Beatriz Milhazes

I love, love, love Beatriz Milhazes!

Her style is distinct and you can tell a Milhazes by looking at it. I love the sense of movement, the vibrant colors, geometric shapes and repetition of patterns.  It’s these simple elements combined into something complex and alive.  I’m no Milhazes, but I do feel that I can relate to her work in that I am drawn to vibrant colors and like having a sense of movement.

What I really admire and take away from Milhazes is that she takes her theme and explores it in various mediums  – she paints in acrylics, makes collages incorporating newsprint, paints murals, creates ceramic floors, window installations, screenprints, makes mobiles and has created sets for dance productions.

I like the idea of taking something and seeing how many different places you can take it.  It is interesting to see how it evolves or changes between mediums.  Here is an interesting video from from an exhibit she had in February of this year in Switzerland.  I was awestruck when I saw the sculpture/mobile.  She takes her ideas, motifs, themes and makes them real.  It’s like experiencing the painting as a living thing, a world in itself made tangible.  Even when she is using the same medium, like painting, it is the same thing made new.

I sometimes feel like I am just repeating myself when I paint.   I find myself making the same swirly
motif over and over – I sometimes think that it is fear from moving away from what you know.  With her work I can see that it can be more like what O’Keefe did with her flowers.  O’Keefe kept abstracting, trying to get to the essence of the flowers.  Maybe this is not Milhazes’ intention, but what I take away is that you can explore the same things without repeating yourself.  You can make an idea or motif new by seeing what happens when you make it three dimensional, the setting of another work or what happens when natural light becomes an element in your work your work.  So instead of thinking that I have to abandon what I think is my “style”, maybe I just have to explore it in a new way – expand on what it is.

If you’re interested in seeing more of this great artist, you can go to Facebook or the Durham Press Blog.



A Blog of my very own…

I’ve always been curious about blogging but afraid to give it a try…”What if I couldn’t find anything to say?”…”What if no one finds it interesting?”…

So I figure that I’ll start by doing one more thing I rarely do – share my art and thoughts on the process of creating with the world (or just the 8 people in CAT 111).

I stopped working on this a few months ago when I felt like I was just getting lost!  What I am having issues with is that I had no intention, other than the color scheme, when I started painting it.  I just went with it and now it looks like a big plop of chaotic, swirly color.  There are parts I wish I could just erase or lighten.  It’s watercolor, so I can’t just paint over.  I made an attempt to darken some areas, but I don’t like how that looks.  It seems dull and I like colors to be vibrant versus a murky purple.

I do like that there is a sense of movement.  I want to keep the focal area/flowery looking part…so I am thinking the solution is to make this painting into a collage.  I can cut out the area I like and glue it on top of a dark background. It would break up the monotony of the color, which is problematic as well.  I can paint some more “swirls” new colors and sizes.  I’m also thinking that the fact that it will be a collage will give it another dimension by adding texture.

Making a collage would be new to me too; it’s not where I would have thought this would ever end up.  But that’s what I like most about art – you start from one point with one thought and almost always end up somewhere you weren’t expecting.

Or I might just forget it and work on painting a portrait of my dog.  Either way, I’ll keep the blog posted…