New Job, New City

Last August I accepted a new job as Assistant Curator of Education for Teen and University Programs at Artpace San Antonio.

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Though I really enjoyed my previous job with the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, I couldn't resist returning to Artpace (I was a graduate intern summer 2011). Working at Artpace is truly a dream job. I get to create programs for teens and university students based on new art that's created and exhibited at Artpace, a renowned international residency program for artists located in, of all places, my hometown. Throughout my time, I've met incredible artists, both local and international, and have worked on successful projects and programs including one of my favorites, the You[th]Pace Teen Art Council.

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I've been pleasantly surprised returning to San Antonio. Though, of course, I loved living in Austin, I've found that much of what I enjoyed—the art community, vibrant culture, green space, and good food—exists in San Antonio too. Not only do I find my new city accommodating to my lifestyle, I find it to be more colorful as well. The odd thing is that despite growing up in San Antonio, it feels as though I've moved to an entirely new place. So much has changed, for the better, and the city's enthusiasm for improving urban life downtown is exciting. There is so much history in San Antonio that Austin just doesn't have. Also, the museums are better here. To summarize, life is good and I am blessed. 

Paintings at the Austin Airport

This past Friday I installed some of my paintings at the Austin-Bergstrom International airport. They will be up for three months so if you happen to be flying into or out of Austin this summer be sure to look for them.

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I haven't had much time to paint lately, in fact I haven't painted in about two months. I've been working full-time with Landmarks, which is great, and I've traveled nearly every weekend. I went to Marfa, Texas for the first time and loved it. I went with friends from the Dallas Museum of Art, one of whom worked at the Chinati foundation out in Marfa last year. She gave us behind the scenes tours of everything, including Chinati, Judd's ranches, and the Chinati Hot Springs.

Though I haven't been painting recently, I have been showing my work more frequently. Up Collective had a show at Bass Concert Hall this past spring. A few of my paintings were included, which was a really neat opportunity. I've had success showing my existing body of work, but now I want to push my painting and explore new directions. I will have to work hard to carve the time out of my schedule to make it happen.

Current Inspiration: René Magritte

After quite a long hiatus from painting after the 2012 East Austin Studio Tour and the holiday season, I finally began a new painting around the beginning of March. The painting I'm working on is based on a picture I took of my boyfriend, Hunter, while we were hiking with his mom at tent rocks just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The natural beauty of the rock formations is quite fantastic, which I hope to capture. Here is the original photo and below, an in-process shot of my painting.

Tent Rocks, New Mexico

tent rocks in-process painting by Taylor Browning

tent rocks in-process painting by Taylor Browning

As I've been working on this painting, I've had my "Swell" painting hung on the wall next to my easel. I've intentionally tried to paint the rocks similar to how I paint water. If you don't already know, I love painting water. Once I get into the flow, the process becomes very meditative for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Houston with my colleague, Nisa from Landmarks on a mission to check out the Skyspace by James Turrell at Rice University, which is pretty awe-inspiring. Landmarks will be opening a Skyspace this Fall on UT campus! During our trip, we visited some of the stellar art museums in Houston, including one of my new favorites, the Menil Collection. They feature a permanent exhibition of surrealist paintings, which includes many works by one of my favorite painters, René Magritte.

The painting below immediately grabbed my attention because it is so similar to the painting I am currently working on. The scale is much larger, so I was able to see the detail of each stroke of paint. I stared at the painting for several minutes, analyzing the artist's masterful technique, while at the same time letting myself enter the world he created.

The Glass Key by René Magritte 1959, the Menil Collection

The Glass Key by René Magritte 1959, the Menil Collection

With all this inspiration, I should finish my painting soon. I will post the final image when it's ready.

A Special Email

Recently I received a special email from a man named Michel Buono in France. He shared with me a connection he stumbled across on Google between the artwork of his friend, Bernard Rancillac and one of my paintings. Here is an excerpt from the email...

Hi! - I'm not going to write this email only to say "Hi", but it's a good start...

I just think that you may be interested in seeing the work of a French artist, Bernard Rancillac (born 1931) who explored the same ways as you do now; have a look at this google search!

What is the link with your June Haver? During the 80's Bernard made a series of paintings named "Cinemonde" (from the title of a cinema magazine) by reproducing on large canvas the pictures of many actresses ... One of these paintings was called "Je me demande qui l'embrasse maintenant" and I spent months to find the name of the model; just a few days ago, I had the idea to translate the title in English: "I wonder who's kissing her now" and I immediately got the answer: June Haver!

June Haver by Bernard Rancillac

By searching more documents, I finally found your painting and your site...

Bernard Rancillac is a close friend of us and I'm sure he will love that story and the idea that young artists like you continue to work in the same direction as he did... I'll see him and tell him in March.

One more story: I've seen that you studied or worked in Austin; a very good friend of Bernard and me is Peter Saul, who taught 10 years ago at the Texas University; may be did you heard about him. Bernard and Peter had several shows together (in "La Galerie du Centre" - Paris) and had their first common show probably in 1964 (see https://picasaweb.google.com/apacc19/MythologiesQuotidiennes1964FigurationNarrative)...

Peter Saul & Bernard Rancillac

When I did a Google search of Rancillac's work I was instantly drawn to his bold and colorful style of painting. I also discovered that he has work in collections such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris. 

Bernard Rancillac
Bernard Rancillac

Thank you so much for sharing Bernard's work with me, Michel. How neat that the internet made this connection possible. A very special email indeed.

And finally, below is my painting of June Haver, alongside the original Photoplay magazine I used for the source image. 

June Haver by Taylor Browning
June Haver by Taylor Browning

Painting a Heart for a Cause

Recently I was offered a great opportunity to paint a giant fiberglass heart, which will be auctioned off to raise money for a new heart hospital in Tyler, Texas. Similar to the Cow Parade (fun fact: my mom painted a cow for Cow Parade San Antonio), many artists were chosen to paint these hearts, resulting in a collection that will bring color and cheer to the new hospital.

My heart was sponsored by country musician, Joe Nichols. Joe and his wife, Heather gave me inspiration for the design, suggesting the yellow rose to represent their daughter, Dylan. But they also wanted to make sure the heart still had a manly feel since of course, it would be representing Joe. So I gave the heart a rustic look and added the rose vine/barbed wire to give it some toughness. After all it is a giant heart! I also had a lot of fun painting the detail work on the guitar. I like that the painted sound hole in the guitar appears to be a real hole into the heart, playing off of the three-demensional shape of the surface.

I've certainly never painted anything like this before--what a fun project. Thanks Joe, Heather, and Triple 8 Management.

heart for Joe Nichols

heart for Joe Nichols