Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hundertwasser's House - done?

Hundertwasser's House, 24" X 36 mixed media

I've adjusted the colours somewhat, highlighting the edges and smaller forms. I think it is done tho' the lower half seems quite dark.... What do you think?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hundertwasser's House

Here it is with the first layer of colour. I'm pleased with the composition but not sure how far to take the colours, more highlights are needed to define the smaller figures and forms. As it is highly textured I may just keep it limited to earthy tones with of course a gold dome. It wouldn't be Hundertwasser without this bit of gilt. You can compare it to the sketch below to see where I have made some adjustments. This technique of cutting and pasting allows me to move the shapes around to get just the composition I want before I glue it permanently. Then the colour work begins.

The piece below is another I've done using the same techniques, this one was inspired by a Byzantine Madonna and a large female salmon with eggs. A slight force fit of ideas but both images were in my mind at the time.

Iconic Form, mixed media on board 21" X 26

Monday, March 17, 2008

"Straight Lines are Ungodly"

"Humans have more than just eyes to enjoy beautiful things and ears to hear beautiful sounds and noses to smell beautiful smells. Humans can also feel with their hands and feet. The flat floor with straight lines has been recognized as a real danger to humans. The uneven path becomes a symphony, a melody for the feet. This path makes one vibrate with joy." Friedensreich Hundertwasser
A few years ago I visited amazing Vienna with a prime target being the Klimt collections. These were truly impressive but a later Viennese artist was equally impressive. Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser (his chosen name) was an incredibly creative and controversial artist. He developed public spaces that were works of art and transformed ugly institutional buildings into intriguing gleaming and colourful confections, like the one above. This is one of Vienna's incinerators and a heating plant. It was a gray ugly eyesore until the "doctor of architecture" performed a face lift. We visited the buildings which were a delight. Even the pavement in the parking lot revealed Hundertwasser's touch. The painted dividing lines were wavy, not straight. He felt straight lines were unnatural, only man produces such uncomfortable constructs. Osaka has copied Hundertwasser's ideas for their incineration buildings which are often mistaken for a theme park.
My current project is an homage to Hundertwasser, a bas relief piece using foam core and lots of textural effects. Here's a preliminary sketch of my imaginary "Hundertwasser House"

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bjork Speaks About Poets

Bloggers love to get comments. One of my regular and most dependable responders is W. He doesn't always use the same moniker but you know it is W if the comment is lengthy, incredibly erudite and astute! W writes poetry and reviews art too. This post is for you W, thanks for your steady input on those quiet days when it seems know one is out there. Here's a very young Bjork with her thoughts about poets. (click on her name to get the video)

As an aside Bjork's longtime partner is Matthew Barney, a performance artist and filmaker. Check him out on Youtube if you really want to see something bizarre. Here he is in Cremaster 4. Can you imagine having these two over for dinner?

Monday, March 3, 2008


Pausing, acrylic on board 16 X 18

The painting above is one I sold recently at the Frameworks show. The simplicity of the scene really appealed to me as I worked on it. It is was not hard to resist adding "more". Sometimes less is more. When it was done I thought of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening". One might glance and stop to catch the simple beauty of sun on grass, pause and enjoy a moment lovely and light. Obviously it is not a snowy evening so here is how the poem might work (apologies to RF):

Stopping By Fields On A Hazy Evening

Whose fields these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his grass gleam and glow. etc

Here's another wonderful poem that starts in a field. By Mark Strand, this poem is about not stopping, at least that is the superficial message. Strand's "verse deals primarily with the relationship between the individual self and the rest of the world in language that is spare and through images that are often surreal and dream-like." I think the style of the poem fits the style of my painting, but the message is quite different.
Keeping Things Whole

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.