Wednesday, August 24, 2016

DOG AND SUNFLOWERS

I have signed up for several Plein Air experiences as you probably have noticed.  It has been too hot on most of these occasions to finish an oil painting outside so I have had to resort to working from photos to finish work.  I am trying a new idea which is to work from my iPad and print out the results.  I will print the work on archival paper with archival ink.  Here is my first attempt at this idea.  See what you think.
Since the IPAD records what I do and then plays it back really fast I could not help but want to set it to music. Here is a link to the short video.


DOG AND SUNFLOWERS
Nancy Herman
signed archival digital print
8" x 10"

$25.00





Monday, August 22, 2016

FIELD OF FLOWERS

This was the view I finally settled on from all the beautiful vistas at Chanticleer.  This field of yellow orange flowers went on and on reminding me of the possibility of life as a garden of Eden.


FIELD OF FLOWERS
Nancy Herman
8" x 16"
oil on canvas board

$300.00

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CHANTICLEER 2016

Last Wednesday I went to Chanticleer to paint in the garden.  It was very hot.  I carried my bag of supplies around looking for the perfect spot to paint, but there were so many beautiful places that after 2 hours of pure pleasure, I ended up taking pictures and exhausted, took refuge in my air-conditioned car and went home.

Here is a video of my experience. I plan to return and paint when the weather cools down a bit.

https://vimeo.com/179033665

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

SQUASH #2

Continuing to paint at farmer's markets I visited the Bryn Mawr Farmer's market on Saturday and captured these squash.  They have such strong shapes and colors they almost paint themselves.


SQUASH #2
Nancy Herman
oil on canvas board
8" x 16"


$350.00


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

EASTERN UNIVERSITY

As part of Plein Air painting sponsored by the Wayne Art Center I visited Eastern University in Radnor.  You may remember I posted a video that I made there using my iPad a while ago.  Here is the painting I made from the shots of the campus I took with my iPad. Since I notice the link I posted for the video doesn't work, here it is again.

Eastern State College is a place that seems to have been built all at once, unlike most colleges that develop over time.  All the buildings match and there is an orderly way to drive around the campus taking in all the sites.  There are shady spots to rest and paths lined with trees to wander on.  It is a University dedicated to "the preparation of undergraduate, theological and graduate students for thoughtful and productive lives of Christian faith, leadership and service."

Here is a spot that seems quite conducive to contemplation.  I spent a lot of time contemplating why the reflections did not exactly mirror the scene, but because it was so quirky I enjoyed it all the more.




EASTERN UNIVERSITY
Nancy Herman
16" x 8"
oil on canvas board






Monday, August 1, 2016

PEACHES

This is the time to really experience the season and warm your heart for those cold grey days of winter.  The smell of flowers, the hum of bees and the drone of cicadas, the whole chorus of summer is upon us.  And of course there is the real taste of fruit and vegetables, especially if you have your own garden and can pick them fresh.

These peaches are from a farmer's market at 36th and Walnut, of all places.  I brought some home and they were delicious!


PEACHES
Nancy Herman
8" x 16"
oil on canvas board

$350.00







Wednesday, July 27, 2016

IPad Play

Today I went off to my second day of the Wayne Art Center's Plein Air excursion.  This time it was to the Water Wheel at the Eastern University.  I had only a little trouble finding the place as Google maps are not always exactly right I'm finding.  Since it was such a hot day I didn't think I would be capable of finishing a painting outside so I decided to take along my camera and my iPad and see if I could do something interesting with the iPad with a back up of photos to work on at home just in case.

The first thing I didn't do was bring a chair so I had to sit on the ground.  Luckily I had a mat to sit on and had sprayed for insects so it was only the problem of a possible back ache to worry about.  The second thing I didn't do was bring my iPad pen so I had to work with my finger. This is a bit clumsy as you can imagine.

I could see this was going to be some rough going but I made a few attempts at getting the scene and managed to work for 2 hours without feeling too uncomfortable.  When I got home and put the potential video into Final Cut Pro I realized it was vertical and the Final Cur Pro screen is horizontal..oops so there would be a lot of space left over on either side of the image.  I decided to simply create something with four versions of the painting, which needed all the help it could get, to see how the parts would come together.  You can't beat symmetry for interesting shapes, no matter what else is going on.  The finished product had a rather oriental look so I added this music by Kevin McLoed.

And here it is already in Youtube and ready for your viewing pleasure.
ORIENTAL GARDEN

https://youtu.be/1VjeXMZkndY




Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SWALLOW TAIL, BUDDLEIA AND UMBRELLA

Well, it sure is summer now.  My vegetable garden is beginning to produce much more than we can eat, the flowers are bursting out of their buds and the butterflies are back.  Not as many butterflies as I would like to see, however.  I've only seen one Monarch in spite of planting lots of Milkweed and having many Butterfly bushes.  There are some Swallow Tails, both black with blue spots and yellow with black.  I caught one on the Butterfly bushes in this painting.  I love seeing them flit around the garden tasting everything.  What a little paradise a garden is!!


Swallowtail, Buddleia, and Umbrella
Nancy Herman
8" x 16"
oil on canvas board

$350.00





Sunday, July 24, 2016

Androssan Farm

Pleased to see that Androssan Farm has been selected as an auction pick on the Dailypaintworks site.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Trout Quintet, Franz Shubert

Franz Shubert in his short career, (he died when he was 31), composed a great deal of beautiful music.  Here is a link to his Wikipedia site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Schubert

The Trout Quintet is the popular name for the Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667. The work was composed in 1819, when he was 22 years old; it was not published, however, until 1829, a year after his death. 
This is a translation of the first 8 measures which only use three instruments.

Here is link to the music.  Once again the lowest part could easily stand alone. The finished piece looks and sounds like a jewel.


First Violin


second violin


Cello


Altogether





Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ANDROSSAN

Intermission from color music for today's post.

This summer I am once again trying some plein air painting.  You can see how easy it is for me to forget what a mess it was last time.  This is a rather long post but if you are interested it is an example of what it is really like to paint outside in new places.
 
The Wayne Art Center is sponsoring some paint-outs at various places in the area followed by a show in September and I am also joining some HTown Plein Air Artists to paint in farmer's markets and farms for a show in November.

My first Wayne Art Center excursion was to Androssan Farm.  I printed out my Google  map and off I went last Wednesday. I was able to find the place, no problem, turned into the drive marked Androssan right on schedule and drove up the very long drive over dirt roads and past rolling hills and various structures that definitely were not Androssan.  I finally got to what looked like a palatial estate but there were no other cars there and it seemed deserted, so I drove on.  Along this road were huge new estates slightly smaller versions of Downton Abbey overlooking plenty of territory with more construction going on.  Doubling back since I was a bit early I figured the old estate must have been the right place.  I pulled up near the entrance and decided I would paint the large Sycamores that lined the road.

As I started to get out my supplies a woman and a pure white pit bull walked into view.  She looked at me inquiringly so I explained that I was part of the Plein Air painting group from Wayne Art Center.  I didn't get out of the car.  This did not ring any bells with her but she shrugged and said nobody told her what was going on.  Just then a truck appeared and she said it contained the estate manager and he might know what was up.  Luckily he had an inkling that the plein air painters were actually at the "farm".  I followed him down and around more dirt roads over much beautiful scenery with deer loping in front of the car.  We finally arrived at a bunch of farm machinery, some run down buildings and an old stone house.  This was it.  As we got out of the car I asked the estate manager, who reminded my of a character out of  the TV series "Justified" if there was a bathroom handy.  He said he didn't think so but he would check.  There was not a bathroom functioning but there was a hose to get water. mmmm, this was going to be interesting and probably a short visit.

Other people began to arrive and we wondered around introducing ourselves and searching for something to paint.  There were some fine looking black Angus staring out from various places and I took some pictures with my phone.  I finally settled on a spot that had a fairly level place to put down my supplies.

I had decided to try out some pen, ink and water colors for a change as they are a little less messy if they fall all over the place.  I had just completed a pen and ink sketch when it began to drizzle all over the paper causing the ink to run.  I waited a bit hoping it would stop but instead it really started to rain so I dashed for the cover of my car moved up to my spot, threw everything in and drove off down the road.  I was glad at least I had some photos.

Since I went out at another exit than I went in, I had no idea where I was and it was really pouring.  So much so that I had to pull over for a while.  I did ask whoever answers questions on my phone where I was and how to get home but their instructions did not seem to fit the situation I found myself in.  So after the rain let up a bit I just started driving.  I finally found something that looked a bit familiar as well as a Starbucks.  How welcome it seemed.  I went in, had a mocha latte with soy milk - one of my favorite fast food treats and consulted my phone again.  This time it was able to guide me home.

This painting then is not really Plein Air it is Plein iPad.  I have made it a bit more bucolic than it really is I think but the more I looked at those sweet faced cows the more I felt they deserved an ideal place...and maybe for them it is.


ANDROSSAN FARM
8" x 16"
Nancy Herman
oil on canvas board


www.nancyherman.com







Monday, July 18, 2016

MOZART

I know I am jumping ahead quite a bit to get to Mozart after Bach, perhaps I will go back and catch the several geniuses between at a later date.

This is probably Mozart's first Minuet.  Since he composed his first Symphony at the age of 8 it is not impossible that it was composed when he was 6.

How can that be?  My tentative conclusion is that music is actually floating around somewhere in the ether and when a young brain is primed and open for it, that brain catches it.  Considering that once it is caught and written down and performed it moves a great deal of people this doesn't seem so far fetched.  Why then should some composers' work move people more than others?  Perhaps the very best composers have a superior catching system?

What do you think?

Here is a link to the sheet music and if you click on"listen" you can hear the music.

I think the bottom part is so beautiful that it could easily stand alone.



Top part of Minuet


Bottom part of Minuet


2 parts together

   

Saturday, July 9, 2016

THE GOLDEN KEY

Yesterday I mentioned that the color emphasis in all the music I have translated seems to be on the golden mean.
Here is a lovely video about ideal proportions.

https://youtu.be/_jEaEtSRMCc

Friday, July 8, 2016

Albers and Fugues

While thinking about fugues and what Albers had to say about how one color changes another I began to wonder if staggering colors in a sequence would hold the colors together in the same way that it holds the notes together in time.

This is an example from Albers' color course of the way one color can be changed because of what surrounds it.

The small color in the center of the two adjacent squares is the same.  In this example you can see the way our perception of color is changed by the colors surrounding it but it is always happening no matter how subtle it may be.  When two colors touch, our perception of them changes.


Here is one of the first wall hangings I created.  It is now in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  I am showing it because it illustrates very well how one color changing another can hold a sequence of colors together.


MYSTIC BLUE
60" x 60"
cotton fabric, hand sewn

Here is an inset to show the way the colors change.  The solid colors change the prints underneath.  This is not a great photo as it is not only a change in the amount of black and white but a color shift as well.







  




Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bach Fugue and Albers

I did translate the first 7 measures of a Bach Fugue #XX.  Several problems immediately became apparent.  The first being that of course Fugues don't come to a tidy place to stop after a few measures like most music.  In fact the very essence of a Fugue is that is goes on and on without a pause and yet we remain interested because of its masterful construction.  I did find a place to pause after 7 measures but it was not something Bach would have wanted to happen.

The second problem is that fugues often begin with the soprano line alone and only after several measures does the bass line enter the scene.  This leaves a lot of black - the color I chose for rest - at the beginning of the piece.

HERE is a link to the Fugue I chose so you can hear the music. (click on 'listen')  You'll notice there are a lot of small lines of color as the fugue moves along at a rapid clip.  You might also notice that in this piece as in the others I have translated into color there is a pretty clear accent on the golden mean.

Soprano Voice


Bass Voice


 Two voices together



Tomorrow what I learned from Fugues that translated to my work with fabric.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

BACH

Finally we are up to Bach in my very truncated history of music.
I have chosen a simple piece, THE MINUET IN D minor as it is easy to see the color relationships and it is a simple but satisfying 8 measures.
Go HERE to listen to the whole piece.

Top part


Bottom part


Together


It would not be fair to present Bach without a fugue and in fact the ideas that hold a fugue together inspired a great deal of my work in fiber so next post I will present a fugue.  I have not created one yet so it may take a while.  Meanwhile I will search for a simple but beautiful one to work on.






Thursday, June 30, 2016

Purcell

The next composer I would like to translate into color is Henry Purcell.  Working around the same time as Corelli, he was none the less using more notes and a more complicated palette as a result.  Corelli was in Italy and Purcell in England.  Did they ever get to hear each other's music?  Unlikely.  How things have changed.

I have chosen to "translate" the first 8 measures of Purcell's Festival Rondeau, this time C is Green.


Go HERE to listen to the music.

Here is the top part.


 Second part.


Third part.



4th part

Whole 8 measures of Purcell's Festival Rondeau







Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Bach

Sorry I promised Mozart for today but he will have to wait for some of his predecessors to take the stage and show their colors.

By the time Arcangelo Correlli was born in 1653 musical notation was an established way of sharing compositions.  Music had gotten more complicated with more rhythmic variation.  Composers by this time are using a greater range of tones instead of confining themselves to two octaves they are delving into many more highs and lows.  In this Sonata by Corelli the top voice alone spans more than an octave.  And the bottom voice has the piece complete three octaves.  You will notice I have faded each note into black.  I decided to do this as when each note is played it fades after it is played.  In yesterday's piece the notes are held until they blend together but in this performance the notes are clearly defined.
To hear the whole piece go here and click on "listen".

                         
top part of first 8 measures of Corelli's Sonatina in A Minor




Bottom Part of 8 measures of Corelli's Sonatina in A Minor




Two parts together




Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Color Music

Why does the music look as it does?


You see the sheet music so you know that the first note of the piece is going to be
high D or Light purple so that goes in the center and it will take up two spaces, the next note C will take up two spaces as well, and the next, but then there is a little variation and the C or light red will only take up one space with the B taking up a half space and so it goes.  The amount of space each color takes up is determined by the amount of time each note is played.  So in affect the sheet music allows us to see a color pattern.

The top part is then placed with the bottom by dividing the parts into equal parts.  In a large piece (60" square or more) I used a 3/4 inch strip of color because it seemed to mix in the eye best when standing the usual distance from the work.  In these smaller pieces I have used very small strips of color.  Today's version has smaller strips than yesterdays and I think it works better.  I also like the rests in grey rather than white as it is more of a 'rest' instead of a stop.





PANGE MELOS LACRIMOSUM
rests in grey, smaller divisions of color

I did think these colors were beautiful together.  They were not anything I would have chosen but they really sang.  And so I began to see what other music would look like using this system of translation.

Tomorrow Mozart.

Please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.


Monday, June 20, 2016

MUSIC

Back in the attic it was time to try a piece of music and see if the colors were beautiful together.  I decided to start with the first music I could find that was written down.  At this time I did not have a computer as it was in the 70's so I had to go to the library and see what I could see.  It was all very interesting and I discovered that although there probably was music in Egypt and Rome there is no recorded history of notation that has been found.  There is however notation from the Greeks. This is one of the most marvelous things about music, that there is notation that allows us to see exactly what notes any given composer has in mind from hundreds of years ago and reproduce the music today.

Here is eight measures of the music I chose and the translation of all the words.  You might like to listen to the music as you read the words.  You'll notice that all the notes are very close in tone, nothing very high or very low and the notes flow into each other without a pause.  This is typical of early music.  It holds together because of the tones, rhythm is not very important.

https://youtu.be/FZK4OFPEqEg

Compose a tearful melody,
weeping in elegy;
a time for lamentation has come,
a time that steals joys.
At this eclipse sorrow’s night
distorts what we see;
Let sadness rule, for the
cause of sorrow stands in the watchtower.
The star of the Rhine
casts Latium into ruins;
the star tumbles, and the star’s fall
holds the lands in darkness.
The truly Italian region
lies concealed, afraid to be seen,
For darkness is the friend of sin
and crime seeks his old haunt.
O what a definitive demonstration
of the falsity of the world!
Through experience Truth proves
what the world is;
it delights in disasters
and is constant in its inconstancy;
Death, the prince of this terrible law,
rules without pity.









Top notes of Tange (rests are white)



Bottom of Pange


Whole Pange Melos Lacrimosum

I have taken the liberty of softening the edges of the colors a bit to echo the way the music  is performed.









https://youtu.be/FZK4OFPEqEg