September has really flown past. I can’t really account for steps forward or backward, only that it all feels like it’s part of the same dance.
There is a slender wall immediately adjacent to our bedroom door, which acts as mini entry area for us when we come home since it is also right beside the front door of our apartment. (If that sounds awkward, that’s because it is.) I wanted to collect an assortment of precious objects for entries and departures. When my friend Mira Gerard gave me one of her paintings a couple years ago, it fit right in.
Interested in participating? Check out the submission page. If a blog post seems like a hassle, you can also post to Twitter or Instagram under #artdomestic.
Anyone that has rented an apartment in an old house or building knows that you’re likely to have weird or awkward spaces. Those spaces are typically part of the charm. Still, they can be a challenge at times.
For example, when your front door opens immediately into a narrow hallway and you’re not allowed to paint it, how exactly do you brighten or enliven that space? For a while we had paintings and such stacked salon style all the way up to the ceiling, but I had a drawer full of unframed art that I really wanted to liberate despite being unable to frame all of it.
This was our solution:
There’s a lot of stuff there so I’m not going to get into detail about each and every single piece. Most of the work I received as a gift or as part of a trade. I still plan to properly frame their artwork, but for now at least I can see most of it, which is especially important as people move onto other adventures in their lives.
In this section: Marie Porterfield Barry, Stephanie Streeter, Amanda Richardson, Liz Layton, Jessica Augier, Stephanie Ott, and just a corner of Ira Pratt’s octopus print. In this section: Liz Layton, Stacie Williams, Wyatt Moody, Reese Chamness, Marissa Schillaci-Kayton, Keaton Lawson, Stephanie Streeter, Jessica Augier, and Ira Pratt. Not all of it is art, as you can see. There are also a few wedding photos. We used to have more pictures up, but they kept felling off the shelf, so those are in a drawer for now.
In this section: There’s some more Liz Layton, Ira Pratt, and Marie Porterfield Barry work in this section. Charlie Haskins and Geoff Pratt each have a drawing poking out.
This is one of my favorite possessions. A little girl named Alex gave it to me.
“Little Womb” by Taylor Norris. This painting was part of her BFA show and I snatched it up. (Pun intended.)
Interested in participating? Check out the submission page. If a blog post seems like a hassle, you can also post to Twitter or Instagram under #artdomestic.
This is a high drama post, in case you couldn’t tell.
A couple friends on Instagram have started sharing photos of art in their home using the #artdomestic tag, which was totally their idea and very sweet of them. (How did I not even think of that?) Here are a few shots:
So, if you use Instagram and you’re interested in sharing the art in your home, please use the #artdomestic tag so I can find it! And say a little something (or a lot something) about it. Curious minds.
I missed the last two months because it was my birthday and I didn’t plan properly, then in I went to a friend’s wedding in May and, again, didn’t plan properly. My apologies. I’ll try to be more consistent.
While I was in Portland visiting said friend, I had the mildly upsetting experience of becoming reacquainted with really old, awful paintings of mine, like when you are happily shoveling fresh blueberries into your mouth and suddenly one of them is so sour it momentarily puts you off eating anymore because your mouth is so offended.
Robert and I have the artwork of many friends in our home. A couple of them have expressed the desire for us to put away their old paintings and drawings. (Okay, so, mostly just Geoff.) When I came back from Portland, I emailed my friend to tell her I’d happily give her a new painting if she gets rid of the old paintings. Burn them, re-use the canvases, I don’t care. After I sent the email, it occurred to me that I never thought I’d be making such a request and, to date, I have personally only honored that request once when it was made to me.
Here is a friend that clearly values these paintings — they were hanging in her house without her previous knowledge that I would be staying with her — and they are examples of a short period of my life before college where I was desperately trying to develop some artistic skill and direction within the examples of Frida Kahlo, Egon Schiele, mythological storytelling, and Tori Amos. I find them to be embarrassing on their own, and caught myself telling other guests at the house that I didn’t “make work like that anymore”, even though they clearly didn’t care much either way.
So then would it be “okay” if they were juxtaposed with new work? If the fear of misrepresentation is gone, can the embarrassment simply be the harmless embarrassment most people feel about decisions made in their youth? Can it not just be appreciated as a fragment in time that is both lost and ever present? Can I be thankful to my friend for caring enough to keep these paintings through multiple moves spanning ten years or so? Or would pairing them together only heighten the uncomfortable transparency of not only the old work but also the new?
I don’t know. But it all kind of makes me feel like an ass for complaining. After all, it has not ever been my task to tell people what to think or feel about my work, and the life of the art beyond the artist, gallery, or museum is the whole damn point of this series. It’s unreasonable to say to someone, “This object you have in your home, I made it and I don’t like it anymore. Get rid of it.”
Thank you, Marissa.
This post is the first of this series to be of someone else’s home and I’m really excited about it. I have been in this home multiple times and there are many treasures there. If you’re interested in participating, check out the submission page.
My name is Liz Layton, and I am sharing my home (Halldór the Cat, Mirian aka Little Cat aka Baby Cat aka Mel, the Kitten, Sid the Significant other, and Strummer the Baby) for this edition of Art Domestic!
The piano is a favorite place for Baby Cat to roam around. It also houses some of our art treasures.
One of these treasures is a Christmas present, made by Sid’s mommy. This is a fabric & embroidery piece, that depicts the “Dala Horse”, a Swedish symbol that is often seen carved out of wood, but is branded onto many materials. The symbol originates from Dalarna, Sweden.
Further down our dining room is this photograph, given to me by my friend and BANDMATE, (we did one show to a one person audience in our school’s painting studio, once, as The Fiber Optics, and it was not at all bad or embarrassing), Andrew Scott. This piece was featured at his B.F.A. show. He is easily one of my favorite artists.
Hiding between a pearled photograph I took of a horse, and a melon colored scarf thing I use as a window decoration, is another Andrew Scott original.
This mixed media piece is postcard size, and features a stamped astronaut, some mysterious gold script, and layers of paper that culminate into a soft surface that is gilded with crayon of the Crayola variety.
In the corner of the living room is a piece from my own B.F.A. show, as well as a tiny golden goose thing we found from the basement of our previous house, and now use as a shelf that holds the LP cover of whatever record we are listening to at the moment.
This is Sid’s most recent LP he’s acquired, by Guerilla Toss, entitled Gay Disco.
Above a tiny bookcase lies an original artwork I purchased from a British artist’s Etsy shop.
This pleasant and exceptionally symmetrical fiber art is made by my grandmother, who made SO MANY QUILTS. Many of her works were rather large, but I very much enjoy and cherish this pink heart embroidery loop piece, as well. And it perfectly captures her personality- warm, sweet, old fashioned, cheerful, hardworking, precise, meticulous, prolific, and highly skilled.
Her name was Miriam Jane (Race) Alspaugh.
My latest acquired work of art is a print from my friend Patrik (who performs locally as Mannequin Hollowcaust).
I LOVE seeing his print beneath the “Moon in My Room” that I gave and then permanently borrowed from my little sister.
I enjoy the simplicity of the image, and how it simultaneously evokes a strong sense of mysticism. I hope Patrik is okay with his print being presented within my gold spray-painted frame. His illustration is entitled “Ominous Rituals Under Harvest Moon.”
Our mantelpiece is my favorite place in our whole house, to decorate. The area is divided into a warm/yellow side, and a cooler/blue tone/melancholy/ moon side.
The piece on the left is an illustration of my family that I commissioned from the highly detailed Marie Porterfield Barry. She is also a very favorite all-time artist of mine who happens to be a colleague and dear friend. The little green-gold wooden box in front of the family portrait is a tiny keepsake made & given to me by my friend Diana, who is from Romania, and can speak three languages and has an amazing family, herself. The box holds some of my strangest tiny treasures. Next to the family portrait, on the right of the dried yellow roses, is a porcelain (or ceramic?) tile-shaped piece that I cherish, depicting a graceful farm scene with a prominent windmill. My mother got it as a souvenir, from the Southern California Danish community of Solvang.
It’s better than disco. I promise.
I added many of my available original paintings and drawings as well as prints to Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/unicorntaxidermy
I also uploaded some images for print at Society6: http://society6.com/JaimeSantosProwse
More is coming, believe it or not. It turns out I have made a lot of things.
I cannot immediately begin working on commissions because I already have three to fulfill, but if you have something in mind that doesn’t need to be finished within the next 3-4 months, I’d be happy to discuss it with you. Later this summer I will post more information regarding time-sensitive, holiday season orders, especially for custom or bulk order block print cards or tags.
I remember telling a man once, “I would never paint something on a whim.” I wanted to sound efficient, austere, and serious. I didn’t want him to think I was one of those self-indulgent, frivolous painters, mostly because I wanted to have sex with him and I knew he wouldn’t find the hippie-dippy art fag thing appealing. (I was completely spot-on, by the way.) Not that I was lying to him. A part of me completely meant what I said, believing that if one painted, it should always be with purpose.
Lately I’m finding that I am painting with purpose, but rather than a highly orchestrated or pre-defined sense of purpose, it’s more along the lines of purposefully unplanned. I have certain images or sensations in my head – yes, especially sensations, mostly imagined – and then I paint on whatever canvas (usually something abandoned by someone else) feels appropriate at the time. It’s kind of liberating, really. I still want to experiment with other methods of working, but for now this is doing a lot for me.
The one above and below are finished.
The paintings below are in the Unfinished category.
My friend Mira Gerard has a studio near Kingsport that she graciously shared with me last week. In the new space with “new” stretched linen previously painted on by Mira, other tangents started to occur. I imagined these shapes pushing into each other. It felt more collaborative or conversational since I responded so heavily to what she had already painted. (The two larger paintings on top are her newer paintings in progress, not mine.)
I really enjoy palettes. Just as objects. Mira was working on a new painting (currently unfinished), and I really wanted to take a picture of her set up because it’s wonderfully simple and focused.
I did not expect that peculiar, miraculous thing that happens sometimes with painting, drawing or sculpture, where you surprise yourself and “what this is about” expands exponentially right before your eyes. This may be because I have no experience with theatre, and on account of there being lines and such, assume that there is little room for surprise. We had a loose script, we rehearsed, and everyone involved was capable and committed.
Perhaps I am giving too much away here, but I believe that what made the performance was actually what I didn’t plan and couldn’t expect. I did not, for example, plan for a drum circle to be in the gallery prior to the performance, right next to the installation. I did not expect people to not realize I was a real person underneath the dark purple fabric. And I definitely didn’t plan to mimic my episodes, periods of time when I am disoriented, dizzy, etc.
That’s what makes it exciting for me, all the things I did not expect. I am grateful for the interaction that I had with the audience, even in moments of discomfort. When people debated what my gender was under the fabric, when someone dared another to “punch it in the face”, when a child asked someone, “Do you want to see the person?”, or when people became alarmed at realizing I was sitting there, able to hear their conversations — all of it was really fascinating. Even the drum circle, which I was admittedly not thrilled about, played an important role.
And thankfully, I’m not the only one who felt that fascination and impact. Really. Thank you.
Speaking of, I’d like to thank our performers — Katharine Hache, Jennifer Culp, and Myranda Kreyenbuhl-Porterfield. Each one performed perfectly, despite not being paid (though a “thank you” brunch is in order), and they really brought themselves to their roles whole-heartedly. I appreciate that a great deal.
I’d also like to thank Liz for working with me because without her work and her presence, I’m not sure I would have thought of doing this on my own. She an illuminator, both literally and figuratively.
More pictures are available at my Flickr account, as usual. Also, Liz has prints from the show’s work in her Etsy shop. (Kate Bush!) I’m planning to put together a zine with images of the work in the show, artist statements, short essay(s), and hopefully an interview. So, that’s on the way.
The exhibition — including our paintings and the installation — will be up in Nelson Fine Art Center until the end of March.
No reading in bed this morning. I had to set up my table at the Slocumb Galleries Holiday Art Sale + Silent Auction, which features the work of many local artists and art student organizations on ETSU campus. The sale is up from December 3rd – 13th, with a reception occurring on December 6th, I believe.
My table has an assortment of Christmas cards, gift tags, gift bags, prints, and paintings. I still have a lot to learn and refine, obviously, but this has been a definite improvement. I have signs! And everything is clearly priced! And there’s kind of a display! As long as I look semi-human instead of like some weird muppet trying to sell cards with baby Jesus on them, I’m doing well in my mind.
People often ask me what the cards and prints/paintings are to me, as in, “Is this your artwork now? Or are you just doing this for money?”
First of all, I like working in a lot of different mediums and there are a lot of different aesthetic sensibilities that appeal to me. I enjoy really graphic, bold prints as well as delicate, hand-stitched embroidery pieces. Aggressive, rough mixed media paintings and finely rendered, tight paintings. If I try to confine myself, I start to feel like that awful girl in The Exorcist. (I won’t even link to it. Will not.) If making posters and flyers and so forth was good enough for Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Picabia, and many, many other great artists, it’s good enough for me.
Although I do make these items with selling them in mind (unlike my other work), I don’t believe they are less a product of my personality, interests, and training than that other more “serious” work. It’s not as easy as it may sound to design and print a really good card. Designing things according to a certain set of values and aesthetic for an audience is a challenge every time you attempt it. Literally every time I make some new items available, I learn something valuable about the exchange. For example, I recently had a sale in which no one bought anything, and I think that’s because I failed to really consider my audience’s sensibilities. The work was good, but it didn’t fit well enough into the audience’s sense of themselves. They weren’t interested. Put the work in another environment and it sells really well.
If nothing else, making these printed materials and quick paintings and stencils keeps me working and anyone that has stopped working for any significant duration of time has thought, ‘If only I had been working on something!’ But I always come away with more than that.
This is a post that I started quite a while ago and forgot about, but I didn’t remove the information because I’m still interested in it. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t care about anything older than two days on the internet, then you should probably skip this entry. Or my whole blog, really.
On Sunday mornings, I usually lay in bed reading until mid-afternoon. Since what I read often pertains to my work, I thought I’d start sharing it, if nothing else for my own record should I feel the need to come back to something later. It’s not that different from the process of collecting and responding to information in my sketchbook, except perhaps some limitation on how I can respond, which is mostly self-determined.
This is an unintentionally painter filled post. In the future they’ll be more varied, but I guess I’m focusing on painters right now because I have so many questions about my own paintings. Plus, I just love looking at paintings.
New American Paintings Blog: In The Studio: Q&A with Susanna Bluhm
Studio Critical: Julia Schwartz
Huff Post: A Conversation with Julia Schwartz by John Seed
A combination of working in the studio on three new paintings and reading the articles about Julia Schwartz helped me to realize that the way I think about painting — actually, visual storytelling as a whole — is experiencing an editing process where I ask more critically, “Is this necessary?” My impulse has always been to add, add, add, but as I worked (and later read) there was this building sense that what I really needed to do was cut away.
Update: Months later, I had already forgotten this shift, and set myself to other painting problems. (To be fair to my memory, I had stopped painting again for that time.) It was re-opening this draft that reminded me of what I feel was an important moment for me. How it will play out, I’m not sure. That’s what makes it fun, though.
Painter’s Table: Jan Muller
Structure and Imagery: Jan Muller @ Lori Bookstein by Paul Behnke
City Arts: Albert York: A Memorial Exhibition by Maureen Mullarkey
New York Times: Albert York, Reclusive Landscape Painter, Dies at 80 by Roberta Smith
Boston.com: Lurking in the MFA’s basement… by Sebastian Smee
Review: Q & A with Ryan Mosley by Joe Miller
The Independent: Talent issue – the artist: Ryan Mosley by Michael Glover
(The above article is a little obnoxious, but whatevs.)
Berlin Art Link: Ryan Mosley: Archaic/Futuristic
I’m not sure where I came across Simone Pellegrini‘s work. I feel drawn to it similarly to how I feel drawn to Martin Ramirez — in an almost mindlessly magnetic way, that is more pleasurable and internally stirring than thoughtful or verbose. (Though to some extent, all of the above paintings are immediately attractive to me without necessarily knowing why. The attractiveness undulates or altogether flattens and the meaning comes later.)
And last but not least:
New York Times: Heart-Pounding Art, Seen Solo by Dorothy Spears
Can I get a “duh”? Though at least now there’s an article to point to and nod.