Sunday, August 30, 2020

The burden of the artist.... a product

The burden of the artist is a product. A common question I hear students and fellow artists ask, " So what do we do with all this art? " Performing artists, dancers, actors, singers and musicians have to practice their craft constantly: exercises, lines, steps, chords etc but they don't produce a physical thing, a product. It is invisible and then visible in the final dance, song or performance. Artists, especially those who go into their studios everyday and are prolific are faced with the burden of "What do I do with all of this work?" Even those who enjoy relative success in sales face this conundrum. The problem is exacerbated in the pandemic. 

Artists need to make work now more than ever. Even if you are in a gallery, sales have
dropped off dramatically. What is the answer? Do we stop making work? Work on paper? Repurpose art that falls short into collage? Give art away? Throw art away? Many artists work out of tiny spaces
with no storage. I used to work out of our laundry room. It was 4 by 6 ft and the washer
and dryer took up a third of the room.

I just learned about Luchita Hurtado, an artist who died at 99 and became a sensation in 
her 90's. Her art was rarely exhibited until the 70's and then only sporadically in small
venues. That did not daunt her. She worked on her art at night when everyone else was 
asleep. She said "Art was a constant, a need, like brushing your teeth." It is also our legacy. Our son, Alex's response to these musings was, It is your legacy, it lives on through all the work you give to us, to everyone you love, the work you have sold and donated. He is right. So keep making art and keep brushing your teeth!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

My Soul Hurts

My soul hurts,
my heart hurts.
This is a new low for me,
For America.
Two countries divided by Trump.
Divided by

In less three months 105,000 people have died
from Covid19 and Trump calls in the military
police to clear peaceful protesters with tear gas
and rubber bullets. My friends son from Harwich,
Tyler Nickerson, was one of them. He was arrested
that night. He had never been in a protest, was not
a political activist per se and had never been in jail.
He just felt he had to do SOMETHING!

Passionate, caring people of all ages and colors came
together for a peaceful protest, their right and get gassed
and shot at so Trump can stand in front of St. Johns's
church to have a photo opp of him holding " a bible ",
not even his bible ( which he probably doesn't even own )
He stood with his all white male cabinet and one young
white woman with a black military type jacket and not one
was wearing a mask.

more to follow...

Saturday, May 2, 2020

What is your zone?

I am the official artist in the family. It is hard to truly understand an artist
unless you are one. It's not like we are in some special club but we do experience something that is hard to explain. It is a zone; a place where everything falls away, where time is not time. The first
place I experienced it was in the darkroom. Minutes turned into hours and in the glow of the orange safelights time had no relevance. The darkroom is probably the penultimate when it comes to being
in the zone. For me painting comes in second. There are many ways people experience this feeling.
Anything that transports us to a place where we lose all sense of time; gardening, running, listening to
or playing music, reading, surfing, skiing. The list goes on. Imagine my delight when my sister in law
took a dog painting workshop and described how much she loved it and said " I really felt like I was in the zone!" What a thrill to hear those words. Welcome to my, not always, but sometimes, glorious world. What is your Zone?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Colors of Baja, Mexico ( part 1 )

On this grey, dismal Cape Cod day I yearn for the warmth of Baja, Mexico. 
Images flash through my mind like a Kodachrome slide show. The colors are
saturated and rich. Earthy reds, browns and grays of the arid landscape contrast
with the brilliant green palm trees, the sage colored cactus and bushes
speckled with color that sprouts from wildflowers.

When you look at the soil; so dry, cracked and unforgiving it's hard to believe 
that anything can grow there.Yet lemons, oranges, limes, kiwi, coconut and avocados
thrive . We saw fields of deep green basil in earth that had been irrigated and 
enriched. The aroma was intoxicating.  And eggs.... eggs are everywhere. Every
roadside stand, every market big and small , every gas station. Where there are eggs
there are chickens. The first gallery we stopped in had the most 
stunning rooster wandering around. Giselle, an artist who sells her jewelry in the 
gallery said he was supposed to stay outside but "she's spoiled him" Viva Todos 

Friday, March 22, 2019

I'm not sure I want this woman in my house

I'm not sure I want this woman in my house, actually, I'm sure I don't want this
woman in my house......I have to say my relationship with " Alexa " has been
pretty favorable. With a few exceptions of inadequacies, ie song
requests, stock prices and I can't recall what else, though I'm  sure there
were some pretty major ones.

I try to say "thank you" and sometimes I do but then I realize that is really ridiculous.
Sometimes I want to swear at her, tell her she is useless, WTF...... I'm sure you have all
felt this way, we are all human.
My sister makes her husband apologize when he is abusive and I hope he doesn't.

She is living in our house. I never really felt her presence until tonight. I was having
a cozy candlelight dinner by myself when I kept noticing Alexa was glowing an orange
glow. I tried to say nicely " Alexa Off." but she kept spinning and glowing . OK , this is
getting creepy and annoying as shit so I moved her to where I couldn't see her because if
I unplugged her I would have to go through the hassle of having to reset her.

Why is this woman in my house??

end of part one , all this technology has me ready for bed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What's the Point?

This is a question every artist has asked themselves; maybe it haunts them regularly
or just at low points. You are in your studio alone, looking at all this work, thinking
"What's the point? No one is going to buy this work. What am I going to do with it all? "

When it is highly personal work that question is even more vexing. Sometimes you are
deep into a series, digging away at what even you don't know. There is no roadmap for the
emotions that come up and out of you, out of a deep place." How can someone else understand
this if I don't? I don't know. I just know it calls me and so I believe there will be answers to the questions. That there is a point.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

If there's a problem, fix it

Art is the opposite of math and other studies. There is no one answer and yet there are
many problems. Once you solve one  you often create another. Abstract art is challenging in 
that it is so personal and primal.The rules are the same. You have to pull all the elements of art
together in one piece; composition, color, value, line, pattern, balance, rhythm....... easy, right?

My experience has been that abstract art is not easier, it is actually harder. You are not trying to render a scene, still life, or model as they appear in front of you. You are trying to reinterpret them
in another language entirely, your language. Another way many abstract artists work is entirely from their imagination and intuition.

If you don't have a knowledge of abstract art it is easy to dismiss it. Despite my art education
and exposure to the arts I did not understand it until I took an abstract painting class with
Norma Mutch.  Art feels so much more expansive. My painting alternates between the two worlds of abstraction and realism. When I go to museums and galleries the experience
doubles in richness. Photography still feels like an integral part of my process but even that is