Sunday, September 12, 2010

Realism vs. Abstract

It’s been a while since I’ve written in my blog. I’m an artist after all and not a writer. But I have a quiet moment right now. I have two paintings in the works, one based on realism, a figurative piece and the other an abstract.  Doesn’t probably make much sense to you right now, but will. In truth this is how my brain works, ideas constantly coming and going, churning and synthesizing. My daughter often seeing the gears turning, “so you thinking?”, she’ll quip.
In truth I have a lot of pieces started, and though many are finished there are almost as many equally unfinished. A testament to how my mind works. When I switched or transitioned to abstract in the 80's, many people wondered why. It was boredom. I was bored with the nude, I went to a figurative school, Long Beach State. Truth told it is the paint and process I love and not necessarily the subject. Not that I was a master of the human figure but I had about four solid years of drawing and painting the figure. It was not until I started to work in abstracts that I found painting stimulating again. It is how the paint reacts, merges from one color to the other, creating balance, a moment, light darkness. What is a figurative painting after all? Paint, composition, color, light. Stripped of all its illusions the abstract is all that without the illustrative connotation.  So then why jump to realism now?
I was told when I was in my twenties that I had a high level of synthesizing information. This was perhaps the biggest compliment I had ever received. His sincerity and lengthy discussion on art and physics kept our friendship strong for many years.
This particular project is about synthesizing, taking two divergent mediums digital vs. painting, and thought process, abstract vs. realism and combining the two divergent thoughts and process to create one image. It is a little bit about taking my personal history, where I started in art, figurative and combining it with what I love most, the abstract. It will still be basically figurative, but not be about the figure, but about the process. I realize this process is not earth shaking, many artists combine digital and paint. But it is logical direction for my art at this point. This first piece will be the start of a series, all figurative. It has been particularly challenging in that the first painting was of me. I had a friend who said she would pose, but the timing didn't work out. So the challenge of presenting myself put me in the role as model/artist. Now that was an interesting challenge, for more reasons than I have room to write about.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Art from my Office

The nights have been long lately as I try to balance art and paying jobs (graphics). I have had a nice spurt of creativity. I had the telie turned off which has allowed me to work on projects. Since I have been on the computer quite a bit it has been natural to create art on there too. Natural isn't it?  I have received  some positive response and will continue. The work has been mostly created in Photoshop and a few in Illustrator. The thought is to create some work that can sell as prints. I might go as far as selling some on Etsie. After all a girl has to make a living.
It is a different process mentally and obviously physically. The computer work is actually more draining, but I get quicker results, which is something I want right now. I don't think I can handle working on a painting for weeks on end with a glazing process.
Some of the prints will have encaustic painting (wax). Most will be straight prints. More info and link to Etsie will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Road Not Taken

The other day I posted a quote from Robert Frosts poem, "The Road not Taken".

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

What is the road not taken? That road not taken is the road of practicality. I had my moments of brilliance, and money, but there is nothing like the longevity smooth road of security. We all have at least one road not taken. Perhaps my road not taken was marriage. I've had my share at love, but never marriage. Though I too had my chance at that and never partook.
Last night I was sharing wine and stories with a girlfriend. Our friendship fairly new, she knew little of my past. Interested as many people are, she asked about my marital state. I have given many reasons in the past as to why I never married:

1. Never found that one person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, (a convenient excuse, especially for men.)
2. Always the wrong timing. (somewhat true)
3. Men always want to own me, (or so I felt).
4. I never found that one person that was truly supportive of my art. (very true.)

I have probably always known that I would be an artist,  losing myself early on in my meandering watercolors and drawings. But I tried early on in my college years to pursue more practical avenues biology, anthropology, teaching, perhaps nursing, I even avoided art classes at first because I knew once I started I wouldn't stop. But there are things that can't be helped, some forces of nature are too strong. And though I have had my share of regrets one is not pursuing my art.
And so yes the road has been tough sometimes, and I have meandered more than I would like to admit, starting my own graphics business, raising my daughter. But that one road that I persist going down is narrow and lies before me. Sometimes the obstacles intimidate me, but I preserve. And so here I am alone in my studio, much often to the dismay of my bank account. "I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Out the door

I used to have a difficult time of letting go my work. It seems that for the last few years I have no problem with it at all. Last week my daughter took four paintings on loan. She loves my work and would rather have the pieces with her than sitting on my much too small studio floor. Two pieces sold the last show and am grateful for it. I understand with this economy art sales maybe slow for a long time. But when it comes right down to it that is not why I paint. Someday though I hope like many artists do to paint full time which means making an income from what I love.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

El Ardor

People ask me why I title my paintings in Spanish. Am I am trying to make it more difficult for them to understand my work. I'm not sure if a painting should be easy to understand. If I could explain what I feel what I put down on canvas in words would I not be a better writer than artist? There is something in life that can only be communicated visually, musically and some only in words. Words have a way of distorting things; we are easily manipulated by words.

Rothko often didn't title his paintings, at times titled them by color, "Purple, White, Red', "White over Red" or titled them by number. When you stand in front of a Rothko and really look is it not what you feel the most vital part of the experience.
Perhaps people wonder if there is a secret underlying message that will unlock the mystery of an abstract piece. A friend suggested if my latest works might tell of the mysteries of my love life. I was a bit amused. Is all the red representative of all the past passions of my life, are the drips representative of the tears I cried, the light pinks and yellows of the joys I felt? Perhaps a bit. More likely I love the deep reds against reds and the depth that reds have. The drips of paint are drips of paint and are not representative of tears. The drips and solvents thinning the paint mixing with other pigments, allowing gravity to help create the piece I am making. My work has control only when I feel it needs it.

El Ardor, fervor, life, heat. The word in Spanish seems to mean more to me. The Spanish language is beautiful and poetic. Why should not the titles of my “Hearts” be poetic as well.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Road Trip

Considering a road trip. Usually I put work first. But lets face it, in this economy what is the point. I am tired of the doom and gloom; a change of venue is needed here. The oak trees still look dreary in their winter state, despondent in its naked state. And I'm tired of it. Besides a friend suggested a road trip and I can easily be persuaded. Cruise down to pick her up from the John Wayne Airport then drive to Palm Springs. Sunny warm Palm Springs, it is warm right now, isn't it? Lord knows I need the sun right now.
It's time to venture outside the Central Coast, check out the galleries. I always look forward to a road trip. One can be ever hopeful of something new to come. A gallery can pick me up, I can meet a intriguing person, or I can just lay in the sun sipping on a fruity and colorful drink. Yes definitely a road trip is needed.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 6, 2010 "Hearts"

The heart has long been attributed with mystical significance, either as an organ or symbol, which manifests spiritually with divine attributes. One of the earliest appearances of the heart symbol comes from the ancient Egyptians who viewed the heart as symbolic of the soul. The feather of Ma'at (Muh-aht) was the Egyptian goddess of truth, balance, justice, law and mortality. The heart would be removed after death and be weighed to see if it was lighter than a feather.  A person of light heart was deemed deserving of the journey to paradise.

The Heart has been ascribed with the virtues of love, joy, charity, and compassion. It is the emblem of truth in Christianity, the “Sacred Heart”, the symbol of the Lord’s love. In Buddhism, the Buddha heart is also referred to as "the awakened heart of compassion" and has a very good meaning in China and Buddhism.

The classical philosophers and scientists, including Aristotle, considered the heart the seat of thought, reason and emotion often rejecting the value of the brain.
The Stoics taught that the heart was the seat of the soul.
The Roman physician Galen located the seat of the passions in the liver, the seat of reason in the brain, and considered the heart to be the seat of the emotions. While Galen's identification of the heart with emotion were proposed as a part of his theory of the circulatory system, the heart has continued to be used as a symbolic source of human emotions even after the rejection of such beliefs.

Though the symbolic Heart vaguely depicts the human heart, it more accurately depicts a bovine heart; it is still attributed as the seat of emotions. Passionate, happy, joyful, youthful, sorrowful, and heavy of Heart, the emotions central to our human existence.