It has been some weeks since I have written, my apologies. We are finally settled in to our new surrounds and ready to start work again! My art supplies are still in transit from Australia but I have bought a small selection of paints and a couple of canvas’ to bridge the gap. I have managed to play a couple of times in my new studio/shed. Two smaller works near completion. Our shipment is due to arrive in the next week or two and we are all pretty excited about that!
I had the good fortune of going to the Dallas Museum of Art yesterday! It has certainly whet the appetite for creating! I specifically went to see Mark Rothko’s painting, ‘Red on Red and Orange’, as his work has always touched me in a way words can not explain and I was in need of an emotional cleanse. The big surprise was in how many other brilliant modern artists were on show as well. Pollock, Kline, Picasso, in fact too many to name.
A couple of Jackson Pollock works were on display as soon as you enter the Gallery, one of his famous drip paintings in grey,black and white and the other was a self portrait with an ‘automatic’ style drawing of a dream on the left side. I spent some time in front of them, just soaking up the history! Rather in awe to be honest.
As I moved on to find the Rothko, I came upon a Franz Kline painting (Black on White) which took my breath away. It took all my energy to remain somewhat composed! I wanted to sob but with out a tissue in sight, it was enough that tears were pouring! It wasn’t sadness, just profound depth. It is beautiful. It is large!It made me want to run home and paint big, big and bigger!
I am sure it rearranged my cellular structure. I went back to look at it a couple of times while we were there and was surprised at the impact it had on me. I have seen Kline’s paintings reproduced in books, I have always liked them but the impact in the flesh was so much more than I anticipated. It actually dwarfed my moment with the Rothko painting I had come to see!
It was good to view the Rothko in the flesh too. I have seen one of the ‘Red’ paintings at the NGV in Melbourne and responded to it like the Kline, but this time it was more of an observation that it was messier than I imagined form the reproductions. I found that appealing. Like the Japanese ‘Wabi Sabi’, where the defect is what makes an object of art as much what it is as the object itself and the Italian’s would call it a ‘Patina’. Rothko’s painting has a certain relaxedness in application, I wasn’t expecting to see. The density of color was not uniform, the strokes were not ordered and neat. It was a great and timely reminder, before I begin painting again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and not anything else. I could feel the energy Rothko had when applying the paint in the haphazardness of the strokes. It is always the energy that remains.
So, I may not have painted much in the past couple of months but I have seen some wonderful art in person and I have watched a number of fantastic films about art movements to use this time without my paints constructively.
I have seen ‘The Cool School’ set in the 50′s when Walter Hopps and Ed Kienholz took the West Coast art world by storm with the ‘Ferus’ Gallery. Embracing such artists as Marcel Duchamp to Andy Warhol. It was fascinating! An insight in to Los Angeles in the 50′s. Quite culturally barren really.
I watched ‘Beautiful Loser’s’ recently too, which explored Skate/Graffiti culture in the early 1990′s with such artists as Thomas Campbell, Cheryl Dunn, Shepard Fairey, Jo Jackson, Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Harmony Korine, Geoff McFetridge, Barry McGee, Mike Mills, Stephen Powers II, Ed Templeton.
I really enjoyed watching the coming together and maturation of the ‘Beautiful Loser’s Scene’, which as all scenes, began with a group of like minded, artistic souls, expressing for themselves and their friends.
My husband has a keen eye and has some early work from Fairey and Giant and a couple of other artists from this era. Fairey gave a good interview. I enjoyed getting the background on the artists and what has driven them!
So,today as I do the ironing, I am set to watch a film on Andy Warhol and tonight Aran and I will watch a movie on Banksy called “Exit through the Gift Shop’! Looking forward to that one!
Hopefully my studio stock will arrive safely soon, ready to be put to use making some great art to see 2010 out. If 2010 was a year of unexpected surprises and interruptions to my art making, then surely 2011 is the year of prolific outpouring onto canvas for me!!!