Thoughts from my studio about artwork; new pieces as well as those things that have have remained hidden in my flat file...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Shopping for Artwork?

Looking for a hip way to do your holiday shopping? How about supporting DC artists and the Washington Project for the Arts at the same time, while getting someone a gift they will never forget?

I have five paintings from the Element Series (Element 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8) available at the Washington Project for the Arts Headquarters starting this Friday, December 4 (see you at the opening from 6-8pm) and running through December 21. The hours are Monday-Friday, noon- five pm (and by appointment). Note: the only scheduled evening hours are on the opening night this Friday and the Special Shopping even on Monday, December 21. All artwork at Icebox is under $250 (my paintings are $200).

The WPA Headquarters is located at 2023 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036, Contact The Program Director Kristina Bilonick at 202.234.7103 ( ext. 2) or with any questions about the event.

I hope to see you there!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Work on the Website

Element 5
oil, acrylic, graphite on birch panel
6"x6"x1" - 2009

Element 4
oil, acrylic, graphite on birch panel
6"x6"x1" - 2009

Element 1
oil, acrylic, graphite on birch panel
6"x6"x1" - 2009

I've posted twelve paintings from the new suite "Element" on my website. They were begun at my artist residency in August and finished in my studio in September. Each painting is 6"x6"x1" and can be hung alone, or in groups in various grid formats. I hope to take some installation shots this weekend and post them on Monday or Tuesday, but for now, I'm gabbing another cup of coffee and hitting the studio.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Artist Teacher Exhibition Opening November 5, 2009

I'll be at the Opening Reception from 6-7:30 pm, I hope to see you there.

Update: New Artwork, Studio, etc.

oil and acrylic on birch
20"x17" - 2009

Its been a while since I posted, but I've been busy, lots of great stuff happening. I've posted some new work from this summer and fall on my website from my artist residency and once I got home. I still have a ton to put up, but I am trying to balance that with making more art and navigating some changes in my studio situation. I also revamped the site with some changes in navigation - let me know what you think.
I will be moving to a great new studio in December (hopefully by then) at the MT. Ranier Artist studios on the DC/MD border. I am very excited about this move, it will increase my studio space to 550sf, with high ceilings, great light from a huge 4'x8' skylight and in close proximity to a bunch of great artists. Its in the same complex as Red Dirt Studios and the Washington Glass School. I will post images and give you more info as the moving details firm up. I hope to host an open studio in December along with the other artists in the Gateway Arts District, so stay tuned.
Last week was a great week for me, with a bunch of sales, including two large paintings. Art Night at Hickcok Cole Architects in Georgetown was a big success (private event), in additon to things coming directly from my studio not related to that event.
It also looks like I will be performing Ghost Music, a colaboration with composer Matt Sargent in DC in January, more on that as details firm up.
Thanks for checking in, drop me a line if you aren't on my email list and I will keep you in the know.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Making the most of a conversation with an artist

Corner view of my summer studio at the artist residency this past August.

At my recent open studio, I had several great conversations with people, some of whom have seen most of the work I've made in the last 6 or 7 years and some who had never seen it before. Not every conversation with an artist goes so well, sure the conversation may be pleasant, but many times whether it be an opening reception, a studio visit, or when a person is introduced to an artist in a social situation, the conversations are not so interesting, or productive.

Many times I have kicked myself after meeting someone for the first time, or reacquainting someone with my work for the banality and awkwardness of the conversation; feeling like I missed an opportunity to stoke someone's curiosity about my work. Many of my "non-artist" friends have also expressed a disappointment about the actual conversation they may have had with an artist whose work they are interested in, feeling awkward, or being afraid to say something that would make them feel stupid in front of the artist. Maybe you have felt the same way.
I thought carefully about those good conversations over the last few weeks, and while I didn't come up with a sure-fire plan for ending the problem, I did come up with some suggestions for people who are talking to an artist about the work they are looking at with the artist in the studio or the gallery. Some of the suggestions are no doubt a reflection of my experience as an art educator, trying to facilitate conversations that are engaging to the viewers and helpful for the artist in a critique situation.

Most artists want quality feedback about their work, after all if an artist is not interested in how others perceive the work, why would they show it to anyone? So what kinds of conversations are helpful to the artist? I feel it is those conversations which let the artist know what is being communicated to the viewer and how it is being communicated. It need not be exactly what the artist was driving at, but having quality input on this level is more helpful than most other things that can happen to and artist to motivate them to make more meaningful work.

So here it goes:
1. Describe what you see to the artist and don't feel like your description needs to be filled with art speak. Don't make judgments or insinuate what the work means at this point. Just describe it. Let the artist know what you see first and then after you have spent a few minutes with the work expand it to describe the way you are seeing it and why. This is often just as helpful for you clarifying your perceptions. An in depth discussion of the formal qualities of the work is very helpful for some artists, and just sets the playing field for others. Be as descriptive as possible no matter what your level of exposure to artwork is. Empty compliments/judgments are not helpful, and will not engage the artist, and perhaps even make the artist feel you are not even looking.
2. After you have described the work itself, use your description to drive any comments about your interpretation of the piece. Turning your interpretation into a question for the artist is a very effective way of engaging him or her, allowing them to effectively talk about their work without feeling the pressure of giving a canned "elevator pitch" about their work. Trying to imagine the decisions that artist had to make when creating the work is another great way to come up with engaging questions. Often additional questions and comments just start to flow at this point, and the goal of having an engaging conversation is already met, keep going with it.
3. After the artist is engaged in the conversation, feel free to ask questions related to the artist's personal history, and present ideas about how that is reflected in the work.
4. At this point the artist knows you are engaged, feel free to give compliments if you feel it is appropriate, but be specific about them.

So what kinds of questions/comments stifle this conversation? (or at least should be reserved unitl after your comments and questions demonstrate enought depth to let the artist know you really looked at their work)
1. "Your work is beautiful." Yep, I said it. I know it seems like that would be a great thing to say to an artist, polish their ego and so forth, but many times it sounds empty to the artist when it is all that is said, and it doesn't allow the artist to understand why a work may be successful. I'm not saying never say this to an artist, but only say it after they know you have really investigated it. (I love your work pretty much sounds the same to an artist, but the artist will believe you if they see you at their shows all of the time and/or you have had great conversations about why their work resonates with you, and most importantly only say it when you mean it)
2. "So how long did it take you to make that?" Ok, so this can be a valid question further into the conversation than the first two or three sentences, especially when the artist's work is process/peformance driven, or has a wonderful obsessive quality. It can also effectively creep into a conversation about technique, but when its the first thing that is said as you are holding a price list, its sounds like your are just calculating the artist's "per hour rate" and mistakenly thinking "Damn I got into the wrong business" - believe me, its not that simple.
3. Avoid making suggestions for the artist about pieces or future work until you have engaged them in a meaningful conversation about what is there in front of you. Let them know your are really looking and thinking about what they have presented, and that you don't just want them to make a red one that would match the cushions in your living room - this is a quick way to turn the artist off and shut the conversation down. Suggestions are helpful after both parties are engaged and on the same page or or at least reading the same book. Simple matters of taste or personal aesthetic often sound like just that, and go nowhere. I've also been surprised at how many artists do this to other artists and just sound like they want to turn your work into theirs, or to get you to create the work they wish they could create but are incapable of. Think carefully, what is the purpose of the suggestion? Pose questions to the artist to get them to consider these things instead just telling them what you think they should do. On the other hand, don't be afraid to let the artist know what you think after working towards a productive conversation about their work.

I know there are more suggestions that could be added, but I've been writing for longer than I planned to, and there are inventories to be made for upcoming shows, and work I want to finish, and I still haven't cooked dinner and so on.

So what do you think? I'd love some suggestions about additional ways to enrich these conversations.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Open Studio: Return from the Artist Residency

Open Studio (Reston, VA): Saturday September 26 from 4-9pm.
Please email me for directions and parking information:
Light refreshments and beverages will be served.

As I said in my last post a month ago, it might be a awhile until I got back from my three week residency at "The Church", the former studio/summer home of Jules Kirschenbaum. I was right. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I had never spent that much time in almost total isolation, just focusing on painting. My days quickly melded together into what for a while seemed to be an endless continuum of creation, punctuated ever so slightly by a simple meal and sleep. Of course to no detriment there were also extended periods of reading, and just sitting there, looking and thinking. It all just became one big powerful thing that is hard to describe, but that is what the artwork is for...and there is plenty of it. I came home with 34 paintings that are nearly finished and will be complete by the open studio, that's not counting the other 8 (or is it 9?) that are in earlier stages. I developed more pieces for the Sitting Still Series and work in new formats and sizes. I hope you will join me for the open studio on September 26, 2009 to see the new work.
By this open studio, I will have also met one of my personal goals for 2009, which was to create at least one painting a week for the entire year (not an easy thing to do when and individual painting takes weeks to months to complete due to the my process layering 15-30 separate colors on top of each other, removing portions of layers as I add them). In fact I will have already exceeded that with three more months left to paint in 2009. More to come - see you at the open studio.
Below are a few images from the location, to give you a sense of the environment at "The Church". I will post images of the new paintings on my website after the open studio.

Evening, the first night I was there, this kind of view was par for the course from the deck each evening, but the weather patterns changed rapidly, so I was always in for a surprise.

A side view of "The Church". It was built in 1901 and was originally a Methodist chapel in the mountains of northeastern, PA. Jules Kirschenbaum and his wife Corneilus were both painters from NYC, and they bought "The Church" around 1960, converting it into a summer studio/home with multiple studio spaces (which I had all to myself). The main studio, shown in the photo at the top of this post, is in what was originally the sanctuary of the church.

"The Church" tucked into a stand of trees on the side of Bunnell Hill. Ah, no distractions.

Monday, August 10, 2009


My residency begins tomorrow, so today is another day of trying to fit my studio into my car. Its going to be a tight squeeze, but I am looking forward to the time alone to focus on my work.
Internet access may be intermittent so we'll see how the posts go, but regardless, there will be what I hope to be a lengthy recap here after I return.

Photos From Small Works Opening at Hollingsworth Gallery

Photos from the opening reception of "Small Works" at the Hollingsworth Gallery have been posted here. The exhibition runs through September, 7 2009. If you are near Palm Coast, Florida, don't miss it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Small Works: Hollingsworth Gallery

I have three paintings in the Small Works Group Exhibition at the Hollingsworth Gallery in Palm Coast, Florida (in between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach). If you are in the area, check it out. Here is the vital info:
Hollingsworth Gallery
160 Cypress Point Parkway, Suite 210B
Palm Coast, Florida
August 8 - September 7, 2009
Opening Reception: August 8, 6:30-9:30 PM

Unfortunately, I won't be at the opening reception since I am preparing for my artist residency that starts next week, but go check out the party, it sounds like it will be a good time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Now Scheduling Studio Visits before my Residency

Sitting Still 97
Oil and Acrylic on Birch Panel
10"x8.5 - 2009

As you may know I'll be leaving for my 3 week artist residency on August 11. I am currently scheduling studio visits for the next two weeks before I leave, if there is an artwork you have been interested in, now is the time to come by... I am very motivated to make some space for the new work when I get back, and that could work in your favor, especially if you are interested in multiple works. I've got a ton of new small paintings from this year (such as the two in this post), but don't wait, they are disappearing into private (and public) collections and will be gone before you know it.
I hope to see you soon!

Sitting Still 83
Oil and Acrylic on Birch Panel
10"x8.5 - 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last week to see Faraway Nearby

Ghost Music Study Number 9
Graphite on Polypropylene

This is the last week to see Faraway Nearby at the Greater Reston Arts Center - I've go three graphite drawings in the show - its worth the trip - go see it! You can preview pieces in the show here. (on view through July 31)

Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom (at the Metropolitan Museum)

"Maelstrom" by Roxy Paine
Stainless Steel, 48'x150'x15'

Roxy Paine's appropriately titled installation "Maelstrom" is currently on view at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum (read the press release here). I spent a half an hour with the sculpture enjoying a Brooklyn Summer Ale yesterday, in what really must be one of NYC's best outdoor sculpture spaces, somehow in all of my trips to the Met, I never went to the roof, what was I thinking? (It could be that I usually am here in the winter, when the space is closed)
The stainless steel vascular structure evokes circulatory systems, nervous systems, as well as roots. The play of reflective light and shadow within the space is quite intoxicating. I overheard plenty of regurgitation of the wall text from the people walking around, discussing the structure ("oh, I think the artist is adressing the struggle of industry and progress against nature"), and perhaps my thoughts about it are not to far from that, but I was struck by the feeling of life systems being solidified, frozen in time.
The pieces is actually secured to the roof space via the fire department's water valves on the roof, they are bolted directly to it, the little kid in me wanted to turn them on, to see if it would cause the structure to shake and moan under the pressure, but of course I didn't. The structure activates the space so well, it will be a shame when it is dismantled.
It really is a great piece, a must see, and it is on view until October 25, 2009. The Roof Garden is open daily, weather permitting.

"Maelstrom" by Roxy Paine
Stainless Steel, 48'x150'x15'

Last night my wife and I went to see Fuerza Bruta, an intriguing and entertaining abstract performance that happens above and around the spectator. A highly entertaining and thought-provoking hour - I would absolutely recommend it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Stimulus Closing Reception

Don't miss this show! More info at the Nevin Kelly Gallery website.

Its been quiet here as the summer began with lots of family time. Somehow after that, I find myself renovating the studio bathroom as well as summer cleaning and storage solutions for the studio (although nothing works as well as buying artwork, hint hint, nudge nudge).

I hope to see you this Friday, July 10 from 5-8pm at the Nevin Kelly Gallery or email me for a studio visit.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stimulus Preview

At Last Dwindling
Graphite on polypropylene

The Nevin Kelly Gallery has posted a preview of the Stimulus show on their blog. The exhibition will include three new graphite drawings (including the one above). I hope to see you at the opening tomorrow night from 5:30-8:30 pm.

The gallery's website states:

The gallery presents "Stimulus," a group exhibition of works by local artists to stimulate the mind and the economy. All works in the show will be priced at $500 or less, many at limited-opportunity prices.

Participating artists include John M. Adams, Sondra N. Arkin, Joan Belmar, Tanja Bos, Anne Bouie, Molly Brose, Lenny Campello, Mary Chiaramonte, Anna U. Davis, Jenny Davis, Thomas Drymon, Stirling Elmendorf, Pat Goslee, Emily Greene Liddle, Laurel Hausler, Eve Hennessa, J. Ford Huffman, Rosalind Kennedy, Mark Parascandola, Anneliese Sullivan, Ming Yi Sung Zaleski, Ruth Trevarrow, Claudia Vess, and Ellyn Weiss.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Artomatic - lighting issues cause artomatic to close at 8 pm

Update: All issues have been resolved and Artomatic is operating on a normal schedule.
The past three nights Artomatic has been forced to close at 8pm due to installation issues with emergency lighting. Artomatic's fearless leaders have a conference call at noon today that will shed some more "light" (I'm sorry, I had to do it) on the situation for this evening. As of right now the plans are to stay opening until the normal Saturday Night closing time of 1 am.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Space Between" Installation reviewed by Kevin Mellema

Read Kevin Mellema's review of the second floor of Artomatic 2009 here. More on "Space Between" here.

My Artwork in Stimulus at the Nevin Kelly Gallery

I hope to see you at the opening for this show at the Nevin Kelly Gallery in DC on June 16, 2009 from 5:30-8:30 pm.

A Few Words from Ellyn about my solo at GRACE

DC Painter Ellyn Weiss has a few words about my solo show at GRACE (which is only open for two more days, until June 6, 2009). Read them here.

Artomatic 2009 - "Space Between"

Get more information about the "Space Between" installation from the blog we have created for the collaborative project (featuring myself, JT Kirkland, and Matt Sargent). Artomatic info can be found here. Sorry if I missed you at the opening, Rochelle and I saw all of it with he exception of the 4th floor.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Space Between" at Artomatic Tomorrow

More info on the collaborative project "Space Between" with artist JT Kirkland and composer Matt Sargent at our blog about the project.
We will all be in attendance at Artomatic tomorrow for the opening party from 6pm-midnight (Matt and JT may be there before 6) Friday May 29, 2009. Artomatic is being held at 55 M St. SE, Washington, DC 20003 - taking Metro is highly advisable as there are often several thousand people at the opening party and the Navy Yard metro stop on the green line is directly below the building. I will see you there.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This weekend

I'm spending the weekend building, installing and drawing for the "Space Between" collaboration at Artomatic. Keep you fingers crossed - It opens this Friday, May 29.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Exhibitions, Exhibitions, Exhibitions

Its been quiet here due to the need for some rest after months of non-stop painting preparing for the solo at GRACE. The opening reception was great, and everyone seems to think the show is quite good, so if you haven't gone to see it, please do so soon. Thanks to everyone who came out for the opening. If there is a painting there you like, don't hesitate to purchase it - the small paintings go quickly, usually within a few months of me completing them.

Ghost Music Study 9
Graphite on polypropylene - 9"x6"
(In the "Faraway Nearby" exhibition at GRACE next month)

Within the next month expect to see my work in at least 4 more places:

-"Space Between" at Artomatic 2009: A "preview" for the collaborative project with artist JT Kirkland and composer Matt Sargent. Still looking for the right venues to host the final show from Richmond to New England... May 29-July 9, 2009.
-"Stimulus" at Nevin Kelly Gallery (This is the first time I've been invited to show at the gallery, I'll have 3 new graphite drawings in this show): Opening June 16, 2009
-"Faraway Nearby" at GRACE (This is their annual juried show, this year's juror was Dale Lanzone of the esteemed Marlborough Gallery) I will have 3 graphite drawings that have never been shown... June 18 - July 31, 2009.
-LottoHeART in Rehoboth, DE on July 3 and 4. Two little tape paintings at this anonymous style fund raiser, buy tickets soon if you are interested....

More details to follow.

This weekend...

Don't miss the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which is held today and tomorrow from 10 am to 6pm, May 16 and 17, 2009, at the Reston Town Center. Over 220 artists will be there. Of course while you are at the Town Center, don't miss my solo show at GRACE (Located on the corner of Market St. And St. Francis St).

If you are in DC all weekend, you should check out the Mid City Artists Open Studios. Most studios are open from 12-5, today (5-16) and tomorrow (5-17).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

News From the Studio

Read my latest newsletter from my studio here. Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter updates if you don't already receive them! I look forward to seeing you this Saturday May 2, from 6-8pm at GRACE.

Solo Exhibiton at GRACE: Opening Reception this Saturday, May 2

Sitting Still 97
oil and acrylic on birch panel
10"x8.5" - 2009

Don't miss the opening reception for my solo exhibition at the Greater Reston Arts Center this Saturday from 6-8pm (Artist Talk at 7pm). The show runs April 25-June 6, 2009.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Paintings Posted on my Website

Sitting Still 87
Oil and Acrylic on Birch Panel
10"x8.5" - 2009

Last night I posted 23 new paintings from the Sitting Still Series (There is a link from the home page directly to the new work) on my website. Many of these will be in my show at Greater Reston Art Center, which opens this Saturday, April 25. The opening reception will be held Saturday May 2 from 6-8pm.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gallery/Artist Relations

Lenny, over at DC Art News posted something that struck a chord with me. He posted an excerpt of a comment by Gallery Owner Carrie Horejs (scroll all the way down to see it, and this is an excerpt of a comment she posted on another blog called Art News Blog, this blogging thing may be getting out of hand, I can't keep up with all of the links):

"I often wonder how other galleries are dealing with artists who have gallery representation but continue to self-promote. I have been known to secret shop gallery represented artists. I contact them through their emails on their personal websites and inquire as to whether they have any studio pieces available. Not once has an artist directed me to his or her galleries for purchases.

I fear galleries will dry up if they don’t smarten up. Then where will collectors go to see art in person?”

Below is the comment I posted on Lenny's blog:

"She has good point, but I have a few questions about her perspective.
I checked out the gallery website, and it is a "membership gallery" - where the more you pay per month, the more you get to show. That doesn't seem to indicate that it is traditional commercial gallery representation, and yes you have to be accepted, but it does seem to be more of a vanity gallery. Why would the "rules" of traditional gallery representation apply to them if its a pay to show situation? As an artist, it seems strange to "pay" for exclusive gallery representation.
My first question is what does their artist contract look like? Does it state that once you join, that all work sold from any venue must include their commission?(It does look like that from their website) That does not seem like a good deal and far from the norm of most exhibition contracts.
In addition, they have over 100 artists on their site, so really how much effort are they putting forth to promote each artist, other than putting them on their website or hanging a piece of artwork in the corner of a jam packed gallery? That's not real promotion. Artists work incredibly hard to publicize their own work. In the bulk of the places I have shown, I brought in the crowds, They are my connections and patrons that have been following my work for quite some time. I have looked around the gallery and realized that 95% of the people there were people I emailed, sent postcards to , etc. These are the people who buy my work. Now I don't undercut or by-pass the gallery that is showing my work, I want to sell it there. (my experience has mostly been with non-profits and art centers). Most Artists would love to have gallery representation with a Gallery that actually did all of that promotion, I would.
I can understand why she is ticked off and no doubt in a "traditional" gallery representation setting that kind of behavior is just wrong and undermines the artist/gallery relationship, but really, given the structure of her gallery, if someone actually found the person's work in another venue that has nothing to do with her gallery, would the artist be so far off base(once again, I would like to see the contract)? I would never undermine a gallery owner if I had traditional representation, or created a bunch of work for a show at a venue but then sell the work behind their back, I would of course direct them to the gallery, it only makes sense. Any thoughts? "

Now, after that, let me say that GRACE has done a great job promoting my show, including setting up the interview with Elan, and of course, if any body out there is interested in my work, please head over to GRACE, the show opens on April 25!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Elan Magazine Article - April 2009

This month's issue of Elan Magazine has an interview with me about my work. Unfortunately the magazine has not updated their website to reflect the newest issue (but hard copies are out and available), so I took it upon myself to reproduce the article here until they update the website. You should be able to click on each image to be able to read the text. The color of the images is a little off, but remember this is a scan of the actual magazine, so bear with me. Enjoy.

There is only one error in the article, which states that I have been the visual arts department chair at my school for 5 years. I have been teaching there five years, but this is my first year as department chair.

Back at the Studio

As you can see from the photo I took at 6 am Tuesday morning, we got more snow than we bargained for and our trip was cut short, and not exactly what I needed (it continued to snow all day and we made and emergency evacuation from Cranberry Wilderness to sit by the fire at my buddy Aaron's house).
I am back in the studio now, working on email promotions and updating the website and blog before dropping my work off later this week, so expect a few emails soon and mark your calendars for the opening reception of my GRACE solo show on Saturday May 2 from 6-8pm.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The Cranberry River

Done. Yes, done with all of the paintings (30+) for the show at GRACE (sorry, no images, you will just have to go see the show, and yes there are the details of hanging hardware, but the painting is finished). Also, the April issue of Elan Magazine has been published which includes a 4 page article on my work. Today I am leaving on a triennial backpacking trip with my college roommates to Cranberry Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest. There will be miles of hiking carrying a huge pack, campfires, practical jokes and of course rainbow and wild brook trout will be involved. Oh, and Tuesday it is supposed to snow.
It will be great to get away from the studio and the day job for the better part of a week, so don't expect any emails from me. I hope that when I get back I will be able to see the work with fresh eyes when hanging the show April 15.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finished for the show today?

Not quite, I think I have nine new paintings totally finished, and I am going to take a half day at work to come back here. I may have to spend part of tomorrow tweaking things, but then that has to be it.
I'll be rambling into the wilderness for a few days returning next weekend. I wanted to disconnect myself from the work before I hung the show, so I am returning to an old haunt in the Monongahela National Forest.
But for now, I better get to work.........

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

4 Days and Counting

I have finished 10 paintings for the show, in addition to a reserve of 7 paintings that have not been shown, or only in a small group show (5 of them are from the last year, the other two being just over a year old). I have 21 paintings I am planning to finish by Friday. Why am I sitting at the computer?

Gregory Ferrand at Hillyer Art Space

Don't miss Gregory Ferrand's show at the Hillyer Art Space. Greg and I went to VCU together, where he majored in film. His intelligent, beautifully executed paintings never fail to strike a chord with the viewer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Artist Residency

I have been awarded a three week artist residency this summer at Soaring Gardens Artist's Retreat, which is in rural Pennsylvania. I'm looking forward to the time alone to work in the studio.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

21 Days

Three weeks until I deliver my work, but my self-imposed deadline for completing all of the "painting" is looming (not counting wiring everything up and painting the sides of the recessed frames). Next Friday, April 3rd is a little too close for comfort but not out of the question at this point. I'm finishing about a painting a day (or maybe two days) at this point. After I finish the work I am spending a week backpacking. It will be good to let the work sit while I get as far away from it as possible before the install, so I can see everything with a clear head when I walk into the gallery.
I am participating in Artomatic with Matt Sargent and JT Kirkland as an extension of our collaboration. We spent some time discussing our plan tonight. More on that later.
The April edition of Elan Magazine will be coming out in the next week; look for what will probably be a four page article on my work. And of course, my solo at GRACE will open May 2 and the reception is from 5-7pm. See you there.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saturday Collaboration

29 days until I deliver the work for my show and 14 days until my personal deadline of finishing the work, a handful of paintings are finished, and many are very close. I am definitely painting with purpose, which always feels good. Then there is the collaboration with Matt Sargent and JT Kirkland, which is progressing a little slow but quite nicely. I am starting to hear back from residency applications (no luck on the MacDowell). Things are happening.
So when my old ceramic/scultor buddy Matt Grimes called me up and asked me to go out to a friend's property to check out the huge Matt had dug for pit firing (in other words; get outside and do nothing that could technically called productive for a day) I couldn't refuse.
We ended up with a chilly wet Saturday in the mountains outside of Browntown, Virginia, and it was a great day.
Matt wanted to do some kind of collaborative piece outside and soon he spotted a bunch of wild grape vines that we were soon removing from some trees at the back of the property and taking turns weaving it together.
A few hours later we had a ball above 40" in diameter, that weighed in at 50 or 60 pounds (the rain wasn't helping).

We moved it around to a few locations, finally settling on the location 10 feet up on this tree limb.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Misguided Youth

When I was in high school, considering a career in the visual arts, I was completely misguided about the amount of paperwork I would need to do and the amount of time I would spend sitting in front of a computer proving that I make and think about art. I have finished my last residency application for the season, and I have been cranking in the studio. I am 36 days until the delivery of my paintings for the show.
I'm also working on some things for the collaboration.
I also want to write about my trip to NYC last weekend.
If there is anything I have learned, soon enough.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Sitting Still 65
oil, acrylic, and graphite on birch panel

Ok, so it is only 42 days until I have to deliver my work for my show at GRACE. I've been busy in the studio (see the brand spanking new painting above, one of several I finished this week). Tomorrow I have to be at work at 4:30 am for a field trip with my advanced students to NYC. We are hitting MoMA, The Met, and Whitney and doing some touristy stuff, but I am also pumped about hitting Pearl Paint to reload (plus hitting my favorite seafood walk up for fish and chips along with some clam chowder). Sunday I'm back in the studio.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Interesting Thread: A Step Backward

There is an interesting thread of comments that has been going on for two days at JT's blog Thinking About Art. All of this started on facebook because JT recorded his reactions as he walked through MoMA last weekend.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

48 days And Counting: Solo at GRACE

Work in progress...

I have 48 days until I install my show at GRACE, so I decided to keep a little journal here of the preparations and my thoughts. I am working on over 30 new paintings for the show and they are progressing quite nicely. The paintings are well under way and I have started finishing some of them. Expect to see some detail shots of works in progress and a few of the finished pieces.
On Thursday I did a 2.5 hour interview for Elan Magazine, which will be published in the April issue, just before my show opens which is perfect timing. I think it went extremely well, but I am a little nervous, I don't want to sound like a total idiot or a pompous ass. You be the judge when the article comes out.
I'm taking a personal day to work in the studio after a productive snowy extended weekend, the light is incredible today thanks to the reflection from the snow...

Monday, February 23, 2009

WPA Announces New Executive Director

Lisa J. Gold, WPA Executive Director Appointee

Lisa J. Gold has been appointed as the new executive director of the Washington Project for the Arts. I wish her luck and am thankful for Kim Ward's presence and for her past five years of exceptional service. Kim Ward's work had a positive impact on my experience as a DC artist. According to the press release from the WPA, Lisa J. Gold was the Public relations and Marketing Director at The Drawing Center in New York, and she has "over twenty years of diverse experience in arts management, fundraising, development, programming, outreach, marketing, advertisement and public relations."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Scholastic Award Winning Students

Many of you know that I am a high school art teacher in addition to being an artist, and I want to take this opportunity to brag about some of their accomplishments. Seven of my students won awards this year in the regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition (not bad at all, each teacher is allowed 12 individual entries in addition to portfolios, I'd say around 10% of students get some kind of award, I am very proud of my students who outperformed those odds). This is the largest and most respected national High School Art competition. I have listed the winners below, followed by their award (Gold key is the highest, followed by silver key, then certificate of merit). All Gold and Silver Key winners will be in an exhibition this Tuesday, February 24, from 6:30-8:30 at the gallery in the Ernst Cultural Center at Northern Virginia Community College. All Gold Key winners work will be competing in NYC later this spring for the National Awards - wish them luck! I am extremely proud of their work.
Bella Bellum - Elly Taura - Charcoal
Gold Key - Art Portfolio Category (8 artworks)
Certificate of Merit - Drawing Category (individual entry)

Heretic - Adam Atkinson - India Ink, ballpoint pen, marker
Gold Key - Drawing (Individual Entry)

Corset - Katherine Helms - acrylic on canvas
Gold Key - Painting Category (individual entry)

Harmony with Nature - Gabriela Lutostanski - polymer clay and wood
Silver Key - Sculpture Category (Individual Entry)

Oil and Water - Ji Yoon Kim - Oil pastel, watercolor and colored pencil
Silver Key - Drawing Category (individual entry)

Lapse in Communication - Kristy Kilgallen - wood, wire and found objects
Certificate of Merit - Sculpture Category (Individual entry)

Obsession - Amira Nagi Al Saadi - Acrylic on Canvas
Certificate of Merit - Painting Category (Individual Entry)