Thursday, May 7, 2015

What Happened

Those of you who have been subscribed to this list from the beginning, (it has been going on for about 4 years now), may be wondering what ever happened to the grand plan of creating a painting a day.  Yes, I have been wondering that myself.  The answer seems to be that as usual things change.  Other avenues of expression open up or prod back into consciousness.  Family and friends fill spaces that had been filled with painting.  Health is not perfect and the will to create is simply used by the will to survive.

At present I am working on illustrating a children's book, as I have mentioned, taking pictures of this lovely spring to hopefully finish the video I began earlier, and planning lots of paintings.

I did take a morning to visit the Barnes Foundation gardens to see how spring was arriving accross the street. The lilacs are in bloom so don't miss it if you are in the area.  I didn't take pictures of them this time but will be back this weekend to paint.













Monday, April 27, 2015

Dailypaintworks

I am happy to say I have been selected as a featured artist on DAILYPAINTWORKS this month!  You can check out a large number of my small paintings there by clicking on the link.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

EARLY SPRING


Spring has me in a tizzy as usual.  Ever since I have been a child looking out the window as nature slowly came back to life I have wanted to be a part of it somehow.  This time of year is for me full of vague yet intense yearning.  It is as if my spirit is part of nature in its pulsing growth and is looking for a way to manifest itself in the same way the trees are bursting with life.
Yesterday I began making water colors for the first time in many years hoping to find a way to paint outside that is not quite as messy and complicated as oils. In the week or so up to this time I have been trying to capture something of these feelings in a video.  I wanted to somehow represent the way nature moves from very simple to very complex forms in a very short time.
Here is a first stab at that.  Any feedback is very welcome.  This music does not end where the video does so I may try to finish it.

https://youtu.be/Lg06YdGPnzE

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring Newsletter (with pictures this time)

April is here in all its glory.  Buds will soon be popping.  This is the season of awe.  Life moves so quickly from bare branches to full blown flowers and leaves, I have the desire to slow down time.
What about art at this time when nature is having its most profound exhibit?
Traveling on line I summoned up some artists to see if their work had anything to say to me about spring.
I first saw Agnes Martin’s work at the Pace Gallery in New York many years ago and was simply amazed at its profound ability to mesmerize.  There is something so peaceful and awe inspiring about it that it never fails to put me in a calm space like no other.
This piece summons for me the very pristine beginnings of spring.




This painting by Bridget Riley feels like nature stirring herself just a bit more.  Bridget and Agnes really have a lot in common.  This work is called Zephr, a gentle wind.




Wayne Thiebaud using some of the same soft colors paints this amazingly soft bunny.  There is always a bit of humor in his work.





Paul Klee one of my all time favorite artists has this to say about Spring Sun.  There is a gradual change from gold to a slightly greener gold from top to bottom and some of his characteristic doodles along the way.  He also has a good sense of fun.


Milton Avery, always an interesting painter, here says it all with his painting SPRING BROOK.  Looks like Forsythia blooming on the hill.  The trees are just beginning to show that sweet new green that is so lovely.

                        Milton Avery Spring Brook.jpg


Charles Demuth, the great water color artist, paints tulips as if it were a romp.  He makes what is really a very tricky business look like pure joy.



Here the delicate work of Katshiko Sakura’s THE CHERRY TREE speaks of centuries of devotion to a traditional form of painting that in practice by a master still fills the heart with joy.



Meanwhile here in Merion my painting from the Dream series, INTO THE LIGHT will be included in the Main Line Art Center’s show.



Spring Gala Exhibition
May 2, 2015 - Jun 7, 2015, Opening Reception: Preview Party: Friday, May 1, 6:30 - 10 pm; Artist Reception: Saturday, May 30, 1-3 pm 
Here is a link to the DREAM video with all the paintings in that series.

As a nice bonus my work will be featured this month on the Dailypaintworks site where most of my small paintings can be seen.  I am posting the Dream paintings there as well.

Thank you for reading this far.  I wish you a glorious spring.
Best,
Nancy

Monday, April 13, 2015

Early spring Newsletter

April is here in all its glory.  Buds will soon be popping.  This is the season of awe.  Life moves so quickly from bare branches to full blown flowers and leaves, I have the desire to slow down time.
What about art at this time when nature is having its most profound exhibit?
Traveling on line I summoned up some artists to see if their work had anything to say to me about spring.
I first saw Agnes Martin’s work at the Pace Gallery in New York many years ago and was simply amazed at its profound ability to mesmerize.  There is something so peaceful and awe inspiring about it that it never fails to put me in a calm space like no other.
This piece summons for me the very pristine beginnings of spring.
Agnes Martin.jpg

This painting by Bridget Riley feels like nature stirring herself just a bit more.  Bridget and Agnes really have a lot in common.  This work is called Zephr, a gentle wind.
Bridget Riley.jpg

Wayne Thiebaud using some of the same soft colors paints this amazingly soft bunny.  There is always a bit of humor in his work.

Wayne Thiebaud.jpg

Paul Klee one of my all time favorite artists has this to say about Spring Sun.  There is a gradual change from gold to a slightly greener gold from top to bottom and some of his characteristic doodles along the way.  He also has a good sense of fun.

Spring Sun Paul Klee.jpg

Milton Avery, always an interesting painter, here says it all with his painting SPRING BROOK.  Looks like Forsythia blooming on the hill.  The trees are just beginning to show that sweet new green that is so lovely.

Milton Avery Spring Brook.jpg

Charles Demuth, the great water color artist, paints tulips as if it were a romp.  He makes what is really a very tricky business look like pure joy.
Charles Demuth.jpg

Here the delicate work of Katshiko Sakura’s THE CHERRY TREE speaks of centuries of devotion to a traditional form of painting that in practice by a master still fills the heart with joy.
 Katsuhiko Sakura.jpg

Meanwhile here in Merion my painting from the Dream series, INTO THE LIGHT will be included in the Main Line Art Center’s show.

THE DREAM (towards the light) small.jpg
Spring Gala Exhibition
May 2, 2015 - Jun 7, 2015, Opening Reception: Preview Party: Friday, May 1, 6:30 - 10 pm; Artist Reception: Saturday, May 30, 1-3 pm 
Here is a link to the DREAM video with all the paintings in that series.

As a nice bonus my work will be featured this month on the Dailypaintworks site where most of my small paintings can be seen.  I am posting the Dream paintings there as well.

Thank you for reading this far.  I wish you a glorious spring.
Best,
Nancy

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Time

It is the season to celebrate spring.  In our house we are not religious but we love a party, so we will have an Easter Egg hunt and eat Matzo.  We will be having a Shabu Shabu dinner which has nothing to do with either holiday but is delicious and lots of fun.  We make it with lots of vegetables, thinly sliced fish, beef or tofu with three bubbling pots so everyone can concoct their own favorite combinations.



EASTER 
Nancy Herman
20" x 20"
Digital Print



PASSOVER
Nancy Herman
20" x 20"
digital print


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

CUPS AND PITCHER


CUPS AND PITCHER
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Geometric shapes in beige flat color.  Not sure how I feel about this one.  I do like the purple fading into beige in the background.  I think my big shapes should include more of that kind of transition.

$150.00

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ghost


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

Sometimes you sense the presence of someone who does not actually seem to be there.
This happens to me once in a while.  Not sure what to make of it.  

$150.00

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?