Monday, April 25, 2011

Doorknobs and Blown Fuses

Doorknobs and Blown Fuses, pencile and ink, 4x4 on steno pad      

What can I say?  I bought eight porcelain doorknobs at an estate sale.  During remodeling I bought some at $50 per set; I can't resist a bargain.  They may appear in future paintings.  My back hurts when I stand straight; I hate pain that suddenly appears for no reason--I may blow a fuse.  Back pain+doorknobs+fuses= drawing; makes perfect sense to me.

The Picasso exhibit is still fresh in my memory.   Yes, I do have good paper but steno pads are useful for grocery lists, pro- and con- lists, sketches, paper airplanes, and fans.

After Picasso

Pitcher in a Striped Shirt?


Saturday, April 16, 2011

I'm Still Following You

Today, I realized that my photo ID does not appear on most of my friends' Google Followers Gadgets.  I believe this happened when my blog died for a while last month.  By the time I managed to resuscitate my blog all traces of me had disappeared from my followers' blogs.  Sorry about that--I haven't been able to fix it; I can't sign up as a new follower and I can't get to settings under "blogs I follow" to work on it.  On my dashboard I actually follow 100+ blogs; I read them all but don't leave comments on most.

So just pretend I'm hanging behind you, looking over your shoulder, reading every word as you type--and probably making suggestions.  (I can read upside-down.)

If you get a new follower, it could be old me--I'm still trying.

This photo is one of several I took for a 2009 blog entry, Arting with Gravity--fun with the camera and a tangerine bag.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Picasso Exhibit at VMFA

VMFA Member Apres Picasso Exhibit, pastel 12x9
Planning is not something I do well, but tickets are required for viewing the Picasso exhibit at VMFA in Richmond--a two-hour drive.  Last week, I decided it was now-or-never and got myself to the museum Thurday at 3 p.m.--one of the extended-hours days.  A friend and fellow member accompanied me--she knows Richmond (I can only recall two previous trips to that city).

Eleven rooms filled with pieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris--almost overwhelming.  I could have used a break half-way through--not allowed.  Nothing compares to seeing paintings and sculpture in person; his joy in creating can almost be felt.  He seemed to slop on the paint in some places and leave the canvas bare in others.  I saw chubby hands, short legs, and long legs.   He created paintings of sculptures and sculptures of paintings; I could not pick a favorite piece; "Woman Throwing a Rock" came close.

We had dinner at the Museum's Amuse restaurant and admired the setting--the chairs (Bertoia?), the lights (Nelson?), the shades on the windows, the tall wine glasses, and the round green flowers on each Saarinen? table.  The pastel above is "after Picasso" and is not a self-portrait; I, of course, wore sensible walking shoes with socks!  This was fun and I'd like to try the style again with acrylics or oil.

A quick tour of the museum revealed large works by Guston (loved it), Stella, Dine, Murray and Twombly.  I'll definitely be returning; I regret that I missed the German Expressionist exhibit and the Chuck Close exhibit.

I was once very close to Picasso's signature.  A friend who'd cleaned out his mother's garage gave me lots of books; among them, Picasso, the Early Years.  Months later, I realized that I had one of 350 copies signed by the artist.  I took a photo of my hand almost touching the signature; then I returned the book.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Moss is Greener

In the Mossy Woods, oil on panel, 16x2              Renamed The Soft Heart

I like the painting/I hate the painting--can't decide. It's a bit maudlin; yet, I suspect Garry Trudeau's Far Side bears are lurking behind the trees. I've read that green should be avoided in paintings, but the moss in my back yard is definitely green.

Three thoughts occurred to me when I was painting (& it's not quite finished). First, everything is/was alive except the figure. Second, my favorite playground was the mossy woods. Third, some of us never got past getting teary-eyed over every injured or dead animal.

Ah. Surely, nothing dies but something mourns"......Byron.

The deer skull was rescued from a local SPCA thrift shop where I volunteered. I bought the figurine from a MD thrift shop (a volunteer there, too) 20 years ago; she reminded me of myself as a child, a shy redhead. She's crudely heavy and sloppily painted. Unlike me, she can look in two directions at once.