Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Enid Baxter Blader's Lecture

Last Saturday Enid Baxter Blader gave a lecture on her paintings and film currently on view at CCAS. If you missed it, you can download the lecture audio here.
Blader started the lecture with a discussion of her paintings. Having started her artistic practice as a child with a passionate love of painting, a discouraging painting fellowship at Yale in her early twenties caused Blader to rethink her artistic identity. At the fellowship there was pressure to use thick paint, whereas Blader has more of an affinity for lots of thin layers and washes.
She ended up discovering digital film editing and finding that it "wove things together," allowing her to combine several of her interests--including writing and making music--into one practice. Meanwhile, she "kept painting secretly."
This is Blader's first show since she decided to stop showing in commercial galleries, and she expressed relief at the lack of stress when showing at a non-profit space.
As for the most frequently asked question in the gallery--what's the deal with the canola oil paint?--Blader explained that she developed an allergy to turpentine early in her painting career and thus prefers to use canola oil paint, which is water soluble.
An audience member asked about the connection between her film "THE ORD" and the paintings on display and Blader pointed to the murals she discovered at Fort Ord which were, like her paintings, "constructed to affect mood," as well as the respective "landscapes" of the works.
Blader discussed the circumstances surrounding the making of "THE ORD" in detail but you'll have to listen to the full lecture if you want to hear all the juicy details. She was even summoned by the Department of Defense to give a briefing on her work! Suffice to say Blader learned a great deal about the military through this project and she tells lots of great stories related to it.
Download the full lecture to hear more technical details about Blader's painting and film techniques, the ten things Blader says she learned at art school, an interesting description of making websites from hand-painted graphics and much more.

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