Friday, January 11, 2019

New work and inspiration round up!

Thanks to everyone who read my year-end review blog and took the time to comment. I really appreciate everyone's coments and support. I will announce the winner of the small painting at the end of this post. 

This week has been spent mostly in the studio exploring the beginnings of what I think is a new series, currently there are five paintings on the go and that feels great. Some folks have commented that they are a bit different, a bit dark, or wild. I know where these paintings come from and don't worry they are firmly in my lineage of work. Some elements are from over twenty years ago and some elements are from last month and of course there is expansion and new growth. They are raw power. 

I have been listening to music such as L7, 7 Year Bitch, Bikini Kill, Julie Ruin and the like while working. Loaded brushes are flying and there is a wee bit more black than white this time around. The circular shapes sometimes representing conversations on the ether, relationships, or spirit energy, have returned - obscured, charred, and dark. We watch them rise. 

Besides working in the studio and walking for miles, I have had the good fortune of taking in some excellent exhibitions in Edinburgh. 

Andy Warhol and Eduardo Paolozzi | I want to be a machine.  This was a great exhibition, local favourite and Leither, Paolozzi, pairs well (and holds his own) with Warhol.  It was a much more comprehensive exhibition than I was expecting. Click on the title to watch short videos and to read more about the show from the National Gallery of Scotland's website. 

NOW | Monster Chetwynd, Henry Coombes, Moyna Flannigan, Betye Saar, Wael Shawky. This was a fine exhibition, the work of Moyna Flannigan was the stand out for me. Monster Chetwynd's work is of an impressive scale and does leave a mark as well. 

Turner in January. This exhibition is on every January, and it almost feels like you are a bad citizen if you miss it. I love Turner's work of course, but this is not the work I love, but it is his work and I go see it every year. 

Pin-Ups | Toulouse-Lautrec and the Art of Celebrity. This was my favourite exhibition of all the offerings I have seen this week (this week!!). Like Modigliani (as I have mentioned in previous posts), Lautrec feels like a bit of a family member. I grew up with his prints around the house, as one older brother was a big fan. This exhibition was comprehensive and well curated. The scale of the work truly caught me off guard, the faded colours and yellowed paper made my heart sing. The quality of his line was divine to see in the flesh and at scale. I loved it so much I really didn't want to leave. 

It was a wonderful week of making and seeing art. A great way to start the new year. I have also watched quite a few painting documentaries as well. Here's a round up of those films (all of which can be found on youtube). 

Robert Motherwell and the New York School, "Storming the Citadel." This documentary is superb. I take comfort in the words and wisdom of one of my favourites. 

The Rules Of Abstraction With Matthew Collings. Another winner of a film and far reaching into the history as well as the spiritual aspects of early abstraction.

Philip Guston, Odd Man Out. I have always admired Guston's work, especially his earlier stuff but now I respect him in a different way and love how he flew in the face of abstraction and risked it all. Great documentary. 

Jean Michel Basquiat Documentary. I am not sure what the actual title of this film as it was put on youtube from the BBC. I have seen several documentaries about Basquiat as I have been a fan for ages, but I had never seen this one. I really like this perspective of his carreer and hearing from different folks that walked through his short life. It was good to hear from his sisters. If you are a fan or want to be, or if you are interested in 80's New York Art/Music scene then this is a documentary for you. 

I hope these films inspire, educate, and encourage you in your own artistic path. Let's make 2019 the year we never stop learning, exploring and trying new things. Let's make it the year we find our power and enrich ourselves through this abundant culture. This is available for almost all of us (at least those with an internet connection and the desire- I understand many people are living in culture deserts - I grew up in one). Only one of the exhibitions I saw this week cost money and all these documentaries are on available online. What are you watching, seeing, reading? What (free and accessible) culture is in your backyard that you have been ignoring or taking for granted? Is there somewhere you feel you don't belong? Are you sure you don't? Go and find out! Remember that art, that beauty, it really is for you. And if someone tells you it isn't, keep looking and make your own!

With gratitude in my heart to yours, until next week, keep fighting. 

PS. The winner of the small painting is artist, Elaine Phipps!!! Congrats, Elaine! Message me your address and I will get this wee painting right out to you. You can check out Elaine Phipps work here.  Thanks again to everyone for your wonderful and thoughtful comments. Keep reading my blog and I'll have another give away in a few more months.

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