Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I have been working the
last four days on
something new, the first work
of a series with a particular theme.
As I always do, I am
enjoying playing with contrasting
textures in this one.
So, here is a slice of what
is going on.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The day before Thanksgiving, there was a knock on my door late in the afternoon. It turned out to be my mail carrier with a package that would not fit through the mail slot. It was not a surprise package as I was expecting a large envelope, but the thrill of surprise was there nevertheless.

The package contained a copy of American Coastal Art: The Collection of Charles J. and Irene Hamm by Genetta McLean, Ph. D. The volume, 240 pages in heft, documented this incredible collection of art, amassed over many decades, with the maritime world as its theme. I am humbled to say that it includes three of my works.

As I took a quick scan through the book, page after page filled with striking reproductions of the collected works, I was humbled even more to see that my works rubbed elbows with those of the likes of Fitz Henry Lane, Edward Moran, William Trost Richards, Alfred Bricher, John Henry Twachtman, Guy Wiggins, and a host of contemporary artists including many names known to me and especially my good friend, Cindy House with one of her magnificent pastel works.

Later in the evening, I took time to dig a bit deeper, stopping to read some of the accompanying text but leaving much of it for a fine winter's afternoon yet to come, when I can relax with a glass of wine and indulge, losing myself in the incredible beauty of this book.

To know that ones art has been added to a significant collection such as this, is a big feather in the cap. To know that the collectors saw something within my work that struck a chord similar to that struck by work of those 19th Century masters noted above, is overwhelming. It is the kind of recognition that all creative people seek as a way of validating our daily efforts and I am, indeed, honored and humbled to have my work included in this collection and in this volume that will hold that validation for years to come.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A drawing done many years ago, it is the only one I have ever done with turkeys as subject matter. I happened to have a couple of good reference shots of some turkeys from a farm in northern Virginia and so made good use of them. I figured this would be an appropriate way of sending thankful wishes out to all.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holding Pattern

Holding Pattern: a state of inaction with no progress and no change; the state of being inactive.

I guess I've been in a sort of holding pattern this past week since returning from the Waterfowl Festival late last Sunday evening. I've not sat at the drawing board except to do a bit of clean up and to wash down the surface of my table; it tends to get a bit grimy with graphite dust puddling here and there and especially at the points where I tend to lay pencils down.

With the recent push to complete new works for the show over the last couple of months, I've just taken some time this week to relax, refresh, rethink and realize that sometimes a few days of R&R are needed to get the old brain into a new frame of mind.

With the coming of Thanksgiving and the rapid-fire thrust of the Christmas season already upon us through massive retailing efforts and Christmas carols already being heard in stores, it plays up the fast approach of the close of yet another year. I can't say I will be sad to see it go as this one has been a rough one for many. Times are tough, and many of us who fleck little pieces of our inner being off each time we complete a creative work, have struggled to find new homes for those works; works whose ideas and images act as the culmination of inspirations that represent our very souls and how we see the world around us. Kind words of appreciation for what we do, though, continue to be heard and we rejoice in the realization that by brushing paint on canvas or putting pencil point to paper or molding clay into beautiful dimensions, we can elicit such emotional responses in others.

As the days have passed by this week, watching the leaves continue to fall outside my window, feeling the ever increasing approach of winter as the days grow cooler and the sky fills with the unique forms of fall clouds, I have begun to think about my work, to think about what inspires me as an artist, to think about what might be ahead and how allowing myself to be open to new possibilities lurking just around the next corner might surprise and enliven my creative soul.

There are ideas floating around in my head that will need time to gel, time to be visualized as a whole and not just bits and pieces mingling, now, in amoebic form. One thing is certain though, I foresee some new directions in what will come off my drawing board over the next weeks and months. No major shift, but a slow progression of fresh ideas to keep the old creative juices flowing at their strongest. What is an artist if not someone who does not constantly endeavor to push limits, open new doors, test the waters of the untried?

I know that by being in this current holding pattern and taking advantage of this temporary period of inaction, as time passes and formative ideas continue to consolidate, progress and change will again come to the fore and sitting down to the drawing board will, as it always has, let the muse of creativity take over.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last week, before heading over to the eastern shore of Maryland and this year's edition of the Waterfowl Festival, some out of town artist friends and I spent a warm fall day wandering around Washington DC. We Metro'd downtown and started at the beautiful Library of Congress. I had been in the building maybe forty years ago but had forgotten just how beautiful the interior spaces were. Next, we headed underground to the recently completed National Capital Visitor Center with yet more interesting interior spaces, including a spectacular underground view of the Capital dome. As we headed out of town later in the afternoon, we walked the grounds of Capital Hill and passed the Supreme Court building catching the glow of late afternoon fall warmth.

Another Festival has come and gone and I enjoyed catching up with artist friends and speaking with interested visitors all weekend long. Now, it is time to regroup, consider new ideas and inspiration and flesh out ideas that have been floating around for some time for new works. With my wanderings around DC last week, I have no doubt that some of what caught my eye that day will inspire some interesting possibilities in the near future.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

A portion of the work that will be going to the Waterfowl Festival this coming week. My living room looks like the back room of a gallery! Paperwork is done, briefcase is packed with necessaries, all is in readiness. I now have the luxury of taking a few days off and enjoying some down time from the studio. Looks like the long range forecast for the eastern shore of Maryland is for a beautiful Festival weekend so come on down!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

As I have noted several times over the last few weeks, this year's Waterfowl Festival opens a week from tomorrow in beautiful and historic Easton, Maryland. This will be my 20th year of exhibiting there, time sure has flown! The town will be awash with wonderful things to see and do. All artworks will be located in the Armory building this year, carvings across the street in the Art Academy and sculpture will be on display across the street at the Church as well as on the fourth corner in the big white tent; everything within a short walking distance right in downtown Easton. $10 will cover the cost of a three day ticket so you can come and go as you please. It's well worth a drive from any location surrounding Washington DC/Baltimore/Delaware/northern Virginia. So, plan on spending an afternoon in the beauty of a fall day on the lovely eastern shore of Maryland. Check out the link above for directions and information on all the weekend's activities.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I was absolutely stunned, delighted, shocked, knocked off my feet yesterday when my copy of Strokes of Genius 3: The Best of Drawing - Fresh Perspectives arrived and I found one of my works gracing the back cover of the book. I had no idea it had been selected for such an honor and am thrilled to say the least. The book, which I avidly dug through last night, is rich with wonderful works by almost 100 fantastic artists including quite a few of my creative friends. I doff my hat to all who made the final cut for this beautiful volume as I am sure the selection process of winnowing down the finalists from thousands of submitted works was not easy. My grateful thanks to Rachel Rubin Wolf, who edited the book, for honoring my work on its cover.