January 19, 2016

how often do you clean your studio?

spent two days last week cleaning out my studio. a necessary but enjoyable and meditative experience. happens only around once a year, and since I'm in between projects and it's still January, what better time.

Samantha Palmeri, art studio
put new oil paper on the floor

Samantha Palmeri, art studio

Samantha Palmeri, art studio
cut up new rags

Samantha Palmeri, art studio
scraped a ton of jars
Samantha Palmeri, art studio
assessed the dwindling paint supply

Samantha Palmeri, art studio
actually cleaned all my brushes

Samantha Palmeri, art studio
found stuff I've been looking for
Samantha Palmeri, art studio
like more blue tape

Samantha Palmeri, art studio

Samantha Palmeri, art studio
and now I can actually see the table again!

  I'm curious how often you all clean your spaces out.

January 14, 2016

Art and Poetry

Here's a follow up to last month's post A Safe Easy Way To regarding the writing/painting project I'm collaborating on. I now have what is the beginning, hopefully, of a suite of paintings to go with my friend Andy Berg's writing...

Samantha Palmeri painting

"Lien", 2016, oil on canvas, 40X40"


“i’m fitting the fudge”
come out all ‘PH-uh-dj’
            [teeth and lip]

hole and holy-head
cave-woven afghan protection
unravel gaza-abolition

(…a sometimes silent night)

Read this like fumes
            arisen, a-raisin

“Imagine life with out those toofs, compadre.”

[           I am a vision of she who brokers                    ]
[a—(impossibilityofsunshine)—wake                       ]
[…or put she a lien upon                                            ]
[           dem black-toothed nightmares of yerz           ]

Samantha Palmeri painting

"Spontaneous ralos", 2016, oil on canvas, 44X48"

spontaneous ralos
ssssssmuch todo without
lay me down,
ley mi dohwn, in the
sun in the shining branches
old telemetrical networking schematic
solar suoenatnops
vulgarities skinsnap
break through the ethereal gap

mother put-pot of tea
forkful a bitter sleep-fever-sweat
there’s sleep to be had down there
keep me awake, sleep to be had down there
show me the fun-sun

Samantha Palmeri painting

"Marketable kids", 2016, oil on canvas, 40X40"

The marketable kids on market street
sing “yeah-yeah”s
beef-eaters, every last                                                 one
she climbs an effortless waif
he folds a filterless phone
and drift…don’t they drift,
…along the gutter
            all they ever,               ever wanted was some

thumb-pointer-hole circle
world within widened-wizened old man
park bench projection-perspective
all he’ll ever want
now,                            is         some bod

And in march they’ve all been/hear the crack-potential
spring unwinding, dwindling, leaf-fuck           -stop.

“You put a period there,” they say, “and more “yeah-yeah”s.”

[all images copyrighted 2016 Samantha Palmeri]
[all poetry copyrighted 2016 Andy Berg]


January 12, 2016

artist of the week: Cordy Ryman

another Facebook friend and more great artwork by 
Cordy Ryman..

further looking and reading:  

Cordy Ryman
 Butor Bits Rouge, 2014 Acrylic, Enamel, Marker, and Mixed Media on Wood 12 x 12 x 2.5 in

Cordy Ryman
 ES Spiral Trim Maze (2013) acrylic and enamel on wood 48h x 48w x 2.5d in

Cordy Ryman
 Zed, 2014  Encaustic on Wood  5.8h x 3.5w x 2.3d in

Cordy Ryman
Butor Bits Vert, 2014 Acrylic, Enamel, Pen, and Mixed Media on Wood 12 x 12 x 2 in

Cordy Ryman
04 Cubed Leaner Trim, 2013, acrylic, enamel and hardware on plastic and wood, 24 x 23.5 x 2 inches

Cordy Ryman
13 Years, 2015, Acrylic, enamel, encaustic on wood, 26.5 x 24 x 3 in

Cordy Ryman
installation view, Chimera 45, 2015 at Zurcher Gallery

Cordy Ryman
installation view, Chimera 45, 2015 at Zurcher Gallery

Cordy Ryman
ES Trim Hatch and Coil, 2013, acrylic and enamel on wood, 35.5 x 35.5 x 3 inches

Cordy Ryman
Red Bench Tests, 2015, Acrylic on wood, 13 x 12.25 x 2.25 in

Cordy Ryman
Three Squared, 2015, Acrylic, enamel on wood, 25.5 x 25.5 x 4.5 in

Cordy Ryman
Yellow Clacker Caps, 2014, Acrylic, marker, mixed media on wood, 12 x 11 x 2 in

January 7, 2016

artist of the week: Eric Sall

Eric Sall
"Seam Ripper" 2015 oil on canvas 73X73"
Eric Sall
"Full Phase" 2014 oil on canvas 78X96"

Further looking and reading:

Eric Sall 
Roswell Artist-in-Residence
Gorky's Granddaughter

Eric Sall
"Slab" 2012 oil on canvas 84X60"

Eric Sall
"Westward" 2012 oil on canvas 70X80"

Eric Sall
"Peacebone" 2009 oil on canvas 84X78"

Eric Sall
"Eastern Northeastern" 2012 oil on canvas 78X96"

Eric Sall
"Rags to Rags" 2015 oil on canvas 66X50"

Eric Sall
"Tablet" 2012 oil on canvas 40X30"

January 5, 2016

artist of the week: Paul Behnke

Paul Behnke
"Snubbie" 2010 acrylic on canvas 42X42"
I just scanned through my whole year of facebook activity. I looked at a lot of artwork online as I'm sure you did too. Looking forward to which artists I'll be paying more attention to this year, I thought I'd share my list with you. I'll try to post one a week...

This week's artist is
Paul Behnke

Also check out these interviews with the artist at:
Studio Critical 
Gorky's Granddaughter

Paul Behnke
"No title" 2013 acrylic on canvas 18X18"
Paul Behnke
"Young Lochinvar" 2012-14 acrylic on canvas 50X48"

Paul Behnke
"Dark form" (for Alan Davie) 2014 acrylic on canvas 50X48"

Paul Behnke
"Mutineer" 2015 acrylic on canvas 58X60"

Paul Behnke
"Devil bat" 2015 acrylic on canvas 48X50"

Paul Behnke
"Lucifer" 2015 acrylic on canvas 50X48"

January 4, 2016

My Art Studio

 The studio today looks like this:

Samantha Palmeri drawing
a room full of black and white drawings on new 22X30" watercolor paper

Samantha Palmeri drawing
figuring out where they want to go all on their own..

Samantha Palmeri
dirty hands
Samantha Palmeri art studio
I mean, cold, dirty hands. in 4 hrs. the temp. moved only 3 degrees: 57 to 60

Tomorrow the studio will look completely different, I guarantee it...

December 3, 2015

A Safe, Easy Way To...

I'm currently working on a project with a writer friend. He sends me writing, I send him pictures in response. At least that's the plan. So far all I've managed to do is read and re-read the words he's sent me over and over. It's more challenging than I first imagined because every time I read them, they sound completely different and I keep coming up with different answers...

It's making me realize how easy it is to misconstrue things, and with all our preconceived notions, how quick we are to jump to conclusions and assign swift judgements. Human brains do this automatically. We categorize everything the second our senses get hold of it.

When it comes to the written word, there's no doubt that the more times you read something the better you understand it. I'm sure that I've thrown out and deleted so many letters and messages that I completely misunderstood because I looked at them too quickly. You read something like a text message once and immediately respond thinking you know exactly what it's all about, but it happens that if you read it again three or four times you start to hear that person's voice a lot clearer and realize that you may have had it all wrong. I'm sure there are little misunderstandings like this going on all over the place all day long.
But I'm getting off the subject...

What I want to say is that when you look at a painting, it's exactly the same thing. It needs to be contemplated over and over. Because art is complex, every time you look at it you might see something different. It's naive to expect viewers to be open minded but it's kind of a requirement when looking at art. Letting things go opens you up, opens your mind. Letting go of the quick judgement/categorization that automatically happens when we look at a work of art frees us to see it in a more truthful light, as it really is.

Once you've assessed and categorized something it's like you've closed the box on it. For example, it looks like a whale, it must be a whale, all I see is a whale, end of story. You've already dismissed it and you probably only spent about 15 seconds on it. According to statistics, the average museum visitor spends an average of 15-30 seconds in front of a work of art. 
(It took me longer to write this paragraph.)

detail work in progress, charcoal on canvas
Lately I've attempted through the strictest frugality of materials to discourage this kind of quick categorization of my own work, but it's nearly impossible. I'm fine with people seeing whales or dancers or whatever else they see in my abstractions, as long as the story doesn't end there. There should always be more to discover the more you look at a work of art. No simple explanation should be able to easily dismiss it.
Like great poetry or jazz, you should be able to discover something new every time you stand before it.

detail work in progress, charcoal on canvas
I recently had an interesting conversation about the significance of working in a museum. How profound an experience it is to be exposed to a collection of artwork something like 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Being in the presence of great works of art for that amount of time, especially if there are few others around, can be a meditative and intimate experience. (The Rothko Chapel comes to mind.) One gains a rare understanding of the work in a way that the average viewer never could. When I worked as a gallery assistant during an exhibition in 1997, After The Fall curated by Lilly Wei, I learned so much. I would say I learned more about abstract painting from that experience than 4 years of college. 

It's a serious luxury to have that kind of intimacy with a roomful of great artworks, but there are great luxuries to be had everyday by most of us if we pay attention. Knowing first hand how challenging it is to keep an open mind, if anything at all can be gained from a better understanding of the world around me, of art, of life, I'm willing to make an attempt to slow down a tiny bit and give it at least a few more seconds of my time.

Hopefully you are too...

October 22, 2015

MINDFUL DRAWING on a Thursday afternoon

I'm supposed to be practicing mindfulness.*
I've given myself to meditation, and occasionally, yoga. Even gave myself a trip to three day holistic retreat. I should be feeling like heaven on earth, but the more I think about it, the farther away from Zen I get. And that's just the point. I have to keep reminding myself to stop thinking.

I'm going to venture to say that 90% of my blog posts include the question why repeatedly, well probably even more than that, which maybe some of you have noticed.
It's a hard habit to break..

With that said, I'm taking this moment to reflect on what's happening right now and accept it as is. No why's in this post, no past, no future, just here's what I'm doing without having any idea where it's going or why it's happening.

New drawings everyday being made with minimal materials including charcoal, eraser, fingers, hand, paper, wall... 

*Mindfulness means being aware of what is going on around you in the present moment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them.
When you are on a journey, it is certainly helpful to know where you're going - but remember: the only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. that's all there ever is.
 from the little book of Mindfulness

So here is one full week's worth of mindful drawing, posted on a Thursday afternoon: