Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Days

I've gotta tell you, things have been a whirlwind around here, with so many good things going on, I'm just in shock.

Anyway, for starters, I will be exhibiting in Berlin, Germany, at the Infantellina Contemporary Gallery, in their international exhibition, "I am who I am."  This will run from September 25th through October 30th, 2010.

Then, I'm off to Barcelona for the A-Forest Gallery International exhibition, "Square Foot," from November 12th to December 15th, which I will also be participating in.

I have also picked up some new representation, so I am looking at a busy New Year, with three shows in Chelsea, and some more international ones in the works.

So, I am pretty busy, but it's a good busy!  I will post my newest painting tomorrow afternoon, when I can photo and upload it.

Ciao, bella!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fired Up

I watched that old movie "Reds" last night, with Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson (I also noticed Gene Hackman and Paul Sorvino making small appearances). 

This movie really annoyed me to the point of actually changing the channel at one part, because it was so irritating to me...but, when I start something, I like to see it through, so I grudgingly went back to it, all 3 hours of it, and finished it up at around 2 in the a.m....and it was still so annoying, I was actually rooting for the "Hero" to die, so the movie would end!

It was a propagandist, Communist-sympathetic movie...and all I kept thinking about through the end scenes were--Beatty couldn't make any headway in the crush of hysterical Beauracracy which is Communism, amongst other things including extreme violence and brutality against any dissenters, starvation for the masses, etc., so why the HELL do "they" want this system for America?  Because "they" don't really care about the people--"they" want a work force for the so-called "Elite", and F*ck everyone else.  That's what that's about.

Anyway, I've never been the biggest fan of Diane Keaton, but her character was so unsympathetic to me, I was also rooting for her character to die at the end along with Beatty's LOL.  Also, question of the day:  Why do all avowed Atheists starting screaming "Oh God" or "God Help Me" when they are in trouble or crisis?  Just wondering...

So, the movie made me disgruntled, and I woke up thinking about it (which means it did it's job, and provoked a response), and I had a series of little still life paintings I was working on, and in my angst, I created the first (Thanks to Warren and Diane!).  It's above, and it's called "The Angry Lemon."

Kind of how I felt about that movie!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where I'm at

I guess I've been doing too much thinking again...I really try to avoid that, but it's a constant battle...especially when it comes to my art, and Art in general. 

Of course, I have more than my fair share of the requisite self loathing and the mental chaos that generally accompanies that, but I have chosen to corral that, to reign it into the manageable rather than the debilitating, and with that, stick to benign subject matter, and go from there.  Kind of like sticking your toe into a pool to test the waters rather than just jumping in...and finding it to be be boiling or freezing cold.

Initially, I swore off of painting people, since as a bartender for many years, I found I began to loathe the human race, and all of the insanity that surrounded us.  The chaotic karma that came off of people in general tainted me like a drop of poison in a martini...initially the martini felt and tasted good, then it turned to death.   I stuck to landscapes, in the manner of a person that would knit or garden...a very lovely distraction, where I didn't have to have a true deep emotional investment...yet after a while, I did start having that slant, that bent, that initial taste of blood, and then inevitably, I hungered for more.

I found that I couldn't stay away from the emotional investment, like a cat with a mouse.  In this case, I see myself as the mouse, and not the cat.  The emotional attachment and hunger for more stalked me...it lurked in the background waiting to pounce at any given moment...and so, I began to cave in in small increments, a series of small compromises.  At first, I would only paint people at a very far distance, then, with no discernable features, then, only intimate features of those I love, and then, like a drug addict who finally can restrain themselves no longer, I just blasted it all to pieces and went ballistic and didn't care.

My thoughts are, now that the glass menagerie is in shards and splinters, I must be honest with myself, and accept that my period of isolation is over.  So, where do I stand?

I had aligned myself with the Impressionists in a sort of fantasy of thought.  I loved their dreamy use of paint and color, and I longed for their Bohemian "innocence" with a nostalgia I had no vested interest in.  So, as I painted away...I was living in a protective coccoon--trying to keep safe my last shreds of humanity, which the rest had been stripped away, layer by layer, by the world itself. 

But, in going away to nurse my wounds, like most wounds, if they are not mortal, those wounds recover.  Now, I realize, I must choose which road to travel. 

I would say I most align myself with Social Realism, except for one glaring problem.  I am NOT A LEFTIST, NOR A COMMIE, etc.  I feel that the LEFT has become the new enemy of the people, in a sanguine way.  They try to appear to champion the little guy, all the while despising him.  It's like sugar coating a cyanide capsule. 

So, what genre am I, a person who is certainly a "little person" (and I mean more than just stature), who paints the perspectives of the little people, and lives the life of an average Joe?  I am going to be bold and break rank here, and still say I am a Social Realist.

I am painting and recording the lives of Average Joes in our Middle Class, from their perspective, not from an Elitist one.  Not from a position of disdain masquerading as concern, but from an indifferent point of view as a person who is in the barrel with the rest of the squirming masses.  Not looking down, but looking around.  One who knows.  One who is here in the midst...not one who must foray out at night in disguise, to see what it's like to be "one of them."

And so, here's where I'm at.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Contemplation"




Here is my new painting, the first in a series of seven, two of which will be going to the exhibition in Barcelona, Spain. 

This painting is called "Contemplation" and it is Gamblin oil on a cradled, primed, masonite support, 12" by 12" (these will all be this size).  Once again, I find myself going back to a square format.  I seem to go through "spurts" in which I like a square format, and now, instead of large squares, I prefer smaller ones.

This painting was done par coer in studio from a series of studies and sketches I did down at the Jersey Shore, of course, my old haunt, Avon-by-the-Sea.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gabrielle and Bronson

Here is my new pastel painting, "Gabby and Bronson", 9" x 12" pastel on paper, by, of course, Hilary J. England. 

This painting was both wonderful to do, since I painted my babies, but it was also frustrating, since I have not painted portraits for a long time, let alone pastels, which can be a difficult medium to achieve accuracy with sometimes, but, factor the issue of 20 year old pastels, which kept crumbling into colored dust as I tried to use them, which was maddening.  Of course, this is my fault for several reasons, but first and foremost, I should have THROWN THEM OUT AND BOUGHT A NEW SET.  Alas, I'm getting cheap and stubborn in my advancing age (Hey, I'm 40 now!).

Anyway, I've really developed such an interest lately again in portraiture, and have decided to do an indefinite series, which means, until I get sick and tired of doing them, which may take a few years, or not at all!  I guess I was kind of sick and disgusted with people in general for a while, and that reflected in my abhorrence of painting them at all.

Anyway, there will be more to come, now that my heart is starting to thaw out on this subject....

End of Summer

"Mountain sunset" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 8" x 11" End of Summer, and it's going out with lots of heat!...