Monday, September 27, 2010

Are women supposed to be artists?

hello all of my faithful readers-the question posed, a curious question, but unfortunately still a valid one as we rumble through the 21st century, still unsure of the "place" of women in the artworld. this question came to me at the philadelphia museum which my daughter and i visited on saturday, in search of enlightenment, a little culture, and respite from an unseasonbly warm september day.we viewed the newly gorgeously restored painting of the gross clinic by charles eakins. on the side of the exhibit was a portrait of the artist painted by the artist's wife (whose name god forgive me i didn't note down).it was a fab painting, skillfully executed with a warm and beautiful palette, and it seemed both of its time and at the same time very modern,and it was to my mind more interesting than the "masterpiece" by her husband.on the opposite wall. it just made me want to sit down and have a chat with him in front of a fireplace over tea-he looked very approachable and a little bit like an actor we'd seen around(neither of us could remember who). the most interesting thing though was the blurb about the artist, who had been a student at the pennsylvania academy of fine art, had won all kinds of prestigious awards and then bang, married eakins and put her brushes away until after his death some considerable years later. the blurb gave no reason for this decision, and made no comments about it, but it brought to mind how often this seems to happen, or seemed to happen as if, and it may not be the case at all, there's only room for one artist in the family, and that one artist,more often tan not, seems to be THE MAN. is my thinking skewed or is there really something in this , and by golly is it still happening today in the year 2010? of course one thing leads to another and we are forced to admit that if we see a painting in a museum by a woman we are still surprised(Morisot and Cassatt anyone among all those men), any painting by a woman in any context surrounded by all of those men. i am sure there are far more women represented by galleries, and acquired by both museums and art collectors,but c'mon- don't we still say "and it was by a woman", with that tone of surprise in our voices? i know i do and i consider myself both a woman, and an artist, and i hope that for my daughter's generation that surprise will be less, and that maybe someday, we'll all just be considered artists without any reference to gender(or race or sexual orientation but that's another whole ball of wax). i think there's room enough out there for all of us, and if this seems just too obvious and too done to death, i'm sorry, but this is where i'm at. what do you think? cheers, brigid.

Monday, September 20, 2010

where have i been?

hello,hello work that's where  i've been and i'm finding it hard to keep up with all my loves and responsibilities and this is one of my loves. i feel like i've been holding my breath for two weeks and i haven't yet come up for air. and to make matters worse i haven't gotten any art work done(except for one painting) in two weeks time either. but i'm very excited about my plans for the next few months-they involve alot of art, writing and believe it or not jogging-i've managed to get up to an hour's (very slow) jog nearly every day for the last week or so and i'm really thrilled. i thought my jogging days were well behind me. don't plan on doing any 12 mile runs but the old lady can still do it. i promise to write again really soon and fill you in on all my new plans and projects but i  have to go to bed NOW so i can  get up and do my morning pages and make it to work on time. thank you for your patience much love, brigid

Sunday, September 5, 2010

where did the summer go?

hi y'all-sorry about the long wait for my pearls of wisdom but as the wise people say 'life happens." as i write this i have approximately 43 hours of freedom before i have to go back to work-i know how spoiled i am to have the whole summer off!my side job is really generous with the holidays, but after 24 years i am so ready to retire and spend all my time painting and writing and making all kinds of art every day. not my time yet- i'm hoping to retire in 3-4 years, so for now i have to be content with squeezing art in every chance i get- in the evenings, on weekends and school holidays. last year i managed to get alot of art journalling done-if you haven't tried it i highly recommend it-it's portable,and lends itself to a little bit here and a little bit there,you can use any sort of materials and it feels productive- getting a page done in a journal isn't the same  as doing a painting, but it's very satisfying nevertheless.,that being said i have truly had a wonderful summer, taking art classes painting outside, making a book. i've experimented with different types of art, exploring assemblage(which i love),playing with clay, working in oils,acrylics, water color, pastel, pen and ink and charcoal and graphite ,participating in the weekly color challenge and the creative thursday e-class.(thanks marisa !),the Art Lab's Summer Studio art class and Laura's (sorry laura i forgot your last name but will provide it in another post with a link to your website) class in which we made our own books and bound them as well. apart from making art i became a vegan, after years of ovolactarian vegetarianism and am feeling very healthy and committed and have been devouring books- art books,mysteries,fiction by women authors, &;magazines of every's been like a hazy glorious dream moving from art to class to reading and i am truly sorry to see it end...but onwards and upwards-fall is my absolutely favorite season and i'm signed up for a few more e-classes, hope to take something at the Art Lab, am looking forward to many long walks,apple picking, plein air painting,visiting friends in new england,encaustic painting and doing a collaborative journal with my daughter who is away at college.we plan to do a few pages each and mail it back and forth .i also hope to finally finish my first children's book and do some more work on my second, and am looking forward to improving this blog and maybe even starting a website.until next time..."time is divided into two rivers: one flows backward, devouring life already lived; the other moves forward with you .exposing your life....For a single second they may be joined.Now..." in the present moment.Pablo Neruda "Ode To The Past...adieu.