Thursday, September 27, 2012

There is no poetry where there is only facility.  The knowable optical world is not art when it is the culled unmediated transfer of visual reality.  Art is not biopsy; it is alchemy.  It is a rip in the seam of the other world, where a purer reality leaks out, intentionally or not.  An artist is someone who can give that leak shape.

                                                        -   Brian Kershisnik

I love this quote-   I have always found "visual reality" that is so abundant in Mormon art so obnoxious.   It made an easy target for disdain;  But as I've grown up a little and begun to look at art outside mormonism,  I discovered this larger dilema-  My watercolors are pure play- no realism.  Where my oils are neither play nor realism.  They are that alchemy that Brian Kershisnic is talking about,  not even a visual reality at all.  I almost feel guilty painting something so removed from what art is supposed to be.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wrestling Eve? Meet St. Augustine the wrestler.(Warning: Adult themes)

[Warning: some quoted content is rated PG or PG-13]

"Woman  is not created in the image of god"

Wow!  This from the Saint who took it upon himself to rewrite the first chapter of Genesis, and define Women for centuries.

Recently a friend  chided me for idealizing Eden, calling it wrestling the scriptures.

Rather than hotly responding, "Augustine did the wrestle!"  I though I would quote wickepedia. to my audience here. Some things should not be forgotten.

[FYI:  this is after he abandonned his 11 year mistress and offspring, to "convert"]

WikiPedia Says:

[edit]Views on Women

Augustine's view of sexual feelings as sinful impacted his view of women. His beliefs on this issue were so extreme that he considered a man’s erection to be sinful because it did not take place under his conscious control. Rather than resolve his internal struggle with his own sexuality, he blamed women for being "stimulating." His solution was to place controls on women to limit their ability to influence men: “Thus the woman, but not the man, should veil herself to prevent her from causing this sinful response in the male.[132]

Augustine viewed women not only as threatening to men, but also as intellectually and morally inferior:

“It is the natural order among people that women serve their husbands and children their parents, because the justice of this lies in (the principle that) the lesser serves the greater . . . This is the natural justice that the weaker brain serve the stronger. This therefore is the evident justice in the relationships between slaves and their masters, that they who excel in reason, excel in power.[133]

“Flesh stands for the woman,” he said, “and the spirit for the husband…”[134]

"He concluded that 'the serpent, which represents the enticement to disobedience to God and the preference for selfish desires, first approached Eve, because as a woman she had less rationality and self-control and was closer to the ‘lower’ or female part of the soul…"[135]

"Adam, on the other hand, was equated with the higher, superior part of the human soul. In fact, his choice to eat the forbidden fruit along with his wife was viewed by Augustine as “an act of kindly companionship, lest she be left alone outside paradise”[136]

"In other words, Augustine believed that sin entered the world because man—the spirit—did not exercise proper authority over the woman—the flesh."[137]

[edit]Influence on the Role of Women in the Church

The idea that women cannot lead, teach or be a witness.... .... rests largely on two sources, Roman law, and the views of the early church fathers--one of the most influential being St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo.....[139]

[Augustines views as Later codified:]
‘Woman’ signifies ‘weakness of mind’. In everything a wife is subject to her husband because of her state of servitude. Woman is not created in the image of God. Wives are subject to their husbands by nature. 

Wikipedia concludes:
The laws and traditions founded upon St. Augustine's views of sexuality and women continue to exercise considerable influence over church doctrinal positions regarding the role of women in the church:[141] Women and men in the Western Christian tradition have suffered for a millennium and a half from the ways Augustine’s views on these matters have been treated as normative."[142]

Your thoughts? 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rachel conquers Spring City

Spring City Plein Air Competition
Knowing that Rachel's talent and enthousiasm,  I pulled her out of school in the middle of the day. 
(Don't tell.) The drive to Spring city from our house is one hour of stunning scenes like these.  It felt like driving through a Michael Workman world. We arrived very inspired to paint.

We'll skip the roaring traffic, sunburnt hours, spilt paint, dirt and rain in the paint, and just tell how it ended.
Before delivering our paintings, We ran into George Hanrahan, who gave Rachel some pointers on her painting, suggesting she increase her values.  So we parked in a downpour next to Steve McGinty, all of us adding final touches inside our steamy cars.

After working very hard, and knowing that her painting  had turned out well Rachel declared the day funner than Lagoon. At which point I carefully took her painting and flipped it face down into my open pallet of oil paint. We're still wondering if Steve McGinty could hear our screams.

Luckily were able to clean it all up , no harm done.  And as I reached to place  her newly cleaned painting in the frame, Rachel says fearfuly, "not over the pallette, mom."

Rachel painted some roadside sheep
I chose some rose hips
"The Sacred Seed is the substance thereof"
 My goal for the competition was to build my "brand"  amongst all the other artists.
So I was delighted when David Erickson commented to another artist
that my painting (above) was one of the few that held their own soul
instead of trying to be typical Plein Air landscapes.
Delighted especially to discover  He is the owner of my dream gallery.

Proud artist

After delivering our paintings we went in the restroom 
and discovered our matching elbows covered in paint
We returned the last day to discover Rahel's mentor, nationaly famous George Hanrahan, had purchased Rachel's  piece.
Rachel's first red dot

owner and artist
Rachel studying the master.

After the  awards are named the participants can go tour the local artists homes.  It is so fun to see the art in studio,  it feels like you have really hit the jackpot to see Kathy Peterson's work in her divinely unique home.  It all comes together,  her frames, taste, style, subjects, personality.  Her dog.

Rachel had a constant barage of compliments on her success,  from some of the most reknowned artists of Utah,  Lee Udall Benion, M'Lisa Paulsen, Doug Fryer, Eric Thompson, and  here she is with Randal Lake and George Hanrahan.
And this was the coolest studio of all time.
 Look at how  worn the step of that threshold is.  Beautiful!
Entering Randal Lake's cabin/studio.   The walls are covered in framed pieces,  complimented by other absurdities like a buffalo head, player piano, pot bellied stove, antique furniture, crazy green chair, bathroom under the stair, etc. etc.

did you catch the red wire candalabra hanging from the ceiling?

Classic quilted antique beds upstairs where their family stays for events like this.
Candlabra profussion in every window.
I think there are 8 paintings on that easle.  And the table is swimming in magazine articles feature Randal.

 Look at that stove wedged between the door and window. And a kitchen table to the left holds enough pasta and other staples to survive a weekend painting trip.  I  love how it just oozed with a flagrant disregard for all the niceties of polite home decore.  Just hard core art.
This is the front door- a caricature of the artist reigning in his shoulder angel and demon, a tiny plaquard  in french welcoming the artist, and 63. Perfect.

One last stop before we left town,  DAS cafe, a german family runs this little european greasy  spoon.  They hang a sign that says  "never trust a skinny cook"  and between  potato salad and sausage, you won't be skinny either. Their overflow of customers are seated in the empty historic theatre next store.  We shared a kraut burger, and didn't have to eat ever again.

Bottom Line-  We'd like to invite you to the Spring City plein air competition to see what Rachel paints next year. Mark your calendar.  It's only 360 days away.