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Monthly Archives

July 2017

Fierce Women of Art – Pippi Longstocking

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Fierce Women of Art

In the same breath that I will say “please don’t ever refer to my gender before you refer to my work” I will share this list of lady artists, because … sometimes you have to be a big pill when society is sick.
Huff, sigh, shuffle, and growl. Go get ’em girls.

Pippi Longstocking

“All the children sat looking at Pippi, who lay flat on the floor, drawing to her heart’s content. ‘But, Pippi,’ said the teacher impatiently, ‘why in the world aren’t you drawing on your paper?’”

-Pippi Longstocking, created by Astrid Lindgren

Fierce Women of Art | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios (8 minutes)

New Work by Bill Hook

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William Hook’s New Urban Landscapes

Last winter, Bill Hook asked for some time off from teaching at the League so he could make more paintings. Looks like it was time well spent! This work appears to have gained a boldness. More texture, more dynamism. We have him teaching this weekend, this weekend only. Get in while the water’s wet!

Urban Landscapes; Powerful Watercolor: WORKSHOP (Summer)

Flags by Sara Rahbar

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Sara Rahbar

Wiki: Sara Rahbar (born in 1976 in Tehran, Iran) is a contemporary, mixed media artist based in New York City. Her work ranges from photography to sculpture to installation and often stems from her personal experiences and is largely autobiographical.
In 1982, Rahbar and her family fled Iran during the beginning of the Iranian Revolution which has left many traumatic memories that have influenced her work.

Rahbar studied at Fashion Institute of Technology from 1996 until 2000 and in 2004 she continued her education at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.

The first body of work that created international recognition for the artist was the Flag Series (2005–2016), in which traditional fabrics and objects are reworked as collages that form various incarnations of the American and Iranian flag, exploring ideas of national belonging, as well as the conflicting role of flags as symbols of ideological and nationalistic violence.

Interview with Sara Rahbar by Rajesh Punj
Fierce Women of Art | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios (8 minutes)

Richard Tuttle

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Richard Tuttle

Richard Tuttle is an American known for his small, odd, subtle, and intimate works. Sometimes, his art incites the viewer to decide what distinguishes art from trash. See “untitled” drawing above, and the gem below. Tuttle was a very close friend of minimalist painter Agnes Martin.

“Cloth,” 2002 – 2005. Series of 16 etchings with aquatint, spit.
“A lot of my work is about not being able to do something well.”
This is might be the silliest and most serious 4 minutes of your day.
Richard Tuttle: Staying Contemporary

Humor in Art: Mel Bochner

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Mel Bochner

Funny painter who isn’t dead. American. Born 1940. Slightly significant. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah poop blah blah blah pigeon blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah poop blah blah blah pigeon blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah poop blah blah blah thank you blah blah pigeon blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah poop blah blah blah pigeon blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah poop blah blah blah pigeon blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah poop blah blah blah pigeon blah thank you  blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah boob blah blah blah pigeon blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah poop blah blah blah pigeon blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah poop blah blah blah pigeon blah blah blah.

Artsy: 
Mel Bochner’s approach and materials constantly vary; in fact, the artist formally disavowed allegiance to a single material in his famous essay titled “the Medium and the Tedium” (2010). Bochner—who has produced paintings, installations, and photography—is noted to be one of the most influential pioneers of Conceptual art, and the organizer of the first Conceptual art exhibition in 1966. A recurring theme in Bochner’s work is the relationship between language and physical space or color. This is famously demonstrated in his “Measurement” installations of the late 1960s, visualizing the exact dimensions of rooms and exhibition spaces, and thesaurus-inspired paintings of a single word and its synonyms. Bochner formally studied under Douglas Wilson and Wilfred Readio, though his eventual style would draw strong influence from the works of Clyfford Still and Jean Dubuffet.

Humor in Art: Raymond Pettibon

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Raymond Pettibon

Wiki: Raymond Pettibon (born Raymond Ginn; June 16, 1957) is an American artist who lives and works in New York City. Pettibon came to prominence in the early 1980s in the southern California punk rock scene, creating posters and album art mainly for groups on SST Records, owned and operated by his brother, Greg Ginn. He has since gone on to international acclaim, earning several awards and exhibiting in major galleries and museums.

Keywords: Sardonic, prolific, punk, 80’s, ‘zine.

My work is more driven by the creative word. It’s immersed in other writing and printed work, rather than drawn so much from life or past experience.” – Pettibon
I’m not God, but I’m working within my own means as an artist and a person, and I possibly have more power than God does, in whatever form he has, if he exists, because I can work without the overarching ambition of wanting to rule over everything. I can work just for the heck of it.” – Pettibon
“I really don’t see any influence of my work on any artists. But I do think I’ve had an influence on drawings’ being shown. I’ve had an influence on the economics of it.” – Pettibon
Art21 Preview of interview with Pettibon
Raymond Pettibon in “Humor”
Short segment in 1 hour Art 21 Video
The Art of Punk (22 minutes)

Claire Putney

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Claire Putney’s layered drawings combine maps, charts, and diagrams with sewing, burning, cut paper, and ink washes.

From what I’ve seen of her work so far, although she and I use different images and mediums, her process appears to be very similar to my own. She has a concept, she finds images to help her talk about that concept, she edits and combines the layers to develop her articulation, and she responds to moments as her purposeful choices invite unexpected effects. Through repeated rounds of plans, expansions and careful editing, her products become beautifully honed, relevant, and thoughtful.

In the fall she returns to teach photography at the community college, but in the summer, she’s our “Alternative Drawing” teacher. We’re lucky to have her.

Continuous line drawings from “Figures: Draw, Paint, Sculpt”

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Ruthie V.

Continuous Line Figure Studies

“Figures; Draw Paint Sculpt” Friday night class

Sculpting changed our drawings! Have you ever seen a figure drawing look as heavy as these (below) by Lendy Hensley? They weigh as much as the real model! They have gravity, volume, mass, and space. Aren’t they gorgeous!

Lendy Hensley

“The sculpting has changed my drawing. I like it.” – Lendy Hensley

Jessica Conaway

Kelly Gargour

Alex Walker

“This class was so much fun I could hardly stand it.”  – Alex Walker

Next “Figures” class starts Friday August 4, 6-10pm
CLICK HERE to join us

Bored at work? Read art books online!

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The Met: 1,600 Free Art Books Online

With an art historical focus, this comprehensive collection of over 1,600 full-text titles features everything from African to American art. Like traditional print editions, nearly every online art book features a table of contents and information about the author. Unlike hardcopies, however, the Met’s free online book also include readers’ reviews, a list of any awards won, and helpful links to related reads available on the Met website and in print. Additionally, most books can be both read conveniently online or downloaded as a handy PDF to your device.

Find a book you like? Send me a note to tell me about it. Maybe another V-Note subscriber will like it too.

The beret is never out of style

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Beret

400 years, and still fashionable. Maybe some day I will be a real artist, and I will wear a French beret.

How it’s made

History of the French Beret (below) – maybe not so French, says Noah?

Lucien Freud

Cezanne and Monet

Mary Cassatt

Remmy

History of the French Beret

Posted on October 27, 2016 by Margo Lestz

French beretThe French beret, that little pancake of a hat, has become the recognized symbol of all things French – at least among those outside of France. The traditional French beret is just a flat circular hat of felted wool with a little “tail” poking out the top. But stick one of these on anything and it automatically becomes French.

It certainly is a practical little hat. It’s warm, waterproof, and can be tucked in your pocket when it’s not needed. But it’s much more than just a simple head covering. It’s a statement and an attitude that adapts to anyone’s personal style. This might explain why it has been worn by such divers segments of society over the years. From shepherd to artist, soldier to film star, the beret has identified and conveyed the mood of its wearer.

Noah

Noah in a beretEven though the beret has a strong association with France, it has been worn in many parts of the world throughout history, and the French don’t claim to have invented it. In fact, they credit Noah (from the Bible) with its invention. Supposedly, when he was floating around in his ark getting rained on, he noticed that the wool on the floor in the sheep pen had been trampled and turned into felt. He cut out a circle, put it on his head to keep his hair dry, and voila! The first beret.

Shepherds

In more modern times, it was the 17th century shepherds in the French regions of Béarn and Basque who are responsible for the beret’s popularization in France. They figured if the wool kept the sheep at a comfortable temperature in sun, wind, and rain, maybe it could do the same for them. It’s said, they stuffed wool in their shoes to keep their feet warm and dry. They discovered that the compression of walking on it and the humidity from the wet ground (and perspiring feet) caused the fibers to cling together and turned the wool into felt. These early shepherds made their berets from the wool of their own sheep. But they weren’t great hat makers and their head coverings were sometimes smelly and hairy.

Mass Production

Then in the early 1800s mass production of berets began and the flat caps became more standardized… and better smelling. The southwest of France already had a long history of textile production so it was only natural that they started to produce the cap that was so popular in the area.  The first beret factory started production in 1810 and others followed. In the early factories, the caps were still knitted by hand and the little “tail” on the top of the beret was the ends of the fibers. When they began to be machine knitted, there was no “tail” so, of course, it had to be added – because a “tail-less” beret just wouldn’t be a beret.

Worker Berets

Thanks to the factories there was an abundance of berets and the little cap spread far and wide. When industrialization started and many from the southwest moved to cities for work, they took their trusty head covering with them and the beret became recognized as a workman’s cap.

Cezanne and Monet in their berets

Artistic Berets

But it wasn’t only for physical laborers. From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, the Parisian artists of the Left Bank adopted the beret as part of their artistic image. Maybe they wanted to imitate the great artists of the Renaissance such as Rembrandt, or maybe they just needed to keep their heads warm when they weren’t able to pay the rent. Whatever the reason, artists such as Monet, Cezanne, Marie Laurencin, Picasso, and many others enjoyed wearing and painting the beret. The little cap is now inextricably linked with the image of the artist.

Military Berets

In 1889, the French military adopted a large floppy beret as part of the uniform for their elite mountain infantry called the “Chasseurs Alpins.” During the First World War, the British general in charge of the newly formed tank regiment saw these French caps as a solution to his problem: how the men could climb through the small hatch of the tanks without knocking their hats off. The beret was adopted as military headgear by many countries.

Brigitte Bardot and Greta Garbo in berets

Fashion Berets

Traditionally, the beret was a man’s hat, even though some women were sporting them as early as the 1800s. But the big change came in the 1930s when Coco Chanel, who was famous for taking comfortable men’s clothing and adapting it for women, made the beret a fashion statement for the ladies. Then movie stars such as Greta Garbo and Brigitte Bardot wore them in films and the beret has remained a female fashion accessory ever since.

That’s One Expressive Hat

It seems that the humble little beret can be worn by almost anyone and can be formed to fit any face or mood. You can wear it flat on top of your head, slanted to one side, with the fullness at the front or the back, or you can even pull it straight down to keep those ears warm. Wearing a beret can express your country roots, artistic flair, or fashion sense, and it especially suits those who like to show their individuality.

So whether you want to portray yourself as villain or hero, simpleton or intellectual, the beret can help you define your image. It’s more than just a hat – it is a state of mind.