Jul
5
2010

No Painting is Safe! by Deb Bartos

No painting of mine is safe, that is, until its hanging on someone else’s wall. There are just a few, actually, that are sacred, for personal reasons, and I will never touch again.
However, there are quite a few of them that go in the “gosh, there is just something not quite right with that work” pile and with time, I see what it is. The biggest factor, I think, is in learning more problem-solving skills that help me to get past whatever block I had the first go-around. The eye-connection learns faster than brush-connection. Vincent Van Gogh said at one point, “I no longer stand helpless before nature.” I have remembered that since the beginning of my struggles to get something I like on canvas. I think the best advice is “keep on painting.” It really does solve a number of problems. The more you paint, the better paintings you create. And you really can salvage stuff that has been waiting for you for years! Here are some before-after photos with discussion.

 

 

It was not enough color for me in version 1, even though the flowers really were white.

The orange/yellow seemed zingier, and I may even add more deep red. I changed them to roses.

 

 

This one of the little shepherdess was competing with the background. I love fall colors, and yet it seemed way too busy and unbalanced. I changed the scene to a greener cast, and the background seemed to recede more, as cool colors do. I wanted the shepherdess and the sheep to take the interest first, and not the foliage. Sometimes, I think, “it was better before I started to mess with it again,” and that is always the risk you take. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes the collector likes work from my “not quite right pile” just the way it is and gives me a new perspective.

It’s interesting that art (and life) is so subjective, but the satisfaction of problem solving with a more experienced brush is very rewarding. I have heard of several famous artists (you would recognize the last name alone) who have come to their shows before the opening with brush and paint in hand for final revisions. This makes me feel better, as validity of my processes is always appreciated. So, keep on painting, (and sometimes re-painting!)

Deb

Jul
3
2010

In Memoriam by Jacob Joubert

"In Memoriam" is a massive undertaking of twelve 10x10 feet paintings, one for each major conflict of the United States military. I am painting one line for each United States service member killed in war, nearly one and a half million lines in all. The project was started on Memorial day and is expected to take six months working at least four to five hours per day, concluding on Veteran's day.

This project is designed to provoke thought.  These paintings are anything but polite.  Using the simplicity of a single line repeated, slashing like a machete into the canvas, I want to reveal with a simple abstract gesture the cost of war on America.  Just as the deaths blur throughout our country's history, these lines blur as the viewer is shuttled along at great velocity within the canvases.  The juxtaposition of the work will allow the viewer to come to terms with the sacrifice, life, death, and cost of freedom.

Unearthing a specific subject in the work would be a slippery task out of context.  I'm not using this series to lecture about a specific idea but instead to provoke thought.  My desire is to guide the viewer toward a certain kind of imagery that ultimately encourages them to connect with the often ignored subject of war.  In this process I allow the viewer's curious mind to investigate further and uncover their own meaning upon and about our culture.

As human beings it is difficult to conceptualize large numbers.  The underlying goal of the "In Memoriam" project is to help people process the sheer magnitude of what has been sacrificed and force them to question the value of a single life.  Often times it is easy to relegate the lives lost to history, forgetting the impact they have on us today.  My goal is to create a piece of work that forces the viewer to come to terms with the massive amount of lives lost to warfare and to feel that loss on a personal level in the way loved ones feel when a single life is lost. I don't want the viewer to see lines, I want them to see sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors, and friends.  I want them to see heros.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul
1
2010

July Artist of the Month - Lauri Blank

" My art is innate in my soul.  Creating something beautiful everyday and bringing these images to life on my canvas is not only my profession, but my passion in life as well. The beautiful and compelling complexities of painting sultry, yet innocent women has always been my inspiration that fuels my work."
 
-Lauri Blank

Lauri Blank was destined to be a creative soul with a burning passion for art. Raised by an artistic mother who attended design school in NYC, and grandparents that are still performing musicians (well into their 80’s), Lauri was constantly engaged by creativity and artistic expression; the foundation of a future art career.


The world’s first acclaim of this talented artist came when she was just seven. Blank’s Mother, having recognized the talent she possessed at such an early age, submitted Lauri’s sketch of Betsy Ross to the local newspaper’s bicentennial art competition. Her work placed first.


Looking to expand her artistic horizons, Lauri began experimenting with different types of media. A few years later, at the age of 12, Lauri was honored by The Norton Museum of Art who included her three-dimensional painting of a young woman aging slowly in their prestigious national exhibition.


Continuing on her path of creative exploration, Lauri became a successful model at 14, still painting whenever she could. Lauri absorbed all the written material she could acquire on the arts. She spent the next several years honing her skills privately while gracing the covers of magazines, catwalks and advertising campaigns. As is commensurate with most artistic souls, Blank wanted to move away and try something new; also in the field of art and design. Turning her creative sights on the fashion world, Lauri moved to Bogota, Columbia. After establishing her own couture dress design and manufacturing business, it seemed that the canvas beckoned for her return as each day abroad passed.


Lauri returned to the US and embarked on full time painting career, "I felt the need to create something new, each day, whether it was a painting, interior design, or classical music. You couldn’t do that in fashion - once successful, the business becomes more about production and less about creativity.”


As her talent grew, Blank found herself naturally drawn to the imagery and complexities of the human form. She especially focused on the female form, learning to capture its very essence on her canvas. Uninhibited by conventional or formal training, her talent took on an original life of its own. Blank's artwork exhibits an unblemished romantic realism long forgotten by commercially driven, modern day trends. The appeal of her work is timeless. She continues to evolve her passion, taking great care in developing each individual composition. What is most remarkable is that she does not use live models. The images create themselves.


Her talents were immediately recognized by patrons in Washington D.C. and the Miami area, where she accepted numerous important commissions. And then in 1999, Lauri’s career would take a different turn, one that resembled one of the masters she studied for most of her life. Lauri Blank was commissioned to paint the ceiling of an 18th century church in Old Montreal. For months, the artist worked day and night painting the Cathedral’s ceiling while standing on scaffolding that had a five-story drop onto the marble floor below. It was the most magical experience she has ever had and is most proud of this work.


Blank received national coverage within Architectural Digest and her Old Montreal Cathedral work was featured on HGTV. She has been called "The Ft. Lauderdale areas own Michelangelo".


Blank's work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the nation. She receives frequent media attention and has appeared on numerous magazine covers throughout the Miami area. In 2002, Blank was selected as the artist for the 2002 Grammy Awards. Her "Post 911" Grammy work symbolized the patriotism of a nation blended with our love of music.


Lauri’s style of melding the techniques and icons of the old master with today’s cultural ideology, has won her acclaim. Her powerful images, along with her passion and devotion jump off the canvas and transport the viewer into a by-gone era. Her own imitable style, which the artist refers to as “Romantic Figuratism,” brings a sense of peace and reflection to the modern day world. “The passion in my heart…influences and fuels my love of art and my profession” says Blank of her accomplishments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heaven's Embrace                                       La Femme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promise

 

 

Venus                                                           The Kiss

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