Monday, October 12, 2009


One of my drawing students, many years ago, announced to the class that she knew about background colors. She had learned that there were 3 possible choices. I was stunned and expressed my belief that there are no rules in art.

We are all victims of misinformation. I was told in my formative years that the square was a bad format, static and boring. Since I thought that Josef Albers proved the rule I never investigated it. When I did little square drawings for the pigeonholes in my cabinet I was very surprised to find I enjoyed working inside the shape. The drawings were fun to construct and I liked the outcome very much. I found it so appealing I did several single drawings and a series of 24 for the Insect Cabinet, all in the square format.

I suppose if I had really kept my eyes open it would not have taken me so long to figure out that I had been mistaken. Recently, when I talked about my revelation to another artist I admire, Karin Klue, she immediately made reference to the landscapes of Gustav Klimt. Almost all of those perfect and astonishingly interesting paintings are square.

A Chinese bowl, filled with anemone spikes and carnelians found on the ground in Egypt by Elsie and Bill Peck, who dig there annually with the Brooklyn Museum excavation team at the Temple of the Goddess Mut.

The small, mirrored bag was a present I received many years ago and I have no idea who produced it. I have believed that it is from Central America but could be convinced otherwise. For the drawing I filled the bag with Native American pipestone beads.

A stack composed of a Native American arrowhead and 2 ax heads is supported by a rusted, cast iron tripod I found lying in a vacant lot. For contrast these rugged items are sitting on top of a piece of silk by Schiaparelli.

At some point I hope to identify the shells in this drawing. Right now it remains an area where I am woefully unskilled. The fabric underneath is a piece of silk brought home as a present for me by our son Arno after his university studies in Japan.