Monday, March 20, 2006

Paintings that Soothe

Above painting is by Indian artist Neelambari Desai.

Above and below paintings by Amy Sillman.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Susan Rothenberg

Susan Rothenberg is a painter whose work I've looked at for years. Her paintings are so visceral, and her brush marks are so rapid and aggressive. You can really feel her hand in the paintings, and see the way she lays on the paint. There is a great profile on Susan with interviews and slideshows of her work on Art21, one of the best resources for an inside look at some great contemporary artists.

She talks about her long-running series of horse paintings (what she's the most famous for) and how her present body of work has been very much about the individual paintings, rather than a continuous series.

She intimates that she longs for a series to work on again. I share this feeling and am dealing with this in my own studio work right now. It's reassuring to know a painter of her stature still struggles at times to find consistent stream of inspiration.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fear of Flying

I was on a plane flying back to LA this weekend, and although I haven’t painted it yet, I decided to name my next painting: “In the White.” We were going thru these really turbulent, thick clouds. You couldn’t see anything. All of the airplane windows were filled with this solid, impure white, like dirty cotton. You could feel the stiffness of the clouds, the sky felt tight and heavy as our plane pushed thru it. I’ve become increasingly more panicked as I get older when flying on planes. If the turbulence continues for a long time though, I usually will get to a point where I feel beyond afraid. I start out really shaky, then I push past that state to where I feel like it’s out of my hands. I realize I’m completely helpless, and I succumb to the fact that there’s nothing I can do. I let go of all control. I feel like a good name for this state is: In the White.

*Images are all Damian Loeb, Mary Boone Gallery, New York.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Abstract Notions

I read an article this month in Vogue, of all places, about a NY artist named Dana Schutz. The article struck me because of one quote in particular. Dana, a painter, was speaking about her painting, "Presentation" (above;) she said, "Painting it was really fun, all the way through. It was all the things I wanted to paint." This hit home because it was a reminder for me of what aligns me with painting, and how much fulfillment I get out of the process. The experience, for me, of making the painting, laying on the paint, mixing the colors, touching the brush to the canvas, watching the paint drip, laying on the second and third washes, seeing the painting culminate its own atmosphere, seeing the subjects realized within the color fields, seeing shapes surface, informing me of what to do next...
all of these moments happen for me during the making of the painting, and when the painting is finished-when it all stops-I often times feel more connected to the memory of painting it than I do to the product of the painting itself. And right now, I'm struggling because I'm longing to feel this connection happen in my studio, but my studio time is very limited. The woes of having a day job: a working life, and then also a painting life.

Honeycombs & Wheels

I've been doing a series of small abstract paintings, and I'm feeling stuck because my initial background patterns feel complete on their own, but not complete enough to call a finished painting. I keep moving on, hoping to come back to them and incorporate their "subject," but I'm afraid of losing their calm, tranquil aesthetic.
So, now I have about 20 small paintings of honeycomb patterns, wheels, circles and color fields. Not sure where to take them next...
I found this painting online yesterday that struck me. I really like it, it's by Harold Klunder:

I'm on Ebay

I'm not sure how to feel about this. Initially I felt confused, I tried to recall when/how I had posted this piece, who bought it...when I had orginally sold it, what gallery...did I put it on Ebay?
I had a solo show at a gallery in Kansas City in 2001 and this was one of the paintings that sold. I never met the buyer, aka "pink pajamas." Sadly his interests have evolved beyond my little painting and now lie in his kitchen renovation project. Maybe I should be flattered that he thinks this sale could bring him a nice chunk of cash. Whatever it is, I guess this is just part of selling your art and having it out there in the world. He owns it and has every right to turn around and sell it. But, for whatever reason, it does hurt a little bit. I remember painting "The Alchemist," and I even used it as my showcard image. Oh well, I guess I need to just let it go, this is something that happens all the time and I've just never experienced it before.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Chop Chop

We stumbled upon this show at Giant Robot 2 this weekend. The show is called "Chop Chop," by artist/alias "Ray Fong," husband of one of my favorite painters, Margaret Kilgallen.

Her work has been a huge inspiration to me the past few years, and has really served as a reminder to me of the importance of painting, and leaving your mark as an artist. Sadly, Margaret passed away in 2001, but her work still resonates with her spirit, and continues to inspire.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Pieter Vanderlyn

We visited Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. The succulent and cactus garden was amazing, it was like being on Mars. Surprisingly, their art gallery was really wonderful too. I was particularly struck by a portrait by Dutch painter Pieter Vanderlyn. His work is said to "overshadow the work of his contemporaries" because of characteristic "neatness, simplicity and economy of expression."

The flat, graphic qualities in his paintings are a definite contrast to the styles other painters of his time. I really like them because of this, and I'm drawn to the curiously similar positions of the subjects' arms in many of his paintings.

The faces do look blank, but don't feel blank. Almost as if it's a trick. The paintings themselves feel filled with character, so there's a certain irony there that I'm drawn to. I also find it interesting that all of his subjects heads are turned in the same direction.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

My husband and I are going to my opening tonight at La Luz de Jesus Gallery. It's a group show called, "Everything But the Kitschen Sink." The show is up thru April 2, and the public opening reception is tomorrow nite, Friday, March 3. Check out their website for more details. I have two paintings in the show:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Alice in Wonderland

I'm looking into doing a rabbit series for my etsy shop, so I've been referencing Lewis Carroll illustrations from Alice in Wonderland.

A Painting Life, pbcb studios la

I have to admit, I was initially adverse to the whole blog phenomenon that seems to have taken over the web. But slowly I've become blog-curious, and I've been discovering for the past several weeks lots of really great artists' blogs with bits of inspiration, photos of gallery shows, artists' work, etc. As a painter, I'm constantly keeping a mental "catalog" of artists I'm looking at, designers that inspire me, and painters that make me want to run to my studio and paint. I forget, however, about certain discoveries I make. Months later I'll find a postcard or bit of writing about an artist I made note of , and I'll realize my train of thought got lost somewhere in my busy life. So, I look forward to beginning this blog as a way of organizing my thoughts, and starting a dialogue with other artists. This virtual world weirds me out every day, but the rapid communication and accessibility of things truly astounds me.