Monday, July 27, 2015

finished portrait by Tom Nettle

I received one of the best gifts I have ever gotten yesterday! This is the finished portrait that my friend and "brother" Tome Nettle painted. It's modeled after Van Gogh's "The Poet". I LOVE it!

Monday, July 13, 2015

"The Return"

Here's a sketch from tonight in the studio. It's a little creepy, I suppose. But I expect that it is evocative (i.e., it elicits a response). From what is the child returning? Was the experience "enlightening" or "frightening" for the child? Is the child scared or contemplative as he (she?) walks up the stairs (and back into "reality")? The blurry nature of the human figure only contributes to the ambiguity methinks.  The technical question is whether to cut-out the area to the left of the banister in order to continue the blackness of space. I think it might be good "as is" though. Feel free to comment on whether I should alter it in that way or not.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Faces and Flowers"

Over the last couple months, I guess I have been drawn to using floral elements in my sketches (and finished pieces). I have not "acknowledged" it "officially", but I suppose I am working on some pieces that could be considered part of a "Faces and Flowers" series. Here's a piece that started when I came across a vintage photo I recently acquired as part of a box lot at an auction in Pennsylvania this afternoon (I didn't even bid on the box for this framed photo). I haven't quite finished it yet; but I thought I would post the almost-finished piece.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Back from Germany

I returned from a weeklong trip to Germany late last Friday. On the top of my priority list this week was getting an article written for Kolaj magazine by this Friday. Good news is that I finished a first draft of the article yesterday. So I got back into my studio last night for the first time in about two weeks (!). As I was getting back "into the zone" by doing some cutting and arranging, I created this piece. I really love the color and the depth. I would normally have cut the blue from between the fingers; but I like the way that hue contrasts with the vintage blue of the blood vessels. I will leave it the way it is. This will be one of the pieces for my September show. It's entitled "Naguer" (5.5" x 7.5").

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Illuminati Aquatica

I'm so happy to be writing this particular post! This past Friday my good friend and fellow collagist Anthony Morgan and I participated in the 60/60 event at The Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. We did it last year as well and I also did it three years ago with my good friend Tom Nettle. The event is outdoors in the beautiful courtyard at the museum. It involves a gathering of 60 regional artists who each create a piece of art in 60 minutes while patrons put tickets into artists' paint buckets for a subsequent raffle of the art. Before I headed out to Syracuse (an hour drive), I got a call from Anthony (who was coming up from PA), who told me that he was at a stand-still in traffic on Rt. 81. Since the event is only an hour and since we were cutting it close with timing, AND since Toeny had the frame and matting we had intended to use for the artwork, I quickly gathered some other material and was trying to get mentally prepared for doing the artwork solo (rather than collaboratively as we had planned). BUT Toeny made it with about 15 mins. to spare. We worked together well again this year (as expected) and put together this "double" piece (the doubled nature inspired by the frame and matting Toeny got at a recent auction in PA). I am SO happy with this composition. I certainly hated to "give it away". I felt like offering money to the "lucky winners" just to get it back for myself. A couple of noteworthy comments about the composition I think are warranted (remember, I am a teacher). The purple orbs were used to "connect" the top and bottom portions of the piece. I think this was particularly important because of the fairly disparate nature of the compositions of each "half". I cut small ellipses of black to give the illusion of holes and was careful to have some of the orbs placed directly above these "holes". Of course, we were careful to place the orbs in such a way as to have the light and shaded portions in the same orientation. One of the things that happened "unintentionally", but to amazing effect, is the fact that the two woman in the lower portion were placed directly under the light beam from the upper portion. When we placed these women in the lower portion, our intention was to simply put then on an existing ledge in the underwater environment. We only noticed the "connection" of upper and lower light afterward. We were thrilled about it! Also as a teaching tip... when we placed the women where they are, I noticed that they were obscuring slightly, the urchin underneath. I suggested to Toeny that we make a small cut to reveal the entire urchin. The difference between the uncut and the cut was amazing (details, details). The event was magical and I feel like Anthony and I really put together a good piece. We are maturing well as collagists methinks. I had the same feeling after the event that I used to get when the band I played in had a particularly good night playing. I'm still basking in the glow. Well, I think that I may have rambled on too long here (may be the longest post yet). If you have been kind enough to read to this point, I thank you. Here are the images!
p.s. We had intended to put some sort of head on the woman in the top portion (a beautiful sea horse image was attempted), but nothing seemed to work and we were running out of time in the event. As we looked and contemplated it more, however, we thought the image as headless "worked". In a way, it's like many Greek or Roman sculptures with "lost parts". I'm satisfied with the finished product.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

two sketches

Here are a couple of other sketches that I was toying with last night. The boat piece was slated for use at the upcoming 60/60 fundraising event at The Everson Museum in Syracuse this weekend. BUT, I may just keep it for a "personal" piece, because I love the material and the size is "rare". I made a close-up shot of the little boy because I absolutely love the coloration and the expression! The other architectural piece has a real wooden (vintage) triangle in the corner. I really like the composition and will probably put this one together as a piece.