Saturday, November 28, 2009

Skill Training

One thing I've started doing is some sketches specifically intended as a skills practice. I can lose touch with actual direct images when I'm so embroiled in the abstract pieces.  Doing these sketches helps me to translate what I "see"...whether an actual image or object or just what is in my own mind.
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cabinet Door 3

Here's the third painting utilizing my cabinet doors.  I'm not sure how I feel about this one.  It's not what I intended and haven't fully adapted to what became. 
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved

Friday, November 20, 2009

It Really is a Self Portrait

Here's another variation on my self-portraits.  I did this earlier in the week on the same day I finished the construction of the Left and Right sculpture piece.  I have a friend who wants me to do a show with my various self-portraits.  If I ever do such a thing, I think the show will have to be called "Narcissus". 
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved

Left & Right

Here's the piece I started during my Left-Handed Series and couldn't get things to work one-handed.  Two free moving rods was just beyond me at the time.  With a little right handed assistance and my welder I'm satisfied with the outcome.  This is about the limit of what my shoulder can manage these days since it doesn't require much use of the hammer or grinder.  More is forthcoming. 
I know I seem a little all over the map artistically since I don't focus on a single medium.  I can only explain that I have different things that flow and some are more suited to one medium over another and I am making my peace with that's how things are. 
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Group of 5

A little something I did this morning.  I stumbled across this frame last night when I was looking for something else stored under my bed.  Four of the five were done as a single piece and then rearranged.  The lack of money for canvasses has turned out to be a good thing.  I am rummaging for materials in my garage and elsewhere.  Non-traditional materials and shapes are forcing me to think/work in different directions which is always a good thing creatively...even when it doesn't work.
I also have two small sculptures that are going through finishing stages.  One of these was the failed attempt during the Left-Handed Series.  I rescued it last week.  Pictures coming soon.  I am also working on getting/selecting a piece for a December show.  After that I will spend some time prepping other pieces for a gallery in Fort Lauderdale who is interested in showing/selling my work.  Very excited about these little developments!
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Graffiti Inspiration

Last night I attended a fundraiser at a local gallery.  It was supposed to be an Urban Art Event, which was amazingly devoid of any black people.  Don't get me started.  Regardless, they had a great DJ and I enjoyed being able to talk with other artists in the community.  As a little fun, they had a car set up where you could do your own graffiti tag art.  I ended up covering much of one side since there were few who wanted to participate.  I had fun and it got the flow going such that I knew which direction to go today. 
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cabinet Door Series - 1

I have these cabinet doors from my kitchen which I converted to open shelves a year ago. I don't have the money to buy additional canvasses so I decided to put these to good use. They will be a series in their own right.  It appears the self portrait, ego centric view point is continuing. 
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved.


So I've mentioned that I've started painting again.  The first venture was not successful, but also acted as a reminder that I need to work differently with paints.  The pastel work is very fast, single session.  Oils require me to slow down and I have to do things in steps.  Patience. Patience.  This was a second step exercise. We've all seen variations of this somewhere, but I do like it even if it is nothing new.  I have two paintings and a sculpture in progress right now.  One of them should be up shortly. 
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Eastside Gossip Committee

A little sketch at my favorite coffee spot, Brew.  Sometimes it is laptop city, but on this day there were these woman gossiping at full volume.  If the Housewives of...ever did a South Florida version, these women would be prime candidates.  
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


This piece was done a few days ago.  One thing I'm experiencing after seven weeks of left-handed work is that I need to retrain my brain, body and right-hand as my flow through connection.  This was about letting it flow. 

©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hiding Race

I recently read and article in Artworks magazine about American painter, Richard Mayhew.  He is a landscape painter who arose out of the Monet tradition to pave the way for a new "Improvisational" Landscape.  Though I'm not a Monet fan or that particular genre of art, I recognize the powerful place it holds in art history. It was revolutionary and evolutionary.  Mayhew's work takes impressionistic landscape and travels in his own direction.  He is described in the article as critical of other African-American artists who use Afrocentric imagery in their work.  Since the article is not available for online viewing I'll have to quote the section myself.

"...he feels strongly that the emotionally-charged iconography of Aunt Jemina and slave images only serve to perpetuate racial stereotypes."  An example noted in the article was the work of Kara Walker
"Even today, he takes pride in the fact that an uninformed viewer of his work would not be able to discern his race."

These statements struck me at the time of my reading and I've been mulling them over for a few days.  I don't know if the example of Kara Walker was provided by Richard Mayhew or by the author, Sheryl Nonnenberg. I understand the desire of an artist to have their work stand in isolation, to be independent of the artist.  In part, I think that may be what Mayhew's intent was in his statement.  I also understand that he rose in the art world during a time when his race would have been seen as negative.  The problem comes in that when the race of the artist is not known, it is assumed to be white.  So, in fact, art is not devoid of race it simply falls to the default of Euro-centrist white.
I had some sadness for Mayhew, who after many years of needing to conceal his race to get his work shown, began to embrace the ideal that an expression of race was negative. I object to the idea that artists of color should hide their race, that they are somehow reinforcing negative stereotypes by revealing race within their work.  Art can be the best venue to expose stereotypes about race, to express the anger behind racist images and the harm they cause.  A piece of art can still stand independent of the artist while containing visible non-white images.  The viewer might make assumptions about the artist's race, but these assumptions about race, gender, nationality, and age occur anyway. The viewer experience is what brings power to art.  We all respond differently and we all have different tastes.  The desire to hide race within artistic context is the desire to present a single story of art.  We need more than one story of art.
©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved.

Illumination 3

 I originally planned to post two photographs, but they didn't work well together so it will come as a separate post.  I like this photograph. Nothing new or original, but I like it none the less.

©2009 Cindy K. Shaw All rights reserved.