The Nerdly Painter Now

The Nerdly Painter Now

New Stuff, News, and Events

Elizabeth Kostojohn, November's Featured artist

The November newsletter Artist of the month is Elizabeth Kostojohn. Elizabeth is based in Arlington, MA, and is a relative newcomer to the Boston area art scene. Her background is in architecture, and she brings that structural sensibility to some of her work.

      
 
She has an impressively broad array of techniques in play, including painting, drawing, and printmaking. Her handmade prints may be interesting to anyone thinking about special holiday gifts. The final stages of the printing process ensure that each print within a short run is very unique, but the printing process makes them relatively inexpensive (yet original - how cool!).

 

Elizabeth Kostojohn is an Arlington resident and local artist. She has a strong focus on printmaking and is rapidly developing a unique and strongly abstracted style. Her background in architecture is very present in her work which expertly melds space, structure and careful, often exquisite rendering. 

 

In her abstracts she playfully explores and juxtaposes expressionist and gestural chaos with a sense of rhythm and pattern. When these elements gel the effect is refreshing. Elizabeth's willingness to try new avenues of expression and artistic production are impressive, and promise more interesting things to come.
She has already exhibited in several competitive shows, including the Belmont Gallery of Art and (very recently) the Arlington Center for the Arts juried show Regeneration.  Elizabeth has 3 works in Regeneration including a painting as well as prints.

 

She has a blog, " Slightly Wonky" where she documents her ongoing adventures in art. it's updated frequently, and provides a convenient window for anyone who has ever wanted to watch a promising artist emerge - in real time. Elizabeth exhibits in the area, and has participated in the recent Arlington Open Studios event, as well as showing her lovely and quirky woodblock prints - and award winning - prints of the Regent Theater at images of Arlington last Spring.

 

Events November 2011 through early january 2012

Upcoming  Exhibits
1.  The Joint Mathematics meeting has an Art exhibit featuring mathematical art (international and very competitive).  I have two paintings that will be part of the exhibit, Green Functions and Vector Field, at The Hynes Convention Center in Boston January 4-7, in the exhibition hall.

2.  "Regeneration"  is the first members' juried show sponsored by the Arlington Center for the Arts here in Arlington, MA.  Two of my drawings "Cellular generation" and "Origins of Species" will be exhibited.  Check it out!
Exhibit Dates: November 21 - January 27
Opening Reception: December 2, 7:30-9:00pm


3.  Some of my work will be available through Arcworks Community Art Center's Gallery. Arcworks, 22 Foster Street, Peabody, MA 01960

Publications, upcoming
Cover and spread in Palooka Art and literary magazine (issue No 4), images to be featured in ODDball, Prick of the Spindle, and Diagram  Art and Literary magazines.

Ongoing
  You can see "Biology of an Idea " published in the online edition of The Quotable.


Abstract and Contemporary Art at the Blue Glass Cafe
Lobby of the Hancock Tower, Copley Square, Boston.  I have 10 medium to large paintings and 9 miniatures up on display through the Fall.

The Gallery at 100 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH.  I have 7 large pieces in their Winter show through January.

New Art

New Art - First half of November 2011

A new Smallish oil painting, "Thermal Denaturation".  Oil on linen, 18x18 inches

 

I paint in layers, and it can take weeks of drying time when all of the layers are added up - even with fast-drying acrylics.  Because I don't like twiddling my thumbs, waiting for paintings in progress to dry, I've come up with a few ways to use the time.

I paint backgrounds and first steps in batches, based on a rough idea of the ideas and themes and techniques I want to explore.  Once layer one of a batch is done and set aside to dry (and I have a ton of little drying nooks), I set to work on a batch of first layers for another idea.  Once all of the drying nooks are full, I have some time to work on stuff like blogging, framing, applying to shows ...and drawing.

Recently I've been working on finishing up some small paintings that I'd set up as backgrounds during the summer, and which I've been layering and detailing week by dry week since then.  The paintings are mostly oils, although there are also a few acrylic mixed media paintings.  Oil will adhere to an acrylic underlayer, but acrylic doesn't like to go over oil.  They continue the Science and Mathematics theme that I've been working on since the beginning of 2011.

I've also been working around the idea of Ecological systems as models for anything complex and interconnected, and idea that is currently very fashionable in Innovation and Start-up circles.  Some of these "ecology" paintings are complex layered oil paintings, but most are mixed media.  I've been experimenting with using acrylic and all of the cool media that work with acrylic, and using acrylic layers to build up much more of a painting then finishing in oil.  

While everything is drying, there's drawing.  Many of my line drawings consist of fine traceries of lines and tiny shapes.  There is a certain feel and charm to the pure black and white of these line drawings, but there are some ideas that would just work better with color.  The challenge is how to introduce color without obliterating the line (and how to get the two ideas to work together).  I've been experimenting with this in a series of drawings, still loosely on the technical themes I've been exploring, but with a different texture and mood.

 

The Small Paintings:  The first is a mixed media painting titled "Deconvolution".  It's goofy anf fun and full of crazy textures and gelatinous semi-transparent lines.  Deconvolution refers to the process of breaking up a complex waveform iinto simple components, sines and cosines in fourier series analysis.  To my mind, there must be a sort of semi-deconvolved series-in-progress, where the computational genie is tossing waveforms around just trying to see what fits.  And those simple functions are like spaghetti - they wind up everywhere (under the couch, stuck to the drapes, etc.) 

Deconvolution, mixed media on linen, 12 x 16 inches

It's a bit of a reflection on my own experience with complex pencil and paper calculations and derivations.  Sheets of paper with scrawled sybols everywhere, bits of equation in my hair.  Maybe that's why I didn't major in Math after all?

 

"Transduction", a small oil over acrylic mixed media painting. 

Transduction depicts some of the ideas in nanotechnology for biosensing in gooey pink and hot yellow, with little regard for scale.  Assembled nanostructures are coupled to microelectronics on one end and used to deploy engineered molecules - usually long floppy and multifunctional -that can bind the biostuff.  Binding the biostuff produces a signal - a fluorescent optical signal, a conformation change, etc.  which must be converted into electrical signals to be processed into useful information.  That translation is also called "Transduction".  And it's rarely depicted so "pinkly". 

I brushed acrylic onto the background in a semi-controlled "expressionist" manner, then added a loose drippy wash  when the first layer was dry, then more painting with gel acrylic media.  When the acrylic was dry, I switched to oil.  A tick oil wash with gel media was applied and bits of metal leaf were sprinkled through the center to make a stream of bright sjhiny objects passiong through the painting.  The rest was all painted detail work, starting with a medium sized brush and switching to smaller and smaller brushes to get finer and finer lines.  I like to work with colors in a progression: cool reds to warm reds to oranges to yellows, for example.  Even though I clean my brushes frequently while working, the color progression still  helps prevent muddying of the bright pure pigment hues. 

 

"Associations" is a bit more vague and mysterious.  In Nerdly terms we can think of the non-bonded connections between atoms, molecules, complexes and colloids.  Of course the word is more general than that, including human social associations, formal associations, idea association and more. 

Associations.  Oil on Linen, 12 x 16 inches

 

In "Associations", a background of complex blue, white, violet, and green brushstrokes was used to build up an active yet soft rhythm of color.  Additional painting was done to enhance areas after this layer was dry.  Next I went in with different formulations of oil paint, media, and solvent washes and dripped wash down the surface of the brushed paint.  the wash was tweaked to form droplets at intervals creating a latticework of rivulets.  The latticework will break up, change direction and flow around brush textures and raised areas from the earlier impast brushed layers.  Once one set of rivulets was semi-dry, the painting was turned 90 degrees (that's pi/2 radians!) and the perpendicular set of rivulets was added.  Several layers of painting, one color family at a time, finished the work.

 

So just what is associating here?  A set of ideas? Pigment particles in the rivulets and areas of color?  Mysterious entities hinted at within the painting?  Or perhaps it's a city in alien light?

 

I also have two newish shammish oil paintings roughly based on a spiral motif, Growth Pattern and Thermal Denaturation.  Thermal Denaturation is at the top of the post.  It's a bit of a fantasy on protein unfolding.   Growth pattern alludes to the spiraling and ring pattern that occur across a variety of biological and non-biological phenomena.  The pattern emerges from consumption of resources faster than they can diffuse to the growth front.  Growth temporarily depletes the resources at the front and there's this little ring without much grown stuff, then the entity grows into a new resource rich region and forms another high growth ring. 

Growth pattern, Oil on Linen, 16 x 16 inches

 

Growth pattern and Thermal Denaturation are fairly traditional oil paintings, using brushes as the primary painting tools.  There is quite a bit of shiny, leathery impasto goo in the  spirals though (you can't really see it in photos).

 

The Ecologies

The ecological model paintings I'm currently working on explore the ideas of "ecological" connectivity and interdependence in real natural ecological contexts and in areas like Industry, Innovation, Information, etc.  The ideas for the series grew out of three earlier paintings: Emergent Order, Urban Ecology, and Dreams of Awaklened Souls.  All three feature an abstracted stylized Tree of Life Motif representing the ecology of connections in each context. 

     

Clockwise from Left:  Dreams of Awakened Souls, Emergent Order, Urban Ecology

The newest finished painting in the series is "Seasonal Ecology", an oil painting with gold foil.  The color palette and ubiquitous branch patterns in the painting evoke the concerted action of a natural ecosystem , a New England forest, in respose to the changing seasons.  I tried to capture the complexities of color and texture that one sees as Autumn happens, the movement, pattern and process of change, rather than painting pretty colored leaves and trees. 

Seasonal Ecology, Oil on linen with metal foil, 30 x 30 inches

 

 

The Drawings done in between

As I'd mentioned earlier in the post, drawings are a great way to keep one's fingers out of wet oil paintings that need to dry.  I used to do a lot of drawing with art markers.  Think magic marker with archival inks.  i would try to use them to paint and create worn muddy areas of color.  usually I just drew with them, keeping each drawn area separate from the next.  I was always fascinated with the wrong side of the paper, where the marker would bleed through and create ghostly pooling patterns where my areas had merged and overlapped.  The softness of these reversed side colors, the mottled textures and illusions of line tracery from the bleed through, and the presence of random buits of white space, all seem to cry out for line tracery drawing to integrate the marker bits on the reversed side of the paper. 

Capillarity and Diffusion.  Ink and marker over a "wrong side" marker drawing, acid free paper, 11x14 inches

 

I've completed three fairly large complex drawings by layering marker onbto drawing paper, then flipping the paper over and integrating the marker using black line patterns and traceries.  For contrast a little marker on the tracery side adds flat areas of bold color.  The only large drawing I have scanned so far is "Capillarity and Diffusion", above, where the title refers to what is happening to draw the ink through the fibrous mat of the paper.  The other two large drawings are called "D-branes" and "Cellular Generation", but I don't have images to post yet. 

I've also done three small 4x7 drawings using ink on the "wrong" side of marker drawings, in some case with a little right side marker added for the contrast of flat areas of color.  They're a bit more surreally fanciful than the large drawings.


 


 

Clockwise from upper left: Details of a device for the manufacture of dreams, Interphases and grains, Singular

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events - November through Early December

Upcoming  Exhibits
1.  The Joint Mathematics meeting has an Art exhibit featuring mathematical art (international and very competitive).  I have two paintings that will be part of the exhibit, Green Functions and Vector Field, at The Hynes Convention Center in Boston January 4-7, in the exhibition hall.

2.  "Regeneration"  is the first members' juried show sponsored by the Arlington Center for the Arts here in Arlington, MA.  Two of my drawings "Cellular generation" and "Origins of Species" will be exhibited.  Check it out!
Exhibit Dates: November 21 - January 27
Opening Reception: December 2, 7:30-9:00pm


3.  Some of my work will be available through Arcworks Community Art Center's Gallery. Arcworks, 22 Foster Street, Peabody, MA 01960

Publications, upcoming
Cover and spread in Palooka Art and literary magazine (issue No 4), images to be featured in ODDball, Prick of the Spindle, and Diagram  Art and Literary magazines.

Ongoing
  You can see "Biology of an Idea " published in the online edition of The Quotable.


Abstract and Contemporary Art at the Blue Glass Cafe
Lobby of the Hancock Tower, Copley Square, Boston.  I have 10 medium to large paintings and 9 miniatures up on display through the Fall.

The Gallery at 100 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH.  I have 7 large pieces in their Winter show through January.


1.  The Joint Mathematics Meeting The Hynes Convention Center in Boston January 4-7, in the exhibition hall.  My work ( a little preview)

Green Function, a light hearted look at path integration, will be on exhibit as part of the Art Show at the Joint Mathematics Meeting in Boston January 4-7 at the Hynes Convention Center.

Vector Field is a loose and mischievious depiction of the vectorial ideas behind the Frank Elasticity model for the Free Energy contributions of liquid crystalline deformations.  It will be on display at the Joint Mathematics Meeting in January, then become a possible auction donation to WGBH.

 


2.  "Regeneration" - "Origins of Species" 
Exhibit Dates: November 21 - January 27
Opening Reception: December 2, 7:30-9:00pm

Origins of Species, an 8x10 inch fine line ink drawing, is one of two pieces by Dr. Regina Valluzzi on display at "Regeneration".  Juried by Sand Kolloch, Regfeneration is the first member's juried show sponsored by the Arlington Center for the Arts.  41 Foster Street, Arlington, MA

 



  "Biology of an Idea " published in the online edition of The Quotable.

Biology of an Idea

 



At the Blue Glass Cafe
Lobby of the Hancock Tower, Copley Square, Boston.

Transition to Chaos is one of a number of pieces exhibited at the Blue Glass Cafe in Copley Square, Boston.

 



At The Gallery at 100 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH.

Rube Goldberg Fantasy, at The Gallery at 100 market Street, Portsmouth NH, through the first week of January.

 

News Archive - Pre November 2011

Past
 Artists in the Arboretum 2011
September 21-October 23, 2011
 Reception
September 21, 6:00-8:00pm
Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum
125 Arborway, Boston MA 02130
"Edge of Eden " will be on display

Edge of Eden, Oil on Canvas, selected for Artists in the Arboretum show  September through October, 2011 in the Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, MA.  Edge of Eden has also won a Special Recognition award in the international Landscapes competition sponsored by Ligh Space and time online gallery.

 



 The Next Big Idea festival in Los Alamos NM
Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Los Alamos, New Mexico from 11:00am  3:00pm
Vacuum Energy has won an Honorable Mention

Vacuum Energy, a painting alluding to quantum mechanical foaminess in ultrahigh vacuum, has won an Honorable mention in the international SMART Science and art competition in Los Alamos, NM.

 


 Arlington Open Studios, Oct 15, 16.  41 Foster Street, Arlington MA

Emergent Order, on exhibit through November 7 at the Arlington Center for the Arts Gibbs Gallery, 40 Foster Street Arlington MA.  Emergent Order was also Exhibited at "Appearances", an international Arts Festival sponsored by Provincetown Green, Provincetown, MA


Allston Street Fair has a FIne art and Craft Fair.  I have a booth.  September 25 from 12 to 6 PM.  More Info

I am exhibiting a  piece for "9/11: rising above", which will be on display for the month of September.  This is a  group show curated by Carson Grant at the West Side Arts Coalition, 96th and Broadway, NYC, NY.

Dreams of Awakened Souls, created for "Rising Above" a 9/11 remembrance exhibit in NYC.  Currently on exhibit at 100 market Street, Portsmouth, NH

 


I have 3 paintings at the Abstract Artists Group of New England Driven to Abstraction Exhibit at UNH Law School, Two White Street, Concord, NH September 8  October 29, 2011

Red in the Inside Out Gallery - the CVS pictyure Window in Davis Square.  Rite of Spring is featured.  Through july.   

 bjspoke  gallery in Huntington NY (on Long Island) exhibiting the winners of their annual "paperworks" international competition.  
August 8 - August 28, 2011
PAPERWORKS 2011 WINNERS SHOW - JUROR: Mr. Gene McHugh, Kress Fellow, Whitney Museum of American Art


May 26 - June 19, 2011  "9x12"   The Hungarian Multicultural Center is sponsoring an International Small Works show in Budapest, curated by Beata Szechy.  "Leafy Jewels", an ink Drawing by Regina Valluzzi is one of the works being shown.
Ferencvarosi PinceGallery; IX. Mester u. 5. Budapest 1095  HMC Link


Arlington, MA, March 28 - June 17, 2011;   The Arlington Center for the Arts is currently showing two exhibits featuring images related to the town.  The adult show, in the Gibbs Gallery, features a number of contemporary and historic photographs of the town, its landmarks and institutions.  There are also a number of paintings, most of which are fairly representational depictions of Arlington, MA.  Among the straightforward images of the neighborhood and it's parks and scenery are a few more abstracted interpretations.  These include the complex and highly abstract painting "Urban Ecology", by Regina Valluzzi, featured in the Images of  Arlington slideshow.  Also noteworthy for asbtraction fans is Adrienne Landry's Sprited and sprightly "Curbside Lilies", also in the slideshow.


The New England Abstract Artists Group Show at the Newburyport Art Association, June 13 through June 16.  Reception on June 18 (Saturday) 7-9 PM.  
Newburyport Art Association, 65 Water Street Newburyport.  See site for hours and directions
I will be participating in the Beacon Hill Art Walk on June 5, 2011 Link


I will be participating in the the Arts and artisans market at the Burren, Davis Square Somerville, MA on April 30, 2011  Link

Online, through June 14, 2011; The Still Point Online Gallery is currently hosting "Still Point III", their  third annual exhibition centered on "those things that Artists hold still.  The exhibit features two ink drawings by Regina Valluzzi "complex Fluid" and "Still Point in a Sea Change" (how could Still Point resist the name?)  A third  painted work "Cascade" is also part of the Still Point III exhibit.  
Link

Provincetown , MA; April 15 - April 24
The Provincetown Conservation Trust, is sponsoring an Art and Nature Festival to help support Land Stewarship in Provincetown.  The  Festival will include Ecologically-themed Art in a variety of media, displayed in a traditional art show format and installed throughout the town.  Three paintings by Dr. Regina Valluzzi will be on display in Provincetown as part of the Appearances Group Show, curated by Dorothy Palanza.  Two of Dr. Valluzzi's paintings, "Life Emergent" and "Percolation on a Lattice" use visual references to topics in Biophysics an Biocomplexity to explore the interrelateness of ecological systems.
 Link

Identity, group show at the Brighton Allston Heritage Museum, April 23-June 11, 2011, curated by John Quatrale.  
Seven artists address the theme of "Identity".  Artists: Leslie Bordonaro, Nira Chorev, Shoshana Ernst, Sarah Kahn, Chung Shil Shim, Philip Spinks and Regina Valluzzi.  Works by Regina Valluzzi featured are: Dance of the Gauge Bosons in Vacuum, Uncertainty Principle, Arbor, The Puzzle of Piety, Mischief, Secrets of Engineering, Homage to Tanguy, Sea Slug Smooch, Corner in Vienna, and Wood grain.  
Link


Melrose, MA; April 8-10
Melrose Arts is holding its sixth annual Fine Arts and Crafts Festival on April 8-10, 2011 in Melrose's historic Memorial Hall.  The event attracts hundreds of  Fine Arts an Fine Crafts applicants.  Fifty are selecte each year.  The jury selects a variety of Media and styles  including painters, photographers, printmakers, jewelrs and others.  Among the artsist exhibiting for the first time is Regina Valluzzi, who will be showing a variety of abstract science-themed pieces, along with a selection of abstracted and moody seascapes.  Link


Digital-land
"Edge of Eden", an original oil painting by Dr. Regina Valluzzi has been featured as a "Special Recognition" pick in the Landscapes competition by online gallery Light Space and Time.  335 pieces were submitted.  (in the "Other Series" Gallery) .  Digital versions of the selected works are on display through January, 2011.  Prints of this painting are now available.  The original is currently for sale.

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