November 3, 2007

Artsy Fartsy Saturday

There are artists studios housed in old industrial warehouses along the Charles River in Waltham, Massachusetts, the town I now call home. Every year during the first weekend in November, the studios are opened to the public so that one may venture in and see the work as it is created and have a voyeuristic view into the loft life of a bunch of artists. This being the first week of November, the Waltham Mills Artist Association shindig is on.

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.


laughykate said...

Wow. That painting. I. Want.It.

I would also like to have wings, but I can't see myself getting them anytime soon, either. Oh well.

But good is the security in that joint?

dive said...

I like deep.
I'm glad you got blogger working again, Fresh; I had been wondering where you'd got to.
I'm another one who haunts galleries and workshops. I've been known to go without food to buy a painting.
And that artist is a meanie for not bartering.

Fresh Hell said...

Laughy Kate~ That's exactly how I felt when I saw it. I think I could probably work around the security and make away with it if I really put my head to it.

Dive~ The artist was actually really nice. He was entertaining offers. Perhaps if I offered a grand and a sweater . . .

I could settle for a print, but it's really not the same now is it?

Mrs. G. said...

I like your taste in art. One of these days, I'm going to write a check for an original piece or art. Pier One is fine and all but I want the real thing...hopefully before I die.

savannah said...

i once found a piece i absolutely loved...and when i brought the mister in to see was gone. just that fast. so i learned my lesson. talk to the artist about layaway or if nothing else, a small deposit to hold the painting/work.

Scout said...

Good for you for being resourceful and offering to knit for the work. The artist should have been flattered.

I have so little exposure to art where I live. There is a local guild, but so much of stuff they put out is crap.