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Posts Tagged ‘Shows’

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All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, 1908

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This little snip from The Wind in the Willows seems to capture that same feeling of a conscious sense of wonder that I see in the new painting above. Titled I Stand Before You, it is 12″ by 36″ on canvas that is part of my solo exhibit, Red Tree 20: New Growth, at the Principle Gallery that opens this Friday, June 7.

I have been showing at the Principle Gallery since the early days of 1997. In the first few years there, I had been included in a group of five painters– Tom Buechner, Marty Poole, Tom Gardner, Rudy Gyr, and myself– from my home region that the gallery termed The Finger Lakes School. That group had two successful annual shows before I was moved out on my own with a solo show in 2000 called Redtree. That was a very successful show and its momentum has, in many ways, carried me through the past two decades.

This year’s show marks my 20th solo show at the Principle Gallery and if I had to use a term to describe what I wanted the work from throughout that time to convey, I might very well use the term sense of wonder. Just being able to witness small bits of this world around me, to see the green of grass and leaf, the ruffle of feathers or the mottle of light on the forest floor, brings about a feeling that I am experiencing all the wonder of this world.

And more than that, this past twenty years has allowed me to maintain that sense of wonder. Part of me expects that sense to diminish as I age but, if anything, it has expanded with through the years. The simplest pleasures, ones that I might well have overlooked in a youthful exuberance to see bigger and grander wonders, now seem like rare and privileged glimpses into the inner workings of the universe.

This very moment, I tuned my head and in the distance I watch two wild turkeys walking up the drive with broken light flashing off their iridescent  feathers. I can’t tell you what a wonder that seems to me and how it makes me appreciate the life I am privileged to live.

As I have pointed out many times before, I am not an overtly religious person. But perhaps this sense of wonder, this sense of awe, fills that same void for me. I don’t know but I am pleased I still wonder about such questions, that I don’t take these simple things that fill me with awe for granted. Maybe that’s a form of prayer.

Who knows?

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Red Tree 20: New Growth opens Friday, June 7, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA, with an opening reception that runs from 6:30 until 9:00 PM. Hope to see you there.

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I am in the midst of a crazy busy week as I put the finishing touches on work for my yearly show at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY. This year’s show is called The Rising and opens a mere two weeks from today, FridayJuly 13.

I primarily chose the title because the focus of many of these pieces in this show rested on the rising of the ball-like suns and moons in them. Add to that the posture of the Red Tree in a number of these paintings where it has seemingly climbed to the top the nearest mound and appears to be attempting to rise up to merge itself with the sky.

To transform itself from the worldly to the ethereal.

Ultimately, that is what I want my work to accomplish.

That’s a big jump, I know. And maybe I am foolhardy in thinking I can find it in my work. Certainly, to rise up above the baseness of the earthly and move into a spiritual realm comprised of higher ideals and virtues seems a far reach for any artist. But shouldn’t we attempt to reach beyond our grasp?

Shouldn’t we always aspire to be better?

It’s that quality of aspiring to be better that I hope comes through in this show. The painting at the top shares its title with the show, The Rising, and I hope lives up to it.

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Again, my new show, The Rising, opens Friday, July 1, at the West End Gallery with a reception that runs from 5-7:30 PM.

Plus, pencil in the date for my annual Gallery Talk at the West End takes place Saturday, August 4, beginning at 1 PM. There are more details on that to come but I can promise I will do my best to make it a good one. Like I said, shouldn’t we aspire to be better?

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Show Day

“The Time Has Come”  Opens Tonight at the Kada Gallery

 

 

       Well, today I’m off to Erie, PA for the opening of my show, The Time Has Come at the Kada Gallery.   I’m always a little nervous on the day of a show,  worrying that the work won’t strike a chord.  But at the same time I’m looking forward to meeting the people who have watched my work over the years, to get their feedback on what they see in the work and to give them a little more information on the why’s and how’s of what I do.  I have really enjoyed meeting the many different people who have approached me at shows over the years and feel very privileged to hear their stories. The feedback from these shows give me a lot to think about when I’m isolated in the studio.  They encourage and inspire me on the days when nothing seems to be working and they give me a lot of reassurance in the knowledge that there are people out there who have connected with the work.  When you spend as much time alone as I do, it’s nice to know there are eyes out there who know and accept your work.

 

     At these exhibitions, I feel I have a certain responsibility to the people who attend.  I’m always honored that someone has taken time from their busy life to come out to see my paintings and talk for a few minutes and feel they deserve my full attention.  I often fret after a show that I didn’t get to spend enough time with certain folks or that I came off in a way I had not intended.   What I  mean by that  is that the art that takes on any importance in someone’s life does so because of what they see of themselves in the work.  This creates a unity with the work and is often quite a strong bond.  Now, if I, who have created this work, am glib or dismissive or inattentive and rude the meaning of the work changes to that person.  I may not  be explaining this well but I know this to be true.  It happened to me when I was a 17 years old aspiring writer  and went to a talk with a world-renowned author at a local college.  I listened intently and afterwards went to a reception, eager to get some advice on the career I desired.  He was rude, dismissive and half drunk.  I left and to this day have never read another word by the man.  Everything I saw in his work bcame worthless.  

So that is always in my mind at these events.  To me, it’s a rare and miraculous thing to have someone connect with my work and to that end I try to be as open, honest, and available as possible to the folks who take the time to come out to a show. 

Well, that said, I’m off…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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