Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts

August 8, 2017

How The Hell To Write An Artist Statement

Artist statements: a never-ending battle!

I am continually rewriting and rewriting mine. So many subjective questions I don't know the answers to, like how casual, humorous or conventional to make it, how long, how short, how specific, how ambiguous, how poetic, existential, philosophical, art historical, how personal, how formal, do I give every detail away or leave them wanting more, etc. etc.

Of all the written advice I've read over the years on the topic, I do try to remember two things: to write it out the way I would describe it in person if someone were visiting my studio, and to describe the specific process but keep the reader wanting to actually see the work in person. 

Shouldn't be personable but not longwinded also be on that list? I don't even know anymore. I'll let you be the judge. Here is the statement that's currently on my website:

some artwork to reference while reading the description!
"Momento (ribbon)", 2017, oil on paper, 33.5 x 38 inches

My work is informed by both the inward and the outward, 
by things observed, and things that cannot be observed. 
By entangled forms found naturally or unnaturally
in the body, in nature, in everyday objects; and

equally by chance and feeling.



Process oriented and gestural, these abstractions entice 
the viewer's subjectivity, while allowing me the freedom to access 
a wider range of resources both physical and emotional.

And here is the newest statement I've written:

I start a painting or a series of paintings with a simple thought or inspiration. I don't usually sketch it out first. I prefer to tackle the canvas all at once and let the materials and process of painting dictate the direction. I work on up to five things at once. I'm an observer and am usually looking at something while I paint. I try to keep myself emotionally connected to the specific object or memory I begin with, but painting has a way of prescribing its own journey. Success would mean that I've allowed the painting to take me someplace unexpected while maintaining some hint of my original intention.
I'm interested in posing a question rather than an answer, and I prefer to evoke the feeling of a thing rather than make a statement about it. I'm interested in the process of making, in paint, color, line, handwork, women's work, repetition, knitting, sewing, braiding, rope making... entangled forms found naturally or unnaturally in the body, nature, or everyday objects; and equally in chance and feeling.
My work is about connections; the intertwining and overlapping of the physical, spiritual, metaphorical. The connection of shapes and color, form to form, body to body, mind to mind.

July 13, 2017

Artist of the week: Anne Truitt


Installation view of the exhibition, Anne Truitt Sculpture 1962-2004 at Matthew Marks Gallery
Anne Truitt is an artist I first came to know through her writing. Her three memoirs, DaybookTurn, and Prospect: The Journey of an Artist, are must reads for any studio worker, especially for women and mothers.

First, 1961, Acrylic on wood, 44 ¼ x 17 ¾ x 7 inches. 
Because of her writing, when I see her sculptures I feel like I have a shared intimacy with them. Her work is such a perfect reflection of who she seemed to be. They are at once subtle yet straightforward, delicate yet powerful, thoughtful yet severe.

Watauga, 1962, Acrylic on wood, 46 x 56 x 7 inches

Spring Dryad, 1975, Acrylic on wood, 76 x 13 x 8 inches

Currently there's an Anne Truitt installation at DIA Beacon so I wanted to post this while you can still see the show. It really is just a glimpse, and I wish there were at least five more rooms full, but in order to understand and appreciate what she was all about you do need to stand in the real presence of her work. As she writes in Daybook:
"I am most profoundly grateful to have had the opportunity to see my work... Like the night at the Corcoran Gallery of Art... I walked up and down the dark corridors between their massive forms, most of which towered over me, and held out both my hands to feel them, not touching them. They stood in their own space, in their own time, and I was glad in their presence."
I could easily quote from the entire book since after reading it three times already I am still completely enthralled, but I'll leave it up to you to go get a copy and see for yourself!

Gloucester, 1963–72, Acrylic on wood, 74 x 72 x 13 inches

Morning Choice, 1968, Acrylic on wood, 72 x 14 x 14 inches

Hardcastle, 1962, Acrylic on wood, 99 ¾ x 42 x 16 inches

Pith, 1969, Acrylic on wood, 85 ½ x 18 x 18 inches

View, 1999, Acrylic on wood, 81 x 8 x 8 inches

Second Requiem, 1977, Acrylic on wood, 84 x 10 x 8 inches

Shrove, 1962, Acrylic on wood, 60 x 10 x 10 inches

View of Anne Truitt's Washington D.C studio, 1980

Seven, 1962, Oil (semi-gloss enamel) on wood, 53 ¾ x 32 x 7 ⅞ inches

Southern Elegy, 1962, Oil (semi-gloss and flat) on wood, 47 x 20 ⅞ x 6 ⅞ inches
A Wall for Apricots, 1968, Acrylic on wood, 72 ⅝ x 14 x 14 inches

Anne Truitt in her studio















 

Most of the images here are from the very comprehensive website: http://www.annetruitt.org/
I've selected only her sculpture but her paintings are also significant and worth viewing: http://www.annetruitt.org/works/selected-paintings



July 7, 2017

Artist of the week: Lynda Benglis & Arlene Shechet


I haven't posted an artist of the week in a while. Here are two sculptors: 
Arlene Shechet and Lynda Benglis. 
Although two very different artists, different mediums and approaches, they both embrace process and have a painterly, corporeal quality to them. And of course, all that luscious pouring and hand-building of color and form!

Lynda Benglis, Corner Piece, 1969

Lynda Benglis is a heroine of mine, and not just for her audacious artworld antics back in the day! I first saw her work in 1997 at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center where I worked. It was a floor piece from the 70's that I looked at everyday for the two months of the exhibition. I have to admit that at the time I really did not get it at all! 

Lynda Benglis, King Pin III, 2007

Fast forward to 2011. I was playing around with spray foam making little gold sculptures for a show I was curating, and who did I come across but Lynda Benglis and her pieces Helios and King Pin, which not only looked almost exactly like what I was making, but were way better, more sophisticated, and executed a whole decade before mine! Needless to say, I took the time to really look at her work after that. She's been creating relevant artwork for five decades now. I'm embarrassed I was so clueless when I first encountered that floor piece! but she has become one of my favorite artists..

Arlene Shechet, Blue Velvet, 2010, filed ceramic, wood

Arlene Shechet, detail, Swoon, 2006, glazed ceramic, hydrocal, concrete, steel. 61.5 x 18 x 18 inches

Lynda Benglis, Storm Pattern, 2003, Bronze

Arlene Shechet, Mountains are Aware, 2012, glazed ceramic on concrete base
48 × 15 × 15 inches

Lynda Benglis

Lynda Benglis, Pink Ladies2014, cast pigmented polyurethane and bronze

Arlene Shechet, Because of the wind, 2010, glazed ceramic, steel, glazed kiln


Arlene Shechet, detail, Not Knot, 2010, glazed ceramic, hardwood, steel, 16 3/8 x 16 1/4 x 74 inches

Arlene Shechet, Beyond Itself, 2011, ceramic and glazed fire brick, 12 x 8 3/4 x 5 inches
Lynda Benglis, Bravo, 1972

Lynda Benglis, Zita, 1972, cotton bunting, plaster, paint, glitter over aluminum screen, 44 × 15 × 11 inches

Lynda Benglis, Proto Knot, 1971 Wire mesh, cotton bunting, plaster, gesso and sparkles

Arlene Shechet, in foreground, Not Knot, 2010, glazed ceramic, hardwood, steel, 16 3/8 x 16 1/4 x 74 inches

Lynda Benglis, Untitled (VW), 1970, pigmented polyurethane foam

Arlene Shechet, Full On, 2016, glazed ceramic, painted and carved hardwood, gold, 19.5 x 16.5 x 12.5 inches
Lynda Benglis, Wing, 1970, cast aluminum, 67 x 59 1/4 x 60 inches
and EAT MEAT, 1969/75 Bronze 24 x 80 x 54 inches
Arlene Schechet, Clue, 2015, glazed ceramic, 11 × 8 × 8 inches

Arlene Shechet, Tumbling Through Time, 2016, glazed ceramic, hardwood, aluminum, steel. 35 x 18 x 17 inches
Philip Guston, Untitled, 1968, acrylic on panel, 18 x 20 inches.
Lynda Benglis Hills and Clouds, 2014, cast polyurethane with phosphorescence and stainless steel
(yeah, it glows-in-the-dark!)
Arlene Shechet, Tattletale, 2012, glazed ceramic, glazed kiln brick and kiln shelf, and Plexiglas
63 × 24 1/2 × 22 inches

Arlene Shechet, Sounds Like2013, glazed ceramic on glazed kiln bricks
107 × 17½ × 17 inches

Arlene Shechet, Glazed firebrick

Lynda Benglis next to Helios, 
1999, bronze with gold leaf, 24 1/2 x 21 x 10 inches

Further looking and reading:



April 13, 2017

what does success mean to you?

I'm posting this on my birthday, in the hopes that this year will be more successful than the last....

IN THE COMPANY OF WOMEN: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs is a très interesting book of interviews. The founder of Design Sponge, Grace Bonney, asks this diverse group of inspiring women a series of questions describing their creative paths.

A book like this, with artists answering the same questions over and over, makes me imagine how I would answer the questions myself. It's only natural to make those comparisons. I won't bore you with the details, but what I want to talk about is the one question I was stuck on.  

What does success mean to you?
This is, of course, a completely subjective thing but don't you find the very notion of success a bit fleeting? It seems to change with the times, at least for me. When I was young I thought fame and fortune played a big part. Recognition, accolades, raising a family, being a good person. But any one of those things just by themselves has never really done it for me. I've thought about it a lot.

When I read Ping Zhu's reply, that "when things are harmonious, even for a moment, I try to savor it",  

Paul Klee, New Harmony, 1936
I realized that was it! That was the answer I was looking for. Success is not a concrete thing after all, it's a moment when everything is working together in perfect harmony. And if that's true, then there's the possibility for moments of great success every single day in everything we do!

I recently watched an episode of Chef's Table on Netflix. I can't say enough about this series, I absolutely love it. This one was about the Korean Buddhist nun Jeong Kwon.
Jeong Kwon used the word orchestra to illustrate the kind of unifying harmony where everything is working together. She was referring to nature and her place in it, but it's indicative of her all-inclusive philosophy about her food, her means of expressing her life, and her gratitude. Even more interesting was Ms. Kwon's notion that that very harmony was what she considered true freedom.

Hmmm.
I love this idea that maybe what success really means is true freedom. A freedom almost like a weightlessness, where all the elements are equally balanced, where nothing is too heavy or too light, nothing unnecessary or out of place, no interference, no mistakes. Even if it's just for a brief moment.

It's so simple isn't it? True freedom, true success, is the ability to get past our own selves, our own disappointments and desires. To not be burdened with expectations but to allow things to fall into place. I think the more we get away from the idea that we are the center of the universe, that life should wait for us, should adhere to our every want and whim, the closer we'll get to feeling at peace with ourselves and the things around us. Everything has a place and a purpose if we choose to see it that way. If we get out of our own way, perfect harmony can be happening all around us.

Henri Matisse, The Dessert: Harmony in Red, 1908









Success is harmony and harmony is freedom.

And there ends my sermon for the day! haha


January 26, 2017

Hot Selling Copy

This January it feels more like a brand new year than almost any other year I can remember.

Major shifts in thinking are taking place at every level; individually, nationally, globally.  
Change isn't coming, it's here. And for anyone who's ever wished or rallied for change, be prepared, because it's never easy or quick or painless. My father used to say "struggle is good" with the conviction that nothing earned easily was worth earning, and that without the struggle, it could never be truly cherished or appreciated (whatever the it in your life might be). With that thought in mind I feel somewhat optimistic, in spite of the challenges that artists, women and the general American population are about to face.

This has been a January of change for me as well. A newer new year than usual!

I was pleased to participate in a Small Works show at the Catalyst Gallery here in Beacon, and even more pleased to have sold several drawings and a watercolor.

pastel drawing Samantha Palmeri
sold pastel drawing, 11 x 14 inches

This Saturday I'll be participating in another group show in Newburgh, and there is a possibility for a solo show of my paintings coming up this June, which I'll keep you posted on.

soon to be my new art studio

I've made the tough decision to move my art studio out of the studio building I've been in for the past two and a half years back to my home. I've gone back and forth about it for a while, but finally bit the bullet as they say. Change is good, right??   . . .  C h a n g e   i s   g o o d . . .   C h a n g e   i s   g o o d . . .   S t r u g g l e   i s   g o o d . . .   S t r u g g l e   i s   g o o d . . .




Last but not least, I'm super excited to have just become the new Director of Beacon Open Studios, a yearly event where Beacon artists open up their studios to the public. It's a huge weekend long, city-wide celebration sponsored by the artists and community members of Beacon, and enjoyed by thousands of visitors from all over. I'm thrilled to have volunteered, but it really is a huge job organizing it all. The irony is that I'm giving up my studio right before this event and will have to look for a temporary space to show my work!

Did I mention struggle is good!

My hope (and I am hopeful), is that you all are able to not just endure the new changes in your own lives, but relish them, because the reward for your perseverance is great!

My Facebook post this morning was this:

Think Big! because from one fallen dying leaf a whole brand new plant can grow



Happy 2017!