This work is composed primarily of tessera from one painting that was chopped into pieces and reconfigured into an entirely new image, but it is nevertheless a reflection of the original work. Tessera from other paintings have been added, and like bits of memories that we call on to help us when telling a story, the new bits add depth and interest to the original. So too do the traumas, and joys and grief and love that we experience add color and texture to our memories.
While working on this piece, it was struck by how this image is like my interior vision of myself. I always seem to be stitching together a new version of myself to present to the outside world. Whatever it is I piece together might look solid and cohesive, but is in fact cobbled together with bits and pieces that have washed up on the shore of my life. I would suppose that most people find this to be true. But then again, maybe not. Maybe it is just that I have the time to mull over all this existential dreck while cutting up old canvases.
LITTLE CAT FEET
First up on the news front, I want you all to know that sculptor, and fellow artist Ashby Carlisle and I are collaborating on a show of new work to be hung at the Avon Library next June. We discovered earlier this year that our work really resonates when viewed side by side. We are really excited to be presenting our work in this context.
I will keep you posted on dates for our opening reception. Meanwhile if you get a chance, you can check out her website www.ashbycarlisle.com
I also finished another of my precarious landscapes. This one is about the fog of the future, and how reassuring it is to have a bit of blue sky showing on the horizon.
I really like this piece and find that the solidity of the houses … even though they are built on stilts … illustrates how fog, as eerie and unnerving as it can be, still creates a sense of calm and serenity, because one can not look too far ahead.
So this is the new form of the old planet series that I started last fall. Since then I have started a second series of fish and their world as our own.
The two motifs, planets and fish, come together in this piece and begs the question … What if space in our world is really no different than that of outer space? In this circumstance, which world is being invaded by whom?
Both fish and planets share a sense of weightlessness that gives them a graceful, and rather surreal quality that is intrinsic to their nature. In our dreams we share that same weightless sense of freedom. But it brings with it some of our other, less reassuring, unease.
In this case the feeling is energizing. not frightening, but there is a sense that that could change at any moment.
THE LATER YEARS OF ITALIAN PUTTI III
OIL 24 X 18
This image is the third of my Italian Putti that asks the question, “Where do all those cute cherubs go once they grow up?” A lot of them learn to play instruments as they cavort up in the ether, but they couldn’t all be rock stars in later life. This guy apparently pursued a musical career.
Once again the piece is heavily textured and uses the palette knife to create rough and smooth surfaces that lead to a sense of ambiguity. He has an etherial quality, but at the same time is current and of the real world. He is solid and transparent at the same time.
The work is also developed on a diagonal grid, much like the earlier pieces of the same title, but this guy has an entirely different color scheme. He is also done on a gessoed board which changes the nature of the finished piece. Without the springiness of a canvas surface, the palette knife becomes more aggressive when used this way.
The piece is available through Xanadu Gallery’s Studio Artist web site. Don’t forget to click on the image for an enlarged view.
RECEIVING NEWS FROM THE OTHER SIDE
UNFRAMED OIL 30X24
This is the latest Diva from my studio. As an addition to my ‘Divas and Other Creatures, it reads as part of the line that goes back years through all sorts of images and media. But this one really brings a new spontenaity to the table.
I really had a hard time deciding on the title, as I felt that it could also be a commentary on the tech-head, the over use of digital images, or the spaciness of anyone using an electronic device. They all share that otherworldly stare, and appear cut off from the real world when listening to incoming messages.
The receiving lines / antennae are pinstripes of luminescent orange that reflect into the digital input of pixels floating around in the atmosphere. But here is the real question, is that a black hole looming over the image, or is it the real world looking black and indecipherable in contrast to the bright lights of the digital world? So many questions.
QUEEN OF HEARTS
OIL 24 X 20
I love this piece of whimsey. She is the result of a fascination with the older forms of portraiture that use a standard pose with embellishments. They all sit the same way, and wear the same kind of costumes and look to be frozen in time. They all look to be a bit trapped in their backgrounds. However, I found that by trying to replicate the technique it is revealed that the sitter’s face comes alive in this type of portrait. By painting away the other parts, the face becomes more alive.
The use of a diagonal grid is very evident in this piece. It is almost as if she has been trapped in the maze of lines that underlay the work. However, her face is very strong, and overcomes the background patterns.
By working with the piece as if it were a study of the older portrait form, I found that I could understand why this format continues to satisfy viewers. The very fact that the image is flat, allows the human features to become dominate. It was a very interesting exercise, and I plan to work with a similar format again.
THE LATER YEARS OF ITALIAN PUTTI
OIL 24 X 18
I just received notification that I was a finalist in the Artist Magazine Annual Competition. This piece was entered in the Abstract & Experimental category.
I was a finalist last year in the landscape category and am really psyched that I have, yet again, achieved recognition at such a high level. The winners will be featured in the December issue of the magazine, and my name will be listed.
Titled “The Later Years of Italian Putti II”, it is one of a series that I have been working on using palette knife and an underlying diagonal grid. I am really happy that this piece placed well in the competition, as it represents the direction that I am moving in my artistic development.