Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A tribute, the Art of Life group, and two PSU classes.

I've had a whirlwind two weeks. I've been very busy with teaching, counseling, and the artist's life. I've also had the sorrow of the passing of someone I cared for. The first thing I want to do in this post is to remember and honor her.

In Memory of E.

She was one of the bravest people I’ve known. For as long as she could, she carried the burden of a degenerative muscle condition with grace and humor. She had a delightfully wicked wit and a joyful sense of the absurd. She was adamant about her independence and strong and loyal in her affections. She gave me this wonderful painting that I love so much. The beauty contestant fish has made me laugh countless times. I'll miss her greatly but I know she'd want me to keep laughing whenever I see this wonderful piece.

Miss Fish America by E.R.

Now for some recent work by The Art of Life group. Last week we all seemed inspired by the wildness of the Halloween month. Risks were taken. Lively work was created. Pizza was wished for...

A page from Jodie's visionary book: "Two Orbs"

Sarah got wonderfully wild with "My Crazy"

Emma's mysterious "Nebula"

Jodi's favorite of her book pages

Jodi's irreverently titled "Severed Head Ladies"

Cindy's wonderfully disorienting piece: " The Ochre House"

The past weekend's Portland State University class was called "Living to Paint/Painting to Live." I love to teach
this class--the challenge comes in condensing the lives of two fascinating and brilliant painters to fit into a weekend class. The best part of the class for me is getting to see the creative work produced by the students in the last section of the class. At the beginning of the weekend, several students claimed they were not creative. As usual, this was not the case at all!

Sophie created her first collage which incorporated her first drawing ever! The drawing was an excellent copy of the painting by Artemisia Gentileschi called "The Allegory of Painting." Wish my picture of it had turned out as well as this collage did...

Ashley's inventive and exuberant piece was inspired by the possibility that the artists we just studied might have met when one was old and the other young. Here a young Artemisia paints the old Sofonisba Anguissola.

Kathy's sculpture of a reclining woman was inspired by Artemisa's Cleopatra. Kathy said she wasn't creative and then turned out this delightful piece. Again, I wish I could have captured it better in my photo.

Another first drawing--can you believe it? Christina's lovely Sofonisba Anguissola

Kyle cleverly referenced Artemisia Gentileschi's strong women by envisioning
Artemisia as Wonder Woman

Denise's collage tribute to both artists. The jewel and drawing of hands is an innovative and creative visual reference to a quotation from Artemisia.

I outdid myself in taking a blurry photograph of this rich and colorful collage for Sofonisba. Vernette's work deserved better, alas...

Two weekends ago, I had the joy of teaching "Emerging from Shadows" for PSU. We studied Camille Claudel, the French sculptor of the 19th century, and Marietta Robusti, an Italian painter of the Renaissance.

A lacy tribute to the feminine side of Camille Claudel by Nancy

Yasmin's first collage ever, evoking the mystery of Marietta Robusti

Nancy's collage of Marietta has a rich Venetian feel

Now this is where I am embarrassed to say I am uncertain of the attribution of the following wonderful pieces. Please students, if you see this, email me and let me know which is yours!
The following gorgeous works were done by Breanna, Briana, and Monique.

An eloquent, and elegant 3-D collage for Camille Claudel.

Closeups from another lovely 3-D collage for Camille and Marietta. This piece includes an original poem and an imaginary letter written in French.

This magical collage for Marietta includes an original drawing. The air of mystery is enhanced by a fabric veil covering part of the piece.

Concepcion's first ever collage with her own insightful text observations on the life and work of Marietta Robusti.

Dora's collage eloquently evokes the heartbreak of Camille Claudel's life and also Camille's passion for sculpting.

Becky usually works in sculpture, but she decided to try a new medium. She came up with this amazing painting of Camille's hands, holding a baby, which represents her work and
her losses.

Becky's collage to Camille which has a true 19th century feel.

Briana made a stunning 3-D assemblage. I remember photographing it but it seems to have disappeared from my camera! Briana, if you read this, please send me a photo!

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