Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday June 21, 2011 Still Life Revisited/Flowers, Blanket and Pot

"If something is worth hearing or listening to, it's very probably worth reading (or seeing). This above all: Find your own voice."
--Christopher Hitchens

The artist must find his own voice. The "what" of the work, belongs to the artist. The "what" he is passionate about, "what" he loves. No one can say what his "what" should be. One way to find the "what", is when you go out into the world, to the museum, to look at work, be aware what gets your attention. Make a note, when you return to the studio, look at your own work, ask questions. Does your work have what you love in the work of others? If not, why not?

The "how", is a different story. This belongs to the viewer. It is the artist's responsibility to never bore the viewer. He must always work to the best of his ability. If the viewer sees the work, and thinks, "I've seen that before." It is the fault of the artist. The artists' process is a performance. Though he is alone in the studio when he creates the work, his process will show in the completed work, which is simply what is left when the process is complete.

It is with this series of Still Life Revisited. I am looking for my own way to "say" it. My own way to "paint" it. My own way to "use color". I am seeking my own voice.

"When we write poem, (paint paintings), the history of poetry (painting) is with us, pre-inscribed in the white of the page". --Jen Bervin. On the other hand, "None of the words Miss Stein uses have ever had any experience. They are no older than her use of them." --Laura Riding's comment about Gertrude Stein

She thus puts into play questions of ownership, who owns the words (images) we use, whether owning them is as suggestive and complicated as owning a cloud in the sky.

Our experiences as human beings can be universal, but the way we talk about our experiences is unique, or should be.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday June 26, 2011

This is the latest Still Life Revisited/ Two Pots This works perfectly with the idea of penumbra, between the perfect shadow.

Lumina Gallery Taos, New Mexico is preparing a show focusing on drawings. The name of the show will be Penumbra, between the perfect shadow, as a reference to drawing. I wrote a little piece about drawing called Penumbra on annellannell.wordpress.com

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday June 24, 2022 Still Life Revisited

Still Life Revisited/Plate and Plant

I continue to work with the idea of still life revisited. I am simplifying, using gouache on paper, flat and hard edge. This is the second version for this piece. It seems to be necessary to paint several pieces, to create a context within which to look at the works, in order to be able to judge them.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday June 23, 2011 A Glove Without a Hand by Diane Armitage

This is an article from The Magazine, by Diane Armitage

"At those times when the soul tends to be choked by material disbelief, art becomes purposeless and talk is heard that art exits for art's sake alone. Then is the bond between art and the soul, as it were, drugged into unconsciousness... It is very important for the artist to gauge his position aright... He must search deeply into his own soul, develop and tend it, so that his art has something to clothe, and does not remain a glove without a hand." --Wassily Kandinsky --Concerning the Spiritual in Art

The last hundred years has been the century for self-introspection, and our analytical findings have swung back and forth between the material and the non-material worlds of identity. Somewhere between Kant and Kandinsky, the practice of art became as good as any other system of thought for teasing out our intimations of the absolute and the ineffable. And Marx's dialectics seeded the ground for other kinds of formal thinking about being in the material world. Then in the early part of the last century, Malevich's careful placement of squares, rectangles, and triangles would act as a representative for art as a mirror of supremem states of consciousness--for art on a higher plane achieved by a thoughtful economy of means that relied on color, form, and composition. God was dead, some of the pundits cried, but long live art and the mystical imperative!

The early-twentieth-century artworld saw quite a few "isms" come into being, splitting apart not only the picture plane but concepts of time, mater, and energy in a frantic and prolonged dance of interchangeability; artists, even if they didn't know the specifics of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, were keen to make visible what is in essence an invisible process. Who can ever experience the speed of light squared? And if you could, would you even want to? All you would do is explode. But cultural explosions were part of the zeitgeist at that time, even if some of them meant embracing ideas about the transcendent and the mystical. And so color, form, and composition became vehicles for philosophical debate -- for a magical convertibility into experiences of cosmic consciousness. Enter Kandinsky and his book Concerning the Spriitual in Art.

... 2011 marked the hundred-year anniversary of Kandinsky's incredibly influential book--a work that was not only of its time, but would prove to have a long shelf life. Concerning the Spiritual in Art is undoubtedly one of the most quoted texts for a thirsty era of artists and theoreticians who keep gravitating to more meaningful levels of art practice and its accompanying discourse. Yet many individuals believe that the desire for spiritual experience within a work of art is hopeless or merely hokum--that art speaks only to and about itself. Still when Kandinsky wrote his book about art as a potentially pure and highly distilled response to an "inner necessity" that art could or should be an abstract mirror of a "mystical inner construction"--his ideas were definitely part of a not-uncommon slipstream of spiritual longings and occult preoccupations that had not gone out of fashion since the alchemical heydays of the Renaissance.

... Kandinsky believed that human emotion consists of subtle energetic fields and these are set in motion by our experiences of nature and exterior phenomena. He wrote, "Words, musical tone, and colors possess the psychical power of calling forth our vibrations... ultimately bringing about he attainment of knowledge...The artist's inner life was the prima materia for the creativw process.

Image by Hilma Af Klint. "Kandinsky believed that the artist's path involved unlocking the visible to reveal what is inside it."

...these artists were influenced by metaphysical ideas, Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevih, Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keeffee, Agnes Pelton, Suzanne Duchamp, and her brother Marcel. ...many of the pioneers of abstraction such as Malevich, and painters who came later like Barnet Newman, Mark Rothko, and Agnes Martin, openly professed a spiritual basis in their work.

...Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Oric Orr, Robert Irwin, and Ann Hamilton--demonstrated their own clear links to a quest for provoking in viewers higher levels of awareness arrived at by the artists' conscious choice of color, for, and the judicious implementation and placement of materials.... It is from this wholly abstract inner space that the desire rose to concretize the abstractions, and so began the Modernist agenda.

Agnes Martin, Untitled, ink on paper, 9"x('. 1963.

It is our destiny to be double. Light itself is both a particle and a wave. We are matter and, o the atomic level, we are also a lot of empty space just waiting to give and receive emanations, vibrations, and a host of projections about the nature of what is. We gravitate to experiences that the material world presents to us, such as food, shelter, clothes, people, artwork, a flowing river, sunsets, a sky full of stars. But there is more to life than that. Our destiny of being double sometimes seems like a curse, and yet if we tilt mainly toward the material world, where does that leave the huge body of evidence for things not seen?
...Kandinsky believed that the highest purpose of art is to renew the age which spawns it. In regards to what is characterized as the art of our time, does Contemporary Art have something to clothe, or does it excel at cloning garments of emptiness and vapidness and a long narcissistic cell line of objects and spectacles applauded by gloves without hands? It's up to each one of us who seriously care about the evolution of culture to decide what is the sound of one empty glove clapping, or what induces genuine feelings of awe and a desire to investigate further the complexity of the depths with us.

Diane Armitage is a video artist and writer who also teaches art history at the Santa Fe Community College.

This article made me wonder... do people realize there is meaning behind art? Do you?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday June 18, 2011 Letter to Myself

A few years ago I was asked by my dealer to do some still lifes. Well it isn't that easy. Perhaps the artist is working on her own ideas. But I kept the request in the back of my head and kept asking myself what would I have to bring to the genre of still life, that no one else was doing? What would be uniquely my own. After about three years of asking myself that question, I decided: It would be "still life" but with a sense of place. Since I lived and worked in New Mexico, and this place is strongly influenced by Mexico... now how to show that? I decided upon using the weavings of Mexico, which are considered the most colorful in the world and the pottery of Mexico. I would use flat color and hard edge.

The still lifes did not please my dealer. So they went into the flat file. I worked on the series about two years. Recently I was looking through the drawers for something and came upon the still lifes. And still there is something authentic that I like about them. I decided I was not through with that series. I would continue to work with the still lifes, only take them a step further. Perhaps more simplified.

I am working with gouache on paper. I have found when you are working on a new series of work, you must create enough to give the work context. And I have only created two. Today I go to Santa Fe for a poetry workshop. Sadly the art supply store has closed in our town, so I will also go to the art supply store. It is one thing when you are working with gouache, you must have a nice selection of colors. So I will stock up, before I begin the next piece.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday June 15, 2011 We Write Poems/ Poets Asides / Poets United

Thank you so much Sherry for the interview at Poets United. I hope you will take a look!

Image from the internet. Life and Ties of Mother Andrea.jpg
We Write Poems
Poets Asides
Writer's Island

This morning I got this email from Kathleen:

My Mom passed away peaceful today at 2:00.

She read her mail one last time, ate a good lunch,
had a homemade cookie and went to sleep...
As always, she did it her way......

I spoke with her last nite, She knew I was
to leave next week to see her. She thought
that was great.
Her last words to me were, I miss you, I love you,
and they were my words too.

I will leave on thur. and probably be gone
for about a week.


The guests are gone
The house is quiet
It shivers
Footsteps echo
The shadow behind each chair
Whispers unintelligent pleadings
Breathable air seeps out

The body coils into a ball
Hard and unyielding
Unable to extend to it's full length
Soft kitties offer themselves
The mind screams
You are gone
In the first day of loneliness
Your going away day

You were incomparable
You were one among many
You were my own
Your breath was mine
Your breast was mine
I look into your eyes
I see my own soul
The soul that is mine

Your were my rock
My touchstone
Your chores are all done
Given all that you had
Yet the all of you
Remains in my heart
I call you Mother

*Yesterday my friend Kathleen's Mother, Julia Brennan, 1921-2011, went away. She died. After a long and full life. I never met her, but each time I saw Kathleen at her studio, I saw the pictures of her Mother. She shared her love of her Mother with me, I felt I knew her. She expressed a life well lived. Kathleen talked to her Mother just last night, with" I miss you, I love you," she said goodbye.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday June 13, 2011 Magpie Tales

The Hermit Crab's New House
There under the lights
The winds gently blew
You traded shells
Each wanted the best
The biggest
The most beautiful
Sometimes taking
Possession of a new shell
While still holding on
To the old one
You would drag it with you
As you paraded along the glass
Little hermit hardly big enough
To handle the big new
Home you had selected
And yet not willing to give up the old
You wanted it all
Not so different really

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday June 12, 2011 Undercaws/Poets United/ Carry on Tuesday/ Writers Island


Prior to visiting the new site today
I was suffering the loss of the wordle
I could see the words dance
Across the polished floor
Challenging the current champions
Beginning with the complicated
Steps of the tango
Tangled into Spanish music
They were comfortable with steps
Worked out in practice
They knew no restrictions
Guided by their intuition
Limited only by their imaginations
They envisioned the celebration
Of their win
Toasting with cocktails
It would all be child's play


Carry on Tuesday prompt, "slipping through my fingers"
Writers Island prompt #271, "the next step"
Poets United/poetry pantry

Your Return
I am not here
As often as I like
But when I am gone
And you can't see me
I am not far away
Stacking blocks
Sewing disparate pieces together
Finding meaning
Scooping up rays
Gathering wool in the rain

I often think of you
The mystery you weave
Understanding impossible
I hold out my hand
Which holds a small blue bird
An offering, a gift
Still I search for
The two small boxes
Filled with sand
For building castles
Stored carefully
Until your return

I hold the pink sand
In my hands
It slips through my fingers
On second thought
I had no hold at all
Never really held
The glistening sand
Only heard the happy earth voices
And knew them
By the words
Tossed about on the wind

The next step will only be
One in a continuum
Of steps taken
In a world so brilliant
I shade my eyes
My lashes rest on
My wet cheeks

I will continue my search
Always looking
Often in the same place
More than once
Never finding
What I know is here
Right here
Even held it once
But it also
Slipped through my fingers
Falling somewhere
I slide my fingers into the cracks
I feel warm flesh
Which I caress gently
And remember I await
Your return

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday June 11, 2011 Writer's Island

Image from the internet.

Writer's Island prompt #24 incomparable

Old Friends

There are no friends like old friends
Something that can not be made in a day
But rather something that is created slowly over time
Like a stew that bubbles all afternoon
Fills the house with wonderful aromas

Something to be cherished and savored
Your friendship is incomparable
So much unnecessary to be said
Since we share a common history
And still when I see you words
Tumble from my mouth
So much I want to share
Words that are like children
Each wanting to be first
So much pushing and shoving

I take your hand
Look into your eyes
You know me
No apologies offered
Nothing to be said
You are my friend
And I am yours

I dedicate this piece to my "old friend" Vanita.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday June 7, 2011 Carry on Tuesday

Carry on Tuesday # 108 The first sentence from William Least Heat-Moon's novel Blue Highways
"Beware thoughts that come in the night"

sometimes i like to play
to mix words up
but this statement is
a warning no matter
the order of the words

night thoughts beware
of their coming
the meaning stays
more or less the same

thought of coming in the night beware
still a warning
and one i would not give
for often it is in that luscious
time just before waking
insights and solutions
come as if on angel wings

it seems as long as
the word "beware" remains
it is a warning no doubt
perhaps it is about the
"little worries" which
bar the way of sleep
and i know them well
they seem to ring a bell
strike a cord
there it is
and in the morning light
all that was worried about
disappears like a puff of smoke

while the sun shines
i declare
i will never
do that again
knowing all the while
night thoughts
will come again
good and bad

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday June 6, 2011 Magpie

Magpie #68

The eye of the viewer
The eye of the critic
The one I hope will see me
I stand in the crowd
I step back into the shadows
All the while hoping you will see
And hoping you won't
Can I bear your stinging tongue
The judgement of your eye

I stand before you
Exposed for all to see
No holds barred
I beckon to you
It is my idea
I wish to share
Written in long hand
Formed in paint

At last you stand before me
My breath catches in my throat
You turn away
Nothing to see
Move along

I am left hanging on the wall
I have given you my best
You looked you saw nothing
I had feared your criticism
Even worst I have been ignored
Judged unworthy

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday June 5, 2011 Beyond the Bezone

Beyond the Bezone Wordle

Searching for the unknown
I lean over the edge of the abyss
Stare into the inky darkness
A voice asks
What is it you seek

Ideas spin

Simple not gaudy
Common becomes unique
To see for the first time
To dig deep
To fill burrows with ideas
How little can I say
And you will understand me
Find a way that is different
One I have not traveled
Yet still my own

I take each step unafraid
Where yellow breaks through
I will look for purple
Seek the magic glow
Try to get it "right"
Someone whispers
The heart murmurs
The scale undulates

What I seek cannot be measured
It isn't in a book
I teeter on the edge
Look for balance
Exactly where I should be
I get it right or
I plunge to my death
I play for keeps
Upon the pure white plane

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday June 3, 2011

The Color Bue

The trail I follow with my eyes
Is a trail upon which my
Feet will never walk
The trail leads deep and far away
The trail is the color blue
The color of the distance
The color of far horizons
The color of longing
The color of your eyes
When you look into mine

If I walked that trail
As I approached the destination
The color blue would disappear
Up close all would change
No longer that lovely shade of blue
Shade of longing
Shade of you
The distance must be kept
The sacred space
Allowed to be
Like the golden fish
Flashing in water
Becomes dull no longer shines

It is not a trail to travel
Only to be known
To visit in the imagination
Still lovely
Still blue
Color of longing
Color of you

Taking time off.....

I am taking some time off from posting on my blog.  I am studying, practicing, have so much to learn....