Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SMOFA- Award of Merit painting called "Deeply Psychological"

My entry "Lone Man; The Deep Sleep" won an Award of Merit at the Springville Art Museum's Religious Show!!!

One of the curators has taken to telling people it is, "Deeply Psychological" which has started a firestorm of controversy among those who know me personally and are worried about my psychological state.

It is only as "Deeply Psychological" as the Nicean creed's betrayal of the human family and the subsequent rebellion of educated culture. Truth be told the piece is simply symbolic. And while that does lend it a certain air of Mystery, it reads like the plot for Dan Brown's sequel to Angel's and Demons.

Below is a list of my favorites but meanwhile I am offering your choice of chocolate for anyone who can guess my prize for worst piece of art I have ever seen. Anyone?

My pick for top five at the Religious Show:

1) Bryan Kershisnik
Descent from the Cross You gotta ask: Is it a modern response to the Crucifiction?
2) Ortho Fairbanks
Perfect sculpture of Joseph Smith
3) Walter Rane
(Not the one that won!) He had another of Christ raising Lazrus from the dead, Fabulous! The rythm is unstopable, and the light just comes pouring through! And the texture is so gritty because he uses sand paper and scrapes of the paint down to the underpainting, and the light comes pouring through that gritty texture. Stunning! I bet it glows in the dark. Maybe it should have been my #1.
3) Lynn Griffith's
two peices on the Hole in the Rock
4) Annie Henrie
Savior (Annie won an award of merit and sold the feminine partner to this called "Tender Mercies"- but I am gonna cry all day when I see the sold sign on the Savior)
5) Kristi Ringger sculpture.
It's called Jesus and Yes, you can Touch it! So take your kids, and let'er rip, cause it's fun. And thought provoking.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pleine Air Festival

I confess, The competition itself was nerve-wracking. And it was hard to find subjects when everything was so manicured. I tried a study in orange and then froze. Jim got after me and gave a lecture about "thumbnail sketches." (He was just as grumpy as Mr. Folland ever was.) So in desparation I called my dear friend Mary McBride (at 6 am) and asked if she had any kids she would let skip out on school. The result was a fun day in the children's garden for Simone and Peter. We took a ton of pictures and truly they were so cute, even Sandra Rast of Deseret Book fame,

joined in and took some pictures of them. I painted all day and night, cropped a wet painting, framed them and drove in a frenzy to the water tower. And was pleasantly surprised to see Sandra Rast of DB fame, had also painted our adorables. She got the fun one, where the kids were feeding the Koi fish. (The Koi fish that Todd Orchard painted. and traded to me. teehe.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Daily Universe Highlights my Quick Draw.

The quick draw was completely nerve wracking; But all in all the festival was a great success , partially because I sold 13 paintings, but especially because I went home with so many incredible paintings! Todd Orchard did a trade with me, and Brigitte Bize who won an honorable mention, traded me her Sunflowers for a painting of a shady lane in Kamas, which I will miss, but am thrilled to have begun my own collection. I will try to post a picture of them both. I am still ironing out a trade with my choice for Best of Show- Bruce Martin. Meanwhile I should announce that Dana Robb won a free drawing, and is currently chewing over what she should ask me draw.
And surprise surprise, I ended up with this picture documenting the whole event in an article in the Daily Universe.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Point Peine Aire Festival

After three days of crash painting in the visual sugar bowl that is Thanksgiving Point, we submitted our paintings and are waiting for the judge's results. I painted in the quick draw competition, and gained a fan-- and eleven year old conesuer, Jonah, who held my pallete, loaded my pen with ink, and gave the initial squirt from the squirtbottle. He was the cutest little guy who dubbed me, " The Quill Artist." Hmm. I can live with that.

Any way here are a few pictures from the beginning of the week-- My subjects for the competition. If you want to see how they turn out, I guess you'll have to come to the show. One of the other Artist Sandra Rast, piggy backed on our set up with Simone and Peter. I suppose we will see those two on the wall at DB sometime soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

We had a fabulous 2 days painting at Sallie's house, especially climaxing with a visit to Gary Smith's Studio. I want to bite something just saying that.He invited us to come to the plein aire festival at Thanksgiving Point. Apparently he has some hand in pulling it together. He showed us his current Plein aire paintings so rich with Pallet work. I asked him about his furrowed fields; So unique! He said it came from his ancestor paintings, with the ancestors slowly disappearing. But he pulled out paintings before they disappeared, the humans were so suggestive, almost cubist/impressionist! His colors are so vibrant and transition so well. Amazing. I asked him about the Joseph Smith Work and he pulled out a recent portrait made from the Community of Christ photo, and he apparently had worked with Ron Rommig to do the painting. :) But I really meant the red Carthage paintings, and so he pulled that portfolio out and told me BYU studies had just put it on their cover, I said, "that was my husband!" and the fun part was Gary remembered him! Then he brought out the unprinted pieces in the series, and it was so beautiful with lost and found edges, and so much like the forensics one I had tried to paint (and failed,) and I couldn't help crying but felt pretty good about my goal not to sob, (but failed.) To which he said, well if you are going to cry over it, I'll give you one of these, and he passes out prints to everyone in the room, of his sketch of the martyrdom painting. SWEET SWEET MAN!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ryan S. Brown

For my headpainting class, we do a report on a contemporary artist. Rather than sifting through somebody's marketing on the web, I decided to interview Ryan S. Brown so that I could ask him stuff beyond what we hear in class. He was kind enough to make an appointment with me- which became more and more embarrassing as I surfed through his stuff on line and saw how much his pieces sold for.
He's in galleries from CA to London. Right now he is doing his second one man show in Jackson. He has a list of awards as long as your arm.
None the less, He has a school, The Center for Academic Study & Naturalist Painting (CAS), in Springville So I guess he doesn't mind talking to prospective students so much.

I thought I'd record the interview here in preparation for my report for Newbold's class.
Q:After a Graduating from a University you went to Europe in search of "Academic" training. What's the difference?
A: (Paraphrased) I took headpainting at BYU 8 times. Seegmiller, barret, barksdale Etc. Etc. And looking around me, in that context, I thought I was pretty good. And that's what everyone else told me. I don't remember what took me to Florence the first time; but when I got there I was quite arrogant-- I went into the drawing class thinking I was hot stuff. But after the first three days I was quite frustrated. They were not very impressed with what I was doing, and continued to find problems in my drawing. After three days of this I realized "they want me to be perfect! Can that even be done?" After 1 week I realized, they are using all the same words I have heard before-- value, form, volume etc. But they are talking about something completely else. They wanted me to see, and it was like taking the blinders off, I was learning to see, in the same way that it has been taught since the 19th century. When I came back and taught at BYU, I would take my students to the basement of the MOA to look at 19th century drawings. And they would say, we don't draw that way anymore. It isn't because we don't, It isn't because we choose not to, It's because we can't. We have lost a visual literacy that was there in the past centuries. Now the Met in NY is proud to have 54,000 guest per year in a city of 8 million. Where the Salon des beaux Artes used to have millions attend.

Q:What did you find in Europe that you couldn't find here?

Q:?Do you make multiple studies before you paint?
A: He always does 4-5 different studies for each painting. If I remember right, he starts with a line study, just planning design. Then a Value study, working out all those complications. Then a color study in oil at the site. This is very loose very large and he completes it in an hour. Niki, one of his teachers explained that was so that he could then mix large quantities of the colors in advance of doing the work, and not have to stop the painting process to mix more colors. He also takes a photograph. Then he will get ready to paint, surrounding himself with each of the studies. He says, each study has it's own strength, you have to know the quality of each study and bring it to your finished work in order t have a solid piece of work.

Q:What motivated you choice of lighting? Do you always use cool light?
A: He said he always paints with Natural light. Artificial lights are very harsh and Real skin should be painted in real light. That is why he uses a natural Medium rather than Synthetic. Synthetics always end up making things look sick. (Q:"What's a Natural medium for example?")Maroger or walnut or linseed oil. Maroger is just black something and something else.

A:Portraiture can not be completed in a 3 hour sitting. There is no point in taking a class that meets daily for 3 hours, churning out a new head each day. In such a context, you can not develop any skills that you will use in painting a portrait. Portrait painting is a slow meticulous process. (Pointing to Jenny) I took 11 weeks 5 days a week with the model for that painting. It was very challenging because the head swivels on three axis. Portraiture must be done carefully, meticulously in order to achieve accuracy necessary. That is how Jeremy Lipking, Gotleib John Collins, do it. It is silly to do it otherwise. I paint with these men frequently. There is a literacy to art. In meeting a new artist we can tell if they have studied this way through the way they speak.
He wrote down a couple of things for me to check out:
A speach from the president of ARC calling for a return to classical painting.
* A book called, "The practice & Science of Drawing" by Harold Speed
*Grand Central Academy
*Florence Academy of Art
*Angel Academy of Art

Friday, March 26, 2010

Artists date with Animators

After a long day, or too much talk about Obama care, there is nothing better then animators. They come up with the best art! Don't think less of me, please. But honestly! where can you find more engaging, thought provoking, inspiring stuff?
I think a few of these guys are alums from the BYU art dept, so I can't help but feel a certain completely underserved kinship with them.

Anyway- best Artist date ever, go check it out.Avalanche software Art Blog

Sunday, March 7, 2010

All About Eve

Jim and I went to hear my mom speak about Eve at the Lion House a while ago. The speach itself was pretty incredible, but particularly this jaw dropping quote from Joseph Smith. I've included the whole context and source.

The Words of Joseph Smith by Ehat and Cook P. 63

"9February 1841 (Tuesday).
McIntire Minute Book

Joseph said in answer to Mr stout that Adam Did Not Comit sin in [e]ating the fruits for God had Decred that he should Eat & fall--But incomplyance with the Decree he should Die-only he should Die was the saying of the Lord therefore the Lord appointed us to fall & also Redeemed us--for where sin a bounded Grace did Much more a bound --for Paul says Rom--5.10 for if-- when were enemys we were Reconciled to God by the Death of his Son, much more, being Reconciled, we shall be saved by his Life--

This report of the Prophet's remarks at the Nauvoo Lyceum is here published for the first time.
Hosea Stout"

Love it! Meanwhile I have been painting these pieces for the front of her audio Download for Deseret Book.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thetis and Peleus

I've been watching Joseph Campbell lately. This story of Thetis and Peleus was so interesting I had to transcribe it. The plate he used was prettier, but I couldn't find it on the web so, oh well. I also included a wood cutting of the image. But here comes the cool part- Joseph Campbell:

This beautiful thing is from Athens 5th century red figured ceramic piece. And it shows, a woman initiating a man. Actually in marriage the woman is the initiator. She’s the one closer to nature, and what it’s all about. He’s just coming in for , ah, um, illumination. This becomes especially interesting when we read who these two are. This is Thetus and Peleos. This is the mother and this is the father of Achilles. So it is a marriage. Where one becomes one member of a twofold being. Thetus is the beautiful nymph with whom Zeus fell in love. Then he learned that her son would be greater than his father, so he thought better of the relation ship and withdrew. And saw to it that she should marry a human husband. And so Peleos is her human husband and she is a godess.

The text tells us that when he went to take her in marriage, she transformed herself into a lion, into fire, into water, but he conquered her. Well, that’s not what you see here at all.

She has power that is symbolized here in serpent, and in lion. Now let me repeat, the basic story of the sense of these two symbols.
the serpent sheds its skin to be born again, As the moon sheds it’s shadow to be born again and the serpent therefore like the moon is a symbol of lunar consciousness. That is to say life and consciousness, life energy and consciousness, incorporated in a temporal body....

"Let us see now what is happening to the youth. One serpent is biting him here between the eye, opening the eye of inner vision, that sees past the display of the field of time and space,

The second serpent biting under the ear opening the ear to the song, of the music of the spheres; the music, the voice of the universe. The third serpent is biting the heal, the bite of the Achilles tendon, the bite of death. dying to ones little ego and becoming a vehicle of the knowledge of the transcendent-- becoming transparent to transcendence. That was the sense of the initiations that we were reading about. The woman becomes a vehicle at the time of her menstruation. And the man in his ceremonial is a vehicle as well. And so the world of art.
The two hands, now this is important- good and evil together. yin yang cycle. The Chinese. The mystical dimension is beyond good and evil. The ethical? dimension is in the field of good and evil."

One more tiny note. For this I am going to turn to the Venus of Laussel.

And Joseph Campbell's commentary:“This is from a shelf in France called Laussel. And It’s a very important and suggestive figure. This little Venus of laussel is holding in her hand, in her right hand, elevated, a bison horn, with 13 vertical strokes, that’s the number of nights between the first crescent and the full moon. The other hand is on the belly. What is suggested, we don’t have any words of writing from this period, What is suggested is a recognition of the equivalence of the lunar and menstrual cycles.
This would be the first inkling we have of recognition of counterparts between the celestial and earthly rhythms of life.
Alexandar Marshak published a formidable volume called “Roots of civilization” where he deals with a number of staves or staffs of this kind, which are notched and he has studied a number of these with a microscope and finds that the notches were not made by the same instrument at the same time on any one piece.
He says these are probably time factored counts, counts many of them suggesting very strongly counts of the lunar cycle. So may be out of women's concern for this rhythm that they will have recognised in their own bodies, that we come to mathematical and even astronomical reckoning."

So, I can't help wondering here, if the snake is associated with the lunar 28day cycle, is it possible that the association or symbol of the serpent beguiling Eve, is really the physical purpose of the female body, "over course of time" suggesting or "beguiling" the woman. For heaven's sake people, there are somethings daddy doesn't explain to his daughter, but he trusts that her body will explain it to her. You are beguiled because your body starts growing up from the innocence and naivety of childhood to the functionality of adulthood. You are beguiled when you realise there is more to do all day then sit in a garden living pablum cause everything is taken care of by mommy and daddy; At some point you want to grow up and try to do the amazing things mommy and daddy did. And to do any less is childish and selfish.

And so what we see illustrated in this story is the union of our physical nature complete with impulse and desire that the catholics so hated, bridled with our eternal purpose, our destiny, our spiritual force. We see this concept of "tangible as man's" revealed by Joseph, refuting and crushing the catholic dogmas of celibacy, original sin, carnal nature etc, a concept that brought him continual persecution ultimately expressed in King Follet, the testimony of which would have him killed by thousands; best expressed to us through a metaphor about leaving home, best expressed as a myth, bringing together a physical scientific event and imbuing it with eternal purpose and context, best expressed in a story that could not die in Carthage jail, albeit mangled and battered by misinterpretations of men. Those pathetic interpretations would continue to fall short of purpose, and fail, leading to an atheistic society. The story would continue to rise above it all, offering eternal purpose for our physical strivings. We need an Adam and Eve constellation! I love this story!

Friday, March 5, 2010

James Christensen

Tonight, I was lucky enough to go to a lecture/presentation by James Christensen at the Bridge Academy in Provo. It was so stinken fun, better than a night at the movies. He just showed slide after slide and told you everything he loved, from his influences to his own work.

He mentioned that in school mixed media was all the rage, yet he was interested in the northern Renaissance artists, Dourer, Hieronymus Bosch, Bruegel, being into the northern Renaissance artists, you can totaly see the influence but, man I love what he does with it.

He keeps a sketchbook (and draws in church.) He uses pen, because he's left handed and tends to smudge everything in pencil. He just comes up with picture after picture of these bazaar combinations, fishes and faces and leashes and banners, messenger's, warriors, gardens and walls, draping clothing, hinges and skeletons. As he said you have to draw "more than what you see." But these scriblings alllow him to be random enough that he comes up with some stuff fun enough to paint.

I asked him about how he chooses his mediums, especially when he starts incorporating the gold leaf and the crakle etc.
He said acrylic is often the way to go in illustrating since it can dry on the way to the post office. But that it has certain limitations. That William Whitaker encouraged him to start using oil since it would allow him to use glazing and some more techniques like that. So he paints as far as is usefull in acrylic and then (much like what J Kirk Richards described,) he finished in oil using glazes, and I immagine "painting up the lights" with direct painting. The crackle comes from using a quick drying varnish over a slow drying varnish- It's Lefranc et Bourgeois. J Kirk Richards mentioned that he had gone to James Christensen's workshops, and it was nice to hear a second explanation of this technique. It also helps me feel slightly vindicated, since Brother Barret seems to hate this influence. So back to work, hopefully getting closer to the aesthetic that happens in our dreams. (Speaking with the imperial 'we'.)

Friday, February 26, 2010

As part of the Work shop I took with J. Kirk Richards we went to see his divine exhibit at the Carriage House in Provo. (I think it is about 1st East and almost 6th South) He has all these new sculptures of angels, and then some large peices of the nativy. But My favorite in the exhibit, I cannot describe to you, for fear of ruining the pure rapture of seeing it unprepared-- an experience I cannot encourage strongly enough. I will say it was 12 feet tall and soooo simple. Wow. Hope you go.

Meanwhile at the workshop he did one of these choir scenes, (It was a commision for a portrait of somebody's children.) He showed how he put gold leaf on in his paintings then glazes over it slightly, then repaints the lights to push them back up. Well true confession it's not all that easy Because I tried it out,and put on way to much glaze and have to go take his class to learn to do it right. Ah, genious. At least you can pay to be around it.

I created these florals with true "Mormon stone work" for Profiles in Springville to sell at their Atlanta trade show, the fun part about liscencesure is that I get to keep the original. :)

Old oil Paintings

Among others,

I have one especially dear friend with mental illness. Last year our relationship became tumultuos due to a particularly intense manic. When it got to the point where talking made things worse and I found myself bursting into tears infront of strangers, It occured to me that this was a perfect time for a painting trip. Knowing that BYU studies was looking for a painting of the Mountain Meadows Massacre site, I used that as an excuse to throw aside all responsabilities and head south to scout out a pianting site there.

Along the way I read Ron Walkers fascinating book, Massacre at Mountains Meadows.
The dust jacket begins "On September 11, 1857, a band of Mormon militia, under a flag of truce, lured unarmed members of a party of emigrants from their fortified encampment and, with their Paiute allies, killed them. More than 120 men, women, and children perished in the slaughter."

Being a person of Faith, often requires something the Psychologist Jeffery Schwarts called "directed attention" , a method used to overcome Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is a technique used to look past a "cognition" that can become disabling, in order to focus on the whole context of cognitions that work together as part of a succesfully functioning life.
I took tons of pictures there; It was a truely beautiful place. Ironically, I ended up with several other paintings, but never quite got to sit down and finish the one on Mountain Meadow, which is, I suppose a note to self: Just to round off the collection, I ought to do a quick one of the musago? creek.These are a couple of my watercolor landscapes from the last year or so. The Cabin is of course, The Summerhays Cabin at the mouth of Smith Moorhouse Canyon

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Old Crows

I have a photoshop class where I was assigned to do a new rendition of Pontormo's drawing "the three graces, (yes faith hope charity. Sometimes faith gets set aside for beauty.) I'll include the original so you can see what I'm talking about. Anyway, forgive me this somewhat synical look at the 3 graces, inspired by very real events of the last few years.

These are the drawings from Justin Taylor's head painting class at BYU. He hammered accuracy which meant we were drawing forever instead of painting, but you can see I improved a lot. As he says about his method, "If I do it like this, I can get a likeness every time. Unless I get interrupted."

The last two are studies for commission for Clint and Erin Lee's kids. I am very excited about these, although picture of the older daughter had a tragic mishap in the bottom of my portfolio bag. It's good we were planning on oil paintings.