Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Pick: Angela A'Court

Peony NYC, 36 x 52 cm
Jug and Artichoke, Soft Pastel, 25 x 28 cm

Two Blue Jugs, Soft Pastel, 52 x 58 cm

Pink Pot, Red Cup, Soft Pastel, 47 x 62cm

I was introduced this week to the drawings of Angela A'Court by Nancy (below).  I was immediately curious to take a look when she said A'Court's treatment of the pastel medium was contemporary and fresh.  I could not conjure up what this would look like in my mind as I don't see a lot of contemporary pastel drawing around. 
I was so excited when I pulled these up.  The way the pastel is handled with bold lines and blocks of color is beautiful.  I also like the way that with a few objects she is able to manipulate the sense of space and placement of objects, things are able to float around so freely.
Here are a few great words from her statement on her process:
"I gather my visual language from the grace of everyday ordinariness, private worlds, unguarded moments, the unsaid - the remnants of human presence. I paint what makes me curious and seek to render the truest emotional response that drew me in to stop and take note."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Etsy Artist Love: Nancy Gruskin

Happy Spring Everyone!  It is finally giving a glimpse of itself with weather in the 50's this week.  

To match the delight that I feel about that, is a beautiful new etsy shop by Nancy Gruskin.  She does wonderful gouache and acrylic paintings and they are incredibly affordable.  I love the way she handles the paint and compositions with such freedom.

We have been in touch a little over the past few months sharing favorite artists and resources.  She just sent me an awesome artist who I will be featuring for this Sunday Pick so stay tuned!  Thanks Nancy!

And I must say again I just love this spirit of sharing and well wishes I have felt recently on my blog.  I remember before starting my blog, finding artists I loved and being hesitant to tell others about them, almost like a feeling of possession.  But now I find sharing just brings more and having a community to enjoy this excitement with is essential to me these days -- you all have made me a more generous artist and I am better for it -- so thank you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Pick: Mary Fedden

I have loved the work of Mary Fedden since a reader left me a comment to check out her work.  I have slowly and continually been accumulating images of hers ever since.  She is so prolific and her work doesn't ever repeat itself.  She seemed to be able to constantly give herself new challenges within still life painting for the 96 (!) years of her life. 

 I am eager to purchase the hardcover book on her which is in no library near here.  The next time I sell a painting, I told myself I can get it.  This is why I love having my blog, to be able to share wonderful artists and works both ways.  Thank you again Penny.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Etsy Artist Love: Alexandra Lakin

Aren't these great?  Alexandra Lakin's statuettes are so wonderful.  They are so bizarre and I feel pretty sure she has a lot of back story to these oddball characters because as I look at them, I start making up stories in my own head.  And the fact that two different people share the same body makes them that much better. And by that much I mean so much.

I also want to make a note here that the title 'etsy artist love' I give to some posts on artists is due to the fact that that is where I came across their work and follow along.  She has an artist website as well with great drawings/paintings.  

I have a very positive and opinionated feeling towards Etsy as a place for real artists, painters, makers, (not to say that every thing on there is so), but my title is not a qualifier.  In fact, I have been meaning to make a post about Etsy and the wonderful community it brought to me -- stay tuned for that another day.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Avery Show + Fairfield Porter = Cloud 9

The opening at Avery Galleries went well.  I always feel a bit nauseous walking into my own openings.  And I got more nauseous when I saw what was hanging on the wall as you immediately walk in (pictured above).  Because Avery mostly shows artists of the 19th and 20th century and not contemporary painters, they decided to curate accordingly.  They paired each artist with a painter from their collection.  

The fact that they decided to put a Fairfield Porter painting next to my humble little thing was unreal.  I don't think that happens in real life -- honestly.  But I was so thrilled by it, the night just went by in a blur.  

Many thanks to my good friend Sarah who captured this photo of an anomaly that will never happen again.  And many thanks to Avery and their staff.  The show was hung beautifully.  If you get the chance to see it, please do, other historical artists included Andrew Wyeth and a very nice Burchfield and the works of the other artists looked great too.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Pick: Daniel Galas

Jacque Pregnant, 2013, Oil

Power Outage, 30 x 24, Oil on Canvas

Driveway, 2010, 11 x 14, Mixed Media

George Washington Bridge, 36 x 48, Oil on Canvas

Basketball Hoop, 2010, 22 x 30, Soft Pastel on Paper

Umbrella, 2010, 18 x 24, Mixed Media on Paper

Flower, 22 x 28, Oil on Canvas
Water Jug, 27.5 x 20, Oil on Canvas
I love Daniel Galas' work.  It was one of those rare art finds that knocked me breathless.  Like the best thing I have seen in a long time, stopped dead in my tracks style.  

I discovered his work thanks to studio critical( a great website by the way) where he is interviewed.  And not only do I love his work but I love his insights in the interview and continued on his very considered and enjoyable gem of a blog.  

I will leave you with a few of his words of wisdom to entice you to check out his workinterview and blog for yourself:

Never concern yourself with being original; originality just happens.
Just because a work of art is hanging in a museum doesn’t mean that you have to like it.
The greatest art never tries to be great.
All artists have only one option: to become the artist that they are.
Great artists know how to use their weaknesses for their strengths.
Authenticity is the greatest quality a work of art can possess.
The greater the material limitations an artist has, the greater the opportunity the artist has for transcending them.
Do not take from nature, make from nature.
Honor diversity in art. The more styles and aesthetics there are, the richer their distinctions become.
To be involved in a community of artists is the only way for career success.
Never pay anyone to exhibit your work
.If you aren’t being denied fifteen times a year from submitting your work for shows you aren’t applying enough.

Love this.  Especially for me the ones about using weakness as strength and transcending material limitations.  Great things to think on.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

5 to Watch Show Opening, Avery Galleries

Looking For Lunch, 2012, Oil on Panel, 40 x 40
This Friday, March 15th, I have an opening at Avery Galleries.  The show is called 5 to Watch and features the work of Matt Colaizzo, Patrick Crofton, Mia Rosenthal, Sara Sanderson and myself.  It's a really diverse group but I like the work of everyone in the show.  I have three of my biggest paintings in the show (including above) and one smaller piece.  If you can make it please do!  The opening is from 5 - 8pm but the show continues through April 12th.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Pick: Ragnar Sandberg

I have been enjoying the work of Swedish painter Ragnar Sandberg (1902-1972) recently.  

I find them very precise in the way they capture mood and the spirit of the figures. I particularly like the ones where I can see him trying and struggling to capture these carefree and spontaneous moments -- and sometimes it feels really good to see paintings that don't seem easy or slick but that the struggle I know all too well is right there in the paint.  I think the way he uses color is very nice and essential to the paintings as it should be.  Not so much on him online but I will keep an eye out for more in the future.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Caught in the Studio: Before the Storm

Here in Philly, we've been waiting for the snowstorm to show all day.  For some reason, it has just exhausted me (and Nugget).  I think it may be the strange sort of light the clouds have created coming in the window.  I am really hoping it comes soon and when it leaves, so does winter.  You can tell from my painting from memory that I have spring on my mind.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Another Look: Rodin and Drawing

Recently, in the Q & A after giving my lecture at Millersville University, I was asked if I find it important to draw as a part of my practice.

I answered yes.  But I liked the question and have been thinking about it.  Drawing is crazy because it can be so many things to different artists.  For me it is something to do alongside my paintings, not as a preparatory thing but as a way of aiding my looking.  When I draw something, I see it differently, more -- its ingrained in my memory better somehow.  Drawing is also something I do when I need to reset myself, get back to the center, refocus.  

Some can make drawing their solitary practice.  It can be taken so many places.  But I do think regardless of what type of drawing it is the thing many visual artists have in common.

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), so well known for his sculpture, was an avid drawer (examples above).  He never did drawings for his sculptures but he always drew.  Which makes sense -- a writer reads a lot.  I think its sort of like that -- a visual lexicon that you accumulate for yourself and can use with a greater freedom when working in other mediums and ways.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Pick: Jane Piper

Jane Piper, Untitled, 1987-88, Woodmere Art Museum

Jane Piper, Fruits of the Earth

Jane Piper, Three Bowls of Fruit, 1983

Jane Piper, Red and White Checked Tablecloth, 1984

Jane Piper, Ferns, Two Mirrors and Four Oranges

I have admired the work of Jane Piper since I was in high school.  My parents knew her work, as she was a major presence in the Philadelphia art world.  

In fact, looking back, her work probably played a role in me going to PAFA for graduate school, as her daughter Jan Baltzell, whose work I also admire greatly, was a critic of mine there.  

Piper's paintings are complex and simple all at once.  Paired down to an essence but full of movement and fresh color.  A few of her pieces are owned by the Woodmere Art Museum and beautiful in person.  I like to look at them for a long time and watch the white start to vibrate against the bits of intense color.  

Her work is referenced here in Philadelphia and at PAFA a lot but online it doesn't seem to have the size presence it deserves.  Looking at her work always reinforces in me the fact that still life can continually bring around new jumping off points and intrigue in the studio.