My new favorite banner of all time

The canvas was his ally.

The paint and trowel were his weapons.

And the art world was his enemy.


Clyfford Still billboard

I never even knew I had a favorite banner, until now.

I got it from this tweet from the Clyfford Still Museum:

The canvas was his ally. The paint and trowel were his weapons. And the art world was his enemy.…

— ClyffordStillMuseum (@Still_Museum) February 28, 2012

Lyrical Abstraction of the Day: Terry Chipp

Okay, the lines are a little angular to be 100% lyrical, but close enough.

Deep, brooding, oceanic atmosphere broken up by strange angular structures that look like sticks bound together.  Love the iridescent effect of the background.

See more of Terry Chipp’s art at his website.

Painting by Terry Chipp

05.05.06 by Terry Chipp, acrylic on board, 120 x 120cm

“Gentle artists” get eaten alive, and/or fade into obscurity

John Cecil Stephenson

Detail of work by John Cecil Stephenson at the Durham Art Gallery.

“Until last weekend, John Cecil Stephenson had been largely neglected with no public gallery or museum staging any exhibition of his work in almost 40 years – an injustice finally righted by Durham Art Gallery, 47 years after his death.” (Mark Brown, Guardian arts correspondent)  Read the full article.

You see what we have to deal with.   Artists now are expected to be human self-promoting machines.

And you’d better be slick with your personal presentation.  If you’re a woman, you’d better be as beautiful as possible.  (Men get to look like whatever, because they’re considered actual humans, not decoration.)

All this feverish marketing and social game-playing sucks up so much energy; what is left to go into the art?  What sort of art world do we end up with?

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Quote of the Day: What doesn’t work

We learn just as much if not more about what works from what doesn’t work. We see what we never want to be, or what we never want to do. The things we love show us a bar to set.

Ottabelle from this discussion

This is especially relevant to me right now, because over the weekend I was unexpectedly confronted with something that bothered me very much on an ethical level, and I’ve been turning over in my mind whether to write about it or not. If I confront the issue,  I run the risk of alienating some people, even friends. If I don’t confront it, I run the risk of alienating myself.

Integrity, as they say, lies in being true to yourself.  So I guess I have one more blog post on the back burner now.

Painting I am working on: temporary title Cyan

Painting I am working on. Temporary title: Cyan

P.S. : LOL.

Sundays with Clyfford Still: Beyond This Dark Place (3)

Welcome to Sundays with Clyfford Still.  I’m your host, M.K. Hajdin.

This episode is third in the series.  You can find the others here.


Life imitates art.  It’s spring,  the branches outside are budding, and a painter once nearly forgotten is bringing new life to the art world.  And to me.

Today’s Clyfford Still painting is from the early phase of his career.  In the late 1930s, he was still painting recognizable figures, but his works were losing their forms and becoming more and more abstract.   The work below,  now at the SFMoMA, is his most abstracted work from 1936-1937.   He went on to create the first abstract expressionist painting in 1944.

Still went the opposite way of Rothko:   Rothko’s paintings faded over time from brilliant color into ever darker and more somber hues, like an ember burning out.

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Art in Unexpected Places: the head of Jaroslav Stovicek

From the Krsko cemetery, where I went yesterday, here is the bronze head of Jaroslav Štoviček.  Vladimir Štoviček was a famous sculptor and medallist from Krsko.

Head of Jaroslav Stovicek

From Stovicek family grave in Krsko