Monday, February 22, 2010

So the wind that billowed her sheets

announced to her the resurrection of the ordinary.

from p.17-18 in Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping

(I've lost our camera battery re-charger; I keep thinking it will appear as most things I misplace do...but the charger appears to be particularly lost, and so I am challenged of late to keep posting without it.  I will though, no worries.)

I may have to take to more drawing here--as my friend Suzanne inspires me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Black, white and blue

Richard Tuttle/Abstraction

Look across the entire spectrum of Tuttle's work and you see a lexicon of singular invented forms that stand only for themselves, without explicit reference to a recognizable image or universal.  With every work he makes, he strives to create forms that exist on par with other unique things in the world--as definitive and self-evident as a leaf or a shadow yet not of nature.  These objects vaunt an inherent force and reason whose "content" derives from their own compelling features--line, shape, volume, color, and texture--and they enter the world as fully formed entities in tune with the real physical parameters of the space in which they are located.  They are characters, in every sense of the word: works of uncanny individuality, with eccentric, self-congruent traits, specific features, personhoods even, showing qualities of fortitude and sincerity that pertain not just to them as individuals but to Tuttle's work as a whole and to his artistic practice.    -Madeleine Grynsztejn

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Best of It, Kay Ryan

However carved up
or pared down we get,
we keep on making 
the best of it as though
it doesn't matter that 
our acre's down to a square foot.  As 
though our garden 
could be one bean
and we'd rejoice if 
it flourishes, as
though one bean 
could nourish us. 

So many people I know are running a million miles an hour right about now--which I why this is the poem I am handing out to my Variable Topics in Drawing students for our period of writing today.  I already know how resilient we (individually and collectively) might be, but sometimes I wonder if constant displays of that resilience/adaptation as a means of getting through a frenetic moment/day/life is really an evolved and positive human characteristic.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Handmade, hand drawn

My son is five years old today!!  I really, truly cannot believe he is five and neither can he actually; this morning (after seeming more pensive than usual) he asked me if I was sure he was five today.  He also wanted to know when the grand event happened...while he was sleeping?   
Of course a newly minted five year old boy is a perfect chance to get some baking into what would otherwise be a typical studio day.  His request? Strawberry cupcakes with blue icing.  

Monday, February 8, 2010

Circa 2003, 2004

I have yet another talk to give this weekend--about my work and about collage and contemporary painting.  As I spent a good deal of time last week updating my artist's talk I just have to tweak a little this time.  One of the things I want to include is an example of the work just before this most recent body of paintings...and so while sifting through old images I found these above.  They are "Gazing Ball" and "Campfire."  I enjoy seeing these images again--can't help but think about how I would remake them knowing what I know now about painting, and knowing what I like now in painting.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

the parts of potages I really like

1. fillup of cream or butter
2. light liaison (that will hold the vegetables in suspension)
3. as the old books used to say
4. or serve it in peasanty chunks
5. add a dollop of cream


What a delicious soup, you cannot help saying to yourself as you breathe in its appetizing aroma, and then its full homey flavor fills your mouth.  There is nothing to mask the taste of those fresh vegetables--no canned stock, no enhancers, preservatives, additives--nothing but the vegetables themselves and a final enriching fillip of cream or butter.  This is homemade soup in its primal beauty, to me, and although I love many others, it is leek and potato that I dream of.  And it couldn't be simpler to make--saute the leeks briefly in butter to release their flavor, stir in a little flour to make the light liaison that will hold the vegetables in suspension, add potatoes, water, and salt, and cook until done, as the old books used to say--30 to 40 minutes in a saucepan, or 5 minutes in the pressure cooker.  Puree the soup if you wish, or serve it in peasanty chunks; add a dollop of cream for each serving, and that's all there is to it.
Julia Child, From Julia Child's Kitchen

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Notes for Drawing Marathon/week 3

Material is never inert
1. Materiality
a material's character, specificity and presence
above and apart from made image and/or made object
material tells us what it might do/should do/would be
 2. Materiality
must couple with our knowledge of image and/or object
look at Manet still-lives, Beuys drawings, the whole of Bonnard, Victor Hugo drawings
 3. The Way Things Go, Fischli and Weiss 

Notes on a painting called Stripe

1. three lines (white), one right next to each other (transparent, covering, initial impulse was erasure)
2. two lines at the edge (vertical), black
3. two lines at the top and bottom (one greenish, one pinkish)
4. wavering is important
5. handmade horizontal
6. an accumulation of handmade horizontals
7. the handmade horizontal yields a different relationship with each NEXT row (as opposed to each NEW row)
8. see #1 again but add to it--erasure engendered the painting
9. a grey splotch happened in the course of the painting; the grey splotch is important
10. transparency over transparency
11. one unfinished row is present--the rest are finished, or are taken to the edges; the one unfinished row is a failure of initial intent and it is also important
12. the painting is a way of thinking; i am not sure how
13. rules of the painting arose in the making of the painting (on the spot), but happened timewise in such a way to allow ruptures or rule oppositions--mistakes effectively
14. I am curious about these mistakes; i like those mistakes a lot; i like to create rule-bound painting situations where mistakes happen due to the erratic nature of my hand or the erratic nature of loose material
15. this painting is not about a place
16. this painting does not situate itself in a place in my thinking/envisioning--despite the fact that I am trying to situate it in a place

Monday, February 1, 2010

Late Braque

Post, post, post cubism--
one of the visual reasons why I believe painting is phenomenal!  This image lives NOW--just as much as it did when it was first painted.

Sketchbook (One page after another)

Still updating my talk, still finding old images.
Above--two consecutive sketchbook pages from an old book....I want to say 2003 or 2004?
Why are sketchbooks soooo satisfying--especially other people's sketchbooks?