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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Miami Basel in sight on horizon

The Guernica seen through carnival fun mirrors is ...like the Miami Basel hype. There is a rumble through the artist studios. Where is the work? Who has the work? What is to be said? How much time do we have? Who has the money? When? And of course... though many try not to ask it, Why?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hand it to my Senior artists


Using linoleum carving, printing and collage these young artists made a statement about their hands. Each work is a personal reflection of who they are. Each one is marvelous!


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Call me "Pictor Celerrimus"

Me painting Wings
One of my talents is that I can paint fast. I have always wanted to try one of the "1, 2, 3,draw" type of contests and, with that in mind, I have entered a talent show later this week where I will have 3 minutes to paint a portrait. My subject will be singing a song that will last the time I need to create a suitable likeness of him. It should be a real lark!
In my research of Lucas Cranach as my ancestral grandfather and artistic muse, I was delighted to find out that he was also talented with a speedy brush. Called "Pictor Celerrimus" or "fast brush", Lucas Cranach was granted a crest in 1508 by the Saxon Elector Friedrich The Wise that was emblematic of his speed- a winged serpent! Cranach used the winged serpent to sign his paintings, prints, and public works that were created from his workshop. After his 24 year old eldest son Hans died in 1537, the workshop, carried on by the second son, Lucas the Younger, altered  the wings of the serpent from a wide spread to softly folded back. 
Ever prolific, and living into his 80's, fifteen hundred paintings exist that can be traced to his workshop! In addition Cranach had one of the earliest printing presses and printed millions of illustrated pamphlets during the Reformation.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Severed heads and the pretty picture


 Lucas Cranach and his 15th century workshop cranked out dozens upon dozens of variations of the Biblical story of Judith and Holofernes. The ladies may vary, but they consistently depict the heroine as an absentminded or smug 15th century lady of nobility. His models were ladies ranking from high society. They wore their best outfits to pose for him. He painted them, and his journeymen copied them over and over again for the open market.
Cranach was a collaborator with Martin Luther, supporting the Protestant reformation. The story of Judith struck a chord with the Protestant reformers, since it described the courage of a small nation (such as Saxony) resisting a tyrant from outside who sought to impose his own beliefs about God on them, (such as the Pope).  Some historians, like Steven Ozment in The Serpent and the Lamb (Yale Press 2011), say that Cranach was championing the female in society by calling out her wily wits and upper hand over the dreamy drunken sex-obsessed males. They conclude that the Cranach workshop's obsessive manufacture of Judith paintings are proof of a contemporary belief in the superior intelligence, courage and social equality of women.
There was definitely an attempt at this time to balance the classic focus of male heroes in Christian tradition with biblical heroines who could be role models of particular virtues. Judith is the sober beauty who sacrifices her body to a rapist in order to disarm the enemy and save her city. Am I the only one to find the conjectured historical analysis of this series of paintings to be a little blind? She has just slain a man! None of this is a message of equality or virtue. It is more like a threat...and a warning.
Are two heads better than one?
Why not three?
After Cranach


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In praise of my drawing classes

My students are amazing. Here is work drawn from life in ink from two of my drawing classes which are mostly made up of 9th and 10th graders.We worked from a still life and borrowed plants from other faculty members. The aim was to  emphasize positive negative space (in the plants), and cross contour lines, as well as line weight (in the still life).


Monday, September 19, 2016

Sign of Female Identity

Bosom buddies
I am proud to still have my original breasts. Sometimes I feel less valued by society. For all the lip service given about motherhood, or the importance of arts, or a higher education... none of that seems to describe  categorize me to strangers as well as "a pair of tits". Art history has taught me that the female cannot escape the male gaze and that the male controls who writes, (and how it is written), the Story.
Linoleum prints and collage


Like a prayer flag of sorts...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Neanderthal meets Plasticine Brain


Neanderthal/Plasticine brain
Contemporary Gods and Goddesses

Modern Currency