It is perhaps is a bit of a cliche, but what is it about gardens and painting? We have worked extremely hard through the years to nurture our gardens into existence here in our corner of New England. And while as an abstract painter I don't paint the landscape per se, how could the soul feeding beauty we derive from this place not work its way into the paintings somehow?
Very happy to have these two commissioned paintings up and running at the new and beautifully refurbished Shea Theater Arts Center in Turner's Falls, MA.
Pictured are Somnium I and II, both 48" x 48" mixed media on canvas.
Pleased to have many of the paintings from my Adagio series included in the December edition of the beautiful contemporary arts magazine, The Woven Press, Vol. III #12, pages 11-16. It's always nice to have the work exposed to a new audience. Click the link here to see the issue: THE WOVEN PRESS.
Below: Adagio XXIV, oil and fabric on canvas, 30" x 30"
In a recent interview for an article about my work, the journalist asked me to help her readers understand how they might approach looking at abstract art. It was an interesting question. I thought about it, gave her an answer and have been thinking about it ever since.
It seems that our minds are so hard wired to try and make sense out of, and stamp a reality on whatever it is we are looking at, that it is difficult for many to "get" abstract art. What the hell is it, what am I looking at? We often work hard and stretch to find a tree, or a landscape or SOMETHING we can discern is in there in this swirl of color and form.
It's helpful to think about looking at abstraction as one might experience listening to music. Think about it. Setting lyrics aside for the moment, which is more about story, when we listen to music we just take it in as it is. When we listen to Beethoven, we generally are not struggling to determine, oh, that must be the sound of a carriage going down the lane, or that must be the song of a bird. We to just tune into the sweep of it in purely abstract terms, the feeling of it, the emotion of it. We do this without questioning it or trying to "figure it out". It just is. We listen to a sequence of notes, sounds, tones and shadings, and just experience it all, viscerally.
And so it can be with visual art. One can approach looking at abstraction just as it is, taking it in all at once, the feeling of it, the emotion of it, without questioning it, or trying to define it or "figure it out". There is immense pleasure and resonance to be had in approaching visual art this way. In a sense, to experience it as music, in visual form.
Very nice article about my work, and review of paintings now up at Greenfield Gallery in Greenfield MA, in today's paper, along with a cool short little video of me working away in the studio. Video also now up on my website under the About heading.
Shown here: Adagio XXX, oil and fabric on canvas, 24" x 24, which is currently up at the gallery and was featured in the article.
I'm often asked about the titles I give to the paintings. Each one in this series is named "Adagio", which of course is the musical direction a composer might incorporate into their score, directing performers to play "slowly, with ease, gracefully."
For me there is something musical about these paintings and so I like the name in that sense. But more importantly, each one is created over time, very much in the spirit of adagio.... slowly, gracefully. Perhaps this is also my suggestion as to how one might best experience looking at the paintings as well.
In addition to titling them Adagio, I've taken to naming the day and month the painting was begun, and the day and month it was finally completed as part of the title. This gives each painting its own sort of "time signature", distinguishing one from another and also conveying the life of its creation over time. So the 48" x 48" painting in this post, which evolved over many months, is titled Adagio 6/5-12/28
My work has been chosen to be featured in the Color Field Painting Collection on Saatchi Art's homepage. You can see the collection here:
Curated by Bridget Carron of Saatchi Art.
This out of my fortune cookie after dinner last night. Sounds right. Going right up on my studio wall.
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