This is a comfortable pow wow among three messy models. it's also a bad photo, taken under a single mis aimed spotlight without enough distance to cover the piece. The colors shouldn't be trusted. Its probably lighter overall, close to what the spot points out.
This brings up a point. No colors are true colors until you specify the intensity of the light source and it's frequency. 57 Underground's gallery when we joined had long, 8 foot florescent fixtures: scavanged from the old print factory. They were a mish mash of daylight and regular florescent bulbs, meaning the frequency of the light varied from place to place. We just shrugged, and soldiered on. The point was to flood that basement with light.
Later we had spot lights, with bulbs of various intensities pointed the way anyone with a tall ladder and ambition could devise. This was the result.
What we have noticed is that painting change dramatically depending on their lighting. Very bright ambiant light and white wallis are a good traditonal atmosphere for art gallery visitors, but that isn't always what the paintings are trying to get across. Many of my best pieces look absolutely ravishing in darker environments, under low ambient light. Especially the colorfield ones. They seem to glow from within, and shift attention to different colors as the light varies. Others can't wait for a couple strategic spotlights to make the figures pop off their backgrounds.
This is a watercolor study in lime green, rose, blue and peach orange. That's a mouthful. Almost longer to say that it took to paint. It is a great painting, I believe. It has an angularity, energy and mystery that is the equivalent to a painter's jazz ensamble. Much of that has to do with the vertical stripes of color, and details of the model's background, foreground, hands and feet scattered about without many clues for determining their distance from the viewer or even proper attachment to either figure.
Its a gay, festive, haphazard and scattered flowering of breasts, hands, knees and long arms. The colors mesh perfectly, yet none are flesh tones or obvious shadows.
Another colorfield piece. Dense with shadow and unexpected planes of lit flesh. Its a model in glowing pieces: planes of color, fit together like a jigsaw. Another great piece in my estimation.
Here's another one. This hangs in our spare room downstairs. A watercolor model slopped on a mound of blankets. You have to catch it out of the corner of your eye to really appreciate it. It exudes a sense of relaxed space eand calm indeterminate time. The model might be up to something or, it might just be another set of folds...
Here's the Mojave Desert around Joshua Tree National Park. I very strange place. Like a baby giant got and mad and pounded the ground: scattering "play rocks" in improbabe piles.
I'm in my usual mood when out of door in deathly silent places with no human things in sight. The pieces I paint under those condtions get dark and forboding.
Here's another colorfield full of layers and layers of carefully shaded abstract human roundness. Looks like at the end, I wanted to point out the human body in the piece, and so drew thin lines to delineate.
This is another of the paintings in my granduation show at Mount Saint Mary's College in Brentwood. It was something of a triumph. Nuns sheltered me for the night when it was to late to get back to Santa Monica. Janitors let me in and out of the studio. Lots of people came to the opening and some big pieces were sold. I could have sold more, but got stubborn and posessive.
Here I am years and years after that first show. Still working in colorfield occasionally. I think I matured and now incuded the human being. Even their thoughts and their actual form. This is another almost perfect piece. Great harmony, clarity of purpose and ease. An unexplored worlds to either side of her in the gray darkness.
So we invited the all members of 57 Underground to our house for a party, in the summer of 2006. It was a small group then, and still is. The people at our party were: Desiree Engle, Barbara McGlaughlin, Jeanne Anderson, Mervyn Selden, Russ Huff, and several others, whose names I can't recall. One of them: the director, a nice enough guy was nominally the director of the gallery. There was a director that was nominated and voted on faithfully at the membership meetings, usually near the first part of every year.
The truth was, the whole organization was run by Mervyn, Jeanne, Barbara, and Desiree. Who occupied the important postions that did necessary things like taking the minutes of every meeting and sending them out to the members, maintaining the organizatons's banking account, filing the papers with the State to show compliance with the rules for non profit organizations, obtaining liability insurance for the organization (Desiree's specialty), dealing with the Post Office yearly about the organizatons use of the non profit mailing stamp. Keeping everyone informed of the latest procedures for submitting mass mailings ( proper post office tray, proper paperwork, proper bundling by zip code, where to show up, what hours, who to talk to, etc.
They were all from an era undistracted by computers and the internet. They lived in an era that saw the world only through magazines, the local newpaper, and the 5 local TV channels. Where the men joined men's clubs like the Rotary, Elks, Masons, Chamber of Commerce and the women attended to nitty gritty details like bills, spending, cooking meals, laundry, taking the kids to the doctor's office, school PTA, volunteering at the church or synagog, while sometimes working full time as secretaries or other male-directed jobs. Lacking social media, they had ample time to learn these duties, and no modern sense of being left out.
My husband expected the same from me. Hahh. I was a Chinese girl, raised by a landowning, educated class to direct the children, pay the bills, create meals with the servents: nothing more. Husband makes the money. Husband consults with wife and hands her his paycheck. Wife spends money on whatever she wishes. That's the way my mother thought the world worked also. She had a wide circle of femal friends in two catagories: those who you give gifts to and seek favor from, and those from whom you recieve gifts and give favors to.
The party was a success. Everybody sat in the backyard drinking my husband's current microbrew, I prepared ordeuvres and cooked a great meal (minus servents). The high ceilinged living room (later my studio) was set up with my paintings on and against the walls. They immediately scheduled me for a solo show in February 2008. The show invitation : (above and below). My husband put a lot of work into designing it. Art Scene, which was (and still is) the top media organ for the Southern California gallery scene, made it a recommended show. Wow. For the second time I thought I was on my way.
Here's the piece ArtScene chose to illustrate the review: a colorfield painting again. It now belongs to a new friend: Natalie Le who works for Landmark Education formerly Werner Eckhardt's est organizaton)
And here's a hybrid of colorfield and the new style, that culminated in floating bodies. The layers of paint have given way to bold pigmented brush strokes. The colors are less varied and fantastical. The background is simpler, but not yet done in washes.
Here's another watercolor. The bleads really mimic what I was doing in acrylic, except their done faster and with less revision. Manyof these are every bit as important and deserving of comment as every style in my acriylic paintings.
Here's a watercolor of a male model. Very strong lines. Less dreaminess and/or determination in the face. As a female atist, I find it hard to feel what males are feeling.
Here's a wildly dancing female model. Not great example of continuous, sweeping charcoal lines, but wild and fragmented and somehow ecstatic. Not sure what the model's short pose looked like, or where her center of gravity rested. Perhaps I made some of it up.
Here's a sweeping charcoal sketch of a commanding female figure I believe this was an older, very popular LA model from the 1970's. I think she stopped posing soon after this, but I could be wrong.
This is a friendly looking pose. There is an interesting kinship between the blue within the torso and the blue outside. They are not the same. The charcoal is thick and determinate below and more fragile around the face. This piece shows I was comfortable with the mode, l felt empathatic, but there is no driving force in her or from myself to identify with, and this s not one of my great pieces.
This piece is another story altogether. It shows so much drama and electricity, but I was unable to complete it in the 4 hours we had. She looks like a series of wild greek deities, coming to someone as an apparition. There are hints of storm and cloud and wild gyrations. It is a wonderful, powerful, unfinished piece, almost like a thing you would see looking down from the ceilings of an Italian Church or palace.
This piece is of a women whom I hated. She was an art teacher at Riverside Community College, and I signed up for the course to keep my hand in. She insisted on everyone "trying on" different styles. One week you would draw like this artist, the next like that one.
I had no interest in doing that. When she posed for us, I drew her the way I saw her in my usual style. Perhaps with a little more charcoal line than usual and a more ogarish cast to the face, head and hair.
At the end of the class, we were to give a one night exhibiton at the house of a friend of the college who had a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was a beautiful house: stained wood panaled walls, high ceilinged corridors running at a 90 degree angle from the enterance, framing a courtyard in the back. The patron put my painting centered above the food table in the foyer: the first thing everyone saw when entering. The other works went down each of the paneled wings, one after the other. Including my teacher's piece. I got my grade in the mail a few weeks later. I failed the class.
End of Page 6. End of number 16 random image folder out of 32. Onward and upward, we hope.
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