Sunday, March 28, 2010


László Moholy-Nagy (American, b. Hungary, 1895–1946), Radio Tower Berlin, 1928, gelatin silver print. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Maps26+27 Cross Sectional

pastel on modeled substrate with gouache underpainting; each about 11" x 11"
: See the whole 'Maps' series here.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Thank you to Ellyn Weiss and her patient tutelage! I learned a great deal yesterday about encaustic aesthetics, theory, materials, possibilities, and fun!

Ready to try again.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Map25 Xingu Amazonia

pastel on modeled substrate with gouache underpainting; about 11" x 11"

Heckenberger, Michael J. et al. Amazonia 1492: Pristine Forest or Cultural Parkland? Science. Vol 310, 19September2003, p. 1710-1714.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Worm Maps

Some experiments with muted colors for the pastels layer. Maps 23+24.

Wormy. Wait. What?

Smells great!

Slow Cooker Garlic Rosemary Chicken
This turns out moist and juicy and smells like heaven. Serve with roasted potatoes and asparagus or green beans.

Serves 4-6
1 4- to 5-lb organic chicken
Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 or 3 three-inch fresh rosemary sprigs, washed
1 lemon, cut in half
Olive oil
Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken cavity and throw them away. (Traditional Giblet Gravy isn't in the cards for this chicken. The pan juices are much nicer.) Sprinkle the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper to taste. Put the garlic, rosemary, and the lemon inside the cavity. Rub it all over with the olive oil. Put the whole thing in a small slow cooker (it ought to fit snugly) and cook on "Low" for 5 or 6 hours or until the the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh measures 165 degrees F.

Skim the fat from the pan juices and throw the fat away. Drizzle the remaining juices over the chicken to serve. You can also rub the chicken all over with the soft lemon halves. Go all out on the "garnish" because the skin is going to be pale and bland. Not brown and roasted.

(I can't remember where I got this recipe, so if anyone recognizes it, let me know. So I can add appropriate citation data. I think it's an adaptation of one of Ina Garten's recipes.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Octopus & the Boulevard

Map 21/22

pastel on modeled substrate with gouache underpainting; about 11" x 11"

Monday, March 15, 2010

"perceived in the distance in the bliss of altitude"

Georgia O'Keeffe, Sky Above Clouds III/Above the Clouds III, 1963, Oil on canvas, 4 feet × 7 feet. Private collection

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Roland Barthes writes:
What, in fact, is a panorama? An image we attempt to decipher, in which we try to recognize known sites, to identify landmarks. Take some view of Paris taken from the Eilfel Tower; here you make out the hill sloping down from Chaillot, there the Bois de Boulogne; but where is the Arc de Triomphe? You don’t see it, and this absence compels you to inspect the panorama once again, to look for this point which is missing in your structure; your knowledge (the knowledge you may have of Parisian topography) struggles with your perception, and in a sense, that is what intelligence is: to reconstitute, to make memory and sensation cooperate so as to produce in your mind a simulacrum of Paris, of which the elements are in front of you, real, ancestral, but nonetheless disoriented by the total space in which they are given to you, for this space was unknown to you. Hence we approach the complex, dialectical nature of all panoramic vision; on the one hand, it is a euphoric vision, for it can slide slowly, lightly the entire length of a continuous image of Paris, and initially no “accident” manages to interrupt this great layer of mineral and vegetal strata, perceived in the distance in the bliss of altitude; but, on the other hand, this very continuity engages the mind in a certain struggle, it seeks to be deciphered, we must find signs within it, a familiarity proceeding from history and from myth; this is why a panorama can never be consumed as a work of art, the aesthetic interest of a painting ceasing once we try to recognize in it particular points derived from our knowledge; to say that there is a beauty to Paris stretched out at the feet of the Tower is doubtless to acknowledge this euphoria of aerial vision which recognizes nothing other than a nicely connected space but it is also to mask the quite intellectual effort of the eye before an object which requires to be divided up, identified, reattached to memory; for the bliss of sensation (nothing happier than a lofty outlook) does not suffice to elude the questioning nature of the mind before any image.
From the essay 'The Eiffel Tower', by Roland Barthes, in The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies (1979)

link:Live Tour Eiffel webcam. (C'est tellement pas le français, mais très chouette quand même. Oui? Suis-je voyeur si j'aime webcams?)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Map20 Isola Parameciidae

This is about 11" x 11", same technique and preparation as all the rest of the maps:
✱ Golden Light Molding Paste
✱ coiled string and the palette knife blade used to make the impressions in the paste, dried overnight
✱ layer of Colourfix primer
Schmincke Horadam Gouache
DSmith WC sticks
✱ Schmincke AQUA "effect spray"
✱ W + N Granulation Medium, sprayed on

Finished with very soft pastels.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Map19 Caldera Àird nam Murchan

pastel on modeled substrate with gouache underpainting; about 11" x 11"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An Aged Sense of Mystery and Distance

Kirk Varnedoe writes:
I have written elsewhere about the overhead view in modernity and what it means. In László Moholy-Nagy's 1928 photograph from a radio tower in Berlin, this earlier idea of the direct overhead view, which is very specific to the twentieth century, involves a kind of optimism, the shock of the new, nonhuman objectivity. Here was something that evaded the pathos of perspective, where things get smaller as they get farther from you, and laid out the world in front of you as if it were from a God's-eye viewpoint. The idea of the overhead view, of detachment from the earth, of impersonality and objectivity, became the emblem of the shock of fresh defamiliarization that would lead to a detached and superior knowledge of the world. Instead of the muddled near-view perspective, where things were blocked off from one another, from overhead one saw the schematic truth of the world exactly as it was.

Today, in an age when artists have been shaped by the first photographs from space of the earth as a lonely blue marble in the middle of a great black expanse, there is less of a shock in the loss of the human viewpoint. Objectivity at a distance and overhead becomes not about the new man but about things primordial, that is, lost civilizations like those who made the Nazca lines in Peru. It becomes not so much about schematic truth in its freshness as about an aged sense of mystery and distance. Whether it is the Nazca lines or the snake mounds of Ohio or Smithson's Spiral Jetty re-emerging from the Great Salt Lake, the overhead view of things unintelligible from the earth speaks to enigma and mystery.
From pages 159-160 in Varnedoe, Kirk. Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art since Pollock. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wayne Thiebaud + Maps

Wayne Thiebaud. Brown River (h: 30" x w: 48")

More here: Wayne Thiebaud – some inspirations for the new year from Larry Groff at 'Painting Perceptions' (4Jan2010). Links include videos of Thiebaud and a podcast interview.

See also:
Wayne Thiebaud at Allan Stone Gallery via
Everyday Enchantments, by Maureen Mullarkey, on 'Studio Matters' (2007)