Supermoon shining brightly over the studio tonight!
I just want to preface this post by letting you know that my gorgeous model has been safely released into the woods far away and no one was in danger of being bitten or hurt during this process.
Having said that, I can now go on about how thrilling and captivating it was to shoot this elegant, deadly spider with my delicate antique china and petals from my favorite rose. The scent was intoxicating, the beauty engulfing and there’s nothing quite like the creepy crawl of a spider to keep you on your toes!
I love the wild and dangerous darkness of the spider along with all of her creative, powerful and cunning associations contrasted with the domestic refinement of delicate petals and porcelain – I could drink it in for days!
I need little excuse to slip on my red rubber boots, pop open my bubble umbrella to slosh about to see how the world is transformed by a good down pour in our drought stricken state!
Well, my world turned out to be very small today – I did make it to the studio of course and I love the way it looks so cozy there waiting for me.
I was amazed to see how each raindrop on my umbrella contained a little image of my studio ( be it inverted and distorted ). Little moments of magic – keep it coming rain!
Remember Me, my casket full of forget-me-nots, is designed to exist both as part of a gallery installation to compliment my Florilegia series and in composed landscape photographs. I adore how thoroughly Victorian this piece is while still seeming somehow contemporary. I think the secret lies in the simplicity of the idea and its presentation.
These flowers bloom in the spring for about a month or two which is a small window for exhibition. Anyone know if you can force forget-me-nots to bloom from seed in greenhouse conditions anytime of the year?
Today was a perfect day, iridescent spider webs trailing from the skies and across my face on the way to work. The air was heavily scented with wisteria and lilac, all flooding through the open windows of my studio, mixing with the smell of linseed oil. NPR was talking about the secret lives of cats as seen though mini cat cams and I was finishing up a painting that my son has named End of Spring. I was taken with the melancholy beauty of this image when I first saw this photo by my multi-talented friend and novelist Christy Ann Conlin. She was generous to let me use it for a painting and although I should be prepping for Open Studio I’m so glad I dropped everything to do it. I love how this dead robin lying on a shovel transcends its profane circumstance and is elevated, literally and figuratively, to a vantage where we can experience a moment of wonderment at its life.
I find Cuong Nguyen’s portraits simply awe inspiring so it must be obvious what a delight it was for me to meet him in person at his opening reception for his show Aspects at the Triton Museum of Art! This artist is so genuinely warm and friendly it was easy to see how he must put his subjects immediately at ease and be granted access to peer into their souls!
His muses milled about the guests and it was fun to spotting these models walking around the show: a distinctive pair of glasses, a pair of gorgeous eyes, a striking profile, these intimate details seemed familiar in real life after admiring them on the monumental scale that Cuong paints.
Preston Metcalf, the Triton’s chief curator related to me a bit of the artist’s roots in Viet Nam where he began to paint as a boy of 10 and was tutored in the techniques of Russian Realism. He began his formal training at the Academy of Art in Saigon and continued at San Jose State studying Graphic Design and Illustration. Cuong Nguyen has recently swept up all kinds of accolades including Best in Show at the International Association of Pastel Societies’ 15th Juried Exhibition, Grand Prize of the Pastel Journal Magazine Competition 2010 and winning First Place at the Triton’s 2011 Statewide Painting Competition and Exhibition. Needless to say, Cuong has his hands full with commissions!
Aspects: Multiple Face, Multiple Views will be on exhibit at the Triton Museum of Art located on 1501 Warburton Avenue in San Jose, California until November 11, 2012.
For more information check out www.tritonmuseum.org and the artist’s website www.icuong.com.
I keep an album of vintage postcards in my studio as evidence of what preceded the Silicon Valley. The mountain views of the Valley of Heart’s Delight are still recognizable of course but these fluffy blankets of blooms now lie like bits of lint intersected by highways and subdivisions. Our last remaining orchard in Los Gatos, the North 40, is now slated for development. It would be bulldozed already if there agreement on what combination of shops and restaurants and housing in required. Maybe a remnant of the past makes for a better future.
I thought I came up with a cute design trick this morning when I used an antique pedestal as a computer desk. Although I longed to paint I had to complete an entry for an upcoming exhibition. Once that was done I was still drawn back like a moth to flame. Twitter this and Facebook that, Google here and email there, Etsy convos and blogosphere bonanzas! I realized that this was not a desk I’d created but an altar. I now have a self imposed computer curfew. Be careful what you place on a pedestal!
When my paintings went off for exhibition at Breathe there was a huge vacuum created in my home and studio, and you know how nature feels about that, well me too – we abhor it!
It didn’t long for me to tire of all those empty nails and hooks everywhere, and soon enough they all were hung with elaborate vintage frames teasing me with all the endless possibilities of my next new project. Before I knew it the summer had flown by busy as I was with commissions and exhibitions. Now the paintings have returned and displaced those empty frames which are themselves a sort of vacuum and they too long to be filled.
Oh, did I mention that I acquired a casket? I’ll be filling that too, not in a morbid way but with a florilegia flourish.