Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Studio Shots

 I've been making an effort to take more pictures and learn my new camera.  Bear with me.  I thought these were some pretty decent studio shots.  Below is a piece I just finished.

When Rug Meets Windowsill, 2013, Oil on Panel, 18 x 22

Monday, January 28, 2013

Root Soup

Hi Everyone!  I hope you have had a nice weekend.  I did -- if you were wondering.  

I realize now, that I indulged myself quite a bit including a trip to the movies to see Silver Linings Playbook (saw Les Mis last weekend as well -- both very good, both very good looking male leads), nights filled with a mexican dive restaurant and too many margaritas and a karaoke birthday party for a friend, followed up by a recovery Sunday with lots of Downton Abbey, fake shopping (pinning), and reading.  Having had such a rough little stint of the winter blues, I got wrapped up in these fantasy worlds and it was great.  I am feeling much more optimistic and hope the universe conspires with me on that.

Meanwhile, I did manage to do one productive thing which I bring you today:  I invented a delicious, gluten free Root Soup (as I have named it -- basically things in the vegetable drawer on the verge of going bad)

1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 potatoes, peeled and diced
5 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup milk
salt and pepper
shredded cheddar for topping

Melt butter and simmer garlic, onion and celery for 10 minutes.
Add potatoes, carrots and stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
Puree in blender, return to pot.
Stir in milk, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with shredded cheddar.
Makes about six servings.

This soup was the perfect, healthy end to an indulgent weekend.  It is warm and hearty, and a good contrast in color and temperature to the falling snow out the window.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Pick: Sydney Licht Watercolors

Still Life with Box, 2010, Watercolor on Paper, 13 x 10 inches 
Yaddo Lunches, Watercolor on Paper, 6 x 6 inches
Yaddo Lunches, Watercolor on Paper, 6 x 6 inches

Yaddo Lunches, Watercolor on Paper, 6 x 6 inches

Untitled, 2010, Watercolor on Paper, 10 x 8 inches

I have admired Sydney Licht's work for a long time and recently came across it again -- feeling just as excited about it this time.  She is a member of Zeuxis, a still life association of painters whose show I had the good fortune of seeing while driving through Maryland last year.  

In that really nice show, her work stood out to me for its clarity.  There is a clarity of form and color that I really admire and strive for myself.  But what makes the work particularly compelling is its coupling with a very specific and personal type of looking -- you can feel her adjusting her point of view, delighting in a certain pattern, and finding those quiet happened-upon relationships between the objects.

There is a nice interview with Licht on Painting Perceptions where she states: 
"The best kind of resolution is when the unexpected happens at the end of the painting process and I learn something new... Hard questions come up in the middle of painting. Through desperate acts, I am pushed into finding new solutions."  
I think this shows in her work, which is a meditation on looking at commonplace objects but yields very beautiful and different things each time.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Look: Bonnard Gouache

Pierre Bonnard, Still Life with Fruit and Bottles,Watercolor and Gouache on Paper, 1925
How fresh and fabulous is this drawing?!  I have a new book on Bonnard and this is in it.  He never ceases to amaze me.  His choices are so daring in composition, so odd and yet many critics at the time said he was working like an impressionist a generation too late.  Makes me smile.  This piece looks like the best version of what hundreds of painters and illustrators aspire to on pinterest and it looks like it could have been painted yesterday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Studio Shot

Early in the morning I caught this photo of my painting Morning Stirring from the daybed.  I think its so bizarre how the real pillows mesh with the painting's, as well as the morning light streaming in and the pressure of the clock ticking away high above.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bird Duvet with Dog

The story goes like this:  I have been waiting and waiting for West Elm's Cubist Bird Duvet to go on sale.

And it FINALLY did, and thanks to wedding gift certificates -- it was MINE!

And I love the way it looks! Our room is perfect...except for the weird space between headboard and bed... 

...where Nugget, the biggest diva in the world, has to have her ottoman with pillowtop mattress so she's not scared in the night.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Pick: Inga Dalrymple

#2, 2012, Acrylic on Paper

#8, 2012, Acrylic on Paper

#1, 2012, Acrylic on Paper

Little Place, 2011, Acrylic on Canvas

Deep Dark, 2011,  Acrylic on Canvas
Today I present you with these wondrous works by Inga Dalrymple, an Australian painter.  I would love to see them in person.  Such a beautiful touch and color sensibility.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Good Morning-ish

Breakfast. Eaten.  And for this week, that small accomplishment will go down as a win.  For really no big reason, I have had such a week of struggle.  A few bad studio days and a glimpse at my bank account can really make the self-doubt flow much too easily.  But being up in the wee hours of the night has given me some fresh ideas of things I need to do...now to sort out how they look in the glaring light of morning.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Painting: New Process?

Here is a new painting of mine.  It looks somewhat serene in the end but I can tell you painting this one was anything but that.  There are at least 4 other paintings underneath -- but sometimes that is how I make my best work.  I completely abandon any sentimentality I have for the piece and weird things end up happening that I think are clever -- like the laptop becoming an arm of the chair.  

It also ended up being interesting in that it is a semi self portrait with my backyard out the window, but with all these household objects I don't own -- just wish I did.  It was freeing -- I abandoned painting my things, and just went with any things the painting needed( and things I'd need if I had gobs of money.)  

I threw in a West Elm lamp, Anthropologie pillow, Etsy bookends, a glass table and other one of a kind items.  This could be a new budget friendly shopping option for me :)  But seriously, I think it is much better than some of my works which adhere more to my reality -- painted with more instinct and less rules.  I'll see if it keeps up -- somehow I blame and thank Pinterest for this.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Guy Bardone

Guy Bardone
A nice print for a winter Sunday.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Best Gift Giver

Alice Mumford

As my brother-in-law explained in our wedding toast, Alex (my husband) likes to be the best at things.  He proceeded to list those things Alex has claimed: best at cleaning up dog sh-t off the sidewalk, best at persuading me to give him a ride to work, the list goes on.  And to that list I could add: best at leaving socks in every single crevice of our place, best at falling asleep (near narcolepsy) when the dishes need done, etc etc.  But I have and will always give him credit for this title: the best gift giver.  

His competitive nature with himself has worked to my great advantage.  A trip to Spain, an slr camera, totally outlandish things -- a kind of elaborateness that is nowhere else in our lives or relationship.  This year he got me a truly exquisite painting (above) by Alice Mumford, one of my favorite contemporary artists, shipped from the UK.  I would have probably passed out from surprise and delight, had he not left the receipt (an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper) laying on our ottoman.  Regardless of the delivery, he is the best and I look at this painting every single day.  It is a true beauty.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Coming Into View

Coming Into View opens Friday at Gross McCleaf.  It is a group still life show including Giovanni Casadei, Roger Chavez, Katya Chilingiri, Christine Lafuente, Lauren Garvey, Scott Noel, Frank Trefny and myself.  It has quite a range of what is being done with contemporary still life.  The show is up through January 26th.