Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Art Show in Oakland CA

These three pieces are currently showing in the "Women Band Together" art exhibit at the Prescott-Joseph Center, 920 Peralta Street (at 10th), Oakland CA. (510) 208-5651
This show celebrates International Women's Day on March 8 and will run from March 3 through March 31, 2008. The opening reception is on March 8 from 2-4:30pm.
Hope to see some of you there.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Art Story - Part One

In the mid-70's I was an art major at a very expensive college in Los Angeles. Now, there are a lot of distractions in a city like that and not a lot of reason to go to class. For example, I am from Buffalo originally and didn't know there could be a sunny day between October and May, but LA had many of them. So right there was reason enough to be indoors as little as possible. Other distractions that worked against me in college were boredom, existential angst, and a general inability to focus brought on by a wee dabbling in certain substances, 24/7. My art classes consisted of being given an assignment and doing the assignment, getting a grade and.......well, that was it. Something seemed to be missing... like being taught something... anything! And when a professor spent a month teaching us the color wheel....well I just had had enough. I mean - teaching the color wheel to art majors in college? It seemed to me one should go into college not only knowing the color wheel but feeling it in one's soul without needing to be taught it in the first place. But I digress - to a place that may be considered snooty by others, I don't know. But that's how I felt. So I left college after two years. I went back home to western New York and started to uncover my own art and artistic philosophy. I decided to explore plein aire oil painting and so painted outdoors on the 2 or 3 days of good weather a year there. Sorry, just another cheap Buffalo joke. Couldn't resist. I decided to use only the primary colors in my paintings so I would be forced to create every color I wanted out of three basic ones: red, yellow and blue. It worked out pretty well. I remember going into an art supply store to buy paint. The guy behind the counter noticed I was only buying the primary colors and asked me to explain. I told him I could get any color I wanted out of those 3 basics. He scoffed and said he only knew one person who could do that. I retorted "now you know two." These paintings here are just a few of the many that I did in those two years experimenting with color. I was only 20 but learned a lot about how the eye sees and how the mind interprets, blends and understands color. I'll write more later.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lesbian Pulp Fiction Art

In the closeted world of post-war America there was an author named Ann Bannon - not her real name - who wrote a book called "Odd Girl Out". This became a pulp classic in what was growing into a whole genre of lesbian and gay themed books, becoming the second best selling paperback of 1957. Even though they were written poorly with often over-wrought purple prose, this pulp fiction became a life-line to many gay people across this country. These books proved to them that they weren't alone in their "secret" desires. The casts of characters always include the types we have come to know and expect in lesbian-themed writings: the good girl led astray by the wicked girl or girls...often in a barracks or a jail house...or better yet the mean streets and dank alleyways of Greenwich Village...and always leading to a bad end for all concerned! These books are cherished by many of us now not only for the trashy tales and hysterically outdated and cliched characters, but for the cover art. These covers made no attempt to hide the subject matter. In fact the art usually embellished the subject matter and was often the best part of the book! Here are a few sites where you can read more and view more of this great and trashy art form.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spider Magic

It's spring here in Northern California and baby spiders are everywhere. I'm not afraid of spiders but I don't like biting creatures of any size. But for a while now I haven't been able to bring myself to squash a spider with the ease that I used to do it.
Spiders have a huge role in human spiritual history. In astrology, there used to be thirteen signs - not the twelve we know about today. The thirteenth sign was Arachne the Spider. Coincidentally - or not - there are thirteen full moons a year and there are traditionally thirteen women in a witch's coven.
Today, we consider the number thirteen to be unlucky. Indeed in the Middle Ages, specifically during the Inquisition, 9 million women were burned at the stake as witches by the burgeoning Catholic Church bent on the destruction of the Earth-based spirituality that was prolific at that time.
The number thirteen and all things associated with it - like the spider - became symbols of danger and evil. Even the yearly calendar was changed from 13 months to the 12 month version we have now.

But Native Americans have a traditional belief in a Grandmother Spider who brought fire to the people.
Spider weaves the web of fate. She teaches us to beware and live with our eyes open or end up as her dinner. She spends her days creating beautiful webs but teaches us to beware of that beauty too. She represents the creative female energy.
Scientists have studied spider webs and found that no two from the same spider are ever alike. An astounding achievement! But the scientists wanted to know why that was. They discovered this: when the web looked the same each time, flies and other "meals", learned to see and avoid them. The first fly that saw the web would get caught, but after that - no more flies! If that continued, after awhile there would be no more spiders! So spiders' webs must look different each time to continue the species. Nature is pretty amazing!
And this video is pretty amazing....give it a chance - it gets good!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


One of my favorite things in the world is dancing - especially Country Western dancing. If you've never tried it, don't knock it. It is great fun and harder than it looks. I drew these pictures from two of the many scenes at an bar called the Rawhide in San Francisco. It isnt there anymore but it was a blast.

And my favorite country singer is George Strait. So enjoy!

Randy Ottenberg Parenti

Randy is a Mixed Media artist living in Mill Valley, California. For years she has balanced her art life with her job as a model-maker at Industrial Light and Magic. Her models appeared in movies as varied as ET, War of the Worlds, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Mission Impossible among many others. Randy is a uniquely original American artist. She has a truly unique style developed over 30 years and uses a plethora of materials to express her vision of familiar subjects. She is influenced by the American landscape - from deserts of the Southwest to Florida to her beloved New Jersey shore. Randy conveys intensely personal, intuitive, dream-like images with just about anything she can attach to a canvas. She produces a rich palate of color and texture that makes for a sensual viewing experience.
Her art is playful and joyful in all it's 3-dimensional glory!
Check out her website
You won't be sorry!
All images shown here are ©Randy Ottenberg Parenti

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lunar Eclipse Feb 21, 2008

In honor of the power that the moon held, and still holds, as an object of magic, mythology and transformation...

Full Snow Moon

Every month's full moon has a different name. I only recently learned this. February's is the Full Snow Moon or Full Hunger Moon. Either name brings up imagery of the long dark winter...freezing settlers and Native Americans....people who's Fall harvests are starting to run low and for whom the fight to survive until Spring becomes the only focus....
I love moon imagery and folklore. That is one of the reasons I was so attracted to Joseph Cornell's work - he summons up lunar associations with white marbles against the deep blue of a night sky twinkling with glitter - oh, and owls.......the night must have owls and other mysteries!
Read on to learn a little more about Joseph Cornell's art.

Friday, February 15, 2008

On the subject of sexy...

Here is an old drawing I found...on the subject of sex...or sexy...or lesbian sex...or whatever!
I think the look of the shapes - the shadows and light - the volume and heft of the bodies - is what makes this so sexy.
You know exactly what they are doing.... and each other. Don't you?

The Sounds of Color

I am one of those people who can hear color...I can also see the colors of numbers and the days of the week. When I hug someone or get a massage, I am engulfed in colors swirling behind my eyes created by the feeling of being touched. I have only met one other person like this so far in my life. It's called Synesthesia and is a wonderful way to experience life, I think. I love to blow a person away when, while getting a massage, I say "you are giving me purples and blues!" I was well into adulthood before I found out that this is a very rare condition - and is very cool!
I think my mosaic nudes capture the "sound" of the flowing lines and voluptuous fullness of a woman's body. People react to that experience and can rarely put it into words while kindly complimenting me on the "lay patterns" of the glass or the "3 dimensional look" I can achieve. I love to give the viewer a "feeling" like that. I have always known that art has to get beyond a person's intellectual reactions and hit them somewhere else - between the eyes, below the belt, in the first and second chakras....just somewhere NOT in their minds.

What is Sexy?

People often tell me my mosaic nudes are sexy. Since they are basically glass and wood, I always wonder what creates that reaction in people...that feeling.
What is sexy? In humans, is it the way a person looks to us physically? Information we take in with our eyes only? The musculature...the
eyes.....shoulders....hips...thighs...and, for some people, feet or hair or other things we won't get into here! Or is it the energy that emanates from the person as a whole? Are dangerous people sexier to us than "nice" people? What does "sexy" mean in that instance then? To be able to look but not touch? An object of unrequited desire? I am just ruminating here because I dont YOU?

I love the old pinup girl art from the 30's and 40's. I think they are sexy because of the voluptuous feeling created by the airbrush technique...and the fact that a lot is left to the imagination, I guess. The strange thing is, I even think Jeeps, horses and tugboats are sexy, so go figure!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Check out my website
and my Flickr page:
Kim Larson Art
to see more!

Getting started

Hey there and welcome to my blog! I've been an artist my whole life and have made a living as a graphic artist - most recently in the clothing design industry. It's lucky to be an artist and to at least be able to make a living at something related - like graphic art. Mostly I'll be using this blog to display my art. I have a lot of it and I think it's great to have a venue like this to show it off.
I love to draw and most recently have discovered mosaics..... They se
em to be real crowd-pleasers! I chose to explore female nudes because our bodies have the beautiful left-to-right hourglass shape but also front-to-back three-dimensional volume. In all my art I love achieving that look of volume. I think the flow that I can achieve using glass really brings out the lines and volume of the female body. Working in glass mosaics - especially mirror - is almost like working in light. A lot of colors and shapes are hidden and subtle unless you view these pieces in the right light. And the look of them changes depending on what angle you approach them. My pieces can be subtle and surprising, much like women themselves, ay?