Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wallpaper Memories

Wallpaper, for me, evokes so many memories. It's probably because I was born the 70's, and my parents' house was filled with crazy wallpaper patterns. Our entryway was lined with a drab brown and beige Toile-esque pattern of farmers, chickens and barns. Our kitchen was overly cheery with a tree motif in bright lime greens, blues and red-oranges. I have to admit, I do kind of miss that wallpaper! My parents' bathroom still has the quintessential 50's peach tiles, but the peachy gold-leaf floral wallpaper is a distant memory. My room was the worst, apple green shag carpeting with coordinating green and white bamboo-patterned wallpaper.

The apple green motif would now be chic in a Palm Springs, Jonathan Adler kind of way. Studying in England in the mid-nineties, I lived in a couple of different homes, renting rooms, etc. The wallpaper trend was definitely prominent there. In one of the places I lived, sickly yellow flowers repeated endlessly on an enormous wall next to my bed. It felt very "mental institution."

In another room I rented, the very home-proud owner boasted daily about her 'William Morris' wallpaper. Needless to say, I've found over the years many of these floral wallpaper patterns to be dizzying, restless, jarring. But, at the same time I'm drawn to them. They conjure up so many memories for me. Lying on my bed as a child, staring into the bamboo, getting lost in it. I've incorporated many wallpaper patterns into my work over the past couple of years:

However, my canvases are now transitioning into a less detailed aesthetic. Yet, I want to keep looking at wallpapers and figure out how their patterns might continue to surface in my paintings. Also, I secretly want a room in my house to be covered with some crazy, over-the-top wallpaper. Just for memory's sake...

*most images were found on flickr (totally addictive!) the Production still is from Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette; and the deer head is from Darr * in Brooklyn, (thanks to *design sponge for the tip on Darr!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Intuitive Landscapes

I found these paintings by Joseph Yoakum and really like them. They have kind of an underwater feel. The above painting gives me the sensation of swimming along the ocean floor.

Their intuitive quality is really engaging. His landscapes feel very imaginative and accessible, and allow me to step into this world he's created and travel around.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Balancing Act

Because my work is currently at a crossroads, I am looking at painters whose work walks that fine line of abstraction and expressionism. With my own paintings, I'm attempting to let go of the imagery and symbols I've worked with for years. I want to move into new territory, but it's challenging when you don't have anything to grab onto. I feel like I want to move out of my comfort zone without a safety net.

The above images are Deborah Boardman. I've been looking at her work ever since I spotted her in New American Paintings. She's got a great sensibility. She cleverly compliments her fluid painting style with loose, beautiful, curious drawings.

I especially love these "wolf-man" paintings (above,) they're really quite brilliant!

Diane Christiansen (above) is also another painter whose work I originally spotted in NAP. Her cartoon-like figures exist in these wonderfully intuitive lanscapes. She's managed to incorporate expressive, figurative subjects into works that feel very painterly (below.)
This too, is a uniquely difficult sensibility to achieve; to do this successfully always proves challenging for me, and she exhibits a sense of narrative, without it feeling too deliberate, incredibly well.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Artists' Studios

Since I'm still basking in the glow of being moved into my new studio, I've been feeling especially appreciative of the intimacy and sacredness of the studio space. I found this image online today of Agnes Martin, standing before her painting in her studio. It inspired me to post images of painters in their studios.

Above photo is of Margaret Kilgallen.

Susan Rothenberg, standing with her dog in her studio. I'd like to document my time in my studio because it's obviously something one doesn't think to do, but I feel like it's just as amazing see an artist at work in their space as it is to see their final paintings. The process that takes place in the studio is so exhilerating.

Monday, April 03, 2006

New Studio

My biggest news is that I just got a studio! I’m ecstatic. I’ve been feeling so disconnected from my distracted working at home, and isolated since I’m never around other artists. Plus, I haven’t painted in oils in over 6 years so I’m really looking forward to painting on canvas again. I found an amazing space that I share w/ 5 other artists, all painters.

It feels like such a luxury to have a studio again. When I'm there, I feel like I'm in an artist in residence program. It's meditative. And when I leave I feel sad and can't wait to go back! I'll post more pictures once I have them.