Orange Sweater

Painting and retiling my heinous bathroom which I have been meaning to do for eleven years. The only way I can get through this mind numbing process is to circle back on Tyler Green’s MAN podcast, which like all things in life I’ve abandoned for awhile.

During a double-header interview Tyler does with painter Wayne Thiebaud my breath stopped a bit when Thiebaud suddenly starts discussing the finer aspects of one of my favorite paintings, Elmer Bischoff’s 1955 Orange Sweater. Be still my heart indeed I laughed. Thiebaud is a complete gentleman. I am so grateful the ponderings of this 97 year old legend have been captured and it’s a complete and utter joy to listen to.

(Episodes 324 & 325)

Tyler also has a wonderful interview in Episode 336 with Anne Appleby who currently has a show up at Tacoma Art Exhibit titled We Sit Together At The Mountain and as I am trying to discern, sounds like made a contribution to the exhibition catalogue. When I go to TAM I will ask them about this as there is nothing on their website eluding to its existence.

Appleby and her luminescent paintings are a favorite here and I can’t wait to see the exhibit which includes a video she created.

As you well know I have been a loyal follower of Tyler and his continuum of MAN projects over the years. It is so wonderful to know he persists in his thoughtful exploration of the art world. I am glad he is still here.

I’m such a fan we even had a site category dedicated to him on this website: MAN.

Back to the drudgery of painting walls, which is an entirely different pursuit than making a painting on canvas.

 

 

 

 

Oil paint has gotten more expensive than I thought.

Especially for the good colors.

I like Thursday nights. I pour myself a glass of wine and head out to the studio.

I open the oil mediums for the first time in years. That smell makes me swoon. I used the pliers to open a tube of white paint and make a small  drawing. I think I like working from my sketches, so I need to do more of those.

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On to Duxbury. I need to check the spelling but I am certain those were the tide pools that we went to in Bolinas this summer.

I remember saying while standing there, ‘these are so gorgeous, no artist should or could try to replicate them’. And then they become the marking moment of the trip and I am now trying to think about painting them. Perhaps they are more about people looking for things in the tide pools. It’s almost a bridge to the Radiolaria I guess, as the sea anemones and what ever else is submerged in there were beautiful. The color was awe inspiring.

The whole reason I know about them and the whole reason I fell in love with Anne Lamott’s writing were these very tide pools. There is a passage in Traveling Mercies that takes place there that I need to have right here:

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In August of 1977, Duxberry Reef was green with the crust called lichen, made of algae and fungus; it covered the lava rock like slippery fabric. Lichen is what reduces rock to soil and sand. It was a heathery, sage green.

The tide pools were full of wafting hairline algae and wonderful kelp like emerald green lasagna noodles. You had to be very careful when bending down to inspect the creatures who lived in the pools, or you would fall on your butt. Spikey sea urchinsdug in the crevices of the lava rocks; sea anemones, highly pigmented in August, yellow, pink, deep red, lots of little crabs picking their way through the algae and kelp. The three of us were paying more attention than usual, trying to tether ourselves to the earth, because the world was coming to an end…..that day at Duxberry, pelicans flew so low to the water you’d think their bellies were wet with surf, and there were hundreds of seagulls, cormorants, Arctic terns, geese and ducks and egrets and herons.

Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies, Lichen. (here is the original Salon article that sold me on Lamott)

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I still haven’t written about Diebenkorn. That trip was too, surreal, and I think is going to come out in different places when I am not expecting.

I listened to Tyler’s podcast tonight, he interviewed 75 year old Vija Clemmons. It was a heartbreaking. I wish the art world still let people be like her, not quite sure, not quite confident but so genuine. Her art work is beautiful. I am probably a fan of hers because of Tyler. I really enjoyed hearing her talk to him.

Ten Questions…..About Painting

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In compliance with Flash Arts somewhat recent questionnaire (here are the others):

1. Q: What is painting? A: Mark making with oil laced pigments. My interpretation any way.

2. Q: What is your favorite color? A: Chartreuse.

3. Q: Which artist or painter has influenced you? A: I keep thinking about Bonnard. For someone recent, I can’t help but admire Amy Sillman’s work.

4. Q: Is there a work of art you would like to have in your home next to your own work? A: Sure, how about Matisse’s “Interior with Goldfish”.

5. Q: What is the best way to exhibit a painting? A: A nice wall with no competing details. Thanks. Please keep away from the wood paneling.

6. Q: What are the limits of painting? A: Only the one’s the artist puts on them self. Okay, and what ever surface support that can reasonably fit through your studio door frame.

7. Q: How do you start a work — do you have any rituals? A: Lots of puttering, reading, doodling, throwing darts and then it happens.

8. Q: Is there a future for painting or you are one of the last survivors? Q: Never underestimate what drives humanity. We still have books. We still have paintings. We’ll continue to have both.

9. Q: If you were about to be reborn, what would you like to be — still a painter? Q: I guess I found that out by starting and stopping and missing it, so yes, still a painter.

10. Q: Do you think painting is under-appreciated today? A: It certainly isn’t front and center in the mainstream world like it might have been in prior decades. I think it depends on what kind of company you keep. I don’t know if most people actually think much about painting on a daily basis, but during my lifetime I don’t know if they ever did. That being said, it seems like everyone wants to be an artist these days, which of course is open to interpretation.

AsideThe Modern Arts Podcast this week starring the above mentioned Amy Sillman is superb. I literally, like Bonnard’s wife lay in my bathtub Thursday night with my eyes closed and listened to it. Sillman is funny, thoughtful and not shy of commenting on things in her work that some other painters might not own up to. For instance she pokes fun of herself for having a skill set that would allow her to paint cute quite well if need be. She tasked herself with an assignment to paint only adorable subject matter for an extended bit of time (which she discusses in the exchange with Tyler). She stresses (as she has in other interviews) that drawing is central to her work. I’m already a large fan but it is always a delight to hear people talk about their work so candidly.

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I’m particularity fond of a painting that’s in the catalog  One Lump or Two  from her current survey show at the Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston. Sadly no cross country flights planned for this one in the near future. In that parallel universe of a perfect life I  would very much choose to see the show with my own eyes, up close and personal.  At any rate, the painting is titled Them, 2006 (pg. 79). It would go nicely with the Bonnard at the top of the post. The catalog is beautiful and I’m still working my way through the essays.

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More things about Amy. Her website also gives you access to some of her non-painting projects such as her spot on zine Visiting Artist and video shorts made on her iPhone.

Fischl

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Just listening to Tyler Greene’s podcast interview with Eric Fischl, discussing his new book. Fischl asserts that when he was just getting out of grad school he went through a period of making Diebenkorns. Only a person who studied painting on the West Coast would be familiar. He said Diebenkorn left the door open for other painters, as did DeKoonig, while Pollack and Picasso closed it. I thought that was beautiful and of course agree. I have been thinking a lot about Diebenkorn lately as a painting re-entry.

I thought of another thing while listening to Tyler’s podcast, which is pronunciation. For those of us farm-raised and still wet behind the ears (i.e. don’t live in New York City) the lack of knowledge of correctly pronouncing artists names can be a hilarity.

At any rate, Tyler’s podcast is as thoughtful as his the writing he produces. He is such a champion of art. I’ve been a long standing fan and he, along with Diebenkorn are helping me pick up the pieces here.