Self Portrait with Triangles 2018

Gouache 35 x 51 cm

A small secret: I gave a color challenge to a new student, to create a colorful painting using just black and three different yellow. The goals were to explore the oxymoron of ”dark yellow”, and how so very much, can be expressed with so few resources.
I always begin teaching with that yellow challenge.then I did it myself. And made a very colorful , pretty work that did not satisfy me at all.

The day after the massacre in Pittsburg, I sat in my studio, struggling to focus on work.
Towards the end of the day, I pulled out this painting. In a fit of urgency, I painted myself over the pattern, first by scrubbing dirty water, then paint. First by memory, then with a mirror.

As always, my selfies contain some brutal honesty. We all need brutal introspection, as individuals, as collectives and as ideological camps.

But what I also discovered, was a way to combine seemingly conflicting art languages that appeal to me: Ornament and Expressionism.

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Rock Paper Scizzors

Rock Paper Scissors, May 30, 2018. India Ink 31 x 41 cm

אבן נייר מספריים. 30.5.2018. דיו 31 * 41

Baa Baaa Baaaa

בע בע ציגאלע מע? מה אתה רוצה לומר? גואש 46*61. למכירה

What Do You Want to Say? gouache 46 x 61 cm. Available.

Persian Bottles 2018.

Gouache 36 x 51 cm. Available.
I painting this more optimistic work, on my familiar theme, just before the current wave of protests against the regime began.
I pray that the brave people in Iran, who are struggling for a more sane and peaceful future, will succeed.

The painting began rotated in the other direction. Rows of now incoherent bottles, were remolded into coherent bottles, facing right side up.
May that be a good sign.

Making Sense of it All #2, 2017

 

Making Sense of It All #2, 2017

Oil on canvas 100 x 110 cm (39″ x 43″) For sale

עושה סדר בראש #2

שמן על בד 100 * 110 ס״מ. למכירה

Dear Friends,

The Hebrew Year 5778 begins this week with the new moon. Counting the years from the traditional date of the “Birthday of the Universe” this festival is both joyful and solemn.

The Creation also reminds us of the symbolic dualities expressed in the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life:

That is, of mindful and proper behavior, versus impulsive actions, lacking wisdom and foresight.

Likewise, we become aware of our short window of life, for acting, giving and repairing, and of our approaching mortality sealing action.

Thus our very existence is a duality, which fascinates me and pervades my artwork:

The revealed and the hidden.

The straight and the crooked.

The meaningful and the chaotic.

The drawn and the erased.

And then the drawn again. Always with room for correction, and learning and giving over and over…. Or for choosing to not make the effort.

May we be inscribed in the Book of Life, for a year of health, peace, creativity and generosity.

May I also add a wise blessing learned from our Chinese neighbors at the far end of Asia,

“May we live in uninteresting times.”
That is, may the world events be so uneventful, so calm, that we have nor reason to listen to the news. Amen!

לשנה טובה ומתוקה תכתבו
May we all have a very Sweet New Year
Chanan Mazal