Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday Night at Artomatic

We had dinner with friends near Capitol Hill last night and headed back to Artomatic for a few hours.

I was able to focus a little more on the other artwork than I was on opening night.
I will post links to these artists as we go through the Five weeks, but last night I was particularly impressed with Pam Roger's work, so take a visit to her site.

And this was rather amusing. "Carl" has painted his wall, but this was the only thing on it.
Hey, Carl, way to perpetuate myths about artists!
(ad. note Barry's comment below)

I had been warned by other participants on past Artomatics to expect some rude or ridiculous comments in guest books, but I wasn't expecting a pornographic drawing, so that was disappointing. And why is it that detractors never leave their names? I wonder why. I saw one woman write what appeared to be a lengthy comment in the book which turned out to be a lovely story. So, she really made my night by entering into the work at my invitation to viewers to write a story of their own about the paintings. I wish she had left her name!
And, business cards are going fast, so despite the cowardly and disrespectful word (and drawings), I was greatly encouraged.

with my friend, Elisa.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Artomatic: Opening Night

There was a great turnout for the opening night of Artomatic. We had a great time meeting other artists and seeing (and hearing) their work. I took a lot of photos, so I have uploaded them to my Flickr page.

55 M Street. All the floors lit and packed with art and people.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why do art critics hate Artomatic?

Local artist, dealer, and curator extraordinaire, Lenny Campello, posted a great commentary on Artomatic, which opens today.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

Over a period of a few years, the figure has disappeared from my painting. I have thought a lot about this over the months wondering why animals have become the centerpiece of my life's work. In my artist statement, I speak of a love affair with animals from an early age:

"As a child, my three-ring binder full of drawings of horses was a prized possession. In my mind, horses have a mystical, almost phantom-like quality that I became drawn to from an early age. I became transfixed just seeing one in an open field. Today, I recognize this mark in all animals as the fingerprint of the infinite imagination of the Creator. There is a kind of communion that takes place between me and God when painting or in the presence of animals."

Even reading it now, there is a sense of incompleteness to those words, something deeper that I cannot seem to excavate. I suppose it is a journey of sorts and as I find out more about myself, which I believe is expressed in choice of subject, I then understand the connection increasingly. It is very much like peeling an onion. The intimacy with which I feel connected to the work can be very overwhelming. Why? Such mysteries of the human soul.......

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night after seeing a film short about the fate of racehorses once their careers are over, and I feel rather heavy-hearted and introspective today. I see inconsistencies in myself and asking some very hard questions has been a long time coming. Information is power, but it is also often quite painful.

With Dunny

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Painting on the Easel

Today's work. Laying in blocks of color and getting the drawing correct. This one may have a more surrealistic feel in the end.

Pandion and the Songbird Army

Another scene from the Spring Revolt. Pandion is the "leader of the opposition" to Diamond.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back in the Saddle

After a knock down, drag out with the cold virus from another galaxy, I am determined to paint today and have new work posted this week. I have my coffee, I have my music.....

It certainly is strange and empty to look around my house and see so many paintings missing. But hopefully, they are working their magic down at Artomatic. I feel like I am missing a part of myself.

I have painted vicariously through you all over this last week. Your posts have kept me afloat. Yet, I take no responsibility for comments made on any one's blog while under the influence of NyQuil or assorted cough medicines.

Thanks for all your well wishes and fantastic comments from old and new friends alike. You are all most welcome and immensely appreciated.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Artomatic Installation

Yesterday, we installed at Artomatic. I am still quite under the weather, so it was a challenge.
A few more minor details to take care of and we will be ready for opening day on the 29th.

applying vinyl lettering

measuring to hang

finished installation

some of the other artists spaces

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Artomatic and "Pen"

Artomatic blog and yours truly. We install tomorrow, so I will have photos up ASAP.

In closing a depressing week being alone with my cold, bags of lozenges and Kleenex, and without painting, I got a call from a patron yesterday inquiring about "Pen" and she has now been sold. Thankful for such a wonder and for health, which I enjoy 99.9 percent of the time.

Thanks to my artist family for all the get-wells and encouragements. You all mean the world...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tired Tuesday

Portraiture is a dimension of art that has never really fleshed out for me. I get a portrait commision maybe twice a year. Still under the weather, so I am just going through an organizing images this morning. I am sure I will be off to bed again shortly with my Kleenex and Cold-eeze. Some of these portraits I really love so for a post today, here are a few.





Monday, May 18, 2009

Moody Monday

Fun Friday has turned to Moody Monday as I woke with a horrible sore throat. I was just thinking I got away with no sickness this season....thanks to Craig Clarke for passing the thing along.

We ran a bunch of errands on Saturday to wrap up preparations for Artomatic. I was loathe to spend a wad of cash on a table for the guest book and stumbled on a great antique table at Salvation Army for $10. A little stain and it looks brand new.

Ran by Kinko's for a a hard lesson on image dpi and probably need to re shoot all my work in RAW format. I love the fact that everything is digital now, but artists need a mini course to understand formatting and archiving images for posterity.

It's a weird day. If you have ever lost a close friend, you know how over the years when their name or the thought of them comes up here or there, it can throw you off. I feel thrown off today by stumbling across a photo of my friend from years ago. It is always a shock to be how painful it still is to think about. Matt died of a drug overdose back in 2002. Sore throat and old, bittersweet memories.....I need to lay low today. Feeling sort of blue.

Me and Matt, 1993

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fun Friday

I have been planning to paint on of my dad's goats for his birthday. I just realized his birthday is in a few weeks, so I painted Dexter (aka Big Daddy) today. This is a nice break from fretting over creating work for shows and reviewing contracts. Maybe I need to implement "fun Friday" each week on which I make no stress paintings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Documentary Film about Women Artists

"Who Does She Think She Is?" is an independent film by director Pamela Boll about women artists and their struggle as females in the arts balancing their creative work with their personal lives. We all know of the horrible lack of recognition of women artists over the course of history, and though we might think that has changed in our current culture, it is telling that random people asked could not name five female artists. Have a look at the trailer.

New Painting and Stuff...

I managed to start a new painting yesterday, and though only a few hours in, it is coming along. I feel more like myself, now, after so much focus on getting ready for Artomatic. Not that the prep is over, mind you.

I got a shout out on the Artomatic Blog yesterday and my site is up on the D.C. Week for the Animals site under the partners and sponsors sidebar. So, lots of coolness happening around here. We like coolness.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Craig and I spent all day Friday down at M Street working on the Artomatic space. Two coats of primer, two coats of "Vulcan Gray." In two weeks, we install lights, artwork and lettering.

This is a really neat part of D.C. - close to Capitol Hill on the Anacostia River. It was once a really bad area, but has been redeveloped with condos and office buildings. A lot of them are empty because of the state of the economy, but once things pick up, it will be a hopping area.

I also uploaded a few cell phone videos of the space on YouTube. In one, I filmed a 360 from my space and in the other I walked all the way around the third floor pausing for a view of the Capitol. The sound is annoying, so if you have a look turn it down.

National's Park

Paint Master

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Story of Ceyx and Halcyone

I took a truck of older work down to a friend's for storage a few months back. Though I haven't seen this work in four years, some of them I still feel strongly about. I am still moved today just like I was when I first read the Greek myth. Since I am on a sort of painting hiatus........

"Morpheus Appearing as Ceyx to Halcyone"

In Greek mythology Morpheus was one of the gods of dreams, specifically responsible for the appearance of humans in dreams.
Ceyx was the King of Thessaly and his wife was Halcyone. On a sea voyage Ceyx drowned during a violent storm as his wife had feared beforehand. All the while Halcyone prayed to the Goddess Juno for the safe return of her husband not knowing that he had died. Juno feeling compassion for her sent a messenger to Somnus, the god of sleep, to command his son, Morpheus, to appear in a dream to Halcyone as Ceyx that she might know of her husband's tragic fate. So the dream comes to her in which her husband tearfully proclaims his passing. Inconsolable she rushes to the seashore where he departed. His body floats in from the open sea and upon seeing him she is so overcome with grief the gods have pity on her and turn her and Ceyx into Halcyon birds (kingfishers).
During the halcyon days when the sea is placid and navigable, the birds lay their eggs and raise their young. Seamen for ages have noted the activity of the birds to ascertain the behavior of the ocean.

Animal World USA and Washington D.C. Week for the Animals

Patricia Haddock of Animal World USA called me this morning to invite me to participate in Weeks For The Animals via my Artomatic exhibit.

Animal World USA is non-profit organization dedicated to making the the plight of our animals across the globe known to the world. By working with other organizations through education and information their goal is to help us see what a great treasure in and responsibility of stewardship we have toward our animal kingdom.

I am honored to be approached by Patricia and excited to be a part of D.C. Week for the Animals using my paintings as a means of furthering the intent of Animal World USA. The week of events will be May 30 - through June 7th. More to come as we work out the details. Until then, please visit the links above.
It has been so much fun picking cat hairs off of my paintings in these few days of varnishing (can you taste the sarcasm?) My cat Eli sheds an enormous amount of white hair. When I worked in Atlanta as a vet tech, someone dumped a box of kittens and mom at the front door one night. I took Eli because he was so much like a dog with lots of curiosity about everything. He is thirteen now. Also mentally unstable and unable to remember anything, he also goes by "Sussy" "Poop", "Poopy" and the combo "Sussy-Poo." He responds to them all.

Frames ready with security hangers mounted, just finishing up varnishing (and hair picking.)Tomorrow we prime, paint and test the lighting. Installation will be on the 16Th.

I have a sheet of painting ideas ready to go once Artomatic prep is complete. Until then I may not get to paint much, so I will paint vicariously through you guys.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Van Gogh's Troubles

Did Vincent cut off his ear? Some do not think so. New finds:

(I have always had a gut feeling about that. That Gauguin guy was a jerk, so I don't doubt it...... And I don't like his art either. There, I said it.)

Organizing, taking notes, painting edges, framing and varnishing. I decided to prioritize my tasks. Suddenly, I feel less stressed about the upcoming shows. (Hey, look how that works?...)
Priority one: Artomatic.

Monday, May 04, 2009

""Exile of the Black Horse

I received an amazing comment about one of my paintings today. Jeff said:

"Love your work, especially 'Exile of the black horse', the poem below complements the work beautifully! Must be my mind state, but it expresses something i feel when i visit the battlefields of Normandy each year....."

I am fascinated by that. The battlefields of Normandy.
I am channeling into something, which I long for in my work, beyond pretty pictures.
Soli Deo Gloria.....that's all I can say.

Artomatic Update

Yesterday afternoon we headed down to Artomatic to putty my partition. Craig had to park 15 minutes down M Street at the Navy Yard. It is a well known fact that parking near Capitol Hill is a nightmare, not to mention that there was a Nationals game yesterday.
On Friday, we move on to priming and painting.
Crazy people going to the ballgame on a day like this. 180 degree turn from my site. The game ended getting called.

Yahhh! All done! (I must have been in a weird mood, because I work rather hard to appear more dignified than this normally.)
I am spending all day looking at my reference photo collection and going over any ideas with some solidity. I was offered an exhibit overlapping one already scheduled, so I am really feeling the crush! I have a lot to do but a well of great ideas, and this IS my day job, so I can swing it.
Oh, and then there is Artomatic which opens in a few weeks!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Documentary Art

Lenny Campello, whose special knowledge about anything art-related I am in awe of, has a post on his blog about Knoxville photographer David Habercom's latest collaborative work. It is a film about the homeless in Knoxville featuring Habercom's portraits along with audio of the people talking about their struggles in a homless life. The film is called "Adrift on American Streets" and you can see the website and a preview here.

The Painter's Key: Hyper-Perfectionism

Robert Genn's "The Painter's Keys" has a great "letter" about hyper-perfectionism, a disease I am afraid I may suffer from periodically. Ok.....often.

Great meeting with Kathleen. What a blessing to connect with another artist and find that we often wrestle with the same issues and have such similar desires for our work.
I am off the meet for coffee with Kathleen Kendall, another artist I am having the Candy Factory show with in February. Her work is really great. She is part of the Workhouse Art Center, an old prison recently turned arts center with a lot of potential.

There are so many of you I wish I could sit down and have a coffee with regularly......I have this totally unrealistc fantasy that someday we can all meet somewhere for a weekend even though we are scattered all over the world.