Showing posts with label thoughts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thoughts. 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 first thing in the morning.

I am learning a lot lately about choosing to be present.

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. 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
















October 5, 2017

Today I painted with my left hand





That's it... that's all I wanted to say.




samantha palmeri painting
Today's work in progress


samantha palmeri painting
detail of work in progress 10/5/17





September 26, 2017

WHY DO WE FOLLOW RULES?

I make up a lot of rules for myself. Rules that may or may not actually exist, that I may or may not have invented all for myself. And I follow them, maybe out of tradition or convention or fear or doubt or bad habit or laziness, or maybe because it's what I see other people doing so I think this must be how things are done. Rules that seem perfectly logical and reasonable.

But it's like WHY?? Why am I following all these rules that I may or may not have had anything to do with and that maybe have nothing to do with me.

Painting is a very traditional medium. It's been around for thousands of years now and has accumulated a VERY long list of rules. So many rules that even breaking traditional painting rules has become a rule.

I think I've been very conventional in my thinking about my work. For the most part I'm a stretched canvas, paint brush and palette of oil paint and medium kind of painter. And that's been fine except that all of a sudden it's not!

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Hangover painting, 2017, acrylic and oil on cardboard


I've been very precious with these things and it's holding me back. Following these painting rules whether self imposed or not, is holding me back. It's created four walls around me that I keep banging up against. I want to feel free, like there are no rules at all, like I've just discovered painting for the first time, like a child. I especially want to feel like if something's not working I'm not forcing myself to try to gloss over it to make it better. Working through painting issues and the problems we create on canvas is all very well, sometimes even the whole point, but trying to make it work just because it's already there and because I've already spent so much time on it will never work! The only rule really should be, if you know in your gut it's not working destroy it and start over. But I also have a rule about time... I think I consider some paintings finished when they're definitely not because I feel like I've spent ample time with them. Or the opposite, where I keep working on something that may already be finished, because I feel like I've invested so much money and energy in the materials and preparation it can't possibly be done after a few hours of work. These are ridiculous self imposed rules that are clouding my judgement.

Being precious with your work gets you nowhere. I need to get rid of this way of thinking and be free to get at the thing I'm supposed to be getting at! I have no idea exactly how to do that, but recognizing the problem is a good first step!




July 7, 2017

What it means to be an artist and a vegan

40aprons.com
My first homemade vegan blueberry pie! 

A little less than six months ago I became a vegan. It's just occurred to me how being a vegan is sort of on par with being an artist... People tend to react in very similar ways.

When you tell people you're an artist, right away they put you into a stereotypical category that may or may not have anything to do with you. Temporarily they may start using words like artsy, crafty, eccentric and even weird, all the while recounting every family member or friend's relative or neighbor they know of who is also an artist. They will insist on giving you advice you didn't ask for and don't want, about making more money and getting more exposure, and will often exclaim how little they personally know about it and how they "can't even draw a stick figure", indicating in some degrading passive/aggressive way that being an artist is way too special* for them and thank goodness they don't have to have anything to do with it. 

*a.k.a abnormal


I think it would shock and bewilder people even more if they knew anything about what being an artist is really like. Let me get all defensive for a minute and say that artists just happen to have the hardest working, most conscientious, community minded, concerned, empathetic, risk taking will power and nerves of steel you'll ever encounter in your life! One day I would like to respond to the question what do you do with the answer; I stand in a quiet empty room by myself for 5 hours a day contemplating my existence. I build frames and staple fabric to them so I can paint pictures and argue with myself over how to properly express my ideas visually. I spend hours, days and months working on things that I end up destroying. I obsessively examine my purpose, my inner voice, and how to make even a tiny ripple in the overall world around me. I attempt to define and redefine an imaginary dialogue with artists who've lived two hundred years ago, artists who are here now, and artists who aren't even alive yet. And then I hang it all up for strangers to ogle and critique. What do you do? 

Hmmmm... Maybe this is proving that artists really are weird, but I think it's the other way around. Maybe everyone else is the weirdo in this scenario. 

Anyway, when you tell certain people you are a vegan, and it definitely depends on who it is, as "the times they are a changin'"... some people are immediately suspicious and put off, even annoyed, like oh, you're one of those* people. There are a lot of questions asked that require proper justification. And then there is, again, lots of advice that you didn't ask for and don't want. 
Humans crave the familiar, and fear the unknown, and there's just no way around it.

*a.k.a special*

*a.k.a abnormal



I became a vegan for one simple reason, to be healthier. It just made sense to me. 

I may not decide to be a vegan my whole life, but in the end, it's not all that complicated, and really, neither is being an artist.



P.S Get the recipe for vegan blueberry pie here at 40aprons.com 



March 10, 2014

How Much Of The Audience Should I Be Concerned With?

This is a repost of something I wrote back in 2014. It's crazy that I just stumbled across it and it's like I could've just written it yesterday! 

Thankfully I feel like the new series of paintings I'm working on is resolving this very issue. I guess we'll just have to wait another 3 years to see if it still applies!

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laundry meat after a funeral, 2011, 44X44", oil on canvas
caress, 2009, oil on canvas, 54X56"

March 2014

I've always been interested in the figure, but not necessarily in figure painting. I prefer a blurry line between the figurative and abstract. I'd much rather offer a question to the viewer than a declaration. 

Although it's been a while since I made the more definitive transition to pure abstraction, lately I've been looking at some of my older figurative work with a discerning eye.

I notice a big difference in the way people respond to the recognizable versus the unrecognizable. And now that I'm thinking about it, I notice a big difference in the way I'm responding myself. It's like there was more to look at before, more of an essence. 

Most viewers had a much stronger reaction to the work that was more recognizable. I thought it was just that figures and faces were more familiar. It's also hard to experience abstract work when you're spending the whole time trying to 'figure it out' instead of actually looking, which is what people tend to do.
ugly head, 2009, oil on canvas, 54X54"

detail, in like a lion, 2011, oil on canvas, 50X76"
These paintings have a lot in common, but I do feel that there is something almost tangible in the figures that is missing in the abstractions. If I could just get that thing into the abstract paintings...

It's that human connection I've been searching for in all my work, but perhaps it was clearer to a broader audience before. 

I wonder, how much of the audience should I be concerned with? 

What do you think?

the new swimmer, 2009, triptych, 178X50", oil on canvas
skinny, 2012, oil on canvas, 30X50"



































girl with pearl earring, 2008, oil on canvas, 54X56"



snowy november, 2012, oil on canvas, 56X56"


























this side now, 2012, oil on canvas, 72X84"



baby, 2009, oil on canvas, 50X84"