Meeting An Old Friend, Discovering A New Friend At Santa Monica Museum Of Art

What a day! I was waiting to take some more tiles out of my kiln and, as usual, the suspense was killing me. As I had been promising myself I would visit the Beatrice Wood exhibit at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA), I decided this was as good a time as any. Full steam ahead and all my other deadlines be damned! 

As an art lover and artist, I consider myself to be so fortunate that at any given moment I can drive my car, take the bus, or even walk to a plethora of art galleries and museums.

I don't know why I love art so much but I was born this way and there is nothing I can do about it. This is NOT a lifestyle choice!

I enjoy visual art in all its forms be it fine art, contemporary or classical, arts & crafts, architecture, archaeological artifacts, illustration, 2D or 3D... you get the picture (oh, my brain makes these awful puns and I have no control over it).

As I have stated in previous blogs, I even love the art I hate. The only art I don't bother with is stuff that leaves no emotional aftertaste. What is the point? As long as an artist is passionate about his/her work, has given their life over to it, or is making some kind of statement, I'm up for it.

Today was one of those days I could live over and over again. I love Beatrice Wood as a person. I never met her but I have seen several documentaries about her. My opinion of her was that she was a tough old broad who had an incredible sense of who she was. She was working as a ceramic artist pretty much up until her death at 105.

I remember in one film I saw about her, she stated that the greatest excitement in her life was waiting to open the kiln in the morning. I sure relate to that! That may be the only connection we have, but it is enough. Oh, yeah, she had a cat, so that counts too...

Today at SMMoA I watched two videos about her. My admiration only deepened. Which she would hate. One thing she said resonated with me—that you have to endure the terrible events in your life in order to appreciate the good times. I have always felt this way to the point of embracing the painful circumstances, knowing that this will enhance the beauty in my life.

You can look up the salient points of her biography on the internet, so I won't go into all the details. Let's just say she led a more than interesting life which is worth researching.

So who is my new friend? Georgi Tushev: Strange Attractor is in an adjacent gallery to the Beatrice Wood exhibit. To put it mildly, I was totally blown away. I love texture in artwork. And his pieces have it in mega-spades.

From the website: [Tushev] presents paintings... that investigate the effects of oil paint when exposed to extreme magnetic fields. He uses pigments that contain high concentrations of iron that, when exposed to magnets, create textured, three-dimensional surfaces, where paint seemingly explodes off the picture plane.

The paint doesn't "seemingly" explode. It does explode! I have never seen anything like this. You have to go see it.

By the time I arrived home my kiln was at 250F degrees. Cool enough to open it a tad and speed up the cooling process. To cap the day off I was reasonably happy with the tiles I took out of the kiln once they cooled off completely.