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My work has changed

These look best together. I photographed images from movies and media, and manipulated them in Photoshop. Then I created paintings from the changed images. I have an idea that our perceptions are false, and therefore when we look at people we see our false images of them. Movies, photographs and stories in the media all serve to cloud or blur our vision. Hence the blurriness of some of these, as well as the soft focus in others.

Looking forward

Today is the day my shipment of art supplies is arriving. Over 40 canvases, huge amount of colors, new palette knives-so excited I am having trouble focusing on painting. These are two portraits I am working on. The Dalai Lama is on twitter, so I am going to start following his posts. As it is I listen to his webcasts which keep me inspired at work.

Dalai Lama 1 (in process1)
Dalai Lama
Portrait of my grandmother


Diana the huntress

This theme popped up while I was working on images of the heart and the body. It is a way for me to illustrate a fascination with power that has occupied me since I began painting at Carnegie-Mellon. I see Diana as both beautiful and powerful, and her dogs are her servants. By extension, I see love for a beautiful woman as a loss of power. And I see the love between two women as a constant struggle for power.

Portrait of a heart
Body reclining
Diana with servant
Diana as a diva
In process
Used an image of a woman's abdomen dissected

Otto Dix exhibit at the Neue Galerie

First and foremost, Dix is a powerfully expressive artist. Etching is the medium that most successfully expresses the suffering and cruelty he experienced firsthand during World War I. When he began to depict the superficiality of society after the horrors of the war, the painting medium did not do his imagination justice. Although a successful portraitist, his works in oil and tempera, perhaps handcuffed by the new objectivity, tend to be more mannered and less powerful than his graphic work. Although he ridiculed the academic style of painting, he seemed to absorb it, and most often, was not willing to experiment with, or subvert it, as he did with his drawings and etchings.

Before I was beaten over the head by the war etchings, I enjoyed eating at Cafe Sabarsky. The food was not overwhelming, but I savored my time there. The coffee was brilliant, and the surroundings, dignified.

My walk uptown from the Port Authority Bus Terminal allowed me time to enjoy the sounds of the city: cars and buses whooshing past, peoples’ exotic accents, and bits of conversations. Because it was fairly early, the city wasn’t quite alive yet, so I also had moments of silence when I could delight in a lovely breeze on my neck and face.

Perhaps due to the subject of Dix’s work, and the later, inevitable overcrowding I felt walking back to the Terminal, I was eager to return home. As Dix knew, the world is a lonely and corrupt place. Home and loved ones are sanctuaries. The bus ride home was not as warm and fuzzy as the ride in, when the driver stopped at the ticketing agency to allow new passengers to purchase their tickets for much less than they would have if bought directly from him: an everyday act of loving-kindness. Two drawings from my day:

Enjoying crepes, coffee, and marzipan cake
Bodhisattva and human suffering

14 days of paintings

I have set a new goal for myself today. Beginning Monday, I am going to make a painting each day for 14 days. The time seems right for it, as in these last days of summer, work is slower than usual. This morning, I made sketches of each painting. Once I start painting, the imagery may change. Sammie has begun to be a lap dog. She jumped on my lap while I was sitting on the front porch this morning. Of course, I had to include that in a few of these sketches. To motivate me further, I am going to schlep into New York early on Sunday to see the Otto Dix exhibition at the Neue Galerie before it ends. The cafe there has a Marzipan-Guglhupf which is a marzipan cake. ON the menu, it has an asterisk next to it, which means it is served with whipped cream. I can’t wait! Other exciting news: Marijke may be able to help us when we pick up the Baby Reliance in New York. That is a work in progress, as I am waiting for the inventory sheet from Mr. McCrea. But I have the feeling that it won’t be long before I will be printing linocuts and woodcuts galore…Maryanne just told me I can’t shirk my responsibilities around the home, so I will be supergirl, and get everything done.

Days 1-3 of a painting-a-day
Sammie on my lap
There will be farm animals too

What a great day

I have spoken to two wonderful people today. I do believe that if you reach out to people, good things happen. The two people I spoke with are elderly, and one is fairly ill, I believe. But their spirits could be felt through the telephone when they talked. I imagine them warm and kind. And, of course, they are artists. The man, James, and his wife, Ruth are both illustrators and created various pieces of ephemera on their proofing press. James said he didn’t know that the press he had was not intended for type, so he used it for both type and illustrative work. He is sending me an inventory and I hope to be speaking with him again soon. I believe my obtaining the press through him is one way to keep this couples’ work alive.

On a heavier note, here is a painting I created last night, after I was unable to get the thought of a dead young deer out of my mind. I had seen it in the middle of Route 518 early one morning. Today I looked at a book of paintings by Chaim Soutine and I thought of this deer. Soutine expressed pathos so well. I hope one day to be able to do that. The other image is my drawing for the day: wishing love to be transmitted through the air to you.

An image from my commute
Another offering