FIGURATIVE AND EXPERIMENTAL EXPRESSIONIST PAINTINGS BY RUTH RIFKA News http://ruthrifka.com The latest news from FIGURATIVE AND EXPERIMENTAL EXPRESSIONIST PAINTINGS BY RUTH RIFKA. en-us Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:19:54 CDT Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:19:54 CDT http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Ultimate Truth in ART Making. <div></div><div><h2>How Does Artistic Truth Emerge?</h2><div>&nbsp;By searching for it, or letting it happen? &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div><h2>&nbsp;</h2></div><div><h2>&nbsp;SELF-PORTRAIT AS THERAPY<br /></h2><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For&nbsp; want of a model or subject, I sometimes turn to Self Portrait, but for sure, not out of vanity! More like it, I do a real number on myself!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><h2>&nbsp;"THE SCREAM"<br /></h2><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp; This became my version of "The Scream".&nbsp; Call it self expression or self indulgence, but I think it's an honest artistic statement. Whatever else, I&nbsp; think I told the truth.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/Ultimate%20Truth%20in%20Art%20Making/KAE4AE5D3DF_1000027.jpg" height="471" width="600" />&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><h2>&nbsp; </h2></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div> Wed, 18 Jan 2012 18:37:11 CST THE ARTISTRY OF JELLYFISH <img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/The%20Artistry%20of%20Jellyfish/IMG_0417.jpg" height="450" width="600" /><br /><br />ORGANIC LIVING SCULPTURES<br /><br />Call&nbsp; them what you may&#8211;&#8211; jellyfish, jellies, jellies, sea jellies, Medusa,&nbsp;&nbsp; MAN OF WAR&#8211;&#8211; to my mind, they are the oldest&nbsp; body artists on this planet. They have roamed the seas for 500 million years. Shaping themselves from some magic substance, wrapping themselves around air in miracles of design. Transparent. Fragile. Ephemeral, yes, but eternal in their capacity to re-invent themselves.<br /><br />Tossed up from the tide, strewn along the Florida beach, jellyfish force walkers to move gingerly around them.&nbsp; They will sting badly if you step on their thin thread of a streamer. But if you respect them, they leave you alone. And they are so beautiful.<br /><br />BODY ARTISTS<br /><br /><div>&nbsp;I am totally fascinated by them. This exquisite blob that I photographed was one of hundreds catching the sun&#8217;s glint along the sandy shore.&nbsp; Scattered there on the sand, from a distance the transparent blobs look like chunks of glass reflecting off the sun. Closer they sparkle like&nbsp; a mineralogist&#8217;s collection of individual precious crystals.&nbsp; Then when you peer down on them, you see&nbsp; that each one,&nbsp; is a pulsating life-form, a body artist shaping its&nbsp; own jellyfish destiny, a living sculpture of incomparable grace and form.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div></div><div><img src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/The Artistry of Jellyfish/IMG_0401_1.jpg" alt="" height="450" width="600" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div> </div><div>Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from surface shallow waters to the deepest&nbsp; depths. </div>These that I have photographed are from salt water. I am not sure they are&nbsp; any more benign than Man O&#8217;War, but I wouldn&#8217;t test them. So far as I know only the fresh water species don&#8217;t sting.<br /><br /><br />These transparent creatures probably do&#8211;&#8211; Harmless as they appear. When I look down into them,&nbsp; study their mystery, I feel&nbsp; properly humbled. Awed. Right before me, I have stumbled upon some ultimate truth. <br /><br />Nature in its unfathomable eternal mystery&nbsp; reminds you of the limits of human artistry.<br /><div>We can only strive in our small way to make some suitable comment.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Fri, 13 Jan 2012 13:39:23 CST WOULD YOU BUY THE MONA LISA? <p style="text-align: center;"></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px;"><strong><img src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/F1000005.jpg" width="600" height="384" alt="" /><br /></strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><div></div><div></div><div><h2>&nbsp;WOULD YOU BUY THE MONA LISA?&nbsp;</h2></div><div><h3>EVEN IF YOU REALLY DON'T DIG IT?</h3><div>&nbsp;Lots of people wouldn't buy the Mona Lisa if it were painted yesterday by some unknown artist. If they could level with you &#8211;&#8211;without being hooted down&#8211;&#8211; they would tell you they really don't&nbsp; dig it.&nbsp; Does that mean they shouldn't be allowed to purchase art without taking a caretaker along? Do they need a financial adviser to sanctify their art purchase?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Freedom of religion is pretty well a given, these days,&nbsp; so how about freedom of art choice?</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><h3><span style="font-family: LucidaGrande; ">BUYING ART AS INVESTMENT?</span></h3><p><span style="font-weight: normal; ">For the buyer, acquiring a piece of art should be a real cinch, a total pleasure. You love it. You want it. It&#8217;s within your budget. It already has an ideal future home, the perfect spot, that doesn&#8217;t clash with your d&#233;cor.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: normal; ">It expresses who you are. It's an "Object of Beauty" in your own eyes. Isn&#8217;t that enough?</span></p><p><br /></p><p>What&#8217;s the hoo-ha anyway about acquiring the&nbsp;<em>right</em><span style="font-style: normal; ">&nbsp;kind of art? Art should not be an investment, but a matter of the heart. From my particular,( and yes, prejudiced) perch, love is not for investment purposes. Or for making a fantastic profit in some future turnover .<br /></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>GARAGE-SALE ART DISCOVERIES</h2><h4>THE BIG DREAM: FINDING AN UNEXPECTED 'VALUABLE' TREASURE&#8211;&#8211;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</h4><div>Will discovering a moldering, hideous painting at a garage sale, perhaps some famous artist&#8217;s cast-off, make you like it better? Probably not. So you might as well cash it in for the big bucks and buy whatever does something for your psyche.</div><p>To my thinking, just as much as the artist should have created the piece with conviction, so should the buyer part with his money the same way.&nbsp;&nbsp;The buyer should be true to, and trust his own self. Or else hang up gold certificates over the sofa. (Which ultimately, might prove savvier.)&nbsp;<br /></p><h2>BACK TO THE WHAT IS ART, ANYWAY? DEPARTMENT</h2><p>Art should and does mean different things to different people.&nbsp;<span style="font-family: Helvetica; ">Vive la diff&#233;rence</span>.&nbsp;&nbsp;Artists themselves have a problem getting a handle on &#8220;What Is Art&#8221;.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Speaking only for myself, I am always working towards conviction &#8211;&#8211;what is true. Not being a saint, I am not above painting towards the &#8220;art market&#8221;.&nbsp;&nbsp;Except it wouldn&#8217;t work in my case. Honesty of expression is my gig.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h4>MY CRITERION ON WHETHER MY &nbsp;OWN PAINTING IS ANY GOOD&#8211;&#8211;&#8211;</h4><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The painting on the easel must surprise me and I &nbsp;I feel that could never duplicate it again. It begins to be dear to me, another offspring, so to speak.&nbsp; And I would prefer to part with it on a one to one basis with someone simpatico to me.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div>This is my take (one of several) on the Mona Lisa:&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;<img src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/F1000005.jpg" alt="" align="bottom" height="384" width="600" /><p><span style="font-family: LucidaGrande; ">"MONA LISA, JAZZED UP"&nbsp;&nbsp; OIL/CANVAS/&nbsp; 40" X 60" DIPTYCH</span></p><div></div><div>A reversible diptych 40 inches high,&nbsp; 60 inches wide. Oil on canvas. Since the sides can be alternated, it becomes 2 paintings in one, and a bit of a conversation piece.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">~</div><div>&nbsp;<p>PayPal may be the greatest innovation for commerce, but ideally, I would rather sell my work to a real live person visiting me in my studio, or, at least, by phone contact.&nbsp;&nbsp;If you would like to see &nbsp;any paintings displayed on www.ruthrifka.com offline (plus&nbsp; other work, as yet un-photographed), I welcome you to visit me in my home studio, or discuss any painting on my website (www.ruthrifka.com),&nbsp; by e-mail (ruthrifka1@gmail.com) &nbsp;or by phone (561-368-1127).<br /></p><div style="text-align: center;">~</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;ruthrifka1@gmail.com</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;~</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sun, 25 Dec 2011 10:57:55 CST The Lioness in Winter/The Model in Her Springtime <div><h5>&nbsp;</h5><div>&nbsp;<img src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/IMG_0291.jpg" width="487" height="600" align="top" alt="" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>THE LIONESS IN WINTER&nbsp; 1.</div></div><div><h6>&nbsp;</h6></div><h3>HOW SHOULD THE OLDER WOMAN BE PAINTED?</h3><br />I love the challenge of painting the woman, or man, of a certain age. &nbsp; I don&#8217;t go for&nbsp;&nbsp; typecasting the elderly subject as saint, venerable old sod, or ancient harridan, not&nbsp; being such an admirer of fixed genre.<br /><br />Nor do I aim for photographic&nbsp; likeness.&nbsp; Painting a &#8220;portrait&#8217; for me, no matter what intentions I start with, ends up as&nbsp; expressionist experiment&#8211;&#8211;a chance to paint&nbsp; Alla Prima within&nbsp; a&nbsp; certain time limit. To work fast and furious.&nbsp;<br /><div><h3><br /></h3></div><div><h3>CAN WRINKLES BE BEAUTIFUL?</h3></div><div>&nbsp;</div>&nbsp;The upstart in me adores wrinkles, the more the better, because they lend expression, and the lines almost paint themselves into a &#8221;found&#8221; composition.&nbsp;&nbsp; I find beauty in that. (That said, I am not crazy about my own wrinkles when I brave the mirror, but&nbsp; oddly I loved them those times when&nbsp; I have done self portraits, no other human subject being available.&nbsp; I&nbsp; like to think I have been honest enough to do a pretty good number on myself, but that&#8217;s a subject for a future blog on Self Portraits.)<br /><br />When a model&nbsp; is totally her honest self and past the stage of making herself glamorous.&nbsp; It&#8217;s contagious. &#8220;The Lioness in Winter&#8221; was my&nbsp; muse of complete abandon.&nbsp; She was so natural, I felt given permission to let myself go, and not dwell on outcome, but process.<br /><br /><h3>FRANS HALS, MASTER OF THE&nbsp; ALLA&nbsp; PRIMA PROCESS.</h3><br />Frans Hals, for me embodies the spirit and drive of&nbsp; Alla Prima painting, most particularly in his quick studies and later &#8220;unfinished&#8221; work. When I do portrait, I feel on that kind of wave length:&nbsp; surprising myself with an unpredictable line drawing of the brush; creating a kind of pentimento of one line juxtaposed next&nbsp; to another; leaving no time for hesitation; finding myself&nbsp; executing a confident&nbsp; brush stroke that does the drawing, letting the drips gather where they want.<br /><br /><div>I guess a lot of what got put down on these 2 pieces is me,&nbsp; what I was feeling that day.&nbsp; I&nbsp; hope the model didn&#8217;t resent me for what ended up on canvas!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;<img src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/IMG_0293.jpg" width="470" height="600" align="absMiddle" alt="" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>THE LIONESS IN WINTER 2&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div></div><div><h3>THE PAINTING SKETCH AS CHARACTER PORTRAIT</h3></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Both painting sketches were done in roughly 3 hours, using a limited palette. Critiquing&nbsp; now, I see that they are not &#8220;pretty&#8221; ( as&nbsp; see below, my prettier effort, &#8220;The Model in her Springtime&#8221;).&nbsp; Maybe they don&#8217;t possess &#8220;hang-over-the-fireplace&#8221;&nbsp; appeal.&nbsp; And yet I am attached to their worth.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;<img src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/KAE4AE5D3DF_1000016.jpg" width="457" height="600" align="bottom" alt="" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>THE MODEL IN HER SPRINGTIME&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;<div>They may even be considered ugly,&nbsp; but&nbsp; I wanted them to succeed in the spirit of what some consider the uglier works of Lucian Freud or Picasso. Unsure of myself,&nbsp; I have&nbsp; still dared to show them.&nbsp; Whether they fall short of my own aspirations to be totally painterly, or valid, they were&nbsp; my artistic truth then, and I hope to do better, next time.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">~</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">ruthrifka1@gmail.com</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;~</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div></div> Sun, 25 Dec 2011 09:46:58 CST "Character" Portrait of an Old Woman <div><img src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/IMG_0214_12.57.07_PM.jpg" width="477" height="600" alt="" /><img src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/334/IMG_0214_12.57.07_PM.jpg" alt="" align="top" height="600" width="477" /></div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>The Wisdom of Her Years &nbsp; (Oil on Canvas) </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <br /> <h3>MODELS WEARING HATS. THE&nbsp; GENERAL HOKIENESS OF&nbsp; COSTUME DRAMA, ETC.</h3> <br /> <div>Working in an art club group, sharing the studio,&nbsp; one has to go along with the consensus of how to pose the model. So that's what I do. But I can't buy into the hokieness of trumped up&nbsp; costume drama. For me that's anathema to authenticity. Not that I don&#8217;t appreciate the original exotic article, but where is that to be found in these globalized days? </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Or is it&nbsp; just that I&nbsp; don&#8217;t have the proclivity or talent for clever satire, a la Cindy Sherman?&nbsp; Well,&nbsp; something to aspire to another day!</div> <br /> <br /> <h3>I JUST LIKE TO CUT TO THE CHASE.&nbsp;</h3> <br /> <div>The model chose to wear her pixiesh, threadbare hat as part of the whole costume ritual. So I had to focus harder to avoid thinking " perky little hat"&nbsp; and&nbsp; stick to my goal of painting portrait as expressionist experiment&#8211;&#8211;My&nbsp; proclivity is towards a form of&nbsp; abstraction that eliminates the extraneous.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>If luck is with me, then I will be painting&nbsp; a manifestation of her inner life, and some truth from my own.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>I found myself building the painting's structure with thick impasto strokes, and&nbsp;&nbsp; I used a&nbsp; limited palette.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <br /> At least, I did not have to be concerned with flattering or insulting the model&nbsp; by my efforts.&nbsp; A very humble individual,&nbsp; she was interested only in keeping the pose satisfactorily.&nbsp; And&nbsp; I guess she needed the money because&nbsp; she kept mentioning that she was very grateful for the difficult job of posing for our group&#8217;s 4 hour session. Never complaining, careful not to talk or laugh. Which kind of produced a zen quality to her concentration.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> She hadn&#8217;t brought any lunch, so we all shared ours with her. She thanked us for hiring her&#8211;&#8211; evidently, elderly models aren&#8217;t too much in demand. And her hat really didn&#8217;t get in the way too much. She allowed herself to be&#8211;&#8211; a woman of quiet dignity, a woman for all the artistic styles in our painting room. <br /> <br /> <div>&nbsp; At a certain point, I thought: my painting is finished. In fact, it kind of painted itself to its final conclusion. So I stopped. After it dried, I used&nbsp; more glazes.&nbsp; I think the painting is &#8220;finished&#8221; now, whatever that is.</div> <div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;~</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;">ruthrifka1@gmail.com&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;">~&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 15:37:48 CST