An anxiety inducing timer ticks down

Tuesday Night Painting #32

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Hello painters,

I remember exactly where I was this time four years ago: I was at one of my favorite places in the world, the painting studios at my old school. Everyone was eager to paint that night to take their minds off the election chaos that was unfolding, but of course everyone present will admit it was a little difficult to keep focused.

Surely everyone must be experiencing similar levels of distraction today (and maybe for the past several weeks and/or months)? If you have a calendar, or a newspaper subscription, or a cell phone, or if you've talked to a human in the past week, you're aware of the news and the narratives leading up to this point in time.

So what's everyone's plan for tonight? And for the next week? And for every other week after that? Whether you're going to opt for a Harry Potter movie watching marathon, or you're going to be mainlining CNN, or you're going to get out onto the streets, no one is really looking for the abstract painting angle to the news at the moment, which is sensible.

But I've found one anyways, and hopefully this letter can provide a little distraction to get you through today and beyond. "An anxiety inducing timer ticks down" is not a line from the most recent election analysis but a description of this new game based on abstract art forgery. Pretending that you are the clumsy artist's assistant churning out inferior quality art forgeries could be the right prescription for your election night anxiety.

More links below, and stay tuned for a couple more artist interviews and announcements about future online painting classes in the coming weeks.
The Whitney Museum is offering a range of online courses and events. These ones are focused around their current programming about the history of Mexican Muralists in the early to mid 20th century.
Controversy and drama surround the Baltimore Museum of Art's move to sell three works by high profile artists. The works were put up for auction at Sotheby's after the museum decided to deaccession them, but the museum reversed their decision and yanked the paintings from the auction just hours before they were set to go on the block.

LA Times art critic Christopher Knight asserted that the move to sell these major works is a sign of the worst type of administrative carelessness.

Pictured above, the large work by Clyfford Still that was set to be sold by the BMA. I don't love when news about painting and artmaking devolves into lists of auction prices but I can't let you miss this latest art world gossip. What else are you reading this for?
This NY Times feature on the artist Tyrrell Winston explores the artist's interest in finding and reusing cast off, discarded materials for his artwork. Winston's most famous works involve sculptures created out of flattened basketballs and other detritus scooped up from public spaces. But clicking through his small collection of works on Artsy led me to discover a couple of subdued but powerful abstract assemblages. 

This piece combines a swatch from a found tarp, a steel panel, and auto paint. On their own nothing special, but combined together in the right way, the steel panel at the bottom takes on the look of a misty and mysterious gray sky, while the tarp at the top is weathered and textured and damaged in a way that unites the two pieces in a way that mimics a moody, torn battle flag.
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Stephen Thorpe, a Hong Kong based painter, has a show visible online at Denny Dimin Gallery. Thorpe's paintings are representational but pass into the dreamlike, as he depicts similar views of the same corner of a room. The room is in varying stages of disrepair and distress, with the retro 80's arcade game booth standing in for the artist's portrait.

At times Thorpe zooms in to a corner of the room, showing us three triangular planes close up. It's in these panels where Thorpe shows us his virtuosic control of a chaotic, messy painting style that is at the very same time clean and controlled. His layering of colors, control over patterns and textures add up to an impressive little corner of the universe.
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Take a look at the work of William Turner, an artist located up in the Pacific NW. At the age of 80, Turner is still producing a variety of colorful works. His color palette is full of (to me) quiet and relaxing pastels that bring to mind a more subdued Wayne Thiebaud.

In this case in particular, a series of abstracted landscape paintings that would fit perfectly into the syllabus for my current online class.

If you're interested in reading more about William Turner you can read a great assessment of his work here. If you'd like to find out more about my upcoming online classes, reply back to this email and let me know you're interested!
I love this idea of hosting an art book club. There are only a few spots left in this online course, offered by Wet Paint art store in MN.
That'll do it for this week, painters. Be well, stay safe, stay healthy, see you next week! Here's a very random grab bag of tunes for you to explore this week. I hope you enjoy them

Blur - Ghost Ship
Saint Jude - Deaf Ears, Blind Years
Daniel Avery - In Your Sleep
Interpol - Everything is Wrong
STRFKR - Golden Light

See you next time, and happy painting.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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