Friday, February 26, 2010
I had the chance to visit the Portland Art Museum the other day to see the new exhibit Disquieted.
This is a great collection of works from the past few decades which is trying to reflect the mood of our times. I think it works.
There is a wide variety of mediums, including video. Some are calling it disturbing, but it is more like the title implies "Disquiting". There is a simering angst to a lot of the work, but a lot of humor too. I have seen much more disturbing artwork and this show seemed to have the right amount of punch, but is not overly gut wrenching. Good stuff.
Experiencing the show really got me tuned in to things. when I left the museum my senses were hyper aware and it was as if the whole of downtown Portland became an art instalation. Very cool feeling.
Please check out the exhibit.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Every artist needs to evolve in order to survive. There is always a history a now and a future which inevitably nag at the artist. The two paintings above by Henri Matisse illustrate and evolution of an artists work.
The first image (which I posted before, completed in 1902 is clearly in the impressionist style. It is in the dark mood which is so common in Matisse's early work.
The second, completed in 1914, is during his "experimental period". They are both of the same subject but express the subject in much different ways.
I like them both.
The current context of American painters is all over the map. It seems like the medium of painting has exhausted the major avenues of originality. This is not to say that there isn't room for creativity, because the act of painting is so engrained as a true art form that it will always be a choice medium for artistic expression. I am always surprised at the delight I get from seeing new paintings.
There is still room for evolution.
The spectrum that I see in painting is the range between Realism and Abstraction. There are works that take direct cues from photography, attempting to replicate and hopefully enhance the realist quality of the photo. At the other end is the purely abstract which uses form, tone and light and dark to evoke a feeling or understanding.
As I fumble along with my art I am drawn to both the real and the abstract. I like the idea of abstraction coming from a subject or that tells a story (dare I say sureal?). The dream like paintings of Chagall are both real and abstract.
I have seen paintings of Portland with elephant herds grazing in parks and giants wading in the Willamette river. I do like the fantastical aspects of these kinds of paintings and am tempted, but my gut tells me these would be more for folk tales and childrens book illustrations. I may have to eat my words on this at some point.
I feel like the successful bits of my paintings lie in the abstract accidents that seem to happen here and there. I'm not sure where I am going from here, but I am exceited at the prospects.
Monday, February 15, 2010
So here is the last painting for the show. While it is not my most inspired work, I think it is a good book end for the show.
It was nice to do some painting this past weekend since I had mainly had been doing framing work.
I still need to get the frames on the majority of the paintings. I also have to figure out how to transport the paintings to the show. We don't have a large vehicle to move the work so I will need to rent a van.
Then there are the refreshments for the show...
I also need to set up a web site to show the paintings and prices.
I can't believe that the show is only in two weeks or so.
Monday, February 1, 2010
I have been working hard to make some good frames for the show. I have 20 paintings to show and they all need some kind of frame. I spent this past Sunday building the frames. Our garage turns into a wood shop. I need to set up, work and them clean up so I can park the car back in the garage by nightfall.
Tonight I sanded them. They will stay a little rough, to match the paintings. No fine sanding here or multiple layers of varnish.
The larger paintings will get a bigger frame with a reveal and will be painted black. Most of the wood for these came from the rebuilding center and are salvaged material. The smaller paintings with factory canvases will get a simple wood edge which is sometimes called "gallery style".
Thanks again to my wife for giving me time to do this.