Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Playing Favorites: portraiture

Patricia Anders

Tiandra tried to let go of the negative Thoughts

The blended muted tones, the color combination, the size of the piece, about three feet by four feet, bring together one of my more successful paintings. I value it both conceptually and visually. I have always enjoyed surreal imagery and metaphors and the thought bubbles exiting her thinking cap intrigue. I enjoy the way that the thought bubbles appear cloud like and weightless and the way that the simple faces give them a life of their own, further I like the way she is somewhat tangled in them (see her wrists) The landscape serves to give Tiandra a larger than life perspective and her posture, the gaze of her eyes reveal her contemplation, her expression tells a story, in fact the whole painting tells a story. I like that the piece has an edgeyness to it without shock value and engages the viewer rather than distances. Also, its a bit low brow and for me, another reason for credence!

Another favorite painting of mine is titled "The Crying Tree"

Flanked by two fruit bearing trees the central figure seems to be unsteadily seated beneath a gush of tears. At first thought one would think the concept sad, but after some contemplation it would appear to be a rather poignant scene, the serene expression of the central figure is somewhat resigned and seems to be a-wash, a-glow and cleansed by the gift bearing tree. Metaphorically, the fruit takes on her sadness and frees her from the inherent human condition, in much the same way as a little girl putting a "worry" doll under her pillow so that when the little girl goes to sleep, the worry doll takes on all her worries, and the little girl is at peace. The expression on the delicate figure, balancing in her little plastic raincoat is really one of peace. I love the subtle colors, and there is a gentleness that I find touching.


My recurrent theme, the human condition and surreal phenomena are clearly repeated here. The central figure with her beautiful calm, face seems to be in a state of grace. Under her huge umbrella like hat, her hands turned up in a meditative posture accepts the rain that she carries with her. Ultimately her straight, jet black hair will be redefined as it melds and becomes one with the shower that fluffs as it hits the ground by her puddle hopping rubber boots. The rain is gentle and her skimpy attire show it isn't cold, its like a summer rain that refreshes and renews. A meditative piece, the implication is that the figure is one with nature and life giving water and balance and abundance. A place where I would like to be, really.

Jessica Gonacha

The Bird Lady: this is my favorite 2008 painting so far. I love the mustard and robin's egg blue colors together, and the simplicity of the piece. It feels very elegant to me. I think my favorite pieces are always largely due to the color combinations I've used!

Backyard Swing: this is my favorite piece from this week. :) Again, I love the color combinations. I like that I made the shape of the girl's hair the same as the tufts of the tree. It reminds me that I am part of nature.


Sarah Fishburn

Imagine was done for a calendar I used to make up every year with a friend. It wasn't originally a favorite piece, but it has been a huge fave among others; then I noticed it grew on me! It's one of my few pieces which I kept. I do like the tactile elements. The leaves from my yard, the mica, the old buttons. Though some critics might argue it has WAY too many elements, I think the composition is lovely. I took all the colors from the little square swatch you see off to the left of the girl's face and think they all worked very much in concert.


Max Ackerson
**Max is our youngest participant...14 years old**


I did this quick sketch just the other day and it turned out better then i thought it would. I have been drawing daily for a few years now and this one turned out to be one of my best yet.


Leighanna Light

"Dance" is one of my favorites because it was a breakthrough piece, I had been stuck for quite some time & wanted to do something new & different. It was a very pleasant surprise.


Terry Rafferty

"Favorite" is a tough word - some days I love all my paintings, frequently I think they are all trash. Choosing one or two as favorite is like choosing between children - each has specific and special characteristics, and you love them equally but perhaps differently. I chose these paintings because they were the first ones I ever did. (Okay, the Very first one was a really bad flower, but we won't go into that!)

In both paintings I worked with burnt umber and turpentine, cheap canvas and a large and small bristle brush from a craft store. And they were the first inkling I had that I could, just maybe, learn to paint. Since then I have acquired many dozens of colors, jars of brushes, and discovered that I like panels better than stretched canvas, but the lessons I learned with these paintings remain: attention to drawing and value will carry the painting a long way, and when I don't know how to create an effect, try to visualize what it feels like. Somehow the tactile memory helps me to create the visual effect.

(I should note here that Chores was taken from a magazine photo, I don't know who the photographer was, and while the landscape of Looking Back is from where I was living, the child is also from a published photo. All my current work is, of course, original, and I both thank and apologize to the photographers for the use of their work.)


Lisa Hoffman said...

Please don't interrupt me. I'm busy drawing stick figures.

Where are these great illustrators coming from?...Seth, are you actually a famous Gallery Curator on the Down Low?

Beautiful and inspiring.

sf said...

To Max -
Yoou have a way with a line, that's for sure -

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks so much for showing Max's work, Seth.. I know he felt pretty good when he saw it here... Very encouraging...