Friday, July 6, 2012

James Lee Hansen

My friend Larry Cwik, was given the opportunity to meet James Lee Hansen in person. Larry asked if I wanted to tag along. I jumped at the opportunity to meet and visit the home and 13 acre compound of Pacific Northwest sculptor and poet James Lee Hanson and his wife Jane.
Jane gave me a tour of their beautiful home they had just remodeled. James gave Larry and me a private tour of his bronze foundry and studio he built himself, and a tour of his gallery showcasing work he has created. The grounds are wonderfully manicured with regional plants and wide open grassy fields. They showcase Hansen’s sculptures that appear around every bend of the property. At the end of our tour James gave us a signed book of his work and poetry as a parting gift. I was overwhelmed. After a welcoming and inspiring visit at the Hansens I drove home to my humble studio, motivated, and stimulated to do some art work.

Brief information on James lee Hansen.
 James Lee Hansen was born in 1925 and served in the Navy during WWII. He graduated from the Portland Art Museum School in 1950. In 1951 James built his first foundry and studio. The following year 1952, receives a purchase prize from the San Francisco Art Association National Exhibition for his sculpture “Huntress” and the Seattle Art Museum Northwest Annual award for his piece “Call”
Hansen has exhibited extensively. The Whitney Museum, The Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, The Portland Art Museum, and Denver Art Museum and many others. Hansen is represented in major art museum collections and in private collections around the globe. Professor Hansen has taught at The University of California Berkeley, Oregon State College, Portland State University, and The University of Oregon.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

At the end of May I had the opportunity by being an assistant to take the five day class “Painting from the Intuitive” taught by Pat Wheeler at Oregon College of Art and Craft. In class we created six or more piece of art using limestone clay on handmade wood substrate’s and explore experimental techniques of scraping, where bits and pieces of prior, erased markings and vernacular are exposed. One of the substrates that each student received had a niche they then filled with bundled objects, found items, or something personal. The artis, in the class used everything from stenciling, collage, found objects, Xerox transfers, fabric, photographs, and text. All these elements were combined intuitively and pulled together with a selection of acrylic paints used as stains and finished of with a layer of cold wax that protects the exterior and at the same time brings out nuances in the surface the recall primordial spaces and allegorically reflect ourselves and the connections we all share. Pat’s personality and teaching style make it possible for her students to let go, open up, and experiment in a safe environment. I was impressed how each artist created something unique to themselves and how talented everybody participating in the class was. I have a new respect for the teaching profession and teachers. I am personally still experimenting with the tools I learned from Pat’s class and digesting all the reading and information we received. Here is a quote, and a list from many that I liked from the class material. “The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition”. (Alan Alda) The following list was found among the papers of the painter Richard Diebenkorn after his death in 1993. Spelling and capitalization are as in the original. Notes to myself on beginning a painting 1.attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion. 2. The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued — except as a stimulus for further moves. 3. Do search. But in order to find other than what is searched for. 4. Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider them absolutely expendable. 5. Dont “discover” a subject — of any kind. 6. Somehow don’t be bored — but if you must, use it in action. Use its destructive potential. 7. Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position. 8. Keep thinking about Polyanna. 9. Tolerate chaos. 10. Be careful only in a perverse way. If you get the opportunity to take one of Pat’s classes. It is pleasure to get the opportunity to open up, explore, create, play, build, be corporeal, and get grubby in a safe environment were creativity and discovery are encouraged.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

personal identity

I am very aware of the roles society has mapped out for us, the stereotypes we are encouraged to play. I know that below the surface there is a much richer world happening that is suppressed in a large portion of people due to their environment, experiences, and circumstances of birth. My paintings are inspired by the world I created as a child, as well as parts of myself that I keep concealed. I am using photographs from my past and present, and my family’s past as a reference point. I am using the themes of the mask, personal identity, and human psyche. I want to investigate the joy and mystery that is human life.