This is another view of my studio in the living room. It gives you an idea of how the pieces that artists generate can start to overwhelm a room. This corner of the room is sweetly overwhelmed with my pieces, leaving little room for my husband's
This may be a photograph that was put into Photoshop and altered by my husband. For awhile, he delighted in selecting a menu item entitled "auto levels", which often brought out color value deep within the pigments but did not reproduce what the actual viewer sees. This looks suspiciously like one of those photos. She is in a deep bluish field and is greenish, and her highlights yellowish, but probably not as spectacularly as the photo shows.
Anyway, its a great painting. Complex. Complete within itself. Showing a model with a noble calmness, and outrageously comfortable posture. Her head is incredibly, moved almost off her shoulders, which gives you a sense of otherwoldliness and distance. Because she is so calm you don't percieve this at first. She glows. I think my husband was inadvertantly taken away and inadvertantly hightened the glow. I don't know. We'll have to find it someday up in the rafters and change the photo if it's wrong.
Here's Simone Gad again. This time as two floating figures. It's pretty much my orange backgrounded modus operendi at the time, but her collosal size and the folds of her body make an unusually bizarre piece. An almost halucinogenic dreamscape. Especially with the horn rim glasses. Another feature: she is floating above herself. There was no way I could put the multiple figures from that pose side by side.
Here's a very early flower, probably painted as a student. An odd flower. Either I had not mastered making a flowering plant look more like a flowering plant, or this was just a succulent with jointed stems looking from above. Probably the latter. Anyway, this is what I saw. The form before my eyes. A dense colorfield with glowing greens and a strange off center bloom, looking something like an orchid.
If fact, that's what it probably is: an orchid. Not a successful painting however.
Here's another triplet that looks like Parker again. The orange phase is slowing passing. Maybe we went down to Nova Color and got a fresh supply of pint acrylics. Anyway, the use of the color is muted, and the light colored figures show a wonderful, very very subtile gradiatons of greyish white: from that to whitish pink, to whitish turquoise, to (on the left): whitish yellow. So much that the figures stand out against a much less vibrent orange background, and again broadcast serenity and general naturalness.
Emblems of young womanhood which Parker,l well into her 50's was able to project, almost to the last time we drew her, about 2 years back.
Here's a silvery vison of figures. We had a few new metallic acrylics to play with. These are interesting, because the painting changes in luminisity dramatically under different lighting conditions. This model, probably Faye, looks like she is leaning agains a fence, looking out over a silvery scene of some sort. You can' t easily use metallics with other colors. So it's just a silvery fog, in this case.
The problem is that it dominates the more subtile parts of the piece. Also, it takes the eye away from the subject and foceground as the viewer tries to decide what is that's so silvery over her shoulders.
Of course the real painting isn't this dramatic. The lighting and camera angle have more to do with it. Paintings with less obvious reflective ingrediants, usually called pearlescents, look wonderful at dawn, dusk, and other low light situations. And they don't overwhelm the composition under direct light.
Here's the Ventura model again. I gave her a scowl, which she doesn't really have. There is a really busy for totally coherent set of stool legs in the background, which she's leaning against. Perhaps I was feeling bad myself that day, or maybe she really was scowling....
Its a complicated piece. A lot going on. She kind of cascades down towards the viewer, emphsizing layers of folds at the stomach. The layers and thighs, and almost everyting else swirl, rather than obeying the direction of the light. Her whole figure seems consumed by turmoil. She looks like she feels nasty, and yet not evil, or threatening. Actually the figure is solid, enduring, even monumental, but still human and not frozen in place.
Also, the scowl is in the lips, but the offset eyes and forehead look more worried than anything else.
Here's a study in green. I haven't used green very much, and its instrutive. Over it, pink with green showing through as shadow. Green hair, a darker green shadow. Note the shadow is smiling, but the model's not. The kneecap looks a little like an eye , one hand is just two fingers: one atop the other, everything is kind of twisted and slightly disturbed.
She is very solid, fluently drawn and rendered, and seems to have purpose. The face just sits there, however, without a trace of strain but no hint of thought. If you look closely, one eye's wide open and the other: nearly closed...
This is also a neat piece from the orange era. The figure is lost in thought, and the face emerges from the orange background by dint of delicatly flushed cheeks. Her body is really perfectly drawn in proportion from above. The lower you go, the more solid it becomes. All this done with just a couple colors: blue and green, and white brushed over the orange for highlights.
Here's another view of the studio. Same walls, but a different set of pieces. The walls used to change regularly, especially when we have new works to admire, and not yet consigned to the rafters. Of course with Covid, this has not happened. However my husband has started a new series of computer generated collages, and if these were all printed out, even at just screen size, they would overwhelm the studio and house.
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When the human body is laid down on a flat surface, this is what it looks like (to me). It's a very unusual pose, and one that probably only gets done in short poses. Fortunately I had watercolors along with me. Judging the division between model and background was child's play, and so I got it all done.
I think this is a very neat piece. No problem looking marking it from the corner of your eyes either . It sticks in your conciousness either way.
A colorfield piece that looks almost like a camera negative, or even, an x-ray. Instead of charcoal lines, which are all gone, I used white, and pretty close to pure titantium white at that. It's almost as if the model has turned transparent at her seams. Like a guppy in a fish tank.
The overall feeling of the piece is clinical. The viewer percives the model, but she is too abstract and turned inside out, to have human thought. Unapproachable. Living in a different world than that of the viewer.
Again, I believe it's a great piece.
A short pose charcoal, something like model leaning forward. Not the best rendition in the set, but workmanlike.
Another less that perfect piece. Another study in blue grading into greys. Looks like I didn't get to think this one out for long enough as I worked. Her eyes are the best part of it. One dark and intent, and the other empty. The head itself is beautifully modeled.
Ah, this is better. Its a smaller piece and fits in nooks on the wall, and we keep bringing it out, because it's so soothing. The model is perfectly posed and poised. Her pink belly is the center of gravity for the piece. She lies between two pillows, each colored with an almost uncanny glow, that cradle the belly between. The colors are fantastic, subterrainan, with their light seeminly coming from within. They're the closest I've been able to come to the actual colors of dawn.
So here's life drawing with the group. That's Andrew Kovner dead center, Mike Dommermuth over his right shoulder, and Tom Casellazo sitting on a chair toward the front. A working artist's studio. One of Mike's newest studies tacked up on the wall. Don't know the younger female, but that's just a sliver of Anne Foster behind.
Anne was a grammer school teacher, and a good one. She had eight children, I believe, which she raised mostly alone, after her alcolholic artist husband hit the road. She is a pragmatic Japanese lady and easy to talk to. At the time this shot was taken , she was a hobby gardner, going every morning for Tai Chi on the lawn atCal State LA, near her small hillside home. Her children were all married except for a wayward son. She is now 95, and I still communicate with her. She speaks more slowly, and one of her daughters now lives in that home to help care for her, but is otherwise the same.
A Simone Gad triplet: this time with color stripes that mimic the charcoal lines.
A new idea for me. She is detached and floats, with the background flowing though her between the stripes. The background seems to be a force eminating from the upper right hand corner of the canvas, and you can almost feel it streaming through the bodies.
Her horn rim glasses reassure the viewer that everything is quite ordinary.
I loved the composition and the floating, easy, sense of the ordinary human that flows from this canvas.
Here's my younger self and Maria Leon, the sculptress. cermacist at the beach long ago. Those are people bobbing around in the water beside the pier between the two of us. We were on a painting excursion somewhere. Either my husband or Andrew Kovner behind the camera.
We visted the Kovner-Leons many times a year and they us. Not only did we draw and paint with them at Mike's studio, but went on longer trips. Spent a day in Catalina. Spent a week up in northern California at a lake near a small lumber town in the coastel range west of Red Bluff. Every Christmas or Thanksgiving they came in a day early, and the two men sat out in the back yard drinking micro brews, and talking about Andrew's buisness, race relations, art, and other current topics. One Christmas Andrew bought us a croquet set, and all of them began to learn and devise new rules for croquet on the bumpiest, hilliest, weediest back yard you ever saw. Cameron helped devise the most impossible wicket placements possible. Games became like marathon army exercises.
My husband and Andrew exchanged emails, sometimes daily for years. They rarely agree on anything about art history or artists, and that is what drove the corrsepondance. Finally they had a falling out over a statement by my husband that neither of them were very good artists. Andrew seemed ready to agree that my husband wasn't a great artist, but not himself. The wrangling went on and on. Images of their latest pieces traveled back and forth, along with those of David Green, another artist and art historian, who had joined the dialogue.
Finally my husband gathered those missives and rebuttals into two manuscripts about art and artists. A little later, David Green and Andrew pulled out, and cut off corresponding. Sigh. But I understand it might be starting again.
Here's a variation on the floating figures. This time the figures are really blown up, like appear like real balloons. I had a notion of using these drawings as an exaggerated verson of the dancer series, but starting with a real sitting model. This is not an especially great piece, but I haven't given up.
Here's some more studies for the dancer series. These figures are loosly copied from sketching manuals.
And this is a model sketched in real life. Another short pose watercolor.
Here's a change of pace. A male model. Totally out of the floating model loop. I stayed right with the reality of this unfamiliar subject. Since I didn't identify with his attitude or feellings, I guess my painter mind wasn't able to wander either.
This is a century plant painted in my brother-in-law Howard's back yard, while the men: my husband's two brothers and grade school age Cameron went to the Scottsdale Classic Car Auction.
This plant is really really there, and would make a great print. Howard has this one in his possession.
Here's the Ventura model again, looking un angry. This time I imagnined her as an aesthete: perhaps with a cup of tea at the end of her outstretched arm. Note the heavy lidded eyes.
The drawing style here is particularly fluid. Her shadows shares a blunter version of her personality (which shadows usually do). Also, it looks like the aurora borealis is going off over her arm.
I am proud of this piece.
Here's another hypersaturated photo negative like piece. This is acutally llike the painting looks. No exaggeraton by manipulating the photo. It is a couple of the same model, participating in what looks like a visual hallucination. Don't quite know what to say about this canvas ... other than: it kind of puts my teeth on edge and gives me a humming in the ears.
Here's another canvas the kind of humms. Looks like the various planes are bunche together and sitting in the sun, with the sky peeking out beween them. Then in the rest of the sky over its shoulder, a jet fighter has filled the air with contrails.
This looks like it might be another day at the beach.
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