February 9, 2018

How to Enjoy Bad TV

Watching bad TV has never been so fun. I've been working on these crumpled tracing paper drawings in the evenings with the television going. Needless to say I watch a lot of Cheers and Frasier reruns. Thinking of a better title for them.........

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, detail, Magic II, 2017, magic marker on tracing paper

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Magic I, 2017, magic marker on tracing paper, 19 x 24 inches

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Magic II, 2017, magic marker on tracing paper, 19 x 24 inches
Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Magic III, 2017, magic marker on tracing paper, 8.5 x 11.5 inches
Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Magic IV, 2018, magic marker on tracing paper, 19 x 24 inches
Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, detail, Magic IV, 2018, magic marker on tracing paper

Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, Magic V, 2018, magic marker on tracing paper, 19 x 24 inches
Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, detail, Magic V, 2018, magic marker on tracing paper
Samantha Palmeri Contemporary Artist
Samantha Palmeri, view of 5 drawings


February 4, 2018

"Byron Kim's painting ritual" by Two Coats of Paint

Byron Kim’s painting ritual

Byron Kim, Sunday Painting 1:20:09, 2009, acrylic and pencil on canvas mounted on panel, 14 x 14 inches

Every Sunday, Byron Kim makes a painting of the sky. One hundred of these purposefully unremarkable small canvases are on view at James Cohan through February 17. What makes them unremarkable are their size and the undramatic skies they depict – not the complex, sublime sky paintings made by, say, great Dutch painters like Aelbert Cuyp and Jacob van Ruisdael. Instead, they are simple renderings with a limited palette of blue and white, and a bit of light grey for the odd cloudy day. Rather than offering an expansive view or capturing the subtle color ranges in cloud forms, these paintings convey a dainty sense of claustrophobia and ennui but no real sense of joy or wonder. It is as if the monotonous ritual of making a painting a week were more important to Kim than the painted image itself.
Byron Kim, Sunday Painting 6:19:01, 2001, acrylic and pencil on panel, 14 x 14 inches
Thus, in Kim’s exhibition, quantity, habit, and process seem to trump the quality of the individual paintings. Reinforcing this point, Kim has handwritten a prosaic note about the day on each painting, perhaps as an indication that Kim’s ambition and concentration have gone missing in the mire of family life and all the yawn-inducing tasks that a successful artist must perform. Kim may be living the dream, but it doesn’t seem very transporting.
Byron Kim, Sunday Painting 3:26:08, 2008, acrylic and pencil on canvas mounted on panel, 14 x 14 inches
Byron Kim, Sunday Painting 4:20:10, 2010, acrylic and pen on canvas mounted on panel, 14 x 14 inches.
Byron Kim, Sunday Painting 1:22:17, acrylic and pencil on canvas mounted on panel, 14 x 14 inches
Byron Kim, Sunday Painting 8:20:17, 2017, acrylic and pencil on canvas mounted on panel, 14 x 14 inches
Byron Kim, installation view.
The project reminds me of On Kawara’s Date Paintings. Each day Kawara crafted a painting of the date in the ubiquitous sans serif typeface Helvetica. In the box where he stored the painting, he also included a page of the newspaper from the city where he was working. Like Kawara, Kim is interested in the idea of maintaining a serial approach rather than engaging with the materiality of paint. But Kim’s project also conjures a link to more painterly perceptual artists, such as Lois Dodd and Giorgio Morandi. Morandi spent his life painting easel-sized still-lifes that depicted small cups, bowls, and other tabletop vessels in tertiary colors, even as World War II raged around him. Lois Dodd has painted the landscape around her familiar Maine homestead for decades, and the resulting body of work is a moving record of a quiet and dedicated life.
Both Morandi and Dodd focus narrowly on translating their immediate surroundings with great painterly nuance onto canvas to convey the emotional timbre of their lives. In this distracted age, especially as the big picture becomes increasingly daunting, it’s undeniably tempting for artists to employ this kind of approach as a kind of refuge. Kim presents an alternative escape, whereby grim routine isolates the artist and decontextualizes the personal content of his work. It’s rather dispirited, and perhaps a sign of the times.
Byron Kim: Sunday Paintings,” James Cohan Gallery, Chelsea, New York, NY. through February 17, 2018.
Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

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!

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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"





























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.

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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