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Archives for January, 2009

reinvent your childhood

Suppose you grew up in a place that was ravaged with destruction, imagined, imaginary or real, where would you subsequently gravitate?

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Texture, the Internet, and Other Conundrums

I have just joined Facebook (thanks, D.) and of course, instantly found a group dedicated to a textile artist’s focus: namely, texture.

The photos of “texture” on the group site were close-ups, both of quilted fabric and of objects that showed as textured. I started through my photos and quickly realized that deciding on what shows texture is not as easy as might be imagined. Here are some possibilities from my files.

The High Note, JOU, Computer images on Silk, quilted, 12 x 12″, 2008.

The upper layer (of computer-printed sheer fabric) is turned back to show under layer. Normally the sheer would fall over the entire piece, showing through as it does on the right bottom. This dropping of the sheer obscures much of the texture while at the same time, contradictorily, adds to it.

Vilhelm Hammershoi, Sunbeam (and various other titles), 1900, oil on canvas.

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Routes Eight and Fifty Nine

My studio feels like a meat locker today. Working on a nice warm laptop seems like a good idea.

For a long time this image has sat on the bubble – that is to say, it has occupied a corner of the studio and my mind. It has been either on its way to the scrap heap or onward to further attention.  A brief description: this is of medium density particle board, incised with a router and depicting a portion of Akron, Ohio in the form of a map. It has been around for a few years and has undergone a number of changes in response to a variety of notions on my part. Prior to this iteration it had been painted red with mica glitter occupying the grooves. Pointless.

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Post Holiday Post

It was ten below when I got up this morning – definitely to be an indoor day.

I recently came upon one of those recession – related phenomena: an entire display of expensive and unsold ornaments, going for pennies on the dollar. The quality of the ornaments was unbelievable and I entered into a feeding frenzy.

This afternoon I began to disassemble the tree and had the new ornaments carefully grouped and ready for packing. There was something about the ornaments as they were caught in the winter sun that had me reaching for the camera.

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Mind, Body and Soul – ancient concerns

Alcmaeon of Croton, a natural philosopher in 450 BC, concluded, based on his animal dissections, that the brain, not the heart, is the central organ of sensation and thought. However, a couple of centuries later, someone then articulated the idea that the seat of mental function resides in the ventricles of the brain – cavities filled with cerebrospinal fluid. Galen, the famous physician at the Roman Imperial Court in 170 BC, popularized this idea further in his extensive writings that were eagerly read throughout the dark Middle Ages.

The great Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci still held on to this ancient belief that the senso commune (sense of community), phantasy and imagination originated in the anterior ventricle; that the middle ventricle served cognition; and that memory was contained in the posterior ventricle.
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Painting from Photographs, Necessity and Nostalgia

Pine Creek Gorge, photo from Wikipedia Commons,  Commons licensing

I have been violating one of my basic principles. I have, gasp, been painting from photographs.

Pine Creek Gorge 2, 12 x 16″ Oil on board, 2008

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Some of the parts

I’ve been photographing horses for well over a year now, and I’m feeling it’s time to put together a show, or at least a portfolio. I would be happy just continuing to make photographs indefinitely, but I’d be happier grappling with the work in another way as well, reviewing it and thinking about it and looking for themes or ideas. A few thoughts have been mentioned in previous posts, but none has risen to the level of forming the backbone of a potential statement. Perhaps the most striking thing to emerge from my photographs is a lack of interest in anything resembling a classic, noble, iconic western horse. In fact, I notice that none of the images selected for this post even depicts an entire animal (though I have some that do).

One thing I realized in the course of the recent Morandi discussions is that the edges of the bodies are often blurred, or more generally obscured, either through intervening snow or grass…

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