Friday, December 10, 2010

Libri Riviste e Fumetti

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Back to memories of Florence, Italy, … I knew that at some point I would paint Piazza Ciompi in Florence. There is a seemingly random-appearing raised platform of stone with square columns and repeating arches over it, right next to a flea market - antique shops that are more like sheds. This platform appears to have had no purpose other than marking one part of an edge of this mid-sized piazza.

During one of my many walks past this structure, I noticed the light filtering into the city and between these square columns. To my delight, a young woman was enjoying a moment in the winter sun reading her book while leaning against one of these columns. I stopped in my tracks and began to work out the painting in my mind. Later, as I got closer, I realized that she was a friend of mine! Even better.

I will introduce this new pastel painting (only a 9” x 12” on panel) this weekend. Her title is named after the sign on the “shed” behind the reading girl. It says simply, ”Libri, Riviste E Fumetti”, Italian for “Books, Magazines, and Comic Books.”

Naturally, you are invited to my last event of the year:

Sunday, December 12, from 2 to 6 pm.
The Curiouseum Arts Weekend inside the Community Renaissance Market
6800 Westgate Blvd. (NW corner of Westgate and Wm. Cannon)
Austin, Texas 78745
Tel.: Ruth: 512.744.3411 and Susan: 512.925.4085

Music lineup:
David Perkoff plays flute and saxophone from 2 – 4 p.m.

The Flying Balalaika Brothers play Russian folk music & a wide variety of other styles from 4 – 6 p.m.

There will also be a fashion show happening at the other end of the building from the gallery. Please pass this one to anyone you think might enjoy this kind of variety on a Sunday afternoon. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crack in Stone

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I have been trying to get back to my “drug of choice” – stone. So in-between preparing for exhibits, making art for my galleries, and just plain old “takin’ care of business,” I have been going outside to work on my marble carving of the “Gymnast.” I last wrote about her on my January 19, 2010 blog entry. I had just cut a hole into the space under the chin and in front of the vertical legs.

When I have left a work for a long period of time, I tend to move back into it slowly, reacquainting myself with the form and at the same time, trying to see the work with a fresh eye. I want to be fully focused before I continue. My first thought is to notice my emotional response to the artwork-in-progress. While it is difficult to carve emotion, per se, any negative emotions are often my first clue that something is wrong with the shape. I just have to figure out what sometimes. [Other times, it is quite apparent.]

I first noticed that there was a crack in the stone near the outer toes on the figure’s right foot (pointed out with red arrows in the first image). So, the first step back into carving was obvious and I removed entirely the stone outside of the crack. Some carvers like to use SuperGlue or some such adhesive to keep the crack secure as they carve around it. But thus far, my feeling is to get rid of a defect, or dead stone, and redesign. In this case, I still have plenty of marble for the feet.

This next pair of images shows you the markings I made on my stone of what to remove or lines to follow as I shape the feet. I tend to stand back about six feet from various vantage points to make sure that the line I will be creating flows beautifully.

In this final image, you can see what the end of my workday looks like. I do tend to watch the setting sun through the trees as I wrap up the day’s work. You can also see some of the mulch I have been spreading around my work site. The electric company came in a week or two ago and cut down and trimmed all of the trees within about 20 or 30 feet of the electric lines. I asked them if I could keep the mulch they made from the smaller branches and brush. I have been shoveling a little bit each day that I am out. Lovely stuff! And the cedar (juniper really) smells fantastic, although most of my privacy is gone.

Thank you for your interest in art and process.

Happy Birthday to my sweet brother Paul!