Monday, November 10, 2014
While I am still in my researching stage of my next series of paintings, I ran across this artist and I was blown away. I found his information in one of my news feeds and I was amazed!!!
His name is Joseba Eskubi. A Spanish artist who works and lives in Bilbao, Spain. Born 1967. The paintings are mixed media by using oil paint, acrylic paint, plasticine, and photography. I researched what "Plasticine Art" was because I have never heard of that art work/style before. Basically, plasticine is modeling clay used for sculpture. It's a non-drying clay, it hardens when fired. So, the clay can be used for models and can be easily manipulated into shape.
Look at his work!!! It's so moving! the objects are not clear-could be a house, a barn, a stock of some wheat or hay, or some long wavy weeds blowing in the wind. Eskubi 's paintings are both abstract and surrealist I think. It is noted that he is a surrealist painter because of the metamorphoses of his objects seems to develop into these familiar shapes that the viewer might relate to. I agree to that. I love it!!! It reminds me of the series of paintings I did on abandoned houses but my paintings gave way too much detail in the brush stroke. I like his use of the color palette, the brush strokes that are deep and strong, making the painting move in expression of color. Love it! Love it! It's obvious that his objects seem to be organic in appearance, like as old rotten foods, melting in the scenery that they are placed in. The objects are always placed in a open vast background. Eventhough, viewing other paintings of Eskubi I found he does figurative paintings also. The person is not visible, but you know it's a person by its figures although the rest of the body might be melting away. Looks like a murder scene.
Eskubi might be a surrealist painter but to me these paintings show so much expression by the use of brush and color. Each painting gives off this feeling just by the movement of the lines and the color he uses. For Example, the one shown first on this blog. It gives off a high feeling, good feeling of growing upwards, up-lifting or easiness. What do you think? I feel it! Now, look at the one painting just above this paragraph...it shows heaviness, death, sadness, etc. You see it? Do you feel it?
I have always been fascinated in paintings that give off the expression of feeling when viewing it. I guess that's why I consider myself an expressionist painter. My next series of paintings are just ideas at this point, but I am so interested in surrealists painters and abstract painters. My concept of the series is such a serious one and it's hard to paint that into expression on a canvas. I am not telling what my concept is yet for it might change by the time I start creating the paintings, we will see.
I have attached two of Joseba Eskubi paintings, so you can tell me what you feel or what you think about them? He is pretty cool, isn't he???
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Goya Artist Copy Painted By Lucy Inserra 2014
Hello everyone, it’s been awhile. After some setbacks in my personal life, I have finally started thinking and researching on my next series. I will keep you in suspense until I become closer to creating the series. I really enjoy the process that I go through when creating new piece of work. I have been looking at art work from surrealists, expressionists, and Gothic paintings recently. I want to combine all three into one painting or paintings.
The feeling or expression I want from the paintings is a little dark, eerie place of uncertain, and of a warning. The first painter that came to mind is Francisco Goya (1746-1828). Goya was a bit of a mad man they say or he was afraid of insanity. I am interested in his “Black Paintings” he created on the walls of his studio. Goya is known for these series of paintings that he created in the years of 1819-1823 known as the black paintings for they are intense and haunting in style with eerie figures within the darkness of the paintings. I found these paintings captivating because of the expression they give off from viewing these paintings with the simple brush strokes of Goya. Well, not simple brush strokes but the expression use of the brush-the contour lines along with muted color palette. For Example, “Saturn Devouring His Son” (1819-23) was the artist copy I painted to get the feel of the paint brush style and I must say the feeling I received from the image was over powering- a evil presence. I heard from one of my college classes or even read it somewhere that this painting actually had the figure showing an erection but was blacked out due to deterioration of the painting. That would have made it even more evil, don’t you think?
The story behind the “Black Paintings” is interesting and really, it’s a look into the mind of an artist that was full of fear, lose, and depression. Francisco Goya was a Spanish Romantic Painter that was influenced by Manet, Picasso (of course) and Francis Bacon. Goya did portraits for Charles the III of Spain and Crown Prince Don Luis; later in 1789 he became Court Painter for Charles IV of Spain. Although, Goya was a success with kings and queens of Spain doing their portraits, his isolation fell upon him when he contracted a serious illness that caused him to go deaf in 1793. Goya became withdrawn and he would isolate himself due to the madness of becoming deaf. Goya soon went through hard times, by 1808 France had invaded Spain and he felt the world around him changing. Goya created the famous painting “Third of May 1808” of a depiction of Spain surrendering to France after a bloody battle. Then in 1812, his wife died, Goya became even more emotionally and mentally broken. During the times of 1812 to 1819, Goya continued with his portraits but he still liked the idea of isolation. In 1819, he bought a country house outside of Madrid that was previously owned by a deaf man. The house was known to be the “House of the Deaf Man” not because of Goya becoming deaf. This is where the Black paintings were created on the walls of this house. Now, these paintings were NOT for public viewing, they were his personal creations of a mind of a mad man. I heard that he used a certain turpenoid that caused him to go mad because of the fumes in a closed off room. Goya created 14 paintings within the house; on the walls of the dining room and sittings rooms. The paintings reflect his fear of insanity and the outlook of humanity-cruel and evil. After surviving two illnesses (in which is not stated what they were), he was facing his own mortality as a human being. I read somewhere, that those paintings were later removed on the concrete that they were painted on and are displayed and preserved in museum in Spain.
The meaning behind the paintings:
Saturn devouring his son: A Greek myth of Titan Cronus aka: Saturn who feared that he would be overthrown from one of his children, so he would eat each one upon birth. Goya was giving off the expression of humans that would turn into cannibalism due to war, famine, or even madness. My personal input, the painting itself expresses the fear of death in a cruel way, for one the infant has the body form as a adult human, and Saturn has the look of a mad man. The cruel death of being eaten alive or dying within oneself, death of madness. The tight grip Saturn has represents there’s no escape in death’s grip. The darkness that surrounds the image of Saturn, lurking from one side of the painting, creeping into the light of his madness while his eating his son, starting with his head first. Madness I say madness.
Saturn Devouring His Son, c. 1819–1823. Oil mural transferred to canvas, 143cm x 81cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid.
Witches’ Sabbath (1821-1823): This painting is depicting witches gathered for some kind of ritual where all the witches are squeezed together for comfort. The witches’ faces are disfigured, ugly, and scared. There is a black goat figure on the left, draped with a dark cloth representing the devil or some kind of evil justice. To the right, there is a person draped in white clothes, and a look of surprised or unbelief. To the very far right, sits a woman draped in black although, she is sitting in a profile position, she gives off the expression of doubt or undecided for her arms are folded across her chest inserted in a hand warmer cloth. When viewing this painting, I immediately felt some kind of trail was going on; the innocent being prosecuted by something evil.
After some reading, Goya was depicting the witch trials in the 15th century where the witches were prosecuted for causing mass starvation, failing crops, and freezing weather. Including, spells, magic, and the rising of crimes. Curious, I started thinking why Goya would pick such imagery with the use of dual palette of colors, the size of the painting, and expression of brush stroke. The brush work is simple yet, strong with the thick lines and not so detailed figures as you would see on the popular portraits of significant history lessons. Goya must have been trying to express himself on these painting on how he viewed the world; judgmental, quick to die, dark, isolation, or maybe that he was looked at as different too, crazy, and a loner. Either way, he was a great painter. Crazy or not.
Witches' Sabbath, 1821–1823. 140cm × 438 cm, (55 × 170 inches), Museo del Prado, Madrid.
Two Old People Eating Soup: This Goya Painting is for you to tell me what you think when viewing this painting? What is the significance with the couple in the painting? Is there a story in it? What is the story about? What do you think Goya was thinking? Try to step into the darkness with Goya during his painting sessions in his deaf house in Madrid. Now, don’t go crazy but take a look through the eyes of a mad man who just simply feared death. At one point or another, we too will face our death….how do handle that?
additional paintings mentioned in blog.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Sorry, I haven't written a new blog in awhile; with Christmas, losing my pet cat Kit Kat, and now owning a little puppy. I must say it's been a challenging couple months. I have been thinking about a new series of paintings that are not quite so foo foo (Girlie like). I am thinking using expression with a little classical/realistic painting style. Right now, I am in the research and sketching part, nothing has reached the canvas. I am not going to say what the series is yet, for I don't know how it's going to be for the first attempt. This will be my 3rd attempt in a series of paintings. What I mean in "series" is the subject matter is the same throughout the paintings. First instance, my abandoned buildings series (12) and my senior show with the masks (10). I like doing series for it gives a bigger meaning on all paintings when they are grouped together. Personally, I like my ability to see my growth as the paintings develop one by one. I sometimes go back and add another painting to the series, with the abandoned houses I added two paintings. But, I will now always stop on my 10th painting for the value of the painting are better when there is a limit of them. Series run in 10 paintings or whatever count I decide. This coming up series is only going to be 7, no more and no less. I also like trying out different styles with my series of paintings. My abandoned houses were still expression in color and adding life back into those buildings that are left abandoned. My senior show was all about expression-visually and colorfully. I will continue to develop my own style of painting through these series and maybe someday it will hit me on how I should paint. However, I can tell you it's not about the outcome, it's all about the journey. I will soon write a blog for I am researching more right now. Thanks everyone! Lucy
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz September 25, 1903 – February 25, 1970)
I recently saw an exhibit on Mark Rothko at the Arkansas Art Center the other day. One of the many privileges of volunteering at a local art center for which, I really enjoy. I have been volunteering at the AAC since 2008 to keep in the loop of local artists and for the great exhibits at the museum and also, hoping to work in a Museum someday.
There are a lot of paintings to talk about by Rothko, but I am only going to mention the ones I saw on my visit to the Museum this past week at AAC. First, a little history about the artist background, Mark Rothko was born in a city in Russia named Latvia. He was a Latvia Jewish descent. His family immigrated to the United States of America in 1913 through Ellis Island. His name changed when he got older due to him being afraid that the USA would send him back to Russia to be executed for being a Jew. His name changed to Mark Rothko at that point. Rothko was a very well educated man that went to Yale, but didn’t receive his diploma or acknowledgement from Yale until after he was a successful painter. Rothko did attend the Art Students League of New York in 1923, and his mentors were Arshile Gorky, Max Weber, and Milton Avery. Rothko was influenced by German Expressionism (Awesome!-me too!) and this is when he would create a mixture of Surrealism, Cubism, and Abstraction in his paintings. Rothko throughout his life had dealt with depression and trying times when eventually he killed himself in his studio in 1970 in New York City.
Painting: “Sea Fantasy” 1946. (See Attachment) Rothko was into dreams, Greek mythology, and at the time Sigmund Freud was the in thing- the unconscious mind. This painting looks very similar to Arshile Gorky or Salvador Deli with the floating weird shapes of what seems to be body parts against a dull in color, open back drop. When viewing this piece I felt torn apart, yet the pieces are connected by the straight lines that seem to float between the pieces. It reminds me of war or starvation of some sort. But, as you view this painting you do see in the background the placement of two, maybe three blocks or rectangles of raw sienna or orca yellow on top. In the middle, it’s a lighter color, rectangle of raw sienna, etc. and then the bottom half is a dull gray color. Do you see it? I didn’t recognize it either until I heard someone talking about it in the museum and sure enough; it’s in almost all of his earlier work in the 1940’s. The back ground was layered in a transparent color in rectangles while the images were laid on top of it. His images were of the unconscious mind, a spiritual turmoil of Jesus crucifixion to Greek mythology.
Painting: “No.9” 1948. Color palette is astounding with reds, oranges, pinks, whites, and then blues. This painting is a good example of his well known color field painting techniques on canvas. Now, you see that the image is not even recognizable; the images have become forms in space. Yes, abstract art at its best. However, Rothko did not like being called an Abstract Expressionist as in Jackson Pollock, or even concerned himself a Surrealist painter. Rothko wanted to be recognized as an American Artist and that’s it! However, he continually and tirelessly wanted his paintings to show emotions or feelings from the painting itself. Rothko wanted the painting to speak for itself. Sounds like Jackson Pollock, don’t you think? As I viewed this painting, I got the feeling that I was in a crowd and that the colors of reds were warnings ahead, yet I felt at ease because of the forms in front of me where there to protect me from harm. I am sure everyone that views this painting will feel the same or different depending what they feel and see. I must say I was attracted to the different colors of red.
Paintings: “No. 8 and No. 18” 1949. These two paintings are rectangle in shapes and the paint is very transparent or almost scrapped off. I enjoyed No. 8 more than No. 18 because of the colors in No. 8. I heard that you have to view his paintings 18 inches away from them and be engulfed in the feeling of the painting. In which, it is easy to do because of the paintings are huge in size. Therefore, I did just that on No. 8. While viewing the painting, I felt warmth, passion, and with the yellow/white on top of painting I felt that it was escape from this passion or a brighter side of this passion I was feeling. The white lines that appear on the left, kind of confused me for it made me feel isolated yet, the break in the lines made it feel the overflowing of passion with the bright orange/red color that takes up most of the painting. No. 18 painting was a little more different, not so vibrant of color. No.18 was more soothing on the eyes with its dark green, dark purple and black/blue rectangle that takes up most of the painting. Underneath these rectangles is a dull yellow color/s for the back ground. The rectangle shapes are then topped off with a bright orange/red color line. Well, this one was hard at first, but I felt earth colors, or like lying on your belly on a patch of grass and looking up at the black void of a sky. It was for sure, an earthly feeling. Can you imagine that the bright sun (the yellow color) as the background and the rectangles are blocking your view to see what’s behind the blocks or within them?
Maybe Rothko was right in saying, “Less is more”. He wanted his paintings to be a universal language that everyone could relate to or be a part of. The forms within the paintings became large voids of color, sometimes stacked on top of each other but, the color combinations immediately gave off feelings. Even the way the oil paint was smeared or wiped off or even deluded to make the painting feel ancient or worn down.
Well, what do you think? What do you feel? Besides his paintings looking like something you can do yourself, do you see what he was trying to do as a painter? Why yes, as a painter, I know the feeling of having a painting to speak for itself. It seems the paintings make more sense after knowing the artists back ground first. We should view paintings before knowing the artist or even better just knowing the style of painting from that particular artist.
Exercise: Stare at one these paintings (mentioned above) for about 15 minutes and see if you feel anything? Try first things that jump into to your mind while your eyes focus and travel on certain parts of the painting and what does that shape or color make you feel? or Does it just make you feel….RED?
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I have always enjoyed the art history books as any artist does and while in college there was no way around it. Now, out of college and creating our own art work, we artists use those art books more for inspirations or references. However, I remember toward the end of my senior year I was starting to burn out and even caught myself burning out earlier this year. A time, where nothing was working, no thoughts, no ideas, no strength, no ambition, lots of anxiety, etc. I don’t know about you, but it’s my drug, it’s my escape, keeps me leveled, and creative/thinking.
Well, I have found two books that are my life line to keep going with my art. To be encouraged to not give up and to be ok on down times. First book was advised from a college friend (Leslie) when discussing being burned out our senior year. A must read I tell you! The name of book is “Art and Fear” by David Bayles and Ted Orland. This is a book about two artists, who are the authors, which share their insights of becoming an artist that is fearless. Also, this book is really good on expressing yourself through your art work and to have that unique style. One thing that is for sure is that I am still a growing painter, learning every time I paint to make that one style that says, “That’s a Lucy Inserra painting”. I speak through paintings or I try to with certain brushstrokes and color. As like, any artist that would love to be recognized for their talent and skills. For example, when looking at a Van Gogh or a Picasso, you know the difference between their paintings without even knowing them for their famous names in the art world. That’s exactly what I strive for and of course, that dream that I will someday have a one-man show in New York City. It’s a long shot but, it could happen. This book is all about finding your own way in your work. This book is only 118 pages long, paper book, and small in size. I say that because it was like a bible my last weeks of college in 2011. It got me through it and even got me through it again the beginning of this year. Let me write a part here: “ARTMAKING INVOLVES SKILLS THAT CAN BE LEARNED. The conventional wisdom here is that while bestowed only by the gods. Not so. In large measure becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive.” (Page 3). Can I say, AMEN!!! As a teacher now for beginner painters, my paintings that I teach and create are very diverse in style (in acrylics) and at the same time, I am constantly creating my own paintings (in oil paints) to find my own style in my studio. I do like that I can go back and forth in many paintings techniques, but I still thrive for my own art work, my signature style. Oh! One day it will come.
As artists, we are emotional and intuitive creatures I must say. For we, are aware of our own surroundings and our minds are constantly thinking and creating in our heads. After awhile, we become burnt out in our minds and causing depression when we are not creating. For some of us, it’s a life line or even survival if getting paid for your art work. Even when, we have an idea and we sketch it out and it’s all good for awhile and then your art work is not becoming what you envisioned it and then depression sets in that you feel not good enough to create what you thought would work. Artists are their own worst critic and we take things so personally. Feeling like a failure is a common place. This book is great to read when you have become depressed during your art work and gives pointers to view at it a different way, a normal way. The name of book is “The Van Gogh Blues” by Eric Maisel, PH.D. Quote: “In order for you to live an authentic, meaningful life, which is the principal remedy for the depression creative people experience, you must feel that 1)the plan of your life is meaningful, 2) the work you do is meaningful, and 3) the way your spend time is meaningful. These are three separate but related tasks, each with its logic, demands, and obstacles.” (Page 51). Good Stuff!!! I read this book after college and have read it several times during my depression times of creating.
Thank you for reading, Hopes this helps some artists out there!!!
Maisel, Eric Ph.D The Van Goghs Blues. United States of America: Rodale, Inc., 2002.
Bayles, David and Ted Orland. Art and Fear. United States of America: McNaughton & Gunn, Printers, 1993.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
|Janine Antoni "Lick and Lather"|
As we are coming into the 21st century, it will be interesting what art work will change to. I am guessing it will be computerized and more visual than anything we have ever seen. But, let’s take a look at some weird modern art work that was created in the 20th century. Modern art that we are going to discuss is from 1860’s to 1970’s and even in the 1990’s or in 2000’s. As a Studio Art major, I am interested in all art not only painting. Painting is my passion and my art medium of choice. However, I do get my influences from other art works and inspirations from these weird and sometimes awesome pieces of art work during the 20th century.
Modern art is sometimes strange indeed. Have you ever looked at a piece of art and said, what is that? What does it mean? What is the artist trying to say? Or saying, Gee, I could do that myself? Of course, we have said those things. As a viewer by just asking those questions the artist has done their job as an artist. Modern art is more about the art work speaking for its self than the artist. The artist is recognized for their artwork after the artwork has won the show.
I will give two examples of art work that I always looked at saying, what the hell is that?! In college, there were many examples but I will only give a few because I want to focus more on the great modern art out there that just blew me away, or made me think. But, first with the weird modern art works or what I thought was weird art.
First example, a painting by Rene Magritte called, “This is not a pipe” 1928-9. That saying is written on the painting itself, might be written in French. He was a Belgian surrealist artist. Weird, right? Of course, it’s a pipe that we see or is it? Can you explain to someone that this is a pipe? Is it a real pipe or just a painting of a pipe? These were the mind twisting questions I had to answer in art history class. The answer is easy, it made us question that painting and there it is! art!!! I still can’t wrap my mind around it. I just don’t get it! This type at art work influenced pop art like the artist Andy Warhol later on. (See Image Below).
Second example, Dada art or readymade art work. I could never understand this type of art work. A good example is the urinal by Marcel Duchamp called “Fountain” 1917. Let me explain readymade artwork, the art work is not art until an artist names it art. Readymade art are already made objects used as art and that an artist can say this is artwork. Yes, you read that right. This is a good example, this is a ordinary urinal that men use for the rest room and Marcel Duchamp wrote on side R.Mutt 1917 and he entered this piece into a art exhibit in New York that evidently caused controversies on accepted art work or what is considered art work or not by the Society of Independent Artists. The piece was hidden from view although it was accepted as art work. This upset Duchamp. This type of artwork is ridiculous!!! Now, Marcel Duchamp was a great artist, a painter and a sculpture where he used readymade objects to create these abstract 3-D Forms in open space. But, this artwork, a urinal? This is a good example of an artist taking something familiar to us and calling it art. Yes, I could see the meaning or the sense of humor in it but to call it art…I just don’t know. So, if I take this red chair and called it “Sit” and bam!! Its art work. That simple.
Other Artists that have created other questionable art work. Recognize any of them? Artists: Jasper Johns, Yoko Uno, John Cage, Donald Judd, David Smith.etc.
Whoo! Whee! Now we are finished with the weird modern art work, let me give some wild ones that really intrigued me or just inspired me. I know there is many, I will only give a few examples and they are also interesting stories of the artists. First one, Alexander Calder, a sculpture that showed so much fun, humor and movement in his art work. Yes, movement in sculpture in a literal sense. Calder made miniature circuses all made from rolls of wire and all the pieces were functional. Calder would do head portraits of his quests at parties out of wire and gave them to his guests as gifts. Calder was not always into wire or kinetic sculpture; he also worked in steel as like the monumental weird spider looking sculptures you would see in down town New York City. Calder also created these moving abstract objects that hung from the ceiling or on the ground and the wind would control their movement. Just Astounding!!! I don’t know why but I like him and his artwork. Calder’s artworks have movement of course, but it has humor and creepy all at the same time. My favorite story about Calder (Because I always have those weird stories of artists due to those many nights of researching art while in college and the wonderful professors I have had).Calder had a one man show in New York City (My Dream or what my goal is to have). The curator of the show was waiting patiently for his main attraction Alexander Calder to show. So, imagine how shocked the curator was when Calder showed up with no art work to display for the show that was going to be exhibited within weeks. When the curator asked him, “Where is your art work?” Calder calmly reached into his pocket and pulled out a roll of wire and some clippers and says, “Here it is”. Right there, Calder became to create his exhibit by hand on location. Is that not amazing!!!??? I thought so. It came so easy for him and at ease, just a little wire and an imagination. Just plain talent!!!
Ok, this one is strange but I like that the viewer has the counteraction with the art piece itself and also the personal touch of the artist as well. Janine Antoni, a sculpture as well, she created 14 busts of herself in a classical style but, instead of using marble, she used soap and chocolate. Yup!!! She choice soap because women are clean and smell sweet and nice, and chocolate because that’s the favorite choice of sweets among women. Therefore, she made 7 busts of soap and 7 out of chocolate. Here’s the weird part…she would bath with the heads to smooth out the appearances on the soap busts, disfiguring them. The 7 other chocolate busts are licked on to disfigure them. Yes, it’s true! The exhibit was called, “Lick and Lather”. She explains a lot on it in the link I have attached under bibliography. Basically, it’s a self image issue and also it’s erotic because chocolate is suppose to be a replacement of sex or gives that same feeling when we are in love. Her exhibit shows humor also in it along with some feminism attributes. Interesting read. Oh! Also, the exhibit itself was made for the viewers to add water to the soap and caress it and the chocolate pieces were to be licked by the visitors. Weird but Cool!!!
One more, this one is more serious in matter and when I first saw it in college on film, I felt bad for her and also began to cry or feel emotional viewing it. Yoko Ono’s performance piece of, “Cut Piece” 1965. Ono walked out onto a concert stage in Japan, wearing a black suit and a pair of scissors next to her. The audience was to walk onto the stage one by one and grab the scissors and cut any piece of clothing off the suit and to keep or whatever. Performance art work is always filmed or photographed to document the piece of art work because is not a 3-d object, etc. It’s a performance, like the popular flash mobs that happen in our today’s culture. So the performance can easily be found on YouTube. (Check it out). Anyway, the people would slowly go up to the stage and cut a piece off her suit. Ono would not make eye contact, nor say a word. Some people would say something to her but you couldn’t hear what is said. The more and more pieces are cut from her and start revealing her body underneath the suit, she begins to kind of start crying or becoming emotional. The viewer starts to feel the emotions also. This performance can mean so many things and yet the message is strong, uncomfortable and unnecessary all at the same time. I think it’s different to everyone that views it or who had been involved in the cutting of the piece/suit. I know I felt violated for her, felt like each piece was her soul being taken away from her. I also felt discrimination, embarrassed or the feeling of why. Yes, it’s strange to view something like this, but it has so much meaning behind the actual performance and the art theology in it. The performance piece is still one of my favorites.
To name a few other interesting modern artist with some unique art work and I might mention them again in the future; Richard Long, Christo and Jeanne-Claude*-very good one, Andy Goldsworthy, Jeff Koons*-oh! He is great too!!! Just to name a few.