Wanna get away... to avoid the coming snowstorm in Denver? You may want to check out the last weekend for Desert X in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California. The outdoor exhibit is presented by Desert Biennial. This year brings 16 artists to the valley to create art, engage viewers, and focus on the valley's environment, its natural wonders, as well as socio-political-economic issues. Shown above is Jennifer Bolande's Visible Distance/ Second Sight. It is a series of billboards along the Gene Autry Trail and Vista Chino, featuring images of the space they inhabit and from certain vantage points align with perfectly. Her intent is to remind viewers/drivers to "contemplate their surroundings and consider the differences between the real and artificial horizons." To learn more click: www.desertx.org/visit/
Art is a collaboration between God and the artist,
and the less the artist does the better!
-- André Gide (French, 1869-1951)
I have a little Easter / Art confession to relate. I had always been a representational painter, even studying in the old atelier traditions. But several years ago I found myself going over a lot to Walker Fine Art in the Golden Triangle here in Denver. As you know Bobbi shows mostly abstract work and I found myself really attracted to Miani Carnevale's work, among others. I love her beautiful colors and the 'distressed' yet glossy finish of her work. I decided I just had to try my hand at doing abstracts. But how? Where do I begin? Its easy with representational imagery, but where do you start with abstracts? Then one day I was sitting in Mile Hi church, and Dr. Roger was talking about effecting change in your life, by picking four areas in need of attention and begin doing affirmations to support those. For me, the four biggies were: Career, Health, Home, and Relationships. Alright, I had a concept, but how to portray? So later, there I was sitting on the floor in my studio with my gessoed 2x4' panel, still in representational mode I guess, when I remembered a fragment of a Picasso quote about being stymied by the white canvas, when he realized all you had to do was make a mark, any mark, and then you have something to work with. I looked over at my drawing implements pile. There sat pencils and my kneadable erasers in a purple plastic easter egg, and... Eureka! I grabbed the egg, separated the two halves, spilling the contents, and placing the widest half face down and traced four circles on the panel, representing my four challenges/worries and it all went from there. I finally had my starting point. And to this day, I still use geometrical elements in my work: circles, lines and squares. Above is a detail of the painting with those first four circles - 4 Affirmations, a 24x48 acrylic on panel. I have to thank my mom, and the easter bunny, for giving me that egg so many many years ago, which in perfect circuitous divine fashion, became the genesis for my abstract work! To learn more about Walker Fine Art and Miani Carnevale, click: www.walkerfineart.com/mianicarnevale/
My latest painting completed today, is another in the Veil series. But for some reason looking at it now, it looks like its from an earlier era. From maybe the mid-century 'modern' era? The rendering is expressionist yes, but the multiples hark back to a later pop, post-pop sensibility. All of this of course is unintended during the painting process.
I just let it be what it wants to be! Veil Squares 2, is a 12x12 acrylic on canvas sheet and is available for $200.
I would agree, on so many levels, with Puck in his quote from William Shakespeare's comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Which in this case explores the nature of romantic love in all its unpredictability, fickleness and at times total craziness. The pursuit of love can cause us to do grand and glorious, and yes, very irrational and foolish things. And when its over, and the spell has broken, we grieve, we reflect, we heal, we learn the lesson hopefully, we forgive and then a sort of amnesia sets in as 'spring' returns and we again become ready for a new love. My painting: And the Memory of Her Fades, speaks to a point in this circle of Life. It is a 6x9, acrylic on canvas mounted on gator board. It is available for $100. Interestingly, the work started out with a heaviness of emotion, but ended up being a 'happier' painting that I thought it would be! As is love, painting can be a cathartic experience...