Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Resolution

"But I have attached great value to drawing and will continue to do so, because it is the backbone of painting, the skeleton that supports all the rest. I like it so much, Theo..." Van Gogh's letter to his brother, Theo, 1862.

For the past two years, I have been obsessed with collage and the intrigue of integration of elements on a two dimensional surface. I resolve in 2008, to return to, and to develop better drawing skills. Van Gogh saw the value in the 19Th century. I see it in the 21st...

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Welcome Holy Child

Titian, The Holy Family and a Shepherd

I love color and texture! I love abstract modern art! I can "disappear" in a Rothko with ease and great pleasure and return groggily to the "real world." I also love the works of the Italian Renaissance Old Masters. There is something magical about Titian and his use of color in the 16Th century. Until last week, I considered my loves very different and completely disconnected in any obvious way. I tend to have wacky taste in many areas of my life, including art.

However, last Saturday, I was browsing 2nd ed. Booksellers, a used bookstore in the RDU airport, and responded to a book calling my name: Matt's Old Masters. David Sylvester, the late British art critic and curator said of Matthew Collings:

"One of Collings' great strengths is his insistence that
in art things are not either/or but both/and."

Matt's Old Masters focuses on Titian, Rubens, Velazquez, and Hogarth. I found myself fascinated by Collings writings about Titian during a short airline flight, followed by a LONG drive in a tiny rental car to my husband's family home in Montezuma, GA. Collings adeptly makes a connection for me between Italian Renaissance and modern abstract art as follows:

"Titian-style color isn't just bright colour,
which is what people usually think 'colour' means in art.
It's colour worked and organised and constructed,
so it's doing something more than you would get
if a modern designer chose some colours from a colour chart.
It's producing something symphonic and harmonious
out of a lot of differences so
there's a sensation of surprise and delight.
This description would fit a Paul Klee or a Matisse,
or a Pollock or a Rothko--which is right,
because that kind of modern art, small like Klee or vast like Pollock,
harks back to the sparkle and suavity of Venetian painting."

Ahhhh, sparkle and suavity; my kind of art!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Beauty in Unlikely Places

After a week of watching focused students making great art in the artroom, I was cleaning brushes that had been sitting in what appeared to be a bottomless wash tub for several days. Soaking brushes for days is not recommended care for brushes; however, if I have to choose between working with students or washing brushes, I choose students EVERY time! As I washed and rinsed and washed and rinsed and washed and rinsed, I eventually found the bottom of the tub. The remaining paint swirled and flowed and made me smile. Art is ALL around us...even in the bottom of a tub of dirty paint brushes.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Marking Time

I met my teacher, mentor, and friend yesterday for lunch and a crit of the work that I have produced thus far in preparation for a show that opens in February. Woo-hoo! I am really close to being finished and not far off from a visit to the framer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cloudy, Cool Afternoons

Signs of winter (at least as much as North Carolina can muster) are abundant these early days of December. They remind me of much colder winters in Baltimore years ago, during which I enjoyed tea and conversation with a neighbor and friend.