May 15, 2017
by Caroline
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Artists at Work: Jasper Johns (May 15, 1930 – )

Jasper Johns’ explained that  his use of familiar imagery – flags, letters – derives from “things the mind already knows.” 

(click on image to enlarge)

Note: There are many sites listing artists by their birthday and presenting their biographies. My project differs because I am focusing on the artists’ process whenever possible, and giving just a brief summary of their work along with my comments. Being able to peek into artist’s studios is fascinating to me.  I’m hoping to learn more about how artists work and maybe find some artists who are new to me.

April 24, 2017
by Caroline
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Artists at Work: Willem De Kooning (April 24, 1904 – March 19, 1997)

Today’s Artist is Willem de Kooning. I don’t pretend to understand or fully appreciate abstract art, but apparently de Kooning was a pretty influential member of the New York School along with Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. However, the coolest thing about him (besides his incredibly messy studio) is that he came to America in 1926 as a stowaway aboard a British freighter. I also find it fascinating that the early work of many abstract artists is technically quite good, in a classical way (as in the charcoal still life below, click on image for larger view).

Note: There are many sites listing artists by their birthday and presenting their biographies. My project differs because I am focusing on the artists’ process whenever possible, and giving just a brief summary of their work along with my comments. Being able to peek into artist’s studios is fascinating to me.  I’m hoping to learn more about how artists work and maybe find some artists who are new to me.

April 22, 2017
by Caroline
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My Personal March for Science

I was going to travel to DC and March for Science. I even knitted a hat. But for several reasons, notably a need to stay home plus some anxiety, it just didn’t happen.

Nonetheless, I defend and revere science on a daily basis. And here are the reasons, which include both personal and global:

1.  I have a a love for science which was nurtured while getting a degree in a science field (entomology-plant pathology, minor in biology, graduate work in genetics).

2. Science saved my life (Thank you Dr. Slamon). 

3. I love the internet, my cell phone, and color changing mugs.

4. It enables me to understand and make sense of any domain I wish to tackle: physics, paleontology,  geology, the stars, the weather.

5. Most scientists are committed to improving the human condition, for example, by eradicating smallpox via vaccines.

6. Science is endlessly fascinating; favorite processes of mine are DNA replication and protein synthesis.

7. From Pythagoras to Newton to Marie Curie to good old Bill Nye, there is nothing so contagious and engaging as human ingenuity and curiosity.

8. Finally, because science is a rigorous, sometimes thankless, grinding effort that can – and often does – produce actual, verifiable facts. For example, that the earth revolves around the sun, that bacteria and viruses can cause infection, and that climate change is  occurring. These are facts., and I’m stickin’ to ’em.

 

 

 

April 21, 2017
by Caroline
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Artists at Work: Jean Hélion (April 21, 1904 – October 27, 1987)

Note: There are many sites listing artists by their birthday and presenting their biographies. My project differs because I am focusing on the artists’ process whenever possible, and giving just a brief summary of their work along with my comments. Being able to peek into artist’s studios is fascinating to me.  I’m hoping to learn more about how artists work and maybe find some artists who are new to me.

Today’s Artist is Jean Hélion. I chose to start my Artists at Work series with him because we share a birthday. In this way, I learned about an artist I’ve never heard of before.

Jean Hélion was a French painter whose abstract work of the 1930s established him as a leading modernist. His mid-career rejection of abstraction was followed by nearly five decades as a figurative painter. He was also the author of several books and an extensive body of critical writing.
 

To learn more:

http://tmlarts.com/jean-helion/

January 22, 2017
by Caroline
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Art & Philosophy

Non-Human Animals: Crash Course Philosophy #42

I admit that the connection I’m trying to make here, in order to justify the inclusion of this YouTube video in a Studio blog post, is pretty tenuous. But much of my art and many of my creative endeavors are influenced by my philosophy of how to treat others – both human and non-human animals.  One critique of proponents of animal protection that really gets my dander right up is that people who are speaking out for animals have no regard for human problems such as homelessness and hunger. That is simply not true. Everyone has passions and causes that they fight for, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have regard for other worthy causes.

This video is important to me because, in less than 10 minutes, it summarizes the philosophy that changed my life over 30 years ago. The work of Peter Singer inspired my husband, and then me, to adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle. So I’m not posting this proselytize (well, maybe a little), but to let PBS explain to anyone who is interested, why my family and I have made the choice to not exploit animals.

August 2, 2016
by Caroline
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Bears

I made a little comic so I could draw some bears. do you like bears?You’ll have to click on the image to enlarge it so you can read the tiny writing.

February 7, 2016
by Caroline
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Happy Second New Year – It’s Fire Monkey Time!

Happy Lucky Fire Monkey! 恭喜发财 / 恭喜發財

I’m hoping the characters above are wishing you happiness and prosperity. I cannot read Chinese characters so I’m relying on the kindness of the internet. I do know that February 8th, the Chinese New Year,  ushers in the Year of the Fire Monkey and brings a fresh opportunity be a better you, with a new round of resolutions, productivity goals, fitness challenges and the merciless crushing of old, bad habits.

In order to keep my resolutions in mind this time, I’ll be sporting a Red Fire Monkey necklace, featuring a monkey charm that I ordered from China (which must be auspicious). I made two, so if you’d like a Fire Monkey talisman to keep you on track this year, you can find it here.