A funny thing happened on the way to the museum

I have a long standing saying when getting uptight about painting, I say "I don't know anyone who has art in a museum and my work will certainly never be in a museum" - it helps me to be free when I paint.  I am blessed beyond measure to have brushes, paints, time and health.  My zen comes from being lost in time in my studio (a spare bedroom with hardly the professional standards of DMP artists).

I read endlessly, watch every tutorial that peaks my interest, purchase and re-watch over and over again tutorial dvds by the artists I most admire and I try in vain to emulate a tiny part of something in them.  I have let criticism and insecurities snuff out my pilot light of creativity many times in my life and know I am more happy when I am drawing or painting and completely free of judgement.  I will probably die with an attic and closets full of paintings but my joy has been in the process, not the after.  If anything, the after of being judged, someone wanting to purchase, or entering in shows has been the ick that I don't enjoy.  

I try to learn from anyone and anywhere if I admire and respect that institution or person.  MoMA (Museum Of Modern Art in New York) has some amazing courses online - you can audit for free.  You still have to take the tests and pass to go to the next week's lesson but the curators and lecturers are amazing and because I don't care about getting another diploma, I audit every class I can of theirs and could care less about the certificate.

I have just completed an 8 week course - "Post War Abstract painting" - it helped me to understand why so many abstract artists were all the rage for so many decades in the mid 1900s and why so many of the more traditional artists were seemingly brushed aside.  I learned a great deal about Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt and Yayoi Kusama.

I have never been a fan of abstract art but I thoroughly enjoyed learning.  An email was sent out to students who completed the course with an invitation to enter a painting for an upcoming exhibit at the museum.  I decided to paint something that encompassed a little bit of each artist that I learned about or that was most memorable to me.  It had to be a TIF format and thanks to you wonderful people here, I was able to figure out how to do a TIF (miss you @Kingston!),and was therefore able to send in my submission.

I received notice that my painting was chosen to be part of the exhibit. I'm sure that they chose many student's works and the exhibit will feature 5 large screens with digital photos of the works.  I know it's not like my painting is hanging in a museum but I never imagined in a million years that I would be flying to New York to attend an artist's reception at The Museum Of Modern Art for an exhibit that features one of my paintings.

I'll be skipping with glee and will be full of excitement and will savor every moment because this will probably never happen again.

Thank you for helping me along the way.
PaulBRichard_PBOB73tassieguymichalisForgivenessBoudiccamariebIrishcajunAncolie[Deleted User]jrbgolfsjswartzartRenoirBobitaly


  • Very proud of you.  Can you show us the painting?
  • Very well done Juliana!! I agree, please show us the painting if you can.

    I was wondering where you were lately.. :)
  • Super post in all regards. You must wear that wonderful wide-brim hat with the flowers and one of those T-Shirts that's printed with "my inner critic is an A**hole".
  • edited January 2018
    Good for you, @Julianna. I visited MoMA when I was in the US. It is fascinating. If you can't show us the painting, do you know whether MoMA will be putting pictures of the exhibition online? I hope so. :)
  • @Julianna I am very happy for you even if I don't know you :) Your heart seems to be in the right place and this is the most important thing for every human being.
  • Aww thank you @PaulB @BOB73 @Richard_P @tassieguy @michalis      Of course I can show it, it is my painting and I didn't read any restrictions regarding disclosure.  Y'all may be like my husband in that he hates it (in the most loving way possible).  I submitted the painting in November and was just notified last week - the exhibit starts on Jan 8.  @Richard_P I was away for the holidays and didn't get as much flower practice in as I had hoped - I am home now and will try the beautiful value flower painting you helped me with.  @BOB73 I'll probably be dressed in a floral dress that has "imposter" hidden in the design.

    I am not sure if I can attach a tif here - let me see if it works.
  • Congrats @Julianna! I am so very happy for you and jealous, hope you really enjoy and all goes well! I just want to keep on painting, this so encouraging and fun!
  • Fantastic @Julianna! So pleased for you  <3
  • @Julianna , I didn't know where this was going when I started reading it. I thought " Julianna is my sister if not my twin" then .... my goodness how amazing... you must be over the moon, I know I am on account of your success ! Where in USA are you ? Congratulations  <3
  • edited January 2018
    19x12 oil on linen  "No. 963"

    The title is "No. 963" because for some reason, most of the artists featured in the course used numbers for titles so I picked a number I love

    Inspired by MoMA class
    Barnett Newman:  Push and Pull lesson of cool vs warm - Matte vs. Gloss - Zips
    Warm colors push out while Cool colors recede visually
    Willem de Kooning:  layers upon layers, - strong and bold gesture - large, powerful strokes (my Geneva yellow was lush and perfect and gorgeous for this)
    Jackson Pollock:  The only artist I was not inspired by so I left him out intentionally - the drips are not Pollock inspired but believe it or not, Rothko let drips happen organically sometimes - perhaps when I see them in person next week, I will grow fond of his work?  The only thing that I did that could be considered Pollock inspired is I painted this flat on a table - not on an easel.
    Mark Rothko:  how dare I try.  very translucent layer upon layer with earth tones under - matte and gloss transitions - lot of linseed oil - leaving the edges exposed of original layers of paint - glaze after glaze - push and pull of warm vs. cool and play of squares and rectangles.  gloss and matte play on top of each other while allowing subsequent layers to show in some places - the top section is Rothko inspired and was the most fun to paint.
    Agnes Martin:  "Self-expression is inevitable. In your work, in the way that you do your work and in the results of your work your self is expressed." — Agnes Martin .  Therefore, my own self is expressed in every painting so although I am taking a piece of each artist from the course, my own self cannot help but be expressed.  my homage to Ms. Martin in this painting is meticulous measurements and careful, but imperfect lines at exact golden mean points on a golden mean canvas.
    Ad Reinhardt: zen, play on rectangles and squares - I never knew how beautiful a matte finish could be in a painting.  Forces one to take time and breathe and observe mindfully - meditation. 
    Yayoi Kusama:  “Bring on Picasso, bring on Matisse, bring on anybody! I would stand up to them all with a single polka dot!” — Yayoi Kusama    .   Ms. Kusama was my favorite artist of the course and thus the reason for a polka dot being prominent - her net paintings I find quite beautiful and that is why the polka dot is composed of thick, juicy, finger motion net swoops.   The underpainting consists of jasmine flowers as an homage to her love of flowers.  She is still alive in Japan - I hope to be in my 90s painting every day as she is - minus the mental institution of course.

    I think my struggle with abstract art is that I have always needed an explanation - unlike traditional paintings.  Most of the time I don't get it and I can't say that I see myself having abstract art on any of my walls in the near future.  The course was excellent and I learned a tremendous amount.

  • PaulBPaulB mod
    edited January 2018
    [I mis-posted, ignore.]

  • edited January 2018
    thank you Paul for helping - I wish I was computer savvy!  
  • Very well done and good luck @Julianna
  • edited January 2018
    Love it! but I also have same struggle, always in need of explanation or story. But as I continue to mature as an artist, I keep on exposing myself to it and I finally may be learning something (from meditation as well) I believe it is in the feeling. (feeling the most misunderstood of all) but I am still not quite absolutely certain just yet. This is a whole other field away from painting in realism. I've been learning through documentaries available and reading material, I listen carefully to what these artists have to say and show us, I am still just learning. It's great you got a chance to actually try painting as they did acompanied with good instruction and tutoring. Thanks for sharing, fantastic!
  • @Julianna You are amazing.  I am like you in not getting a lot out of abstract painting, but doing what you have done will stretch anyone and learning is always beneficial.  Did you like the course you took?  Would it be appropriate for a 11 or 12 year old?  She is home schooled and we are always looking for things in the arts to introduce her to.
  • @marieb I am sorry I missed your previous message - I am originally from South Carolina and live in California now.  Where are you?
    @Forgiveness   you're so lovely - it is amazing your knowledge and experience!  I really appreciate your advice and input on this forum.  Thank you for always being so supportive to me.
    @oilpainter1950 I loved the course very much - I don't have children so don't know if it is appropriate for an 11 or 12 year old but would highly recommend you take the course and if you like it, you can have your daughter learn what you deem appropriate - I have watched many videos over and over again and you can review the course again endlessly so you can pick out what you want her to learn.  There are a bunch of drunks in that period and suicides and Kusama has furniture featured that is covered with phallic appendages but it would be easy to edit that for her lesson. You could feasibly complete the entire course in a week - you don't have to read all of the recommended readings to pass the tests - the videos are where most test questions come from.  Coursera is amazing for free education - some other courses that I would highly recommend are :  https://www.coursera.org/learn/gender-art   Even though it is called "Sexing the canvas" - a lot of it has to do with the gaze of women and males in famous art works - it is from the University of Melbourne.  My other favorite art class with coursera is https://www.coursera.org/learn/modern-art-ideas/home/welcome     Coursera is amazing.  I have taken everything from their economics courses, music and I believe I have completed all of their art and history classes (wesleyen college was my least favorite).  Have fun!!!
  • Hi @Julianna
    I’m so thrilled for you !! 
    And thank you for giving so much detail about the courses. Very very interesting. 
    Your enthusiasm is infectious. 
    I’m not a fan of abstract art but that’s because I’m so lacking in any knowledge about it. You make me want to learn !! 
    Your painting is very ‘alive’.  It has vibrancy and energy and colour. Very much like how you express yourself in writing. 
    Well done.  I’m thrilled for your success.
    A great start to 2018 !  :)

  • edited January 2018
    I really like it, @Julianna.  It has depth, texture and a satisfying composition. The way the thick yellow strokes seem to hover above the darks beneath is awesome. And the transparent reds in the upper section are really subtle and interesting. Then there's the way the canvas is divided up according to the golden mean which imparts stability...

    I don't know whether these are the reasons it was chosen but they are the things I noticed about it. 

    Congrats.  :)
  • Congratulations @Julianna, that is excellent news. 
  • @Julianna , how amazing, and what a great story.  Congratulations!
  • I'm happy for you @Julianna.  I like how tassieguy described  it.  No.963 just may become your new profession  :)
  • Thank you @Julianna I appreciate all the information, it was very ah, informative.  I will check it out and see what I think.
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