Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow

dogfish.sesowIn 2009, I heard about Matt Sesow, a D.C. artist who was described to me as “a modern-day Picasso.” I was skeptical (I tend to be skeptical about most things just-met dates tell me). But when I looked at Sesow’s website, I felt as though my fingers had just been stuck into an electric outlet: the paintings’ energy pulsated, jumped and vibrated. His colors burned.
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Creativity Talks: Vicki Teague-Cooper

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Photo by Karen Kuehn

I met Vicki Teague-Cooper in the 1980s, and bought one of her encaustic paintings while photographing her in her Santa Fe studio. She has been making and showing her art for about 35 years.

Primarily a painter, her work has included oil paintings, encaustic paintings, drawings, watercolors installation art, and monoprints. Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Vicki Teague-Cooper”

Thinking, But “Not Feeling It” at the Bill Traylor Show

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Sometimes I’m grabbed by the heart when I look at art. In those times, I don’t look for “meaning” in the painting, I don’t do anything but feel: pleasure, love, excitement, sometimes a physicality that is like melting or merging with shapes or color or line. It’s like falling in love.

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul,
and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
— Henry Ward Beecher

Continue reading “Thinking, But “Not Feeling It” at the Bill Traylor Show”

Forget the Name of What You Are Seeing

5-waterlilies-claude-monet.I’m not wild about Monet’s art. But I am wild about what he had to say about seeing, producing, creating. He, an art master of great renown, expressed so perfectly that with which I have been unsuccessfully flailing about. Namely, the importance of SEEING. Not just looking at things, not just naming them and moving on, but slowing down, actually removing yourself from thinking, and seeing what you are looking at. Continue reading “Forget the Name of What You Are Seeing”

Communion; The Art of Observation

A recent experience attending an exhibit of “Outliers,” self-taught artists, reminded me how the act of observation, of really seeing, is a form of communion. Communion, meaning: the “sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” Like the Christian religious ritual, really seeing is a profound, deeply meaningful experience. Continue reading “Communion; The Art of Observation”

Miss Chanler Makes a Visit

Only after looking closely at the pallid women on their sofas would one think they must be ill. One of them wears black–not a good color for her. She has interlaced her long fingers together, perhaps to steady her nerves. Her gaze is steady but untrusting, almost a little fearful. The other woman is less interesting, less defined, one dimensional. Something seems very off about her; her forehead is too short, perhaps. Her lips are pressed tightly shut. She looks angry. Maybe she resents being stared at?

One might be spurred to ask how did Miss Elizabeth Reynolds Chanler and her doppelganger come to be perched rather tentatively in my basement? How, indeed… Continue reading “Miss Chanler Makes a Visit”

Painting in the Here and Now

In early 2014, I took a weekend painting course with the goal of overcoming a painting block. I really missed painting, something I used to do quite a lot, but which I had stopped doing over the course of a deteriorating marriage and in the aftermath of a bad divorce.

Continue reading “Painting in the Here and Now”