Monday, April 22, 2013

My Mousekateer

 I finished M.'s painting last week.  I leaned into making it sweet.

Somehow, she still is a little spooky to me.
For years, maybe even decades, before my daughter was born, I dreamt about her.  

In the dreams, I was always super busy.  When suddenly, someone in the dream would say, "Hey, here is a baby.  Want it?"  Of course, I always said "yes," even though in the dream, I was always in the middle of a crisis, with my hair on fire.  

In the dream, I would put her on the back seat of the car, or on the bed.  I would tell her to just wait there.  I would be right back. 

I would go back to dealing with the issues in the dream.  Then, in what felt like hours...  I would remember...

Yikes!  I have to check the baby!

I would find her all wilted, kind of dehydrated.  I never had any idea when she had last been changed or fed.  One time she had rolled under the bed and was flat as a pancake.  (This is a dream, remember?)  I patted her back into shape.  All the while, I promised to do better.  She had such a wise understanding look on her little tiny face.  She trusted that I would learn.  

So needless to say, when I finally did have my daughter, I felt like we had known each other forever.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Getting Back To "Normal"

When I got back from New York my head was full of all the killer things we did.  The rest of me was a little haggard.  My skin was cracking off, my feet were calloused and I felt all puffy and weird. It was slow going, getting back into the swing of things.

However, a few things helped a lot.

I got a massage at "Relax Feet," which is a misnomer.  For one thing, they massage all of you... for and hour... for $20... and...  best of all, you keep all your clothes on.  I love it.

Also, I have been making and eating yummy protein, veggie and fruity meals and snacks from Melissa Joulwan's cookbook "Well Fed".  I feel less puffy, a lot clearer headed and  best of all less grumpy!

I got into the studio, where I got a little... very little, painting done this week.  

I started this a while ago.  M saw it and now she wants it.  I guess I have to finish it.
I started it on a lark. 
The photograph image of M.'s cutesy pose is what caught my eye.  Because of her expression and pose, I knew attempting to paint it, could result in either a crazy, over the top, sweet painting, (blah) or a painting with a droll sinister air.   I am hoping for a bit of both.

So far... sinister is winning.

I forgot to include this painting in my New York post.  

It made me crack up.  

The artist,  John Baldessari thought it was very funny too.  He thinks it is  even funnier  that it is hanging in the MOMA.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New York And Some Stuff I Liked

I was in New York this past week with my daughter and Tom.  At first I was grumpy and overwhelmed.

Then two things charmed me.  First, I fell in love with  the timeless quality of a city that never sleeps. Even though bed time in my real life is about 9:30, it would be nice to know I could get a pedicure or a fresh deli salad in the middle of the night.  I would get comfort just knowing these things were possible.  Time would disappear.  Maybe living like this, people would live longer...  ok... I know that is untrue.  

Second,  everyone, and I mean everyone rides the subway, not just the car-less, or parkingless or those who just  need to get to work.  This makes the subway a great place for one of my favorite activities, people watching!

We went to a lot of great places.  However, one I recommend is The Tenement Museum.  It was a evocative experience that is very relatable.   All three of us agreed it was one of the high lights of the trip.  

We went to the MOMA, of course... I saw some nice surrealist paintings.

I like this painting by Max Ernst.  So weird.  It is a woman in a hedge, or a woman as a hedge.  I wonder if he used a sponge to get that texture? 

Max Ernst

I also liked the Rosenquist and the Katz.  There is obvious skill in their use of light and composition.  I don’t know why I like Katz.  Maybe it is his courage to paint that lazily, and that thin at that scale.   He is fresh and has a great sense of color. 
Alex Katz
James Rosenquist is easier for me to love.  Though his images can be quite jarring.  "Mad Men" on acid.  His compositions are graphically seductive, as opposed to seductively graphic.   
James Rosenquist
 In any case,  I am compelled to analyze the paintings of these two guys.  They make it look soooo easy. 


I saw one of Gerhardt Richter’s black and white portraits.  It is so beautiful in person.
Gerhard Richter.  It is really better in person.

I always liked the way Ed Ruscha and Richter blur some of their images.  I don’t know about Ruscha, but I always assumed Richter did these paintings fast and thin and then blurred them in one go.  However, seeing them in person, I am not so sure. They don’t look that thin or that fast.  Though he left evidence in some parts of brushing over images with a soft brush.  Some parts it is not so obvious.  He probably took forever adding paint and wiping it away till he got what he wanted.  As he demonstrated so mesmerizingly, painting his abstracts in his documentary.  Like a Zen Master doing it over and over till he got that rare combination of skill and spontaneity.

In any case, in person, the portrait looked rich and lush, like there is a transparent layer of marzipan laid on top of the painting, integrating the surface.  A lot of images look better in books or on computers, like my favorite guy, Morandi, lush in print, thin and sketchy in person.  But Richter's definitely look better in person.

Ed Ruscha

I painted rather surreal stuff in the 90’s.    Naive painting was in vogue.  Too much skill and realism was distrusted, at least that was my impression.  Seems funny now.   

This is an old painting of mine from that time.  "Every Dream Is  A Wish"

At the MOMA I saw a vase made by bees.  Talk about skill. 

We loved New York and found New Yorkers so very polite and friendly.
The three of us, on the other hand, could be found, freaking out over directions all up and down 34th Street.  Finally, Tom and I learned to leave all navigation to my eleven year old daughter.   She was the only one that ever knew which way we were suppose to go.   

Can't wait to go back.