Thursday, April 30, 2009

Music Wish List

There's a new Steve Earle CD available in May featuring songs written by Townes Van Zandt and cover art by Tony Fitzpatrick.

Found the Key

Well, I did a little looking around and found a site that identifies all of the individuals in the Sgt. Pepper illustration. Here's Richard Lindner between Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Directly in front of him is George Bernard Shaw.

Other visual artists included in the picture are: Simon Rodia creator of the Watt's Towers (top row just to the left of Bob Dylan), Wallace Bergman (six heads to the left of Lindner), and Larry Bell (between and slightly above John and Ringo in uniform).

Can You Spy Richard Lindner?

In Peter Selz's Art & Antiques article "A Painter of Modern Life" I learned that artist Richard Lindner's likeness appears on the famous Beatles album cover by Peter Blake portraying 70 famous faces including also: Marlon Brando, Lenny Bruce, Sigmund Freud, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Edgar Allan Poe, and Mae West.

I must confess that I don't know where Lindner is in the crowd above, but his work is very recognizable. I remember seeing his brightly colored, highly stylized illustrations in magazines such as Horizon and Print in the 70's.

The George Krevsky Gallery in San Francisco is holding an exhibition of Richard Lindner's work through May 2, 2009. And you can see Homage to a Cat and Stranger No. 2 online at the Tate.

Will Barnet

John Dorfman's article, "Form and Feeling: Art & Antiques Visit Painter, Printmaker and Teacher Will Barnet, Now In His Eighth Decade as an Artist" is illustrated by the 1970 color lithograph Dialog in Green which demonstrates a lot about why I love Will Barnet: the architectural details, patterned carpets, and the sculptural figures of women and their cats.

Barnet was born in my home town of Beverly, Massachusetts. I lived with his work adorning the walls of the public library right down the street from my house. His art was the thing I enjoyed most when I visited, followed by the cool cabinet of elephant statues on the landing. My self-taught art education began with the volumes of art books there and it's nice to imagine that Will and I checked out the very same ones.

At the bottom of my stairway hangs a huge reproduction of his 1970 oil The Stairway. Its figure of a young girl with long dark hair reminds me of my daughter, Marianne. A related painting, The Bannister, is owned Amherst College's Mead Art Museum.

To see a satisfying number of paintings, I recommend Robert Doty's book Will Barnet (NY: Abrams, 1984). A black and white reproduction of The Stairway can be seen on page 93. And on page 39 is one of my favorites of Barnet's earlier works, the exuberantly colored and patterned oil Family and Pink Table (Mary and Sons) painted in 1948.

Alfonso Michel

The May 2009 issue of Art & Antiques was worth a look for a few articles of great interest to me: one on trompe l'oeil painting, one on Will Barnet, and another on Richard Lindner. And, thanks to Edward Gomez's article "More Than Murals: The Story of Mexican Modernism..." I have been introduced to the paintings of Alfonso Michel.

One painting in the article really set me off: Naturaleza Muerte (Still Life). You can see a nice image of it (it's the last one on the page), and that of twenty-eight others by Michel online at the Andres Blaisten Museum.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Boston (Hammerdots No. 4)

First is a high-contrast photo with the digital camera. I like the color tones of the scanned version a little better. Unfortunately, the image is too big.

Dots of decorative paper and book endpapers. Paper for the brown and yellow squares is called chiri. The 3/4 dots are from cigar box art. Ground is 300 lb. Arches. Image dimension is 13x10 inches.

I thought I was going to have a collage without words, but I couldn't resist adding the batter:

Killing the Insect Dots

I'm sitting here waiting for the final coat of medium to dry on the collage I just finished, thinking about what I learned. The piece is based on dots arranged on a diagonal checkerboard. It changed at least three times and took two days before it was finished. I started it yesterday and went to bed last night not knowing what to do. The original version had big dots of watercolored encyclopedia insects. Cute but boring and the scale was wrong so I took them off. What I had left looked like somebody's linoleum kitchen floor. Then this morning I found that the 3/4 faces (in my Archive of Indecision since 2006) were just the thing it needed!

The trick is to know what to commit to so the piece moves forward while at the same time acknowledging that voice in my head that shouts: "That's a mistake--don't do it!" The purpose of starting the piece was to use the insect plate with the pretty yellow background, so giving it up was hard but, ultimately, the right thing to do. This one taught me not to force things. I'm learning when to walk away. And some day those insect dots in the Archive might be just the ticket!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yttrium Fluorite

8-inch strands of Yttrium Fluorite from Anita's Beads. Learn more about Yttrium Fluorite here.

Hammerdots No. 1

Well, the rain brought me in from yard work long enough to rescue my first hammerdots collage from the Archive of Indecision! Image size is 7.5x5.5 inches with 5/8 inch dots from found images and fabric.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hammerdots in Orange

Here's the latest in dots. More to follow when the raking project is finished. Early evidence of black flies already noted!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Going Off the Grid!

My websites will be down temporarily beginning around 8 p.m. this evening. I've just spent about a day and a half backing up files and deleting outdated pages in preparation for "an upgrade of my ValueWeb accounts to the new Hostway platform and billing system." They are "anticipating an upgrade window of less than 12 hours."

I'm so glad I started this weblog just in case the worst happens and I find everything else gone when I wake up tomorrow!

Monday, April 6, 2009


Here is a beautiful stone for spring--vibrant and naturally green gaspeite from Australia. All are available in 8" strands at Anita's Beads.