31.7.11

Murl Barthold

Today Will and I went on a walk that took us through a beautiful park, to the locally famous Ben's Chili Bowl (delicious), and ended at an antique store that was going out of business. When Will and I lived in Portland we were fortunate to find a photo of an anthropomorphic dog climbing a fence and a print of a terribly painted white cat floating over an oddly dimensioned rug, both of which I loved for their strange and earnest characteristics. When moving away from Portland I had no room for the floating cat, and it was left behind. I had since been on the look out for another beautifully strange cat to hang in my (non existent yet) New York apartment.

Today was my lucky day.

Vampire Cat Licking Paw (my title, there was none on the original work of art)
By Murl Barthold, Graphite on Paper, Date: 1900

I can't find any information about the artist Murl Barthold. This work was made 3 years after Bram Stoker's novel Dracula was published. I like to imagine that this Victorian artist was influenced by the growing vampire trend when creating this fanged cat.

I also found an old butterfly: Euphaedra eberti Africa.

Happiness.




28.7.11

Bits and Pieces, Here and There...

Will and I have been having a busy time running around DC looking at art from various museums and galleries. Yesterday we explored the Hirshhorn, while today we walked through the Freer. I also insisted on checking out the Smithsonian Castle and the Air and Space museum. DC is full of amazing things to see for free.

The fabric in this unfinished Whistler piece is lovely.



I enjoy how abstract the design on this vase becomes. Also by Whistler.



I found some beautiful gold space foil.


Today was a visual success. I am almost finished with my painting book, a post about that once I'm through. Hopefully, more things to see tomorrow.

21.7.11

Cooper and Heilmann.

So far this Summer I've learned that Sex and the City and Twin Peaks have one amazing thing in common.

Kyle MacLachlan.

Similar to detective special agent Cooper, my trip to California has been filled with mysterious events and even more mysterious imaginings of art and painting.

Lately I've been captivated by Mary Heilmann, a painter whose 1999 excerpt from 'Looking at Pictures' found it's way into my painting book. She describes the mystery of looking and deciphering, "This is the front. That's behind. No, that's the front and this is the background. That's an edge. No it's a line. That's a space. No, it's a thing. Round and round, and over and over." There is just so much to consider when looking.



Also in 1999 she had an interesting interview with Ross Bleckner about painting. "RB Do you always get feelings from paintings?MH Well, if I’m passing one and I happen to get a rush from it, then I spend some time with it. I try to figure out how it works. It helps me with my work."

How and what specifically reminds us of something we understand? I'm interested in the smallest of clues, and how they create the largest meanings. Cooper's murder mystery is full of these small symbols that lead the way to a grand finale where evil is a long haired man named Bob looming in the visions of various people, including himself.



I'll be deciphering the mystery of her painting, while collecting the clues from my trip here, curious about which ones will make it to my work.

Now, I'm off to Washington D.C.