Day One- Larry Poons- Ambition Required

January 1, 2014

First of all, Happy New Year!  I am so freaking excited to say welcome to…

DAY ONE of my yearlong art project!  And the first artist is…

Larry Poons was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1937.  He studied music at the New England Conservatory of Music in the 50’s with the intent of becoming a professional musician.  A couple of years later he enrolled into the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and also studied at the Art Students League of New York.

Larry Poons- “A rock looks just like a tree and tree just like a rock. It all depends on how you see it. They are, we are, all made up of the same stuff. And in the end, it’s just paint.”- from interview in hyper allergic.com

Larry Poons- “A rock looks just like a tree and tree just like a rock. It all depends on how you see it. They are, we are, all made up of the same stuff. And in the end, it’s just paint.”- from interview in hyper allergic.com

He became popular in the 1960’s with painting ovals or circles on brightly painted backgrounds…such as Orange Crush.

Orange Crush

Orange Crush

But his painting evolved into something different throughout the years.   Here is a mini-retrospective about his art.  http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/news/larry-poons-golden-gallery-velocity/

Below are a few of examples of more recent paintings that I’m going to focus on.  Although his style has changed it’s always been about movement and color.  I also love the fact that he’s still alive, painting and evolving.  That’s what I call success.

POONS-31_lg

Glass Coach Louisville 2007

Calling You

Calling You 2009

Pollock in 1780

Pollock in 1780

Donen 1977

Donen 1977

And what exactly does it take to be a successful artist?  Here’s a short video from an interview with him that he answers that question.  I really like his spunk!

FROM www.crywalt.com- Larry Poons at Danese, 2009, installation view: Check out the staple!

FROM http://www.crywalt.com- Larry Poons at Danese, 2009, installation view: Check out the staple! Looking more closely at the work you can see some of his methods. It’s clear in some cases he ended with the same canvas he began with; the edges are neatly taped off. In other cases he’s working in the time-honored Color Field tradition of cutting smaller pieces out of larger canvases; the paint heads off and around the back of the stretchers. I assume from this that he works on unstretched cotton duck and only mounts the paintings later. Another tradition he adheres to is that of the messy studio: I found a loose staple dried to one of the paintings. Some future conservator’s going to have fun with that, gluing it back on periodically.

FUN FACT:  Larry Poons also played guitar for a short-lived avant-garde noise band called the Druds that featured artists from the New York pro to-conceptual art and minimal art community such as Walter De Maria on drums, La Monte Young on sax and Patty Mucha was the lead singer.  Jasper Johns wrote neo-dadaist lyrics and Andy Warhol occasionally sang.  Neat huh?

AND FINALLY…here is journey of my Poons-eque piece!

I think it needs some blue!

I think it needs some blue!

And I thought paint and paintbrushes were the only tools I was going to use...

And I thought paint and paintbrushes were the only tools I was going to use…

Oops!  How did that staple get in there? ;)

Oops! How did that staple get in there? 😉

Layers and layers and layers...

Layers and layers and layers…

This was the point in the painting where I thought of the name.

This was the point in the painting where I thought of the name.

Here’s a little video of the process…yes, I used my fingers at times.  Magma was hypnotizing me!

Finally the finished piece!

Truth Bleeds Through- Tribute to Larry Poons- Linda Cleary 2014

Truth Bleeds Through- Tribute to Larry Poons- Linda Cleary 2014

Before I started painting today, I thought…”Oh, it’s Larry Poons…abstract shit.  I can do it easily.”  It was harder than I thought.  I kept adding and adding and it never seemed quite right.  Even as I post the finished product I am thinking, “Maybe it needs more blue.”  Well, you learn something everyday and I plan to learn many new things throughout this year with this awesome project.  Let’s keep trucking.  Tomorrow it’s Kandinsky!  Yikes.

Best,

Linda

5 thoughts on “Day One- Larry Poons- Ambition Required

  1. Just the information alone (without the painting) that you compiled about Larry Poons is quite impressive. You not only painted a painting in his style you created a wealth of information for others. Thanks for sharing your JOY and your process. This project is a performance art piece!

  2. Thanks so much! We’ll see how extensive my research stays throughout the year! I’m going to try my hardest to research the night before to honor all these wonderful artists!

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