Sunday, September 28, 2008

All kinds of hazards await the artist

Being an artist is fraught with hazards, not only from the solvents and toxins which we breathe and often wear on our clothes and skin in our quest to bring inspirations to the world make-up the tubes, pans and sticks of colors, but there are of course the other hazards and challenges for finding that one angle or great image that often find themselves upon the canvas or paper. Then there are the other hazards we encounter in attempts to bring art to the people. Anybody who lives in New England and along the East Coast or anybody who might have been visiting this area of the country over the weekend will know just what was encountered as I traveled to Connecticut yesterday to deliver my painting to the 15th Annual National Exhibition “Renaissance in Pastel” to be held at the West Hartford Art League, October 2 – 26, 2008.

The normal travel time to this venue from my house is about one hour and forty five minutes. It took me more than 2.5 hours to and another 2.5 hours home yesterday as torrential downpours hindered driving, caused accidents, of which I was fortunately not involved, and turned highways into waterways. I had a tractor trailer pull into my lane without about four feet between my front and his rear, and another guy jammed on his brakes and stopped in the middle lane of the highway, forcing me to skid and maneuver into the next lane, which brought me up along side of him where I saw nothing in his front to merit such a move. The car in his front was at least four to five car lengths away. Fortunately I was even further behind him when he did this but still, it was a harrowing experience/ I had not driven in such rain since I got caught in a severe thunderstorm in Maryland on I-70.

All in all though, from what I saw, the show looks to be top notch, so I hope you get to visit. As always, thanks for your support and see you out “Painting the Soul of America!”

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I'm In!!! Degas Pastel Society 12th Biennial National Juried Exhibition

Hurricane Hanna is dropping its final few drops of rain as I type. Despite the storm outside, good news is sitting here by my keyboard. Today’s mail brought notice that I’ve had two of my pastel paintings juried into the 12th Biennial National Exhibition, sponsored by the Degas Pastel Society and held at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, in Laurel, Mississippi. My works accepted into this prestigious show are “Late Afternoon Surf (Bass Rocks)” (right) and “April Surf Along Marginal Way” (below left) It’s interesting to have two works depicting the rocky coasts and surf of New England accepted into a show in the deep south.

Approximately 107 of the top pastel artists working today submitted work for the exhibition of which 80 paintings were accepted. Having two juried into the show makes it that much sweeter for yours truly. This has always been a top notch exhibition, held at some of the finest visual art venues in the south, and I am fortunate and grateful to have my work as part of the exhibition.

Though the majority of you who reads this blog live in the northeast, if you happening to be traveling on business or please be sure to make a trip to view the show! The exhibition opens on October 7, 2008 and runs through to the 15th of November. An artists’ reception is scheduled for October 11th, with times TBA.

The Degas Pastel Society was founded in 1983, and is one of the most respected pastel societies in the United States. The Society is aptly named in honor of Edgar Degas, (1834-1917), the artist most widely recognized for transforming pastel from a sketching tool into a major artistic medium. Pastel painting blossomed with his touch and his works have inspired countless artists.

Thanks for listening, and see you out “Painting the Soul of America”

New Paintings Online

Just a quick note to let everybody know that I’ve added some new images to the online gallery at my web site; they are located toward the bottom of that page. Each image is noted by the word “New” in Red; two seascapes and two landscapes. Of course, all four images contain certain elements in common, most notably water, and three have rocks. These are areas that people have always appreciated about my work, so I hope you enjoy the latest creations.

Thanks for listening, see you out “Painting the Soul of America!”

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's time to walk away

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to make a relationship work, without a willing partner you are doomed to fail. This is of course true in both a person’s personal and professional life, and often when you find yourself in such a scenario, your best move is often to just walk away.

My parents raised me on principles that espoused respect, honesty, dignity and integrity. You work hard, and good things happen. They taught me it was only common courtesy that if somebody called you on the phone and you missed the call, you owed them a return call. If not immediately, within the next day unless extenuating circumstances, such as, you’re on extended vacation, in the hospital, etc. prevents such a quick response, you offer sincere apologies at the delay and place the call. In modern terminology if somebody takes the time to send you an email, you owe it to them to respond, following the same ground rules as to the timeliness of the reply. (anybody who knows me, knows I am quick to reply)

The lessons taught me by my parents were further enhanced and strengthened through the friendships I have developed and enjoyed over the years. By the teachers who have guided me from my first days of first grade through to college and beyond. And finally from my coaches on the ice, baseball and football fields, and the soccer pitch.

I was taught that basically people are good. That belief and the path of values upon which much of my life has walked, have for the most part served me well. Sometimes, it has not served me so well. You believe, or want to believe, that those with whom you are in a relationship share the same values, the same vision, and that can at times, like love, make you blind to the truth and the failings of the relationship, the lack of sincerity of the partner. When that occurs, you have to learn to walk away.

Recently I had posted that Gallery 30 had asked me to remove my pastels from the gallery. They still wanted to carry the prints, which were selling, and were interested in carrying my oils, but they felt the pastels weren’t selling and needed to be removed. Though disappointed, I wanted to make the relationship a success and though I offered options, I never received a reply and made arrangements to retrieve the paintings in mid-August.

Just over a week plus I ventured south to do just that. Upon arriving at the gallery what struck me was, that though I could be wrong, but experience tells me that it is often difficult to sell an item when said item is not on display. The majority of the paintings were squirreled away upstairs and completely out of view. Discovery of this prompted me to take my first steps to walk away. Further investigation into the situation revealed that the reason they weren’t on display, the new owners do not particularly care for the battlefield. This would not bode well for the oils since they too depict the battlefield. More steps. Finally, though not least, and this may just be me, but, if somebody asks you to come to pick up your paintings from their gallery, you would think they would be more accommodating in their removal? I was told through a third party, on the day I arrived at the gallery to pick up the paintings, to come back tomorrow, they were too busy. Let’s see, eight hour drive, at their request, and they’re too busy? Maybe I’m overreacting, but I don’t conduct business in such a manner, and don’t expect the same in my business relationships, thus I thought it best at this time to take those final steps and walk away.

I still find great beauty and inspiration in the landscape of Gettysburg. I see it something more than a battlefield; it calls to me. I shall continue to paint its pastoral vistas and my irons remain in the fire and I may yet find a location to once again display my current and future works of that pristine field as well as other fields upon which the foundation of our country was formed. So, keep an eye on my web site, and this blog as we continue our journey “Painting the Soul of America”