Friday, March 13, 2015

New Work: Coming and Going & Living With Your Art

Coming and Going
Acrylic on paper image size 10.5" x 13.5" approx matted to 14" x 18"

New Work: Coming and Going
The above piece was completed on Thursday. It was inspired by one of my recent trips over the Altamont Pass. After exiting the freeway just before ascending the summit of the pass, I pulled over and sat for a minute in my car looking at the freeway I had just gotten off of. I saw trucks coming and going in both directions, east and west. My idea was born!

The 580 freeway runs east and west and can be exited at either side of the pass. The road curves through the mountains and travels by the small town of Altamont. There are evidently two sections to the road; one which was part of US highway 50, the famed Lincoln Highway and the other is the connecting route which was in use prior to the building of the 580 freeway, roughly. I admit to having an inordinate interest in California history. Of course, what is happening now is important but I am most drawn to the history of the state from its earliest formation to the mid to late twentieth century. I don't know much but I love finding out about things that used to be: roads that were important but were made obsolete by general advancement in technology, for example. Towns that used to exist, places and people that used to hold interest, and the ways in which progress and human attitudes have shaped and changed our mutual landscape. Something that I see or find out about will grab my attention. I'll start to wonder about the thing and before I know it, a painting idea has taken shape. And it doesn't seem to be important to me that the painting depicts the idea absolutely and that the viewer knows precisely what I am talking about. It just seems to matter that I had an idea, an interest, and was able to express that. That disconnect between my idea and what the viewer perceives seems to be important also; call it obvious but maybe it has to do with our current day disconnect between all that we have and the cost at which that comes to us as a population.

Living With Your Art:
My friend Carol asked me the other day if I had any of my new artwork hanging in my house. The work is on the walls of my studio of course but I hadn't yet put it anywhere else. I would argue with anyone any day of the week that if you make art of any sort, it has to be lived with in some way. People at shows have commented to me that they like my work but don't have any room for new art. What do they mean I wonder? It's important to consider this.  At the most basic and personal level, do I live with what I make? Does the work go with my decor? How can I ask anyone to buy the work if I wouldn't buy it myself? These are questions worth asking if only to decide that you make something in a certain way because you love it and that is enough. No sense in loving something and not living with it actively. So, I thought I would show pics of several of my pieces in situ, so to speak.

OK, hope everyone has had a good week. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  1. The fabric work and the paintings work beautifully together!

  2. A beautiful new work Libby and it says so much. I really enjoyed your analysis.
    And I just love the shots of your art in situ- gorgeous.


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