Saturday, April 24, 2010

Alfred Leslie - Who Knew?

Alfred Leslie Texas Baby 1959 oil on linen, 60-1/4 by 72-1/4 inches
(Allan Stone)

Alfred Leslie. The Rabbit Says Yes, 1961 Oil on linen 96 1/4 X 72 1/8 IN. (244.4 X 183.2 CM.)

In the Tepee at Leverett, (1973-1974)/COPYRIGHT 1975 Oil on canvas 72 1/8 X 108 1/4 IN.

Met with Gerry Snyder, my mentor today. He mentioned Alfred Leslie's abstract paintings. His WHAT? Somehow I just missed out on knowing that Leslie was a fantastic abstract painter -- I only knew his figurative work.

I'm really excited about this. I don't know why yet.

My only goals this week are to figure out a paper topic that I can push out as quickly as possibly (without being awful) so that I can paint. I also want to run since I have signed up for a 5K that happens next weekend.

Painting over other paintings...
From 2010 April

acrylic on paper, 22"x25", work in progress

Other artists to look at:
Karin Davie
Gary Stephan
Gregory Amenoff
Roberta Smith, "Painting-Still Liveley" The New York Times
Carroll Dunham
Lee Kelly
Paul Georges

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New work, week of April 19

Working with a limited palette. I decided to give the stick set up a rest for a week or two. I snapped digital images of parts of magazine images I liked, and cropped/distorted some photos that I took myself. I am using these to create the basic composition, though not necessarily the color. I am learning how important it is for me to start with something that I find odd or intriguing.

I have scheduled to do more tomorrow and later in the weekend, but it depends on how much progress I make on the paper due next week. I've been reading a collection of papers in "Baroque Tendencies in Contemporary Art" (ed. Kelly A. Wacker) and "Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment" (A. Ndalianis). I'm interested in exploring more some of the ideas in Stella's Working Space.

From 2010 April
acrylic on paper, 22"x23"

From 2010 April
acrylic on paper, 22"x23"

From 2010 April
acrylic on paper, 22"x23"

From 2010 April
acrylic on paper, 22"x23"

From 2010 April
acrylic on paper, 22"x30"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Smarthistory link

I discovered this link through today's post on Two Coats of Paint:


Here's an excerpt from their "About" page:

About Smarthistory
Why We Made Smarthistory

We are dissatisfied with the large expensive art history textbook. We find that they are difficult for many students, contain too many images, and just are not particularly engaging. In addition, we find the web resources developed by publishers to be woefully uncreative. We had developed quite a bit of content for our online Western art history courses and we had also created many podcasts, and a few screencasts for our Smarthistory blog. So, it finally occurred to us, why not use the personal voice that we use when we teach online, along with the multimedia we had already created for our blog and for our courses, to create a more engaging "web-book" that could be used in conjunction with art history survey courses. We also realized that this content would be useful to museum visitors and other informal learners. We are committed to joining the growing number of teachers who make their content freely available on the web.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Painting with sticks

Well. This is odd for me. Acrylic on board, painted with sticks, fingers, and masking tape.

From 2010 April
In progress, acrylic on board, 24"x24"

Monday, April 12, 2010

"It's True Until It's Not True" - Mentor meeting with Gerry Snyder - 3/26/10

Rough notes from the last two meetings with my mentor, Gerry Snyder:

-Get inquisitive. Look at what keeps appearing. Don't fight what you do naturally -- there's a reason for it.

- Compare apples to apples. Judge within the groupings (It was really helpful to group my work together, and figure out which ones were most like each other. They separated themselves out. It helped to not judge, just figure out what each group is doing).

- Narrow your project (easier said, than done...but see below).

- See how far back you can go before you get uncomfortable. I was talking about my interest in the Baroque. Well, how minimal can I get before I feel uncomfortable? How built up? Regarding the Baroque, Gerry talked about the difference between story (which wants veracity), and myth (which is more open; the specifics are not quite as important).

- It can be useful, when you start looking at a painting, to think first descriptively. Just describe what you are seeing.

- About making it your own... Artists are very specific and idiosynchratic about what they borrow. You might borrow a way of using a color from de Kooning, or a particular area from a painting that you love. But it's different, because the idea behind it is different.

- I talked about trying to paint with "less". What about reframing that--how much information is necessary to say what I want to say? Of course you don't think about do it and then look at it and decide if it works for you or not.

- What's happening with overlapping, weaving of space and marks. Classic abstraction doesn't give you a reference to something else...a "subject" or place to focus. Other abstract artists do. Where are you along the spectrum?

- About how I work off photographs...use photoshop to focus in, blur, and make it unrecognizable. Can you make a painting from a photo that's also the endpoint?

So, how do you set up situations for yourself that help you figure out what you're all about?

- Set up conditions and parameters.
How much more? How much less?

*Narrow the range of colors. Pick a color and create warm to cool. Test how much is dependent on colors; how much on the marks.
*Pick one limited palette (e.g., pink , ochre, chromium green).
*Hang a number of pieces of paper on the wall. Work them left to right (or reverse, whatever) and back again. Then, consider the similarities and differences. What about them makes them similar and different.
*Allow yourself only a few layers. What happens?
*Look at the paintings *YOU* feel are successful--the ones that you really like. Think about how they are structured. What's happening inside them?