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Posts Tagged ‘Marty Poole’

Principle Gallery King St AlexandriaThere is an opening that I will be gladly attending this Friday, April 25th, at the Principle Gallery in  Alexandria, Virginia, a celebration of the gallery’s 20th anniversary as an Old Town fixture on  historic King Street.  The gallery first opened in April of 1994 on Cameron Street in a second-story space and moved to their present location in 1997, taking up residence in historic Gilpin House.  Over the years, they have featured some of the finest in contemporary art, focusing on representational realism, and their reputation as a gallery of the highest caliber has grown, nationally and internationally, with each passing year.  In 2013, the Principle Gallery brand expanded with the opening of a Principle Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina.

The rest, as they say, is history.

For me, I first came on board with an invitation from owners Michele Ward ( then Marceau) and the now retired Sue Hogan in early 1997, just as they were about to make their move to their present location.  I had only been showing my work publicly for just two years at that point and had only been painting for a little over three so I was excited to find a spot in their roster.  Little did I know how important my relationship with this gallery would become to my career.

I have written here in the past about the gratitude I have for the galleries with which I have worked over the years.  I have worked with several galleries for the better part of two decades and each has been vital to the growth of my work and my career, providing me with reassurance when I am feeling less than confident  and willing eyes when the work evolves.  Each has provided me with intangibles that I cannot fully describe.  My life would be so different without each of these galleries.  I shouldn’t say galleries because it is truly about the people that operate them.

That certainly has been the case with the Principle Gallery.

Over the years  I have worked with numerous wonderful people there, each of who has  allowed me to let my work grow in many directions, always encouraging me and  treating my work with respect.  They always make me feel welcome as a friend the moment I enter the gallery and I think that is a quality that extends to nearly everyone who comes through their doors.  You see it in the faces of many friends from the area who pop in just to say hello.  That alone says volumes about them as people.  It certainly makes the gallery experience they offer a much different one than most people envision.  It is an experience based on making you feel comfortable and they succeed in every way.

I know that they have made me feel comfortable there over the years and for me that is saying a lot.

I had my first solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery back in 2000.  That was the Redtree show that gave birth to my now trademark image.  This year’s June show, Traveler,  marks the 15th consecutive year I will have had a solo show there.  It has been my pleasure to be able to grow with the gallery, to see it constantly strive to be better, to make itself more.  It inspires me to do the same.  And that, among all the things they have given me over the years in terms of encouragement and friendship, might be the greatest gift of all.

The inspiration to aspire to be more.

So, to Michele and her wonderful staff– Clint, Jessica, Pamela and Kris– I send you a heartfelt thank you and best wishes for many more years of success.  Happy 20th!

See you Friday!

 

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I’ve written recently about the upcoming Little Gems show at the West End Gallery in Corning, a show that has a lot of meaning for me as far as being the jumping off point for my career.  I also really enjoy this show,  just to see other artists’ work.  It’s always interesting to see how artists who more often work in larger formats  handle the challenge of working on a smaller scale.

Here’s a great example from Marty Poole.  It’s a beautiful little 6″ by 8″ painting, a wonderful  example of his great ability with color and light.  The face of this child just glows on the panel. Marty is well known nationally for his large landscapes with broad, evocative skies as well as for his figurative work.  His handling of paint is remarkable in any genre.  He very seldom works so small so this show presents a great opportunity for collectors to pick up more affordable pieces from an artist whose work is widely sought.

Another aspect of Little Gems is allowing artists who normally work in a smaller format to show their work on equal footing, as far as size, with artists who works’ normal sizes would dominate the gallery walls.  It allows their normal work to really shine.  Here’s a great example called Last Bell from Mark Reep, whose meticulous black and white small works are always filled with ponderous atmosphere that belies their size.  Just beautiful work.

Then there are artists who take this opportunity for small works to show a different side of their talent.  Such is the case with Wilson Ong who is perhaps best known for his sublime portraiture.  His small pieces are whimsical tiny (in the 2″ by 3″ range)  paintings of animals in unlikely situations. Here are two of my favorites:

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As I said, this is always  a great show to see really talented artists working on a small scales.  Stop in and see these gems.

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Poole Early MeltI am currently in the process of getting ready for my annual show at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY.  This exhibit, titled Dispatches, is my ninth solo show at the gallery which was the first gallery to exhibit my work, starting back in 1995.  

For the past several years at the West End, the show that is hanging in the month or so before my show is from one of my favorite artists,  Martin Poole, who also lives in this area.  Marty’s work is always beautiful, with wonderful handling of the paint and luminosity in his colors.  There is little he can’t do with a brush and it shows in all the genres he paints.

Poole CassandraHis landscapes are filled with light and space, often immense, complex  skies that fill the picture plane.  His portraiture goes beyond traditional portrait painting.  For Marty, it’s not enough to paint a superb representation of the subject- it’s more important to have them be mere components in a beautiful composition, which makes for a more interesting viewing experience for all.  Marty’s unique eye comes through in everything he paints and other painters usually just sigh resignedly when they look at his stuff.Poole Long Talk

I know I have on more than one occasion.

It’s always a daunting task to follow Marty’s show at the West End.  His shows are always filled with beautiful, strong work that draws raves and oohs and aahs.  You never want to be the one who comes in with a lackluster show after Marty sets the bar a little higher each year.  So, I work a little harder after I see his show each year and hope I can match his consistency and his obvious commitment to his work.  It’s the sort of pressure that some artists don’t enjoy, having to follow the show of a highly skilled and well known artist.  I can’t say I enjoy it but I know it provides an impetus to continue striving, to continue to grow my work.  For that alone, it’s a pleasure to follow the Martin Poole show.

You can see the work of Martin Poole in a number galleries throughout the country including the West End in Corning and the the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  His current show at the West End hangs until July 18.

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