Morning Musings #7 || September 2021
Good Morning Friends! It's back-to-school szn and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils is in the air.
I find that the start to a new season is always exciting and full of promise - especially the fall. As we say au revoir to summer and welcome in this new season, I invite you once again to take time out of your day to express yourself creatively in some form or fashion.
The lifelong student in me recently read a fascinating study from the Journal of Positive Psychology titled, "Everyday creative activity as a path to flourishing," and was once again reinvigorated by the scientific data that speaks to the tremendous power of casual creative play.
Ok now to the good stuff! As always, I hope you enjoy and please reach out if you have any questions or comments! :)
Artists of the Month
Howardena Pendell is one of my favorite artists working today. Her work explores texture, color, and the process of making art; it is often political, addressing the intersecting issues of racism, feminism, violence, slavery, and exploitation. She is known for the wide variety of techniques and materials used in her artwork.
There is nothing quite like seeing one of Pendell’s monumental mixed media paintings in person. It is hard to capture in photographs how sumptuous and richly textural her work is.
Born in 1943, Pindell studied painting at Boston University and Yale. In 1967 she became one of the first black woman to join the curatorial staff at MoMA. During the 12 years she worked there, she continued making art, developing her own approach based on grids of punched-out circles through which she applied layers of acrylic paint to build up shimmering surfaces of color on the grid.
Since the 1960s, she has used materials such as glitter, talcum powder, and perfume to push the boundaries of the traditional canvas painting.
Inspired by Pendell’s experimental spirit, incorporating unconventional materials into her paintings, I decided to embark on an exploration of texture through painting incorporating a variety of papers - metallic, decorative, tie-dye, etc. into the blue color story of the A-L-P Mixed Media Painting Kit.
René Magritte (1898-1967) was a Belgian Surrealist artist who created otherworldly scenes filled with familiar imagery such as clouds, green apples, pipes, and bowler hats juxtaposed in subtly unsettling settings. This placement of everyday objects in uncanny scenes wanted to make the objects "shriek aloud."
Magritte studied at art school in Brussels, Belgium and took various jobs to earn money, including designing wallpaper and fashion advertising. In 1926, he became a full-time artist, and for the rest of his career he explored and honed his distinctively rich visual language.
Magritte was a member of a group of artists and poets called the Surrealists. The Surrealists celebrated the power of the imagination and wanted to make their art from the unconscious – thoughts often found in dreams. Magritte was a big Sigmund Freud fan.
I personally love the utter strangeness of many of Magritte's works. The surreality of his worlds makes his work so alluring, and find his imagery so original and playful.
- A *NEW* playlist to pair with your art making!
- I absolutely loved this New Yorker article on the legendary painter Kerry James Marshall.