Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nature Sketches

Above:  Guilded Fushia - Gouache and Mixed media on paper, Toni Youngblood ©

Above:  Water Lillies - Gouache and mixed media on paper, Toni Youngblood ©

Above:  Onion Bouquet - Gouache and mixed media on paper, Toni Youngblood ©

Above:  Anna's Sunflowers - Gouache and mixed media on paper, Toni Youngblood ©

Above:  Lemons - Gouache and mixed media on paper, Toni Youngblood ©

Friday, October 21, 2011

October Gallery Stroll - Friday October 21, 6-9PM

Charley Hafen Jewelers Gallery featuresfeatures artist Cori Redstone’s paintings celebrating the high mountain deserts, snow-strewn peaks and the rarely-seen urban landscape of Utah.

Charley Hafen Jewelers - Gallery
1409 South 900 East,Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Monday - Friday 12 – 7,
Saturday 10 – 2, Closed Sunday


Contact by e-mail

For the current Gallery Stroll list click here

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Painting Your ABC's" from 15Bytes

Subscribe to 15Bytes online art magazine published monthly by visiting here:

The following review appeared in October 2011 issue of 15Bytes:

Painting Your ABCs
Toni Youngblood's Calligraffiti at Charley Hafen

Try to teach a young child how to read and you’ll know just how mysterious the alphabet is. Language comes naturally to children and I think it is always amazing to see how quickly a toddler becomes fluent with sophisticated grammar and words. When they try to make sense of language by looking at the swirls and lines of the English alphabet, however, the process is anything but natural. Soon enough, though, no matter how irrational or arbitrary the relationship between language and alphabet most children master the process and the alphabet becomes a natural part of their lives. In a literate society the alphabet is like a second skin through which we experience the world.

Maybe that’s why, ever since language started being written down, cultures have experimented with different alphabets. These experiments have sometimes been functional, like the straight lines the Phoenicians used because of their writing tool, the stylus. Just as often they’ve been aesthetic, like fashion wardrobes. How else can you explain Gothic script, our love of fonts or the wonderful artistry of Far Eastern alphabets? All of this must be what fascinates artists like Toni Youngblood, who explore alphabets, real or imaginary, as an artistic medium.

Youngblood’s Calligraffiti series, which is now up at Charley Hafen Gallery, is a collection of compact abstract works that uses alphabets, or what look like alphabets, as integral components in layered, decorative works.|0| Abstract artists often talk of “mark-making” so it is no wonder that many of them drift naturally to using our most common mark, the As,Bs and Cs of the alphabet as elements in their work (another local artist who does this is Sue Slade, whose show at Phillips Gallery in June was fabulous).
Encaustic seems to be everywhere these days and for some artists wax is just a way to mask lazy work. But in Youngblood’s painting the encaustic is essential because it allows her to build up layers, into which she paints or scrapes her alphabets. From far back these paintings can look like the patterned work of an abstract expressionist. Up close you see the familiar swirls and lines of an alphabet, but they seem a natural part of the whole surface, rather than sitting on top of the painting, like ink on paper.|1| The alphabets don’t spell out words. Some are just scrawls that give the sense of writing.|2| In other pieces Youngblood uses found materials, like nails, to give off the effect of characters.|3| Or at least they feel like characters -- the result of the fact that we have become so used to seeing letters, from the serifs on our computer screen to the scrawl of our doctors' notes – even if we don’t know what they “say.” In that way Toni Youngblood’s Calligraffiti paintings take us back to the wonder and mystery of childhood.|4|

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Calligraffiti on "The Post"

I'm sharing a link to the article written by Geoff Wichert on his blog The Post---
Gallery Symbiosis:  Toni Youngblood at Charley Hafen Jewelers and Gallery
The full article can be seen here.
The web address to The Post:

I enjoyed Geoff Wichert's remarks about different types of gallery spaces:  "Those that present art in a relatively blank, abstract space that strives not to impose any undue influence on the works displayed" versus those that show art "in a space that conjures the scale and furnishings of a potential owner's home".

My thesis, Museum for a Private Collection of Twentieth-Century American Art, published in 1990 in partial fulfillment of my my graduate degree in architecture (M.Arch) examined these opposing ideas about the display of art.

Thanks to Geoff for visiting my exhibit at Charley Hafen's and for writing his observations.

An excerpt from Geoff Wichert's article follows...

All Photographs by Geoff Wichert - Click on photos for closer view.

Charley Hafen Gallery exploits its older building to give clients an idea of  how the art will look in their homes (above).  The arrangement of several works on a common theme can unify a busy or cluttered area ('Sweat Equity Nos. 1, 2, & 3 by Toni Youngblood, Encaustic on Board w/Mixed Media, right).

An unusual placement allows these small works to relate to the natural world outside the window (left) What looks like art fixing an architectural problem is only temporary: the stairs will soon connect to more shops on the second floor (right)  
(Portrait at the stair landing:  Lionel Hampton and David Halliday, by Toni Youngblood 2011, acrylic on canvas)

Top, left & right: 'Life in Acronymia' and 'Don't Hide Them' Bottom, left & right, 'Cursive is As Cursive Does' and 'Patching the Infrastructure' All Encaustic on panel, all 2011. Here Toni Youngblood shows just some of the range of what the medium can do.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New/Old books on California artists

I'm adding a few titles to my collection of books on California art and artists.  The subject is meaningful to me, having studied painting in California myself.  I found used copies of all these books on Review

A free-spirited wave of creative energy swept through the San Francisco art community after World War II. Challenging accepted modes of painting, Abstract Expressionists produced highly experimental works that jolted the public out of its postwar complacency. Susan Landauer's comprehensive examination of this dynamic movement provides the first clear picture of the artists and influences that came together in San Francisco's invigorating world of Abstract Expressionism.  Review

For many years California was the edge of the American world, and perhaps because of this, it, more than any other state, has inspired an art reflective of the frontier, of the American dream. Beautifully illustrated with over seventy landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes, Paintings of California explores some of the finest results of this inspiration, including works by Albert Bierstadt, Childe Hassam, Granville Redmond, Millard Sheets, Elmer Bischoff, Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, and many more.

California embodies the American desire to explore frontiers. Collected here in Paintings of California are the works of over sixty of America's finest artists, all of whom were drawn to the beauty of California's kaleidoscopic geography and the pioneering spirit of her people. Review

When these six artists first banded together in 1917, the San Francisco art establishment found their work raw and undeveloped. According to Nancy Boas, however, these painters represent the first fully evolved reflection of modern art on the West Coast. Her scholarly and engaging study is tantamount to a discovery of a previously unknown group of painters, and it is unusual in that it recounts the birth of modern art in a nonurban setting. She elegantly and convincingly balances biography with analysis, intertwining six personal stories into a much larger story, which is really about the birth of modernism, an integral segment of America's artistic heritage. These artists' works are expressive, energetic, and ablaze with vivid color, reminiscent of a quality of rarefied light found in Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park series or Vincent van Gogh's Arles paintings.

And now, I'm impatiently awaiting the arrival of above ordered books.    ;o)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Reading spots

Above:  My favorite Summer morning reading spot --- a well-worn Adirondack chair on the front porch. has been so pleasant being outdoors this Summer.  Fall is easing in on us and I'll need to consider moving inside for this little pleasure.

Looking through my collection of photos in an attempt to entice and inspire myself into welcoming the change of seasons, I came up with a few nice indoor settings for a good read...

 Above:  This photo and the one directly below are a little too much like going back to bed for me...

Above:  This is my own likely landing spot, in my sun room



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