Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Trip I Didn't Take

My friend Sura Ruth, an artist in NYC, recently sent me a photo of a woman standing "in" a 360 degree work of art comprised of maps. She had seen me do works with a similar "viewer to work of art" relationship.

I have done several  360 degree works, in hopes of capturing the feeling of being "in" a work of art, of being "at one" with it, and making the viewing experience more "experiential". Very large scale can contribute to that feeling, if a viewer isn't able to focus on any one point in the painting. The first image above is a partial view of "Unabridged", a 12 canvas oil painting which is 5.5 feet high by 24 feet long, a 360 degree view of a Japanese garden. The complete painting may be seen by clicking here. At this same link please notice a painting titled, "Darwin and Me", which relates to this post.

But the second image above, a collage titled, "The Trip I Didn't Take", which incorporates the image from Sura, takes a completely unexpected turn. It is only 6" X 10", an intimately scaled collage. The maps reminded me of a trip to the Galapagos which I had been scheduled to take as visual arts director of an art travel company called "Artsafield". Artsafield proved financially unviable in this economic climate.

I have long wanted to visit the site of Darwin's inspiration for  his theories, but that trip will have to wait until other times.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Color "Gray"

Monday, I returned from a short family visit to southern Ohio.

The person responsible for making "gray" synonymous with  heavy, downcast, impenetrable, cold and damp, dreary, sickly, ashen and threatening must have been born in Cincinnati. Although, to be honest, the sun did peek out Sunday for about 30 seconds, the heavy cloud cover suggested no promise that any blue might float above. Those perpetually gray winter skies reminded me of one reason I've come to love Colorado.

In Denver, gray skies have  entirely different emotional weight for me.
Denver gray  is an optimistic  symbol of constant change, offers protection from the sun, and is a nurturing rather than threatening promise of snow or rain. 

While gray may indicate something "neither here nor there", as an artist, I place no value judgement on a color midway between white and black. The gorgeous "grays" which result from  mixing two complimentary colors plus white excite and inspire me. I have already recognized that geography can change one's choices of color, e.g. orange and yellow, but I never before considered the impact of that same geography on neutrals. 

Mea Culpa

OOPS! I'm so sorry to you and the DYAO. The images of the violins were to be kept secret until the public unveiling on March 7. So if you think you saw a photo of my violin here, please forget you ever saw it until I re-post it later.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chocolate Phiolin

Each year, the Denver Young Artists Orchestra invites about 10 visual artists to paint a violin. These are then offered to the public by raffle during a May fund raiser. When the raffle is listed on the DYAO website, I'll link to it.

Soon, I will show you  "Chocolate Phiolin", a violin collaged with candy and coffee wrappers, sudoku puzzles, painted fibonacci numbers. Some of my obsessions. The ratio of each successive pair of numbers in the fibonacci series has the ratio of 1.618...., which in mathematics is called "phi".

This numeric sequence is related to musical scales and  harmonics.