slightly wonky


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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Fitchbuuuuurg!
July 26, 2013, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., Photography | Tags: , , ,

My big success this week was to meet with Mary Tinti, the Fitchburg Art Museum‘s new curator.  I’m NOT kidding.  She’s putting together a show of still lifes, and was interested in some of my drawings.  NO JOKE.  I was so thrilled that she contacted me.  She was very generous with her time and feedback.   Besides getting to know her, I also really enjoyed hearing about the museum, its collection, and its history.  I’m embarrassed to say that I had not ever been to the Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) before.  YIKES.  Actually, I don’t think that I had even been to Fitchburg.  I know.  What’s wrong with me?  (Don’t answer that…)  Check it out:

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The Fitchburg Art Museum

This is the main visitor’s entrance of the museum.  It was founded in 1925 by Eleanor Norcross, an accomplished artist and educator.  The museum has a wonderful and diverse collection…paintings by John Singer Sargent, photographs by Charles Sheeler and Walker Evans, African masks and statues, and a series of Egyptian art and mummies, INCLUDING a mummified crocodile (it’s small…and it kind of looked like something that my son would make, but I digress…)

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It looked sort of like THAT, but more shriveled.  YIKES.  This is the kind of thing that I’d find in the bottom of my son’s backpack…(not a result of my poor housekeeping skills, mind you…) MOVING ON…

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The Fitchburg Art Museum

This is an addition to the museum, completed in the late 80s by Burr & McCallum Architects.  The materials are really nice, and it’s well detailed.  Yes, I know.  The architect side of my brain has been feeling neglected lately, and it desperately wants attention.  (The housewife side of my brain is undeveloped and primitive…BTW).  It’s hard to divide my multitude of interests among my limited brain cells.  Well, at least I only have one brain to keep track of, although I do feel like THIS guy sometimes…

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BRILLIANT!  I think this comes with the territory of raising a kid and trying to work from home.  (I have Terry Jones’s impatience.)  But I digress again…FOCUS!

The current show at FAM is the 78th Annual Regional Exhibition of Art and Craft.

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Juan Jose Barbazo-Gubo, Cervus Transformatio, 2011

This gorgeous piece by Juan Jose Barbazo-Gubo won “First Prize” at the show, which was juried by Nina Gara Bozicnik, Assistant Curator, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire.  I should have taken a close up photo for you to see the amazing linework, collage, painting and textures in this piece.  I even love how the fragile paper is puckered around the image.  Beautiful.  Barbazo-Gubo is a Somerville resident…next time you see him at Highland Kitchen, tell him that his work is GORGEOUS.

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Edward Monovich, Snake In The Grass, 2011

Check out this crazy drawing!  Amazing.  It’s actually all done on graph paper.  So cool! The imagery is both appealing and disturbing.  Who is that skunk boy?  The drawing actually has the irregular profile that you see.  Monovich’s got mad drawing skills, right?  Also, he’s another local, and lives in Belmont!  So give HIM a big “hello” if you see him at Stone Hearth Pizza in Belmont Center.  (Actually, he’s probably too cool to eat there.)  I’m not!  I like that place, but it’s always packed with screaming kids.  I feel that I can complain about that, as I’ve got one at home too.  When I go out to dinner, I’m trying to ESCAPE and PRETEND that there is peace and sanity in the world.  Hmph.

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Lee Su, Twinkle Twinkle Little Hypercube, 2013

Don’t you love this?  It’s got an interesting mix of flatness and depth.  This somehow looks vintage to me.  I love it.

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Coelynn McIninch, Castle #9, 2013

Okay.  I LOVE THIS TOO.  So stunning.  I believe that McIninch builds a physical model, and then photographs it and manipulates the photo.  PLEASE look at her website.  I love her work.  This series in particular is gorgeous…and not just because of the architectural content.  The images are so ethereal…ghost-like…  I love how they are both beautiful and disorienting.

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Nora Valdez, Baggage /Bagaje

Nora Valdez was also having a solo show at the museum.  Her sculptures were amazing.  She also had beautiful drawings.

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Nora Valdez, Paper Bags / Bolsitas de Papel, 2009-2011

Crumpled bags carved out of limestone.  Look how soft they look!  I want those…

There was also a photography show going on:

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I know!  So much to see!  I loved this:

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Carl Chiarenza, Triptych: Don Quixote, 153/148/158, 1992

I wish that my photo was better.  This was gorgeous.  It’s so abstract, and yet the richness of the textures and materials are so incredible.  Very beautiful.

I had a chance to wander around the neighborhood of the museum as well…this is what I found:

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Hmmm.  I’m glad that they labeled that.

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This wall was so great!  I’m not sure who the artists are…schoolkids?  People in the community?  Either way, I loved it.

Ah…so my trip to Fitchburg was a treat.  In contrast, my main challenge of the week was that my five year old son has been creating “drop-off drama” at camp in the morning.  Perhaps he thinks that he’s actually AT a “drama camp?”  They do have those, right?  He’s been upset when I have to go, but within ten minutes of me having gone…he’s fine (at least this is what I’m TOLD…)  SIGH.

I’m wondering if I make a stuffed effigy of myself, complete with crabby face and disheveled hair, would this abate his separation anxiety?  He could bring it WITH HIM.  Brilliant, right? I can’t decide if I should use a mass of angora yarn to represent my humidity-induced frizzy hair, or perhaps simply an errant dust bunny would do…thoughts?  Then again…this “faux mommy” doll may temporarily assuage his need for me (as I have about as much personality as a wad of polyester stuffing), but it will likely lead to odd looks from the other kids and subsequent years of therapy to get over this complex.

Perhaps I’ll just bribe him with ice cream, instead?

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No, that’s not my attempt to create the “faux mommy” doll.  This is my son’s piñata from camp!   Isn’t it adorable? He whacked it with a wiffle ball bat in order to get the goodies out.  On second thought…maybe this IS supposed to be me???  Did my son make this mommy-fetish to seek revenge for my leaving him at camp??? Egads. Now, I’VE got a complex.  (Try to act surprised…)




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