Friday, October 1, 2010

Oct. 1


Pastel Society Exhibit
Mable House
Oct. 8 - Nov. 10

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6: Acrylic in "B/W" New Artist Sergio Decoster

Artist: Sergio Decoster
Title: Naturaleza Minimalist IV
Year: 2009
Size: 80 x 80
Medium: mixto sobre lienzo [sobre lienzo = on canvas]
Price: 900 Eur

I discovered this artist by googling famous acrylic paintings since that is your current medium of choice. I found an interesting, brief article comparing acrylic painting to art painting. You may have known this, but I didn't: "artists can add a gel medium to acrylic paint to enhance its texture."

Anyhow, from this article, I followed a link to "Examples of Acrylic paintings," where I saw this artist:
Sergio Decoster.

He's a young artist in Spain. What struck me about his acrylic works is how dichromatic they appear--and we know from your experiences how hard those distinctions are to make. I really liked several of his images in a series called Naturaleza Minimalista, including 78 paintings. I've included some of my favorites below.

Name: Sergio Decoster
Born: 1975
Location: Oviedo-Girona, Spain
Training: Self-trained expressionist painter
Artistic Activity: Semi-pro
Recognition level: Mid-career artists
Descriptive Tags: Acrylic paintings, brown, landscape art, representational

Title: Matorral Empordanes II [Matorral = Thicket]
Year: 2009
Size: 81 x 100 cm
Medium: Acrilico sobre lienzo
Price: $1500.00 Eur

Title: Claro en el Bosque (Translation: Clearing in the woods)
Year: 2009
Size: 100 x 100 cm
Medium: Acrilico sobre lienzo
Price: Not for sale

Title: Valle
Year: 2009
Size: 60 x 60 cm
Medium: Acrilico sobre lienzo
Price: $500 Eur

Title: El Refugio del Silencio
Year: 2009
Size: 60 x 60 cm
Medium: Acrilico sobre lienzo
Price: $500 Eur

What I think is interesting:

  • The success in technique with the color
  • The use of "dripping" in the images
  • The realistic trees in his series versus the more "cartoonish" ones
  • How completely different his other series are

National Juried Exhibit
Mable House
August 21-Sept. 28

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

June 4: Abstracts With Hidden Pictures? Considering Kandinksy

I've only heard the name Kandinsky; I'm not familiar with his works, but I find them really interesting. I'm basically going to copy some of images and texts from a  review by Magdalena Dabrowski on The Glyphs site.  She describes Kandinsky's (his first name was Wassily!) compositions as "the culmination of his efforts to create a 'pure painting' that would provide the same emotional power as a musical composition"

I've picked two for us to consider.

Title: Composition IV
Completed: 1911

Here's Dobrowski's description: (highlighting mine)

The painting is divided abruptly in the center by two thick, black vertical lines. On the left, a violent motion is expressed through the profusion of sharp, jagged and entangled lines. On the right, all is calm, with sweeping forms and color harmonies. We have followed Kandinsky's intention that our initial reaction should result from the emotional impact of the pictorial forms and colors. However, upon closer inspection the apparent abstraction of this work proves illusory. The dividing lines are actually two lances held by red-hatted Cossacks. Next to them, a third, white-bearded Cossack leans on his violet sword. They stand before a blue mountain crowned by a castle. In the lower left, two boats are depicted. Above them, two mounted Cossacks are joined in battle, brandishing violet sabers. On the lower right, two lovers recline, while above them two robed figures observe from the hillside. Kandinsky has reduced representation to pictographic signs in order to obtain the flexibility to express a higher, more cosmic vision. The deciphering of these signs is the key to understanding the theme of the work. An awareness of Kandinsky's philosophy leads to a reading of Composition IV as expressing the apocalyptic battle that will end in eternal peace. Composition IV works on multiple levels: initially, the colors and forms exercise an emotional impact over the viewer, without need to consider the representational aspects. Then, the decoding of the representational signs involves the viewer on an intellectual level. I find that I can no longer view Composition IV without automatically translating the imagery to representational forms. Yet this solving of the work's mysteries does not draw the life from it; rather, the original emotional impact is strengthened in a new way.

Title: Composition VI
Completed: 1913

Here is what Dobrowski says:

Standing below the six by ten foot expanse of Composition VI, the viewer cannot help but brace himself against the impending crash of a tidal wave of colliding forms and colors. And, in fact, the theme of this work is The Deluge. Kandinsky defined three centers to this Composition, which are discerned sequentially by the viewer. Initially, the eye is drawn to the pink and white vortex in the left center. The multiple lines representing torrential rain carry the focus to the right section, where a darker center of discordant forms and stronger rain lines adds to the tumult. From this second center, the eye slides to the lower center, where a blue form outlined in black cowers below the torrents of rain and crashing waves. In this work, Kandinsky has pushed further beyond representation to the very limits of abstraction.

I discovered these pics looking at the rooms in The Hermitage which is in St Petersburg Russia.

What I find interesting:

  • The images in the abstract
  • Why make the images abstract
  • The feeling of the pieces
  • The choices of the colors

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7: Matisse Used Scissors?

I had no idea Matisse used scissors. I'm familiar with his simply shaped silhouetted figures, but I always thought they were painted. It wasn't until I was looking up collage and mixed media that I discovered he used paper cutouts and then "translated" them into ceramic tiles, paintings, prints, stained glass and stage sets. Even better he did this as his creative outlet when he found it difficult to paint while recovering from surgery.

He called his technique "drawing with scissors"--he cut shapes from paper painted with an opaque watercolor called gouache, pinned the shapes on the wall of his studio and rearranged them until he discovered a satisfactory composition.

He put the images he produced in a book called Jazz. For them, he used the pochoir technique--using stencils of his designs and applying thick ink to paper.

This one is called Icarus. Why do you think the heart is red. . . ?

Here are some more images from Jazz, with appropriately, Miles Davis playing in the background. Cool, huh?

Here's another really nice video showing Matisse's art. . .I wish I knew the names of some of these. I like the one of the woman in the billowed blouse with objects on her sleeves and the one that looks like an open window. Such huge variations in detail. . .

What I think is interesting:

  • The variations of Matisse's style
  • The cutting out of paper as a form and as a new outlet crafted from "handicap"--besides Monet's loss of eyesight working for him, what other artist's has this worked for?
  • Collage--this isn't really a representation of it. . . but it's what drove me here.
And check this out--a kid's art lesson plan based on Matisse.

Shady Days in Gay (~45 miles south of Atlanta)
May 1-May 2

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2: Murals in Philadelphia

I did not know that Philadelphia was considered the mural capital. Too bad we didn't realize it when we lived nearby!

There's an ongoing Mural Arts Program there that works with more than 100 communities a year to create murals that reflect the culture of the neighborhoods. There's data base that's dedicated to archiving locations and posting them:

Here are a few:

Title: Holding Grandmother's Quilt
Artist: Donald Gensler
Location: 3912 & 3932 Aspen St.

Title: Metamorphoris: Blueprint to End Homelessness
Artist: Josh Sarantitis
Location: 1360 Ridge Ave.

Started/Completed: 4/30/2001-9/29/2001

What I Think Is Interesting:
Community Art
Average people working with artists (?)
The Ongoing program & focus


Pinewoods Bird Festival
Thomasville, GA (about 6 hours south--not far from Valdosta)
Wonderful activities for amateur & advanced birders alike!
April 10

89 Annual Thomasville Rose Show & Festival
April 22 - April 24

Inman Park Festival
Atlanta's biggest Street Market, Live entertainment, Dance Festival, juried arts/crafts
April 24-April 25

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18: Clayton, GA: Main Street Gallery

Main Street Gallery--Clayton, GA--80 miles northeast of Atlanta--within 30 minutes of Highland GA. (10:30 - 5 M, T and Thurs. through Sat.) 706-782-2440

This gallery specializes in self-taught art--also known as vernacular, outsider, or visionary art. features Della Wells, the mixed media collage artist, just as Marcia Webb's gallery did. It also has pottery and furniture.

Here are some pieces I found interesting:

Side Table 27 x 24 x 19
White pine and laurel
by Weyman Evans

Other places that might be interesting:
FolkArt Center: Mile Post 382 on Blue Ridge Parkway (a few miles from I40 and downtown Asheville)--has 900 juried artists

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5: Murals I: Picasso Guernica

Artist: Pablo Picasso (died in 1973 at 92)
Title: Guernica
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Subject: bombing of Guernica on April 26, 1937 during the Spanish Civil War by German & Italian warplanes by the request of Spanish Nationalist forces
Classifications: anti-war symbol, mural, peace
Date Produced: mid-June 1937
Original Location: Paris World Fair 1937 at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (The Celebration of Modern Technology)
Current Location: Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid
Size: 137.4 in. x 305.5 in.  (11.45 feet tall x 25.6 ft wide)
Other: The Spanish Republican government commissioned Picasso to create a large mural for display at the World's Fair. A tapestry of the work is displayed on the wall of the United Nations building in NYC, commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller in 1955--it is less monochromatic than the original and uses several shades of brown.

The painting shows the suffering of war particularly on innocent civilians, and also includes animals and buildings "wrenched by violence and chaos." Colors are blue, black, & white.

Here's how wikipedia describes it:

  • The overall scene is within a room where, at an open end on the left, a wide-eyed bull stands over a woman grieving over a dead child in her arms.

  • The centre is occupied by a horse falling in agony as it had just been run through by a spear or javelin. It is important to note that the large gaping wound in the horse's side is a major focus of the painting.

  • Two "hidden" images formed by the horse appear in Guernica (illustrated to the right):

  • A human skull overlays the horse's body.

  • A bull appears to gore the horse from underneath. The bull's head is formed mainly by the horse's entire front leg which has the knee on the ground. The leg's knee cap forms the head's nose. A horn appears within the horse's breast.

  • The bull's tail forms the image of a flame with smoke rising from it, seemingly appearing in a window created by the lighter shade of gray surrounding it.

  • Under the horse is a dead, apparently dismembered soldier; his hand on a severed arm still grasps a shattered sword from which a flower grows.

  • On the open palm of the dead soldier is a stigma, a symbol of martyrdom derived from the stigmata of Christ. Picasso was not religious, although he was brought up in the predominantly Catholic Spain, and this symbol is not to be interpreted as Christian identification.[citation needed]

  • A light bulb blazes in the shape of an evil eye over the suffering horse's head (the bare bulb of the torturer's cell.) Picasso's intended symbolism in regards to this object is related to the Spanish word for lightbulb; "bombilla", which makes an allusion to "bomb" and therefore signifies the destructing effect which technology can have on society.

  • To the upper right of the horse, a frightened female figure, who seems to be witnessing the scenes before her, appears to have floated into the room through a window. Her arm, also floating in, carries a flame-lit lamp. The lamp is positioned very close to the bulb, and is a symbol of hope, clashing with the lightbulb.

  • From the right, an awe-struck woman staggers towards the center below the floating female figure. She looks up blankly into the blazing light bulb.

  • Daggers that suggest screaming replace the tongues of the bull, grieving woman, and horse.

  • A bird, possibly a dove, stands on a shelf behind the bull in panic.

  • On the far right, a figure with arms raised in terror is entrapped by fire from above and below.

  • A dark wall with an open door defines the right end of the mural.
    Also according to Wikipedia, Picasso said about the mural: "The Spanish struggle is the fight of reaction against the people, against freedom. My whole life as an artist has been nothing more than a continuous struggle against reaction and the death of art. How could anybody think for a moment that I could be in agreement with reaction and death?. . . In the panel on which I am working, which I shall call Guernica, and in all my recent works of art, I clearly express my abhorrence of the military caste which has sunk Spain in an ocean of pain and death." Spain was Picasso's native homeland. 

Photo is of a tiled wall in Gernika 

Interesting tidbit: When Colin Powell and John Negroponte gave press conferences at the UN in Feb. 2033, the painting was covered by a large curtain. The next day, it was claimed that the TV news crews requested it because they "complained that wild lines and screaming figures made for a bad backdrop, and that the horse's hindquarters appeared just above the faces of any speakers." Some diplomats told journalists, though, that the Bush Administration pressured UN officials to cover the tapestry rahter than have it in the background while folks argued for war on Iraq.

A Bit on Picasso's Creative Process
The art was commissioned before Guernica was bombed and Picasso was looking for inspiration. The claim is that in Paris Picasso was "stunned by the black and white photographs." Here's what he says about the representations he uses of the key figures--a woman with outstretched arms, a bull, and an "agonized" horse--all refined sketch after sketch before transferred to the canvas, which was also reworked several times:
"A painting is not thought out and settled in advance."
"While it is being done, it changes as one's thoughts change. And when it is finished, it goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it."

What I find interesting:
Murals in general and their role in community.
Picasso's images
Picasso's creative process

Forsythia Festival
Forsyth GA
Arts & crafts, 5K, live entertainment 
March 13-14, 2010


Mable House
Tues. March 16-May 11, 6:30 -8:15
$80 member, $105 non; supply fee $10

Mable House
Mon., March 22-May 3, 7 -9  (6 weeks)
$85 member, 105 non

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feb. 17: Art in Atlanta: Museums, Centers, & NonProfits

I found a list of Atlanta Art Galleries including neighborhood breakdowns.

I also found a listing on Georgia Art Museums, nonProfit Art Organizations & Art Centers

And I found Arts in Atlanta--including info on visual arts, performing arts, and a literature page

Here are a few that look interesting to me:

Mable House Arts Center (houses the South Cobb Arts Alliance)
Mon- Friday 10-5 call for evening and weekend hours
On Exhibit  Jan 20 - March 1, 2010
Southern Appalachian Artist Guild

Title: A Fine Day
Artist Bill Suttles
Medium: Pastel

Atlanta Artists Center
hosts sketch groups, workshops, demonstrations, monthly member meetings, & 10 juried art shows a year.
2979 Grandview Ave.
Tues-Thurs 10 -4
Fri. 10-4 and first Friday only 6:30-10:30; Sat. 10-4

Spruill Center for the Arts
has adult classes as well as a gallery
Education Center
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA 30338 (about 30 minutes on 285 N)
770-394-3447 x 0

4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road 30338 (about 25 minutes from home)

The main site: also had this good article:
10 Things to Remember When Starting to Collect Art

  • Buy art because you like it and because it moves you, and because it will
    enhance your life.

  • Visit as many art galleries as you can, gallery staff can be helpful guides in
    your art education.

  • Get on gallery mailing lists so you'll be invited to openings and special events.

  • Visit and join your local art museums and non profit art centers.
    Curators sometimes give lectures on collecting art.

  • Attend National and International Art Fairs and Art Expos whenever possible.

  • If you know art collectors, talk to them and find out what they know and what
    they've learned about collecting art.

  • Read books on art history and books about collecting art.

  • Subscribe to a few art magazines.

  • Read reviews by local and national art critics, keeping in mind that reviews
    usually just reflect one persons opinion.

  • Working with a professional art advisor / art consultant is a good way to learn
    about art collecting, and they will guide you through the process of purchasing art.

  • Once you've educated yourself and have fallen in love with a work of art,
    buy it, take it home and enjoy it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Feb. 5: 36 Views of Mount Fuji

Date: 1858
Format: Oban tateye Wood cut
Classifications: ukiyo-e artist

This is the first painting: Ichikobu Bridge in the Eastern Capital

This is the 10th painting: Twilight Hill at Meguro in the Eastern Capital

This is the 15th painting: Noge and Yokohama in Musashi Province

This is the 23rd painting: The Sea of Satta in Suruga Province

This is the 33rd painting: Kogane Plain in Shimosa Province

What I think is interesting: 

The artist's father was a "hereditary retainer" of the shogun. The artist was a fire fighter (protecting Edo Castle from fire) and lived in a barracks with 30 other samurai. He likely did art to supplement his income.

The same subject was depicted earlier by the artist Katsushika Hokusai.  One of his 36 views of Mount Fuji became famous: The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

I don't think of wood block typically being so colorful and detailed in this way. . .

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jan. 20: Alabama Gallery: Marcia Weber Art Objects

Ok, so I know I had WAY more fun at the '09 FolkFest in Atlanta than you did. . . but I really liked the collections from this gallery & K at work told me it was a great place to visit. It's in Montgomery: Marcia Weber Art Objects.  

How could you not be moved by this mission?
The Mission of the gallery remains the same today as it was when the gallery was Marcia Weber Art Objects, Inc. is dedicated to trying to locate, to promote and to preserve the art of genuine contemporary folk and outsider artists. The gallery supports photo documentation and primary field research to establish facts concerning the lives, works and environments of these artists. A special emphasis is placed on artists who are still alive. Gallery research is shared with any interested party. Source documents are donated to libraries to aid and to insure the possibility of future research in this field.

Here's a sampling of a few artists and works I like, in no particular order:

Title: Parlor Tunes
Artist: Tory Casey
Size: 10.5 x 13.5
Medium: acrylic on canvas in artist's black frame
Price: $300

Title: Moonlight Serenade
Artist: Tory Casey
Born: 1951
Location: North Carolina
Size: 15.5 x 12.5
Medium: acrylic on canvas in artist's black frame
Price: $400

Title: Full Moon Valley
Artist:  Eric Legge
Location: Rubun Gap, GA
Size: 44 x 31.75
Medium: Acrylic on wood
Price: $900

Title: Wolf Fork Sunset
Artist:  Eric Legge
Location: Rubun Gap, GA
Size: 9.75 x 11.75
Medium: Acrylic on wood
Price: $155

Title: Fredia's House
Artist: Della Wells
Born: 1951
Location: North Carolina?
Medium: Collage on paper in natural frame
Size: 26.5 x 20.5
Price: $1000

Title: Listen Little One the Time Is Near
Artist: Della Wells (seen on her site, not the gallery's)
Born: 1951
Location: North Carolina?
Medium: Mixed Media collageSize: 16 x 12
Price: $550

Plus, so many of their bios are just so quaint and interesting.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Jan. 1: The Rape of Europa

Artist: Titian, Italian Painter
Title: Rape of Europa
Classifications: Mythological paintings, Renaissance art
Date produced: 1562
Original's location:

Painting description (from The Rape of Europa is surely one of the gayest of Titian's "poesies," as he called them.  Taken by surprise, Europa is carried off, arms and legs flying, on the back of Jupiter in the form of a garlanded white bull. A putto ( chubby, naked little boy) on the back of a dolphin appears to be mimicking her, and cupids in the sky follow the merry scene

Compare it to this Painting by Guido Reni

Artist: Guido Reni
Date: 1637-9
Original's Location: The National Gallery

This painting is unusual with its inclusion of Cupid--here Europa is shown at the moment when her "disquiet at being abducted begins to turn to love."

About the myth: Europa was the daughter of Agenor, King of Tyre. Zeus fell in love with her and transformed himself into a docile bull to abduct her from the shore where she was playing. She climbed on his back and they swam to Crete. They had 3 sons: Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpedon.

This myth was one of the most popular classical subjects for 17th-century paintings.

Things that strike me as interesting:
The comparison of the 2 paintings
How many similar works depict a woman dragged away with "angels" or other mythological entities watching? Feels familiar