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...feed your soul with art & creativity!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Olympics of Arts

In order to stay sharp and excel at any particular artistic endeavor or medium, just like an Olympic athlete, the artist must train and practice.  And just like an Olympic athlete, sometimes the product of that training is pain, an incompletion, or sometimes just bad choices.  In the world of art, this can take on the guise of messes, not having enough or the correct tools and supplies, not enough space to stretch out, too many other projects or items competing for the attention of the artist, or just plain ugly art.  With more practice, those errors and difficulties that arise early on become fewer and fewer and the quality of what is brought forth is better and better.

It is so important for the artist-in-training to remember that not all artwork is meant to be museum or gallery quality.  This can be a difficult concept for an artist to grasp because the creation is "ours" and who wants to admit they have created an ugly child?  As artists, we also like to shy away from such labeling, and of course, as with athletes and successes across the board in every industry, the ego does not like to admit defeat or failure.  While I am sure there are artists who, like Mozart, are able to make astounding art without any practice or flaws the first time out, for the majority, there is a training curve. 

This training curve requires first understanding the task to be undertaken.  It may require cross-training.  To begin working in glass, for example, first required knowing some basic facts about glass and skill sets:  what a coefficient of expansion is and why different COEs don't mix, some chemistry of glass since glass is made up of different recipes of ingredients and metal oxides, some of which don't play so well together and more basically, how the heck to score and cut glass.  Without these basic skills, a fused, torch or blown glass artist will run into many challenges.  And these are just the "stretching" exercises. 

Like an athlete, the training develops muscles--and memory skill.  The more one cuts a piece of glass, the better the ability to cut straight, make a good score the first time, not put too much or too little pressure on the glass as it breaks, find the 'grain' of the glass and become comfortable and efficient breaking glass scores by hand or with tools.  Athletes and coaches frown upon a "cold" rush into the pool or onto the track without proper warm up and certainly would not recommend trying to run a marathon if you have not yet mastered stretching, building up stamina and strength training.  At least not if you want to get very far, very fast.

Olympians are those who have practiced their craft daily, for hours at a time, pushing the boundaries of what they were able to do the day before, improving the quality of their end-product, and basically being involved in what an artist might consider "mass production."  The artist who only paints one painting a year is less likely to be good at it, much less supremely successful, because the skills and training have not been done.  Some artists believe they are above the "mass production" level of artwork, but in history, the most successful artists we know were prolific in their production of artwork. 

Grandma Moses, who began her career at the age of 78, practiced her skills regularly and by the time of her death at the age of 101 had created at least 1,600 recognized works of art and perhaps as many as 3,600. 

Copyright of Grandma Moses and estate--used with fair usage (education)
Front cover of her autobiography

A gold medalist indeed, whether or not you "like" his work is Pablo Picasso with an astounding "50,000 works of art, including 1,885 paintings; 1,228 sculptures; 2,880 ceramics; 18,095 engravings; 6,112 lithographs; and approximately 12,000 drawings, as well as numerous linocuts, tapestries, and rugs, not to mention his letters, poetry and plays" (cf. Selfridge 1994, 102) ... or ... "1,885 paintings; 1,228 sculptures; 7,089 drawings; 30,000 prints (engravings, lithographs, etc); 3,222 ceramics; 150 sketchbooks ... With the addition of his personal wealth, his legacy was estimated on his death at an unbelievable 1,252,673,200 francs. " (cf. Robinson 1999, 10; cf. also Habarta 2000, 77) ... or "some 50,000 works that included 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 2,880 ceramics, 18,095 engravings, 6,112 lithographs, 3,181 linocuts, 7,089 drawings plus 4,669 drawings and sketches in 149 notebooks, 11 tapestries and 8 rugs". *according to several different sources* 

Pablo Picasso "Girl before a Mirror"
© 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York  
Used under fair use (education)

Leonardo da Vinci is estimated to have painted a maximum of 30 paintings, but his other works include sculpture and a prolific amount of data collective for inventions of various kinds. His practice and training came in the form of sketches and studies for his artworks, for which he did numerous plans for each painting and for his inventions.  His notebooks are filled with the evidence of this extensive training.

Vincent Van Gogh reportedly painted about 900 paintings and produced about 1100 sketches.  This was accomplished over only about a nine year span of his life as he was not a painter for the entirety of his lifespan.

Another gold medalist of the art world, again whether or not you "like" him or his art is Andy Warhol, who, according to the Warhol Museum (they archive and catalog it so they would know) made more than 8,000 works of art by Warhol including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, film, videotapes, and an extensive archives.

Andy Warhol's silver clouds (c) The Andy Warhol Museum
used under fair use (education)

So, as an artist, there is a precedent for getting out there to "do art."  It is the driving passion of my life and even if it is only doodling or painting a background for an art journal, I MUST do some form of art every day. I don't know if I will ever reach the Art Olympics, but I continue to train, gain skills and improve my output.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Today as I work on various tasks toward the goal of making some income from my creative endeavors, I am reminded how important it is to recognize and be grateful for gifts. 

Gifts arrive in all sorts of ways...wrapped with bows and ribbons, specifically to celebrate a holiday, money found along a pathway, something unexpected arriving in the mail....and so many other ways.

I was thinking yesterday evening and again this morning about how many gifts I personally have, own and express.  I'm reasonably intelligent, somewhat cute, have a weird but good sense of humor, have an eye for color combinations, very skilled at packing, unpacking and setting up house and studio (hah! lots of practice), creative, at least fair to middling poetry writing, artistic skills, teaching skills....very affectionate, a good pet mommy, a talent for organizing, loads of friends scattered all over the country, and soooo much more.  I am very gifted.  Very talented.  Very fortunate.  It's good to remember this.  It's good to focus on these good skills.  It's good to be grateful for them.

Now I'm not much of a Bible quoting person but to paraphrase, it is important not to waste our talents.  I'm working on spending my talents so that they grow and multiply.  Gratitude for our gifts and talents is a huge part of that process. 
(c)SZing, The Happy Only Journal

I decided I'm going to use one of my newly altered books as a "Happy Only" Journal.  Happy thoughts, thanks and gratitude to the Creative Source for all the happy and good things in my life.  Polly Anna-ish goodness.  It's important.  Darkness has a way of taking over and smothering creative resources of all sorts and is always a squandering of talent. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rejuvenating Creativity

One of my favorite ways to rejuvenate my creativity is to head to a library or a bookstore, my preference being the bookstore, since normally, there is a coffee shop attached.  I arm myself with the following:

my laptop
my phone and cord to charge it on the laptop
some cash for coffee
an open mind

When I get to the bookstore, I usually first do one of the following:

A.  Select as many arts, crafts and interiors/architectural/gardening magazines as I can hold. 


B.  Randomly walk through the magazine and books and select items that are as off the wall as I can find or as different from my "normal" selections as I can get.

I take my findings to a table at the coffee shop and usually put a pad of paper and pen or some other item on top of them so people know that someone is sitting there (and so that, in the event that the staff happen to walk through during the next few minutes they won't re-shelve my hard won items).

I order my drink--even on a hot day, I can't help myself.  I love hot chai lattes.  Sometimes I get a little something sweet like a cranberry scone or a piece of lemon bar.  Sometimes I just focus on that venti latte.

Then I spend the next few hours pouring over the magazines and books.  I look at everything--the advertisements, the articles, the pictures. 

Why the laptop and phone?  If I find something that I want to remember or that jogs some other idea in my head, I snap a quick phone picture of it.  If that item really gets my creative energy flowing, I open my Windows One Notes "Creative Juice" Workbook and I type in notes and ideas related to whatever got me intrigued. 

I find that I especially get a "Kick in the Seat of the Pants" (referring to Roger Von Oech's book and creativity cards Creative Whack Pack) when I do option B--finding random items that are far from my normal interests. 

It is astounding what sorts of things can then come up for me.  For example, I was in a sort of "stuck" mode at one point.  I picked up a science magazine (don't recall which at this time) and was inspired by photographs of space and various anomalies.  I then found a magazine (another science one, perhaps the same as with the photos of space for all I know) and it had microscopic photos at a cellular level of various items.  I was supremely intrigued by the fact that...the photos were not all that dissimilar.  This then led me to design a five piece series of enamels on glass that were designed to emulate both types of design.  I plan to do some additional pieces of this type in the future.

It never fails to leave me feeling rejuvenated.  I often regret that the time allotted for this pastime is over. But I always begin that or the next day fully charged and ready with plenty of ideas and plans for creative works.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What to do when the heat hits?

It's not as hot here in Florida as it is in say, Phoenix, Arizona, but it's hot and humid, my studio has no insulation and only a small A/C and fan.  It's too hot to run a kiln (I ran the enameling kiln at 1500 degrees Fahrenheit last week and it was no fun!)  Though I will be getting additional AC and insulating...

IN THE MEANTIME, what to do when the heat hits?  As a believer in the idea that a messy mind = a messy workspace and vice versa (notice I didn't say dirty mind), I decided to beat the heat this week by getting my desk organized.  It was heaped at least two feet high with magazine clippings, file folders, jewelry and art items that need photographing and posting on Etsy, proposals for classes and calendars.  And sometimes one or more cat. I had lots of plans I wanted to work on but it was impossible to get started, much less begin to focus.  Messy desk = messy mind.

I discovered yesterday that the majority of the mess on my desk was paper that fell into these categories:

1.  To Put on PC Calendar/Tasks and To Do list
2.  Possibilities for my Art--this is an all encompassing idea, some of which of course could be put on the To Do list but which is meant to be a "tickler" file--places I want to investigate as a co-op member, locations to propose a show, places where I want to teach classes, etc.
3.  Classes--this is a file just of already prepared proposals that I need to be certain that I have electronic copies, as well as to write notes about how I need to adjust the proposals for new locations
4.  For Pinteresting--websites I want to spend some time exploring or things I've culled from magazines to explore
5.  Scan--immediate documents I need to scan so I can shred and NOT FILE.
6.  Magazines--the writer's guidelines for each magazine I want to query.
7.  Will/Funeral--okay, morbid and not necessarily work related but it is something I know I need to take care of...cuz you never know.
8.  Put on TO BUY list on my PC.  Through Post-It (TM) Digital Notes, which I love--a software program I got last year, ironically, to keep my desktop clearer.  It helped with the sea of tiny post-its I used to have every where. I have a running bulletin board list of things I want/need to buy--this can be specifically for the house, personal purchases, gifts, and art/business related.

(c) SZing The desk, post cleaning.

Once I got things filed into a vertical filing system with these folders, my desk was almost cleared up--just my address book and Rolodex that need to be culled/updated and updated to my PC for mailing lists, a couple of pieces of paper that I MUST file (unfortunately there are just some papers that I feel need to remain papered and not electronic) and a small pile related to a very important project I need to work on today.  It's amazing to be able to see desk in more than a small 4" x 4" area, and to feel like I'm actually organized.  And I'm actually not sweating it.

Next step?  Put up some artwork.  Then go through each file and do what it says to do in it, i.e., put on to do list, etc.,--I'm gonna do that today.  Get my calendar updated.  It'll be a relief to know what I need to do.  And a relief to be able to stay out of the heat.

The cats and I are in negotiations.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Feeding My Addiction to Pinterest

I've been saving photos for a long time of things that I love and which inspire me.  I've made "treasure maps" and struggled with how in the world to keep all those lovely images close at hand to inspire me and help me to bring them into my world...tra-la-la, another victory for technology.  The answer is Pinterest. 

If you're a Pinterest-er, you might like some of the many items I've discovered.  If you like what I find interesting, I hope you will follow me.  I will return the favor as I am interested in what others are attracted to.

I figure at some point, everyone will like everything everyone else likes.  But in the mean time, I'm finding it a great "file folder" for my gardening and decor ideas, Do It Yourself (DIY) projects, and art supplies that I find intriguing, among other topics of interest.

I like to think of Pinterest as the "Best Practices."  I do hope that anyone whose photos I used here are happy to have more exposure.  I do not in any way claim copy rights or take credit for either the creations or the photos of the creations.  The links for each piece is attached to my Pinterest PINS in my boards.   I love Pinterest and am certain that a significant number of those items I have pinned will eventually become a part of my "stuff."

For a country with a growing number of storage facilities and hoarders, Pinterest is, perhaps, a symptom of that mind set. 

As for me, I love the many bright colors, beautiful crafts and artworks, the ingenuity, and the sheer plain fun of daydreaming.  I hope you'll agree.

Monday, July 16, 2012

14 Reasons to Abandon Art

I am very psyched up by a phenomenon I came across this past week--an art movement called Abandoned Art.  It's been going on for a while and has been somewhat of a "guerrilla art" movement.  I participated some while living in Ohio and am again excited to do some more abandonment of art.  I have many pieces of incomplete artworks, many that are quite small (easy to carry around and leave behind.)  I think the biggest challenge is that people seem to be quite unobservant and/or very oblivious.  I left some artwork this weekend and people literally walked right by it and did not even see it.  Other artists have talked about the same phenomenon.  Some artwork in a tree (a current challenge for the month of July) was actually "ducked under" by someone texting on a phone and the person never even saw the art.  A case of it actually hitting her on the head...of course, there are theories by some artists that the artwork is intended for a specific someone to find and only that person can find it even though it is directly in the path of others. 

(c) SZing "Eye spy"  (oops, fuzzy picture of it tho)

What is the purpose you may ask of abandoning artwork?
1.  Share art
2.  Share beauty
3.  Create conversation about art
4.  Increase awareness of art in the general population/public
5.  A happy surprise for someone
6.  A great feeling for the artist to know someone has adopted artworks
7.  A thrill at abandoning the art in public locations
8.  A thrill to see the artwork has disappeared from public locations
9.  A mystery as to who made the art
10. A mystery as to who found the art
11.  Inspire others
12.  Inspire artists
13.  Free artwork
14.  It feels good to give things away and surprise people

Most abandoned art is done anonymously or under a pseudonym.  Here is a website dedicated to abandoned artworks.  What fun.  Now I am going to carry a handful of small artworks I can abandon at any time.  If you are an artist, have you abandoned any artwork lately?  If you aren't an artist, are you on the lookout for it?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Five Things I Love About Technology

Okay, I know I complain sometimes about the pitfalls of technology (viruses, Trojans and malware--Oh My!), but in the long run, I really love so many things that my computer, software and the Internet provide.  Like my Etsy shop BohemianArtCafe.
(c)SZing Pink and white hand painted on wood and wire wrapped pendant 2" x 2".  $30.

So here's my David Lettermanesque list:

#5.  Information--I love browsing and being able to follow links, quickly look up definitions and find other artists and their work.  Yesterday, having a memory fart, I looked up "subsume" because for the life of me I couldn't access it despite trying to force my synapsi to work harder. (is synapsi a word? perhaps I'll look that up online.)
 (c)SZing Koi fish fused transfer fused into opaque glass necklace.  $20.

#4.  Not having to write long hand--even though for my journals I still do and I have this undeniable fear that I should continue to write everything or print hard copies (my need to go paperless fights this) in case technology fails or, as it inevitably will, changes and I lose my "stuff."  I'm a much faster typist that writist. 

(c)SZing Beautiful turquoise and aqua dichroic glass on black glass with wire wrapping pendant.  $20.

#3.  Access to friends via email and social networking.  I'm growing to love using Facebook for example, just to see what people are up to and get a break from unpacking the studio.  Also so cool to catch up with people I haven't seen or heard from in years, as well as to make new connections with friends I hope to meet soon.

#2.  It's quick, it's (mostly) easy to learn and use, it makes me feel connected no matter where I go (okay, okay, I know some people call this the leash-syndrome.)  I LIKE knowing that if I need info or to reach someone all I have to do is pull out my cell phone.

(c)SZing A large variety of pierced earrings.  Some are glass beads, some are not. 
All are fun and beautiful to wear and very affordable at $12 a pair.

 (c) SZing Charming butterfly earrings.  $12.

#1.  Etsy, Ebay and Pinterest.  Wow, wow and wow.  Oh, and did I forget Amazon? 
(c)SZing REVERSIBLE (yes, two sides for the price of one!) stained glass necklace. 
 Butterflies on one side, flowers on the other.  $20 with chain.

Speaking of Etsy, I just uploaded a bunch of my jewelry and a few other non-jewelry art pieces and supplies to my shop, BohemianArtCafe.   Please come and shop, like my shop, tweet and re-tweet, share the link to the shop with others.  Not having a public venue studio as I used to, I'm having to rely more on virtual storefronts. I appreciate your help in this. Muchos gracias!! 
(c)SZing REVERSIBLE (yes, two sides for the price of one!) stained glass necklace.
Pink and blue abstraction on one side, yellow and blue abstraction on the other.  $20 with chain.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Celebrating Glass Artist Daniel Yerdon

Yesterday I got away from both my desk and unpacking the studio and went into Ocala for an art meeting and adventure.  Along the way, I happened to stop at a consignment furniture shop that had a "stained glass" sign in its window.  At the very back of the store, there is another shop called The Glass Studio where glass artist Daniel Yerdon has his studio and display shop.  His shop is located at 2005 E. Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala Florida.  I'm excited also because there might be some opportunity in the not too distant future for me to perhaps do a few enameling or other glass related glasses at this venue.  Since I love to teach and don't really have a lot of studio space to do so anymore, this would be so wonderful.  And Daniel is quite likable and approachable artist.

Daniel was working with a customer when I stopped by so I browsed around.  He had some lovely large stained glass panels including this lovely window panel of wine, cheese and wineglass, featuring the bottoms of actual wine glasses in the top portion of the panel.

(c) Daniel Yerdon, wine, cheese, wineglass, used by permission of the artist. Photo by SZing.

Isn't this a lovely panel?  Would be a delightful addition to a wine or cheese shop or a cozy restaurant in my opinion.

artwork (c) Daniel Yerdon, photo by SZing, used by permission of the artist

Spontaneously decided to take photos so I could share them here, so no preparations were made for better exhibiting or lights, but his website shows much better photos of his lovely works.   I love the serenity of the heron.  Unfortunately, the lighting didn't work out for the photograph of a large mermaid panel that I especially liked. Glass can be quite challenging to photograph I've found over the years and almost impossible to not have some glimmer of light show on it.

 photograph (c) SZing of Daniel Yerdon in his studio

This is Daniel.  He was so very friendly and willing to share his work and story with me.  He told me he is a K-5 math and computer teacher during the school year and his studio is open from 4 to 6 or 7 p.m. during that time frame.  During the summer, he opens the studio from 11 a.m. to ummm, I think he said 5 but it might be 6 p.m.  He said he teaches some classes and has students who come by (one came in while we were chatting) to get his advice and assistance on various projects.

 photo (c) SZing

 photo (c) SZing
photo (c) SZing

Daniel works in both leaded and Tiffany-style stained glass and also does fused glass, particularly jewelry.  He uses COE 96 glass as his preference.  In his shop, he also provides supplies to local glass artists if they require assistance getting specific items.  (So good to know since I, for one, usually only like to order if I'm getting a lot of stuff at a time.)

 (c) Daniel Yerdon.  Small glass faces made into jewelry. Used by permission of the artist.

Aren't these little faces adorable?  I just love them.

Daniel and I discussed the continuing popularity of dichroic glass.  It can be quite mesmerizing.

I've always found it quite interesting and love explaining to students how a single pattern of dichroic (dichroic material causes visible light to split in distinct wavelengths i.e., color) glass might have as many as 50 layers of micro lasered metallic imprints on the glass the sum total being less than 30 to 35 millionths of an inch--about 760 to 890 nm--that's nano meter.  1 nano-meter is 10^(-9) meter or 0.000000001 meter.  PRETTY THIN, which is why it is technically called thin-film optics.

The process is apparently quite involved and quite expensive--1/4th pound of dichroic glass (a fairly small amount for a glass artist) can cost $50 or more (retail). The difficulty in making the glass is the reason dichroic glass itself is so expensive and the process requires very specific laser equipment and technological know how.  There are a few suppliers providing a fairly large array of patterns, but it isn't something that anyone could go into the kitchen and create.  I acknowledge here that I am most certainly simplifying the process excessively but I want it to be easily understood by the lay-person, so my apologies to the experts out there who might take exception to this explanation. 

Anyhoo, Daniel uses a lot of dichroic patterned glass in his smaller jewelry piece.  Here is my very favorite piece which I discovered in his shop yesterday. 
(c) Daniel Yerdon, Dichroic Gecko necklace.  Used by permission of the artist. Photo by SZing.

Isn't that just the coolest piece of jewelry?  Gorgeous and fun.  If I were still living in New Mexico, I'd be wearing that with a black turtleneck this winter!!

If you happen to be in the Ocala area, I highly suggest a stop by Daniels shop. And to Daniel, I say, THANKS for letting me share your work and taking time to visit with me.  I hope we'll be able to do some artwork together and I look forward to the possibility of teaching at The Glass Studio.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Time to Make the Donuts....

Livin' the Dream!  Stayed up very late (early) taking photos, cropping and resizing them for posting on my website, Etsy and Ebay.  This process of selling requires dedication and while I MUCH prefer the face time of a shop or studio where people come in, chat, look, try on, buy....this methodology is also a part of the new Bohemian Art Cafe way since we don't HAVE a public location to sell from at this time...

If you see something you like and want to buy, you can email me (include your name and mailing address!) and I'll send you a paypal invoice, which will include shipping/handling of $5.50 each or if you buy more than one item, $5.50 for the first item and $3.25 for each additional item s/h.  You pay, I send. :-)  They will be posted on Etsy within the next week.

(c) SZing Live Your Dreams Charm bracelet.  Each charm is
soldered to stay on the bracelet.  Bracelet is 8" long.  $28

(c)SZing  In honor of Independence Day, some cute red glass,
white (clear and silver beads) and blue bead drop earrings.  $12.

(c)SZing  This may be TMI, but a butterfly will be the next tattoo
I get, in honor of transformations (plan to have it done on my
left hand in bright colors.)  These charming butterflies with
irridescent purple/green/blue beads are adorable drop earrings.  $12.

 (c)SZing  This charming koi charm pendant is a fused transfer
on opaque white glass cabochon.  Sweet & adorable.
$20 with 16" snake chain.

(c) Szing  The lime green glass sets off this irridescent
purple patterned dichroic glass well.  Pendant is 2" from top 
of bail to bottom and 7/8" wide.  Include 16" snake chain.

 (c)SZing  I love orange.  Who knew?  This is a textural piece...
the two bars of orange glass and the black center piece are
tack fused meaning they have not completely lost their own
dimensionality into the base glass.  (My frustrated quilter
takes over my studio now and then).  Includes 16" snake
chain.  Pendant is 2" long x 1" wide.  $20.
 (c)Szing This is a green, turquoise and metallics painted pendant
that is lacquered.  Pendant is 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" square.  Includes 16"
snake chain.  $20.
 (c)Szing This is a purple, pink and metallic silver painted pendant
that is lacquered.  Pendant is 1 1/4" x 1 1/4" square. Includes 16"
snake chain.  $15.

 (c) SZing  This is a reversible "stained glass" style necklace.  The artwork on each
side was digitally created.  A fun way to have two-looks-in-one piece.  Includes
a 16" snake chain.  $20.

 (c) SZing  This is a reversible "stained glass" style necklace.  The artwork on each
side was digitally created by me and is totally one of a kind. 
 A fun way to have two-looks-in-one piece.  Includes
a 16" snake chain.  $20.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Is a Consistently Red Color Field High Art?

In reviewing some more magazines that I'm going through, once again I have to wonder if the art critics and "experts" are on drugs or just get a good laugh from what they claim is "art" and the masses blindly follow along collectively 'oohing' and 'ahhhing' over.  Sometimes, I just think "they" (including, perhaps, the artists) are just playing with "us" (the unsuspecting masses of hysterics.) 

(c) SZing "Pathways" Abstract Expressionism and Color Field work in fused glass
by Stephanie Zing, used by permission of the artist

Now, I like to be as open minded as I possibly can and I truly do not want to diss any artists or their creativity. That said, there are some artworks that garner high praise and I think to myself, 'maybe I just don't get it."  One such piece that flummoxes me is Barnett Newman's "Onement II" from 1948.  He is seen as one of the major figures in abstract expressionism and one of the foremost of the color field painters. 

Personally, Joan Miro, Richard Diebenkorn, Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, and Paul Klee are all some of my favorite abstract expressionist artists who worked as color field painters.  I, myself, at times, work as a color field painter and prefer abstract expressionism both in painting and glasswork (see photos in this posting). 

Perhaps it is simply a matter of personal subjective taste because Mr. Newman's works seem to be highly regarded--although personally, more than one of them simply reminds me of a "flag" and I wonder whether these works if presented today would be as well-received.  I get that the consistency of the red color field is a part of the "color field" painters goal. 

This particular painting apparently belongs to or is shown at the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco and perhaps I should a) visit the museum and see the piece in person, or b) read up to see if there is additional information about this piece.  It is a 60" x 36" canvas painted with a reddish/orange oil paint over the entirety of the panel with what appears to be some barely distinguishable dark lines behind the red paint.  That's the entire painting. 

Maybe there is a third option.  c)  the painting does not photograph or translate well in a glossy paged magazine when the image is shrunk down to a 4" x 2 1/2" picture.  Maybe, in fact there are more options.  Like my own open mindedness and willingness to embrace all artworks. 

I am hoping that all three of these scenarios are the case because frankly, when I read the magazine praising this piece of artwork, I scratch my head and say, "really??!!"  If time and resources were no obstacle, I most certainly would hoof my butt out there to San Fran and decide for myself.  That not currently being an option, I have to take what I get in the magazine (and online) and decide for myself. Maybe I'm just having artist envy and wondering how to get my stuff seen and praised better.

(c) SZing "Exploring Spaces" Abstract Expressionism and Color Field work in fused glass
by Stephanie Zing, used by permission of the artist

Since I do not have permission to post the pictures of Mr. Newman's works, I instead refer you to the Internet image searches of his art.  Decide for yourself.  I'm interested in opinions on the subject of critics and experts, as well as abstract expressionism and color field paintings.  What do you think??