[image_with_animation alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”] I just discovered these abstracted still lifes by Peri Schwartz. Playful and studied. As did yesterday’s artist, this artist repeats compositions in different media: watercolor, monotype, and in oil. Interesting to compare. I am always thinking of how something was made, and more and more I have been enjoying paintings that show the drawing and painting processes, the structure and the flesh, crisp measurements and bold fluidity. Again, we have the technical narrativity – the story of how the painting was made – visibly archived within the image. It can sometimes be contrived as an aesthetic, but frequently I find it engaging and beautiful. Schwartz doesn’t just show the process of measuring lines in the painting, she draws them right on the walls and surfaces! The lines in the painting are lines across books, paper, glass. See the paintings and photo below, and don’t miss the short video at the end. This is neat. I think I’d like to try this in my Still Life class. You can see in this photograph how carefully she composes the interior of her studio to make the composition for this “spontaneous” painting. Do you see how she drew grid patterns in real life, on her studio wall?? That’s so meta. Process all over the everywhere! Excerpt from interview on Painting Perceptions: Cody: How long did it take to set up this particular composition? Peri: It took several weeks but it isn’t like I set it up and then begin drawing. I keep making adjustments. It is never really done. Cody: You know, I only just realized that you produce the grid physically on the objects you paint. Peri: Right. I think that’s probably unusual. I don’t think it’s common to draw the grid on the books, the tables, the walls, on everything. Cody: Do you think your compositions change because the grid is actually on the things that you’re drawing or painting, as opposed to just on the paper or the canvas? Peri: No. The grid is a fluid thing. I’ve learned, that when you paint over something that is good, the new version is often even better, because you let the old layer come through. A lot of my painting is about what’s underneath. It’s not just a one-shot thing. I’m not interested in the Frank Stella shape. I like the Diebenkorn shape, with its feeling of layers, of color upon color. It’s not just a block outline. It’s a shape that’s shifting. Cody: From the point that you lay down the first piece of tape or the first line of charcoal to create your grid, to when you actually start drawing, how much time passes? Peri: It’s more of a back and forth. I start drawing, and then I put down some of the grid lines on the wall. It’s a lot of sitting down at the easel and saying, “Wait a minute, I need this or I need that.” Forget about freedom in art. Set up barriers and limitations From Painting Perceptions: When Peri Schwartz was asked in an interview by Harryet Candee “What is your dearest motto, philosophy, or message for yourself?” Peri Schwartz answered: “This quote from Willa Catha keeps me going: “Every artist knows that there is no such thing as “freedom” in art. The first thing an artist does when he begins a new work is to lay down the barriers and limitations; he decides upon a certain composition, a certain key, a certain relation of creatures or objects to each other. He is never free, and the more splendid his imagination, the more intense his feeling, the farther he goes from general truth and general emotion. Nobody can paint the sun. or sunlight. He can only paint the tricks that shadows play with it, or what it does to forms. He cannot even paint those relations of light and shade – he can only paint some emotion they give him, some man-made arrangement of them that happens to give him personal delight – a conception of clouds over distant mesas (or over the towers of St. Sulpice) that makes one nerve in him thrill and tremble. At bottom all he can give you is the thrill of his own poor little nerve – the projection in paint of a fleeting pleasure in a certain combination of form and color as temporary and almost as physical as a taste on the tongue.” – Willa Cather, Light on Adobe Walls Bottle & Jar Compositions in Oil Bottle & Jar Compositions in Watercolor [caption id=”attachment_11595″ align=”aligncenter” width=”640 Bottles &Jars #9, watercolor on paper, 2012, 15 x 22 inches Bottles & Jars XV monotype 17 x 22.5 In the Studio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Z1idqTiJ0 You can see the full interview on Painting Perceptions. Read the whole thing. It’s good. Hey – are you interested in abstract or still life painting? Oh Em Gee! We have classes in both and they start this week! Similar to Schwartz’ process, our abstracts teacher Lad Decker starts from observation, teasing out the essential forms. In Still Life class I’ll be encouraging people to use the structure of the composition, but allow the paint to be paint. Want to take a class but short on funds? Whether you need $50 or a full ride, we can help. We have 2 scholarships to give away for Abstracts and for Still Life. Click here to apply for gap assistance.