“A Long List of Offenses”

A Long List of Offenses

“A Long List of Offenses”
10×8 inches, oil on panel

Rubens closely guarded his drawings as studio secrets and never showed them to the public. He thought they revealed too much of his labor. My own drawings often show a multitude of offenses and corrections… all of which are a visual record of how I think and compose. Drawings expose the evolution of one’s thoughts. Here is the compositional drawing for “A Long List of Offenses”

“Mirror, Mirror”

I will be part of a group show “Mirror, Mirror” opening this Saturday on September 4, 6-9 pm at Meyer Gallery, Park City, Utah. It is a showcase of figurative works by 10 artists including Ray Bonilla, Fidalis Buehler, Ted Gall, Glen Hawkins, Brian Kershisnik, Emily McPhie, Chris Miles, Jim Rennert and Justin Taylor. I am most thrilled to have “Lucy and the Majorette” as the featured image on the invitation cards. The show runs until September 21.

Lucy and the Majorette
Red Majorette
Viola in Disguise
The Messenger
Girl with Red Jacket
The Lotus Bud

Delicious: Peaches, Sows, Julie&Julia


Winter is my busy creative season – not much else to do when it’s so cold outside. As result, I haven’t been posting much. But now I have some miscellaneous updates. I am working on some gouache experiments (more on those later). Shipped out new paintings to Park City (more on that later too). Then got my haircut which I should do more often because I came home to unexpected news. One is a heads up from Google alert that Edible Austin’s Winter 2009 issue features “Peaches” painting in an editorial “Edible Pocketbook: The Myth of More” by Helen Cordes. I hope it’s in the hardcopy of the magazine as well.

The other big news is from Wally Workman letting me know that “Crowning the Grand Sow” has sold. I particularly love this painting not only for its mysterious allegorical imagery (it gives me a warm fuzzy) but also because I’ve fiddled with it for a year. I chronicled its creation in this painting demo post.

Crowning the Grand Sow

Other miscellaneous and edible stuff: This past weekend I watched the movie Julie & Julia with Meryl Streep as Julia Childs and Amy Adams as writer/blogger Julie Powell. Loved it. It speaks to my obsessive self, of learning a craft and creating for sheer love or compulsion. Katha Pollitt’s review of it is so right on:

What I loved most of all, though, was that Julie & Julia is that very rare thing, a movie centered on adult women, and that even rarer thing, a movie about women’s struggle to express their gifts through work. Not a boyfriend, a fabulous wedding, a baby, a gay best friend, a better marriage, escape from a serial killer, the perfect work-family balance, another baby. Real life is full of women for whom work is at the center, who crave creative challenge, who are miserable until they find a way to make a mark on the world. But in the movies, women with big ambitions tend to be Prada-wearing devils or uptight thirtysomethings who relax when they find a slacker boyfriend or inherit an adorable orphan. Among recent films, Seraphine, Martin Provost’s biopic about an early-twentieth-century French cleaning woman and self-taught painter, is practically unique in its curiosity about a woman’s creative drive. More usually, a woman’s cinematic function is to forward, thwart, complicate or decorate the story of a man. As Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s elusive girlfriend in (500) Days of Summer, Zooey Deschanel has all the external trappings of individuality–aloofness, a sly smile, vintage clothes and indie tastes–but she has no more inner life than Petrarch’s Laura. She’s there to break the hero’s heart and rekindle his ambitions. What will she become? Someone else’s wife. – Katha Pollitt, The Female Gourmet

BTW, I did almost enroll at Le Cordon Bleu back when I thought I had better find a backup plan in case painting didn’t pan out. Luckily I had a husband who told me I painted better than I cooked.

Painting and Memory

Crowning the Grand Sow

Painting is the power of suggestion. There is nature and then there is art. When painting you look at something, and then you have to shift your eye to the canvas. There’s a few seconds where there’s only memory to guide you.

It would be interesting if some real authority investigated carefully the part which memory plays in painting. We look at the object with an intent regard, then at the palette, and thirdly at the canvas. The canvas receives a message dispatched usually a few seconds before from the natural object. But it has come through a post office en route. It has been transmitted in code. It has been turned from light into paint. It reaches the canvas a cryptogram. Not until it has been placed in its correct relation to everything else that is on the canvas can it be deciphered, is its meaning apparent, is it translated once again from mere pigment into light. And the light this time is not of Nature but of Art.” – Sir Winston Churchill.

Churchill is talking about painting, say a landscape, and the seconds needed to transmit in code what is seen in nature onto the canvas.  I think there is a certain style or look in painting which has been lost because of  modern aids like projectors. You lose those moments when you hold a reference in memory. After all, how a painter transmits this code onto canvas (basically how their brain works and interprets visual cues) is what makes each painter unique. A projector cuts out that middle process, creating something more photographic in nature. That’s ok if that’s the intention. But I like the natural awkwardness that working from memory lends to my works. I don’t work from models (also partly due to antisocial behavior) and rarely from finished drawings. I like to hold compositions in memory. This process of recollection and piecing things together is vital to my art. How else to create images a step removed from reality and suspended in time?