In honor of Memorial Day…The Exodus installation, from 2010, three feet high by 30 feet wide.
A ten-panel painting, organized like a free-form graphic novel, exploring the emotional connections between ordinary people and historic events, inspired by the Cuban Missile crisis, The Bay of Pigs, and the US Service men and women who served at the Larson Airfare base.
‘I paint my own reality.’ – Frida Kahlo
Inspiring me today…okay, MOST every day. And not just because I LOVE parrots, monkeys, flowers, skeletons, idols or jungles, either….
FRIDA!!! Not only was she the most amazing confessional painter of her day, but she lived life on her own terms. Righteous chick!
Tomorrow, I’ll instruct my students on the tradition of self-portraiture.
One of the really cool things about the practice is being able to compare how you change both physically and in your thinking. For example, in my self-portraits from the Epic series, Regarding Parabellum, I hold a gun in one hand and give my audience stink-eye. That’s 2009.
Fast forward to Splashdown, from the Migration series, finished this year. Both are highly political. But in Regarding Parabellum I was considering historic/philosophic positions to war. Now my work is much more personal. The new self-portrait commemorates Toni, who entertained the kids interned in La Trampa by dancing with a skeleton. This very personal story is conflated with the larger story of Mariel and the subsequent ‘wet-foot, dry-foot’ policies which resulted in countless of Cuban refugees being denied entry into the US.
Last week it was Salvador Dali’s birthdate. No question, where-ever his spirit is, it is raising cane!
Are you a fan like me or into surrealism too? Then check these vids out!
Dali on What’s My Line?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXT2E9Ccc8A
Dali in a chocolate commercial” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3xvcn-gDNM
Dali On a TV talk-show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AozSUIICbPc
Today I mentioned to a student that Davidson Galleries is a little dangerous for my pocketbook. It’s no wonder my husband holds on to my wallet whenever I take students there on field trip! Here’s another of the romantic prints that I collected at Davidson’s. This is a lithograph by Ben Shahn–I love how the two lovers merge into one field– is that a profile of one or the 3/4 view of the other? Do they share a single torso? And then, there’s the fact the genders aren’t exactly clear. I collected the print when my heart and soul were so battered it seemed love would never enter my life again. That’s why I HAD to have it. As a reminder that love is real. If life couldn’t show it to me, great art could!
My trust in art and divine providence eventually brought me the love of my life.
But it’s thanks to Davidson Galleries ( https://www.facebook.com/davidsongalleries/ ) that I get to wake up to this treasure every morning.
This week I confessed to my students that deep philosophical issues ground art practice. Listening to Lee Ufan speak about the Moon Jar, and how purposeful imperfection opens up the experience of art reminded me that this bridge between the ineffable and the material is one we all share. I’ve been embracing imperfection in my recent work. I’ve purposefully been stretching a translucent ground for my paintings so the repurposed discolored stretcher bars can be appreciated.
I am so thankful today for Chris Rollins of Dick Blick Art Materials. I’ve known Chris for eons, have some of his gorgeous prints in my collection, and have depended on him for advise on art supplies since his days at Utrecht. I am so happy to say he is still helping artists out now. Every term he comes out to the campus hauling the kits over to the studios so that the SCC art students can get acquainted with what they need for the term. Not only are kits heavily discounted, but Chris usually brings them goodies, and this term he brought gift cards on top of the other freebies! Generosity upon generosity.
I’m thankful too for Michael Rives from Artist & Craftsman Supply. He travels even further to meet with my students and talk to them about their kits and supplies. He brings the students goodies too. I think we all acted like locusts descending on the huge stash of Golden paint samples brought in, and don’t be surprise to see everyone sporting buttons all up and down the hill. I mean…who doesn’t love buttons?! Michael also always shows a lot of heart reaching out to our students!
In this day and age when everyone seems out to get and never to give I am especially grateful for both of these corporate sponsors who extend a friendly and generous hand out to a whole new crop of emerging artists.
Daughters of Immigration opens tomorrow. My gratitude to the incredibly talented Blanca Santander. Not only is she an amazing painter and illustrator, but also a highly creative curator as well. It’s not often so much talent is concentrated in one person!
Thank you also to Ken Matsudaira, the director at the M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery. He was at the campus bright and early to help the artists drop off work and then hung the show all by his lonesome…all during spring vacation. Now THAT’S dedication and heart, folks! Ken, you are an angel!
Learn more about the exhibit and my fellow artists at: http://seattlecentral.edu/artgallery/currentshow.php