Monday, December 26, 2005

Lee Mullican Discussion at the Getty

Coinciding with the retrospective at LACMA there is going to be a discussion at the Getty on Tuesday January 24, 2006 7:30 pm in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center.

Moderated by Henry Hopkins, and including artists Tony Berlant and Lari Pittman, the panel will be followed by a musical performance of Indian ragas featuring the North Indian Music Ensemble.


It is time for a new calendar very soon. I like this one of Alan Wolfson's miniature urban environments available from Lulu.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

An Abundant Harvest of the Sun

I was not very familiar with Lee Mullican’s work, so it was an experience for me to get to see this comprehensive exhibit. I wasn’t prepared for the tactile quality of lines of paint applied with a printer’s ink knife or the vibrating color choices. His influences include Zen Buddhism and pre-Columbian and Northwest Coast art, and a meditative reflection on nature and inner states. There is a tension between figurative and abstract and his work and along with other West Coast painters Gordon Onslow Ford and Wolfgang Paalen is distinguished from Abstract Expressionism through a concern with content and (from Susan C. Larsen, “Lee Mullican”) “a holistic meditative art resonant with the special touch and calligraphic signature of the artist’s hand but without the tragic overtones and violent gestural disruptions of the pictorial plane.”

Monday, December 12, 2005

Psychedelic Folk Art by Byron Werner

I have always found Byron Werner's artwork visually fascinating. I enjoy the mandalas quite a bit and the portraits knock me out. He's using gift wrapping paper to make these paper mosaics.
Take a look:

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Lover's Glass

A Lover's Glass, which is also called a Reducing Glass, resembles a magnifying glass at first glance. The glass is for making the object you are viewing appear smaller, rather than larger. It is a handy tool for artists, especially those who are working large, because you can get a perspective on how the work is going without getting up or backing way across the room. This can save some time and energy.

As I was driving I looked up and saw what appeared for a moment to be an upside down rainbow. I slowed down to get a better look and then realized what I was seeing was a rainbow in a circle. It was huge and the sun was in the center, although mostly blocked by clouds.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I've just returned from a visit to Washington state. I had never traveled there before and so was happily amazed. In some ways it reminded me a little bit of the east coast, except the ocean sat on the wrong side, and the land seemed much bigger. Maybe due to the ever present fog obscuring the horizon, I had a sense of infinity.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Dream Scaffolds

I usually dream in series and it is sometimes like playing a game of Pictionary. I will get a setting in a dream that has a certain set of actions and sensations. The next night I will have a different dream, with a new setting and correlating actions, and then the next night another dream with yet another setting, and so forth. Eventually a pattern will appear, and then I usually start to begin to understand what it is about.

Lately the common thread has been structures, more specifically scaffolding like structures that can be seen around and beyond and climbed upon and through. The really interesting parts are the things that are happening within the spaces of the structure.

Last night I dreamed that there was an artist working inside each space and I was traveling around and through the spaces to see all the artwork as it appeared.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


The painting I've been plodding along on for awhile is creeping towards completion. Now it only needs a few glazes, although sometimes that can go on and on. I'm taking comfort in a Leonardo da Vinci quote, "Art is never finished, only abandoned." I wonder which of his paintings he was referring to.....

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Not Getting Things Done

I have noticed that I have a resistance to completing things. For awhile now I have been working on some projects, including cleaning out closets and drawers and throwing things away, and I get to a point where it is about 95% complete and that's when I just want to stop. I imagine that the reason is that if it isn't "finished" than I am "Leaving room for improvement" or keeping it open, somehow. However, I also suspect that there must be something else going on under the surface, some other factor.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Science of Vision

I was researching peripheral vision and found this really neat website,
Color, Vision, and Art.

This web exhibit discusses and explains many optical phenomena in art and allows the viewer to alter the luminence and hue of paintings to see the effects.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Culver City Art Group Holiday Show

This coming Saturday is the 10th Annual Holiday Art Exhibit
Original artwork by members of the Culver City A.R.T. Group
Saturday, November 12, noon to 6:00 pm

Artists' Reception
Meet the artists
Saturday, 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Veterans Memorial Building,
Rotunda Room
4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City
(Culver Blvd. and Overland Ave.)

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I knew almost nothing about this artist when I went recently to The Skirball Cultural Center. He was a prolific artist who's work covered a range encompassing realism to impressionism. His later works painted from his garden at Wannsee allow areas of thick paint so that it appears that the brush laid down and swirled impromptu patterns of light and color to evoke flower beds.

I was fortunate to be there for a curatorial walk through led by Barbara Gilbert who eloquently and humorously shared her knowledge and connection to the seventy or so works of art currently on display. The exhibition will be up through January 29th, 2006.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I was reading something and the author complained about "obscuration". I had a sense of what that might mean, but to be sure I looked it up. I looked on the internet since that was where I was, but I could not find a definition. I Googled the word and found some pages that claimed to contain the word, but I couldn't find it in the pages or what it might mean. I finally got out the big dictionary and found it and that it means "the act of obscuring or the quality or state of being obscure." So, in this case, the word seems to mean the thing that it does. Which made me wonder, why use such a word? It reminds me of when a person will use the word "utilize." It means use, so why not use the word use? I have a feeling that we use big words to make ourselves appear smarter or more powerful or to compensate for the fact that we don't feel that way. Or maybe we want to appear mysterious so we settle for being misunderstood.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Today in Malibu

Allied Artists of the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore 3rd Annual Art Exhibit is happening today, October 23, 2005.

It takes place at the Malibu Nature Preserve, located at 33905 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265. Hours are from noon to 5pm.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Future Art Collectors of Los Angeles

Today I was at LACMA to pick up some of my paintings from the gallery. The paintings were rolled out to the van on a cart and as I was lifting one from the cart to slide into the van I heard a child's voice call out, "I want that one!" I looked up to see about a kazillion school kids all lined up on the walkway above looking down at us and waving and pointing while they waited in line for their tour to start.

They all started calling out with rising enthusiasm and they began making offers in exchange for artwork. They offered schoolbooks, games, and toys. One offered his hair and another offered her little brother. I kept loading artwork into the van, slowly, since I was enjoying the positive feedback, and the children started pulling money out of their pockets and waving it in the air, still trying to strike a deal.

In time I had the van loaded and the children had to go since their tour was was a lot of fun while it lasted.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Hurricane Relief at Zazzle

In response to the devastating aftermath of the recent Gulf Coast Hurricanes, Zazzle is launching a new gallery to help raise awareness and funds for those in need. By combing the donation of the artist's royalty and an additional 10% of product sales from this gallery, a total of 20% of sale proceeds will be going to designated non-profits actively engaged in the relief efforts.

Here is a link : Hurricane relief at Zazzle

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Art of Human Spirit

I saw the "Art of Human Spirit" Exhibition at LA Artcore Brewery Annex. Artists included Mark Griffin, Aaron Landman, Tony Mosca, Seihu Nishijima, John Outterbridge, Kenji Shiiokava, and Matthew Thomas.

I especially enjoyed Aaron Landman's work. His previous drawings have provided the sensation of going into and moving outward simultaneously, in a bit of an Op Art way. He has carried this theme forward (literally sometimes) by adding some dimension to the work in some very tricky ways. They are playful and adventurous and intriguing.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


While firefighters were getting the fires in Topanga and Thousand Oaks under control a little fire blazed up in northern Burbank. John Van Vliet got these pictures of the super scooper in action over the crest of the Verdugo Hills.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Saturday, Sept 10

Of the many, many openings yesterday I only managed to get to TAG and to George Billis Gallery. I have a small cold, not much but enough to slow me down.

At George Billis Gallery we saw Alexandra Eldridge, Carol Es, and Suzan Woodruff. I like that there are more galleries in Culver City these days and on a Saturday evening there are people strolling from exhibit to exhibit.

At TAG we saw Rhoda Holabird's paintings inspired by her visits to Santorini and the molten forces that inhabit the depths of the Aegean Seas.

Also exhibiting there is Anne Ramis. Her work looked like ink on paper and they had that ink blot characteristic of taking on projections of the viewer. I saw, among other things, a rocking horse, a tricycle, lots of animal faces and trees and wind and water.

It was a really nice evening. On the way back to the car there was a gentleman sitting in a hammock type chair hanging from a small tree in his front yard. I remarked that he looked comfortable. He said he was and went on to say that he could even lie down in it. I said that was a nice feature and he went on to say that he got the hammock chair for $80.00.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Postage Stamps from Zazzle

Zazzle now offers stamps created by it's contributors to the general public for purchase.

To see more stamps go here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Save the Date

Reception Friday, September 16th, 6:30-8:30 pm

Art Rental and Sales Gallery
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Lower Level, Leo S. Bing Center
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036-9938

Exhibit runs from September 16-October 20, 2005
Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday, 11-4

Sunday, August 14, 2005


I decided to try the Zazzle stamps using my artwork. I also put my name and the words Fine Art at the bottom of the design. Zazzle rejected the design because they say this can be construed as advertising. So, it's back to the drawing board.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

LACMA's King Tut

I went to the King Tut exhibit yesterday. I enjoyed seeing it, but it was way too crowded. It took a long time to get through the exhibit because there were so many people in such a small space. I wondered why they set it up the way that they did. For example at the beginning there was a sort of lead in area with no objects other than one photograph per wall and a sentence on each about Howard Carter. This was interesting information, but perhaps it is a different subject than that of the objects themselves? There was also another room darkened to show a short video, which seemed to be nothing more than an introduction to what we were about to see. There was a least one other room like this with a map and a photograph, neither of which I could see very well, due to the darkness and all of the people. A lot of the exhibit happened to be in very dark rooms. I felt overall that someone was trying to control my experience in a theatrical way. It was also as if there were at least three different centers of focus: the archeological experience, Egyptian mythology, and, speculation on what King Tut may actually have looked like and how he died.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I just found out that one can make their own stamps at Zazzle.
Needless to say, this makes me very happy.

Monday, July 25, 2005


While in Chinatown last week I luckily wandered into the Telic Gallery which happened to have a Peter Cho exhibition. Peter Cho has invented a phonetic alphabet (called Takeluma) made out of linear shapes which are assigned to the various sounds of spoken language. He has presented these animations on small screens mounted on canvases. Each canvas has a headphone mounted on the wall next to it. I happened to put one headphone on as the voice was repeating the famous words.”…one giant leap for mankind.” On the screen in front of me the display produced a graceful and enthusiastic arabesque across the screen in time with the words.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Bids 4 Kids Charity Auction on Ebay

From July 15-25, 2005, artists with original works listed within eBay’s Art Category (
will join together and participate in an effort called Bids-4-Kids to benefit the Hole in the Wall Camps
(HITWC). HITWC are year-round Camps for children with serious illnesses and life-threatening
conditions. Each time a participating artist sells a piece during the benefit, proceeds from the sale – ranging
from 10 to 100 percent – will be donated to HITWC’s art programs

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Caroline Putnam, a Los Angeles-based artist who was educated at the Rhode Island School of Design, will present a lecture on Surrealism at Carlotta's Passion Fine Art. Ms. Putnam will probe the origins, influences, and multiple manifestations of the Surrealist movement from its conception to present. The lcture is on Friday, July 15th, at 8:00 p.m. and is free to the public. Carlotta's Passion is located at 2012 Colorado Blvd. in the Eagle Rockneighborhood of Los Angeles.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I did a little traveling in the first two weeks of the month, to visit my sister in Kentucky and I also went to Santa Fe. Kentucky is beautiful, It was sometimes cool and cloudy and then hot and humid. There were always fireflies at night. Santa Fe was amazing as always.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Play of Light

Went to see "Meant to Be Lived In", which is a house above a hill in Pasadena with Light Installations by Olafur Eliasson. The experience is both playful and intense. I am very fond of light and I was happy to find myself in an environment completely turned over to the play of light (as well as delciously cool). There was one part where the contrast between prismatic light and the complete dark was so powerful that I felt that if I reached into the dark part that my hand might not encounter a wall. I was a little relieved that it did. In other places the more we stared the more we saw. To add to the joy two good friends from the other side of town spontaneously materialized before us while we were there. The exhibition ends May 31st. It is a memorable experience. It is located at 1472 Inverness, Pasadena.

It is worth noting that Inverness is not accessible between St. Katherine Drive and Edgehill Place. Instead it is much easier to get on Inverness from Linda Vista. As usual I learned this from trial and error( and luckily for me my friend arrived first and she was able to direct me over her cell).

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Art Events This Weekend

On Saturday the SCWCA presents Sherry Frumkin, gallery owner and Co- director of the recently opened Santa Monica Art Studios on a private tour, at 1:30 pm. This complex is set an historic 20,000 square foot hangar at Santa Monica Airport. Address is 3026 Airport Avenue. This event requires registration.

This weekend is the Venice Art Walk and silent auction. The Venice Art Walk features self-guided tours of over 60 local private working studios and homes of notable Venice artists and private collectors. The event also features a food faire, located at the Westminster School, offering gourmet cuisine, an al fresco cocktail garden and live jazz performances. The event benefits the Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the United States.The Venice Art Walk features self-guided tours of over 60 local private working studios and homes of notable Venice artists and private collectors. The event also features a food faire, located at the Westminster School, offering gourmet cuisine, an al fresco cocktail garden and live jazz performances. The event benefits the Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the United States. The silent auction is open on Saturday and is free.

On Sunday Molly Barnes is having a salon, at 2:00 at the Ambrose Hotel, 20th and Arizona in Santa Monica, featuring Peter Shire. Peter is a World Famous Artist known for his Ceramic Teapots, Sculpture, Architectural Fixtures, Color Consultation and Fine Art Drawings.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Downtown Art Walk

I went yesterday on the Downtown Art Walk with a friend, another artist, who fortunately has a good sense of direction. Even with a map I generally march off in the wrong direction.

I particularly enjoyed Bert Green Fine Art and Pharmaka, as well as MJ Higgins. At Bert Green there was a piece by Iris Polos, "Beluga" that caught my attention and made me want to see more.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Two Landscape Artists

I’ve been looking at the work of two well known landscape artists, April Gornik and Peter Krausz. Both work in large scale landscapes with a strong sense of physicality, places that are uninhabited by people. Both masters of the poetry of landscape. I started to see what felt like masculine and feminine traits embodied in their work.

In Peter Krausz’s work, nature is remote, seen from above as if we are gliding down into it. There is a wistfulness, something longed for, but out of reach, we must go to it. The surface is filled top to bottom and side to side and the eye becomes active and sweeps in direct strides diagonally, from side to side across multiple angles and peaks. The brush work is active also and the mark making is clear.

April Gornick’s work has a gentle but powerful stillness. The landscape is viewed from slightly below eye level as if we are in a receptive state to wait for the inescapable mystery about to descend. There is a hushed, expectant feeling in the plentiful negative space. There are recurrent themes of clouds and water seen with a slightly diffused and enveloping softness here and there and around the edges.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


I wonder if anyone has ever conducted research to discover what the correlation is between art crticism and growth in art making. It seems to me that genuine feedback provides a mirror for an artist and an art community to see past their blind spots and that with this comes a refining of work and direction on all sides, for the artist, the art writer, and the art audience.

Monday, April 18, 2005

A Voice?

I went to the panel discussion, "Are We On the Same Page" which was held at L.A.C.E. yesterday afternoon. This is the second panel in as many months. The other was "Whither Arts Journalism in LA?"

Here are comments about yesterdays panel from Sean Bonner.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

It Must Be Spring...

Fever. After months, or longer, of painting foggy, cloudy, monchromatic, mainly gray paintings I am suddenly drawn to watercolors and fresh paint. I'm painting with some yellows and blues and a bit of pink, with plenty of crisp white edges.


Currently on exhibit at the Forum Gallery are the paintings of Peter Krausz. His medium, called Secco, is an ancient one. and means 'dry' in Italian. Here is a little bit about it from the Forum Web page

The difference between fresco and secco:

In painting, the term fresco (pl. frescoes) comes from the Italian phrase buon fresco, ("really fresh") a technical term in opposition to in secco ("on dry surface"). True, or buon fresco, technique consists of painting in pigment in a water medium on wet or fresh lime mortar or plaster. In secco painting is done on dry plaster and with the pigments in a binding medium, like egg. The difference between the two techniques is that the wet plaster as it dries absorbs the pigment and the painting becomes part of the wall surface rather than resting on top of it. This makes a very durable work of art; if the wall is destroyed the painting can often be reassembled because of the size of the plaster parts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Are We On the Same Page?

There is going to be another panel discussion about art journalism.

Are We On The Same Page? :: LA art journals, artists’ publications and independent publishers & imprints Sunday 17 April starting at 4pm @ LACE (­Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) - 6522 Hollywood Blvd.

I learned this on Art Blogging LA.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Af Klint, Kunz, and Martin

A friend forwarded this article from the NY Times. I am interested in Af Klint's work and especially in her processes.

The Modernist vs. the Mystics

A review of the "3 x Abstraction: New Methods of Drawing," at the Drawing Center (NY), by Ken Johnson.

"Academic art historians and critics still tend to discourage talking seriously about the spiritual in art. But considering how many artists continue to be motivated by spiritual urges, however the word spiritual is defined - this is something worth discussing. And this exhibition, problematic as it may be, offers an excellent occasion to do so. "

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Bumping Into Butterflys

I haven't been able to step outside without bumping into butterflys. The conditions are just right, with all the rain, and then all the flowers, there is a lot of butterfly food available. They are migrating through in vast numbers. They are called Painted Ladies and they are going north.

What tickled me most was that feeling, especially at first, of not knowing what is going on. Of something at work that is bigger. It was a return for awhile to wonder and the curiosity that springs out of that.

A friend mentioned that the hospice he works at as a volunteer uses the butterfly as their symbol because of the associations with transformation.

I was then reminded of a story about how it is detrimental to a butterfly to attempt to assist one while it is emerging from it's cocoon. It is in the struggle to emerge that causes the butterfly to build strength in its wings. Without the struggle the wings will not be strong enough to allow the butterfly to fly.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Is There A Need For Art?

This is a quote attributed to Christopher Knight, as a part of the Art Journalism Panel: "What I'm saying is art isn't for everyone, it's for anyone and there's a difference. It's perfectly possible to live a long happy productive life without ever seeing a painting. "

I imagine he was referring to a specific idea of what art is and not all art.

Whether we are aware of it or not, art is everywhere. Art is required, in some form or fashion, on some level, in every object made, from soup bowl to automobile. It seems to me then that the question is, do we want to be aware of art, or leave it to the unconscious.

I think of art as food. It is perfectly possible to live a life without ever visiting a gourmet restaurant, but how long can one go without something to digest?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Watercolor Past and Present

I love watercolor and if it isn't the wettest year on record than it's almost the wettest year, so it seemed entirely appropriate to visit the Huntington Library to see "An Eye For Beauty, Collectors and the British Watercolor" And then, a few blocks away, in Pasadena, "Liquid Los Angeles, Currents of Contemporary Watercolor Painting." In the first there is a range of work with watercolor often used as a drawing tool, using a very fine brush as a pen. Having worked quite a bit with watercolor outdoors on site I was appreciative of the compositions. Many of these artists were traveling to some remote areas to capture images of nature. The second show demonstrates the versatility of watercolor, showing some very free uses of watercolor, for example Shane Guffogg's flooding of the paper, really saturating it with deep color, as well as the photorealistic work of Cindy Craig and Judie Bamber's masterfully rendered and also fragile paintings. Alltogether a refreshing counterpoint to the David Hockney show at LA Louvre.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Conversations With Artists: SPARC Gallery

This past weekend the Venice Art Forum held "Conversations With Artists" at the SPARC Gallery in Venice. "Conversations" is in conjunction with the current Venice Art Forum Group Show. There were eleven artists and a room full of guests. Among the guests were those that are friends and families of the artists as well as random folks who just happened to stop by. Each artist spoke for a few minutes about their work, asked...what the work is about, why it is created, how it is created, what it means. The answers were as intriguing, varied and surprising as were the artists. Some that I remember are: "I don't know why I paint." "I am painting my breath." "The painting tells me what to paint."

The exhibit will be up through March 26th.

Friday, March 04, 2005

My Readers and I

My readers are art lovers and members of the art community, including collectors, designers, and other artists. I also have readers who are writers, other bloggers, friends – including Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter users - and anyone who has an interest in my life and work. I find my readers to be awake and aware, educated, intelligent and endlessly fascinating. Although I have readers from across the globe, most live in the United States and many reside in the greater Los Angeles area. Their interests in addition to art might include gardening, nature, travel, and personal growth.

My blog is a way for me to introduce my work and myself to the art community and to connect with collectors, curators, and artists, to generate interest in my work, to educate about painting: how and why my work is made and what it feels like to make it.

Since there is a significant amount of time passing between shows I’d like my blog to be a means of keeping in touch with and staying in the mind of collectors and the art community.

I’d like my blog to help my mail list to grow.

I’d like to use my blog as a means of documenting my art process, as a way of deepening my focus and for entertainment.

I’d like my blog to be fun for me and for my readers.

I’d like my blog to be a way of getting feedback.

I’d love to make money with my blog – if I can find a way to do that without disrupting my primary goals.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

About Me

At Fat Over Lean* life imitates art, which suits me well since I have an endless fascination with both. I can’t help being enchanted about the world when there’s so much beauty to see and mystery to experience.

Here you can find surprising tips to save you time in the studio, such as why I never have to clean my brushes. You can read about landscape painting adventures; I once rented a helicopter to drop me in a ravine to capture the perfect mountainside. You are invited to have a sneak peak as I paint in oil and watercolor what I consider the absolute essentials of landscape painting: the indescribable qualities of light and mood.

As an artist, I’ve been known to indulge in solitude but my inner extrovert needs to be fed often and the door is open for discussion on any number of topics. Feel free to post a comment; everyone is free to express an opinion – as long as it is respectful to others. Or, if you prefer, email me.

*Fat Over Lean is the original title of this blog. It refers to a painting term reminding artists to paint the oilier more flexible layers of paint over the stiffer, faster drying bottom layers, to prevent cracking.

Bolton Hall Museum Gift Shop

The Bolton Hall Museum Gift Shop   is a great place to do your holiday shopping! Carrying a wide range of unique items, all are created l...