Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Damien Rice "The Animals Were Gone"

What can I say, I'm a sucker for love songs, and this little painful number gets me all chocked up!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nazarine October

Senor de los Milagros, 2006, New York, NY
Another year that goes by, and another year that the Peruvian faith manifests itself in the streets of Lima. It's a long tradition spanning hundreds of years and breaking many geographic barriers. The Nazarene, the Black Christ, the Lord of Miracles, once again makes its way through vast crowds that accompany him day and nigh. With hopes of receiving a miracle, many flock to the colonial painting of the a Crucified Christ, originally painted by a black slave of one of the of Lima's slums. Said to be the biggest religious procession in the world, the Lord of Miracles brings together over half a million faithfull from all walks of life. Celebrities, Politicians, Clergy, and laymen all unite under the Peruvian sky to the beat of drums, turmpets, and singing maids.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Studio Visit with Pat Lipsky

The sun was out and the temperature was as pleasant as the first days of spring. Hurrying to the train so that I could make it in time to my appointment with Pat Lipsky I could not help but to enjoy the the calm touch of the New York fall breeze. This was an important day for me, partly because the artist I was going to see had been a mentor in school and I admired her affinity and sensibility to color. It was also my first studio visit as a young painter to another painter's domain, and I could already foretell that it was going to be a rewarding night.

Am I supposed to bring something or not? That was all I could think about, especially when the person being visited payed attention to small details. Was I going to look like a fool for not bringing something like a basket of fruit or wine? Unfortunately I didn't have much time to shop, so empty handed I hopped onto the subway train on my way to Chelsea.

I arrived and knocked on the door, and her voice invited me to "come in." There it was, the studio I've been interested in seeing for quite some time. Nothing to it but a humble painter's space with paintings in progress on the walls and two tables with paint tubes and containers of mediums and other tools. To the normal social visitor making the rounds to their friends' and family's they would hope to find so much more than just too lonely chairs. But that was all the studio had to hint at some kind of human comfort. The two old chairs, painted with a matte white resembling gesso, drew me into the heart of the room. To me their simplicity was very inviting, they testify to their functional purpose in a working artist's space.
The air was full of the smell of paint as it welcomed me. We sat down side by side facing a large canvas in progress and talked about different things. It was all about catching up, but there is always something to be learned. Even though she may not have been teaching I was pulling as much as I could from her in hopes of learning how to be a successful painter. It was a great experience sitting next to an artist with a long career in New York, an artist who overtime rubbed elbows with the biggest and finest in the art world. As we talked I couldn't help looking at her new large painting, not yet finished but revealing her signature use of color. A Renaissance inspired abstraction standing tall in the room overlooking our conversation as a quiet guard to the wonderful gates of Lipsky's studio.
Wide eyed I looked around the space as we conversed. Beautiful works on paper on the walls gave way to her thinking process, the seeds of her large paintings. Couldn't help getting lost for a few moments at a time staring at a simple vertical painting using black, red, blue and grey; color combinations she explored in her series of nine paintings tittled "Red River Valley." Hanging on the wall next to her large painting it glowed in the warm light of the afternoon. It was a study centered on a large bone white piece of paper with notes and smudges. "That's what I need to be doing!" I told myself. "More paintings on paper."
The stimuli of our conversation and the presence of her work had me on a high. As our meeting drew to a close as we walked out of the studio into the streets of Manhattan, I could not help but to feel rejuvenated. It can be done. Reaching that high level of creativity and success needed only hard work and commitment.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Caravaggio Painting Discovered

Caravaggio, The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew, The Royal Collection, London, England
Doing some image research online I came across a couple of articles reporting that a new Caravaggio painting had been discovered, or attributed.The painting, purchased by Charles I in 1637, has been in the Royal Collection and up to the point of attribution last November the piece was believed to be a copy of a lost original. The subject matter comes from St Mark's gospel (1:16-18): Jesus saw Simon (later called Peter) and his brother Andrew fishing by the Sea of Galilee and said, 'Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.'*
After sitting and collecting dirt for more than 350 years in storage at Hampton Court Palace, the painting was due for a cleaning that took about six years to complete. Caravaggio experts were invited by the Royal Collection conservation staff after a some cleaning tests to review the piece. Several of the Caravaggio experts became convinced that this was an original. From then on test were conducted to prove the authenticity of the work. X-Rays revealed what they all hoped to find.

It is known by scholars and others in the field of Art History that Caravaggio executed his compositions without the use of preparatory drawings. Instead he made incisions on the wet priming layer to mark specific points in the painting, along with loose sketching called "abozo." Many such incisions are visible in this work, around the ear of St. Andrew and around Christ's head, shoulder line, eyebrows and lower sleeve.* X-Rays also revealed that Caravaggio made changes to the painting's compositions as the work progressed. Such changes are not normally found in copies.
Other characteristics of that lead experts to believe this was an original Caravaggio was the execution of priming and it's use in the overall painting. In this painting Caravaggio used a warm brown ochre as primer which is left exposed in some areas of the painting as a middle tone. It is also the use of Caravaggio's high constrasts of light and dark which made it an ovious orginal. Before cleaning the layers of dirt had neutralized these tones to soft monochromatic shades of brown, but as soon as the varnish and grime were removed the paintings true colors revealed it's identity as a painting by Caravaggio.
"There is no record of Caravaggio painting such a subject, so the Royal Collection work can only be dated stylistically. The brushwork is deceptively simple, giving an extremely convincing impression of form from a distance. The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew seems to belong in the period of 1602-6, before Caravaggio fled Rome, a period when the sensuous surface detail of his earlier work gradually gave way to a spare, dark and expressive manner."*

*The Royal Collection, London, UK

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

GLAAD OUTAuction 2007

Vine Ripe Tomatoes, 2006, oil on panel, 9 x 9 inches

This year I have been selected to participate in GLAAD’s upcoming annual art event – outAuction . I was very pleased to find out that I am one out of one hundred artists to participate in this event. I hope you will consider joining me on 10/21 for a night of cocktails and great art - all for a good cause. This year’s art includes pieces by Herb Ritts, Steven Klein and Ryan McGinness to name a few. Past celebrity participants include Tom Ford, Susie Essman, Patricia Fields, Eva LaRue and Junior Vasquez. In the next couple of days GLAAD will be releasing more fun updates. Last year’s event raised over $121,000, with over 500 people in attendance from the media, philanthropic and entertainment communities. To view this year’s event information, purchase tickets, join the Host Committee, please go to:
Thank you for considering to support this event and I hope to see you at outAuction NYC!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Still Working

This is what I've been up to in since my last post. Put the yellow tomato aside once again to dedicate time to this new onion painting. I'm enjoying this piece and falling back in love with the texture of canvas. This piece began as a feel good painting and it continues to bring that satisfaction time and time again when I sit to work on it. You can't beat that feeling, so just go with it when it comes right? Here's a little taste of where this new painting is heading, although by now it has developed a lot more. I'm hoping to finish it by the end of this week. Till then cheers!