Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Patti, Robert and Just Kids

Just finished reading "Just Kids" by Patti Smith, about her long standing love/relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. 

The book has had a profound impact on me, personally.  I don't know if it's generational, geographical (being from New York, the setting of the memoir), or simply the artistic beauty with which Patti Smith writes and shares her passions.  

While Smith concludes with her personal rationale for writing the story, as I reader I find the inherent value so much deeper.   During the reading of the book, one is immersed into the many intimate moments, as witnessed in these images.  And the 1970's were that time when I was evaluating the same issues: drugs, fashion, homosexuality, music, poetry, and friendships/love.  

If you read and love the arts, you can't miss with this story, one poetic, historic, romantic, soulful and artistic. Brilliant, inspirational and sentimental without a touch of the maudlin. A must read and on my top ten books ever.  Might be the only book I read again, and again.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nice Watercolors... Nice.

I recently connected with an old friend, actually from almost 25 years ago, who I always thought of as a horse/business woman, and who I just discovered is painting and selling her watercolors.  Now, how is it possible, in this small town of Chico where every artist knows of every artist, that I have never heard her name bandied about?  How is she selling her artwork (I surely am not making buckets of dough) and I've never seen her work on coffee shop or gallery walls?  How is it that she is teaching watercolors in Mexico and we haven't crossed paths here in the Chico art scene not one time?

A watercolor painting by Mel Stabin.
Absolutely bedoggling.

How much of this has to do with painting what the public LIKES. Back to that "public likes" thing, ya know.  I think I hate it.  I know what it's about, but I don't know what I want to do with it.

I think I need to study the art of Zen.