Monday, April 28, 2008

New Routines

Work in Progress (no title yet) for the series Pulp Fiction acrylic on wood 24"x36"

I just spent three days driving in circles talking history on the streets of Boston. It was not as hard as I thought it was going to be, and, indeed, I remembered about 90% of my spiel from last year. I really felt more relaxed about it, and I was able to joke and kid more with the guests. Still, by my last tour on Sunday I was pretty tired and couldn't wait to get home.

So today was my first day back in the studio. It is going to be a real challenge to get all the work done I need for October and get all Life stuff done. Like getting the car inspected, calling and scheduling the exterminator (ants), getting the garden ready, etc., etc., etc. Plus, my husband and I have started an exercise program, every morning, off we go to the gym. We both hate it, but we like how we fell afterwards. We have promised each other, that if we make it to 80 we will just let everything go. I'll take up cigarette smoking and eating foi gras, and drinking whiskey, while Chip will take up cigar smoking and eating double bacon cheeseburgers. I mean, hey, if you make to 80 you have earned it !

I have come up with a title for my show in October, "Pulp Fiction", which I believe will make all these narrative paintings hang together. I am very excited about this new painting, it is so much fun and so free not to censure myself.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm gonna be the movies ( at least my art work will be)

Pamela Boll, the women who produced "Born into Brothels" has just finished a documentry, titled "Who does she think she is?". It is about 5 women artists, visual, literary and performing, who against all odds continued to make art. Now, I am not one of the artists, but my artwork will be featured in some of the scenes. The movie is not up yet, but here is a link, that will eventually lead to more information. The actually took three of my paintings, but I don't have the others on digital yet, as soon as I do, I'll post them.

Me and one of my fellow conductors going on the NEW Tour

I am feeling a little frazzled now as I am  starting work tomorrow. Driving in circles and talking history, it can be a lot of fun, but after three tours a day, you are pretty wasted. I really love the people I work with, I have never laughed so much as when I am around these guys, and they are mostly guys. Remember in middle school, all the smart-ass guys who got sent down to the principles office for having a smart mouth, or being just a cut-up ? Ever wonder what happened to them? Well, I know, they all work for Old Town Trolley . They are a great bunch of guys, knowledgeable, irreverent, but now they have learned how, and when to be cut-ups. As jobs, go, if you have to work outside the studio, this is not a bad one to have. As a result of my working on weekends only, I will probably not have the energy to be blogging after work. So I will be posting Monday - Thursday, unless I get an unusual burst of energy, who knows it can happen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Today is Earth Day, I sometimes curse myself for having been born in the Northeast where cynicism is practically a birthright. It is always an up hill battle to fight my natural inclination. So here's the joke. 

question: If today is earth day, what happens the rest of the year ?
answer: Pollution.

I know, I know not very funny, but it is right on the mark for me. I was watching some innocuous day time show while I was exercising in my gym, and this "celebutante" gets all gushy, with how she is saving the planet by buying Green sneakers. She already had over a 100 pairs. Now, does anybody besides me see what's wrong with this picture?  

Enough ranting and raving, time to go to work. I hope to re-finish the painting I started at VSC. I thought it was finished but after my crit, I noticed all sorts of ways to change and improve. 

Plus, I have to spend some time today driving (yes I know adding more pollution) around Boston, reviewing my history. I go back to work on Friday. I started reviewing my spiel, and have discovered to my utter amazement, that I actually remember a good deal of my blather. I tell the worst jokes ! 

Friday, April 18, 2008

Self-doubts and Affirmations

The Fall 24x36" acrylic on wood panel, 2008

What a wonderful day today was. It is so beautiful in Boston when we have spring, and it seems like we might. This is my last free weekend, starting next week I will begin my seasonal job at the Old Town Trolley Company. I will drive around in circles all day talking history. This year I will be only working part time, 3 days a week, Fri, Sat, and Sunday. This week I had to take my drug test, I don't know maybe there is something anatomically wrong with me but I find it virtually impossible to pee in those little tiny cups. And you are under such pressure, they mark the cup off with how much you have to produce, they stand out side the door to make sure you are not doing anything nefarious with your collection. You feel guilty even though you are not! Next Wednesday, I go and get certified with the safety conductor, I will have to spend the next few days rereading and memorizing my Boston history, as all those dates have flown right out of my head.

Last night my son helped me hang all my current work around my studio for a visit with our newly formed crit group. I was very apprehensive about the crit as I am suffering now from huge self-doubts, with the cancellation of the shows and going back to work, I start to question my artistic dedication and lets face it, my chops. Well, what a wonderful, talented, generous group of artists I have the pleasure of being part of, of calling my peers. Their attention, encouragement  and suggestions helped me to feel connected to my work and to my peers, and to even feel like a peer. The more I do this the more I realize the need to develop internal success markers and one of those markers has to be the respect of my peers, today that was affirmed. 

Monday, April 14, 2008

Man Makes Plans and God Laughs

I finished all twenty of my hula paintings, hung them and am more convinced than ever that I should do 100. These twenty paintings were destined for a show in Chicago, but do to unfortunate circumstances the show has been cancelled. This makes the second show cancelled for me this year, I hope this trend ends soon as I am amassing a great deal of work with no place to show them. I will put them up for the upcoming May open Studios in the South
End, which is not the same.


Randy Garber at the Newton Art Center (my photo does nod do this piece justice)

Friday I went to a wonderful drawing show, titled "On Drawing, Surface, Line, Mark at the New Art Center In Newton. One of the artists, Randy Garber, who is a personal friend of mine had some of the more interesting work in the show. She was the only artist that presented  a different idea of drawing, her work was on paper, but because it extended out of the wall it became sculptural. The paper she used was a non traditional, piano scroll, and by suspending in on the wall she created yet another dimension for the drawing, light and shadow. The holes on the scroll, became marks on the wall and at the same time they were the absence of marks on the paper. Her work directly relates to her hearing impairment and the way in which language is construed and misconstrued. My picture does not do it justice !!! The other artist in the show whose work I responded to was Thaddeus Beal. He refuses to believe a drawing is dead and keeps working till he has it resolved. I loved reading his comments on his process. In he said. "I saved the drawing with the exuberant use of the erasure."   I wish everything could be saved that way.


Thaddeous Beal, charcoal on etching.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The end is in sight

I finished the last panel of the small hulas and am quite pleased, now all I have to do is paint the sides of the panels, attach the swavorski crystals, and varnish. I am waiting on new panels arriving so I can work on my multiple hulas. I have them all composed, just need the boards, and they should be arriving any day now.

Just a thought, yesterday was opening day for the Boston Red Sox each one of the Red Sox, managers and various hangers on were rewarded for last years World Series Championship with a ring, valued at 12,000 dollars. Now, don't get me wrong, I actually love baseball and the Red Sox, but does somebody want to tell me why they need rings ? They gave away a total of 43 rings, thats over 500, 000. dollars, it seems to me that they could have come up with a more imaginative and less costly way of saying, job well done.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Piece Work

The assembly line.

Works in progress, all that remains to be added are the swavorski crystals, at this stage the are White Gold leaf, acrylic, 6"x8" wood panels

I have gotten into the grove of work again. My knee feels so much better, I can finally walk up and DOWN stairs. I am have a whole lot of fun with these paintings, I finished 8 today and have only 9 more to finish so I will have a total of 20. Ons of the interesting things about painting these people, is that I don't start out thinking I am going to change their images, but as I paint them, they start to morph. They become shy, confused, outgoing and sometimes younger or older, with the flick of a brush. One of the hulas, has even ended up pregnant. I think if she sees it she will be a bit shocked as I don't think she has any plans in the near future for children.

Unfinished, Haven't got a title for it yet
As soon as I am finished with the hulas I can get back to work on this painting I started in Vermont. I just loved paining all the stuffed animals, I think I am going to do a whole group of paintings with dead animals in them. While I was in the groove painting I had an epiphany, about composition. I frequently use rooms I have found in magazines, and then I painstakingly grid them out and copy onto the panel I will use. Well, it was one of those slap your head kind of moments, where I thought, now why don't I just photograph the mag, than do the composition in the computer. DUH. Well I think this will save a lot of time in getting the scale right.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

First Friday

Opening night at the Bromfield Gallery with the two artists, JIll Weber and Bettsyann Duval this past Friday was very well attended, even though the weather was less than ideal, rain. In fact the whole area was really crawling with a lot of people. I think the large number of people can be partly attributed to what I consider a"disaster attitude", the end is near, so we better go now. The Boston Globe, the Phoenix, the Big Red Shiny all reported this  week about a shift in the gallery scene. A few galleries are closing, some are moving and others are reconfiguring. To some, this triggers the chicken little response, others are bit more philosophical and think in terms of Darwin. I tend to lean towards the Darwin theorists. 

The South End is evolving, and yes, I am sure part is due to this lagging economy, but I am equally sure, that it is also do to the natural rhythm of business. So who is staying and who is leaving. Allston Skirt had their last opening on Friday. MPG will be closing its doors in July. Bernie Toale, is bowing out of the gallery operation, but his business partner, James Hull, will be taking over and maintain the current roster and promoting newer artists. The really good news for the area is that Howard Yezerski will be moving his gallery into the newly renovated 460 Harrison Ave this September. So all the doomsayers out there relax, take a deep breath the end of the Boston art world is not in sigh its just redecorating.

Back in my studio I have just finished gold leafing 20 6x8" panels for my hula-hoop project. I got an e-mail from Ginny Sykes earlier in the week asking if she could change the show dates. I broke out into a cold sweat, oh no, not another show cancellation ,and me with all this work and I should have been working on the work for the show in October, instead of wasting my time making work for shows that don't happen. Thankfully she is not canceling the show, she has reassured me(now who sounds like chicken little) its just that the dates need to be adjusted.

 I have started painting the new group of hulas and I am really happy with what is happening and an looking forward to seeing them as one big group. I have been painting them for a year, but I sell them and so I have not amassed a large number, this will be the first time. I'll try to take a picture tomorrow, the assembly line is kind of cool.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thursday at the Gallery

I gallery sat today at my co-operative gallery, the Bromfield Gallery . This being the Thursday before First Friday, the gallery and studio opening event of the month in Boston's South End, it was extremely quiet. There are two artists showing, both gallery members and their work couldn't be more different, but both equally passionate. In the first gallery Jill Weber , whose paintings evoke the feeling of being in a fun house, where walls and ceiling collide and slant at dangerous angles. She approaches her painting as constructions and bases her imagery on the shadows and interplay of planes from skylights.

Connector Diagram Blue 2 - click for more information
Jill Weber, Connector Diagram Blue 2 12"x12" oil on board 2008

In gallery II is Betsyann Duval , I always look forward to her shows as she is constantly changing. This month she is showing large, charcoal drawings that center on some very famous women's faces, an appropriate show for women's history month. The images are close cropped and centered on the face. And as controlled as Jill's lines are, Betsyann's lines are wild and free, with a huge variety of mark making. 
Local Artists Exhibit Work at Bromfield Gallery
Betsyann Duval, Hillary, Charcoal on Illustration Board

Because it was so slow I took the opportunity to work out the composition for my next hula-hoop painting. My mother-in-law had given me a pot of narcissus that just bloomed, they were so delicate and fragrant and when I got down on the table I saw my next painting. One of the people who hula-hooped for me at VSC was Allison Sparrow. Isn't that a great name. She is a beautiful painter, unfortunately she doesn't have a web site so I can't show you any of her work, but she hula-hooped the way she painted, enthusiastically and with abandon, which seemed to me to match the vitality of the narcissus.

Composition for next Hula Hoop Painting. TBC