Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pacheco and the Andes

Today's blog is about the work of a Bolivian artist who you may not know. Her name? Maria Luisa Pacheco. (1919-1982). Yet, she was an international award-winning artist who also received three consecutive Guggenheim fellowships.

Pacheco studied at the art academy in her hometown of La Paz, Bolivia. After her studies, she worked as an illustrator for a daily newspaper. A scholarship, awarded by the Spanish government, allowed her to continue her studies in Madrid.

Eventually, Pacheco would settle in New York and become an American citizen. However, her best-known art reflected her childhood views of Bolivia. Her most famous and masterful paintings were inspired by the glaciers and peaks of the Andes mountains.

Below are some of Pacheco's abstract paintings of the mountains in all their majesty. (She incorporated wood, sand and cloth into her collages and paintings to add textural relief. )

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Opening Night Par-tee!

Arriving before the crowd, we watched as the catering company set up the delicious food (including some sensational toffee cookies - yum!) and the wine bar. Two early arrivals - Jan and Jessica - presented a lovely card and a pot of gorgeous yellow daisy. (Click on images to enlarge)

The walls of the stately gallery were dotted with all these bright, colorful paintings. The lighting was just perfect. Each piece was highlighted like an aura with soft cast shadows beyond the frame.

So many friends showed up. Most had made a 2.5-3 hour round trip to help me celebrate. For friends Mike and Karen, it was a 6-hour round car ride. (They tried to claim a phantom prize for having made the longest trip. They had to capitulate as it was Birdie from Vermont who planned her vacation around the event.) A shout out to the ladies who designated the exhibit as a "road trip" as soon as I announced that I was having a showing.

Finally, to those who came to help mark this event and those who wished they could, YOU are my inspiration.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Almost Show Time!

It'd be difficult to write about other art or artists on this blog when I'm a few days from my first solo exhibit and that's occupying my thoughts. (Above image is the front of the Umpqua Valley Art Gallery, Roseburg, Oregon where I'll be exhibiting.)

Last Friday, my friend and I delivered 26 triptychs for the "Progressions" series to the gallery. After unwrapping them, the gallery director and I arranged them against the walls to figure out the best way to display the work. It's an interesting process - trying to imagine how they will look once they're suspended.

Arranging the setting for art is an art in itself. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and learned more about the discerning eye of a gallery director. There are many considerations with regards to the placement of the art... height for viewing, lighting without glare, logical placement of surrounding art by colors, subject and size. Wonderful lesson.

Below is the info on the opening. (Click to enlarge) For those of you who cannot make the opening, the exhibit will be up until Sept. 5th.

Next week's blog: Posting of Opening and Photos.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Before Buffalo Bill

Long before "Buffalo Bill" Cody took his Wild West show to Europe, there was a man - an artist - who brought Native Americans to Europe. His name was George Catlin. (1796-1872)

Catlin was born in the Pennsylvania. As a young person, Catlin was fascinated by the Native American artifacts he found. Although Catlin would train as a lawyer, he had drawn and etched since childhood. It would be the combination of painting and curiosity that lead to the passion of his life - chronicling the lives of Native Americans. In 1823, he closed his law practice to make a career in painting.

He traveled all the way to the North Dakota/Montana border visiting and painting 18 tribes along the way. When Catlin returned to the East, he had a gallery of 500 paintings of Native American portraits and culture.

Catlin toured with his gallery and collection of artifact. By 1842, he was exhibiting in England and then in the Louvre in Paris. Catlin was accompanied by members of the Ojibbeways and later the Ioways tribes.

As a viewer, not only could you see the portraiture, but also you could interview the native people through an interpreter. Can you imagine the sensational stir this group created some 30 years before Buffalo Bill?