Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Getty Center and J.M.W. Turner

Light is therefore
~J.M.W. Turner

Being an art teacher, I thought it was important to go see the big J.M.W. Turner exhibition going on at the Getty Center. While my mom is a huge Turner fan, I'm sort of ... on the fence. However, I love his painting of the Roman Forum, which is part of the Getty collection.

Strange to see the big fountain without water, because of the drought. They are also letting the lawns go. Kind of strange and sad. 

J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free
February 24-May 24, 2015

Modern Rome-Campo Vaccino
exhibited 1839
oil on canvas

Yep, this is the one I absolutely love. Obviously, my whole Italy obsession might have something to do with it, but I do think it's just a beautiful painting.

Painting is a strange business.
~J.M.W. Turner

This next piece is usually how I think of Turner, with a very limited palette. (In a way I'm wrong because his earlier work is very different, at least to my eye.) It's terrible to say but the brown and golden earth tones somehow remind me of the 1970s.

I know it's ridiculous and irrational, but there you have it. I think the later paintings bring up a sense memory of the colors people used to do that weird "antiquing" to their perfectly good wood furniture. Remember that? Anyway, like I said, I think my issue with his palette is in his later work.

What I do love is his dynamic movement in nature, the sense of mystery, and his portrayal of action ... and then also way he layers the paint with his brushstrokes and varying textures. That's a lot to appreciate.

Snow Storm-Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth
exhibited 1842
It's now part of the Tate, London's huge Turner collection. The exhibition was done along with them.

The moon is up, and yet it is not night.
The sun as yet disputes the day with her.
~Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-18)
as altered by Turner

There were over sixty "key oil paintings and watercolors," in the show. It was huge. What I didn't know, frankly, were Turner's watercolors. Turns out I am a fan. I wish I could have photographed some of my favorites for you but there was no photography aloud so ... I dragged these off the exhibition website. We'll see how long I get away with it, but I want to share these with you!

The Blue Rigi, Sunrise
Tate London

Beautiful right? If you love watercolors, and you are driving distance, you should head over there. It goes until May 24th, so you have a little time. What's great is that he did watercolors on location, so you have these great places like Venice and Switzerland for subject matter and they are totally fresh and alive.

But look what I found! This quick video shows some of his watercolors and talks about them. I wish they showed his pieces of Venice, but here you go!

I haven't seen the biopic "Turner" yet. I've heard mixed reviews but I am sure I will see it. I love a biopic, especially when they are about artists.

Here is the trailer, in case you are interested in renting it. After the trailer is an interview with the actor Timothy Spall, who plays Turner, along with scenes from the film.

This 16 minute video shows how they recreated the paintings and bought an old place and gutted it to recreate Turners home. Very cool.

Above you can see the lawn turning ... but the garden was still blooming with color.

I took my friend Karen with me, which was great, because it was her first time there! I love taking newbies to the Getty and other great places in the city. There is so much to see and do here, that people don't always get around to. 

It's difficult to motivate sometimes, because things are so spread out, and if you have never gone somewhere before it can feel like pain in the neck, with the logistics of everything.

The thing is, it's worth it!

Looking up at architect Richard Meier's work ...

The sun is God.
~J.M.W. Tuner

The Getty Gardens
by California artist
Robert Irwin

There's a sketch at every turn.
~J.M.W. Turner

Here is a little documentary about Turner. You can see more of his watercolors at the beginning of the doc and then at 29:50 he goes to Italy, and shortly after are some watercolors of Venice. :)

My job is to paint what I see,
not what I know is there.
~J.M.W. Turner

Link to the Turner/Getty page here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Autry Museum of Western Heritage

Return to the Indian Building
oil on linen
24 x 30 in.

Masters of The American West

Please click on the Artists' names to take you to their website.
All photos were taken with my iPhone so they are not print quality.

Here's some majestic spiritual, Native American Flute music f
rom R. Carlos Nakai - Kokopelli Wind

Honeymoon at Crow Fair
(Marjorie and Frank Sands Patron' Choice Award, and The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation Award for Sculpture.)

From the website:
"The Autry’s Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale is considered the country’s premier Western art show. Each year, more than 75 nationally recognized, contemporary Western artists challenge themselves to create and exhibit their very best work. Stylistically and thematically diverse, their works represent the extraordinary range of subject matter that contemporary, historic, and mythic Western experiences inspire."

My parents looking at a painting by Z.S. Liang, called Solicitation for Leadership  (95,000 and it, like most all the others on this post, was sold.)

Even with it being all figurative work (realism, non abstract etc) there was quite a variety, and all of the pieces are for sale. Most of the work had been sold by the time we all met there for my grandma's birthday. She was so excited to go see the show and I hadn't gone for a couple of years.

Z.S. Liang
Keeper of the Thunder Medicine Pipe
Oil on linen canvas
48 x 28 in.

This following piece was so beautiful, especially in person. Beautiful light!! My favorite of the show.

George Hallmark
The Prayer
oil on linen
24 x 20 in.

For landscapes, these following smaller pieces were just jewels! So beautiful! I want to look at more work by this artist. I wonder if he teaches workshop. I mean, seriously.

Cyrus Afsary
After the Rain
oil on linen
16 x20 in.

Cyrus Afsary
oil on linen
18 x 24 in.

Really loved this piece below, as well. Large and very abstract the way he did the composition. Beautiful work.

Len Chmiel
Geological Illusions
38 x 39 in.

George Carlson
Witness of Time
oil on linen
42 x 42 in.
(Ross and Billie McKnight Artist' Choice Award, and Masters of the American West Purchase Award)

This piece above won all sorts of awards. The light was wonderful and the texture was so cool, so I'm posting a detail of it, underneath.

Here is an interview with the artist ...

John Coleman
In the Shadow of Ancestors
oil on canvas
50 x 34 in.
(Same artist that did the large bronze sculpture, second photo from the top. Love the way he paints skin and the shadow of the fringe or her knee was amazing.)

Quiet Steps
5 x 10 in.
(So detailed and lovely! This was a treasure of a painting!)

Interview with the artist above. Great after 2:00 especially.

Calvin Liang
Sunset Sailing in Newport Beach
oil on canvas
18 x 24 in.
(My mom was freaking out over this. She's a painter too.)

From Calvin Liang Workshop

This following portrait is a small piece by Mian Situ. He usually has my favorite pieces in the show. They are always stunning. You should really check him out online. You will be blown away.

Mian Situ
The Blue Scarf
oil on canvas
12 x 9 in.

This is a slideshow of his work. :)

Here is Mian Situ interviewed ...

Jeremy Lipking (below) is an artist whose work I have been following for years. A friend of mine and I went to a show 10 or 15 years ago, I think in West Hollywood. I can't remember, but the first work I saw was a beautiful nude in the woods, painted so gorgeously with these luscious strokes of oil paint that reminded me of John Singer Sargent.

Jeremy Lipking
Walk Through Painted Deserts
oil on linen

The next one is by Lipking, as well. Explore his work here when you get the chance.

Jeremy Lipking
Young Girl in Profile
oil on linen
20 x 16 in.

Jeremy Lipking
Riders Under Vermilion Cliffs
oil on linen
8 x 10 in.

Below, another great exhibition. After seeing the little moccasins in one of the paintings above, it got my wheels turning about subject matter. (I have Iroquois on my dad's side.)

I put a piece of myself, my family, and my ancestors 
in every piece I make.
I want everyone to see and feel how my people would have lived 
hundreds of years ago, 
for each piece I make is done the old way.
~Glenda McKay

Sioux-Métis frock coat
Deerskin, cotton, wool, glass beads, quills, silk ribbon, sinew
Collection of John and Marva Wamock

Métis pants with attached half-leggings
Buckskin, cotton velvet metal, silk thread
Gift of Mrs. Camilla Chandler Frost

The symbol projected on the floor, below, is symbolic of the Native North American worldview. The equal-armed cross represents the four cardinal directions and the three layers of the universe, encircled by the life-giving sun.

I screwed up on the info for the beautiful Moccasins below. They are either Tahltan before 1938 (Matilda Reid) or Kutchin from 1951 (Katherine Peter.) Sorry!

Kiowa cradleboard
late 1800s
Wood, hide, cotton, glass beads, brass, rawhide, sinew, pigment
Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, Harvard University

Blackfoot gauntlets
Circa 1900-1915
Hide, glass beads
James R. Parks Collection

Dakota Shoulder puch
skin, flannel, ribbon, glass beads
Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection

Delaware bandolier bag
circa 1860
Cotton cloth, silk ribbon, wool yarn, glass beads.
"The Delaware artist who made this bag had already been forcibly relocated to a reservation in Indian Territory. Despite being made after removal, the bag's traditional Delaware essence remains.
Collection of John and Marva Warnock.

Grandmother used to bead medicine flowers 
onto their homemade items such as moccasins and bags 
because white people, especially missionaries, 
disapproved of Mdewakanton women using medicines.
~Delores Bluestone

The Plateau

Nez Perce or Yakama cradleboard
circa 1890
Buckskin, glass beads, brass beads, wool cloth, wood
Lee and lois Miner

Maynard White Owl Lavandour
Cayuse/Nez Perce
Moose hide, glass beads

My teachers are the beadwork's of the past.
I am inspired by the forms, colors, and textures of the world around me.
~Katrina Mitten

My Grandma Beverly and I on her 93rd birthday!

For more information, check out the Autry Museum Website.

Blessings and light!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Up to Ventura ...

So long as the memory of certain beloved friends
lives in my heart,
I shall say that life is good.
~Helen Keller

Back in March, my friend Carol came to town! Well, not to L.A. but to Ventura. We met in preschool and were in each others classes (and lives) almost every year of primary school, then went to Junior High and High School together.

She moved away during college and never moved back! She lives in Washington State, which is beautiful of course, but we miss her in Southern California! I hadn't seen her for 13 years.

A group of us made a plan to meet on the pier, in Ventura. The site of many a memory!
Other than a few months after living in Thailand, in 1988, I haven't lived in Ventura either since High School. 

Anyway, a lot of music sends me into full sense memory mode, back to Ventura. This is  especially true of 80s music. I love the original Peter Gabriel version of this song, but I thought I'd share Sara's cover. :)

I headed North to Camarillo, to drive the rest of the way with Caroline. (Who I met in 4th grade!)

From her home in Camarillo ...

Ventura ...

The best mirror is an old friend.
~Peter Nivio Zarlenga

Be true to your work,
your word,
and your friends.
~Henry David Thoreau

Each friend represents a world in us,
a world not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting 
that a new world is born.
~Anais Nin

Ah, how good it feels!
The hand of an old friend.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It's not Ventura that I ever miss and it hasn't felt like home in ... decades. But, what does feel like home, is being with old friends. (And these are some of the oldest! ;)

Hearing Carol's voice, it's hard to explain, but I know her voice as well as any family member or anyone I see in my current life. It sounds like memories and childhood, and high school and ... love. It was one of those moments where all the years disappear. The same old souls, just hanging out.

I love that.

Todd, Julie, Cassy, Danna, Caroline, Carol, Buckley, and me.

For more Ventura posts ... click  here   here   here and  here 
Actually there are more but ... ;)

Close friends are truly life's treasures.
Sometimes they know us better
than we know ourselves.
With gentle honest,
they are there to guide and support us,
to share our laughter and our tears.
Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.
~Vincent van Gogh