While a goodly portion of New England is sniveling and whining because it's raining, I'm thrilled and have taken it as a glorious opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy this place for one of the driving reasons I moved here from sunny California. The icing on the cake about the weather is that the studios were not too crowded. I’m not a fan of crowds, especially when perusing art.
I like art to be pretty, or disturbing in a provocative way, but not a contrived way. Having the artists on hand to pick their brains as pieces are encountered is particularly cool. Unless upon walking into their studio, you realize that their art is horrid and you want to get out without having to talk to them. Some sad little worlds are not even worth trying to understand. I make a lousy patron of the arts.
While popping from studio to studio all afternoon, I came across several artists whose work appealed greatly to me. There is a photographer (Sam Laundon) who does interesting work with digitally coloring photographs. I came across an oil artist (Emilia Carbone) whose paintings are a divine mix of pretty and sordid. She does great things with light and is clearly very influenced by Edward Hopper. Oddly, I like Edward Hopper, but he does not really send me over the moon. Kind of like the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen: I like them, but I greatly prefer to listen to bands that are influenced by them than to have to listen to them any more.
What effected me more than anything was this piece by Michael B. Wilson:
I think there is something that is going on between the beautiful delicate nature of the rose and the beautiful robust nature of the train. Both with a distinctly appealing aesthetic, both with the potential for great power, yet each with distinctly different morphologies. I liked it so much that I offered to hand knit a sweater for it because I seriously can not afford the painting. He didn’t fall for it. A girl can try, though.
There were several other artists who had incredible work and I didn’t even make it to all the studios. Looking at art is exhausting. I think I have to go back tomorrow for another dose.
I don’t understand how people go on big museum tours and hit one after another cramming all sorts of art down their throats at breakneck speed. I’ve always liked digestion time. I was fortunate to have grown up in Santa Barbara because there is a huge art scene there. From the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (which is phenomenal for the size of the town) to the grass roots artisans, there was always a gallery to go to, and usually for free. As a kid, I would kill time just getting lost in an installation at the museum or one of the many galleries at the public library. Without even realizing it, I developed an awareness of and appreciation for art.
Let’s hope that I’m done being deep for the month.