Monday, December 19, 2011

Devin Phillips at Jimmy Macks': great jazz in Portland, Oregon

We were so lucky! We headed up to Oregon, stopping first at Breitenbush Hot Springs, where we soaked, hiked and ate and met some really cool people. One of them a jazz musician who combines music with farming with his wife on their ten acre sustainable organic Dancing Roots Farm.

Then further north to Portland. Where my husband found himself a sleek new recumbent bike, and zoomed all over the cycling friendly city.

We had heard about Jimmy Macks' the Jazz Club that Down Beat Magazine rated as one of the 100 best in the world! And as luck would have it Devin Phillips,playful,joyful,Coltranesque sax player was performing on Friday Dec.9 with his New Orleans Straight Ahead. Phillips and Andrew Oliver, the fine pianist who led the band too, are both refugees from the Katrina disaster. They have been in Portland for five years and plan to stay. I've been enjoying Phillips' CD Wade in the Water as I think and write about the sweet jazz evening we had. The place was packed. The food was good. No pressure to keep buying drinks. And - I got really into painting the setting and performers on my iPad. They autographed the painting! Thank you very much Devin Phillips, Andrew Oliver, Eric Gruber (hidden in the shadows - sorry1) Mark Diflorio, and lovely singer Michael Angelo.
We wish Portland, with its bike paths, largest independent bookstore in the world - Powell's, good food and sweet jazz scene was closer!

December art at the Morris Graves' Humboldt Artist Gallery

Celebrating the winter solstice I am showing a glacier topped mountain and a Blue Lucia for you to see at the Humboldt Artist Gallery, downstairs at the Morris Graves Museum of Art in Eureka.

The mountain is the famous sugarcane volcano, Snaefellsjoekull on Iceland that Jules Verne used as setting for his fantasy "Journey to the Center of the Earth." I hiked to the foot of the mountain and made four watercolor sketches. It is a three registration oil monotype, 22" x 30".

The other original is a Blue Lucia, Swedish winter solstice celebrant, who is inspired by a photo of my mother at the age of one. She is at the photographer's in her eyelet dress and small boots, standing on a bench made of unbarked birch branches. Adorable!

In the print stand you will find a few Lucia art prints, butterflies, landscapes, and figures. On the counter there are ten Lucia greeting cards. I'll hang new original art each month, as well as fine art prints and a small selection of greeting cards. Once a month I will be in charge of the gallery. I'll post the time on Facebook. Come by and see me! I can show you the art and I'll also give introductions to painting on the iPad. Bring your own iPad if you have one.
Some of the other members of the Humboldt Artist Gallery are Joyce Jonté, Jim Lawry, Frances Kuta, Gary Todoroff, Linnea Tobias, Candy Miller, Julia Bednar and more.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Humboldt Gallery at the Morris Graves, New Art for Novemeber, Ruska - Dusky Moth, Lucias from Dalarna & Cycling Lucias.

The Finns have a succinct word for fall colors: RUSKA - to me it conjures up flaming birches and aspens, as well as the spicy fragrance and crispy sounds of autumnal forests. My Dusky Moth, that you can see during November in the downstairs Humboldt Gallery at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, is a celebration of ruska.
I will also show two of my Cycling Lucias - Look Ma No Hands featured here - a limited series of fine art prints on archival hemp papers. I created these as a friendly wink to my husband and his cycling friends the Latte Warriors. :-) In the art bin you will find art prints on hemp paper of my original series of Lucias - mixed media paintings - these quote from the folkloric Swedish province of Dalarna, home to well known artists Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn. Note the floral "curbits" and the images of painted horses, "dalahäst".
These light-hearted pieces provide me a nostalgic solstice journey to the old country.

I am pleased to be included in the Humboldt Gallery at the Morris Graves as it gives me an exquisite permanent space to show my art here on the North Coast. Be sure to stop by during Arts Alive! on the fist Saturday of each month - from 6 to 9 p.m. The next art walk is on November 5. See you there!

I am about to embark on a new series of Lucia paintings. Follow me on this blog to be the first to see them!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy MOMA? The Modern Museums of Art are my homes in large cities.

When recently in NYC I wanted to go to the Brooklyn bridge and paint the Occupy Wall Street protesters on my mobile art device - iPad - but did not find the time. I am feeling sympathy for the protest. I too worry about the skewed income distribution and the disregard for the public good, and the short sightedness of policies. I've come to the conclusion that only countries in which there is a general agreement to pool resources, in the form of taxes, for the common good, will function well in the long run. And, that the tax collection has to work well too - and not just for middle income salary-earners whose incomes are transparent and easily taxed.

But I find myself unhappy about my beloved MoMA being occupied!

When I was a student in Stockholm I spent as much time as possible at the Modern Museum of Art on Skeppsholmen, enthusiastically participating in all the avant grade activities. Pontus Hulten, who later headed the Centre Pompidou in Paris, was in charge. His mother, renown artist, Siri Derkert embellished one of the new subway stations. I remember walking through Niki de Saint Phalle's She, the arrival of op, and pop and all the other iconoclastic trends - those were exiting days. I seldom miss visiting the SFMOMA when in the City. A couple of years ago I discovered a series of transfer drawings by Paul Klee, which inspired me to pursue this technique used in my Cycling Lucia series.

When in NYC during first weekend of October, I made for MoMA my first day there. Had a lovely, expensive lunch then joined the large crowds checking out de Kooning: A Retrospective, and ended the visit by sitting down and making an homage to de Kooning on my iPad.

Here's an article about the protest at the MoMA. What do you think of this development? Are our large art institutions elitist? Do they exclude people? While a student in Stockholm I had very inexpensive access to all our museums and theaters, including the nose bleed section of the opera. Our beloved Ingmar Bergman had a say in this policy.

Images: "Smiling Cycling Lucia", transfer drawing; "Ripping off de Kooning at the MoMA", iPad painting, both by me; "She" by Niki de Saint Phalle - a walk though sculpture large as a room!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2 fab JAZZ links: Monterey Jazz Festival, Redwoods Jazz Alliance

I have decided to add links to my favorite jazz sites starting with the The Monterey Jazz Festival. I have a new series of live paintings from this years festival which was the 54th. The link covers this one and shows what's being planned for the 55th in 2012.

I am also linking to our wonderful local Jazz organization: The Redwoods Jazz Alliance. The next performance will be with great drummer Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom. We have seen her with Dr. Lonnie Smith at the Monterey Jazz festival, and are very much looking forward to having her on our home turf at HSU on Sunday Oct. 30. I hope capture her on my iPad.

Here two live iPad paintings of jazz drummers: Justin Brown with the Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet, (red background) and Michael Formanek's Gerald Cleaver.


Participating artists: Seth Fearey: photos from the Kyrqyz Republic Pat Jones: landscapes and still life in oil, Avner Mandelman, oil and mixed media paintings shown a digital images, Claire Iris Schencke: oil monotypes and iPad paintings as signed limited series prints.
Here's an short video of my presentation of the art exhibit. Gordon, who had a great time at the reunion, made it on his iPhone.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sunday, last day at the Monterey Jazz Festival, iPad paintings of SONNY ROLLINS and others. Beautiful ending!

By the time Sunday came along I felt confident that I could paint on my iPad all over the sprawling Monterey Fairgrounds. After another indian meal, this time with a hot chai, I parked myself in the shade on the left hand side in the very front of the Garden Stage. Shade is needed for the iPad. The luminous touch screen is highly reflective. Tia Fuller was a very nice surprise. She was so happy to be there, and I was so happy to paint her pretty figure.

Steve Coleman and Five Elements followed and put me in a sweet mood as I let the music guide my strokes on the iPad.

The evening ended with a love fest, as big, red shirted Sonny Rollins, now in his mid eighties showed us that he was still the man. He took us out with his long and powerful rendition of Saint Thomas, his famous calypso influenced jazz. He pumped the air with his fist and he stood his ground. It feels damn good to have captured him on the iPad.
I am posting a detail of the Sonny Rollins image. Saving the whole piece for a special occasion!

Saturday at the 54th Monterey Jazz Festival: iPad paintings during live performances

I wandered over in the late afternoon, had a lamb curry with mango lassi and lingered with the Dumpstaphunk New Orleans sound in the warm sunshine. Having the MJF app on my phone and iPad was handy for figuring out what was happening where. One of the tough aspects of the festival is having to forgo so many potentially great acts. Can't be at more than one place at a time - more so if you want a front row seat and stay long enough to execute a painting. On Saturday I knew I wanted to see the pianist Geri Allen perform with the tap dancer Maurice Chestnut: Geri Allen & Timeline "A Jazz Tap Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr". And I did not want to miss Herbie Hancock, both events taking place at the big outdoors arena, the Jimmy Lyons Stage. I got there early and took a seat at the front, hoping no one would claim it....and went to work, cheered on by a couple of ushers. Painting in layers I started with the stage, struggled to add Geri Allen as she flicked back and forth in the giant screen above the stage, then drew in the shadowy audience in the coveted orchestra seats, and found a way to add the constantly moving marionette - like tap dancer. Such intense focus - that I nearly fell off the seat when its rightful owner showed up. Moved a couple of seats over and finished as the set finished. I loved the piano, and the tap dancing, and the visuals were compelling. And, having had such misgivings about painting in the big arena, I was happy to find out I could.

Herbie Hancock is one of my all-time favorites. On this painting he appears as a very small guy with his white portable keyboard. And tiny Herbie is multiplied on the overhead big screen. Just a fantasy! Herbie was painted from our regular seat in row G.

Monterey Jazz Festival 2011: series of new iPad paintings!

54th Monterey Jazz Festival! What a great festival it was. My best one so far. I was concerned about not being able to sit close enough to the stages to see the musicians well enough to paint on my iPad. Painting during live jazz is what I do! This was my first chance to do so at MJF.

The first night, Friday , Sept. 16, I recklessly abandoned the large outdoors arena (Jimmy Lyon's Stage) where we do have very respectable seats in row G - earned over many years steady attendance - and stood in the long line for Dizzy's Den, had my dinner in line, and got a pretty good seat. I chose Dizzy's Den because it promised a close view of Richard Bona and Raul Midon followed by Hiromi: the Trio Project. This was a totally different approach to the festival. In the past I would come and go between the various venues (there are 6 different spaces - all spread out over the Monterey Fairgrounds, with food and drink vendors, vendors of CDs, hats and crafts) depending on how much I liked the music.

I found myself supported by the audience around me at Dizzy's Den. They showed a lot of interest in what I was doing, and a couple of them gave up their seats so that I could have a better view of the performers. And at the end of each performance I was able to go backstage and get signatures. Afterwards I was so jazzed.... painting at the MJF works!!! It was a lot of fun! I am very pleased with the results. And, I was completely blown away by the forceful playing of Hiromi and her drummer Simon Phillips! Richard Bona and Raul Midon's performance was sweet and lovely. A great evening.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Richie Cole at the Typhoon at the Santa Monica airport Aug. 2011 He blew us away!

Gordon and I have a long standing relationship with Richie Cole - wonderful Jazz musician - and we got to see him perform with his Alto Jazz Orchestra at the lively, friendly and FUN Typhoon restaurant/club located right on the small planes' airport in Santa Monica.

This is what my husband Jazz - Gordon just wrote to Riche Cole:

"Your wonderful music has meant so much to my whole family. When I met my wife back in the early 80s we used to listen to "Keeper of the Flame" and I remember her saying, "what IS that incredible music?" Years later when we took our son camping a tape of "Pop Bop" was our companion music for the car trip and all three of us were happy to find it on CD. Needless to say, we were delighted to find you at the club in Santa Monica during our visit. My wife Iris was the woman who drew you and the band on her iPad. "

And here is the iPad Painting of Riche Cole! Signed by him!

For more about my iPad paintings become a follower on my blog. Email me if you would like to purchase a print or have me make an iPad painting for you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Student iPad paintings - four first lessons! Lovely work!

I have now taught four students, four first lessons, consisting of :
1. Mondrian
shapes: straight lines, rectangles
dimensions: thin -thick, translucent -opaque
tools: pencil, brush, pen, bucket, eraser
general operations: open, save, export, email

2. Miro
shapes: curved lines, circles, dots
tools: spray can, scatter, smudge tool
layers: background, foreground
general operations: wi fi connect, searching for art

3. Modigliani
shapes: angled lines
tools: eyedropper
dimensions: touch screen expansion/contraction
color palette: making skin tones
general operations: publishing to facebook

4. Monet
review of all the first lessons
tools: stamping
add additional layers
work on a comprehensive project

As expected, the students progressed at different speeds and found some features more interesting than others, so the lesson plans changed accordingly and become very tailored to the individuals students interest and abilities.

I am now working on developing a set of intermediate lessons.
Here are some of the subjects: incorporation of photos into iPad paintings, advanced use of multiple layers, transformations, gradients, creating your own textures and patterns.

I am going to attend the International Association of Mobile Digital Artists, IAMDA, 2nd annual conference in NYC in early October and expect to come back with a lot of new knowledge, inspiration and contacts for my iPad art.

At this time I have openings for a small number of private students. Send me an email if you are interested. You will need an iPad and the ArtStudio app - which costs about $6.

Above examples of one of my students work.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

About all kinds of water nymphs, at the Piante Gallery

Richard Evans who writes the Art Beat at the Journal, now featured in the monthy insert called the Muse, dropped in on me a couple of week before the opening at the Piante gallery of The Glacier Art Project and At Waters' Edge. We had fun looking at the paintings - which I strewed out on the floor in my studio - and in his art review he captured a lot of what I said, including the concept of "iciness". But, what I found brilliant in his writing was the interpretation he gave to the figures that appear in quite a few of the paintings. Here's what he wrote: "It’s so fascinating to observe how artists call upon their backgrounds and skills to bring forward themes using new visual clues. Iris has been a lifelong practitioner of drawing from the live model and in many of these prints anthropomorphic figures emerge as though calving into our presence."
Thank you Richard!
Here's what I say about these nymphs in the art: Greek mythology gives us a multitude of nymphs associated with life giving waters: Nereids, nymphs of the Mediterranean Sea, Hyades, rain, Limnades, lakes, Potameides, rivers, Oceanids, salty water and Naiades, of fresh water. At the splintering edge of a tide water glacier one can imagine playful Naiades, bathing, dancing, singing, and also raging as the glacier violently calves an iceberg."

Piante is open on Wed. through Sat. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. my exhibit comes down on Aug. 30. I do have a key if one of my friends would like a private showing when the gallery is closed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sunset over Samoa or can an old smokestack be beautiful?

17 days until the vernissage at Piante in Old Town, Eureka, Saturday August 6, 2011

This is what happened. We had some time to kill between dinner out and a movie, so we decided to walk along the shore in Eureka, washed over by one of those icy cold and vibrant winter sunsets.
Without paying much attention, we ended up inside some large wire enclosures...and kept walking and taking photos and talking about the end of the pulp mill era. The end of the stink, and the end of the jobs. The rusting hulk, and the seeping toxins. How when we moved here our real estate broker pointed out the active smokestack with its plume across the bay. He thought it enhanced our view. He was part of the generation that saw this as progress.
Well, we got stuck, the gates were closed when we wanted to get back to the car. My man, manly as he is, wanted to climb over the tall fence. Luckily, before he actually did so, we found a way out of the maze. Don't know if my painting is based on his or my photo. We often photograph the same thing and then argue about who got the best shot. It is a three color registration monotype diptych.

For an extensive and unique exploration of human impact on our earth take a look at local artist and art professor Cynthia Hooper's paintings and videos. I quote from her website: "My videos, paintings, and interdisciplinary projects investigate landscapes transfigured by social and environmental contingency. My work is meditative and poetic, but also takes a generously observational and generally factual approach toward the places I examine."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mendenhall Glacier - Reflection, diptych: it is retreating for good?

As these majestic rivers of ice melt, we face the prospect of a world without them - and their fate will affect us all. I seek to bring the intense beauty of remote glacial landscapers into your life and make the dilemma real.

This painting of the Mendenhall Glacier is inspired by a photo by my friend David Smith. I am grateful for his permission.

" The Juneau Icefield Research Program has monitored the outlet glaciers of Juneau Icefield since 1942, including Mendenhall Glacier. From 1951-1958 the terminus of the glacier, which flows into suburban Juneau, has retreated 1,900 feet (580m). The glacier has also receded 1.75 miles (2.82 km) since 1958, when Mendenhall Lake was created, and over 2.5 miles (4.0 km) since 1500. The end of the glacier currently has limited crevassing, a negative glacier mass balance and will continue to retreat in the foreseeable future."

19 days until the vernissage at Piante in Old Town, Eureka, Saturday August 6, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Naiad over Beagle Channel: Glacier Art Project

20 days until the vernissage at Piante in Old Town, Saturday August 6, 2011

I am not sure why these figures entered the Glacier Art Project, but they pushed in, and I feel strongly that they belong. I think they connect the remote glacial landscapes to humans. They make a link between the melting ice, the rising waters and us. Some of them seem frozen, some are playful at waters' edge. At the exhibit you will see them grouped with glaciers. They are my own invention. I find them surprising and cool!

Greek mythology gives us a multitude of nymphs associated with life giving waters: Nereids, nymphs of the Mediterranean Sea, Hyades, rain, Limnades, lakes, Potameides, rivers, Oceanids, salty water and Naiads, of fresh water. At the splintering edge of a tide water glacier one can imagine playful Naiads, bathing, dancing, singing, and also raging as the glacier violently calves an iceberg.

Naiad over Beagle channel, monotype 15"x 22"

Together & With You at Water's Edge, transfer drawings

21 days until the vernissage at Piante in Old Town, Saturday August 6, 2011

These cool and dreamy monotypes have figures created using transfer drawing. The figures are based on live models I sketched during the croquis session run by Joyce Jonté at StewART galleries. (Thursday night, and Friday mornings, drop ins welcome, reasonable fee - amazing artists! ) Paul Klee made interesting transfer drawings. With my artist collective 7 Plus, we brought accomplished and inspirational artist and teacher Annie Stromquist up to Humboldt for a workshop in various printing techniques, among them transfer drawing. I like incorporating this element into my monotypes. I use it on two different ways...more about that soon.

I notice a new follower on my blog! Thank you! Feel free to make comments.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Running Fast on Black Sand: At Waters' Edge

22 days until the Arts Alive! Opening at Piante. Here's a small monotype with transfer drawings of a figure running fast, running away, enjoying her run, on a black sand beach.