Monthly Archives: September 2016

Pearls from artists* # 215

Barbara's easel

Barbara’s easel

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

Instead of a clean narrow pathway to a goal, creators take risks, seek out new experiences, and reconcile contradictions.  Indeed this dance of contradictions is exactly what may give rise to the intense inner drive to create.  As the journalist Carolyn Gregoire and I put it in our recent book Wired to Create:  Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, creative people have “messy minds.”

We wouldn’t have it any other way.  Without these rebellious experts, these passionate meaning-makers, these doers and dreamers, we would be bereft of some of humanity’s greatest creative accomplishments.  Creative geniuses reveal what is within human reach, what we may all be capable of achieving with the drive to make meaning and the courage to create.

Scott Barry Kaufman in “A Capacity for Genius,” Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart 50th Anniversary, July 22 – August 27, 2016 Playbill

Comments are welcome!  

Q: How do you decide what to paint next?

Work in progress

Work in progress

A:  It’s interesting how my creative process is simplifying the longer I work at this.  For my most recent piece, I looked at my old 20″ x 24″ c-prints until a particular image seemed to call out.  It became my next project. 

Comments are welcome!

Pearls from artists* # 214

South Beach

South Beach

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

…a number of scientists (including myself) have confirmed that the personality trait “openness to experience” is a potent contributor to creative thinking and achievement.  Those who are high in this attribute tend to be imaginative, curious, perceptive, creative, artistic, thoughtful, and intellectual.  They are driven to explore their inner worlds of ideas, emotions, sensations, and dreams, and to constantly seek out new experiences in their environment that will impart personal growth and allow them to further make meaning out of their lives.

Scott Barry Kaufman in “A Capacity for Genius,” Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart 50th Anniversary, July 22 – August 27, 2016 Playbill

Comments are welcome!  

Start/Finish of “Incognito,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 38″ x 58″ image, 50″ x 70″ framed

C-print and preliminary charcoal sketch

C-print and preliminary charcoal sketch

Finished and signed (lower left)

Finished

Comments are welcome!

Pearls from artists* # 213

Matisse Book Cover

Matisse Book Cover

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

I am astonished by the accuracy with which Matisse remembers the most trifling facts; he describes  a room that he went into forty years ago and gives you the measurements, where every piece of furniture stood, how the light fell.  He is a man of astounding precision and has little time for anything that he has not confirmed for himself.   In art matters, he is not the sort to go looking for a profile fortuitously created by cracks in the wall.  Elie Faure writes that Matisse is perhaps the only one of his contemporaries (in particular Marquet and Bonnard) to know exactly where he comes from and the only one who never allows it to show “because his inveterate, invincible, vigilant willpower is always focused on being himself and nothing but.”

Matisse neglects nothing.  He seems to know as much about the art market as about painting.

So many stratagems to sell a painting, from intimidating the purchaser to seeming to avoid him:  Vollard used them all and used them successfully.  Not least the lies that he told to  reassure the client.  “It works like this,” says Matisse:  “To make a sale, you invent lies that have somehow disappeared into thin air by the time the deal is done.”

We talk of the difficulties faced by dealers hoping to gain access to Renoir in his Cagnes residence.  Renoir didn’t like having people talk to him about selling his work,” says Matisse:  “It bored him.  About the only one who got a foot in the door was Paul Guillaume; he dressed up as a young worker with a floppy necktie:  “You see, I’m a local.  I’ve always loved your painting.  I’ve just inherited a little money; I’d like to buy something.”       

Chatting with Henri Matisse:  The Lost 1941 Interview, Henri Matisse with Pierre Courthion, edited by Serge Guilbaut, translated by Chris Miller

Comments are welcome! 

Q: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

Collector, "False Friends," and ARTNews article that shows the painting in progress

Collector, “False Friends,” and ARTNews article that shows the painting in progress

A:  I am most proud of my global network of friends, collectors, and fans who enjoy and support my work.  Over the years, thanks to direct personal contact and social media, many have become valued friends.

Comments are welcome! 

Pearls from artists* # 212

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

… the anthropologist Ellen Disanayake… in Homo Aestheticus, argues that art and aesthetic  interest belong with rituals and festivals – offshoots of the human need to ‘make special,’ to extract objects, events, and human relations from everyday uses and to make them a focus of collective attention.  This ‘making special’ enhances group cohesion and also leads people to treat those things which really matter for the survival of community – be it marriage or weapons, funerals, or offices – as things of public note, with an aura that protects them from careless disregard and emotional erosion.  The deeply engrained need to ‘make special’ is explained by the advantage that it has conferred on human communities, holding them together in times of threat, and furthering their reproductive confidence in times of peaceful flourishing.

Beauty:  A Very Short Introduction, by Roger Scruton

Comments are welcome!

      

Q: Would you talk about your first solo exhibition in a commercial gallery?

"Big Deal," soft pastel on sandpaper, 58" x 38"

“Big Deal,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 58″ x 38″

A:  Although I had exhibited in a number of non-profit galleries in Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, my first solo in a commercial gallery was at 479 Gallery, 520 Broadway, in July 1996.  The previous summer I had entered a juried exhibition there.  My work won first prize and I was awarded a solo show.  

This exhibition was soon followed by representation at an important New York gallery, Brewster Fine Arts, at 41 West 57th Street.  I had my first two-person exhibition at Brewster in October 1996.  The gallery specialized in art by Latin American artists.  Besides myself, the sole non-Latina represented by Brewster was Leonora Carrington.  I quickly began exhibiting alongside a group of illustrious artists:  Leonora, Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Toledo, Francisco Zuniga, and other Latin American masters.  I could hardly believe my good fortune!   

Comments are welcome!