Blue Nude

I bought this painting by Gerburg Garman at the Athens Art Gallery in Crawfordsville, Indiana. It was the first ‘official’ painting I purchased after Nikki left.

I like the nudity, the contrast of the blue and flesh tones of this painting. There is a bit of mystery in this painting, maybe a James Bond-ish or maybe a bedroom mystery. It is my favorite of the few paintings I’ve purchased.

Gerburg Garman is a German native teaching German and French at the University of Indianapolis. According to her About page, she publishes poetry and her art appears in many literary and poetry journals. She maintains a studio in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Blue Nude by Gerburg Garman. Nikon D600 photo taken by Dave O on September 6, 2014.
The Blue Nude by Gerburg Garman. Nikon D600 photo taken by Dave O on September 6, 2014.

Newfields Stumbles over a Word

My favorite museum, Newfields, has recently stumbled over a ‘colorful’ word … White.

Apparently, my backyard museum posted a job offering in an attempt to recruit someone who could bring a more diverse paying audience through the doors and at the same time retain retain the museum’s core ‘white’ audience. Source.

After the backlash of using the ‘white’ word, the Museum revised the employment ad to say ‘traditional’ audience.

Part of the backlash came from GangGang, an Indianapolis art initiative whose objective is to elevate artists of color in the Indianapolis art scene. GangGang was to curate of the upcoming “DRIP: Indy’s #BlackLivesMatter Street Mural” exhibition which was to open at Newfields in April 2021. They say :

“Our exhibition cannot be produced in this context and this environment,” Jeffers and Bacon, co-founders of GANGGANG, a local art incubator working to elevate artists of color, said. “We have asked Newfields to revisit this exhibition to include an apology to all artists involved, the opportunity for the 18 visual artists to show their other, personal works with appropriate compensation, and an intentional strategy from Newfields to display more works from more Black artists in perpetuity.” 

Over a single ‘white’ word? Really?

I recall a Thornton Dial exhibit at the Museum in 2012 that explored the ‘hard truths’ of poverty, racism, war and homelessness in black America. At the present, Thorton Dial’s “Don’t Matter How Raggly the Flag, It Still Got to Tie Us Together” is on display (as of February 15). Note cards of people’s reaction to the Dial’s artwork are taped to the wall for all to read.

Thornton Dial "Don't Matter How Raggly the Flag, It Still Got to Tie Us Together
Thornton Dial “Don’t Matter How Raggly the Flag, It Still Got to Tie Us Together” art piece hanging at Newfields on February 8, 2021. Photo by Dave O.

I’m not certain “GangGang” is the most promotable moniker for a black artist initiative as it sounds ‘thuggy”. Might as well be ‘gang bang” or “chain gang”. In this article, they say :

“Gang” might be a loaded word today with an extra-legal connotation, but it used to have an entirely different meaning. It’s from an Old English expression that means “going” or “journey.” By the early 1600s, the word had evolved to mean “a set of things or a group of people that go together” (e.g., “The whole gang’s here!”). When Bacon and Jeffers combined the word’s early meanings, they knew they’d found their name: GANGGANG, as in a group of people going on a journey together.

Ah, I appreciate the theme of ‘journeying together’. Visit the GangGang web site for more information.

Van Gogh Postcards

I bought a book of Van Gogh postcards from the Newfields gift shop on February 8, 2021. The book has 30 oversized postcards. The cards are perforated so you can easily remove the postcards. I don’t collect postcards. I bought the book so I could remove the cards and scan each one. Maybe, in a way, I do collect postcards now since I added the digital scans of these postcards to my massive digital scan collection.

Postcard book of Vicent Van Gogh paintings
Postcard book of Vicent Van Gogh paintings. Photo by Dave O taken with iPhone 7.

The book offers reproductions of Van Gogh paintings. Curiously, all the paintings featured in the book are hanging in museums in the United States. The breakdown is:

  • The Barnes Foundation : 6 cards (20%)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago : 8 cards (27%)
  • National Gallery of Art : 5 (17%)
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston : 3 (10%)
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco : 1 (3%)
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts : 4 (13%)
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art : 2 (7%)
  • Newfields : 1 (3%)

My guess is the book would be very thick if it included every Van Gogh painting in existence. This list records only 145 of Van Gogh paintings and where they hang at. Yet, some sources say he painted about 900 pictures. This site shows most of Van Gogh’s paintings.

One day, hopefully, maybe, if the stars align, if covid goes away, I would like to travel to Amsterdam to visit the Van Gogh museum. One this day, February 13, 2021, it’s closed due to covid. 😦

A Dream of Spring

At this moment there is a dull gray overcast, dull snow on the ground, ice in the street and an air temperature of 19°F. It is a fitting day to dream of warm spring weather.

A scan of a post card featuring William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Dream of Spring, painted in 1901. Post cast purchased from the Newfields gift shop.
A scan of a post card featuring William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Dream of Spring, painted in 1901. Post cast purchased from the Newfields gift shop.

When I wondered through the galleries of the Newsfields art museum on February 8, 2021 I did not come across the Dream of Spring by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. one of my favorite paintings hanging in the Newfields’ galleries. Painted in 1901, it traveled through several different ‘hands’ before Mel Simon gave it to the Newfields in 2013, if I read the provenance correctly.

The wiki article says it is an allegory of spring showing a young woman in a forest surrounded by small amores (cupids) who crown her with a wreath of spring flowers, hence the title of the painting, Dream of Spring.

When I first saw this painting (probably in 2015) my first impression was that it was a beautiful painting with a cute young girl touching her boob with three naked babies flying around her. I thought to myself, geez, I wish I could paint like that.

One of the galleries inside the Newfields museum, Indianapolis Indiana, showing William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Dream of Spring. Photo taken October 27, 2017 by Dave O.
One of the galleries inside the Newfields museum, Indianapolis Indiana, showing William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Dream of Spring. Photo taken October 27, 2017 by Dave O.

I didn’t get the title “Dream of Spring” and how it related to the painting other than it had a ‘spring’ flavor to the image with the forest in the background. It was only after reading the wiki article that I came to realize it is an allegory of Springtime.

A closer look at the painting reveals one of the cupids is ready to poke the girl with an arrow … maybe that is an indication that it is ‘spring’ where people seem to fall in love in the spring time.

The Bacidae

This Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson painting is one of her better known works.I saw it on February 7, 2021. The title, “The Bacidae”.

The Bacidae by Sarah Paxton Ball Dobson on view at the Newfields Art Museum Indianapolis Indiana

The Bacidae was part of a series of salon pictures. It shows two priestesses of Baccis, a noted soothsayer, who studied the entrails of birds in order to make his predictions. The painting represents an old priestess initiating a new (and alarmed) member of the order. This large canvas was exhibited at the 1883 Paris Salon. Dodson received praise for her technique, which was described as “virile in color and draftsmanship, powerful without exaggeration, masculine without straining.” This canvas became the artist’s best known work.

Cartlidge, David, Art and the Christian Apocrypha.

From her wikipedia page she was discouraged by her father to the ‘serious pursuit of art’. Funny how parents can discourage the interests of their children. It was only after her father’s death that she began her pursuit of art, eventually relocating to Paris to study. She died in 1906 in England. She was working on a painting when she passed. She pursued her passion until the day she died. A lesson to us all.

The Newfields page does not offer any information on the provenience of the painting. I would be interested in knowing how it came to hang on the wall at Newfields.

Summer Solstice 2018

From my research the Summer Solstice occurred at 6:07 am EST in central Indiana.

I was up at that time but could not watch the sun rise since I was getting ready for work. And, it was overcast and dripping rain at 6:07 am so I couldn’t see it anyways.

But, the longest day of the year is upon me. From this point the days shrink and the nights expand until the Winter Solstice.

I don’t find any significant in the Solstice, summer or winter. Unlike others who see the events in a spiritual or sexual context. I wouldn’t mind to be involved in the sexual context but not the spiritual. Being an overweight single old man, there hasn’t been much of that.

The calorie restriction must have caught up with me. There is no euphoria anymore. No calorie restricted ‘high’ that I felt last week. I have continued my calorie restriction with Slim Fast and salads this week. But the ‘high’ eludes me.

I may have to restrict even further to induce the euphoria again.

I know I’ve lost a few pounds as my belt isn’t as tight and the pants are a little baggy. One day I will blog about the ‘belt’. The belt will be an indicator of my success as I am on the last notch of the belt. If I need to tighten the belt, that will indicate some success as my waist has shrunk, a little.

Maybe one day I will step on the scale to record a number and start a time line. It’s been 21 days since I started and I seem to have picked up some momentum. For some reason I’m fearful that a number will diminish the momentum, fearful numbers will become the consuming factor in the effort.

Hopefully, I will be restricting calories when the Winter Solstice comes around in 2018.

I titled a series of paintings "Solstice Rain" because I completed the paintings on the 2017 summer solstice. This, the largest of the series, hangs in my kitchen. A smaller vertical panel is next to the door.

I titled a series of paintings “Solstice Rain” because I completed the paintings on the 2017 summer solstice. This, the largest of the series, hangs in my kitchen. A smaller vertical panel is next to the door.



Take a Sad Song

Lately, I can’t stop listening to the Beatles’ Hey Jude song. Especially the lyric …

“Take a sad song and make it better.”

Last night, I watched dozens of Hey Jude you tube videos, including the original Beatles video, several solo performances by Paul McCartney and even more covers by other groups and people.

I almost cry with this song. In fact, I almost cry when any sentimental song comes up on the play list.

I would qualify my current life as a sad song. So much deep depression that I can’t seem to shake. Feelings and beliefs of worthlessness and inadequacy that span my waking moments. It is overwhelming.

An episode occurred last week that has certainly derailed things for me. I had spent the last 4½ months hoping, wishing, praying that a certain event would take place by December 31. Unfortunately it didn’t take place.

As simple as giving 4½ month request to have your oldest adult son move out of the house into his own apartment has been reduced to a heap of wounded spirits and emotions, hatred and regrets. It feels like a tree chipper has shredded my soul.

It is a sad song. My feelings of worthlessness, despair, lack of skill and ability as a parent and a human being has reduce me to tears at the slightest tender or sentimental song.

(Good grief. I’m a fifty five year old man. I should have my shit together my now.)

Before this emotional meltdown, sleepless nights and inner turmoil sparked by last week’s event,  I had taken some measure to make my sad song better :

  • Enrolled in a credited web development class at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) which starts today (1/8/2018).
  • Continued with a painting project and hung some finished paintings in the house
  • Bought a treadmill to restart a long defunct walking/running program
  • Started a ‘learn to draw” self-education program in spite of my religious sensibilities and what others say is bad and sinful.

Friday night was the worst night in this recent series of sad days with movement toward an outcome that wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone.

I survived those bleak hours. Now, I’m trying to make my sad song better. Hopefully the above list will make the sadness better.

On a slightly humorous note …

I wanted to hang my latest painting in the basement ‘work out’ room. Yet, the angle of the basement stairs, the height of the hallway above the stairs, the dimensions of the painting (8′ x 6′) wouldn’t allow for it.

I found that kind of funny for some reason.


Latest painting. Finish in November 2017. Untitled. 8′ x 6′.


New Exhibits

I have not been to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, yet I am on their email list. This morning the museum sent an email announcing two upcoming exhibits, Juxtaposed and Robert Williams: SLANG Aesthetics!

From the Fort Wayne Museum of Art web site, Juxtaposed “showcases the New Contemporary movement,  widely considered the largest and longest running art movement in history”. The SLANG Aesthetics! exhibit features Robert Williams who is “upheld as the godfather of the low-brow and pop surrealist art movements, and with as much frequency denigrated as an irreverent iconoclast among the arbiters of ‘high’ art”.

I am going to add the Fort Wayne Museum of Art to My Art Museum Bucket List. At least to take in these two exhibits, which runs from April 22 – July 23, 2017. This may prompt scheduling a vacation day to drive to Fort Wayne for the day. There is some family history in Fort Wayne as my paternal grandfather worked for Philo Farnsworth at the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation. I’m certain there is a historical marker somewhere in Fort Wayne I can search for.

I have a copy of the May 2013 issue of Juxtaposed magazine, yet don’t subscribe. I like the  high contrast art and text in that issue. Although I enjoyed that issue, I never subscribed. I don’t believe I saw another issue on the news stand. However, I have remedied that ‘issue’ and subscribed via the web site.

I have not heard of Robert Williams, the SLANG artist. This exhibition will allow me to know more about his work and his personality. I enjoy reading about artists and how they make their art, what effort they put into their craft, the emotions are revealed.

Calories for Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

I ended the day at 1,370 calories. That is 240 calories below my target of 1,610. I had the usual Slim Fast shake for breakfast, a protein bar for lunch, two beers for evening ‘cocktails’ and a bowl of Maple and Brown Sugar instant oatmeal for dinner.

I hope the Slim Fast shake and the protein bar gave the minimal amount of essential nutrients as I’m certain the beer didn’t and not certain about the oatmeal. Although the beer gave me a lift over the low level funk and the oatmeal was very sweet.

I walked two miles in the morning of April 4 for 169 calories. My feet were really hurting so I ended the walk. I decided to stay away from walking or running for a few days so my feet could stop hurting. Maybe I’m overdoing the exercise, or have bad shoes?

New Art

I purchased a drawing/collage by Nicole Huff, a student at McCutcheon High School. I saw her drawing in the Tri Kappa New Artist Show at the Lafayette Museum of Art. The drawing struck a cord in my emotions and so I bought it. It is titled “Loss of Innocence”.

I haven’t made any new art of my own. Although, I have built stretcher frames for 13 new paintings. I have one more frame to build and then I can start to make some new drip paintings. My parents asked if I would make a new painting for their home, so I should get on with the process.

Wishing Everyone a Fantastic Day !!