Friday, October 23, 2009

Motherwell-esque: "The Subject of All Art is Feeling"

Last night we started our fourth drawing class watching a Robert Motherwell video (yes, a video, not DVD) called Storming the Citadel (no YouTube clip to be found). Wonderful!

Only slightly familiar with Motherwell, this is is what I know of his work. Black as a color.

Last night I learned about the range of his work. He didn't get stuck in a style.

Back in the day when I sat in art history classes soaking up the lectures, I never imagined making my own art. Now I'm studying with a Motherwell-esque teacher who uses art history lessons of abstract expressionists as a jumping off point to make make our own work.

A recurring theme: "The subject of all art is feeling."

Last night's lesson: We started out with a pine cone, the backside of blueprints, and big charcoal. After drawing the feeling of the pine cone for 5-10 minutes (with music), we rotated to another person's "drawing" and drew on it to add to it and make it our own. We made two passes to each person's drawing. In the second round we added white charcoal; in the third, pastels. As we worked, he told us he was teaching us how to build a drawing/painting and how to layer. Ahh, I got it.

This week I'm building a vacation week before the start of my new job on Tuesday. My plans for a getaway have not gone as planned. But this morning I realized that I'm having the perfect organic vacation. It's unfolding. I'm building it layer by layer. And now I'm off to rotate to the next drawing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Collage Inspiration: Paperwerks

Paperwerks, Abstract Collage I

Paperwerks, Scan 10001

Loving the simplicity and color balance. It works!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Does It Work?

Where to start after not posting for so long? I'm shifting gears to start a new job at the end of the month and in power mode. I've started to get serious about limiting my online time to do more of the things I want to do, and it's working. But I miss blogging, and I haven't read Design Sponge in weeks. That's a sign.

Let me catch you up on art class, which continues to be wonderful. "Does it work?" was the big take away of the second class. He showed us parts of a Rauschenberg video. Watch the bit below to hear Rauschenberg on "Does it Work?" with his famous goat.

The in-class assignment: self portrait collage using only art magazines. In case you've forgotten, this is a beginning drawing class. The best thing about the class is this guy has the ability to transport me. He plays interesting music, he tells seemingly meandering but relevant stories, he reads aloud, he challenges our ways of being and thinking.

The end result of my piece was okay, but not great. My answer to "Does it Work?" was "No."

Later that night after class, I couldn't sleep, so I got up and started over. I spent a lot of time editing--a good move. But then it seemed like I was overworking it. Too controlled. Still not working. So I randomly messed up the pieces on page and watched where they would land. I did it a few times until I felt that inner sense of, "Yes, it works."

It was the first time I felt a piece was finished and knew when to stop.

And then it was time to sleep.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shades of Green

Sandy Ostrau, oil on canvas, Shades of Green

My knitting group hasn't met for a long time. I miss it. We're all off doing different things these days and still knitting.

Sandy has been painting and showing her work for some time now. I have one of her paintings, but I'm really thrilled for her she has a show in a gallery in San Francisco for the first time. I love how her work has become more and more abstract. Yummy colors.