THE ART OF HUMILITY: THE PORTRAIT OF DORIAN GRAY BY OSCAR WILDE

Disclaimer: this is a post with a political opinion that is my own. Please do not continue if you agree with President Trump’s recent comments on Charlottesville. I accept everyone’s right to their beliefs.

My blog is an artist blog and after the events of Charlottesville last weekend I saw the President in an Oscar Wilde novel called “The Portrait of Dorian Gray”. It’s a classic story of a corrupt narcissistic young man who barters a deal with the devil to remain youthful and handsome forever. It’s a story of “it’s better to look good than feel good “. Dorian Gray has no humility. A wealthy society man who cares only about himself he commissions a portrait of himself. He fantasizes about how great it would be if he could remain youthful while the painting would age as each year passes.

I recommend the 1945 film with George Sanders and Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Gray.

Dorian and Trump are no different and I am watching the President deteriorate as each day passes. Dorian becomes more self centered and corrupt. He is engaged to a society woman but she is too proper to deflower before marriage. He engages a lower class show girl to satisfy his sexual needs lying about his intention to marry her. When she becomes pregnant he murders her. His portrait meanwhile gets more grotesque as he becomes more evil. He hides the painting in the attic to avoid seeing the truth of who he is.

I see this happening to Trump. The murder of Heather Heyer is the blood on his hands because he has dog whistled the neo nazis, the white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan to become bolder. And how narcissistic of Trump to not acknowledge her death. To not go to Charlottesville to speak to her parents. He said more good things about the extremists and not one word about Heather. SHAME ON YOU NARCISSISTIC TRUMP. YOUR PORTRAIT IS SHOWING YOUR SINS.

INSPIRING ART IN RIVERDALE

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My mission to engage people in creativity is finally happening! My painting classes at the Riverdale Senior Center have now begun their 3rd session!! This post is to show the incredible art from people who never painted before.

And a new student who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s has joined. Robert is a professional artist who studied at the Art Students League. He has a studio upstate New York. However, since his mental decline he has not done art for a long time. I told him the first day that he is still an artist and he can create just like Monet when his eyesight went bad.

My painting classes are not about skill. I do not teach technique. There is a very spiritual connection to art and one student, Margery, has exceptional talent.

So here’s to Riverdale’s emerging artists. And please do not refer to them as seniors dabbling in art. Their work is fearless and vibrant. Totally alive and ageless!

The following are by Robert who has Alzheimer’s:


STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO 

MEET PHOTOGRAPHER SAM HORINE

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As an artist in today’s art world I make sure I get out and learn what other artists are doing to be successful with their art.  I posted the lecture I attended at the National Arts Club on how artists are using Instagram to promote their work. 

I took a seat in the front row as I always do and that put me within a foot of the handsome face of Sam Horine, one of the guest speakers   Sam radiated a sense of true authenticity and confidence without ego   I’m good at picking up “artistic ego driven” vibes   A couple of them sat next to me.  You know the kind.   They think they’re the most talented artists around.  They are usually seniors belonging to prestigious art clubs and have been going to art school forever.  They desperately want to be famous and sell their art.  Behind me sat a prominent (that’s how he was introduced) sculptor who has been known in the art world.  I tried to engage in a conversation but was dismissed.  They always look down their noses when they dismiss you right!

STOP…back to the real topic of this post…Sam.  Why I want to put him on my blog is that he is an example of an artist who creates because it is his soul.  And he is an artist who is open to all people.  He is adjunct professor at NYU teaching photography.  He is a successful freelance photographer working with major companies.  Best of all he is SAM and his work is expressive of the integrity I felt being across the table from him.

The artist savage next to me questioned him with “are you selling on Instagram ?”  He graciously replied that he doesn’t use Instagram as a tool to sell.  He said it was more important to use it to show his work to a large audience.  That being said the senior artist savage grumbled and I know she won’t be using Instagram.

Here’s to Sam Horine.  An artist in the true sense of the word.

His website: http://www.samhorine.com  knock out photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NATIONAL ART CLUB BREAKING TRADITION-A TALK ON ARTISTS USING INSTAGRAM 

  
 I attended a talk about artists using Instagram to promote their work.   The National Art Club is an old traditional art organization.  I got married there in the 1980’s!  I have not kept up with the art they show in many years so I still think they are traditional. 

However, as I searched the Internet I found that they have been evolving.  I must tell on myself.  I’ve never been part of their art scene because I think I’m not good enough for them.  But I won’t let that thinking stop me from seeing what’s going on. 

So here’s what’s going on. 

A panel of 3 artists using Instagram.   

TANIA DEBONO Typography Artist and her website is called TheWriting. 


 
KENNETH SCHLENKER  Art Dealer and creator of an upscale art selling website called ArtList. 

  

SAM HORINE Photographer and Educator NYC

  

WHAT I LEARNED … it’s another venue for showing your artwork.  A bigger venue right now. 

ANOTHER THING I LEARNED … never sit next to artist savages.  Especially the elderly artists who are desperate to sell their work.  You feel the self seeking oozing from their pores.  

And Tania DeBono nipped that in the bud. She said trying to sell on social media is not going to work.  People are turned off by selling artists.  

I found that I am promoting my voice and story as an artist.  Be authentic and the money comes. 

SOME DAYS IT’S HARDER TO GET OUT OF THE CAVE 

THE CAVE … warm and dark … no people to drive you crazy … no expectations to meet!

  
I used to love the cave.  But the cave was a hide out from life.  Today I redecorated my cave.  I call it the castle of creativity. It’s not dark.  Large trees outside my window are active with squirrels running up and down for entertainment. My easel next to the window with canvas ready to paint.  Solitude is not hiding anymore. Solitude is art. 

  

ON A LIGHTER NOTE 

My last post about “real art” makes me understand how the lack of art experience in the lives of so many people is creating a world of mediocrity and taste based on branding.  You see it all the time in fashion.  People spend big money for labels. A young woman today will spend her whole paycheck on a Louis Vuitton bag.  Designers don’t create beautiful clothing anymore.  Plain fashion with their logo or name overpowering the clothing so the wearer makes sure you know she spent a lot of money on this.  People are so invested in names they have no sense of self.   And they are giving the designer free advertising. 

People want other people to think they their lives are important and they want to be like the celebrities they admire in magazines.  Meanwhile credit card debt increases and society becomes a victim of consumerism.  People chase things.  They use people and love things. 

I still think art and creativity is the antidote to the consumerism mentality today.   I feel like an opera singer at a rock concert.  I’m singing an aria and the electric guitars are drowning out the message.   

WILL SOMEONE HEAR ME?   CAN ARTISTS CHANGE THE WORLD?

  

   
   
   
 


“REAL ART”

A friend wanted to know what art museums were good to go to in the city. She wanted to take a a out of town friend who loves art to a museum but she had no idea what art is about or where to take her. Of course she rattled off MOMA, the MET, and the Whitney.  Some big names. I thought it would be interesting to have them over for tea and a chat on art and her friend could see my process as a professional artist.  

SILENCE … followed by “She wants to see “real art”. 

It’s a good thing I have a tough skin in these situations. However, this is not an isolated feeling from one person.  The majority of people think living artists who are not making a fortune in the art market are not “real artists “.   This is a very sad state of affairs today.  And my friend actually purchased postcards of my art to use to write to people because she loved the painting.  

ART DOESN’T HAVE TO BE IN A MUSEUM OR BE HANGING ON THE WALLS OF WEALTHY INVESTMENT BANKERS.  ARTISTS DON’T HAVE TO BE STRANGE AND MYSTERIOUS LIKE BANKSY.  BUT PEOPLE WANT TO SEE FAMOUS ART BECAUSE THEY NEED TO BE TOLD WHAT GOOD ART IS. 

It’s not about taste or getting a feeling of the artwork, it’s the need to be told what is good art.  If it’s in a museum it must be good.  I have seen a lot of awful art in museums.  I personally don’t like MOMA.  I’m not into installation art.   I never understand what the artist vision is in those long art speak descriptions they post.  WHAT ARE THEY SAYING??  SPEAK TO ME IN WORDS THAT DON’T REQUIRE ME TO BRING A DICTIONARY TO THE MUSEUM!!

ARGHH!!!!

   

    
    
 

“WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE ” – OR “WOW I LOVE MONSTERS “

This post should have been done on Halloween but I didn’t think of it till I saw these photos. 

The curator of art shows at the Chelsea Room in the Chelsea Hotel likes my painterly style even though he promotes edgy art in his shows.  When I was still eager to do shows for one day only he asked me to put in a favorite painting for a show at the Chelsea Room.  The last time I was there I was the only woman artist and the “oldest ” one too!  

Well it was a big bash of all kinds of art.  I chose my favorite still life to show. 

  
I started to span the room looking at the art around me. An empty space was next to me and then a young woman with an entourage of young men carrying large canvases moved into the empty space. It was like a cloud of smoke spiraling with loud laughter and chaos and then it went still. The young woman sat down under her 2 large canvases like a queen entertaining all her young male attendants. And then the smoke cleared and her paintings were revealed.   The Frankenstein green monster and his fiancé appeared in all their glory!!  And a commotion of screeching voices of young women yelling ” we love monsters”!!!  For the rest of the night these paintings were a hit???

  
I COULDN’T BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE LOVED THESE PAINTINGS.  My painting was passed over and I felt it looked old fashioned and didn’t fit in with this circus.   After this show I vowed to not do these pop up art shows that cater to young artists who want to be different.  It was the end of taking any show and moving into being selective. 

   

 

SEEING ART AROUND YOU: NYC SUBWAY TRANSFORMS INTO A LIBRARY DESTINATION “THE BRONX “

  
The No. 1 train screeched to a halt and the doors opened. I watched as 20 third graders ran into the car scrambling for seats with loud excited voices. There goes my peaceful ride I thought.  Kids are squeezed into me wiggling around how can I deal with this chaos!!

Then an amazing thing occurred. They were silent!!  I looked around and each one was fixated on a book reading.  I took in this scene of tranquility on a train speeding to the Bronx.  My mind took in each young face and the beauty of their love of reading.  My artist eye said this is a life painting that should be shared.  

WE LOVE THE KIDS OF THE BRONX!!  THEY ARE OUR FUTURE.  LIFE IS A PAINTING!

   

   

1970’s TRYING TO MAKE IT AS A FASHION ILLUSTRATOR- THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY 

  

  
When I was growing up I wanted to be a fashion designer.  I loved drawing fashion illustrations as a kid and fantasizing about all the clothes I would love to have.  In 1966 I was accepted into the High School of Art & Design in NYC.  I majored in fashion illustration because sewing and making patterns was not a strong point. I did really well and my drawing skills earned me a National Schoolastic art award in 1967. 

However, in order to pursue this career one needed skills in advertising layout and mechanicals. Newspapers and printing were not computerized and knowledge of how illustrations were printed was important.  This was my demise. My ADHD and learning disabilities made it impossible for me.  So I decided to try pursuing positions as a designer sketch artist. 

1970’s garment center was not an easy place to work.   

 
I was a scared 18 year old.  I didn’t know how to work. I took the first job offered to me sketching for a designer in a well known fashion company.  She was paranoid about her designs being stolen so she locked me up all day alone in a room waiting for her to ask me to sketch a design.   The boredom and isolation as well as her impending paranoia became unbearable. I quit that. 

The next job was with a discount dress firm. I was hired to sketch their designs on figures to present to buyers before the samples were made.  I did a number of sketches one day to be shown to a buyer coming in that night.  The next day I came in and found all the sketches I did with their heads cut off.  I was so upset. The owner came and told me my heads were ugly and the only way he could show the designs to the buyer was to cut the heads off.  Needless to say I walked out of that job vowing to never work in the garment center again. 

  

 
The above sketch is not mine but the ones following are my work from the 1970’s.