Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jaipur 6

I certainly am getting my money's worth (in terms of inspiration) from that trip to the Jaipur palace. (This is a different painting, not a closeup of Jaipur 5. They are similar.)


Sick at home today with strep. So much fun. I can't believe I'm sick again, having just had The Crud in some form or another all of January and part of February. On the bright side? I have more time to blog (read "ramble") and visit others' blogs today.

Last night I spent a goodly amount of time (I like that old-fashioned-sounding expression) attempting to make a dent in some studio cleaning and organizing. I don't know about your studio or art area, but mine is very kludge-y [one definition: an awkward or clumsy (but at least temporarily effective) solution], and it's often impossible to find the time to go back and try to start from scratch on things. I'm referring to physical, literal things (not artistic): like where you put a painting to dry, or where you put your odds and ends (and there sure are a lot of "odds and ends" in a studio, especially one in which several media are practiced), or how you use one thing to "temporarily" prop up another...and it stays there forever... My studio is rife, even infirm, with kludges.

I've had some lovely and insightful comments lately (thanks particularly, Kelley and Ian) about the effectiveness of my restraint in my abstracts. I absolutely feel that Restraint (I'll give it a capital R to denote its importance :) ) is a huge factor for success in this sort of minimalism. There's the eternal struggle between just a tad too much and not quite enough. I always amusedly recall an anecdote I read somewhere (they're all "I read somewhere", aren't they?) about one of those famous artists (Degas or one of the impressionists??) who, upon delivering a painting/drawing to a client, was reproached for not having entirely covered the canvas/paper with paint. Supposedly his rejoinder was: "Madam, you are paying me for my restraint."


Why so many photos of Rumi, you may ask. Especially of him sleeping? Because:

More art on my website: jalapfaff.com


Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

OK, I'm a little in LOVE with Rumi! Post all you want, Jala! And this painting is exquisite. So delicate. You're killing me. I want to wait a while before I try pastels, but you make it look so delicious!

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Kelley! You were commenting just as I was adding more text to this post. Straaaaange.... You'll see your name in here now. :)
I am soooooo in love with the wacky Rumi. He is too funny.
Thanks for the compliment on this painting! Why oh why would you want to "wait" to try pastels?!?!

SamArtDog said...

This post is funny. Yes, I said funny. You wrote funny stuff, but excuse me, Ms. Lemon takes the cake for favoring kitty toe jam.

Btw, does Rumi ever wake up?

Garrett wants you to know that the WV is... doboof. Might be our fave so far.

Jala Pfaff said...

Sam - Jazzy says, Doboof? Where's do boof? It's what's for dinner.
Rumi has only two settings: on and off. He's off all day, and on all night.
Ms. Lemon does indeed take the cake.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Jala - some sort of psychic thing going on here I guess! I would wait to try pastels because
1) I want them ALL. As in a zillion dollars' worth of them - hard, soft, the whole enchilada... and
2) I really feel like I need to 'nail' oils before I move on AND 3) the 'dust' from the pastels is kind of (can there BE a 'kind of'?) toxic - unless you have a system rigged to take it all out of the air - I figure between the paints and mediums and varnishes, I'd better wait till I"m a little older to add yet ANOTHER toxin to my life!!!! 60 is my goal. 5 years to go!

Kim said...

Jala...another beautiful piece. And to think you can even paint like this when you're sick! Loved your quote : )

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Kim - Oh no no no, I did not paint this while sick! It was from a week or two ago.
Isn't that an awesome quote? It makes me smile every time I think of it.

Kim said...

Oh. Well that makes me feel marginally better ; ) But I hope you get well soon! Strep is awful. And yeah - I love that quote. There is another one I like (can't remember who said it either!): To lose the simplicity is to lose the drama.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jala,
I really like Jaipur 6. You have a great sense of color and shape.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you are "under the weather" Jala (another old-time saying). But the cats don't seem concerned, so I'm sure you will be feeling better very soon! These Jaipur paintings are so lovely and soft. Different but related. Amazing how one place can provide such varied inspriation, isn't it?

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

Hi, Jala, I am really sorry to read you are still feeling poorly. I hope with the coming of spring you will be able to rid yourself of all the illness and jump barefoot in the grass. xoxoxox

Kelly M. said...

"rife with kludges" -- what a wonderful sound/image to that! Sympathize about the state of your studio (and your health!) -- I guess I must be a bit slow on the uptake -- assumed your works were oils -- Pastels? -- oh my god! I, myself, am fearful of pastels. But these minimalist works are so sensuous...

("hemoi!" -- god bless!-- my word verification) :-)

Jala Pfaff said...

Kelley - 1) we all want them all; 2) no need to; 3) yes, this is a problem. I have a small air filter in my studio, but God knows I'm still putting a lot of dust into my lungs. But...the way I think is, if it's something you really want to try, well, we don't know if we'll be here in 5 years, so you should try it now. I'd suggest starting with just a small set and some pastel paper (there are soooo many different kinds), and just get accustomed to how they feel. You'll probably get hooked.

Hi Kim - Thanks. That's also a great quote.

Thank you, Carol. Is it strange to walk around with a famous name?

Hi Donald - Thank you. Yes, I think that with just Jaipur and Chefchaouen, there's enough material to cover for a lifetime.

Hi Tina - Thank you so much. I'll make sure to have a sports bra on when I do that.

Hi Kelly M - Probably confusing because I do both oils and pastels (not in the same painting). So some of what you see on my blog is pastel, other paintings are oil. Now why why why are you fearful of pastels?? Funny, it's similar to Kelley above (two Kelley/Kelly M's).

Anonymous said...

Now if you squint, or blur your eyes ( which they may already be, given The Strep ), you might agree that the first photo of Rumi sleeping like a door wedge, looks the perfect composition for another abstract.
In fact, it's rather Jala-esque ( which has a better ring than Pfaff-esque ).

Your work of the last few months has given me a much grander appreciation and understanding of abstract art.
They pull me in and make me want to linger.
As do your animals.

PS- cleaning the studio is like de-frosting - oh the things you find.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Jala,

At first i was just going to comment on the images of your cats, but after a second reading on restraint and seeing you mentioned my friend Ian, I had to switch my approach.

I have tried minimalism with my last painting, 'Split Decision' only to end up with a complex background, even though I only used two colours.

In the end I described it as complex minimalism.

Minimalism I think is in the eye of the beholder as there are different degrees of minimalism.

Thank you for sharing,

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Bonnie - Making someone want to linger on an image is a good thing. (Unless it's porn, I suppose.) I love how you described Rumi here as "wedge-shaped." I'm still laughing from that.
I uncovered enough layers of stuff off of just a slice of my table to find--ta-da!--the tubes of gouache I hadn't seen for months. Defrosted!

Hello Egmont - Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I very much like your "complex minimalism" painting, and agree that there are many degrees or types of minimalist art. To me the most important aspect of what I said in my post may be the part about the struggle: how much is just enough, and not too much? Some images need more in them to get to the point of enough, and some need much less.

loriann said...

Hi Jala, Love the quote..."paying me for my restrait." Ah, the hardest thing in life and art.
It seems the the palace is serving you well as a faithful muse. I hope you are feeling better.

Sonya Johnson said...

Love these series of paintings! And "restraint" - isn't that one of the biggest challenges we face in our daily lives? Restraint from spending too much, talking too much, eating too much, etc. It's so much easier said than done, and your paintings are perhaps metaphorical for that as a concept, and that restraint is *a good thing*.

Rumi...there's a cat who knows how to enjoy life. His fang pictures always crack me up. "Come for the abstracts, and stay for the cats".

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Hi Jala: I love minimalism, and you have done it so well. I feel someday I will put a white mark on a white paper and feel that's it. I've done it.
Thanks for stopping by with your thoughtful comment. Much appreciated.
A scratch behind the ear to Rumi.

Casey Klahn said...

I will simply say I love these colors. OK, I'll add that these are very sensitive and the value step is also.

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Loriann - Yeah, I'm not always good at restraint (in art, in life). I try.

Hi Sonya - Thank you. (And see my response to Loriann re: restraint.) Fang says hi.

Hi Leslie - That's exactly how I feel! Perhaps that is what we minimalists are all working towards, even if we don't know it. I'm guessing you probably also like Ryman? :)

Hi Casey - Thank you so much. Always means a lot coming from you. It was very hard NOT to keep messing with this one. Glad I didn't.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Because....he is charming every second!!
I LOVE the photos of your animals.
I'm also a fan of your beautiful abstracts.