Waiting can be fun. No, really, hear me out! The anticipation of a coming vacation, standing in queue for a roller coaster– it can be almost as exciting as the thing itself. But then there is the other kind of waiting, the one filled with apprehension. Artist Ada Sandler paints scenes of seats that seem to be awaiting occupants.
The small scale paintings pack a punch with their crisp, clean lines, mimicking the mid-century modern designs featured. The limited palette and strong light enhances the feeling of expectancy.
Every place we’ve been has become a part of who we are. We carry with us the desert sand of Joshua Tree, the snows of Idaho, the wet, sweet air of Seattle. In her paintings, Diane Carr seems to capture the fleeting atmosphere of a moment in place.
But these aren’t your typical landscapes. Carr uses color to emphasize atmosphere and form, icy blue drips like rushing falls, contrasting with warm flecks of orange and pink, reminding me of glints of sun against rocks. Their luscious quality makes them seem to envelop the viewer, like a canopy of trees.
No doubt you’ve heard that we’re in the midst of a major drought here in California. Even in the short amount of time we’ve been here, we’ve seen the landscape shift and change. Fellow Bay Area artist Cynthia Ona Innis explores the shifting diversity of the California landscape.
Mr. F and I have experienced the range of California’s landscape, from six months in the high desert of Joshua Tree, a year amidst the Redwoods in Eureka, and now among the hills of Marin County. Innis’s paintings beautifully illustrate in an abstract way the amazing diversity in the state.
You are nothing but prickles and stings.. so states Anne Shirley to formidable headmistress Katharine Brooke. These hyperrealistic paintings by Kwang Ho Lee are most certainly full of prickles, but the sting is how incredibly gorgeous they are!
Cactus have this incredible dangerous beauty to them, don’t they? Those incredible textures, especially in the “fuzzy” variety, leave us longing to touch but the second we do we’ll know why we shouldn’t. Which gives them such a lovely, unattainable, untamable appeal.
When you’re hurting, the color seems to go out a bit from the world. Having just spent the two weeks by my mom’s side, watching her struggle against a body that is failing, witnessing her spirit soar in one moment, only to crash in the next, it seems strange to get back to “normal”.
On one hand, I want to savor each day with fervor, for now more than ever, I know there is no promise of tomorrow. But then something will grab hold of me, the whisper of a memory grips my heart and I am undone.
It’s a struggle to climb out of that hole, once you’ve lost your footing. Everything goes pale. The colors fade like old sheets washed too many times. But eventually, given time and love, slowly the washed out places will become renewed and refreshed. I know that I’m not in my palest period, yet. But I also know that the loss of color won’t last forever. It will return in even greater brilliance.
It is ok to languish in the pale for a while, though. It has to be.
Very early tomorrow morning, I’ll be at the San Francisco airport. I’ll board a flight that will take me home. I’m going back to Florida to see my mom, for what I really hope isn’t, but could very well be, the last time. She’s losing her battle with cancer and all treatments have been halted. We don’t know how long she has– could be as little as two months or as much as a year. Every time I go back to Florida, it feels less and less like home to me. And once she isn’t there, I suspect that feeling might just be gone for good.
Since marrying Mr. F and leaving Florida, my heart has been torn between here and there. But home has shifted now. It isn’t my hometown, it isn’t even where my family is. It is wherever I’m making a life with my husband. And these days, that is wherever we happen to be. In each place we find ourselves, I put a lot of energy into making it feel less like a temporary landing spot and more like a home. It’s something I learned from my mom, this nesting thing.
When I think about her back in Florida, I picture her at home, surrounded by her favorite things– the teapots she collects, my grandmother’s paintings. Her home, the house she’s lived in for over twenty years with my stepfather, felt like my home, not just because I lived there for eight years but because she was there. Once she is gone, it will just be a house again, filled with her things.
The goodbye is coming, but it won’t be forever. I take comfort in knowing that she’ll be free of pain and in my belief that we’ll see each other again. But in the mean time, I’ll go home to her and then I’ll bring her back home with me in my heart.
Edited to add– I won’t be posting to the blog while I’m in Florida. Freelance work has kept me super busy the last two weeks and my spare time has been spent with Mr. F. I’ll be posting daily quotes on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, as well as sharing a quick art find that resonates for me that day. Will be back blogging in a few weeks! Catch up on miles of artsy finds in the archives!
The paintings featured today are by Philadelphia artist Anne Canfield. To see more of her work, please visit her website.
Being an artist is all about exploration and experimentation. We begin with basic trial and error to find what works best for our vision. Once we know what works, we’re constantly searching for a new way to create, a new way to see. Seattle artist Jaq Chartier has created an entire series of work based on explorations of color.
Sometimes artists show experimental process without calling attention to it. But Chartier chooses to make the exploration both subject and process. Test pattern-like grids of color and translucent lucidity makes us wonder, are we in a gallery or science lab? The best artist is has a tiny bit of mad scientist lurking beneath the surface. Kudos to Chartier for embracing both worlds in such a beautiful way.
To see more of Jaq Chartier‘s work, please visit her website. If you happen to be in the San Fran area, get yourself to Dolby Chadwick to see her solo show, A Fever in Matter, before it closes this Saturday, May 2nd!
Have you ever been lost in the woods? Mr. F and I have. It rarely happens to us, but on a hike in Northern California’s Trinity Alps last summer, we chose what turned out to be a very poorly marked trail. We found ourselves wandering from one point to another, backtracking, trying to pinpoint where we’d diverged from our path. These paintings by Charlotte artist Windy O’Connor remind me of colorful wanderings across the canvas.
Just as we struggled to find our way back to our beginning, I love that these vibrant trails seem to have no end and no beginning. They loop all over the canvas like the never ending scarf a magician pulls from his tuxedo sleeve. One color finds its way into, over, under another. What a wonderful way to get lost!
I recently went through a harrowing experience. I fell ( that’s not the harrowing part- kind of par for my course these days ) and took my smart phone down with me, doing major damage to the screen. This device I’ve come to rely upon so heavily became nearly unusable. And I went through some serious withdrawals until it was repaired! It’s amazing, isn’t it, how in such a short period of time, these devices have become so incredibly ingrained into our lives and our behaviors? In his abstract paintings, artist Matthew Penkala uses airbrushed acrylic to allude to those ubiquitous glowing screens.
If you go to a concert these days, you’re more likely to glimpse a sea of cell phone lights during the ballad versus the usual lighter held high treatment. We stand in line at the grocery store, at the post office, not making eye contact or conversation with our neighbors but staring into that tiny rectangle. They’ve enriched our lives in so many ways, digital waves keeping far away friends and family ever close, but at what cost to the people in the next house, in the next room?
Sometimes the world we enter when our eyes close at night is a bit scary, a bit malevolent. But often I find myself in a place that is one part memory, one part fantasy. The paintings of San Francisco area artist Jeffrey Beauchamp call to mind those fanciful dreamscapes where ordinary things come to life in extraordinary ways.
I find places from my childhood cropping up quite often in my own dreams, which may be why I responded most to Beauchamp’s paintings of children. The places I played, explored, pretended are almost always prominent. After one such dream last night, I found myself wondering why some places stay with us so strongly. Is it our connection to the place itself or the people who were there? Or maybe they become part of our dreams because of how much they captured our imagination in life.