Thursday, August 17, 2017

BEFORE THE SNOW

More of my freshly painted old canvases this week.  This painting feels to me as if it is mid Autumn but there is a heaviness in the air and it smells like snow is coming.


SNOW IS COMING
Nancy Herman
Oil on stretched canvas
12" x 12"

$50.00




Thursday, August 10, 2017

FOGGY EARLY FALL

This painting feels to me like one of those days in early fall when the weather is still warm but the fog rolls in and there is a hint of smoke in the air.  Maybe it's back to school with your new plaid skirt on or out in the garden raking the first leaves, but whatever, everything feels right with the world. 


FOGGY EARLY FALL
Nancy Herman
12" x 12"
oil on stretched canvas

$50.00




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

THREE POPPIES


Every spring I wait with bated breath for the appearance of my Poppies. 
 (By the way this is the only way we use the word bate these days.  It comes from "abate" to hold back.  Since I am a terrible speller I looked up the spelling to be sure and found this funny little poem that uses the incorrect spelling of the word to good "effect"...and why is it not "affect"?  Well I think because in this case it is a noun.)

Geoffrey Taylor
Cruel, Clever Cat, 1933
Sally, having swallowed cheese
Directs down holes the scented breeze
Enticing thus with baited breath
Nice mice to an untimely death.
So much for the grammar discussion.  Here is one of my favorite Poppy paintings.  I recently found a painting done by my grandmother of Poppies so I suppose you could say Poppy painting runs in the family.



THREE POPPIES
Nancy Herman
12" x 16"
oil on stretched canvas


close up
THREE POPPIES
SOLD


$75.00







Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RED MAPLES AND FOR GET ME NOTS

For Get Me Nots make sure you don't forget them by appearing every spring whether summoned or not.  I love their cheery blueness and welcome them even though they are never exactly where they were intended.  They have a way of their own which makes them truly unforgettable.  

The paintings I am posting lately began years ago and have been updated recently, probably yesterday or the day before.  I am having fun digging in to the old paint to bring it new life.



RED MAPLES AND FOR GET ME NOTS
Nancy Herman
12" x 12"
oil on stretched canvas

$50.00







Monday, August 7, 2017

Korean Lilacs and Katsura

Here are a couple of immigrants who have settled in to a glorious existence in my garden.  They get along very well in this country and certainly reward all efforts on their behalf with show after show of exuberant beauty.





KOREAN LILACS AND JAPANESE KATSURA TREE
Nancy Herman
12" x 12"
oil on stretched canvas



inset Lilacs
SOLD

$50.00


Friday, August 4, 2017

Two Katsuras

Today's bargain is an oil sketch done outside of my two Katsura trees.  These are Japanese trees that span a huge portion of my backyard.  They are  male and  female and they make plenty of seedlings that I nurture.  I am happy to share these little trees with anyone with a large nice wet place to plant them.  I believe the parents are around 150 years old.



TWO KATSURAS
11" x 13"
Nancy Herman
oil on stretched canvas




SOLD





Thursday, August 3, 2017

FORSYTHIA AT SAINT JOE'S

One of the things I look forward to in the early spring is the lively dancing Forsythia pushing itself joyfully around corners and through dense brush.  One place where there is no contest for its spirited display is this huge hedge bordering a dorm at Saint Joseph's University campus which is on my dog walking route. Here it gets a beautiful dark green background of towering pine trees.





FORSYTHIA AT ST. JOE'S
Nancy Herman
12" x 12"
oil on stretched canvas




inset FORSYTHIA AT ST. JOE'S

$50.00






Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ROSES AND CLEMATIS

A little earlier in the season these beauties were gracing my garden.  Another bargain for those who love summer and all its delights.  As you can see by the inset there is a lot of juicy paint and carving out in this one.





ROSES AND CLEMATIS
Nancy Herman
12" x 12"
oil on stretched canvas



inset ROSES AND CLEMATIS

$50.00





Tuesday, August 1, 2017

FESTIVE GARDEN


FESTIVE GARDEN
12' x 12"
oil on stretched canvas

After many months of silence I am back with a lot of bargains.  I have been cleaning out my house in order to make room for my daughter and son in law who are moving in. 45 or so years of collecting and making art willy nilly left me with stuff everywhere that has needed to be sorted through and disposed of.  I have saved some paintings but must make room for new art so I will be offering some goodies at bargain prices for the next couple of weeks.

Here is one that I have always enjoyed.

SOLD
$50.00
http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/nancy-herman/festive-garden/614940

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

IN PRAISE OF WEEDS

Spring is finally here and things are beginning to burst forth in all their glory.  Some of the first beauties to arrive are the weeds.  The weeds that like the conditions in the lawn and can get out there and bloom and go to seed before the first mow have a permanent place in my lawn and my heart.  Here are just a few.  Weeds are, after all, the easiest plants to grow.  Whatever green is left over after they bloom is a pleasant variation in the lawn.



Marsh Marigold


Veronica


Violets

Sunday, April 2, 2017

newsletter with pictures hopefully

Let's try this again for some reason the pictures did come through.

Here is a copy of my monthly newsletter if you want to be on my list please let me know.  I visit an art exhibit and report on what I find there.

On the very last day of March a couple of good friends rousted me out of my winter torpor to see the show at the Brandywine Museum, From Homer to Hopper: Experiment and Ingenuity in American Art. 

It was pouring rain so the trip was a bit hazardous but the company was enthusiastic and we made it there in one piece. After the splashing dash to the Museum door it was good to be inside with nothing but art to fill our senses for a few hours.

The Brandywine is a beautiful small museum rising majestically from the Brandywine River.
It is made of a rich combination of stone, brick, old sturdy wood, and glass.  The walking paths are made of lovely cobble stones with some simple geometric designs inserted here and there.  Plenty to appreciate.  I look forward to coming back on a beautiful day to walk around and enjoy the surroundings and the sculptures nestled on the banks of the river.





The Museum was built in 1971. The basic structure was the old Hoffman’s grist mill and the restoration is lovely.  The combination of old and new is very well handled in the architecture of the inside as well as the outside of the building.  There is a fine respect for materials, with huge old beams made of wood holding up the spaces in one part of the galleries and large swaths of glass looking out over the river in other parts.   The history of the Brandywine Conservancy is very interesting 
http://www.brandywine.org/brandywine/about/our-history.  This group of forward looking responsible citizens really have made a fine contribution to the area by placing 62,000 acres under conservation easements!

The Museum is dedicated to the work of the Wyeths.  A more thorough look at that collection will have to wait for another day.  We did enjoy a walk through some of the collection and were once again thrilled by the skill of the N.C. Wyeth’s illustrations.  I will return some day to tour his home and Andrew Wyeth’s farm.

The show we came to see from the Philips collection was very inspiring.  It is a small show which suits me fine as I much prefer lingering over my favorite paintings and not worrying that I am missing something.  I had not seen many of the paintings before in reproduction which was a thrill.  It is so exciting to see a work of one of your favorite artists for the first time in person. 

The first painting in the show is a dark beauty by Albert Pinkham Ryder, The Moonlit Cove which was actually in the Armory Show.  I’m never sure whether the cracks in old paintings add or subtract from their beauty.  Certainly they were not intended by the artist and because of them we will never know exactly what texture was intended.  I do think in this case the crackles add to the mystery of this painting as they say something about age and enduring feeling.



Albert Pinkham Ryder
The Cove

The next painting that caught my eye was this interesting piece by Augustus Vincent Tack, who I must admit I never heard of before.  It is the texture here that drew me in again.  The paint seems to be brushed over underpainting in some places and thick in others but the overall affect of the textures and the color is somehow mesmerizing.  Apparently Tack had some spiritualist leanings so perhaps that’s what comes through.



Ausgustus Vincent Tack
CANYON



Close up of CANYON

This Marsden Hartley, one of my favorite artists, was new to me.  It is so interesting the way the mind and heart of an artist shows in every work and, like composers, it is often possible from just a few notes or a few brushstrokes to tell who the artist is. Hartley’s luscious paint and simple shapes could belong to no one else.


WILD ROSES
Marsden Hartley

This next painting, RED SUN, by Arthur Dove is luminous when seen in person.  It is reproduced very large on a wall as one enters the exhibit and in that version it has absolutely no life at all.  
This may have to do with the quality of the reproduction or the fact that paintings were created to be a certain size and when that is changed they loose their reason for being.




RED SUN
Arthur Dove

Horace Pippin’s, DOMINO PLAYERS hit the spot- pun intended.  I love the play of black and white throughout the painting with just a splash of red here and there.  It looks like Horace had a lot of fun with this one.  I wonder if he is the young boy staring out at us.




THE DOMINO PLAYERS
Horace Pippin


THE DOMINO PLAYERS
inset

This painting by Hopper was also reproduced large on the wall outside the show and again suffered from being stretched. Like so many of Hopper’s paintings a solitary figure contemplates something and we are moved.  Why is he sitting alone on Sunday and why does the painting stir so many lonely personal moments?  There is also a Hopper painting of a bridge underpass in the show that I will leave you to discover for yourself.  I had never seen it before and found it haunting.


SUNDAY
Edward Hopper

The month of March found me continuing to try to diminish my footprint by getting rid of things I no longer need or want.  I like hats.  I don’t always wear them but I like to imagine wearing them various places.  I have too many and some are very large.  Obviously they must go, so I decided to see if someone else would like to imagine themselves wearing my hats and put them on eBay.  So I took several selfies of myself in the hats.  Every time I looked at these pictures I broke out laughing.  So I decided to ham it up, add some make up to the selfies in photoshop, and make a video set to music.   When I found this piece sung by Peggy Lee I knew I was on to the essence of my hat shedding experience.  I hope you get a kick out of it too.

I am working on adding shops to my website so check it out.  You never know what will be up there as I am adding everyday.

Thanks for tuning in.
See you next month or actually this month.
Best,
Nancy

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Newsletter

Let's try this again for some reason the pictures did come through.

Here is a copy of my monthly newsletter if you want to be on my list please let me know.  I visit an art exhibit and report on what I find there.

On the very last day of March a couple of good friends rousted me out of my winter torpor to see the show at the Brandywine Museum, From Homer to Hopper: Experiment and Ingenuity in American Art. 

It was pouring rain so the trip was a bit hazardous but the company was enthusiastic and we made it there in one piece. After the splashing dash to the Museum door it was good to be inside with nothing but art to fill our senses for a few hours.

The Brandywine is a beautiful small museum rising majestically from the Brandywine River.
It is made of a rich combination of stone, brick, old sturdy wood, and glass.  The walking paths are made of lovely cobble stones with some simple geometric designs inserted here and there.  Plenty to appreciate.  I look forward to coming back on a beautiful day to walk around and enjoy the surroundings and the sculptures nestled on the banks of the river.





The Museum was built in 1971. The basic structure was the old Hoffman’s grist mill and the restoration is lovely.  The combination of old and new is very well handled in the architecture of the inside as well as the outside of the building.  There is a fine respect for materials, with huge old beams made of wood holding up the spaces in one part of the galleries and large swaths of glass looking out over the river in other parts.   The history of the Brandywine Conservancy is very interesting 
http://www.brandywine.org/brandywine/about/our-history.  This group of forward looking responsible citizens really have made a fine contribution to the area by placing 62,000 acres under conservation easements!

The Museum is dedicated to the work of the Wyeths.  A more thorough look at that collection will have to wait for another day.  We did enjoy a walk through some of the collection and were once again thrilled by the skill of the N.C. Wyeth’s illustrations.  I will return some day to tour his home and Andrew Wyeth’s farm.

The show we came to see from the Philips collection was very inspiring.  It is a small show which suits me fine as I much prefer lingering over my favorite paintings and not worrying that I am missing something.  I had not seen many of the paintings before in reproduction which was a thrill.  It is so exciting to see a work of one of your favorite artists for the first time in person. 

The first painting in the show is a dark beauty by Albert Pinkham Ryder, The Moonlit Cove which was actually in the Armory Show.  I’m never sure whether the cracks in old paintings add or subtract from their beauty.  Certainly they were not intended by the artist and because of them we will never know exactly what texture was intended.  I do think in this case the crackles add to the mystery of this painting as they say something about age and enduring feeling.



Albert Pinkham Ryder
The Cove

The next painting that caught my eye was this interesting piece by Augustus Vincent Tack, who I must admit I never heard of before.  It is the texture here that drew me in again.  The paint seems to be brushed over underpainting in some places and thick in others but the overall affect of the textures and the color is somehow mesmerizing.  Apparently Tack had some spiritualist leanings so perhaps that’s what comes through.



Ausgustus Vincent Tack
CANYON



Close up of CANYON

This Marsden Hartley, one of my favorite artists, was new to me.  It is so interesting the way the mind and heart of an artist shows in every work and, like composers, it is often possible from just a few notes or a few brushstrokes to tell who the artist is. Hartley’s luscious paint and simple shapes could belong to no one else.


WILD ROSES
Marsden Hartley

This next painting, RED SUN, by Arthur Dove is luminous when seen in person.  It is reproduced very large on a wall as one enters the exhibit and in that version it has absolutely no life at all.  
This may have to do with the quality of the reproduction or the fact that paintings were created to be a certain size and when that is changed they loose their reason for being.




RED SUN
Arthur Dove

Horace Pippin’s, DOMINO PLAYERS hit the spot- pun intended.  I love the play of black and white throughout the painting with just a splash of red here and there.  It looks like Horace had a lot of fun with this one.  I wonder if he is the young boy staring out at us.




THE DOMINO PLAYERS
Horace Pippin


THE DOMINO PLAYERS
inset

This painting by Hopper was also reproduced large on the wall outside the show and again suffered from being stretched. Like so many of Hopper’s paintings a solitary figure contemplates something and we are moved.  Why is he sitting alone on Sunday and why does the painting stir so many lonely personal moments?  There is also a Hopper painting of a bridge underpass in the show that I will leave you to discover for yourself.  I had never seen it before and found it haunting.


SUNDAY
Edward Hopper

The month of March found me continuing to try to diminish my footprint by getting rid of things I no longer need or want.  I like hats.  I don’t always wear them but I like to imagine wearing them various places.  I have too many and some are very large.  Obviously they must go, so I decided to see if someone else would like to imagine themselves wearing my hats and put them on eBay.  So I took several selfies of myself in the hats.  Every time I looked at these pictures I broke out laughing.  So I decided to ham it up, add some make up to the selfies in photoshop, and make a video set to music.   When I found this piece sung by Peggy Lee I knew I was on to the essence of my hat shedding experience.  I hope you get a kick out of it too.

I am working on adding shops to my website so check it out.  You never know what will be up there as I am adding everyday.

Thanks for tuning in.
See you next month or actually this month.
Best,
Nancy

Monday, March 20, 2017

A GLIMPSE OF MANYUNK

Since it is the first day of spring I thought it would be nice to post a painting instead of some more color music.  Although this was not painted in the spring it does have the feeling of discovery that comes to me in the spring.  I got a glimpse of Manyunk through the trees along the Cynwyd trail.




A GLIMPSE OF MANYUNK
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

Buy now
$150.00

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Romance Without Words

My final stab at this method of translating music to color was this piece by Gabriel Faure, ROMANCE WITHOUT WORDS. It is interesting that artists continually try to say the same thing in different media.
I tried to indicate a little bit of the dynamics in this piece by having the color take up more space when it was louder.  I will try this, and other pieces using this method again and not fade each note into black, as I have done so far, as this creates a line between colors and doesn't actually represent what happens to notes in a musical piece.  I think the whole thing should fade at the edges of the screen instead as the piece gradually sinks into time.

I do think these colors are rather romantic so perhaps Faure has transcended yet another medium.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Carol of the Bells

After my glamorous but as an aging hat model I am back to more serious business.  Still not satisfied that the color was having enough place on the screen I decided to take a different approach altogether.  Why not go back to the way I placed colors in space in 2 dimensions and let it simply continue to move out of the center and flow away.  That way the color would be visible for a longer time and one would see it in context with the color that went before it and followed it.

Here is the first example of how that looks.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hats for Sale

Taking a little detour around color music as I continue to give away and sell lots of things in my house in order to make room for the next stage in my life.

I love hats.  As a result I have accumulated quite a few over the years.  Some I have never worn.   I just like to imagine wearing them.  They do take up a lot of room however so off to eBay they go.  After taking several selfies of myself wearing the hats on sale I found that I could count on a good laugh every time I looked at them.  So as a way to try to enjoy this sorting and selling I made this little video.  Hope you like it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

SCRIABIN

Still trying to perfect the way the colors appear on the screen I decided to see how they would look if they gradually moved down the screen while they were disappearing.  That way the viewer would see the color for a longer period of time.

I used this Scriabin Prelude because of the way it uses pauses.  This gives the colors a chance to be seen and appreciated.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Chopin Nocturne

In this on going exploration of how notes can be arranged in space, still using a one to one correlation between notes and color, I kept experimenting with different music and different ways of placing the notes on the screen.  I kept the Lighter colors at the top of the screen and the darker colors at the bottom of the screen.   Then each note was programmed for a complete piece of music and this whole group became a symbol which I could then place on the screen as many times as I wanted to in any place I chose.  I wanted to duplicate the symbols so I could get more color on the screen.  This also allowed me to create unexpected patterns over time.

Here is a Chopin Nocturne.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Claire de Lune

Now that I am free to do whatever I want with the colors in space - still keeping them tuned of course and using a one to one ratio of colors to notes - I thought I would experiment with different arrangements in the same piece of music.  This is one of my all time favorites.

CLAIRE DE LUNE
https://youtu.be/FLaFQ_ZzbIQ

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Albinoni

Since I now was animating music that would not be so simple to design code for I figured I might as well try various methods of putting the colors on the screen.  Suppose the notes moved across the screen more or less mimicking the way we read, from left to right one measure at a time?  Here is an example of that idea with the lower notes staying put and the high notes dancing across the screen.
In the repeat of the music the higher notes stay put for comparison.

ADAGIO IN G MINOR, Thomas Albinoni


Monday, February 20, 2017

moving on

After experimenting with this method for a while I began to see some trouble having each note occupy a specific place in space.  It was fine for rounds and in Pachebel's Canon I simply allowed the notes to take up arbitrary space as it was a very simple piece.  The problem was that as music began to use a wider range of notes from high to low, in order to fit them on the screen they had to be very small.  This meant that the color interaction was not as intense and since I assume the color interaction is key to the enjoyment of color music this  presented difficulties.  In this Mozart piece I changed the arrangement of the colors in the repeat of the piece to allow more color.  It is more interesting but didn't really solve the problem for music that uses several octaves of music.
Mozart



And so I decided to abandon the idea that each color would have its own place on the stage.  This would vastly complicate a programmer's job unfortunately.  Now I decided in order to keep the colors close to each other so that they could interact with each other maximally I would place them on the screen close to each other.  I still kept them in order from light to dark but they did not have a specific place in space to call their own.  It might still be possible to design a program that would be able to interpret this arrangement but I'm not sure. I could see how it looked and hope so.

Here is the first result of that method of animating.

Chopin


Saturday, February 18, 2017

More Rounds

As you can see the rounds designed in this way do make interesting patterns.

This brings me to speculate about our ability to alter sound waves with our throat and mouth.  How about that!  We can sing.  WE are the first musical instrument.   We also can hear those altered sound waves and somehow be moved emotionally by there combined effect.  If we could alter light waves with some part of our body we could create color in time ourselves.  Since we can't do that I will continue to try to figure out how we can use modern technology to do it for us.

Going back to that exploration I animated Pachebel's Canon.  I tried to stay with classical music that is simple and popular.  I was pleased to see that these colors are quite pleasing.  There is some primitive attempt to capture dynamics by making the louder notes larger.  The music was again programmed by my grandson Luke who was then in high school and is now a lawyer.  So much goes on in a young life in a short period of time.  But of course time takes much longer when you are young.


PACHEBEL'S CANON




Friday, February 17, 2017

Back to Color and Music

Back in July I explained how I created paintings and prints by translating music to color.   I am going to take up this discussion again now.  This is more or less how I work.  For a while I paint and then I start wondering about music and color and begin to work on that again.

After making several paintings and many prints I really was itching to try to translate music to color in time.  I recognized that without an instrument that would allow someone to play colors in real time there would never be color music, but since I was unable to create such an instrument myself I decided to at least animate music in a way that could be used as a template for such an instrument.
There is a rich history of artists who designed color instruments which you can check out on Wikipedia.

However, none of these instruments has come into popular use and none of them are constructed as I would.  My theory is that any instrument must have a set of colors tuned from dark to light with a complete spectrum in each octave.


But how will the colors appear in space and time?  Each note has to be placed somewhere (space) and be played in real time.

I decided to try and translate music to color starting with the idea that the colors would be located on the screen from top to bottom with high notes being at the top of the screen and low notes being at the bottom.  Each note would be a circle of color that would diminish slowly as it disappeared.  I purchased Flash Professional CS3 and set to work figuring out how to use it.  First I had to make a file for each note.  When that was accomplished I imported music or had my grandson, Luke,  program music for me in Garage Band.

My first pieces were rounds as they are simple.  The music appears as a wavy line on the bottom of the screen in Flash under where the notes are to be placed.  In order to animate each note one must locate a change in the line and place the note at that change. It is a very tedious business.

 Each note has its own space.  Donna Nobis Pacem,  Give us Peace.

Tomorrow more rounds.









Tuesday, January 24, 2017

after math of March

Well we marched.  We held signs.  We chanted.  All over the world people stood up for what they believe.

Will it help anything?  

I certainly felt uplifted and energized but I don't believe our message will be listened to in the White House.  We will have to keep the energy we got from each other together and keep fighting if we are to halt the overturn of all the progress towards equal justice for all, climate change and health care that has been slowly occurring in the last few years.



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

March on Washington

I'm going to the March on Washington on Saturday to stand together with all women to protect our rights and the future of the planet.  It is a small step but I hope it will help bring people together.

Here is a banner I designed for the march.  If you want to download it and have it printed to take along to a march near you or the one in Washington please feel free.  Staples has a pretty good deal on printing banners.  This one is 1' x 4'.