Thursday, March 25, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Number 1 seed KU just lost to #9 seed Northern Iowa. UNI was ahead most of the game. KU came up at the tight, tense end, just not up enough. I'm really sad.
But on the other hand, I lived in Iowa for 4 years, so I think I'll cheer for UNI now. How great they must feel to have upset KU! They deserve to feel good!
Take, for example, Helen Frankenthaler's seminal work, Mountains and Sea, painted in 1952:
It is recognized as one of the early landmark works of the Abstract Expressionist era. As a response to her experience of the Nova Scotia landscape, she experimented in this painting with brushing and pouring oil paint onto unprimed canvas. Frankenthaler is credited with developing this technique, called Color Field painting, yet it is her students, Kenneth Noland and Barnett Newman, who are most frequently mentioned in association with this method.
Oh well. Old, familiar story. Onward and upward.
The U.S. Post Office recently released a new set of ten beautiful 44c stamps, each featuring a painting by an American abstract expressionist painter. The artists featured are Hans Hofmann, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Joan Mitchell Adolph Gottlieb Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Arshile Gorky and Willem de Kooning. I can hardly wait to use them; my friend Pam will get the first specially stamped letter.
The P.O. really did a good job of it: the stamps are big and vary in proportion according to the original canvases. The back side of the page features information about each artist and identifies the title of each featured painting. And there is a wonderful quote by Robert Motherwell: "The function of the artist is to express reality as felt."
One flaw, as I see it. Of the ten artists featured, only one is a woman. Yes, the attention given to the A.E. movement was mostly to the male artists, but there were plenty of women who should have received equal or more attention. I would like to see stamps in tribute to Helen Frankenthaler, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Jane Frank, Perle Fine, Mary Abbott, Sonja Sekula, Elaine Hamilton, Grace Hartigan, and Hedda Sterne. (And I'm sure there are more.) These are names that are not so familiar to us, right? Time to help set the record straight.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Saw a great show of drawings by the sculptor Rachel Whiteread at the Hammer Museum in L.A. today. Created on a variety of papers such as graph paper, newspaper advertisements, and archival paper, she drew with common materials such as gouache, pencil, and ink, but also used uncommon drawing materials like correction fluid and varnish which resulted in exceptionally beautiful surface and tonal qualities.
Black and White Floor (detail), 2001
white ink on black paper
Thursday, March 18, 2010
It was a great week at school, especially for the night class. Everyone was working on interesting projects, solving problems, having fun, printing well.
Gwendolyn Rhinehart models her workshirt.
Long Beach City College has a plethora of resident rabbits. They are beloved, even though inbreeding over the years has resulted in odd mutations such as extra ears. The campus offers peace, pleasant surroundings, and volunteers who provide food and care. In return, the rabbits remind us how simple a happy existence can be.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
After all the heavy rains and now that it is spring, everything in my garden is growing like a weed! And here is the proof:
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I love this point in the semester! Lots of good work is rolling off the etching press or coming out from under the silk screen. Here are just a few examples, hopefully whetting your appetite for more:
Even though quite a few vendors were no shows because of the anticipation of rain, Joe and I had a good time at the swap this weekend. We got there early on Saturday and were heading home by the time the rain began. Here are some of our finds:
Vintage Rubber Stamps: There was a huge box of them! Must have been a couple hundred, all numbers. I held myself back to just these few. They'll be handy in my art making - for use in drawings and monoprints, and as tools to create imagery on hardground coated zinc plates for etchings.
Colorful Straw Birds on Sticks: I think I can photograph these and then play around in photoshop. The resulting images can be used in any of a number of ways - to use as templates for photo-emulsion stencils in screenprinting, or as templates for hand carved wood blocks for stamping. They also might be perfect for experimenting with a process I've just learned about: Screenprint an image onto a zinc plate and before the ink dries, sprinkle on some carborundum grit to make a collagraph plate.
A Pinocchio Bendie: Our artist friend, Kate Savage, created a series of paintings featuring Pinocchio. We'll give this one to her as a present.