Author Archives: jellevant

And then it was June

After the murder of George Floyd and the worldwide outbursts against the horrors that have been going on for decades, June didn’t start on an upbeat. Somehow in my funk over the state of life, and with Covid-19 still imprisoning those of us cautious enough to avoid the public, a piece of art emerged. It took a long time and a lot of correcting and tearing up and starting over. I called it ‘Even the Clowns are Crying‘, and to me it speaks of sadness – but others have said it looks happy. In any case it happened and it exhausted me.


So the next thing I did was intentionally ‘light’. Always a lover of Magritte, I played with two of is famous pieces, his self-portrait where he covers his face with an apple, and his ‘Ceci n’esst pas une pipe’. This one is called simply ‘Pas une Poire‘ and gives me joy.

 
 


My third piece happened suddenly after a multi-talented musician I know asked me and a friend to listen to some music she had written and performed to get some opinions on what might go on her next CD. I loved all the the six pieces, but the last which she called Fiesta Bistro, and featured her lively, exotic and masterful flute playing, mingled into my dreams. The next morning I began working on what I came to call ‘Blue Rondo’ . I had no idea the central piece of this image resembled a flute! So for this piece, I thank Gaea Schell for the unconscious inspiration.


And then I went wild. I had a photograph of a dragonfish from a magazine. The shape and colors fasciinated me. I started playing with it on paper expanding the color spectrum and repeating the shapes. I wasn’t sure where was going with it or even if I would keep it – but then it came together. When I look at it across the room ow, it makes me want to dance. Not surprisingly, I named it ‘Dance of the Dragonfish’.

Posted in Art, collage

COVID Month 3

So, during the first full month of Covid lockdown I experimented with styles and then did several ‘abstracts with meaning’.  The experience of touching, tearing, arranging, layering, and with NO DELETE BUTTON was exciting!  The first four of these have a heavy dose of torn grocery bags as the base.

 

Then just about the same time April moved out and it was May – with sunshine, green things sprouting, birds on my balcony and such, I had the urge to venture into ‘pretty’. So there is now a series of 5 playful renditions of the natural world, each one based around one of my photographs.

 

All of the above are 19″ x 13″ attached to a 24″ x 18″ archival backboard.   And Now it’s June – which ended a week of national horror and I no longer was in the mood to make ‘pretty, but that will be in the next post.

Posted in Art, collage

And as the world falls apart, there are scraps of silver linings

My photo art has always been circumstantial, not particularly planned.  So, sheltering in my one-bedroom apartment during the ‘lockdown’ time keeping as many of us as possible safe from the virus, there are not too many circumstances.  Being a positive person, I looked on the brighter side.  Never seeming to have had time to get my collage juices flowing – what better time than 30-something hour days to play in – no deadlines, tons of videos to inspire me and all those scraps of paper and cutouts of ‘stuff’ I’d been filing away.  And so it started. 

Emerging

I quickly finished a collage, first in a long time, that I had started several months ago but never quite felt it was ‘done’.  So now I could go on to the NEW.  (I am a linear type person). 

And out it came.  Next one was a specific reaction to the pandemic, I created Corona Flowers, and sort of simultaneously (so much for linear), I built two more:  Panamama based on a photo I took of an indiginous market woman in Panama City a couple of years ago.  I see her as a moving strength of humanity in this photo (at the time I thought she was fairly greedy for how much she wanted to let me shoot!).  Time heals…  and There’s Always Dance which is sort of a fantasy piece that just appealed to me.

All the while though, I had this niggling thought in my waking hours: due to the fear of contamination, there was no more bringing one’s own shopping bags into grocery stores. My under-sinkfull of paper shopping bags provided pristinely by my local Trader Joe’s was more than enough paper for a year of collages.  So far, I’ve made two.  There will be more.

and now, back to my dining table…

Posted in Art

White Hat fell in love


My ‘noirish’ photograph of the gentrified-into-oblivion Retox Lounge which used to be in my neighborhood, left the SFWA Gallery on Valentine’s Day weekend to go to a new home, somewhere in the East Bay. I never actually ventured into the Retox (maybe the red velvet and skulls in the window put me off), but I’m glad it’s iconic presence will continue on someone’s wall.

Posted in Art

Music Art goes to the Bayview

Several of my music art pictures are now hanging in Word. A Cafe on Third Street in San Francisco’s Bayview district. This small, friendly neighborhood cafe / restaurant / bar and now new jazz venue is a perfect place for them to have another airing.

Posted in Art, On Display

Several Pieces in Edge of Frame Gallery

Currently have 8 pieces in a group show at the Edge of Frame Gallery in San Francisco’s Western Addition. The show is running until February 1, weekends (when I’m here) and some weekdays if the owner is in or by appointment (contact me!) Here’s what’s there of mine (click images for full view):

Posted in Art, On Display, Shows

National Exposure!

I was pretty excited to have one of my music photographs make it into the Wall Street Journal last weekend – so I’m shouting it here from the blog!

The jazz blogger, Marc Myer, wrote a piece on pianist/arranger Larry Dunlap who was playing Cape Verde composer Amandio Cabral’s compositions at a particular concert I had attended.  Amandio was in the row in front of me so I created a double exposure of the two of them.  The link is here but if you don’t feel like reading through or scrolling down to the bottom, the photograph is right here:

LarryDunlapAmandioCabral

 

Posted in Art, music

The Red Leaf at Infinity Towers

I was pleased to be notified that one of my favorite abstracts, The Red Leaf, would be one of the pieces going to SF’s Infinity Towers Community for a three-month stint in their ground floor area. In case any readers live there are visiting a friend, it’s hanging in the corridor between reception and the elevator.

Posted in Art, On Display

Art at the Box Factory

I was so pleased to be contacted by a curator to place pieces of my artwork in a space that was coming on the market.  The space used to be the late artist Rex Ray’s studio and has now been converted into a unique 1-bedroom unit in a live-work community.  In the end she placed 12 of my pieces along with works from two other artists to show off the space.  It looked stunning and the place is now sold of course. One of my photographs (Umbrellas, second row left) was purchased by the selling  agent. Woo Hoo

Here’s a little gallery of how some of them looked in situ.

 

Posted in Art, On Display

What a fun Party it was…

Friday the 13th came and went and with it 50 or so people popped into my Music Art reception at Nick’s On Grand, 223 Grand Avenue, South San Francisco. They looked, sipped, mingled, stayed for dinner, sat in with the band, and seemed to be having as good a time as I did. The artwork will be up for a couple more months, so if you didn’t make it, you still can. Restaurant hours are 11 – 8pm and my work is in all 3 areas, so start looking when you enter the front door.

Here are a few shots of the reception:

Posted in music photos, Shows