Monday, December 31, 2012

Drawing With Nephews

Both of my nephews, Ethan and Zane Richards completed three drawings where we each started for 10 minutes and then continued to switch for decreasing amounts of time. Here are our finished sketches:

Sunday, December 30, 2012

You're W, I'm W, Repeat: 12

This one took me two days to complete because I got distracted yesterday.

Art Critique with Honey McMoney

I received this e-mail posted below and picture of paintings that are in progress from my artist friend Honey McMoney today:

Still at it. At some moment it will go back to being about the other side. Are you planning your projects for next year? Should I really buy enough 36" and 48" stretcher bars for 12 paintings?? Still got an awful lot of pink tissue. Art is weird man. Painting is weird. I am definitely having one of those spells of o m g w t f am I doing with my life?? Am I completely daft? So we put a little paint down and take a walk. Hope you are having a good holiday. Where are you?

Here was my response:
I can't help but compare this to some conceptual works dealing with the meaning of materials and supports. I'm not sure aesthetically it's your strongest work. Is it completed?
Watercolor (often considered as a female medium)...structure and supports as a conceptual underpinnings...perhaps slightly dated? Could be seen as post modernism because of it's strong appropriation of common art symbols?

Here was Honey's additional thoughts:

I agree with that. I am also hoping that it talks about paintings as objects and what is the picture plane anyway? Is it completely discrete? If it is, is it inherently symbolic? If we submit to the illusion are we charmed? What makes one submit? Must one be in a state of submission to accept a picture plane? Does acceptance of the painting as object constitute domination over the picture plane? How do the picture plane and the painting as object - as illusion or as reality - coexist? Can we both dominate and submit? Does discussing painting in this way allow us to better understand image culture? Why else is painting relevant? Does discussing painting in this way better allow us to understand value culture? Is it the object or the illusion that has value?
The back painting also gave it this additional performance value of turning the painting over to see the hidden side. The effect I wanted - a bleed through has not happened. I think it is because a) it is drying differently/faster than the others where bleed through has occurred b) it is green with another paint that breaks through the sizing c) tannins in the maple seed pods helps to leech the color through or some combination of all three. On with the show. Will keep experimenting down the road. I'm going to do a little back drawing now. Secrets....... 
This was a nice critical exchange, which I plan to continue adding to. What do you think? 

Friday, December 28, 2012

You're W, I'm W, Repeat: 11.2

Finished the second face today.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Art with Zane Richards

I drew a couple of pictures with my nephew Zane who is age 8. We both started a drawing for 10 minutes and then switched for an additional 8 minutes. We repeatedly switched the sketches, working on each other's for an added 6 minutes, 4 minutes, 2 minutes, and a final 5 minute to complete.

Monday, December 24, 2012

You're W, I'm W, Repeat: 10

The holidays are usually filled with presents and family, but I am enjoying my daily paintings.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You're W, I'm W, Repeat: 8B

Second step to this two page spread. I love her wrinkles that have developed.

Friday, December 14, 2012

You're W, I'm W, Repeat Project

I received the magazine from Sarah Smith today. This is my favorite addition that she created.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jordan Eagles Discovery

In an art magazine, I found a small picture of artwork by Jordan Eagles who uses cow blood in his work. I am torn, for his artwork is formalistically beautiful, however I also have a small issue with his conceptual underpinnings (not to mention the moral issues of using slaughtered cows' blood).

He states on his website, "The materials and luminosity in these bodies of work relate to themes of corporeality, mortality, spirituality, and science—invigorating blood as sublime."

He is supposing that by using cows' blood, the viewer will suspend their disbelief, and instead interject their own corporeality into his works. On one hand, I understand him using a "substitute" material i.e. cow's blood to invoke a human's issues with mortality, however in the end, it is merely a substitution for the "real" thing. I believe human blood would be more powerful and a closer, more authentic experience.

On the other hand, I have wrestled with these same issues in my own artwork and sometimes there is the problem of acquiring "authentic" mediums such as human blood, bones, etc., so I am sympathetic to this dilemma.

TSC20X20.4, 2011. Blood and copper preserved on Plexiglas, UV resin. 20 × 20 × 3 in.

LFC15, 60x28", preserved blood, copper & UV resin

CONFIGURATION: LAMEDH | 2011 | 84" x 24" x 24" | Blood preserved
on plexiglass, UV resin, blood dust

Tom Sachs Quote

I came across this quote a few days ago in the recent issue 11 of SFAQ and it has really resonated for me. I ruminate on it.

"Mark Smith said 'Art is a verb' and I agree. The surface goes on last but is the thing you see first. Surface is everything. It shows the politics of the object's making. Transparency of materials + process is paramount. In business it's called 'the point of diminishing return'. In art the end happens much later because the goal is not making the most product for the least money. The 'return' in art is the work itself. So we call it the 'quitting coeficient' [sic]. It's when we give up + move on.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hanging Out with an Artist Friend

Had a beer with my artist friend, Scott Tsuchitani at Lucky 13, which is one of my favorite bars in the city. We enjoyed catching up and I ruminated more about my disimpassioned feelings for the art world. I shared that I received a REALLY nice e-mail from my acquaintance Vincent Como, who offered some very helpful advice about sharing my work outside of the Bay Area. Scott mentioned that he had some useful information about artist in residency programs that he will share with me. I vowed to spend extra energy in the coming year on getting accepted into an AIR.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Artist Discovery

I went to see a matinee showing of the new film by Ron Fricke called Samsara. I had high expectations for this esoteric film and I was not disappointed. I was instantly and utterly transfixed by one of the vignettes that focused on an artist Olivier de Sagazan. I immediately responded to the transformative nature of his work, but also to the dark ritual. He is an open vessel of clay, ready to receive and respond to mysterious influences. I cannot help but draw comparisons to some African art and ritual.

His sculptures are also beautiful and reminiscent of African power figures.

Olivier de Sagazan

Olivier de Sagazan

Olivier de Sagazan

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ann Gale opening

Tonight I attended Anne Gale's opening at Dolby Chadwick Gallery. I've always liked her paintings and was overall pleased with the show. Her Impressionistic style is enticing, but unlike the Impressionists, her colors are often cadaverous. There is also a propensity to her use of horizontal and vertical brushstrokes (see detail).

Ann Gale

Rachel with Blue, 2012

Oil on canvas
48" x 42"

Ann Gale
Robert with Skylight, 2012
Oil on canvas
54" x 44"

Robert with Skylight, 2012 (detail)

Finally, when examining her black, white, and grey series, I couldn't help but compare them to Giacometti's paintings. These were my very favorite from this series. I'm sure I will be highly influenced when I begin my newest painting excursion.

Ann Gale
Space Between, 2012
Oil and graphite on mylar on paper
14" x 11"

Alberto Giacometti, TĂȘte d’homme

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Visiting the De Young Museum

After the Legion of Honor, we then headed over to the de Young Museum to see the Rudolf Nureyev exhibit. Both Douglas and I agreed that the costumes had a surprisingly gaudy and cheap appearance when examining them close up. We couldn't help but make a comparison to drag queens with all of the sequins, fake gems, and rhinestones.

We breezed through the exhibit "This World Is Not My Home: Photographs by Danny Lyon". Great photojournalistic style with my favorites being the biker gang photos and the prison series. Here a prisoner recuperates from heat exhaustion. The chunks of melting ice on his chest are especially beautiful.

At an even faster pace, we practically ran through "The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism". Through the years, I continue to dislike late Modernism more and more, while growing fonder of Post Modernism and Post-Post Modernism.

While slowly strolling through the European paintings, I was drawn to this Impressionist-style landscape. I was especially transfixed by the treatment of the sky. The acrid green was completely hypnotizing and nourishing.

Homer Dodge Martin
Newport Neck, 1893
Oil on canvas

Over the last 10 years or so, I have become obsessed with African Art. In particular, I love African power figures (nkisi, nikishi, minkisi; nkondi, minkondi, zinkondi) and also African boli from Mali. So, a visit to the de Young museum would not be complete without wandering through their excellent African Art section.

This first pic is one of my highest regarded pieces in the museum. I attribute this to my fascination for the accumulative process and excessiveness. I swoon for thick textures and unusual materials. I also have an affinity for ritual objects.

Visiting the Legion of Honor

Once again it was the monthly free day at the museums. My friend, Douglas Good and I first headed to the Legion of Honor to see the exhibition "Royal Treasures from the Louvre: Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette. Afterwards, both Douglas and I were quite pleased that the collection was somewhat small. This gave us time to contemplate the beauty and craftsmanship in each piece, whereas at the Louvre, one is often rushed and not able to absorb each piece.

I especially loved the snuff boxes, but would have liked to have seen a few examples that one would have carried on their person. Regardless, these were my favorite things.

Douglas and I also noticed a recurring motif of vultures and wondered out loud the significance. An answer was not found and perhaps we both might research.  Here is the most elegant example.

Nearby to this exhibit, was another entitled, "Artful Animals" where I encountered this lovely etching.

We breezed through this small exhibit, for we both agreed that the curatorial focus was very generic.

We then wandered through the permanent collection and I fell in love with this old painting. I especially admire the floating veil.

Joos van Cleve, Flemish, 1540
Lucretia, 15th-16th century
Oil on panel
29 7/8 x 23 7/8

I continued around the corner and was surprised by yet another painting that was a new acquisition. It was delightful, whimsical, and fantastical.

John Anster Fitzgerald
Fairies in a Bird's Nest, ca. 1860
Oil on canvas

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Late night thoughts

Today I reviewed the recent magazine issues of Art in America and Art Forum. I was completely unimpressed by any of the artworks. Flipping through the glossy pages conjures my larger feelings about the art world. Why am I an artist and yet so disappointed in the art realm? Why do I strive to have validation from the outside? Is it important to have a forum in which to create a live space? Do I need a gallery as a space to create an experience for an audience? Why do I feel the desire to open dialogue and to broach taboo subjects?

Hold on...this tangent then leads me to consider that this year I will not be applying to grad school for the first time in 6 years. I guess I've had it with THE institution. It does not accept me and I will not accept IT. But yet, many give merit to this farce called a MFA.

I discussed with my accountability partner, Honey McMoney, that this year I will instead apply my energy to Artist In Residency programs and showing in Berlin and New York.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rainy day sketch

I made an agreement with my accountability partner that I would take some time sketching. I only spent a little time, and many of the proportions are off, but felt good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Museum visit

Yes, it was a busy day as my friend and I made our final art stop at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where they were featuring a show by Nayland Blake and Nathalie Djurberg.

I really enjoyed the queer works of Blake and especially found the installation work Ruins of a Sensibility full of personal memories and a strong sense of nostalgia crept over me. It conjured past experiences of staying at a nightclub until it closes and then stumbling home drunk wearing some crazy and skimpy outfit. Of course, I played a Peggy Lee record.

Nayland Blake
Ruins of a Sensibility
1972-2002 (with thanks to Lynne Tillman)
Records, electronic equipment, and plywood 
Dimensions variable

 The works of Nathalie were quirky, yet disconcerting with some rasist imagery in the stop motion video pieces. I would have liked to sit and watch them, but I was exhausted.

Gallery Visit

After visiting the SFMOMA, my friend and I headed over to Catherine Clark Gallery, one of my favorite San Francisco galleries. I would love to show my work here. Anyway, the show featured a painter Chester Arnold who teaches painting at the College of Marin. I like his previous work that focused on prison yards, however I was not blown over by this current body of work. I still enjoyed the impressionistic style and especially liked this larger work.



November 03, 2012 – January 12, 2013

Reception Saturday, Nov 3, 3-5pm
image description
60 Years in the Forest, 2012
Oil on linen
71 1/2 x 56 inches


Today spent the day in SFMOMA with my friend Douglas Good. I was excited to see the Jay Defeo retrospective and my favorite piece still remains Incision which is part of the museum's permanent collection. It is one of the thickest oil paintings I have experienced and the textures are wonderful.

Incision, 1958-61
Jay DeFeo
Oil and string on canvas mounted on board
118" x 55 5/8" x 9 3/8"

Walked VERY quickly through the Jasper Johns show and was bored silly. I really do not care for his work on many levels.

On the other hand, I stumbled upon a contemporary painter, Adrian Ghenie, who I really admire for his aesthetic techniques as well as his concepts. The works are powerful, politically charged, and dark.

Adrian Ghenie - "Dada is Dead", 2009, oil on canvas, 200 X 220 cm
I look forward to seeing more of his works in the future.