Sunday, September 30, 2012

* * * YA-A-A-a-a-a-awn * * *

Greatjawsnappinggasps is there anything more tedious than the self indulgent confessions and carrying-ons of someone going through some 'thing'......just like yours truly over this last month. 
You may have noticed those indulgent posts are now removed.....thank the gods. 
And, truly, what did it serve? I think I lost 3/4 of my readership (3 people). 
Ah, such is the price of.........narcissism.
Moving right along, let's talk about some Art, shall we? 
While down in the town last month, I did some Gallery cruising. Be pretty silly not to have....huh. Anywearesofumblingforthingstosayway, what I observed is there is a decided bent to two 'camps', if you will. The 'camp' of traditional, ie: Landscapes, Still Life, and such like. And the 'camp' of Abstract. Now if there is one genre of painting that gets most folks reacting in vast and often strangely adamant ways, it's Abstract Art. They generally feel, unless they LOVE it, that any kindergartener could do as well and they will let you know this in no uncertain terms. Anyone can 'sploodge' a bunch of paint across a canvas! The reality is that good, and I mean GOOD, abstract painting is very very difficult to accomplish. There has to be a decided knowledge of how colour and shape and line work and then to translate that into a cohesive whole. It is pure 'feeling'. And as with all Art, not everyone will understand that 'feeling'. I saw some pretty awesome paintings in those aforementioned Galleries. But the ones I'm carrying around in my head - the ones that really resonated with me and made me wish I could paint like that - were the abstracts. 
Isn't that a turn up for the books. (sorry-that's some wierdy English expression that I just find so great and was dying to use and look I did!)
Being a painter pretty firmly grounded in the realm of realism - albeit in a symbolistic way - I think this draw towards abstract painting intriguing. Perhaps it's the use of saturated colour or shape that pulls me....not sure exactly why. 
Does this mean I will be changing my style? No, don't think so (however- we do know the wisdom of never saying never) I'm getting recognized for what I do so to change the horse in mid stream is most likely not the best direction to take. 
But I might play with it!
There's the thing of being creative : you can mix it up if you want. 

The photograph accompanying this post is by Louise Dahl Wolfe and titled "Beauty". 
I'd have called it "Narcissus". 

ps...ah....back in the land of 'dial-up'.....oh, how I've missed the NOTHING ABOUT IT AT ALL! Sheesh.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh Say Can You See

 I've come to realize that we share a strange, sometimes inexplicable phenomenon and that is the inability to really see ourselves. Well, maybe "inexplicable" is not quite the right term because if you think for a moment there are so many things that 'put the blinders on' our eyes. Of course , I can only really talk about my own experience and that is one deeply immersed in the waters of being a woman and the spirits know we women are almost schooled from birth to have a really messed up viewpoint about ourselves. However, as I walk about this beautiful city that I'm currently inhabiting - I see all these vastly interesting and hugely intriguing people all around me. But I'll give you dollars to donuts they are pretty much all feeling 'wrong'. (why I'd want to pay you a dollar for a donut escapes me - just like that saying does, but it does roll off the tongue like oil on a hot pan - and here we go again.....) 
Ok, moving right along before the brain can go down another rabbit hole - I think that we all mess up the visuals with so much 'other' our actual true picture gets lost. 
And why am I blithering on about this, well you may ask.
I had this brought home to me last week when I sat down and drew myself. My own face - not my mother's, not my usual 'made-up ones, not some old photograph. Nope, me looking in a mirror. And I was completely taken aback when I saw that I am really quite beautiful. 
You'd think as an artist that I'd be able to 'see' this but I haven't. And it made me think of all the countless times I have looked in a mirror and voiced those demeaning epithets to myself "you old bag; bleah, you look like shit" etc etc etc. How many times have I heard my friends say "Ugh! I hate myself in pictures."
No wonder. 
It has me musing on portrait paintings and the fact the vast amount of them are all pretty much geared to making the subject look swell. Putting aside the reason for doing so may have been you wanted the money for your work so it behooved you to 'tart it up'. Or that the model chosen was already visually pleasing, I'd say what we see just might not be a true picture.  There are very few artists that really give you all the warts - so to speak - Frida Khalo and Van Gogh come to mind - but if you look at contemporary portraiture it pretty much is still those visually 'pretty' visages. And may I add, that, yes, old men are often a subject matter but we seem to be more able to accept the craggy face time has given them so much more than women.
Anyjustputaframearounditway, I'm kinda going all over the map with this, aren't I. I think what I want to say is that I need to try to 'see' better. Let's try to get past those worn out tapes and start realizing what an incredible and vast canvas we are - the colors! the shapes! What a feast for the senses. I know I'm going to view the folks around me differently and try to envision how I'd paint them.......who knows where this will take me......

The Painting is by Jenny Saville and boy oh boy do I LOVE this young woman's work! She's well worth a Google

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How fleeting our time upon this Earth.....

Life, as we are so aware, can change in the blink of an eye. For many of us it comes in joyous forms of news or maybe a move somewhere or perhaps a windfall of an unexpected gift.
But along with those good and welcome entities we must be ready for the unwelcome words of the passing of a friend or family member. 
Suddenly it seems the world stops and you are left in a place that is filled with heartbreak. It brings you up short. The world becomes fragile and our life upon it so brief. 
Today I found out a very dear and immeasurably talented friend had passed away yesterday. She was close to my age - that, as well, makes one pause - and I am so stunned by the news. 
We know we will absorb the sorrow and continue on, but right now the light just dimmed. 
Gael, this is for you:

The stars I gaze upon seem different since that day,
While one shines brighter, another fades away,
You light up the winter sky, the moon at your command,
Convinced you didn't mean it, but your soul had different plans.
This is truth calling, makes its way to me,
And this is love falling, falling at our feet.
She was your sister, your neighbour, she was your daughter, your carer.
She was your mother, your sharer, she was your friend, your lover.
The bowing heads of many hold your image in their minds,
The endless search for answers occupy the time,
Gazing at the pictures, with eyes they fail to see
Why in a moment, robbed of reason, you embraced eternity.
   --A song by Capercaillie, the Scottish band.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tales from the Road - part 1

No, no,  not in a foreign clime but the weather has been super enough to feel like I've arrived in a more southerly location and since that actually is true, well, here we are! Took me 3 hours yesterday to move into my little 'home away from home' and I'm feeling pretty perky about the whole darn thing so far. The BIG news is I went out and purchased a laptop - why, in all that is computer-ishy, did it take me so long to get on board with this little gem of technology? (you realize that's a rhetorical question, right?) Mind you I still keep looking for the darn mouse - and am feeling 'out of touch' when confronted by the simplest things - such as walking back to the store this morning to ask why the screen was just dead - yeah, you got it - we were shown the button up top to push so the laptop turned on. *sigh* Did I mention how so not techy we are? I also forgot the camera cord to hook into this machine so that I can download pics....always something. But, the speed! The ease of transport! The cool stuff I can access now that WI-FI is all around me!  
Anygeekingoutway, I've 'put up' all the paintings I brought with me, (no hooks in the wall so we've "strategically" placed) - really, Art improves EVERYTHING - and there's a jacuzzi tub which just about signals heaven to this old gal. We're close to downtown for all my appointments and truly, within walking distance of all sorts of great things - waterfront, park, funky shops and galleries, cool little neighborhoods etc etc etc. Oh pinch me!  
Yes, I'd move in a heartbeat.
That's 'bout it for now - I'm still in the 'honeymoon' phase with all this. We'll update next week - who knows what'll happen by then.......(oh, cue the dun,dun,dun...)