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Posts Tagged ‘Just Looking Gallery’

This will be my last post for the next week or so as I head off to California for my show, The Waking Moment,  this coming Saturday, December 1, at the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo.   It’ll be my first glimpse  of seeing my work hanging at the gallery.  It will also be  the first time I will get to meet the collectors there, something I am eager to do.  It’s always interesting to meet people who are drawn to the work, especially those from a distance away.  I like to see how they respond to the work, to see if they see it in the same way as those collectors I have come to know a bit over the years at those galleries that have represented me for many years.

I am sure there is a similarity in the way they see the work.  That only makes sense because of the consistency that I try to provide in the work and my messaging of it.  But I am always looking for a new perspective on it that I may have missed, one that someone from a different geography might provide.  As with everything, we shall see.

If you’re in the SLO area at the end of this week, please stop in at the Just Looking Gallery and say hello.  On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I will be in the gallery for a period of time outside of  Saturday night’s opening  for those who would like to discuss the work but might not be able to make the opening.  Hope to see you there!

The painting shown here is Moment, an 8″ by 14″ on paper which was the piece selected for the invitation.

 

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Another painting that is part of my upcoming show at the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo is this is a new piece called Elysian Moment,   16″ by 26″ on paper.  The title is derived from the name for the Greek concept, Elysium,  of  the afterlife reserved for heroes and those related to the gods.  In other cultures it takes on the name of paradise or heaven, among other terms.  It is often described as being a rich and lush landscape.

Now I don’t think this is meant to be an actual depiction of Elysium.  Rather, I think this is a moment that anyone might have when they feel they are at a point in time that approaches paradise for them on this earth.  When the world seems good and the winds blow cool so that the sun’s warmth is just so and its light is bright and illuminating but not harsh.  When time seems to slow to a crawl so that the world appears frozen as they survey the beauty and the bounty of the landscape that surrounds them.  They feel themselves strong and in rhythm with that world around them, as though their very existences are both bound together.  They need the world and world needs them.  They have become elemental.

I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a moment.  I’m sure I would remember.  But I certainly hope to experience one, desire the unity of that single moment.  Maybe that desire is enough to carry one through the more difficult times of this life, enough to provide the needed idea of possibility that gives hope.

We shall see…

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One of the things I am looking forward to next week when I head to California for the opening of my show at the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo is the couple of days beforehand that we will spend in Yosemite National Park.  I have never been there but know well the iconic images of its beauty from the photography of the great Ansel Adams.  While he is known for many photos of other locales, his images of the Yosemite Valley have come to be most closely associated with his name.

Adams (1902- 1984) first encountered Yosemite as a teen on a family excursion  on which he carried his first camera , a Kodak Brownie.  He was smittten by the spectacular landscape and the light as it filtered through the valley.  He would  return  over and over through the coming years, his prowess as a photographer growing.  He eventually married a local Yosemite girl, Virginia Best, whose father ran  Best’s Studio there.  She inherited the studio in 1935 and she and Adams ran it until 1971.  It is now called the Ansel Adams Gallery , where his work and the photos of  other great contemporary photographers are shown and sold.  The gallery  is still in the hands of the Adams family.

I’ve always loved his images of the grandeur of the Yosemite Valley and have formed my own idealized version of how the place might be in my mind through them.  I am hoping that reality lives up to expectations that have grown over many years.  I f any place can do this, I believe it might be Yosemite.

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Imperfection clings to a person, and if they wait till they are brushed off entirely, they would spin for ever on their axis, advancing nowhere.

–Thomas Carlyle

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I was thinking early this morning about a comment made yesterday by Linda Leinen about how we go through life, starting fresh and clean, and progress as we absorb all that life deals out to us, leaving us somewhat scarred. It reminded me of  the title of  both a painting and a show that I did many years ago called Seeking Imperfection.  It remains one of my favorite titles, probably because it best describes my own relationship with perfection.

I’ve always been somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of perfection or the search for it.  Perfection is the antithesis of our humanity, at least in how I view it, and to seek it is to deny our imperfect natures.  We are flawed and scarred characters in a world that is definitely not perfect except in those rare moments when all of these flaws coalesce into instances of harmony and beauty.

That’s kind of what I hope for and sometimes see in  my paintings– harmony and beauty despite the inherent imperfections.  I can find flaws in any of my paintings but I don’t cringe at the sight of them.  Instead, they make me glad because in seeing them I recognize my connection to them, can see the struggle in trying to create these moments of harmony.  A pit here, a dot of stray paint  or a rough edge there, a bristle from a brush trapped in the paint– it all speaks to me, saying that it can be whole and harmonious-  beautiful- despite the flaws.  Perhaps not a bad way to view one’s life.

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The painting at the top, In the Rhythm of the Moment, is a 16″ by 18″ piece on paper which is also part of my upcoming show at the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo, CA, opening December 1.

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This is another painting, measuring 12″ by 18″ on paper,  that has made its way to San Luis Obispo for my upcoming show, The Waking Moment.  The show is at the Just Looking Gallery and opens on Saturday, December 1.  The title of this piece is The Mellowing Way.  There’s a subtlety in the color of the sky and a suppleness in the rolls of the fields here that gives the piece a sense of softness that I find intriguing.  Maybe it’s more a softening of attitude than mere softness, an acceptance of one’s place in this world that allows one to simply just be and let the rest of the world wash over them as it rushes by.

I’ve said before that I wish I were a smooth stone on the bottom of a stream, cool and sleek as the water rushes by.  No resistance.  Maybe that’s what I see here.  We start our existence as a rough-edged piece of this earth, a jagged stone,  and in our life, or lives depending on your views on incarnations, we tumble along, our hard edges slowly eroding as we come to realize how futile is our resistance to the tides of time and change.  Eventually, the water can no longer find an edge to push us along and we settle, finding a place where we are comfortable to watch the world pass by.

I don’t know.  There’s a sense of tranquility and acceptance here that speaks to me personally.  And that’s enough, I suppose.  All I could ask.

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This is a new painting that is on its way to California for my show, The Waking Moment,which opens December 1 at the the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo.   This   30″ by 40″ canvas has really stood out for me in the studio, catching my eye constantly.  There is just something essential in this piece for me, an indefinable sense of  being, as though there is some inner connection with  a greater power.  Perhaps that is why I call this painting Brahman.

Brahman is a Hindu term that describes the  ultimate goal as well as the Absolute.  It is not really what one might call God in the sense of Western religions.  Brahman is that which makes up the nature of everything, as the Upanishad  states:  Brahman is of the nature of truth, knowledge and infinity.  It is both the cause and effect of  all reality.

It truly is a hard thing to describe, given its scope in all things, in a short post by someone like me, one who is certainly unequipped to define such a power.  But there is something in this piece that, for me, has that nature of truth, knowledge and infinity.  It both humbles me and lifts me yet brings a sense calm over me, as though I am seeing one that has an understanding  and acceptance of this universal power.

This piece will give me pause for some time to come…

 

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Normally at this time of the year I am in a winding down sort of mode, easing back from my easel and painting table to take a deep breath.  It is normally when I reassess the year and begin to put together a new direction in which  I might push the work.  But this has been an unusual year and I find myself busier than ever.  My show, Inward Bound,  at the Kada Gallery runs until December 6 and my exhibition at the Fenimore Art Museum, Internal Landscapes,  hangs until December 31.  That would be a full schedule in itself but this year offers yet another opportunity, one that fills my schedule to the brink and has kept me fully engaged in the studio as of late.  I am talking about a solo show of my work, The Waking Moment,  that will be opening December 1 at the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo in California.

Owner Ralph Gorton and Gallery Director Ken McGavin  first contacted me earlier this year and began showing my work  at the gallery, which opened in 1984, in April.  They have done a fabulous job highlighting my work and it has done very well in their gallery, to the point where we agreed that a show was in order.

I wasn’t sure about it at first.  I was fairly new to their market  and I was also thinking that I wouldn’t be able to build a show for them.  But they have introduced me thoroughly to their  clients and the pace of this year in the studio has had me immersed in a deep groove which made it possible for me to work at a high level without much of a period of buildup.  As a result, I find myself  pretty excited about the work I am producing at this time , which includes the piece shown above, The Prospering Light, a 16″ by 26″ painting on paper.

I am nearly finished with the last few pieces for the show which will soon be on their way to the California coast.  Then I will step back for a moment or two.  At least,  I think I will.  This rhythm I have in the studio at this time feels so right that I am a little hesitant to step away for more than a moment, knowing how difficult it can be to recapture that feeling.  But for now, I am riding this wave in the studio and am excited by each new rush that comes in the work.  I will be showing more of this new work in the coming weeks as the Just Looking Gallery show approaches.

 

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It’s been a busy summer with two solo gallery exhibits in the rearview mirror and the show of my work which is currently hanging at the Fenimore Art Museum.  But there’s no time to put it on autopilot and cruise.  I have a busy fall schedule with two more solo shows upcoming, one in October at the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA and the other in early December at the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo, CA.  I am pretty excited about both of these shows and will provide details on the California show later.

But first up is the Kada Gallery show, one that I do every other year.  This Erie gallery is ran by Kathy and Joe DeAngelo, two of the most wonderful people  I have been lucky enough to stumble across in this business.  They  make you feel incredibly welcome the moment you walk in their gallery.  Kathy takes great interest in the artwork and tries to gather as much info about each painting that I bring, wanting to be able to provide potential collectors with any detail that they might desire.  From an artist’s standpoint, she’s a dream representative for my work– someone who connects with it and radiates an enthusiasm for it.

The show this year is titled Inward Bound and opens on Saturday, October 20  with an evening reception at the Erie gallery.  There will be a short gallery talk at the beginning of the reception.  I hope if you’re in the Erie region that night that you can stop in and say hello.  I think this will be a really good show.  The piece shown above is a smaller piece from this show, a 5″ by 8″ painting on paper, that is titled Hope on High.

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Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

This is a new painting, Nightheart, that is headed west to my friends at the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo.  It’s about 11″ by 34″ in size and has a most cam and contemplative aura around it.  This morning, when I came across the words above from  Antoine de Saint-Exupery , the French author of The Little Prince and a real man of action as well, I immediately thought of this painting.

When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.   That line may say more about what I want for and see in  my work  than anything  I have ever said myself.  In fact, reading his words right now leaves me speechless.  And calm, like that tree.

I will simply let that line above stand on its own alongside this painting.

Please take a moment  to click on the link above and read a bit on the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery.   A full but short life…

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It is with great pleasure that I can announce that I am now being represented on the coast of  California  by the Just Looking Gallery in beautiful San Luis Obispo.  The gallery, with owner Ralph Gorton and Gallery Director Ken McGavin at the helm,  has been in operation for 28 years now and has long established itself as a premier gallery, offering strikingly individual work to its clientele.

When I was first contacted by them a few weeks ago, I was not looking for a new gallery.  But their enthusiasm for my work and the fact that they only carry a very small roster of hand-picked artists,  which offers closer attention in promoting the work , quickly won me over.  I have already placed a number of paintings in their very able hands and look forward to working closely with them in both the near and distant  future.

I was also excited by the prospect of finding such a gallery on the West Coast.  For many years I have had a number of people tell me that the style of my work would fit well in the central and northern coastal regions of California and the galleries representing my work in the east have sold a fair number of paintings to collectors on the West Coast.  So, hopefully their optimism will hold true.

In case you weren’t aware, San Luis Obispo, besides being one of the oldest cities in California, is known as of late as being one of the happiest cities on the planet, the only American city on a list compiled by Dan Buettner for his National Geographic book Thrive, based on a five year  global study on the keys to personal happiness.  Buettner applied the same techniques in studying happiness that  he used in his famed study on the global blue zones, areas where longevity is much longer for the average human. 

 I always hope that my work finds a happy, appreciative  home and, if this is any indicator, San Luis Obispo and the Just Looking Gallery sound like the place where it should be.

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