Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The sound of silence.

Sorry for the long absence... been working on stuff. Art stuff, to be slightly more specific. Here's a snippet from something I'm working on but may never finish until I'm old(er) and (more) withered:
...a work in progress by me, Diane Feissel, featuring Huey and Fanny. It's in oil on printed fabric, fabric I procured at an adorable little fabric shop in San Francisco which, alas, is around no longer - likely a casualty of the recession. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The little prints.

Last weekend I embarked upon an adventure into printmaking. To be specific, an adventure into monotype – or so I'm told. I'm new to this whole printmaking thing... I find it very intimidating, somehow – it seems oddly unforgiving. For example: you can make a gross mistake and then WHAMMO, that mistake is permanently imprinted onto paper. I think I can say this was pretty much the case for my very first print, and those thereafter as well. But it was fun... trying? I think? I think part of my issue is my aversion to bad drawing, and I did some very bad drawing in the course of making these prints. Part of the issue for me is this: in the same way that I would be really bad at watercolor painting and working light-to-dark, I am reeeeally quite unskilled at working reductively (or "subtractively"), I've noticed – pulling out the lights from a plate full of dark ink. Eeesh. My customary habit with oil painting involves thinking and applying paint from dark tones to light tones, and it appears my brain is stuck that way. Well, for better or for worse, here are some of the results, in keeping with the theme of "Painters Under Pressure" – the title of the show for which I was making these prints - I was definitely feeling the pressure. Ungh. Stay tuned for more info on the exhibit, which will be in Raleigh next month.
My first and second attempts at monotype, respectively. AAAUUUUGHHH!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Joyeux Noel.

Oh hey, when I wrote the recent post about our time in Philadelphia, I forgot to mention one of the best things about the trip – bringing home a pastel painting by fantastic Philadelphia-based artist Scott Noel. Yay! Here it is:
Pastel painting by Philadelphia artist Scott Noel

The central figure is me, actually, circa mid-nineties. So, hey! There's some vintage Feissel for you, right there (actually, back when I was still a Rollins). Anyway, Scott is one of the nicest people on earth and a tremendous artist - he shows through Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia, check his work out if you're in town. He also teaches at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and at some point someone has captured some of his thoughts on painting and the like and posted a video to YouTube, here's a sample:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

York, New.

New York recap!! Finally!

It was brief, less than 30 hours, most of it spent in the northern suburbs. But it was pleasant, quite pleasant. First up: The Female Gaze... thanks to the heads-up from the blog of artist Nathalie Vogel, I decided to check out the exhibition entitled The Female Gaze: Women Look At Women at Cheim & Read in Chelsea (kind of right up the alley of the whole "Women Painting Women" blog, no?) Except of course it included other media than just painting, and the painting is what I tend to get the most excited about, so there you have it... case in point, the following Alice Neel painting:

Or this painting by an artist previously unknown to me, Judith Eisler:
You can see more of the show in the gallery's slide show here as there were plenty of C-prints and some sculptural pieces and mixed-media art and even neon (!) and so forth. I'm still up in the air as to the exact difference between the end product of the male gaze vs. the female gaze (as I touched upon in this post) - but still, without question, it's good to see some interesting work by female artists... especially considering that there still seems to be a depressing dearth of representation by women artists in galleries. Sigh.

Also in the realm of the arts (which good ole NYC pours forth by the bucketful, swoon) was a lovely little trip to the Frick Collection, which I have not visited since the mid-nineties. Now unfortunately, there was no photography allowed... so I will be forced to steal from the Frick website to share with you some of my favorites, including some more Whistlers (I had no idea this vacation northward would be so full of Whistler – but I see this as a good thing. A very good thing). The following was one of my faves:

Painting by James McNeill Whistler: Symphony in Flesh Colour and Pink: Portrait of Mrs Frances Leyland, 1871–74, oil on canvas, found at the The Frick Collection
For sure it has a different feel from the Whistler (and of course hails from a much earlier century), but I also found seeing this painting in-person to be very satisfying:
Painting by Hans Holbein, the Younger - Sir Thomas More, 1527,
oil on oak panel, found at the The Frick Collection.

Also art-related: I got to reunite with one of my own paintings on this trip – it probably goes without saying that it was not in the Frick Collection, however. Sigh. Here it is:

Iris painting by me, Diane Feissel

And now for some family: here's John with the lovely Ruth:

And here's Max and Ruth together, a wonderful couple:
I know I'm stating a well-worn cliché, but I ♥ NYC! And I love a city with a subway! Sigh. Anyway, more on life back in Raleigh soon. Phew!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Philly = Phabulous!

Onward to Philadelphia and NY!
Let's start with Philly, City of Brotherly Love. And maybe Mayoral love, too: below is a mural in South Philadelphia/the Italian Market area of Frank Rizzo, much-revered-and-reviled mayor of Philly back in the '70s:
Here's some more 2-D wall art, this one at 11th and Chestnut. Apparently it is always sunny in Philadelphia... sunny side up, that is.
Here's another mural (there are tons of them, thanks to the awesomeness of the Philly Mural Arts Program), this time up at Chestnut and... 8th or 9th or so, I think? Trying to pretty up that parking lot, see.
Here are some of Philadelphia's finest people (at the Random Tea Room in Northern Liberties)... unfortunately they're headed for Baltimore in the coming week. Oof!
John and I took a quick dive into the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts... I've been in there a gazillion times before, but I always enjoy another look. Unfortunately I apparently misunderstood their peculiar no-photo policy, however, and got hollered at by a guard. Not before taking these photos though!! Wah-ha-ha!!
More public art in Philly: a strange, elaborate and vaguely disturbing graffiti piece in Fairmount Park:
Mr. Skeleton emerging from the sand outside the South Philadelphia Boat Show (a local art collective) exhibit down in... South Philadelphia, of course.
A lone balloon wafting outside the South Philadelphia Boat Show exhibit...
Here's the band "Jews and Catholics" from good ole Winston-Salem, NC, playing a backyard set at a friend-of-a-friend's place in Fishtown/Kensington, in Philly. NC represent!!
Two-headed monster (not sure which one) guarding over the party.
And now for some food: tamale-making at aforementioned house party:
Two of the best people on earth, at one of the best restaurants on earth (Beau Monde):
Quel horreur! A defenseless bagel, ripped apart into a million pieces. Such savagery!
A surprise treat: did you know they made a Rosie O'Donnell doll? Me neither. And yet, here it is – already an antique, apparently, as it is for sale in Antiquarian's Delight, the little antiques mall on South 6th Street at South Street. I'm sure Rosie would be heartened to know that she is considered an antique.
Here's the Incredible MAX, very new to this world at just 3 months out of the belly. Max's lovely mommy is in the background, but Max seems more focused on making sure the paparazzi get his best angle:
Alas, there's nothing sadder than a dawg left behind. Especially when they do that sad thing with their ears. Sigh.
Next up: the time in NYC, including time spent checking out the Frick Collection as well as the "Female Gaze" exhibition at Cheim & Read. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

District o' Columbia, part deux.

As promised! Here are some more photos from the DC leg of the trip:

Sort of like Zazie in Zazie dans le Métro, I love a good Metro. (Fortunately I have better luck than poor Zazie in actually getting to the Metro.) Despite its recent (fatal!) failings, I still love the DC Metro... overall - horrible accidents aside - it's relatively efficient, clean and user-friendly. An added bonus is that it has this almost science-fiction-y, hyper-futuristic look which somehow never gets old to me. A bold vision of the future! Behold:
Diane dans le Métro:
And we can't forget DC's role as our nation's capital, no? Look! Gub'mint:
And hey! I ran into our First Lady. All over the city, in fact:
And as for other political/historical DC figures, here's a really waxy Lincoln for you (in the window of Madame Tussaud's);
Not really a political figure (unless you count any influence over ole JFK, of course), but certainly one of great historical import (I suppose) lording over Woodley Park/Connecticut Avenue:
Something cool that I had forgotten about in the Phillips Collection: they have an early self-portrait by Piet Mondrian, probably best known nowadays for these geometric paintings... but it's done in an entirely different style, seen here:
Oh, and this tiny Ingres gem is in the Phillips, too – this photo, alas, does not remotely do justice to its glow, however. Go see it for yourself!!
Okay, moving on to Philly and NYC in my next posts. Stay tuned! More Art and assorted stuff to come.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Northeaster.

Hey there, world. Sorry for the dearth of bloggage here, but John and I have been on a wee journey northward. In a whirlwind of train and Chinatown bus and subway and zipcar, we covered some of DC, Philadelphia and NYC and have lived to tell the tale. There was art, family, friends and lovely little animals abound – so let's tell that tale in photos. First, for DC:
Here's fellow artist Julie Niskanen while hanging her solo show at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in Dupont Circle. The show looked awesome, and will be up through August 30... check it out if you're in DC.
Caught some other art of course, including this special exhibition over at the Phillips Collection entitled "Paint Made Flesh" in which I got to see (and drool over) the first Jenny Saville painting I've ever seen in person (in the flesh, haha! So to speak) as well as some Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and some John Currin – I had never seen his work in person before either. Then I did some sketching and wandering around at the National Gallery, and finally found a bench from which to sketch a Rodin bust:
... a little sketch (by me) of a Rodin bust of Katherine Seney Simpson, 1902-1903

Also at the National Gallery: a really lovely Géricault (speaking of "Paint Made Flesh" I suppose):

I also did a quick zip-through of the Freer Gallery, just to get myself my RDA of Whistler and Dewing, here are a couple:
This one is by Thomas Wilmer Dewing

Here's a Whistler landscape

This one is a portrait of Charles Freer himself by Whistler...

In between art-time and going out to the wilds of Virginia to see Depeche Mode, I got to see the newest member of our extended family, little J.T., already six months old. Yay! Here he is with his lovely mamma:

Stay tuned for some more random images from the DC leg of the trip. Yay for our nation’s capital! Woot! Also soon to come: NY and Philadelphia. Check back in the coming day or two...