Sunday, February 11, 2018

"Visions of Venus/ Venus' Visions" - Exhibition at Zhou B Art Center, Chicago

"Myth and Reality"

I have some really exciting news to share. My painting of the goddess Venus with some of her children has been accepted into the "Visions of Venus/ Venus' Visions" show at the Zhou B Haus der Kunst Art Center in Chicago, IL.

The show is presented by Poets and Artists, an online site for creative people which is the brainchild of poet and champion of visual artists Didi Mendendez. It was curated by Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt. 

About "Myth and Reality":
Artists were invited to consider the Venus myth and interpret her in our own individual ways. I grew up reading D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths and was interested in how mythology can speak to the modern mind. Behind the flashy magnetism of Venus there is a mother who is married to the god Vulcan who has had children from a variety of lovers. Who takes the kids to day care in the morning? I'm betting it's Venus. 

I've also been spending some time in the Prado over the past few years and at some point during my visits I go into the room that holds Goya's Black Paintings. You can't help but be shocked by his "Saturn Devouring his Son" and I think I was influenced by his gray/red color palette. I wanted to contradict that image of cannibalism and horrendous parenting (that's putting it mildly) with a rather whimsical image of a mother goddess trying to collect and manage her brood.  Again, inspired by these black paintings, I purposely populated my little painting with not particularly realistic looking figures. 

The show opens on April 20th and runs until June 8th, 2018. 

For a link to the Artsy site that tells you more about the work and the show, click here.

For a slideshow which showcases the work featured at the show click on this link to Poets and Artists.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

"Oil Portraits: the Alla Prima Head" March 21 - April 11, 2018

I'll be teaching a weekly class on painting the alla prima head in oil this spring. This is a great opportunity for intermediate to advanced artists to brush up on their skills in painting a full color portrait in oil in a limited time period (3 hours). If you are new to this, sign up anyway, I will try to help you take yourself to the next level.

When: March 21 - April 181, 2018 
            Wednesdays, 1:00 - 4:00pm (4 sessions)

Where: Scottsdale Artists' School, Scottsdale, Arizona

PLEASE NOTE: this class is now a 4 week class and not a 5 week class as originally scheduled

For more information and to register, please click here at the SAS website

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"Ian and the Empty Chair" at the Lore Degenstein Gallery, 9th Annual Figurative Competition and Exhibition

"Ian and the Empty Chair"
Oil, 28" x 30"

This painting will be featured in the Ninth Annual National Figurative Drawing and Painting Competition and Exhibition at the Lore Degenstein Gallery of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA.  It is a great honor to be in this show and I'm doubly grateful to have this particular piece accepted into it.

In purely technical terms, this painting inspired me to layer paint and glaze and scumble, working warm and cool colors into the background using a fairly limited color palette and value range.  I really enjoyed introducing elements of abstraction, mark-making and paint textures into a realistic narrative framework. 

I had started working on this painting with another concept in mind, but, as often happens when I have a visual scheme, the work at some point seemed to say another thing altogether, a more melancholy theme. It now seems to me that this painting is about loss. The empty chair used to be occupied by someone you used to be close to and who treasured you, who you thought would be there forever and who is gone.  

The young man is waiting patiently and doesn't yet realize that the person will never return.

The Lore Degenstein Figurative show is juried by the internationally acclaimed contemporary realist painter Alia El-Bermani. The show opens on October 28th with the awards ceremony at 7:00pm. The exhibition runs until December 10th, 2017. For more information, click here.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Portrait of My Brother, Jim" - "Familia/La Familia", Poets and Artists Publication

"Portrait of My Brother, Jim"
Oil, 30" x 24"

I'm really proud and excited that my painting of my brother, Jim, was accepted into the recent Poets and Artists' publication, "The Family Edition: Family/La Familia". You can purchase a copy (print issue or a download) of the publication by clicking here.

Poets and Artists is a platform that features artists painting figurative work from all over the world as well as contributing poets and writers. The "Family" issue is especially interesting because figurative artists were asked to provide work featuring their family. 

In a politicized art world of slick, trendy, edgy and/or commercially sensationalized images it is pretty refreshing to see some sincerity and tenderness. The jurors for the publication were noted realists David Kassan and Shana Levinson and they did a wonderful job selecting beautiful and moving work.

My brother Jim is an amazingly gifted person, highly creative, intelligent and one of the most compassionate people I know. I wanted to paint his portrait emphasizing his musical talents as well as an oblique reference to the falling leaves of a Midwestern childhood autumn. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

"Read to Me" - 'A Sense of Dialogue'

I travelled a lot during the last year and was out of town when this article "A Sense of Dialogue" appeared in last June's American Art Collector Magazine. I completely forgot to put this on my blog and so here it is.

"Read to Me" is one of my favorite paintings I've made and I like to write about it. It has so many of the themes that I like to put into my work - a person with headgear; striped fabric; a book and of course my dog. I also love to work in round formats like this one. All of these seem to be part of my artist universe since I return to certain themes over and over again.

Many thanks to Christine Egnoski and the magazine for this article.

Here's another photo of the painting, available at TH Brennen Fine Art in Scottsdale.

Monday, June 12, 2017

"Paracosm with an Injured Bird" showing at The University Club, Phoenix

"Paracosm With an Injured Bird"
Oil, 15" x 24"

I'm happy to say that this painting (which I have already written about on this blog) recently was awarded Second Place at the Portrait Artists of Arizona 7th Annual Members' Juried Portrait Exhibition and Sale. The show is at the University Club in Phoenix, Arizona until August 30th, 2017. Congratulations to all the artists who entered the show!

Friday, April 21, 2017

"Introduction to Drawing and Painting the Dog" - workshop, July 18th and 19th, 2017

"Tierra Dulce", oil (detail)

I've drawn and painted animals for years and have been putting them in my paintings more and more frequently. I'm delighted to have been asked to teach a two day workshop on drawing and painting dogs this summer.

I'm told we have a dog model who is very good at "stay" and "lie down so we can draw and paint you". This would not be my own dog, though (see painting above). We'll also be studying dog anatomy and talking about taking and using photography.

The workshop is on Monday, July 18th and Tuesday, July 19th. It's open for registration at Scottsdale Artists School and you can enroll and find out more about it at this link.