Lucinda Parker: “Knowledge is Not Our Enemy”

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Until December 2nd you have a chance to see Lucinda Parker’s new paintings at the Russo Lee Gallery (805 NW 21st Street in Portland)…most done in the last three months.  The show is entitled “Knowledge is Not Our Enemy” which sounds possibly political, but isn’t.  It’s about mountains…most specifically our own MT. Hood.

This morning Lucinda Parker spoke to a large group at the gallery about painting, ideas, process, and the thinking that goes into art making…in an energetic and articulate way…the same way she paints.  We learned about scree, we learned there is a volatile air draft just above Mt. Hood that draws the clouds there (as we often notice) we learned how she mixes colors and how she thinks about the things she paints.

You may have noticed that I’ve been writing quite a bit about Parker’s work lately (here, here and here, for instance) and there is a reason beyond just that the work is so good.  Roger Hull is curating a retrospective of Lucinda Parker’s work at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem for 2019 (January to March), and has been working on a monograph on Lucinda for the last year (which she has seen and annotated…), working title “Lucinda Parker: Force Fields”…which means a lot of looking and talking about this work at our house.

Earlier this week (in preparation for hearing the talk) we went up to the mountain cabin she and her husband have had for 20 years…a cabin with a drop-dead view of the mountain from the kitchen table.  The day we went…snow-fog-snow…no mountain.

No worries though, as the show has several of these views for us…

An interesting thing for an innocent bystander (me) watching the books and the pile of work grow is that Lucinda Parker and Roger Hull share a few qualities.  Neither is a native Oregonian, both have spent most of their adult life here and both do work that is as good as anything painted or written in our country.  And BOTH choose to see the strengths of “regionalism” beyond that label.

Today Lucinda shared with the audience some of her sources, which for the artists in the crowd was terrific…the front of the Hood River telephone book (mountain) and a postcard from a Caravaggio show she saw in Rome (clouds)

and then this happened…

so really, go take a look as these beautiful and energetic paintings of WHERE YOU LIVE.  And while you are there check out Roll Hardy’s detailed and beautiful landscapes of industrial places and spaces…they are lovely and deserve an entire post, but I only have so much energy…  Here is one of Roll Hardy’s pieces called “The Ancient Order”…

We went on to an invitational drawing show at Gallery 114 (100 NW Glisan ST in Portland…in the basement, entrance off Glisan) curated by artist Mark Andres…it was a varied group of drawings by a wide variety of Portland artists and quite a delightful show…especially as drawings are not shown much these days….go take a look at these…no discourse here except to say that coming straight from Lucinda’s show, two drawings jumped out…

then Louis Mateo’s drawing in walnut ink

George Johanson’s immediate drawings in ballpoint pen (a medium I’m liking lately)

a delicate and sort of poignant Tom Prochaska line drawing…

and an energetic Harry Widman “Image Invention” pencil drawing…

William Garnett using a phone book…

and best of all…there’s a catalog…very little is published about Northwest Art so it’s always nice to see something in print…(with William Garnett’s “After Masaccio’s Expulsion” on the cover)

this show is worth seeing.  Our first visit to Galleryy 114.

 

 

 

Conker Park

Tags

, , , ,

R, Sidney and I have a lot of “traditions” we’ve established in the last three years and one of those is “Conker Park” in the fall.

It involves loading the top of a riding toy in the park with conkers and then making them fly off…

we even went in late summer, even though we knew it was way too early…

At the risk of sinking the ship with over load, it has looked like this…

We also headed to PNCA

to see Jennifer Viviano’s work in the Leland Ironworks Residency show…it was nice….graphite and wax on porcelain…go look.

 

nicandsloy

Tags

, , , , , ,

Here are the artists Sandra Loy (sloy) and Dave Nichols (nic) in a photo taken by their good friend painter Rob Bibler (with painter April Waters taking a view in the gallery tonight).

She a writer/artist and he a painter/sculptor.  For years they have been making art in Salem, art of a personal and terrific sort.  They have a show up “nic & sloy: Side by Side” at the Hallie Ford Museum of art which opened tonight and runs until January 28, 2018.  It was a full house tonight

and my photos reflect the inability to get an angle or a full shot…you just are going to have to go and see.

And why?  Because the work of either alone would be worth seeing but together there is a rare conversation.  Composition, energy, ideas, craftsmanship yet spontaneity, they have it all.

Dave (nic) is a painter and a master of construction and precision.  His pieces are beautifully made and hilarious, serious, poignant.

Sandra is a writer, a poet who turned to visual art (this series hits on song lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson)

and the label is total sloy

and whose understanding of the power of repetition in writing and painting makes for some powerful work.

Dave works with corrugated cardboard a lot and sometimes makes containers for Sandra’s work

His paintings sometimes look like calligraphy

Her paintings occasionally grab some of his colors…

and “Side by Side” is the truth.  They work in their studio/house side by side.  They work hard and long.  They listen to music and talk sometimes, but they are both workers…and I understand that.  We look at a lot of art work and for me I’m always looking for “original” “fresh” “able” ….for art that comes out of the working heads of artists without too much static from other art being made around them.  This is such work and luckily you have TWO WHOLE MONTHS to come take a look.  The show was organized by John Olbrantz and masterfully hung by Jonathan Bucci and Silas Cook.  The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 1-5, closed Mondays.

 

 

The Return of Sidney Day…Yay!

Tags

Well it’s been two months since our last “Sidney Day” and the start of full time school.  We’ve only managed one visit in that time, and I have been missing the weekly view into this energetic life.  But…hooray…we’re back on track for our mostly-weekly visits.

We picked Sidney up at school Monday and saw his big-boy locker…

We headed to Grand Central for an after-school snack, nicely shared with Bunny

We headed home for a little traditional “Singing in the Rain”

saw the pumpkin he drew and Dad carved…

watched costume adjustment…(yes, a carrot CAN run…)

and here’s what I think…

 

 

The Road Trip Part 6: The Last Leg

Tags

, ,

Before we leave Temple Square and the elms let me show you this one…John Constable, English, “Study of the Trunk of an Elm Tree,” oil, 1821….the fun of a resident art historian is that while one is in a reverie about the elms of one’s childhood, R is immediately struck with the similarity of the big elms to a Constable painting and has located it on Google and sent me the image…before we even get back to the car…

So off to Boise, familiar territory for the first time in days.  Our plan is to stay in Boise for two nights in order to see the Museum and have dinner with R’s brother Chris and his wife Dianna.  We have also booked a motel that we’re looking forward to.  So we head due north, me reading the next chapter aloud…

So this part sounds like an ad for the Modern Hotel, but this place captivated our imagination, provided us with real comfort and respite, and two wonderful dinners.

It used to be a Travelodge Motel right downtown and was abandoned…

But Boise is in a boom phase, buildings going up everywhere, hip restaurants, etc etc.  So a couple bought the old motel and “did it up”…and we loved it…here was our unit in the 1960’s (bottom left), and now…

a great bathroom

the comfiest bed of the whole trip, and wifi…so we could catch up with friends and family…

a really wonderful restaurant…

lamb chops…(the owners are Basque)

breeze blocks,

homemade yogurt for breakfast…

great coffee in the morning and a place to sit and have it (with R’s brother Chris who joined us…)

We headed to the Boise Art Museum (they don’t allow photos…sorry…great Rick Bartow show there) and out to lunch (all meals become drawing opportunities…)

and after checking the back of the motel

we headed home…

back into Oregon…

land of no cell-phone connectivity, vast spaces and unusual accommodations…

the Oasis…we bought some peanuts and bottled water….ahem….

Coffee break in Sisters…

across the mountains…

and down into Salem…

just in time for a neighborhood meeting on the subject of urban renewal…

and then home by the fire…happy to be here, home at last.

 

 

 

 

 

Road Trip Part 5: SCENERY!

Tags

,

We left Flagstaff and on Holly’s recommendation we headed to the San Francisco Peaks…and the Sunset Crater Volcano, with an archeological site on the road… a road that was rough and not the “graded dirt road” we had been promised, but well worth the trip…and then on to the NORTH RIM of the Grand Canyon…which for me was terrifying and beautiful.  We arrived at Sunset, took a good look the next morning and then headed north to Salt Lake City…just some scenic visuals of this vast, overwhelming and beautiful land of ours…

though the Mormon temple square was filled with impeccably kept “old” (for this area—1850-s) it was the towering elm trees that struck a chord with me.  The town I grew up in was filled with towering elms…many of which succumbed to the Dutch Elm disease epidemic of the 1950’s/60’s.  These trees were injected with an experimental antidote and survived…an overnight at the historic Peery Hotel.

Wow…one more stop…on to Boise!

 

 

The Trip Part 4: Heading North to Art (and Eventually Scenery)

Tags

, ,

Heading north from Sierra Vista the day plan was to arrive at the Phoenix Art Museum at noon, have lunch in the nice restaurant there, look at some art and then head on north to Flagstaff with a brief stop in Sedona for supper…and we were spot on, arriving just as the museum doors opened but pausing outside to think of our MANY dinosaur lunches with Sidney…

Museums, for some of us, are oases…cool, interesting and often good food…

and then some art…Yayoi Kusama!?

and we couldn’t get into the SAM to see the Kusama show but LOVED the Firefly room here in Phoenix…totally magical and VERY disorienting…

some my favorites were on view…Cy Twombley

Eric Fischl (“Growing Old in the Company of Women”)

Sean Scully

Louise Nevelson

Some wonderful small pieces in a hallway including Paul Klee and Sophie Tauber-Arp

and because we particularly like regional and WPA art we enjoyed the show of the work of Phillip Curtis who moved to Phoenix and started the Phoenix Art Association which grew into the Museum eventually…”GI, 1944″

“Des Moines, 1939”

“Landscape with Destruction”

“New York City, 1937”

1944

Thomas Hart Benton, “Letter From Overseas, 1943”

Calder “Constellation with Gold Anvil”m reminding me of those clocks from the 1950’s/60’s

Carlos Orozco Romero, 1939

Cornelia Parker, “Mass”

then this road trip favorite from Bestabee Romero, “Endless column” of 2015 of carved tires with gold leaf…

and then a terrific show of photos from the road…

including this one which cracked me up…Ted Orland, “One and a half Dome” from 1975…

so better hit the road to Sedona…we bought a sack of tangerines in Sierra Vista and they became our favorite road snack…

Sedona just before and just after sunset…as the color fades with the light…

Flagstaff after dark…just a pile of shoes….

Tomorrow all scenery as we head to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon…

 

 

 

 

 

The Trip Part 3: Anniversaries and Weddings

Tags

, , , , ,

We like Palm Springs, which runs a bit against type, but that is life I guess, so goodbye Bakersfield.  This trip was organized around the wish of a friend to have Roger give a toast at her wedding, taking place in far southern Arizona…Sierra Vista… where her parents live.  Though the wedding itself occurred on our son’s birthday and we’d be on the road for our anniversary, we decided to go anyway.

A road trip is an interesting and contemplative time, worth doing for that reason almost.  And a lot of our contemplation on this trip involved the duel coming crisis of water and power as global warming increases our woes, and the seemingly more insupportable American life style of BIG cars and pick-ups, massive strip malls, and all the rest…the things we know about but shove to the back of our minds.  Out here in the west though, evidence is everywhere…

but I digress….time to celebrate the 48th anniversary of a serious, hilarious and fascinating partnership…ours.  Heading to Palm Springs we arrived at Ron’s airbnb

and the champagne was ready for us!  And the pool and hot-tub…bliss after a hot drive…

Cheers Dear!  Off we go into year 49…

and on to Sierra Vista…a longgggg drive.

IS there a Sierra Vista?  Yep…

and the next day we jump into wedding festivities…rehearsal dinner and our first meeting with the groom…he’s a delight.  Hugging kissing, good wishes all around…

and back at the motel nobody at all is in the pool so we swim and soak…I do some sewing…

and soon it’s time to head to the wedding…Gavin and Aleesa, who met at UC Santa Barbara, have been conducting a long distance relationship for over two years…he’s been in England doing post-doc work in physics and she finishing her PhD in Art history in Santa Barbara…they have traveled together and have absolutely mastered the selfie…

But the day was sunny, the bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome…

the friends and family were all there…

(I’ll admit to following this guy around…his coat is a Gucci…)

Aleesa’s Mom is Thai and part of the wedding ceremony included the Buddhist water ceremony where each guest poured water from a conch shell onto the the hands of the couple, giving a wish…(this was where I cried)…we had to line up according to age, ahem, I saw them early on…

it was definitely east meets west…

Everybody was pretty happy …

and then, after food and chat Roger gave the first toast…to the bride and groom…

and after fond goodbyes we got ready to head out the next day for Phoenix and Flagstaff…more art on the horizon…but getting out of Sierra Vista wasn’t just a straight shot…

 

 

 

 

 

The Trip Part two: Art on the Road

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

So leaving Carolyn, we headed to Bakersfield, CA…

to see a set of five large paintings by Lucinda Parker, the Portland painter who R is currently writing about (and thinking curatorial thoughts about for a show in January of 2019 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem).  These paintings were  a series of five titled collectively “Water Paintings” painted in 2012, commissioned for the site at the U.S. Federal Courthouse with the architects (NBBJ Architects of Seattle) designing recessed panels in the walls to accommodate the paintings.  The thematic was water and all the way to Bakersfield we saw these aqueducts in the midst of a hot and desert-ish landscape.

So it was no surprise to find one of Parker’s paintings looking like this…

Getting into this building was similar to taking a plane someplace, (except for the hoards also going through TSA at the airport…)

As he is so fond of saying…”The art historian’s work is never done….”

I liked this set of five …they were alive with motion and color…

 

The paintings must look great at night through these windows…!

and, oddly, in a state with a water crisis, in an arid climate that relies on irrigation…what do you think is outside…?

We then visited the nearby Bakersfield Museum of Art…a nice small museum.

The exhibition in the main gallery featured the work of LA artist, Swedish born painter Astrid Preston…who “…has explored the real and invented landscape for over 30 years.”   I liked them…

(This one’s for Tory)

and in the smaller gallery the work of another LA artist, Javier Carrillo.  Carillo is young, came to the US as a youngster led through the desert by the “Coyotes” and his series of poignant prints and paintings tell his own story…

Guess what the Museum had as well…

BUT, after all, it was our 48th anniversary so we headed to Palm Springs for some R&R…

 

 

 

The Trip Part One: The “Residency”

Tags

, ,

I know there is possibly nothing worse than other people’s trip stories, but hey…my blog. (My readership is down to virtually nothing anyway, so why not??!)  Please skip happily over this.

After a long hot summer,  I set off on a trip which began with five days in the studio of my oldest friend Carolyn Schneider (well she’s not the OLDEST, just the friend I’ve had the longest…).  We met in 7th grade art class and both have continued to make art.  In the last decade we’ve spent a week at least once a year making art together (installations like “Art Laundry” and sometimes just own own stuff…to see more check here or here or here).  Sometimes we’ve been in Salem, sometimes in Fort Bragg, California.  This year our time was shorter so I went for five days on the way to a wedding in Arizona.  It looked like this:

to the airport:

The two hour flight to Santa Rose was pretty nice since I had no seat-mate

and then the drive to Fort Bragg has my favorite stop in the middle of it…the Boonville Store…

and on this day the woman who has an upholstery business there let us tour her machines…check this industrial Bernina…

Carolyn and Bill live out of town a few miles on a couple of acres which includes this building…Bill has a recording studio, and repairs guitars, on the ground level and then upstairs…

22 stairs in all…(down is worse than up…scary)

is Carolyn’s nice studio…big and bright…

we’d bring our lunch stuff up with us daily and just stay up there all day…

Carolyn has a show next fall and is just starting in on a series of pastels she calls “Tricksters”…

I just started in trying to respond to her imagery and free associating…bunnies, a stolen Munch figure, the brain (a constant theme for us) the masks which I always paint when I’m there, death, collapse, aging, dying, spring and fall, guess that’s about it.

  

We talked a lot about the iconography of suburban girls, about where ideas come from, the usual stuff…though it was more fun than usual.  And then R arrived, Carolyn and I tidied up and got ready for the “opening” including our source material near each piece.  The husbands were complimentary, the food was good…

then time to go…alas my friend…

and off we go…Bakersfield here we come!