Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Objects at Rest

This is such an awkward time of year - not yet able to flip the calendar page, but ready to move on to the next thing. Having such a full semester with everything else has left me struggling against intertia in the painting department. Too bad I don't make New Years' resolutions. I need some kind of push to get moving again, instead of spending my evenings just wandering around the margins of the city. On these long, dark nights, the big box stores and their ghoulish parking lots are somehow reassuring. Barnes & Noble, anyone?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Stephen Brown

Every now and then, I stumble across yet another amazing painter online. My latest discovery is Stephen Brown. To me, his work looks sort of like Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, especially in the still-life department, translated into the modern era. Here is an interesting article (scroll down) about Brown's recovery from a recent stroke, his return to painting, and how the experience has changed him.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

It's Official

Well, my panel approved my thesis, and I have delivered my final document to the printer, so it looks like I will be graduating this semester. Now my main problem is whether to root for University of Richmond or VCU in this weekend's basketball game.

I am really anxious to get back into a regular painting schedule, once all of our holiday preparations and travel are behind us. It's such a relief to reclaim all the time I was spending on my studies. Last night, I used my new freedom to attend a poetry reading by Piotr Sommer, a Polish author. Interestingly, some of his pieces really appealed to me because they could be compared with a written still-life. Or, maybe they captured a particular way of seeing the world that I relate to painting. Here's one I really enjoyed, from 1981-1982:


I saw a real lemon again.
Ania brought it back from France.
She’d been wondering: come home or stay abroad?
And come to think of it, what keeps her here—
a few faces, a few words, this anxiety?
The lemon was yellow, it looked like the real thing.
You didn’t have to put it in the window
to ripen alongside our pale tomatoes.
Or as we ourselves ripen
growing up and growing yellow over years.
No, it was already entirely itself
when she brought it, not even yellow, but gold,
and a little rough,
so I took it gratefully.

I want to wrap myself in the thick skin of the world,
I want to be tart, but good-tasting—
some child swallows me reluctantly
and I help to cure his cold.

- Piotr Sommer

Monday, December 4, 2006

Sharon's Blog, v.2.0

I've been keeping my blog on my own website, but have decided to switch for a while and see how this works out. The old blog will remain at its former location for a while, until my giant hordes* of readers become acclimated to the new location. There are so many painters using blogspot, and sometimes I would really like to comment on their work, so here I am.
In other news, I will be defending my graduate thesis tomorrow morning, so I should know by lunchtime (EST) whether I will recover my evenings and weekends for personal use. I'll let you know.

* Well, let's say "small but awesome cadre," or "extremely exclusive gang," or "two."