I am a visual artist and educator. When I am not teaching, doing nature jaunts, and traveling to exotic places, I am usually in my studio trying to make insightful artworks. This activity is an intellectual exchange and I find it very challenging and complex. Hopefully, I plan on doing some relief work overseas with my husband sometime in the near future.
Presently I am working on some smaller works that will be part of an exhibition this December. You are asked to use boxes of any kind. Apart from my paintings I like to tool around and play with other materials, so it led me to dig around our Christmas decorations in the attic and I came up with these containers/boxes. I had fun with this project, but currently I have no idea what to name these pieces. Jackson Pollock, the abstract NY painter, would have people over to his studio in Long Island and they would actually help title his works. If anyone is reading this entry and can contribute a name that fits to these latest creations, I will use it.
I have never been a great poser for photographs and I find having someone taking my picture a pretty contrived activity, but I guess it is a civilized (?) method of containing one's subjects for a picture, mood or event. The French word poseur is one who attempts to impress others by assuming or affecting a manner, sentiment or degree of elegance. Perhaps the drama queen/performance artist brings out the poseur in me. This photo shows my sister and I being silly and goofing around under one of the sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. (So, this anti establishment behavior runs in the family!) Otherwise, I have done some nice posing in the past and will continue to pose and act graceful when someone wants to take a photograph of me in the future. I will feel honored.
Years ago I read one of John Updike's novels and quickly dismissed him but fortunately, I picked him up again and just finished the book Rabbit Redux (redux meaning restoration.) The author is loaded with brilliant prose in almost every sentence he writes. Wow, I kept telling myself! One of his short stories in the New Yorker prompted me to take him up again. The novel takes place in a small town in PA; is gritty and raw and was written in 1971. Updike is more or as contemporary then any of the young writers that I have known to study. His writing is sensual and descriptive and loaded with content - truly a genius at hand.
Pictured above are metal sculptures by the British artist Anish Kapoor. They are large cubes and pyramids that take on distorted reflections from the viewer or perhaps the contemporary landscape that we all inhabit. This was seen in the Chelsea area on my gallery walk in New York.
Porches abound on the Jersey shore and they come in all shapes and sizes and anything else you want to attach to my two simple adjectives. Here is a row of Victorian houses in Ocean Grove (or Ocean Grave, as youngsters would refer to it, because elderly would retreat to this area.) It is a dry town, very Christian and years ago, they wouldn't allow cars on Sundays.
Is anyone home? You could host great parties here. Meanwhile, the place looks vacant and in its immensity very alone. These homes are a common sight and are metaphors of grandiose labor turned into indulgent spaces for show. Several of these shore front properties exist in a wealthy town called Springlake.
I like this one because it is modern, sleek, and by bringing the outside in, the design makes it architecturally stimulating. It has an openness to it and it alludes to being cold but warm at the same time. The third floor would make the perfect studio (or maybe I would be too comfortable?)
This I term as the human porch. It looks well lived in, colorful and homey. I did see one or two people hanging out on their porches, but not many. By the way, do we have porches in Anchorage?
Trips always make me energetic and I think blogging is the perfect way to share your travels. I happened to be visiting my family back east, when a friend telephoned me and told me my 35th high school reunion was happening over the week-end. No way, I wasn't going to go! At the last moment with much deliberation, I made it and the affair turned out to be sweet, warm and supportive. We did a lot of dancing that night to retro DJ tunes - very apropos.
These photos are from the Jersey shore; in particular a small town called Avon, located in Central Jersey, about an hour and a half south of NYC. I grew up a few miles inland and always envied the Victorian houses. They seemed big and mysterious and right out of a Edward Hopper painting. (For my next blog entry, stay tuned for the porch aesthetic.) Anyway, if things got too tough around the house, we would retreat to the Atlantic Ocean, the beaches, jetties, the boardwalk, the concession stands, and amusement parks. I first learned linear perspective from the Atlantic's horizon. One of the typical shore birds......the scavenger, the gull. (Check out the BLUE sky!)
The famous ice cream signs and my favorite choice was Strawberry Shortcake.
Lifeguards (and I knew quite a few...), the American flag, the blue sea, errant sea vessels, tanned bodies that look like have been dipped in a chocolate vat, tall grasses and funky, worn old fences are still a common sight.
Here is the beach guard who checks your badge......His character seemed fitting.
My luck turned to drop dead gorgeous weather on the east......sweating as I write this from a neighborhood jog, I love the salt and smells that emanate from the damp grounds and from my body, the sauna like wet, the stickiness, the sometimes uncomfortable humidity which gives me a youthful glow and I think how fortunate I am to experience another place, to travel, to see and to be among family and friends. This upcoming Wednesday, I will be flying to the Northwest, back to Alaskan temps and back to another reality.