Thursday, January 10, 2008

portrait of self

No, it's not a self portrait but a painting by one of my favorite artists - Rudi Hurzlmeier - who is German and not very well known in this country. Well, that doesn't come as a surprise in a place where most highschool students can't find Germany on a map. Anyway, he has a very wry vision and I thought I'd share my favorite of his paintings - which doesn't look exactly like me but it's close.

I took the plunge last night and ordered a flatbed scanner from Amazon after thinking about it for a couple of weeks. Like most everybody these days I have a lot of photographs so I thought with the devices allowing very high definition scans at much lower cost than professional places, why not get one and see what I can dig out of the albums and the old slide and photo suitcase? Some of them are pictures of paintings done more than ten years ago, and either sold or given away long ago, so it will be fun seeing what can be scavenged from the Kodachrome slides. It seems strange now remembering just how painstaking it was setting up the lights, the gray scale cards and balancing my 35mm camera on stacks of books because I couldn't afford a tripod.

The other thing I checked out was the Adobe Illustrator CS3. Well, you know Amazon.. If you like that, maybe you'd like this too. I actually wasted an hour thinking about it (truly, not for the first time) but it's just not for me since it's really all about advertising - cold and far too technical. I like hands-on art. I just do. I think sitting there with the piece of paper or canvas or whatever medium, is what artists are for. In fact, I believe art is sacred. It may not be quite as ancient as music but wasn't far behind. Cave paintings in Europe and Africa are understood to be 40,000 years old. Many more have been found in Australia and the Americas and all of them relate to our human tendency to celebrate the Divine Other - God, Life, Source, Infinity, Noumenon.. whatever the most fitting word seems to be. The essence is creative engagement with that which can't be described in words. Then again, it was really the churches that first got involved in art as advertising since midieval people couldn't read. Uh, oh.. that's the beginning of another very complex issue and one I'm not going get involved in at the moment.

Anyhow, maybe there'll be some scanned photos up here soon. Maybe I'll do a little cartooning and scan them. Who knows what will happen next? Goodness knows, I'll need to entertain myself during another loong election year and maybe I can be a bit entertaining up here too. Wish me luck.


Seraphine said...

If you enroll in your local college or university, you get incredible discounts of Adobe products (but not for commercial use). Last year, I bought their entire creative suite for about $200 (about 20% of the retail price).
I find as much satisfaction creating things online as I do on paper. I get a greater sense, however, that what I'm creating is immediate, temporary and passing. But I guess that is true for everything anyway.

susan said...

Good tip, Sera.

It's continued to be tempting ever since I got comfortable with digital photography but I've been seriously invested in tactile art forms for a long time. Once again it's a time problem for me as well as the not inconsequential fact that we run a 3 year old G4 Powerbook which simply doesn't have the memory to run the latest release Abobe software. Purchasing an old program would be okay and I may do it in future simply because it would be fun to scan in drawings and play with them. That would be after we get the new computer sometime this year. In all honesty it's my husband who's the tech wizard around here. He gave up his web page 10 years ago but had some great art work and animated clips with music and he learned HTML programming. We're well matched opposites :-)

I really do admire your work and am amazed at your ability to post the new pieces daily.

Zee said...

Go for it girl (raven) - run, run , as long as you can. I adore creativity!

susan said...

Thanks Lukas - I know I'm in good company and too, that as artists, we share a compulsion to make things.

Gary said...

I love this piece. And I love every form of art/expression I've seen you touch. Some pieces are hanging up still in our now-two homes.

For me it's about words, but I did do one raku pot last year that I'm very proud of. The instructor told me it was a fine example of 'primitive art', which I think meant, "Technically it sucks, but it does look kind of cool and naive, doesn't it?"

susan said...

Hey Gary, So you found your way back to your rooftop communication zone, eh? Thanks so much for the lovely compliment. I'm very grateful you like my work and the people whose stuff I admire. One of these fine days I'll be giving more away.. more on that later.

I bet your Raku pot is wonderful and isn't it a nice feeling to see or hold something you made with your own hands? Did you know that Evian (as in the tap water you can buy) is naive spelled backward?

lindsaylobe said...

Art I think is unfinished thoughts in progress, maybe an artist’s confession. It is indeed an interesting painting, what does it convey to you? I look forward to more postings about your past pictures.

Best wishes

susan said...

Hi Lindsay,
You mean this painting? It's not a raven but a crow and an old one at that. He's seen the world but has ceased to be impressed by the bright, shiny objects he used to collect. He's become the Godot of Crow.. patiently waiting in the mist for return of the real Light - that worth flying toward. In the meanwhile he'll keep on walking and saying good day to whoever's eye he catches.
G'day to you too ()

lindsaylobe said...

Next time I hear the unmistakable quant calling from an old crow in the distance I will be reminded of that painting.

I may even forgive him for zooming in and flying off with my brand new golf ball when I was playing golf long ago.

Best wishes

Ben said...

Ha. American students can't even find a good German restaurant. Oh wait, no one on earth has ever found one of those.

That's a very nice image, the crow that looks like it's walking in boots. Kind of establishes it as an in-between creature. Interestingly enough, many corvids do have a primate-level intelligence. If they had to walk long distances, maybe they would pick up shoes.

As for HTML, I do a lot of cheating. For your more intricate markups I'll go to an instructional website and copy & paste. I'm not proud.

Anonymous said...

PhotoShop has changed my life. Did that sound like a commercial? I'm looking forward to your pictures!

Seraphine said...

Hugs for the nice words.

I have an old oil painting set from at least ten years ago in the closet. I don't know if the paints dry out. I think one day I'll take them out and do something "tactile" with them, but truthfully I *hate* cleaning brushes and washing the pallette and sorting through the mess oils makes. Even using colored markers, I get color all over my hands and clothes.
I admire people who can do that though. There's more than one way to "get down and dirty" thankfully.

susan said...

You mean nobody really likes Bratwurst, Ben? Me neither but they do make good beer - probably for washing it down.

You don't have to worry about your workarounds in HTML. After all, you are a writer.

Kathie, Yes, I got some photoshop stuff bundled with the scanner. It's going to take me a little while to figure it out - much more complex than rinsing a brush.

Sera, That's why I watercolor - and the fact I'm allergic to oils. I tried acrylics but they're nasty and sticky too. Silk painting is also a bit messy as well but the results have been worth it for me.