Monday, December 03, 2007

Wet Portraits

Vaguely familiar and dryly frontal, I feel I could do hundreds of these. The exercise has not gotten old and seems to feed my more conceptual work.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Cruelest Month

This one has thick layers of gouache paint on it. I couldn't decide how to paint it and it just got thicker and sadder. Relief but in layers.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Double Date

Sloppy little studies on oil primed linen. This limited palette jive is making me so happy. Anybody have any old yearbooks they want to send me?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Open Studios / Things to See in Boston and San Francisco

Just a quick update, I realized that I haven't posted my Open Studios Info on the Blog yet, so here goes:

Waltham Mills Artists Association Open Studios
Saturday Nov 3rd, 12-6pm
Sunday Nov 4th, 12-5pm
144 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

for more information please visit the WMAA website

Also, two of my favorite people have shows up in November, if you happen to be in the vicinity of one or both of these shows, take a peek!

Jamie Vasta
Patricia Sweetow Gallery

Nov 1 - Dec 15th
77 Geary Street, Mezzanine
San Francisco, CA 94108

(And do check out the press release for more info... the collaborative underpinnings of this work are FAB. Jamie has continued to surprise and titillate since her forest fire paintings.)

Duane Slick
Path of My Fathers
Nielsen Gallery
179 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
Nov 3 - Dec 1, 2007
Opening Nov 3, 3-5pm (You all should go, unfortunately, I will be sitting in my studio.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Self Study with Nostalgia and Scrapbook Paper

These are hopefully components of a larger work, the immediacy of painting on an appropriated ground and doing quick, imaginary, wistful and hopelessly inaccurate (too flattering - could be ten years ago!) self-portrait pleases me, but it may not have its uses. The daily dribbles please me. I should post more, its just, most of them embarrass me more than these.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Vargas Pile

The first in a series of Vargas girl pictures I have been making, she's kind of a test run. I like the juxtaposition of the cheesecake girl next to the bodies. There is something more concrete about this picture even as its color balance is a little off. Perhaps too much meat or too many flags in deliberately off-palette colors? The relationship of the complete figure to the pile is mercifully ambiguous. I cannot decide whether she functions as author, witness, accumulator, conspirator, or maybe just complicit bystander (lounger)? I am deeply influenced by a bunch of what's up in NYC right now, interestingly, this question of authorship and piles has already been dealt with quite handily by one of my faves: Julie Heffernan. Artnet has a beautiful article on her and her self-eating portraiture called "All this useless Booty," that went up a few days ago. Geez, feeling humbled. There's also Natalie Frank's show, "Where She Stops," which one of my most adroit students reminded me about yesterday. I'm not sure I've resolved what I think about Frank yet, she reminds me of Jean Leon Gerome in a way that I'm not entirely comfortable with in this group of paintings, and yet I'm so seduced. Well, happily, the studio is humming, and now I must get back to it. Happy saturday!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Head in the Clouds

Cloud study from a classroom glazing demo. I feel I might have rescued it from the ordinary. It took a while to dry down so I could scan it. Galkyd still dries slower than acrylic paint.

So I've been sick these past few days. Ick. But my husband just cheered me up by sending me a link to an article I wanted to share with you all.... Haven't you always wanted to set up shop in a RI mall? Well maybe not... check it out... some artist set up an apartment inside a RI mall and lived there off and on for the past few years. Wacky! That certainly cheered me up while I've been suffering with the flu!

Monday, September 17, 2007

In Process

This is something I just started but I love the first under-drawing, so I thought I would share a section of it. Its funny, I think I really like drawing presidents. The still life seems to be almost cursory at least in graphite if not in paint.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I'm in a group show in New York. If you are in the area, stop by the store on 5th avenue and go up to the second floor. It is a fabulous space and I love the curation! I'm arranging meetups for coffee in NY in October, so definitely call me folks! I miss you all!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Circa 1996

Yearbook portraits circa 1996. My family's scanner is an abomination. Will post more and clearer drawings when I get a better scanner!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scratched Out Baby

So I was painting this self portrait.

Sometimes I wear my prop tiaras in the studio. I have a lonely dramatic streak. I like to play act. Sometimes dress up with the absurdist accoutrements of power makes for good self portraiture. But maybe it just makes me vain and silly, repetitive, derivative and naive. I'm not really sure what I'm doing here. Nor am I ever really sure where the doing leads. Not working from nature very much these days (oh imagination and appropriation how you do rule me), I sometimes feel a shock when I look at myself in the mirror. I like having to come to terms with what I think I know with paintings involving direct observation. It fills me with doubt, which is sometimes good for my painting. I scratch things out and hide things. But later I can look at them more clearly. This painting is one of those tiara portrait scratch-outs. Hording drawings and paintings feels better than not hording. There are more of these. I'm less ashamed of them days after I do them. They feel more like process works, getting from here to there. I think I will post more of them in the next few days, I have some from a few weeks before. A kind of autobiography of shame and failure, I almost prefer them to the usual unflinching perfectionism. There is a kind of busy workmanship to so much of the painting I do, that doesn't leave space for the prevailing weakness I so much enjoy in my craft. I like to nurture that weakness, and also my faulty eyes, my shaking hand, as these are the failures which make me most sensitive and kind. What kind of painting is necessary now? I don't really know if there is any kind of painting that is necessary. Certainly not the kind I make. Shoes and food are necessary. I certainly want to see more pleasure and pain commingled with a kind of abrasive Dada play. And surface. We need more surface aggression, pleasure, and play in the studio. No more easy commodities, but definitely more thinking, more observation, and more irreverence. I love the classics and I want them down. I need my play and calculation with brushes like I need a new administration in the White House or a fresh salad with chicken.

"That is why he never finished working... We never see ideas or freedom face to face." - Merleau-Ponty "Cezanne's Doubt" 1948

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Like Butter

Have you ever been to a butterfly conservatory? Its kind of like a zoo / aviary for free flying butterflies. Ah arcane tourist attractions that have astounding pull!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fab Decor

Some snaps of the walls where we stayed. Helena, our innkeeper, was an amazing chef and knew how to find the excellent antiques in Niagra and Ontario.

What's on my travel easel?

I set up next to the American Falls on the Ontario side and had a 5 hour day working on a casual little underpainting. Here's my mini study of the icon.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Self as Thing

I've just started choking down my summer reading. Why oh why do I wait till August for nonfiction? But the first book, "The Tears of Things: Melancholy and Physical Objects" by Peter Schwenger suits me just fine. It seems a subtle treatise for someone like me who purports to paint still life, however bent...

Saturday, July 21, 2007 Finally Updated and Up to Full Website Power!

Visit my web page, which my husband has kindly programmed simply and elegantly. I really appreciate it Jon! You are very good! I have paintings, CV, and a statement all coherently in one place. I will update this periodically with more work, as this will be my professional site. As you may or may not have already guessed, this is my messy thinking space here at chez FACOE. Love or hate my sloppy, solipsistic, and neurotic ramblings, at least I show up every now and then! Till sometime soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Painting in the Forest!!!

Yvonne, Clare, and I went to the woods in Waltham and painted. It was wonderful! There was a felled tree, pine needles everywhere, a whole bunch of people walking dogs, and a big PILE of tree limbs. I was enamored of the pile of tree limbs with stumps arrayed around it. I felt it implied narrative. I have been looking for a way to lay my characters and objects in a scene, this may be it. Plein air paintings as studies for far stranger compositions in studio? We will see. I will keep posting some of these breaks from the routine. Interestingly enough, my limited palette persists in odd form out of doors!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cat Scans

I hope that sometimes my literalness is funny and not just grotesque or insipid. I strive to be humbly advancing guilt and fault with humor and repetition. Corporeality is but an offshoot of cartoon to me.
Also, I have very patient cats.