Posts

Birthday

Image
This is a detail of a painting I am working on. That rectangular shape is the start of a birthay cake. My mother made a cake for me when I was three or four, at the end of the 1960's, or five months into the 1970's. There is a photo of me sitting at the table in the apartment my parents were renting on Montgomery Ave. in Ardmore, with my mother standing nearby and another young person, who I cannot now identify, looking off to the left. The photo is square, the original Instagram, but black and white, not murky 70's color.

In this painting I started painting the cake and the white table cloth in green because I felt like it. I wanted to have my feeling supersede any intrinsic requirements the subject may have presented, for the sake of my ongoing connection to my work. Sometimes when this allowance is made surprising connections are made, or depths are revealed that feel true to the subject. And sometimes the self-satisfying decision can just express my feeling, which is …

Living Statue: The Eight Foot Professor

Image
Here is an detail of the painting I have been working on for the past several months. The title is Living Statue: The Eight Foot Professor, the medium acrylic on unstretched canvas, size 96”x63”. The canvas is tacked to the wall of my studio, which is covered with a plastic sheet to protect it from the paint. A full image of the painting is below.

I started this painting last summer when I was busy working at Pygmalion’s, the local art store in Bloomington. Store operations and the everyday lives of those involved had been disrupted by the illness and recent passing of John Wilson, the artist who owned the store. As busy as I was, marshalling my energy and focus to help manage the store I felt the need to have a large painting to work on. Perhaps working large would externalize and help me manage feeling overwhelmed. In a more symbolic vein I also wanted to affirm the importance of art making to my life by making a large painting.
Bringing this to a state that I wanted to share has t…

Winter Hill Self Portrait, Stories from the Past

Image
Winter Hill Self Portrait, Stories from the Past
I am currently working on two large scale paintings, one a self-portrait in a landscape setting, and the other a landscape. I am also in the process of wrapping up the fall semester, and preparing for my two classes in the spring. It has been a month since I left my job at Pygmalion’s Art Supplies. I am beginning to re-imagine myself as an artist and teacher as I work.
The painting above is Winter Hill Self Portrait, 20”x20”, oil on canvas. I made it in 2005, three years after receiving my Certificate in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The painting looks back to my life in 1987 living in the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville, Massachusetts.
In 2005 I was living alone in the house I had inherited since the passing of my parents. It was the house that my sister and I had grown up in, a five bedroom, three story twin built in 1900, in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. I was painting in the front r…

Self Portrait

Image
I am now in the process of leaving my longtime art store job. Managing a store is a challenging job. There is much that I have enjoyed, and I have learned a lot. I have ideas about management, but lack the energy to implement them. The past 14 months or so have been pretty much non-stop, keeping the art store running during the illness and eventual passing of the store’s previous owner, while, for me, I worked on my painting and teaching as well. Now I am re-allocating what resources I have to my artwork, and teaching.
And for me, I want to explore. The world is so interesting, I want time to process my understanding and reactions, thoughts and feelings.
Now I am working on what I intend to be a series of large scale paintings in acrylic. Last summer I worked in acrylic to make three paintings for an exhibition at the City of Bloomington Utilities Department. The exhibition is coming to an end, and I am in the process of donating the paintings to the city. I am grateful for the pleas…

8/14/19

Image
I took a few months off from writing in this blog. Several things have happened since the last time I wrote, this past January. I have been working at Pygmalion’s Art Supplies in Bloomington, Indiana. My co-workers and I have been keeping the store going, as the previous owner’s health declined, and he was in and out of the hospital. He passed away in June. John Wilson was an artist, who worked primarily in the traditional print media of woodcut and intaglio. His prints crackled with life and humor. Fluent drawing and design skill bring his work to life. There will be a show of his work, here in downtown Bloomington, next month at the Waldron Center. The opening will be Friday, September 6, from 5 - 8 p.m.
Later this month at the Waldron Center I will start teaching my fall semester Color/Design class for Ivy Tech. For the past few weeks I have been refining the curriculum.I have added insights gained from the spring semester’s class, and from my ongoing investigation into art making…

Van Eyck

Image
Blog entry 1 19 19
It has been awhile since I shared anything on social media. My attention for the past couple of months has gone to my Color/Design class, and non-art working. I have been enjoying long walks around Bloomington. Taking in the subtle colors of winter that I enjoy, and acclimating to cold weather. Without leaves on the trees the vistas open up. I’m glad for the hilly terrain around here.
Here is a little sketch from Jan Van Eyck, the Dresden Triptych. This is my rendition of the central figure. It is an amazing piece, overloaded with finely drawn detail, but also wonderfully composed in a large way. St. Catherine, on the right panel, is in much stronger light than anything on either of the other two panels, which I love. I can see everything else in the other two panels acting as a foil for the figure way off to one side, which I find wonderfully eccentric and energizing. There is also something of a sense going through the three panels of a movement from dark to ligh…

Travel Memories: Ireland

Image
I started looking through the photos that I took on my trip to Ireland in January of 2017. Exploring memories from that trip seems like a nice way to think about my life. What I have enjoyed and why, and what I tend to do when I have traveled. This could give me some clues about what I should do next.
The first two photos were taken from the airplane, probably flying from Indianapolis to Chicago. Then I find myself in Dublin. It was a gray, cloudy day, and I was standing on the North Wall Quay by the River Liffey, that runs through the city. I had just taken the bus from Swords, a suburb of Dublin near the airport, where I was staying, and was headed to the National Gallery of Ireland.
That is what I like to do when I travel: explore a city, on the way to and from the art museum. I like to spend a lot of time in the museum. I find a painting or sculpture that interests me, and draw from it, sitting or standing there for hours. In a new place, sketching from great, original works of …