Art: The Magic

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.

Twyla Thorpe

For me, looking at art is running away, enjoying the magic of another’s creative reality. A few days ago I went to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts for an exhibit of sculpture by Ron Mueck.  To say the least, I was blown away.

He is called a hyperrealist sculptor, and it is easy to see why.  No detail is left to the imagination.

Using resin, silicone, fiberglass and other materials he creates human forms that portray life through its various stages: birth,

middle age,

elderly.

Not always are the figures true to scale.  They may be larger 

or smaller giving one the idea that size reflects the enormity of the event represented.

It is said that some of Mueck’s images reflect Christian imagery 

while others draw on the perfection of Renaissance painting.

Whatever the influences, Mueck’s sculptures demand attention. Like them or not, one cannot help but appreciate the artist’s attention to detail and the time such must require.

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WPC: Ornate

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The tombs at Christopher Columbus Cemetery in Havana could not be any more ornate.

CubaWandering through the cemetery is like being in a sculpture garden

Cubaenhanced by the beauty of light dancing through stained glass windows.

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Sunday Afternoon Delight

The Bayou City Art Festival is one of my favorite spring events in Houston.  It is one of the country’s largest outdoor art shows and features art in all mediums by more than 400 artists from all over the country.

Daniel Ng

Daniel Ng

This year’s featured artist is Daniel Ng who is said to paint with imagination but not from imagination.  As this painting interpreting the approach to Houston’s downtown shows, he is definitely a colorist.

As much as I like paintings, prints and photographs, my heart sings when I see beautifully crafted art of wood, fiber, metal, glass and clay.  It’s hard to pick favorites from so many wonderful pieces, but these represent some of the artists who caught my eye.

Amber Marshall

Amber Marshall

Amber Marshall hails from Spruce Pine, North Carolina, and her glass creations are wonderful for their color and delicate shape.

Gregg Rasmusson

Gregg Rasmusson

Interestingly, many of the clay creations were done by men, and it was exciting to see their use of color and design.  I particularly liked the energy of Gregg Rasmusson’s work.

Sally J Bright

Sally J Bright

Every time I see Sally Bright’s work my heart beats a little faster.  Her sculptural fiber pieces are graceful and show a wonderful sensitivity to color.

Eric Ober

Eric Ober

Two Houston artists got my attention.  Eric Ober’s sculpture is perfect for outdoor installation, and I could easily imagine one in my yard.

Thomas Irven

Thomas Irven

Thomas Irven is a wood worker whose craftsmanship shows a real sensitivity to his material.

Carlos Montanaro

Carlos Montanaro

Of course, I can’t resist looking at jewelry and am particularly drawn to unusual upcycled pieces such at that of Carlos Montanaro.

I wish you had been here with me today.  It would have been fun to share the excitement and see what caught your eye. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

PS  All the photos shown here are from the artists’ websites.  I hope you will take a look to see other examples from their talented hands.

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Cuba: The Arts

When it comes to the arts in Cuba, there is real energy.  It’s hard to go anywhere without hearing the sound of music.

CubaSome musicians are university trained and play professionally in chamber ensembles or orchestras or entertain in clubs and hotels.

CubaOthers  seem just to have music in their bones and use their talent on the street or tourist venues to earn a few extra pesos.

CubaCubaCubaCubaMusic is a shared language that makes hearts sing and feet tap to its rhythms.  In Cuba, you might be inspired to dance the cha cha or salsa or become part of a cafe performance.  You have to be ready for any surprise!

CubaVisual art is as colorful and energetic as the music.   Classic cars and Che are popular subject for paintings

Cubaand amazing constructions are made from found objects.

CubaCubaCubaCubaNo material goes to waste and is used in most  creative ways.

CubaCubaCubaCubaOne artist, Jose Fuster, has transformed his home and entire neighborhood into an artistic landscape filled with unique mosaics and sculptures that are amazing and remind of Gaudi’s work in Barcelona.

CubaCubaCubaCubaPeople create with their hands  in a variety of mediums, and it’s wonderful to see them working so openly at every turn.

Yes, Cuba is a map of color and texture which are a joyful expression of the local culture.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind 

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Oh The Places I’ve Been

Napa: The Last Word

As much as I enjoyed sampling wines and eating in Napa, there was something else there that thrilled me, too….art!   Thinking back, I realize that paintings were less the norm than sculptural pieces and constructions from interesting materials 

Napalike this one of sea fans

Napaor this made from metal tape measures.

NapaThere were sculptures cast of bronze depicting life

Napaand work in the valley.

NapaI loved this massive fountain of stone and granite and the way water gently moved from end to end.

NapaPaper, repurposed from books,

Napathe pages meticulously folded,

Napaand newspapers rolled, painted and stitched, was used to create some of my favorite pieces.

NapaThis piece is made entirely from multi colored sticky notes.  As I looked at each of these constructions, I delighted in thinking about how common elements can be used in such exciting ways.

NapaBeing a fiber person, I was fascinated by this huge piece

Napawith its intricate patterns of sequins and beads on a background of colorful knits.

NapaSpeaking of beads, how about this coiled creation that rises more than twenty feet off the ground?   I’m not even venturing a guess at the time and effort involved here.

NapaAnd last but not least, I was thrilled by these blown glass fixtures illuminating the production room of one winery.  I wouldn’t mind having a few of these in my kitchen!

I don’t know about you, but I am so grateful to those creative souls whose work makes my world a visual delight and provides inspiration.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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A Look Inside

I love art, all of it, and I am thrilled to have the Center for Maine Contemporary Art right down the street from me.  I am privileged to volunteer there on a weekly basis to enjoy the art as well as the visitors.

You may not realize it but Maine has played a significant role in the history of American art and is still doing so.  Artists from Winslow Homer to George Bellows to Edward Hopper to Georgia O’Keeffe to Robert Indiana to Alex Katz to the Wyeths…..well, you get the picture, have found Maine to provide an abundance of subject matter as well as color and texture and solitude.

While there are many places to look at art in Maine, CMCA is what I consider the “go to” place for experiencing the more cutting edge work being done by artists who have a connection to the state, and the current biennial exhibition is great proof of that.  Come on in and take a look.

Seventeen artists were selected by invitation and from open submissions, and each is referencing traditional methods in new ways to express his or her own voice.

James B. Marshall Standing Five

There are sculptures that look very much like metal but are made using graphite, PVA and plaster on paper.

This fiber installation piece is influenced by the artist’s experience hiking among glaciers in Patagonia. Its sheer beauty is breathtaking, and I marvel at its complexity.

David Stess

These photographs, shot with film rather than with a digital camera, document the experience of migrants who work the fields of Maine

Luc Demers

while these capture moody interior spaces.

Erik Weisenburger

These paintings are done in classical style but have a touch of whimsy

Cassie Jones

as do these acrylics done on felt that is stuffed and manipulated to represent forms in nature.

As these and other pieces in the 2012 Biennial illustrate, art is more than just pretty pictures.  It is an opportunity for a new way of looking at the familiar as is so often the case with contemporary art.  Liking it is not what is important.  It is the seeing, the experiencing, accepting the challenge to think outside the box that makes it meaningful.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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