Monday, August 24, 2009

Getting a hang of landscapes... maybe

This weekend was a glorious time for me. I got to get away from the monotony of motherhood for just a wee bit, while enjoying some of the beautiful nature of my new state and some even more beautiful 'old' friends. I drove west to Asheville, NC to stay with a childhood friend, Amanda as well as visit a college girl friend, and fabulous artist Angela Cunningham (who I haven't seen in about 5 years because she's been rockin' the big apple). Angela is in her 3rd year of study at the Grand Central Academy. We spent most of the day Saturday on a hike and painting a beautiful spot along the Old Laurel Creek in the Pisgah National Forest. We then had a fun night with a few more friends in Asheville eating well and drinking some local brew, while listening to some great Blue Grass music. Fun, Fun, Fun.

Old Laurel Creek
oil on panel
10" x 8"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Figure Drawing

Here is an array of figure drawing from July and August. Thank you to Mike who lent me 5 sheets of paper last night at ArtSpace because I forgot all my stuff (those drawings are the last three done with ball point pen that I dug out of my purse, uggh).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Share the love (again)

I wanted to share with you all another blog that I enjoy reading now and again. The Hidden Place holds a phenomenal collection of great artists, primarily painters (with representational tendencies). Do any of you know who does all the work over at The Hidden Place? I must admit, I do love that this blog doesn't have an obvious author. It somehow takes the ego out of the equation. It even is hard to know how to say thank you to this blogger. He/she has posted some great artists, most recently my very favorite sculptor Nicola Hicks.

I discovered Nicola Hicks work way back when I was in undergraduate school in Laguna Beach, CA (LCAD). At the time there was a Flowers West Gallery at Bergamot Station (which was once a train depot, now turned into a huge complex of several galleries and a small museum). Flowers West no longer is there, which is a great loss for the Los Angeles art scene, as this was one heck of a gallery (Flowers East still remains a constant presence in London). As a student (well still really) all I could afford were the beautiful catalogues they produced for her shows. In fact, at one time shortly after graduating, my husband and I seriously considered selling our Volkswagen to be able to purchase a life size sculpture of a child from her series about Little Red Riding Hood. I really wish we had been able to make that work. I still think of that sculpture and not being able to see it (except in photos) is heartbreaking. It really is a bummer when reality and the practical issues of life (like how to move a life size bronze around the country with you as you relocate, let alone the ever present issues of $$) win over the power of Art to move you. As an added treat for you here is an Art in America article on Nicola Hicks from Jan. 2000 that will give you a clear picture of her work.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

I had an opportunity to draw with other artists at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston while I was on my trip to Massachusetts. I was under the impression that it was going to be from a live model, but apparently, once a month, they choose to draw from the collection (and this happened to be that day). I was quite disappointed at first, but not for long, as it gave me time to go thru the museum and visit some old friends (like the Sargent murals that were specifically made for this museum). Some of my favorite paintings are housed in this building (a sacred place for me). I can't believe how spoiled I was to grow up looking at these works. The MFA is undergoing an extensive renovation, adding on an entire new wing to house their American Collection, so only a few American greats were on view while the others are faithfully being restored and kept safe.

Here are a few of my favorite paintings and sculptures that were on view. Please visit the MFA any time you are in Boston.

John Singer Sargent, Murals for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

Take a close look at the ladies laying at Atlas' feet above and then marvel at Gustave Dore's large scale, multi-figural, high relief sculpture which is just at the end of the hall from the Sargent Rotunda.

Gustave Dore, Maenads in a Wood, 1879, plaster, 47 1/4 x 77 3/16 x 9 7/8 in. (and detail shot)

Another example of wonderful exhibition design can be found around the top of the stairs (which brings you closer to the Sargent Rotunda) behind a colonnade. There you can find some of the finest paintings by Sargent's contemporaries and rivals such as...

Thomas Eakins, The Dean's Roll Call,1899, oil on canvas, 84 1/8 x 42 in.

Aunders Zorn, Martha Dana (later Mrs. William Mercer), 1899, oil on canvas, 27 x 20 in.

Gretchen Woodman Rogers, Woman in a Fur Hat, about 1915, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 1/4 in.

Cecilia Beaux, Charles Sumner Bird and His Sister Edith Bird Bass, 1907 oil on canvas, 94 5/8 x 53 1/2 in.

Other favorite works of mine that are else where in the museum are as follows:
Edmund Charles Tarbell, Reverie (Katharine Finn), 1913, oil on canvas, 50 1/8 x 34 1/8 in. (and detail shot)
Edmund Charles Tarbell, New England Interior, 1906, 30 3/8 x 25 1/4 in.

Ellen Day Hale, Self Portrait, 1883, oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 39 in (and detail shot)

I had not previously seen the painting below before. I am so attracted to this painting, as several years back, I had painted a similar scene which you can view here. Of course, I realize my Music Maker pales in comparison.
William H. W. Bicknell, The Violin Maker, 1888, oil on canvas, 40 1/4 x 50 in. (and detail shot)
Jules Desbois, Le Printemps, 1893, black wax over plaster, 18 1/2 in. high
"Jules Desbois collaborated on occasion with Auguste Rodin, who praised Desbois by saying that he practiced sculpture with a fever that bordered on the religious" (quoted off the description card on the wall).

Auguste Rodin, Psyche, 1899, marble, 29 x 27 x 15 in.

I did manage to use a bit of the time to do one quick drawing of a marble youth from between 1cBC - 1cAD.

Study of a Roman Youth Sculpture
graphite on paper (in sketchbook)


I just returned from a 12 day trip to my home state of Massachusetts. The south shore of Massachusetts is a place that at once can evoke feelings of longing and the desire to find an escape. It's a complex reaction I find I have with each return visit. It is an incredibly inspiring place with beautiful vistas, homes, and people. But at the same time, these things can sometimes become oppressive. Eventually, the need to disentangle myself from a place that holds too much of my past overpowers the beauty and charm of the area.

This trip held a first for me. It was the first time I wanted to celebrate this area through paint; To do it justice by capturing its inherent beauty as well as some of the honest, ugliness that occurs here. I did not get the time I dreamt of, but I did manage a few feeble attempts to capture some of its ever changing beauty in a few, tiny shoreline paintings.
(**the quality of these photos may be poor as these were taken from a cell phone. Until the paintings are dry enough to ship, this is all I have to show.)

Rocky Nook
oil on panel
4" x 5"

Tidal Waters (view of Cordage Rope Company)
oil on panel
8" x 10"