Sophie Kahn Answers 5 Questions
22 hours ago
|a tribute to my mother and father|
|detail of the altar|
|my parents in Switzerland|
|preparing and prepping the meat|
|As an artist, I cannot say I enjoyed the entire process but remained neutral most of the time, almost in awe by this activity; seeing the immense heart of the animal, the fantastic ligaments that hold the flesh intact on it's legs, the tongue and the deep, rich burgundy color of the moose revealed it's dense and powerful aura of life. It is very easy to be hypocritical in this matter especially if you are a meat eater but it was the awful blood shot caused by the bullet which was unsettling to me.|
|flying into the hunting area, 20 miles northeast of Farewell Lakes, the party stayed at an unnamed lake off the South Fork of the Kuskokwim River|
|Noah carrying the antlers back to camp|
|pre fall floor mosaic|
|our campground at Lonely Lakes|
|Ken rowing in the background while I am observing|
|small native American baskets made from the original rye grass material|
|one of the books available to peruse during our workshop|
|my humble Native American Twined Basket|
|Intermezzo, mixed media on board, 12" x 12", 2012|
Summer is usually a high energy time for me; sunshine, long hours and uninterrupted periods in the studio gives me an abundance of new works. Shown above in this art piece, Intermezzo, I am playing with mixed media, which is usually an interim work used for study, play and a rest from painting. Below, It is just the way it is, is my first experimentation with cement and wood, one of my more sculptural pieces and is my favorite test to date.
|It's just the way it is, cement and wood, 2012|
|Hand Study, oil on canvas, 10" x 12", 2012|
Next month, August 3rd on the 1st Friday event, I will be showing new paintings called Painting Hands at the Alaska Humanities Forum. It won't be a huge exhibit, but it entertains the notion of working directly on the canvas surface and letting the paint speak for itself.
|Seemingly Unfinished, Painting Hands, oil on canvas, 38" x 26", 2012|
Below is the painting called Summertime Stretch, my newest work, with cement hands and painterly gestures of outstretched hands this art work entails a stencil of my own arms. I continue to make other works and look forward to more three dimensional creations.
|Summertime Stretch, cement and oil on canvas, 38" x 26", 2012|
|View of the valley while entering the Knik Glacier|
|Dehaviland Beaver, Canadian made circa 55|
For our tenth year wedding anniversary gift, Ken decided to put me on a float plane. Taking off from Lake Hood, (one of the largest float plane centers in the country), this Dehaviland Beaver was made in Canada and is one of a kind.
Ken completes four surveys a year in this plane, spending close to seven days cramped up, wearing uncomfortable head phones with sometimes warm and stuffy air (although I was told you can open a window at one point while flying.) This is the highlight of his work as he camps out in remote areas in Alaska and knows the state intimately through these journeys.
It was an hour and a half tourist ride for me and two Australians couples who accompanied me. I grabbed for the co pilot's seat and they didn't seem to mind, since they wanted to sit together. Without the head phones on, the sound is deafening; you could ask questions to the pilot while he also gave out some information on the settings. We flew four thousand feet up; amazed at the valley and the Knik Glacier presented a tremendous view.
|Me in the co pilot seat|
While flying, I snapped several pictures. One person commented on the photography and I remarked that you cannot take a bad picture. Pictured below are two of my favorite shots of the Knik Glacier. They are like abstract paintings but somewhat better I have to admit!
|like a painting - glacier view from above|
|another glacier study from above|
|at the Metropolitan, New York City|
This past week, I visited New York with a friend from my graduate school days from Long Beach, California. We decided to stay in the city and focus the week on viewing art. We did just that! Our experiences ranged from exhaustion, delight and to extreme surprise; staying at the Jane Hotel reminded us that visiting New York was a feat if you wanted to do it on reasonable costs. Our hotel room was barely a large closet with bunk beds and a bathroom to share (with how many others, we didn't want to know! You would tepidly visit the bathroom hoping you wouldn't see the other users.) However, the shower was amazingly wonderful; the establishment gave you sweet robes, fresh water and the downstairs cafe hosted a substantial breakfast for a good cost. We decided that we would do this experience all over again.
|Roman sarcophagus, Metropolitan Museum, New York City|
Above, was one of my favorite Roman sculptures. This work of art is amazingly full, rich in detail and is exquisite to behold. The city is crammed of wondrous adventures and eye candy of bustling life. I find that when I experience the presence of antiquities, it is easier to examine these works than the raucous behavior of contemporary art. These masterpieces are old and established. I found myself dreading and at the same time loving visiting the modern art facilities. Once at the contemporary art spaces though, I found myself diving into the void and by turning my psyche around, I would just let it wander. It is a hard thing to do but I would compare it to a little bit like falling in love. Try it.
|Chakaia Booker's tire sculptures, Chelsea|
|Matisse's The Piano Lesson|
As an artist, we do lots of different things to get by to do our craft, to have the freedom to think and respond openly. Aside from teaching college classes I substitute teach to make extra money to travel. Today, I was at Service High School filling in for the choir teacher. Her classroom was this theatre arena laced with chairs in a semi circle that grew in tiers and in the center was the Grand Piano. This setting took me back to my piano teacher named Mrs. Corio who lived in Neptune City on Slyvania Avenue in New Jersey. As a fifteen year old, my mother would faithfully drop me off at her home every week while I had my hour long lesson. I taught myself how to read music early on in my childhood. We had a modest standard Baldwin piano growing up. When I lived in Los Angeles, I bought a Haddorf with ivory keys. My former husband owns it now in lieu of my absence.
Art is puzzle solving, an engagement of the mind focusing on the unconscious level; more or less it can be termed as the abstract piecing together ideas into forming concrete tangible statements. Piano lessons taught me about discipline and applying the mind while reading a barrage of flats, sharps, tempos and at the same time learning how to touch the keys and translate the feelings that were present in the piece. Playing music put me in touch with a variety of waltzes, Russian and Hungarian folk polkas and fantasy melancholic landscapes. The piano taught me great drama, expression and it was when I had my first recital on stage. My mother was always present at these affairs. When I played my recital piece it was a fast and furious display of memorization and it was also to be my last formal music performance. I loved looking through the foreign language of classical music books that our piano bench contained holding the mystery of an obscured beauty in papers.
|from the artist Valdimir Kush|
The past few days I was thinking about writing on the concept of strength. Where does strength come from? Physical strength can be built and worked by maintaining a regiment of diet and exercise. That takes practice, will power, concentration and constant energy. How is that done? Why are more people prone to this successfully while others fail miserably? What about mental strength? What keeps us going; the drive to do, the strive, getting something and having to go somewhere, this state of achievement. Can this be taught? Is it dependent on our backgrounds, our genes, luck, chance and how we were raised? I was brought up with the rugged individualist ideal. We worked for our adventures and discovered our lives through accidents, by doing, finding out and making lots of mistakes.
|from the artist Hieronymus Bosch|
Shown in this entry blog are surrealist paintings done as a final project from my drawing class. Students were shown surrealist paintings from artists such as Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and Dorothea Tanning. For warm ups, I read stories and myths aloud to them as students drew what they experienced or felt by using symbols forming the concept on the narrative. We worked with a live model. Students then could attach these elements to the figure drawing building the concept of storytelling and showing how surrealism works in expressing dream states and altered realities . Finally, they were asked to copy a painting from a surrealist master's oeuvre. Included in this post are their responses to the assignment.
|from the artist Valdimir Kush|