Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Art and Music New York trip

We went to New York this past weekend. New York City in July - not the place to flock to, usually. But just the right place to be.
Carl had a recording session with Charley Gerard and his saxophone quartet. Yep, a saxophone quartet! Charley wrote a piece for piano (Carl) and the quartet that they played here in DC last year, and then recorded yesterday. By the way, the sound of Charley playing jazz saxophone is unspeakably moving and delicious.
We traveled by luxurious Vamoose Bus.
While in NY Carl and I and our son Gabe spent some time at MOMA, and I saw some terrific never before known about James Ensor drawings. And Ensor paintings. He did more than those creepy skulls and masks - beautiful little gem-like satiric paintings that are intriguing and incisive and funny.
Also moving was a huge installation by Song Dong who filled the biggest museum space on the first floor with things his mother collected over 50 years in one house - piles of socks (neatly stacked and bundled), stacks of clay planters, blouses, bowls, a teeny ironing board ... FULL of feeling.
Then on Monday I met my friend Lucy Blake-Elahi from L.A. and we went to the Neue Museum on Fifth Avenue - saw magnificent trippy Klimts and a particularly gorgeous painting of a garden by Gabriele Munter. It made me want to rush home and paint, which is just what I did today. Trying to get the feeling of that explosion of yellow lilies without just painting the same old same old....

Art and Music

Why Art and Music? Because I decided this would be my "art blog" but first I need toLink write about the Musica Viva concert that took place last week.

http://www.dcmusicaviva.org/recordings/dvorak_quintet_1.mp3 -

that is the link to the first movement of the Dvorak Quintet. You can go to the Musica Viva website and hear that whole piece AND the Brahms Quintet.

Funny, if you actually listen to these, I guess I have not much more to say to you about this topic. The music is so beautiful that it speaks for itself. So what was I thinking?

I guess I was thinking that way back when I was in my early 20's I realized that I had to marry a musician. Lucky me - I already had seen and heard Carl Banner play a concerto with the St. Louis symphony. And what a catch - I actually got to MARRY him, and to have a big chunk of my life as an artist be connected to music. There's a bit of teamwork here - I don't think I could have lived with someone who could not understand and support the artist in me. Some women can do that but not this one.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Collage for the Soul

Yes, it's a book title! and will also be the title of a small group class I'm going to offer in my home studio soon. I've been talking to an artist on my block, Joan Samworth, who teaches painting in her studio. I had thought of teaching drawing or painting (I could do those - having spent a million hours in art school studying ...) but I don't want to. I was feeling very whiny about it all - but when she said "what about collage?" I thought hey! what could be more obvious and congruent with who I am and how I think about people and visual art!

I'm actually getting excited about this now - getting people to watch out for things they respond to, get out those buried things they've saved, remember dreams that can be used as raw material, dig up those old family photos ..... what a kick! Now I need to buy 2 big folding sturdy plastic tables.I'm going to make it totally affordable and also earn some needed income. Another friend predicts I'll have a waiting list. Great!!

So when shall I take the leap and schedule it?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Women artist support groups

For more years than I can count, I led a group called “No Limits for Women in the Arts.”

It was amazingly powerful for all of us – we got to know each other very well, we listened to each other’s big dreams for our art work and art lives, we got to explore feelings that got in our ways - and we got support to just move right through those.

(Wouldn’t it be great if that’s all it took, i.e., there was no oppression of women artists or artists in general in the real world – you could just get rid of the internalized stuff and poof, you could be seen, heard, appreciated, and paid!)

Actually I am thinking back to that No Limits group because tonight I attended another women artists group – one that has met for also probably 20 years or so. I am a new, and actually peripheral member, attending rarely the once a month meetings. I am not the leader of this one, so I go with the flow. The flow usually allows for a lot of back and forth conversation about life and art, and eventually people have time to share what they’re doing artwise. My tolerance level is low for lots of chit chat and talking over each other – just pushes some buttons I guess – not fair, no attention for the quiet ones, etc. Some people enjoy that setting, and for 2 hours that was it. But then – so little time left.

I made a suggestion: take the last hour and divide the time equally, giving each woman equal time to talk, be listened to and share art. And voila, it worked! They even seemed to appreciate the structure. And I got to hear from women who are still fully behind their art, as I am. Thank God!

Why was this time-sharing a new idea to these women? There is too much in life I don’t understand.