I think I have seen this before but it caught my eye this morning. It’s a video of Turkish artist Garip Ay who works in the art of ebru, known to us as paper marbling. In this video he takes on Van Gogh’s Starry Night but that is only the start. What turns out in the end is a bit of a surprise although you may see it coming in the process. Just a neat video and a wonderful display of total craftmanship.
I’ve also included another video of Garip Ay at work. Just seeing the process and the manipulation of the colors and the way they move on the dark water is fascinating. Mesmerizing.
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Tony Sorby- Journey Tracks to Sacred Sites
Whenever I come across a piece of Australian Aboriginal art online it just stops me cold. I am immediately pulled in amid the dots and forms and earthy colors. There seems to be something beyond what I am looking at, something deeply rhythmic and pulsing, something that connects me to a bigger pattern.
And that makes sense as even the most contemporary of this art is directly connected to the very beginnings of these people, documenting their paths, ceremonies and customs through the ages. It tells who they are as a people and perhaps, in its own way, does the same for even us non-aboriginals, connecting us in our humanity.
It has an organic authenticity that artists in other genres strive to capture in the voice of their own work. It is new and ancient at the same time. It has a modern abstract feel yet has representational symbology that comes through. As has been said, most of this work could hang in a modern art museum or in a museum devoted to anthropology– it is art and history.
I just find it fascinating and have nothing but great respect for these artists. I spent about an hour looking at the site of a wonderful gallery devoted to Aboriginal art, the Kate Owen Gallery, based in the Sydney area of Australia. I could have spent many more hours on the site. I urge you to take a look.
I’m showing a few pieces that jumped out at me and I barely scratched the surface of all the great work there
Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty-Awurrapun
Alma Nungurrayi Granites-Yanjirlpirri
Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty-Family Tree
Christine Nakamarra Curtis-Mina Mina Jukurrpa
Joylene Napangardi Reid-Women’s Ceremony
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I’ve been saying for while that fake news is a dangerous thing. And it turns out that it has been killing people for over a century.
And I have the proof.
While going through some old family genealogy, I came across this story about a great-uncle of mine from three generations back. His name was Sylvester Odell and he was a fairly well-to-do farmer in Central NY who was about 77 years old in 1903. Like the Britney Spears item from earlier this week, a rumor began and spread through social media that Sylvester had died. Of course, social media at that time consisted of the mail, telegraph, an occasional telephone and yelling out to your neighbor.
But even so, the rumor spread quickly.
Friends and family gathered and headed out to Sylvester’s farm where they found him alive and well. In fact, he was doing his normal chores in his barn. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief then shared a big laugh. A few hours after everyone in the party had left, a still surprised Sylvester sat in his chair and passed away.
He just couldn’t take the news of his own death.
Damn fake news!
The news of his actual death after the false report made all of the newspapers around the state. Even when reporting the facts, some of the newspapers still got parts of the story wrong. For example, the item above is from the Syracuse Telegram. It gives the location of the story as Dresden when in fact Sylvester lived ( and died!) in Dryden. False or not, we seem to have trouble getting the story straight.
So there you have it, proof positive that fake news kills. Be careful out there, folks.
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Well, October is the time for pumpkins.
Over the last day or so I keep coming back to the photo above after seeing it on the I Require Art page. Titled All the Eternal Love I Have For the Pumpkins, it’s from an installation from the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Now 87 years old and still highly productive, she has long been at the forefront of the avant-garde and conceptual art movements.
I can’t write much about her as I don’t know much about her. But the imagery I have come across with all its densely packed patterns consisting often of her trademark polka dots swirling and twisting on multiple surfaces. Like the pumpkins above or the photo here on the left with her becoming part of the installation in a most wonderful way. It’s mesmerizing.
One of the ways I quickly judge the direction of an artist’s work is to do a Google image search. Below is a quick shot of a search done with her name and the word pumpkin and below that is one just using her name. Great continuity, great pop off the screen. I just love the look of this work.
I urge you to look more into the work and life of Yayoi Kusama. I know I will look further.
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I don’t know much about New Zealand, have never been there and most likely will never get to see that country. But I have long heard about its spectacular natural beauty with its soaring mountains and forests. Out of all of this beauty, I recently came across a photo of what is considered perhaps the most photographed and beautiful spots in all of New Zealand.
In the foothills of the Mount Aspiring National Park on New Zealand’s South Island, beneath the snow-capped peaks of the southern alps, there is an alpine lake and on the shore (and sometimes in the lake itself) stand a willow tree. It is the Lone Tree of Lake Wanaka.
It started its life years ago as a hewed off willow branch acting as a fence post. The tree sprouted from that post and stands alone now, the fence line long gone. That’s determination, a will to exist.
It’s a powerful image, this single tree standing amidst all the powerful glory of nature. While it may attract crowds of tourists to snap pictures of the tree and themselves beside it, it is obviously the solitary determination of the tree that speaks to those who see it. I think that is something that speaks to most of us, this need to know that we can withstand this world, can stand alone.
I know it sure speaks to me and certainly looks familiar to much of my work. I did a quick search and chose a few great images out of the many out there of the Lone Tree. Take a look. It is peaceful yet strong and defiantly determined. Heroic.
If only it were red…
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This coming Saturday, September 17, is my annual Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery in Old Town Alexandria, VA. This is my 14th Gallery Talk at the Principle and it’s been a lot of fun through the years. There’s generally a lot of give and take between the audience and myself in the form of questions and comments and something new and unexpected often comes to light. I almost always find myself saying something I didn’t expect to say or learning something new about my own work from the comments from someone at the talk.
It’s a surprising dynamic and I am always grateful for the folks who turn out at these talks.
But deep down I know they come for what has become a tradition– the giving away of one of my paintings at the end of the talk. We have a lot of fun with this and I really do struggle in trying to choose a painting that holds meaning for me, one that that I think deserves attention in someone’s home.
And the painting shown here at the top fits that bill nicely. It is titled Defiant Heart and is about 14″ by 14″ on paper. It’s one of those paintings that I felt strongly about but seemed to have bad timing in those times in which they hit the galleries, never coming before the eyes of that person to which it would speak some sort of truth. There is much that I like about this painting and think it has much to say to the person who connects with it.
It will be my pleasure to have it find a home this coming Saturday. Maybe it will be you.
So this Saturday, September 17, please come on in to the Principle Gallery in beautiful Alexandria. The talk runs starts at 1 PM and generally runs about an hour. We’ll have a conversation, I’ll tell some of my secrets and maybe a lie or two and at the end of it, someone will take home their own Defiant Heart. Oh, as always, there will be a few surprises along the way. Hope to see you there.
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Hugette Caland– Boat Race on the Potomac
I am not going to be able to write much here today but I did want to at least share a few images from artist Hugette Caland. Born in Lebanon in 1931 to a father, Bechara El Khoury, who was to become the first President of that country in 1943, Hugette Caland, now 85, lives and works in . Over the past five decades she has created a wonderful and diverse body of work that has become very celebrated in recent years.
I am showing the pieces that struck me but be advised that this is only a tiny glimpse of the range of her work. I was immediately struck by the piece at the top, Boat Race on the Potomac, a very large piece measuring something in the area of 5′ high by 11′ wide. Many of the pieces shown here, such as this piece, are very large textile wall hangings that are done with markers. It set off all kinds of fires in my brain when I saw it and during the past few trying weeks has been an image that I often return to when I get a chance to move my mind away from the situation at hand.
As I said, I don’t have time today to spend much time giving all the background info that Hugette Caland and her work deserves but I just wanted to share these images as I feel they have something to say to me at this moment, something that I will use moving forward. Please take a look and I urge you to seek out her story and some of the other images and videos available online. Great stuff.
Hugette Caland-Rossinante Under Cover III diptych 51×84 mixed media on canvas 2011
Hugette Caland-Rossinante Under Cover IV
Hugette Caland- Out of Venice 58.5″x76″
Hugette Caland- The Purple One 65″ x 165″
Hugette Caland- Golden Daisies
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