Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Varathane and acrylic on wood, 32 x 40"
Recently, I had a collector fill in one of the titles for me. Spring's Guest Chamber. SLAM. Of course. How could I have forgotten such a perfect title.
This is one of the itsy-bitsiest things I am thankful for.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The sketch above was made by Charmagne Coe. I snatched the image from her Flickr page. I was scrutinizing her work because she recently included me in her "Favorites from 2008" list over at her blog my coffee-name is sally. Charmagne obviously has a refined eye for a particular sort of line quality. In a thank-you email I sent her, I called her a "soul sister." It must be the appreciation for a trail that skips intuitively along with confidence. You can see in the sketch above that her tool is not only exploring the surface of the picture plane, grabbing contours out of the mist, but it is also rising up and down and sculpting in that delicate realm that is the thickness of ink.
I am proud to have made her list. I also wonder if I could come up with my own Top Ten Blogs of 2008? Or, maybe I should create categories like "Most improved painting blog" or create a "Painter/Blogger Hall of Fame." I still have a month. I'm also a little curious if any of you have new favorite painter blogs? I have not been actively trolling like I did when I first started three years ago. I've become lazy and comfortable with the few sites I visit. There must be thousands more out there, and yet, my little links list is still the same.
Anyway, Thanks Charmagne.
In a far less deserved list, my video of Nirvana at Lamefest 1989 made Billboard's Music Milestones 20 cool videos from 20 years of SubPop bands. My resume is complete.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I have had a lame cell phone for two years. I assumed that it was not compatible with our Macs. I stopped using the camera because I thought the images were inaccessible. Yesterday however, I learned a little about Bluetooth and fairly easily transferred the thirty fuzzy images onto our desktop. Thirty ghosts from two years ago. It is too bad that in that time, I have lost my enthusiasm for found Rothkos.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
No it isn't done yet.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
research assistance: Brother Bromirski
Acrylic and oil on wood, 20 x 16 inches
Moments ago I finished the painting above.
I am pleased and bewildered by the write-up below.
November 6, 2008
The Sneak Preview, page 29.
"Lately, I have been pondering our societal tendency to put things into black and white terms, especially with our current presidential election. Many people feel forced to choose the lesser of evils because they don’t feel that the two party system is working. So much of it seems like a big commercial, sponsoring corporate views.
With all this on m mind, I perused galleries, looking for a show to spark my interest. I came upon Steven LaRose’s paintings at SOU’s Thorndike Gallery in the Art Building. Steven LaRose teaches painting at SOU. He titled his show, which will be up until 11/15, “Life Science.”
I find it interesting that many artists who seem to express contemplation of truth beyond the black and white explore that expression through the combination of science and art, or at least through their perception of that combination. Some of the art from these “seeking” artists looks scientific and some doesn’t, but I think the merge with science often takes place in the way the artist views his process and how he approaches the art-making itself.
I especially like the painting, “A Place Called Sleep,” in which LaRose has a nonsensical pathway imposed over a wall-paper-like background, leading to a black haze.
LaRose states that, “Painting is a kind of thinking that requires an infinite appreciation for variables and relativity. Thinking with paint is an antidote to the black-and-white endgame that appears to be poisoning our society. There is no slick link of right and wrong, only sticky webs of possibility. Within the grayscale there lies the Truth. Black and white exist merely to define the configurations of intuitive meaning that make up the matrix of complex and oftentimes, contradictory relations between things and no-things. In the alchemical laboratory that is the studio, the painter balances intention with accident. . . in a search for the equilibrium of surprise and predictability.”
Steven’s statement aligned (in my mind) with something I read recently – the introduction for the book Modern Prints & Drawings by Paul Sachs (1954). Sachs quotes Thornton Wilder’s 1951 Harvard Commencement address in his introduction.
Wilder Says that, “I have been an intermittent teacher all my life and when I return to a university I find myself continually drawing comparisons, not comparisons between institutions, but comparisons between something far more striking and instructive – comparison between atitutdes, tacit assumptions, the thought and literature that are about us all and it is how they are assimilated that is interesting to us.”
Wilder goes on to state that, “the modern student is all alive to the complexity of man in himself and others. He is profoundly interested not only in good but in evil, and he assumes that life is morally difficult.”
Life is morally difficult. I believe that’s what artists like Steven LaRose use art as a means to decipher the world’s complexity, as a place to explore issues that don’t fit neatly into a system, as a medium to seek.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Since 2005, a worldwide team of editors and writers — based in cities as diverse as Bogota, Berlin, Manila, New York, Melbourne and more places in between — have kept their ear to the ground of 21st century civilization in order to inspire our readers with their latest finds.
Everything we feature is there because we like it, not because some ridiculously rich sponsor has thrown a stack of greenbacks our way. Not that we don’t like ‘da duckets’. In fact, we welcome any economic ’subsidies’ we can get. But at the end of the day, our iPhones are tax write-offs, and we do this out of love, not for money."
You can see my fifteen minutes by clicking here.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
local artist seeks art patron/lover with table saw (alamo square / nopa)
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [?]
Date: 2008-11-02, 3:40PM PST
looking to build a working relationship, share conversation and libation, as well as share works with those who keep my energy progressing.
my work can be seen at www.chrisrusak.com
live in alamo square area, would be great if you were closeby as I'll need to transport my stuff to your saw.
in simple terms: Looking to borrow usage time of your table/miter/scroll saw. I supply all the materials.
you: get free artwork and incidental libations.
your local artist thanks you.
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Monday, November 03, 2008
Q - What are your influences?
A - The less important passions of three serious painters.
Q - Sounds kind of Slacker
A - Do you mean Gen-ex?
Q - Yeah, but not the branded sloth of slackerdom, but the Sisyphean slacker born in 1963.
A - No way! Malcom what's his name was born around that time. . . wait. . . was it William Gibson who wrote that book?
Q - Which book?
A - Generation X!
Q - . . .
A - Come on. You've never read Generation X?
Q - . . .
A - But you have a clear definition of slacker?
I've started two paintings based entirely on photographs. Each photograph (if we can still call them that) was taken by my wife Stacy (and I don't mean anything possessive when I say my). The first image is of Zaida and Miso on the sofa. Stacy downloaded it from her iPhone. She captured the other image with the Photo Booth application and the just as small lens built in to the laptop. Stacy is currently using the image as her avatar or profile picture on the social networking system (cancer?) called facebook.My mother wanted to put the image from the iPhone in a specific frame she had previously purchased at a yard sale. Much to my Mom's surprise, a 72 dpi image taken with a lens the size of a (very small thing) did not reproduce well at 12 x 16 inches. It is a sweet image. I volunteered to reproduce it with paint. To somehow make it better with scale.
And then there is this unfinished Vermeer I hang up in times like this.
Here are six paintings that I'm going to be shipping to Anthony Castro. He has touched all of these paintings at some point. A couple of the paintings have flown across the country several times. I am hoping that Anthony can wrap some of these up as well as push some deeper. I am hoping that he will be more confusing and more decisive.
I am hoping that he will start two more for me.
We don't know what we are doing. Except for a standard dimension, we haven't made a plan.
Anthony has been exploring a technique that utilizes frisket paper and/or tape-stencils. This old shtick seems to be re-charged in his hands. He is able to create a hard-edge lattice that is surprisingly organic. I feel a kinship to his respectful irreverance of Craft. Anthony's sexy line-quality could make him the DJ Spooky of calligraphy.
Funny thing is, I barely see the bouquet of marks he is capable of in these six paintings. In fact, the most obvious marks seem to be my attempts to impress him. Me trying to be fluid and sensitive but coming off as ham-fisted and goofy.
I am appreciating the balance of large pulls and obsessive flicks. This is what I imagine jazz is like. There is a call and response that we painters miss out on. We are cloistered away in our studios. Maybe the next step is to form a band of painters? That would be soooooo hard. How do musicians do it? Imagine being one of the three members of the Cream of painters.
Would anyone be interested in being part of a painting triumvir?
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Here are some low-budge' pix of a mural I did in my daughter's bathroom. It is simply a pastiche of Mary Blair's work, who I found to be a profound and early inspiration.
In response to Amy's question from Sunday:
"If you were to do a set of these *foundation* sketches today, would there be any women represented as inspiring artists? and would they all still be paintings about painters?"
The paintings would always be about painters no matter how much I would want to be a conceptual artist or a musical artist or a legal artist or a garden artist. But today's inspirational pool to choose from is enormous. Here are some women painters from my bookmark list, click on their names to see how they kick my butt:
Hilary Harkness, Nina Bovasso, Jennifer Reeves, Isabella Kirkland, Kysa Johnson, Kaye Donachie, Andrea Hersh, Jane Fine, Karin Davie,
Molly Vidor, Kim Squaglia, Jane Callister,
After it got dark, my daughter and her three friends did the traditional door to door routine. When they returned and dumped their piles on the kitchen table, there was discovered a fortune cookie size piece of paper that read: "This is an eraser. NOT CANDY"
We are still looking for the eraser.