Friday, February 28, 2014

"Quer mais sake?"

Skip Hill 

Lunch in Lapa (Sake & Edamame)   
Inks and collage on canvas 12"w 16"h  ©2014  

Lapa is a neighborhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. It is located in the centre of Rio and is famous for its historical monuments and nightlife. Known as the cradle of bohemian, Lapa is also famous for its architecture, starting with the Arcos - known as the Arcos da Lapa, constructed to act as conduit in the days of colonial Brazil and now serve as a signal for the cable cars that climb the hill of Santa Teresa

Since the early 1950s, when it began to be called the "Montmartre Carioca", Lapa has been known for its lively cultural life, concentrating many restaurants and bars where Brazilian artists and intellectuals used to meet. It was, and still is, famous for its many restaurants, bars and clubs where the various forms of Brazilian music can be appreciated, like the Asa Branca bar and the Fundição Progresso. The Sala Cecília Meirelles, an important venue for chamber music, is also located in Lapa.

 Reference point for lovers of nightlife, one of the striking features of the neighborhood is the harmony found living among the most diverse of urban tribes.

Friday, February 21, 2014

"Muah, Muah, Muah!" New Work from Skip Hill Studios

Skip Hill Art   3 Actresses (Toi! Toi! Toi!)   ©2014  
acrylic, inks, collage on linen 18"w x 24"h

This beautiful effort is my first finished painting of 2014. Since the Under The Mango Tree exhibition, which employed collage as media, the focus of my recent art practice has been primarily drawing. Lots of sketches and lots more finished drawing exercises as a means to keeping the rendering skills sharp. 
Creating a subtle narrative is also a part of what I am developing with these new works from the As Namoradas (The Girlfriends) series.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Samurai Drawing Swords Over Which Bordeaux Grape Is Best.    
 12"w x 16"h  Inks on vellum paper  Skip Hill ©2014

"Cabernet Sauvignon! Mais bien sûr! might be the answer, if you grow grapes on the left bank of the Gironde estuary in the Bordeaux region of southwest France. 
"Merlot, sans doute!" is the rebuttal from the right bank, in Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. 

In this new drawing, I imagine two wine connoisseurs, actors, samurai from the Meiji Restoration period (明治維新 Meiji Ishin) at an elegant garden party...getting in each other's face, defending the honor of their favorite vineyard, as they whip out their Katana swords. Just to mix it up, I blend fuchsia, purple and of course red.  

By the way if it's about passion, my personal preference is definitely Merlot. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Skip Hill Art: 3 Actresses, Day 2 of the Process

Three Actresses (Toi Toi Toi!)   
Skip Hill ©2014     16'w x 24"h    Acrylic, crayon, charcoal, inks on canvas

"Looking at the Three of them...backstage in their dressing room, still nervous and excited after two weeks of performing their challenging roles before enthusiastic audiences. They hug each night before the curtain rises-
kissing, caressing, congratulating and wishing each other "Toi, Toi, Toi" for good luck. 

Day 2 into the process on this latest painting. Moving to canvas, after weeks of drawing on smooth vellum paper, is an adjustment as I work out the composition and color relationships on the textured surface.  I create a sense of "movement and moment" again by creating shifting perspectives and light sources. At this point I like the flower bomb of color at the upper center of the frame, with lots of white space and simple lines as a counterweight. Technically, I love the "push pull" effect of abstracting the three figures into one and back again. 

The stylized faces of the actresses are more developed at this stage in the process. The time spent just looking at a work-in-progress is vital to understanding what I have done and how I proceed. After about twenty minutes of studying and reading my marks, lines and smears, a hint of the Dia de Los Muertos 'calaveras' mask appeared,and then a suggestion of Madam Matisse's famous 'Green stripe"portrait from 1905...and then I see where I can place a tiara on the crown of the central figure ala Valasquez's court portraits. The warm and affectionate woman on the right wears what could be a mask from Java, Bali or perhaps tribal face paint from the Surma people of Ethiopia.  

aaah...Back to the Studio...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"Por favor, tenha um pouco mais sushi, Querida!"

Skip Hill Art:  
Ntozake Nozumi Oliveira de Souza Loves Hamachi On the Veranda Overlooking Guanabara Bay
Inks on paper  12"w x 16h"  

"…spent the day 
with Dona de Souza under the mango tree on the veranda of her villa in Santa Teresa.
Que Beleza, as always…resplendent and relaxed in her kimono, her hair dyed pink and coiffed in the 'Mkpuk eba' style of the Ibibio, as we dined on yellowtail sushi, drank 
caipirinhaslistened to Tim Maia and enjoyed the view of the shimmering bay and each other's company."