Stitches in Time

The painting below (30 x 30 cm) is one of the last I started (and not yet finished) in Israel, while in the middle of taking the house apart, dismantling paintings, contemplating the mess, shipping out boxes, and running out of milk in the process. While I was busy packing up, I developed a rather serious addiction to knitting, which has been keeping me very busy and more quiet than usual. I have happily spent many many many hours completing stitches, one after the other, teaching myself how to do it, and it has been a very therapeutic process. Just what I needed in order to face the stress of moving. I just need to sort out some particular cables and finish up a sweater, and then maybe another, and then I will get back to the paints…

Self portrait with Milk and Mug, 30 x 30 cm, oil on panel, 2011

I also recently delivered 16 paintings to Bernard Gallery in Tel Aviv, a bright ground-floor gallery space on Ben Yehuda Street, run by an elegant and savvy couple from France with enthusiasm for figurative art. Introduced by an enthusiastic art curator I met in Israel, Bernard selected several of my “messy bedroom” paintings and self-portraits from Israel, and I will post details of upcoming exhibition details as soon as I have them. If you are interested in the purchase of any of the following pieces, feel free to contact Bernard Gallery directly.

Twilight violet and lime, 35 x 40 cm, 2010
Stage 2-4, Oil on paper, 2010, 50 x 70 cm
Self-portrait Study, 2010, oil on linen
Self-Portrait in Studio, Oil on paper on wood, 2009, 50 x 65 cm
Self portrait in floral blouse, 2010, oil on panel, 25 x 30 cm
Self portrait as Housewife with Cat, 2009, oil on linen, 70 x 50 cm
Salmon Lover, 2010. Oil on panel, 35 x 40 cm
Red Pareo, 2011. Oil on panel, 30 x 30 cm
Pink Sheets, 2010. Oil on panel, 35 x 40 cm
Pink Sheets Study, 2010. Oil on paper, 50 x 70 cm
Pink Pillow Study, 2010. Oil on paper, 50 x 70 cm
Memory Window, 2011. Oil on panel, 25 x 25 cm
Memory Painting with Cat, 2011. Oil on panel, 25 x 25 cm
Implosion, 2011. Oil on linen, 70 x 70 cm
Gabriele's Trumpet, 2009. Oil on linen, 40 x 60 cm
Bathroom Laundry, 2010, oil on paper, 50 x 70 cm

Eighty Painted Souls for a Thursday

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Alphabetical presentation of artists in slideshow: Anguissola, Arcimboldo, Arikha, Bacon, Bashkirtseff, Basquiat, Beccafumi, Boccioni, Bocklin, Caravaggio, Carracci, Cassat, Cezanne, Chagall, Chardin, Corot, Courbet, Dali, David, De Chirico, Degas, Delacroix, Del Sarto, Derain, Dickinson, Durer, Ellenreider, Falat, Fragonard, Freud, Gauguin, Gentilleschi, Giordano, Goya, Hopper, Ingres, Jessen, John, Kahlo, Kauffman, Kikuchi, Kokoschka, Lebrun, Leyster, Lippi, Malczewski, Malevich, Manet, Masaccio, Matisse, Modigliani, Mondrian, Monet, Morandi, Morisot, Munch, Murillo, Musashi, Norinaga, Picasso, Pirandello, Pissarro, Raphael, Redon, Rembrandt, Reni, Renoir, Reynolds, Rossetti, Rubens, Schiele, Sorolla, van Hemessen, Van Dyck, Van Gogh, Velazquez, Villers, Xiong, Zorn

Last night I returned home from Jerusalem, ate supper, attended to a barrage of emails, did some translations and began a compilation of self-portraits for a post I needed to get out this morning. The group is in no way exhaustive or exclusive, but merely what I was able to collect by about 11 pm, after which I decided to head to bed with Fairfield Porter’s discussion of Contemporary Painting in Art in Its Own Terms. Not that the slideshow was necessary or requested, I just felt it would be a nice thing to do and share (my life would probably be less busy if I stopped thinking like this, but I can’t help it, and in the end, interesting things come out of it). As I added new images to the group, my mind noted the differences between multiple earlier and later self-portraits done by the same artist. One can see in the earlier versions the influence of their training, as well as an intent to plunge ahead rigorously, and in the later ones perhaps a different kind of concern for the formal parts of the painting, a changing of the ego, and some of what I was to read after, in Porter’s words, of that “thinking that what one does is what one is; that a past origin is no more than its present derivative, and that the significance of future ends is contained in present means. From this it follows that art does not stand for something outside itself.” Lines later he writes that “painting reveals, like handwriting, the state of the artist’s soul.”

These words by Porter and this reflection on these portraits came after the last few days with time spent at the easel in spurts, but spurts that I have decided to consider in a new way. Rather than ache for a 3 hour or more stint at the easel, and then lament when I can’t find that time, I have decided to approach the reality of my current situation as a new, interesting set of challenges which is what it is, so appreciate it. As my reality is in spurts all day, every day, and as the reality around me changes in the same way, why not paint it just like that? So back to the easel I go, my moment is now. I have at least an hour of daylight yet.