Monday, December 27, 2010

Inertia in the Time of Rain


It’s been raining all this past week. The only sun I’ve seen in the past five days is spelled with an “o” instead of a “u”. It feels like 6PM, it’s so dark outside. You’ve gathered by now that I harbor no desires to move to Seattle or Portland.

So what have I accomplished these past 5 days? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Yesterday, I crawled back into bed at 11:30AM and read sci-fi fantasy fiction until 4PM. Today promises to be much the same.

This weather drains me. I don’t have this reaction when on vacation to Seattle, London or Hawaii. Then, I know it’s temporary. It’s a vacation. I KNOW it will be rainy in Hawaii when I go. I KNOW the weather in London sucks in March and November. I KNOW it’s wet & drizzly in Gualala in September. I chose to go there knowing what the weather will be like.

One of the many things I love about Palm Springs is that it’s sunny & warm 95% of the time. It’s that pesky 5% I have to contend with. I totally understand how the Mistrals of Arles drove Van Gogh crazy. With Van Gogh, it was the wind. Me? It’s the damp cloudless skies.

This morning, I woke to a blood red sunrise. “Red skies in morning, sailors take warning…” It quickly morphed into fluffy pink and blue clouds. Hopefully, that means change is on the way rather than more rain.

The day was bright and sunny. I had a wonderful afternoon working in the garden soaking up the sun, recharging my batteries. More cloudy skies and rain are expected by the week’s end. This too, shall pass.

Economy aside, it’s been a good year. I’ve grown as an artist and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed living in Palm Springs this past year. I look forward to the coming year with optimism. Come rain or shine, it’s going to be a good year. All I really need is a good umbrella.

Thanks for listening,

Jerry L. Hanson

Monday, December 20, 2010

You Just Never Know...

You wake up in the morning & look outside to see what the day looks like. I tend to judge my day by the quality of sunlight or lack there of. Sunny days make me look forward to the coming day with joy. Overcast days tend to nudge me back under the warm duvet.

Wednesday, I woke to a bright sunny morning. It was early. The sun was just rising over the Coachella Valley: a beautiful day. My husband was already up, reading the morning paper with his cup of tea. I made another pot of tea and checked my e-mail & Twitter as Doc headed off to shower and get ready for his daily clinic.

I looked at the clock. Doc, if anything, is routine bound and controlled by that damned clock. Doc should have been in to say goodbye already. Something was amiss. The phone hadn’t rung so I knew he wasn’t tied up with hospital issues.

The car was still in the carport. He’d not left. I headed to the bedroom where I found him flat on his back passed out. I had a difficult time rousing him and knew I needed to get him to the ER. While getting him dressed, I realized I could not drive him there. I could not possibly get him into my vehicle.

I’ve worked in hospitals since 1975 and I’m married to a physician. We dealt with emergencies every day. I had no clue what to do! I knew I was in panic mode. I called my neighbor, @TheDeeView and asked her, “Can I call 911 for a medical emergency or is it only for police or fire related issues?” “@TheDeeView yelled, “Hang up this phone and call 911. NOW!!!” In retrospect, that was a really dumb question. I called 911.

By the time I finished giving 911 the information, @TheDeeView was running through my front gate barking orders. “Open the car gate.” “Collect Doc's medications for the EMT Techs.” “Get the medical insurance information.” “Breathe, dammit!”

“Breathe, dammit!” was her best order. I called the clinic to say he wasn’t to be in today and please reschedule his patients. No other explanation. I hung up and called our Neurologist friend to see what I should do. Sy is the epitome of calm & cool in an emergency. Most physicians are, actually. I followed his advice. “Breathe, dammit!"

EMT Techs arrived, examined Doc, packed him up on that transformer stretcher and off he went to ER. @The DeeView gave me a big hug, told me she loved me and sent me off to the ER. Two hours later we were tremendously relieved to learn that Doc was OK, no damage, no harm done. No diagnosis, either, but that can be worked on via testing now that Doc’s stable.

What I learned from this harrowing experience is that I have a wealth of friends: friends who dropped everything to assist Doc & me in our emergency. Without my knowing it, @Taxes007 has contacted many of our dearest friends to let them know what had happened. While Doc was in the ER, I was kept company by our friends. I felt truly supported. I didn’t’ even KNOW I needed their love & support until they were there. How does one thank them???

Oh! And I learned that we need lists of our medications readily available... just in case. We need our health insurance information readily available. Just in case. And breathe!

All’s well now. Doc is back home after one night in hospital and is now back in the clinic. He’s scheduled for further testing to figure out what happened but he’s back to his “normal self.”

All that day the sun shone brightly on a warm lovely day. You just never know.

Thanks for listening,

Jerry L. Hanson

Monday, December 13, 2010

Accessible Art


This is my 46th blog for this year. I believe my first posting was in February or March. It was 46 weeks ago, at any rate.

Each posting has one of my photographs except for two of them (Memorial Day and the AIDS walk post). I seem to get quite a lot of positive feedback on the photos.

Perhaps my photos are far more interesting than what I write about? Many of those photos are of my current artwork. Many are not. I seem to get comments on both types of photos. I wondered what to do about that.

I am seriously thinking of developing a series of greeting cards or note cards using my photography. I’m always looking for interesting note cards to use for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. I seem to have a surplus of birthday cards when I need an anniversary card.

Lately, I search out those cards that are not specific to any event; cards that can be used for multiple occasions or for no occasion at all! Generic cards that are non-specific. That’s the route I’m thinking of exploring.







I spent the past three weeks looking thorough my digital images, looking for images that are interesting and non-personal. You really don’t think you’d want note cards with pictures of me, my family or our friends. We are far too boring. My cats & tortoise are not boring. They’re cute (if a reptile can be cute)

I then concentrated on images of my artwork. My art, after all, is what this whole venture is about. I realize that in this economy purchasing artwork is a luxury few of us can afford. Perhaps this is an affordable venue for getting my artwork out there in the world. I looked for interesting images that are not too similar. I sorted for diversity in the images. I think I’ve achieved that.

The images here are those being used in the note cards. I’m seriously interested your feedback on this venture and these images.

If you are interested in purchasing a mixed set of 5 cards, you can contact me via this site (please leave your contact information), or e-mail me at JerryL@JerryLHanson.com. You can also contact me on my mobile phone: 760-992-3157.

Please take time to visit my website at www.JerryLHanson.com. Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to buy one of my works or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at JeryL@JerryLHanson.com or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. You can call me. I won’t mind.

Thank you for listening

Jerry L. Hanson

Hiking With Botanists


Wild grape leaves in the sun

I have friends I’ve known for nearly 20 years. They are PhD Botanists who work at Kew Garden in London. I’m not quite sure what each does but they are top experts in their respective fields. We manage to visit at least once a year on one side of the pond or the other.

We all like to hike. When visiting us in California, they enjoy getting out into the landscape to see the plants. I’m always happy to accompany them on these hikes. Hiking with Mark, Michael & Maarten (I’ll just call them M3) is always an educational experience. I generally retain only one bit of information from the hundreds of bits they tell me during our hikes. Generally, Latin is involved. I don’t retain Latin for too long; it just falls out of my head. I’m linguistically impaired.

This trip, I learned that there are orchids indigenous to Palm Springs. M3 pointed them out exclaiming about how much better these specimens are doing than their specimens at Kew. Orchids? I saw weeds growing along the stream. Hmmm…. Those are orchids! Wow!

The other day, we hiked in Andreas Canyon: a one-mile loop trail easily walked in 30 minutes or so. These were Botanists. We hiked that mile in three hours. They left no plant unexamined. No seedpod ignored. M3 was ecstatic to find Resurrection Ferns growing in the crack of some boulders. Imagine what the Maiden Hair Fern did for him!

Maarten examining Maiden Hair Ferns

We’d walk 10 feet and stop to examine a plant. Discussions would begin about the plant. The 3 M’s would examine that tiny weed until they’d all agreed on its genus, species and Latin name. Twenty minutes later we’d continue on. After another 10 feet M3 would stop to examine another plant growing along the path. Discussions began and twenty minutes later, we’re on to the next plant 10 feet away.

Thankfully, I enjoy listening to their discussion. Their combined knowledge of botany is a constant amazement to me. I had no clue what they were talking about but it was impressive. While 3M focused on the individual parts of Andreas Canyon, I enjoyed the overall scenery; I enjoyed the quality of the morning light through the vegetation (I dare NOT call them weeds!).

I took nearly 100 photograph of Andreas Canyon. M3 took just as many. At day’s end, I uploaded his photos into my Mac and he transferred my photos into his laptop. Between the two photo sets, we have close ups and landscape photos: a complete set.

Hiking with Mark, Michael and Maarten teaches me patience. I learn to slow down and actually examine the “stuff” at my feet. I learn to slow down and examine the landscape through which I’m walking. I stopped to actually watch the changing light on the fall leaves and through the palm trees. I see the world with new perspective. I cannot tell you the Latin name of any of the plants we examined.

I did learn that Mistletoe is such a successful parasite, it needs no leaves. There’s something to think about this Christmas season.

Please take time to visit my website at www.JerryLHanson.com. Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to buy one of my works or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at JerryL@JerryLHanson.com or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. You can call me. I won’t mind.

Thank you for listening

Jerry L. Hanson

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Salton Sea, an Olfactory Experience



This past Monday, I took out-of-town visitors to the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is a large sea that has come and gone over the millennium. The ongoing evaporation leaves mineral and salt deposits, which now makes the Salton Sea 30% saltier than the oceans.

From a distance the Salton Sea is a hauntingly beautiful place. The sea is a major migratory stop over for birds, which makes the area a major bird watching site. There were thousands of birds on and around the water when we were there yesterday. It felt strange to see White Pelicans flying over the waters hundreds of miles from the ocean.

There is an abundance of Tilapia fish, which breed profusely and are an important food source for birds. Several times a year, sediments from the Sea bottom are stirred up causing chemical reactions, which cause the tilapia to suffocate and die of by the millions. Or the excessive fertilizers in the sea from surrounding farmlands cause an algae bloom again suffocating the fish. A very small portion of the Tilapia population dies off; the vast majority survives.

Up close, the Sea is difficult. You smell the salt in the Sea and taste the salt in the air. Sun dried dead fish litter the shore adding to the olfactory assault. In the summer, when temperature can reach 120F, the stench is unbearable.

The Salton Sea is not for the faint of heart. Judging by the number of camp grounds, RV parking area, picnic areas, large parking lots and marinas, many tourists obviously enjoy the Sea. Athough I didn’t see one boat on the lake which added to it’s haunting beauty.

I took pictures. I always take pictures. When I uploaded them into my Mac, I was shocked at the results. Many of them are hauntingly beautiful! Even photos of the dried fish have their own beauty. I realized that without the stench of rotting fish, bird dung and salt, the place is quite lovely.

I left the Salton Sea with mixed feelings. I was disgusted and amazed both at the same time. I will have to make other visits to the Sea to explore more of its vast shore. But NOT in the summer heat!

The Sea is a study in monochromatic landscape. The salt and sun bleaches color from most everything; it is a landscape in hues of white. Without smell, its quite another experience altogether!

Please take time to visit my website at www.JerryLHanson.com. Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to buy one of my works or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at JerryL@JerryLHanson.com or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. You can call me. I won’t mind.

Thank you for listening

Jerry L. Hanson

Monday, November 29, 2010

White on White

Kazmir Malevich, Suprematist Composition, White on White, 1918


I know I sound like a whiner but it is 38 degrees outside as I write this at 7:00 AM. It is 74 degrees in my studio. My hands are cold. My feet are cold. As are most points in between these four extremities. I don’t like cold weather.

“Suck it up. Think warm thoughts,” my husband says. That is hard to do when you’re shivering huddled under the down comforter Cold weather puts me in a funk.

I’ve been reading about the Russian painter, Kazmir Malevich. His White on White series of paintings is amazing. Malevich painted his “feelings.” He considered ideas of the conscious mind to be worthless and objects to be meaningless. His paintings show “the supremacy of pure feeling.”

Now, I don’t know that I consider the conscious mind worthless or objects meaningless, but I do understand painting one’s “feelings” or “moods.”

Looking at Malevich’s White on White Compositions, I can feel the cold of Russia: the snow of the Russian steppes. They make me shiver.

I’m influenced by the quality of the sunlight in my garden. Rainy days influence the palette I use. Warm days heat my spirits. I try to capture these feelings in my paintings. My paintings are moods on canvas.

Reading about Kazmir Malevich’s manifesto From Cubism to Suprematism, and perusing his body of paintings, has given me much to think about in examining my own work. I thank you, Danielle, for introducing me to Kazmir.

And now, I’m going to slip into the hot tub and warm up! Brrrrr…… the weather outside if frightful…..

Please take time to visit my website at www.JerryLHanson.com. Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to buy one of my works or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at JeryL@JerryLHanson.com or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. You can call me. I won’t mind.

Thank you for listening

Jerry L. Hanson

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Repetitive Movement

Series of Nine.

I love repetitive movement. My artwork reflects that. Well, some of it does. I enjoy taking one item and then add another of the same item. Then another. And another. What does it do?

I save stupid stuff like tin can lids and the tin can itself. One or two alone looks like junk but 100 of them? Critical mass! Now there’s something to work with!

Last week, I was in a one-day show/sale in Sherman Oaks, CA: a suburb of Los Angeles. (Do NOT tell anyone from Sherman Oaks I said that!) I’d been asked to bring artwork that was not overly expensive. OK, I believe my work is reasonably priced so I assumed they meant “low cost” or “less expensive”… certainly not cheap!

For this show I created 42 new pieces. They are woven newspaper assemblages. Each piece is 12 inches by 12 inches. Each assemblage is made from three different woven newspaper pieces which are layered and cut into more pieces. The pieces from the three are reassembled into the finished product(s).

I should call them puzzles. But that may be too obscure if one has only one of them. Oh well…

I have been making these assemblages for about 8 years. I’ve experimented with the design and number of pieces in the puzzle. I realized that simple is better and I found a design that I never tire of making. Repetitive. The design is simple and it works for me. Repetitive. I hope you like it too!

I have puzzles hanging in my house singly, in pairs and in threes. I would love to have a wall where I can hang them in a 9-piece grid! I did sell nine of them for an office space where they hung them in a 3 X 3 grid and it looks fantastic! (It’s the photo for this blog.)

These assemblages are one of a kind… and intriguing. I love making them and have a number of them available. They are mounted on Bristol board and are small enough to easily mail. Each is ready for framing.

‘Tis the Season. I’m offering one woven assemblage each day for $50 with free shipping - ground shipping within the continental US…. My usual price is $100.00 + shipping & handling.

If you like my work, please follow the link on Twitter & check out more of my Woven Assemblages or Puzzles.

These Woven Assemblages are NOT on my website but that doesn’t mean you can’t check it out anyway!

Please take time to visit my website at www.JerryLHanson.com. Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to buy one of my works or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at JeryL@JerryLHanson.com or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. You can call me. I won’t mind; I’m hanging out at the gallery with nothing to do. That’s totally untrue. I’m weaving while minding the store.

Thank you for listening,

Jerry L. Hanson

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunlight Come Softly

A view from my studio on 2010.11.11 @ 0754

I retired 18 months ago. I now work seriously nearly every day in my studio. I work in two mediums: woven newspaper and acrylic paints..

What I’ve noticed is that I tend to prefer painting during the winter months when the light in the desert is somewhat subdued. I prefer working with newspaper in the summer when the sun is directly overhead and at it’s strongest.

It’s now November. Day Light Saving Time has ended. (I often wonder what’s being done with all that light being saved and what is it used for.) These days, the sun is low on the horizon and rises earlier and sets earlier. The quality of the winter light in the Palm Springs desert is amazing. Colors are richer and more intense in the winter sun.

The summer sun bleaches color from the landscape, both the natural and man made landscape. I love the heat of summer but the sunlight is harsh.

Last winter, I completed 15 color-field paintings inspired by the sun and weather, both of which influence my moods.

By April (and the change back to Day Light Saving Time) the sun is once again bleaching color from the landscape. I relish being out in the sun rather than painting it. And my attention turns to newspaper where the colors are more subdued.

In this medium, I’m more interested in the interactions of language in the newsprint. I choose the type print and colors using them as I find them. This summer, I completed over 60 woven newspaper works.

This morning I was up just before sunrise mesmerized by the quality of light as the sun rose illuminating the garden plants one by one.

It’s time to pack away the newspapers and pull out canvas and paint.

Please take time to visit my website at www.JerryLHanson.com. Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to buy one of my pieces or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at JeryL@JerryLHanson.com or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. You can call me. I won’t mind; I’m hanging out at the gallery with nothing to do. That’s totally untrue. I’m working in the studio.

Thank you for listening,

Jerry L. Hanson

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lights Out!

Lights out in the gallery


For the past two months I’ve been talking about having my artwork on display in the Fiesta Arts Gallery in Indio, California. The space was given to the Coachella Valley Arts Alliance as a gallery to be used as they wished. The space is an empty store with incredible lighting. It’s a 2,400 square foot rectangle painted white.

My work fills the gallery and looks wonderful! It’s all coming down tomorrow: five weeks early.

The gallery has been sold and the new owners are not supportive of the arts. I suspect “philanthropy” is not in their vocabulary. The new owners shut off the electricity to the four spaces a week ago without notice. The CVAA has been evicted The four spaces had been loaned by the prior owners.

I understand the new mall owners are businessmen and the space produces revenue for the owners by being leased. The CVAA has always understood the space was on temporary loan. But one does not expect hostility.

Tomorrow I take my artwork down and pack it up. In the dark. There are no lights.

And I had a great time with my exhibition during the month of October!

I’m most disappointed about this turn of events for the CVAA. The city of Indio is incredibly supportive of the arts and is doing great work in bringing artists, art and performance to the Coachella Valley. It's too bad businesses are not, or at least THIS businessman is not.

I’ll need to remember to bring a flashlight and camera flash tomorrow to pack up my artwork. ‘Tis sad.

Please take time to visit my website at www.JerryLHanson.com. Take a look at my artwork. It is all back home now. Contact me if you want to buy one of my works or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at JeryL@JerryLHanson.com or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. You can call me. I won’t mind; I’m hanging out at the gallery with nothing to do. That’s totally untrue. I’m weaving while minding the store.

Thank you for listening,

Jerry L. Hanson

Monday, November 1, 2010

Boo!

Paul & Jerry Halloween 2010

It has been a busy week. I’ve been to the Fiesta Arts Gallery three times this past week. I’ve been preparing for a show/sales event in Los Angeles and it was Halloween weekend. Lots to do and see and be.

I completed two weavings while gallery sitting the Fiesta Arts Gallery and am one day away from completing a third. I have enjoyed the peace and quiet of the gallery. I enjoy chatting with the occasional visitor to the gallery. It is not a busy gallery and I do enjoy those interruptions.

I am also preparing for a one-day show/sale in Los Angeles for the weekend of Nov 14th. To this end, I’ve created 41 new artworks. Actually, 42; I sold one of them in the process, for which I am not complaining! Now, I need to select 12 of the works for framing. The remaining 29 will be on offer unframed.

In addition to framing the 12 selected, I need to make decisions regarding what other pieces of artwork should be taken for the one-day show/sale. So much to do!

And this was Halloween weekend. With the 31st being a Sunday, that means that Halloween celebrations began on Friday, continued through Saturday and into Sunday.

I had been to ONE Halloween party between 1980 and 2008. One. I lead a dull life. Last year, I went to a Halloween party at one of the local Palm Springs resorts and had an absolutely great time.

I went again this year (on Saturday) and had an even better time. I went as one of the Village People. I had the hardhat. I had the boots. I had the ragged tank top. The rest of my team didn’t show.

Sunday, one of the Palm Springs downtown streets was closed for Halloween. There was entertainment. There were costumes. There were hundreds of men & women in costumes of incredible imagination and ingenuity. I wore my leather Levis, paratrooper jump boots and Stetson. Not particularly imaginative, but warm. I watched the costume contest and marveled at their creativity.

Today, it’s back to reality. I’ll wash the glitter off my body, turn a critical eye to selecting artwork for the Los Angeles show and think about next year’s Halloween costume.

Please take a minute to visit my website at www.JerryLHanson.com Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to purchase one or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at JeryL@JerryLHanson.com or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I’ll be in the gallery between the hours of 11 AM 1 PM Pacific time.

Thank you for listening.

Jerry L. Hanson

Blog 3

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