Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 27, 2013 Sunday Whirl #119 /Poets United #160

Calligraphy by Kanjuro Shibata XXNote:The pattern of the artist’s process is a circle.
One day
Always the first day
Always a beginning

The unbroken circle
Gather scarce resources
Jeweled colors
 Stuffed into tubes
The finest brush
Paper like skin

Revisit old ideas
Rooted in days gone bye
Weigh their strength
Count crows on the fence
Woven into patterns
Catching rain
To water the vegetation
That fills the garden
 Grows in your brain

 Left unattended
 The cells of the
 Heart are eroded
 Without the strength
 To begin again
Until the last day
 When the artist
 Breaks the circle and
This infomation from wikipedia.   This is about the Japanese word, Enso, which means circle.
Ensō (円相) is a Japanese word meaning “circle” and a concept strongly associated with Zen. Ensō is one of the most common subjects of Japanese calligraphy even though it is a symbol and not a character. It symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void; it can also symbolize the Japanese aesthetic itself. As an “expression of the moment” it is often considered a form of minimalist expressionist art.
In Zen Buddhist painting, ensō symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create. The brushed ink of the circle is usually done on silk or rice paper in one movement (Bankei, however, occasionally used two strokes) and there is no possibility of modification: it shows the expressive movement of the spirit at that time. Zen Buddhists “believe that the character of the artist is fully exposed in how she or he draws an ensō. Only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true ensō. Some artists will practice drawing an ensō daily, as a kind of spiritual practice.”[1]
Some artists paint ensō with an opening in the circle, while others complete the circle. For the former, the opening may express various ideas, for example that the ensō is not separate, but is part of something greater, or that imperfection is an essential and inherent aspect of existence (see also the idea of broken symmetry). The principle of controlling the balance of composition through asymmetry and irregularity is an important aspect of the Japanese aesthetic: Fukinsei (不均斉), the denial of perfection.
The ensō is also a sacred symbol in the Zen school of Buddhism, and is often used by Zen masters as a form of signature in their religious artwork. For more on the philosophy behind this see Hitsuzendo, the Way of the Brush or Zen Calligraphy.
Prompt: one,  wove, scarce, revisited, rain, rooted,
crows, vegetation, last, cells, eroded, strength

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20, 2013 How to Create a Painting

Fragments G&C #153  30"x30" gouache on w/c paper

How to Create a Painting
Always in a state of repair
Wipe the slate
Driven to continue
Longing rings from far off
Echoes in the heart

When asked
What is the hardest part
About making a painting
The answer is
The beginning
The middle
The end

She begins when she enters
The room that is her studio
It will not be laid out for her
No instructions
She must find her way
Through the no-s and rejections
No time for tears

In the middle
She may lose her way
No memory of
What inspired her
And no idea
How to navigate

The artist often
Doesn’t even know
When the end is reached
The last chance
To speak clearly

I think about it
I do not have the key
My only answer is

The artist must continue

repair, slate, time, driven, think, night, no
mesh, tear, room, longing, key, become
I have heard it declared that “painting is dead,” and yet I find I continue to paint, finding new and different ways to “say” what it is to be alive, to continue the old “dance.”   Elisabeth Tova Bailey says, “The evolution of our species is inextricably tied to making,” I say, it is tied to painting.  It records mystery, history, and the skills of our past.
Painting is a visual language.  A language that is fluent, when words are not sufficient.  It is not only about reality, but also about dreams, feelings, and things that cannot be spoken, for there are no words.  Painting comes into existence in stillness, silence and isolation.  It has the ability to be infinite in its’ meanings.  It can hold different meanings for each who sees it and still another meaning for the one who creates it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19, 2013 Patrick Palmer

Date: July, 17, 2013

Topics: Cretins and Classicism: A Talk with Patrick Palmer
              Literary Gift

Greetings - This email reaches artists, collectors, curators, galleries and friends.

Cretins and Classicism: A Talk with Patrick Palmer  By: Virginia Billeaud Anderson

The following essay was published on The Great God Pan is Dead

Unapologetically, I compare him to Degas.  One can detect that level of skill in his handling of the human figure.  Modeling of form comes by way of sharp-eyed observation, lines are graceful and precise.  And even when working expressionistically, his masterful draftsmanship is discernible.  I recently saw Patrick Palmer’s drawings in the Paper Cuts series at Gallery M Squared and was moved to think their linear elegance reflects an entire lifetime of hard work, which made me want to ask a few questions.

Patrick Palmer, Couples 1, 2013, Collaged drawings on paper with acrylic washes and charcoal, 22” x 22”

Virginia Billeaud Anderson: Despite continual forays into expressionism, I see you as grounded in classicism.  Your approach to line and form is paint-staking and practically Ingres-like in its refinement.  Certainly your teaching specialty, advanced figure drawing, nails you as a formalist.  Please comment on this.

Patrick Palmer: I really love drawing and have been drawing from the live model for almost 40 years. The trick is making a classically rendered drawing into something that is current/viable today. My students will tell you, I want them to all draw exceedingly well, but I need to see individuality within their work.

VBA: It’s been exactly six years since I came upon your painting Lil Man in the 2007 Big Show and wrote about it in a newspaper article.  “A fat-faced cretin whose eyes seem to contain all the wisdom in the universe,” was my pathetic attempt to describe that irresistibly strange figure’s haunting quality.  When you paint something like that, expressionistically rather than realistically, are you speaking symbolically? Do the figures’ sad eyes, for instance, voice higher knowledge, or their blue skin putrefaction and death?

PP: My paintings are all about intriguing a viewer enough that they want to stop and try to make sense with my symbols and interpretations. The color of the skin, levels of realism, crazy sense of proportion, tornadoes, dresses, ties, all are inserted to make this interpretational journey more bumpy, and hopefully more fun!

VBA: I’m wondering Patrick, when you paint your cretins, do you ever feel as if you are directed inward, perhaps approximating states of emotions or sensibility?

PP: I do. I think my drawings and paintings reflect myself; I see my figures fighting solitude and sadness. Perhaps too much they might appear to be always questioning themselves? At any rate I would like my viewers to try to see a little of their selves in my figures.

Patrick Palmer, Modern Man, 2010, Acrylic on Canvas, 24” x 20”

VBA: To inform readers about your current group exhibition - the Paper Cuts series at Gallery M Squared includes thirty artists, with the works on paper changing each month.  And Sharon Kopriva helped to organize the show.  It was surprising to see you combine realistic portraiture with the cretins.  What were you thinking?

PP: It comes from my commitment to drawing/painting from a live model. All six drawings currently exhibited at M2 are demos I did while teaching drawing at Glassell. I cut up 2 drawings to pair them into one collaged drawing. These random Couples, are sometimes very odd, sometimes sad, but hopefully always thought provoking. I like to let the viewers sort out their relationships, good or bad.

VBA: Who inspires you, which artists do you look to?

PP: My artistic heroes are pretty predictable: Lucian Freud, early David Hockey, Jenny Saville, Egon Schiele, Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, and Otto Dix…

VBA: This summer you put your curator hat back on.  I recall in 2011 when you were in the spotlight for organizing Working in the Abstract: Rethinking the Literal, a group exhibition of abstract painters at Glassell.  The new project has you serving as juror for Archway Gallery’s Fifth Annual Juried Exhibition, which runs through July 30.  According to Archway’s press release, over 250 works were submitted, which you reduced down to the current show, which over 300 people attended.  Discuss the criteria that guided you as you evaluated the art and awarded cash prizes, describe your process.

PP: Being a juror is really difficult, but this time when I was asked to choose the art in the Archway 2013 Exhibition, I wasn’t prepared to look at over 250 pieces and pick FORTY from that mass. There were so many works, that I knew I wasn’t going to be picking “good” or “bad” works, but a small body of artwork that not only appealed to my aesthetics but worked well as a single body of work. In other words, I wanted the show to not only be 40 individual pieces of great artworks, but I also wanted the grouping to read collectively as a singular creative and strong exhibit.

VBA: In August 2011 you were appointed Faculty Chair - Dean of the Glassell School of Art, where you have been teaching for over twenty years.  So now you are making art, teaching, and performing boss duties, during what happens to be an interesting time with the new building on the horizon.  Has the “day job” affected your commercial success?

PP: Yes and no. I paint every day, no matter what. I wake up and am anxious to go to the studio to see what I did the day before and how can I improve those works. I now have a shorter time in the studio, but it just means I have to be more focused on the time I have. I think the most interesting thing that has occurred with my job is a new sense of freedom. Before my new job happened, I was partially dependent on the sales of my paintings to support myself, but now I am not. This has made a difference in the studio as I feel like I can now paint whatever I damn want to. If a painting requires five months I can give it that, if I like a painting after 10 minutes I can stop. I do not worry about “marketability” (is that a word?) any longer. I have a new freedom that is great. But has it made me a commercial success?  No.

VBA: Why do you have two studios?

PP: I have a beautiful studio in my back yard that is great; the light, the space, everything is perfect for me to just paint. It is a mess. It is also small. I create two bodies of work a year in that studio and have exhibits in that studio every Fall and Spring. Immediately after each show, I pack up all the paintings and take them to my Winter Street studio, which is set up more like a gallery. When collectors or anyone wants to see my work, I meet them at the Winter Street studio where everything is very neat and tidy. In essence, it is a very pricey storage locker.

VBA: Is there anything you want readers to know about you, your art, or your career?

PP: I think my career is based on one fact: my dad died in his forties when I was in my teens. I took from that an important lesson: “Life is short, you better do what you love, cuz before you blink it’ll be over.” I am so blessed; I love my life: I love to paint, I love to teach, and I think the Glassell School of Art is just a fantastic institution and if I can make it a little bit better, then why not try?

Literary Gift

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.  However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

- Jane Austen

Virginia Billeaud Anderson

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18, 2013 Water Table

Fragments G&C #150  40"x40"  gouache on w/c paper

Water Table
No you can't see it
From here
But it's there
Lying still
Deep rich
Waiting to be called on
When your throat feels dry
Cinnamon candy
Poppy fields

Note:  There is a resource deep within each artist.  It is how paintings are made.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013 Wonder Institute Artist Salon

This summer I have been attending Linda Durham's Wonder Institute Artist's Salon.  It's been a great way to connect with other women artists, talk about things important, things that aren't.    

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 6, 2013 The Voice of the Painting

_MG_0467   Fragments G&C #151  30"x30"  gouache on w/c paper

The Voice of the Painting
I look at paintings I hear voices
Some low almost inaudible
Some scream
Some so pleasant
They seem to sing 

It is impossible to know
The voice the artist
Will assume
What happens
The artist takes a risk
And then he listens  

The voice so comfortable
Like a finger print
It is his along
It fits Without pressure
To be anything else
But his own

To appear naked
Without mask
No smoke and mirrors
Might scare a lesser man
Where one is taught
That it is not enough
To be oneself

I look at paintings
To climb out of myself
I become the voice
I see
I am the viewer
No one orders me


  Mother   mother, a simple word just six letters   “m” is for mine, meadow, meow all the wonders of the world wild meadow orchids including...