The month of December was a trip... literally. My hubby and I visited the Galapagos Islands and Peru. I had expected to be wowed by the animals in the Galapagos, and was. That said, I was truly blown away by the stunning and breathtaking beauty of the Andes Mountains. I can't seem to get over the feeling of flying while having my feet firmly planted on the ground in the Cloud Forest.
Our experiences influence our art, and I suspect that my work will be changed by the experience in ways that I may not even realize yet. Stay tuned.
To share the journey, I have compiled some of the most gorgeous or interesting things that we were able to see. Let me know which is your favorite in the comments below. Enjoy!
One of the things that I love about living like an artist is being creative, but not simply in my art-making. I also love thinking creatively when it comes to the tools that I incorporate in my studio practice.
Here's a video that shows 2 new tools that I recently discovered. One is used to help clean my brushes thoroughly and efficiently, and the other is used to apply paint in a new way. Check out the video below.
Now that my solo exhibition is behind me, I can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy a relatively calm interlude.
I was pleasantly surprised at the turn-out on a rainy Wednesday evening.
Here's one of the reasons for my surprise: I was really happy when the Nationals won the 6th game of the World Series. After shouting with glee at the television on Tuesday evening, I realized that their win meant that the FINAL game of the World Series would be taking place during my reception. So, when I say that I was surprised at the turn-out, you may understand why!
I am going to dispense with writing much more, and let the photographs tell you the story about the evening, which was an absolute delight. If the slideshow of the photos doesn't work, simply click on the arrow, or the thumbnail photos.
Many thanks to my dear friend Mark Bare for taking these pics.
After returning from Italy last year, I knew that I wanted to squeeze every drop out of the experience possible by going back again. That said, I knew that there had to be some more things that I wanted to share with my students rather than simply repeating everything that we did last year.
After some research, I discovered that there was a contemporary outdoor sculpture park not far from where we were staying. The Chianti Sculpture Park is located between Pievasciata and Vagliagli, about 6 miles north of Siena and quite close to where we were staying.
Each sculpture is site-specific and thought-provoking, following the ancient Italian tradition of sculpture made for a specific location outdoors. The park is the inspiration of Piero and Roslba Giadrossi and sits on about 17 acres of wooded property.
Artists, representing 26 countries were invited and asked to propose their ideas for inclusion into the park.
I knew this was a place I wanted to share with my students this year. Here are examples of some of my favorite pieces:
Energy, Costas Varotsos, Greece, Glass
Greek artist, Costas Varotsos is know for his large-scale glass pieces that evoke movement. He uses sheets of glass in unexpected ways as he has here.
Since we were in Italy, where the Italian cypress is plentiful, I couldn't help but see a representation of the cypress. Given the title of the artwork, I couldn't help but think of a tornado of movement as well. The weight of the glass is over 16 tons and the shimmer of light on the sculpture through the glass was beautiful.
Faith and Illusion, Dolorosa Sinaga, Indonesia, Metal
Faith and Illusion is perhaps my favorite piece in the collection because of how it moved me. The sculpture depicts a woman weighted down by the difficulties of life. She has faith that progress will improve her lot. However, she comes to realize that although she has faith that the system will benefit her, she realizes it is all an illusion, as the wealthy continue to get wealthier while the poor stay where they are. The entire sculpture is made of metal and the woman portrayed is surrounded by skyscrapers. I found myself revited viewing this piece. It was difficult to walk away.
Sinaga often depicts political issues in her work, but more frequently utilizes more conventional materials such as bronze.
The Keel, Kemal Tufan, Turkey, Stone
The Keel is also interesting. It is a gigantic installation that seems to blend in perfectly with the environment. In fact, the mosses on the forms make the art become even more one with the land.
Tufan generally uses natural materials such as stone, marble, granite, wood, and metal.
A view of the rings of the tree turned to stone with time
Finally, as a tree lover, I want to share Petrified Wood which consists of large pieces of tree trunks that are petrified. Looking at the stone that at one time had been part of a living plant showed how the natural world can be one of the most talented artists.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing some of the pieces that we were able to enjoy at the Chianti Sculpture Park. Let me know which one you liked best in the comments below. I'd love to hear what you think.
When traveling, one of my favorite things to do is to visit museums that house the work of artists from the specific countries that we are visiting. This is no easy task when on the go with my husband, aka Terrific Tax Attorney (TTA). TTA goes into these experiences looking as if he has swallowed a lemon whole. He breezes through each room to find the nearest bench so that he may sit and wait for me to finally finish looking at the work. As you can imagine, I move through what is shown in a more frantic manner. He looks so miserable that I don't want to torture him longer than necessary.
All that said, TTA joined me as we visited three museums during our last trip to Europe. He can be a good sport, and he even liked two of the three art venues.
Let's keep it a secret that the work that inspired and moved me the most wasn't housed in the walls of the venerable museums, but in other places instead. Being immersed in the culture and history of the places that we visited inspired me in ways that I am sure will manifest in my art in the future, even if I don't know how that inspiration will show itself.
Without further discussion, here are some examples of the most inspiring art that I saw:
These are Stumbling Stones or Stolpersteine. They are brass plaques on the ground outside of the last homes of choice of people who were deported and killed during the Holocaust. There are 70,000 Stumbling Stones throughout Europe to commemorate those who were murdered. The artist who first conceived of the idea of focusing on tragedies of individuals in this way is Gunter Demnig. He is still working on the art project that keeps him on the road for 300 days per year. I am so inspired by the dedication that it takes to continue with this meaningful art installation.
While visiting Regensburg, Germany, we were surprised to see Hebrew embedded in architectural structures. I know this is not a piece of art, but I am moved just the same. An aspect of what is going on here may find its way into my work some day.
Why is Hebrew text on this building in such a haphazard way? When the Jewish people were expelled from Regensburg in 1519 about 5,000 tombstones in the Jewish cemetery were raised and used for building material. This is a poignant example of that practice.
This is perhaps one of the most moving sculptures I have ever seen. Along the beautiful Danube River in Budapest, Hungary is a sculpture of sixty pairs of shoes cast out of iron. They were made by film director, Can Togay and sculptor, Gyula Pauer.
Approximately 20,000 Jews were shot along the banks of the Danube River by members of the Arrow Cross Party. The Arrow Cross Party was a fascist, anti-semitic organization founded by Ferenc Szalasi after Hitler overthrew the leader of the Hungarian government in 1944.
The victims were marched to the river, asked to remove their shoes, and were summarily shot. The shoes depicted are of all different styles and sizes; women's, men's, and children's shoes. No one was spared.
In the photos you will see that visitors placed stones inside and around the shoes. This is a Jewish tradition. Stones are placed at graves, not flowers. Yahrzeit candles were left as well. Yahrzeit candles are traditionally lit to remember a loved one who has passed on the anniversary of their death. You can see all the stones in and around the shoes, and what looks like little tin cups. Those cups are the yahrzeit candles.
Also while in Budapest, Hungary, we visited the Great Synagogue. This synagogue is the second largest synagogue in the world and it is a stunner.
In the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park, behind the synagogue, is an enormous sculpture of the Emanuel (or Tree of Life) Tree. The sculpture was designed by Imre Varga and funded by the late actor Tony Curtis to honor his Hungarian-born father Emanuel Schwartz. The names of 30,000 victims of the Holocaust are inscribed on the leaves of the tree. This piece of art is stunningly beautiful.
I hope that you have enjoyed seeing the pieces of art that inspired me the most during our trip. Obviously, the pieces that I selected were sad reminders of a not-too-distant past. I was moved by how exquisite they were, and also by their pathos.
Do you have a favorite? I'd love to know what you think. Please share in the comments below.
This is a tool that I have been using for years to help me make better art. Take a look at this video for tips on how to use this great tool yourself.
Also, let me know in the comments below about tools you used to make your art better. It's always great to share ways to improve our art!
This is a new abstract pastel that illustrates "taking a chance" as I am fairly new to abstract work.
Constructive Conversation, 12 x 9 inches, Pastel, © Lynn Goldstein, $575
June is a tough month for me. The anniversary of my father's death is June 3, with the emotional one-two punch of Father's Day following close behind. Dad died when I was 25 and he was way too young.
Here I am with Dad. If you are unsure, I'm on the left.
It's safe to say that I think of my Dad everyday. I still miss him, but let's not dwell on that.
Instead, I want to share some of my favorite words of advice from him. One of the best tidbits of wisdom that he imparted impacts me to this day in almost everything that I do.
Hope you enjoy this short list. In a hurry? I saved the best for last:
There is NOTHING like dealing with the public.
I think of this every time someone comes into my studio and says something extraordinarily unexpected.
If we can't trust each other, who can we trust?
This was uttered after I had lied to my parents (and was subsequently grounded for what seemed like the rest of my life). Needless to say, this stuck and I became scrupulously honest.
It is natural to hurt when those we love are hurting.
This was something my father said to me when I was about 13 years old. With this sentiment, he cemented my understanding of love, compassion, and empathy. Simple but amazing.
I may be disappointed in something that you do, but I could never be ashamed of you.
Hearing this helped me with my self-esteem in ways that telling me I was perfect (which he did NOT do) ever could. It helped me in my parenting too.
You must make that decision, and I will support you no matter what you choose.
I hear this when I am trying to decide which direction I should take. Even though he isn't around, I imagine his support. Incidentally, and importantly, he never discouraged me from studying art even though I am sure that he had concerns about how I would support myself. I am grateful for that every day.
... And... my absolute favorite:
Don't ever worry about falling in love. You can fall in love in a minute.
This may not sound like great advice at first blush. However, I have applied it to everything in life. My Dad knew that if you put yourself out there, you could meet the person of your dreams in a heartbeat. Same holds true for other opportunities. Good fortune is not likely to present itself if we don't take a chance. This is one of the reasons that I make sure that people see my art even when I am not sure what the response will be. Someone could fall in love with it in a minute and change their day (and mine).
Any good words of advice from your dad? I'd love for you to share in the comments below.
And Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.
Travel is great for inspiration. Immersing yourself in a culture sparks creativity that often takes me by surprise.
Prior to teaching a workshop in Tuscany last year, I spent five extraordinary days knocking about Florence on my own. I love traveling to a place and having time there without any distractions. Traveling with loved ones is a pleasure, but my desire to spend time with art and walk for miles can fatigue almost everyone I know.
My visit to Santa Maria del Carmine and the Brancacci Chapel to see the frescoes of Massaccio, Masolino and Fillipino Lippi was just such a visit. I stayed in that chapel for at least an hour letting the astounding work of these masters wash over me.
I was fascinated by the biblical stories that were illustrated, and listened intently to the audio guide provided. More importantly, I was riveted by the artwork made by these early renaissance masters. I studied the compositions, and was charmed that portraits of people I had heard of were portrayed on some of the walls.
As an example, the detail from Filippino Lippi's fresco Disputation with Simon Magus and Crucifixion of Peter, 1481-82, portrays Sandro Botticelli looking right at us. Seeing the face of the artist I had admired since prior to my college days as an art student captivated me. Literally, I stood transfixed before snapping photographs.
Provided below are images showing how I was inspired by that portion of the fresco to paint what began as an abstract, but ended up an abstracted landscape.
I am returning to Italy in October to teach a one-week workshop and would love to have you join me. Who knows, you may be inspired by an Italian master too! Click here to see what you will learn and enjoy while there with me.
I took this photographic detail and made a black and
white sketch with markers to start my abstract painting. See below:
Next, I began my painting
The painting began changing into a landscape.
I couldn't seem to sacrifice the rust color slash of paint in the lower portion of the composition.
The sacrifice of the rust color slash had to occur, and I call the painting completed.
Fleeting Quality, 20x16, Oil on Canvas, ©Lynn Goldstein, Private Collection
This is the first in a series of videos to show you tools that will improve your art. This one is so simple, you will not believe it. Take a look!
There is nothing that I enjoy more than spending time among the trees, beside a body of water, or simply appreciating a very light breeze on a warm day. That's why I became a landscape painter.
That said, I have been itching to stretch in the ways that I create my artwork. To me, that's what living life like an artist is all about.
With that in mind, I am taking an online Masterclass in painting from an abstract painter. This is not a class about technique, it is more about painting in a way that is authentic to me as an individual.
That said, I am definitely experimenting with technique as well. Thought it would be fun to give you a little peek of a specific project that I recently completed.
The task that I was given was to make 2 paintings. Each painting was to be done in acrylic and mixed media using a limited palette of 3 colors plus black and white. I chose to use titian buff rather than white because I prefer the softer off-white hue. Also, I think that living like an artist means bending the rules a bit if you feel as if you are going to get a better result.
One of the paintings was to be done with my non-dominant hand, while the other was to be completed with my dominant hand. I am extremely right-handed, so I had a bit of trepidation simply thinking about this project.
I needn't have been concerned. This was a GREAT exercise for multiple reasons. First of all, I enjoyed the challenge. More importantly, I enjoyed getting out of my own way, and working without concern about representation.
So that you can see where the process began, the first two images were the beginning stages of the paintings. The final two images are the completed pieces.
I'd love to hear which one of the completed artwork you think is the painting done with my dominant hand, and which one is your favorite in the comments below.
The beginning stages of my abstract painting, painting #1
The beginning stages of my abstract painting, painting #2
Division of Frailty, 14x10.5 inches, Mixed Media, © Lynn Goldstein $735
Wilted Nerve, 14x10.5 inches, Mixed Media, ©Lynn Goldstein $735
I look forward to reading your guess of which piece was done with my dominant hand, and also which one is your fav in the comments below!
Happy to have you here. This is where you will see work in progress, tips about making art, seeing art, and enjoying art. You will also see ways to live life like an artist.
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