Saturday, May 29, 2010

Project Updates Keeping Current

Here are 2 projects from the Monday's rug hooking class. One a small house rug by Charlotte.

And a chair seat cover by Christine. As the advanced class they have designed all the rugs they have made. I am very proud of their accomplishments. They are taking the summer off but we will all go to Charlotte's cottage for a day of visiting and what else, hooking!

The portrait class I am taking at the Farnsworth is still great fun and tends to stretch ones ideas and imagination. This week we had to put ourselves into a faiy Tale. Lots of wings came about with Icarus, Dedalis and angels as well as dragons and a woman rising from the ocean and one sleeping in a pond. Having been facinated by the myths perpetuated with the color red and combined with shoes my own tale is with the overlaying of feminity and culture portrayed with red shoes. I chose to use to tissue as a way to portray the layers. The teacher gave me this idea when I struggled to push one image back and bring another forward. All I could think of was organdy!

Red Shoes charcoal, tissue paper, acrylic paint, pastel

Next will be to put ourselves into a famous painting like the Mona Lisa. I will have to think on this. And our assignment is to make an exagerted drawing pushing those details that make us us.. Hmmm am I ready for this not sure. But adding the paint to the charcoal helped to beef up the heightened color of the shoes which were done in pastel to begin with and not powerful at all. So maybe I am getting this... Time will tell.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Through a Rough Patch

Spring is in full flower here on Westport Island. The air is soft, the trees have unfurled their leaves, lilacs almost gone by and lupine is coloring the roadsides. In the studio I have been busy with rug hooking classes and I have also begun the class in portraits that I am taking at the Farnsworth in Rockland with Martha Miller. It is a challenge to dive into drawing the face when my paintings  move closer to abstraction. Here are examples of what I have been drawing in and out of class.

Non dominant hand

In class we drew from the skeleton and then drew our face over it

Homework ink

Homework a bit of color with the ink

The class is fun and difficult at the same time. Also feels good to be stretched in a new direction. I have always been intrigued with self portraits as well as drawing others faces. The portraits of Van gogh, Alice Neel and Lucien Freud are among my favorites. Last week we had a model in class which was a delight as the whole family ended up in the classroom and we were able to draw a mother and child together.

Every other week we draw oursleves or a model. This week we are to draw oursleves in a fairy tale. I have been facinated with the tales of red shoes and the different stories they tell, from Hans Chistian Anderson's Red Shoes, to Rose Red and the Snow Queen with her red shoes and even into the Wizard of Oz with Dorothy's Ruby Slippers. They speak to repression, gaining of energetic energy, about a woman becoming independent or actice, making her own choices. There is the 1948 film  Red Shoes, based on the Hans Christian Anderson story but more about ballet and the darker powers of dance with the ability to beguile and break the hardiest spirit through ambition and sacrifice. In broad stokes it is dreamlike about the deeply felt moments of empathy and understanding of injustice, selfishness and disappointment. This fleeting moment is one we chase after in dreams and in love and as spectators in art, and for some of us as artists. Well, thats where my research has gone so far. I also have a collection of red shoes. Maybe this will be a time when I can bring all of these ideas and objects together. Time will tell.