Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NEW WEB SITE

My web site is finally on line.  It is an on line retrospective so it is filled with lots of art work that I have created over the years.  I would love to hear from you if you have any trouble navigating through the various parts, or if there are any spelling mistakes - my specialty.  Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Here is the link -  Nancy Herman Retrospective 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

EASTER BUNNIES


EASTER BUNNIES
20" x 20"
signed limited edition giclee print on archival paper with archival ink



Stamps used in EASTER BUNNIES

At this rate I will never finish creating my new web site as when I go through different periods of my art work I get the urge to create another in the series.  So far I have made several more Pure Color pieces, 3 new stamps, and revised several poster collages.  I am having so much fun that I feel guilty.  Now what's that all about?

$250.00






Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FORSYTHIA 2011


Forsythia 2011
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

I have been busy creating a new web site for the past two weeks, so have not been painting, but last year's Forsythia painting fits the moment perfectly.

I love Forsythia.  It is for me the real messenger of spring as it is so jolly in its thrusting glory.  I hold in deepest disregard those who turn their Forsythia bushes into crippled balls.  Every year I shudder past Merion Mercy Academy in the spring as they have a whole row of Forsythia hedge that could be a glory of spritely delight brightening Montgomery Avenue.  But no...they always trim the hedge so there is only a strangled few blooms.  It is as if the gardeners can't stand the exuberance.  Yet this has gone on for years, and gardeners come and go, so I can only conclude it is orders from above.  How far up I don't know.
SOLD
$150.00












Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Stamp


JEWISH STARS
Nancy Herman
20" x 20"
Limited edition signed digital print on archival paper with archival inks

I have always enjoyed the beautiful lithography on old stamps.  A few years back I began collecting them and with the help of friends and sometimes just people I met on a train or airplane I amassed a huge collection of stamps of all kinds.  I then began sorting them out according to color and theme and created collages.
At the moment I am putting together a new web site that is really an on line retrospective.  When I came to the stamp page I decided to create two new stamps.  One in honor of Passover  "Jewish Stars".  Here it is with a link to the new page.  The stars are Raoul Wallenberg, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Golda Meir, Ben Gurion and Ann Frank. (Christmas is the other new stamp just to keep a balance in the stamp family)

$250.00






Monday, April 14, 2014

UNDER THE HIGHWAY


UNDER THE HIGHWAY
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

The train has come to the end of the line and just as it is when I am really on the train I am more than ready to get off and begin the next adventure.   However, there is still the business of getting through the station and out into the world again.  In this case there is one more painting from the series.  By now the snow is melted and spring is here but on this canvas it still exists and I must deal with it.
At the time it was interesting to see little glimpses of nature through the bridge abutments.  Now I wish I could see the new life that has sprung up there or have a painting of daffodils to show.  And so it goes in life, our unfinshed business keeps us from the pleasures of the day.

But wait...  Here is last year's Daffodil which along with some other of my spring paintings can now be seen at Graver's Lane Gallery.






Monday, April 7, 2014

SNOW AND FENCE


SNOW AND FENCE
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Still on the train on a wintery day.  An old tin fence, some empty containers,  snow and a set of old train tracks create this compostion in shades of blue and brown.

$150.00






Wednesday, April 2, 2014

NIGHT SETS IN


NIGHT SETS IN
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Night from a railroad car window
Is a great, dark, soft thing
Broken across with slashes of light.

WINDOW by Carl Sandburg


$150.00

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

THE GREEN DOOR


THE GREEN DOOR
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

From the train window I spy this green door with a car parked out front.  This combination stirs the imagination.  Who chooses pea green for their door?  Is the car visiting pea green door painter or does the driver live there?  What goes on behind the pea green door?


$150.00






Monday, March 31, 2014

LAYERS


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

  Another scene from the train, this formerly quiet little square that I painted a few days ago (CLOSED )is gradually giving way to nature.  We fight it back every chance we get and carve it into symetries we can grasp in our gardens, but it is relentless.  When humans are forgotten it will rage on.  We forget, to our peril, that we are only a very small part of the miracle of life on this planet.

$150.00


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Empty Platform


EMPTY  PLATFORM
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Lately I have not been drawing in the images before I paint.  This leads to wavey lines that used to be straight and proportions that are less than perfection.  As a result of not following the lines I can use more paint and get into the feeling of the brush rolling along the canvas.  In this painting of the empty train platform I especially enjoyed painting the funky pink pipe.

$150.00



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BROOKLYN ROOF TOP


BROOKLYN ROOF TOP
Nancy Herman
6" x 8'
oil on canvas board

My destination when I go to New York is always Brooklyn, to visit my children and grandchildren.  I love the old Victorian houses in Ditmus Park.  This one is a symphony in shades of grey.  I wonder who lives in this room near the top.

$150.00


Monday, March 24, 2014

CLOSED


CLOSED
Nancy Herman
6' x 8"
oil on canvas board

Still on the train, we stopped next to this square that could have been from a French town. 
This odd building with shutters closed and a narrow door with no stairs seems right out of a Hitchcock movie.

$150.00


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

RED AND RUST


RED AND RUST
Nancy Herman
6' x 8"
oil on canvas board

Back on the train to New York from Philly this simple pleasing composition of a corrugated red and white tin fence, a rusty pole and its shadow appear as we hurry by.   It's an excuse for some juicy paint, which unfortunately you can't see in this photo.

$150.00


Friday, March 7, 2014

Art Critism

When I was around 6 or 7 I took a painting class at the local library.  It was taught by an enthusiastic young man who took a special interest in my "work".  I think I was pretty good at watercolors and able to get the way things looked, sort of, with not too much messiness. This has to be unusual for a child that age.  He insisted I have a "one girl show" at the library to celebrate my “genius” as the local newspaper put it. 

In that show there was a landscape with only the head of a horse in the middle.  My enthusiastic teacher, who was probably just a young art student, said this was part of my talent. Meaning that I was free to put just the head of the horse in the picture because I knew that was all that was necessary to indicate “horseness”.  I thought that I had only included the head because I had no idea  how to draw the rest of the body.  I didn’t tell him that.  I liked his idea better.

I think this small incident pretty much defines for me everything there is to know about what other people think an artist is about and how that influences what artists say to other people about what they do.

But, suppose he was right.   It certainly is true that children, if they have not been overly praised or scolded about their art are freer to do what they want to than they will be as they learn more about what "art" is.  It is also true that the head of a horse does indicate "horsiness" and I felt free to put it in the painting without the body, even though I would have included the body if I knew how to draw it. 

When an artist in full control of the power of expression chooses to leave something key out of their work to create a certain feeling, that is art.  When someone simply doesn't know how to draw and so only includes what they can do comfortably...not so sure.  A lot of outsider art has this feel to it and often it is very moving.  If this concept is to hold water then art education is a big mistake and everything that is taught except how to wield a brush or sharpen a pencil leads to the burying of "talent".  

What do you think?


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Little White Building


Little White Building
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

If you look out the window of the train, as you ride from Philly to New York, you will see more than one of these small buildings along the tracks.  Not sure what their use is.  Could be small people live there to make sure none cuts too much of this rich grass or goes swimming in the freezing water? Storage house for skis?  Playhouse for lost children?

$150.00


Monday, March 3, 2014

Spaces


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

Still traveling on the train I find many bridges near the train tracks cut out interesting shapes in space.  Here the sky is sliced into a pattern of abstract patchwork as the Swift truck cuts its path over the bridge.

$150.00


Monday, February 24, 2014

In the Station, Father and Daughter


IN THE STATION
(Father and Daughter)
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

More painting from the train windows.  What is going on here?  Is it a father and daughter?  She looks like she might be guilty about something, head down in a gesture of humility.  What did she do?  He looks straight ahead, unforgiving.   Or is she just examining her new boots?

$150.00


Thursday, February 20, 2014

TRUCK DESCENDING


TRUCK DESCENDING
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Trucks all over the country are bringing us fresh produce and other goods so that we can step into the markets and buy pretty much whatever we want, from clementines in January to caviar from Russia.  Not too many of us are going into the root cellar for our shriveled beets stored from the summer or eating our own canned tomatoes.  We should have the skills that would allow us to survive if the trucks could not bring our food. I wonder if school would feel more relevant to kids if these skills were taught there.

$150.00



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

HOUSES BY THE TRACKS


HOUSES BY THE TRACKS
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

What is it like to sit on these porches and watch the trains go by?

$150.00


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Graffiti and Snow


Graffiti and Snow
Nancy Herman
6' x 8"
oil on canvas board

This building resonates with color. The graffiti seems to be blending with the snow.  Or is the snow creating its own lively statement?

According to Wikipedia, "Both "graffiti" and its occasional singular form "graffito" are from the Italian word graffiato("scratched"). "Graffiti" is applied in art history to works of art produced by scratching a design into a surface. A related term is "sgraffito",[4] which involves scratching through one layer of pigment to reveal another beneath it. In ancient times graffiti were carved on walls with a sharp object, although sometimes chalk or coal were used. The word originates from Greek γράφειν — graphein — meaning "to write."

$150.00







Monday, February 17, 2014

Taking the Train


GRAFFITI AND OLD FACTORY
Nancy Herman
9" x 12"
oil on canvas board

For the next few days I will be posting paintings done from photos taken from the window of the train from Philadelphia to New York.  For some reason the old factories covered in graffiti, houses by the train tracks, and yards full of old cars fascinate me when I travel by train.  There is something lonely, sad and at the same time reaffirming about what exists by the tracks.  Life goes on in the graffiti and the small often colorful homes.  Things start to blend together as the weather wears away the buildings and even the layers of graffiti become a part of nature's design.  The colorful marks are the flowering of the exuberant youth making themselves known to the world as it goes by in the comfort of the train.

$250.00








Sunday, February 16, 2014

Good Samaritans

Yesterday my faith in human kindness was restored.  I foolishly pulled into a spot covered in slush in the middle of a parking area next to Radio Shack.  There was a car in front of me and in order to get out of the spot I had to back up over a lot of mush past two other spots.  Of course I got stuck.  First I put a beach blanket and my scarf - not my best one - under the wheels and tried rocking the car back and forth - no way was I going anywhere!  What to do?
 
I started looking for able bodied boys to ask for a push.  I spied two young men and hailed them, trying to look helpless, which was not difficult, no acting required.  They were reluctant but willing enough.  It was extremely slushy and there was no way to push the car except to get your feet really wet.  They pushed, I tried to gun the car but it simply would not move.  I thanked them and they left as they had to catch the train.  By this time the snow was coming down pretty heavily.  I got out of the car so I could be sure no one parked in back of me because it was pretty obvious the guy in front of me was not going anywhere and there was a pile of snow about three feet high on either side of the parking spaces.  
Someone did pull in back of me and I asked him not to park there as I would then be trapped for sure.  He said he would only be a minute and would help me get out when he returned.  That sounded good to me, as I had no idea what to do next.  I did not even have my phone.

He did return in a few minutes and asked if he could try my car.  He introduced himself as Jamie.  He tried and was unable to move it either.  At this point I spied 5 young men and hailed them across the street with cries of help.  As I get older I find I am much more able to ask for help.  I think when I was younger I would have simply dissolved into tears.   They came over and suggested the largest of them could certainly move the car.  He was a handsome, Lil Abner type, willing and strong.  He and my steadfast helper Jamie tried pushing with me at the wheel - still no dice.  Jamie got behind the wheel and all the boys pushed.  They managed to move the care backward but it still got stuck before it was out.  Lil Abner found a shovel somewhere and one of the other boys canvassed the area trying to find the owner of the car in front of me.  Digging and general good natured trying continued for about 45 minutes.  Two women stopped to ask if they could help.  One offered to sit on the trunk to make it heavier.  Nothing budged.  Jamie used his phone to call Triple A, and while he was talking two men came over to the car.  One had a cigarette dangling from his lips, the other jumped in the car and said,  "I will get you out of here".  I thought it was somewhat ludicrous to think that a guy could move the car while smoking when several young men could not, but was not in a position to complain.  The guy with the cigarette started pushing the car.  The guy in the car managed to move the car backwards and forwards very fast as it had not moved before.  Jamie started pushing with the cigarette guy and low and behold the car moved out of the slush and onto the street with hoots of joy from all.  In all 10 people stopped in the middle of a snow storm to help a perfect stranger.  Now that’s heart warming.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fire Escape Shadow


FIRE ESCAPE SHADOW
Nancy Herman
9" x 12"
oil on canvas board

I have not been painting as much as usual as I have been working on the documentary for my film making class.  More about that when it is finished. 

Meanwhile, I have been longing to go outside and paint.  Of course the weather is not too hot for that at the moment, although there is a guy in Colorado who is painting in sometimes sub zero weather, four paintings a day....and they are good!  His name is Marc Hanson and here is a link to his blog, Painting My Way Through Life.

There are two key elements about painting outside that are different for me.  One is of course the weather, the constant changing light, the wind, the sun, the bugs, the whole iffiness of the physical conditions.  The other is that when I paint indoors I like to carefully plan what I am choosing to paint and make a careful drawing of it before I begin.   I think this goes back to my earliest childhood experiences of happily filling in the lines of my coloring books with crayolas.

Outside there simply is not time for any of that.  One simply cannot draw everything. It must be a great grab of information, hastily applied.  It is actually a young person's sport but unfortuneately it requires the skill of many years to perfect.  I am neither young nor have I spent the last few years perfecting that skill, although I did paint outdoors for many years,  I never gave myself over to it.  Am I ready to do that now?  Not sure.  This painting was a small start in that direction.  I did not paint outside but I also did not prepare a drawing first, just put the photo on my ipad and painted from that.  I will try that for a while before heading for the great outdoors.  Maybe the snow will melt and the temperatures will improve while I prepare.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Art Room

I have been in Brooklyn visiting children and grandchildren. I came home to find this very nice post about my work in one of my favorite blogs, Taryn Day's The Art Room.
Check it out.
THE ART ROOM

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fern and Lace


Fern and Lace
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Winter has set in and the landscape is pretty monochromatic out there, but inside thanks to the careful nurturing of my husband, the plants are enjoying the heat from the radiators and their susequent very frequent watering.  All this keeping the humans hydrated and happy as well.

$150.00



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Flying Away


FLYING AWAY
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

On these cold winter days it sounds like a good idea to be flying off to an exotic tropical paradise although this apartment building in Park Slope looks pretty cheery.

$150.00


Monday, January 20, 2014

CLOCK SHADOW


CLOCK SHADOW
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

This bearded sentinel stands guard on either side of our old grandfather's clock in the hall at night.  His shadow self looks quite forbidding.  I'm sure any intruder would hesitate to go further.

$150.00



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Handle Shadow


HANDLE SHADOW
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

This very simple composition is strangely calming to me.  There is a question about where the actual handle is but somehow that brings in the rest of the world and so I don't mind if the answer is not there.

$150.00


Monday, January 13, 2014

Icicles


ICICLES
Nancy Herman
6' x 8"
oil on canvas board

Icicles are a delight unless one falls on your head.  I was tempted to grab one and do a little dueling with the shadows.  I opted for painting this combination instead.

$150.00