Nine Persian Flasks, February 2015

.9 Persian-Flasks, 2015 by Chanan Mazal

תשעה בקבוקים פרסיים, פרואר 2015, גואש, 46 * 61 ס”מ

Gouache 46 x 61 cm.

I keep on finding new ways to approach the challenge of turning a lovely mess, into a non-functioning painting, and then to restore its dignity and intellect.
If only the real world was this simple.

כל פעם אני מוציא מסלול חדש  בדרך לאתגר: להפוך בלאגן חינני ויפהפה, לציור לא מתפקד. ואז להחזיר לציור הנכשל את הכבוד, עצילות ותבונה
הלוואי שהיה כל כך פשוט לעשות כך העולם האמת

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Seven Persian Flasks, 2015

Seven Persian Flasks - Gouache painting by Chanan Mazal 2015

Seven Persian Flasks, 2015. Gouache and ink on Arches paper, 46 x 61 cm.
שבעה בקבוקים פרסיים, 2015. גואש ודיו על נייר 46 * 61 ס”מ

This series has been most interesting to create. As I wrote earlier, each painting begins with a chaotic splash of ink. I am often content with it at this stage, as is. But Jackson Pollack passed away long ago. Therefor I work hard to bring this joyful mess, into a polite conversation with the billowing curtains of pattern.

These Oriental bottles confuse and entertain the eye. Sometimes they appear in the painting – and sometimes are camouflaged, playing hide and seek.
And I wonder… does this series, with its Middle Eastern name and imagery, have any deeper political and cultural significance?

 

Roll Reversal

Red Cypresses 17.1.2014

Cypresses in a Red Field, Gouache, Jan 2014

I completely forgot that I had painted this last January.
I must have been playing with my old positive/negative reversal toy, after giving that assignment to an art class.

עבודה נשכחה, מלפני שנה. גואש.
חזרתי לשחק בצעצוע היישן של פיטיב/נגטיב, אולי לאחר שנתתי את התרגיל הזה לתלמידים

When I hear the protest “But I don’t know how to draw!” I hand students scrap paper and scissors and tell them to cut simple stencils. That way we get past their childhood comparisons to the project of the kid sitting next to them in art class, and begin learning about painting!

The second secret is in the mess: To free the the class up for experimentation, I put on some crazy music, and tell them to to attack the page with paint, while moving with the rhythm. Working standing up, with the weaker hand helps too. Once that undercoat is happy and uninhibited, we begin to work with the stencils.

My students’ results are often better than my own work! I certainly learn a lot from them.

Competing with the Bedspread?

Bronx Oranges by Chanan Mazal

.Bronx Oranges, 2012. Gouache on paper 46 x 61. Available

This is an old favorite of mine. My grandmother saved a bag of housecoats sewn for her by my grandfather, in Art Deco fabrics. It is funny how inspirations are stored in our memory.
I know that interior designers tend to select artwork, that won’t compete for attention with their more profitable choices of floor coverings and bedspreads… but this would be lovely in some countryside boutique hotel

Tablecloth #6, 2014

Tablecloth #6, 2014. Gouache painting by Chanan Mazal, Jerusalem.  חנן מזל
מפה #6, 2014 ציור גואש 46 * 61 ס”מ
Autumn colors – though actually the palette was concocted by a self challange: I had several dried tubes of paint. Being of Polish Jewish origin, I must have inherited an ancestral fear of poverty, and aversion to waste. So I sliced open many of those hardened tubs, and crumbled the pigments into water. (Now this is NOT what artists should be publishing to promote their work!) And then asked myself, “What can you DO with this mess?
There is nothing that I enjoy more than finding beauty in a mess. Making harmony out of cacophony. Finding my directions on Paris’ confusing streets, without a map.