Monday, 30 April 2007

8th in the Series

Well, this one is a bit too cute for me, but the colors match better than with some of the others (the orange one). It is not finished (of course), but this is what I have been working on, so I thought I'd post it.

I've shifted the pictures around a bit and I think I can use the most abstract one now with this one on the bottom row. I still need one more for the top row and am not sure what I want to put there, but I have one more painting day to work on it, so we'll see what happens. I have to do some adjustments still on some of the other paintings but don't have much time left. (Everything is due on Thursday. (No framing will occur at this juncture, oh well.)

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Lots of Changes

I've been working on my Afghanistan series and have been adjusting the color along with a few details of some of the paintings. I thought I would update the blog with the changes that I have made in paintings I have done previously.

I've been trying to make the colors of the paintings more consistent (adding ochres and reducing some of the other colors.) On this painting I actually filled in some of the missing parts. I actually loved the unfinished painting, but for it to fit into my series, I had to add eyes and color in the guy on the left. The top picture is the new version. Below is the way it was before I worked on it today.

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I modified the three girls on the donkeys mostly by changing the color of the sand and toning down the sky. I actually was quite fond of those colors, but once again to make the image work within the series, I thought I should make everything less crisp and pure in color.

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This one (of the first aid workers) has been changed very little. I altered the face a bit and changed the color of the sand as well as removing some shadows that distracted compositionally.

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Finally I also worked on this one. I've never liked this painting and I still don't like it. I like the two figures in back, but the guy with the bike just doesn't do anything for me. I think I liked him better when he was fuzzy.

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I have also been working on another piece - a father and son. It is still not finished, but the colors are turning out very nice on this one and it works really well to bridge the different palettes of the girls on the donkeys and the toddler with the AK47. I need to fix the hands and work on some highlights (finish the sleeves too) but here is the partially finished new one.

So here are the six that seem to work for the series all together. It seems to me that the top two will have to be replaced. One doesn't work stylistically and the other doesn't work in terms of color palette. I love the orange one - but the orange jars with the ochre and purples of the other pieces.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Pure Evil

Beccy Breach is the incarnation of pure evil. She has just sent a middle aged woman with a slow metabolism and a weight problem the most fiendishly delicious substance known to humyn kind. I opened my mailbox today to find (be still my beating heart!) the most seductively delicious comestible substance I've ever encountered. I will NEVER bad mouth British cooking again! These comically titled "Flapjacks" are the most sinfully delectable delicacies I've ever indulged in. Worth a soul and a half! I am an undeserving mortal, Beccy, what hast thou wrought!?Master, I will follow you anywhere.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

New paintings

We did monotype prints with stamping in class today for a change. It was fun, but not as fun as regular painting. Here is what i ended up with (we were given a still life to emulate).

Here is my most recent oil painting in the Afghanistan series:

Monday, 23 April 2007

Good Hair Day

Fun Monday:
This Blog Topic brought to you by Robin

Since my hair is unruly and almost never looks good - I thought I would do a reverse on the meme and show you a day when my hair is absolutely perfectly in place and looking good. When I got tenure a few years back, I had long, messy, hippie hair (much like I have today) In order to do something celebratory I went to a chic (punk) salon called the Hair Police (one of my colleagues still calls them the Hair Assassins.) This is what they did to my long brown curly hair! I quite loved it - but it was a pain to take care of because the color bled out so quickly.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Dance Performance

Don and I went to a dance performance tonight by the "Merce Cunningham" performers. It was quite an interesting event, but the third piece was the most compelling. The image above gives a sense of the kinetic quality of the third piece which was visually and musically the most stimulating (especialkly for me - because I had a sense of what they were doing and why. )What was most interesting was the score for that final piece (called Eyespace) It was composed by Annea Lockwood and consisted of the interpretation of a rock by Takehisa Kosugi. The musicians literally had a photograph of a rock that they read as a score. (The percussionist modified instruments, frequency and intensity based on the width and curvature of the lines within the layers of the rock.) They have three different rocks that they interpret and it is random on any fgiven night which rock they will play. A description from the Cunningham website describes the piece as follows:

3. Annea Lockwood, Jitterbug.

Musicians required:
1 person on laptop, 2 on variable instruments.

Improvised instrumentals and electronics over immersive recordings of bowed metal instruments and underwater insects.

From the composer:
In Jitterbug, the musicians are interpreting photographs of rocks taken for this project by Gwen Deely, as graphic scores; these are intricate in their patterns and color shifts and I found them in a creek bed, up in the Montana Rockies. Lines, texture, shapes, patches of dark or light color are translated into sound, by Takehisa Kosugi (using small objects such as shells, empty shampoo bottles from hotel rooms, the actual rocks themselves, an ocarina, oscillators) and by John King (playing viola and electric guitar). A pre-recorded surround-sound score draws on insect sounds: aquatic insects which I recorded in the small lakes and backwaters of the Flathead Valley, Montana; and others generously made available to me by Lang Elliott, of the NatureSound Studio. A curious aspect of the underwater recordings, was that these strong sound signals were being created by beetles and other microscopic insects which were always invisible to me, although the water was clear and often shallow. Deep tones from bowed gongs and a piano infiltrate this insect world, providing a strong contrast; William Winant, Gustavo Aguilar and Joseph Kubera, Maggi Payne and Marilyn Ries generously recorded these sounds for the project.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Break Time

Here are the kitchen guys at a Minneapolis restaurant taking a break. It was an interesting trio the three of them, tired and in need of a break.

Monday, 16 April 2007

A Little More Sax Please

This Blog Topic brought to you by Icecream Mama Bethany

What is your favorite word?

Arbogast (It's a Name - If proper nouns don't count I don't have one I like Cholmondeley tto (That's Chumbly for you spelling challenged). otherwise its aphasia. (I'm going to name my second daughter Aphasia (Ennui will be the frst).

What is your least favorite word?


What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

Reading, beautiful images, bright colors, rock music. What doesn't?

What turns you off?

Okay, Insensitivity to others doesn't turn me on. Neither does a bunch of people answering meaningless questions. Did I just contradict myself? Maybe its self-loathing?

What is your favorite curse word?

Frackin' Curse words are not a part of right speech!

What sound or noise do you love?

I love the saxophone and the bassoon. I also love the nasally sound of the
Soprano in Carmen singing L'Amour est un oiseau rebelle.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Bullet shots and explosions.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

I'd like to try being a rock star, I guess - or else a judge. (Maybe a judge at a dance contest?)

What profession would you not like to attempt?

Wedding planner. Nanny. Zoo cleaner. Soldier. Prostitute.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

In your honor we've decided not to be exclusionary any more - Free entrance for everyone!

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Nerd Test Results

Got this from ChrisB (MsCellania.blogspo .com) and really enjoyed taking it!

My computer geek score is greater than 85% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Guess I'm a geek - I'm not surprised!!

Friday the 13th

It certainly has been one of those days. Mom's in the hospital (luckily has gotten moved out of Intensive care now) - but that on top of trying to get the income taxes done and turned in has kept me hopping. Here is the painting I did in art class yesterday - I'm not really sure how I feel about it. The Prof is pushing me to use colors and a fuzzy style that I'm not very comfortable with -but that is how we grow - so I have very mixed feelings about the work and what I am doing.

I like the way the two figures in the back turned out - I'm not so happy with the one on the right. I guess I need to quash my pride about being able to paint realistically and embrace this new style - but I somehow feel like I am making kindergarten fingerpaint pictures!

Monday, 9 April 2007

Embarrassing Clothing FUN MONDAY

This Blog Topic brought to you by Amy W at A Family Story

I can not believe I am actually posting this, but it just shows that I have no shame. Here is the story:

Back when I was young and more attractive (and in College) I took a physical education class in Danse Orientale otherwise known as Belly Dance. I went to an expensive University/College and while others were from wealthy families, I was painfully aware of the ground beef and spaghetti dinners my family was enduring back home in order to send me to that fine institution. So when everyone else was buying their costumes, I decided to make mine. I still have that double skirted costume and worse, I still have the money belt that I made out of squashed cola bottle caps. When I mentioned this previously, I got several requests to see it so... careful what you ask for - you might actually get it, Without further ado, then, here it is:

...And yes, the costume is still in good shape and I mostly fit into it still (sort of - more or less - although certainly not as well as I used to - where did all those extra bulges and lumps come from? ) Unfortunately I have never been able to figure out how to use the timer on my camera, so I have had to use a mirror for this photo and I have not had especially good success with this time around, but honestly, I just don't feel like getting dressed up all over again - so here is a very fuzzy picture of me in "the costume". (Feel free to laugh as much as you like!! I am!) If there were a prize for this topic I am sure I would win for most embarrassing!)

Here is another version (I cut the head off when I took this photo - so I took a head off of another picture and crafted the two together. Maybe it works a bit better.)

Sunday, 8 April 2007

In Search of Transcendental Objectivity

"What was really unhealthy and disgusting before the war was that business interests and a mania for success and influence had infected all of us in one form or another. Well, we have had four years of staring straight into the stupid face of horror. Perhaps a few people were really impressed, assuming of course anyone had the slightest inclination ot be impressed."

Max Beckmann, 1919

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Fifth in The Series

I will certainly have to adjust the colors in some of these paintings as I am all over the map in terms of colors for my series. This is the final image of the Afghanistan series. I hate the way the most violent image is also the most beautiful. (I guess I should have painted them in reverse order.)

Friday, 6 April 2007

Self Portrait

Since the class is doing self portraits right now - I thought I'd do one just for fun. This one really went fast. We watched a De Niro movie and I painted and the painting was done before the movie finished. Spousal unit Don says I must have found my style. It is severe and dark and matches my mood at the moment, There is a bit of flash glare - but generally this is close to what it looks like.

Playin' In the Snow

Snow on our back deck.

Surf's Up

Ahh, Snow!

I'm doin' a little California dreamin' here, so if you are wondering just why the Minnesota snow is looking like hang ten in Hawaii, well, it is because I rotated the image 90 degrees to the left. Oh well, I can dream!

Here's a closer view:

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Fourth Painting in the Series

Well, here is an abrupt change in my series. My teacher has been trying to get me to lose the realism (and if she mentions bleepin' Luc Tuyman and his boring palette one more time, I'm going to scream - okay - yes - it is a great palette and he is a fascinating painter - but it's HIS palette - not the one I want for this series) But any way, after deciding to give up on my series all together, I realized I had been released to paint it any way I wanted, The series is dead, long live the series!!!. So here is the most recent image. (...and yes - those are pretty similar to Tuyman's colors - Learn from what people tell you and change everything later!!) Resistance is futile!

More Snow!

Five more inches of snow - how do people cope with the psychological cat and mouse of the Minnesota winter?

Here are two photos from the yard: (This is the back yard heading towards the drain field.)

I just liked the abstract quality of these shadows and foot prints:

The Echo of Narcissus

Are blogs simply expressions of self-satisfied self-absorption?
Is it worse to worry about whether my blogs are such?

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Fun Monday From ChrisB

This Blog Topic brought to you by Chris B

Our assignment is to go into our closets and look for a piece of vintage clothing and tell the story of its meaning to us. I knew right away what I wanted to write about (Be very glad I did not get out the old belly dance costume with the coin belt made of bottle caps!!) No there was no doubt in my mind the most important item of clothing I have ever had is something that I was inseparable from for many years - my US Army Flack jacket. This jacket is so special to me, because it was given to me by the kindest, sweetest man – a Viet Nam vet who went to the same college as I. I don’t know if I should mention his name or not, but of course the last name is emblazoned across the front of the jacket. Brock Brady had the most winning smile and when I admired his jacket one day, he simply took it off his back and gave it to me. I was such a na├»ve and foolish young thing in those days – I could not tell if he was romantically interested in me or just a kind and gentle soul, but I now feel I must have been the most narcissistic and selfish person imaginable – I was so lost and insecure in those days. I could hardly see beyond my own nose and here was someone who had been to Viet Nam, who had seen the horrors of war and yet remained a generous and gentle person full of experience and reserve and who had touched me deeply with his gift.

Of course I had to do a web search to see what he might be doing now. Another friend from school is always telling me that people we know have passed on (I think he makes these things up to bother me) and I seemed to remember Jack had included Brock on one of those missing lists, but no, I discovered through a relatively simple google search that he is a renowned teacher of English as a Second Language a prestigeous institution, a Peace Corps volunteer returned from a slough of exotic places and a prize winning academic advisor. Of course, none of this surprises me in the least. There was a picture on one of the web sites and he still has the same charming and winning smile. I’ll never forget the poetry that he used to write – one poem in particular about a woman that he had met. He described his experience with her like a bowl of soup – in which all the pepper had settled to the bottom of the bowl. I am so glad that he is doing so well! So here I am these many years later in my favorite piece of clothing!

He will never know how much I learned about generosity and kindness from him. He gave me a real boost at a time when I was in great need. I think after the Easter break I may send him some anonymous flowers – it could never mean as much as the gift of his jacket, but perhaps it will evoke that wonderful, winning smile and give him just a taste of the appreciation that I felt that day so long ago.

Sunday Painting

Well, I only painted for half an hour yesterday, so today I got a bit more serious - but not much. I started to work on the newest painting, but soon found myself drawn back to the three girls on the donkeys. I'm not sure why I feel so unfocussed on the left hand side of the set of paintings I am doing - (maybe I do know why - after all the faces and portraits call to me much more than the landscapes).

The picture above is still very vague (after three painting sessions!! It is coming along, but needs a lot of work.

The Three Girls on the donkeys (and horses I suspect) is almost finished. There are a few little things that need to be corrected, but I got to the point today where everything I worked on looked worse than before I worked on it, so I knew it was time to quit (three corrections earlier!!!) Anyway - here is what I did for today!

I may want to work on the last girl's gaze- I want all three to be looking directly at the viewer. I also need to work on the donkey's tail (still) and the hands.