Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Knowing the Artist

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting several artists whose work I admire.  We were all at a bustling gallery reception and the art looked fabulous. Everyone was having a great time.  Then, the gallerist flashed the lights, signaling the end of the party.

A few of us weren't ready to go home quite yet, so we went out for an impromptu dinner. Though some of us had only met an hour before, we were joking and sharing as if we'd been friends for much longer.  It was an absolute delight.

And, while I've loved/ pondered/mulled over these artists' artwork for a while, I think I have a new appreciation for it.  I think I understand it better now.  Has this ever happened to you?  Do you think knowing the artist, even a bit, makes a difference?

In my case, I think it does.  The women I met are intelligent and vibrant women who could, I'm sure, create lots of different kinds of art. But after spending time with them, I understand a smidgeon better why they create what they do.  Perhaps that's very simplistic.  I certainly don't want to simplify the effort put into anyone's work or demean the complexity of their art but, without sounding trite, I have to say that I can hear the whisper of their muse behind every story they shared.  I can see, just a bit more clearly, how this is THEIR art.

In this case, spending time with the artists added even more depth and meaning to every stitch and line.  At other times, I've better understood motivations and appreciated the expression in a piece more, especially if the piece wasn't one of my favorite.

Does all this make sense?

Perhaps you've all made this discovery before, but it was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me.  For me, it was rather ....

...... I can see a little more closely into the art now.   Wow.  How cool is that?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wall Art

Most of the time, I'm not a big fan of graffiti; it's often obscene or derogatory and I don't have much patience for that.  But sometimes, I think graffiti artists have something compelling to say.... assuming I can decipher the absolutely cool lettering.

Anyway, here's an example of graffiti that's just my speed.  I like what this person has to say.  I can read it easily.  What do you think of it?  It was painted five stories up.  Now what I want to know is, how in the world did the painter 1) get up there?  2) give the letters dimension / depth (I have a hard time doing that with a pencil and eraser, let alone paint)?   3) paint the letters correctly even though (s)he was painting them from an upside down perspective?

If you were the building owner, would you try to clean this off?

For more sanctioned building wall art, how about this one?  It's a whimsical mosaic and I just love it.  It makes me smile.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Photos on the Fly

A few weeks ago, I spent a few hours in the city.  It was one of those glorious fall days where even the city air smelled crisp and clean, the sky was a gorgeous blue, and people were out in droves.  Natalya and I went to a gallery (more on that later) and then walked to lunch.  I thought it was a fabulous opportunity to surreptitiously take photos of folks passing by.

Fail, fail, fail.

Most of the pictures turned out something like this: a close-up of my scarf

or a view of our shadows on the sidewalk.

If you've ever successfully taken pictures on the street, how did you do it?  I'm using my small camera so I can be as unobtrusive as possible, but clearly, I need some help.   I would love to use photos of people as inspiration for artwork and I don't want to give up yet.  Suggestions, please!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Memories of Goblin

I've been gone from blog-land for good reason.  Just before Halloween, we became one of the thousands of households left without power as a result of the Snowtober snowstorm.  Luckily for us, a very kind and dear friend took us in -- including our two dogs!  We were away for almost a week and there wasn't much time to think, let alone blog.

We were all settled in again by end of day Friday, which was just in time for our older Lab, Goblin.  He had started to feel a bit poorly while we were away but, by the time we were back home again, he felt it was safe to begin his goodbyes.    We learned about his diagnosis at the start of September and today, he succumbed to his battle with cancer.  He was a great dog and we were lucky and honored to have him.  Here are a few memories:

Even though he was very manly, Goblin loved his squeaky stuffed animals

He also loved a good belly rub

He could never resist hanging by the fire, even long, long ago

He hated looking at the camera as he got older.... I never could figure out why.

I think he looked regal, even when he was wearing The Cone of Shame

And, he was a great, loving, and patient "big brother" to Bella 
Good bye, sweet dog.  We love you.