April 26, 2009

Men of a Certain Age

"When I return with a painting. I have air in my lungs and have traveled a distance."

Robert Sudlow Jan. '09

I would like you to meet an artist whose art and life work has brought joy to the people of Kansas. His work is widely collected and known within the state. Kansas is a place recognized for its sunflowers and unwittingly called flat. The landscapes of Robert Sudlow reveal a spiritual quality which many of that region observe as they watch the clouds roll over the land. His paintings do not rely on the mundane

Mr. Sudlow was born in 1920 in Holton, Kansas. His childhood was spent exploring the outdoors of his small town. His strong interest in art caused him to attend the University of Kansas and be influenced by the artists Albert Bloch and Raymond Eastwood. During his senior year Pearl Harbor occurred and he became a Navy seaplane pilot eventually receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross. During all his life he has painted and drawn. He continued what was to become a long association with the Department of Drawing and Painting at KU. He studied at L'Academie Andre Lhote, Paris and took his wife and daughter with him. He was influenced by the work of Cezanne and Claude Lorraine. Lorraine was an artist immersed in plein aire painting. From 1953-1955 he spent summers studying at the California College of Arts and Crafts. He received his Masters in 1956. Richard Diebenkorn was his favorite CCAC teacher and Sudlow would meet with him at various times in the summer after long bouts of painting on the California coast. The raw rolling landscape around Santa Cruz is one which Sudlow returned to many summers of his long career. If you have seen that quiet landscape with immense skies you can see a relationship between it and parts of eastern Kansas.

I had the pleasure of being Sudlow's student during the '60's. By that time he had garnered many exhibitions and awards around the midwest area. I was little aware of that but I did know, he was my favorite painting teacher. He didn't impose, he let you discover and would come around with quiet guidance. On reflection his teaching style was very nurturing and empowering.

After I left KU his work became less studio based and more on site based paintings. He enjoys most working in the cooler months of the year although I am fortunate to have a painting which clearly was painted in late summer or early spring.
His style is loose and painterly he works frequently on Cadillac Cover paper a paper introduced to him by William Burroughs. He enjoys the immediacy of the paper and says it is akin to "skating on ice". His surface is thin and the marks he makes show an urgencey yet deftness.

" If you're cautious and hesitant, the paint will reveal it. But if you let it fly, things happen. Out there I want to lose my sense of ego. want to submerge myself in the color, the temperature, the time, the smells, the tactile sensations, the sounds. If it works, the painting is an amalgam of all that experience. You don't paint a scene;you paint a process." -Robert Sudlow, 1988*(quote from-'Spiritual Journeys, The Art of Robert Sudlow",2002)

These are two lithographs done on site.-

Wes Jackson, President of the Land Institute, Salina, Kansas, noted of Sudlow " his passion was to respond to the reflected light of the region with form as a secodary reality . And that was the key"

April 19, 2009

Men of a Certain Age

When the New Year came around this year and I began to notice newspapers, TV programs and magazines writing about the best Movie of the year, the best Fashion, the best Book, Food, Restaurant, popular Music, well you get the idea. I decided to begin to think about noticing my best art, color , artistic, aesthetic experiences of the upcoming year - 2009. On March 27 I had the best fun, celebratory evening going to the opening of Robert Strohmeiers' exhibit and retrospective. It was entitled " A Life In Art" and was the event of the art year so far, for me here in Denver. It was the first show of a new art gallery "The Dry Ice Factory" a wonderful building which also houses artists studios. It was a vibrant event and "Stroh's" art met the occasion.

So let me introduce you to Robert C. Strohmeir, "Stroh". I've had the fun of knowing Stroh through his lovely artist wife Bev. She was the Curator of this show and did a wonderful job. You can tell by looking at this man that he has a lot to share and he does so graciously. He is a painter, printer and as a teacher he has influenced the lives of many artists. He was born in 1927 and his artistic curiosity and interest began in the '40's. He had the good fortune to be a student at the L.A. Chouinard Institute and through Mme Chouinard he worked as a printer's devil. He knew such wonderful artists as Jean Charlot, Rico LeBrun and David Alfaro Siqueiros. In the early 50's he pursued art degrees at the California College of Arts and Crafts where he worked with Richard Diebenkorn and Sabro Hasegawa. He loves letting the process of the material speak to him yet he brings years of artistry and knowledge to each new medium to understand how far he can push a medium. He is an active artist today and filled with ideas. I love the quote and I also love the following paintings, prints and drawings--

It was an evening which sparkled, not only because of the live jazz band, but because of Stroh's passion for art making. Stroh invited several of his former students to exhibit with him, not surprisingly they are artists of note in the Denver and Colorado area. As a result people were delighted to see each other, the new venue and thrilled to have the opportunity to look and purchase the art.

So I will mark this as a fun art filled evening and look forward to see if it can be topped later in the year. Have you a favorite art moment this year?

April 16, 2009

Grey Mansions

When I was in High School my parents let me decorate my small room. This was the early sixties and I selected the color scheme of grey, pink and white. My walls were painted grey, a soft grey. I had a pink chenille bedspread on my twin bed and a prize possession a pink and white striped enamel wastebasket, also white sheer curtains at my double hung window. Fast forward to five years ago when I began to dream how to make my minuscule kitchen seem larger, more efficient and fit comfortably into my 1939 Tudor home. I remembered the small kitchens I had seen in France and began to analyse why the pictures I had clipped from "Cote Sud", "Maison Francaise" and my memory, felt so comfortable. The main ingredient was the use of grey , a soft grey not a charcoal grey, sometimes a worn grey but always to my eye a comforting grey. For a host of reasons I decided to use warm grey cabinets in my new kitchen space.

I was delighted to read a wonderful analysis of the use of grey and influnece of Parisian greys in www/sensationalcolor.com/liveinfullcolor/i-like-parisian-palettes-in-the-springtime-how-about-you/#more-2717. This is an article written April 9 by Julie Hoylen. You can use the Sensational Color link I have under COLOR and at the bottom of the Sensational Color first page you can see it lists blogs, notice Live in Color,then look up the April 9 posting. She shows several color schemes based on Parisian grey. I am also including a reproduction of a painting by the 19th c. French artist, Gustave Caillebotte. He understood Parisian grey and has influenced me in my kitchen scheme. Abiento!

April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Easter brings a flood of good memories, hiding Easter eggs and treats for my children to find, dressing them up in their spring best, also childhood memories of dresses my mother made for me and my sisters or those special store bought dresses my Aunt Rosemary would supply. Now I love sending packages to children far away, sharing a dinner with my husband and in-town daughter, and talking to my 90 year old father. Today was a grey day in Colorado but spring still was peaking out in my house.

I found these decorated eggs tipping precariously in a basket in my pantry. They were beautifully painted by my daughter Johanna years ago. She went off to college and now her adult life, leaving this seasonal remnant behind to help highlight this spring day.
Because the outside was so grey it was perfect that the iris chose this day to unfold. I hope you all had a peaceful spring day as my family had today.

April 4, 2009

Warm tertiary colors in Guatemala

I am sitting in cold gray Colorado looking out my window at a spring snowstorm. I am positively warmed by memories of yellow-orange, red-orange and yellow-green in Guatemala. After seeing all these 12 colors as represented in Guatemala you can

understand why the artform of
Guatemala, (textiles) ,
is so vibrant and rich.

Motivated by all this wonderful color I read with interest the direction spring colors in Paris are taking, (see the Polly vous francais blog). Also a new site on color has been born, check out http://www.colourlovers.com/. I have not spent enough time on this new site but it promises to be fun.


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