Ooh ooh ooh, I just added the red kerchiefs (kerchieves? the dictionary says no) around their heads and this is starting to look really good. Still a lot more work that has to be done and it’s getting late, so much for my hope of getting it done tonight. Oh well. Tomorrow, or Tuesday…
Here’s what I worked on all afternoon. It should be done by this evening, or at least most of it:
In this picture, it’s about halfway done. I filled in all the white space with blue, although looking at the photo of it in this stage, I realize that leaving it white is another possible option. That’s ok – I had planned on doing a few versions of this drawing anyway.
Here’s a detail – the colors are more true in the first picture:
Why, yes. Yes, this afternoon I did take a picture of my newly purchased canvas sitting on an easel across from me. And here it is:
Go on and laugh, but I’m in love with it. I got started right away and it’s now red, but part of me always wanted to keep it this way. It’s in my new storage locker at school right now, so I won’t be able to work on it again til mid-week – which is actually ok, because it gives me time to really think it through.
I discovered a room at SVA so dingy that no one ever wants to go in there and I pretty much have it to myself all week except for (I think) three hours on Wednesday when a drawing class is held there. Oh you wacky Manhattan snobs… don’t you realize that dingy with no windows but about 800 square feet in the middle of Chelsea with a good ventilation system and two sinks = heaven? No matter. Better no one realizes this but me.
Anyway. I’m back to drawing at home tonight, which should be really fun.
I made this just as I was about to leave the house this morning. I loved the idea of just leaving it up and letting the cats tear it apart… but then I hated the idea of spending all Friday night picking white thread out of my cat’s esophagus. So, I took it down.
Still, I’m kind of thinking of going around different places and putting these up and just leaving them. Just places where cats who like to eat thread can’t get to them.
I woke up this morning and got right to writing some text to give my new paintings some direction. I wound up drawing a bit, too. Anyway, I like them. They’re about this time when I half woke up from being asleep and thought I’d witnessed a nuclear blast (you know how that twilight between being awake and being asleep can screw around with your head? it was that sort of thing):
I made this little sculpture today:
Thinking about: eternal flames, matches that can’t be lit (these are made out of clay), and things that won’t ever be.
I’ve been feeling frustrated with drawing. The sculpture’s not perfect, but I’m in this holding pattern until I can work on paintings in school. Somehow, doing these little sculptures makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere, even though I’m really not. Or…
I fooled around with clay some more and made these little people:
(Hmmm, made more than one, but can’t find the image files for the rest.)
As sculptures, they’re no big deal. I like them, but I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I’m still spinning my wheels. So I put them together in simple little scenes and drew them:
Holy moley. Now I feel like I’m getting somewhere. The drawings above are nothing too spectacular, but they felt right as I was making them in a way that nothing has felt right in a while. The potential – that’s what really gets me going.
So now I have all sorts of new ideas percolating. I don’t feel like I’m just going through the motions anymore; I want to make weird clay scenes and use them as the basis of paintings and drawings. Not like that’s an original idea or anything, but it’s new to me.
This will be great. Now I just need a good text to really kick my ass and get me going. I’m headed to B&N tomorrow to find one.
I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers have a section on their blogs called “listening to,” where they list whatever it is they happen to have playing on their ipods while they’re blogging. Not totally sure if I love this or hate it – if it’s something that actually gives you insight into what the person is thinking while they’re blogging, or if it’s just another way to rack up some cool points by aligning yourself with whatever band you’re listening to. (I also might be bitter, because these days I’m mostly listening to this god-awful internet radio station that does extended remixes of New Wave classics; yes, I am referring to, for instance, a twenty-minute version of Never Let Me Down, which basically sends me to heaven despite myself.)
Anyway, point is: I think art-bloggers should start doing something new, which I propose should be called “looking at.” Meaning, who specifically are the artists you’re thinking about as you’re making work? Whose work is kicking your ass and inspiring you? Who is pissing you off? I don’t know – I’m kind of into that.
So anyway. All that is a lead-up for me to say the following: I think Susan Rothenberg is a sorely underappreciated artist and a really amazing painter. I mean, “sorely underappreciated” is a relative term; she’s certainly not starving somewhere in a gutter. But there is a short list of artists (Philip Guston, Balthus, John Currin) that art students in particular love to love. They put postcards of their work up in their studios and can go on and on about those artists for hours at a time, just blissing out at the mention of their names. My point is that I really think Rothenberg should be one of those artists. And her work keeps getting better. I didn’t really dig the horses so much, but the work from the ninties? Sheesh.
I mean, this is a really simple example. I had a hard time finding decent representations of her work online, but it’s also not like her work is so unfamiliar or anything. You know what I mean when I refer to it. I just want to draw your attention there.
So yeah. I’m looking at/thinking about Susan Rothenberg. A lot.
I spent all day in New Brunswick, NJ, which really isn’t all that bad to do – it’s a nice enough place to visit, and it was extra pretty with the sudden snowfall.
Anyway, I was there because I won one of the printmaking fellowships at the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, aka the Brodsky Center. It’s great – they’re going to print an edition of prints with me, and I get to work with a master printer and in whatever printmaking medium I want. But I took this picture because lately I’ve been really interested at watching people and their body language, and the way there are all these unspoken rules about how to stand, how to act, etc., social cues that we absorb and don’t even realize it, and then how those things are extra magnified at a place like a gallery or museum.
So the story is, the director of the space called everyone together so that she could introduce the artists who won the fellowships. It was a fairly well-attended event, but the space was huge so there was certainly room for everyone. As soon as she tried to gather everyone up, they formed a semi-circle around her, with about 6-8′ space between the outer perimeter (which they were forming) and the center (the director) and then the artists behind the director. I could only sneak in one photo without being incredibly obnoxious, and given that all these people were standing around and politely applauding for me having won the thing… well, I really didn’t want to be obnoxious.
It was such a strange moment, though. I know they were doing it so that everyone could see and so that no one would be treated rudely, but it was odd – I mean, the semi-circle was near perfect, and it just formed spontaneously. That one guy who’s standing there with a soda or whatever was there for about two seconds before he started to feel really weird and stepped back a bit to join everyone else.
I’ve come to love watching people who go to museums and stare at the paintings on the wall while holding one of those recorded tour things to their ear. That’s got to be one of my favorite unconscious gestures ever. But this one comes pretty close.
Ok, this is more a test post than anything else – I’m trying to post images to my blog directly from flickr, which would save a step and allow me to post a lot more images and so on. And plus, I really love this picture of the happiest cat in the world.