Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Painting books

I woke up in the middle of the night with a vision of a traditional, classical-looking painting of a pile of books. You must paint what you dream about!
I want to work with books since I have a lot of feelings about all the art being done with books that don’t involve reading.

I am now painting it at the studio, sitting low to get a good vantage point. I put a spotlight on the books and turned off the other lights. It is difficult to see the canvas though.
I gave a nice piece to the large Lyme Light Foundation auction that is coming up next month. I realized I did not have any other recent work that I could give to an auction. So I decided to paint some flowers. And it's Spring and I love tulips. I have had good luck donating flower paintings to auctions. I will show a few of these new flower works at the next open studio.
White Tulips with Watch
I am trying to keep these new paintings vastly underworked rather than vastly overworked.
I am also working very hard on another new book about rabbits. I just sent my first draft off to some readers! Still a lot of work to do. It is a long book with over 70 color illustrations.

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Notes from the Artist Salons

Notes from the Artist Salon at Hunters Point Shipyard on October 29 is 2015
Artists showing: Diana Krevsky, Stanley Goldstein, Carrie Ann Plank
These artists salons can be really intense for whoever else is lucky enough to attend. There's often something so intimate about the evenings. The artists seem to be open to sharing their ideas and process. Perhaps these artists are always like that. Or possibly, having an audience of other artists brings up other questions than one would normally get at an event like Open Studio. Whatever it is, these Salon evenings are always thought-provoking. Some of the artists carefully arrange the studio for the night and some let it all hang out.
Also, it is remarkable that the evenings change drastically depending on who shows up and which artists participate. It always amazes me how each artist has a very different process of how or why they make art.
This salon was unusual in that we got into talking about artists and children, artists and painting what we love, artists and aging, artists and cancer, and it became a fairly heavy night. Heavy, in a good way.
We started at the studio of Diana Krevsky. While we waited for folks to show up we talked about a painting of hers that Krevsky found at a Goodwill, got it back, and then worked on it.
Krevsky then read us a funny piece she had written about her work. I wish we had taped her! Krevsky’s work is funny and topical and also beautiful to look at. Newer pieces included Waterbird made out of bottles and cloth, some wood assemblages, a gun made out of soft pastel baby items and cloth, a binder full of cartoons, and many other paintings some with collage or assemblage. She showed us a work in progress as well. [We saw some of these works featured here: While I was web-researching I found her 911 works which are powerful:
Then we went to the studio of Stanley Goldstein. Goldstein had hung some large paintings for us to see. He also had three, new, large, charcoal drawings on the back wall. We could compare them to a painting. After we were done fawning over these, Goldstein walked us through the history of his art process; showing sketches, color studies and final works, and works in progress (although some of us were interrupting him a lot with inane questions). He showed us his son’s early work in comparison to his own. He talked about his relationship with his gallery and how that impacts the artwork. Then ensued a conversation about various gallerists. We saw this playground painting (among others):
  Lastly we went to the studio of Carrie Ann Plank who is a printmaker in the studio with other printmakers and two giant presses and other machines. Plank likes to travel, and she attends many artist residencies. Plank talked about how she was able to sometimes go to residency without a firm plan of what she would do, but instead, come up with ideas reacting to the situation there and create wonderful art, sort of on the fly. Plank showed three bodies of work from three different residencies: some large etchings of natural objects, interesting prints featuring textures of her own skin, enlarged and manipulated on the computer and then printed, and some delicious little paintings that involve prints, painting(?), gilding, and with a shiny coating. [You can see examples of the three series here:] Something about Plank’s work, or perhaps the cumulative effect of the evening, brought up the topic of cancer, which we discussed for awhile.
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Notes from the Artist Salon, May 5, 2015
Artists showing: Kim Smith, Dolores R. Grey, Leslie Lowinger
I recall Kim Smith saying she doesn’t consider herself an artist but she makes quite a few lovely collages out of book scraps. Some of the collages are fine art, some are called Signs of Wisdom and contain text or sayings which she sells at a lower price point. Smith also has a thriving business called Smith & Co. where she sells book prints or art created from books. Smith generously gave us all a signed copy of her book, an art memoir, Where Quirky meets Menacing! [We saw collages such as these:]
Dolores R. Grey
Adding to what Dolores is already known for, assemblage often in little boxes, colorful monoprints, collage, gift cards and jewelry (of which I am personally quite fond and own several pieces), Dolores had several life-size, ornate, dress sculptures made out of recycled paper on dress forms. One piece I liked very much was made out of pattern paper that is used for sewing clothes. Dolores talked about how she has made many of her and her family’s clothes. []
Leslie Lowinger
Leslie had a lot of work up in her studio from our last Open Studio event, as well as etchings in one or two colors, some with irregular shaped borders, some with text. We were thrilled with her large flipper bin, which contained large prints that we were pawing through and really loved. Leslie also gave many of us a nice silk-screened bag that she made.
[I believe we saw some of these: and some of these:]
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I neglected to write about a few artists salons that we had, so perhaps I’ll mention them now.
Artists Salon, January 23, 2015
Artists showing: Dominique Caron, Stacey Carter, Alberto Ybarra, Stephen Namara
We met at the studio of Dominica Caron. Caron’s studio was full of very large, very colorful, mostly abstract paintings, as well as some more representational works and landscapes. We were intrigued by the way she hung the art and how clean and white everything else was. Caron talked about her childhood growing up in France and how it influenced her color sense. She talked about her inspirations to a group of people who were trying to hear her and ask questions. There where also a roaring cocktail party going on in the back the studio (possibly due to the spread of goodies Caron had served or the fact that there were a lot of people there who hadn’t seen each other in awhile). It made it very difficult to hear what Caron was saying. Caron generously in shared her knowledge of acrylics and process tips. She mentioned her tip for adding a drop or two of dish liquid to the brush water. Caron also answered questions about various works. [We saw works like this:]
Then we went upstairs to Stacey Carter's studio. Her studio was fairly crowded with stuff so we couldn’t all actually fit in the studio at one time. It looked like a working studio. We were sort of taking turns going in and out. Carter creates large, photographic-like prints of ships and other large vessels and then she paints on them. Carter showed us some of her older work such as sports figures and talked about a large commission she was working on. Unfortunately I missed much of her talk because I was doing crowd control out in the hallway and trying to make space for others. [We saw some of these:]
Lastly we went to Alberto Ybarra’s large studio. He recently sold the large painting, Drone, that I really wanted to get a close look at. But he had lots of other really interesting work on view, and talked about some of his inspirations: very dark but successful. It generated a lot of conversation and interest in his work. We gravitated towards certain works in little clumps discussing the paintings. Some people remained out in the hall having a cocktail party.
[Some paintings here. I was really struck by the huge, Single Family Duelen:]
And lastly we went to Steven Namara’s studio. Steve is always been a great favorite of everybody at the Shipyard. He talked about some of his old drawings and how he got his start because of those. He showed us some new paintings and talked about the symbolism in them. (I was so impressed by the rendering that I had not thought about the content). He also answered questions about a lot of his work for some artists and others continued the traveling cocktail party. [We saw this piece, among others:]
Cocktail party ensued for quite some time after that we finally broke up.
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So each artist is different. Who comes to the salon is different. All this makes each event very memorable and poignant. Each salon has filled me with questions about what is art, and why do I make it? It really gets my head spinning the way each artist’s process is so different from mine. It never ceases to amaze me how the shipyard artists are all processing our lives through our art but in also very different ways.

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