Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Pieter Bruegal the Elder. The Harvesters. 1565. Oil on Wood. 46.5 x 63.25. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 1996 my husband and I spent several weeks in the Czech Republic and Poland and on the way back to the Frankfurt Airport, detoured through Vienna. We spent several intensely happy hours in the Kunsthistorisches Museum*, including a long stint in a room with Bruegals. We sat and looked at Hunters in the Snow for the longest time. It's a deeply moving painting. It's also one of six. I've seen five.
Here's a website (fantastic) at Columbia University:
"The t]heme of the story told by Lawrence’s pictures is the great south-to-north migration of Negroes that commenced during the first world war and has continued in lesser degree ever since. In one of the biggest population shifts in U.S. history over a million Negroes quit the crumbling, semifeudal cotton economy of their forefathers and trekked to the industrial cities of the North. Behind them were poverty and the flaring prejudices that grew with poverty. An average of fifty-six Negroes were being lynched every year. Then the war-burdened factories of the North sent out a call for cheap labor. "
Sunday, December 27, 2009
A few days ago a journalist and professor listed her 5 favorite books of 2009 on Facebook. Fantastic idea. I jotted them down for my reading list and immediately began thinking about my 5 favorite paintings of 2009.
This was a good year for art for me. I returned to painting full time, established and kept a fairly disciplined studio habit, and painted a number of paintings. I put together my website, this blog, an email and mail list, had a show and sold paintings. All good.
I visited museums and saw great art. One of my painting professors (yes, the one who told me I had to paint 100 paintings) told me once that you have to see great art to make great art. She regularly flew to DC just to go to museums. That's inspiring!
In February I went to New York and visited the Met (3 times!), the Cloisters, MOMA, the Guggenheim and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. In June I visited my daughter near DC and went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Phillips Collection, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In August I went to California and visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, many galleries, the Los Angeles County Art Museum and the Getty. In September I went to Vancouver, to the Vancouver Art Gallery. I visited galleries in Seattle a number of times throughout the year and spent a morning at the Seattle Art Museum.
Along the way I saw many fabulous paintings. It's hard to winnow my list to 5 but I will. Over the next few days I'll post my favorites.
Monday, December 21, 2009
This is a stretch of highway in the Chuckanuts, near my home. To me this area between Blanchard and Lake Samish is one of the loveliest parts of I-5. It always thrills me to drive through there, especially when the fog swirls through the hills by the lake.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Bosc pears have the more toned down look of winter about them. I struggle with painting these subtle fruits, never certain about how best to paint the foreground/background to make them shine. I do love how pears are rarely upright - they often lean towards each other on the windowsill.
Friday, December 18, 2009
This is the first of several paintings of the highway in winter. Where I live winter means rain, wet pavement, raking light, fog and sometimes snow.
This is of Snoqualmie Pass in the rain.
This is the view from the town of Loomis in northcentral Washington. The Loomis has been a part of my life for decades. My husband spent part of his time near here at geology field camp just days after our wedding. Yes, days. The snack in the geology van was our wedding cake.
Years later we went on a road trip to the area and spent days exploring Palmer Lake, Molson, Chesaw and the fascinating grave site of Ranald MacDonald.
Then in 1998 I took a job with Conservation Northwest just as they were gearing up their fundraising efforts to put 25,000 acres of high elevation old growth forest, slated for clearcuts, into public ownership. This area is key lynx habitat. Today they're working to keep the legacy of ranching in place in the area. As a small part of that, the beef my family eats is grass fed from these ranches.
That's the long road to the information about this painting: this is the view from Loomis towards the south. Beautiful place.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Today Dan had a geology job site to visit along the Samish River in Sagit County so I went along. After a week of sunshine and bitter cold, it was cloudy and thus less visually interesting. I practiced with my new camera then read Bram Stoker's Dracula on my iPhone.
We made a second stop to check out a flood control project in the South Fork of the Nooksack River and the sun was starting to come out. The banks of the river were iced, the bare trees were flooded with sun and lit up against the dark clouds to the west. It was beautiful.
As we left we saw 3 wild turkeys and stopped to watch them. They are crazy creatures. Like little dinosauers walking around and around our car. This big one was especially interested in us.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Artist Donna Auer, Nicole Oliver and Isabelle Vanderslice. Three wonderful women!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
We were driving along the California Coast in August and the closer we got to Monterey the more Monterey Pines we saw. Finally I realized WHY they were called Monterey Pines. Yes Monterey Pines. In Monterey. Sometimes I'm slow. They are wonderful trees to see in their native habitat.
This is a quick shot from Friday night's art event in Bellingham, Babes & Byways. Anne-Marie Faiola on the right is the new owner of my painting 'Road Turns'.
It was a fantastic event in a great space. Many wonderful people stopped by the look at art, chat and to buy paintings. Most of the paintings in the show sold! Thank you all - old friends and new friends - who came by to see my paintings. I was especially honored to have local artists like Jody Bergsma, Shirley Erickson Donna Auer, Ron Pattern, James Lourie, Laurie Potter and Ruthie V stop by.
Thanks also to Bob Hall of Bellingham for donating such a terrific space for us to display art (check out the gorgeous stone wall behind us) and to Marisa Papetti and Scott Pelton of fifthonsixth for putting on the event.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Katherine Tyrrell is an artist and author in England who draws and writes about art and artists for art lovers. Katherine hosts one of the 'go-to' blogs for the art world. In my online research, I found hers to be the most comprehensive source for artists on the web. I was thrilled yesterday when Katherine posted information about my upcoming show on her blog, Making a Mark!
Recently a friend asked me if I have favorites among my paintings or if I love them all equally. I do have favorites. Clouds and Fields, which I posted yesterday, is one and this, Summer Road, is another. I was framing this yesterday, in preparation for the big show, Babes & Byways, and thinking about how much I've enjoyed this painting. I find it to be expansive and peaceful.
Meanwhile I'm also busy painting my next set of favorites in my studio! I'm working on several paintings along the lines of North Cascades Highway.