no woman is an island

Hi. I love your Torso images. Do you have similar work available? Dennis

This simple note arrives on September 13, 2014. Chosen for the State of the Art, Discovering American Art Now exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum, my studio visit makes the cover of the arts section in the NYT.  I receive email from across the country.
It still makes me smile. I am overwhelmed in the best possible way.

Eventually Dennis inquires about a commission. He let me know he’d prefer a male, anterior view anatomy study. He’s a cardiologist, the connection to the heart is the draw. Willing to wait as long as needed (his words), I decide he’s a patient man. In our correspondence I also gather he’s thoughtful. He describes how he works with artists to foster both creativity and opportunity. He writes that he rarely buys paintings, though he loves and collects glass sculpture.

Fast forward to September 2017

Hi Monica – I contacted you a few years ago … I had discussed a piece in your torso series. Do you have any completed works in line with that body of work you might have for sale at present?  Dennis

I have work and send him images. It doesn’t take him long to decide on a painting titled  Front Body, Male.

Front Body, Male,  Casein and Gesso on Canvas,  34 x 13″

I now know his full name is Dr. Dennis Chugh.  I very much appreciate his reconnecting after all this time.

Front Body, Male will be on display at the University of Arizona medical school opening in a few short weeks.  I am happy to note the painting is his. I will borrow it for the exhibit, Nothing In Stasis. The show will run to March.

Dennis will have to wait a little longer for the work. His response: I’m in no hurry. I’m so glad your work is being seen (and sold).

Thank you Dennis, for reaching out and for the support of my work.


Dennis Chugh is a cardiologist who appreciates the arts and is also a maker of beautiful objects. He has blown glass for several years.

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

You can see more of his colorful Aviary Cilinders at → dennischugh.com


The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.


no woman is an island

Maria sends an email… I will be back in town next week and was wondering if you have any of your work on exhibit right now. We have friends coming into town for a few days and I’m thinking of things for us to do. So if you were showing somewhere I would love to take our friends. One of them is an artist herself.

I invite Maria, Susan and Laura to come to my studio.

As you might expect  anatomy study surrounds us. We talk the body for a good while. Laura personally relates to the newest kidney drawing sitting on my table. Susan wants to know about materials – the paint and paper.  I understand she has worked in woodcut and now does linocut.

Do you have any prints, she wonders. This question always confuses me. Do people mean a reproduction like a giclée or poster? Or do they mean an original print? I’m a printmaker. I stumble with the words … I have real prints, I say.

Maria wants to know about one particular small print. I’ve only thought about anatomy lately so I have to stop, change focus and think … considering the content of the work, I find it amusing. I can tell Susan and Laura do too.

selfsustainingconfusion1

Self-Sustaining Confusion, MM – Collage and hand-painted print, 12 x 10″

Here it is, in a nutshell:
The title – Self-Sustaining Confusion – I find in physicist David Bohm’s book On Creativity. I write the phrase on a piece of paper and leave it on my work table. Weeks pass and one day the rest of the composition formulates while I listen to NPR.  A scientist talks about the brain chemistry at various stages of awareness (or lack of) and I hear things like 69 unfolded proteins and limited real-estate in the brain. And that’s that, I pull out a piece of copper and start drawing.

We talk printmaking and intaglio. This is a dry point.  I use a sharp-pointed tool to  scratch the image directly on a copper-plate (I love copper!). Can you see it? ↓ The process of both printmaking and collage tend to free me up, work flows more stream of consciousness.

About this print in particular – If I recall correctly I pull 15 prints, only 7 of them are worth saving. In general the drypoint technique won’t allow for too many pulls, the marks are too irregular.

img_2230

copper plate with drawing on it

img_2229

a few pulls of the print

img_2247

Each image varies slightly. This one is the first image I collage and paint in the series of 7.

We talk about California (where they are from), the ocean, and the desert. We discuss raising chickens (I learn some things) and having fresh eggs (Susan does).  Of course I bring up making  egg tempera paint. They leave my home with plans to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s (Taliesin West).

Ladies, I appreciate our morning together. Thank you Susan for wanting to take home Self-Sustaining Confusion. It’s the last one of that series. Enjoy it!

img_9421-1


The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.

no woman is an island

6and7Martinez_Hers and His

I meet Vlada and Matthew in June, while making center pieces for the wedding party tables. We all sit cutting and organizing flowers. My sister is getting married and they have come from New York City to El Paso, Texas, to attend the wedding.

I learn Vlada is from Sofia, Bulgaria. Her husband Matthew is from the United States. They are both musicians. And before the wedding is over the next day, they sit at the piano together and play for everyone. Their performance is physical and captivating.

Vlada contacts me mid-November while I am at Crystal Bridges.  They are interested in buying an artwork. I am surprised and pleased. We have a number of interactions to narrow down what will work for them.

Today I learn they want to buy two paintings, a set Hers and His.  The compositions are small female and male pelvis studies representing primordial energy. They both are from the series Nothing In Stasis. Here are a couple of posts about the artwork: Primordial Energy and Hers, Nothing in Stasis  and His

Vlada  lives and teaches in New York. Matthew is completing his teaching license. They  perform throughout the United States and Europe (far and wide). In our correspondence I learn Vlada is also a body worker.

Thank you Vlada and Matthew! Enjoy the paintings. I do believe the purchasing of these two works is creatively symbolic.

 

www.Masterwork Conversations.com is Vlada and Matthew’s website. They  have recently recorded an album called Imagination of the Folk.


The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.

no woman is an island

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.
Rumi

 


I have worked on this commission for most of the last 3 weeks. Normally I don’t do this kind of work that fast, I tell Terri yesterday when I deliver the completed, though unframed, large work on paper. I enjoyed it and I struggled with it. In general my drawing is changing, I am including much more information, if I can figure it out.

There are things about this composition I don’t normally set up to do – like a smiling face. Because I told Terri to stand in a natural way and she stood firm, bright-eyed, strong, chin up and she smiled, I worked very hard to get the face just right – eyes, smile and all.

Here are a few progressive shots of it:

IMG_6315

general sketch

 

IMG_6321

refinement and muscle structure

 

IMG_6329

anatomy goes in

IMG_6462

completed head includes cranial nerves in and out the head

IMG_6463

I wish I could take that, Terri points to all the internal anatomy in the artwork, and place it here, inside me – she points to her chest. It came from you, I say as I laugh. She nods and repeats herself, I wish I could bring that inside me, now.  That’s a great thing to hear.

This is an anatomy study , it’s a study of an energetic system, it’s Terri. And Terri has brain cancer.

I ask if she is okay with me sharing all this. She nods her head – Yes, I am. I ask a few more times. I feel protective. But whom am I protecting, I wonder. Terri is accepting of her life. Her son, who is present, agrees – she’s accepting it all!  Terri is forthcoming about where she finds herself, and she’s at peace. I see it in her expression. I hear it in her voice. She tells me she’s had 3 other cancers – of the colon, in the sacrum, in the lungs, and now – the brain.

I consider the physical body a lot these days, as I immerse myself in these anatomy studies. The body serves a great purpose, it holds the spirit. As human beings we live and connect with it and through it.

I prefer to use medical terminology when I title a work. This could be different, it is a human body, a female front body, from head to hips. It is a  Study of a Human Female Body, Anterior View. But I am thinking of another title, a sub-title, something like –  Inside me, Inside you.

Thanks again Terri. It’s been some assignment to study your spirit – strong-willed and so directed.

teri2

The work is casein, gesso and graphite on cream Arches paper, 36″ x 25″


The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.

mm8

The art in this post connects to another work completed in 2012. Terri and Patricaia traveled to Italy recently and upon their return, drove to California and married.

a new commission

 A circle is the reflection of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end – and if you put several circles over each other then you get a spiral. ~MJK


I work on a commission –  a painting on paper of a female front body – head to hips. I began 2 weeks ago when I photographed and outlined Terri, on a Sunday afternoon. The colors, forms and angles on this life-size study feel different to me and so I move more slow and careful. Each day I detail out one or two organs. I have a few more anatomical systems to bring in that will pull the structure together more. Of course I also plan to work the background. I know the composition will look different even a week from today, so I document process.

Someone asked what I read – he was curious, he said. As I work on this I am both listening to and reading Caroline Myss who deals with the energetic systems of the human body. Myss looks at everything as symbol. I understand this.

IMG_6321

IMG_6412 IMG_6409

 

IMG_6411

 

IMG_6407bNo Woman is an Island.

 

state of the art – discovering american art now

Unknown

I am excited to let you know my work will be a part of the State of the Art exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of America.

This is certain to be a one-of-a-kind exhibition experience – for artists and visitors both – as curators travelled 10,000 miles across the United Sates to visit with nearly 1000 artists. My studio was in that mix of visits as were a handful of AZ artists. I recall the initial phone call and email I received – I really couldn’t believe it ( for the record – I do believe it now ).

1920275_10152204234467298_1363815244_n

Photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

About the exhibit:
State of the Art features 102 artists from across the country selected for inclusion as a result of Crystal Bridges president Don Bacigalupi and assistant curator Chad Alligood’s travels and visits (mostly in person, some via Skype) with artists from every region of the U.S.

About the art works:
· Works in the exhibition include photography, video, ceramics, action/interaction, glass, fiber, installation, paper, painting, and sculpture.

· There are more than 200 total works in the exhibition

· The exhibition will reach beyond the boundaries of the Museum’s temporary exhibition spaces, extending into the permanent collection galleries and activating public and community areas indoors and out. Gallery spaces will total 19,000 square feet.

There is no charge to view the exhibition.

WHO: Crystal Bridges, Museum of American Art
WHAT: STATE OF THE ART – DISCOVERING AMERICAN ART NOW
WHERE: Bentonville, AK
WHEN: September 13, 2014 – January 19, 2015

 For more details click ↓image005

Visit the press page here on my blog and see the YouTube studio visit and/or read about the show and my work.

There is more to share but this is a good start.
Did I say I am excited? Yes I did. I am.

I could have titled this post No Woman is an Island.

no woman is an island – continues

One show is the riotously antic, articulate show of paintings by Monica Aissa Martinez. This colorful, well-designed art seems to cavort through paper and canvas, with two humanoid abstractions (of assorted and combined cocktail glasses, beakers, squiggly lines) showing the convolutions of humans’ pairing-game. While whimsical, Martinez’s show is beautifully designed and painted, with a message built in – partnering may look hilarious, but it has serious, even threatening dimensions. – Roberta Burnett in a Special for the AZ Republic


synchronous

Synchronous
Casein on Linen
12 x 12″

Veronica and Greg drop into my studio on a Friday evening, in March. Veronica walks along the walls looking at work. She appears to be searching for something in particular. She explains she is interested in buying a wedding gift.

I recall a series I made a few years back that expresses the nature of relationship – the balance/imbalance of masculine and feminine energies. I open my flat file drawers and we look through work. I pull out a few small paintings. She likes two of them. Last week she decides which one she’ll take.

When is the wedding? I ask Veronica.
March 29th.
What a generous gift.

We want to give them something important and symbolic – something special. Art.

Thank you Greg and Veronica. The gesture is thoughtful and I appreciate my work being part of a grand day.

And to Heather and Andy – Happy Nuptials to the both of you.

synchronous – syn – “together,” – chronos – “time.”
– at the same time or frequency: simultaneous, in synch, in step


The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.

IMG_5911

This small painting is part of a large series of works on paper and canvas titled → Relationships – the ebb and flow. I completed the body of work in 2007. One might say in the bigger picture I was questioning and studying relationship, while in the smaller picture I was trying to understand basic electronics.

ebbandflow