I just submitted to a locally famous, heavily juried open studio tour that I will call Art Paths. Continue reading
Small does not mean diminshed intrigue or impact. A good small painting reads big. I remember that in the Denver Art Museum that you could see the Georgia O’Keefe small painting from across a vast room, before we could even identify it as hers. It just shone. I’ve been working on larger pieces for a while now. It’s an interesting lesson: large is NOT small scaled up somehow. The dimension changes meaning. This one will be on display this Saturday.
Confession: the very small works are often traces of projects that lead to larger works for me. My own sense of detail is not robust; I prefer the BIG. Even my handwriting is large and scrawling. I like to work small on paper– it feels more open and free. But sometimes I do “smaller” canvases: 10″ x 10″ is one of the smallest. I like mixed media on smaller canvases to make more of an impact. Everything is small-ized now. Just think of your Iphone and Ipad.
Small can be very expressive. I did the piece above when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I wanted to make a response that expressed sacrifice and rebirth as his living spirit started to transition. The Little Sun Cow below was just pure play and joy. We all have our art totems. Cosmic and regular cows are mine.
One artist who has a great sense of the small is Susan Cornelis. You can see her latest cool “fossil” smalls here. Come visit me this Saturday, or, better yet, start your own small series. Small can lead to big things. Surprise yourself!
Here’s your myth for the day, dear readers. Did you know that in Norse mythology Auoumbla, the primaevil cow, actually created mankind? She licked away the icy salt blocks of the first creation, sculpting them with her warm tongue until first a man’s hair appeared, then a head and a whole man. I love making cows with abstract shapes rolling around in them like their complex factory stomachs. On my last visit to the Central Vally I photographed cows right outside our house, their shining, massive flanks moving like hot mountains.
In last Sunday’s studio class, we painted flourescent pink and cadmium orange underpaintings, then spattered them with Golden Acrylic liquids. This is just pure play to loosen up. I like hot, bright underpaintings because I sometimes think they make the painting breathe and heave a little, generating imaginative form. Then you carve with opaque paints like the cow’s tongue on the ice and things pop out. Primitive creation is fun, letting us regress to being mucky little kids with cosmic questions.
Wierd creation myths and wrong, kitchy color give a wild spin to the day. Abstraction and mythology read the world through metaphor. Auoumbla says, take a lick at eternity.