Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rewards Mailed

Hi Everyone

I have as of today mailed off all the rewards for the $25 and up categories, of whom have contacted me about receiving said awards. I am open to receiving requests/answering surveys as late as May 24th, after which time the shop is closed. I will, in the future, make the photos I'm sending available for purchase in my Etsy store, so get them in free, o qualifying ones, as you can.

And now, for something completely different - a view into a contemporary painter who also tends to work with ships (among other things) - Katherine Bradford

From the article:
Katherine Bradford, "Ship Blue/Red" (2011)
The ships are sharply foreshortened geometric forms, nearly trapezoids, which slyly allude to Minimalist sculpture. They are ungainly and muscle-bound — headless sitting ducks. Meanwhile, her Superman seems to be caught between flying and diving, both a pretender and a wandering line. In these paintings, Bradford views masculinity as simultaneously powerful and impotent, idiotic and funny. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they are not deadly serious, because they are.
At the same time, one could focus solely on the formal virtues of these paintings, the dialogue Bradford establishes between representation and abstraction, as in “White Ship” (2009-2012), where wide juicy swaths of white and black paint against a wider turquoise blue band become the reflection of the flat, irregularly squarish ship directly above, steaming along and seemingly unaware of the layered, atmospheric world it inhabits.


Bradford’s paintings are her own — they don’t look like anyone else’s, though I suspect in time they will influence younger artists. Her images of Superman and ships provide an alternative view of heroism and history that is more textured, knowing and absurd than the hollow, and exceedingly macho, neo-Romanticism of Fischl’s matadors and Cameron’s Titanic. There is an intelligence and sensitivity in what she does that can only be gotten by doing, and by remaining open to chance, impulsiveness and to the possibilities of what painting can teach you. At their best, these paintings embody a mystery that keeps opening up without ever revealing itself — they are that rich in their generosity.
Always good to know what other people are currently doing with the medium. It is an interesting, and not entirely answerable question, "why do we paint what we paint?" With certain sorts of decorative arts, or even with working towards commemorating an old master (as I seek to, in a way do) the question doesn't seen terribly important - or, through the project, the question speaks for itself - but when I view the work of artists - especially after mid-20th century, as the article alludes to - the raison d'etre becomes more important, or at least equally important, to the work itself. I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of sacrificing form, beauty and even representationalism to feeling, mood, or purpose in a piece, though I do acknowledge that many ways exist of viewing/representing reality (be it boats or whatnot), through skewing with perception, colour, etc.

Turner himself didn't shy away from playing a bit with the reality he saw - I have seen it in my own process with his paintings, as well as with what I have read about him. The later works are decidedly awash with light, with odd little shapes in pastel colours representing part of a town or a landscape. There was an committment he made between painting what he saw and portraying the psychological & atmospheric reality of his subject matter - a decision for which he was not always popular.

Geoffrey Grigson's 'The Shell Country Alphabet' states the following:

'Of English painters the most energetic into old age and the most filled with light, colour, and the drama of the forms and aspects of landscape, from violent to peaceful. His contemporaries disliked this 'queer little being...who seems to love his art for no other reason than because it is his own', but they could not disregard him. He was ugly-faced, ugly-shaped, bright-blue-eyed, self-educated-and humbly born of a Covent Garden barber and a butcher's daughter who died insane. They found him cold, hard, sharp, cynical, secretive, stingy, self-important, ruthless, intolerant, sociable only on his own terms, and slap-dash. When he was young and admitted that his way was to 'drive the colours about till he had expressed his ideas in his mind', they sneered at him  behind his back; and when he drove the colours round in catherine-wheels of abstract fire in his old age, they called his canvasses the 'wonderful fruits of a diseased eye and a reckless hand', and suspected him, with some truth, of being a sun-worshipper.In fact Turner's transfiguration of shape into colour-ecstasies developed from the most energetic exploration as a draughtsman of 'picturesque' places.

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