Yesterday I headed up to Chautauqua Institution for the afternoon. I am super lucky to have such a great resource right in the neighborhood. I went ostensibly to register for the Miller’s Park Art Fair, next Sunday, August 8th, but I ended up zoning out for several hours. The show at the Strohl Gallery had some highlights, the work of Donna Rosenthal, and Michael Rogers in particular. I had seen Rosenthal’s work online and I expected to like it in person much more than I did. It was a little more polished and refined than I expected and the gel medium used on the paper made it very shiny and I just didn’t like that.I hope that doesn’t sound to snotty. I was a little disappointed that the work looked very new, and my aesthetic is just older and tattier I guess. The pieces were clever and beautifully crafted but they just didn’t sing to me the way I had thought they would.
Roger’s work was varied and slightly dark, which we know is much more my thing! The glass birds were so haunting. Coupling, two black glass crows(?) wrapped with rope was so sad. There were some beautiful glass panels that I would like to see again, the depth added to the prints by the glass was really interesting.
Next I headed across the street to the new Fowler-Kellogg gallery space. The student show was hanging and there were some really beautiful drawings. I wish I had been in possession of a pen so that I could give you some names, but if you go, head upstairs there is an intriguing work on faux leather with drawing and threads that is worth the gate fee alone! This was not the only great work, but it was so beautiful i wished I could own it!
I visited my friend who manages the refectory and had some ice cream, did a little shop browsing, sadly no money to buy! then I headed for home.
So while I was eating dinner (well sort of dinner, I had a plate of tortilla chips and spinach & artichoke dip) I watched a fabulous documentary on paper-folding with my son and his friends, who of course didn’t really want to watch but were totally sucked in by the amazing work and the complexity and range of ideas that the documentary covered. I watched it on netflix, if you are interested it is called between the folds. Regular readers know I am a bit of a math/physics geek so I loved it!! What I loved most though was a discussion about visual complexity, and whether a level of accuracy in depiction makes for a better work. That’s a big topic for another post, maybe on my other blog. I don’t want to get bogged down with it, but if you have time to watch the film and have thoughts, let me know, it’s a discussion I’d like to have!!
The boys having secretly enjoyed much of the “lame” documentary then wanted to play video games before the beloved big screen goes back whence it came, so I headed up to the studio. I haven’t been very productive lately, I have started a lot of things that are not progressing at all, or not going any place I want to follow, so I thought i would try adapting an image I had seen in this months Somerset Studio (which I bought despite being broke because I am feeling stuck) by Tracy Nuskey Dodson who used paper to create hair for her images featured in this edition.
To back up a little, for years have loved the Suzanne Vega song Calypso, and recently I received a call for work for an image related to music. I have many sketches of Calypso in my sketch books, so I thought I would give it a try. Nothing I had been doing captured that sad, misty, flowing feeling I wanted, so I figured that I had nothing to lose by making her hair from paper. Using her technique I cut long wave forms from paper and edged them with blue and green pastel, a little pen and ink face with some coloured pencil and I had the beginning of something soft whimsical, romantic.
I used some cellophane wrap with acrylic paint and some distressed and folded wax paper to create a foamy “body” and here’s where I am right now. Not finished but certainly on the way. I’ll be working with her a little more today, update to follow maybe.