Monday, January 17, 2011

Krispy Creme Donuts Anyone?

What makes some artists hotter than a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts fresh from the oven, spread all over the magazines, New York shows, 150 comments on their Facebook or Blog posts about what they had for dinner, yet alone on their artwork, and others, not quite getting the huge kudos they so deserve?

You will be relieved to hear I am not being personally bitter.

I was blown away yesterday by the work of artist Meredith Brooks Abbott and her sizzling show Nature's Palette at the fabulous new Museum of Ventura County.

Abbott and I speak the same art language, value painters, painters who like to observe from life, record what we see directy - we both even studied at The Arts Students' League of New York. Abbott in my humble opinion is a LIVING MASTER.

I know she has been in the magazines, is well-known and highly respected as an artist for sure with a well-deserved museum show but I would like to see her name SPLASHED far louder in BRIGHT RED around and abouts the world.

She deserves it. Don't mean to be sexist here, but as a female artist, I look for role models like her. They are few and far between. Living female Master Artist. Living masters of both sexes have always been in short supply. Shame about that.

Abbott paints everything extremely well, her focus mainly the countryside that surrounds her home in Santa Barbara be it a dappled field, rusty truck in it, or fruit on the tree. On rainy days a glorious still life off her home table.

BUT I was particularly taken with the paintings of her daughter which spanned many years. They kept me transfixed. THEY were amazing in technique and feel. They gave me a swift kick in the Krispy Kreme derriere.

I thought to myself, now the mother of two grown-up daughters, Jess and Rosie, what a good idea. Why the hell didn't I do that? YES, there was that one of Rosie that was featured in The New York Times, WAHOO, but not much else surely?

Then I realized at 3 a.m. this morning that I had done just that. But not really realized I was doing it. Thought my art wasn't that good of them, so stuffed it away in storage, kinda forgetting about it, not really caring if they ever saw the light of day or got damaged.

Fast 9 a.m. this morning I was tearing up my garage finding everything in storage that I have either drawn or painted of my two girls. Unfortunately, I had a few stabs at my heart knowing in my recent home move, I threw a few away thinking them below the art par. However, it was truly a wonderful moment stacking them up, especially seeing how far I had come in my own art through painting them. My girls were among my VERY first portraits. Those portraits helped me get real commissions. At the time I thought I had done an o.k. job on them. But now I know different, my skill set having improved. I still have a soft spot for them tho' faults aside. The wonder of even a bad "honest" portrait is that it does record a moment in time. Abbott's, however, were good from the get-go of her daughter. DRATS.

Regardless, what a treasure to look back and see your kids young once again, your art journey through their eyes and yours. I emailed both my daughters today, telling them to get ready for MORE. They won't know what hit them.

I post my garage stash for you and my two favorite paintings and drawing of each child. Thanks GIRLS! You really have been with me every step of the art way. I will now STORE this collection with due care.

So special thanks to Meredith Brooks Abbott for reminding me to do that and more. To re-connect with the scattered stash in the garage, knowing it has value despite the place you were at on the early art journey. And KNOW to consciously paint then more.

All you artists out there, record the daily life around you now as Abbott reminded me to do. Paint your kids, grandkids, parents, pets, goldfish, fruit on the tree...

Heck..even .a KRISPY CREME! Why not?

To read more about Meredith Brooks Abbott...go here...


David Magallanes said...

Johanna, if what I'm seeing are the portraits of your daughters...why, they're as lovely as you are! You've permanently captured the very essence of their beauty! I have in my home a large portrait of my then-two-year-old daughter, done by my mother in 1984. It's one of my most precious treasures.

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

Thanks David...yes, they are my daughters..haven't forgotten about that is your writing challenge going? Well I hope.

David Magallanes said...

Johanna, it wouldn't have happened without your inspiration. I'm happy to let you know that I have managed to write one article every single day since January 1. I will soon be sharing them in my upcoming e-newsletters and blog. I know how you felt sometimes, when you just want to put it off, but know you mustn't, because you promised yourself! Looking forward to that coffee.

Marian Fortunati said...

What a terrific post, Johanna.

I've always loved your Rosie painting and your Jessie painting is fabulous too... You are right.. You must capture those beautiful moments while you can.

How long will the Abbott show be hanging?

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

thanks on though Feb. You would like it a lot!

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

David...thank you so much...I am really happy you are doing this!