December 31, 2011

FOUND, More best pocket memories from 2011?

After all the sculpture, architecture and music of foreign lands I did have wonderful aesthetic experiences here in the USA. Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvannia was a delightful experience on my return from France, . I love finding places that have been made beautiful as the result of someone's passion. The art at Longwood Gardens is the plant life. So I vote for Longwood Gardens as #8 to fill my aesthetic pockets of 2011. Thanks to Pierre du Pont and the purchase of land from William Penn in the 1700's and du Pont's desire to emulate some gardens in Europe.

9. In August I  had the good fortune to meet Richard McKinley, pastel artist. He was a juror for an art show I entered. I was struck by his kindness and willingness to share his enthusiasm for pastels. Introduce yourself to him at

10. Finally # 10 meeting and seeing the work of pastel artists whose work I had previously been inspired by in book, magazines and the internet. First Sandra Burshell, as she did a demo and talked about her process of working with pastels;
Then take a look at some other pastelists featured at the Abend Gallery exhibition here in Denver. I will put in their links so you can really investigate them.
Pastel by Sandra Burshell

Contemporary abstract pastel by Deborah Stewart
Denver pastelist Connie Renner
Margaret Dyer

Pastel by John Roush
 I was able to edit down many wonderful aesthetic experiences and select just these 10. A very interesting experience and makes me realize how fortunate a year it has been. 
Happy New Year !!
Albert Handell
Here's to filling your Pockets with wonderful Aesthetic (ARTY) 
Experiences in the coming year.

December 30, 2011

What will YOU put in YOUR Pocket

What will you put in your visual pocket from 2011 to pull out and look at in a future time? What will tweak your imagination in the future months? What does not disappear into your sands of time or lost memories? This is the criteria I use to think about my best aesthetic experiences of each year. Luckily 2011 presented lots of fine choices. I already mentioned 4 in previous posts. In case it escaped you
1.- El Cerro- art and sculpture park , Antigua, Guatemala
2. - Alfombras- Lenten celebratory parades, Antigua. Guatemala
3. -  architecture -Cathedrals in Antigua, Guatemala
4. -  Cuban Jazz performed by Ignacio in Antigua, Guatemala
5. -  Rogier Van der Weyden altar piece in Beaune, France
6.Burgundian Clay Roof Tiles,  on The  Hospice de Beaune

Clay roof tiles, central plaza Beaune, FR
Clay roof tiles, house in Beaune , FR

Clay roof tiles, Meursault, FR
The clay roof tiles of Burgundy were a wonder to me as I love repeated patterns. When I had first seen these tiles I had under appreciated them. Now having spent days making plein aire paintings of which they were a part of I gained new appreciation.
7. The Burgundian country side-- I will definitely pull this visual memory out of my pocket and savor it along with the wine and Chevre chaud lunches during these cold winter months.
Vinyard view point

More to come-----

December 22, 2011

Describing Winter

Every Branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every  street and pavement mute:"
 exerpt " Snow in the Suburbs" by Thomas Hardy

Its a day for hot tea, chocolate drinks and or mulled wine here in Denver. Also this first day following the winter solstice has brought almost the same view I saw in my back yard 3 years ago when I made this painting.
Backyard tree the morning after the Solstice Snow
So I began to look and think about scenes of snow by 
artists. Wish I could have them over for tea and say, now would you paint this tree and how?
So how about NC Wyeth. Here is a painting he did using snow. Because NC definitely used every object in his paintings to pull the viewer in and engage her/him.

N.C. Wyeth "And Lawless, keeping half a step in front of his companion....." 1916
I think early this morning when a cross country skier was going down the middle of our street NC might have been inspired to create an adventure.

Andrew Wyeth "The Corner" 1953

The ability Andrew Wyeth has with a few descriptive lines , create cold and crisp mornings. The quiet stillness with only the snow moving would have been an Andrew Wyeth moment.
Now I have seen footprints in the snow this morning were they dogs, rabbits, the fox living under the neighbors spruce tree? If so they would need the masterful hand of Jamie Wyeth to look into their animal eyes and retell the cold.

James Wyeth " Angus" 1974
Now back to more painting about snow, cold and winter.

December 18, 2011

Une Autre "ARTY" 'expierence!!

So after seeing Alfombras being made in Antigua. Experiencing exquisite 17th c. Cathedrals which were destroyed in Earthquakes in Antigua,

Perhaps this post could be "Why I love Antigua". Then finally, leaving,( but I look forward to returning), to hear, Cuban Jazz, played in beautiful 200 year old architecture.

 I had the good fortune in June to travel to Beaune , France. This time I brought my pastels. However, one of the all time "ARTY" experiences for me is once again seeing the Rogier Van der Weyden, Altar pieces painted about 100 years before Antigua. Guatemala was founded. As I said this is my second visit. Take a peak Above is what I saw--. Next  post I hope to show you the landscape and talk about inspiration. Tis the season, saison!

December 16, 2011

Best ARTY experiences of the Year!!

Sculpture in El Cerro Santo Domingo
Arty views

Art on the tables
Chairs marching through the garden

This past year has been filled with a few "Arty" bests. The word "arty" was first introduced to me by a young 10 year old art student of mine. One summer(about 10 years ago) I received a postcard from Paris sent by her, declaring that "Paris was an ARTY experience extraordinaire"!  Even then  I was enamored with France along with artistic expression.
Now I am influenced by my student and continue to use her word "Arty", to describe the best, le haut, l'extraordinaire!
Inspired sketching before breakfast
1. First on my list is the discovery and visit to the sculpture garden on Le Cerro Santo Domingo in Antigua, Guatemala. A few pictures of why this place sparkles arty magic above a magical city.
Hanging from trees

No this is not a car wreck but another sculpture in the garden.
Painted on walls

This is a sculpture and art garden where you can come for brunch, or a dinner. It reminds me somewhat because of its grounds of The Fondation Maeght in St. Paul de Vence , France. The art you see is made by Central American artists.
Found at the top of stairwells

November 15, 2011

Georgia On My Mind!

This past week was the birthday of Georgia O'Keeffe. I spent a part of a morning looking at O'Keeffe videos on You Tube.  I would like to post 3 with a few  about her. I think we can celebrate her birthday for a few more days This first piece deals mainly with her floral paintings.
I am hoping to post links to 2 other videos of her life and work. Ah ha they are here. I think you will really enjoy them. You will get to see and hear Georgia talk about her feelings for the southwest.

The photo was taken by her husband photographer, Alfred Steiglitz,who helped her name the region around Taos and Abiqui, " The Faraway".
This last painting is made with pastels!! Hoorah! Georgia used pastels as well as water color and oils with which to paint, She also made her pastels it is believed. So here is to Georgia and her love of the Southwest which I understand so well.

November 9, 2011

Color and Reasoning about Simplicity

"Drawing is feeling. Color is an act of reasoning." 
         P. Bonnard

I am thinking of adding this above quote to my list of quotes on this blog. Bonnard is one of my favorite colorists. He was able to take daily life and infuse it with emotion, in a large part through his choice of color.

" Back Yard View" 4"x 7" Pastel
I've been working on some miniatures. Not so easy with clunky sticks but challenging. Some simple scenes. 
"Spring at Rancho de Taos" 4"x 7"  Pastel

As it happens these were all  drawn or painted at different times in different locations with a common unrealized theme until I began to work on them in the studio.
"Sanctuary Chateauneuf, FR" 11" x 8 1//2" Pastel
All I could think about as I worked on this last piece was those warm beautiful stones. It was a lovely day in late June when I saw them last and I longed for that day once more.

November 6, 2011

A grand Atelier

Johanna touring us through the studio
For those of you who follow this blog you know I suffer from Studio Envy. So I was very interested to see the new Todd Bolender center for Dance and Creativity. This is the new work place for the Kansas City Ballet, the studios, administrative, costume, scenic, storage area where magic happens. It is located in near the Union Station and is a fine example of repurposing. The building was originally a Power plant.
It has been gutted and turned into a wonderful place for the study and support of dance.
Here follow just a few pictures of a different type of studio than I normally talk about.

Front desk

Entry Hall

The largest practice studio. There are 3 others on this floor.

sound booth and stadium seating in the large studio 

Now a chance to look and see where the costumes are made and maintained.

Johanna at the cutting table

Displayed costumes from the early days of the KC Ballet.

Everything seems very up to date in Kansas City. It is a city that has truly stepped up to support the arts this year.


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