Friday, September 29, 2006
After my fiasco I was feeling a bit gloomy, thinking, "this is not my night!" I grabbed a Sean Scully book I had just bought a few days ago, Sean Scully Wall of Light, and was immediately inspired by his work. I set the book aside and went to work on this painting. On the first image you can see the first layer of paint, which is very light. After looking at Scully's work I decided to go dark. This still life of a Carrot on a White Dish will be an ode to Scully's Wall of Light paintings. I don't know why but I like the painting as it is. But I'm not thinking of leaving it that way. I'll have to wait and see where the painting goes. So far it's on point.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
These heirloom tomatoes might be the subject for that painting. Not sure yet. These were taken from pictures I took at the Farmers Market in Union Square.
These two drawings came to me while doing volunteer work at a gallery. I was reading a very good book titled Looking at the Overlooked and these compositions got in my head. I put the book away and started drawing, trying to get the ideas down as best as I could. It's funny how things have changed for me. I used to play around with objects and set them up a certain way so that I could take pictures. So, the still life came before the painting. Now, the idea comes first in the form of drawings, followed by setting up the still life for photos, and finally the painting. I'm enjoying the new process best.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
The other night I made one of my favorites. Chicken stew! This is one of the many things I learned from mom, but I added a little of my own stuff to this.
The ingredients: Boneless,skinless chicken breast(this is for healthy reasons, better if you use bone in chicken for flavor); one med. to large tomato, one large onion, two large potatoes, about three garlic cloves (the more the better), small can of tomato paste, white wine, olive oil, salt and pepper, and diced carrots and peas. I don't have set measurements since I cook by sight and smell.
Prep: Chop the onion into squares. Slice the tomato into long wedges. Cut the chicken into the desired portions, and cut the potatoes into round slices. Chunks work well too.
I start by heating the oil and then adding the onions. Stir the onions to keep from burning and until transparent. Then I add the chopped (minced) garlic followed right away with salt and pepper. This creates a good base, what we call the sazon!
After I stir the seasoning base for about three to five minutes, I add the chicken and let it soak up the flavor of the onions and garlic. When the outside of the chicken turns white I add the tomatoes and let it cook together for about five minutes until the tomato releases all its juice.
Then I add the tomato paste and potatoes. Stir well and let it simmer until the stew takes shape. This might take about twenty minutes or less, depending on how high your heat is.
Once the stew looks right I add the carrots and peas. Stir well and let it simmer for about five minutes. The veggies cook fast so you have to keep an eye out for the potato since it's the slowest one to cook. When the water content starts to reduce I add the wine, stir and let it simmer some more. About five minutes.
This is how the stew should look once it's ready. When the heat is on the stew looks very loose but after you let it rest for a few minutes it starts to thicken.
Here's the stew ready to go to my stomach served over white rice. Always white rice. We Peruvians eat everything with white rice. For more flavor I add fresh chopped parsley, but I didn't have some for this shot. Trust me, fresh parsley tops almost everything I cook. I hope you enjoyed this little window into my personal time and space at home.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
Last night I wanted to experience it again! I met up with friends on 25th St. and 10th Ave. to check out the openings and drink some free wine! We went to Cheim & Read where the mood was a little uptight since this is a high end gallery, therefore the place was full of socialites, collectors and fashionistas. You could spot the artists in one hot second since they were the only ones not wearing the usual black New York uniform. Although I like people watching I did not stay too long since the art on the walls was not my type. It was all too gimmicky! We ended up at Stux Gallery just down the street. From outside I saw large colorful canvases with textural elements. We decided to go in and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was floored! Immediately I fell in love with these paintings by artist Kuno Gonschior. Being in front of these large paintings was like being on a high and I could not get enough of it. I thought the work was amazing and full of beauty. Created by delicately placing blobs of acrylic paint these abstraction come to life. I fell in love with the way the artist left many areas of the raw linen support exposed, incorporating the natural color of the material to the overall scheme.
When I saw the paintings from outside I thought they were layers of colored paper, but I was wrong. The only way to describe the texture of these paintings is that it looked like layers of rose petals, as my friend David put it. Rose petals or paint, the vibrancy of the colors was undeniable. Much of my admiration for Mr. Kuno Gonschior comes from the fact that he has decided to maintain a high aesthetic level. This kind of commitment to the beautiful now in days deserves a standing ovation since most of the art that's turn out is about ideas and agendas. Art no longer is about the object hanging on the wall, but about the issues of a certain group.
Being a young artist, and perhaps a bit jaded, seeing this kind of painting during this time period seems baffling. Who makes this kind of work anymore? No one my age that's for sure! Mr. Gonschior is a German artist who has been an active artist since the 1960's. This explains it all. Most artists from his generation are still creating beautiful work of art that speaks to the soul.
The concern of this work, which is based on the Color Field tradition, is about the connection between the artist and material. This exhibition is a testament that formalist painting can still be emotional and meaningful. Purity in art still exists in the work of artists like Mr. Gonschior, Helen Frankenthaler, Jules Olitsky, Sean Scully, and Pat Lipsky to name a few.
It didn't take long for me to become inspired by these paintings, and at the same time leaving me nostalgic about my past large abstractions. This kind of painting holds a very special place in my little artist heart, and some day soon I'll pick up where I left off. For now I sit back and enjoy the work of great artists like Mr. Gonschior.
I had to get a close up of the paint layers, too bad the color came out too yellow. But you can get the idea. This show is the reason whey I keep going back to the galleries of Chelsea; when I least expect it I always find something worth seeing and rewarding.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
After the application of Indian Yellow I start building up the painting very slowly by crosshatching the color. I load my brush and then run it down, twisting at the same time, on a paper towel to get all the excess color out. This helps out in laying down clean lines.
At this point you can get an idea of where I'm going with the background color. I already know what I want, I just have to work at it to achieve the inspiration color, which I will reveal once I post the final image of this tempera onion. The image above shows layers of Indian Yellow, Cobalt Green, and a mixture of Cobalt Green and Zinc White.
Back to the pigment box. This set of pigments is by Kremer Pigments and it's called the 25th Anniversary Set. This beautiful wooden box with twenty five colors was a special production by Kremer to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the company's birth a few years ago. This set was so popular that it became part of the permanent product line. This set is ideal for oil painters since aside from the twenty five jars of color the set also brings a small jar of cold pressed linseed oil and a small jar of Kremer's fast drying oil painting medium. I substituted those two jars with two other colors that are part of the Historical Colors line. You don't have to paint in oils to use this box though, as you can see the set could be used for tempera painting because you only need small amounts of pigment for this style of painting.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
This is the accepted painting and it amazed me at how different it looked hanging in the wall of this gallery. This is the funny thing about art. In the studio it looks a certain way, but when it hangs in a different space far from the artist's, it becomes alive and commands attention. For some reason the colors looked more rich than I thought they were.Here are a few examples of the work hanging in the exhibition. The photograph was the favorite among friends. I thought they were right, it had drama and light, good reasons for anyone to be attracted to it. My personal favorite was an abstract painting showing many different layers. It had movement, the color was alive and I love the thick and thin application of paint. The composition of this painting hit the nail as well.
I'm not a big fan of conceptual, post modernist art, but I loved this one. I thought it was well put together and the pairings of words was good. After walking around and looking at the work and taking pictures it was time to get my drink on! Who can resist free food and drink?