Susan R. Kirshenbaum

art and life - both the cherries and the pits

Patterns in Paintings and Textiles

Susan KirshenbaumComment
My second dress prototype is now in the collection of interior designer Vicki Simon.

My second dress prototype is now in the collection of interior designer Vicki Simon.

Red Hair Curly and Straight is a life-sized scroll on silk crepe de chine. There are four in this series.

Red Hair Curly and Straight is a life-sized scroll on silk crepe de chine. There are four in this series.


WHAT TO DO WITH THE SCARF

Don't you always need to get better at tying a scarf? I do. I make them, collect them, and wear them. But I still have "French person envy" when it comes to styling my scarves...So I've searched for some helpful tips. There are loads of them, including demos. Great for travel. And ideal for extra warmth, a splash of color, and a pop of style. Here are two helpful links on more ways than you might imagine: http://www.instyle.com/how-tos/how-to-tie-scarf-gifs 

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeC2ZC6Us_8

THE ART SCARF

Have you seen my art scarves yet? Each one is unique and is made of microbatch fabric. I create the original single digital drawing from a model, then I design the repeat pattern, and have it printed on silk. The scarves are all finished by hand. I sell them at occasional pop-up shows and my art show receptions. They're available online here too. "Buy it and tie it".

Kat needed to buy a scarf for her upcoming trip to Paris. So French!

Kat needed to buy a scarf for her upcoming trip to Paris. So French!

Another friend bought that scarf, pictured to the left (all one of a kind) and she wore it out that same night, tied in this unique way. 

Another friend bought that scarf, pictured to the left (all one of a kind) and she wore it out that same night, tied in this unique way. 

I'm wearing this long 2-sided scarf wrapped once around.  

I'm wearing this long 2-sided scarf wrapped once around.  

One of my silk infinity art scarves, worn by jewelry designer Sunday Tirio. 

One of my silk infinity art scarves, worn by jewelry designer Sunday Tirio. 

"When I discovered making art on the iPad, my world changed."

Never a techy, I've been enjoying re-learning my art making process by navigating new tools, apps, and online resources. Working as a digital and figurative artist I can create an original that has multiple variations, like monoprints, and I can abstract the images further using layers of colors, paintings, drawings, and photos, making complex digital collages. What freedom!

At some point I realized I could also make patterns (using online apps) that I could turn into microbatch textiles and papers. So I started making scarves, dresses, and cocktail napkins  you name it. Beginning with small prototypes, I morphed my textile ideas into large-scale single image scrolls and soft sculpture. All the while learning how to design, make, and sew.

Eventually I created a site-specific installation piece composed of four huge sheer, hanging panels of nude female gesture drawings in colors cascading and overlapping – from chrome yellow to indigo violet (pictured below).

Installation at the Troll House, Pier 26, SF, Aug. 2017

Installation at the Troll House, Pier 26, SF, Aug. 2017

Textile design has changed so much and become so accessible. At some point I also discovered that art on fabric can become body art. Maybe you saw my lycra legging art in a previous blog?

Pure Barre West Portal instructor Kelly wearing my art leggings.

Pure Barre West Portal instructor Kelly wearing my art leggings.

MAD ABOUT PATTERN

I remain fascinated by patterns. They add a stunning complexity to art. At present we are enjoying a Klimt (& Rodin) show at San Francisco's Legion of Honor which presents a wonderful example of the rich use of pattern in painting.

ARTISTS I KNOW

Three contemporary artist friends come to mind when talking about patterns in art.  Pola Wickham is highly skilled in drawing and painting gorgeous patterns, people, and objects. We used to draw together occasionally in her Barcelona apartment on her beautiful old Spanish tile floors. Two artists I worked with as a creative director and who both have a wonderful and whimsical use of pattern in their illustration, design, and fine art are Ilene Lederer and Julie Paschkis

Julie is a pro at turning a little square scarf into a functional headband/sweatband. She wears her scarf rolled tight on her hair (with friend at right wearing a cut paper art crown by Julie).

Julie is a pro at turning a little square scarf into a functional headband/sweatband. She wears her scarf rolled tight on her hair (with friend at right wearing a cut paper art crown by Julie).

DISRUPTIVE Patterns

I've heard that there's something disruptive about wearing my nudes...a sort of discrete secret that might or might not be noticed. I love this!

"My subjects are naked but are completely comfortable in their skins. Are you? Do you want to be? There should be something liberating in seeing my work. It's blunt. Nudity is not an issue. Body love is."

The drawing in the pattern is easier to make out on this art fabric!

The drawing in the pattern is easier to make out on this art fabric!

One of my fav color palettes - I use it often in my work.

One of my fav color palettes - I use it often in my work.

This pattern is waiting to be made into wrapping paper or fabric.

This pattern is waiting to be made into wrapping paper or fabric.

An image from my design studio. I made this pattern into wrapping paper but not fabric (yet). From my Red, White, and Blue series.

An image from my design studio. I made this pattern into wrapping paper but not fabric (yet). From my Red, White, and Blue series.

Greek Isles Inspirations

Susan Kirshenbaum1 Comment
Rituals, performance art, theatre. Call it what you will. Last night party. Aphrodite (my persona) and birthday girl in paper crown by artist Julie Paschkis. Wearing one of my art dresses and necklaces. 

Rituals, performance art, theatre. Call it what you will. Last night party. Aphrodite (my persona) and birthday girl in paper crown by artist Julie Paschkis. Wearing one of my art dresses and necklaces. 

The Voyage (AKA ODDS AT SEA)

Pure decadence. Perfect water temps. Clear to the bottom of the calm turquoise waters. Sailing in our Turkish galettes around the Cyclades with friends and artists. Two weeks of heaven on earth. Thanks to dear, generous friends.

The Cyclades islands we visited include Delos (one of my favorites, where the site of an ancient bustling city remains relatively intact), Patmos, Paros, Naxos, Mykanos, some tiny islands with swimming bays, and Santorini. Museums, archeological sites, family-owned wineries, workshops, monasteries, restaurants, views, villages, cats, dogs, donkeys, goats, hillside farms and vineyards. It's all very dry like California, and so they are growing grapes, figs, pomegranates, and barley, just like in ancient times. With our Turkish boats and crew we also visited Bodrum, Turkey. We touched on Athens at the beginning and the end. What a better experience this time than when I was 17. The city is much improved and reminds me a bit of Barcelona 20 years ago. The art and nightlife scene is explosive. Tourism, turning its head away from Turkey has rediscovered Greece. I hope that's significant enough to help Greece along financially. We all love our guide, too. You can find Aydin Aygun at:  Eon Tours, Turkey & Greece www.eontours.com  aydin@eontours.com

Collage inspired by hanging octopus by the water. September 2017

Collage inspired by hanging octopus by the water. September 2017

On this rare occasion looking out over our boat at passing islands, I was reminded of home, The Bay Area and our lovely, although sometimes oppressive misty fog.

On this rare occasion looking out over our boat at passing islands, I was reminded of home, The Bay Area and our lovely, although sometimes oppressive misty fog.

Panoramic vista of a ruin. Miles of ancient cities.

Panoramic vista of a ruin. Miles of ancient cities.

Two beautiful curved shapes. Reference for upcoming ceramics projects. 

Two beautiful curved shapes. Reference for upcoming ceramics projects. 

Symbols in earliest languages, some charming, some hard to understand. 

Symbols in earliest languages, some charming, some hard to understand. 

I don't recall seeing much ancient sculpture with simple, perfect, naked crossed legs.

I don't recall seeing much ancient sculpture with simple, perfect, naked crossed legs.

Glass shards for recycling found under the sea in a shipwreck. This museum has loads of shipwreck finds and shipwreck reconstructions. Bodrum, Turkey

Glass shards for recycling found under the sea in a shipwreck. This museum has loads of shipwreck finds and shipwreck reconstructions. Bodrum, Turkey

A wall that needs to become a painting. I grew up in an era of paintings that were inspired by walls. That'll be another blog post - inspirations. Bodrum, Turkey.

A wall that needs to become a painting. I grew up in an era of paintings that were inspired by walls. That'll be another blog post - inspirations. Bodrum, Turkey.

Cast glass set in a decorative and functional gate guarding a black and white striped marble side walk.  

Cast glass set in a decorative and functional gate guarding a black and white striped marble side walk.

 

An adorable hedgehog (2700 BC), I think, holding his food bowl. The cutest non-toy functional art I saw.

An adorable hedgehog (2700 BC), I think, holding his food bowl. The cutest non-toy functional art I saw.

My current screen saver. It has some of everything in it including a pomegranate.

My current screen saver. It has some of everything in it including a pomegranate.

Striking sunset views atop Santorini after riding the cable car/incline to get there. Others took a mule ride.

Striking sunset views atop Santorini after riding the cable car/incline to get there. Others took a mule ride.

Lots of statements made in the Athens graffiti. In English too!

Lots of statements made in the Athens graffiti. In English too!

Another interesting statement made graphically in Athens.

Another interesting statement made graphically in Athens.

SUMMER SHOWS!

ArtingSusan KirshenbaumComment

SUMMER SWAMP

Oy vay...can I say that? I am swamped, by my own making...and hoping that these shows will bear fruit. What fruit? I want to be noticed and asked to be in gallery shows. I want people to buy my work, especially the framed art and the scrolls. Why not? Being an artist is so much work! I'd like to explore other cities as art venues, too, but who has that kind of time?

When this summer wraps up I want to go away and not think so much - just let the ideas float in. Going to the Greek Islands in September - seems an ideal venue for refreshing and reinvigorating. Then I'll be ready to dive into prep for Open Studios with fellow members at SFWA (Inner Sunset) and with my drawing group at The Box Factory (Mission). In the meantime there are all these shows and receptions underway!

A larger-than-life chiffon scroll, Leaning In, 2017

A larger-than-life chiffon scroll, Leaning In, 2017

MY SEWING JOURNEY

Sewing - okay, this time I sewed all of the scrolls myself and I have had to work out a different hanging system. (Sewing credits shared with my friend Connie Walker-Shaw of SEW in West Portal - who coaches me through my sewing projects).

These new scrolls are made of sheer fabric instead of silk and are scaled to larger than life-size! They are site-specific for the Troll House where I wanted to make art that resonates in this unusual space. In my last show here my work felt too subtle and far way.

Trimming and sewing five new scrolls for the Troll House show. Reception is August 4.

Trimming and sewing five new scrolls for the Troll House show. Reception is August 4.

WORKING WITH THE SPACE

My Troll House art show consists primarily of framed prints and drawings featuring female nudes in short gestural poses hung on very high walls. Most of the wall space is filled with giant-sized windows, monitors, and white boards. So I'm eager to add this new series to change the experience for the viewer to be more immersive. 

This is a co-work space whose inhabitants are primarily young, male tech entrepreneurs. With the new scrolls there will be an even BIGGER FEMALE PRESENCE. And with the Troll House's huge windows facing the Embarcadero, people can see right into the main room on their way to and from ballgames, jogging past, and walking to lunch. I want to capture their attention as well as the folks who work at the Troll House.  

Larger-than-life chiffon scroll, Sitting Tight, 2017

Larger-than-life chiffon scroll, Sitting Tight, 2017

From the outside people will see my large sheer figures on fabric scrolls hanging from the ceiling. The palette of carefully selected colors will overlap like light gels for the theatre, creating color combinations depending upon the sunlight - like stained glass - as they float from a transparent hanging system.

Feeling the Heat. Now at the Troll House along with new site-specific works. This piece was just in the art show at PAL, Summer Exposed.

Feeling the Heat. Now at the Troll House along with new site-specific works. This piece was just in the art show at PAL, Summer Exposed.

Listening to You. Here's the piece that was accepted to mDac, with an opening reception on August 11 at Pacific Art League.

Listening to You. Here's the piece that was accepted to mDac, with an opening reception on August 11 at Pacific Art League.

I'm showing at the charming, funky Bay View Boat Club this month. The reception is on Sunday, August 13 from 4-7pm.

I'm showing at the charming, funky Bay View Boat Club this month. The reception is on Sunday, August 13 from 4-7pm.

Cherry Blossom Dreams is in two shows now - at the Bay View Boat Club and at PAL's Technology and Art.

Cherry Blossom Dreams is in two shows now - at the Bay View Boat Club and at PAL's Technology and Art.

Feeling the Surf is one of three works on paper in the juried group show at SFWA.

Feeling the Surf is one of three works on paper in the juried group show at SFWA.

These juried group shows are a whole other story! So much work and expense to enter. Uch... for me, I often need to produce the prints and frame them for these shows. But - yes- I'm happy to get in!

Not in any shows yet - but a new piece combining beach, landscape, and figure.

Not in any shows yet - but a new piece combining beach, landscape, and figure.

RECEPTIONS

At all of my receptions, besides providing fab food and drinks, I have unframed prints and drawings for sale; I give art talks; and there is an assortment of art merchandise (microbatch paper and textile products) for sale. Follow me and keep up to date with my announcements here:

facebook.com/cherrypitsart

instagram.com/srkirshenbaum