December 30, 2014

the life of a painting

started the day finishing these two paintings...

...and ended the day with something entirely different
I guess I missed my old lines

How do you get a line to smile at you or say hello to the line standing next to it?
or "Merry Christmas" or "I saw you in the supermarket last week"?
Is this possible? Can lines exchange such pleasantries?
Should they be required to make such small talk?

There comes a moment in the life of a painting when
it's not enough to leave behind an idea that something may have just happened here.
There comes a moment when line needs to speak to line,
with color asking all the questions for a change.

This way we could all be in it together, frolicking around, acting out.

I'm not quite there yet... almost.

December 3, 2014

food glorious food

So sorry to veer off the topic but I just read one of the greatest forewords to a book and had to share it with you. I've been doing a lot of reading lately, on pretty much every topic under the sun. My books from the library are probably all overdue but I don't care. Splayed on the coffee table right now are:  
Bauhaus by Magdalena Droste, An Affair to Remember, The Remarkable Love Story of Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy by Christopher Anderson, Nora Ephron's I feel bad about my neck and other thoughts on being a woman, Josef Albers' Interaction of Color, and Ex Libris, Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman, who is so ridiculously smart and funny I can barely get through the book.

The foreword I read this morning, however, did not come from any of these. The massive Great Italian Cookbook published in 1986, given to me by my mother-in-law several years ago, literally fell off the top of the refrigerator over a week ago and has been sitting on the kitchen table ever since waiting for me to either open it or set it back up on the fridge. Since I decided on pasta for dinner tonight I figured I'd open it up for some inspiration. Lots of inspiration of course, the book weighs about 6 pounds. But the foreword, fervently written by Giovanni Nuvoletti Perdomini, the president of the Italian Academy of Cookery, really caught my attention. What other cookbook foreword quotes Descartes, Horace and Dante, or compares "a voluptuous layer of polenta" to a sculpture by Antonio Canova? My favorite quote:
Our belief is that God, having punished the sinner with hunger, then rewarded human endeavor with appetite. At the divine invention of water to quench thirst, man's ingenuity responded in turn with the invention of wine... As a reward for this inspired invention, God - in admiration - bestowed on man alone among all creatures on Earth the gift to enjoy drinking without being thirsty... man found a way to transform hunger into a chosen pleasure, elevating it to appetite. On this foundation civilization built up the science of gastronomy.
creepy photo by James Ostrer
I love this guy! He not only insults an entire century of anxious pill-poppers who are "terrorized by faddish diets, hounded by food technology's fiendish new weapon, deep-frozen convenience meals", he boldly pledges his allegiance to the institution of the family, to cuisine as a rich and evolving creative expression, and to Italy's national culture, exclaiming, "we will associate with neither posturing gourmets nor blase nostalgia mongerers." Was 1986 really an atmosphere of 'devastating haste and vulgarity'? My Sicilian head is shaking yeah, maybe.

1986 might be a little dated but here in the 21st century I just this instant came across a holiday advertisement, "8 Words for Eating" which included gorge, gobble and scarf. I am certain this persistent pitch for callous gluttony would put Giovanni over the edge. After all, "this art is major; it nourishes the mortals." Note the word ART.

In the spirit of holiday feasting I thought it fitting to bring this all up now.

I'm wishing all of you a holiday season filled with "large family meals, where laughter and spirited conversation are felicitously married with a noble and unashamed pleasure in good food"!

November 14, 2014

scenes from my art studio, November 14th

I have had a renewed determination lately to get as much work done as humanly possible. It all started with an amazing and inspiring talk at the Garrison Art Center by artist Judy Pfaff (who I'll write more on later as she is my absolute new favorite artist). It also coincided with what I thought would be an open studio event at my studio building last week, which by the way, didn't even know had a name: "KUBE". Although it turned out to be free chips and red wine for someone else's opening, I ended up with an organized and raring to go studio space, which is always a much needed good thing.

here's my space last week just about ready for company

This morning I started my day looking around and thinking,
"I don't know what the hell I'm doing but I sure am doing a hell of a lot of it".

studio view this morning November 14th, 2014

sculpture pieces

It's been an interesting week. Monday I met my studio neighbor for the first time and another painter down the hall. Tuesday I brought my daughter to work with me. Wednesday I went and bought some new painting tools to play with and a space heater to keep me from freezing. Guess whose landlord decided to turn the heat on as soon as I plugged it in?

space heater
painting tools

my new favorite toy
Thursday I ended up cleaning all my brushes before I went home. I also may have had a great moment of clarity (which doesn't happen often by the way), so much that I changed my plans for Friday so I could spend another day working.

dirty paint brushes

I now have 6 paintings I am working on simultaneously, the source of which is all the same two globs I've had tacked to my wall for years.

meet my muse: the mark on the right and his dialogue

After all of this and due to all of it, the end of the day, and week, appeared much more promising than the start of it.

the two pieces I worked on today
this one might actually be finished
this one definitely isn't

October 28, 2014

Feeling Groovy

some exciting news to report:

yellow is making an appearance in my paintings for the first time ever
perhaps neon next
one possible cause
my new sunglasses have been turning this into one of the greatest autumns ever

also I now say "morning" to people on the street on my walk to school to drop off my daughter
with a nod of the head to boot like Bert from Mary Poppins tipping his hat in 1964

when I get to my studio I'm doing a little Mister Rogers rendition
switching my street shoes to painting shoes before I get my smock on
and pretty happy about it too
no whistling or singing yet
however Feeling Groovy did pop into my head the other morning

this pretty much sums up the reasoning for no long drawn out blog posts lately

it's that I have absolutely nothing to complain about!

I've been feeling so un-self-conscious lately
all the things that used to bother me that I blogged about
have become moot issues.
like organizing my studio,
and worrying about getting too distracted and wasting all my time,
wondering about the work I make and the clutter in my house,
ambition, success,
even if I have enough books on my bookshelf...
(all blogs that I have written)
it's hard to believe but true.

even with all my usual procrastinating and laziness
this new found freedom has brought all kinds of groovy things my way
including a great new work ethic.
I can't drag myself away from the studio some days!
I'm even happier doing all the annoying domestic things that I used to hate.

self-consciousness is such an interesting thing because it's both positive and negative at the same time. socially it's uncomfortably nervous and ill at ease. that's the negative part, but for an artist it's a necessary sense of self awareness and idiosyncrasy. uncertainty is an artist's friend because you need that kind of truthfulness to make anything worthwhile. I think what I'm learning is how to keep my self-consciousness in the studio and leave it there when I go home. I guess my emotions are learning to behave themselves for a change...

September 18, 2014

art studio activity

this was my studio at 10 am this morning. lots of activity going on. all very new works in progress.

studio view

this series of small paintings each measure 16X20"
remember those drawings I did of the ocean?!

oil paintings 
I'm still having fun with my spray foam and have been going back and forth between the painting and the sculpture. new this week are the braids.
braided sculpture 

I'm also trying out different metallic paints on them. it just occurred to me this is my spray foam ball and chain!

Samantha Palmeri spray foam sculpture 2014
oil paint and metallic pigment

and here's the studio at the end of the day. a little cleaner and with three new canvases on the left just barely started.

studio view

September 9, 2014

Storm King Art Center

This weekend we visited the
Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY. 
If you've never been, it is an absolutely incredible place and a very worthwhile trip. It's the most perfect blend of art and nature I've ever seen with amazing monumental sculpture in, around, and on top of rolling hills and scenic mountain views. Take a look:

We got the perfect weather day

Sorry I don't have the name of every artist

I'll tell you the ones I do know. This is Claus Oldenburg's Drain Pipe

This is not a tree stump

Although it's made from little squares of tree stump

Did I mention the weather was perfect?

This is Alexander Calder

A very cool mirrored fence

Can't really tell in this picture

This is part of a special exhibit by Zhang Huan. Lots of giant Buddha body parts strewn about

The exhibit is titled Evoking Tradition

I think this one is called "Three Legged Buddha". It's pretty massive 

Especially compared to the little grass seed heads everywhere

There were plenty of real beehives around so this was tres apropos

My family walking up one of the many hills to see the Richard Serras

And there's Anna walking on the Richard Serra
Did I mention it was a beautiful day?

This piece could be played with a rubber mallet creating an enormous sound like a huge gong

A dinner bell for the giants in the mountains

Another hill

I was trying to capture the grass,

which looked like a huge watercolor 

Here's a cool bench made out of nickels

A sun-glared Tony Smith

You think these are just rocks don't you?

They're not

After so much walking we eventually succumbed to riding the trolley

The ride was pretty informative 

Sorry this shot is in motion. You can't see the mermaids in the front of it. A cool piece by Roy Lichtenstein right by the pond

There's the pond
There's the wall by the pond but I don't know the name of it
If this wasn't a bench I'm sorry to say it definitely got sat on

Husband and daughter yelling and singing down the tube to some strangers on the other side. This is a temporary untitled piece by Virginia Overton

More prettiness 

Some of the clouds even looked fabricated

The sun was playing artist too 

Here's another shot from above of Tony Smith

There were quite a few pieces in this red-orange color. Perfect compliment to the landscape

The toughest and last hill of the day

Just to reach Alice Aycock's work, my old teacher from SVA

Two really different pieces. I wouldn't have thought from the same artist

I don't know this artist,

but I do know this one. So many instances of art imitating life

And last but not least. Quite happy to end up at the visitor's center with one of my favorites, Louise Bourgeois

This place is awesome. 
Can't wait to go back when the leaves are changing this fall.