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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Strange Ground.

I am not going to start this until I open the bottle of French wine I bought today.  Rhone Valley...ooh la la.

Now. This weather is just...delicious.  Spring in Louisiana means temperatures in the 80's, and today it was close to 90.  I am so happy to see the sun, and even happier to feel the heat.  I feel like those plants that start to wake back up this time of year.  Hello, canna lilies and elephant ears!

A few years ago I created a body of work called Strange Ground.  One of the foundations for that body of work was regeneration--specifically, the regeneration of the plants that appear to disappear completely, such as the tropicals I mentioned above, banana trees, bulbs, and so on.  There is something mysterious about the time between their absence and presence--a strange ground indeed.  And what a beautiful metaphor for the lapses of time and space that comprise our memories and the dynamic of our relationships.

Alright.  Enough waxing poetic. I just completed a commissioned painting for a Chicago residence that was inspired by a piece from that series.  Voila.

Strange Ground II: 50" x 50" oil, charcoal, graphite, and oil crayon on canvas

Now.  I have exactly two weeks to finish up my existing commitments before the movers arrive to take it all away to Austin.  I thought it would be nice to take as little stuff as possible.  With a few exceptions, I love getting rid of things.  Tossing them out.  I practically got high while cleaning out my closet.  But being just a teeny bit OCD kind of works for me.  Anyway, I thought I would try to use all of my blank canvases before the move.  Why?  I don't know. But I thought this up and simply cannot say no to a challenge. 

In other, more exciting news, I found my new studio!  It is located downtown, has very high ceilings, excellent ventilation, and is about five times the square footage of my current studio space...woohoo!!!  What can happen in there?  Only good things.  And it is only half a mile from where we will be living, so I can walk to work!  Quaint.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Steven Seinberg

I am frantically trying to stretch and prime canvases while staying away from the bees and wasps that are flying in and around my studio.  I have the doors open to limit my exposure to fumes, so they keep coming inside.  I know they want to sting me, and possibly kill me, which is making me crazy since I am terrified of bees and wasps.  In any case, I am grateful that no one is around to watch me behave a total spaz.  Today I have chased one with a broom and accidently sprayed poison on my arm.  Nice.  So much for keeping away from the fumes. Anyway, enough about that.

I want to share the work of one of my favorite contemporary abstract painters, Steven Seinberg.  He is having an exhibition in New Orleans at Soren Christensen Gallery, and I truly hope to make it down to see the show in person.  You can see the whole show online by clicking the link above, but here are images of a few pieces from his show.

Center of Rest II
oil and graphite on canvas  36 x 50

WOW.  I know this is breathtaking in person.  Love the hint at a horizon line that completely falls apart as your eye arrives at the thin gauzey shapes that are sliding down the surface.  Sublime.  And divine.

oil and graphite on canvas  30 x 30

This is another one of my favorites from this exhibition.  I love the way these primal marks are shrouded in a hazy gray.  It reminds me of how it feels to keep quiet when you really want to scream.  Or worse.

oil and graphite on canvas  80 x 64

Beautiful. This seems almost magical.  It takes me to a place that is almost innocent or pure, like the instant you awaken from sleep, the moment before you are completely conscious.  Before life hits you like a ton of bricks in the form of awareness.