Monday, December 21, 2009

Venetian Red

I'm continuing with my December theme of Pattern and Decoration with a blog recommendation. It seems appropriate to be recommending Venetian Red near Christmas. I first came across this blog on Robyn's Art Propelled. The name intrigued me at first because of the Venice reference, but it's the content of the blog that hooked me and keeps me returning.

The duo of Christine Cariati and Liz Hager started the blog as a vehicle to share their " individual and collaborative perspective on the collective creative endeavor". Their posts dig more deeply into their influences and the ideas that spring from their examinations. There are many posts that focus on design, textiles, ornament etc. It is a treasure trove for the artist interested in pattern and decoration. Since I found it I've been making quick visits and reading posts here and there. I've decided to take a more structured approach and start at the beginning. This is going to be my Christmas holiday treat.

Christine's intimate paintings include birds, insects and flora presented in a "stylized theatrical format". Her background as a textile designer is evident in her use of pattern, line work and exquisite detail . She explores "the ways in which we re-imagine nature, finding beauty in chaos and wildness".

The intimate scale, subject matter and use of pattern parallels my own interests. Christine notes that her work can be "held and read like a book". I appreciate this about her work because it reinforces my need to keep the size of my work to dimensions that allow me to physically hold the work as I paint it. I wonder if Christine uses an easel or does she also need to physically hold her work as she created it.

Liz Hager's work is diverse in material usage - paint, wood, fabric, metal and paper. Like many artists who work in different media she feels that certain concepts require specific materials. See her Botanica series where she prints on various metals with the choice of metals dictated by the image. Her gouache Imaginary Textiles ,which I love for their colour and energy, connect me to a time in my life where my spare time activity was doodling textile designs. This summary just brushes the surface of her work.

Back to Venetian Red.... I've never used this colour in my work but I'm happy to report I have another connection to it. I 've seen the murals of Pompeii. Venetian red is everywhere.

What remains of these murals create spontaneous abstract works that are achingly beautiful.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for showing us these amazing photos - colours and textures are beautiful, I can understand how inspiring these are for paintings.

Four Seasons in a Life said...


Thank you so very much for sharing this wonderful site that you had found with us. What makes this also special is that the artist lives in San Francisco and here I am on the other side of the bay.

I have to admit the title of the blog is attractive but with that said, the content is most interesting.

Take care and all the very best,

hwfarber said...

I continue to learn from your blog. I never thought of holding and reading a painting--such an intimate way of viewing.

The blogs you mentioned are interesting; I'll revisit.

-Don said...

Thanks a lot, Margaret! I already have too many blogs to keep up with and now you've added two more great ones to my list. How am I ever going to get any painting done keeping up with all this? :-D


Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Thank you for this great the photos of old Pompeii! Happy Holidays!
Mary Ann

Liz Hager said...

We are so pleased that you found us and honored to have such a robust recommendation of Venetian Red on your pages.

As you've probably discovered, looking at, thinking and writing about OPA (other people's art) inspires our own work. Further, writing for me is a natural extension of the creative process; it challenges me ways that are complementary to the demands of creating visual work.

BTW Your mixed media work is intriguing; I particularly like the montages...

Looking forward to staying connected,


Kathy said...

Margaret, thank you for bringing to our attention these two remarkable artists! Their work is imaginative and instructive. And, thank you for continuing to educate us about the influences on your art.

Margaret Ryall said...

Talk about "showing up" ! It is so good to have visitors to ones blog when much time is taken to create the content. Sometimes I find it difficult to develop content that focuses on my artistic interests/inspirations and at the same time hopefully provide something that will interest my readers.

I have grown so much over the last year from my blog connections. I look forward to continuing in the new year.

Christine Cariati said...

Thank you very much for your mention of Venetian Red and your comments.
To answer your question, I paint with my work flat on a table, not at an easel. I use Arches 300 lb cold press which is extremely sturdy—to get the deep space in the dark backgrounds I often apply many many layers of gouache in thin layers so I like the toughness of the heavy paper.
Great to discover your blog too. Look forward to exchanging ideas about art in 2010!

Anonymous said...

nice, i just brought many another emo backgrounds in my blog