Friday, May 22, 2020

Studying Elaine de Kooning


I've been reading Cathy Curtis' book Elaine de Kooning: A Generous Vision. I LOVE this book. It's well written, engaging and inspiring. I've shared two favorite clips above that I think are definite food for thought.

I will argue forever that inspiration is everywhere and that we learn from each other. Art is enriched when we study the past and share with each other.

Torn between picking up one of my books on Gorky or Giacometti next.

Have you been reading any art books?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A View from the Orsay

Edit: I thought about it last night and added as well as changed a couple of things... 
I realized after the fact, I wrote peeling paint when I meant peeling paper. Ce la vie.
My palette.
I really liked it as it was but it didn't feel finished.

The page is about two separate days in France, exploring Toulouse (discovering peeling wallpaper on a demolished building) and a trip to the Orsay. 
I usually like to build up the layers but I wanted the text to peek through. 
I was going to build on the collage text to the right of the figure but decided against it.

Two pages left (I am writing this to hold myself accountable. I have two other projects I really want to work on but need to finish this big book first. Sharing how many pages I have left means I won't tear them out or glue them shut.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Tristan has Graduated!

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who loved to draw and build. He dreamt of imaginary places, big cities and faraway lands. He drew maps, construction sites, outer space and goofy goober sundaes.
One day, this little boy was gifted LEGO and suddenly, a whole world opened up. Every moment of his waking (and probably dreaming) hours was spent in the Magical Land of All Things Lego. 

At some point, he discovered LEGO stop motion films. This young boy wasn't a stranger to film or animation. When he was a babe in arms, his parents took him to the movies; to meet masters such as Ray Harryhausen, Stan Lee, Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton; on regular weekly trips to Golden Apple Comics and every July to San Diego Comic Con where he could, "be with his people."
This young boy had a big dream. His dream was to be a, "great filmmaker." He looked to his current heroes: Genndy Tartakovsky, Pen Ward, Stephen Hillenburg, Craig McCracken, and Lauren Faust. Where do all great filmmakers go? California Institute of the Arts, aka Cal Arts. He decided that's where he was going no matter what. He put all of his eggs in one basket, applied and was accepted. With the help of his advisor, he was granted a generous scholarship. He got his foot in the door, set his course and stuck to it. 
He took the courses he wanted to and worked hard. Once while waiting for approval to take a course in a program he wasn't a part of, a faculty member said, "You're not listening. It doesn't matter what I'm saying, you're just going to do what you want to do."
In the spring of 2018, the boy decided he wanted to jump in and work on a big film. He applied to work at a special FX company in Canada. He was assigned to two films (Predator and Dolittle.) He may have jumped up and down in the parking lot of outside of an ice cream parlor but there are no photos and he will deny it if you ask, so it's best that you don't and just take my word for it. In May, he packed his bags and set off on his grand adventure. 

In Montreal, he battled freezing cold, ice and snow. He was far from family but he made new friends and was open to new adventures. He lived in an apartment with no heat (not telling his parents this until after he left.) He met a, "very, very smart" young woman and fell in love. 

While at the film studio, he worked on several major films including Predator, Dolittle, Aquaman, Call of the Wild, Shazam, Dumbo, Pokemon Detective Pikachu, X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Artemis Fowl. For his first film, Predator, his received his first screen credit. In a theatre in Hollywood, his parents cheered, pointed and clapped when they saw his name on the big screen. 

He worked hard on nine major films until the spring of 2019 when he decided that school was calling to him. He wanted to cross the finish line. He wanted his diploma and another film of his own under his belt.
Late Summer 2019 arrived, the young man and his partner settled into a place of their own within walking distance to the school. They were devoted to their studies as well as to each other. 

In 2020, Samantha returned home to study while Tristan spent his last semester excited about being a senior and dreaming of his graduation. Then in March, the world became a science fiction film. Tristan moved back home, back to his childhood bedroom where his adventures began many moons ago. He finished his classes while working for a major film company next to the LEGO that started all of his dreaming.

Last Friday, the young boy who had dreams of becoming a filmmaker graduated. 

This isn't the end. His story is only beginning. 

Congratulations, Tristan! Your father and I are very proud. We are excited to see you write your next chapter. 

When you're at the movies, please consider staying for the credits. It's not just actors and directors who make films. Each of those names floating by you played a part in what you are experiencing. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

She Carried it Home: a Page in Stages

"Fall in Paris" started it. I read it as, Fall into Paris or Fall in Love with Paris. I loved Paris but Auvers sur Oise is the place I constantly dream about. 

The table, the easel, the chair, the bowl of oranges helped push it in the direction it ended up going in as did current events (Covid-19.) A woman sitting in a room, thinking, dreaming, remembering, planning, wondering, existing...

The palette came from trying to use colors I don't usually like to put together (primaries.)

Life shapes us. Our experiences stay with us. We carry them with us. I pulled from memories and photos and translated them into a journal page.

There are three pages left in this BIG journal. I decided on the next page last night. I'll share on Instagram first.

Stay well. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

May 12, 2020 Palette

"You should keep on painting no matter how difficult it is, because this is all part of experience, and the more experience you have, the better it is… unless it kills you, and then you know you have gone too far."-Alice Neel

Monday, May 11, 2020

Gathering Ideas

This popped up in my Google photos from three years ago. These are my friend Maria's  books. 

This photo brings a mix of emotions: fond memories but also a bit of sadness now. I miss my students, my friends, my people. I know I'm not alone. We're all riding those waves right now. 

Right now, I'm working on how to translate teaching in person to online. I am open for suggestions, feedback and input. The workshops will be videos with PDF files (as everyone learns in a different way.) The workshops will also be different than the ones I've taught previously. I am not going to just jump right in and start teaching.  This is a new language and one that I want to do well. Yes, I have taught online before (over 20 workshops) but I want and need to do these workshops differently.

I have my ears wide open for what you want (or don't want) in an online workshop. Thanks for your help and time.


Friday, May 08, 2020

Books Reshelved May 2020

After our recent air conditioner leak, I had to pull everything off of my shelving unit.

The above shelves all face my side of the bed. (Yes, that's my collection of double stacked and double bagged Dark Shadows books.)
I've spent the last week bagging what I could (we've run out of bags and will have to order more.) I also took the time to rearrange the books. I moved read books to the back and books to read/research to the front, as well select side shelves (like the ones you see above.)
Two giant Georgia O'Keeffe, Walter Foster, and a giant Alexander Calder book live here on top of a comic book box.

I tried to put the Bay Area Figurative artists and abstract expressionists together as much as possible. I also had to squeeze in some smaller books where I could to try to balance the weight of the shelves.

Books that I want to read next are placed on the above side shelves.

(More books to be read, on this smaller side shelf.)

I actually have a little bit of room left because of how I rearranged the books and removed some items (now to figure out where to put two boxes of zines!) I don't put any books on the very top (as it blocks the air conditioner) but I plan on lining that shelf with plastic as well. Last time I had thick canvas pages stacked (accidentally!) right below where the leak happened. That ended up being a big help. They were thrown out accidentally last week but I'll make do with something else.

Thanks for taking a tour of one of my bookcases. If you're interested, I'll do this again sometime with another one of my bookcases (my Van Gogh books are on at least two cases as well as on the floor next to my bed.) If you know of any other sites with art books, I'd love to see links in the comments section!