Friday, January 25, 2013

And then there was this one . . .

Penelope showing me her sun drawing in her sketchbook
 I may be obsessed with rearranging my studio.  Truth be told, I'm no happier than when I can shift furniture around and reorganize, and my experience has proven that it is hard to get it right the first time.  My latest set-up makes great space for painting standing at my easel and room for a guest to work at the table.  (I like sharing my studio, too.  You want to come and read or work?)  Now where can I squeeze a couch in here?
 This is painting number four of my painting blitz.  I'm halfway to my goal of eight new paintings in two and half weeks.  I'm having a hard time explaining this painting, but I can list for you the concepts that were swirling in my brain while painting it. 

1. We the people:  Monday's Inauguration ceremony was a moment of pride for me.  It's rare for me to feel patriotic or have a nationalistic identity, but listening to our President made me realize that I am tired of the criticism and tearing down or our leaders as the source of our nations' problems.  It's like blaming teachers for a broken educational system.  We the people, are as responsible for our fates and how we operate in this world.  Ask what I can do?  I made this crazy painting. 

2.  Pee-Wee's Playhouse:  I was listening to an interview with Wayne White discussing his varied career as an artist, set-designer, cartoonist, puppeteer, and more.  He got his big break on the set of Pee-Wee's playhouse as a designer and puppeteer.  He mentioned how Paul Reubens hired outsider artists particularly from the cartoon world to assist in his TV production.  These were artists who associated with another of my inspirations: Keith Haring.  Long story made short, they created something entirely fresh and new.  The fact that as kids we were exposed to such satire and Dada like silliness was a miracle, and I am entirely thankful.  It's artists like these that make me think anything is possible and can be delightful---bliss, in fact.  

3.  Massacre:  The mass shooting in Connecticut was horrific and incomprehensible.  However, I still don't understand why it receives more attention that the massacre happening only miles away from me in Chicago.  Our youth are being slaughtered and they barely get mentioned.  As you may have noticed in a previous post, I'm going to be posting the names of those killed in gun violence through-out the year.  I want to turn this into a bigger project, but haven't decided how to develop it yet.  My first thought was to embroider all of the names--to really take time stitch by stitch to honor each life, but the murder rate is so high that I don't know if this feasible.  Got any ideas?  Bottom line: our youth have to be safe from us. 

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