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Connie Goldman: The Constancy of Change and The Predictability of Uncertainty.

Much of Bay Area Artist, Connie Goldman’s 1 work relates to upset equilibrium and the tension between stasis and flux. Her work is reductive and abstract yet deeply personal. As with equilibrium, it is not static but always on the brink of changing in one form or another.

As part of our Temporary Contemporary Fine Arts Exhibit Garden Court has introduced Connie Goldman’s abstracts to our Vermont Center Gallery. Combining contemporary alongside the antique reflect the juxtaposed styles of designers and collectors today. Our Fine Arts Exhibit is presented by Art Consultant, Laurie Ghielmetti Interior + Art 2.

Phasis Series

Phasis n. a manner, stage, or aspect of being; phase .

Phase n. (1) any of the major appearances or aspects in which a thing of varying modes or conditions manifests itself to the eye or mind (2) a stage in a process of change or development (3) the particular appearance presented by the moon or a planet at a given time.

Lunar Phase Lunar phase refers to the appearance of the illuminated portion of the Moon as seen by an observer, (usually) on earth.

The multiple panels allow for time elapsed and changing points of view. These pieces speak to the constancy of change, the predictability of uncertainty. 3

The creative process for Ms Goldman often begins with sketches and words. Phasis began with sketches ( At point 1:25 in the video above ) and a rift on ‘Phases of the Moon’. A self-confessed ‘Geek’, Ms Goldman loves words. She will sit and read the dictionary. “Language, music, poetry”, she says,”has a certain meter to it, a regularity like our own heartbeat”. She’s also a “Quote Junkie” having collected thousands of them over the years. These quotes serve as a type of shortcut to express ideas and a personal point of view. Ms Goldman read a few of her favorite quotes to Blogger, Phillip J. Mellen of Ahtcast in a 2013 interview. 4

Robert Henri 5 (leading figure in the Ashcan Art Movement 6 of the early twentieth century): “The object isn’t to make art, It’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable” 7

Frank Lobdell 8: “Sometimes it’s not what one puts into a painting but rather what one leaves out that makes a compelling picture.” 9

Pearl Buck 10: “The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To them a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstacy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a God, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism, the overpowering necessity to create, create, create, so that without the creating of music, or poetry, or books or buildings or of something of meaning, their very breath is cut off. They must create — must pour out creation. By some strange unknown urgency, they are not really alive unless they are creating. “ 11

Patti Smith 12: “In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life, may you proceed with balance and stealth.” 13

Marcel Proust 14 : “The real voyage of discovery consists in not seeking new landscapes but having new eyes.” 15

Anais Nin 16: “There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risks it took to blossom.” 17

Constantin Brâncuși 18 : on Abstraction. “When you see a fish, you don’t think of its scales, do you? You think of it’s speed, it’s floating, flashing body seen through the water. If I make fins and eyes and scales I would arrest its movement. Give it pattern or shape of reality. I just want the flash of the spirit. “ 19

Paul Cézanne 20: “Painting is damned difficult. You always think you’ve got it but you haven’t. I could paint for a hundred years, a thousand years, without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing.” 21

Abstract Artist, Connie Goldman
Bay Area Abstract Artist, Connie Goldman.

Asked to apply three to five words to describe her work, Ms Goldman responded, “Quiet, understated, musical. My work is far-reaching, referencing other disciplines, language and music; the spaces that exist in music, haiku, proportion.” The creative process is never-ending. Of her work, Ms Goldman observes: “You can’t master it. You can’t completely master it.”

Artist Statement

Using a minimalist vocabulary and a reductive aesthetic that emphasizes the importance of space, rhythm, structure, and relations, I make works of art that are concrete and essential approximations of my own emotional and intellectual experiences. The work reflects my interests in architecture, music, science, sculpture, and painting as well as the threads of commonality that run between them.

The tendency or desire to gravitate toward unity and stability is in opposition to the urge toward independence, transition, and growth. My work evokes this same tension, the dynamic that underlies my own existence. I see each piece as being analogous to the rhythmic and contradictory forces of stasis and flux that propel my world toward both constancy and change.

^jh

Further readings and sources:

Show 21 Footnotes

  1. The Artist’s website
  2. Fine Arts Consultant, Laurie Ghielmetti Interior + Art
  3. Phasis – the Artist’s website
  4. Soundcloud Ahtcast Artist Interview with Connie Goldman
  5. Robert Henri (June 24, 1865 – July 12, 1929) was an American painter and teacher
  6. The Ashcan School or Ash Can School
  7. Robert Henri Quotes Goodreads.com
  8. Frank Lobdell (1921 – 2013) American painter, often associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement and Bay Area Abstract Expressionism
  9. Frank Lobdell: “Nothing Worth Anything Is Easy”
  10. Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973), American writer and novelist
  11. Pearl S. Buck Quotes Goodreads.com
  12. Patricia Lee ‘Patti’ Smith (born December 30, 1946) American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist an influential component of the New York City seventies punk rock movement.
  13. Rolling Stone: Patti Smith: Family Life, Recent Loss, and New Album ‘Gone Again’ by David Fricke, July 11, 1996.
  14. Marcel Proust ( July 10, 1871 – November 18, 1922 ) French novelist, critic, and essayist
  15. Marcel Proust Quotes Goodreads.com
  16. Anaïs Nin ( February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977 ) author
  17. Anaïs Nin – Wikiquote ; see ‘disputed’
  18. Constantin Brâncuși ( February 19, 1876 – March 16, 1957 ) Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer; considered a pioneer of modernism, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century, ‘patriarch of modern sculpture’
  19. Constantin Brancusi Quotes Goodreads.com
  20. Paul Cézanne ( January 19, 1839 – October 22, 1906 ) French artist and Post-Impressionist painter
  21. Paul Cézanne’s Quotes
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Maya Kabat: California, Color & The Urban Palette

Artist, Maya Kabat
San Francisco Bay Area Abstract Impressionism: Artist, Maya Kabat

Architectural forms, geometric abstraction, and the tension between balance, color & form inspire California Abstract Artist, Maya Kabat. The urban landscape of California’s Bay Area and the unconventional tools she uses further informs her art.

I paint to create a language for things I can’t articulate, to address the questions that don’t have answers.

For Kabat, the work is an ongoing process of refinement and regeneration. She uses drywall tools, to layer, build and add texture to her canvases. With seeming impetuosity, she may introduce a dissonant color or destructively wipe a canvas entirely clean to start over. She works fast and prolific, obsessive almost. The process dictated by an imperative inherent within the medium: She can only work as the paint is malleable. “Time” is not necessarily her friend.

[..] it means I really have to be fully committed to paint one of my pieces. I can’t leave it if it’s not done.

Maya Kabat “started out as a kid who just needed to make things”. As a young girl she began knitting with her grandmother. She carried that skill on through high school and into college. “I always loved thread.”

She began “quilting” as an undergrad finding inspiration in improvisational quilters such as the unique and important African-American Gee’s Bend quilt makers and the renowned African-American quiltmaker, Rosie Lee Tompkins. The asymmetry and the improvisational approach to pattern, shape and color continue to influence her work.

Prior to graduate studies at the University of California, Davis Ms. Kabat began painting because she felt a need to learn about color in ways that quilt-making could not afford. Initially, she began primarily painting landscapes, understanding space — using the basic tools to construct realistic space.

Her present work can be considered “urban landscapes” embodying that sense of push & pull with space, of dark & light, of small worlds of pattern, color & texture, “just like the city itself”.

Artist’s Statement

In this series of paintings I explore the changing form and reality of my daily life through an examination of constantly shifting external and internal environments. Referencing the urban landscape where I live, I examine how with the changing seasons, my surroundings shift with the light, the weather, the passing of time. Plates of earth move and my house shakes and then settles. The horizontal and vertical structures around me turn slightly off-kilter with time and wear, as the cracks in the hard cement remind me that nothing is fixed. The built environments in which I dwell, like my body and my mind, are not static.

My paintings play within this space between chaos and order, structure and formlessness; between a world that feels solid, unchanging, and safe, while simultaneously knowing that nothing is. The result is the visual record of the struggle to hold these two realities at once; to create a language for the uncertainty and precariousness of life without crumbling beneath the weight of the understanding.

Using a range of scraping tools I create my surfaces with stripes, gouges and flat slabs of paint, as I apply, scrape away, and reapply paint. Earlier layers are exposed and then covered, as the painting is built, cut away and edited. I see the process of painting itself as an excavation. I work to expose the truth of the painting and to locate some truth about myself within it. I paint to create a language for things I can’t articulate, to address the questions that don’t have answers.

Featured works by Maya Kabat can be viewed at Garden Court Antiques presented by Art Consultant, Laurie Ghielmetti Interiors + Art.

Maya Kabat received a Master of Fine Arts in 2000 from the University of California, Davis. Notable exhibitions include a solo show at the Caffe Museo at SFMOMA in 2012, a solo show at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco, California in 2009, and a two-person exhibition at 5 Claude Lane Gallery, in San Francisco, California which was reviewed in Art LTD. Magazine in September, 2011. She was a founding member of the artist-run space, Mercury Twenty Gallery, in Oakland, California and served as President on the Oakland Art Murmur Board of Directors in 2011-2012. For more on Ms. Kabat’s substantial background [..] ^jh

Further readings and sources:
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Elaine Coombs, Fascination With The Rhythms, Colors & Patterns of The Natural World.

Elaine Coombs
In many respects it is predestined that artist, Elaine Coombs would live and thrive in San Francisco. This City’s urbane, innovative, yet intimate qualities are complemented by a surrounding wealth of verdant, lush wildnerness replete with trees, light, color, flora & fauna not found in many other cities. These are the qualities that initially drew Ms. Coombs, a native of Toronto, Canada, to San Francisco in 2000.

“San Francisco is a small yet cosmopolitan city – small enough to get to know people easily but big enough to not run into them all the time. And with the influence of the technological and creative wealth of the greater Bay Area, I think it is one of the most vibrant places in the world to call home”


Ms Coombs’ uses photography in her creative process to capture light & shadow as she draws on the outdoors for inspiration. Walks through the nearby Muir Woods Redwoods Forest (which John Muir called “the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world.”) is a favorite ‘muse’ of hers. San Francisco’s iconic Washington Square Park in North Beach is another & the subject of a few works on display at Garden Court Antiques. As Coombs returns to projects, sometimes months later, these photographs serve as inspiration for her work.

Lengthy experimentation, what Coombs calls “playing around” has culminated in an artistic process of expertly placed dots of color that shimmer with light & depth which convey the artist’s deep connection with the outdoors. Coombs does not use a brush. Her art is created with knives, palette knives of wood & steel that flex offering her the perfect painting response.

“I can’t imagine going back to using a brush again to create an image. I even prime my canvases with a knife.”

But, maybe, its best we let the artist speak for herself:

Artist’s Statement:

There is something about being in nature that makes me want to seek out these spaces time and again. Perhaps it is a memory conjured from my rural childhood; positive feelings of comfort, stability and happiness come to mind easily. It seems whenever I simply need to regroup, breathe and return to center, it is the forest that can do this for me every time.

In the studio, I refer to printed photographs I have taken on my nature walks, which inform my acrylic paintings. Intuitively, my eye separates the patterns of color that I see in the photo and translates these into a complex mosaic of dots on the canvas. Over time, the methodical application of the dot technique has become in itself a meditation of sorts. I am peacefully absorbed in the process of painting the work, which I hope is imparted to the viewer with a pleasurable feeling of well-being similar to what I feel actually being in the forest.

My unique way of interpreting a photograph owes some debt to the digital age and to the proliferation of pixelated imagery that I have grown up absorbing. As an artist I enjoy the process of separating an image into parts, breaking it down and then building it up again in a slightly altered fashion. My work has the dual aspect of seeming realist from afar and yet is quite abstract at near view. It is this dichotomy, achieved in the successful play of opposite modes of seeing that I feel is the most contemporary aspect of my work.

Featured works by Elaine Coombs can be viewed at Garden Court Antiques presented by Art Consultant, Laurie Ghielmetti Interiors + Art. Additionly, Ms Coombs creates commissioned works in conjunction with a designer, art consultant or gallery exploring a client’s personal connection to their outdoor environs.

Elaine’s paintings have been exhibited both nationally and internationally in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto, London, and Singapore. Her work has been seen in a number of publications, notably: California Home + Design Magazine (2007); Art Calendar Magazine (2009); and a new book entitled Green Art: Trees, Leaves and Roots (2014). Several notable collections have acquired her paintings; the U.S. Department of State – Art Bank Program, and the Ritz Carlton Highlands Hotel in Lake Tahoe, California – as well as numerous corporate and private collectors worldwide.^jh

Further reading: