Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wondering around the web this morning, killing time while enjoying my second cup of tea and before I head out to do some yard work on this beautiful end of June day, I 'bumped into' this page on the artistsnetwork dot com. Was I astounded to find three of my pieces, that were included in last fall's release of Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing Light and Shadow, spoltlighted on this feature page? Dah! Had no idea of this and now see that it has been on the web since mid March. Quite gratifying and I thank the folks at for the 'plug'. I have submitted several works for consideration for inclusion in the upcoming 3rd installment of Strokes of Genius and anxiously await the jury decision, which is to be announced in August.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baa, baa, Black Sheep!

Not really, but I thought it might be fun to zero in on the black face. So, here is the new one, image size 5" x 17". The first of several new works for Troika Gallery's rehang for the August First Friday Gallery Walk.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The work day is starting a bit earlier than usual today as my house guest for this past week, Miss Emma P, will be leaving today and I needed to get her traveling gear in order. Some studio time this past weekend and here is how things look so far.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's hard to believe, as I opened up this page this morning, that I am now over a month into my sixth year of posting to this blog! Some 1850 plus days after the very first post back in May of 2005, and I find myself wondering this morning just what have I been chattering away about all these years?

It is always gratifying to me to find a comment or two on a day's post and I think, for those of us who do this sort of thing, it acts as a reward and a positive reinforcement for saying what is on our minds and discussing things that seem important to us. I am especially pleased that so many fellow artists from all across the globe have 'tuned in' on occasion or 'follow' my ramblings as that says to me that maybe the things that I have to say about art, mine or others, or whatever particularly strikes me on any given day, have some merit or value.

Perhaps by posting in progress shots of works on the drawing board, I have given some insight into the ways I work and my thought process as I develop an idea or composition. I know many other artists do this and think it a good way of encouraging young artists or those seeking to find their own voice, to explore their own ideas in the context of what they might find of value in the methods of others. We do tend to learn by exploring and building upon what has come before.

I also enjoy when someone asks a specific question about how I have done something, why I have done it or for an explanation of the steps taken to get to some end point. It has really never occurred to me that I should be concerned about 'giving away' my secrets or divulging too much about my process. Often, I have done this very thing for a collector who wishes to understand more fully, my particular approach to working or to be able to apply a similar, more general appreciation to the work and methods of other artists. In the end, that sort of understanding and knowledge benefits both artist and collector alike.

In honor of the commencement of a sixth year of 'chattering away', I thought it apropos to give the page a bit of a face lift. I hope what follows here, day after day, month after month and so on and so forth, will continue to be of interest to others.

Friday, June 25, 2010

No rest for the weary. After one day's break this week, I am back at the board preparing new works for a gallery rehang in early August. This will be the first of four new works, possibly five if I get my rear in gear, for that delivery at the end of July. I try, and that is the key word, to get new works into my galleries at least three times a year; that's every four months if it is all going well. Throw in the every-so-often need to do a work or two for a jury competition, special works for invitational exhibitions, the odd commission or two, and there goes a year! I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My house guest for this week, Miss Emma (Peel, of course!). She is a sweet septaugenarian (in dog years!). I only hope I am as spry as her when I reach that age . . . which is not that far off any more! (Ugh!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Done! It needs a signature, a mat and to be put in its frame and then shipped out tomorrow. Image - just shy of 12" x 16".

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

At the end of work time for today . . .

Monday, June 21, 2010

Well as happens sometimes, deadlines, especially the self-imposed kind, can come and go and be missed. Such is the case for wanting to have this current work done today. Just did not get to as much studio time as I had hoped this weekend, so this one will just continue on past today. No problem though, as the self-imposed deadline was to enable me to take advantage of my artist friend, Paula's, gracious offer to hand deliver our works to the Ris Gallery this week. I will just get this one done later this week and ship it out. No point in rushing and goofing things up, especially with all that detail and noodly stuff going on in the foreground. It will get done! Will post today's efforts later this afternoon.

(Posting at 5:15 this afternoon) Pebbles! I see pebbles! I am also seeing a light at the end of this tunnel, though with a house guest this week, it might be a few more days. Nevertheless, this one will be finished and shipped off for next month's opening on July 3 in plenty of time.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Before I hit the board today, here is where things are at this point. I think late-night oil is going to be burned this weekend in an effort to try and get this one done by late on Monday. Deadlines loom. Oh, all those pebbles yet to come!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Someone inquired as to what the current work, the last of the pieces to go to the Ris Gallery opening next month, on the board was. It's a jolly right pile of pebbles! Am I out of my mind, or what? Did I save the most difficult for last? Did I save the most challenging for last? Did I save the best for last? Remains to be seen.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coming after the release earlier this week of the article in The Equestrian News about my works with horses as subject matter, I thought I needed to add another work on this subject theme to my inventory list. This one, image size 6" x 16" completed yesterday, will also be going to the William Ris Gallery for the July 3rd opening. The last of new works for that show begins on the drawing board today.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I was pleased to read this morning that the New York Times has picked up on the story of the proposed Serengeti road mess. Well written, well researched and well worth a read. In one of the comments listed beneath the article, the point was raised as to the belief that Tanzania itself cannot possibly have the financial wherewithal to foot the bill for this project. I totally agree. There is an alternate route south of the park lands which in reality would benefit far more people, be less expensive to construct, and be a much less destructive influence on the park and its wildlife. One has to wonder, then, who might be pushing this from afar? What external influences might be in command here? Why, after so many years of blocking this project, is the Tanzanian Parks Authority now giving in? When will the truth about this come to light? How might you get involved and voice your concern? Go here and read more about this and then sign the petition.

I have also been heartened to read that the African Wildlife Foundation, which I support strongly in their efforts across the extent of the African continent, is in opposition to this undertaking with strong urging to the Tanzanian government to consider the alternatives to bisecting the northern park lands. With such a global outcry, it is hard to believe that alternatives could not possibly be considered by those in power to reverse this unwise decision.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Earlier this spring, I was contacted by Paula Parisi, Editor in Chief, of The Equestrian News about doing a phone interview for an article in the bi-monthly newspaper published in southern California. The paper was running a series on artists who incorporate horses into their works and I was delighted for Paula to have 'found' me via my on line presence. The June/July issue is available now and I received word over the weekend that the article, part of the 'Lifestyle' section of the paper, was ready for perusal.
After a quick read this morning, I am thrilled with the result! My thanks to Paula for taking my jumble of thoughts from our phone interviews and pulling together, in beautifully written text, just how this particular subject matter has become so inspirational to me.

Here is a link to their web site. If you click on 'The Paper' in the highlighted blue listing to the left, it will take you to the page for the entire June/July issue in PDF format.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beginning this weekend and running through Thursday of next week, the 91st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pacific Division, will take place at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. As an adjunct to this year's meeting, a Virtual Science Art Exhibit has been installed on the meeting's web site. I am pleased that three of my works are included in the 38 images representing connections with some of the important seminars and discussions that will take place over the five days of the gathering. There are some very interesting works, so take a look here. You don't have to be a scientist to enjoy them!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Opened last weekend, this exhibition runs through late August and includes these two works of mine. It's a beautiful venue in a beautiful part of southwestern New England, well worth a trip from anywhere.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Set to work straight away this morning and this one is ready for mat and frame; images size is 12" x 9". This work, along with four or five other new works, will be heading to the William Ris Gallery in Stone Harbor, New Jersey later this month for a new show opening on July 3.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Following on the theme of yesterday's posting, I wanted to speak briefly today, before studio time gets underway, about a wonderful book I read oh so many years ago. 'Serengeti Shall Not Die', written by Bernhard Grzimek and his son, Michael, was one of the first books I read back in the late 1960s about Africa. Long before I made the decision to save my pennies and travel to that far off continent for the first time, I read everything I could get my hands on in the local library about Africa.

The book, published in its first edition in 1959, dealt with the Grzimek's time spent in the Serengeti and their efforts to make certain that the area would remain a pristine enclave for the millions of animals living within its ecosystem. It is a wonderful read and I would recommend it to anyone who has either been to Africa or plans to go or would just want to have a better understanding of what importance that land has to those that depend upon its protected status.

As I consider the current situation with the possibility of this new roadway as a threat to the ecosystem of the Serengeti, and recalling the great efforts on the part of the Grzimeks back in the middle of the last century, it amazes me to think that fifty years after their battles, research and sweat, and Michael's tragic death, their efforts might be negated for the sake of political and commercial gain. Must we always be fighting and refighting these sorts of battles?

And before today's studio work begins, here is the current work as it stands this morning . . .

Monday, June 07, 2010

'There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune,' says Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Such a tide is now at hand.

Over this past weekend, there has been a flurry of news, comment and outrage voiced on the pages of Facebook about a decision by the Tanzanian government, supported by the Tanzanian National Parks Authority, to cut a major highway through the northern territories of the magnificent Serengeti Plains National Park. As is quite obvious from a quick study of this map showing the proposed route (in red, with alternate route in light green) of the highway,

this absurd plan could conceivable cut directly through the path of the annual migration of the tens of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, impala and other herding animals that has taken place in that part of eastern Africa for centuries. Indulge me today, as I stray just a bit from my normal course of posting to speak to this issue.

Having spent many glorious days in the Serengeti over the several trips I have taken to that part of eastern Africa in the last forty plus years, I am personally dumbfounded to understand the reasoning behind such a misguided project. In short, apparently after many years of resistance against the idea of the road going through the Park lands, the Park Authority has suddenly reversed itself and agreed to allow this project to go forward with construction to begin in two years time. Read more here.

Driving a roadway through that area and enabling high speed truck traffic on a round the clock basis can only bring major disruption to the traditional current of the annual migration that I have been so fortunate to have observed on a number of occasions. Tourism is one of the most important economic life lines of Tanzania, as it is in many other countries of East Africa. It is mind boggling to understand why the government would allow such an endeavor to occur with its possible repercussions, not to mention the possible disastrous long term effects it could have on the rich bounty of the country's wildlife.

As has been seen in such places as Brazil, where similar such major roadways have been built through the heart of the Amazon rainforest into the interior depths of the country, once the road is there, people follow. 'Build it, and they will come!' And they will bring destruction, environmental degradation and all the trappings of civilizing that ultimately spell trouble for indigenous peoples and wildlife.

Having experienced what the Serengeti is, how its magnificent expanses of untouched land accommodate to the natural ebb and flow of the herds as they congregate for the migration to newer pastures or as they disperse and feast on the fresh green of newly watered grazing, my heart aches at the thought that such a road could cause so much change as to bring a halt to this spectacle that has taken place every year since man first left the continent on his journey to populate the globe.

The 'tide' that beckons to the tens of thousands of animals that move around the Serengeti and surrounding parks in southern Kenya, does indeed lead them on to fortune. That tide, that natural call to ebb and flow and follow the rains, must not be dismissed as something that can be adjusted or altered to suit the whims of man. Have we not seen enough of the results of the monumental mistakes that have been perpetrated against nature and other natural tides in many places around the world already to allow us to sit back and be silent about this new threat to one of the remaining natural wonders of the world?

If you have a Facebook presence and click here, you will be linked to a page established to bring together souls who, like me, feel strongly about this offense against the natural order. The page will give you more information about how you can help, who you can contact and how, in joining with others around the globe, we all might advantage ourselves of this flood tide and make a roar so loud, as to be heard in the halls of the government in Tanzania.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

No work today as I will be in Annapolis this afternoon, from about 1 to 4 PM, along with a host of the other gallery artists to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the gallery. I have six new works included in the group show. The gallery is located at 215 Main Street, top of the hill, in beautiful and historic Annapolis. Come on by!

Friday, June 04, 2010

The going is slow, but going slow is better than not going at all!
Here is where things lay today.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Things are moving a bit slower than I anticipated the other day, but that is OK. It just seems to be taking me a little longer than I would like to kick whatever it is that has been ailing me for the last few weeks, as well as to regain my focus, and I did not get much work done yesterday. I guess it's not the quantity of work that gets done, it is the quality of work that will count in the end. And, to that end, I am feeling quite good about where this work is so far.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I am back at work! A new piece takes shape on the drawing board.

As, I am sure, many of my artist friends would attest to . . . after laying off work for almost three weeks, it is a slow process to get back to it. I have found in the past, that sometimes being away from work can take its toll on my concentration, focus and just plain stick-to-itiveness. This afternoon has been no exception to that. I have put in about three hours on this so far and now need to just take a break and come back tomorrow. I know from experience that it will take a few days before I feel like I am back on track and in full potential mode. So for now, here it is, some basic outlining and laying out shadows and getting some perspective on a good balance across the composition.

I'm glad to be back doing what brings joy to me, trying to wash the interventions of the past two weeks that have stalled me, down the drain of the past.