werkshop

works in progress

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Pictures from the Old Studio

This is the old family sculpture studio (dating back to the mid-19th century) in Steinheim, Germany, where I found my vocation to be an artist ...
When I was first there, at the age of six, the studio was already very run down and largely abandoned, but the courtyard - which may be centuries old - was not overgrown as it seems to be now.  The place may look abandoned -- what with the grass in the courtyard and all -- but it's not, as this picture shows...
The roofs in this picture look like they are  new and in good shape, and for decades that was a big worry.  The nearest roof always covered a second story open-air shed where, as I was told, wood was kept for sculptures.  When I was at the studio at age 6, and later at  15, it was decrepit, the most worrisome part of the whole complex, but now it looks to be in good shape.

I think there are five buildings in the complex as a whole, which was - as I recall from family conversation - originally an inn on the road just outside Steinheim (now at the center of Steinheim) in the 1500s.   These pictures show  what fascinated me as a child and fueled my determination to be an artist - the semi-abandoned air and the masses of huddled, dusty old sculptures...

As I recall, from when I was six, and from later memories of my visit to the place when I was 15, the old, semi-abandoned parts of the studio were even more crowded with old sculptures (or rather, plaster models) then.  Many have probably been lost in various ways over the years.     The studio complex was a world unto itself, a world where I felt more at home than I had ever felt before (or since) in my life.

This was, without a doubt, my true home.
My grandfather, Opa,  seemed to understand this, though no one else did.

This shows where I used to sit and make little clay sculptures, when I was six...
You can almost see me hunched over a workbench in the back by a window!

Thank God my aunt, Tante Klara, has been working hard to restore the home and studio complex as a kind of house/studio museum.  There is so much to be done and she is very brave to undertake it all.
Not only is the 19th century studio itself historic, but the house and the complex in general are even older (1500s or earlier?) and played an important role (as an inn) in Steinheim's history (at least as I recall from family conversation)...

The age of some of the buildings in the complex seems evident from the structures themselves ...




Got to love the stone stairs that look like they have been ground down by many footsteps over many years...




I can't help but wonder if this is part of the old city wall, or something like that?




 I believe that all  photos used here are by Ernst Ludwig of Bad Nauheim, Germany.

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This is my current workspace, in Bloomington, Indiana, at the Farmer House Museum ...



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mandala

This kind of moroccan style of decoration ...
has been part of the inspiration for this painting that I have been working on...


Another inspiration has been dreamcatchers, not so much as a native American phenomenon and more in its appropriated form, admittedly...

I keep working on the interlacings of the central form, trying to find a multitude of ways that simple line forms can  interact in a way that feels right to me.  I suppose I'd like something like this feeling, but in rectilinear form...
Been revamping my painting a little bit...

I'm trying to get the lines to find the right relationship and the right color atmosphere. The mandala form is more organic and earthy, but also a bit darker.  Much more work needs to be done on the central area...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Picasso Revisited

This is another painting loosely inspired by Picasso ...

Working on this, I had in mind early Picasso cubism ...
... where, in a way, I have tried to separate the linear elements from the cuboid space shapes, hoping that the the feeling of the relationship between line and space would be similar.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A friend drew my attention to this artist ...
Pieter Coecke Van Aelst  is one of those northern painters of the later sixteenth century who couldn't quite decide whether to be Northern Gothic or Italian Renaissance. I can relate to that!  This tension between Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance could also be thought of as a tension between expressionism and classicism.  I'm very drawn to Coecke's work, now that I know about it, and this painting by him of Descent from the Cross makes me think of the centerpiece from my last show...
I've been calling my  painting Human Touch, and it's gone through some reworking since coming back to the studio.   Studying Pieter Coeke Van Aelst should help.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

thinking about Picasso

This painting ...
... was inspired in part by this Picasso painting...
I suppose the connection is not that obvious to anyone other than me, beyond subject matter in a general way (intertwined figures and something to do with music), and some linear aspects and something to do with the breakdown of aspects of the scene into polygonic shapes.  For me, somehow, there is a satisfying feeling of kinship between the two paintings.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

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