Saturday, December 26, 2015

Super Shadow Selfie

I have never taken a cell phone selfie and will not. However, the shadow selfie is an interesting variation on the usual (Ho-hum) selfie, and the slightly less common selfie in the mirror I see posted on Websites everywhere. On Christmas day I stood at the edge of the surf in south Florida and shot a series of photos of my shadow as the water rushed in, over and out. I then assembled 5 of these in a horizontal progression in Adobe Photoshop. The result is the Super Shadow Selfie. Interestingly, I was not aware of changing the position of arms as I shot the photos. The photos demonstrate that I did. I like the way the actual slight green tint of the water changes the overall color of the brown sand in the frames as one views the series from end to end. Also, though not very revealing as to my exact looks, the Super Shadow Selfie demonstrates a great deal about the way my thought processes work when making art, and probably the way I relate to the world around me on a daily basis.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Playing with a Christmas Theme

Mixed Media, Distressed Paint, Digital Camera and Computer

I ‘googled’ “Master’s paintings and Nativity," chose some favorites, and printed them in different sizes. Among them were works by Correggio, David, El Greco, Rubens, and Costa. I covered a 12” square board with a mixture of aqua and white acrylic paint, laminated some of the prints to the board with a solution of Elmer's Glue and water, waited for all to dry, and then coated with oil crayon. I painted over these images with pale bluish tempera paint. It took 4 coats of tempera to cover over the oil crayon. After those coats of paint dried I chipped through the tempera paint with a knife, and finally I put a coat of varnish over all. I’ve decided that I need at least 6 more layers of images, paint, oil crayon and varnish, and then I’ll have next year’s Christmas card. Part of the fun of this process is photographing the mixed media work at various stages. Loading the photographic images into the computer, printing them out, taring them in pieces and laminating these back into the art work.* Of course, the finished painting will look nothing like it does now one week before Christmas 2015. That is why I like this technique so much. Each step I take changes the image drastically. It is as though there are 5 or 6 paintings buried within the layers, but only one final image is complete though it is made of bits and pieces of all the others.


* The correct art terms for this part of the process is déchirag and décollage.

Friday, December 11, 2015

What Can I Do About All This Fear and Hate in the World?

Or, I’m about to take my own advice.

Not a damned thing but fill myself with love!

Let me explain. I know deep inside that I can’t change the world, or any individual in it. If Jihadists fear the West, and hate and kill – if some Christians fear and hate me because I am gay – if some black and white folk fear and hate one another – if Republicans and Democrats fear and hate one another – if Trump fears and hates all Muslims – if – if, on and on – there is nothing I can do about any of their fear and hate. *

The prophet Mohammed said, “To overcome evil with good is good, to resist evil by evil is evil.”

I look at the Dali Lama, and I’m amazed that he is reconciled to not finding a new Dali Lama. He will be the last in his line. He isn’t sad or angry, only filled with the knowledge that this world has no place for an independent Tibet with a Dali Lama as it’s religious and political leader. It is remarkable that he expresses only kindness and love.

I ask what Jesus Christ would do or say if he were here today, and the answer is ready made. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

It is not easy, but I can only work at not being fearful and/or hate filled myself. Instead, I must fill myself with love, and I must express love whenever possible, and by whatever means possible. I must hope that by being filled with love, something of that radiates to those around me.

And, I know that making art is an act of love.

*And, don’t bother to argue that banning all Muslims from entering the USA (which is an imbecilic idea to begin with) – doesn’t express fear and hate.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sick and Depressed!

I haven’t been posting because of a series of events that have stopped me dead in my tracks. I know tragedy happens to us all, but I’m down. I’m exhausted, physically ill and depressed.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The New Art Card Is "Create!"

Side 2

I spent roughly three hours today on the second side of “Create.” I had been referring to the two sides of the card as front and back, but now I realize there is no front and back, that the sides are interchangeable. The compositions are different though made up of many of the same elements. On one side I listed synonyms, while on the other I wrote varied definitions, quotes, and comments about the creative process. However, both read as variations on the same theme. The paint strokes and splotches cover some of the words and phrases and placement of these over the words was accidental. So, the word “God” was painted over in the phrase, “God created the heavens and earth,” as is most of the rest of that phrase.

Side 1

Though we create in innumerable ways, as in the arts, humanities, sciences, and all applied fields, I chose to incorporate shapes symbolic of the arts, specifically visual and musical, since these are the areas in which I attempt to make new objects. Now that the mechanicals are complete they will be sent to the printer after which there will be four art cards to be sent out into the world, peace, love, joy and create.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Triptych Installed

I took the images of the installed painting at Character's Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with my little 20 megapixel camera instead of my good but old 10 megapixel Sony, and I'm not happy with the images. I will have to go back when we are in Lancaster next April and reshoot with tripod and good camera. Never the less, these images demonstrate the painting's presence in the Banquet facility, "Windows On Queen." The three portraits, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp and Madonna, added to those already present create a powerful presence of characters in that space used to stage parties, banquets and receptions.

Goddaughter, Meghan and I discussed creating one more for the space, and it will be based on characters created by Will Smith or Harrison Ford.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The triptych is Finished


Last week we packed the 3 by 12 foot triptych into a 50 x 38 x 6 inch box and my spouse (Joe) and I headed to Lancaster, PA. However, we never got there because we were caught in torrential downpours in Maryland complete with flash floods that caused our car’s electrical system to go haywire. I hadn’t had time to take photos of the finished panels together before our failed trip, so today I looked at the three panels and realized that I should have scrutinized the compositional relationships between the three portraits more closely when planning the triptych. Having said that, I don’t know if anyone will notice the problem I see since the artist is always his/her own worst critic. So, the only remaining problem is whether or not Julia Roberts and Madonna should be looking away from Johnny Depp or toward him.



I’ll leave that question to the viewer. Look at both arrangements carefully and let me know which you prefer (A or B). You can place your answer in “comments” on Facebook or in “comments” here on the blog. The blog comments section is located at the bottom of this entry. Just click on the word, “comment” and you will be given the opportunity to vote and write any other comment(s) you wish. I will report the result of this informal survey on Facebook.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Julia Three Days Ago

Amazing! I’m on a roll! I’ve got 2 more squares done since I took this photograph of Julia on Friday, the twenty-fifth, and it looks as though I should be finished by this coming Friday, October 2nd. Interestingly, I’m not relying on a complete mapping in pencil within the grid as I normally do. Occasionally, I eyeball the brushwork. That has worked out especially well on the hair, Row A square 1, and Row B, square 1 with some dry brushing that looks almost like air brush.* That should make an interesting contrast to the “paint by number” mapping throughout the rest of the painting. I plan to do more of the same in future portraits.

*She reminds me of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus," though she's reversed, and is just a portrait not a full figure. I'm certainly not comparing my work to the master, just saying that this pose of Julia reminds me of the master's painting.

Italian at, viewed Monday, September 28, 2015, 11:16 EDT.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Julia Roberts

I’ve begun work on the left panel of the “Characters Triptych”

The image shown here is the manqué (model) for the 3’ by 4’ last (left) panel in the triptych. The image for the manqué was created by distilling a number of photos found on the Internet into one, then playing with that image in Adobe Photoshop. I’ve been mapping the large canvas for the past week. Each 2” square in the manqué has been enlarged using pencil by a factor of 6 into the 12” squares on the canvas. I will begin mixing the basic colors for the image later today. They will be different from those in the manqué because I like to make sure that the enlarged image is removed more than one step from the manque. There will be about 12 basic colors. As I work during the next 3 weeks, additional colors will be mixed using the basic 12 plus the complementary color to each, white, and/or a dull black made by mixing the primary colors and magenta. If I finish mixing the basic colors, I will be ready to begin painting tomorrow.

I would like to be done with the 3rd panel by October 1st so I can take the entire triptych to Characters Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania rather than only the first 2 panels of Madonna and Johnny Depp.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Johnny Depp Canvas: Part III

Johnny Depp Is Finished

Finally! He and Madonna are ready to go to our Goddaughter’s restaurant, Characters Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to be installed across from the bar in the Banquet room, Windows on Queen. I’ve also begun work on the Julia Roberts panel, but that won’t be completed in time for our October visit to Lancaster. I’m pleased with the intensity of Johnny’s expression, dark and brooding, part of the public persona he so often displays. This dark brooding aspect and another, that slightly cuckoo twist are what make him so appealing to so many people. Of course his acting talent is huge, and that contributes to his appeal as well. There is no denying that he is a “Character.”

The panel is 4 feet by 3 feet, so the two together are 8 by 3 feet. When all 3 panels are finished, the triptych will be 12 by 3 feet.* I am pleased, I just hope I can finish Julia before we leave the north in November. That way the triptych will be completed and installed for parties and receptions at Characters this winter and spring.


The inference to historical triptych's in Catholic Christianity makes sense as the worship of film/theater personalities (icons) in the 20th and 21st century often reaches an almost religious fervor. These characters are our Modern, Postmodern, and Metamodern gods, the equivalent of ancient Roman and Greek gods with all their human foibles and characteristics.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Art Cards IV

Update, August 22, 2015

I’ve decided that I should have been taking photos of the dropped off Art Cards on location, and I’m telling myself that I should have realized that at the beginning of the project. I know that I can’t possibly shoot them every time I leave the cards as this is supposed to be a surreptitious operation. It would be just slightly obvious if I whip my phone out of my pocket and start taking pictures of a store counter, restaurant tabletop or museum kiosk.

Above are two of the photos of cards left in Rehoboth Beach, DE., one at a friends pool club house, and another of cards left on a locker room bench at Any 1 Fitness in the Rehoboth Mall. I use that gym 3 to 4 times every week and plan on leaving them there often until we leave the area in November.

I did keep a log of all the cards dropped since march of this year including our travels in Turkey, Greece and Italy during July and August. I have one photo of the cards on a restaurant table from the trip. I will publish that photo with another entry about the cards at some point in the future. I will also publish the log (to current date) as an entry on “The Art of John Bittinger Klomp” in September, and again at the end of the year as a New Year’s Eve entry.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Storm Tower

Storm Tower (32" x 40") pastel painting

In honor of our return to Delaware, I am posting this image of one of the two WWII Observation Towers located on the edge of the North Shore beach in Cape Henlopen State Park. . It is almost obligatory that every local artist draw, paint, sculpt or photograph these towers at some point in his/her career, and I did a series of pastel paintings of the towers in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. This particular pastel was made with my old mark making technique - "a travesty" - according to most pastel aficionados because the artist is supposed to rub and smear the pastels together with a chamois or other blending tool. Instead I used the pastels themselves to rub and blend the colors together, and that meant I had to make thousands and thousands of marks with the different colors to make them blend together. It was a very time consuming technique and I later learned to use the sides of the pastels to do the same trick after layering some smoother lighter layers blended the old fashioned way. I especially altered the technique because nobody seemed to understand what I was doing or why I wanted to do it. But, that's another story.

The “Storm Tower” was painted on 32” x 40” museum board, and was sold from an exhibit of the pastel paintings and digital prints of photomontage artworks in the fall of 2001 at the Blue Moon Restaurant on Baltimore Street In Rehoboth Beach. That particular exhibit was hailed by many who saw it as prophetic because I had used “Tower #1”, and “Tower #2” in the titles of many of the pastels and had also put images of airplanes in all of the photomontage prints of the towers.

Tower of the Pyrenees (28" x 18") 2001, photomontage

Folks were wrong. If I had possessed such knowledge, I would have at least tried to warn the appropriate government agencies of the possible attack. Anyway, I especially liked this particular pastel image of Tower #1 because my husband and I often placed our towels near the base of the towers when sunning and swimming at North Shore Beach. This was the view I had as I lay on my back in the summer sun looking toward the top of the tower, though I invented the stormy sky behind the tower in this pastel painting.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Johnny Depp Canvas: Part II

The slowly evolving saga of the Character’s Triptych of Madonna, Johnny Depp and Julia Roberts has taken one tiny step forward. The central panel, that of J. Depp is about 2/3 completed. Now that we are back in Delaware, I expect to be able to complete it by the end of August. Then I can move on to the final panel of Julia Roberts, which probably will not be complete when we leave Delaware in November. Thus, only 2 panels will be installed at Characters Gastropub in Lancaster, PA in October.

The two-panel diptych of Johnny and Madonna will be 3 feet by 8 feet, and it will not be transformed into the 3 by 12 foot triptych until 2016, sad to say. Other than my slow progress on the painting, I am extremely satisfied. I placed the finished Madonna panel and the 2/3rd completed Johnny Depp panel side by side in the Florida studio and they looked wonderful. The position / attitude of the two heads in relation to one another works extremely well as do the colors. Now I just need 2 or 3 days when I can work continuously for 7 to 8 hours in order to finish Johnny. Easier said than done, and the reasons why will be revealed in September.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Joy, 3 and 1/2" x 2" (front of card)

My new “Art Card” is ready to go, though I’ve only managed to surreptitiously distribute about 30 of the “Love” and “Peace” cards to date. I decided early on that the cards must be distributed in a way that does not create any fanfare, and over a long period of time. That means I cannot be seen placing the cards. I cannot ask anyone to display and distribute the cards. The cards cannot be overtly displayed and distributed through any businesses including art galleries. At the same time I am keeping a log that shows locations and dates of card distribution.

Joy, 3 and 1/2" x 2" (back of card)

I carry a few of the cards in my wallet, and I put them any place I happen to be, when I think to do so. Quite often I forget, so it is a random process. If I am to increase card distribution, I need to buy a cardholder of some sort so I can carry 50 or more cards on my person. The “Love” and “Peace” cards have been distributed in south Florida locations, but I will be in Delaware and Pennsylvania in the next few months. “Joy” will join “Love” and “Peace” in those states.  Ultimately I hope to leave these and other Art Cards behind in locations outside the United States.


I have written two previous blog entries about the cards; 1) “Love,” May 14th, 2015, and 2) “Art Cards,” April 23rd, 2015.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Doing Laps In the Pool, the Universe and God

The Waterverse (printed version 8" x 10")

I get a glimpse of God and the universe when I do my laps in the pool. I’ve said so before. The rhythm - kick, stroke, and breath – repeated has something to do with it, as well as the patterns of sunlight reflected through the water to the pool bottom. I describe my best swim as being like an infinitesimal mote floating on a feather on the breath of God. I’ve even come to see that the patterns in the shimmering water reflect patterns in our expanding universe, as in the photomontage I made for this entry.* Do I find meaning in the similarity? Yes! Do I understand that meaning intellectually, and can I express it? I’m not so sure. Suffice it to say that I know God because when I swim I am able to suspend all of the other sparkling refracted and reflected images of my life for a brief moment in time.

* The image was made by overlapping a photo taken from “Science Blogs” ( with a photo I took of wave patterns in the lap pool. I viewed the Science Blog image on Monday, June 15, 2015 at ll:30 AM, EDT. Adobe Photoshop was used to meld the two into one.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Gay Pride Month 2015

In honor of June 2015, Gay Pride Month, I’m posting an artwork from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pictionary.  It is the actual mixed media distressed painting based on the acronym, LGBT.  The painting was finished and signed June 1st, 2013, and is 24” x 24” square.  I’ve reported on the mixed media distressed technique in the past so I will not go into detail here.  It will be sufficient to say that I work back and forth between photographic images of actual things and people, in some cases historical, in others, images I shoot myself, painted surfaces, and digital images of the work in progress, printed, then torn, sometimes painted over again, photographed again, saved on the computer, worked in Adobe Suite, printed again, torn, painted and so on.

The intent of the series is multiple. 

First, to reclaim words once abusive and instead to make them badges of honor. 

Second, to make a visual record of current terms that denote various populations within the category gay as used on a daily basis in the vernacular. 

Third, to focus on the history of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) folk.*

I had an exhibition of the LGBT Pictionary at Camp Rehoboth, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware during Gay Pride Month, 2013.  However, it is an on going project, and I hope to both publish a book of the images and do more exhibitions of the artworks.

* The category “Queer” subsumes all the others including heterosexual persons who identify as positive toward LGBT people, and who actively work toward a society/culture that has become “Queer” tolerant.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Johnny Depp Canvas

After two weeks of work, I’ve mapped the manqué onto the 3 by 4 foot canvas, and begun painting. It looks like “paint by #’s” from the 1950’s just now, but that will change as I get to working inside the flat areas. I’m pleased with the painting to this point.

Because our Goddaughter decided she preferred the 2nd image, I will be painting that as well. However, that will have to wait until December, 2015. I understand why she and about half of the folks voting liked the 2nd image best – because it doesn’t look slightly angry/crazed, and it shows more of Johnny Depp’s face. We will hang the first image with the Madonna panel in September, but the 2nd image can be swapped out for the 1st once it is done.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Day Holiday 2015

My Computer is a disaster area. Time to back up on another hard drive and dump half its memory. The entry I planned to write has been lost because everything froze and I had to do an emergency shut down and restart. I’ve dumped a bunch of photos I don’t like and still things aren’t running correctly.

Anyway, these are the photographs I planned to post. The blog entry was about the holiday weekend and the photo was planned to illustrate the return of masses of humankind to the beaches of the eastern seaboard. Part of my diatribe was about the fact that I like beaches best when the mass of people and their junk isn’t present.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I’ve only put 25 of the first card, “Peace” out into the world. However, the new “Art Card,” is designed and the first edition of 1000 should arrive in the post any day. There will be two more single word cards, “joy,” and perhaps, “adore" or “soul.” After that I plan on some short phrases based in love and peace, God, and other universals that the Post Modern supposedly put an end to.

The signature in the lower right hand corner of the new cards is “Klompy.” My father’s close friends knew him by that name, and it was a reflection of his best nature, an affectionate reference. From now on, all Art Cards will have that moniker as the copyright.

This blog will be a record of my intent in the creation of the Art Cards, the record of their stochastic distribution, and any other information concerning them – and I will end all writing about them with the following.

“Peace, Love, Joy, and ‘you are not alone.’ ”

Monday, May 4, 2015

2 Images of Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp, #1

Johnny Depp, #2

By way of explanation for those who haven’t followed the genesis of the new triptych for Characters Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Johnny Depp is to be the second and center panel in the 3 foot by 12 foot triptych which will be hung across from the bar in “Windows On Queen,” the banquet facility at the Restaurant.

In order to make images that are my own, I “Googled” ‘Johnny Depp,’ then chose ‘images,’ then ‘large.’ I chose 8 images that I liked. I saved them to my computer, and opened them in Adobe Photoshop, manipulating them in many ways, enlarging them to create grain and pixelation, cropping them, combining them, overlapping them, reversing them, tilting the images, posterizing them, solarizing them, and so on. These are two of the final images that I like best. Before I square one up to the 3 by 4 foot central canvas, I need viewer help to choose which one will be best as part of the triptych that will include the completed painting of Madonna, and another of Julia Roberts. Please go to the comments section below and vote for #1, or #2 Which ever image is the winner, it must be understood that the painting will also be altered from the image as seen in this post. I will enlarge the image fairly accurately, but my painting technique will create a new variation, distancing it from the Photoshop image, because that image is but a guide to the making of the painting.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Art Cards

"Peace," front of card, (2 inches by 3 and 1/2 inches)

"Peace," back of card, (2 inches by 3 and 1/2 inches)

When I swim, meditation is an automatic response. It has something to do with the rhythm; stroke right, stroke left, repeat, breathe, and stroke right, stroke left, repeat, breathe, over and over. Also, waves in repetition of refracted and reflected sunlight on the pool bottom, glimpses of sky, clouds and treetops as I breathe contribute an alternating variation to the rhythmic pattern. The result is something like a runner’s high, an altered state in which I feel as though I am in tune with God and the universe(s). In fact a tuning fork is also an excellent metaphor because of its precise sound waves. Touch the fork to water and watch it create a series of waves radiating in concentric circles. So, I am in tune with the universe and God when I swim. However, I do not communicate with God as many Christians claim. Who am I to suppose such a thing. I am but one man, swimming in a sea of humanity lost in an infinite ocean of universes.

There is a method to the madness in the discourse above. I am trying to explain how I arrived at the decision to make Art Cards. During my swimming meditations I often feel infinitesimally small, not in a bad way, but as though I were but one atomic particle carried on the sound / water waves in universes vast beyond comprehension. I also feel warm inside, “loved.” Being so small, but loved, I often wonder how I might do anything that has influence on the almost equally small (on a universal scale) sea of humanity. During one such swimming meditation, the idea for Art Cards popped into my head completely finished, as though they already existed, though of course they did not. The cards were each to be one word, or a very limited word phrase. They were to express however inadequately the sense of being in tune and loved that I have during my swimming meditation. They were to be the same size as a business card, small and easily lost in the daily shuffle of our transactions with one another. They were to be left with people without their knowledge, on a desk, in a mailbox, on a counter in a store, under a windshield wiper. This card, ‘PEACE’ is the first in the series. I tried to make color and the horizontal design emphasize the abstract concept, and I added phrases - parts of the definition of the word, and its application in social process - these fading into the background. At the same time, the letters P - E - A - C - E almost fade into the white haze at the card's center, to emphasize how difficult it is to obtain peace in any one of its many permutations, personally, socially or politically. I hope slipping the cards unobtrusively into the hands of others will in some small way influence the zeitgeist, or social spirit of humanity.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mardi Gras Rex

During February, my husband and I went to New Orleans for his nephew’s wedding. We were there for part of Mardi Gras, the world’s biggest party. It was amazing how obsessed we were about catching the bead necklaces thrown from the various parade floats. During Mardi Gras going to musical venue,  parades, catching beads, eating and drinking consumes the entire population. In fact these are so much more important than wars, politics, murder and mayhem to the partying population during Mardi Gras - I have a feeling they are also more important to the citizens of New Orleans all year long -  that I am recommending the entire world be put on a New Orleans Mardi Gras schedule 24/7. If that could be accomplished we would have the beauty pageant coveted ideal "world peace."

While attending the parades, we took many photos with our iPhones. Looking through those photos I decided to make a photomontage, something I haven’t done in quite a while. I isolated about 15 photos that I liked best, most of them from Bacchus, Proteus and Orpheus parades. I used parts of each image, sometimes reversing the image left to right, occasionally taking just one small item that I wanted in the finished montage. Some layers were made transparent so that you can see through to parts of the images below. I played with these images and layers for 2 hours using Adobe Photoshop to adjust the image until completely satisfied that the Mardi Gras party spirit was captured. The final result is Mardi Gras Rex. The actual preferred printed image is 12 inches wide by 10 inches high, though it can be printed in other sizes. This is a smaller jpeg image, but it carries the Mardi Gras party excitement  just as much as does the larger Mardi Gras Rex.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Completed Madonna

The 3 foot by 5 foot acrylic painting is finally done!!!

I do still have to go in and add some color work in the hair and cheeks. However, that is something I will do after I do another acrylic painting and a pastel painting. I must move on at this point. Other work awaits.

I don't quite understand why - when I have made no gallery commitments, no shows pending - I am pressured to complete more work. Perhaps, as I used to tell my students it is necessary to create the work because I have no choice, the talent isn't mine because it came with the package God gave to me. it may not be the greatest talent the world has ever seen, but it is, and therefor must be exercised. I have been given this thing, and the opportunity to use it. Not to do so would be totally wrong!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Music that God Creates


*The Music that God Creates, artwork copyright © 2015, John Bittinger Klomp

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Material Girl: Almost Complete

Finally, after 2 months of constant interruptions, emergencies, travel (which I won’t complain about), and family affairs I had time to work on the painting. I had worked on photographs, sketched and completed some small pieces, but could not find the block of time necessary to do work on the three by four foot acrylic painting. One more session, perhaps two and it will be done. I will probably add some areas of variation to the skin, and some details to the hair once all the white is gone. Of course, this painting is only one third of the triptych, which means I’ll start on panel II, Johnny Depp, as soon as Madonna is finished.

Friday, February 27, 2015

New Orleans French Quarter Distressed Wall Photographs

On our final day during our visit for Mardi Gras and Chris and Sarah’s wedding in New Orleans Joe and I braved 38-degree F weather to photograph the French Quarter.*

I found distressed stone, concrete and wood walls to add to my collection of photographs to use in future mixed media distressed paintings.

I don’t have any photos of distressed stucco and concrete surfaces for use in the paintings, so you best believe these will show up in future artwork. And, the photographs of these subjects are wonderful all by themselves.


* Chris is my husband, Joe's nephew, and Sarah is his wife. We went to New Orleans to attend their wedding, which was on Saturday, February 21st this past weekend.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Biblioteca España: An example of Metamodern Architecture

As I am behind in my own artwork, and because of an abiding interest in all things metamodern, and specifically metamodern architecture, I publish this photograph of the Biblioteca España in Medellín, Colombia.


The library was built as part of a library system in Medellín, designed by architect Giancarlo Mazzanti, and funded in part by the Spanish Agency for International Development and Cooperation. Ten library parks have been planned, constructed, or are under construction as part of a design program to improve education and to redevelop poor neighborhoods.

The design intentionally looks like three crystalline rock formations that seem to grow out of the escarpment on which they are placed. In this, Mazzanti reflects one of the interests of metamodern architecture, to reflect the natural. While the buildings stand bold and stark, and I might add dark against the sky, they also turn inward having only small windows placed high on their walls in order to create a definite separation from the surrounding urban neighborhood.

The architect, while creating a place where local inhabitants can come to learn, to read and grow - also removes them physically and symbolically from the urban environment that threatens to prevent learning and growth. In this, Mazzanti uses a primary metamodern notion – the recognition that hope is often unfounded, but to hope nonetheless. He creates an ideal architectural library space, but one that demonstrates its fallibility simultaneously. Irony is present, but the building oscillates back and forth from the ideal it represents – that is education and redevelopment - to the ironic knowledge that it is designed to fix something that may often be unfixable. Thus, the design is modern (idealistic) and postmodern (ironic rejection of the ideal) and metamodern (hope that the ideal may yet however remotely be achievable).


* Trabajo propio, reconocimiento requerido, mantener licencia:(Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.5). Citar a la Wikipedia como fuente si la imagen es utilizada en otros medios que no sean de los proyectos de Wikipedia. (Own work, required recognition, maintain license (Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.5). Cite Wikipedia as a source if the image is used in other means than Wikipedia projects.)
Uploaded by Alejandro Rojas (SajoR), Wikipedia en español, 2007. Viewed 10:12 P.M., EST, Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bette: Lost and Found

I do know where many of my sold works are located.  However, I had lost track of Bette.  The current owner of the (32"x40") powdered graphite and pencil drawing recently contacted me.  Originally sold in Philadelphia, PA in 1979, today it is located deep in the Florida Keys. The photo above doesn't do it justice as the drawing has much more clarity, contrast, and detail than this image indicates. By comparison, I'm posting a photo that I took of Marlin Brando currently residing at Characters Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. it is also 32" x 40" as are all the old powdered graphite drawings.

Bette's owner loves the drawing, but is having a difficult time financially, and wants to sell it. She inquired how much it might be worth. I explained that in the early 1980's when I had my "15 minutes" these over-sized iconic images sold at galleries in New York, Philadelphia and Lancaster for $1200.00 each. However, having never achieved anything resembling national or international fame the Hyper-Real artworks have not increased in value. I did not offer to buy the drawing back, though I worry, much as a parent might worry about a grown child who is out in the world and running into difficulties.

If by chance anyone is interested in purchasing the drawing, please let me know and I will put you in contact with the owner.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Madonna Update

After two more weeks this is the current state of the painting, and it isn’t half finished. It is taking much longer than I had expected, and I won’t be able to work on it again until we are settled in Florida. Ah well, as a dear friend has so often said, "such is life." It will happen and meanwhile I will post about other artwork .

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Madonna 10 days ago

The Christmas and New Year holidays have gotten in the way of completion. I have accomplished more work in the past week-and-one-half, but it feel like slow motion. Upon first glance the painting appears to be less complex than the other portraits.  However, I’ve already mixed 10 more colors in bottles, and at least 5 more on the palette. That means I will be remixing those 5 many times and making many more. I’ve also encountered several mistakes in draftsmanship and had to adjust as I work with the paint. I worked for 5 hours today and finished Madonna’s right eye. So, tomorrow I will pick out some large less complicated areas to paint so that I can feel more accomplished. And, all this is foundation. I must work colors back and forth across the mapped lines in order to finish the painting.

I just read over this entry and thought, "oh my!"

Never the less, I will finish the painting within the next two weeks, and I know I will be pleased in the end!