slightly wonky

I’ll gladly take runner up, thankyouverymuch!
May 4, 2012, 9:32 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: , , , ,

Another dreary, cold day here.  My husband tells me that this is what Seattle is like.  Really?  You mean I can have bad hair ALL YEAR, and not just occasionally?  Maybe only people with shiny, straight hair that I envy live in Seattle.  I’d have a whole new identity out there…someone would say, “You know…Elizabeth…the one with the crazy, wacked out hair…”  Awesome.  I’d have to wear a green cap, like the lady below…

So, I went to the MFA to see the Alex Katz exhibit.  I hate to admit it, as it shows my ignorance, but I didn’t really like it.  Actually, if I was worried about showing my ignorance, I wouldn’t have started this blog.  So, I’ll throw caution and good sense out the window…and just continue with my ramblings.  Here’s one of the prints:

Alex Katz

So, this is a woodcut print.  I’m just not into it.  It’s so flat.  I feel that I have to keep looking at it, though, to understand why I don’t like it.  It actually BOTHERS me to look at it.  Sometimes, he would take the same image, and repeat it as a woodblock print, a screenprint, a lithograpth, which was an interesting exercise in understanding the particularities of the print medium.  I didn’t like the image in any medium, unfortunately.  For example, whoever printed that image above must have been a MASTER printer.  Seriously.  Those huge expanses of flat color in a woodblock print are NOT EASY.  I keep wondering if I don’t like these because this type of imagery has been used and reused by the advertising/fashion/illustration world a million times over?  But, perhaps when it first came out…it looked more original/interesting?  Can anyone help me out here to like these more than I do?  I see their artistic merit…I just don’t want to look at one for more than a minute.  The part of my brain that should like this must be feeble and undernourshed…I think maybe that it’s too CLEAN and STERILE for my taste.  I like art to be more dirty and messy. (For those of you who have visited my house, try to act surprised)

This is the kind of stuff I like:

Cy Twombly


Love. it.

SPEAKING OF LOOKING AT ART…guess who got one of her drawings into a show at THE DANFORTH???    Yup.  MARGERY HAMLEN!!!  Ha ha…just kidding…I actually have no idea who that person is. I’m sure that she’s famous, though…unlike me.  What I really mean to say is… ME!!!!  I kid you not.  Now, don’t be too impressed.  There are actually TWO shows held concurrently at the Danforth.  The prestigious show is called “Off the Wall”, and it is curated by Cody Hartley of the MFA.  He chose 80 works of art.  Sadly, mine was not one of them. (sniff..sniff..)

THEN,  the director of the Danforth, Katherine French…chose from the remaining (i.e. leftover) pieces, to create the second show…called “Community of Artists.”  I made it into THAT show.  Ok…so Cody didn’t like my stuff….there’s always next year.  Did I mention that there were over 1,400 entries, and that my show has only 136?  Here’s the drawing that made it in:

Okay.  I know what you’re thinking…”THAT made it in???? *YAWWWWN*”  Why, yes it did…graphite on mylar, and it took me a long time, thankyouverymuch.  Here’s my one concern: there is this tiny, elevator vestibule waaaay back in the first floor galleries.  They put art back there.  I am seriously concerned that my work will be in that vestibule.  Why, you ask?  Because it’s small….it’s black and white…it’s just PENCIL, for Lord’s sake.   If I ask people to visit the show to see my drawing, they may miss it and think that I’m just totally delusional…or, just more so than usual.

Hmm.  Did you notice that I am already whining, and this hasn’t even happened yet?  I know.  I’ll stop before I irritate myself further.  Aren’t you glad that you’re not married to me?  (Thanks honeeeey!!! xoxo)

So, I got some of my recent work photographed.  Here is the large drawing:

But, I originally had it oriented vertically…with the pear at the bottom:

Or, does that look odd?  Two of my artist friends gave me a critique.  Needless to say…I’m taking their comments and trying to do a better job on the next drawing.  Sheesh.  I feel that I need a team of monkeys to help me with setting up these still lifes.  Actually, that would be bad, as they’d probably just eat the fruit, thus ruining my composition. 

Okay, I’ll stop droning on.  Please go watch this video (btw…it has sound).  MESMERIZING!!!

See?  Black and white art CAN be arresting!  Mine is just tiny, static, and silent, in comparison.  I know.  Not even remotely in the same ballpark…don’t remind me…



A good week…except for the general snow disaster

Okay.  Remember how I was complaining about the “dusting” of snow the other week?  WELL.  As those of you in the Northeast well know, now we had something to really cry about.   Yes, snow…lots of it…before Halloween.  I am lucky to be writing this email at all, as there are many people who are STILL without power.  Can you imagine?  Not good.  Think, “The Shining” but with more, yet likely smaller, houses.  Really not good.  The scene of our backyard:

Looks worse than that last photo I posted, right?  Now, I grew up in upstate New York for my elementary school years.  Their snow makes our snow look plain silly.  BUT…I do not recall EVER having snow in upstate New York before Halloween.  It’s just not right.

I’ll stop whining now. 

My son’s halloween costume, which he refused to wear trick or treating but was happy to wear at home in order to help dad with the mail:

No, I did not make that costume.  I gave up for two reasons: 1. a crocodile was too complicated to make, and 2. I had a strong suspicion that he would not wear the costume in the first place.  Don’t even get me started about the costume that I slaved over last year that he also did not wear.  My child finds halloween too stressful.  Hmm.

Art-wise…I think that this was a pretty successful week.  I had a GREAT printmaking workshop with Catherine Kernan over the weekend.  SOOOO GREAT.  She does all sorts of crazy things with woodblock prints.  I found her to be such a good teacher and very inspiring.  Here are my prints from the weekend:

I like it!   Next:

It’s odd how different the background paper looks, even though it was the same for all of the prints ( I mean the white area at the perimeter).

I saved that one above from being a muddy mess.  Nice!

Catherine really liked that one above.  It looks better in real life.  Last print:

You can tell if you have a good teacher when the quality of your work really improves.  I felt that this was true at this workshop.  It was a lot of fun!  All of those prints are made from just two blocks.

I also had some success with painting.  Here it is:

My teacher really liked it.  He had some helpful comments along the way.  It also didn’t feel hard to do.  I’m wondering if the fact that I was actually in a bit of pain at the time of doing it (think: big headache), somehow helped.  Because of that, I wasn’t totally focused.  My thoughts kept getting interrupted by my discomfort.  This sort of quieted down any inner discussion about judging the work as it progressed, as my mind was preoccupied.  Not that I’d like to be in pain when I paint, but I am wondering somehow if it actually was a help!  Sound crazy?  Perhaps so. 

I like the painting anyway.  Comments?  Everyone have a good halloween?  I think that I’ve consumed enough candy to last me until 2013 at least…not that I’m letting that stop me from munching on more “fun size” calorie bombs.

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