Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hop in the Wayback Machine

These are images from my solo show at the Upstairs Artspace in Tryon, NC last summer. My work was in the "Small Works Gallery" while the Artbomb Studio artists from Greenville exhibited in the rest of the gallery space. A very enjoyable show...good people there.
The Upstairs is an excellent little not for profit gallery that focuses on contemporary art and if you have any extra money lying around you should just go ahead and send it to them and become a member.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The old is the new new

Way back in my pre-kid life, I was afraid that having a kid would make me less productive as an artist. And certainly, there is the fact of time consumption to wrestle with, but I'm finding that just the opposite has been true so far. The first year or so has been a very creative and productive time.
Perhaps the most interesting thing is what the miniature one is teaching me about observation. I've always paid attention and considered myself an observer. I've even been careful to record sights, sounds, and events in my sketchbooks. But when you have someone who demands and gets your full attention pointing out every tiny detail around them, you begin to realize how all the smaller, less important things have escaped your notice for years.
In the last few days I've had the sun, the birds, the water, the cars, the trees, the door, the moon, and the wind called to my attention by someone who was truly amazed by the beauty of each one.
Here's a one year old teaching me about the sublime.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Look out Andy Goldsworthy

My son made this today. He's little.
I'm not sure, but I think it may be a post-modern, post-post minimalist, post-neo-realist, naturalist, fluxus movement based statement about the ebb and flow of life, creation and destruction, and industrialism wrapped up in a metaphor about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Or the tree of life. Not really sure about that.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

the rite of spring

I'm with Stravinsky on this.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

see the birds?

Dont bother, there are no birds. This is just one of the phrases I hear several times each day. Sometimes there are birds. Sometimes not. Sometimes it becomes "hear the birds?". And really the "ds" in birds comes out with more of a "ths" sound.
I also get a chorus of "see the doggies?", "outside?", "ready...GO", "mailbox", "delicioso" (thank you Dora), and the now infamous "crap, crap, crap, crap!".
The talker in training is 1 1/2 and he's very entertaining. One thing I've noticed this week is how different his view of the world may be from mine. Nothing is boring to him. Nothing is to be overlooked. He spots everything and takes the time to point it out, touch it, and taste it unless someone stops him. In his 1 1/2 years of wisdom he seems to have a firm grasp on the importance of taking the time to really experience the things around him.

When he stands up on the back of the couch and looks out the window above, he sees Neverland. I mean, dont you see those birds? Cant you hear those dogs? Check out those bright yellow flowers. And what's all these clumps of green stuff. I bet you could run full speed across the grass and just jump in it. Oh and look at all those sticks just waiting to be picked up and carried around.
When I look out I mostly see that the grass needs cutting, the mulch needs re-mulching, and we probably need to get new windows soon.

I like what he sees better.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Maxfield Parrish

Maybe I'm just slow, but I tend to find it easier to understand my influences in the rear view mirror. With a little space and distance between us the idea will often relax and make himself at home until he's comfortable enough to share information.
I became interested in the importance of the use of color in my artwork in graduate school and ended up writing my thesis on the topic. In the years since, I've continued to explore my curiousity regarding color and focused that interest in how the viewer will interpret particular colors based on their personal histories with those colors. I've researched the symbolic meanings of specific colors and how those colors can influence how a viewer may respond emotionally to a work of art.
I can admit that over the course of all this research I never remembered to look up Maxfield Parrish.
I used to love Parrish's work and remember looking at his illustrations as a child and buying those cheesy calendars featuring his most famous paintings just to cut them up and post them on my walls. I could justify this interest by explaining that Parrish was a master of composition, rendering, and visual communication but that wouldnt be the whole truth. What truly attracted me to his painting and kept my interest over the years was his use of color. Specifically his use of the color blue."Interlude"

Now I understand that the blue I responded to in reproductions of his work were not always true to the original. I also understand that his powerful use of blue was, in part, a by-product of the processes he experimented with in order to overcome the problems of ink reproductions and that if anything the blue existing in the original painting was even more powerful and stunning than the reproduction.
But, then.....I dont really care. I still can't stop looking at that blue. It is beautiful and ethereal. Majestic and mysterious. I has the ability to stop you and hold you just out of gravity's grasp.
It took me actually walking into a gallery show of Parrish's work last week to remember all this. As soon as I walked inside and was bombarded by blue the connection was made. This is about color. This is about the sublime. This is about the power of color to communicate.

Saturday, March 1, 2008