Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Obon Festival

This weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple's Obon Festival. I loved that image they had hanging down in front of the temple. That's me by it. The festival was to honor the ancestors of members and friends of the temple. I had the opportunity to see taiko drumming, the Manto-e Service (gathering of 10,000 lanterns), and the Bon Odori dance. It was all very beautiful and moving. I have a number of photographs that may be reference materials for future paintings. Currently I'm working on a painting very loosely inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci's Leda and the Swan. I did the drawing for it a while back and then set it aside, I'm not sure what motivated me to put it on the easel, but on the easel it is!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday Treats

This Friday I finished this small 5x7 pink and yellow rose acrylic painting that I have yet to title. Later as a treat I went out to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. To my surprise, they were having an evening of music with the Harmonia Baroque Players. This ensemble is a group of four musicians who perform music written for small groups in the 17th and early 18th centuries playing on period instruments. It was truly a delight to hear them play. I think their music would be excellent to paint to. It was mentioned that their work was available in the gift shop and I intend to look for it the next time that I visit. For this visit, the museum was closing very shortly after their show and I wanted to spend some time engulfed in their fabulous Impressionist section before it was time to go. I am so in love with Degas' dancers! Time and again I am moved by them, yesterday was no exception. The Norton Simon titled their musical evening "Baroque Treats for the Eyes, Ears and Soul" and it truly was a wonderful combination of art and music.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The LACMA today

Today I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and saw two exhibits. One was a grouping of Chicano art mainly from the collection of Cheech Marin and the other was Japanese art ranging primarily from 1615-1868 from the Price collection titled The Age of Imagination.

I was very impressed with how vibrant the Chicano art was, although the themes were very versatile, some of the art felt very much like Impressionism. I have the book Chicano Visions, American Painters on the Verge by Cheech Marin and many of the paintings selected for the show were in the book. It's always wonderful to see in person works only seen before in print.

The Age of Imagination was beautiful, seeing what could be accomplished with a single brushstroke moved me. There was so much delicacy paired with a strength of confidence. The art was masterful. To quote Joe D. Price on a painting from the Kyoto school, "You will not find a single overpowering brushstroke. That is not empty space that you are seeing. What appears empty is a series of gradual shadings, carrying your eyes around the painting."

I came home and painted for a little bit, but my mind is a little dizzy from all the art I have seen. I don't think the painting I'm working on right now is interesting enough yet to post a picture of, but hopefully it will get there.