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Monday, March 28, 2011

Round 2 / Second Round or Half - 1st Semester MFA Program and still Painting...ding..ding..ding..

Hello and what a month! I can barely believe that we are about to start April! I love April - my 3rd anniversary is on the 5th, which makes me really happy that it is arriving at rocket speed.  


I will apologize in advance - this is such a long post.  Just been really busy!!! Living my dream.  Excited and still borrowing full speed ahead.  

Shout-OUT:  I am truly enjoying my new studio space and really grateful to my husband for making this happen for me.  UPDATES: He just hung me up extra lights, put in some ac, ran some blinds and bought me a new day bed.  (i WILL SHOW YOU IN MY NEXT POST)   

******Side NOTE:  Should you only want to see my art work progressions please just scroll down to SECTION 8 -”My WORK”

Overview of Blog posting with Start with my:
1) Inspirational visit
2) Clip of Writing #3 - March Critical Theory paper - The Spirit of Art
3) New techniques and explorations
4) DVD’s watched with Information
5) Books read and recommendations
6) New artist
7)  Kuba & Direct impact on my work
8) my work!
9) MID - term REVIEW

Section 1 - Inspirational visit:
For starters I went to Cy Twombly Gallery which provided endless inspiration.  Here is some info about the gallery:    
Cy Twombly Gallery
1501 Branard
Houston, texas
11 a.m.–7 p.m. Wednesday–Sunday
713-525-9400

A little information:
Cy Twombly brought a distinctive approach to painting and sculpture that evaded precise affiliation with the predominant movements of the twentieth century, including Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and Minimalism. Inspired by ancient Mediterranean history and geography, Greek and Roman mythology, and epic poetry, Twombly created—sometimes on a grand scale, in multiple-panel works—a sometimes-inscrutable world of iconography, metaphor, and myth. The breadth of Twombly’s imagination and his interdisciplinary approach to subjects traverse vast distances, resulting in works that are at once baroque and spare, modern and ancient.

Commissioned by Dominique de Menil and opened in 1995, the Cy Twombly Gallery is architect Renzo Piano’s second U.S. commission (the first being the main building of the Menil Collection). Based on an initial sketch by Twombly himself, the building features an exterior of pre-cast, scored concrete (the façade is meant to resemble stone blocks). Turned demurely away from the street, the entrance faces a great live oak tree on the east lawn. Like the main building across the street, the Cy Twombly Gallery possesses a sophisticated roofing system of filtered glass and steel louvers. Described by Piano as “a butterfly alighting on a firm surface,” a grid of white steel seems to float over the entire building. Throughout the 9300 square-foot interior, canvas sailcloth ceilings further modulate the Texas sun, with light playing softly on the galleries’ plaster walls and white-oak floors.



I also went to my friend Damion smiths’s exhibit.  Great stuff!

labotanica presents
Painting as Performance


Friday, March 25
6-8pm

labotanica
2316 Elgin, 77004

Painting as Performance is a group exhibition that frames non-traditional approaches to painting. Featuring artworks by Melanie Jamison, Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud, Erin Joyce, Rebecca Novak, and Damon Smith, artists use the trajectory of painting as a starting point and embed and extend the medium with performative, sculptural, and sonic elements. The process of making these works often involves a performative aspect. The artworks jump off of the two-dimensional plane to demand more from the artist/ audience, challenging a typical static experience often experienced in painting and in this way become performative.

Melanie Jamison graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design. During her years in New York, she became involved with the MELA Foundation Dream House, where she became a vocal raga student of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. Melanie continues to practice extended vocal techniques in the Houston girl band of rotating fruit names and rotating members. She participates in the multimedia, seemingly multidimensional prank project “Incoming Call” with Aisen Caro Chacin and Al Eckstue. Melanie has collaborated with Ayanna McCloud on exploring sound textures of the physical and visual realms. Her tactile aesthetics are carried over into recently formed noise band VRS with Mary Sharpe and Erika Thrasher. Melanie works in the warehouse district of Houston where industrial influences are prevalent in her work.

Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud is an artist and writer. Her arts practice which manifests itself in different forms draws attention to the unseen, imagined and forgotten. Born in Houston, Texas, she received a BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has participated in exhibitions and residencies throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. She is founder of labotanica and is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Project Row Houses.

Erin Joyce is a painter, sculptor, performer, curator and Houston native. She has exhibited in local venues such as labotanica, DiverseWorks, Lawndale Art Center, New Gallery, and Café Brazil. In all her mediums, she creates intimate experiences in which viewers and subjects (and the artist) encounter hidden or suppressed emotions. To add to her self-taught drawing skills and personal sensibility she received a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. Erin has also lived, worked, and exhibited in Providence, RI, St. Petersburg, Russia, New York City, and Santa Fe,NM.

Rebecca Novak is a sculptor and visual artist who began creative endeavors as a musician, and maintains an interest in cross-disciplinary practices. Her work explores natural phenomenon, ecology, and society’s tenuous relationship to nature, often addressing environment in a broader sense. Ongoing projects include contributing to the greenHouse collective, an artist-based gardening and permaculture project at Project Row Houses; co-curating the film series Science on Screen with 14 Pews micro cinema; and an upcoming debut of her composition Siren Song for the reflection pool at Rothko Chapel for the band currently known as Durian Durian. Rebecca has attended artist residencies at Project Row Houses (2009) and labotanica (School of Latitudes #1, 2010). Her work has been shown at Lawndale Art Center, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Project Row Houses, labotanica, Houston Community College, and the Houston Foundry.

Damon Smith's art practice includes sound, painting, video, graphic and traditional scores, photography, sculpture and drawing. His work had been shown Galleries in the San Francisco bay area, MassMOCA, Vienna, Munich and Denton, TX. An ongoing collaboration with artist Daniel Healey is an important project. He studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and Bertram Turezky. He has worked with dance, theater and film including soundtracks for Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man" & "Encounters at the end of the World" and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham dance company. He has collaborated with a wide range of musicians including Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra´s Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. He has toured Europe, Israel and North America and worked often in the San Francisco Bay Area Creative Music Community before relocating to Houston in 2010.

labotanica is a project space in Houston, Texas. key words: reciprocity, exploration, freedom, magical thinking, open-ended, flexibility, de-center, soulfulness. labotanica is part of Project Row Houses Residency and Incubation program.www.labotanica.org




Section 2:
Also, I wrote my paper on the Spirit of Art - Which I really enjoyed.  Here is a clip from the ending of my paper:
Art’s form is material, yet deals with inner reality.  It is embodiment, a process that enlarges and expands our awareness.  My new found inspiration and the basis for this paper is the awareness that God does not only speak through his appointed ministers - that he may be at work everywhere in the world, even in art pieces.  So long for the visually naive days in the Renaissance where it was only possible for Michelangelo to represent God as a bearded man, and welcome to the days where we are presently cluttered with images, and only abstract art can bring us in the threshold of the divine!  

The object of art is not to reflect the visible but to make visible.  
Paul Klee

Section 3 - New Techniques and Adventures:
I have been working with mono-types/mono-prints which my mentor urged me to do which has really built on my work.  Very happy with my progress here.  
I also have been building some major texture with caulking stuff from Home Depo - I will point it out in the pictures bellow.
Section 4 - DVD's watched with reviews:
1)  Who Gets to Call It Art? DVD
John Chamberlain, et al
As the curator of contemporary art at New York's Metropolitan Museum in the nineteen-sixties, the drolly rambunctious Henry Geldzahler was a key player in the city's exuberant modern-art scene. Andy Warhol's confidant, David Hockney's longtime friend, and a habitué of countless studios, openings, bars, and happenings, Geldzahler (who died in 1994) organized a legendary 1970 exhibit of four hundred works from the previous thirty years of New York art, and time has borne out the power of his exacting taste. Peter Rosen's engaging documentary about the late connoisseur is over-edited to a music-video rush, but evocative archival footage and trenchant interviews with artists arouse nostalgia for the converging postwar currents that made New York the capital of artistic originality, for the cheap housing that afforded artists the time to achieve it, and for a bygone age of lower image saturation, when the romantic craft of painting was a crucial source of news from the outer and inner world.

2)  Painters Painting
New York Art Scene, et al
The Abstract Expressionists have been cannonized and mythologized to such an extent by popular culture, that the reality of the most important American Art Movement is difficult to experience from the recent books and treatises on the subject. Painters Painting, itself an important art work by film-maker Emile de Antonio, propels us back into that existentialist time in such a complete and satisfying way, that we finish feeling like we just had dinner ourselves with all the suspects of the time at the Cedar Tavern . We discover even the notorious critic Hilton Kramer has a face. From deKooning to Warhol, the musings of the artists include Frankenthaler, Hoffman, Motherwell, Barnett Newman (my personal favorite in this film: "I believe that art theory is to me as an artist what ornithology must be for the birds"), Johns, Rauschenberg, Noland, Olitsky, Pavia, Poons, and Frank Stella. Interviews include the controversial Clement Greenberg at his best. As you can tell from the artist list, the film begins with Abstract Expressionism, winds its way through Hard-Edge and Color Field painting, before it finishes with the Grande Dame of the New York Art Scene of the 60's, Andy Warhol. This is a documentary not to be missed.

3)  Robert Motherwell & the New York School: Storming the Citadel
Clement Greenberg, et al
This program, made shortly before Robert Motherwell's death in 1991, is an exploration of the Abstract Expressionist movement and a portrait of one of its last survivors. Having come to New York in the early 1940s, Motherwell found himself on the battleground of American art. He and a group of painters set out to change the face of American painting. The film charts this epic battle led by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell, who endeavored to make American painting equal to painting elsewhere and, in the process, shifted the center of modern art from Paris to New York.
The film contains archive footage and photographs of the artists, of Greenwich Village where they lived, of the events which influenced their lives - World War II, the WPA, the Spanish Civil War. Also included are interviews with art critic Clement Greenberg, art historian William Rubin, sculptor and founder of The Eight Street Club, Philip Pavia, Surrealist Robert Matta, artist Larry Rivers, art historian and curator Henry Geldzahler, gallery owner Sidney Janis, and art historian Jack Flam.
Interwoven throughout the documentary is film of Motherwell painting in his Greenwich studio, creating a collage in Provincetown and preparing for a major retrospective of his work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

BEST YET!!!!!!!!!!!! Natasha told me to get this, and even though it was too much money, IT WAS REALLY AWESOME!  Highly recommended and thank you MOM AND DAD for the educational treat.  

4)  The Shock of the New - 4 DVD Set
I saw this documentary and it totally changed my way of looking at art, architecture and eventually even music which it really didn't even address in the film. When you spend the time with the fabulous Robert Hughes who is so impassioned with what he is talking about and describes it in such easily understood terms, you come away with not just an appreciation but a way of seeing. Years later after seeing this documentary I was in Barcelona and stumbled into the Picasso museum with my five year old kid and it all came back to me everything that Hughes had said about Picasso and modern art in general. The two of us had a wonderful time exploring Picasso and a few years later we got to see a Goya exhibit and could make the transition of fascination and joy of art to older works as well. His explanation of the significance of the Eiffel Tower made our journey up to the top just that more thrilling. This documentary for me was a springboard to great things and a way of looking at life. All I can say is thank you Robert Hughes! I think if you are lucky enough to see this film you will say the same thing.

Section 5 - Books:
1)  Consciousness of artistic form : a comparison of the visual, gestalt art formations of children, adolescents, and layman adults with historical art, folk art, and aboriginal art / by Henry Schaefer-Simmern ; editor, Gertrude Schaefer-Simmern ; assistant to the editor, Roy E. Abrahamson ; historical drawings by Sylvia Fein.

2)  Vision and art : the biology of seeing / Margaret Livingstone ; foreword by David Hubel.

3)  Art beyond sight : a resource guide to art, creativity, and visual impairment / edited by Elisabeth Salzhauer Axel and Nina Sobol Levent.

4)  Seeing/perception : looking at the world through an artist's eye / Ann O'Hanlon ; with photographs by Ann & Dick O'Hanlon.

5)  Catching the big fish : meditation, consciousness, and creativity / David Lynch.

6)  Hand-painted pop : American art in transition, 1955-62 / exhibition organized by Donna De Salvo and Paul Schimmel ; edited by Russell Ferguson ; with essays by David Deitcher ... [et al.].

7)  Abstract expressionism : a critical record / [edited by] David Shapiro and Cecile Shapiro.

8)  The painting of modern life : 1960s to now / [exhibition curated by Ralph Rugoff ; exhibition organised by Caroline Hancock ; assisted by Siobhan McCracken].

MY Favorites and Recommended:
9)  Looking both ways : art of the contemporary African diaspora / edited by Laurie Ann Farrell ; with contributions by Valentijn Byvanck, Allan deSouza ... [et al.]

10)  Contemporary African art since 1980 / Owkui Enwezor, Chika Okeke-Agulu.

11)  Fixing the world : Jewish American painters in the twentieth century / Ori Z. Soltes.

12)  American expressionism : art and social change, 1920-1950 / Bram Dijkstra.

13)  Art : the twentieth century / Flaminio Gualdoni.

14)  The invention of painting in America / David Rosand. 

Section 6 - New Artists:
Mark Bradford:
http://www.pinocchioisonfire.org/#/about/background
He studied at the California Institute of the Arts, located at Valencia, California, U.S., earning an MFA in 1997 and a BFA in 1995. [1] He is known for grid-like abstract paintings combining collage with paints.

Mark Bradford’s abstractions unite high art and popular culture as unorthodox tableaux of unequivocal beauty. Working in both paint and collage, Bradford incorporates elements from his daily life into his canvases: remnants of found posters and billboards, graffitied stencils and logos, and hairdresser’s permanent endpapers he’s collected from his other profession as a stylist. In The Devil is Beating His Wife, Bradford consolidates all these materials into a pixelised eruption of cultural cross-referencing. Built up on plywood in sensuous layers ranging from silky and skin-like to oily and singed, Bra



Thomas Nowskowski
I am struck by the slow process of his painting technique, which is as much composed of removal as addition of paint. That the layers and removals of paint are in fact traces of personal moments in time. There are no premeditated sketches, but all work is produced directly onto the surface (linen stretched over board). He said that he likes to be able to insert his personal experiences in the paintings, for instance if someone dies or gets born. The paintings almost act as diaries. He finishes ten, twenty paintings a year but start about thirty. He has about three hundred unfinished paintings in his possession that are awaiting completion. I find the fact that he allows time into the painting process comforting and also the fact that it is ok to put a canvas to the side and let it sort of wait for the right moment. Regarding the completion of the canvas, he says “I know when a painting is finished when I understand why I wanted to do it in the first place. When it becomes clear, there is this energized space, there is this color, there is something interesting to me.”
I am also struck by the variety in the expression of the line and colors of his paintings. It seems like no painting resembles another; however, all paintings are the same size 16”X20”. He says that he pays a lot of attention to the scale and the size of the canvas.  By paintings small he has the physical ability to explore much more than on a large surface and the expression remains very intimate. Regarding his process, he says “Everything I do comes from something in the real world, not limited to objects or places but pretty much anything. And I try to come up with difficult sources for images. Could I paint this right now, you and I here talking? The space between us, the light behind you? I might start drawing one of these real objects and try to go with it. See if I can get something that works.” In a video, he shows the site of an old waste site and starts talking about the objects found on the ground and in nature. He says that he uses interesting shapes and colors found in the real world, paints them on the canvas and then evaluates if it works. When, it does not work, he removes the shape or color. He leaves the physical marks of the actual removal visible in the paintings. I find it interesting that he achieves the variety of line and composition because he is using his surroundings as sort of reference. The paintings have some sort of deep mysterious underlying meaning that is highly personal. That it is through this intensively personal and intuitive process that he achieves an expression that deeply touches the viewer's abstraction








Jonathan Lasker
(born 1948) is an American artist.
Lasker was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City as well as California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Lasker lives and works in New York City, New York.
Lasker has been awarded National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant in 1987 and again in 1989. In 1989 he was also awarded the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Grant.
The painting repeated the composition of the study, but not precisely, as it is a freehand rendition of the study only. The gap between the image which one is recreating and the image which one arrives at is an interesting study in perception and intuition. Surprisingly one is very much “in the moment” of creation when attempting to replicate an image, an attempt which is almost designed to fail in order to arrive at a picture, which in spite of its precedents, is unique. -Jonathan Lasker with an urban flair that’s explosively contemporary.


Arturro Herrera
http://www.pbs.org/art21/slideshow/?artist=86
Arturo Herrera was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1959, and lives and works in New York and Berlin, Germany. He received a BA from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Herrera’s work includes collage, work on paper, sculpture, relief, wall painting, photography, and felt wall hangings. His work taps into the viewer’s unconscious, often intertwining fragments of cartoon characters with abstract shapes and partially obscured images that evoke memory and recollection. Using techniques of fragmentation, splicing, and re-contextualization, Herrera’s work is provocative and open-ended. For his collages he uses found images from cartoons, coloring books, and fairy tales, combining fragments of Disney-like characters with violent and sexual imagery to make work that borders between figuration and abstraction and subverts the innocence of cartoon referents with a darker psychology. In his felt works, he cuts shapes from a piece of fabric and pins the fabric to the wall so that it hangs like a tangled form resembling the drips and splatters of a Jackson Pollock painting. Herrera’s wall paintings also meld recognizable imagery with abstraction, but on an environmental scale that he compares to the qualities of dance and music. Herrera has received many awards including, among others, a DAAD Fellowship. He has had solo exhibitions at Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; Dia Center for the Arts, New York; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, among others. His work appeared in the Whitney Biennial (2002).




Section 7:
Direct Impact on my work:
Kuba Textiles and Design
An engaging introduction to one of the most unusual and fascinating of all African art forms.
The textiles of the Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of Congo are decorated not with human or animal figures, but with astonishing abstract designs: chevrons, squares, lozenges, crosses and spirals, in repeating patterns that shift and interlace. Although the Kuba people have been producing textiles for four hundred years, there is something strikingly modern about their traditional designs.
In Kuba Textiles and Design, authors Elizabeth Bennett and Niangi Batulukisi use gorgeous color photographs and accessible text to explain the history of Kuba textiles, the laborious process required to create them and the complex symbolism of their designs. Including chapters on every major type of Kuba textile, this book is an excellent entry point for casual readers as well as collectors hoping to learn more about the pieces they treasure.

Section 8:
My Work:
I start with two commissioned works (not really where I am going with my work, but since it is painting I figured I would include them).  
I will label my pictures exploring my steps of progression.  These pictures are sequenced in the order they were painted and developed.  
Without further ado...

Commissioned work - particular person specified what they wanted and sent me a picture of there home. I post this so that you can see my exploration with texture in the middle.  This is still a work in progress.
 Commissioned work #2 - particular person requested 1 apple and again, I was able to add lots of texture and make it more than just an apple.  Again a far cry from where I am going ... but still painting - so I posted.

 More of my veiling process, it is really hard to get the full impact of this picture without seeing it up close.  I played with texture again in the center.
 here is the up close view.  Still hard to really see the texture.
 This is another veiling process I did and named this piece Confessions.  This series is in reference to the veil Du Bois describes is said to force black people to have a double life... of the constant struggle and trials that Africans in America must endure .... should you want to read more http://books.google.com/books?id=RcBkDlJ7qjwC&pg=PA437&lpg=PA437&dq=The+veil+Du+Bois+describes+is+said+to+force+black+people+to+have+a+double+...+of+the+constant+struggle+and+trials+that+Africans+in+America+must+endure&source=bl&ots=ymd2fXcfgR&sig=Un2zHrnXnnR-BuY6V-6wLC_aN1c&hl=en&ei=EraQTY34NM7ngQfcq_2YDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=The%20veil%20Du%20Bois%20describes%20is%20said%20to%20force%20black%20people%20to%20have%20a%20double%20...%20of%20the%20constant%20struggle%20and%20trials%20that%20Africans%20in%20America%20must%20endure&f=false

http://www.scribd.com/doc/24547602/DISCOVERING-INCONSPICUOUS-EXPLOITATION-APPLYING-THE-THEORIES-OF-W-E-B-DuBOIS-TO-AMERICAN-SPORTS-SOCIOLOGY
 Here is the first piece I showed from a distance and another one I will begin - the background before I start to build a veil on top of the praying princess. WIP...
 another view.
 Here is another veil peace with actual WORDS woven into the "On my knees" - if you look closely you can see the WORDS faith, hope and love.  Again, this looks way more impact-ful in person.
WIP Another background/backdrop I have started...I have included words of scripture in all the red areas.  This piece is called Haiti, Japan -Libya.  Intend on working a dynamic and intricate veil over her.  Truly a work in progress.

 This is a painting you have seen before that I came back and added writing and more developed my marks.
 Similarly, I have added more development to this piece. Building more unity.
 On of my favorite pieces yet, I feel I am beginning to master staining and mark making to produce a powerful output.
 Another piece I further developed...
 More stain dying. Fun times!  This is really inspired by Frankenthal, notice my leaving square spaces and turning to circular more round and flowing spaces.
 Really exploring and falling into my pieces..
 these are never ending ....

Exploration of impacting through space...






 Starting to explore how edges will build interest and hold you in.
 Another of my favorites, notice how I treat the edges or sides as well as the front of canvas..

 This is one of 15 different mono-prints...that I developed and it surely inspired the next piece.
 This has influence from mono-print, kuba language now sitting below my infinity pool and I am still pushing the impact of using the sides of the canvas.  I loved the results here.
 Here I am taking direct influences from Kuba and adding this to work that I previously painted for more sophisticated language exhibit...

 Another view of a painting previously posted - this is to show you how I am using the sides of the canvas..
 Sides...
 I am now exploring my veil technique, dying, infinity pool and kuba influences...
 of course...here is your side view....
 Again, pulling all my influences together - BOOM.
MY ABSOLUTE favorite! I think here I have effectively displaying and impacting language unified and interacting with color, symmetry and interest.

Truly hope you enjoyed my hard works output.  Much, much more to come! 

9) MID - term REVIEW:
 I figured I would also post my mid-term review from Natasha Bowdoin so that I am really tracking everything.

Artist Mentor: Mid-Term Report
Spring 2011
Student: Tanya Langford
Mentor: Natasha Bowdoin

Tanya has shown a great level of productivity and progress over these past few months. I have met with Tanya for four - five studio visits for 2-3 hours at a time thus far. With each visit I see substantial visual progress as well as great progress in researching the artists I bring up during visits as well as researching images to accumulate a pool of individualized source material specific to her artistic practice. I see the evidence of this progress not only during our meetings but also as on her blog which serves as a record of all the research she is currently conducting to fuel and influence her work. On this blog, Tanya not only posts her own work in progress, but other artists’ work and artistic movements which I have encouraged her to further investigate.

With each meeting it is clear to me that Tanya has invested a great amount of time in the studio. She has also spent the necessary time in organizing a studio space where she can solely focus on making work. The establishment of a designated studio space I believe has greatly enabled Tanya to really focus on the work through the elimination of outside distractions. With each meeting there are multiple new paintings to discuss, as well as older paintings having been pushed to a more refined stage. I encourage Tanya to work on many paintings at once so that she can constantly have something to work on should she need to leave a particular painting alone for a bit. Tanya has fully embraced this way of working and therefore always has many things to show and discuss with each studio visit.

In addition to working hard in the studio, Tanya has put in a considerable amount of time in researching and investigating how her work fits into a larger art historical context. Each visit we discuss contemporary as well as art historical artists whose work her practice seems to relate to. It is obvious that Tanya puts in a lot of time outside of our visits researching art historical movements as well as these individual artists. She originally expressed a lot of interest in Mark Rothko and how her work might engage and share some of the themes his work embodied. Under my encouragement, as well as through Tanya's own initiative, she has expanded to look at a larger variety of artists, including many contemporary painters to help develop her own individual vision. For example she has recently begun researching, Kupa cloth patterns, a form of African textile design that references written characters, in an effort to investigate how text might take form in the paintings. I think this textual element, along with other ideas, is starting to really make the paintings feel individual and less indebted to the artists that have been of influence.


As far as goals to be accomplished over the semester I believe Tanya is also progressing well. As her mentor I felt that the beginning of this semester should really be about paint experimentation. Since Tanya is primarily working in an abstract manner, it was important to really explore process, the various ways paint can be laid down on the canvas and how these many different processes carry meaning. So I asked her to really experiment, across a wide variety of surfaces and with a diversity of different materials, to get a better handle on how to move paint around and how this contributes to content. Tanya has embraced this investigation, experimenting in her studio as well as taking outside workshops that deal with specific materials originally unfamiliar to her. I encourage her to continue to experiment, but to now take those smaller experiments and begin a larger, more focused body of work to present for critique this summer. I am envisioning 8-10 large, well developed paintings that grow out of this process of experimentation in the studio. I think Tanya will have no problem achieving this as long as she keeps up the focus and the hard-working attitude she has exhibited thus far.

I have no doubt that Tanya puts in at least 20 hours of work a week. Her blog is evidence of this as well as the amount of work we have to look at with each studio meeting. I think the rigor with which Tanya conducts her research in and outside the studio most definitely indicates to me that she is working on a graduate level. I do think that Tanya had to play a bit of catch up in that she didn't have as much knowledge of art history and critical theory as perhaps a student entering into a graduate program should have. But Tanya has shown to me that she is driven to make up for that inadequacy by taking the time to educate herself through lectures, books, and studio visits, while at the same time not letting this take away too much from her studio work time. I think Tanya's paintings have benefited greatly from this research and continue to progress at a fast pace.  

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