. I don't watch a lot of movies unless they come highly recommended by someone I trust, because most of them are trash. This one is great, so see it if you haven't yet.
I learned this past week that my sister, brother-in-law and nephew are moving up to D.C. this summer. He is on his second deployment to Iraq and got new orders to report here from Virginia Beach in July. I don't believe in accidents, so I am looking eagerly to what sort of great things are going to be born out of living close to these people that we love so dearly. I have never lived near my sister. She is twelve years younger and I left home at fourteen, so this is a big deal to me. We share a love of animals. particularly horses. Sarah is a seasoned rider and instructor and will bring her two horses with her, so we will have a great time riding together. My brother-in-law is just plain awesome, he doesn't need any special skills to prove it ("you know, like nunchuk skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills...") And of course, my nephew is the coolest little boy ever.
So, off to address "Pen" and the stag. I am not happy with some of the work on the antlers and may have to go back over them again this week.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
"Pen's New Day Rising." Working title, but it is working for me. Any suggestions are most welcome.
Does sound a bit like a dog show name?.......Still, this is the original string of words the painting began with......
I am usually very wary of these sorts of groups and find most of them to be extreme and unbalanced often aggressively demanding a kind of "equal rights" for animals while being completely void of any concern for human life or without any care or compassion towards any created being other than human beings. This is a tough statement, but I have always felt very strongly that any person who does not care for animals has a serious character flaw. It is an indication of something awry under the surface. A disconnect from God AND other people. One cannot say she loves God and neglect to love His creation in it's entirety
I truly support Ben's mission and goal for Not One Sparrow, so I am honored to be a part of this work.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
So, last night I read more of "The Widening Stream: The Seven Stages of Creativity" by creativity guru David Ulrich. This is a good book, though I am sure I am not deep enough to get most of it's contents. I do have a few "what??" moments with this one, too. Maybe its me.
Chapter four is about coming away from the work by retreating and withdrawing. This is something I have experienced lately and with much angst. In a product oriented society, we are steeped in the ultimate value of doing something that produces and we feel something is really wrong if we aren't on this track all the time. Having to walk away from work that isn't moving forward is a good thing giving us time to refocus and reflect. Good words and a lost art, this meditating and reflecting, right? I have to remind myself repeatedly "quality over quantity."
I am exceptionally tired today and have spent the morning doing things like this. Will I paint today?....
From yesterday. I feel really good about the head and have laid in the first color masses in the antlers.
Monday, March 09, 2009
I was focused on seeing Mark Rothko's paintings, so we made our way to the east building which houses the modern art collection. I have never felt greatly connected to modern art. And as a matter of fact, walking into the gallery, immediately I was struck by the coldness if the atmosphere. There is even a weird undercurrent of "horror", if I may use that word. I find most modern art void of humanity and beauty which is really important to me as a painter and viewer (hey, and as a human.) But last year, I sat and looked at one of Rothko's paintings and remember being quite moved. I wanted to sit and look again, though this is a different painting than the one on display last year. Maybe I am beginning to "get it." It may help to acquaint myself with his story.
I want to mention Thomas Cole's "Voyage of Life" series beautifully displayed in the west building complete with the artist's statements about each massive painting. They are numbers 10 through 13 here. Really beautiful and moving works.
So, a great day in our capital and off to Trader Joe's on the way home. Yee-ha.
Friday, March 06, 2009
I will have the honor of showing with Karen Eide and Kathleen Kendall at the Center for the Arts in Manassas about a year from now. Loosely, the exhibit is the conceptualization of the theme of myth and nature utilizing human and animal representation. Cool, right?
Thursday, March 05, 2009
The black swan came right to me. I could see it so clearly in my mind.
So, researching tonight, Craig found a really amazing painting by late 19th century Belgian symbolist painter Leon Frederic. I have never heard of him, but am thrilled to stumble upon his work. He was around sort of at the height of Impressionism, so his style is weird for the time. He just did his thing. I love when artists do their thing.
"The Lake" by Leon Frederic