One of my only tranditonal still lifes. I used charcoal dust and fingerprints shade the objects. They are not part a universe of wine bottles and guitars. They are merely borders of deliniations of space in this obect. They are solid objects every bit as important to your family's health as your stove, water heater, and other pieces of daily use in your house.
If you understand art, art pieces are like pets your family adopts and defends: at least until another admirer comes along.
This is the forlorn girl. I didn't know what to do with her. She radiates some kind of extra need. Her hand is out. It's not money she asks for. We may never know for sure.
This is a close up of a cataclism of a painting. When I show you the whole thing, you'll understand. I'm troubled that it's unfinished, but can't ever start where it left off. Another painting I don't know what to do with. See it below:
Three in a row. Another piece with a strangeness that is disturbing. This one seems to be drawn very fast twice. It's actually two views of a model run together. So she's pressed against herself.
Another model drawing that has a strange, giantess-evoking appearance. Something both female and primal.
Another show in 2011 with Mervyn Seldon. A very wonderful and strange lady. Finiky. Precise. Kept the paperwork going for most of our time at the various gallery locations in Pomona, both as treasurer and "the one who files" paperwork with the state for non profits.
She is very, very old now. She gave up paperwork and left her house for a retiree condominium. Now she's under the conservatorship of her nephew, bit still writing emails of plans to revive 57 Underground once Covid is over.
She talked of her glory days in New York City in the 1950's. Unmarried people formed a club and rented a house in the Berkshires (?) Hamptons (?) for the summer where they made communal meals, and hosted black tie events. She finally made it to Southern California where she married a lawyer, who very unexpectedly died of a heart attack.
Her paintings are precise and discreet. They are mostly objects you can hold in your hands, that resonate. The objects are on a table on in some large natural or architetural context. The objects are pattened and colorful. Their surroundings are mostly white. Her art reminds my husband of the last scene in 2001 Space Odessey, where the young astronaut finds himself in a milk white room, old and dying.
And yet another. All these are made with looser and looser, softer and softer charcoal. There's nothing you can do except stand way back from the easel, extend you hand, and sometimes put your whole body into changing its direction.
This is the model from Ventura again. Its almost formal, her background. Reminds of old photo studio shots with people dressed up in all their 19th century best clothes. We hung a buch of blankets to bracket her. The somberness and tradition is reflected in my painting this time. She's carefully modeled, almost too carefully. No scattered spur of the moment brush strokes. Everything proper and "stylish". This is the path many artists go down.
On seeing this again, it really resonates: what I am as an artist, and what I am not. She is frozen and on display like piece of meat. I obviously had lots of time to do this piece. It just didn't work.
Why did we choose to show this piece? Well, its about a person's hopes. There is a glint of blue sky around her. She is on her way: a part of the community of artists and artist models. She is one of us. Ta dah..
This is a much less formal image than the one above. Its also shows less attention to detail, and lots of momentary lapses. It is hurried and not finiky. Yet it is a better piece. Look at the way her chair becomes part of the landscape behind her. Look at the dark cast of her face, and how it repeats both the background motifs and her predominate skin colors. Look how the scenary yeilds to light turquoise bands, that suggest both the skies peeking over her right shoulder, and textile of the chair she sits in.
THere we have a base coat wash that dictated the entire drawing. My base ase coats are usually applied with a broad, stubby brush that takes a load of color, then is dipped in water to smudge and smear it around. Continual dipping in water spreads the color out and makes it a wash. Dipping it into other colors allows the new color to mix with or intrude on the first layer if done quick enough. If not, you can use an extender on the first wash.
So this wash dries and I begin to sketch the model in charcoal on top. Over the course of the next couple hours I get two poses of her while moving the easel around the room. Now, to model the model over the wash and make her 3 dimensional. almost pure acrylic starts the process. Extender in that keeps it liquid while I feather it out into other colors, or dilute it with water and allow it to become more and more transparent. Now you see the light glancing off her arms and legs instead of coming from beneath.
In this case, I modeled the arms and leges of the model in two poses, and then stopped early to let her hover in the space created by the base coat wash. She gradually assumes form on both sides, but befoe she does completely, that was it. The wash appears unaltered within the outlines of her hair, and down at the bottom through legs, up her torso, and so forth.
The result is that the twins views of the model look like they are floating somewjhere in the cosmos. Like female Gemini twins from out of the sky, these women are ghosts, visions, that suddenly appeared before the viewer, and the viewer senses they are could fade back to nothing in a moment.
Here's another kind of float. This model looks like one of her images is floating away from the others, like balloons in the air. The simple blue background helps the illusion. Again, I decided against working on the faces, and letting the model's (and my own) body sensations predominate.
This piece is all about the bliss of floating supported from falls, in an imagined atmosphere, half air, half water.
Here's another fast drawing altered by my husband to eliminate the smidges and smears of charcoal. Useful for showing things that catch the eye of a scrolling viewer, but bad for studying and collecting art. Its not the true "artifact". Smudged, wrinkled perhaps. Showing the toil and process of its creation. We both have taken an erasor to smudges. We should promise each other never to do so again.
This piece reminds me of childhood plastic dolls with moveable arms and legs. Not in a disapproving way, but as an experimental and super rational way of looking at the human figure. This model is already part background and part uniform flesh tone. Where the sky like background color becomes shadows in the modeling of her body, that's where the doll like joints appear. Its an interesting piece just for that. Its also yet another variation of using a single model and making her double a mirror of the first in another way.
Here the imaginary mirror is at a slant some distance behind her right side, and so she appears smaller and turned around.
Here's a duplex pink flloating young model. I took greater care with her hands and feet on tne left. If I were a realist painter... but no. This is like a waking dream. Weightless. The right hand figure's face seems to contain the dark shadow of the left hand figurre's, which makes sense, since her hands and feet are more abstract. Sometimes I stand back and let color decide what I'm thinking, and other times I become the model.
Right. So here is a 57 Underground show dedicated to the group at Mike Dommermuth's. I'm in the lower right, two of Mike's abstract's are to the left and above, along with a dashing Andrew Kovner self portrait. Maria Leon's ceramic piece in the middle shows a model who is also a cellist. She played the instrument first, then took off her clothes, so Maria sculpted her looking over at herself.
The play on words in the title of the show is more than meets the eye. There is the term "artifact" usually describes pieces of ancient civilization dug up and put on display. These can include tools, pottery. Anything that survives. But the artifacts most often kept on permanent museum display are artworks, especially sculptures. Sometime I think the best way to make a contribution to the distant future is for artists to put stuff in a coffin, and send it to a cemetary for burial. There's a chance the curious will some day decide to unbury. Maria's sculpture could cause a lot of head scratching.
Here's a lone model for a change. This piece has perhaps less to say for it. Again at the end of the page, I have already talked about piecesn from the folders I have been eager to talk about. This one is left. She's well modeled. She has a presence and a personality. If you look closely, her eyes are exaggerated slightly. In fact, they look positively elfin.
She's there, but ... end of folder 14 out of 32 . End page 5