I have given some thought about why artistvenu works for me. It is fairly simple. First, artistvenu is an artist only community. Second, it is platform where you can develop heartfelt friendships. And third, you can share your artwork in a way that can’t be done on other social media platforms. In those platforms you get the most superficial response to your work with emojis and maybe an occasional brief comment. AV is a place where constructive dialogue takes place about the work you post. Fellow artists provide valuable insight as you can provide the same for them. You aren’t isolated in your studio creating alone. You have means to discuss a work in progress and get help if you are stuck. It’s all about sharing the creative process. Everyone is wanting to improve their work and this is a safe place to have deep conversation about it without the negative noise that can blind side you in other platforms. You want honest input not little hearts. What good are little hearts?
Category: Artist Submitted Post
I have been holding on to these two rugs since Covid hit. All was going well, great press, wow what a fantastic reception taking visual art pieces to hand knotted rugs made in Nepal!
Well, I have them patiently waiting in a back storage room in a local design firm on the island. When I say back room, I mean total back room! Heat and humidity are a challenge for wool rugs not properly stored. Covid pandemic threw a monkey wrench into my rug business plans with a startup company, Abstract Road!
No problem, challenges are natural for artists. We learn to roll with the punches, roll on to whatever happens next. It is such an adventure! I got a little discouraged for a minute or two, then moved on. The biggest challenge then became, “How am I going to photograph these rugs to auction?”
As usual, I had to wait and find a way to do this. My photographer friend and her husband suggested we use the drone to photograph. Yes, I thought! I was also highly curious to see this photographic process and got really excited about watching the process. We did it out in the parking lot of the design firm on black landscape plastic. Not so fancy but very effective!
This is the process in the photos attached. I will also attempt to find and upload the drone photos. Cataloguing hundreds of photos lately to an external drive has been another challenge! Tedious tasks do not work well with my type of brain! Lots of work, this artist’s life and journey, often little compensation in terms of dollars. The process is the reward. Here’s to us all as we continue to create!
I would like to invite interested artists or art interested persons to join me in discussing the book titled: “The Meanings of Modern Art” by John Russell.
A Little Information About the Author:
John Russell is an art historian and art critic born in England in 1919; dying in the Bronx of NY in 2008. In his lifetime he was chief art critic for both the Sunday Times and the New York Times, as well as authoring many articles on a variety of subjects that appeared in numerous journals. In 1978 he received the “Mather Award” for his work.
Over the years John Russell took a personal interest in the artists of his era and traveled frequently to meet and mix with them. Because he so intimately knew many of the Master Artists he really came to have special insight into them, and in this book he shares those insights, along with any stories and quotes he heard from the many artists he befriended. That is why his book is special. Russell is not just an academic, but actually new these artists from real-life relationships with them.
“The Meanings of Modern Art” is a survey of Modern Art as it grew out of the previous eras of Representational Art and Impressionism. Russell brings alive the spirit in which the Master Artists struggled and worked to break free from tradition into what we now have come to know as the Expressionist Movement. He does this by weaving together the central historical and cultural events of these times.
Russell’s writing style is quite engaging! It is informative while enjoyable, personal, and easy to read. He often reflects on the Master Expressionists in the context of their world situation and the ways in which they each were impassioned by the dynamics of the art scene of their times. He really is a bit of a genius in putting together the development of Modern Art into an exciting and never-ending dialog without using a lot of literary jargon, although he includes the personality of the artists, and the psychology, philosophy, science, sociology, and politics of the various eras, including the Modern Era, to frame the context in which the budding of Modern Art began to flourish and expand.
I found this book extremely lively, especially since Russell includes so many quotes and stories from the mouths of the Masters themselves. Once started, I don’t think you will want to put this book down. For example, I loved this statement Russell made “The history of art if properly set out, is the history of everything” [!!!] Wow, when you reflect on that statement you have to ask yourself “why might that be true”?
There is a lot to reflect on in this book. It is as much about the past as the present; as much about what made the Expressionist’s “tick” – as it is about YOUR response, YOUR process with these artists and their movements, and how it impacts your own interests, style, and work today.
Ok, So How Will the Book Club Proceed:
I will provide a short review of each chapter on a twice a month basis, which will review the main points. I will include important assertions, sources of quotes, and photographs so that the discussion makes sense in light of them. Your part will be to obtain a copy of this book and read along with the discussion. Likely we will start with some reflective questions so that we as readers can co-participate in a mutual exchange of our ideas, interpretations, or experiences, as we engage together with Russell’s material, the artists within the book, as well as, and most importantly, the artist within you!
Purchasing the Book:
“The Meanings of Modern Art” by John Russell, can be found in hard and softcover, new or used, and also on Kindle (for rent or for purchase). It may be available in your local library too. It is published by Harper and Row and there are two versions: the first edited in 1974,’75, and ’81; the revised version in 1981. Either book is good for the purpose of this discussion. I found the book for sale on Amazon, for a reasonable price between $7 to $25. The book is out of print so you will be buying a used book. I found the price to dependent on the book’s condition.
Joining the Book Discussion:
The Book Group is FREE to registered artistvenu members and is not a black-tie affair. If you want to join but haven’t received your copy yet, please feel free to jump into the first discussion in any way you find meaningful. Come as you are and have fun with our Art Community.
If you are a registered member and not able to locate or access this Book Group from the “Art Groups” link in your profile page menu, please contact the helpDesk at the top of the page for assistance.
while doing research for my webinar on Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, i discovered that she was acquainted with Ben Nicholson, a favorite early 20th century painter i admire. i came across his very first abstract painting from 1925. as you can see, he was aware of Cubism. but what a wonderful sense of color!
while reading in an art book i have (“Pictures Of Nothing: Abstract Art Since Pollock” by Kirk Varnedoe) i came across a painting by Matisse that i had never seen. it reminded me so much of a collage – even though it was a painting of an interior – that i wanted to share it. it is “Interior with Eggplants” or “Intérieur aux aubergines”. the fact that all the objects shown are placed on a strong pattern that is totally flat, and does not differentiate the floor from the walls, is very much like “collage space”. i hope you enjoy seeing it!
i really enjoy abstractions that skirt the line between representation and total non-objectivity. it may not seem so, but i do it in my own work, which often owes something to landscape and intimate views of landscape. one of my favorite painters who travels – perhaps more obviously, this path is Laura Sharp Wilson. i acquired one of her beautiful paintings, done on rice paper and then glued down on a dimensional wood backing. i purchased it from McKenzie Fine Art on one of my sojourns to NYC several years ago. i will post one image now, and follow it up with a few further images. i’m thinking of doing a video on her work for my Focus on Abstraction webinar on artistvenu. i hope you like her work as well!
in researching for a webinar i’m working on discussing artists who include representation in their abstraction, i came across an artist i used to adore! i hadn’t thought of him in a long time. he was associated with the northern california Funk movement. a number of his pieces are obviously well thought out in an abstract sense, but the weirdness is in the details! William T. Wiley. Photo courtesy Parker Gallery
of course, because the snow is melting a bit, i’m thinking of spring. and i’m also thinking, as you know about my webinar where i will be discussing artists who skirt the line between non-objective abstraction, and abstraction with recognizable “things”. so, paging through compendium of fairly recent artworks, i came across a piece by Beatriz Milhazes – a Brazilian artist. her work also skirts the line between what we may think of as “decoration”. of course, that is another interesting “boundary” to explore. but in the meantime, i’m posting a beautiful piece of hers from the Guggenheim Museum. “The Four Seasons” 1997
i was going to post a few images of the artwork of Arturo Herrera. instead, i’m posting a link to a short preview of how he works. from there you can watch the whole episode on Art21. i always find it very generous of artists to share their thoughts and working methods with others. art21.org
artists use all sorts of inspiration when making their work. usually they look around themselves, and pick from what they see. however, many artists go to different sources – infinite choices are available. one of my favorite artists, Terry Winters, did a whole series of paintings in the 1990’s titled “Graphic Primitives”. he was looking at, and thinking about diagrams that “explained” in some way “a method of thinking”, and “how information can be processed as pictorial imagery.” quite a challenging premise, but the paintings themselves (which are very large) a beautiful, and at the same time obscure in meaning.