Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I first meet Clark in the late 1990s as he had started the Art-o-Mat project - it has since become a full time job for he and staff that assist him. There are Art-o-Mat machines around the country and over seas. I did artomat art for 5 years or so. I even got nicely reviewed in the LA Times for my contributions. Clark is member of our Seed Coop, and like all of us, has strong anti-republican political views and very pro-socially liberal views.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Saturday's sample starts with Gomer Shazam, by Laurie Russell. She is a Seed member and does snappy pop and political art as well as her pet portraits. We fell in love with this Gomer face, fresh from Mayberry, and all the corn (as in cornball or corniness) that it provokes. He's a bit sexy in her sly rendition, so that was all it took. he's grinning at us - anxious to please - from above the kitchen clock, day and night.
Another work by Millicent is this Alice in Wonderland 3D piece. Millicent added the door that's swung open, the figure of Alice, plastic roses and mirror squares on the back wall so the viewer sees themselves peering back at Alice; just as Alice sees her own reflection.
Our Big Eyed Circus Babies are large paintings by Tiffany O'Brien. She was a Seed member but now lives in New York City's Soho neighborhood. She and husband Lee were also next door neighbors, who bought our first house, as Matt and i moved next door. We got a bigger place, staying in our downtown area and happily got to pick our neighbors by selling them our old home.
Friday, July 17, 2009
In that "Hall of Mirrors" there is a lot of the art work we own. This first shot includes a couple of mirrors, a very 3d work by Millicent Greason Spivak and two 5 x 7 oil paintings on cardboard that my maternal grandmother painted in the mid 1920s.
Millicent's barbed wire, rusty nails and polymer, with gold leaf, "It Takes an Egg to Make Vanilla Pudding" is the first art we acquired from her. It was the start of our art collection and the initial inspiration to have and display artworks besides the ones i make. In other words, a full house inventory of my paintings was getting old.
Below Millicent's egg are the two rediscovered oils that Grandmother painted before my mother was born. I never saw these or knew she had artistic talent until recently. And how they survived - she painted on brown corrugated cardboard - is amazing to me. With great fear and hesitation, I varnished them (to clean and preserve) and added frames. Her initials, MSA, stand for Margaret Spigner Avery. And the date '23 is also on one. The Zinnias stand on their own, awkward, sweet and detailed considering it is only 5 x 7 inches.
What Grandmother accomplished with her landscape captivates me more. The lake side scene is more stylized, reaching abstraction. Or maybe just more awkward. I like to think the former.
I imaging she was very taken with Picasso and tried to jazz up her Girl Scouts camp site. There is a canoe pulled up on the shore. And what looks like a happy yellow fish is really the lake water and a handle of the oar sticking up. A long puff of smoke rises from the fire, and the sunset sky swirls above distant mist on the water. There seem to be only evergreens in this forest on the lake, and she painted the little pyramid shapes in progressively paler purple as they recede.
Finally i wanted to show you the last oil painting my mom, Betty Norwood, did before her eyes and back stopped her a few years ago. Although Grandmother never got to study art, Mom did. And my mom has been painting all her life.
Mom's photo realism is truly mastered in her last works, like this one, from the 1990s. It illustrates her willingness to let reflections and light become part of the painting. This painting took years to complete, as she had to paint in every edge on every scrap of bark or blade of grass. This water's edge work is about 24 x 36 inches. Betty took photos and then decided which ones to paint. She employed a grid system to enlarge and layout her work. We are all sad, as is she, that she can no longer work on her pictures.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I am continuing to share art works that Matt and I have collected. This will go on for 5 or 6 postings i believe. Some art were gifts, or were purchased or were traded with artist friends - my paintings for theirs. Great artists are willing to do that from time to time. I reject the claim, by certian artists, that it just a custom or habit for young and less professional artists.
So then, in this corner of our "Hall of Mirrors" are 2 provocative and introspective silk screen prints under glass by Woodie Anderson, an intense Chilean desert photo collage by Dave Urena and a charming Day of the Dead painting, by Millicent Greason Spivak, with orange plastic flowers in each corner. Woodie, Dave and Millicent are Seed Gallery coop members with me, as is Danny Whitmer, further below.
Woodie's works here, with soft/bad focus and under glass, include reflections of art beside it.
And last is graffiti artwork by Danny Whitmer. This work was in his senior thesis exhibit at UNC School of the Arts, High School a few years ago. Matt and i had the large and heavy piece installed/ screwed into the best place for it, in our loft, where it fits between a door frame and steel I-beam column. A big strapping carpenter was hired to do this work. We also requested a trimming out of the 5 x 5 inch section at the top to accommodate the fire alarm, with Danny's okay, after the fact. The extracted mini graffiti detail rests on top. I like to take it down, and move it around, from time to time.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
I am delighted to tell you how much i like this angel painting, Little Pinkie. and i say i like it a lot! It is by Maureen McCarron, friend in new york city. I got it for my bday this year, and i took this picture with my phone when Maureen had the painting featured on her blog.
Am delighted with the photo too. i love the image in an image, repeating, flirting with the mirror in front of a mirror idea. The very meta-ness of it all. next i should photograph my blog entry, with the original pic on my computer and add it to this post, etc. you get the idea.
Also i really like my small computer, on my small desk, under giant industrial window, above the solid but shabby painted brick in the loft we live in. And lord, whenever i see gold and blue in the same photo, i get aroused, so to speak. Warm yellows and cool blues, hot and cold, sweet and savory.
Also i get to show little more of the big dramatic, romantic windows i get to live with, dream about, and postpone ever cleaning. My silent dream scape, mental cross roads place called opla plaza, was born just before i walked in this old warehouse we now call home.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I suddenly have found the off-quality, low light factor appealing. Not to mention the convenience of always having it with me, and it being so easy to email pictures to folks or to myself for future use, like on my blog. The rose bush & oyster shells as masthead for opla plaza is an example. After lunch, one warm day in Southport NC, i took the shot that has proved satisfying.
Am reminded how in the early 1980s, i was using a pocket Kodak Instamatic 110. The negatives were microscopic and the prints came from the drug store in a square format, which i liked. The quality was ragged and light would leak in somehow. For about 2 years i shot portraits of friends in the grainy low-quality photo style. But i digress- and promise to post some of that collection of faces for opla plaza in the future.
Back to phone cameras, Matthew set the stage for my interest. He not only has taken over for me as family photographer, using the new digital camera he gave me for Christmas a few years ago, but he just loves techy toys. He and i use iPhones now and the ease of all functions, camera included, is astounding. But regularly, Matt will grasp and embrace some new tech and gagets much quicker than i do. He likes the spontaneity of a phone camera - i like it's artistic dreaminess. And then while Matt wants to use the new Kodak digital for "good photos", I still like my old Lomo LCA (see April 8, 2009, opla plaza post) and our Pentax 35 m.
Here are 2 shots he took from his desk, with his phone, viewing the impressive Reynolds Building across the street, 17 floors up; one with sheets of rain and the other with the moon in the distance.
I think Matt has a great eye. He had his first photography exhibit in March 2009.