Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Advisor & New Semester -

Hello world.  

Feeling very excited about my progress in these weeks since I have been back.  I have set VERY high goals and I am going after it with all my will.  

1)  I finally have Laurel Sparks, I am so excited to have her as my advisor, I really respect her work and I am humbled, grateful and excited to share my fourth residency with her!  

2) I start my class tomorrow at the Women's Institute.  
It is Wednesday afternoons 1:00-3:00 - for 12 weeks I am very thrilled about this class.  

In this course we will trace the developments in modern art that emerged in America during and after World War II. Emphasis will be placed on the evolution of Abstract Expressionism in New York, which shifted the center of modernism from Paris. Radical artists such as Gorky, de Kooning, Pollock, Rothko, Newman, and Motherwell will be examined, as will the concurrent strands of geometric abstraction, the continuity of figurative painting exemplified by the works of Hopper and Wyeth, and the early works of Rauschenberg and Johns that laid the foundation for Pop Art.

3) SAN FRAN HERE I COME! I have my flight, hotel and location - to meet with the prolific Mark Bradford!  

I hope he will accept my proposal for him to be my mentor, I will have to wait till I see him to find out.  
I will be flying out of Texas and landing in San Fran and going to his private opening February 15 @ SFMOMA 
http://www.sfmoma.org/  I have also been invited to an opening party that weekend, so lets hope that he would like to be my mentor....if not at least I will have gotten to meet him and write a review on his work.  

4) I am going to a Lisa Qualls opening Thursday, I will write more once I have actually seen it. 
African Art, African Stories
February 2 - March 15, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 2, 6-8pm

An exhibition of African tribal art including works from Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Tanzania, Angola, Guinea, Cameroon and Nigeria, "African Art, African Stories," provides an introduction to various traditional art forms and materials. Many works date to the early 20th century, some earlier, with stories at times remarkable and unexpected, referencing the use of art within the society that created it. In addition to a variety of works created throughout the African continent, the exhibit explores perceptions of tribal-styled art made for export and foreign markets. Issues of value and authenticity are important contemporary considerations for many collectors and museums.
The exhibit includes a large Yoruba Beaded Altar Cloth and a Baule Mouse Oracle from the Ivory Coast. The Mouse Oracle is a wood vessel with two chambers, one for a mouse and one for straw. With the lid closed the mouse would feed on and rearrange the straw to be later "read" by a diviner in the Baule community to help resolve social issues.
This exhibit features works from the collections of Matt Scheiner and Lisa Qualls, and is funded by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.
Image: Primordial Couple, Wood, Encrustation, Dogon, Mali

Open Monday through Friday, 10-5 pm and Saturday, 12-5 pm, the O'Kane Gallery is located on the University of Houston-Downtown campus. Take Travis Street north through downtown Houston over Buffalo Bayou and right on Girard for visitor and metered parking.

For more information or images for press contact Brad Thomason at the O'Kane Gallery at 
713-221-8042 orthomasonb@uhd.edu, or visit www.okanegallery.uhd.edu.

5) I am also considering going to Denver, CO to get certified in arial yoga - in my consideration of flight/arial perspective in my discourse I figured this would push more concept, thoughts, ect.  More to come on that too.  

6), I have FOUND - Trenton Doyle Hancock 
He lives in Houston, can you imagine? 

We will go out to eat!!!! Too excited about this!!

7) LAST BUT NOT LEAST, I have bought all these books in my venture of knowledge - Most are in the air on there way trying to make it to there new home in my house, whooohooo! 

§  Painting as Model
·      Yve-Alain Bois
§  Other Criteria
·      Leo Steinberg
·      The Saatchi Gallery
·      Frances Colpitt
·      Hilton Kramer
·      Kirk Varnedoe, et al
·      Phaidon Press, et al
·      Hans Werner Holzwarth
·      Maurice Tuchman
·      Susanne F. Fincher
·      Lori Bailey Cunningham
·      Jeff Saward
·      M.A. Eve Eschner Hogan
·      W.H. Starr Matthews
·      Adrian Fisher

Monday, January 2, 2012


This semester I had a very ambitious creative time.  Even though I was burglarized and in a hotel for 40 days, I found a way to really maximize my productivity and production and amazed myself with the end results.  For clarity, because I have so much to review, I will present in the format of an outline, as I believe this will be the most effective way to present this information.    This outline took me far longer than just writing but I felt this was a better way of tracking my progress for the upcoming semester.  This closely outlines my semester and ends with a final recap.  Hope you enjoy.  It was a memorable, fun and tough, but overall a tremendous semester.  Thank you for all your help Tony. 

a)   2011 Boston Young Contemporaries Exhibition
i)      July15- August 15th
ii)     The Boston Young Contemporaries is an exhibition that was first conceptualized and developed by a group of graduate students in painting at Boston University in 2006 and was the first ever of its kind to scope in Boston.  The show has included artist works in painting...etc. The goal of the show is to provide an arena for New England MFA candidates to display their work and promote themselves within the Boston and greater art community.  
 i)      Competitive selection from - The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University (MFA)  
Rhode Island School of Design (MFA), Boston University (MFA) School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA, Post-Bac), Brandeis University (Post-Bac), University of Massachusetts Amherst (MFA), Johnson State College (MFA), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (MFA), Maine College of Art (MFA), University of New Hampshire (MFA), Massachusetts College of Art (MFA),   Vermont College of Fine Arts (MFA), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA), Yale School of Art (MFA) 

Paintings exhibited at BYC 

a)   The Big Show - Juried Show
i)      Exhibited July 1-30 2011
ii)    Juror: Larissa Harris
(1)  The Big Show is Lawndale Art Center's annual open-call, 800 artists applied while 70 were selected for juried exhibition. It has been an important venue through which emerging and under-represented Houston area artists gain exposure since the show's conception in 1984. The Big Show was formerly the East End Show, sponsored by the East End Progress Association, at Lawndale's original location.

The Big Show - Lawndale 
Awarded - Top Three Peoples Choice Award

a)   Kspace Third Coast National 2011 - Juried Show
i)      Exhibited September 24th-November24th
ii)    Juror Tony Magar
iii)   Art Piece name: The Impenetrable Forest
(1) About: 221 artists submitted 696 images for jury.  The following 47 works of art were selected for exhibition. Awards will be determined from original works once the show has been installed.   Selected works are listed in alphabetical order by last name below.

a)   The Third Coast National, now in its fifth year, is a non-thematic, juried exhibition of new works of art from all over the USA.  Special thanks to all of the participating artists and to our juror Tony Magar who has selected a beautifully coherent exhibition.  The opening of the 2011 Third Coast National Exhibition is Sept. 24, 6 to 8 pm.  

Kspace Third Coast National 2011 - Juried Show

a)   Seven State Biennial - Juried
i)      Exhibited October 1st - December 16
ii)    Art Piece name: “Servant of Two Masters”
iii)   Juror Jesus Morales
iv)  About: USAO hosts the 6th Seven State Biennial Exhibitions Oct. 1 – Nov. 6. This competitive art exhibit happens once every two years and includes artwork from Oklahoma and its six contiguous states.  According to Layne Thrift, director of the USAO art gallery, there were 255 art submissions this year and out of the multitude of submissions only 43 were chosen to be displayed at the exhibit.  “Overall this is one of the best biennials we have had and the artwork has been exquisite,” said Thrift.
(a)Two part moving exhibition:
(b)October 3 – November 72011 Seven-State Biennial Exhibition – Juried works by the artists from Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
(The Seven-State Exhibition will move from USAO and be on exhibit at The Charles B. Goddard Center in Ardmore, OK starting November 15th with a closing reception December 17 from
2 – 4 pm)
a.    First part at USAO Art Gallery
1.    Oct 1- November 6
b.    Second part at The Goddard Art Center
1.    November 6-Dec 16

Seven State Biennial

a)   Lawndale Art Center's Dia de los Muertos
i)      Exhibited: Entire month of October
ii)    About:  Lawndale Art Center's Día de los Muertos Gala and Retablo Silent Auction Friday night. In fact, a fresh and very much alive entourage of 600 artsy mortals — from the grungy-chic to dignitaries, some in costume and a few youngins’ — thronged the modern art presenter's space in hopes of emerging victorious from the fierce bidding. 

Lawndale Dia de los Muertos

De Oro Calaca Susurrar
Oil pastel pen, Sharpie, acrylic, natural weathering and spray paint

Maya Angelo Painting 


a)   Adding stich work into my paintings
i)      I am really working the language of lines and the versatilities therein; it has been crucial and a fundamental element in my art and design.  I worked on various placements and orientations of lines with paint alone in the second residencies work presented.  This residency I will bring the culmination of lines taken to a different level.  I am now using lines from thread in addition to paint and depending upon my placement I was able to accomplish different textures, marks, tones and forms.  In my creation I took special care in evaluating the areas surrounding the lines.  

stick work - SMALL START.... 

a)   Exploration: 

i)       Working with various fabrics (silk, leather)
(1) Textiles have been produced by almost every advanced culture over the centuries – the Hellenic Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Achaemidian, Sassanian, Assyrian, Chinese, and Indian.  Considering this, I find that in my exploration of patterns that have persisted through three to four thousand years, textiles imbued with religious symbols silk – are also incubators of the tradition, and royal workshops that created them. 
ii)    Dying fabrics
(1) Techniques I really am starting to master is lifting, removing and resisting color
b)   Using dyes of leaves, roots and flowers to color my canvas and thread has been an amazing journey into botanical alchemy.  J 
i)      Exploring the extent of mark making
(1) Cutting the mark with a variation of fabric instead of making the mark with paint.  Sowing in this mark after words with line patters that unify the painting  


Light works through the fabric that is sown into the canvas and painted on.

a)   Museum VISITS
ii)    Art Museum of South Texas – Corpus Christi
iii)   Oklahoma City Museum of Art 
iv)  Kimbell Art Museum

b)   MEETINGS (artist/curators/gallery owners that I met with) I also read all the listed books below:
i)       The author & curator, Kristina Van Dyke of AFRICAN ART from the Menil Collection—Menil Museum of Fine Arts.
(1) 2 hour meeting she gave me extensive thoughts of my work and the issues I might run into regarding primitive work the pros and the cons in her viewpoint.  I met her prior to her move.  She is now the Director at Pulitzer Foundation.
ii)    The author, collector and gallery owner, Riva Yares of Sleeping with Dogs
(1) Met her at Houston Art Fair, she was wonderful personality and shared with me many famous art personalities she knew, including Arman, Avery, Hofmann, Klein, Louis, Matta, Oliski and soto among others.     
iii)   The author, artist and now friend Marylyn Dintenfass.  She wrote, her book called Parallel Parks
(1) In her book as well as in our hour long conversation she revealed to me her exploration with her lifelong love affair with automobiles and the passion that signaled through her drawings, monotypes, dramatic paintings and the monumental “Parallel Park” installation as it wraps the four facades of a five story parking garage in Fort Myers Florida. 
iv)  Met Sandra York, a local artist
(1) She helped me to appreciate her lyrical abstraction

1      Art Beyond the West – Michael Kampen O’Riley
Pulling from art history, anthropology, and religious studies, he          attempted to encapsulate the entirety of non-Western art. Information ranges from Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea, the Americas, and the Pacific and consider such issues as post- and intercolonialism and postmodernism.

Patterns in Comparative Religion – Elade  
Demonstrates universal religious experience and shows how humanity’s effort to live within a sacred sphere has manifested itself in myriad cultures from ancient to modern times; how certain beliefs, rituals, symbols, and myths have, with interesting variations, persisted

            2.  Patterns that Connect Schuster & Carpenter

Discovery of a set of patterns designed by ancient peoples to illustrate their ideas about kinship. They tattooed and painted such "statements" on their bodies and clothing, and carved them on tools, game boards, pots, ceremonial objects, coins and other items, and carried these with them wherever they went. Through broad comparative study, Schuster decoded this iconography, which lasted over 10,000 years, crossed continents, and outlived most of the cultures that sheltered it.
3.     The Sacred & The Profane – Elide
a.    Observes that while contemporary people believe their world is entirely profane, or secular, they still at times find themselves connected unconsciously to the memory of something sacred. It's this premise that both drives Eliade's exhaustive exploration of the sacred—as it has manifested in space, time, nature and the cosmos, and life itself—and buttresses his expansive view of the human experience.
4.    The Myth of the Eternal Return – Elide
a.    Belief, expressed (sometimes implicitly, but often explicitly) in religious behavior, in the ability to return to the mythical age, to become contemporary with the events described in one's myths. It should be distinguished from the philosophical concept of eternal return.
b.    Religious expressions and activities of a wide variety of archaic and "primitive" religious cultures. While acknowledging that a return to the "archaic" is no longer possible, he passionately insists on the value of understanding this view in order to enrich our contemporary imagination of what it is to be human.
    5.The Sense of Order – Gombrich
c.    Comprehensive survey of the history and theory of decorative art. The universal human impulse to seek order and rhythm in space and time can be seen in children's play and in poetry, dance, music and architecture, and its prevalence in our every activity calls for an explanation in terms of our biological heritage
2.    Declaring Space: Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein
a.    American painting, actually embraced by an international group of artists. Four of the most exciting of those practitioners are the focus of this penetrating study. Each artist represents a different stage in the development of abstract painting in the 1950s and 1960s. Shows how each painter made his own individual mark in a new realm of abstract art.
6.    Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth 110
The central subject of and impetus for this building from the beginning has been art, with particular emphasis on the display of the permanent collection. Works by approximately 150 artists, covering a wide range of movements, especially postwar Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, and Minimalism, are currently displayed over the Museum's three two-story gallery pavilions. Together they present a broad range of styles and media, from oil, acrylic, and mixed-media paintings and drawings to photography, sculpture, installation art, and video and digital imagery."
7.    James Swan, CHA-TIC of Northwest Cost – George A. Miles
1.    Shows drawings from the extraordinary collection of James Swan, 19th-century chronicler of the American Northwest and collector of ethnographic objects and artwork from native peoples of the region, including the Makah Indians of Neah Bay and the Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Swan’s own sketches provide a striking visual record of the Northwestern frontier.
8.    ECO COLOR – Inida Flint
1.    The essence of plants bursts forth in magnificent hues and surprising palettes. Using dyes of the leaves, roots, and flowers to color your cloth and yarn can be an amazing journey into botanical alchemy. In Eco Colour, artistic dyer and colorist India Flint teaches you how to cull and use this gentle and ecologically sustainable alternative to synthetic dyes.

2.    India explores the fascinating and infinitely variable world of plant color using a wide variety of techniques and recipes. From whole-dyed cloth and applied color to prints and layered dye techniques, India describes only ecologically sustainable plant-dye methods. She uses renewable resources and shows how to do the least possible harm to the dyer, the end user of the object, and the environment. Recipes include a number of entirely new processes developed by India, as well as guidelines for plant collection, directions for the distillation of nontoxic mordants, and methodologies for applying plant dyes.
9.     Human Boday / Human Sprit – Emory University
1.    Exhibition examines a pre-Columbian view of the body as linked, not only to an individual mind and sprit but also to a community to a territory where crops flourish and where the ancestors “live,” to celestial energies that enter the body and sustain its processes. 
10. Religions – Philip Wilkinson
1.    Comprehensive look at deities and holy figures of each faith
2.    Explored religious practices and tractions of each belief system
3.    Examined all worlds major faiths as well as lesser known beliefs of Africa and the Americas
11. Theodoros Stamos – Infinity and Beyond review
1.    It is not man’s earthly surroundings tamed to his desires that inspires the artist but it is thee universe, in its wholeness and its freedom that becomes his spiritual home.  This statement epitomizes his abiding belief that contained within the visual are the keys to the universal s of human existence. 
12. SIGNS: Contemporary Arab Art
1.    Development, intrigue and political entanglements with the art
2.    Contemporary Arab Art is a groundbreaking exhibition offering a rare glimpse into the Arab art world. The first of its kind in New York, this exhibition presents the work of seven influential artists from various countries in the Middle East. Curated by noted art historian and curator Karin von Roques, the exhibition explores the role of traditional Islamic calligraphy and symbols in the contemporary Arab consciousness. Grappling with aesthetic philosophy, mysticism, tradition, and issues of everyday survival and existence, all seven artists challenge convention and create new visual language. 

Once the cradle of ancient civilization, the Middle East has a compelling artistic history. For centuries, the written word has played a defining role in Islamic visual culture— a legacy that persists even today. Working with different media, including paint on canvas, collage, ink on paper, wood and gold leaf, these artists take traditional Arabic script and symbols as their point of departure. Qatari artist Yousef Ahmad distills Arabic letters into abstract shapes and gestural marks that sweep across dream-like mixed-media surfaces. Syrian artist Khaled Al-Saa'i is inspired by poetry and Sufi philosophy, and paints spacious landscapes in which words float, overlap and follow their own particular rhythm. Offering a nuanced view of the culture of the Middle East, these innovative artists create complex contemporary works that draw on the spiritual depth of ancient Islamic art. 

13. Rock Art in Africa – Mythology and Legend – Jean Loic Le Quellec
1.    The paintings and engravings discovered in African caves are amazing works of art that hold clues to understanding the history of humankind. Jean-Loïc Le Quellec offers an expert analysis of this primitive art form, supplemented by photographs that capture the originality of prehistoric man's creativity. He divides Africa into four geographical zones: the Sahara, the Horn and East Africa, Southern Africa, and the west and central continent. Each zone is characterized by a unique artistic and representational style, ranging from realism to modern symbolism. The author places the artworks into the context of their discovery by the great explorers and evokes legendary tales to elucidate these enduring traces of prehistory.

a)   Education Extras Learning
i)      Actual purchase of Kuba Cloth
(1) I am excited to share that I purchased my first two Kuba Cloths the inspiration for a lot of my work. When I started my journey, I had no idea that the work that I was delving into resembled the Kuba Cloth making process from the Republic of Congo. 
(2) Kuba cloth collection is hand made of cut pile raffia pieces from the Shoowa people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The African textile kuba cloth is sewn together and used for clothing, currency and prestige...
(3) Many of my methods echo these Africans technique many of the processes they use that over centuries, weaving techniques have stayed consistent.  Taking raffia fibers, weaving the cloth, dying and decorating with embroidery cut-pile, applique, or patchwork, remain the basic steps in the fabrication of these sophisticated textiles.
(a)Side note: I had not idea this existed, someone saw my work and told me it reminded them of Kuba and I knew my journey was set clear. Although part of tradition that stretches back 400 years, Kuba textiles have a strikingly modern look.
(b)They use improvised systems of signs, lines, colors and textures often in the form of complex geometric rectilinear patterns. 
a.    Appliques are reminiscent of works of masters like Matisse, Picasso, Klee, Peneck and Chellinda
(c)Kuba Do not have a word for art – but they have a word for design BWIIN
a.    BWIN is foundation to Kuba Society 
(4) Similar techniques we both use:
(a)Tied dyed cloth – resist or tie dyeing technic
a.    Some natural and some synthetic
(b)Range of colors
a.    Yellow, orange, black red, brown
(c)Rich history in Weaving and many types of textiles
(d)Working with appliques and Reverse appliques
(e)Cut pile techniques  
a.    Layering of fabric / bark cloth
(5) Kuba textile, owning one I feel like I am owning something that is at once modern and centuries old, a piece of living history

Purchased Kuba

Overall this semester focused on taking an in-depth look at fabric and textiles; to study how to optimize its effects and to play with the composition to ensure my pieces exhibit a stronger impact on my viewers.

Unifying fabrics + Unifying lines = Unifying audience with painter
sums up my thoughts and direction.    

I am still on a journey of using this technique on my paintings – my hopes is that my paintings will be an accessible bridge to cultures other than one’s own.  I really tried to push the art of fabric/textile (BWIN) design to the max, as I believe there is universal appeal.  Africa, has been my focus study as I believe the continent offers rich, diverse and mysterious content material --with designs that have a certain identifiable look/feel, that leans toward bold, abstract and geometric patterns and designs, offered in bright, clear colors or dramatic high contrast neutrals.  The intricate details, the craftsmanship, the beauty offers me opportunity for further study, as well as, the many stories the textiles and ornaments tell that have been passed down over generations.

I try to transcend beyond the concept of simply stating that a group of people are telling their story of life’s struggles and joys and challenge my viewers to delve into a thought process of contemporary translation, unifying past, present and future.  Coupled this idea with my quest to connect my viewers to a place of meditative space and you can now step down my yellow brick road.