Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pierre et Gilles Exhibit, "Heroes"

“Heroes” at Gallerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France through May 1st. *

A short break from my own work to that of my favorite artist couple in the Art World, Pierre et Gilles. The duo works by building elaborate tableau in their studio, posing friends and models, shooting the images, printing on canvas, and then painting into the photo. Each mixed media photo/painting is put in a frame tailored specifically to the finished product. This particular painting from the current show is “Achille,” the model, Staiv Gentis (2011).

*The Advocate, “In the Galleries: Pierre et Gilles’ ‘Heroes," by Christopher Harrity. Posted April 18, 2014, 2:05 PM, EDT, viewed 11:41 PM, EDT.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

History of a Commission In Reverse:

Part II

On February 25th I wrote about these three panels, a commission for friends’ master bedroom. At this stage of the project all three panels have two colors and have been distressed once. My friends love boating and have a 38-foot cruiser, so I’ve found photos in my morgue of sunsets and sunrises on the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean.* I’ve manipulated the photos in Adobe Photoshop so that parts have dropped out and the distressed surface of the painted panels will show through. The three photos are centered, one on each of the (18” x 24”) panels. I have to varnish over them, wax the panels, paint a new color over each panel, and distress again. Much of what is visible now will be - at the least partially, and at the most totally - hidden.

The process of creating mixed media distressed paintings is to a great extent free from. It is impossible to predict what the panels will look like until after all the above processes are completed. Thus, I won’t know what the next steps will be until I see these next steps finished. I do know that I want to embed written words, and type into the paint, but I don’t know what type and words will be there at this stage of the process, though they should have something to do with retirement as a privileged stage in American life, joy, and friendship, because our friends are retired, show so much joy in their diurnal lives, and are such good friends.


*A morgue is an artist’s file of pictures kept as an aid to drawing and painting. I do not use any photos from magazines or other sources. My morgue is composed completely of photos I have taken.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Intracoastal Thunderstorm

I took this photo a few years back, and just happened across it today in my morgue file of pictures taken to use in my paintings, drawings, and mixed media distressed artworks. The light thundershowers we had off and on yesterday (and I do mean light) reminded me how rapidly the weather can go back and forth here in south Florida. While doing my laps I had to get out of the pool two times while a thundershower passed. Each time there was just enough rain to wet the pavers around the pool. However, the showers weren't an annoyance because they served as the proverbial self-pinch, as though God were reminding me how fortunate I am to be able to live this life in retirement. Those of us in my generation have our retirement at a time when so many younger persons in the education profession can no longer hope to have this retirement lifestyle since the powers that be seem to be set against educators in general, and most specifically those in public education.

O-o-ops, I seem to have fallen into a bit of a mini-diatribe about that which I perceive as an inequity in our culture, not so subtly perpetrated by the super rich corporate oligarchy through FOX News and other political outlets. I don’t apologize for my digression, though I do thank God every day for this wonderful retirement that many middle class persons in my generation have been able to achieve!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Outer Space Aliens Invade South Florida!

A fleet of saucer-like objects has been sighted zooming over and landing on several south Florida beaches

The ships vary in size and shape from spherical to ovoid, and fly in crazed zig-zag patterns. A few ships have landed, while others continue to weave around one another in erratic patterns in the sky above. Also, metallic humanoid figures have been seen standing in oval windows, heads turning slowly from side to side as if observing the seascape outside. A flying asteroid accompanies the strange fleet with a castle like building on top. However, most bizarre is the huge banner with the inscription “Castle of the Pyrenees Casino” unfurled above the flying asteroid.

Beach goers have been cautioned not to approach the ships, and Governor Scott has requested that the National Guard be sent to the south Florida beaches where the ships have landed.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blowing Rocks, Jupiter Island, Florida:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Today I write once again about photographs and videos made with the iPhone. As Apple Corporation has demonstrated, their phones can make true works of art, sometimes accidentally. Though I can’t claim the two photos included here are great art, they do fall into the genre, “pretty photos at the beach.” Never the less, yesterday was the perfect day, air - 82 degrees Fahrenheit, H2O – 77 degrees, brilliant sunshine, deep blue sky, nice surf, water various shades of aqua and green, and the iPhone captured it all.* I've included the first photo because my husband is in the background, and because the wave is captured the instant before it breaks.

The second is posted because of the composition, blanket running off the edge in the foreground, the figure behind projecting off the top of the picture plane.

I also shot some video, and I will put together a short movie based on those (time permitting) in a future post.


I am providing links here to information aboutJupiter Island and Blowing Rocks.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Breaking the Mold

Means risking criticism and negative response

South Florida Atlantic, Calm As A Lake (Flat Water),” a 32” x 40” pastel was the very first pastel painting I made in North Palm Beach back in 2006. For years I refused to do any rubbing and blending with chamois, erasers, tortillons or cloth. If colors blended together at all it was because individual marks ran over one another. So, the paintings were made of millions of tiny scribbles rubbing over one another.

When showing these pastels I had been criticized because my “approach to pastel technique was annoying,” which is just another way of saying it just shouldn’t be done that way. I’ve always rebelled against being told that something shouldn’t or can’t be done. To this day, I almost always use the pastel itself as the tool to rub and blend another pastel color together with other pastel colors, though now I may resort to turning the pastel on the side to blend, so I don’t always have to use millions of little scribbles.

I still like the diffuse quality the scribbles made in those old pastel paintings, especially when I made a new color with two, three, or four different pastels of different hue but very similar value scribbled together. Then too, whether working with pastel, graphite, acrylics, or oils, I’ve always enjoyed breaking with tradition, and/ or reviving old discontinued technique. Moreover, I wouldn’t be using my creative talent to the utmost if I didn’t play with ideas, and break rules.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Portuquese Man O’War

I shoot photos wherever I go. This is one from my picture file or Morgue.* I took the picture in 2010, but when I looked at it accidentally this past Saturday I was taken by the Portuquese Man O’War’s sinister beauty. The really dangerous part is the darkest ink-blue-black shape collapsed beneath and behind the inflated sail. People have been known to drown when becoming entangled in the creature’s tentacles, not because they couldn’t get away, but because of the numbing pain. Some of the tentacles are visible around and over the shells. The blue colors shaded from deepest charcoal-navy to cobalt, and gradually shifting through transparent into pale shades of magenta and rose make me want to reach out and touch even though I know better. That magnificent inflated sail would have been almost invisible as this particular small but deadly creature floated in the warm gulfstream water.

When these are found grounded on south Florida beaches you swim at your own risk.  At such times there may be many more, some much larger and almost invisible with twenty-foot tentacles dangling beneath the surface and often well away from the sail.


*A morgue is an alphabetical file of photos that an artist uses as an aid in creating his/her artwork.