Visible Spectrum

The Art of Cynthia Wells

Archive for ‘February, 2015’

Negative space, Armory Week

When designing a character, movement, or color palette, I like to push an idea as far as possible – taking advantage of the negative space. The way one shape plays against another, pushing a line or curve to create ironical whimsy are tools used to invert visual over-used stereotypes. A big clef chin, small forehead and over muscled physique are contrasted against who the character is – in this case Jake the bar keep from “The Shadow of Doubt”. A guy who is rough around the edges, but sweet, thoughtful and smart enough to own the business.

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Armory Week Art Fair happens next week in New York City. Last year according to Skate’s Art Market Research it was the second most attended art fair in the world after Arco Madrid which is not surprising given that it is a collection of 8 shows through out the city.


Breakfast at the Roadhouse, trip to NYC

“Breakfast at the Roadhouse”

Santa Monica Canyon right across the road from Will Roger’s Beach. Patrick’s Roadhouse run by (at that time) a guy named Bob. Greasy spoon, very small with a day glow lime green four leaf clover exterior. When busy hardly any room to move – just like New York. There was a table permanently reserved for Arnold Schwarzenegger –  supposedly part owner – that had a dial phone at it. Ted Danson would drive by and someone would bring coffee to him – in the street. I was having breakfast there one morning and saw a group of about 100 dolphins swimming north. On another day while bodysurfing at that beach a pod of dolphins came right up next to us – not 10 feet away, eyes met, big dolphin smile.

Heading to NYC this weekend and will give a heads up to interesting art that I see.

Vampire chefs

Vampire Chefs of Melrose

Vampire9aMelrose Blvd just after the city of West Hollywood incorporated was all about funkiness. Restaurants, galleries, clothing stores – some X rated.


I’d found this wonderful New York small Italian restaurant whose name escapes me. The food was great, we sat at the tiny counter but the second I walked in I had this idea, image in my head really that the chefs were vampires. These are the sketches I came up with. vamp drawing

Cooking vamp
Inspiring and fun art to check out:

Lee Ufan Museum is a museum on three tiny islands in Japan that was created by an artist and architect. You can see more about it on the Ted presentation.

Theo Jansen and his moving sculptures

Sedric Shukroon is a New York based saxophonist. All About Jazz called Choukroun : ” one of New York’s hidden treasures, a soulful man who speaks through his horn with gentle authority”.

Cooper Hewitt Museum is open again! The Smithsonian’s design museum underwent a massive upgrade.

The Australian artist Emma Kidd has created circus themed, articulated wall sculptures that are visually engaging, whimsical and just wonderful art. Check her Etsy store out.

Color, Hockney, dancing particles

Angel's Flight2

“Angels Flight” Oil on canvas

I’ve always looked at color as a thing in and of itself – not a representation of something. Tiny particles of energy dancing, interweaving, bouncing light off and thru each other, the refraction, reflection determining the color the eye sees. Always an overwhelming experience for me to look at many colors all at one time.

David Hockney  has a new show,”The Arrival of Spring” at the Pace Gallery in NYC. I’ve always loved Hockney’s work because the drawings and paintings have a quirky element, the color jumps off the page, an interpretation of reality. The whimsy not empty. A new reason for me to love his work is that he utilizes technology. The prints are from drawings done on an iPad.

Why is there a distinction between a “commercial artist” and a “gallery artist”? The term “commercial artist” has less panache. Artists selling their work in galleries often use large teams of artists to produce work that is sold in a gallery as their own – never touching the actual work. Very well paid professional musicians and actors are revered as artists.

Obvious, but weird.



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