Lemons out of Balance

Lemon Imbalance. Acrylic on canvas, 18x18 inches, 2015 by Sarah AtleeLemon Imbalance. Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 18 inches, 2015 by Sarah Atlee

Let's talk about balance.

It's overrated. It sets us up for false expectations, failure, and guilt. "It's as useful a concept as original sin." (That's from Danielle Laporte.) Actually, we don't really need to talk about balance.

Let's talk about letting go of "balance."

I've shared this Bruce Sterling quote on this blog before, and I'm sure I'll do it many more times. It's from a speech he gave at the Computer Game Developers Conference in March 1991 in San Jose, California. (Read the whole text here.) Behold:

"Don't become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a pufferfish."

That's really all the advice you need. Now, let's look at some other artists who have embraced both lemons and asymmetry! Click on any image below to view its source.

Glass and Lemon in a Mirror. Oil and magna on canvas, 1974 by Roy Lichtenstein Glass and Lemon in a Mirror. Oil and magna on canvas, 1974 by Roy Lichtenstein.

Lemon Peel. Sculpture, 1963 by Sven Lukin. Lemon Peel. Sculpture, 1963 by Sven Lukin.

Half Lemon. Acrylic on canvas, 1969 by Gene Davis. Half Lemon. Acrylic on canvas, 1969 by Gene Davis.

Lemons. 1972 by Funasaka Yoshisuke. Lemons. 1972 by Funasaka Yoshisuke.

Lemons, May 16, 1984 by Donald Sultan. Lemons, May 16, 1984 by Donald Sultan.

All this imbalance making you feel icky-poo?

Feel like life handed you a couple of lemons? There are options. You can embrace the lemons, or refuse to accept them in the first place:

Portal 2 Lemons by somebody called blimpcat. Quote source.

See Lemon Imbalance in Person

Lemon Imbalance will be available for purchase in February 2015 at Ro2 Art in Dallas. Join us at For Real featuring Sarah Atlee and James Zamora. Contact Ro2 Art for more details.

UPDATE: For Real has been reviewed by Jenny Block for The Huffington Post! Read the full review here: "A Hyperrealism That Questions Reality With James Zamora and Sarah Atlee at RO2 Art"

Bright as Bulbs

Peel, acrylic on unstretched canvas, 24x24" by Sarah AtleePeel. Acrylic on unstretched canvas, 24 x 24 inches by Sarah Atlee

It's citrus season, a time when I'm extra-thankful for living in central Texas. Just yesterday I was given what I think is my first orange with its leaves still attached:

oranges cropped Gosh, maybe I should paint a picture of these.

Holding, peeling, and eating a succulent orange is its own special set of pleasures. Following are some other artists' interpretations of orange - both the fruit and the color.

Vincent Van Gogh. Child with Orange, 1890. Vincent Van Gogh. Child with Orange, 1890.

Luis Feito. Untitled (Orange, Red and Purple). Luis Feito. Untitled (Orange, red and purple).

You know that moment when you first dig your thumbnail into an orange and begin to peel back the skin? When the scent of citrus oil fills your nose and the juice starts running? I think Feito has captured that here.

Fernando Botero. Orange, 1977. Fernando Botero. Orange, 1977. Update: Check out Fernando Botero's page on Artsy to learn more.

Johannes Itten. Composition in Orange and Blue-Green, 1957. Johannes Itten. Composition in Orange and Blue-Green, 1957.

Itten's composition above interests me both as a painter and as a quilter.

In a 2010 radio essay you can read here, Paul Marion describes the joy of seeing oranges in the winter:

"Bright as light bulbs on the kitchen table, the oranges promise sunshine as late December daylight shrinks in the shortest days of the year."

See Peel in Person

Peel will be available for purchase in February 2015 at Ro2 Art in Dallas. Join us at For Real featuring Sarah Atlee and James Zamora. Contact Ro2 Art for more details.

UPDATE: For Real has been reviewed by Jenny Block for The Huffington Post! Read the full review here: "A Hyperrealism That Questions Reality With James Zamora and Sarah Atlee at RO2 Art"

A Harvest Already At Hand

Harvest. Acrylic on unstretched canvas, 24 x 24 inches by Sarah Atlee.Harvest. Acrylic on unstretched canvas, 24 x 24 inches by Sarah Atlee.

Art is recuperation from time. I lie back convalescing upon the prospect of a harvest already at hand. - R. S. Thomas

The summer of 2006 was a hot, dry one - my first in Oklahoma. While I was busy napping and otherwise taking respite from the heat, our vegetable garden was busy producing its bounty. That year we had green chiles, Thai chilies, zucchini, lots of tomatoes, a watermelon or two, and one giant sweet potato (pictured at top). My mother and I thought those sweet potato vines were just ornamental - we didn't realize they were attached to such a prodigious root.

Other Bountiful Harvests (and Summer Heat) in Art

Fest in the Garden, Corneille, 1971. Click image to view source. Corneille, 1971. Click image to view source.

Hello Harvest. Kateryna Bilokur, 1946. Click image to view source. Kateryna Bilokur, 1946. Click image to view source.

Golden Harvest. Ronnie Landfield, 1981. Click image to view source. Ronnie Landfield, 1981. Click image to view source.

Harvest at La Crau, with Montmajour in the Background. Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. Click image to view source. Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. Click image to view source.

Grape Harvest at Arles. Paul Gauguin, 1888. Click image to view source. Paul Gauguin, 1888. Click image to view source.

The Harvest. George Saru, 1988. Click image to view source. George Saru, 1988. Click image to view source.

Harvest. Natalia Goncharova, 1911. Click image to view source. Natalia Goncharova, 1911. Click image to view source.

See Harvest in Person

Harvest will be available for purchase in February 2015 at Ro2 Art in Dallas. Join us at For Real featuring Sarah Atlee and James Zamora. Contact Ro2 Art for more details.

UPDATE: For Real has been reviewed by Jenny Block for The Huffington Post! Read the full review here: "A Hyperrealism That Questions Reality With James Zamora and Sarah Atlee at RO2 Art"

Peachy Patchwork

Peaches & Quilt. Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches by Sarah AtleePeaches & Quilt. Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches by Sarah Atlee

Peaches are revered in many cultures as a symbol of longevity, vitality, and wealth. Small wonder - who can resist the sweet smell and juicy flesh of a ripe peach? Each fruit is a treasure.

Peaches. Janet Fish, 1971. Click image to view source.Peaches. Janet Fish, 1971. Click image to view source.

In this painting by Janet Fish, the tempting peaches are sealed in plastic wrap, increasing our anticipation.

Riverbank of Peach Blossoms. Shi Tao, Chinese, 17th century. Click image to view source. Riverbank of Peach Blossoms. Shi Tao, Chinese, 17th century. Click image to view source.

Peach trees blossom before their leaves appear each spring, contributing to their association with health and vitality. Here landscape painter and poet Shi Tao treats us to a whole riverbank alive with peach blossoms.

Fanciullo con canestro di frutta. Caravaggio, Italian, 16th century. Click image to view source.Fanciullo con canestro di frutta. Caravaggio, Italian, 16th century. Click image to view source.

In European painting, the peach represents the heart, while a leaf attached to the fruit suggests the tongue. Put them together and you have a symbol for speaking from the heart. The young man in this work by Caravaggio looks as though he's about to do just that.

Example of an apprentice geisha's momoware or Example of an apprentice geisha's momoware or "split peach" hairstyle. Source unknown.

The humble peach is even celebrated as a symbolic hairstyle in the world of geisha.

By now, I know you're thinking about it. Who can forget the immortal tribute to peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America? Here's a cover of their famous song "Peaches" played on actual peaches.

See Peaches & Quilt in Person

Peaches & Quilt will be available for purchase in February 2015 at Ro2 Art in Dallas. Join us at For Real featuring Sarah Atlee and James Isaac Zamora. Contact Ro2 Art for more details.

UPDATE: For Real has been reviewed by Jenny Block for The Huffington Post! Read the full review here: "A Hyperrealism That Questions Reality With James Zamora and Sarah Atlee at RO2 Art"