Sounds like a good name for a cocktail, come to think of it. I have been eyeing these green fellas in the grocery stores here for a while, and I finally had the courage to buy a few and bring them home. I had no idea what the name for this thing was, so you can imagine the type of google searching I had to do until I came across Kohlrabi. Just a little oil sketch here, nothing special. The vegetable itself ended up inside a tasty pie.
With summer nearing quickly, so is my time in Israel, and this is causing me a bit of a panic. Have I painted the bedroom enough? Have I painted anything enough? Two years ago, my fiance came up with a new problem to solve in the world of condensed matter physics, and two days ago he found the solution. It is an enormous relief and a cause for celebration, a marvelous achievement after an important post-PhD assignment at the Weizmann Institute – but it also means that we will be moving on to a new place soon. New problems to create and solve. Packing, moving, and unpacking. Looking for a new apartment, discovering a new neighborhood.
I can’t quite relate to the kind of relief he is feeling, even though the parallels between painting and physics are so striking. As a painter, I can spend a heck of a long time on a painting, trying to resolve it as I discover new problems along the way – but whether the official “end” of a painting refers to relief and the solution to the problem is another unknown. I can paint a ton of failures, one after the other, filling a room with them. The worst is perhaps when I paint a failure but don’t know it. Just last week, I splurged on 30 new wooden panels. They are not too large (for moving and packing) but already I have started paintings on nine of them. I am trying to balance the urge to paint more with the desire to paint sincerely and honestly and with the knowledge of limited time and impending change.
As I paint my messy home with nostalgia of our time in Israel, I am looking forward greatly to knowing what our new home will be, knowing that it is around the corner. Somewhere and sometime soon. Although we can change countries and cultures with a mere airplane ride, I think that the memories of places stretch from one place to another, exerting themselves on how we think and what we find important, despite the distance of time and place.
Stephanie Pierce will be opening a solo exhibition at Alpha Gallery in Boston next weekend, April 16 from 3-5 pm. The show will be up through May 11, and I recommend going out of your way to see these new works. Pierce’s paintings are stunning visual trips for those who get to see them in person, a reward of intimate colors and forms that she has found by coming to that fork in the road and opting for the road less travelled. For closer looks of her paintings, please visit her excellent website.
With Easter and Passover approaching, eggs are appearing everywhere. I have also been working on a number of little quick sketch paintings on panel, which I will post soon. So today this got me to thinking about Duane Keiser, and I went over to visit his blog, A Painting a Day. To my great delight, I found the following video where he “cracks” an egg in the marvelous magic trick known as oil painting. I appreciate it greatly because it shows terrific skill in painting abstractly from observation while having “fun” at the same time.