Saturday, June 20, 2015

LACMA 50 for 50

The idea of waiting for something 
makes it more exciting.
~Andy Warhol

It's the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's 50th anniversary, and to celebrate? Fifty new fabulous gifts (promised) to the museum! My parents got the invite but were unable to attend the patron party, and though I couldn't find someone to go last minute, I decided to take myself on a little artist's date. (Did any of you do the Artist's Way?)

Normally the patrons get a little coffee/dessert reception in the patio near Ray's Stark Bark, but this was a much swankier surprise!

This is a GREAT video! Old footage and birthday messages! :)

Many more desserts, lovely indoor seating areas, flowers ... and wine!

I checked out the first room of the exhibition, then decided to have my wine before exploring the rest of the works. I'm such a cheap date, one glass of wine and I have to wait around. Anyway ... on to the art!

Roy Lichtenstein
Interior with Three Hanging Lamps, 1991
Oil and Magna on Canvas

Serpent Headdress
Republic of Guinea, Baba peoples,
possibly late 18th century
Wood with pigments 

At one point this piece of African art was in Matisse's studio!

I like to pretend that my art has nothing to do with me.
~Roy Lichtenstein 

Claude Monet
France, 1840-1926)
Two Women in a Garden, c. 1872
Oil on canvas

The richness I achieve comes from nature,
the source of my inspiration.
~Claude Monet

Standing in front of this lovely Monet, I suddenly became very emotional at the idea that this beautiful painting and all the others were going to be gifted to my museum, my city. I took it very personally ... in the very best way.

François Boucher
France, 1703-1770
Leda and the Swan, 1742
Oil on canvas

Nature is too green and badly lit.
~Francois Boucher

Albrecht Dürer
Germany, 1471-1528
Melencolia I, 1514

If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided 
that happens other if one is idle.
~Albrecht Durer 

Andy Warhol
United Staes, 1928-1987
Two Marilyns, 1962
Silkscreen ink and pencil on linen

Don't think about making art.
Just get it done.
Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad.
Whether they love it or hate it.
While they are deciding,
make even more art.
~Andy Warhol

As you can see, there is quite an array of works, which is pretty representative of the museum as a whole. A bit of everything and something for everyone. There were also some great old photos from Hawaii and Duke Kahanamoku's surfboard!

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
France, 1780-1867
The Virgin wight he Host, 1860
Oil on canvas

Drawing is the honesty of art.

Hans Memling
Active Flanders, c. 1430-94
Christ Blessing, 1480-85
Oil on Baltic oak panel

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini
Italy (Rome), 1598-1680
Portrait of a Gentleman
c. 1670-75

One of my greatest influences the Italian artist
Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
~Frank Gehry

James McNeill Whistler
United States, 1834-1903
Black Lion Wharf, 1859
From the "Thames Set," 1871

An artist is not paid for his labor
but for his vision.
~James Whistler
(love that!)

Janus Reliquary Guardian Figure
Gabonese Republic or Republic of the Congo,
Kota Peoples, Ndassa group
Mid 19th century
Wood, copper, brass, iron and cowrie shell

Painting relates to both 
art and life.
Neither can be made-
I try to act in the gap.
~Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg
United States, 1925-2008
Monday Duck (Urban Bourbon)
Acrylic on mirrored and bonded aluminum

Value the process.
~Robert Rauschenberg

Evert time I'v moved,
my work has changed radically.
~Robert Rauschenberg

I wasn't aloud to take pictures of this bequest but they gave us a beautiful program. The bequest is the largest ever to LACMA by far ...

It includes Toulouse-Lautrec's Jane Avril: Profile of a Woman (1893), Dance by Jean Baptiste Carpeaux, Edouard Vuillard's Sacha guilty in His Dressing Room, 1911 (LOVE!), Nude study for Little Dancer by Edgar Degas modeled 1878, and the gorgeous Degas piece At the Café: The Song of the Dog, 1875. Amazing! This is a photo collage I made with my iPhone from the program.

I have tried to do what is true and not ideal.
~ Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Another piece is this Kees Van Dongen ... which I also LOVE!

Painting is the most beautiful of lies.
~Kees Van Dongen

It's all very inspiring and exciting that all these pieces will be in my town!

Back to have to the reception to have an herbal tea in the reception ...
Groovy chairs, huh? I sat on the sofa though.

DeWain Valentine
Red Concave Circle, 1970

Outside ... under Chris Burden's "Urban Light." (2008) Chris Burden passed away last month. To read more about him, click here.

'Limits' is a relative term.
Like beauty, it is often in the eye of the beholder.
~Chris Burden

Here's an very interesting interview with Michael Govan about the future of LACMA and about the collections. They show slides of the future building, as well as the the new acquisitions. 

I love LACMA. I remember driving from Ventura when I was little to LA, having breakfast at the old IHOP on Wilshire and seeing the King Tut exhibition. It was a huge deal. I remember when I was maybe 19 going to the huge Hockney exhibition and falling in love with color ... and when I moved to L.A. it was a huge gift to my life. And then, 17 years ago I moved about 6 or 7 minutes away from the museum. Lucky lucky me!

To read about the Perenchio bequest and see more of that collection, click here.
To see all the gifts in the 50 for 50 show, click here.

Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, 
as if it were necessary to understand, 
when it is simply  necessary to love.
~Claude Monet

Friday, June 12, 2015

House of the Vestals in Pastel

Accept the things to which fate binds you,
and love the people with whom fate brings you together,
but do so with all your heart.
~Marcus Aurelius 

Staying with the theme of Antiquity (from my last post) I thought I'd share my most recent pastel.

This photo was taken in 2012, at the Roman Forum. I'd just been on the Palatine hill and the sun had begun to set as I made my way off the hill and through the Forum. They were trying to get everyone out but I managed to make my way into the House of the Vestals. Last time I had been there, there was so much excavation going on, you couldn't really see much, but from the other side of a chain. 

The photo I chose for a study was one of those frustrating moments in "point and shoot" photography, where you can get the beautiful sunset sky but everything in the foreground is in silhouette ... or you can photograph the subject matter in front and the sky becomes totally blown out and white!

Solution? Do a painting.

This was mounted, sanded, paper than can take water media. So ... I was covering the surface with water colors, to have a jumping off point for the pastels.

My little setup with my handmade Heilman box, below. It has a little metal easel that sticks into holes drilled into the box, to make it easier for working in plein air (outdoors) ... or in class.

Below, you can see I've started getting the trees, the background Roman structures and sky in, with pastels.

I like doing a pink underpainting in the sky with the watercolor and letting it show through when I go over it with pastel, especially for a painting that's during "magic hour." You can see I've started defining some of the stone of the reflecting pool, as well as some of the other greenery.

Going more into the stonework, and getting the mossy feel, as well as a bit of a reflection ...

And finally, into the statuary ... I kept the  ones in the distance softer and more loose.

And here it is! I am going to lighten the lower left corner slightly so it doesn't match so much with the right ... but there you have it!

House of the Vestals
Pastel on sanded board

For my photographic post of that magic hour I spent at the House of the Vestals and Roman Forum click here.
For the Palatine Hill, click here.
For the pastel demo of The Baths of Caracalla, click here.

When you arise in the morning,
 think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive-
to breathe,
to think,
to enjoy,
to love.
~Marcus Aurelius 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Afternoon at the Villa ~ Getty Villa Malibu

Time is the wisest counselor of all.

Inner Peristyle of the Getty Villa

Back on March 30th, I drove to Malibu to meet my sister Penny and her friend Chris, at the Getty Villa. It was a beautiful day to have a little lunch and take a trip back in time! 

Fragment of a Female Head
Greek, made in Taras, South Italy
440-430 B.C.

History of the Getty Villa, which is the same short film (12:22) that you can watch when you enter the Villa!

Greek, 300-100 B.C.

"Gold wreaths were often modeled after the floral wreaths given as prizes in athletic contests. Here the leaves and berries imitate those of the laurel, a tree sacred to Apollo, got of prophecy and music. The wreath's fragility suggests that it was not intended to be worn in life but would have served as a funerary offering or a dedication to a deity." (Although, I would totally rock this wreath during the holidays!)

The Secret of change
is to focus all of your energy,
not on fighting the old,
but on building the new.

In the area below, at the end of summer, they put on productions of Greek plays! I've been wanting to go for years. I need to get it together this year!

Mask of a Satyr
Greek, made in the eastern Meditteranean,
300-100 B.C.
Terracotta and pigment

And so hail to you, Dionysos, god of abundant grapes!
Grant that we may come again rejoicing to this season 
and from that season onward for many a year.
~Homeric Hymn to Dionysos, about 680 B.C.

Sarcophagus Panel with Medusa and Theater Masks
Roman, A.D. 140-70

Wall or Ceiling Fragments with a Maenad, 
and Bacchus and Ariadne (above) 
Roman, A.D. 1-75
Plaster and pigment

Lovely Venus/Aphrodite!

Altar with Aphrodite and Adonis
Greek, made in Taras, South Italy
400-375 B.C. 
Terracotta and pigment

Statuette of Venus
Greek or Roman, 100-1 B.C.
Rock Crystal

This little statue is modeled after a large-scale sculpture of Venus crouching to bathe herself, that was made in the Hellenistic Period. That original has not survived but don't you love this crystal version? It was maybe 6 or 7 inches tall, if I remember correctly.

Count each day 
as a separate life.
~Seneca (Roman philosopher circa 4 BCE-65 AD)

They have a little interactive area that is set up for the kids. My sister did this little rubbing for my nephew who was at school that day.

He is richest who is content with the least,
for contentment is the wealth of nature.

Love the floors! Yes, those are my Birkenstock clad feet.

Slumbering figure of Eros, next to Hygieia's side.
Roman, A.D. 200-250

Looking down onto the inner peristyle (seen in the first photo) from the second floor.

Head of Emperor Augustus
Roman, 25-1 B.C.

Hello, handsome! Augustus was always portrayed as a young man, beardless and idealized. I like to imagine the first Roman Emperor like this, in all his gorgeous studly glory, your basic Roman babe. Sigh.

Bust of Emperor Commodus
Roman, A.D. 180-185

Wine Cup with Revelers
Greek, made in Athens, 500-490 B.C.
Red-figured kylix

The cup above with with drunken young men, holding each other up, cracks me up. The other side has a maenad and a satyr, companions to the wine god Dionysos. Very appropriate!

Looking down from the second floor, you can see the beautiful area below but no water in the pool. (This drought has reminders everywhere!)

True happiness is ... to enjoy the present 
without anxious dependence on the future.

Mold-Blown Glass

Greek or Roman Glass Bowls
between 100 B.C.- A.D. 25

Green Cup with Tendrils
Roman, A.D. 1-100

Snake Bracelet
Romano-Egyptian, A.D. 1-100

Necklace with a Phoenician Pendant of a Bearded Man
Etruscan, 525-500 B.C.
Gold and glass

Necklace with Relief Pendant
Roman, A.D. 200-400
Gold, garnet, emerald, glass, and chalcedony

Roman, A.D. 300-400
Gold, glass, emerald, and sapphire
(so gorgeous!!)

Greek, probably made in Alexandria
Egypt, 220-100 B.C.
(Need something fabulous to cover your bun?!)

Earring with Nike Pendants
Greek, 225-175 B.C.
Gold and glass

... and going waaaaay back here!
Pregnant Female Figure
Early Cycladic, 2700-2300 B.C.

Harp Player
Early Cycladic, 2700-2300 B.C.
(Only one of a dozen known sculptures of its kind.)

They were selling these little olive trees ... 

Wall Fragment with a Peacock
Roman, about A.D. 70
Plaster and pigment

In Ancient Rome, Peacocks were brought from India to Rome, where they became exotic pets and were symbols of immortality and wealth.

Below, my sister and her friend Chris.

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments,
but what is woven into the lives of others.
~Pericles (Greek circa 495-429 BCE)

No man ever steps in the same river twice,
for it's not the same river, 
and he's not the same Man.
~Heraclitus (circa 535-475 BCE)

That's my sis!

I used to love watching Huell Howser on PBS! Here is his visit to the villa. (He cracks me up. No one is ever more enthusiastic than Huell was!)

for my past posts of the Getty Villa click here and here.

for the official website click here.

Hope you enjoyed the visit! 
blessings and light!

Day by day,
what you choose, 
what you think
and what you do
is who you become.
~Heraclitus (Greek from Ephesus 535-475 BCE)