Friday, September 29, 2006

Inspiration on a cold, wet, rainy day...

I'm in my pajamas looking at fabulous art on the web. It's barely +40F here, grey, cold and rainy, so an excellent morning to spend in this fashion. I found Petra Borner, a Swedish designer and artist living in London. One of her drawings, above. She has a beautiful way of illustrating botanical forms.

Talk about fun! This is Mark Newport, knitter of superhero costumes---life size! I LOVE this guy! He also embroiders the covers of comics and makes quilts woven of comic strips. He's just so.....fresh. Check out his work at his September show at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, WA.

I must go---it's a good day to put the finishing touches on my lecture, clean house, maybe bake something yummy for Frommage.....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Framing is Finished!

I've spent the last 4 days framing 15 paintings for my show in Anchorage. I like framing---the measuring, marking, bevel cuts, clean glass and metal. As much as I like it, enough is enough. It has a definite tedium to it. This is the expensive, anal, necessary final stage of an artwork for display. I am proud I can do it myself---a painting on paper, framed under glass with a window mat at my favorite local art framer costs about $220.00 for something 29"x36". I can do the same for between $50.00-$70.00. If I can sell 2 paintings from this show, I will make up for the framing expenses.....

I'm pretty pleased with how the whole body of this show looks together. Yes, there are a few oddballs in there, but there are 3 distinct 'zingers,' paintings which will be the leaders in the exhibit, visually.
What is really interesting in an exhibit is what different people really like. I, of course, have my very highly biased favorites which I can clearly see are compositionally and technically better that others. But somehow, these are often NOT the viewers favorites. Interesting. (I always like to find out what Frommage likes....I'm always surprised.)
I've had to take 3 framed paintings apart and re-do them, due to the painting settling slightly wrong in the frame or warping a little. Urgh. This always happens. I'd love to work at a frame shop and get some professional training so I can avoid the mistakes of 'learn as I go' working.
But hey....
It's done.
Now to haul all of this work the nearly 400 miles to Anchorage without mishap, hang it, have the opening and.......

I already have a long list of stuff to do once I get home. Hauling a lot of firewood is one. Drinking tequila is another. Making some BIG ASS PAINTINGS is a third. Time to go big, I think. BIG. Stretch out more. Oooohhh....thrilling prospect. Posted by Picasa

Art: Looking back

Sketch, Sept. 28, 1992
As I've been framing the 15 paintings for my show in Anchorage, I've been thinking a lot about the series I've just finished (is it really finished?) and others I've they have all lead into one another like links in a chain. I've been wondering what I was doing ten years ago, artwise, and so leafed through a few old sketchbooks.
This is what I found:
September 1992. I was twenty years old and in art school, totally pumped up about art and it's thrilling possibilities. I don't think I made a lot of 'finished' art back then, but seemed to be completely attached to my sketchbook, making several entries a day. There are a lot of small quotes from books I was reading and cryptic little lists.

Self portrait sketch in pencil, Sept. 20, 1992

Another self portrait sketch, this time in pen, Sept. 28, 1992

My current sketchbook---ideas for paintings, experiments with watercolor.

And what did I learn from looking back? Well, I can remember my total and utter belief in the power of art, my destiny to be an artist and my (naive) faith that everything in my life as an artist was going to fall into place. (That's a real knee-slapper, right there...)
I've since learned that art is a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of organization and dicipline. The 'life of an artist' hasn't been as fun and easy as I thought it would be. I now know that education really was the key to my success, and I didn't hold onto it and use it for all it could give I should have.


I still haven't stopped being an artist. I was then and I am now. I don't have the pure belief anymore..."nature's first green is gold" and all that. I think what I have now is something like petrified wood---jeez, doesn't that sound awful?---hear me out, though. What I had then is still within me, just hardened by fire and time to something obdurate and unflinching. (Okay, maybe not 'unflinching,' I mean, I have a good cry after a bad review just like anyone else...)
Don't we all want some real, hard, bedrock upon which to rest our beliefs? It's settled, it's's learned a lot. Yikes, am I talking about me here, not my art? Posted by Picasa