slightly wonky


Art rant!
December 5, 2014, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , ,

Bear with me, but I need to vent a little…not about the “art world”…but about the world’s view of art.

WHY is it…that WE (as a society) think that ONLY people who are supremely talented at art, should make art?  WHY are we SO judgmental about the art that non-professional artists make?

Let me put this into perspective…

Does a father and daughter who go out to throw around a baseball fill their minds with critical thoughts like, “I can’t do this at all…my throwing sucks…why can’t I catch better?”  We don’t consider that reasonable thinking…it sounds hyper-critical and judgmental, right?

People accept that someone can throw a baseball around JUST FOR FUN.  It doesn’t mean that you think that you’re a major league player.  It doesn’t mean that you think that your playing is better than anyone else’s…you just like to PLAY.

So…please tell me…WHY IS IT DIFFERENT FOR ART?  Why can’t people just “play” with art?  Why can’t we just enjoy making marks and daubing paint because it’s fun?

It would be obnoxious to go to a little league game and scoff at the players, who are total “amateurs.”  But, for some reason, we feel justified in scoffing at amateur artists.

WHY?

I’m sick of it.

I’m not saying that ALL art is worthy of being in a museum or gallery.  Just as there are the major leagues of baseball…there are the major leagues of art.  Fine!  So be it!  I love going to a museum to see what FANTASTIC things the hyper-talented can do.

But, for everyone else…can’t we just make art because we love it?

If everyone’s activities were critiqued through the lens of, “is this outstanding?”, no one would do anything.  Instead, we bake/play baseball/ride a bike free from this burden.  Why can’t we paint/draw/sculpt with an equal amount of freedom?

This blog post is dedicated to all of the non-professional artists out there who do it simply for the joy of it. Keep your chin up, and your hands dirty.

I’m one of you.

estydesksmall

 



Ho Ho Hell has begun…
December 1, 2014, 10:35 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , ,

We had a lovely drive out to central MA for Thanksgiving!

SNOW

I love Thanksgiving.  It’s like Christmas’s non-crazy twin, or family without the frenzy.  That sanity is short lived, as Black Friday follows (Christmas’s eccentric and unstable Aunt), and today is Cyber Monday (Christmas’s left-brained, introverted second cousin who won’t put down his phone, and hasn’t actually communicated with another human being using his vocal chords for a least two years…)  Thanksgiving is the only somewhat NORMAL member of that holiday family.

Is it bad that I haven’t started to do any holiday shopping, or even any holiday PLANNING, for that matter?  Probably.  Let me help those of you who are also behind schedule by making some gift suggestions:

Mary O’Malley on Etsy:

maryomalley

O’Malley is a fantastic artist who creates intricate paintings that are exotic and gorgeous.  Please take a look at her Etsy shop HERE.  You can either get a lovely reproduction of her work, or you can splurge and get an original.  A brilliant gift idea!

AlmostSundayInc on Etsy:

almostsundayMy friend owns this store, and there are TONS of cute options for gifts.  I like the idea of either personalized stationery or a cool print.

Nicole Porter Design on Etsy:

nicoleporterAren’t those wooden plates/bowls AMAZING?  Please check out her shop HERE.  Again…unique and beautiful gifts abound…

OrangeLadyBird on Etsy:

orangeladybird

For those of you who don’t want to fool around with shipping anything…my friend (who is a graphic designer) has lots of DIGITAL items to buy in her shop.  You can get a download of her digital creations…which you can print at home to your heart’s content.  Check out the cool “infinity banner.”  I like the “home scavenger hunt” cards as well…especially if they had a drawing of my husband’s house keys, which he seems to lose constantly.

I’m basically suggesting that instead of heading to the infernal MALL to buy generic gifts for people…that you buy stuff that is UNIQUE and HANDMADE from brilliant and crafty people.  What would you rather have in your stocking?

THIS?

dump cake

Yes, that’s for real.

or THIS?

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Mary O’Malley

Seriously.  That drawing/painting is divine.

In stark contrast to that gorgeous creation, my son and I have started a comic strip.  It’s kind of hilarious.  It’s mostly me doing the scribbly drawings, and he colors it in and laughs.  Here are the first two pages:

CARTOON 1

 

CARTOON 2

We made up this ridiculous clam character.  He took the drawings to school today, so I’m sure that they are wadded up in the bottom of his backpack by now.  Sigh.  Stay tuned for more.

While this is the kind of drawing that I’ve been up to lately, my friend, Helen, recently had a show open and is the artist-in-residence at the New Art Center in Newton.  WOO HOO!  Her show is titled, Becoming Four Women.  Here is a brief description of it:

The New Art Center is pleased to announce the opening of Helen Payne: Becoming Four Women. This exhibition centers around four female characters that Payne has been developing over the past several months. Payne imagines these women at different stages in their intertwined lives. Taking on their disparate personalities, Payne journals, paints and draws in character to create a series of work that tells a multi-media story from several points of view.

I was lucky to be able to go to the reception.  Here are some of the images of her fantastic work:

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Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

Helen has done many beautiful drawings on tiles, such as this one.

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Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

That is a gorgeous oil painting of one of the characters that Helen is exploring during her residency.  You can stop by the New Art Center, and find Helen busy at work.  Please stop by!  It’s an amazing opportunity not only to see her work, but also to TALK to her about the work.  How often do you go to a gallery and have the artist right there?  I should tell you to bring her food as well, as she probably forgets to eat (unlike me).

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Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

This is Helen’s desk in the gallery.  You can see numerous sketches and drawings scattered about, with notes about each of the four women she portrays.

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Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

Helen is a virtuoso of both painting and drawing.  Please go to learn more about these four characters and the fascinating narrative that Helen has created between them.  The show is up until December 20, so you have PLENTY of time to go, (especially as I have already done the planning for your holiday shopping!!!  You can thank me later by sending me some of these.)

REMEMBER:

Buy hand-made goods!

Spit upon mass-produced/generic junk!

Bring a snack and say “hi” when you visit Helen!

AND…

Send me peppermint marshmallows! (just kidding…sort of…)

Enjoy the holiday season without needing to be put in a Santa Claus themed straight jacket, as January/February will be here soon…and that just sucks!

Ho Ho HEEEEELLLP!!!



Pop up!
November 14, 2014, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , ,

Last night, I attended the opening reception for a short “pop-up” drawing show in the South End.  I have four drawings on exhibit, along with the works of many UBER TALENTED Boston artists:  Chuck Holtzman, Sandra Allen, Barbara Grad, Linda Etcoff, Eugene Dorgan, Summer Wheat, and Conley Harris.  Please check out all of their websites…the work is gorgeous.  The show is curated by Conley Harris, and held in his studio space in the South End.  I was SO thrilled to be included.  These are really some of the top artists in Boston, so it was fantastic to see their work and to meet some of them.  The show is open today (11/14) and tomorrow (11/15) from 11am to 5pm at 1140 Washington Street, Boston, 3rd floor.  Go see it!

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These are thumbnails of the work of Eugene Dorgan, Sandra Allen, Conley Harris, and myself.  Dorgan does breathtaking charcoal portraits that are moody and compelling.  Allen is a graphite pencil virtuoso who draws with otherworldly beauty, sensitivity, and scale.  Harris’s rich and layered drawings seamlessly meld remnants of photography with layers of gouache to create fantastic “Nature Morte” works.

I’m SO sorry that I don’t have any pictures!!!! I forgot my ipod, which is what I typically use for photos.  SIGH.  At least I made it out of the house properly dressed, and not in pajamas.  It’s tough being a suburban mom.

My other big achievement since I last posted is that I MADE A COAT.  No joke!  Here it is:

a-coat outside

It’s wool, so it’s pretty warm.  I started it with a pattern, but then the pattern was so bizarre…I had to make numerous modifications.  It’s cute, right????  I even added the collar, which it didn’t have originally.  Here is the inside:

a-coat inside

Okay…THAT, I love.

In addition to this coat, I also made a couple of little pouches as gifts for some friends:

a-pouch front

The coffee cup sketch is actually a screen print onto some printed fabric.

I do all of this stuff, and then I wonder why my house is a mess.  Well, it’s messy because: a. I’m messy, and b. I dislike housekeeping.  Simple!  I also have enough stuff to fit into a house that is approximately double the size of the one that I am actually living in.  My son is equally messy, which is clearly a sign that I am being an awful role model YET AGAIN.  Luckily…my husband is pretty neat, or else we’d be in serious trouble.  Why does my son seem to pick up my worst qualities?  He’s messy, he can be grouchy/short tempered, and he scowls a lot.  Hmm.  At least he doesn’t have frizzy hair…yet.

If anyone out there is a “neat person”, I would greatly appreciate an “intervention” at my house to teach me how to be a neater person.  If it involves throwing out any art supplies, fabric, or yarn…then, I’m afraid that you’ll have to leave.  Feel free to take away the vacuum and my pots and pans…but leave the mohair yarn and fabric paint, thankyouverymuch.

I’m just going to rearrange some piles now so that I can get some work done…don’t mind me…

 



Halloween fatique assuaged by a better cup of tea…
October 30, 2014, 2:31 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: , , , , , ,

Halloween is nearly upon us, and  I’m already exhausted by the whole thing.  My son keeps telling me ways that we could make our house look MORE SCARY, with fake tombstones, etc.  He doesn’t seem to realize that because of my poor housekeeping skills, the house already IS scary.  WAAAAY scary.  Case in point:  a contractor was over yesterday installing new storm windows.  When he came inside to do something, he asked, “Got several kids?”  My response was, “No.  One child, and one poor housekeeper.”  Sheesh.

My skills lie elsewhere.  I don’t yet have the map to that “elsewhere”, but I’ll let you know when I get there.

I spent gobs of time making my son’s costume this year.  He wants to be a dragon.  I balked.  Why can’t he be something EASIER?  So many kids are going as ninjas.  What a simple costume!  Just have them wear black clothes and wrap a black cloth around their head.  Simple!  Done!  Or, better yet, a black ski mask!  I kept trying to convince my son that a viking would be just as cool as a dragon, and infinitely easier to make.  But, no.  He’s spoiled by my craftiness, so he knows that a dragon costume is the better thing to push for.  So, here it is:

a-costume front

a-costume back

If I thought that I could make these quickly, it would be smart to make some for my Etsy store.  Perhaps I should start now, and I might have one or two made by next Halloween?  Perhaps I need to start drinking caffeine again?  No…that’s a bad idea, as mommy is already high-strung.  Doesn’t this look like a dead bat on the floor, or is that just me?  FYI…I may eat all of the Halloween candy before tomorrow…I am both filled with remorse…and chocolate.

But enough about my ridiculous domestic chaos…my printmaking teacher and friend, Christiane Corcelle, has a solo show titled, “A Better Cup of Tea” at Artspace in Maynard, Ma.  This show closes TOMORROW (Oct. 31) so you must go NOW to see it!  It’s a great show, and I was really happy to see what great things she has been making.  Here are some images from the show…

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Christiane Corcelle, Choisissez Votre Chapeau!

and a detail:

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Christiane Corcelle, Choisissez Votre Chapeau! (detail)

I love the image transfers of vintage illustrations on teabags.  The texture is so fascinating!  I think that it would be cool to make a garment/coat out of these layered teabags.

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Christiane Corcelle, Going Green

This, believe it or not, these colored squares are teabag wrappers that Corcelle has printed on, then collaged.  I love the simplicity of the black ink on the colored wrappers.  This would also make a fantastic quilt.

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Christiane Corcelle, Kaleidoscope

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Christiane Corcelle, Kaleidoscope (detail)

Corcelle has collaged tea bag labels, including their strings.  I especially liked this one in the center of the image…I think because some of the labels were tea stained.  Don’t you love the effect of the hanging strings?  You can imagine that each board is a different person, with their own tea drinking preference/personality.

T-duck

Christiane Corcelle, T-Duck

Okay, I LOVE this.  This may be my favorite piece in the show.  I love how simple, yet graphic the form is.  I love the shadow that is cast by it.  It makes me think of some kind of Duchamp readymade (although this is clearly not quite “ready made”.)  Brilliant!

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Christiane Corcelle, Melt Series (detail)

Can you guess what those blue blobs are?  Yes, they are MELTED MILK BOTTLE CAPS.  Amazing, right?  I love how bold and irregular each one is.  She has a whole series of these.

red ticket

Christiane Corcelle, Red Ticket (detail)

I’m sorry that I only have a detail photo of this piece.  The overall photo that I took is pretty blurry.  Again, Corcelle has hidden little found treasures in these used teabags.  I love that there is some organization to the arrangement of the items…and I love the unifying color scheme.

Great show.  Overall, I tended to prefer the pieces that kept the teabags lose and flexible in some way, like in Red Ticket and T-duck, as opposed to where the items were more rigidly collaged, as in Kaleidoscope.  Perhaps because the teabags seem to be almost a textile, I like when they maintain their soft/loose quality.

For those of you in the Boston area, some of my drawings are going to be included in a show, “Drawings Out of Lines and Marks” in the South End.  The reception is November 13 from 6-8pm.  I’m super excited, as the other artists are uber talented.

drawing

Now, to figure out what we should have for dinner tonight…does a mystery vegetable from the freezer sound appealing?  What about just having Cheez-its and some Halloween candy?

If you’re thinking of calling DSS, my name is “Cindy” and I live in Omaha.  Thank you for your concern.



Getting more fiber…
October 21, 2014, 8:41 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., textile forms | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I was going through museum withdrawal recently, so I went to the ICA in order to get my art fix.  I went specifically to the ICA because of their current show: Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – Present.  EXCITING!!!  My excitement should not be surprising as I have a yarn stash the size of a water buffalo in the attic.  Hee hee!  (Don’t tell my husband.)

Before going to the show, and speaking of fiber, I noticed this on the windowsill:

a-toastsmall

No, not the Halloween decoration.  THE TOAST.  My son somehow decided that THIS would be a good place to leave his egg covered toast.  Why, you may ask?  Who knows.  Six-year-olds work in mysterious ways…and mine typically works in ways that are MOST MYSTERIOUS.

Back on topic: the work at the ICA was fantastic.  I loved the textures, the colors…everything.  It was hard to restrain myself not to TOUCH the artwork, as it just begs to be poked and hugged.  If you like to knit, you know what I’m talking about.  I get itchy fingers in a yarn store NOT because I’m allergic to wool, but because I need to snuggle the yarn.  This is frowned upon at a museum, though.  Humph.

Here are a few of the works, (you will note that some would be more “snuggly” than others)…

(BTW…this blog is a “grammar free zone”…)

Alan Sheilds, Nina Got It for 100 Francs, 1971

This looked like an intricate mesh interlaced with thin wood dowels and suspended from the ceiling.  LOVE IT!  It isn’t clear if the main textile in the piece was created or found.  It looks like a found piece that was dyed, especially if you consider the title.  If I had a big, white, modern house…I’d love to have this floating in a corner.  I’d sit in a white Bertoia bird chair while drinking a pumpkin latte (’tis the season), and just gaze at it for hours.  I love the tension between it’s opacity and its transparency.  They are so balanced.  (Not to change the subject, but does anyone want to buy me one of those Bertoia chairs?  No?  What about a pumpkin latte?  Bueller?)

And a detail:

Alan Shields, Nina Got It for 100 Francs (detail), 1971

It looks kind of childish with it’s bright colors simple construction…but it looks really great as a whole.

Another cool piece:

Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color, 1965

Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color (detail), 1965

TINY RAFFIA BRAIDS.  This looks like some kind of dried sea creature.  I like the colors.  Small hands.  Look at that texture!

Next:

Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element), 1979

And a detail:

Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element) (detail), 1979

I loved this too!  This would also go fabulously in that imaginary white modern house that I do not own.  It’s interesting that some of pieces in the show were very heavy, while others very light.  That sounds kind of dumb and obvious, but I love the contrast.  In other words…I think of other sculptural materials, such as bronze, as…well, heavy…always heavy.  But look how different fiber can be!  I suppose it is generally linear, but can be bundled, knotted, woven, etc. to create density or lightness.

Next:

Alexandre Da Cunha, Kentucky Pied de Poule I, 2012

I love the neutral colors here.  I also love the thickness and almost Amish look to it.  The most fabulous thing about that piece is that it is made of mop heads.  I KID YOU NOT.  Isn’t that fantastic????  No?  Too bad.

Next:

Diane Itter, Color Point, 1981

Diane Itter, Color Point (detail), 1981

Oh. My. God.  HUNDREDS of brightly colored embroidery threads (a guess), are deftly knotted to form a kind of textile Op Art.  CAN YOU SEE HOW MANY KNOTS THERE ARE IN THIS???  Amazing.  The colors are incredible, and the precision is ridiculous.  It makes my inept “friendship bracelets” of elementary school look a bajillion times more inept.

Next:

Sherri Smith, Front Range, 1976

Sherri Smith, Front Range (detail), 1976

Ahhhh…layers and layers of knotted, knitted wool.  AMAZING.  This one begs to be touched, and yet I did not.  (Wouldn’t this be a FANTASTIC sweater?  Is that gauche to say so?  Probably.)  Again…look at the texture!!!  Sigh…swoon…

Next:

a-bailey1

Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent, 1993-2009

a-bailey2

Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent (detail), 1993-2009

WHOA.  If there were crocheting Olympics, this artist would be on the cover of a Wheaties box.  How does one even BEGIN this kind of fantastic creation????  I think this artist needs to do an installation at the ICA.  She needs to fill an entire room with her works.  It would probably be asking too much if I wanted to snuggle some of her works, but I digress…

I need more pom poms.  Just sayin’.

A trip to the ICA is always a fantastic few hours.  I wish that I lived closer, or I’d just hang out there ALL THE TIME.  I’m sure that they’re glad that I’m not a local.

Coincidentally, I recently started dabbling in weaving.  It’s pretty fun, and works up MUCH faster than knitting.  Here is my crude start:

a-loom2

Don’t you wonder how I can muster up the gumption to continue weaving this little thing after seeing that show at the ICA???  I do.  I clearly have no shame!  I like to learn new things, so I am perpetually a beginner…(and one of those “jack of all trades/master of none.”)  This thing screams, “BEGINNER!” and has that tell-tale D.I.Y. aura.  Oh well.  At least I can snuggle it.



Hammertime!
August 8, 2014, 9:26 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , ,

Today is my son’s last day at camp.  SOB!…sniff sniff…That means that next week, I have to be on mommy-duty 24/7.  YIKES.  Some people delight in that.  For me, it puts me in a sort of low-grade panic.  HOW are we going to pass the time???  HOW am I not going to go postal???  I’m sure by the end of summer, my son will be thrilled to go back to school and get away from me.  I know that I would too, but…unfortunately, I’m stuck with me.

He has made some priceless creations at camp this year:

a-boat

They have “woodshop” at camp.  Isn’t this super cute?  This will be used as the centerpiece for the head table at his wedding.  (Just kidding…maybe…)

a-door

This is a tiny door.  I suppose that we could put it at the base of a tree, as if it was the entry to a gnome house?  Apparently, my son smacked his thumb with a hammer when making this.  Ahh…this is the timeless injury which began when early man first started using tools!  It’s 2014, and we still do it today.

thumb

Look at this ridiculous graphic that I found.  What kind of moronic image is this?  Who puts their thumb ON the nail????  Should that even be considered an accident???  Why do I immediately think of Congress when I see this?  I know that doesn’t make sense, as something is actually HAPPENING in this image.

But I digress…my son’s last creation from yesterday:

a-thingy

I forgot to ask my son what this is.  It looks like something that would be legal only in Colorado.  I’m not sure what they’re teaching those kids at camp, but I can overlook it because they make him lunch.  Yes, I’m THAT kind of mom.  I’m just glad that there is no licensing exam for being a mom, or else I’d be undoubtedly parenting without a license.

So, yesterday was the reception for a show of my drawings.  It was fun for me, because it is at my old office.  These were some images of the show last Friday when I was setting it up:

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a-sasaki1

a-sasaki3

a-sasaki4

There is a blog write up about the show here.  It was great to see many of my former co-workers.  I was also really happy that some of my non-architect friends came as well.  I was kind of stressed about the show before I hung it, but I think that I had forgotten how nice everyone is at my old office.  I could tell that I wasn’t used to getting out much in the adult world because I referred to someone’s water bottle as a “sippy cup.”  WTH?  My son doesn’t even USE sippy cups anymore.  CLEARLY, you can take the mommy out of the house, but you can’t take the house out of the mommy.  Perhaps someday scientists will find some correlation between Stop & Shop and early onset Alzheimer’s?

I wore one of my latest creations to the reception:

a-tunicfront

I’m pretty happy with it!  My sewing skills are improving…thank god.  It’s hard to work with silk.  I’m realizing that silk chiffon is even worse, but I’ll show you that project when/if I finish it.  And the back:

a-tunicback

Do you think that I could sell these on Etsy?  Or, am I the only person what would wear this kind of thing?  Probably.  Growing up, I was always the weird kid who dressed strangely.  This clearly hasn’t changed with age.  It’s less endearing now because people don’t think, “How cute!” anymore…instead its, “Why is that old, fat lady dressed like that?”

Because she’s cray cray…that’s why.

Time to get back to my life and death battle with silk chiffon…so far the score is:  Silk Chiffon:3, Me:0.

 



Schwarzenegger and sundaes? Wyeth not?
July 25, 2014, 10:34 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , ,

Does anyone else out there feel that the current situation in the world is particularly depressing?  I know that this is always the case if you focus on the negative, but I feel that humanity has quickened its recent pace of going to hell in a hand basket.  Can’t we all agree to stop killing/invading/abducting one another???  WTH???  Methinks I need an NPR break.  Or maybe a mint chip ice cream sundae with fresh whipped cream?  Or both?

You can all just put away your Strunk & White when you read this blog, lest your grammar cortisol levels skyrocket…(I love a good ellipsis, and find parenthetical expressions invaluable.)

My adviser/friend organizes a local, temporary art exhibit called “Chairful Where You Sit” here in Arlington.  Artists decorate discarded chairs, and then the chairs are sold to support Arlington Public Art’s programs.  Nice!  Here are some of this year’s creations…

a-chairarch

Adria Arch, Chairful Where You Sit 2014

a-chair

Unknown artist (sorry!!!!), Chairful Where You Sit 2014

a-murie

Susan Murie (my neighbor!), Chairful Where You Sit 2014

a-hoff

Amy Hoff, Chairful Where You Sit 2014

It’s a really fun event each year.  I love that the chairs are rescued from the trash and then transformed.  I have not been organized enough to participate and create my own chair thus far.  Maybe if I start NOW, I might be able to complete it in time for NEXT YEAR????  (Is it sad that I need that long? Probably. At least I did some laundry yesterday…)

My mom and I went to see the quilt exhibit at the MFA.  The show is titled, “Quilts and Color.”  The quilts were impressive, obsessive, and convulsive.  (Just kidding about the last one…)

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Quilts and Color at the MFA Boston

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Quilts and Color at the MFA Boston

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Quilts in Color at the MFA Boston

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Quilts in Color at the MFA Boston

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Quilts in Color at the MFA Boston

TINY BITS OF FABRIC!!!  (Yes, I know that isn’t a sentence.)  If you don’t make quilts, you may not realize the HOURS it took to make these.   You also may not appreciate the difficulty in getting such precision between the fiddly little pieces.

Back in the day, no one could just use a little gizmo to pop out identical and accurate pieces of fabric, as we have available today.  Nooo…you had to sit hunched over by candlelight cursing your existence as you cut out minute hexagons from random fabric, hopefully not from your family’s clothes as they’re still wearing them.  (Maybe Amish kids don’t yell, “MOM!  STOP IT!”???)

In the caption next to one quilt, it said something about the local Bishop needing to approve the use of patterned fabric, as opposed to solids.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  I joked that these quilts were actually Amish voodoo dolls where docile Amish women could stab and poke and cut their frustrations out on these things.  Maybe that’s just me?  Hmmm…I would make a terrible Amish woman.  Plus, I look awful in beige.

One interesting thing about the quilt show was that in spite of it being all about COLOR, I generally hated all of the colors.  Odd, right?  The palette of colors was so unpleasant and nauseating.  Rust red next to forest green, mauve, off white, ochre…YUCK.  GAG.  I know it’s quilting blasphemy to make such a statement, but I generally was put off by the colors.  I must be missing that Amish gene…kind of like how I hate cilantro while other people will happily chomp on fistfuls of it.  Blech.  Julia Child hated cilantro too, so I’m not a total philistine.

There are a few pieces of color-intense artwork interspersed in the show:

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Victor Vasarely, MEH2, 1969, Color screenprint

a-riley

Bridget Riley, Elapse, 1982, Color screenprint

These generally enhanced my overall enjoyment of the show, and cleansed my “cilantro-esque” violated aesthetic palette.

The MFA also had an exhibit of the work of Jamie Wyeth, son of Andrew Wyeth.  His technical skill was amazing.  I especially loved many of his watercolors, but his “style” was all over the place.  In addition…again, this is probably art blasphemy to say this…but I found that while some of his work was stunning and beautiful, many other pieces were hideous, while still technically perfect.  Weird, right?

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Jamie Wyeth, Portrait with Black Wash Background, Head, Nureyev (Study #23), 1977,

Pencil, opaque and translucent watercolor on toned rag board

His drawings are lovely…and I love the inky splotch.

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Jamie Wyeth, Portrait of Lincoln Kirstein, 1965, Oil on canvas

Apparently, Kirstein was “a towering figure in the art world and passionate advocate of ballet.”  This view is of him standing in the darkened wings of a stage, watching a performance.  This is not the style of art that I am normally interested in, but I loved how most of the picture was of his shadowy back.  I also like that he isn’t a politician/royal.

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Jamie Wyeth, Head Tide – Maine, 1991, Watercolor on Rag Paper

This is a gorgeous watercolor.  I LOVE IT.  The inky dark trees behind the cold facade of the church is beautiful.  Wyeth has an amazing ability to capture light in his works.

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Jamie Wyeth Butterscotch, Gull, and Hot Fudge Sundae, 2004,

Translucent and opaque watercolor on toned rag paper

I thought that this was a hilarious painting of a gull with two ice cream sundaes.  See the crazy technical skill?  See the rather odd use of this skill?  It gets weirder…

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Jamie Wyeth, MFA Boston

Hmm.  Starting to get weird.  The reddish border is actually a garish, splotchy background that looks like something my son would do stuck behind the bird painting.  HMM!  Bizarre.  Go see this show, and you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say both, “Wow!” and “YIKES!”  I didn’t include a photo of the painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s naked back as he makes an enormous muscle with his bicep.  I’m not kidding.  For real.  My husband asked if this artist would have had a show at the MFA if his father had not been Andrew Wyeth.

What do you think?  Hmmmmmm…

How can I POSSIBLY JUDGE when this is what I do now…:

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Yes, this is another silk top for my friend.  And the last one:

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Again, these are recycled saris from India.  These are VERY BASIC.  They do look nice on, though.

I also finished a sheer shirt that I made from a commercial pattern:

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I know…kind of “floofy”, right?  I’ve been wanting to make a more complicated article of clothing using sheer fabric…so, I finally did it!  I’m happy with it, even though I had to redo many parts of it.  See?  How can I judge a painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bicep when I make stuff like this???  (At least, I’m covered up, right?  Sheesh.)

Okay, so I’m going to “make like a gull” and get a couple of ice cream sundaes to take my mind off of the bizarre artwork, ugly quilts, global apocalypse, and my own artistic ineptitude.  Carry on!



Me WOOOT
June 9, 2014, 9:55 am
Filed under: Drawing, Sewing | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The school year is wrapping up, and I’m in panic mode thinking about what I’m going to do with my son before his camp begins.  I know that letting him eat candy all day whilst watching cartoons is NOT an option.  Hmm.  I also know that joining him to play Godzilla with his toys is also NOT an option, unless I want to go completely koo koo and wind up institutionalized.  I don’t do “imaginative play” with figurines well.  I don’t know why.  I can’t do it.  Build with blocks…yep.   Draw with markers…yep.  Action figures…nope.  Can’t do it.  I always end up doing something silly/hilarious, which makes my son mad.  Play is serious business!  I can’t play with action figures in a serious manner.  I just can’t.

In order to try to get some art exposure before the dreaded post-school/pre-camp weeks arrive, I went with a friend to First Friday in Boston.  We always have a good time checking out what the galleries have up.  We have an even better time getting the required “post-gallery-beer,” but I digress…  Barbara Moody, our studio critic for the A.P.T. program, had an opening that night at Kingston Gallery.  It was great to see her and her new work!  This is an image from the Kingston Gallery website:

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Barbara Moody at Kingston Gallery

She creates wild landscapes that overrun fragments of architecture.  I love the color palette!  I love the marks, the layering, and the overall energy and vitality!  She also has a series of very small works that are bold collages of imagined landscapes.  Those were also wonderful.  Go see this show, as it will close on June 29.

We stopped by Steven Zevitas Gallery and saw the work of Ann Toebbe.

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Anne Toebbe at Steven Zevitas Gallery

I loved her work!  She creates these flattened out domestic interiors from collaged paper.  Each one made you wonder who’s room it was, and whether they were all from the same house, or different houses…

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 Anne Toebbe at Steven Zevitas Gallery

Aren’t these great????  My photos are terrible, so you have to go and see it for yourself.  Her work will be up until July 5.  Go see.  Now.

We also caught the work of Joe Fig at Carroll and Sons.  Joe Fig wrote a great book, Inside the Painter’s Studio, where he interviewed famous artists and then recreated their studios in miniature.  LOVE IT.  Here is what Leonardo Drew‘s studio must look like:

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Joe Fig at Carroll and Sons

It’s hard to appreciate the detail of Fig’s work.  Here is a bit of a close up:

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Joe Fig at Carroll and Sons

This is TINY.  Can you believe it???  Look at the messy paint cans!  Look at the extension cords!  HOW DOES HE DO IT???  Anyway…I have his book, so I was thrilled to finally see on of his works in person.  I also love Leonardo Drew, so it was cool to have a peek into his world, even though it’s mini.  I really could have looked at this for hours, but then I didn’t want to get too many nose marks on the plexiglass case.  I should show this to my husband just to prove to him that I’m not the only messy person on the planet.  Joe Fig would rather eat one of his models than have to recreate my household chaos in miniature.

Besides making nose marks on plexiglass, I haven’t been up to much lately…except for THIS…CHECK IT OUT!!!

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WOO HOOOOO!  Yes, that’s a friggin’ SERGER!  Mwahahahahh…I’m sooooo excited.  Now, I plan to dash off shoddily made items with reckless and foolhardy speed.  1,500 stitches per minute!  Imagine what kind of trouble I can get into!!!  Here’s my first serger project:

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I know…I know…I should have ironed it…but remember?  I’m ironing-challenged!  I love this day-glo tomato color.  Side view:

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I look like I’m falling over.  Hmm…probably had the camera crooked.  ANYWAY…notice the ruching at the side seam????  My first time trying that out…it turned out okay!  Because this isn’t Vogue magazine, I didn’t Photoshop my backside to make it smaller.  If so, I would have posted this:

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Don’t I look more skinny?  Ahh…the alchemy of Photoshop!  I hope that they incorporate that feature into the new Google glasses.  That way, everyone would look as they would like.  Kind of like beer goggles…but different.  I think that I’d make myself look like Zooey Deschanel, even though that change would be pretty traumatizing if someone took off their glasses.  Oh well.

 

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Not bad, right????  The pattern is one I drew up based upon I shirt that I already have.  I suppose that’s cheating, right?  The whole thing is so simple that it doesn’t seem like THAT original of a design…hmmm.  I’m a long way from Project Runway…especially as they would spit upon my serger.  BUT WHO CARES????  I love it. It’s “quick and dirty” sewing.  Actually, based upon my housekeeping skills, mine is mostly “dirty”…

So, my husband recently discovered the work of Hombre_McSteez.  He does AMAZING animations on acetate(?) held in front of some actual scene.  Please watch THIS VIDEO on Youtube to see some of his stuff…

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Hombre McSteez on Youtube

You also have to see his instagram feed…HERE.

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Hombre McSteez on Instagram

You’ll never look at a green bean the same way again.  At my house now, we all can’t stop saying, “I am a plant!”  or “Me WOOT!”

My parting words for today are: Me WOOOT!!!  Discuss amongst yourselves…

 



My granny square strait jacket…
April 14, 2014, 10:17 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., sculpture | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Spring is here!  Time to frolic through the dead garden!  Mince through the muddy lawn!   Leap amongst the leafless trees!

In celebration of the GLORIOUS change in weather (it’s above freezing now…), I went to the ICA in Boston.

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Yes, I managed to stop scrubbing the kitchen floor long enough to make this visit.  (Ha ha!…just kidding, I never scrub the kitchen floor!!!)

I did see some sunshine for a brief period.  Luckily, I got a sunny-ish photo to prove that, yes, indeed…it isn’t snowing!

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This sunshine didn’t last long, as you will see in subsequent photos.

ANYHOO…the reason I went was to see the AMAZING work by Nick Cave now on exhibit:

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

He had three of these sculptures together.  They are so comical, and yet somehow regal as well…

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

THAT is a closeup of what is going on in that mass of beads/ornament/tchotchke-palooza.  CRAZY!

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

This piece is four ENORMOUS panels of chaotic, antiquated, thrift store finery.

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

You’ll notice that there isn’t any plastic “junk.”  It’s mostly beads, metal ornaments, ceramic figurines of birds/fruit, and brightly colored afghans.  I think because of this palette, and because the items don’t appear broken or damaged, there is a certain refinement and respect for the materials.  While it does look haphazard, the figurines do have an orientation and are placed upright…the beads are draped and not wadded up/thrown on, so there is some order to the chaos.  HOW he managed to fix all of these things together with no apparent fasteners is VERY interesting.  They aren’t bound together as much as suspended somehow…

Okay, so that is his new work.  Mind-boggling, right?  Here is is older work, which he is more known for:

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

These “Soundsuits” are AMAZING.  Apparently, Cave created the first one in response to the Rodney King beatings.  “I built this sort of suit of armor, and by putting it on,  I realized that I could make a sound from moving in it,” Cave told the Washington Post.  “It made me think of ideas around protest, and how we should be a voice and speak louder,” Cave says.

These suits are beyond incredible.  The materials and excess are astounding…the fantastic manipulation of the human form is phenomenal…and the fact that they could actually be worn and in motion is superb.  See videos here and here for some of his other suits in action.  Cave is an Alvin Ailey trained dancer.  I LOVE the idea of these forms in motion. These photos are terrible in comparison to seeing them in person.  Their enormous size/height makes them overwhelming and mesmerizing.

Here are some close ups of the INSANE textures/colors/materials he used to make these:

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

I LOOOVE THIS!  Pure genius.  I would LOOOVE to see one of his soundsuit performances!  I’m almost inspired to cover myself in handmade potholders and jump around the living room for an hour!  (Just kidding, that sounds too much like exercise…)  Someday, I fear that I may end up in a crocheted strait jacket made out of colorful granny squares…at least then I’ll have an excuse for not mopping…

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ANYWAY, I had a super fun time at the ICA.  After paying $15 for parking, I felt guilty about leaving.  Wasn’t there anything else that I could do in the area?  I decided no, and headed out.  Now, I am missing the navigational genes that most normal people have.  As a result, I rely heavily upon GPS to get me places.  I know…did I really need GPS to get home when I had JUST driven to the ICA from home a few hours ago????  Well, yes…yes I did.

Unfortunately, my GPS had a momentary lapse in usefulness:

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REALLY?  In order to get to Arlington from Boston I need to take a FERRY????  Why don’t I remember the ferry ride coming over here???  Is traffic really THAT bad that it makes sense for me to take a BOAT home instead???

Sigh.  I guess I’m not the only one that’s “navigationally” challenged around here.  No wonder why I get lost so often…

 



the inertia of inanimate ennui
March 28, 2014, 10:03 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , ,

Ack!  Is it Friday already?  How come my house is still a mess and I don’t look like Giselle Bundchen?  Oh yes.  I forgot.  I’m still me.  Damn.

Before I get completely sidetracked in my usual nonsense, I just want to give a big THANK YOU to Martha Wakefield and Jeanne Williamson, who included me in their recent show.  Thank you so much!!!

Okay.  Enough seriousness.  I stopped by the deCordova yesterday with the intention of seeing whatever new and fabulous art was up.  WHAT?  THEY STILL HAVE THE BIENNIAL UP???  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I wrote a post about it in NOVEMBER.  I think that museums would get more visitors if they CHANGED THE EXHIBIT more frequently than once a year.  *DRAMATIC EYE-ROLLING SIGH*

I just heard on NPR that fast food places are trying to come up with disgusting food chimeras to get you to stop by, such as this disgusting creation:

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THAT is KFC’s Double Down “sandwich.” This is supposed to tempt you to come to KFC because it’s “new” and “freakish.”  Brace yourself…don’t you think that the deCordova could learn something from KFC?  YES!  Create appalling shows that are up only for a short period of time!  Why not?  Or at least have two different shows that are staggered in their rotation…or maybe just offer a free Double Down to each visitor???  That might be tempting!  (There’s a reason that I don’t do P.R., obviously.)  No joke…change the exhibit SEVERAL times a year and people will come back SEVERAL times a year. I’m so logical, it scares me.

Recently, my husband was upset that I bought an electric can opener.  He feels that it embodies the decadence and absurdity of our culture.  I think not.  I think that THIS SANDWICH represents the preposterous excess of our time.  Am I right, or what???  Again, killer logic.  Don’t tell me that you’ve stopped reading to head out to KFC right now.  (Bring one back for me if you do, okay?  My husband is vegan…SEND HELP!)

MOVING ON…As a result of my failing to personally see any new art for the reason just mentioned above, I’m resorting to giving you a link to cool work that I found online.  If you’ve never looked at Colossal, you should.  They always have amazing stuff.  Such as this:

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Please check out this video here.  BRILLIANT!  I love stop motion animation!  I guess that’s a result of watching Gumby when I was little.  Or was it because of Mr.  Bill?  Not sure.  Anyway, it’s kind of soothing and zen.  It almost makes me forget that I should probably be doing housework.

If you decided to read this blog because you thought that it would be interesting, stop right here.  You’re out of luck.

My artist friends and I were lamenting the ridiculousness of the art world last night.  Our conversation/whining was generated by this article.  Yes, the Whitney Biennial…the Oscars for artists…is being criticized for its parasitic use of artists to generate money for itself.  I know.  Duh.  That’s how it always works.  The art world makes no sense.  If friggin’ Dreamworks gets big profits from people coming to movie theaters to see something inane like Kung Fu Panda…then it seems OBVIOUS to me that artists showing at a venue should be making a profit from admission fees.  Am I right or what???  (Say “yes” or I’ll send the panda over to mess you up.)

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Seriously.  What the heck is wrong with society?

Thankfully, my six year old son has not seen that movie.  He did recently watch Turbo.  You know…the movie where a snail competes in the Indianapolis 500?

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My son got mad every time I mentioned how “cute” this snail is, zipping around a racetrack.  Apparently, this is serious stuff for a kindergartener.  I think that the whole premise is COMPLETELY HILARIOUS.  I had to stifle my cooing and/or guffaws every time the little snail zipped across the screen.

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My son drew this after watching the movie.  In subsequent drawings, he has learned to spell “Turbo.” See?  These movies are educational!!!

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He also make this Lego version.  Notice the flames coming out the back of the snail.  Nice touch.

As this post seems to be turning into an inane rant about animation, I’ll leave you with the work of David Szakaly.

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David Szakaly

I think that Dreamworks or the deCordova need to get in touch with him.  “Honey, I didn’t get any housework done today because I was in a hypnotic trance looking at swirling rainbows on tumblr.  Sorry!!!”




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