Traveling the world while sitting at your desk

Tuesday Night Painting #16

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The artist Al Taylor

Hello painters, 

This week we're switching up the format a little bit. For the past several newsletters I've conducted a lot of interviews, and I've also dedicated a lot of newsletters to one specific artist.

This differs from how I would normally construct my painting classes, because I usually wanted to show a wide range of approaches and techniques.

I read some advice about writing a newsletter that said you should focus on writing about what you like, and not try to guess what other people like. This is good advice to keep you motivated and keep you writing.

But in my classes, I used to show some artists I didn't care for because I wanted to see what people responded to. There was also a chance one of my students could see something in a painting would make me change my mind about it, or even about the entire artist.

Of course, there were other times when nobody really liked the work too much, and then I got to learn a little more about what people react to and why.

The reactions we have to artwork are very personal and a lot of the time what we're attracted to and repulsed by is outside of our control. An important part of learning how to look and learning how to create is trying to name what it is you like and dislike about a specific art piece.

This can help direct your creating and make you more focused, so that when you sit down in front of your canvas you have something specific you're trying to create and discover within your paintings.

Analyzing art isn't like analyzing a joke, where the frog always has to die. Trying to give words to your feelings toward art makes your understanding and your feelings deeper.

So this week I'm going to throw the focus wide to share a lot of different artists and let you explore them at your own pace. This will be helpful for me too because every week I come across lots of different artists that I want to share with you all but that I don't include for space and time reasons. Now I can close all those tabs I had open.

This week's newsletter is going to be low on reading (now that you've made it to the end of this block of text) and high on eye candy. If you have any thoughts about this link dump then reply back to this message and let me hear it.
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Rosie Lee Tompkins
HAPPENING TONIGHT: Support the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and learn about painting out in the field. For only $10, two artists will take you on a field trip to the Cape. The field trip will include suggestions for art making and a short demonstration.

The Radical Quilting of Rosie Lee Tompkins: A retrospective of the artist Tompkins (actually a pseudonym) at the Berkeley Art Museum showcases the life's work of this artist. Roberta Smith writing for the NY Times writes about the "unbridled colors, irregular shapes and nearly reckless range of textiles" and also calls the work "one of the century's major artistic accomplishments."

Politics, power, and their influence in the art world: a small letter to the editor that I stumbled across which still makes some interesting points and provides a tidy summary of the notorious story of how the CIA used Abstract Expressionism as an argument for the United States' cultural superiority.

How drawing and painting can help with coronavirus stress: This artist is keeping a sketchbook and diary about her life during this new era. I began keeping a diary as well starting back in March during the lockdown, although the entries recently have been few and far between. However, I am also attempting a visual diary of sorts, by drawing from different photographs I've taken this summer. Read this article and see if you don't want to start a diary or journal of your own.


And finally, check out this exhibit by the artist Jon Rafman, who runs the site I've linked to this artist before because I think it's an amazing visual resource. Rafman travels the world all from the comfort of his own home. He clicks through Google Maps street view to discover some incredible images that you have to see. 
Pictured above: another quilt by Rosie Lee Tompkins. And now, here is your weekly reminder that this newsletter is free but not cheap. 
Chip in a few $$
I've been spending more and more hours each week researching and writing about new artists for me and you to lovingly gaze at. So if you can chip in a few dollars, I would very much appreciate it. 
And so we reach the end of another Tuesday Night letter. This week it's a couple of playlists. One is sent to me by a dear former student of mine, the other by an electronic musician I like. These tracks range from jazzy to electronic, but they're all pretty chill and laid back. 

Magical Sunsets Playlist on Spotify
COMPUTER DATA's Playlist on Spotify
COMPUTER DATA - Healing (YouTube)

See you next time!
Painting Portfolio
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