I stopped by Strathmore to see what art show they had up a few weeks ago. Interestingly the exhibit was about home, which I have been thinking a lot about. There were so many artists represented and they all had different interpretations of the theme. There were all sorts of different art media and techniques: sculpture, painting, printmaking, drawing, abstract, representational, conceptual. It just showed how different everyone’s experience of home is.
Some topics involved with home were immigration, natural disaster, the suburbs, family, and familiar things like coffee. It was clear that there was a divide between artists. Some seemed more anxious about home while others gave the impression of it being a happy place. I think the idea of home can be complicated. There are so many things that happen when you’re growing up both inside and outside your control. I was happy to see such a diverse representation of the subject.
Moving clockwise from the top left image work is titled and made by: Sea Rise by George Lorio, Old Fashioned Letter by Stefanie Stark, Marla; At Home in America by Lulu Delacre, My Heart by Kimberley Bursic, Ritual by Kelly Bell, Bird Polyptic: Thrush, Mockingbird, Nuthatch, Wren by Liz Aukamp LaGarde, Trapped Inside This House by Emily Shepardson.
I went through my parent’s photo collection and painted a number of family portraits, the two below being the last ones. I was drawn to the light in the images and the expressions. I like that people were relaxed. Looking through family photos allowed me to see interesting moments and a lot of moments that I did not remember or had not experienced.
I think I’m at the end of my portrait spree for now and the use of my parent’s photo collection. I will have to see where inspiration takes me next.
“In Shadow” 2020
“Happy Moment” 2019
One of the great things about where I’m living is how close it is to DC and DC’s museums. I’ve been making a habit of visiting the National Gallery and the Smithsonian. Additionally I’ve been doing some reading on art history. Mostly, about the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.
The National Gallery had exhibits on photography and on pastel drawing. The photos displayed were a little later then the daguerrotype, discovered in 1939. They were on paper, instead of silver plates. It’s still fun to see all those people in bowler hats and the landscapes that photographers were drawn to. Also interesting to note that several photographers in the show were painters.
The pastels displayed from the end of the 19th century (and a few from the 20th century) and some of the paintings from the museums permanent collection were fun to look at too. And Degas and Manet create such engaging subjects. I’m assuming they used photography. And of course it was fun to see the museum’s permanent collection as well.
I’m not sure how all of this is influencing my art except to say I feel less guilty about using so many photos. I think I will be sticking with portraiture for awhile.
Recently I’ve been trying to figure out what to do for another series. It’s been hard to come up with ideas so I’ve been carrying around my camera and taking photos. Here is some of what I have.
In this past year I have been drawn to painting my friends and family. I paint from photos. I think I like them because they connect me to past moments. That is why I like the snap shot instead of an official looking portrait.
I am currently working on a double portrait of an aunt and cousin of mine. For me it’s nostalgic. It’s from a visit we had when I was a child. I found it looking through old photos. I don’t remember what was going on at the time but my connection to the people in the portrait draws me in.
Crocuses outside my house.
Spring takes its time
Warm days appear in cold months
The light changes
The sun shines later in the day
In slow motion the earth thaws
Nature gets noisier
Spring takes its time
The first sounds seem so loud in the quiet
And then it’s here
And you’ll swear you didn’t see it coming
When did the flowers grow?
When did the frogs start chirping?
You never paid attention
Hey! Just got back from a great trip to Santa Fe. I saw the currents new media main exhibit, meow wolf, a band that I really like and was not expecting to see, and tried a number of coffee shops and bars with my friend Ben. Santa Fe was definitely worth the trip. I’ve only included a few images from my sketch book here, a photo of the concert my friend and I were at, and then some photos of installations from Meow Wolf. I’ve got to say that airports are great places to draw in. Enjoy!
Something That Must Be Shared
When light shines, it expands
I have seen it wash over dark places
I have seen things go from silhouettes to full blown colors
So bright and expressive that my mind and heart burst
I could not contain sunlight, only reflect it
Something that must be shared
Like love and laughter
Like tears and sadness
Something that illuminates how we’re human
(Dedicated to Joanne Osterman)
So as I said I’ve been working with some screen printing. The top image is the same that I worked with for a series on paper. The image is of connecticut in Dupont. The other is of people I took a photo of in the metro. It may or may not be done. I’m hoping to have a show with these works at some point in the future. I just need to find a venue…maybe in DC.
I’m still working with screen printing and scenes from DC. This is the first of a number or panels I have on the scene. I’m finding that the way I doodle and collect images in my sketch book is coming out on this work. It’s fun to see it at a larger scale.