I think it is safe to say that blue is for many, their favorite color… and there is no better shade of it than “Yves Klein International Blue”. The intense and deeply pigmented cobalt blue became synonomous with it’s equally intense and eccentric creator, Yves Klein. I fell in love with Yves after watching a documentary on him. Many of his famous abstract paintings done in “Yves Klein Blue” were made by nude women, who rolled themselves in the heavy cobalt pigment and flung themselves wholeheartedly onto a life-sized canvas (all under Mr. Klein’s strict supervision, of course.) I thought perhaps Andy Warhol was influenced by him, as Andy continued to champion the idea of art being created by the “mind” of the artist, and not the “hand” of the artist. It didn’t matter who made the art, it mattered who thought of the idea. But then I saw the documentary, and I learned that Yves was so classy and well-dressed that he didn’t want his tuxedo to be sullied while painting. You can find many pictures of him dressed for high society while his nude female models act as paintbrushes, eagerly waiting to fling themselves onto his canvas! Tragically, he died too young, and we missed out on all that Yves had in store for us, in all that magical cobalt blue.
I was happy to read that Etnia Barcelona, the hip Spanish eyewear maker, is releasing a “Yves Klein International Blue” sunglass line this spring and summer. Their line of frames and sunglasses are as chic as Mr. Klein himself. Check out their website… wow, racy! And thanks to Mr. Klein for putting his “international blue” on our palette!
When I was much younger and practicing my oil painting skills, I painted a picture from a photograph of David Hockney. I’m innately attracted to bright and audacious color, so I loved him not only for his personal style- his bleached yellow orange hair, heavy round black rimmed spectacles, loud striped rugby shirts, his trademark miss-matched socks. I am enamored with his blazing color palette and his subject matter, ranging from southern california architecture (and their swimming pools), portraits of his friends, and his later giant landscapes painted “en plein air” in his native England.
He has always been innovative and embraced new tecnology; mediums both high and low were just another means to document his abundant creativity. One of my favorite Hockney eras was his 4 x 6 inch photographs taken with a drugstore camera, then developed at the one-hour photo stop. He them pieced them together creating giant collages, the most famous being “Pear Blossom Highway.”
So I have been happy to discover that since 2008 he has been painting on his iphone, and most recently on his ipad. His recent show in Paris of his ipad creations are changing the rules (again) for what a work of art can be. At the show titled “Fleurs Fraiches,” his drawings are displayed on ipads mounted to the gallery walls, and he emails new creations to the show daily. He has even evolved his eclectic personal style by having suits made for him with pockets large enough to hold ipads, thus, technology influences fashion! He loves the immediacy of the medium. He states, “You can make a drawing of the sunrise at 6am and send it out to people by 7am.”
Hockney’s ipad drawing raise larger questions about the aesthetic and monetary value of art. For earlier shows, he had his paintings printed out, mounted and priced. At the Paris show, the work is not for sale, merely displayed. He loves the democracy of the medium; anyone can download an app and get to work creating masterpieces and perfecting their finger dexterity. Not to mention there are no paint stained hands or fingernails, and nothing to clean up! Yet all the pieces are quite distinctly Hockney-esque. I wonder about the value of Hockney’s pieces if he decides to sell the ipads that he created them on. I suppose one could purchase the ipad and just delete it, and thus create the 21st century version of Robert Raushcheberg’s famous “Erased DeKooning.” Every art student is familiar with the story of how the upstart young artist Rauschenberg nagged the mega-famous elder statesman deKooing to give him a drawing. After finally succeeding, he promply almost completedly erased it, and then signed his name. Ahh, I love art!
Julien David is a French-born, Japanese based designer. He started designing scarves, and has never looked back. He is doing some wild sculptural head coverings, and I love the video on his tumblr site. I saw this picture of his printed silk dress, and I see that Julien and I are inspired by the same colors.
I created my interpretation of Ann-Margret on the right by digitally combining scanned paintings with altered vintage photos. You can see it as a canvas wall hanging on my new website here.
If you are interested, you can read more about Julien on Vogue.
Whenever I sell a piece of art, no matter how large or small, I am so grateful. The economy is so tough, jobs are still scarce, and it seems like most of us are still scrambling to make sense of how fast everything changed. But it makes me happy to know that others are like myself— still wanting to surround themselves and their space with something that makes them feel good, either through glorious color, a beautiful image or just because they like the vibe. I see so much wonderful creativity on the etsy.com site, and I’m looking forward to seeing lots more at the Renegade Craft Fair in two weeks. I’m just very happy when I get to create ANYTHING, and I am thankful beyond measure when someone else likes what I created! I’ve always believed that creating was truly the most important thing in life. I often feel that our collective level of appreciating a craft has been diminished by the influx of super, super cheap stuff from China. All we seem to think about is how cheap we can buy something for, but you know the saying… “you get what you pay for.” When you buy even a small piece of art, you truly get something of value!
So on that note, here are a few new creations, and thanks to all those who buy art and make art!
And thanks to the one who helped make anything possible, Pablo Picasso. Viva España!
When I started working a lot in photography, I was very influenced by the artist Cindy Sherman. It seemed so simple and brilliant to use yourself as the model for your photo images. You were always around, had all the time in the world, and would do anything you wanted for the work. Of course, in life drawing classes, you always drew yourself for your homework. I have so many self portraits of myself in so many media, over the years it is fun to look over your different experiments in style and medium by choosing yourself as the model. Besides, you are always available! No excuse for not creating!
Some inspiration from New York City reflections…
I love all the colors in these pictures. With the reflection of the city in the windows, it’s a cacophony. I’ve been working on a lot of original and digital fashion images lately, for a new etsy store I’m opening of original art and prints. Here’s a couple.