Tuesday, September 4

Art and chaos day at Blue Gal

All rights reserved on this post don't use anything here please thanks.

I promised some artwork by my parents. These are webcam photos of stuff I have in my house so they're not museum quality reprints but you'll get the idea.

Ian Short - self portrait spinning on a barstool

I love this drawing my dad did...a self portrait spinning on a barstool. He made this as a study for his 2D students to show them that movement can be indicated on a flat piece of paper.

I remember my mom explaining to me about Whistler's Mother, which is actually called "Composition in Black and White: A Portrait of the Artist's Mother". My mother showed me the art teacher trick that if you cover up anything on the wall behind Whistler's Mother the painting totally changes. The same is true of my dad's drawing. There are two curved lines emanating from the hat on the upper right corner of this drawing. If you cover them, the drawing becomes much flatter and less dimensional.

What I love most about this drawing apart from its Escher-like precision is that it has multiple thumbtack holes in the corners where Dad has put it up and taken in down from one semester to the next. It's not just a drawing, it's a teaching tool.

Here's my mother's painting of the same subject:

Mandy Kaiser - portrait of Ian

Mom's work is decidedly different. She owes a lot to Picasso, of course, but her paintings are much more wickedly funny and personal too. Family portraits always include her cats and this one actually has a cut out photograph of the dog Janet, now deceased, tucked in the three dimensional pockets that emerge from the bottom of the painting. No comment on the fact that my dad's halo is made out of a casserole with french fried onion rings.

Here's a portrait she did of me when my hair was short. It's hard to see in this photo but the black thing over my shoulder is a young cat.

Mandy Kaiser - portrait of Fran

The roses that surround me and dangle from my ears are collage, cut and glued from some wrapping paper or something. Mom is amazing at using found objects. One must never get too attached to a work in progress. A face you like this morning may be turpentined away by the time you get home from school.

Speaking of Picasso there's a video of him doing just that, working on something and the interviewer is watching and Picasso looks at the painting and decides he doesn't like it and he takes a rag and wipes off the face. The interviewer is horrified. I mean, the Spanish guy just destroyed a Picasso! Except the Spanish guy IS Picasso and the painting, you see, is not a Picasso because Picasso didn't like it or think it was finished. Artist's choice.

I want to show you what my dad is working on currently but his website isn't quite ready yet. Here's a sneak peek though and this image and others will be available as blank notecards, probably primarily in art museum gift shops but also by mail. All rights reserved on this post don't use anything here please thanks.


  1. just too cool. thanks for sharing.

  2. What great art! I am always a fan of collage in any form. The bar stool picture makes me "Marcel Duchamp 'nude descending a staircase'" dizzy!

    The second I read this post, my first thought was "Me too!" I have always wanted a halo that is made out of a casserole with french fried onion rings. And chocolate cake!

  3. Peter Sellers memorialized in art! (picture #2)

  4. I really enjoyed reading about your parent's pictures Blue Gal.... thanks.

  5. Anonymous8:16 PM

    I love those, although I should point out that your Dad bears a striking resemblance to Sherlock Holmes when he's spinning on a barstool.

    Just thought you'd like to know.

  6. He's English. Born in Seaford, Sussex. And he bears a striking resemblance to Basil Rathbone even today.

  7. Your Dad's card is a keeper.

  8. From panties to great paintings, I'm thinkin' your parents are preety cool, B.G. (and talented.) Must be where you get it.


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