#34: The Aftermath – Paula

A thoughtful musing by a friend and fellow painter, Paula Martiesian http://www.paulamartiesian.com/ . As my current show (“Reaching for Beauty” at Coastal Living Gallery in Wickford, RI) is about to come down, that feeling of post-show depression is seeping in. How does an artist determine success, indeed? In reality–By just doing the work.

The Colorist - a Conversation about Painting

How does an artist determine success?   Sales? Critical acclaim?  Or is it something deeper.

Americans are taught to believe that success is measured in monetary terms.  If finance is the scale by which we measure, my exhibit was not a great success.  I sold a painting during the show and one before the exhibit opened.  A disappointment surely, but much better than not selling.

I received a fair amount of media coverage.  There was a nice mention in the Providence Journal with a photograph of one of my favorite paintings, Summer Shadows.  There was a wonderful quote in the Providence Business News – they called my paintings psychotropic – a word never before used to describe my work.  I also had coverage in the RISD XYZ alumni online news and lots of great feedback from friends and colleagues.

Weeds in Snow at the Bert Gallery Weeds in Snow at the Bert Gallery

And yet, the…

View original post 119 more words

#22. Look/see: The art of Sumo Bunni (and family)

#22. Look/see: The art of Sumo Bunni (and family)

Image

“Alter Ego 1″ 48×36”. acrylic on canvas, 2013.

What is is about the cuteness (or weirdness) of bunnies? According to painter Shari Weschler Rubeck  (aka Sumo Bunni)—“In 2011, the Bunni became my story teller and continues to do so.  He or She is in a mood, communicating a specific experience.  [The Bunnies] are metaphorical messengers who relate to us easily.  They beg for us to look at ourselves and perhaps find humor in the serious.”

bunni in waiting

“Bunni in Waiting” 48×36″ acrylic/airbrush on canvas. 2011

robot swimmer

“Robot Swimmer” 10×8″ watercolor/graphite on Yupo paper. 2012

When I first saw the strange and magical work of Shari and her sculptor husband Christian Rubeck, at Gallery Z in Providence RI, I did a double-take, slowly perusing all the work at least twice over. The room spun with bizarre and wonderful imagery, peppered with off-beat humor. It took me a while to figure out that the pseudonym Sumo Bunni was actually the artist Shari (thank you, Facebook) and now I get it.

hide

“Hide” 22×16″. watercolor/graphite on paper. 2012

"Long Hare" 40x30" acrylic on canvas. 2011

“Long Hare” 40×30″ acrylic on canvas. 2011

Shari’s massive body of work is comprised of several recent series which relate to one another in, well, odd ways. Best to put it in her words: “Life experiences, human psyche, curiosities of animal nature, elements of theatre, dance, backstage goings-on and pun drive my imagery.  Working in series that often materialize simultaneously, my imagery is primarily figural in nature.” She has a background as a dancer, which is apparent in the imagery and narrative in her work, and a BFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art. 

"Ram Head" 64x46" acrylic on board. 2012

“Ram Head” 64×46″ acrylic on board. 2012

There were so many of Shari’s paintings and drawings I wanted to post here, it was tough to pare it down to just 8. Or 10 or 12. But to see lots more and and figure out the Sumo Bunni mystery for yourself, visit Shari and Christian’s website, ArtInMind.org (FYI- Along with some other venues, Shari has a show coming up this year at Chez Pascal,  one of Providence East Side’s BEST restaurants.)

"Sharp Intrusion" 43x28" acrylic on canvas. 2013

“Sharp Intrusion” 43×28″ acrylic on canvas. 2013

"Rabbit Robot" 10x8". watercolor/graphite on paper. 2012

“Rabbit Robot” 10×8″. watercolor/graphite on paper. 2012

"Power Trip" 20x14". watercolor/graphite on Yupo paper. 2013

“Power Trip” 20×14″. watercolor/graphite on Yupo paper. 2013

weschler rubek

Weschler/Rubeck show at Gallery Z, showing some of Christian’s sculpture and Shari’s paintings, 2012

sculpture by Christian Rubeck

sculpture by Christian Rubeck

p.s. Shari and Christian have two awesome artist offspring, Skyla, 11 and Desi, 9. (It’s a family art affair, and they recently had a show titled “The Rubeck Four” at Coastal Living Gallery in the quaint village of Wickford, RI.)

Desi Rubeck, "Goose Eye"

Desi Rubeck, “Goose Eye”

Skyla Rubeck, "Bluebirds" and "Wooden Dog".

Skyla Rubeck, “Bluebirds” and “Wooden Dog“.

All images © copyright protected by Shari Weschler Rubeck, 2014

#18. AND I QUOTE No 3 – Artists on Art

#18. AND I QUOTE No 3 – Artists on Art

A delightful series of great quotes from great artists, via Douglas MooreZart. I love this one: “Surely nothing has to listen to so many stupid remarks as a painting in a museum.” ~Edmond & Jules de Goncourt.

#16. Lisa Hoke’s multicolored upcycled mural

#16. Lisa Hoke’s multicolored upcycled mural

Hoke-vimeo-blues-longshotI had to re-blog this post by Global Art Junkie as it is so beautiful. Call it recycling, upcycling, repurposing, trash-art, what-have-you, but this brilliant (pun intended) sculptural installation by Lisa Hoke is something to wonder at. I love color. I recently did a “look/see” post about Rhode Island artist Tom Deininger‘s work, including his incredible trash-art sculpture… These artists both share a passion and vision for turning discarded, reused materials into works of color and beauty. Lucky for us. Simply amazing. Enjoy!

Global Art Junkie

Hoke-installation viewNew York sculptor Lisa Hoke created this monumental wall frieze 15 feet high by more than 150 feet using everyday materials from recycled paper to plastic cups in a challenge to the “irony of mass consumer production in America.”

View original post 165 more words

#11. Look/See: Thomas Deininger at Van Vessem Gallery, Tiverton, RI

 Image

Ok, so the guy might be a genius. Since I am not qualified to designate what “genius” entails, I’ll leave it up to you. But to see for myself, I took a drive the other day down to Tiverton, RI to go see Tom Deininger’s  raw, mighty and meaty work currently on view at the somewhat new (opened May 2013) Van Vessem Gallery, curated and directed by artist/owner Marika Van Vessem.

 Image

Deininger is a painter, yes, seeing with some sort of x-ray vision that defies explanation, but what gets you is the fecundity and raw beauty of the work, along with humorous, timely and sometimes frightening imagery, not to mention painterly craft. The sheer quantity of work, as well as all the various processes in evidence, is astounding.

Image

Image

Loads of small paintings pack the walls, randomly mounted edge to edge, along with large complex digital prints, sculpture, video installation, and his incredible trash art, composed of multitudinous tidbits and cast-offs; largely plastic, and things probably unmentionable. I don’t know. Impossible to tell. But look closely at the following images, a large 3-d self-portrait in trash.

Image

Image

Image

The large dead sparrow collage is stunning. Image

Detail of sparrow’s head.ImageWearable art hats and other things.

ImageDon’t even ask me to explain this video/found object/recycled stuff installation. Suffice to say it boggles the mind. You have to see it to get it, and even then you won’t get it. Brilliant. (Those eyes are actually composed of weird stuff, and there are little cameras trained on them, and the images are projected onto the monitors. Or something.)

Image

No way can I attempt a comprehensive review of this show. Therefore I invite you to check out  Tom’s website as well as this article: Natural Landscapes Recreated in Junk , which gives a good overview and provides wonderful images of some of his recycled-stuff art.

 Image

 I found this Deininger quote from a 2009 interview:  “Perception is really the backbone of my work. I think that all art, even reality, is about perception. And so you’ve got one thing up close and it coalesces into something else all together from a distance. So, just the idea of what is reality, what is truth, has everything to do with perception… It reminds me of how slippery it can be, what is real and what is true.”

Image

Indeed. In  looking at the prolific and edgy work of Tom Deininger, one gets that slippery feeling of “wtf is real, anyway?” The show is up until Feb 3rd, with a closing party on Feb 2nd. Check out Van Vessem Gallery’s Facebook page for details.

Image

#10. Stopping Trying

Confession: I used to try to be a certain way, look a certain way. I wondered if I was beautiful enough, smart enough, cool enough. Wondered how others would see me and/or my art. If my art was “good” enough, different enough, unique enough, powerful enough, inventive enough..If it was really meaningful. And on & on. Although I’ve consistently fought this stupid and annoying monkey on my back, it’s a constant process to shake it off. (“What? You think that’s GOOD ART? who are you kidding? who do you think you are?” ) This stuff is all a product of fear. Fear of what? Being rejected? Being hurt? Failure? Being seen as stupid? Being found out that I’m not really who I pretend to be? (see: impostor syndrome)

I know I’m not alone. It seems so many young (or not-so-young) emerging creatives are SO concerned with being edgy, cool, hip, trying their damnedest to impress. What about just DOING? Making? Saying? I know the feeling so well. Wanting, desiring, hoping for acknowledgement and “success”, wanting to stand out in the crowd, be “different”, get “known”.  Don’t all artists?

Maybe not.

“If we are willing to open ourselves up and be laid bare, to respond to the moment and without hesitation, to connect deeply with our audiences’ eyeballs and the minds behind, we will be freed of the bullshit that holds us back. We will tap into the deep wellsprings of creativity that lie beneath our artifice and style and self-conscious crap and hesitation and self-deception and excuses and fears. We will make art of truth.” Danny Gregory

Artist/writer/thinker all-around amazing and inspiring human Danny Gregory recently wrote a truly brave post regarding fear.  I’ve been ruminating on this topic quite a bit recently, and interestingly enough, over the past few weeks, I’ve been coming across references to one of my favorite books on the subject, which if you never read (in art school, or out, or whatever) you’d best find it– “Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmakingby David Bayles and Ted Orland. (1993, folks, and still as timely as ever.) Funny how when something is percolating, references keep showing up. Somehow, my old copy of Art&Fear has been missing. I was actually looking for it yesterday, in my studio, when a visitor happened to mention it in our conversation. No luck. Then this morning, reading some comments on Danny’s post “The Fears of a Clown“, there’s yet another reference to the book.. so bingo—-I look in my bookshelf (where I’ve looked a ton of times before), and find it immediately. (dust-covered.) Obviously I’m supposed to re-read it. So I will.

Image

 To quote Danny Gregory, again: “At their core, drawing, painting, clowning, all art, are about letting go, responding from your gut, trusting, working hard. Can you let go of all your preconceptions and finally, truly, truthfully see? Can you embrace and trust your audience rather than trying desperately to impress or con them?… Art is not entertainment. It is the way to what matters in our lives. To conquer our fears, we must face them, turn their ugly lies to beautiful truth, and share what we have made of them on the page or the stage.”

 Funny thing. As I’ve begun stopping the “trying”, I realize I no longer worry about what others think, so much. I’ve begun just “doing”. {I will not quote the famous footwear company here, but you know the deal}

“There is no try, there is only do.” Yoda

Image