Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sketchbook, July 31, 2011

'There's an Empty Space Inside my Heart Where the Weeds Take Root.'

Song lyrics from 'Lotus Flower' by Radio Head. I don't particularly like tearing up books, but I just happened to have a spare copy of William Morris book, 'On Art and Life,' to be honest it was only a cheap old paper back, so I felt little sympathy for it..

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jennifer Farley

Jennifer Farley
I just wanted to post the web-sites and some work belonging to my sister-in-law, who is a very talented photographer and graphic designer/illustrator, living  in West Meath/Dublin Ireland. Enjoy!

Graphic designer & Illustrator - www.laughing-lion-de​



Sketchbook. July 28, 2011

Holy Ghost

I went to the Butler County Fair for the 4th of July. And one of the attractions was this large barn full of different breeds of pedigree chickens. This is a feather from one of them. I love the spots, its like a piece of fine lace.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sketchbook. July 26, 2011


Just some pen studies of my friend Cora, watching tv.
 I got myself a box of those SKB-1000 pens. The ones that James Jean is famouse for using. I have to say they are very nice as far as biros go. I just need to practice with them.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Feist Ben Gibbard - Train Song - (3 of 31)

Sketchbook. July 23, 2011

'Flower Head'
Another study of the larger female figure with a pressed rose for her head..

Sketchbook. July 22, 2011

Flower Faeries

Just messing around with some flowers I pressed. I originally just had the one above, but then added the second dancer.I wish I didn't, it looked a lot nicer on its own. Oh well, that's what sketchbooks are for...

Friday, July 22, 2011

R.I.P. Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud, OM
8 December 1922-20 July 2011

Lucian Freud, who died on July 20 aged 88, was the most celebrated British Figurative painter of late 20th century.

Freud was thought of primarily as painter of portraits, but though his subjects were often well-known people, he was no society portraitist in the manner of Sargent or Boldini. His purpose was not to flatter, and the starkness of his images, many of them highly detailed nudes, have few precedents in the art of the human form.
Self portrait with black eye, from private collection, c1978
Self portrait with black eye, from private collection, c1978
So early was Freud's reputation established – while he was still a teenager – that for almost all of his career he was able to paint on his own terms, and only what he was interested in. "My work," he said, in a remark at once typically truthful and egotistic, "is purely autobiographical. It's about myself and my surroundings."
The results of this subjective outlook divided both the critics and the public. For many, Freud was a master of capturing the quintessence of a sitter, his paintings being, as he said, not likepeople but of people. Though his stature was perhaps increased by his having few great contemporaries, he was hailed as the heir of Rembrandt and Hals, both of whom he greatly admired. 
Others found the stern intensity of Freud's scrutiny unsettling and too uniform, thinking his paintings revealed not their subjects but his view of humanity. His pictures were said not to celebrate the differences between individuals, but their melancholy similarities – an opinion reinforced by the anonymous titles Freud gave many of his works, as if they were exercises rather than pictures of real people.
The counterpart to Freud's determination to make use of his life in his work was that his life itself became something of an exhibition. There was a quasi-theatrical streak in his personality and, though it was exaggerated by speculation, he gained a reputation as a rake, a snob and a Lothario.
Freud consorted with both high and low society. He had many beautiful and well-born lovers, some of whom sat for him, while perhaps his most celebrated model was a grossly fat homosexual nightclub dancer, Leigh Bowery; indeed, Freud painted few men who were not homosexual, saying that he admired their courage.
Entertaining though gossip about his life and his inspirations was, it shed little light on Freud's work, and detracted from the one constant in it, his ambition. Certainly, Freud told the critic David Sylvester, he needed models whose "aura was the starting point of his (Freud's) excitement". But by the end, the picture was all he felt about, and each revealed to him "a great insufficiency that drives him on".
Thus, after numerous sittings, the 11th Duke of Devonshire was summoned back to Freud's studio because the artist had not got the silk of his subject's shirt quite right. "Rembrandt would have done it, and I'm damn well going to do it too," said Freud. The remark revealed not only the standards Freud hoped to emulate, but also the hunger of a great painter to inspire the sort of reaction to art had by Jose Ortega y Gasset on first seeing Las Meninas: "This isn't art, it's life perpetuated."
Lucian Freud was born in Berlin on December 8 1922, the middle brother of three. His father, an architect, was the youngest son of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis.
Lucian's mother was the daughter of a rich grain merchant, and he had a comfortable childhood, growing up in a house near the Tiergarten, being schooled at the Französisches Gymnasium and holidaying on his maternal grandfather's estate.
It was an environment that from an early age he found overprotective, and even as a young boy he made regular forays into rougher neighbourhoods to escape the smothering attentions of his parents and nannies. Such expeditions were evidence of a nature that was to prove both curious and wilful.
The rising tide of anti-Semitism in Germany and the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor prompted the Freuds to move to England in 1933. They settled in Mayfair, not far from Green Park, the setting of the earliest of the many stories that spattered Freud's reputation with mud.
It was said that the origins of Lucian's near lifelong estrangement from his younger brother Clemens, later the MP Sir Clement Freud, lay in an adolescent race around the park. When his brother threatened to win, Lucian called out "Stop thief!" and Clemens was promptly seized by passers-by.
The story seemed improbable, but that it could sustain repetition at all was proof that many were willing to believe the worst of the adult Freud. Though capable of great charm, as his amorous conquests testified, in later years he became notorious for his temper, once punching Harold Macmillan's son-in-law, Andrew Heath, after he had taken Freud to task over his treatment of his wife.
Freud was well-known for his bitter feuds. He eventually fell out with, among others, arguably his closest friend, Francis Bacon, one of his earliest patrons, Lord Glenconner, and his dealer, James Kirkman.
Lucian was sent to Dartington Hall, the progressive boarding school, from 1933 to 1937, and then for a year to Bryanston, from which he was expelled for disruptive behaviour, said to have culminated in his driving a pack of foxhounds into the school's chapel during Matins.
He devoted most of his time at Bryanston to riding and to drawing, in which he was encouraged by Sigmund Freud's gift of some prints of Brueghel's paintings.
At 15, Lucian enrolled at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, but in 1939, dissatisfied with the school's classically-oriented curriculum, he moved to the East Anglian School of painting. That same year he took British nationality.
The East Anglian
By now Freud had been recognised as a prodigy and had a sketched self-portrait accepted by Horizon, for which he also drew portraits of its editors, Cyril Connolly and Stephen Spender. Freud took a studio in Maida Vale and cultivated a bohemian image, stalking through wartime London in a fez and fur coat, a bird of prey perched on his wrist.
Among his other eccentricities was the refusal for many years to have a telephone in his studio; until the late 1980s, friends could contact him with any certainty only by telegram. Freud guarded his privacy jealously, and one potential biographer claimed he had abandoned the project after receiving mysterious and threatening telephone calls.
In 1942 Freud enlisted in the Merchant Navy and served for three months on the convoy vessel Baltrover before being invalided out. But his brief service confirmed his instinct that he would find such raw milieux attractive and stimulating, and when he returned to London he rented a studio beside the Grand Union canal, the border between working-class Paddington and better-heeled Little Venice.
The divide mirrored that which Freud maintained in his social life. He moved easily and steadily between the two worlds, perhaps breakfasting at a workmen's cafĂ© before driving his Bentley rapidly (if erratically) to Soho for a day's drinking and betting with Jeffrey Bernard or the photographer John Deakin. Freud was a notorious and reckless gambler, and in 1983 was warned off the Turf after reneging on debts to bookmakers of some £20,000.
At night he would return to the West End, a spare figure immaculately dressed, this time perhaps for a drink with the Duke of Devonshire before moving on to a nightclub in Berkeley Square.
It was a Pimpernel-like existence that amused some of his friends and infuriated others, notably Francis Bacon, with whom he finally fell out over what Bacon (who was of gentle birth himself) perceived as Freud's snobbish cultivation of position. Certainly, Freud eventually forsook Paddington for the grander environs of Holland Park; but the view from his flat was of the tower blocks of Shepherd's Bush.
Freud was given his first exhibition in 1944 by the Lefevre Gallery. By now he was concentrating on painting rather than on drawing, working in a style some thought influenced by Surrealism. Thus the subject ofQuince On A Blue Table (1943-44) is somewhat overshadowed by the baleful zebra's head that thrusts from the wall above the table. Freud, characteristically, denied having been influenced by another style.
From 1946 until 1948 Freud lived and painted in Greece and France, where he met Picasso, who responded to the tartan trousers Freud was wearing by singing It's A Long Way To Tipperary. When Freud returned to England it was to begin teaching at the Slade, and to marry Kitty Garman, the daughter of the sculptor Jacob Epstein.
Freud's wife became the subject of his first important series of portraits, notable for their flat contours, stylised line and stark lighting. The wide-eyed subject of Girl With Roses (1946-48) and Girl With Leaves (1945) is treated with an unsettling, detached sensuality reminiscent of 15th-century Flemish portraiture or, more recently, of Ingres – so much so that Herbert Read called Freud "the Ingres of existentialism".
This period of Freud's work culminated in portraits of two of his closest friends – Francis Bacon, whom he painted on copper, and the photographer Harry Diamond. The latter portrait is suffused with tension born of the unnatural lack of animation in Diamond's face and posture, a calmness belied by his clenched fist and aggressive open stance.
In the painting, Freud hints at a barely suppressed violence beneath Diamond's static exterior and externalises it in the shape of a man-sized and threateningly spiky potted plant, one of several to appear in his work. The portrait brought Freud the Arts Council prize at the Festival of Britain, for which he was the youngest artist given a commission.
Freud divorced his wife in 1952, prompting his father-in-law to remark: "That spiv Freud turned out a nasty piece of work." The next year he married Lady Caroline Blackwood, daughter of the 4th Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. They were divorced in 1957, and she later married the poet Robert Lowell, who in 1977 was found dead in a New York taxi with his arms clasped around Freud's portrait of the blonde-haired young Caroline. She died in 1996.
By the late 1950s Freud had begun to pull away from the neo-romanticist contemporaries such as Graham Sutherland and John Minton with whom he had been grouped, and he gradually evolved a style of work that was to sharply divide the critics.
His portraits began to become more tactile, demonstrating eventually an almost sculptural fascination with flesh and its contours. Freud abandoned the fine lines of his early work for broader strokes – swapping sable brushes for hogshair – and began to work with a more limited palette in which greasy whites and meaty reds predominated. His subjects were also often foreshortened or seen from a peculiar angle, a change in technique brought on by Freud's beginning to paint while standing up rather than sitting.
Most of the best-known works that Freud executed in the next 40 years were of nudes, rather vulnerable figures usually placed against a white sheet on an iron bed or on an old Chesterfield sofa in Freud's studio. The subjects often seemed to be tired or even asleep, yet Freud's gaze remains tireless, even pitiless under the glare thrown by an interrogator's 500 watt bulb. Moreover, there is little independent communication between sitter and onlooker, for the eyes of Freud's subjects rarely meet any outside the studio.
Freud sometimes ascribed the change in his style to a conversation with Bacon in which he was urged to put more of his own life into his work. Some critics who sought evidence of this concluded that what was going into the work was Freud's dissatisfaction with his own life.
In particular, Freud's soured romances were said to have left him with a contempt for women that made him paint them as a voyeur. He was accused of being cerebral, cruel or macabre, and, in the words of David Sylvester, having the eye not of a painter but of a pathologist.
There was certainly little respect for frail mankind in Freud's work, and many of his pictures seemed to convey only the tedium of existence, the waiting for death. Thus, in perhaps his best-known composition of the 1980s, Large Interior W11 (After Watteau) (1981-83), Freud replaced the lively flirtation among members of a comic troupe in Watteau's original painting with a group of his own children and friends, seemingly bored and lost in their separate thoughts.
The painting was sold in 1997 for £3.75 million, a record for a living British artist, although the money went not to Freud but to his former dealer, James Kirkman, with whom he had fallen out.
Yet if there was no outright affection for humanity in Freud's work, there was no hostility either. Rather, there was evidence only of an unwearying fascination with the human form, and of a striving to be faithful to it in all its moments, by turns sullen, proud and tender.
Freud displayed a distinct feeling for the last of these qualities, notably in portraits painted in the 1980s of his elderly mother, of his daughter Bella, and in compositions featuring dogs, such as Double Portrait (1985-86), in which the hand of a sleeping subject cups the muzzle of a similarly drowsy hound.
Freud continued to paint into old age, among the most remarkable of his later works being the full-length naked self-portrait Painter Working(1993), which seemed to depict him as an elderly satyr, shod, almost comically, in a pair of ancient fell-walking shoes. It was a rare explicit glimpse of Freud himself in a body of work that otherwise was introspective only by proxy.
He exhibited regularly and had a number of retrospective showings of his paintings, including one at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1998 and a large show at Tate Britain in 2002. Since the millennium there have been solo exhibitions in New York, Edinburgh, Los Angeles, Venice, Dublin, The Hague and Paris. Comparatively few of his paintings, however, are in public collections.
Between May 2000 and December 2001, Freud painted the Queen, with controversial results. In May 2008, his 1995 picture Benefits Supervisor Sleeping was sold at Christie's in New York for $33.6 million, a record for a work by a living artist.
Freud was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1983, and a member of the Order of Merit in 1993.
It is difficult to be precise about Lucian Freud's progeny, but there appear to be at least 13. He had two daughters by his first marriage. He had four children by Suze Boyt, one of whom is the novelist Rose Boyt; by Katherine McAdam, he had two sons and two daughters; by Celia Paul, he had a son; and he had two daughters by Bernadine Coverley, the writer Esther Freud and the fashion designer Bella Freud.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sketchbook. July 21, 2011

Another Study of the larger figure. The hare head is cut out of cloth and painted with watercolours.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sketchbook. July 20, 2011

Look Mum,
She Has a Face,
Call her Name,
Tell Her that I Love Her,
And Miss her Everyday.

This is one of those random spouts of creativity. I found this piece of paper while waiting for something in the workshop at college. I looked down at the front desk and there it was exactly as it is, I just crossed out some of the words. Its poetic in its own way,  even if it might not make sense.......

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sketchbook, July 18, 2011

'Worn Zipper'
Used an old zipper and some fabric, then I sewed it into my sketchbook. The quote I found in one of the telegraph magazines.

'Meeting a Lover in an Old Dress,
One Worn to the Zipper
by Some Wild Turn at a Dance.'

Terri Windling's Blog

Here is a very interesting blog by the author, illustrator, and painter, Terri Windling :

Whats nice about it is that she has posted alot of work by variouse artists, as well as her own work. You can have a look by clicking the link above.

Or you can visit her website by visiting this link

The Andy Warhol Museum

Last week I was lucky enough to visit the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh, PA. The collection of Andy Warhol's was very small, mostly videos that he had created, that mostly documented his life. There was alot of his clothing and various objects that he had owned over his lifetime. There were few actual prints of his, the most impressive were of large skulls, the size of which were over whelming. In a whole it was all very good, but I have to say the best exhibitions were the non permanent ones. One of my two favorites was, 'Contemporary Magic: A Tarot Deck Art Project.'
Here is an excerpt from the museum site about the exhibit:

That Old Black Magic
'The Tarot deck is many things: revered diviner of knowledge, feared revealer of hidden secrets, and critiqued promoter of quackish myth. Regardless of one's take on Tarot card reading, it is certain that the history and imagery of these mysterious cards is ripe territory for contemporary artists to come up with their own interpretations of the 78 personas that make up the standard Tarot deck. And that is exactly what my divine colleague Stacy Engman set about doing as she assembled a group of some of today’s most dynamic artists and asked them to submit a new work based on a tarot card personally assigned by her.
The resulting images are just as whimsical as the readings that emerge from an actual reading of the cards. The amazing group of artists included in the project created cards in a range of media (photography, painting and collage) and each infused an additional sense of allure and magic into this already heavily charged lam of mystery. Not only may viewers enjoy the actual works in the exhibition of the original cards, but they may also take them home in this unique catalogue in the form of a deck of Tarot cards in and of itself!'
The Star by Ryan McGinley

The Hanged Man by Patrick McMullan

The Devil By Thomas Schutte

The Second Exhibition there that I adored was 'The Word of God(ess): Chitra Ganesh's Tales of Amnesia.' There was some really stunning work in this exhibition.
  What I loved also about both of these exhibitions is that they showed the artists research work. For this exhibition there were various Indian books/comic books and Information on the Gods of India. For the Tarot card exhibition, they had a book on magic, alchemy, tarot and such as well as a pack of the old original tarot cards. Its always far more interesting when you can see were the artist was coming from..
Here is another excerpt about 'The Word of God(ess) exhibition from the Warhol site:

The Word of God(ess): Chitra Ganesh is the third exhibition in The Word of God series, which examines major world religions and their texts through contemporary art. Sacred texts are considered by many to be the direct words of God to man. How this Word is passed down and received is dependent on the people, languages and cultures in which it is presented. This series explores the questions: what is the best version of the Word of God; and does the artistic rendering of it enhance understanding or is some essential truth lost in translation?
Chitra Ganesh’s artwork combines different visual languages, cannons and cultures, including comic books, Bollywood cinema and iconic goddesses from Hindu folklore. Ganesh creates cross-cultural narratives about sexuality and power that may sit in comic book frames where interior thoughts are revealed in bubbles or --as in her wall installations-- hover in psychedelic space with three-dimensional elements that protrude into contemporary reality. This exhibition includes artworks based on the comic, Amar Chitra Katha, which Ganesh read as a young person and that is still in print today. The enormously popular comic (over 90 million printed) began in the 1960s to teach children in India and the Diaspora; about Hindu myths, Indian history and culture; as well as to teach children proper behavior through specific characters. Ganesh’s work based on the ACK comics is a 21 part work titled the Tales of Amnesia.

Sugar and Milk

Here is Citra Ganesh's Website:

Unfortunately I could not take pictures of various works in the museum so I have to rely on google. The only photos I could take were of the outside and the first floor, so here you are:

Oh ya, my favorite and what I thought was the most interesting piece of Andy Warhol's was;

 Oxidation Painting, 1978 - Metallic pigment in acrylic medium and urine on canvas - 50 x 200 x 2 in

His Oxidation Painting, which is literally were he or other various assistants/artists peed straight onto the canvas. How the person eats effects the colour pigment of the urine.
Very cool.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sketchbook, July 17, 2011

'The Hearing Trumpet'
A recent page from my sketchbook. Watercolour and Graphite.. The flower is a pressed daffodil that I've been holding onto for a while, I'd been trying to figure out what to do with it.
 Its so nice, the veins have shown up lovely in the petals.

(If you click on the image it will come up a lot bigger..)