Here is the final art of the piece that seemed to create itself when I looked at the old frame and mat. A few days ago, I showed it in its infancy. I call it the “E.P.A. Abstract” because its style reminds me of murals from the 1930’s, many of which were commissioned by the U.S. government to create jobs for artists, a fine idea. this is actually a semi-abstract, since there is a human form in it.
It will be included in my show of abstracts at the Avalon Salon in San Rafael, with the opening night being March 11th.
This piece was done a few days ago, and I call it “Abstract Superman 136” in reference to the color scheme of the 1959 comic book cover I first saw way back then. The color combination still gets to me; I resonate to it, I love it! I’ve also noticed that , to an extent, I view these colors when hiking around Marin County in the Spring.
This piece did not come together easily or readily. It took some 90 minutes of just sort of fooling around on the page until something began to coalesce, unlike the art done earlier in the week where I envisioned the piece immediately upon viewing the frame, mat, and old art that was in it. If I thought that experience was going to repeat itself, I was mistaken. This one was a case of “99% perspiration, 1% inspiration”, and , fortunately, that 1% came on the back end.
Since I have a show of my abstracts coming up soon, it’s been a great deal of fun to create a body of these in the last few months.
Aren’t there times when you just know you’re doing your best work, not only when it’s flowing, but that your work has just taken a leap up to the next level? I think it’s happening to me today. An old framed piece that includes a mat with a thick black line was pulled out from the dustbin,, and I swear, I could see an entirely new piece in there, in very strong black and white. It’s an abstract, or at least a semi-abstract , since there is a human figure who is clearly wilting under the weight of a computer motherboard…..well, maybe I’ll disguise that part a bit, but , for me, that’s the part that gives this more emotional resonance than my other abstracts, which are more stream of conscious and instinctive. This one does have a clear thought and feeling underlying , and so it becomes more meaningful, and the art itself is complex and will be a knockout piece. I know, since I’ve already foreseen it its frame. Shown is a vignette of the art in its infancy stage.
Oh, yes. I have a show coming up with the opening on March 11th, at the Avalon Salon in San Rafael, B Street, between 4th and 5th, from 5pm -9pm, as part of that night’s Art Walk.
Way back in the 1990s, my then wife and I combined to create traditional Jewish marriage contracts, called “Ketubot”, which is plural for “Ketubah”. She did the calligraphy, and I did the overall design. Not only was there a great deal of leeway in the design, but working with couples who were about to get married was a real joy and an honor. Basically, what I was getting to do was distill all the best parts of their love and relationship into a beautiful piece of art that would be highly decorative, narrative in the sense that it “told their story”, and legal in the Judaic religion, as a binding contract of what they promised each other. I greatly enjoyed this process, gave each piece everything I had, and did some 170 of them (see images).
Around 10 years ago, requests for these Ketubot became fewer and farther between, and finally ceased. I missed creating them, and most of all missed that “rarified air” of love and anticipation that each couple had, and that I used as “fuel” to help create these intricate pieces that are not unlike the Iiluminated pages from bibles of the 17th century.
Around 3 months ago, I finally got a new Ketubah commission, though, and I am very pleased to be working on it with the couple who will be wed in mid-June. We designed it together, and it is a terrific design, held together by a large orchid that covers some 75% of the surface of the art. The color scheme will reflect a sun-rise to night-fall feel, like the idea of love being an around the clock deal.
There is Jewish symbolism in the art, but at the top of the art , the largest symbols are on the whimsical, and definitely secular side: a bunny and goose dancing. They are both dressed up in evening attire. When this art is done, I will photograph it and post it; as it is the dancing bunny and the goose will serve a dual purpose, as the image on the wedding invitation.
Who will do the calligraphy? We still don’t know, but the eventual calligrapher will have to have nerves of steel, as he or she will be working directly over some fairly involved watercolor illustration I did, although it is of a weak color value, designed to sink into the background once said calligraphy is written, probably in black. And, if the calligrapher makes an error, I’ll figure out a way to fix it artistically.
Turns out I did the calligraphy, and there were no errors!