Friday, March 27, 2015

Sunglasses


SUNGLASSES
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Okay what's going on here?  In the last several paintings I have been trying something new.   What I am thinking about with these new paintings (I began the series with Winter Porch) is, "what can I leave out in order to enhance the 'feel' of the subject".  I am using juicy paint in solid areas, but that's another story.  In this painting a girl appears in the chaos of shapes coming out of a station.  She is wearing sunglasses against the sudden glare.  I want to integrate the figure in the composition without losing it as a focal point.

$150.00

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

BEGONIA AND BIRDFEEDER


BEGONIA AND BIRDFEEDER
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Many years ago my husband took over the care of our houseplants.  It was one of those rare seamless transitions that sometimes happen in a marriage.  Ever since the scientist has been running the show the plants are thriving.  The 'artist' (me) had mixed results.  I love seeing the light through the leaves of this happy Begonia in the afternoon.  Out the window is a very old bird feeder which was here when we moved in 44 years ago.  The birds love it and we love watching them taking turns or fighting over the seeds.  It is winter sport for the old foggies.


$150.00

Monday, March 23, 2015

WINTER PORCH


WINTER PORCH
Nancy Herman
18" x 24"
oil on canvas board

I listened to The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro while painting this.  It is a book that transports you to the world of myths while tugging at your conciousness with its very real allusions to the present day.  I think some of its magic is woven into my colors and shapes.

This is the largest painting I have done in several years.  It took many days and I am happy with the results but probably won't be painting large as a regular thing as I really like the idea of completing work in a day or two.  I also like sitting and working on something at the table where I can easily move the canvas around.  Another problem with a larger work is that I can't scan it into my computer but must take a picture of it.  Scanning really reproduces the work much better.  This piece actually has a lot of juicy paint which is completely lost in this reproduction.

$750.00

Friday, March 13, 2015

March Newsletter

March is a month full of upheavals.  The weather is bitter cold and balmy spring in turns and we bounce from huddling inward for warmth and striding without a coat or hat into the sun.
And so it went for me this month so far, and it is only half over.

First we had a beautiful heavy snow, gratifying in its thorough whiteness.




red maples



In the Barnes garden



St. Joe’s Building



Out my studio window



Sunset


Today, however, after several days of thawing things are looking a little bit like SPRING!



Long Shadows in Merion Park



A pair of ducks in Marion Park Stream




For my whole walk I was searching for a sign of a crocus.  The park usually has a wonderful display.  Finally on the sunny bank of the stream I spied the first ones to pop their heads through the dead leaves.




My art excursion for this month took me to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where I met three friends to see what we could see.

After lunch in the cafeteria where we discussed art and politics and the politics of art we went to the show - Represent: 200 Years of African American Art
January 10, 2015 - April 5, 2015

It is a very interesting show with some wonderful work.  However, like shows of all Women artists I was left wondering when art will be art regardless of who makes it. I prefer seeing art that is displayed purely on lines of its artistic intent rather than on the accident of birth of its creator.  Forinstance a show of impressionists or a show of artists interested in minimalism. 

This show purports to be about an expression that is particularly African American and some of the work has a political thrust, but the same work could have been made by someone who is not African American, as people often protest causes that they didn’t ‘inherit’.   How does the accident of birth affect the artistic vision and expression of a particular groups IS something of interest.

This would be hard to fathom but worth the effort.  It does seem that more woman are interested in using textiles than men.  Is their color sense different?  Does the experience of being enslaved or discriminated against effect what materials one prefers or what colors one uses?  Do women prefer round shapes? These are interesting questions.  I suspect geography and climate have more to do with shapes and colors than sex or race but it would be interesting to explore the possibilities.

I enjoyed the show but it did not deal with these ideas as the work was all over the place in terms of style and use of materials and I did not come away with any feeling of unity in terms of an African American sensibility.  It is rich in the history of these individual artists however and very worth a visit.

Here are some of the highlights of the show for me.  Much more can be found if you download the TEACHER’S RESOURCE.

 The show begins with this beautiful charcoal drawing of Martin Luther King, Jr, by John Woodrow Wilson. 



Moe Brooker’s PRESENT FUTURES is a delight for the eye.



Horace Pippin’s Outcry against WAR is memorable.  The frame alone is a marvel with all its carved imagery.





and Romare Bearden’s BLIND SINGER feels like a spontaneous outburst of joy.



There are many more wonderful works in the show that I was not able to photograph properly.  The show is up until April 5 so don’t miss it.

What fun it is to share these experiences with friends who care about art and don’t hesitate to think and talk about it. 
 








web site:http://nancyherman.com
Youtube sticky bear
http://youtu.be/95qqU-bVaAo?
list=UU0kTuj7G2coHnSXm8-pg-4g

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stroll by the Park


STROLL BY THE PARK
Nancy Herman
9" x 12"
oil on canvas board

Using more paint and more medium to make the paint juicy causes the paint to shine in some places.  This does not reproduce well. This painting is much more interesting in person.
I managed to fix my broken scanner by following some directions found on line.  It involved taking the whole thing apart by unscrewing parts, finding a broken "flange" and duct taping it down.  Not knowing what a flange was I still was able to find "it" and fix things.  I am so pleased!  I feel like a real handywoman.  Incidentally spell check did not want me to write "handywoman" and kept substituting "handyman".  Little things mean a lot.

$250.00


Monday, March 2, 2015

Red Truck on 7th Avenue


RED TRUCK ON 7TH AVENUE
Nancy Herman
9" x 12"
oil on canvas board

As you probably have noticed I have not been painting much lately as I have been working on writing and illustrating a book.  That work is on hold for a bit so I began again to think about painting.  As usually happens when there is a hiatus in work this caused me to think seriously about what I was doing.  For years I have been trying to use more paint and work with simpler shapes.  Yet I always end up making rather complicated compositions even though I am working quite small.  Apparently I am stuck with a desire to paint a complicated scene so I decided to use the computer to simplify the composition using several "filters" in photoshop.  Then I mixed my paint into a juicy pile and went to work filling the shapes created.  I am enjoying this method.
This is the first painting I completed.  Unfortunately my scanner is broken so I had to take a photo of the painting which leaves it looking quite flat.  It actually has some texture as I am trying to allow the juicy paint to describe the shapes.  The next painting has more texture.  The third in this series is going to be larger so I will have room for even more texture.  It is rather funny I think that it is so difficult for me to use more paint.  I must coax myself into it.

$250.00






Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bangladesh

The weather is so unpleasant here in Merion that I decided to go to the Virtual Paintout and see what was happening there.  (Check it out to see the variety of art work and locations found) The assignment was Bangladesh.  I dropped in to this nice photo which is what I imagine Bangladesh to be like.  Decided to try a watercolor for a change.  This is something I haven't done for about 10 years or so and never much before that.  The results are not too hot and I should not have tried something so complicated to get started after so long, but in the spirit of full disclosure here it is.  I like the photo a lot and am amazed that I can take a photo in Merion of something real happening half way around the world.  Worth trying to paint in oil?


Here is a link to the google map spot:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Walking After Snow

Before the snow turns to gray and all the magic is ashes, it is good to take a walk, especially if the sun is out.  The last two days have been perfect for a brisk walk covered in down.  I found the color theme, not surprisingly, to be white and blue.  Not only the shadows on the snow but the sky was a brilliant blue and the clouds competed with the snow for attention.  As often happens to me when things are surprisingly beautiful I find myself in a state of awe.  Everything looks perfect.  I snap away with my camera in an ecstasy of appreciation.  When I get home and look at what I have taken I am often surprised to see that what seemed so fabulous actually looks rather ordinary when committed to the flat surface of a computer screen and even less promising when printed out.  Here, however, are some reminders, at least, of a lovely experience.




The large Sycamores seem to be reaching with a mighty force to the sky.  Their white branches bring the eye up from the snow to greet the clouds.


The delicate blue shadows of this cut leaf maple in the park are in the spotlight as I go by.


In contrast the grand Katsura's shadows dig big powerful blue shapes in the snow with the animal tracks creating a light motif.


The Hydrangeas in my neighbor's front yard carry their burden of snow with a gay flare as if dancing in their formal garden.


The Paper Birch next door adds another note of orange with its beautiful peeling bark.


Afterall what is blue without a touch of orange to bring it to life.

As I come to the end of my walk I pass the lovely old Barnes building lit by the sun.   What ghosts are in that empty building and what are they up to?







Tuesday, February 17, 2015

FEBRUARY





Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,

a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It’s his
way of telling whether or not I’m dead.
If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am
He’ll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,
declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory,
which are what will finish us off
in the long run. Some cat owners around here
should snip a few testicles. If we wise
hominids were sensible, we’d do that too,
or eat our young, like sharks.
But it’s love that does us in. Over and over
Again, He shoots, he scores! and famine
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits
thirty below, and the pollution pours
out of our chimneys to keep us warm.
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries
with a splash of vinegar.
Cat, enough of your greedy whining
and your small pink bumhole.
Off my face! You’re the life principle,
more or less, so get going
on a little optimism around here.
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.


"February" by Margaret Atwood

Friday, February 13, 2015

Nancy Herman's Art Newletter

Yesterday's post was less than satisfactory so I'm trying again.  Let me know if things improve if you have a chance.


                                     Welcome to the first issue of 

 Nancy Herman’s Art News


The weather is chilly in Philly, Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show, Madmen won’t start again until April and the world is a mess.  So what better to do than think about art.  For as Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 

I have resolved to get out there and see more art in this new year and my first foray into the great ocean of art available was very satisfying.  I went with a group of wonderful artists from the group ASSEMBLAGE  
to the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers to see the show FROM THE DIGITAL TOOLBOX

Nancy Maguire, Associate Director of Exhibitions, kindly arranged a terrific guide for us, Miranda Powell.  She was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic that she made the show come alive.  I was especially impressed with the artist Tim Portlock who uses 3-D technology and gaming software to create digital prints.  They were stunning.  I highly recommend the show but, if you go, hurry, as it will close February 20.

             

Meanwhile back in Merion I am working on writing and illustrating a children’s book with a friend.  The subject matter is quite interesting and I am learning a lot.  Unfortunately this leaves little time for painting as I am also purging my house of all the stuff that has accumulated over the past 43 years.  Stay tuned for art bargains in the next few months.

My previous two children’s books , "Olive and Sticky Bear" and "Joe and The Adobians" along with "Postcards from Merion” are now available on Amazon. LInk

           
A video of Olive and StickyBear with music sung by my daughter Gail and I and guitar by song writer and singer Bob Loy ( can be found on my tube channel
That deep voice you hear on the promo for Joe and the Adobians is that of my grandson Luke Herrine.
If you are interested in purchasing any of my small paintings most of them are listed on the web site Daily Paintworks

If you have enjoyed this newsletter please send it along to friends and family.  Any suggestions for good art to see please pass along.  Thank you and keep warm.

Best,
Nancy

web site:http://www.nancyherman.com

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Newsletter

Forgive me if you already got this but not everyone on my blog is on my mailing list.



                                     Welcome to the first issue of 
                   Nancy Herman’s Art News

The weather is chilly in Philly, Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show, Madmen won’t start again until April and the world is a mess.  So what better to do than think about art.  For as Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 

I have resolved to get out there and see more art in this new year and my first foray into the great ocean of art available was very satisfying.  I went with a group of wonderful artists from the group ASSEMBLAGE  http://assemblageartistscollective.com
to the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers to see the show FROM THE DIGITAL TOOLBOX
http://rcca.camden.rutgers.edu/2014/06/01/from-the-digital-toolbox/
Nancy Maguire, Associate Director of Exhibitions, kindly arranged a terrific guide for us, Miranda Powell.  She was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic that she made the show come alive.  I was especially impressed with the artist Tim Portlock (http://www.timportlock.net)who uses 3-D technology and gaming software to create digital prints.  They were stunning.  I highly recommend the show but, if you go, hurry, as it will close February 20.

             Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 2.22.07 PM copy.jpg

Meanwhile back in Merion I am working on writing and illustrating a children’s book with a friend.  The subject matter is quite interesting and I am learning a lot.  Unfortunately this leaves little time for painting as I am also purging my house of all the stuff that has accumulated over the past 43 years.  Stay tuned for art bargains in the next few months.

My previous two children’s books , "Olive and Sticky Bear" and "Joe and The Adobians" along with "Postcards from Merion” are now available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=nancy+clearwater+herman I

           Olive fleeing bees .jpg
A video of Olive and StickyBear with music sung by my daughter Gail and I and guitar by song writer and singer Bob Loy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr1ukFYzVZc) can be found on my tube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/illuminata/videos  

That deep voice you hear on the promo for Joe and the Adobians is that of my grandson Luke Herrine.

I am still posting on my blog Postcards from Merion.  Sometimes about daily paintings and sometimes just about what’s happening in the neighborhood.
blog:http://postcardsfromthemainline.blogspot.com

If you are interested in purchasing any of my small paintings most of them are listed on the web site Daily Paintworks. (http://www.dailypaintworks.com/artists/nancy-herman-1193/artwork)

If you have enjoyed this newsletter please send it along to friends and family.  Any suggestions for good art to see please pass along.  Thank you and keep warm.

Best,
Nancy


web site:http://www.nancyherman.com

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sunday stroll

Its Sunday afternoon, the temperature is 31 degrees, the sun is out and its time for a walk.  

Today I am going to stroll through Saint Joe's campus.  This is always a very relaxing walk, unless the weather does not cooperate.  But today it is clear and not really too cold as I am dressed from head to toe in down.

The first thing I come upon is an old friend who was an old oak tree not so long ago but is now a pile of huge logs waiting for I don't know what on the Barnes property on Lapsley Lane.



On to St. Joe's.


This building which was once a stable now has 'Honors Program' over its door.  It makes me want to take an honors program in something or other just to go inside and be cosseted in quiet contemplation of greater truths.  As I wonder off I am lost in wondering what subject to choose.


The quiet order of these spaces creates a very receptive mood and everything feels beautiful.


The very blue sky makes the orange smoke stack sing a warm tune.


The stately old buildings nestle into the giant old trees as if they had grown there.


 Back on Latches Lane the elaborate gate of the Barnes says, "Nothing doing here".  But that old lovely building is still there waiting for some meaningful use.






....and then I'm home again, thoroughly refreshed and soothed by my very familiar old neighborhood.  I lived a lot of places before I moved to Latches Lane but I am very grateful to have been here for 43 years.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What's going on?

If you have not been reading my posts, ( I don't blame you I seldom read things without pictures or paintings either ) you are probably wondering where the paintings are.  Well I am working on a book in collaboration with someone else who does not want me to talk about the book.  Mysterious isn't it?  So I can't share the illustrations as they are created.  Meanwhile, in order to keep in touch, I am just going to share my daily visual activities in hopes that they will give you as much pleasure as they give me.

Out again with my iPhone I caught this lovely bark.   Inside this exuberant plant basking in the sun.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Cold

We had a couple of really cold days, but the sun was out creating those beautiful blue shadows that I love so much - especially from my warm room inside.  I did venture out to add to my mulch pile.  While I was there I got a  shot of the blueness with my new iPhone.    When I came in I was greeted with this beautiful begonia in the sun made even more delightful because I was warm again.










Thursday, January 8, 2015

January


This morning I got this post from Altoon Sultan's blog.  Beautiful pictures of Maine in the snow and this poem from John Updike one of my favorite authors.   It is REALLY cold there.
January   
by John Updike 

The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.

The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.