Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hunk Tower

We’ve just returned home from Fort Lauderdale, and I’m wondering what to do for a blog entry on this last day of the month. We have been so busy with The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida and catching up on work for two art shows with Arts United in Fort Lauderdale that I haven’t had much time to devote to this journal. So, I’ve decided to go back to some of the earliest prints I made in 2000 and 2001 using Adobe Photoshop.

Hunk Tower (21" x 17") digital print, August, 2001

The WWII Observation Towers on Cape Henlopen in Delaware, and a photo of a young hunk I saw on the Internet inspired “Hunk Tower.” The image of the hunk - truncated, made transparent and altered in other ways - inhabits the phallic symbol that is the tower. The print is part of a series of prints that were exhibited in a one-man show at The Blue Moon Restaurant in September of 2001. Because I had designated my photos of the two towers on North Shore as Tower #1 and #2 for the convenience of titling the artworks, and because I had put airplanes into most of the prints, many viewers interpreted the print series as being prescient. The fact that I made red blobs that looked like drops of blood in the prints probably didn't help matters much either. I, of course, being modest, and doubting that I had done any such thing said over and over again, “I had no thought of New York City the Trade Center Towers, and/or September 11th in mind when I made the Tower Series.” I would add that I put the planes in the images because, reclining on my beach towel, I often saw planes flying above Rehoboth Beach on rout between Boston, New York and other megalopolis cities as well as Miami and cities well to the south. Never the less, distancing myself from possible clairvoyance didn't help, and I sold quite a few of the prints. As part of that show there were also many over-sized pastel paintings of the towers based on my tower numbering system. These huge pastels showed the WWII Observation Towers under different weather conditions. They sold like hotcakes as well - which was amazing because they were the most expensive pastels I've sold to date. That show was probably more successful than any show I've had or taken part in since due in no small part to an accident of history and nomenclature.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Two Women, A Man and A Boat

Today’s blog entry is about process. It is about the way I use photography to help create my pastel paintings. The painting from 2 years ago was based on 4 photographs all of which I took with my digital camera. The photographs were the following: a picture of my husband, Joe standing on the beach, a picture of two women standing on the beach, a photo of clouds, and a photo of a boat. It is important to note that all of these photos come from my digital photo morgue - a categorized collection of photographs used to help in art production - that I keep on my computer and add to regularly. I used Adobe Photoshop to cut the people and boat from their particular photographs and then paste into the picture of Joe looking out at a calm south Florida ocean. I chose to reverse the image of the two women and have them look away from the boat and off the edge of the painting. I suppose that had to do with a philosophical notion that the artwork serves as a window into an alternate reality and that if the women are looking off the edge of the painting that suggests the extension of the artistic vision beyond the picture plain. I was relying on the strong triangulation between women, boat, and Joe to hold the viewer's attention on the picture plain, and I hope that worked. I include the individual photos and the photographic montage below.

There are some obvious differences between the painting and the photographic montage. First I moved the horizon up in the painting in order to achieve a more interesting division of space. Second, I moved the boat over so the triangle created by Joe, the two women and the boat is less obtuse. Third, my colors are much more blue and intense than those in the photographic montage. Forth, I’ve made more contrast in the colors of the painting in order to make the clouds more interesting. The added contrast helps me to achieve a glow in the water that is present to the eyes when I am at the beach, but that doesn’t show up very well on the photographs. Additionally, the way I work by making marks with the pastels creates an overall texture not present in the photograph.

The final photographic montage that I named "Two Women, a Boat and Joe."

By working with and continuously updating my morgue of digital photographs I am able to assemble images that I would never find in reality, images that sometimes speak to me of the calm spiritual nature I find within myself when I am at the beach. And, I get to work in the calm and cool space that is my well-lighted porch in Florida, or studio in Delaware with everything I need for production at hand. Change is the one constant we deal with in reality. By working with this process I can make a reality that becomes it’s own constant, never changing as I work, whether the artwork itself is peaceful, or tumultuous.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

LGBT Pictionary and Pastels

Artworks from the LGBT Pictionary and Pastel Seascapes by yours truly are Currently on Display at Stork's Bakery and Cafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

LGBT Pictionary and Pastels Exhibit

The exhibit was installed Monday, November 4, 2013 and will remain through Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Closet, The LGBT Pictionary (June 7, 2013) 8" x 8," 10" x 10" framed.

An exhibit of some of the small works from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pictionary and some of the pastel paintings is at Storks Bakery & Café in Fort Lauderdale, Florida through the New Year. Arts United of Fort Lauderdale sponsors the exhibit, and it includes 10 of the small works from the LGBT Pictionary. They are Amphierotic, Closet, Dyke, Faggot, Fairy Dust, Flannel Shirt Lesbian, Fruit, Pansy, Pink Triangle, and Poof. Two of the pastel paintings are included as well, and they are South Florida Sunrise #4, and Supermoon, March 19, 2011. All the artworks are available for purchase. The Pictionary originals, framed are $145.00 each, 3 for $375.00. Prints are available unframed at the extremely affordable price of $25.00 each. The Pastels are much more expensive, but priced reasonably for size and quality. South Florida Sunrise, $1500.00, framed, and Supermon, $400.00.

For anyone in Dade, Broward or Palm Beach Counties wishing to view the exhibit, my favorite time of day at Stork's Bakery and Cafe is mid to late morning. That way I can enjoy a cup of coffee and one of the delicious pastries made at Storks.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November Graphics

November Graphics for the past 4 years 

 This is the 2nd in the series of Graphics from my blog. Looking back trhough the years I was amazed at the variety of graphic illustrations in The Art of John Bittinger Klomp.  Though the October review has more variety of color than the November there is never the less a great variety in shape and line, and I see a trend toward unity created by the constant use of the square format, patriotic colors, and similar font, Century Gothic.

The following outlines briefly the purpose of each of the graphics. First, the black square with the white speck held in a circular halo of shaded values was used to represent God, the universe, as well as nothing. "Vote Damn It" was my reaction to the lack of voting Democrats in the 2010 election which led to our Tea Party do nothing congress. The "Plutocratic Capitalism" piece voices in part my frustration that the Military/industrial/technological complex has managed to convince us as a society that it is a capitalist system despite the fact that the competitive aspect of capitalism died with "mom and pop" businesses in the last century, and that anything labeled "socialism" is bad. In 2012 and 2013 I have been working on my GLGB Pictionary of which "Gay" was one of the first words illustrated in the mixed media distressed painting technique.

During the next ten months I will make the graphic review the first entry every month.