Monday, February 27, 2012 Experience

Have you tried out It's a new art collecting website that I’ve been curious about ever since I first heard of it. I recently had the opportunity to try it out. It is image based – as a visual person, I find that's a positive attribute.
Starting with Tonalism as a primary interest, I am presented with a page that briefly defines the tonalist movement, suitably presenting James McNeil Whistler. Scrolling down reveals John Twachtman, Robert Henri, Alexander Helwig Wyant, Robert Smillie, Tryon, Eaton, Davis and so on. Several of the pieces I am shown are available.
Clicking on an individual work also brings up related work as defined by related content, for example I happened to choose Leonard Ochtman’s A Silent Morning – which is not for sale, however scrolling down I am also presented with several alternatives, chosen due to content-landscape, color, appearance – whether soft edge or soft focus, and technique -loose brushwork or gestural.
I eventually was lead to contemporary artists I hadn’t been aware of before, paintings that felt like a cross between a gestural Dali and a contemporary Emily Carr – which is not a bad thing, others like an ethereal Gerhard Richter, some with amazing subdued palettes and exciting soft grays.
Clicking on a painting will bring up a full screen view that you can toggle to zoom in and shift around to see fine details.Following an artist means you will receive email alerts about new artwork and shows. Saving adds work to your virtual collection.
Overall, the experience is like having the privilege of wandering in a number of galleries that all specialize in work that you prefer, with seemingly endless stacks of related work with which to expand your tastes, all the while without pressure, while in the comfort of your own home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Smoothing Out the Wrinkles

I’m feeling celebratory this week. A painting that has been a problem child from day one is now starting to take shape. It is a modular painting. By that I mean it is composed of two canvases, a 40 x 60" placed above an 8 x 60". I’m using oil - primed linen, always a little difficult, but this time it was as if the linen was resistant to my every effort - everything except extreme patience. I stretched, waited, tightened, waited, smoothed and adjusted and retightened, over and over, coaxing the linen to flatten out. For a few weeks stretching linen became my number one preoccupation. One night I literally had nightmares about going to the studio to try to paint on surfaces made up of origami folds. What a relief to wake up! What a relief to see this painting co-operating at last.
Here are a couple of detail views from different sections:

As an imaginary composition there have been a lot of adjustments to get the balance and motion of the birds right and then to make sure the top and the bottom sections are cohesive.
It has a way to go yet, but has at last entered fun to work on territory.
Have you ever had a project that seemed to resist all your efforts?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Save the Date
Upcoming Exhibition:

Katherine Kean, Bird by Bird 6, series of small squares, various patterns of bird flight,  murmuration, aerobatic, swirling cloudscape, drama, dark violet gray
Bird By Bird 6  ©2012 Katherine Kean
oil on linen 8 x 8"
April 24 - May 19, 2012

TAG Gallery, Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, Unit D3
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11am -5pm
Sundays noon - 4pm

An online sneak preview of the exhibition will be available to email subscribers. Sign up is here.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Long and Short: A Selection of Artist Videos

I recently gathered some friends and watched The Art of Failure, a full length documentary about painter Chuck Connelly's rise and fall - and what he eventually came up with to deal with it. His rants, which were filmed over a 5 year period, I found difficult to watch. The parts that show him painting are fascinating, and as you can tell from the clip above, lots of his work is shown. Daniel Slotnik described his work for the NY Times as, "a blend of Goya and Rockwell", others have labeled him as a die hard neo-expressionist.

Here's a link to an excerpt:

The video above, of artist Riusuke Fukahori, shows some wonderful brushwork in progress, plus a sophisticated layering technique. And if you stick around there's quite a change in scale at the end.

Along with being amazed with his work, I also discovered a great tip in this Gottfried Helnwein clip. Watch how he uses the back of his glove to wipe or store paint while working. I've since started doing this myself and it's a great time saver.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Facebook Page

I'm back to posting after a  quick hiatus. I took a little time away to work on my Facebook Page. I've had it for awhile, but hadn't been updating regularly, so I took a little time to get it into shape. Please feel free to come have a look and if you "Like", to join the conversation. You can find it here, and you don't even have to be a Facebook member to visit.

Bolton Hall Museum Gift Shop

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