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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Face and Body Paint

Oh, The Places We Will Go.

48" x 96

This may have been something Dr. Seuss said, but it is oh so true when it comes to the art brain....oh, the places we will go.

48 x 96

Recently I rehung a painting of mine that had been in storage due to its size.....48"x 96".  It's big.  After installation it was seen by someone who requested I create something similar, a painting inspired by the style and materials.

I am not sure what happened inside my brain.  Maybe it had something to do with my recent focus on the Indian Women Portraits, but swimming to the forefront of my conscience came the idea of creating a series of work based on Tribal or Cultural Face and Body Painting.  I am not even going to try to make the connection, or explain it, so however loose or disjointed it may seem, I was off to the computer to research. Oh, the places the art brain will go.

This is what I have come up with, what will lead my series:

The art of transforming ourselves with make-up and masks is a universal phenomenon.  Before we sought to vent our artistic impulse on a cave wall, we painted our faces and bodies, providing the power to change ourselves and demonstrate our humanity.  For thousands of years, cultural groups from all over the world have participated in ceremonial face and body painting for a variety of reasons. 

In this new series of paintings titled Hidden Identities, layer upon layer of pigment mimics the application of mud, clay, and pigments created from plant material.  Scoring through the paint and the thick cracking texture are reminiscent of how these materials dry as a result of movement of the face and body.  The addition of other natural materials will vary from canvas to canvas to assist in telling a story, relaying a thought, providing a historical link.  Each painting will be different from the next yet all will follow the theme of Hidden Identity, Spiritual Connection and a Bond with Nature.

Out came a gallon can of paint,

a mess of raffia, 

and a collection of feathers.

A Flicker hit one of my house windows several years ago, dying, giving up its magnificent plumage.  I always save this type of thing, so the feathers had been sitting in my studio just waiting to be used in some way to honor the bird.

A canvas was under painted.

Additional color was added.

Layer upon layer of paint was applied.

I cut through the pigments with a variety of tools allowing the various colors to show.

Raffia was added.

The feathers of the Flicker were tied onto the canvas.

Yellowhammer Dreams
48 x 60
Mixed Media

Glazes were added and the end result is this painting: Yellowhammer Dreams.  Native American legends of Northern California and Oregon relate that the Yellow-Shafted Flickers or Yellowhammers are believed to bring good luck and healing;  hearing their cries means that you will soon receive a visitor, and in some Northern California tribes, dreaming of a Yellowhammer is a sign that a person will become a traditional healer. The first in the Hidden Identity series is 48" x 60", created with layer upon layer of pigment reminiscent of the colors used in traditional face and body painting.  The addition of raffia and Flicker bird feathers was inspired by the connection to nature and the idea of extraordinary characteristics borrowed from the bird. These materials also lend line, form and movement to the composition.   The intent with this painting is to capture the texture of face and body painting, to emote the feeling of hiding behind the paint as well as the spiritual connection to this bird.

Yellowhammer Dreams
48 x 60
Mixed Media

This is where my art brain has gone, to Hidden Identities. Check back to come along, there will be more, and it should be most interesting.

 To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Monday, January 26, 2015

Facebook and The Artist. Important Info.

You need to read this if you are an Artist using Facebook.

Many of you who follow my blog are artists, and if you are using Facebook as a tool, you will want to read this.  Yes, it's long, a couple of letters, but it gives you great, accurate info about the changes to Facebook that take place Jan 30th.  Read on.....

Letter from the President of American Women Artists: Facebook changes will impact the way you use social media for art marketing

Dear AWA members,

For many of us, Facebook is an important (free!) marketing tool for unveiling new work or launching invitations to shows and workshops.  All that may be about to change with their new Terms of Service, which go into effect January 30, 2015.  

In response to the new service terms, I've seen many artists post (or repost) statements of copyright ownership which they claim will to go into effect along with the new Terms of Service. I asked my son, who is a practicing attorney in California, to give us the legal perspective and definitive last word on Facebook and Copyright in his article below.
Beyond the copyright issue, Facebook's new Terms of Service will change the way you use social media to operate as a small business and market your art.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook now wants all small business owners and entrepreneurs (like us) to pay to promote things like new work for sale, workshops, shows, etc.  By the end of January, Facebook's algorithms will supposedly be filtering out promotional announcements so that even though you post it to your page, if it's determined to be promotional, it will simply disappear from the newsfeeds. 
Artists occupy a unique niche in the Facebook world - often times we're just sharing a work-in-progress or a newly finished piece.  It remains to be seen just how Facebook will phase out our "promotional posts." After all, how would Facebook be able to identify us as professional artists when we could just be avid hobbyists, right?

Yeah, well...about that: most of us self-identified as professional artists when we participated in the well-timed "Three for Five" challenge.  By posting three works a day for five days in a row, we publicly established a comprehensive body of work while identifying five fellow artists as we called upon them to participate as well.  You can bet that by now, Facebook has a pretty good idea who we are.
Keep us posted as the new Terms of Service go into effect and let us know how your Facebook marketing evolves. Over the course of the coming year, we'll be exploring how artists can use other social media avenues like InstagramTwitter and Pinterest as part of their marketing plan.  We'll also have a tutorial on how to get yourself on Wikipedia.  

Best wishes for an artful and productive new year!

Kathrine Lemke Waste
President, American Women Artists

Are Facebook Copyright Proclamations Necessary?
by J. Jackson Waste, Attorney, Baker, Manock and Jensen, Fresno, CA

You've probably seen and perhaps re-posted the latest copyright protection announcement currently making the rounds on Facebook:

Due to the fact that Facebook has chosen to involve software that will allow the theft of my personal information, I do declare the following: On this day, 30th of January 2015, in response to the new Facebook guidelines and under articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data, drawings, paintings, photos, texts etc... published on my profile. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times. Those reading this text can copy it and paste it on their Facebook wall. This will allow them to place themselves under the protection of copyright. By this release, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or to take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The actions mentioned above apply equally to employees, students, agents and/or other staff under the direction of Facebook.

The contents of my profile include private information. The violation of my privacy is punished by the law (UCC
1 1-308-3081-103
1 1-308-3081-1 and the Rome Statute). Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are invited to post a notice of this kind, or if you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you have not published this statement at least once, you will tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile update.

This statement is pure hogwash. Don't waste a minute of your time posting it on your Facebook page. 

Most of the law cited in the provision is completely inapplicable.  The "Code of Intellectual Property" appears to be a set of French statutes, and the Rome Statute is the treaty which established the International Criminal Court and which has nothing whatsoever to do with your Facebook pictures.You continue to own your intellectual property, but the act of posting your pictures on Facebook grants Facebook a license to use those photos.

Facebook's terms and conditions - that text-filled screen where you probably clicked "agree" without reading when you made your Facebook account - is the agreement that governs your interactions with Facebook.  This cannot be altered by posting a proclamation on your wall.  Facebook's "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" provides as follows:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.[1]

In other words, by posting a photo to Facebook, you agree, in effect, that they have a license to use that photo for as long as that photo remains on Facebook.  This agreement cannot be changed by posting any magic words about copyright ownership. 

So you can feel free to ignore the last portion of the scurrilous copyright notice, which ominously claims that "if you have not published this statement at least once, you will tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile update."  This is about as serious as an old AOL chain letter promising ten years of bad luck if you don't forward to twenty people. 

If you want to protect your intellectual property online, the best bet is to consult with an attorney who can help you develop a coherent, legally effective strategy for protecting your online art in the digital age.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Delores Patencio


original painting by Pamela Hunt Lee
Looking West: Delores Patencio
48 x 30
Mixed Media on Canvas

Final touches were applied to the painting this morning. It's coming off the easel this afternoon to be added to the other completed painting inspired by Delores Patencio, who is considered one of the finest basket weavers of the Cahuilla Indian Tribe.

Delores Patencio
12 x 12
Acrylic on Canvas

Looking West:  Delores Patencio
48 x 30
Mixed Media on Canvas

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Friday, January 16, 2015

Delores Patencio, Coachella Valley Basket Weaver.

She Is Nearing Completion

The other day I was working on painting in the 'pips' on the paddle cactus when my harshest critic entered the studio...."I love this" were the words that came bursting out of his mouth.  Then this followed, "but....if it was my painting, and I mean I am not an artist, and you are the artist....but if it was mine, I would....."  Yes, my harshest critic who sometimes gets thrown out of the studio.

The 'pips' begin to appear

As mentioned in a previous post, a comment can make the mental wheels turn, so even though this critic is sometimes ignored, this time I listened, or at least heard. Based on one comment I decided to add more color and contrast to the faces.

After additional color and contrast.

Now it's back to painting in the 'pips' and the painting gets closer and closer to completion.

By the way, if you are reading this because you followed a link from my Artist's Facebook page, you might want to sign up to receive my blog posts via email.  Facebook has changed their policies yet again, and not all followers will receive all the posts, so if you would like to stay connected with what is happening in my studio, please sign up.  There is a space at the top of this blog post where you can do so.  I do not share your contact info and I do not flood your inbox with posts.  Come join the fun in the studio.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web page click HERE

Friday, January 9, 2015

Delores Patencio As Subject.

As mentioned in the previous post, the painting sitting on the easel has moved away from color field influence and back into the realm of my Indian Women Portrait series, but the color field work helped break through one of those artistic walls.  Last spring I quit working on my Indian Women Portrait series because I was stuck, or perceived so.  Color field painting opened a mental door, there was an 'ah ha' moment, and a canvas that was languishing in a corner found its way back onto the easel.  So did a few faces.

Images from research at the Agua Calliente Indian Museum as well as from the Palm Springs Art Museum and public on-line sources have driven me to incorporate the face of Delores Patencio onto this painting.  Living during the late 1800's and into the 1900's she became one of history's most accomplished and recognized basket weavers.  To read about her in a previous blog post click HERE

Because all photos of Patencio show her head wrapped in a scarf, I have chosen to repeat the head scarf in my painting. The photo shows her seated in front of a huge paddle cactus which found it's way onto the canvas as well.  If you are able to see some of the design elements on the baskets shown in the photo look for the triangular shapes, representing floral, which have also been used in my painting, not only on the head scarves but moving out onto the canvas to symbolize the thought and freedom of individual design that Patencio incorporated into her baskets.  These triangular shapes work their way over and under the cactus and other designs in the painting, much like the materials used to create a basket weave together. 

This painting has taken on a life of it's own, it is growing, changing, becoming more complex as it nears completion.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Color Field Painting....

Well Maybe....

The holidays took their toll....  not much studio time, but today is a different day.  Back to working on this canvas which originally was a color field inspired work, but the addition of form has taken it far afield....

This is Delores Patencio, famous basket weaver who lived and worked in the Coachella Valley in the early 20th century. This week is also the beginning of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and it is interesting that a photo of Delores Patencio is shown at the beginning of each feature as part of the sponsorship by the Agua Caliente Indians.

Check back and watch the progress on this painting and learn more about this woman, Delores Patencio.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE