Sunday, October 28, 2012

hold the phone

I was driving by an antiques place today, in between stacking jobs, when I saw this old telephone booth for sale. I nearly bought it in a burst of enthusiasm, but decided I'd better mull it over. I'm still thinking about what I might do with such a thing... install it in some larger interior space and turn it into a mini gallery to exhibit tiny works? A lending library for arty types? An intimate performance space?
It's similar to the booth I painted many years ago, the one that was adjacent to a diner upstate, and which finally disappeared, either sold or scrapped. It's not that I think it's the most beautiful thing ever, or that I view it through a haze of nostalgia; but I do find appeal in the repurposing of a once-ubiquitous, unremarkable little structure that is now nearly obsolete. Another way of saying, I want this, if I can somehow justify the acquisition. Otherwise it will have to take its place alongside the '71 orange/white pickup truck in my mental garage.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

pie eyed

I am always happy to read the writing on the wall if Pies is the word. It reflected from a cafe's sunny window. This photo may make a good painting for my unofficial (when might it BE official?) 'series' of words or parts of words, painted big, spilling beyond the edges of the canvas.

It's not a word nor a sign, just a train chugging around the base of the mountain, viewed from Little Stony Point on the Hudson River. 

Since when is 'truck' a registered trademark? This sign, overgrown with dying weeds, was outside a shuttered restaurant, so their claim on the word didn't last long. I'm taking it back. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I have three paintings in this group show, in the building where my studio is:

From the press release:
"The exhibition brings together ten artists from the newly formed group, The KuBe
Collective, at Ethan Cohen’s Kunsthalle Beacon (KuBe). Finding Our New Fort does not
refer to a particular subject matter; rather it aims to be a reflection of the artists who
work in one building, under one roof, collectively."

"...Erica Hauser's small paintings are ironic observations of the familiar: a truck, stars,
and text. In the work, White Super, the word “super” barely fits the limits of the canvas..."

Combining the three subjects of my paintings, which the curator selected from my studio, together they form 'superstarstruck'. Also, the blurb above made me think about the element of irony in my work. Whether it's ironic in a literal way, or the other way around, it's whatever a viewer perceives, and I can appreciate that.
These are all previously exhibited pieces, but are installed in this large space in a new way and interspersed among many different kinds of work. The show will be up through the end of the year and is open by appointment.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

cold drinks and leaves

An artist friend started an informal 'Art College' group to get people to think more freely about their work and to interpret ideas, an opportunity to experiment without pressure- art without the market. The 1st assignment was to take 2 unfinished pieces and combine them into a finished, purely aesthetic & non-functional object. 
The latter spec was natural enough for me- my paintings are mostly non-functional- but the idea of repurposing two works-in-progress or two abandoned works as 'raw materials' as someone put it, was not something I had done very often at all.
In my studio I had this 6"x6" collage/painting on wood (based on another painting of mine, made w/a print of a smaller piece..etc). It was grimy and flat and seemed in my eyes a lazy appropriation of my own work.  9"x14" wooden cabinet door I'd primed & painted leaves on, and had mostly used to prop open my window last spring until it fell out the window and broke, but I kept it around because I still thought I'd do something with it.
 I repainted parts of each piece then painted them the same color to blend their surfaces and nestled the smaller wooden square within the frame of the cabinet door; it looked simple and incongruous to me, and I thought vaguely of Rosenquist's random pop-art pairings- one creating a narrative for the other.
Even if that 'narrative' is a visual non sequitur. I had the fun of piloting two different picture planes and seeing where they landed.

Friday, October 12, 2012


These two are older pieces I recently came across. The many moods of pumpkins, in preparation for Halloween- I did this a few years ago while painting with my young niece. 

This one below is from school (so we're talking over 10 years ago), in a drawing class I liked a lot because we worked from the model and were urged to focus on line & contour, making very decisive marks. I remember feeling challenged, but I believe that the work I do currently reflects the eye/hand I developed there. Three poses I put together in a tableaux to amuse myself, adding some details. 

A Very Important Person: This picture is from one of the old train brochures amid the loaned box of road maps. For some reason, I found myself looking at it and reading the text for a long time. I can't explain why.

Monday, October 8, 2012


hitchhiker on the hood

no reception, it's just there in croton falls. so far impossible to photograph because of reflections, but the show in the windows is a mix of recent and less-recent paintings. I've already posted about it, but here's me there.

show's over, at hudson beach glass.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

hojo's 28 flavors

This new painting, 9"x15" acrylic on wood-- full-size above, detail below-- I based on an old Howard Johnson's road map. Landmark for hungry Americans. There used to be thousands of these restaurants/motels across the US, now there are only two left. There is nothing like painting from a graphic image like this- three colors printed on top of each other- to make me pay close attention to details, simplified as they are. As with many subjects I paint, this is not my own nostalgia I am tapping, but my appreciation of an American ideal. Turning a stop that's "on the way to someplace" into a destination in itself, complete with "delicious food" and 28 flavors of ice cream. I think this map is from the mid-1950's. A plunge into the internet rabbit-hole turned up some good info on its history as well as several references to the Hojo's featured in a Mad Men episode last season. (Unsurprisingly, so much so that I have never felt the need to mention it here, I love this show.) Many variations on the architecture of each location, but nearly always striking in its heyday with the vivid orange roof.

Monday, October 1, 2012


The French horn I painted last week. It's about 7"x 7" oil on wood. As I wrote to the person who commissioned it, a musician who is giving it as a gift to her mentor: "I am attempting to get the essence of this beautiful and complicated instrument, enough detail to see what's going on, but with a loose brushiness." I worked mostly from one of the photos she supplied, using a gray/black/white palette. Depicting shiny metal, alternatingly sharp and out of focus, and allowing layers to dry in between, reminded me of my attempt to paint the disco ball last winter. Not going for photographic likeness, but a textural interpretation in paint.