Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Talking Art

"Second Cut" by Kathleen Volp

By Judith A. Ross for Talking Writing

My grandfather, Jacob Scheinfein, was a painter and a photographer. Some of my earliest and most happy memories are of time spent with him: walking around the block near his home or sitting across from him at our kitchen table quietly sketching. Jack kept a studio in his house and though he died when I was 11, the smell of oil paint never fails to bring its image vividly to mind.

My two older brothers and I loved and admired him. He took the time to forge a unique relationship with each of us. He was, hands down, the most positively influential male presence in our lives.

Because of Jack, I have always been drawn to creative people. Many of my closest friends have made artistic expression their life’s work. So it is with great pleasure that I take on the task of choosing and posting images for this blog. My goal is to share the work of my favorite artists and photographers and that of those I do not yet know.

The artist whose work we currently feature, Kathleen Volp, is a conceptual artist. Her images are a skillful manipulation of media that might include paint, metal, string, varnish, and plaster that convey stories, emotions, and themes. Her work is personal at the same time as it makes statements about the world around us. She asks viewers to take their time looking. Those who do will walk away with something new to think about.

So I hope you will take the time to explore these images. To visit the featured artist’s Web site, simply click on the image itself.

Please feel free to comment on these as you would on a blog post – and definitely let us know about other visual artists whose work we may want to feature.


  1. A gorgeous image, Kathleen. Is it supposed to be shocking, the hack in that natural form? Oddly, it's not. I love that shadowy fuzz at the center, the sharp edges that look artificial but aren't.

  2. That is an interesting observation and one I appreciate. It is about vulnerability. The inner and outer. Within the sphere verses outside and the membrane between the two. The separation between content and Context. And how much we can or cannot control it. This piece is a part of a series that came out of my interest in early 16th c. and 17th c. Dutch still-ifes whose subject matter was highly sought-after foriegn commodities - like chinese porcelain, spices and melons. In working now with just a single melon I pull it from the larger "still life" context. The narrator in the story changes from the merchant to the commodity itself.
    In addition to personal events of the past year that have influenced this series, I have been reading Lisa See's books "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" and "Peony in Love". Both are asstounding narratives about women's place in society and how one maintains a rich inner life despite brutal constraints.


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