Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
About this time last week, things were in full swing at our Open House! I wanted to post some shots today of things the way they looked before red dots began to occur. You can certainly see some of my work as well as that of my friend Paula Waterman (oils and scratch boards). These images, shot by our good friend Karryl, whose sculpture can be seen throughout these images, show just a bit of the art and sculpture that was available. I have no doubt that we will do this again next year, but perhaps at a different time of year than right before Christmas.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Our thanks to all who came to this year's Open House this past Saturday. It was a fun time had by all. Now, as far as my return to the studio goes, I am embarking on several months of continued work on the great bridge project for the Woodson showing next summer, as well as preparing new works for my half of a two person show at my Annapolis gallery in March. It proves to be a busy winter ahead!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
This coming Saturday, Paula Waterman, our sculptor friend, Karryl and I will host our fourth holiday Open House. As mentioned a number of times in earlier postings here, we will all have a lot of new work to show. For those who have not received mail invitations and would like to attend, drop me an email and I will send you directions. We will be 'open for business!' from Noon till about 6PM.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Feeling a bit overstuffed this morning and I can't quite figure out why! I bet there are quite a few of you out there, that might feel the same way.
In any event, some new work in progress here . . . just the beginnings of this one from work yesterday morning and the previous evening. Not much to see really, but then again it does take quite some time for me to layer in the darks like the background of this particular work. Having begun my career as an artist, as a painter way back when . . . as I have said time and time again when asked about my work and my technique with graphite, I tend to work as I did when I painted and as all my painter friends generally work . . . by building up layer upon layer, almost like paint glazes, of graphite till I reach the desired intensity of black.
I have been asked these questions many times at shows and by young artists and the answer is always the same . . . it takes time! Starting out with a rather hard lead, perhaps 4H and progressively moving to ever softer leads, I try and establish ever darker 'coatings' of graphite, sometimes setting them in between layers with a very light mist of fixative. Using the good 'ole method of cross hatching, each successive layer tends to fill in the 'gaps' created by the slight texture of the bristol board that I work on, ultimately giving me, with best hopes, a nice, even tonal quality.
In this particular work, all this began at the top of the background, and establishing the basic outline of the animal and slowly working my way around to the right and down to the bottom of the image. Then, going back over the areas worked with softer and softer leads, F, HB and ultimately a top layer of, in this instance, 2B with a sharp line of delineation around the animal of 4B. At this stage of the work, I am not sure if the darks have been reached as yet and that remains to be seen when I finally get to working on the orang itself. If I find I need to pump up the darks in the background, I can still over layer with 3B or 4B as needed to bring out the depth of the shadows. I am pretty happy with the way it looks now, but we shall see what it looks like again at the end of today.
My good friend, Cole Johnson, uses powdered graphite a lot in his beautiful renderings of animals, resulting in an almost air brushed quality to his finished works (one of which I am proud to have in my own personal collection). It works for him, but since I have established my particular technical approach to the way I work based upon what I have outlined here, I doubt I could make use of the same powder in my work without coming up with tornadoes of graphite spilling out all over the studio. In the end, it all comes down to making use of the same medium in vastly differing ways and that makes for very interesting 'variations on a theme' for those of us who have chosen graphite as our medium of choice.
End of Layering Lesson 101!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
As noted in an earlier posting here in the blog pages sometime last month, my work titled 'I Hear You Singing in the Wire', featured in this year's Birds in Art exhibition, was purchased by the Woodson for the permanent collection.
In yesterday's mail, this month's copy of Vista arrived, the monthly newsletter to museum members published by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin, and in its pages I was most pleased to find this full page discussion of my work and its recent addition to the collections.
As noted before, I am most honored to have this work join several others of mine in the collections at the Woodson and particularly pleased with the kind remarks about this work and my upcoming exhibition, Unknown Bridges, which the Woodson will host next summer.
My deepest thanks to Kathy Foley, the director of the museum, and all others involved in the Collections Committee for choosing my work from the 100 plus works included in this year's exhibition. This work, along with 59 others selected from the total exhibiton, will go on tour shortly to several other venues around the country. A listing of these venues can be seen on the museum's web site, as well as included in my Fall Newsletter, currently posted on my web site, linked below and to the right.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I have just begun to leaf through the catalog from the exhibition and already am taken with Hopper's unique look at the world around him and especially the way he has used light and shadow in the vast majority of his work to convey a mood that is at once, almost surreal yet comforting at the same time. 'What I wanted to do', Hopper was quoted as saying in reference to his approach to his work, 'was to paint sunlight on the side of a house.' In this simple statement, Hopper summed up for me at any rate, what art sometimes comes down to; the way in which each individual artist chooses to focus their work, what gets their creative juices flowing and what sets the mood of a vast body of their output.
Hopper spotlighted the 'ordinary moment' as in the work, 'Chop Suey' from 1929. To me and any number of his critics, his work speaks of melancholy and being a rather melancholy person myself, I find it quite easy to relate.
I always come away from a visit to a museum or exhibition or even a large scale group art show, like the recently held Waterfowl Festival, invigorated, refreshed and filled with the joy of being an artist; being someone who, in some small way, can hope to tap the inspiration within and make it come to life in a work of art.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Following along the lines of the work that I was involved in just before the Waterfowl Festival, I continue to delve into my African reference, today starting a small work of wild dogs. It has been about ten years since I last did a wild dog work and I was happy to dig through images from my Botswana trip in the summer of 1999 yesterday, to refresh my memory and get the creative juices flowing. This will be one of several works I shall do for the upcoming Open House with African wild dogs as subject matter.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Now, studio time will be occupied in preparation for my shared upcoming Open House with fellow artist and friend, Paula Waterman on Saturday, December 1. Many new works will be shown on that day and also here on the blog over the next three weeks, so keep an eye out!
Sunday, November 04, 2007
This coming week will mark the opening of the 37th Annual Waterfowl Festival in beautiful and historic Easton, Maryland. Spread out in venues throughout the town, the Festival hosts well over a hundred fine artists, carvers, sculptors, and craftspeople not only from the eastern seaboard but from the west coast, the midwest, the southwest and Canada. Opening to the public on Friday morning, November 9th and running for three full days, the Festival is a great place to spend a crisp fall weekend. I believe this to be my 15th year of being a part of this wonderful gathering of artists and will hang about 30 new works, many of which have been seen here in various stages of completion over these last few weeks and months.
So, if you are in the area or within a short drive, consider joining me in Easton next weekend! Here is a link to the Festival's home page for more information . .
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma will again, this year, host this wonderful event as a fund raiser. Over 220 artists from all across the country and Canada have offered small scale works, including yours truly. There will be a silent auction drawing on Thursday, November 1 at the museum and those works not sold at this event will continue to be available through the museum until November 18. You may preview all the works available by clicking on the link below. There are instructions also on the museum site as to how to go about putting in a bid for a work, so look carefully!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Being an artist whose thrust is, at least 80% of the time I would say, portraying the natural world and its inhabitants, I have long been someone with concerns about the world around me. These concerns have often played themselves out in my work in hopes that others might feel the same concerns for our surroundings and those animals that have, often, been forced to struggle for life and living space in competition with the ever increasing sprawl of the human animal.
I feel great joy when others often times will find the subtext if you will, of a given work of mine and zero in on the idea behind the composition. I don't often have an 'agenda' very specifically spelled out in a work, but frequently, as a result I may assume from all my years of being a supporter of environmental concerns, ideas and thoughts about nature and its struggle to survive in our ever complicated world just seem to work their way into a composition without my being consciously aware of it.
The continent of Africa and the struggles there between the ever increasing populations all around that continent and the native populations of animals, has been a major focus of my work ever since my first trip there in the early 1970s. Over six subsequent returns to Africa in the following thirty years, I saw first hand, much of the spread of population centers and the clearing of formerly uninhabited areas for agricultural purposes, forcing the elephants and zebra and carnivores to 'make do' if you will, with ever narrowing circles of habitat. As positive an undertaking of setting aside large areas of land for the sole living space of wild animals has been in many of the countries of East and South Africa, conflicts have inevitably arisen, especially in the last twenty years or so.
By reconnecting with my African memories in this last week or so and embarking on a series of works based upon my times on that very special soil, I hope to be able to present a number of pieces, next month at the Waterfowl Festival and in several of my galleries that will be doing special showings in November, which will in some way reach out to others and perhaps touch someone in some way that will be reflected in their desire to become involved, in whatever small way they might, in support of and concern for the animals of this planet that have fallen under the blanket of our protection for future generations.
With the recent honor of my being named one of the African Wildlife Foundation's 'Artists for Africa' and the very kind and positive article that appeared in the spring 2007 edition of Africa Geographic magazine (as noted and discussed in an earlier posting here on this blog) I have decided that I will donate a portion of my proceeds from the sale of these African works that will be completed over the next three or four weeks to the causes that AWF fights for. I would urge any of the readers of this blog and specifically this posting on 'Blog Action Day', to take a look at the Foundation's web site (www.awf.org) and see what fine work they are involved in and, if of a mind to, make a donation on this very important day. When large groups of people work together toward a single purpose, things happen!