Shades of Grey – Trying to be Straight

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               Trying to be Straight   mixed media on canvas   56″ x 77″     double click on image

 

How do I write about this painting? The painting isn’t finished. The photograph shows a parallax error. This is a report on it’s beginnings. It’s trying to be straight, but its not. The measurements are a little bit off. How do I make a straight line? The canvas is five by six feet. I’m small. By trial and error I put together a painting using a T-square, a plumb line. I tied a weight to the end of a string. The string fell straight down. The painting is about connecting two marks or points to make a line. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. A line has a beginning, movement and a stop. A line can go off to infinity in both directions. Here, lines are broken leaving room to wander through space.There’s a grid or it it a net?  The goalie misses the ball; loopholes are found in tax laws. Shape, is it really a solid square?  The white line – Is it the bulkhead at the pool?  impermeable? The painting  looks milky. But, milkiness exists. The edges of things are not quite what they seem. The plumb line is our constant.The mind set is complicated.

Inspiration for this painting came from a collage by Canadian painter Stephen MacInnis. The Long Series is a group of mixed media paintings on paper. 12″x12″. Stephen’s  goal is to complete 10,000 pieces. At the moment he has completed over 1,400. I just bought this one. It’s interesting to me, that I, too, have been  working on a lot of the same things. Click on images to enlarge.

 

Macinnis.http://sbmacinnis.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/long-series-1515/

1515

Terracotta Warriors and Horses – China, New York, California

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Right now many of the original terra cotta warriors from Xian are on exhibit in New York. At the same time, contemporary artist Gong Yuebin, has a show at the Crocker museum in Sacramento California. Gong has interspersed life size modern warriors marching with copies of  the original warriors, but the modern soldiers are  carrying nuclear missiles.

http://www.crockerartmuseum.org/exhibitions-collections/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibits/686-gong-yuebin-site-2801

In the summer of 2002 My son and I  visited East China. We were on one of the last Yangzi River cruises before the Chinese flooded the three gorges. I have many sketches and poems all ready to put together into an artist’s book or an edition – just haven’t gotten around to doing it. I took different weights of paper to draw on. I had some transparent paper along just in case and ended up using it when we were in Xian.

Li Chen in Seattle

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Li Chen‘s work is on exhibit at the Frye Museum in Seattle. “Earth Piercing Fire” is made of clay, cracking with time, old pieces of wood lattice and some old wire. You can see Chen’s background as a sculptor in Taiwan where he made Buddhas. Later without any training he branched out into contemporary art pieces.

4″ x 6″ moleskine sketchbook,  graphite aquarell pencil