Sunday, January 31, 2010

Falling behind in the deep freeze

It's been a while since I posted, and I have three new paintings to post, so I'll post this first one, since it didn't require outdoor photography.   It's a painting/piece for Pernod Absinthe art contest, and it's called "Homage/since 1805", and it's 12" by 18" gouache on paper.  The red hasn't shown up in the scan very well, so I may have to go in and fine tune that....

I'll post the other two tomorrow barring any absolutely frigid weather....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Exhibition opening reception tonight

I'm kind of just kicking around today--tonight is the opening, and I just wanted to take care of a few things around here, and just chill...mingling with "strangers" always makes me a bit apprehensive, and since this is business, I have to put my social phobias away, and get in gear.

My parents did want to attend, since they are lifelong friends with the celebrated sculptor Peter Rubino, and he and his wife said they were planning to attend also, but my Dad just started his next round of chemotherapy, and he is too weak and immune compromised to of course, my Mom isn't going to leave him alone in the house...completely and totally understandable.  My Dad was sad to miss it, but I told him not to worry, he's going to get better, and once he's feeling good and in remission, there will be more openings, I promise.

I was surprised at the number of people that decided to attend...happy, but again, apprehensive.  I prefer to stay out of the social "limelight" and am on the reclusive side, so this is a good prompter to get me out of my studio and out to meet the people who actually enjoy my work...that idea makes everything more relaxed for me.

I have some deadlines to meet, Pernod on the 30th is one, and Feb. 24th for my portrait commission, so after tonight, I have to really knuckle under this weekend.  I also wanted to get a new still life in, plus try to get out and get some open air work done...I'm really pent up with alot of frustrating "relationship" concerns, so this helps me to clear my mind.

Ahhhhh life, ain't it grand??

I'll let you all know how it goes tonight...I'm going to be on my best behavior ;-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Landscape painting--"Lizard Creek in Winter (the little red tree)"

My newest painting is:  "Lizard Creek in Winter (the little red tree)"  and it is 16" x 20" oil on canvas.

I keep returning to the creek as my motif through this ongoing series...I don't know how many I'll finally paint yet, but several more at least.

Manifesto behind the art is simply that the creek is a "constant."  No matter what season, it is there and extends a friendly reception.  Whether I am content or dejected, the stream is still there, with it's crisp, cold water, and the rushing flow that sounds like the tinkling of little brass bells.  There is no deception in this creek...the water is clear like glass, and if there is any pollution or corruption, if perchance, there is, it cannot be discerned in the clear, fresh stream of it. That would be beyond the naked eye, not grotesquely parading about in front of my eyes.  The vegetation on it's dark, earthen banks kneels to communicate with is always a scene of comfort, even if the rest of the world tilts in utter chaos.  So, it beckons me again and again.

My choice, as usual lately, is to utilize a limited palette...I prefer the harmony and simplicity of that.  Palette was as follows:  Titanium white, prussian blue, french ultramarine, lemon yellow, cadium yellow medium, burnt sienna, cadmium red medium, mixed with Liquin. 

I have a frame that I feel was made for this painting, and will be putting the art into that--perfect dress for it's debut. 

Now, I will start on the studies of the children.  They are coming over later on, and hopefully I can get some good solid reference sketches without too much squirming.  Again, since this is "par coer" it doesn't matter too much to me how badly they wriggle, as I know their little faces so well, they are second nature to me.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Series

I 've begun a new series, an abstract series.  I don't usually work as an abstract artist, but every now and then, I really see a group of paintings in my minds eye, that kind of follows me around, haunting me like a specter, begging to be materialized.  This is a series that has come to be as a result of that.

It will be a series of five (5), and here are the first two.  They resulted as "wringing" of my mind...a lot of turbulence has been occurring and here is a base reflexive response to such a maelstrom.  Sometimes, the frenetic energy is just so built up, overwhelming, that no amount of writing or even painting an assuage has to be, like a volcano of thought, instead of landmasses, paintings come forth.

These are 18" x 24" oil on canvas.  I had thought to work even bigger, and I still may, but this is most appropriate for me right at this junction, so here is where I will stay.

In my mind, are series of mental images, thought collections with their emotion trailers, sort of like shooting stars.  This would be a meteor shower...this is like a slide show with the images on hyperspeed.  This is my answer, my explanation, my way to sort it out.

This first painting is called "The Dissipation of the Ransom", 18" x 24", oil on canvas.

This painting is called "Disconnect", 18" x 24", oil on canvas.

I will post the next two in the next day or so.

Ciao, friends.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad's 67th birthday, so we are going over to his place to celebrate, and bringing him his favorite, an ice cream cake--I always laugh about how he likes ice cream cake with his birthday being in January--coldest month in the Northeast!

It's sunny out, and although it is quite frigid today, it is still a very nice day.  I'm trying to gather up the gang and get rolling, but my coffee hasn't kicked in even at noon, as I didn't sleep well last night, and just layed in bed watching TCM until about 4 a.m...that sucks.

I dropped off my work in NYC yesterday, in prep for the upcoming exhibition, so I'm glad that is done, since I almost missed the dropoff date the gallery scheduled since I have been scatterbrained and preoccupied, and wrote the wrong date down like a dumbass.  Lucky I just happened to read the info they sent me just one more time again, and nearly pissed myself when I saw I had to make a scramble into the City the next morning rather than when I had

I have finished two new paintings, and will try to get photos of them has been so cold and windy that outdoor photography is out of the question, especially for an incompetent photographer such as I am....tomorrow's forecast is supposed to be slightly warmer and less windy, so I can give it a try then.

Heads up on the fact that these two new paintings are abstract, not impressionist or realist.  Every now and then I just get an overwhelming feeling to do an abstract series, and this was one of these times.  I'll give you the whole thought process involved with this evolving series as I post the paintings.

Ciao, friends.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Feeling restless

I suppose it's just way too early to have cabin fever--holidays literally just ended, and kids are going back to school tomorrow--hooray!  I almost finished taking the tree and all the other Christmas decorations down--my tree is so petrified, almost all of the needles have fallen off...lucky thing the holidays are over!!

I know this is the time of year you're supposed to get all charged up and crazy over making New Year's resolutions, which last about three weeks (and that was in my prime, when I actually had some self discipline and willpower!!), but I can't rehash another old's like taking out a leisure suit from the 70s...makes you want to shudder.  No, no more resolutions for least not hard and fast ones...more like "guidelines" for the new decade...and here are a few:

First, I'm going to start thinking about me a little bit more.  I know you all might think that sounds selfish, but it's's actually good for everyone in my life, and of course, for me also.  I was so concerned about meeting everyone else's needs, I was frustrated and worn out at not being able to meet my own...which leads to a bad state of mind, and other  It's going to be about structuring things and ordering things for myself, be it time, delegating jobs, staying away from anyone negative no matter what the relation or obligation...finding time to center myself with God...things a person does to have peace and harmony in life.  I know life can't be perfect, and sometimes crazy, sad and out of control things are thrust upon us, but you can still strive to take care of yourself, and find a little cave of solace in a blizzard of bullshit.

Second, I'm going to make time to visit the people who are most important to me, and are not able to visit me.  Once time takes them away, you can't get back those lost moments.  Ever.  I want no regrets, which leads me to third and finally,

I'm going to stop beating myself up over past failures, real or supposed.  I'm a perfectionist by nature, and my own mind is my own worst critic.  I'm going to stop being so hard on myself, and just say, F*ck it.  We are all only human, we all make mistakes, all of us make small, medium and large mistakes, and that's just the way the living experience goes.  I'll try to correct any actions on my part that were hurtful to other people, but I refuse to stay in that "moment."  I won't fall into the trap of living inside other people's ill will, and allowing them to manipulate me through guilt.  Finito!

So, aside from the major changes of the previous decade, such as turning 40, getting married, are a few other things I'd like to be able to get accomplished...a work in progress...

Oh, and of course, paint a few more masterpieces!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New year, old problems!

"Siene in early December"  oil on canvas 16" x 20"
Ha!  You'd figure with the start of a new year and new decade, I'd work with a clean slate--alas, this is not the case.

I'm still wrestling with my camera skills.  Granted, today was about as nasty and blustery a day I could pick to try and grab a quick photo of my newest painting, and as my Gran used to say, "Patience is a virtue."  Unfortunately, patience is still something I also wrestle with.

The wind was frigid, and I tried to get a few natural light shots in, but they are uneven and a bit washed out.  I'll post one here, and then hopefully I can get another, decent shot indoors.  I was being lazy and hoping to avoid setting up hoods and filters, etc., and hoping to get that one great natural light shot (I only took three to begin with LOL). 

Anyway, the photo is quite hideous, hehe...the painting looks much better in person.  I won't put it in the upcoming exhibition because it won't be dry by then, so maybe the exhibition in Spring.

Ciao for now!

Stormy Times

“Stormy day in the fields - Tennessee” oil on wooden panel, 18” x 18” by Hilary J. England I painted an original study when I was in Tenness...