slightly wonky


The future is blobby…
March 28, 2013, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , ,

WELL.  This was an exciting week because:

1. I got some work done.

2.  It didn’t snow.

Is the bar set a little low here?  Probably.  Wellll, as long as I can rest my drink on it, it’s fiiiine with me!  Did I mention that I did three loads of laundry today?  YES!!!  WATCH OUT, MARTHA STEWART!!!

Now, I’m sure that some of you performed brain surgery, or split an atom or two, or whatnot.  I drew and did laundry. (so nyah!!!)  Such is the life of the hybrid housefrau/artist.  No, I didn’t draw my laundry, (I barely folded it for Lord’s sake) but that’s definitely going to be my next series.  I’m trying to keep this new series under wraps until I have TWO drawings done, as you don’t really have a much of a series without at least TWO, right? (Or is that just to make a thing go right, a la Rob Base?)

Are you still reading???  AMAZING!

So, tonight I went to the opening of my advisor’s new show at the Concord Art Association.  The show is titled, “A Room of Our Own.”  On exhibit is the work of a group of female artists who regularly meet to discuss the profession and support one another.  The title of the show is, of course, a reference to Virginia Woolf’s, A Room of One’s Own.  These artists and their careers have been enriched not just because they each have “a room of one’s own” (a studio), but also because they have had each other.  Lovely!  The show is curated by Merrill Comeau.  I have some images, but not many…as it was a crowded event!

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Adria Arch, Red Blue Diptych

So THIS is the work of my advisor!  Don’t you love it?  I’m sorry for the weird angle of the photo, but it was impossible to get directly in front of it and back up far enough for a good shot.  Her work is inspired by the subconscious mark-making of others.  She plays with scale, color, layering, etc.  It was great to see her and hear her talk about her work.

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Kathleen Volp, The Town

You might recognize this artist’s name, as I featured her in another recent post.  It was great to hear her talk about her work as well!  This piece was about the universal pain of loss.  Very beautiful.  She’s really masterful with both material and image.  I was hoping to chat with her, but she wasn’t feeling well and left soon after speaking.

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Margot Stage, Water Words

This artist described herself as a bit of a scavenger…taking delight in the often overlooked objects that she finds on her walks.  This series incorporates driftwood in a study of repetition of form.  I should have taken a close up so that you could see the detail of her work, comprised of driftwood and brass rods.  I like how she’s arranged them, not in a linear was as a sort of “sentence,” but as almost the visual representation of primordial sounds.  I also think of the scratchy marks of a polygraph, revealing what is invisible to the eye.

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Ilana Manolson, Navigation I

Ilana Manolson is well known for her gorgeous, watery landscapes.  Here, she is also incorporating some image transfer of what must be nautical charts, reminiscent of ripples of water.  It’s fascinating to see her subtle painting overlap and interact with the clean lines of the transfer.

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Jeanne Williamson, (Fence) Shirts and (Hot) Flashes #1 – 6

Now, I was lucky enough to be introduced to this artist.  I’ve seen her work in many other shows, so it was really nice to finally meet her.  I love how graphic these are, but if you could see them up close, you would notice the delicate stitching throughout each piece.  They are compelling on many scales.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get photos of all of the artists (not even close to getting it of all of the work.)  SO, you’ll have to GO and see the show yourself!  Ahem, that’s an order.  Since quitting my job to be a better mommy, I’m good at dishing out tasks, but not so good at completing them myself…I used to be the opposite when I was working, so I feel that this shows some “growth.”  Again…pulling myself up to that LOW bar…

Did I mention that I did three loads of laundry today?

Okay, besides laundry, I also finished knitting a hat that I’ve been toiling over for a few weeks:

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Cute, right?  I had to rip out 1/4 of it, when I decided that I didn’t like the colorway of the second ball of yarn.  AND, I made a pom pom.  Check THAT out, you atom-splitters out there…

My son brought home this creation from school today:

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He tells me that it is a house.  I love it.  I love it not because I’m an architect and I’m partial to buildings, but because this lumpy, misshapen thing on the curling paper plate is my son’s design.  I’m wondering what the significance of the yarn halo is at the top, but I’ll have to ask about it tomorrow.  No, my son is NOT a first year student in an MArch program…nor was this a study model for Selfidges by Future Systems:

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That’s fondly called “Blobitecture.”  NOT my cup of tea, thankyouverymuch.  I’m all for design that pushed the envelope, just not quite like THAT.  Push it back.  Please.

No, my son is in preschool.  By the time he’s old enough to be in an MArch program, we’ll all be living in blobitecture pods, eating synthetic meat, and using a 3D printer to make everything from our clothes to our houses.  I’ll be crabby and sullen and complaining that he doesn’t come to visit me in my retirement pod, nor does he bring me any synthetic meals, nor does his online avatar ever call.  Ever.  Actually, by then I’ll probably not know how to even answer a phone…so i’ll just end up accidentally turning on the robotic lawnmower instead of accepting his call.

Sigh.

At least I”ll HAVE a robotic lawnmower…



Feeling blue and eating blue…it’s all about excess…
March 15, 2013, 10:09 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: , , , , , ,

On Tuesday, it was 54 degrees outside.  Today, it’s 19.  I’m moving to Florida.  (just kidding…not that there’s anything wrong with Florida…)

This has been one of those weeks where I have had no free time, and yet it’s unclear what I’ve accomplished.  I’ve done very little drawing, and my house is still a mess.  Hmm.  I think that I’m also going through a slight phase of S.A.D. (seasonal affected disorder.)  Maybe I need to up the wattage of our lightbulbs around the house?  Or maybe I just need more chocolate?  Does anyone else out there feel slightly blue right now?????

Sometimes, I think that keeping up with the news doesn’t  help.  I’m a worrier, and the news provides endless fodder for my neurotic brain to chew on.  Did you know that more and more small children are developing anorexia?  No joke.  I listened to it on NPR.  HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE????  And it’s not those scary pageant queen mommies that are causing it.  Now, I’m analyzing what I say about food in front of my son.  Apparently, we shouldn’t say that there is “bad” food or “good” food.  WHAT??? Really???

WELL, pshaw…my mother recently bought THIS disturbing item for my son:

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Now, I ask you…is this not the POSTER CHILD of “bad” food?????  Actually, I’m not sure that it qualifies as food at all! Whew! (Thanks, mom…)  Perhaps I don’t have to worry about childhood anorexia when my son happily chews on sour gummi french fries??? Beyond gross.  So, here I am fretting about buying organic fruit and BPA free tupperware, and meanwhile my kid is eating a gummi hamburger, gummi pizza, and a side order of gummi fries.  Thank God it’s at least peanut and fat free… (They forgot to add “nutrition free” as well.  I might have to write and tell them that…)

The thing is, I would have TOTALLY wanted this as a kid too.  Actually, I had a tendency to choose anything colored blue: blue frosting, blue gum, blue italian ices.  Gross, right?  Well, in spite of my deviant dietary desires, I turned out “normal”, right?  Hmm.  Actually, SCRATCH THAT.  NO BLUE FOOD ALLOWED, lest my son become a neurotic worrier like his mom.

The gummi “lunch bag” is kind of beyond the pale…pure, dietary evil.

Okay enough about disgusting “food”…this week wasn’t a TOTAL waste.  I did go to the Decordova Museum.  That’s productive, right?  Their current show is called, “PAINT THINGS: beyond the stretcher.”  This was a pretty interesting show.  All of the works are definitely “beyond the stretcher,” as there was a lot of paint…but a dearth of canvas.  I really liked many things in the show.

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Kate Gilmore, Like This, Before, 2013

This piece is the remains of a performance/painting/sculptural work by Kate Gilmore.  In the performance (which you can see a video of adjacent to this piece), she is wearing a nondescript blouse, skirt and heels…typical office wear for women.  She begins by ascending the ladder on the right while carrying a large vase filled with white paint.  She walks across the top of the sculpture, sets down the vase, and climbs down a ladder on the left.  She repeats this until the entire top has a row of paint filled vases on it.  Then, one by one, she knocks over the vases (I think with her foot.)  As each vase falls, it shatters and spills paint down the channels below.  The paint runs through a hole at the bottom of each channel and fills another vase at the bottom.  FASCINATING.  I love that she’s wearing typical “office gal” clothes…and that she has to struggle to climb the ladder while carrying each vase…and that she has to carefully shimmy across the top without knocking down the other vases…and then she has to place her vase down and carefully climb down the other side.  I love the struggle, the exertion, the care, and the destruction she conveys.

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Steve Locke, Crossing Against, 2012

A very simple piece, but I loved what it does with form, light, and shadow.  The palette is almost primary colors, but they are tweaked a bit.  The face looks annoyed, but the leaning form implies a figure resting lazily against a wall.  I love the reflected neon yellow in the shadow…it makes me think of inner heat or turmoil.

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Mika Tajima, Furniture Art (series), 2011

These works are actually created with plexiglass box frames.  BRILLIANT!  I love how she has taken this totally mundane object and really played with it’s inherent characteristics and traditional role.  Detail:

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Mika Tajima, Furniture Art (detail), 2011

Aren’t the shadows amazing?  You can see an interesting video of her here.  I love how architectural a lot of her work is.  Next:

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Sarah Braman, In the Woods, 2012

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Sarah, Braman, 8pm, 2011

These works were an interesting blend of materials, color and form.  The lower piece, 8pm, actually has part of a camper in it.  I like the mix of prefabricated elements with paint and other more “raw” materials, and the limited color palette.  I also liked how she has painted In the Woods, as it almost has a three dimensional quality.  Next:

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Franklin Evans, paintthinks, 2013

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Franklin Evans, paintthinks (detail), 2013

I love the excess of this installation.  You can see in the detail photo the layer and layers of tape, colors, and photos.  Next:

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Katie Bell, Blind Impact, 2013

This was another interesting installation.  It looks as if the materials found at a collapsed house have gathered together to be reborn as a new entity.  Perhaps because of the geometry or how the piece creeps up the wall, there is a certain joy to this piece.  Here is a view from the front:

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Katie Bell, Blind Impact, 2013

No, the handrail at the bottom is not part of the piece.  Don’t you love the composition? Next:

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Claire Ashley, thing one / thing two, 2013

Amazing, right?  I apologize to the artist as there are two works in this photo, and I don’t know which is which.  The Decordova has this dramatically narrow and tall stairwell which often has incredible installation work.  The ENORMOUS piece that runs up the wall is astounding.  Claire Ashley seems to do these larger than life, bulging forms which both intimidate and excite.

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Claire Ashley, thing one / thing two, 2013

Isn’t that amazing?  I love the colors.  I love how these works have sort of infested the building, taking it over.  I wish she had had a solo show, as I’d love to see a whole gallery full of her art.  These pieces really do dwarf the viewer and gaze back with a disconcerting stare.  Next:

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Allison Schulnik, Video still from Mound, 2011

This is a still from the amazing animation by Allison Schulnik.  Her work is astounding.  Please visit her website here, and go to the “video” heading to actually see these works.  Plasticine figures erupt and morph into eerie creatures who are both engaging and disturbing.  Look at that image!  Don’t you love the starkness of the figure?  Don’t you love how it’s both fascinating and unsettling?  Please watch her videos.  You must.  I almost missed seeing them.  If you go to the Decordova, they are on view in a room behind the desk at the entry.  Go now.  You must.

So, this was not a week of “minimalism”, unless you count how much tangible work I got done.  Sigh.  I may have to resign myself to gnawing on a gummy hot dog while I mope about looking for sunlight and something blue to nibble on.  Send chocolate.  Please.



Useless groundhogs with their fraudulent shadows…
March 8, 2013, 1:12 pm
Filed under: Drawing, painting, Photography | Tags: , , ,

Dear Town of Arlington, MA,

The next time that you decide not to declare a snow day, would you please also plow the roads?

Thank you.

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So, today is NOT a snow day…but my son is home with me because our road was impossible for me to drive on.  I got 25′ from the house, turned the car around (carefully), and headed back.  BAH!  So much for some sanity today.  The only reason I can even write this is because he’s watching Dinosaur Train right now.  Bad mommy!

I think that I just heard a plow go by.  Maybe it’s not to late to go to school?  Sigh.  Maybe it’s not too late to trade in my little Toyota Matrix for a dog sled team?  I’d even settle for a cat sled team today…ech…forget it.

[update: 3+ hours have gone by and the roads are still a mess…helllooooo???]

Luckily, yesterday was clear weather, so I managed to go down to the South End to check out what’s in the galleries now.  Lucky me!  I’m going to try to go more regularly…SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!

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Sandra Allen

This GORGEOUS pencil drawing is by Sandra Allen at Carroll and Sons Gallery.  I have seen her work online, and I think that I even featured her once before in an earlier post.  Well…as is with most things, seeing the work in person was 1000 times better than seeing it on the internet.  I was pretty much awestruck by how absolutely beautiful her work is.  Look at that texture!  Look at the amazing range of values!  Once again, if you are in the Boston area….GO SEE THIS SHOW.  NOW. (how do I convey a stern look and wagging finger?)  The art gods have spoken.

Next:

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Sandra Allen

These drawings are enormous, and they aren’t even her largest work, which is also flabbergasting.

Tree trunks!  What a beautiful and simple subject!  I really could have stared at them all day.

Here is the look of the gallery:

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Sandra Allen

Carroll and Sons recently renovated their space.  This room is unchanged (I think), but beyond the wall on the right are two new spaces.   They used to have their office back there, so I’m not sure where the offices went!  Anyway, the renovation looks great too.  Don’t you love how the wood flooring is on the diagonal?  I love that.  That wasn’t part of the renovation, but I still love it.

Bromfield Gallery is showing the work of Kathleen Volp:

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Kathleen Volp, White Madonna, 40″x35″

I wasn’t familiar with her work, even though I’d heard her name quite often.  I liked the overall palette.  All of the materials that she used had a strong character.

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Kathleen Volp, I am My Father’s Daughter, 54″x54″

This one felt so “architectural”, and not just because of the Lincoln Logs…

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Kathleen Volp, I am My Father’s Daughter (detail), 54″x54″

Yes, that’s a vintage box of painted pink Lincoln Logs!  I found this piece to be poignant as some kind of communication with her father.  I wonder if he’s seen it?  I almost feel that the box of pink Lincoln Logs is enough of a piece itself.  But the big 2D portion of the piece is pretty impressive as well.

Gallery Kayafas has photographs by Guillermo Srodek-Hart:

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Guillermo Srodek-Hart

I LOVED these photos.  The series is titled, “Interiors.”  Each was a photo of an interior filled with objects…the inside of a little shop…the inside of a deli, etc. The colors and the images were mesmerizing.  I am actually not often as interested in photography (see how ignorant I am?).  THESE photographs, however, were amazing.  Look at the color palette!  This is another must see show.  I wish that I had time to look at each photo one for an hour.  Unfortunately, the meters in Boston are expensive and fiendishly monitored by the parking evildoers.  It’s 12 minutes for one quarter.  Sheesh!  Also, after two hours, you have to move your car.  By move your car, they don’t just mean move it to another spot right near the one you already have.  OH NO.  You have to move the car off of that ENTIRE BLOCK.  (Fat chance!)  But I digress…

Kingston Gallery is showing the work of Rose Olson:

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Rose Olson

Her series, Light Moves, works with translucent layers of paint washed over cradled plywood, with intermittent opaque bands of color.  What I liked about these was that her work made you feel as if the pieces were being lit up by a colored light source or dichroic glass.

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La Defense offices by UN Studio

Similar palette?  I found that optical effect to be pretty interesting.  I think that she also uses some interference paint.

Howard Yezerski Gallery has the work of Barbara Grad:

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Barbara Grad

This series is titled, “Lost Horizons.”  While these paintings are abstract, the collage-like areas of stripes made me think of fields of grain, or bodies of water.  The piece above was one of my favorites.  This may not be the correct analysis of the work, but I feel that they have a “quilt-like” quality to them.  Sort of like Gee’s Bend on hallucinogens.

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Gee’s Bend Quilt

No?  Or maybe I just need to get out of the house and get some fresh air?  Oh wait…I forgot that we’re still in the middle of a BLIZZARD.  Did that useless groundhog see its shadow???  Perhaps it was just the lights from the news cameras that created the fraudulent shadow.

Right now, my stir crazy child is upside-down on the couch screaming and laughing maniacally.  No, he’s not 30.  He’s 5. I think that this post will have to end early as I can barely keep my sanity, never mind form a complete sentence.  I was supposed to create a “marketing plan” for my class tomorrow.  Oh well!  I keep having to look up what a marketing plan IS.  At least I have identified my main challenge to getting any work done: being a parent of a crazy child who is acts as if he just ate the frosting section of the grocery store.

I can’t wait for Easter.

I may have to build myself an igloo today just to get some peace and quiet.  Or maybe I’ll just lie down outside for 10 minutes and get buried under a foot of snow?  Maybe if I wrap my puffy robe around my head, instead of my body, this will muffle the sound of preschool insanity emanating from my slightly unstable, yet loveable, child?

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Maybe not…



200!
March 1, 2013, 11:52 am
Filed under: Drawing, painting, printmaking | Tags: , , , , , , ,

No, that’s not what I saw on the scale this morning!  I mean: do you know that I’ve done 200 posts on this blog?  No joke!  Sometimes I scroll back to early posts just to see what’s been happening over the past couple of years.  Hmmm.  Not as much as one might hope for.  No one has offered me a solo NYC show yet.  Can you believe it?  WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE????  Clearly, I am the only one who basks in my artistic brilliance.   (ummm…I’m kidding)  I may have to shut off the “comments” feature with this post…the beauty of the internet is that I can’t see anyone rolling their eyes right now…

Perhaps instead of revealing my true struggles on this blog, I should create a faux online persona of artistic brilliance.  I could create faux galleries that represent me and who gush over my faux creations.  I could also imply that although I’m almost 40, I have no gray hairs and look like Zoey Deschanel.

None of this would be true, of course.  My sham persona would soon be discovered.  So, I’ve had to rely on the truth on this blog, and it’s often not so pretty, or exciting.  Perhaps you’re relieved to know that your life isn’t so wrapped up in drivel and nonsense as mine?  Perhaps you’re relieved to know that I keep a messy house, with Lego bits and dust bunnies brazenly staring me down every morning as I walk to the kitchen?  Yes, I’ve heard of a mop, a broom, AND a vacuum.  I just don’t choose to use them very often.  Maybe if I think of housework as some kind of domestic performance art, I might get slightly more interested…

This week, I went to the Arlington Center for the Arts to see a show they have of faculty artwork.  I’ve taken a drawing class there with a teacher who is funny and talented.  Here is the work that she submitted:

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Connie Thibaut, Memento Mori, Mixed Media

This looks to be a “trace monotype.”  Can you see how amazing her drawings are?  She tends to do surrealist subjects.  I thought that this was really lovely.  Look at the doll/person’s hand in the upper right!  Beautiful.  I couldn’t find a website for her.  CONNIE, YOU NEED A WEBSITE.  EVEN IF IT IS A FAKE PERSONA.  I know.  Some people have standards, and don’t feel like revealing their ineptitude online.  Go figure.  Next:

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A. Kristina Goransson, Collection III & Collection IV, Felted & Dyed Wool

Isn’t that beautiful?  These are two, separate works of art, but they do look so amazing together, don’t they?  Her website is here.  Check it out.  All of these pieces are felted wool.  SO interesting!  I love how delicate they are.  I wish that I knew her, as I’d ask her if I could touch one of them…(the inner preschooler in me.)  Next:

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Gloria Calderon-Saenz, Rivers and Nests #4, Acrylic on wood

Isn’t that gorgeous?  It looks like she paints the surface of the wood, then carves it to create the image.  I loved this.  Check out her website here.  She has another one:

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Gloria Calderon-Saenz, Open Nests, Acrylic on wood

I love how graphic these are.  The texture is also gorgeous, but you can’t see that from the photo.  If you’re in the area, you should stop by this show in Arlington.  The gallery is small, but these works (and others) are really worth it.

This week, my son’s artistic brilliance was to create this:

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Do you know what that is?  THAT’S THE STATUE OF LIBERTY!  I thought that was pretty cool.  Maybe he’ll be a sculptor when he grows up?  Take a look at this:

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Maybe I should suggest that he NOT become a sculptor?  Isn’t that kind of deranged looking?  This is the kind of stuff that I’m constantly tripping over around here.  Creepy.  You’d think that I’d clean up more often just so that this kind of stuff wasn’t glaring at me all day.  I know…get the broom…yadda yadda yadda.

Well, it’s lunchtime.  Time to go forage for something to eat…perhaps a rice crispy treat or two? (or three?).

If I sandwich two of them together with peanut butter, does that make them more nutritious?  Discuss.

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