Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Marvelous Marin

Ever go to a museum show for an artist that  you've never really heard of or known about and then be knocked out of your socks?  I had that distinct pleasure last week at the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) for their wonderful exhibit of watercolors and oils by  John Marin who shuffled off his mortal coil in 1953 at his home in Cape Split, Maine.  Although his work was championed by the likes of Stieglitz and a retrospective of his work was in New York in the 30s, he was never really lauded as the artist that he was.  Marin was a summer resident of Maine starting in 1914 and his sea paintings show his love of the land here.

PMA chose one of his most "main stream" images for all their PR and marketing.  Some of the work exhibited had such raw energy and verve that is was palpable.  Although he used mostly water color and oils, one could see that he was devoted to mark-making.  On one of the explanatory cards posted in the exhibit, it quoted him as saying that he was using a syringe for painting lines as that was so much better than a brush.  I agree with him as a brush can only hold so much paint

I wonder how he would have reacted to the digital tools that artists use today.  My guess is that he would have at least experimented with them, if not embraced them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By the Sea

Abstract iPod photo

First of all YAY... Ai Weiwei has been released!  Can't tell you how excited I am over that news and I'm sure his friends and family are even more stoked.  It's been a busy two weeks since the last post with workmen finished up details on finally getting AC in the attic so I can work more than half days up there and finally set up the studio.  By this Friday it should be up and running. 

Our nephew Alex came out for a weekend visit and we sent to the Old Port Festival with him; I finally joined a gym so I can do some weight workouts; old Milwaukee friend Bob and his wife June came out last weekend; I rode my bike down to the Back Cove; am finally working on my "How To" guide on PR for artists, photographers and other creatives and finally got almost all the boxes emptied!  I've posted some new photos to Flickr on all of the above.

And  for all artists everywhere who struggle to write an artist's statement, there's this.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1st Friday

It was a beautiful balmy evening for 1st Friday in June here in Portland, so we hit the streets in search of the art scene in a part of the city that I had not explored the month before. 
Crowds outside the Museum which is free on First Fridays.

I also wanted to check out some artist's spaces to see what was available and whether it would be worth it to have a small studio somewhere so that I could participate in the activities and perhaps sell some work! Don't get me wrong, I love making the art but I'm also thrilled when it gets to live in a good home!

You can see more photos from our evening including a YARNBOMB (this is for you Martha and Maggie) I found if you click this LINK.

But of all the art that we saw the most interesting was that of Frank Turek, who was most definitely influenced by Joseph Cornell.  Here are two of his pieces

This is one of his altered books which I loved.  
The whole concept of an altered book seems marvelous to me in that it uses images to create narrative instead of words.

This isn't framed very well, but it's one of his small boxed assemblages.
His web sites are and  Go on over there and take a look.  He's doing some very cool work!