Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New York City and Back Home

I have been in New York City to install yet another show of encaustic paintings at the wonderful Ceres Gallery. They actually look REALLY GOOD to me. Great to see them from such a distance and so well lit. 34 paintings are up in Wind and Water!

Both Carl and I worked our butts off this trip, hauling boxes, driving back and forth to and from Brooklyn, working working working to make everything go well.

The opening was excellent. I'd sold the piece on the pr, Surf at Sea Glass Beach, so that was nice.
Gabe and Michelle came to the opening, as did David Lund and his new mentee, Richard Chused and Elizabeth Langer, and several other friends. As usual, people seemed to fall over around my work.
Hard to keep this in mind actually. Many painters made it clear to me that they thought the work was fantastic. What can I say - very affirming!

Now home and have met with architects who are carefully designing a workspace/studio for me in our yard. To the inch actually, as our space is quite limited.
But I am excited. I will have a nice wall, several tables, exhaust fan, heat pump, lots of light, skylights, ceiling fans, even a patio. Heh heh.

Tomorrow I pick up the corcoran show Ladders of Light. I have not written on the blog for years, so = no images of that or other things. time flows on. blogs almost disappear. but I am still here so am chiming in today.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Encaustic paintings videos

Last Friday we drove out to Adkins Arboretum to take my show down. A Sense of Place had been up for 10 weeks. The work looked well loved.
Just a bit of chaos as a film program was going to begin in a couple of hours, so people and things were here and there. I took three short videos, totaling less than 10 minutes, where I show the paintings and talk a bit about them. Number 3 may be my favorite because I talk about what I am after with more depth. But they are all worth watching. Comments (as usual) appreciated.

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

VCCA in my sightline

I am going to VCCA again in March. Now, when people ask about it, I say it is the ONLY place I go that I feel that the society wants me to be an artist, wants me to take this creative gift so seriously that I will follow it regardless of response or financial renumeration. That sounds strange to most of our society, except perhaps to New Yorkers.
This year the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is supporting my residency fully. Yep! Fully. They are even going to pay for my gas.
I am fantasizing a quick return trip to Vieques, or Cape Cod to see the dunes again, or at least the eastern shore to see the dunes and water at Cape Henlopen.
It is very cold out tonight. Vieques would be my first choice.
I will have to print out some images to remind me of the earth's nurturance in that place. It was so tangible, so visceral - like a warm but gentle hug from the air, the light, the water, the sand.
Maybe I can remember that in my bones and work with it during my residency.
What I do there is always a surprise. Thank God!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ashley Bryan artist

We took the ferry to Islesford from Great Cranberry and in no time bumped into Ashley Bryan.
Ashley Bryan is a phenomenon. He has more energy, aliveness, and vitality than, I believe, anyone else I have met. He exudes a love of life and embodies all the best that an art life can be and have - total freedom of mind and creative energy, with space to create and a world that accepts what he has to give.
He says "everything is animated," and it IS, through his awareness and being. Of course, it "is" all the time, but do we see it, feel it, hear it, live it?
Here are a few photos. Look him up!

When you look up Ashley Bryan you see that he is a well known children's book author and editor. Definitely true. He has published many books. What you cannot see and find out from wikipedia is that his home is filled with art books, artistic and craft tradition from every culture, dolls, sculpture, art in process everywhere including a stack of plein air paintings he does daily in his garden and elsewhere on the island, detailed puppets in process, stained glass windows in process, more visual stimulation than is possible. A serious mature accomplished artist who has retained the spirit of the inquisitive child.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Artistic Heritage

I made a pilgrimage to the Maine coast to visit the places where David Lund, my painting teacher extraordinaire from 1967, and Marvin Bileck, my mentor from Queens College in 1968, spent summers for over 40 years. David still goes there; Marvin died several years ago. Marvin's partner Emily Nelligan still goes there to draw, and is the local heroine.
We flew to Portland and drove up to Stonington on Deer Isle. The light is so brilliant and the air so clear. Stimulating. You want to breathe in all you can store up. Great lobster too. Photos....

The next morning we went by David Lund's house in Stonington and I saw the view which inspired him so long ago. Still there, the water, the rocks, the craggy look, the trees.

Onward to our longer stay on Great Cranberry Island. The ferry rides were my favorite part - the mountains of Mount Desert Island, the sky, the fog that surrounds everything, the water, the waves, the sunlight, the pointy trees that must be balsam firs. Ahhh. Maybe we'll return next summer and I will have a residency at LaHotan and Carl will rent the same lovely house with the out of tune piano and porch swing and feeling of warmth everywhere.

Home in Takoma Park now, trying to adjust, having missed the earthquake here by one day, and avoided the electrical outage. We review the photos in slide show format, trying to get more of that air, that light, that space.

Wait, there is more to this post. All those painters - Marin, Hartley, Lund ..... even Hopper and tons more you've seen - they all soaked up and worked from that Maine landscape. No wonder I needed to go there, and no wonder I loved it too.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


After my recent gallery visits and a workshop on artist's liberation and creativity - I am thinking about society's definition of "success" as an artist, and about the truth telling function of art.
There is pretty art, beautiful art, disturbing art, highly crafted and craft focused art. All kinds. Humorous, gigantic, miniature. All kinds of characteristics, and motivations, and functions. Decorating one's pricey home with colorful abstraction seems to be in vogue in this area. Is that too sarcastic? Or is it just the truth?
The danger for some of us who sell art (sometimes) is in thinking that our art is "to sell." As if that is it's motivation and function.
So I'm thinking back to the work I did several years ago - the work that didn't "fit easily" into anyone's home. I will upload a couple of those pieces here, and no doubt more in the future.

This one is called "Prague Cemetery. It is from my series called "Still With Us", done after visiting Terezin, a concentration camp near Prague, in 1998.

This is "Imprisoned." When I was 5 years old my relatives told me about a sign at a swimming pool in nearby Clayton Missouri that said No Jews or Dogs Allowed.

Art in Chevy Chase

Last night I attended the opening of a group show in the DC area. My artist neighbor was in the show, which was my reason for going. I wanted to support her, and give my blessing to this gallery/money making venture.
I'd never clicked with that particular gallery in it's previous incarnation - I and my work just didn't fit there. This was no different in those ways - and it was even clearer to me.
There was a ton of work on the walls and a ton of people at the opening. The work didn't look like me or reflect me on a deep level - though I had hoped I'd see something that would even make me jealous, if you can understand that. My favorites were my friend's soothing and beautiful landscapes, and another painter's big energetic colorful landscapes and portrait.
The people didn't look like me either. I am seriously looking at and getting some distance on what I call "this class thing." I'd say 90-95% of the visitors were dressed in a way that was supposed to be glamorous. Maybe it was. To me it was not. Something about the costume/uniform of "looking good" - guess I will speak more on that in another post, if I can relate it cleanly to ART.
Amazingly one woman appeared at the door to the gallery dressed in black and looking totally unpretentious. I was sure she was an artist, and close to me in age. She stood out, all in black like that.
Eventually I approached her and we had a real conversation and a real connection. What a lift!
The net result though was that I woke up feeling ill, and only recovered when I saw the work of Felix Angel at a gallery this morning. Complex collages that satisfied the mind and spirit, deep, thought provoking, nourishing.