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Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

Sea Fruit. Watercolor, charcoal and white Prismacolor pencil. March 13, 2010

This is a mental recollection of an exquisite painting, smaller than 8 X 10, that I once saw in my friend Sophia’s place. It was an oil painting, varnished, and the raspberry on the beach looked so large, lustrous and luminous. You could tell the translucent quality of the skin. This is my humble attemp at recreating that piece in watercolor: oil paint allows for more luster, and maybe one day I will try that as well, even though most of my painting are done in acrylic .

What symbolism this piece recalls, and what do you see, I wonder…

I had a wonderful art session with my favorite artistes today, a lunch at my favorite French Bistro and a stroll through Little Italy’s Farmer’s Market, where we picked up fruit and vegetables (our models). A good, full day, not untouched by worries ( hard times to be had by all) rather, a respite…and realizing that, in the words of a fellow New York Times reader:

‘A good academic degree pays for itself in a flexible mind and an ability to adapt as well as the richness of inner resources to survive hard times without despair.’

Sitting in Cafe’ Italia, with my watercolors, and my ‘model’ perched on a napkin, envisioning faraway beaches and the quality of the water in Calabria– and feeling glances from patrons–I realize Art is a wonderful privilege, an ability to lose one’s self and a giving of kind, compassionate time to one’s self. Like every privilege, to me at least, art is also a responsibility.  Of course the endless list of chores awaits, yet I felt what art offers is more than escapism or absorbing creativity produced by others , as in savoring a book or basking in a glorious movie ( I love both): with art we create our own narrative, as in writing a book vs.  reading one. Does it make sense to be then a bit exhausted after a creative session? Perhaps it is all about resistance…learning to teach the wrist and mind to embody ‘effortlessness’.

Not to mention the refinement of the medium. This was the fourth serious attemp/experiment with watercolor I have done.

I will never forget, while following ‘The Artist’s Way’, one was to go for a week without reading. Reading has been in the past a way to procrastinate creating in the first person, a way to be vicariously creative . We must watch that.

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Francoise Gilot (Picasso's Mistress), Self- Portrait. Copy. Ink on Paper. I saw this at the San Diego Museum of Art, and needed to have it.

Françoise Gilot. Self-Portrait. Copy, ink on paper. January, 2010. Françoise was Picasso's long-time mistress, an accomplished artist in her own right. I saw this piece at the San Diego Museum of Art.

The original drawing. I couldn't find it anywhere online, so hope it helps someone. No photos allowed on this one *cough*

Somebody bought me blue roses....Watercolor and Graphite. January, 2010.

Photograph edited in Photoshop. February, 2010.

Coffee Carrier (delle). Graphite on paper. Kuwait. January, 2010.

Miniature Pomegranate. Watercolor on chocolate wrap. Kuwait. January, 2010.


February 1st, Monday. I like it when a new month, sparkling with possibilities, starts on a Monday, a beginning of a new week. This February finds me physically incapacitated ( I have been down with a bad cold since last week)-  but my spirits are up, because of the things I have been reading, the art documentaries I have been watching, the places I have been (a brief jaunt to San Francisco) and the interesting people I met. I have been feeding my mind and doing lots of different things, so today I want to catch up, and share.

What I have been doing: Teaching. This quarter my classes are First Year Design Studio; History of Architecture; Art: Neoclassic to Modern (where my students are researching Women Artists); and Non-Western Traditions (where I can share my travels in Kuwait). Perfect, but insanely busy.

What I have been listening: Gipsy Kings and Sweetheart 2010, a Hearmusic compilation. Great. Now I have to buy the others in the series. Damn you, Hearmusic, why are you so good?

What I have been reading: Design Anarchy (it is a dangerous book, Buy It), Che Guevara- Una Vida Revolucionaria, Feminist Literature, The Guerrilla Girls Bedside Companion to Western Art. My brain is broiling- in a good way.

What I’ve been buying: My only shopping in Kuwait consisted of pens, pens, pens. I received a bounty of gifts, so that anything I could have wanted to buy, was given to me. And for this I will be forever grateful. But my contribution to the Kuwaiti economy can be seen below:

Pens such as these can be found in regular, small office/school supplies stores in Kuwait. In Italy they would be called 'Cartolerie'.

So I gave myself a belated Christmas present by buying a much-needed 1.5 TeraBytes External Memory (It’s a thing of Beauty), and shopped at NaraCamicie, an Italian brand known for the best shirt design in the world. I was so delighted to find it in San Francisco. I visited their Firenze store three years ago, and have been pining for Nara since then. Apparently there are only two U.S stores and when I saw the San Francisco one, I promised myself a visit for a special occasion.

What I have been watching: Art:21, a series of PBS (Public Television) documentaries on contemporary American artists, mostly alternative, independent ones.

What I have been pondering (on Photography):

Joe Nicholson, the First Year coordinator at my school, a veteran academic, who brings a Yale-borne rigour to our class and an incredible dose of warmth, fun and passion for art and architecture (and who I consider my mentor) shared with us this anecdote:

When I was a young man and new to San Diego, I stumbled upon a photographer’s studio. ‘Oh, so you take pictures’ I said to the Photographer. And the Photographer answered: ‘I don’t “take” pictures. I make pictures.’

Joe Nicholson



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lemons

Watercolor and Graphite. November 12, 2009

persimmon1

Persimmon- very quick pastel rendering. November 12, 2009.



Got out my pastels today after a long, long time.

I have a wonderful book on pastels bought when I used to have a studio, but no time to do art:/ Time to dig it up, experiment, and get messy.

I have been on a ‘fruit’ roll lately, and  here is a  poem on vegetables.  I have been toying with the idea of making this blog into an (almost) daily offering of art, accompanied by a poem or quote  (art and poetry being ‘my thing’, as they say), along with the occasional writing and random posts. What do you think? Is consistency inherently good, and does a ‘theme’ make a blog stronger? The poems would be the ‘dream’ part of SketchBloom. Are poems dreams? Oh My, I am starting to sound like the Log Lady form Twin Peaks!

Anyways, few months ago ‘Writers’ Almanac’ , on NPR , featured a poem titled ‘ Vegetable Love’.

I ran into ‘ Vegetable Love in Texas‘, which contains some lines resonating with my current state of mind.

So here is for serendipity.

Vegetable Love in Texas
by Carol Coffee Reposa
Texas Poetry Calendar: 2008


Farmers say
There are two things
Money can’t buy:
Love and homegrown tomatoes.

I pick them carefully.
They glow in my hands, shimmer
Beneath their patina of warm dust
Like talismen.

Perhaps they are.
Summer here is a crucible
That melts us down
Each day,

The sky a sheet of metal
Baking cars, houses, streets.

Out in the country
Water-starved maize

Shrivels into artifacts.
A desiccated cache
Of shredded life.
Farmers study archeology

In limp straw hats.
But still I have
This feeble harvest,
Serendipity in red:

Red like a favorite dress,
Warm like a dance,
Lush like a kiss long desired,
Firm like a vow, the hope of rain.

 

 

 


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Pencil and watercolor on paper. November 2009

 


Persimmon Pattern

Original pencil and watercolor, Photoshop manipulation.

I have been involved in few art and architecture related events lately , among them a wonderful sunday visit to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles- of which more next.  Meanwhile, Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos came and went, and the persimmon tree in the yard has been heavy with wonderful, golden fruit.

It took me three days (one for each persimmon) to complete the first work, as I wanted to paint during daylight, and only had about a forty minutes each day to dedicate to my craft. So here they are, my small persimmons.  I wanted to do a study in pastel, but that will have to come some other day…as I actually ate the model:)

The pattern. I guess I have been inspired by the pumpkin colors all around, the fall, and , perhaps, domestic life?

This I feel could make a sketchbook cover, or a great tea towel. Now if only Crate and Barrel or Williams Sonoma would call…




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