Today's postings

  1. [Baren 38408] Re: the appropriation thing was it - the King of Pop Art (Julio.Rodriguez #
  2. [Baren 38409] Re: Working in Silence -- or in the presence of others (ArtSpotiB #
  3. [Baren 38410] Re: Working in Silence -- or in the presence of others (David Harrison)
  4. [Baren 38411] Re: Working in Silence -- or in the presence of others (Diane Cutter)
  5. [Baren 38412] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 05:39:06 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38408] Re: the appropriation thing was it - the King of Pop Art
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Ok folks, so in lieu of our recent discussion on appropriation how do we
view or put in the proper perspective the contributions of the King of Pop
Art - Andy Warhol

Probably no American artist in the last 50 years has captured the beat of
our culture as Andy Warhol did in the 60's, 70's and 80's. Sure you have
Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, Rauschenberg, Close, Frankenthaler and many
others that have made their mark....but the biggest and most enduring mark
may have been left by Warhol. His print images are probably among the most
recognizable in the world and his 'appropriation' of other's imagery such
as photographs, commercial illustrations, well as his
approach to factory style output well documented. No user-friendly
computers or Photoshop back then....but boy were those photostatic
enlargers of the time ever put to good use ! Does Warhol passes our test ?

His 'work' still sells very well, the originals are priceless (if
properly authenticated !) and the cheap department store reproductions
sell, sell, sell. The Warhol motifs are found in every conceivable
consumer product in the market.....from shower curtains to computer screen
savers. Twenty plus years after his death his work and his name have
become synonymous with an Art movement and very much part of our culture.

I have come across the images hundreds if not thousands of times....the
Monroe's, the Campbell soup cans, the Mao's, the can't
avoid them ! Every time I stop to admire the always elicits
a response. Certainly that's the ultimate intent of any successful Art

ps. at the hospital where Maria and I belong and receive treatment now for
over 20 years the hallway near the X-Ray department....there hangs
an original complete set (ten prints) of Warhol's "Endangered Species"
screenprints from 1983.....if you ever get a chance to see these very
large prints upclose....they are wonderful.
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Message 2
From: ArtSpotiB #
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 08:30:43 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38409] Re: Working in Silence -- or in the presence of others
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Great question, that one about concentration. When I was in middle school I
used to read at the edge of a lake. One time I "woke" when some water dripping
on me. Surprised, I looked up only to realize that there was a man yelling at
the top of his lungs at me for ignoring a capsized boatload of nonswimmers. I
hadn't heard a thing. Course, living next to a public beach with children
constantly yelling for "help" was a factor... At the time I was ashamed but since
becoming an artist, I see that ability as an advantage.

I need to block out the world in the earlier stages of a creative project. If
interrupted, the train of thought is difficult to reestablish. I may have
nearly completed the thought/design but if it's stopped before completion, I
never get back to the same place. I'm derailed. Once firmly in the depths of
concentration, even my native tongue is gibberish. Before phone machines got
affordable I'd say yes to whatever was asked, then return to the work without any
memory of having promised anything. I've also been known to forget that I'm on
a ladder (that was a thrilling landing) or that night has arrived or that I
might have drunk too much tea and the wc is far far away. To break this focus
my studio is now equipt with a bird clock so that I remember to get to that
distant room. And I stopped drinking tea too.

Once, deep in concentration with a painting, I found myself feeling as though
a nuclear attack had occurred. Everything was horribly grim. Then I realized
that I was listening to music (headphones to a record player). Then I realized
that there was something wrong with the music. Then I realized that I should
look at the turn table with the record. Upon looking over, I discovered my
poor cat on it. He had been operated on and was wearing one of those humungeous
Elizabethian collars. Having missed the windowsill, he was frantically trying
to keep his feet under him by doing the four legged two step. Cross with the
interruption I said something disparaging. Then, finally completely out of the
creative concentration groove, I dashed over to rescue him, poor guy. He had
never been on the record player in all his years and never did again. What a
guy. What an experience!

I've talked with lots of artists further on in their careers who have much
the same to say about needing to concentrate without interruption. It's
certainly one of the banes of teaching art that many find it impossible to teach
simultaneously while literally doing their own art work. I wonder, is it just at
the start of a project when crucial decisions are made or is it all the way
through the project for some?

For me it's getting INTO that groove, that focus, that makes distracting
noises, people, etc. irritating. Once in, I'm cool. But getting there.... beware
the person who insists on interrupting. Idle chit chatter is death.

ArtSpot Out
Benny in California

"Now creativity is another matter. I just don't think it can be taught so
much as fostered in young minds." Shelley of The Baren

"A good artist should be able to make exciting work from whatever they have
on hand" Andrew of The Baren

"Here's to encouragement and the courage to just do Art" Benny Alba
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Message 3
From: David Harrison
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 10:42:39 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38410] Re: Working in Silence -- or in the presence of others
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Gayle Wohlken wrote:
> I've got a question for everyone. Since we're talking about skills,
> does anybody here have a hard time working (especially the thinking part
> of working) when others are in the room asking you questions or
> commenting on what you're doing before you have the main elements
> figured out? I've noticed I get irritable if I'm in the
> thinking/planning part of a woodcut I want to do and I'm interrupted. I
> don't like this about me, but I can't seem to change it.
> Gayle

Gayle, yes I have a real problem with that. Partly because, since I've had a
home office, my tolerance for background noise has disappeared.

I think it's very hard to divide your attention between a job that demands
real concentration and any other calls for your attention. But then there were
pieces in the science press a couple of years ago -- the human has one focus
of attention and one only. Human 'multitasking' doesn't truly happen, rather
it's 'time-slicing' over intervals of a few seconds. Which is why it's a bad
idea to talk on a phone and drive at the same time -- one of the two will
suffer! I suppose the only way to work in a distracting environment is to tune
out the background. Never works for me.

David H
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Message 4
From: Diane Cutter
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 10:53:26 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38411] Re: Working in Silence -- or in the presence of others
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I find I have the same problem when I'm in the creating mode. If I know that I won't have a clear stretch of alone-time in the studio, I won't start working on a new idea because I don't want to leave it in mid-birth. Also, when truly in creative mode, I cannot have music on either. Or rather, if I do have music on, I couldn't tell you what was playing. If my husband comes in and talks to me, I'll carry on a conversation but I won't remember what we talked about. Fortunately he find it an endearing/interesting phenomena and thinks all artists are a little 'out there'. Sounds from the comments that we all behave similarly.

If it's cutting, where everything is well defined, I don't mind
being around people. In fact, I save that particular part of my relief
work for when I'm up at our monthly selling gig at El Yunque (our
rainforest here in Puerto Rico). It helps with my 'education of the public' and I can stop easily and chat with customers.

I do find when printing an edition, I love having upbeat music playing as it keeps me lively and on track, anything from belly-dancing to hard driving rock to forceful classical. But, once again, I prefer to be alone with no one distracting me.


Digest Appendix

Postings made on [Baren] members' blogs
over the past 24 hours ...

Subject: Mapping a Traveler's Mind
Posted by: Sharri

Next month I'll be participating in a show at North Bank Gallery dealing with Map and Bridge images.  I've always been fascinated with the idea of mapping the brain - especially as it would lend itself to being able to change that part of the brain that allows people to disagree with me. (Especially when that person might happen to inhabit the same residence).  My interest was first spiked (no pun intended) by the story of Phineas Gage, a railway worker who suffered an accident where a long pointed spike pierced his skull and brain in an accident related to an explosion.  His subsequent behavioral changes led to much of today's research and knowledge of which parts of the brain control what actions or processes.  
Well, the first attempt was a dismal failure.  Not only did my model have a really goofy and demented expression, but she looked as if she had been decapitated, and she also had a serious skin condition.  The latter the result of an attempt to use an old canvas which has held many paintings and been gessoed many times and the sanding between layers apparently left a bit to be desired.
                                                                 . . .
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