Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reminder - Two Art Exhibits

Just a quick note to remind those who might be traveling in Connecticut near Danbury, or in Bennington, Vermont area that my work can be viewed in two current art exhibits.

The Signature Members of the Connecticut Pastel Society juried exhibition is on display until August 23rd at the Gregory James Gallery, located at 13 Main Street in New Milford, Connecticut. Contact the gallery at 860-354-3436. I am fortunate to have two pieces in this exhibit Lone Guardian Against the Storm and At Days End.

The Bennington exhibit, Impressions of New England, is at the Bennington Center for the Arts, 44 Gypsy Lane, in Bennington, Vermont. This exhibit features artists from all over New England offering the very best imagery of the six state area. Once again, I am fortunate have two pieces in this exhibition, Gloucester Surf and Red & Blue Dory. This exhibit runs through November 30th, and would make perfect stop during leaf peeping season.

(of course, in addition to these exhibits, you can also always see my work at the Art Research Associates Gallery in S. Hamilton, Massachusetts, or Art 3 Gallery in Manchester, New Hampshire)

Well, that’s all for now. See you on the other side of the easel as we going Painting the Soul of America

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hunting & Gathering (or chasing the muse)

To be an artist, one thing you need to do and that is, you need to experience the subject matter which you hope to capture.

When I first started seriously painting, I worked mostly in painting still life. In my process of developing the still life, before I would ever develop the composition, I would pick through each item, hold it, twist it; look at it from every possible angle and in different types of light in order to get an understanding of its properties and character.

Before I create a landscape or seascape, you’ll often find me trekking all over, climbing, crawling, becoming infested with ticks, which is always a risk, as I venture to seek that perfect light or special angle; to see something from a direction not previously considered. By doing so, it keeps things fresh and interesting for me and for you.

My penchant for seeking such uncommon or not recognizable versions of known vistas is in part why I carry a cell phone. My wife was afraid I’d end up at the bottom of a ravine unable to call for help. I keep reminding her, if I’m at the bottom of a ravine, I’m probably dead, and wouldn’t be able to call for help anyway.

Of course, her fears are not unfounded as she and my daughter have seen me fall into a river in Virginia, off a rock and a fence in Pennsylvania, and sustain numerous cuts from branches up in Maine. Thankfully they don’t usually go with me when I’m out and about in Massachusetts as they would have recently seen me almost take a face plant into a swamp as I balanced on a rock to get that cherished resource material for a future painting.

I’ve mentioned this before, that while it perhaps is the most important component; it’s not just the imagery that makes the painting, but rather the total package and experience. Sight, sound, smell, all the sense play a part, as well as the weight of the air on a humid day, the spray of the surf into your face, or the pollen from the fully blooming flower.

While all the sense certainly play a part, there are a few times when two or more senses will work in tandem, offering equal weight, to create a truly magical moment that if harnessed can lead to fantastic results. I believe I experienced one such moment this past Sunday, while out walking Minute Man National Park.

I had been out gathering resource material and seeking possible places to paint “en plein air” when finishing up the day, thunder storms started to roll across the park. I was walking the trail that parallels the route taken by the British when a flash of lightning caused one to believe they were there amongst them, the musket flash, and thunder playing the part of the volley. I had a similar experience once before, while walking Antietam National Battlefield, which resulted in my painting "Burnside’s Bridge” I can only hope that when I settle in and create a work of Minute Man National park, the results are equally as satisfying.

Until next my friends, see you around the easel and out and about as we go “Painting the Soul of America”