slightly wonky


Time to regroup…and swiffer…(is that a verb?)
March 9, 2012, 9:33 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , ,

Well, I think that I’ve made all of the preparations that I can for my upcoming portfolio review on April 1.  This is where esteemed people in the Boston art world (curators…gallery owners…etc.) will come to the Arlington Center for the Arts and take a look at artists’ portflios.  I’ve got my drawings…my box…I just ordered some postcards…and I have even updated my website: www.elizabethkostojohn.com.  Also…I took some photographs of how my work looks when pinned up:

and here I am looking at it:

close up:

Kind of interesting, right?  It’s very minimal.  My advisor, Adria Arch, was kind enough to let me use her studio space to pin these up.  The idea is that these drawings are a single work of art…not individual pieces.  Adria showed me an example of a work by Jim Dine that has that same attitude…forty drawings comprise a single work of art: The Glyptotek Drawings.  Yes, his ability to draw is stunning!  Here is one of the drawings:

Jim Dine

Amazing!  I love the smudgy areas and the scratchy areas combined…there is so much depth…sigh.

That image is a good segue onto wonky people that my son continues to draw…here is one:

Look at those mesmerizing eyes!  Maybe that’s actually supposed to be me in the morning, before I’ve had my cup of tea.  I’m concerned about the bald spot on my head above my left eye…but no matter.  I’ll just part my hair differently.

My son is obsessed with building blocks.  Typically…we are making imaginary structures.  This week, however, he decided to do something else:

I asked him what it was…a skyscraper?  A tower?  He said that he was making a shoe store.  So funny!  Can’t you see that kind of thing at Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie???  Okay, so maybe his future is in retail…not construction.

I finished another drawing for the series:

I’m feeling that I need to “regroup” now.  Do I want to do more of these?  Do I want to shift and continue in a different way?  I know.  I’m the only one who can answer that.  I have to do some pondering.  I also have to do some housekeeping!  I spend more time drawing mangled fruit than I do straightening up around here.  I’m going to get a little zen…you know, chop wood…carry water…while I put this series and where it’s going into the backburner of my subconscious.  Hopefully, the fumes of Windex, Murphy’s Oil Soap, and scented Swiffer sheets will be enlightening, and hopefully the direction that I am looking for will come to me…much like the way static-charged dust and crumbs are drawn to the bottom of one’s socks…or, is that only in my house?

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Jim Dine!
February 3, 2012, 9:26 am
Filed under: Drawing, printmaking | Tags: , , , , ,

Yes, you heard me…Jim Dine!  I went to the MFA for a lecture by Jim Dine, revered artist/printmaker.  SO FASCINATING!  Isn’t it always better to hear the artist talk about their work?  He was funny and “down to earth”.  The lecture went through the progression of his work…from his early lithographs of “crash”, through the tools (yes!  the tools!), to the bathrobe self portrait…etc etc.  Here are some images:

Jim Dine

Look at those fantastic tools!  His grandfather owned a hardware store, so he grew up playing with tools…next:

Jim Dine

The bathrobe.  This became a sort of “self portrait”, he said.  Next:

Jim Dine

Hearts.  This whole series is interesting, as I think that most of us think about drawing hearts as something that a kid would do.  They always have such exhuberance…

Jim spent a lot of time talking about the need to have his “hand” in what he made.  He didn’t like silkscreen, because it was too removed.  He often made a black and white print, but then added color afterwards with a brush.

There were some questions at the end of the lecture.  One person asked (I’m paraphrasing): “How do you feel about the use of technology in contemporary art?” 

Jim’s response:  [significant pause]…”It’s fine.”

Sooo funny…we all laughed.  His pause and his listless/sarcastic response said it all.  I bought a book of his works:

OOOOO…lovely!  Plus…lookit:

 That’s a signature!!!  I know…how nerdy.

This week, I got a first chemistry set for my son.  Don’t get all excited…it was really basic…but fun.  It’s perfect for a 4 year old, as nothing was toxic…and the outcome was always colorful/bubbly/erupting.  Perfect!  I was going to take a photo, but I didn’t want to leave him in the room with all of the stuff, lest he decide to just dump it all together at once.  Our experiments sort of looked like one of his recent drawings…

My son is a bit of a scribbler:

I love it!  However, I do notice that his friends at school seem to be a bit more “controlled” in what they produce.  I don’t know what that means…does he just “like” to scribble?  Or, is this what he does because he doesn’t have the motor skills to do anything else?  This is what a neurotic mother like me thinks about.  I look at these as “preschool rorschach tests”.  Today, though…he did something a bit more controlled:

THAT, I’ll have you know…is an xray.  This xray detects bloodcells, as that’s what all of the spots on the lower right are.  I’m not sure if I have the orientation right…as I’m not a radiologist, so whatever.  I would have guessed that it was some kind of machine, so I’m glad he told me what it was.  Otherwise, I’d get an angry scowl at my dumb comment.

This week…I am trying to be more productive than LAST week.  It’s going okay:

Notice the dappled, winter sunlight.  I need some training on how to photograph “art”.

It’s so interesting…when I start one of these drawings…I actually feel a little bit of dread.  My “art cop”, as Rhoda Rosenberg would say, starts to nag…”what if it turns out horribly?”  “what if it sucks?” “is this all just a waste of time?”  I know.  Just keep working.  Rhoda Rosenberg has a great John Cage quote about this:

When you start working, everybody is in your studio – the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas – all are there.  But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone.  Then, if you’re lucky, even you leave.     [John Cage]

Hmm!  I wish that I had such profound thoughts.  Instead, I’m trying to remember if I put detergent in the laundry or not…




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