Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘painting’

021619-grandson-tries-suminigashi-painting

The result of my grandson’s class in Japanese marbling technique. Suminagashi, or “ink-floating” on paper, has been around since the 12th century.

Not long ago, my older grandson’s class, which is studying Japan, went to the Boston Children’s Museum. The museum features an entire traditional home that was shipped from Japan years ago and rebuilt indoors.

While there, the 8-year-olds practiced an ancient painting technique, Japanese Suminagashi, which uses the unpredictable swirling of water to create one-of-a-kind images.

I love the idea of one-of-a-kind. Children are one-of-a-kind, too, all wonderful in their own way, and I like to hear about them getting a break from standardized-testing molds.

According to the website Beyond the Chalkboard, in which the Boston Children’s Museum helps teachers with enrichment activities, “Suminagashi, Japanese for ‘ink-floating,’ is a paper marbling technique that was practiced in Japan as early as the 12th century.  Creating these beautifully marbled pieces of paper encourages children to relax, focus and observe the changing swirls in front of them. …

“It is very important that everything used in this activity (the brushes, trays and jars) be as clean as possible. The trays or tubs you use should be at least 2 1/2” deep. Tupperware containers and some aluminum pie tins will work. Make sure that the paper you are using is smaller than the width and length of the trays.

“Fill each tray with 2 inches of room-temperature water, making sure to keep the water free of dust, oil or soap. Pour a small amount of sumi ink into each empty baby food jar, and have pairs of students share a jar.”

The instructions include advice on first discussing what swirls are and also what children already know about Japan.

Here are the instructions, in part.

“1. Make sure your hands and the water tray are CLEAN while you fill it with water. Keep the water and the papers free of dust, oil and soap.
“2. Find a steady place to lay your two brushes, wooden skewers or toothpicks.  Place one brush or skewer on the left side of the water tray and one on the right side.  Dip the left side brush or skewer into the ink.  If using a brush, you only need a little bit of ink!  The surface of the water will pull ink from the brush.  …
“3. Carefully touch the very tip of the inked brush or skewer just to the surface of the water in the middle of the tray.  …
“4. Lay down the inked brush and pick up the other brush (the un-inked one on the right side of the tray).  Touch the end of this brush or skewer either to the side of your nose (your nose has lots of oil on it), to a bar of soap, or (just barely) to the top of a detergent bottle.  Touch the tip of this oily or soapy brush/skewer to the water INSIDE THE DOT of ink (or the center of the tray, if you can’t see the ink yet).  You might see the ink that is floating on the surface of the water move away from where you touched. …
“5. Repeat, alternating between brushes, and always touch the brush tips in the middle of the ink circle on the surface of the water. You should soon see many concentric circles. Once you feel you have enough, you can gently blow across the surface of the water to start creating swirls. …
“6. When you like what you see on the water, pick up a piece of paper, holding it from the sides.  Bring the ends together a bit so the middle of the paper bends down toward the water — now you can lay the paper on the water, starting from the center and quickly laying down the sides and letting go. It may take some practice to get this to be a quick, smooth motion. …
“7. Now lift the paper off the water (if there seems to be a wash of ‘loose’ ink on the surface of the paper, try gently, quickly rinsing the paper under the faucet). The ink that actually printed will stay on the paper.
“8. Lay the your print on the newspaper to dry.”

More here and at Suminagashi.com. My grandson also alerted me to a Japanese anime called My Neighbor Totoro that he saw in school, and my husband and I got it from Netflix. We like Japanese animations.

Read Full Post »

02jphawaii1-jumbo

Photo: Honolulu Museum of Art
“Black Lava Bridge, Hana Coast No. 1,” 1939, by Georgia O’Keeffe.
 

Who knew that the great Southwest artist Georgia O’Keeffe also painted Hawaii? I myself was surprised to read the report at the New York Times of a new exhibit showcasing the artist’s Hawaii art.

William L. Hamilton writes, “Finding out Georgia O’Keeffe had a Hawaiian period is kind of like finding out Brian Wilson had a desert period.

“But here it is: ‘Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawaiʻi,‘ 17 eye-popping paradisal paintings, produced in a nine-week visit in 1939, and now on display at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, through Oct. 28.

“It is the first time the largely unknown group has been shown together since its original exhibition in 1940 at Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery, An American Place, in New York. In addition, there are two oil sketches never before exhibited. And not a bleached skull in sight.

“As with previous shows on artists — including Frida Kahlo and Claude Monet — the Garden has also mounted a living display of the subjects depicted in the artworks, and more. In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory are over 300 tropical plant types, representing the three major groups of flora in Hawaii. …

“[The] air is palpable in the humidly colored, freshly amplified palette of her paintings of hibiscus, wild ginger, pink ornamental banana, and the sea and landscapes in the library gallery, with its muted gray background, as meditatively sensual as a Hawaiian open-air church.

“That air also hangs, warmly spiced, in the Conservatory, with a profuse display of the natural exoticism of the islands that goes well beyond the painter’s depiction. …

“ ‘Every single portrait she painted — the heliconia, calliandra — they’re all imported,’ Todd Forrest, the Garden’s vice president for horticulture and living collections, said of O’Keeffe’s output. ‘That’s the sort of flora people have in their mind’s eye when they think of the islands.’ …

“Missing from her vision, as eager to absorb the overwhelming newness of the place as she was, were Hawaii’s true nobility: the hundreds upon hundreds of native species that exist nowhere else. To its credit, the Conservatory has represented them too, a group rarer to see than even the paintings. …

“O’Keeffe, of course, is an art world star, one of the first of the 20th century’s artists singled out for celebrity. Her larger-than-life flowers are famous too. Since 1924, she had studied and depicted them — gone to the startling heart of them — with her original style. …

“She was already a celebrity in 1939 when at 51, self-created and self-confident, she was asked by N.W. Ayer & Son, a Philadelphia advertising agency, to travel to the islands to produce two print-ad images for the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, later Dole. Not known for commercial work, O’Keeffe had completed a commission in 1936 — what would be the largest of her flower paintings — for the Elizabeth Arden Sport Salon in New York. …

“ ‘What she wanted was an adventure,’ [Honolulu Museum of Art deputy director Theresa Papanikolas] said. …

“ ‘Many of the native plants are endangered and therefore they can’t be shipped,’ explained Francisca Coelho, who designed the edenic installation. The Garden worked with the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii, which provided cuttings and seedlings of natives legally transportable. …

“And there are tiny groves of pineapples. O’Keeffe cavalierly neglected to paint any while she was in Hawaii on Dole’s dime. Her sponsors had to send her a pineapple when she got back to New York. Ignoring that, she painted a pineapple plant from her memory of being in the fields — a budding fruit guarded like a queen by its threatening wreath of swordlike leaves and fire-colored dirt.

“ ‘I laughed so hard,’ said Christine Gentes, who was visiting the Garden from Chicago with her daughter and sister. ‘She did it for an ad, and turned it into a painting. I mean, she really resisted. Artists never like to do that kind of work.’ ”

Lots of great pictures here and here.

Read Full Post »

The artist I have in mind is four. Here are some watercolors he painted over a couple days at Christmas.

The Christmas tree is green along the left side, but this artist likes lots of color. He is careful to keep colors from running together and getting muddy.

He paints snowmen and people in twos.

The still life features a banana, apples, grapes, a pear and limes.

I love that over two days, his people evolved to have hair, arms and a discernible smile. I’m smiling, too..

123016-xmas-tree

https://suzannesmomsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/123016-snowmen.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

123016-still-life-with-fruit

123916-evolution-of-figure-painting

Read Full Post »

050616-NCWyeth-at-Concord-Museum

 

 

 

 

 

If you can get to the N.C. Wyeth exhibit at the Concord Museum by September 18, I think it will be worth your while.

You’re familiar with the family of painters, the Wyeths, right? Best known are Nathaniel C., his son Andrew, and Andrew’s son, Jamie. Perhaps you have been to the Brandywine Museum in Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania, which got its start with generations of Wyeth art.

N.C. fell in love with Henry D. Thoreau‘s writing in 1909, made several pilgrimages to Concord, and eventually conceived of a book that he would illustrate , calling it Men of Concord: And Some Others as Portrayed in the Journal of Henry David Thoreau.

The Concord Museum and the Concord Library are each hosting exhibits related to the book, but if you like N.C.’s art, the museum exhibit is the one to see. It’s small but informative and lovely to look at.

N.C. was known for heroic illustrations of classics like Treasure Island, and his characters’ facial expressions and body postures always tell a story. That might be too literal for some art lovers, but I like it. I like the looks on the faces of three men Thoreau described in his journal as “slimy.” I like the watchful, coiled bodies of the muskrat hunters on the river, and the youthful innocence of N.C.’s Thoreau — a quality I have never associated with the writer.

One fanciful painting with bluebirds in a bubble of light like angels over Thoreau’s head seems like hagiography. It’s not my favorite work here, but it’s an intriguing summary of the writer’s interests. And people do make a religion out of Thoreau and Transcendentalism, so maybe it’s not surprising. The whole Concord gang — including Bronson Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson — is in the show, minus most of the brilliant women, of course.

One thing I learned was that N.C. had his pencil sketches converted into glass slides, and then he projected them onto the Renaissance board he favored so he could work directly on the enlarged sketch.

More on the museum website.

The hut is a replica of the cabin Thoreau stayed in at Walden Pond and is located on the grounds of the museum.

050616-Thoreau-replica-cabin

050616-Wyeth-and-Thoreau-at-Library

 

Read Full Post »

Back when Netscape was the browser of choice, I clicked every day on What’s Cool, and I think that is how I learned about the Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA), “a community-based, private institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms and in all its glory.” I read that many pieces were pulled out of dumpsters and attics — or found abandoned by the side of the road.

Twenty years later, I got to wondering if MOBA was still around. I found lots of information on their expanded website.

“MOBA was founded in the fall of 1993 and presented its first show in March 1994. The response was overwhelming. Since then, MOBA’s collection and ambitions have grown exponentially.

“Initially, MOBA was housed in the basement of a private home in Boston. This meager exhibition space limited the museum to being a regional cultural resource for the New England area.

“As the only museum dedicated to bringing the worst of art to the widest of audiences we felt morally compelled to explore new, more creative ways of bringing this priceless collection of quality bad art to a global audience. Another Boston-area cultural institution, Dedham Community Theatre, generously allowed MOBA the use of their basement. Our first permanent gallery is now conveniently located just outside the men’s room in a 1927 movie theatre.

“The ambiance created such a convivial atmosphere, that when we went looking for a second location, the only place that was up to our quality standards was another theatre basement. The Somerville Theater in Davis Square, Somerville MA is now our second gallery.”

MOBA now exhibits online, publishes an email newsletter called MOBA News, and offers the book Museum of Bad Art : Masterworks. More here.

It was hard to pick one piece of art to show you from the many great examples online. But what’s not to love about the landscape below?

Says MOBA, “The wild westerly wind that devastated this peaceful bucolic landscape was strong enough to denude mature trees, grossly distort fair weather clouds, rend the fur from a cow, bend a wrought iron weather vane, and induce panic in a basset hound whose ears and tongue point due east. …

“In the note accompanying his donation, Mr. Roots wrote, ‘I was happy with the way the barn turned out. It was when I started animals and people that [I realized] I was having problems with proportions.’

“He enjoys other creative pursuits in addition to painting. ‘I have won the World’s Worst Poetry Contest in Pismo Beach, CA, placing 1st, 2nd, and 4th in separate years., [and] I have made many bottles of home brew and wine.’ ”

Art: Bob “Grandpa” Roots
“On a Windy Day,” Donated to the Museum of Bad Art

Read Full Post »

I liked this story about a 91-year-old artist having his first solo show. John sent it to me. I hope the Arlington Advocate leaves it up for a while. (I know that all the profiles I wrote for the newspaper chain of which the Advocate is a part — and all my theater reviews — are long gone.)

A solo exhibition called ‘Umberto Centofante: A Life’s Work” was featured at the Arlington Center for the Arts (ACA) until last week and highlighted 40 years of still lifes, portraits and landscapes.

Heather Beasley Doyle writes, “When Umberto Centofante tells a story about his life or talks about his art, a distinct, almost palpable energy underscores his words. His eyes light up, his body springs lightly and a hearty laugh punctuates his paragraphs. …

“Centofante’s life began in Pontecorvo, Italy, where he grew up on his family’s farm. When he was eight years old, he says, his teacher gave him a sketchbook to take home with him.

“ ‘All of a sudden some ideas came into my head,’ Centofante recalled, and he filled the book with drawings of farm life. …

“The drawings earned him a prize and the opportunity to receive professional art instruction — a chance he had to pass up so he could help work the farm. Eventually, Centofante became a police officer and worked in Rome. After World War Two ended, he emigrated from Italy, bound for the Boston area and a job as a truck mechanic at Garwood Industries in Brighton he secured with help from an uncle who lived in Milton. Centofante had never been a mechanic, but he learned with the same intuition that had enabled him to fill the sketchbook.

“Centofante is ‘self-taught in everything,’ including painting, according to the oldest of his four children, Elaine Gleason. …

“In the Gibbs Gallery, Centofante’s paintings of boats ferrying passengers through white-capped brilliant blue seas share space with glowing, color-soaked portraits of children and exacting, nearly monochromatic nature scenes such as ‘High Moon.’ …

“Centofante says he never sketches out a project ahead of time — that he spends more time thinking and planning a painting than setting paint to canvas.

“ ‘I don’t design; I just start. I find the resolution very quickly,’ he explained. …

“Asked why he paints, he replied simply: ‘It makes me feel good.’ ”

Read more of the story at the Arlington Advocate.

Photo: Arlington.Wicked.Local.com

Read Full Post »

Art: Thomas Hart Benton
One of my favorites: Spring on the Missouri, 1945, oil and tempera on Masonite panel. On loan to the PEM from the North Carolina Museum of Art.

 

 

When I was moonlighting as a theater reviewer, I always liked to “sleep on it” before writing anything, just in case my unconscious had anything useful to add.

Well, I slept on the big Thomas Hart Benton exhibition I saw yesterday, and sleep confirmed that certain lesser-known aspects of his work are troubling. I still adore the wavy energy of his landscapes, people, horses, trains, clouds, smoke, even fence posts. I still love the way Benton honors ordinary people and ordinary jobs and the way his paintings comment on social injustice.

But I really did not like the gruesome murals of invading armies that Benton created to jolt overly complacent Americans after Pearl Harbor. There was something cheap about them.

Of course, there was a lot more than that to the exhibition “American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood,” a sweeping retrospective of most of the artist’s work: murals showing Indians or slaves being mistreated, paintings of the the vibrant life of the West and Midwest, detailed depictions of the inner workings of Hollywood sets, designs for the Henry Fonda version of The Grapes of Wrath, illustrations for an edition of Huckleberry Finn, posters touting the contributions of African Americans to the war effort.

The day before, I had been hearing about Irving Berlin’s dedication to the war effort, and I think these two different artists conveyed, more viscerally than I had previously experienced, the underlying fear prevalent at that time. Since I grew up after it was all over, I probably unconsciously assumed that everyone always knew the Allies would win.

Do go to the show at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. You have until September 7. An enormous array of Benton’s work has been gathered from near and far — and there are some intriguing movie clips. (I was moved by a character’s tears to put The Grapes of Wrath on my Netflix list.)

Details of the exhibition here, at the PEM website.

071215-Thos-Hart-Benton-show

071215-Thos-Hart-Benton-at-PEM

Read Full Post »

After Brian Bailey started to follow this blog, I took a look at his own WordPress blog. The first thing I saw was the watercolor below. I said, “Oh, wow.” Then I looked through his other drawings and watercolors and liked them just as much. So I want to share the Art of Brian site with you.

I’ve always loved watercolors, the gentle suggestiveness, the uncertainty of how the the paints will run. Although good work takes a lot of skill, there’s an element of the unexpected that to me is about the randomness of experience and the beauty of randomness.

Here are some thoughts from Brian on one of his recent paintings.

“When pulling together the shapes and lines that make up a composition it can be challenging to determine how much information is enough.  Some of my favorite drawings and paintings exhibit a very economical approach to line, saying just enough to let the viewer see what the artist sees.  In recent weeks, I’ve been doing many gesture drawings, as I’ve mentioned before, and I’m trying to let my paintings be, somewhat, more gestural.  I started my painting today outside with lots of light and finished it at home by bumping up the shadows and contrast.  I’m really trying to stop myself from overworking each painting.”

Brian also has an Etsy store. I am liking everything I see there.

Art: Brian Bailey
The Orange Van, Watercolor, 4″ x 4″, © 2015

Read Full Post »

Art: Van Gogh
Moulin d’Alphonse, painted in Arles in southern France.

Once again, a master’s work has been rediscovered. This time the master is Van Gogh, and the work’s identification is all thanks to a sister-in-law who knew a great artist when she saw one.

Dalya Alberge at the Guardian has the story. “A landscape by Vincent van Gogh is to be exhibited for the first time in more than 100 years following the discovery of crucial evidence that firmly traces back its history directly to the artist.

“The significance of two handwritten numbers scribbled almost imperceptibly on the back had been overlooked until now. They have been found to correspond precisely with those on two separate lists of Van Gogh’s works drawn up by Johanna, wife of the artist’s brother, Theo.

“Johanna, who was widowed in 1891 – months after Vincent’s death – singlehandedly generated interest in his art. She brought it to the attention of critics and dealers, organising exhibitions, although she obviously could never have envisaged the millions that his works would fetch today.

“Le Moulin d’Alphonse Daudet à Fontvieille, which depicts vivid green grapevines leading up to a windmill with broken wings in the distance, is a work on paper that he created with graphite, reed pen and ink and watercolour shortly after he reached Arles, in the south of France. It dates from 1888, two years before his untimely death.” More here.

When I was sixteen, I passed through Arles on a kind of tour. I am sorry to say the only thing I remember clearly is that the teacher said you had to translate “to Arles” as “en Arles” instead of “à Arles,” as you would say for other cities. Only guess what! A quick Google search informs me “en Arles” is only for people stuck in the 19th century.

On me pose très souvent la question de savoir si je me suis trompé en disant à Arles (vs. en Arles). Et bien non, à part si vous êtes resté au IXème siècle …

David Larlet is the source, and I have no idea if he is an expert. I assure you I wasn’t 16 in the 19th century, but my teacher was rather old fashioned.

Read Full Post »

110714-a-pigeon-that-I-pass-alas

 

When Suzanne was two, she and John used to watch a TV show with a theme song that went like this: “Stop the pigeon, stop the pigeon, stop the pigeon — now!”

One day we took the train to New York City, and in spite of the fact that Suzanne never saw pigeons where we lived, she took one look at the city’s official bird and started singing, “Stop the pigeon!”

So unlike many people, I have some good feelings associated with pigeons, and I am getting a big kick from the pigeons I photographed near city hall yesterday.

Someone with a sense of humor has decorated the barrier around the construction site for the  new Government Center T stop with pigeon portraiture.

110714-peeking-thru-pigeons

110714-stop-the-pigeon-now

 

Read Full Post »

Fyfe-Day-repertoire-with-frame-cardGreeting card of Meredith Fyfe Day’s “Repertoire with Frame.”

Back in the early 1990s, I worked for Meredith Fyfe Day at Harte-Hanks newspapers, where we whipped into shape tottering stacks of press releases of wildly varying literacy.

That was Meredith’s day job. She was also a working artist. My husband and I have long enjoyed her shows, several of which were at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell when Meredith was the artist in residence.

Recently a friend of hers tagged her on Facebook, which was how I learned that the Lowell Sun wrote an article on her latest artistic venture.

Reporter Debbie Hovanasian writes at the Sun, that Meredith “was recently awarded a grant from the Parker Foundation. The result is ‘Making Art with Artists,’ and Fife Day, who teaches painting at Middlesex Community College, couldn’t be more thrilled.

“During her prior experience teaching art to young students,’I could see the kids blossoming, even the tough kids who said they didn’t like art. I would encourage them and it would light a spark. They’d come back with such enthusiasm, and I fell in love with seeing that change in children,’ she said.

” ‘Making Art with Artists’ is a seven-week summer program offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at no cost at Christ Church United on East Merrimack Street [Lowell, MA] …  with emphasis on fourth- to eighth-graders, she said.

“The program facilitates the teaching of art to under-resourced and under-served children, Fife Day said. The four teachers are experienced, working artists who will make a presentation of their own work to the students in two successive classes. …

“One of the program’s goals is for the children to adapt the techniques of the artists in order to make their own artwork as well as collaborative artwork, using their own and combined imaginations, Fife Day explained. It also aims to give children a positive alternative to high-risk behavior by giving them high quality educational opportunities …

“Fife Day is currently seeking community donors — food or funds — for a lunch program, which she plans to offer free of charge to the budding artists, a cost not covered within the grant.

“The day is structured so that the students work on individual projects in the morning and group projects in the afternoon. There’s also yoga after lunch and free time early morning and late afternoon, during which Fife Day is exploring having musicians and other volunteers willing to donate their time to entertain or supervise the children.

” ‘It’s about giving the children hope and letting them have fun believing in themselves, knowing that the next day can be as much fun as this one,’ she said.” More here.

Photo: Lowell Sun
Art by Meredith Fyfe Day

Read Full Post »

Red sky at night, sailors’ delight.
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.
Volcano in Indonesia, Turner sunsets for years.

OK, I made that last part up. But there really is a connection between volcanoes and sunsets half a world away.

Writes Sindya Bhanoo at the NY Times, “Sunsets painted by the great masters are now providing a type of information their creators could never have imagined: important clues about air pollution.

“Polluted skies result in redder sunsets, and artists captured this redness on the canvas, said Andreas Kazantzidis, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Patras in Greece who was involved in the research.

“He and his colleagues analyzed hundreds of high-quality digital photographs of paintings done between 1500 and 2000. The period included more than 50 large volcanic eruptions around the globe.

“In each painting, they looked at the red-to-green ratio along the horizon of each sunset to estimate the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere at the time.

“When the Tambora volcano in Indonesia erupted in 1815, ash and gas spewed into the atmosphere, producing bright red and orange sunsets in Europe for several years. This is evident in the paintings of the British master J. M. W. Turner.” More.

 At the NY Times, an 1829 landscape by J. M. W. Turner that researchers analyzed for its sunset.

Read Full Post »

On Sunday, the Concord Bookshop had a guest speaker, bird maven David Allen Sibley.

There was a great turnout to hear him and to have him sign the new edition of his guide.

He talked about his painting process and his interest in perception as it applies to people who are convinced they see a bird they are looking for. From what he has read, he says, it’s very much like the phenomenon of witness identification of suspects — many factors may distort what witnesses think they see. (Consider the old guy in the play Twelve Angry Men, for example, who didn’t have his glasses on.)

When asked how 12 people who identified the probably extinct ivory-billed woodpecker in Louisiana in recent years could all be wrong, he tries to explain why it’s likely: They get only a glimpse, they are desperate to see it, they are being paid to find it, etc.

I want to believe they saw it, of course, but I thought his points were interesting.

Also interesting was the way he paints. He has a very good sense of the profile of the bird, having drawn birds since he was seven. So in the wild he looks for identifying markers, sketches in the profile, and adds the marks. Then he paints the bird in the studio. He does a lot of research, but once he has done all he can, he takes only about an hour to do each painting.

Read more at Sibley’s website, here, and at his Facebook page, here.

Below is a bird that a woman in the audience Sunday asked about, the Snowy Owl. The questioner wanted know whether the many Snowy Owls that were sighted around New England this winter would stay. He said that, no, they were already heading back to the Arctic and only came because there were a lot of babies hatched up north this year and not enough food to go around.

Art: David Allen Sibley
Snowy owl

Read Full Post »

Artist Susan Jaworski-Stranc is having a show she’s calling Water Blues at Centro Restaurant and Bar in Lowell. The exhibit, which includes oil paintings and linoleum prints, runs to March 17 at 24 Market St.

If you can get to Lowell on Sunday, Feb 23, there’s a reception where you can meet the artist, 1 pm to 3 pm.

My husband and I have been to a number of art shows in Lowell, which is quite a creative community. Our favorite Lowell artist is a former boss of mine, Meredith Fyfe Day, who held down a newspaper job while she was artist in residence at the Whistler House. I worked for her at the Harte-Hanks community newspaper chain in the early 1990s.

Here’s the intriguing artist statement from Jaworski-Stranc: “I am a printmaker, specializing in the creation of linoleum block prints. After each successive printing of a color, the surface of the block is reduced while at the same time the printing surface is built up with multi-layered colors. Born from one block of linoleum, my relief prints have the nuance and rich textural surfaces of an oil painting.

“Although Picasso coined this method of working, a ‘suicide print,’ I rather think of this printmaking process as emulating the journey of life. While creating my prints, I am never able to re-visit past stages. I can only proceed forward with the acceptance of all good and not so good choices which were mediated and acted upon with the hope and joy of completion.”

When Asakiyume and I met in December at the Worcester Art Museum, there was an exhibit on printmaking that showed what prints looked like at each of the layering stages. Challenging work. I love that Jaworski-Stranc sees the printmaker’s role as accepting each previous stage and working with it. As she says, “The journey of life.” Another good topic for a poem.

Find out more about Susan Jaworski-Stranc here. And thank you, Vyü magazine, for the lead.

Read Full Post »

Back in August, the Ideas section of the Sunday Globe had a short piece by Kevin Hartnett on a robot that creates art. Well, a robot that copies art. It’s a discomforting notion.

“When you watch an artist paint,” writes Hartnett, “individual brush strokes can seem random. It’s often not until close to the very end that the image the painter is after becomes clear. This is doubly true when you watch e-David, the robot painter, at work. e-David (the name stands for ‘Drawing Apparatus for Vivid Image Display’) was created by a team of engineers at the University of Konstanz in Germany. It’s a former welding robot that has been retrofitted to reproduce, brush stroke by brush stroke, existing works of art. The robotic arm has access to five different brushes and 25 colors of paint, and after each dab of paint, it takes a photograph of what it has painted so far. Computer software analyzes the photograph and tells e-David where to place the next brush stroke.

“The strangeness of the process is especially evident when e-David signs the art at the end, beginning by making the dot over the ‘i’ and then writing the rest of its name backwards.” More.

Having recently read an amusing novel about the Gardner heist, The Art Forger, I can’t help thinking that e-David could have quite a career — maybe not fooling any experts but at least making serviceable reproductions.

Photo: Oliver Deussen, University of Konstanz
Painting by e-David, a robot

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: