Thursday, August 11, 2011

The long and winding road

8x6 oil and cold wax on a plank


Since the time my mother passed away, I've had urges to go visit places. 
To the place where I grew up, to where my grandmother grew up.
I'm not really sure why.
I drove out to the place where I grew up, with my childhood friend
that I recently reconnected with on fb--after years of not seeing each other
or knew where each other were.  Thank you fb!
Anyway, we drove to the "small town".  
 The winding road we lived on was the same...
the curves, the hills, the twists, the turns. 
But the surroundings changed.
I don't know what it was that I was looking for exactly,
or what I was expecting to find.
Did I expect to see myself as a girl jumping rope,
swimming in the river, riding my bike, or climbing trees?
The roads used to be gravel-sprayed with oil on top.
I remember having to scrub my feet before I went to bed
because I refused to wear shoes.
Some of the roads were just gravel, there used to be one road
 that was a set of tire tracks with a ribbon of grass in between.
There were little rickety abandoned buildings--all gone now.
All the roads are paved, 
most of the summer cottages are now big year round houses.
A part of me felt sad because there was nothing for me to hang on to.
The beach where the neighborhood kids hung out was gone.
My favorite climbing tree gone, in fact the woods where we used to play-gone.
Everything changed.
What they say is true, you can't go back.
When you search for some tangible part of your past, it's not there.
Someone bought the old rickety shack or the summer cottage and tore it down.
I realized that sometimes you have to let go of what you left behind,
to make room for someone else's dreams.
I have closure now.  Maybe that's what I was after all along.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

MAM-Art is good for the soul

I took myself on an artists date to the Milwaukee Art Museum.
It had been a long time since stepping through those doors
and taking in all that amazing work that lies within.
The first piece you encounter is a sarcophagus,
waxed in yellow ochre, red (ocher too?), turquoise,black and white.
Decorated with designs and hieroglyphics and gold.
Surely it was made for someone important.

Oh my, Cy Twombly
Standing before this giant canvas, taking in the underlying scribblings
painted in uneven brush strokes, paint thinned that ran down the canvas. 

This life size girl is made of plaster. (I love me some plaster.)
She is at once creepy and fantastic.
Part of an installation with a door, fluorescent light and venetian blinds.
by George Segal

Robert Motherwell--What more can you say?

Anslem Kiefer's oil on canvas.  Gorgeous.  Highly textured areas
some not so much, canvas peeking through.  Brilliant use of darks and lights.

German Expressionism
Oskar Kokoschka
I enjoy this portrait, layer upon layer-underlying colors show through.

Georges Braque-Seated Nude.
I could look at this painting for hours.
I love these colors--green next to pink, green on top of lavender
Calm areas, bright areas, repetition of diagonal

Alberto Giacometti-Still life with 2 plaster heads.
Double take.....
Would you look at that line work?  Swoon-absolutely a favorite.

I went around a corner and there were 2 Diebenkorns....double swoon!

Richard Diebenkorn---Ocean Park 68 (I think)
I love how he divides his space and his amazing use of color.

A close-up of Serge Poliakoff's "Flowers"
Scrumptious texture!

Gabriele Munter
Black outlined forms filled in with rich color.
I was delighted to see how many artists painted on cardboard.
oil on cardboard, gouache on cardboard, acrylic on cardboard.
If it's good enough for the likes of Gabriele Munter....
well what can you say about that?
This was painted in 1909!

Took myself out to lunch at the Cafe Calatrava.
Was seated at the prow of the restaurant--great table!
As I ate North African Hummus with kalamata olives, feta, cukes and tomatoes
along with a glass of Sav blanc,
there was an air show going on!
Planes doing stunts!
Hitting thrusters (?) and making a lot of sound! the Denis Sullivan sailed by......

The day was what I really needed.
I felt my spirits were lifted and left there totally inspired.
I did go back to the Bradley wing to look at all the expressionists again-
couldn't help myself.
Thank you Mrs. Harry Lynde (Peg) Bradley (1894-1978) for being a visionary.  
She had 600 paintings in her collection....can you imagine?
She started collecting art in the 60's and donated the lot to the 
Milwaukee Art Museum in 1970 along with a million dollars to build a wing.
Milwaukee is so fortunate to have such an awesome art museum.

And the Bries Soliel ain't too shabby neither.
Have a wonderful, creative weekend!
Thanks for stopping by.

p.s.  What I can't figure out is why some oil paintings were framed under glass.
Anyone know why?