January 19, 2018

How to stress over grant applications

So far my grant application is looking like this. 

Today I watched NYFA's live seminar to get more info. You could comment online and they would read the comments out loud and answer the questions. Just as she started to answer my question the live feed got disconnected; which I thought was a little ironic. They came back on in a short bit to answer me fully which was great, but just as I was jotting down the answer, probably on the last sentence she was saying, my computer died..... More irony. 

It's been a crazy week and it can best be summarized by outrageous technical difficulties and customer service from hell. I will not weary you with the details. 

Typing this on my husband's laptop isn't the worst thing in the world, and when January is over, this application will be submitted, along with another one due on the 28th, I will have finished and photographed four new paintings, dropped off work for an upcoming show, the Roaring Twenties Fundraiser I'm hosting will be over, and the early setting up stages for my job as Director of Beacon Open Studios will be fully in place. That is one long sentence. Wish me luck!

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Ladyfingers, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Avoirdupois, 2018, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Mattress, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Meadow, 2018, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Winter painting I, 2016, oil on canvas, 50 x 54 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Winter painting II, 2016, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Invitation, 2017, oil on canvas, 30 x 36 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Winter painting III, 2016, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Winter painting IV, 2016, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Save me from my desires, 2015, oil on canvas, 58 x 58 inches











January 7, 2018

February Painting

This looks like a great show. Guest artists were invited to show alongside current members of the gallery. Thanks Barbara Smith Gioia for asking me! Looking forward to seeing these pairings up close. 




Souvenez-vous de cette peinture? I just realized it's funny that I painted it in February 
three years ago, and even labeled it February painting before I titled it "Trepidation".
Now it will be hanging during the month of February. Perfect.



Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Trepidation, 2015, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches












January 3, 2018

TIPS FOR THE NEW YEAR


For some reason writing 2018 seems totally natural, like it's been a long time coming. This year I'm not making resolutions. I mean what's to say a resolution at the beginning of the calendar is any more special than at the end of it, or the middle. I do have plans however... yup, plans are good. I'll have some work included in a few exhibitions coming up:



  • January 12-21, "Member Exhibition" at Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY. Opening reception: January 12, 5-7pm
  • February 2-25, "Conversations" a group show at Buster Levi Gallery in Cold Spring, NY. Opening reception: February 2, 6-8pm
  • June 2018, Three person show at Hudson Beach Glass Gallery in Beacon, NY. (exact dates tba)


with artists Jackie Skrzynski


Jackie Skrzynski, Studio view of Clapper2016, charcoal on paper, 50 x 80"

and Tanya Chaly

Tanya Chaly, Unravel, Installation View March, 2017, The Cluster Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


I'm also planning to apply for that good ol' NYFA Fellowship grant again this year, and more surprises, a couple of people have shown interest in purchasing a painting here and there. So... things are feeling pretty good. At the moment I have a few small pieces in the Small Works show at the Catalyst Gallery in Beacon. The show closes with a reception this Sunday on January 7th. 


Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Untitled, 2016, oil on canvas, 30 x 36 inches
This morning I had a lovely studio visit, which I hope is the first of many this year. I get stuck in my own world of time management and obligation and studio work etc. I forget how important it is to stay connected with other artists. Studio visits are awesome! A win-win for everyone. So, maybe that's some kind of a resolution after all, to stay connected. Send me a message if you want to have a studio date... Oh, and happy new year!













December 14, 2017

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 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!

.................................................................................................




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"





























baby, 2009, oil on canvas, 50X84"

December 4, 2017

I do not wish I had straight hair




I want to write a cookbook very badly... I'm in the gathering stages as they say. Did you know that you cannot publish a recipe that someone else has published unless you've changed at least three ingredients and have altered the description/instructions? Unless you do that you will need to give credit where credit is due. The law indicates that a list of ingredients by itself doesn't belong to any one author, but that the way you describe something in your own words does. With that said, I would like to thank my FB friend, talented writer and photographer Alina Noir for inspiring this little writing exercise.

..................................................................












I don't know how to dive and I hold my nose when I go underwater.

I don't know how to play chess.

I bat lefty even though I'm a righty because that's how my grandfather taught my father and that's how he taught me.

I am terrible at geography and have no sense of direction.

I can keep a beat and sometimes don't notice that I'm moving my body to random music in my head.

I love the smell of lemon thyme.

I fear I will never be more than a mediocre painter.

I do not wish I had straight hair.

When I was a kid I wanted to have long blond straight hair and be a secretary named Suzanne Merino.

I wish I knew how to sew my own clothes.

I'm afraid to ride a ten speed bicycle.

I'm obsessed with cucumber sandwiches.












art podcasts and approachability

I haven't posted anything in a while although I've been writing a lot. Sufficient to say, I'm still here... happily trudging along.

I have been painting a lot, but I've also been paying attention a lot, which isn't necessarily always the case. I'm making sure to allot the same amount of time for sitting and looking as for standing and painting. this is helpful because I think painter's psyche works this way (or maybe it's all artists I don't know). We have the capacity to work instinctually, allowing the spiritual, the unknown, the subconscious to take the lead, but we're also quite cerebral and need to think a lot and sort it all out. We are in it and out of it which is a good explanation for painting being so much about the push and pull of it all and the tension between the two.

I've been talking about my work a lot lately too, which is very helpful. Abstraction is not a discernible concrete thing to be easily discussed. A lot of people don't know how to talk about it which makes it hard to know how these things are coming across. I am now making strides to add some context to my work. I've had this purist notion that the painting itself should be doing all the talking, but without accessibility there is a clear disconnect. You can't identify with something that is so unfamiliar you don't know what it is. I want to create a clearer entrance for the viewer. Pure abstract formalism has never been my goal. Abstraction has given me a broader range of meaning, but I want my paintings to say more than what they've been saying. I'm not quite sure how that will all work. It's complicated because I'm not really commenting on anything, yet I'm not interested in decoration either. I want to evoke a feeling in the viewer, a memory, a moment, and I want them to take it personally somehow. I realize I have to create it from a personal place to begin with, and, well, that's exactly where I am going to start..

Of several new obsessions, listening to podcasts while I work is by far the most useful. I've listened to a number of artists talk about the same exact things I've just mentioned, specifically about painting and context, and that validation is a real comfort in what is usually a pretty uncomfortable space. The studio that is, the place of refuge and struggle at the same time, comfort and conflict!

More posts on the way... For now check out my favorite podcasts: Magic Praxis, The Conversation

Further listening and reading: Should Artists Talk About Their Work



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!