slightly wonky


I Cy (sigh)
March 20, 2015, 9:27 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., painting, printmaking, Sewing | Tags: , , , , ,

Yay!  Spring is here!  Get out the lightweight mittens!  Get out the waterproof, yet non-bulky, knee-high boots!  Get out the gauzy, cotton scarves!

Just kidding…

It’s in the mid 20’s and I’m bundled up like an Eskimo.  Right now, I’m wearing a down coat in the house.  My feet feel cold.

Beyond the perpetual climate woes in the Northeast (did I mention that Boston broke its snowfall record this year?  Yay/Boo!), I sprained my knee recently, which is beyond annoying.  I’m not a good patient, as I avoid seeing the doctor, do internet research, and hope for the best.  I have a perfect excuse for laying on the couch all day eating bon-bons with my leg elevated, and yet that seems like a tedious way to spend the day.  Instead, I hobble around trying to do stuff, wondering WHY my leg doesn’t feel any better.  It’s kind of sad that I’m not even 50, and I’ve already started moaning about my aches and pains.  Would you like to discuss the pros/cons between three different types of knee brace?  No?  Do you think that if I wore all three at once, it would heal faster?

In spite of my aching leg, I’ve managed to play around a bit with sewing, printmaking, and painting.  I made a little pouch for my SIL:


purse

 

It’s cute, right?

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Here is one of the annoying things about photography that I struggle with…COLOR CORRECTION.  Here is the same pouch in direct sunlight:

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Looks pretty different, right?  AAAARGH.  I hate dealing with trying to reproduce accurate colors.  It wouldn’t matter if I wasn’t listing things on Etsy.  But because I am, I’m constantly struggling to get accurate color.  It’s truly maddening.  Well, it’s not as bad as cooking and grocery shopping, but a close second.

I took a 6 hr printmaking class on reduction printing.  It was fun, even though I made some serious disaster prints.  We just used those cheap styrofoam plates to print with.  Here is a tutorial on this kind of printing.  I was sort of content with this print:

fish

You can do this kind of printing at home without a press, so give it a try! Do not accidentally lean your elbow on your styrofoam plate because you will:

a. get ink on your elbow

b. make an indentation in your plate which will affect your print.

Unless, of course, you’re into elbow prints.  Who am I to judge?

I was also mucking around with watercolors too.  In grad school, I took a VERY ANAL RETENTIVE watercolor course.  We were doing Beaux Arts watercolors like this:

column

Michael Simeone

I know.  WHY was I learning this in architecture school, as it’s soooo stodgy and traditional?  I wanted to learn how to do this as it was an actual SKILL.  Have I used that skill since then?  No, but whatever.  ANYWAY…I brought this up because this is my only experience with watercolor.  Very rigid.  So, this week, I started to just play with watercolors…generally making a mess.

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stripe2

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I kind of liked doing these!  Just blobs of color.  Look at the cool effects you get with watercolor:

stripe4

stripe5

Neat, right?

I have basically spent the majority of my life trying to be precise and perfect in what I do (except for cooking and cleaning).  Now, I’ve realized that this is total B.S., and it’s better to be messy.  Notice that my fish print is completely anal retentive, YET AGAIN.  Okay, so I fell of the wagon a bit.  Clearly, I am still struggling to stop being that way, but I am working on it.

There is a reason that I love Cy Twombly’s work:

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Cy Twombly

Cy-Twombly-Cold-Stream

Cy Twombly

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THE  MAN

I love his work because it is SO free.  That may not be the academic interpretation of what he does, but it’s mine.  I love how visceral and messy his work is.  LOVE IT.  As a recovering perfectionist, I yearn for this…

Cy_Twombly

Cy Twombly

Sigh! (Cy!)

 

 

 



Cresmes and One lump or two…
January 3, 2014, 12:45 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve managed to make it through this holiday season with most of my sanity intact.  The snow day today and tomorrow, however, has REALLY made me borderline cray-cray.  If it hadn’t been 15 degrees outside, I might have just  bundled up my son and shoved him out to get him some FRESH AIR, and me some SANITY.  Alas…I was fearful that his cherubic cheeks would ice over, so we’ve been inside all day.  ALL DAAAAY.

I may have to go for a walk/trudge to Trader Joe’s tomorrow…just to get out.  I’ll just hang out there all day, eating samples and commenting on what people are buying, until I am asked to leave.  There’s a Starbucks next door, so I’ll just move my insanity show over there.  I suppose I’ll return home when I’m no longer welcome there either.

This has been a particularly busy time.  Not only was it Christmas…but my son’s birthday IS Christmas day, which adds complication and hysteria.  Not only that…just a few days before, I drove out to Cohoes, NY for the opening of a two-person show that I am in at The Foundry.  The show is titled, “The Human Condition + Communication Technologies,” and my series titled, “Are You Still There?” is on display.

a-kostojohn1Elizabeth Kostojohn at The Foundry

The work of the other artist, Nancy Daly, was SO interesting…

a-daly 1Nancy Daly, Status Update, at The Foundry

a-daly 2Nancy Daly, Looking for Love, at The Foundry

Her work comments on social media, its simultaneously transient yet permanent nature, and the vastness of it.  It’s just a coincidence that her work is as monochromatic as mine.   The pieces looked good together!

My best Christmas gift this year was not a nap or a box of chocolates, but an amazingly funny poster that my son’s teacher had him fill out.  I guess this poster is supposed to be an “about me” type of thing.  I love the fact that my son didn’t even ask for help in any way…he just grabbed a marker and set out working on it.  Here are some of the things that I learned about him:

a-pekokHe is six years old and his favorite animal is a “pekok.”  REALLY????  Since when does he like peacocks???  Look at his crazy self portrait….I love his arms.  He’s kind of “groovin'” along like he’s on Soul Train, or something.

a-familyYes, that’s our happy family.  I’m just glad that we’re all smiling.  Let’s hope that he remembers his childhood this way.  Mommy looks so relaxed and happy!  Look how wiggly I am!  Please also notice that his favorite color is white (wht?), and that his favorite food is “hot dog.”  So true.

a-cap codHere is his favorite place…no surprise here.  I notice that he omitted including the lyme disease infested deer ticks in the long grass, which he so lovingly drew.  Good call.  He also doesn’t show mommy yelling, “AAAAA!! GET OUT OF THE GRASS!!!!!”  Nice.

a-treehouseMake the treehouse?  WHAT???  I think that he and his dad must have come up with some idea about this.  I’m staying out of it so that I can’t be blamed when he falls out of the tree and DSS arrives.

a-demolisherOh, joy.  He wants to be a demolisher when her grows up.  Greaaaat.  Well, judging by the looks of our living room, I’d say that he’s going to be a natural.

a-cresmesOkay, how friggin’ cute is that???? He’s wishing for Christmas.  Notice that all that’s needed is himself, a present, and a tree.  Notice also the enormous grin on his face.  Mommy is probably still asleep upstairs in this image.  I know…I know…he didn’t wish for “peace on earth” or anything thoughtful like that.  We’re working on peaceful at home before we move onto the whole dang planet.

Besides this fantastically funny poster from my son, my other treat this holiday vacation was to get myself to the ICA to see Amy Sillman‘s show, “One Lump or Two,” JUST before the show closes on January 5.  I LOVED IT.  Sillman is a wry, master of color, and supremely talented.  I bask in her artistic brilliance.  Here are just a few of the highlights…

a-ocean 1Any Sillman, Ocean 1, 1977, Oil on Canvas

So gorgeous.  I love the use of primary colors…the contrast between the saturated background and the bold, graphic waves…the layering and transparency…ahhh.

a-gouacheAmy Sillman, The Umbrian Line, 1999-2000, Gouache on paper

This series of drawings is so beautiful.  Sillman’s colors and her mix of almost collage-like flatness with delicate linework in these works is amazing.  I felt like I could have stared at each one for an eternity.

a-portraitsAmy Sillman

This series of portraits was fantastic.  I love the distortions in the figures…they seem more real, as a result.

a-psychology todayAmy Sillman, Psychology Today, 2006, Oil on Canvas

She has many large, bold paintings with a combination of discernible figures and loose abstraction.  I think that one of the things that I really love about what she does is that she is always mixing unexpected colors, images, shapes, and ideas.  She can create both minimal drawings of great humor and enormous paintings with visceral intensity.  This show feels as if it gives a very rich view into this artist and her world.  Perhaps that is more a result of her willingness or desire to have herself revealed in these works?  Not sure…

a-bird in the handAmy Sillman, A Bird In the Hand, 2006, Oil on Canvas

a-shadeAmy Sillman, Shade, 2010, Oil on Canvas

a-drawerAmy Sillman, Drawer, 2010, Oil on Canvas

This is a MUST SEE show.  I’m sorry that I’m writing about it so late!  Sigh. Now, I’m getting panicky that it’s closing soon…it would take a small miracle for me to be able to see it again.  Best not push my luck…but YOU should see it.  I know that there is a blizzard outside, but if you head out now with your team of sled dogs…you’ll probably make it to the ICA in time to see this before it closes.  Hey…while you’re at it, pick me up along the way!  I’m lovely company, and I’ll bring you a bunch of extra samples from Trader Joe’s.  I PROMISE.



Christmas is coming…and I’m getting fat…

Okay, just kidding.  Sort of.  I seem to be the only member of the family who is interested in making a wide variety of Christmas cookies and eating them.  Meanwhile, my son is still sloooowly making his way through his Halloween candy.  I kid you not.  He gets to have 2 pieces per day.  Is that bad?  Probably.  Anyway…his memory for what candy is in his plastic pumpkin is like a steel trap…I don’t dare throw out the candy or eat some, lest I be willing to bear the tsunami of vitriol that I’ll receive from him.  He’s definitely my kid.

a-20131220-03What are those, you may ask?  Well, I’m the over-achiever mommy who had to lovingly hand craft with a glue-gun these delightful gifts for my son’s kindergarten class.  Not only am I up to my eyeballs in Christmas nonsense…my son’s birthday is Christmas day, so I’m also managing birthday nonsense.  BTW…craft fur is pure evil…I may have a sort of mild case of “craft fur mesothelioma”, as a result.

In the true holiday spirit of giving, I bought myself this book recently:

a-201312202LOVE IT!  Not only are the Gee’s Bend quilts amazing…but the architectural photos and references are beautiful enough to satisfy this lapsed architect.  These quilts seriously put to shame all of the boring, traditional quilts and fabrics that are today’s norm.  I bask in their artistic and crafty glory.

So, I did manage to shovel my way out of the house to see some gorgeous art & fashion.  (No, I wasn’t looking at what’s stuck on our kitchen refrigerator or at my son’s mismatched/backwards outfits.)  I went to the MFA and the Peabody Essex Museum!!!

First…the Sargent show at the MFA:

a-20131220-06John S. Sargent, Alice Runnells James, 1921, watercolor

Oh. My. God.  Sargent’s watercolors are STUNNING.  Look at her hand!  Look at her face!  Look at the smushed pillow!  INCREDIBLE.  (Please remember that this photo looks like complete garbage in comparison to the actual painting.)  His watercolors are phenomenal.  Watercolor painting, for those of you who have never attempted to tame that wild beast, is VERY difficult.  It’s difficult because you’re trying to control pigmented water over the surface of paper…the pigment can settle in weird ways (if you’re incompetent, like me)…the colors are translucent, and thus every mark is indelible.  There is so much that is so amazing about these works.  With the most minimal of marks, he creates images that are luminous and, at a distance, appear nearly photographic.  In a way, his painting are simultaneously abstract and realistic.

a-20131220-07John S. Sargent, Venice: I Gesuati, 1909, watercolor

Can’t you just get a sense of the cloudy day in Venice?  Look at that doorway!

a-20131220-08John S. Sargent, Magnolias, 1908, watercolor

The shadows and dappled light on the water are gorgeous.  You can practically see this bough, weighed down with its enormous blooms, bobbing in the breeze.  MUST SEE.

Be warned…it might be crowded.  It was when I went.  I feel that when you are at a crowded exhibit, you need to be hyper-vigilant about your gallery etiquette.  For example…please don’t stand directly in front of a painting chit chatting with your friend about what so-and-so said the other day.  Go stand in the middle of the room and do that.  Better yet, go get a coffee.  Please don’t stand in front of a painting for more than, literally, sixty seconds.  Come back to it if you need more time…there are thirty other people who’d also like to see it before the museum closes.  Need I say more?

There was also an amazing photography exhibit:  She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World.  These images were gorgeous, albeit often disturbing.

a-20131220-04Rula Halawani, Untitled I from Negative Incusions Series, 2002, pigment print

This negative image is so frightening and intense.  These is something so eerie about the tone reversal…it does make it look like an electrified night scene.  I also can’t imagine how Halawani felt standing right there to take the picture.

a-20131220-05Rula Halawani, Untitled XIII from Negative Incusions Series, 2002, pigment print

Again…look how horrendous the subject matter is.  She looks in danger of being crushed by a falling chunk of concrete.  Was this her home?  Did she know the people who lived there?  So unbelievably sad.

SIGH.  And now…to lighten the mood…besides making myself a cup of tea and eating my 27th holiday cookie of the day, I’ll show you the exhibit: Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion at the Peabody Essex Museum.

a-20131220-09Issey Miake, Dress & Coat from Spring/Summer 1995

As a complete addict to Project Runway, I was GIDDY at the sight of all of this STUNNING couture.  I have also dabbled in sewing (i.e. struggling to sew a straight line), so my jaw dropped with so many of these fashions.

a-20131220-10Junya Wantanabe, Comme des Garcons, Autumn/Winter 2000

For some reason, I wish that they had chosen mannequins that were more “abstracted.”  Maybe that’s too “Sears” of me?  Who knows.  Look at that collar!!!  Even the skirt, so plain in comparison, is gorgeous.

a-20131220-11Tao Kurihara, Comme des Garcons, Spring/Summer 2010

Luckily, they did have some videos showing runway shows.  This was good, as you miss how the clothing moves if you only see it on a mannequin.  This dress would probably be pretty fantastic worn by some moody model stomping along.  It becomes less so when I imagine myself in it (especially after my 27th holiday cookie for the day…)  DRAMATIC SIGH.

Happy holidays to everyone!  I hope to make it to 2014 with my sanity intact…albeit in a larger clothing size…

Oh well.

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Searching for solace…

This has been a rather rough week.  A friend of mine, her two sons, and her husband died this week.  I won’t go into the details, as those are even worse.  I want to say something profound about the whole ordeal, and about her, but I’m at a bit of a loss.  I feel as if my brain stopped working this week…my thoughts have been stuck like a needle skipping on a record, repeating the same awful refrain.  Short periods of heartache and angst have been interspersed among longer periods of numbness.

I tried to find solace this week by going somewhere that I love:  The deCordova Museum.

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I have been coming here ever since I moved to the area in 1998.  I find it to be peaceful and beautiful.  It truly feels like an escape to me.  This week, it helped provide me with fresh air and a necessary, albeit temporary, distraction.  While I walked around like a bit of a zombie, there were things that made me smile and appreciate that there is still beauty in this world.  I don’t mean beauty in a superficial sense, but beauty of thought and sensibility. I present to you what I saw at the museum…because I can’t talk or think about my sadness right now.

a-genger1Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue, deCordova Museum

It was a cold and clear day.  I aimlessly meandered through the grounds and was drawn to this new installation by Orly Genger.  I first saw her work at Mass MOCA.  This specific piece was originally commissioned for Madison Square Park in NYC.

a-genger2Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue, deCordova Museum

I love to knit, so the loopy, monumental, yet somehow furtive, quality of this work appeals to me.  I like that it becomes taller than a person at times, defying knitting’s typical scale and delicacy.

a-genger3Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue, deCordova Museum

It winds its way around, changing from red, to yellow, to blue.

a-genger4Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue, deCordova Museum

See how it winds around the grounds?  Knitting is very meditative, and I looked at all of the silent stitches and wondered about each one.

Inside the museum is the biennial exhibition…

a-murrowEthan Morrow, Flotilla (detail), ball point pen 

Morrow’s work fills the main staircase at the museum.  His drawings are amazing.  Detail:

a-murrow2Ethan Morrow, Flotilla (detail), ball point pen

Isn’t that breathtaking? He has drawn gorgeous, ethereal ships floating up the expanse of the stair wall.  He included historical details and text along with his drawings.  I bask in his drawing brilliance.  You must go see this.

a-yurukogluBahar Yurukoglu, Primodial Future, Mixed media installation with projection

Please take a look at Yurukoglu’s website…it’s very interesting.  I like bright colors and transparency, so I liked where this was going.  Everything was wall bound…and I kind of wished that there was even more, somehow.  Look at his website…lots of beautiful images and stunning photographs.

a-bracialeLaura Braciale, Rods and Cones, Mixed media installation

I liked this piece.  I liked the translation of these odd objects into flat, 2D paintings.  It looks like some kind of research project to me…an experiment in perception.  I also like all of the white space (of course.)  You’ll see that there are quite a few installation pieces in this biennial.

a-jane4Xylor Jane, Magic Square for finding missing people,  Oil and colored pencil on panel

I really liked Jane’s work.  It felt very different to me.  At times, it almost seemed to be like a textile, with seams.  Her work was very bold.

a-jane3Xylor Jane, Via Crucis XII,  Oil on panel

There is something both dark and menacing, and happy and lighthearted about this piece.  Overall, it’s chromatically dark…but you can see the sort of rainbow palette with almost heart shapes throughout.  What you can’t see in this photo is the beautiful use of textures…the main background is a matte black, and the colors are glossy dots in a grid.  So cool!

a-jane2Xylor Jane, 2,3,5,7,  Oil, graphite, marker and colored pencil on panel

This was really fascinating.  This painting in particular felt like a quilt/textile…and yet it had such depth and transparency at the same time.

a-jane1Xylor Jane, Nox Rex #26, Hypnos,  Oil on panel

This is an amazingly detailed pointillist painting.  I can’t help but think of The Matrix. (Perhaps, I shouldn’t admit that? Does that automatically make me a total philistine?)  Again, the grid and precision are rigid, but the undulating colors brings some levity to the piece.  I love how her four pieces worked together.

a-gibersonPetrova Giberson, Tree Flowers, Mixed media installation

I really liked how this piece and its shadows interacted.  It’s kind of like a sad, old comforter that somehow went to heaven.  It’s hard to see, but there is a line of threads hanging from the ceiling to the right of the comforter, which created an interesting threshold.  The whole piece had a very intriguing way of occupying the space.

Upstairs, there was more to see…

a-gross1Rachel Gross, woodblock print and acrylic

First off, I want to apologize to Rachel Gross because I did not keep track of what the title of this piece is.  In any event, Gross’s work is stunning.  Her woodblock prints are some of the most beautiful that I’ve seen.  Please take a look at her blog.  I love the layering, textures, color palette, composition…everything.

a-gross2Rachel Gross, Pink Box, Woodblock print with spray paint

I love the simplicity of this.  I love the crinkled paper and flat texture of the wood grain.  (I also love hot pink…)

a-abbas1Hamra Abbas, Kaaba Pictures 1-7, archival pigment prints on dibond

Again, my apologies to Hamra Abbas, as I don’t know which number this work is in the series.  Abbas does miniature paintings of the Kaaba, contemplating its historic, religious, and everyday influence.  She then has the miniature paintings photographed and enlarged to form these prints.  They have a mysterious and atmospheric feel to them.

a-abbas2Hamra Abbas, Kaaba Pictures 1-7, archival pigment prints on dibond

This is so luminous…with both flatness and three dimensionality…

a-abbas3Hamra Abbas, Kaaba Pictures 1-7, archival pigment prints on dibond

This has a fairytale feel to it…beautiful!

The final artist that I’m going to show is someone who’s work I love, and who I managed to meet at an open studio that he had.

a-palocci4Anthony Palocci, Jr., Empty Fridge, oil on canvas

Don’t you love it?  He just looks at everyday household objects and reinvents them.  Brilliant.

a-palocci2Anthony Palocci, Jr., T.V., oil on canvas

I love the cold glow of this T.V. So amazing…

a-palocci1Anthony Palocci, Jr., Phone Call, oil on canvas

I love this too!  It’s sort of humorous…but there is something “vacant” about all of his work.  The viewer is looking at these objects distilled to pattern and value.  They’re so ubiquitous, yet now they have a sort of uncanny feel to them…

a-palocci3Anthony Palocci, Jr., Window Fan, oil on canvas

This is a large painting.  Take a look at his website to get a sense how how large it is.  It’s as if something that is normally forgotten and silent has somehow been given a voice.

a-palocci5Anthony Palocci, Jr., A/C, oil on canvas

I took a photo of this painting with context, so that you can see some of what I perceive as the humor in this work.  It doesn’t look odd to see an A/C unit sticking out of a wall…but this is a painting, of course.  I thought this was a wry location for the work…

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Well, I’m signing off. It’s been a long week.

On Tuesday, there will be a vigil held for my friend and her family.  If you’re in the Arlington, MA area and would like the details…let me know.

Peace be with them…



Zip-a-dee-do-da

This past Wednesday, I got back from a fabulous FIVE DAYS IN PUERTO RICO.  No, it’s not April 1, I’m serious.  This was a birthday celebration that my friends and I did because we are all turning/have turned 40 this year.  SCARY!  Luckily, we still have the maturity level that we did back in high school, so we had a blast.

Before I left on my trip, however, my son made me this birthday cake:

a-halloween cake

I think that it says “Halloween…40…For Mom.”  I thought this was hilarious.  Isn’t it creative, and adorable???  Look at the candle he drew!  Awesome.  It was pretty odd to be leaving my family for 5 days, as I haven’t gone anywhere since my son was born.  For me, a trip to the grocery store is a big to-do.

a-laconcha1

Umm…let me just say that the oddness quickly went away as I was in pure Mommy heaven for those five days.  Sitting by the pool…sitting by the beach…going for a swim…reading and finishing Orange Is The New Black…and gabbing almost continuously with a cocktail in hand.  WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE????

a-laconcha3This was my view one morning.  I know.  Ridiculous, right?  If I didn’t have a son and husband, I might not have come back!  Sigh.  I had to swap my flip flops for socks and boots when I came back to the Boston area.  BRRR.

Okay, while we were outrageously decadent and lazy, we didn’t sit around the WHOLE time.  We did go zip lining one afternoon:

ziplineThis was beyond fun.  (This is a photo of one of my friends…who shall remain anonymous…gracias.)  I have no idea how fast you go on these, but it feels like 40 mph.  Actually, when you’re midway…the wind is whipping past you and you’re looking at the amazing scenery…you don’t really notice how fast you’re going.  BUT, when you are hurtling towards the end, then it gets a bit disconcerting as you can’t imagine how you could possibly stop without crashing into the cable support.  Luckily, they have some kind of braking mechanism that kicks in during the last 20 feet.  It’s kind of like how a roller coaster stops at the end…jarring, yet efficient.  Most of the photos I have of people coming in are just a blur.

Okay.  So, now I think that we need a zipline in our yard.  Right???  (You must agree.)  I’m a housefrau re-evaluating the laundry line for alternative purposes.  During the day…it’s mommy’s koo koo adrenaline ride… but when my son/husband is home, it’s got clean towels on it again.  Brilliant!  I think that the neighbors already think I’m crazy, but this will ensure that they never come to my house to borrow any butter.  Now, if I could only zip line to Starbucks and back, then I’d be a happy camper…

While I didn’t see ANY art on my vacation…I went yesterday to see the opening of the small group show that I am participating in.  It’s in Harvard Square, so all you locals have no excuse for not stopping by…

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Cambridge Art Association show

Let me just say that the work by the other artists is really amazing.  I’ll show you some of the pieces:

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Ann Strassman, Singularities IX – (Woman with cigarette)

Strassman does these fascinating portraits of people about town, often on a park bench.  She uses discarded boxes as her canvas.  I love how the people are caught in these familiar scenes…unaware of the viewer.  I also love the cardboard with it’s own mundane story.  Amazing!

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Patricia Schappler, Coming and Going

Schappler does ENORMOUS, phenomenal drawing/collage/paintings.  Mind blowing.  I love the mixed media…the layers, the beautiful way that she draws.  So gorgeous.

a-kornrumpf

Daniel Kornrumpf, Mr. David Lasely

Kornrumpf does GORGEOUS portraits that have an unfinished and open ended feel because he often doesn’t paint parts that he has sketched in.  There is a beautiful mix of complete/incompleteness to his work.  Even his line drawing/painting is amazing.  His sense of color, composition, and overall skill is breathtaking.  I love that the subjects are often pensive and relaxed…aware that they are having a portrait painted, yet real and at ease.  His work reminds me of Alice Neel, whose work I also revere.

a-melamed

Yair Melamed, The Extrovert

Melamed is a physician AND a photographer.  I couldn’t find a website for him.  I absolutely love the contrast between her gray hair/background and her warm face.  I love how her face fills the frame.  He has a series of really compelling photographs…a must see.

My own work is minimal in comparison:

a-kostojohn

Elizabeth Kostojohn, Are You Still There? series

Because my work is so small, I think that it’s good that they are grouped together.  I wish the lighting was a bit better, as there isn’t direct lighting on the drawings…just the downlights for the hallway.  As a result, I think that the drawings look slightly washed out.  Hmm!  In any event, I am super grateful to be participating in this show with these other, talented artists.  The show is in the University Place building, at 124 Mt. Auburn Street.  Go see it!

Now, you’ll have to excuse me as I’ve got a clothes/zip line and a latte calling my name…

zipline2

Starbucks, here I come!!!  Make mine a double!!!



We’ll have plenty…
October 26, 2013, 8:48 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., painting, Photography | Tags:

Has anyone out there signed up for a CSA?  We just did.  I may have made a grave mistake.  This is what I’ve been told that we’re going to receive on Saturday:

Lettuce, bok choy, broccoli,cauliflower, spinach, peppers, kale, escarole, tomatillos, arugula, napa cabbage, parsley, radicchio, leeks, salad turnips, celery, 6# carrots, 4#potatoes, 2#beets, kohlrabi, cabbage, fennel, garlic, onions, 3# sweet potatoes.

Are. You. Kidding. Me?????

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THE ENTIRE PRODUCE SECTION OF WHOLE FOODS IN MY KITCHEN?????  SIX POUNDS OF CARROTS???  I really think that this is going to be a disaster.  We can barely fit three people in our kitchen, never mind sharing that space with 20 pounds of produce.  Ack!  If anyone out there has some words of wisdom for me, let me know.  I’m thinking vats of soup…forever…

My son and I have continued on our shrinky-dink kick.  Here are the latest creations:

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What I love about these is that they become PERMANENT drawings.  I seriously think they’re indestructible.  What’s not to love?  He even makes them double sided, so that they’re drawn on both sides…brilliant!

I did manage to see some art this week.  WOO HOO!  I went to Danforth Art in Framingham…I love that place… They have an exhibit now of the work of Porfirio DiDonna and the New England Photography Biennial.  Nice!  Here are a few of the highlights…

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Porfirio DiDonna, Egyptian Gold, 1979, Oil, gesso and graphite on linen

Gorgeous color…

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Porfirio DiDonna, Untitled (PDN 86), 1971, Acrylic and graphite on canvas

I love how dark this is.  The dots make me think of Aboriginal art.  I like how it’s both orderly and chaotic…

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Porfirio DiDonna, Red Hook (PDN 224), 1977, Oil and gesso on linen

This painting makes me think of a piece of lacquered furniture, with the dots being tiny nails.  Beautiful!

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Porfirio DiDonna, Untitled (PDN 353), 1971-72, Acrylic and graphite on canvas

Minimal and mesmerizing…She also had more colorful paintings and also drawings, but I somehow gravitated towards these works

The photography biennial was also great.  I loved how many things there did NOT seem like photographs (nothing against photos…mind you.)

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Noritaka Minami, Facade, 2011, Archival pigment print

Ahh…so cool.  Actually, I love this building, so what’s not to love about its photo?  This building is the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo, built in 1972.  Here is an image of the interior:

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Noritaka Minami, B1004, 2012, Archival pigment print

Pretty cool, right?  I hear that it’s slated for demolition, which would be TRAGIC.  I was lucky enough to see it in 1997, but I didn’t get to see the interior.  No one invited me into their capsule.  Probably for the best.

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Steve Duede, Evanescent I, 2013, Photograph, C inkjet print

I love this image.  It obviously makes me think of my own series which uses thrown about food.  The colors are gorgeous, and you can practically feel the humidity from the rotting veggies, fruits, flowers, etc.  The color of the grapefruit rind is amazing.  I wish that my trash looked this good.  (Right now, I’m fighting a cold…so my picture would be mostly of wadded up kleenex.  TMI?)

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Andy Anello, 90 Worms From My Father’s Garden, 2013, 90 silver gelatin prints

Yes, all of those delicate little squiggles are worms.  I LOVE how these prints look:

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Andy Anello, 90 Worms From My Father’s Garden (detail), 2013, 90 silver gelatin prints

I apologize for my bad photography of what are very beautiful B&W images of worms with grainy bits of earth still stuck to them.  Unlike typical photo paper, this paper looks like it has an actual tooth to it.  Lovely.

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Samuel Quinn, Untitled, Archival inkjet print

This is from his series, “A Houses Echo.”  PLEASE look at his website to see the photos in this series.  I love this image.  While the landscape is just a projection on the wall (I think), I imagine instead that the hallway has been transformed into a camera obscura (even though the image should be upside down…)  The natural beauty transposed onto the garment and the decaying interior is really compelling and haunting.  Brilliant!!!!

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Samuel Quinn, Untitled, Archival inkjet print

Another amazing photo…I want this one.  I love the color palette, the composition, the emptiness, the space…GORGEOUS.  I think that this image by Quinn might be my favorite from the show.

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Jim Nickelson, Pyrotechnic #53, Archival pigment print

The deep umber color of this image is gorgeous.  Look at the detail of it:

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Jim Nickelson, Pyrotechnic #53 (detail), Archival pigment print

Aren’t those delicate and smoky marks stunning?  SO beautiful.  I suppose this is a negative of the actual image?  I have no idea, as I’m not a photographer.  This also appeared to have been printed on a matte, toothy paper.  Love it.  Please check out his website…there are more in this series.

So, wish me luck with this CSA pick up…send me recipes…let me know if you want a carrot or two…we’ll have plenty.  Carrot soup…carrot stew…carrot muffins…carrot cake…carrot puree…carrot au gratin…carrot pancakes…

I may be a lovely shade of orange by November’s CSA pickup.



Still lifes on steroids…WALCAM!

I know…I know…it’s been TWO WEEKS since I last posted.  Sigh.  Things are just so busy.  Hopefully, to make up for missing the past two Fridays, this post is an image-filled extravaganza, so hang onto your triple espresso…(and get me one while you’re at it!  Make it a decaf though…I have plenty of self-induced stress, so I don’t need to rely on caffeine to put me in a state of hysterics…)

So, my big news is that the group show that I’m participating in (Still Life Lives!) opened last week at the Fitchburg Art Museum.  WOO HOO!  I was thrilled to see some of you come out to see it.  Thank you!!!  I totally appreciate the time and energy it took to head out there.  I hope that everyone found it worthwhile, as I think it’s a very interesting show.

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Elizabeth Kostojohn, Nameless Problem #2 & #1, 2013

Here are two drawings from my new series!  (Yes, that’s food.)  I think that they looked pretty good.  It’s hard not to panic when your work is on the wall.  But, as I wasn’t wearing a name tag, I managed to calm down a bit…

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Elizabeth Kostojohn, 6 drawings from Hurt & Damage series

These are more of my drawings!  I’m happy to see them up.  This show is kind of a big deal for me, as I’ve got two bodies of work up…never mind being amongst the super talented people that are also participating.  I kind of wish that we had name tags, as I would have liked to have met some of the uber talented artists!

But enough about me…here is some of the AMAZING work that is up…

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Emily Eveleth, Snake Eyes, 2000, Oil on Canvas

I wish I had a wall in my house big enough for this painting.  It is stunningly beautiful.  Eveleth’s mastery of oil painting captures the soft and sticky essence of her subject in an intense gaze.  This painting alone is reason enough to come to the show.  This painting is breathtaking and mesmerizing.  It’s gorgeous even on this lousy computer screen. It will blow your mind in real life…

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Mary Kocol, White Crabapple Blooming Branch, 2011, photograph

Kocol had several photographs from her Ice Garden series.  These are AMAZING.  In spite of being frozen, there is something very dynamic about these images.  I think that’s particularly true of the images where you can clearly see the sky beyond.  I keep thinking, “POW!” in my head.  (Please don’t ask me to explain myself…I am neither a writer, nor an art critic…)  So beautiful.  I love it.

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Georgia O’Keeffe, Untitled (Pink Camellia), 1935, Pastel

Oh yes…I forgot to mention that this show also features work from FAM’s permanent collection!  Amazing, right?  This work by O’Keeffe is in the same room as the Kocol photos…brilliant!  It’s like rubbing elbows with celebrities!

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Elisa H. Hamilton, An Apple a Day, 2013, Mixed media on paper

Hamilton has an amazing talent with color.  Each of these drawings really pop with vitality.  Please take a look at her website!!!  I also love her drawings of domestic interiors and objects, especially “Vermont Studio Portrait.”  Very impressive.

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Cynthia Greig, Nature Morte no. 18, 2010, chromogenic development photograph

Okay.  This is a PHOTOGRAPH.  I kid you not.  I believe that the artist paints everything white, and then actually outlines the objects with charcoal…THEN photographs it.  My brain still can’t wrap itself around this.  It’s so clean and beautiful!  I’m amazed at her analog virtuosity.

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Victor Schrager, Untitled #7 and #472, 2011, Pigment print

These gorgeous, saturated, soft focus still life photos are the work of Victor Schrager.  I love the vivid colors and in focus/out of focus combinations.  Amazing, right?

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Kathleen Volp, Wan-Li RUMBLE and Still Life with Impostor and Wan-li, 2008, Mixed media, oil and aluminum on panel.

These pieces are enormous, glossy, and embossed METAL.  No joke.  Volp’s work always amazes me…it is always compelling, masterful in technique, and truly impressive.  Please take a look at her website so that you can appreciate the range of work that she does. Mind-boggling…

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 Evelyn Rydz, Gulf Pile I, 2012, Pencil and Colored Pencil on Drafting Film

This is an AMAZING and delicate drawing.  Rydz is my “drafting film god.”  She and I both use pencil/colored pencil on drafting film.  I bask in her drawing brilliance. Her work is so delicate and GORGEOUS.  She often draws piles of objects that have washed ashore.  I’m sorry that this is not a good photo…it does not do her work justice.  I just checked her website, and it says that she is having a SOLO show at the MFA in 2014.  So impressive!!!  That is MUST SEE show.  (I’m not kidding.  Check her website.  Mark your calendar.)

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Mary O’Malley, Altar #4, 2010, Gold Metallic Ink on Paper

Ahhh…this drawing is SO beautiful.  I am in such awe of O’Malley’s work.  I was lucky enough to meet her at the reception.  She is a lovely person.  I hope I conveyed to her how much I love what she does.  Her work is so timeless…it feels both historic and yet so contemporary.

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Shelley Reed, Ribboned Flowers, Ribboned Fruit (after Mignon), 2010, Oil on Canvas

These paintings were really breathtaking.  I love how dark and intense they are.  I believe that she looks at historic works and then interprets them in her own artwork.  Please check out her website.  I pretty much want to own all of her work.  Maybe if I eat ramen noodles exclusively for a year, I could swing it?  Hmm.  I’ll still need that fantasy house with enough wallspace, though…more noodles for me, I guess…

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Janet Rickus, A Bird Painting, 2012, oil on canvas

Yes, that’s a painting…not a photo.  Rickus’s work is hyper-real and beautiful.  Beautiful composition…color…light…realism…I love it.  Her work will definitely make your jaw drop.  I feel almost like they are views into a gorgeous world that I WISH I could be a part of.  The elements in the images are unpretentious, yet they are so perfect that they are still awe inspiring.  I might have to get this for my house so that I can meditate upon it, and somehow be inspired to make my disaster-area home be marginally more lovely.

On this note, my son (5 yr old) has decided that we should make our house a museum.  He doesn’t seem daunted by the fact that we have nothing museum-like in our house.  I’ve told him that no one is going to want to come to see our “junk.”  We joke about this.  He’s still determined to do it, somehow.  In fact, he’s trying to entice passersby with this “advertising” at the front of our house:

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Yes.  That says, “MUSEUMOPNEG TADAY.”  Yes, I allow him to do this to our house.  Yes, those are little purple flowers stuck to the tape for aesthetic effect.  Oh but wait…there’s more:

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He wants to make sure people understand that they are “WALCAM” to come in.  And:

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Just in case there was any doubt that we were “OPEN” or not…

If you do stop by to check out our “Museum”…please note that the mess inside is what this museum is actually all about.  Imagine taking a Joseph Cornell box and shaking it vigorously…it kind of looks like that, but with more Lego.  Just try not to trip on it all whilst taking the tour. Currently, we’re working out the “gift shop.”  Brace yourself…




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