Untitled April 2020
20in X 30in
Acrylic on canvas
Using new paints I got for my birthday from my sister.
34in X 45in
Acrylic on canvas
This untitled work is by my dear artist friend Jordan. It accompanies my daily three hot meals. It is a strong piece that demonstrates a mastery of colour. Jordan seems to do no wrong when it comes to executing Expressionist paintings.
I find no weak spots. The deliberate and consistent lack of figuration or artificial lines envelops a single focal point. This mark, done in red, leaps out in a little more than wavelength. The busy layers in the foreground allow the primary red mark to shine through. These layers are a balance between distinct and unified. The lemon yellow, a colour very close to a primary, somehow does not temper or detract from the strong red character or the balance of the piece as a whole. The ivory white mark to the red’s left merely relates in composition and orientation (static: upright). It tempers the focus on the red. The primary colours (yellow, red, blue) and secondary colour (green) draw a continuous and diagonal arc that sweeps across the painting.
Neutral colours appear in opposite corners of the work, but never the same colour. An impressive feat is not returning to any colour, yet somehow every colour and stroke seems interwoven, theoretically balanced, and able to breathe. The neutrals, at first glance, appear as negative space, but on closer inspection, rise aboveground, as the browns seem both beneath and above the blue and the teal.
The closest mark to a recognizable basic shape is the dark coral ball that is half revealed. It centres the otherwise ever-expansive painting. The ball also gives our red friend some support in colour and scale.
The black is only used as line, and gives the work the slightest illustrative edge. It’s course and depth are effortlessly expressive as the black seems to contain the upper half of the painting.
What immediately jumps out is the speed and intention with which Jordan seems to paint. This economy of paint comes from technical skill, knowing when to sit back, and perhaps some confidence provided by my cheap whiskey. This piece is an ending source of discovery and awe.
What to say: it’s been a while. Life is good. Be thankful everyday.
I need to write about recent horseshoe experiences. I try to keep things light. It’s important to me. I recently let go of two regular jobs that I had been doing for one and half and two years. My timing was impeccable, though not on purpose. Things started to happen.
I thought I’d have a lot of free time, but..
In the last month, my classical variety show started at the King Eddy. i made it up. it is now a thing. I’m not sure what direction this can or will go. Suggestions, please! I want to be better. I’ve also enjoyed teaching a few clinics, and subbing for two string programs. I found my skills lent well to these programs, though they are draining (a white people/ first world problem). cherish school teachers, especially music teachers. Both programs called me hours before the actual classes. In both instances, I had private student cancelations that gave me those exact free pockets of time. rabbit’s foot?
Yesterday, I received two emails.
One was from a US production company working with a small Canadian orchestra. I’m glad the music industry is political sometimes. I don’t know who gave my name out, but I’m thankful. Orchestra auditions are bad for me. My quality of playing and confidence suffer. being judged on purpose makes me fall to pieces. I’m good at ensemble playing and leading. I know what’s going on in the rest of the parts and stay dedicated to the art. I will improve your group’s musicianship and morale, but how does a person show that in an audition? Unfortunately, I can’t leave the weekend of the production, but hopefully the company will keep me on their roster. Traveling to play is bonus for me. I still feel special when i get transported around and accommodated!
The second email was from a local intermediate adult orchestra. They need a new director. I’m enthralled by the timing. I meet with them next week. Whether or not I take any gig largely boils down to two things: pay and scheduling. wishbone?
Another serendipitous happening was me discovering a local scarf store just after a friend suggested i market my own scarf designs. The find had me jumping for joy. They curate small designers from Europe, Asia, and North America and they have some pretty nice products. I’ve had scarves made from my paintings for myself (pictured), but hadn’t thought of selling them. I haven’t talked with the owner, but we are meeting soon (it was her idea to meet for coffee). Of course I jumped to the conclusion that this will lead to, at least, conversation about my scarf designs. The only reason I crossed paths with the store was because I had tickets to a shopping event that HAPPEN to be adjacent to a gig, so i had a chance to hop over during lunch break. Rabbit’s foot? Oh, and the swag bag came with some champagne that I have yet to crack. What am I saving it for?
Second-to-last horseshoe moment: getting put in touch with a homeschool community that is setting up a learning centre in Calgary that wants a music program. I like being with projects from the beginning. i don’t know if anything will come of this or if it will be worth me. we’ll see. i like pedagogy, but as i get older, i like it more from a psychological study standpoint. actual teaching is energy-consuming and pure scheduling chaos (there I am, talking like a white person again). Performing gives you second winds and highs and experiences that teaching doesn’t.
finally, the cool thing: the hairbrush. this project, again, came right after letting go of those jobs. A nice part about this was the stories behind the people involved with the hairbrush. I can’t get into detail, but there is a (cue Chariots of Fire) deeply moving international story of hardship / triumph (those go hand in hand: maybe that’s redundant). There is a bit of a story of a new romantic relationship too, which is exciting. Who doesn’t love a story of triumph?
A touching part of this experience was the woman who found me (the Internet does its job). We have only communicated over email, but it is plain to see that this person is full of life and big-eyed wonder, appreciation, and has managed to preserve childlike authenticity. i mean that in the best sense. The image of the wood military hairbrush is below. It was a whirlwind of communication and work over a matter of days to get this unique project done. I learned about .EPS files and vector formatting and trigrams and the Korean tiger-magpie motif. I had help with computer stuff. Each symbol and figure carries meaning.
My loyal little grandpa, BB, watches as I paint.
I encourage you to study fine art and music. Look at great paintings and read about them. They are the height of achievement of culture. I am hard-pressed to find anything more complex than the Western classical orchestra in our culture. I’ve been delving into the ideas of Oswald Spengler while trying to keep my head up about society. We seem to be in the phase of society that he calls “Winter,” when we lose focus on art and music (including literature and philosophy), and focus on immediate material gains and efficiency.
2017 has been full of inspiration. I have a great new studio space. I collected art and visited artists in Morocco. I saw Amy Dryer’s collection at Masters Gallery in Calgary. I had a live-edge olive wood table custom made as well as a chiffon scarf. I have an exhibition at Apik Fine Art in Eau Claire Market. I have an Instagram (@Eileen_Kosasih) I am newly inspired!
Here are a few newer works:
Acryllic on Canvas
made for my friend’s Remax office in Calgary
“Warm Old Woman”
Acrylic on canvas
24′ x 36′
When Old Folks Laugh (Maya Angelou)
Acrylic on Canvas
24in x 36in
I am honoured that this piece was including in the “W” art show at Feather Gallery in Calgary, featuring 10 Calgarian female artists.
experimenting with some scrap fabric I found.
I avoided needing elastic/zippers/buttons/belt loops by making the high waistband extend into a tie-waist.