Showing posts with label drawing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drawing. Show all posts

May 22, 2020

I'm still here. Pandemic update


pastel and colored pencil on cold pressed 300 lb. paper, 8x10 inches

pastel and colored pencil on cold pressed 300 lb. paper, 8x10 inches


I like my mornings for meditating, reading, writing, and drinking coffee, and lighting incense. I have often said that I am not a morning person, because I don’t like to talk in the morning, at all. But, contemplating, planning, adjusting to a new day, these are real activities that take up space. I am a morning person after all, very much so! I also do some of my best work when I don’t stop to question it, like sitting down to my drawing table without giving it a second thought, and this often happens early in the morning.

I am learning so much lately, especially about how to stop trying to fit myself into other people’s molds. How to stop wanting to please others at my own expense. I am my own mold, and it’s perfectly good. It's malleable and porous, but it's strong and heavy. I am complicated because I have lived many lives, and there are many layers to me, and all that is okay, more than okay. I am not superficial. I am not plain or easy. Why don’t we use better words than complicated, like elaborate, fancy, or intricate. I prefer those. It makes me visualize a beautiful piece of lace that’s taken laborious hours to create. It’s art, and labor, and beauty. It’s handmade from nature, so it has both God and man in it. I’ll choose that description any day. I choose to be present and no longer allow myself to disappear…

I'm still here. That's my go to answer when people ask how I'm holding up. I'm still here. I'm surviving. Some days I'm even better than surviving. 

I am so grateful that the weather is getting nice and I can go for long walks and appreciate the outdoors. I know what a blessing this is because I have friends in the city who don't leave their tiny apartments. It is also, ironically, the first time in many years that, not only do I not have a garden to tend to, I have zero outdoor space at all. It figures, after all these years of composting and growing my own vegetables, now that I can't do it anymore, the whole world has gotten into it! Today I went and planted a few pots of Swiss chard regardless. There's hardly any sun on my poor looking stoop so my options are limited, however, this feels good, like some continuity at the moment. 

There is something about this pandemic that is bringing some real truth up to the surface. Everyone is suffering in one way or another, but I feel the power of all of us being in this together. 

This morning while meditating I got a picture in my head. I am like a black and blue, and maybe I'm not the only one. I'm healing, and there’s no rushing the process. What it implies is that the damage is already done, it doesn’t hurt that much anymore, and it is almost recovered. Here is an opportunity for change. If I choose to keep bumping into it over and over, it will be like getting more black and blues on top of this one. That would be silly wouldn’t it. Why would I do that?! 

So, I’m not. I'm taking a breath. I’m here making drawings, planting seeds, and accepting the moment as it is.



pastel and colored pencil on cold pressed 300 lb. paper, 8x10 inches


pastel and colored pencil on cold pressed 300 lb. paper, 8x10 inches



pastel and colored pencil on cold pressed 300 lb. paper, 9.5x10.5 inches

Part of the Beacon of Light Fairground Fundraiser May 26 - June 2
















April 16, 2020

coronavirus studio update


I held a paint brush today for the first time in months. Got the palette and the fingers dirty, officially inaugurating my new studio. I had some scraps of styrofoam I've been wanting to play with, and a small canvas that was barely started a while back. I didn't do much, because I haven't been able to focus for more than short spurts, but it was something.


Usually when I am faced with overwhelming circumstances I react in one of two ways. I either let it all out and paint non-stop, or I'm unable to paint at all. When I'm unable to paint, I draw, and glue stuff, and knit, and these are the things I've been doing for the last couple of weeks.


Each drawing: 5x7", Prismacolor markers on heavy cardstick, bottom right has collage element





I've gotten quite a few drawings done during odd hours mostly in the mornings, but I don't do much else.

Today I baked banana bread, thanks to a fun FaceBook group that's been inspiring all kinds of banana inspired silliness.

Last night I cooked the first legit meal for myself in a while. After weeks of cereal and forkfuls of peanut butter for dinner I decided it was time!







I'm still a little in shock from the stress of moving during all this, specifically from a house to an apartment, which is also my studio. I'm living completely alone for the first time in almost twenty years, which at the moment is changing my view of isolation quite a bit. Normally I'd be perfectly content to self-quarantine. It's a necessary and welcome choice for most artists, including myself. I think it's more that I am adjusting both to my own new space and living situation, and simultaneously to the new living situation and confinement of an entire society. It's disorienting.

There has been family drama and loss as well, adding a lot of stress and sadness all around. My sister-in-law's father-in-law passed, and several others were infected and are suffering with the virus, including my mother who was hospitalized but is now in recovery.

It's clear that everyone right now is suffering and adjusting in one way or another. I keep hearing people say, I'll see you on the other side of this. I'm very much looking forward to there being an other side to this. Attempting to be present and live in the moment has never felt more relevant, so that is what I am trying to do.

Hopefully today's little success will continue and increase a little each day. I hope you are also able to make the most of this time, and take care of yourselves and each other!

The drawings are available individually or in groups. Please inquire for details. samanthapalmeriart@gmail.com

















October 8, 2019

Art Studio Upheaval



I am in the midst of a serious reorganization-upheaval of my art studio. Somehow the studio has become a dumping ground for a lot of shit I don't want to deal with.

I've been going through boxes and piles of artwork that I've been avoiding for over twenty years. Drawings, photographs, journal entries, scraps of paper with scrawled notes and sketches from age 18 until now.

IT IS SO MUCH!

And most of it is clearly like my worst depictions of teenage (and twenties' and thirties') angst and depression. Not to mention postcards, receipts, and tax papers from every failed business and art gallery I've owned or managed. All neatly piled in boxes that I've hauled from one studio to the next, over and over throughout the years.

So, here I am happy to report that I have not only mustered the courage to look at all of this head on, but I've been able to purge most of it once and for all.

Can you say Catharsis?

The memories are there, and of course I'm still the same person, but I don't need the baggage anymore. I have saved a few gems, and tossed the rest.



Tossed
This is a drawing I made when I was 18. Pastel on newsprint, 18x24". My eyes have never been that big btw and my hair has never been that straight, but there it is! It was part of an application for something and I remember the person reviewing it saying to me, what did you get bored by the time you got to the hair? Obviously I didn't get accepted into whatever it was.

Tossed
This was a school assignment from I think St. John's University, ca. 1992. copied from a photograph. Pencil on Bristol paper 16x16". I was damn cute as a four year old wasn't I?! The brown dots are moldy bits from being stored in a basement for too long.

Saved
This doesn't actually look like me either but I do like this little painting. Oil on canvas, 1999, 10x11"



























... self portraits


My mother has often referred to me as stubborn. I used to agree with her but mostly because I liked thinking of myself that way. It implied that I had my own opinion, which gave me a personality, which I desperately craved when I was younger because all evidence pointed elsewhere.

But it has more to do with something else I think. It's not that I refuse to believe certain things, it's just that I need to see it for myself first. I can't believe in anything until I've made up my own mind about it. My daughter is the same way. She won't take my word for it. Maybe it's not the worst thing, except that it does end up taking an awfully  l o o o o o o n g  time to process things.








January 29, 2019

Kiki Smith, Art Exhibitions, Journal Writing, Inspiration, Vulnerability


from the exhibition Genevieve and the Wolves, Sainte Genevieve, 1999, ink on Nepal paper, 7 feet 8 1/4 inches



Kiki Smith


My Blue Lake, 1995, color photogravure with a la poupée inking and lithograph in colors, 33.7 x 45.8 inches


Sojourn installation image at the Brooklyn Museum, 2010

book cover



I got a great book for Christmas this year, Kiki Smith: Photographs
Published on the occasion of the exhibition I Myself Have Seen It: Photography and Kiki Smith, March 6-August 15, 2010, at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle. Organized by Elizabeth A. Brown.

I've been following Kiki Smith's work for a long time. I remember one of the first exhibitions I saw of hers in the 1990's of black birds and bent over bodies hanging on the wall and scattered on the gallery floor. The psychological, emotional, and physical relationships she explores: self to nature, nature to animal, animal to human, and so on, mesmerize and enthrall me. She seems to be an artist who is so completely enveloped in her work, consistently working on numerous projects at once, in complete servitude and surrender to her art.

It both inspires and intimidates me. On Christmas Day I wrote in my journal,

Kiki Smith inspiration. I am not an artist/person who lets it all hang out. I am full of fear not vulnerability. I do not photograph myself naked or give myself tattoos. I am not fearless. I am covered. I want to break through like piercing the yolk of a poached egg. I want to completely dissolve and disappear into my absolute. I wonder if this is a thing everyone is even capable of. I'm starting to think this is the thing that makes great artists, and this is the thing I do not have.


Ribs, 1987, terracotta, ink, and thread, 22 x 17 x 10 inches

Silver bird, 2006, ink on Nepal paper with silver gouache, mica, glitter, and graphite, 72 1/4 x 58 1/4 inches

Lilith, 1994, bronze, silicon, and glass

Lilith detail



Fawn, 2000, Etching and aquatint, 22 1/2 x 31 1/4 inches


Daisy Chain, 1992, steel and bronze, chain 100 feet


Untitled (red man), 1991, ink on gampi paper in four parts


Rapture, 2001, bronze, 67 1/4 x 62 x 26 1/2 inches






Touch, 2006, suite of 6 prints, aquatint, etching, and drypoint, 30 x 22 inches


Wolf Girl, 1999, etching and aquatint on paper, 8 x 11 inches




Jewel, 2004, suite of three prints, aquatint and etching, each 14 x 17 inches





Cat, 1999, cast porcelain, 3 x 3 x 3 inches





Kiki Smith


further looking and reading:

Art21

ArtObserved

Shoshana Wayne Gallery




June 20, 2018

Gratitude for Summer solstice and dirty fingernails

I think I remember telling someone once how much I loved having dirty fingernails if it was from gardening or painting!

I'm writing this just as the summer solstice is about to circle back around to us, and I couldn't be happier. I'm starting to think the six months of cold weather we get around here is like five months too many. So, this summer I am making every effort to celebrate the weather and outdoor living.

I'm always looking for opportunities for artist residencies or fairs in places like Italy and France, but this week I realized I can create my own artist residency right here. I've been working on my pastel and charcoal drawings en plein air, aka the patio, in between dips in the pool and visits from friends. Life is good!

Every morning I go out to the yard and switch my slippers to rubber boots to water the vegetable garden. There's something about the ritual of this activity that makes me so happy. I'm not a very patient person, but I seem to be really good at watching the plants grow...

Anyway, Happy Summer. Hope we are all able to make the most of it!

















Plants and drawings: all works in progress

All images © 2018 Samantha Palmeri
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