Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vuillard's The Reader

Vuillard, The Reader, 1896

Every year for the holiday my mom gets me a planner with paintings in  it.  They are from Pomegranate if you want one, which I posted about in the post below.

Anyways, I can never help myself from immediately looking through the whole year of pictures.  This 2012 edition had Vuillard's painting in it and I just adore it.  The spatial illusions that he has created through pattern here are genius!  After a few minutes of looking the whole thing levitates up and off the paper.  What I would give to see this 84 x 61 inch beauty in Paris.  A masterpiece.

I'm gathering some thoughts on pattern and piling space which are paramount to my recent paintings and I think I'll do a few posts on that coming up.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Collage Perspectives at Swarthmore

Here is a great gallery talk with Andrea Packard, curator of Swarthmore's List Gallery. She put together such an interesting show and talks about how she selected these artists who all use aspects of representational painting to find a coherence to a medium (collage) which is naturally dissonant and fragmented.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Small Works at Rosenfeld

Coffee Through a Straw, Oil and Graphite on Panel, 2011

I am in this year's Small Works show at Rosenfeld Gallery. It's chock full of small pieces, primarily paintings but also some sculpture and ceramics. I have three pieces including the one above in the show. It goes until December 31st...stop by!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eilif Amundsen

Here I go; giving away my secrets again. I discovered the artist Eilif Amundsen a while back and just love love love everything he does. He is the evidence that supports my feeling that white can be used in abundance and if done right (which is nearly impossible) it can make the most powerful sensation of a painting. They feel like wintry memories (I believe he's from a Scandinavian country) so I thought now was the appropriate time to put them up. I have been looking to them recently too because I am doing a painting in which the season seems to be winter.

Anyway, there is absolutely nothing written about him in English online anywhere except that he was born in 1930 so for now I (and you) will have to just go on these grainy images and hope that the work reappears somewhere soon.

Vindu, 1990

Stilleben Vindu, 2000

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ann Truitt Film

Recently I visited the Delaware Art Museum, it was a really brief and uneventful trip in general but I stumbled upon one gem. They have a small show of Anne Truitt's work called Luminosities. Just about a dozen pieces, I was quite drawn to a few works on paper but most delighted by the short film titled Ann Truitt: Working by Jem Cohen.

Confession: this may be the first movie I have watched from start to finish in a gallery, its just hard to hold my attention for a long time when I know how many other things of visual interest are around the next corner. But this video was really visually acute and seemed to match the aesthetics of Truitt's interview. It's hard to find online but worth trying to see; here are some excerpts from it on PBS's website and I have put in a few stills here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall Bouquets

Gouache on Paper

Gouache on Paper, 2009

Gouache on Paper, 2010

Gouache on Paper, 2010

I am so delighted by these works on paper by Sarah Armstrong-Jones. They feel so much like dying autumn foliage and the shapes and colors I have been looking at as I walk to work the last few weeks. I would love to see these pieces in person, but for now I'll have to settle for her gallery's online images. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Interesting Sunday Find

I like the website mutualart.com which has a huge database of artists' works that aren't always otherwise available online. I found some nice paintings of Paul Wonner's I had never seen anywhere else. So here I share those with you...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chelsea, November 2011

Below is a visual summary of the best of what I saw in Chelsea this weekend. So many good shows linked for me by ambitious nature, attention to fortunate events found in process and satisfying a personal need for altering materials and physically creating artworks.

Matt Blackwell at Edward Thorp, Tour and Trance (fabulous)

Elizabeth O'Reilly at George Billis, Nightfall, Union Street Bridge (closed Saturday but her collages will be on view through mid December at Swarthmore's List Gallery)

Josephine Halvorson at Sikkema Jenkins, Cracked Back, (interesting interview with her in the Brooklyn Rail this month)

Matthew Farina Recent Collages at The Painting Center

Ruth Miller at Lohin Geduld, Enamel Jug Motif (she is a member of Zeuxis, a fabulous still life painters' association)

And the great Joan Mitchell, Last Paintings at Cheim & Read

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Please come to my opening tomorrow night! It is at the Main Line Art Center in Haverford and is this year's Betsey Meyer Memorial Exhibition. Bill Scott selected 18 young, emerging Philadelphia artists, all painters and printmakers. The reception is from 6-9pm on the 4th (tomorrow) and the show will be up until November 23rd. I am showing two pieces, one is a very large piece for me which I have never put online. I think it's going to be a good time...so come!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Degas at the MFA

Degas Seated, 1895 (this photo is in the show)

There is a fabulous little show up at the MFA Boston. I got the chance to see it because I am in New England for the week for work and it was quite a bonus. The show is Degas and the Nude and its just a few rooms of primarily works on paper.

It was really great because Degas is one of the larger than life greats for me who was pretty untouchable. In person, I have mainly only seen large paintings of dancers or one drawing here or there, so he was never a personal connection before.

Getting to see so many small works, sketches, and monotypes completely changed that. The works were really stunning, direct and process based. I was really blown away by th
e monotypes; such complex yet simple compositions, black and white and tender but powerful. Took me forever to find even this crappy image online too so try to see the show!

Degas, Woman Drying her Feet (my favorite)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An Artist on the Awkwardness that is F. Porter

Fairfield Porter, Under the Elms 1971

By this point you are probably aware that I love Porter.

However, I've never had my feelings about him so succinctly expressed as Dan O'Connor did in a recent interview on Painting Perceptions. O'Connor is a recent MFA grad of PAFA and although his work is very impressive to me in ways, I think it is what he aspires to in Porter that unites our thinking as artists.

He says; " I am continually trying to introduce new ideas or ways of seeing into the paintings. A few months ago, I read a little catalog from a Diebenkorn exhibit where he mentions learning about the importance of whimsy from the paintings of Matisse. This has proved to captivate me for a while. I’ve always thought on whimsy as a sort of heavy-handedness or awkwardness that permeates through some paintings, but have started to see it now as something that could potentially relate a real, palpable truth about vision. It seems to present itself in limitless ways; the way you hold your brush, apply paint, stand, look, question. This playful manner of observing, I think, speaks loudly about the painter and the subject, while still providing a satiated, fully resolved, believable painting. Fairfield Porter seemed to have it."

Awesomely put.

Dan O'Connor, Dear God, Thank you For Friends, 2009

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tara Geer

Tara Geer, The Frayed Sock

I really love Tara Geer's drawings.

I think maybe more than that I love her refreshing artist statement:

"I think the most important part of drawing is seeing: The more I look around me, the more the world opens up as if under a magnifying lens-- the spoon in the cereal bowl and the floating bits of cereal lose their distinction...My sketches from the world around me are love letters to looking, but wordless ones."

Read the whole thing here on her website.

And see her work in a group drawing show at the Macy Gallery @ Columbia through November 4th. And let me know how it is because I'm not going to make it to NY until the next weekend.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Intimations Show

Alex in front of Night Couch (versions of reality and my painted reality in one picture!)

I am part of a really nice show at Hopkins House Gallery of Contemporary Art. I was so flattered to be invited to this show featuring the work of Michael Bartmann, Roger Chavez, Alex Cohen, David Campbell and two other artists I wasn't familiar with Kyle Stevenson and Jeanine La Claire.

The show was curated by Bruce Garrity who did a really amazing job of putting together artists and works that seem to compliment each other and work from the same perspective but still in very personal ways. The title Intimations seems to say it; work that hints, suggests and implies. Works that come from experience and life and are retold in another reality, a painted reality.

The show is on until October 29th, so please stop through!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beautiful Bischoff Drawing

Kimura Reflections

Tshuta Kimura, Country House in Provence, 1984

I just read an article by Arthur Danto on Kimura which is very poignant. I can't put it in his words but here's what I gathered: Kimura paints what is underneath the imagery of landscape. Its as if he paints what swells up from under namable trees, grass and flowers when that ecstatic, nostalgic fall sun hits your back. He captures visually what I experience through all my senses plus memory. Its smell, sound, sight, touch, memory all funneled through and replayed in the visual. So for me the experience of his paintings is completely overwhelming.

Re-reading that I actually don't know if that is quite what the article said but that's where it took me anyway. Probably because when I think about my own work that is also what I work to do, although I could never work from landscape. When I paint Alex and I eating breakfast its about funneling the smell of coffee, sound of the heater, sight of the morning light, touch of the spoon and memory of doing this over 600 times at Rodman street all back through the visual. What a powerful and impossible task.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

JSS Student Work

These days, during the week to get my fix of looking at art, I browse the internet a lot. I stumbled across some really beautiful work at the Jerusalem Studio School this week.

All these pieces are done by anonymous students, posted on JSS' facebook page.

Hopefully someday I'll be able to get back to Israel to see it in person.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kathy Bradford Lecture

Yellow Suit Diver, 2010 10 x 8 inches

Working at PAFA this semester happily allows me to take advantage of the many opportunities provided to students and others in this art community. Thank god for that because last Wednesday I heard one of my favorite critics, Kathy Bradford, discuss her work in a lecture at lunch.

Listening to her in this capacity was just as inspiring, intriguing, exciting as working with her for the past two years. If you ever have the chance to see her work in person (she shows at Edward Thorpe) or hear her speak, make sure you do.

Her genuine nature comes through in both and allows others to connect with her in a rare and real way. The best example I can give is she showed the audience of a picture of a handwritten sign which said 'be ordinary'. She said this was a note she left for herself at her studio in Maine so when she came back she would remember this challenge.

For me, as a woman painter, the idea that she is that confident not only in the fact that being ordinary is the best way to make work but that she personally believes in her own ordinary-ness is so thrilling. And she should because she is fabulous.

Man Under Water, 2010, 8 x 6 inches

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bill Scott

Bill Scott, Coastline, 2011

This is my favorite painting from a show of a lot of fabulous painting. Through October 8th, Bill has a solo show of about 20 paintings at Hollis Taggart in NY. I keep going back to the show's catalog to look at the work but also to read a line in the foreword that just explains exactly what I love about his work and what I want out of mine, "...imbuing each canvas with echoes of remembered experiences, moments and ruminations. Into each he weaves threads of color, compositions and subject matter chosen from his rich repository of artistic inspiration, experiences culled from the earliest moments when art 'found' him and he 'found' art." They're like poems made of paint.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bananas Collage

Gorgeous anonymous student collage. I love painted paper collages and this one is top notch.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Drawing Show

Brushing His Teeth, 2011, Ink on Paper

I just found out two of my drawings were accepted into a drawing show at Delaware County Community College. The juror was Kate Kraczon of the ICA and the premise was a survey of contemporary drawing in the Philadelphia area. The piece above along with another one will be in the show from September 21 through October 28. I did a bunch of drawings over the summer and am glad for this opportunity as I don't think I've ever shown my drawings before but always wanted to. I'm also curious to see the other work she picked. I'll try to take notes as I know DCCC is a bit far from CC Philly so stay tuned...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Alice Mumford

I love painter Alice Mumford's still lives when they are so quick and casual. Her work always reminds me to only include what is absolutely necessary because that is when she is at her best and when I am at mine. Check out more work at her gallery here...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Smithsonian Online

Alex and Ada Katz ca. 1969

Fairfield Porter ca. 1970

Paul Wonner ca. 1970

My aunt recently let me on to a great resource. The archives of American Art by the Smithsonian is like picking through my idols' diary. Pictures of so many of my favorite artists, their sketchbooks (david park's is especially great) and letters to friends, family and others. It's so easy to get lost in these as they seem to make the artists shrink from their larger than life status in my head to people I could know and talk about art with, which makes them that much more inspiring.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Good Find

There is a little gem of a store a few blocks away that I thought I should share. Its called Woven Treasures but I know it as the corner store with a lot of cool old looking stuff in the window. Its at 23rd and South across from the grocery store and I just picked up this beauty there last week. It looks quite fancy but rest assured did not break the bank, and I have a small bank.

In addition to some nice jewelry, they have a ton of imported textiles and housewares including turkish rugs, tiles and ceramic. You must see for yourself or visit their website here but be warned the in-person experience is much more gratifying than the online equivalent.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ordinary Things I Can't Live Without

These two grocery store items are so helpful in my prep work. The first is an upgraded toothpaste squeezer that gets so much extra paint out of every nearly finished tube. The second is a shower squeegee which a friend at school told me to use when applying gesso to panel. Works like a charm. They are each like 5-8 dollars too. I keep wondering what other household products out there could be of such use to me...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I like my things like I like my art...

Marimekko Pillow from Crate and Barrel

Original Collage from Harry Stooshinoff on Etsy

Two things I want to own and love to look at.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Miranda July

still from The Future

I'm so excited that Miranda July's new movie The Future is playing soon
in Philadelphia. I loved her first movie, You, Me and Everyone We Know and have read this one is great too.

Here's a moving quote from an interview with her:

"Life is so ridiculously gorgeous, heartbreaking, horrific, etc, that we are compelled to describe it to ourselves, but we can't! We cannot do it! And so we make art."