Project 2 at Lehman College painting class…Landscape. My favorite theme. Using a photo I took of the lake at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx I wanted to create a stylized painting on a panel. I used a sponge brush only. More muted colors than I usually use. Acrylic on panel board 18″x24″.
Then I painted a companion piece focusing in on a detail of the photo. Acrylic on stretched canvas 11″x14″.
I found that I achieved a more painterly effect with canvas than on board. Such fun painting at Lehman College. What’s next??
Lately I’ve been cognitively challenged in respect to painting. I am turning 67 in August so I am wondering if my mind is more confused now. However, artists should always be welcoming the ups and downs in their creative process if they want to be good.
I decided to challenge my challenge by enrolling in a painting class at Lehman College in the Bronx. Now I’m out of my comfort zone and doing a reset as a beginner. My theory is when I’m stuck revert back to being a beginner. Now every Thursday morning I take the crowded BX10 bus and show up at 9:30 am even when my mind says “I don’t wanna”. Even when there isn’t an inspirational thought in my head. I get to the studio and work on a painting project that is dictated by the professor. This gets me out of doing it my way. Humility. Now I stare at a blank canvas with a blank mind. God what can I paint??? I have to paint my first self portrait. Ugh. Just do it Jean. Whatever comes out comes out. So here is my first self portrait in acrylic.
I have been blessed to live in a very special area of the Bronx. It’s two years of an amazing community that grows around me every day. I lost my home in 2014 and lost my job. I was broke with no idea how I would find an apartment in NYC. But here I am living in a fairy land Riverdale. An artist dream on the Hudson River.
I am exploring Riverdale history. I found a pond called Indian Pond on Indian Road. Filled with large turtles. The history of this pond is in the 19th century it actually was an Indian Settlement granted to them by the government. The Indian group used to perform shows on the pond for the people who had homes there. A big crowd would attend and watch as Hiawatha was performed. Other acting groups would perform shows as well. The Indian Settlement was moved further up North in the early 20th century. No surprise there.
Here’s Indian Pond today.
August 12th I had carpel tunnel surgery on my right hand. It’s my dominant hand. So I took the time to relax and heal. However, it eventually took me down the mental rabbit hole. I ended up depressed, lonely and blocked creatively. It was like my mind was empty. A dust bin.
I couldn’t think and forget posting on my blog.
Weeks were passing and now I have feelings of failure. I want to write a blog post but I feel stupid. It’s been forever. I’m a terrible blogger with an artist block!!!!
And then I realized that my blog is about coming back from an artist block. Isn’t life always about the comebacks.
The artist comeback can be a Phoenix rising. A new path, a different story. And actually I have a new theme I started in my paintings. I have added figures to my landscapes. The figures are faceless children ( they are me or you) and they are escaping into landscapes. This is the first of a group that I will be working on.
Wave Hill has a Sunroom Project Space where guest artists display their work. I met artist Amie Cunat peeking through her exhibition “HIDEOUT “. Her work is created with cardboard and paper mache.
I love this colorful hanging and I think it would be an extraordinary room divider in my apartment.
And Amie’s special guest at the opening was dressed to match the art.
The Hudson River is alive with art. I attended the opening reception of The Glyndor Gallery show Nature Pops.
“A half-century after the emergence of Pop art as a revolutionary response to new norms of consumerism, Nature Pops!, Wave Hill’s summer 2016 exhibition, brings together work by artists who calibrate this movement in contemporary terms. Continuing to re-evaluate popular culture, particularly the increasing mediation of our experience by technology, artists question whether we can still have an authentic experience―even in the natural world. Interpreting nature and the environment through a populist lens, Nature Pops! includes recent work that is especially relevant in an age of digital overload and environmental crisis. Presenting the show at Wave Hill, a stunning garden and cultural center located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, adds particular depth and dimension to the discussion.
Nature Pops! affirms the fascination that the aesthetics of pop culture—the culture of everyday—still has for artists, but offers nuanced perspectives, sometimes subversive, sometimes playful. Cartoons and comics were accessible media that Pop artists elevated to fine-art status in the 1960s and ’70s. ”
There is a tremendous amount of talent in the Bronx and the Hudson Valley. If you have not been to Wave Hill you are missing a world of nature and art. It is a hidden gem in the Bronx. My friend, Jamie Passevento, a fellow artist friend and I attended the opening of the above exhibition. It was exciting and colorful. It was a fun show expressing nature in the form of the Pop Art movement. Here’s the art and artists who participated in the show.
EMILIO PEREZ – his unique prints inspired by outer space.
KIRA NAM GREENE – amazing paintings in watercolor, gouache, and colored pencils. Kira weaves incredible patterns with food in Pop Art tradition ala Warhol.
AMY PRYOR – Amy uses collage, sculpture and painting to explore commerce and culture.
JOANNE CARSON – extremely colorful paintings of flora and landscapes.
GABRIEL DE GUZMAN – Curator