Monday, October 4, 2010


Whoa! It's been a good week for cramming in art-related things. Besides working on my own painting - which is an ongoing, never-ending lifetime project - I've had some great art encounters this past week.

• Number one: Bambi! (A gallery here in Philadelphia in the Piazza) It never fails to delight. This past time around, I caught the very tail end of the show "Lil Pus" by Joseph Hasenauer - an absolutely awesomely silly series of women hanging out with... an octopus. Ha ha. I loved the idea and the paintings so much, that I bought a print (more within my price range than an original painting, sad to say.) This isn't the print I bought, but it's a good example of the series:

A painting by Joseph Hasenauer from his "Lil' 'pus" show at Bambi Gallery

• Eggs! I learned a great deal about egg tempera this week, part of that through a presentation at the Philadelphia Sketch Club by artist Jeff Gola. He showed us his work and discussed his path as an artist, and his methods in working with egg tempera. Though I'm personally a disaster with pretty much any fast-drying media, and I'm terribly impatient with the slow build-up process involved in using this particular fast-drying medium, I have to say I'm rather intrigued by the notion of using such a natural painting medium... never mind the potential for toxicity in the raw pigments! Anyway. Here's one of his egg tempera paintings:

Two Sheep, egg tempera, 16" x 20" by artist Jeff Gola.

• Speaking of eggs, I brought some new paintings over to Square Peg Artery & Salvage the other day – here's one of the newer pieces:

who's first?, 2010, oil on printed fabric, 10"x10", by me, Diane Feissel.

• Friday night I ambled on over to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for the US Artists show, and caught a ton of great stuff within a relatively small space – lots of galleries and artists represented from a fairly wide time range. Many of the galleries present were showing the usual Philadelphia-area suspects: Stuart Shils, Randall Exon, Bo Bartlett, Nelson Shanks, Andrew Wyeth, Al Gury, Maxfield Parrish, some Peales in there, etc. Arcadia Fine Arts was there representing some of the non-Philadelphia area usual suspects: Jeremy Lipking, Malcolm Liepke, Ron Hicks, Brad Kunkle, Robert Liberace, Joseph Todorovich, Daniel Sprick, etc. "Where are the women?" you might ask... I was definitely asking the same thing. It was a challenge, but I did manage to find some representation from the other half of the population (some of them even still living!) in works by Christine Lafuente, Nancy Depew, Anne Harris, and Kerry Brooks... Cecilia Beaux and Mary Cassatt were there, of course, representing the 19th century.

I have to say, out of all of that Great Art, this one particular painting by Anne Harris - who we've featured on the "Women Painting Women" blog to which I contribute – nearly blew my mind; it positively glowed. I'd never before had the good fortune of seeing her work in person, and I'm so glad I did:

Portrait (Pink), 2010, oil on linen, 44 x 30 inches by Anne Harris.

• Afterwards I remembered that it was First Friday, and that there were a couple of galleries I wanted to check out down at the Piazza in Northern Liberties. I stopped by Bambi again for the new show, which included a personal favorite, photographer Anna Tas (who, I just learned, is based here in Philadelphia... yay for Philly!!). I also checked out Vincent Michael Gallery, which I still haven't made up my mind about overall... but they definitely have some interesting work; check out the info on the current show here.

• The rest of the weekend I studio-sat for fellow artist Mark Bullen during the first weekend of Philadelphia's Open Studios. While there I stopped in to the studio next door to check out the latest work from artist Tom Kohlmann – here's a sampling, photos courtesy of fellow artist Garth Herrick:

Paintings by artist Tom Kohlmann, pics by artist Garth Herrick

Phew! Now off to do some of my own painting... haha. More on that soon!