Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Seeing the Modern Masters in Person at MoMA

Robert Delauney

Earlier this year was the first time I'd ever visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and what I experienced there was life changing. No images in any book, or online can do justice to any single piece of what hangs in this museum. For me, seeing this historical art in person not only answered many of my questions (some I didn't even know that I had) they also became fuel for further research and inquiry.

Van Gogh

It enabled me to see how thick one artist applied his paint to the canvas


versus another.


That even a small portion of a much larger work could reveal so much technical detail and beauty. I found myself looking closely and photographing the smallest of details - imagining that multiple visits would reveal more and more within each piece.


I could easily see how an artist chose to finish the edges of a painting,

Piet Mondrain

and how pigments weren't always consistent and that mistakes, err, unconscious choices, were part of the creative process.

Matisse Drips

I think part of me expected these works to all be perfect and pristine to to see a paint drip on a Matisse made me feel like I din't have to try SO HARD all of the time to be perfect. (I drive myself crazy)

Piet Mondrain

That "finished" when used to describe a painting, doesn't really exist until the artist has died.

Persistence of Memory

I learned that some works were much smaller than their perceived size,


and others larger than could have been imagined. (While I'm not typically a fan of impressionism, I cried uncontrollably when I saw this painting of Waterlillies by Monet.)


That things I thought I liked, or understood were utterly incomprehensible to me in the flesh.


That something I'd held no previous respect for could actually leave quite an impression on me. (My response to this was "Well played Warhol, Well played.") 

Starry Night

That I could so easily gain access to the 2nd most valuable piece of art in the entire world. (The Mona Lisa being #1)

Piet Mondrian

My biggest take away for the day was the impact that this small painting had on me. In its ordered neo-plasticic rule-ladened rigidity, I found joy. (This is Piet Mondrian's Composition II in Red and Blue created in 1929.) 

Whether you are an artist or not, I urge you to spend at least a little time on the 5th floor of MoMA. If you can prove you are a working artist, you can become a member for only $50 instead of $75.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Evolution Through Rhythmic Abstraction

Rhythmic Evolution

My art continues to evolve. It is being informed by the world of art around me both past and present.

This piece is a work in progress which was started at the beginning of December 2013. It came into existence quite spontaneously, but has evolved quite mindfully.

Live painting in my studio on First Friday

It is one of the first pieces where I have fully embraced the use of a straight edge and a compass. Almost all earlier works had been created freehand.

I liken this new process to that of solving a puzzle. A piece fits or it doesn't. Things have been sketched, painted, obliterated and painted again. Some ideas have been tested in the ProCreate app on my iPad. You can view more pictures of the evolution of this piece here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

So Hum: I Am That

Decisions Mantra Mandala
On a busy First Friday event in my art studio at The Banana Factory, I was in the middle of selling two pieces of my art to two different people when I noticed two little boys come into my studio, who then ran out, then came running back in. From years of working retail in a past life, I always do my best to give my full attention to the people I am speaking with, yet keep an wide eye on everything else happening around me.
Decisions Mantra Mandala
I notice one of the little boys excitedly pointing at one of my mandalas - one that was covered in mantras. This was quite curious to me because I wasn't expecting them to know what it said. I excused myself for a moment to walk over to them. I bent down and asked the boy that had been pointing if he knew what the mantras said. With GREAT excitement, he looked me in the eye and while pointing up at this piece said, "That's my name!" Not fully understanding what he meant, I asked, "What's your name?" Smiling and proud, he answered "So Hum!"
Decisions Mantra Mandala
It was at that moment that I noticed that the rest of his family were standing off to the side - I didn't initially pick up that the boy was Indian until I saw him with his family. I looked at his father and said, "So Hum - I am that!" as he nodded his head, "Yes, yes!" and smiled.

"Decisions" is the name of this piece which includes several different mantras, including "Om Hum So Hum" to the best of my understanding, chanted to balance male and female energies. "So Hum" (or So Hung/So Houng) specifically means, "I am that" and speaks to the Hindu belief that we are all one in the same - that we are all connected to and part of, God. (An oversimplification, I know. forgive me as I am still learning) 

Om Bhoor Bhovas Suvaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasaya Dhimahi Dhiyoyona Prachodayaat is known as the Gayatri Mantra and is chanted to gain wisdom or illumination.

Hindus believe that as creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as sound "OM".

If you would like to purchase this piece of original art, it can be found in my Etsy shop.

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