Posts from the ‘Visual Notations’ Category
Over the last year, I have developed the craving to compile a place for an ever-expanding collection of visual notations, in addition to my personal musings on my own paintings. My new Visual Notation posts will focus on Great Notations and Contemporary Visionists, highlighting painters from then and now who depict the world out there through the process of perception – the mind filtering that takes place as we see, touch, feel, smell or hear something, along with the contemplations, recollections, aesthetic reactions, intuitions and phantasmic proposals of possibility that the mind performs. These perceptual painters are concerned with exploring and learning something more about this world we live in, but cannot be called realist painters in the way known today. They are not interested in painting reality exactly as they see it, for seeing is only one element of the senses. They are humanists, concerned with what the gift of life might mean, and they labor with sincerity, earnestness, humility and arrogance to try to represent it. They stand out for me because they have a gift of acute and broad vision that goes beyond just a delight in the surface of things to the deeper, higher, beautiful abstractions holding everything together, both in the natural world and in the picture plane. They are seriously consumed by the infinite potentials of rectangles and the juxtapositions of colors and shapes within it, and they paint, in my opinion, as if their heart depended on it.
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The image to the right is a clip from an astounding fresco piece that I came across in Naples at the Museo Archeologico this June. The full painting, down below, depicts the Trojan horse being dragged victoriously into the city of Troy in utter celebration, unaware of the doom to come from the Greeks. There are uncountable art treasures around the world, but these figures and shadows threw me into a time-traveling warp so jolting that I think I may have permanent whiplash.
I have managed to make it through July, but now August lies ahead menacingly. September won’t bring a drop of rain either, only constant sunshine and continued high temperatures. For some relief, I turned to paintings of bathers for a nice splash of cold water. Not often do I envy models, but at the moment I most certainly envy these!
Artists in alphabetical order: Bonnard, Botero, Eugene Boudin, Boughereau, Emanuele Cavalli, Cezanne, Courbet, Edgar Degas, Puvis de Chavannes, Fantin-Latour, Fragonard, Gauguin, William Morris Hunt, Ingres, Manet, Millet, Thomas Moran, Domenico Morelli, Otto Mueller, David Park, Picasso, Pirandello, Pissarro, Prendergast, Potthast, Rembrandt, Renoir, Repin, Rousseau, Sargent, Seurat, Sorolla, Stanislas
So, here I am, settling into my new studio in the hew house. The walls are white, which is new for me considering the pink hue that was invading the walls in our former apartment. The window faces north, lucky me, and so two days ago I began this painting. It’s small, 30 by 30 cm, but I am happy that I managed to catch a better likeness this time. It can be tough, considering the size of the face is only about 2 cm across, but I liked the challenge. I may do a few more things to it yet, but over all I like how it captures some of the serenity I am feeling about being in a new place, with a new beginning.
It has been a busy and exhausting last two weeks, having needed to find a new home in Israel for the next five months. Our landlord had sold the apartment we were living in, and so – like good tenants – we let him sell, and that meant trying to find a new home until October. Until I had begun the search, I had no idea how hard that was going to be. Everyone in Israel moves in the summer apparently, and everyone wants a long-term rental. After a couple cancellations the day of signing a contract for a new place, we at last found someone willing to rent short-term who didn’t pull the plug last minute. It has also been some serious Hebrew immersion – at last – as we have no language in common. I think I have understood the important parts, I hope.
The new place is a house, with a sand yard and patio. Perfect for building sand castles in the sweltering heat of the summer, I should say. So much silence, plenty of light, and believe it or not, this one also has a room with a north-facing window for use as a studio. I have begun painting again as of yesterday, and it is feeling very good. To our dismay, the house had no furnishings nor appliances, so thanks to trusty Google translate and Yad2 website, we have managed to equip the house with some second-hand things and some new items, including a most amazing latex memory foam mattress topper. Visa the cat has also adjusted amazingly well, and is enjoying greatly the ground floor supervision at night.
Moving can be hard, just as it is for cats. Just as I was really beginning to feel in my territory, it’s time to pack up, clean up and adapt to a completely new situation. But of course, it is also a blessing. Things become juxtaposed in a completely unpredictable way, and thoughts become compressed, urgent even, with several different threads and to-do lists running through them. Old paintings were pulled out of corners and painted over, and I finally got a sense of just how much painted volume I now have – frightening, but not ghastly.
I am including here a few pieces done during this transition from house to house. Only the one of the refrigerator is in the new place, but I started a couple others yesterday. Though I am not yet finished with the large square painting, I did some last minute changes just before moving, and I am interested to see what of the new house may make its way inside of it.
Implosion, in progress. Please click on all images for enlarged viewing.
Visa on the Fridge
Artists in order that they appear: Berthe Morisot, Émile Friant, Mary Cassatt (3), George Bellows*, Arshile Gorky*, Gustave Caillebotte*, Camille Pissarro*, Carl Larsson, William Merritt Chase*, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec*, James Tissot, Alberto Giacometti*, Jean August Dominique Ingres*, Berthe Morisot, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Pablo Picasso*, Cecilia Beaux, Leon Jean Bazile Perrault, Anders Zorn*, Édouard Vuillard (2)*, Georges Seurat (2)*, Sir Thomas Lawrence*, James Abott McNeill Whistler*, Albrecht Durer*, Agnolo Bronzino, Camille Corot*, Rembrandt van Rijn(3)*, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Kunisada, Umberto Boccione*, Vincent Van Gogh*, Lucian Freud*, Charles Burchfield*, John Constable*, Christen Købke*, Édouard Manet*, Guido Reni*, Sophie Jodoin*, Marc Dalessio
* the artist’s mother
Happy Mothers Day!
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.