Brooklyn Art Space Winter Salon a big success …!

Brooklyn Art Space‘s Annual Winter Member Salon was held at Trestle Gallery (Gowanus, Brooklyn) this past Friday night and was a big success!  There was quite a turnout for such a frigid night, and several works of art were sold!  I’ve uploaded some photos of the show to my flickr account.

A big crowd on Friday night at Trestle Gallery
A big crowd on Friday night at Trestle Gallery

My piece “Lifeworld 31” was in the show.  Everything looked great!

"Lifeworld 31" in the Winter Member Salon show, Friday, February 13, 2015
“Lifeworld 31” in the Winter Member Salon show, Friday, February 13, 2015

Studio Notes – paysage planétaire completed

This is the final installment of my series of posts following the progression of a painting I started at the beginning of January – a “paysage planétaire” inspired in part by the work of Ferdinand Hodler and other painters from that era.  So, in my last post, described the overpainting.  Earlier this week, I put the final touches on this and completed the piece.  It was a little touch and go there for a while, but I think it’s come out pretty well:

Paysage detail
Paysage detail
Paysage detail - beefed up the clouds a little bit.
Paysage detail – beefed up the clouds a little bit.
Just about done at this point.
Just about done at this point.
Paysage detail.
Paysage detail.
One of the final pieces is the signature.
One of the final touches is the signature.

So here it is, complete.  Took about a month.  Part of the time was waiting for the layers to dry.  Lately I’ve been experimenting with a more traditional medium (stand oil and oil of Spike Lavender) which works great but dries slowly.  These were the only additives (besides mineral spirits and a little linseed oil) used in this painting.

Paysage planétaire (Avalanche Pass), oil on canvas, 24x24", 2015
Paysage planétaire (Avalanche Pass), oil on canvas, 24×24″, 2015

Upcoming: Winter Salon at Trestle Gallery/Brooklyn Art Space

The Brooklyn Art Space Winter Member Salon happens this Friday, February 13 from 7 to 9pm at Trestle Gallery’s 168 7th Street location in Gowanus, Brooklyn. (See the Trestle website for directions.)

My painting “Lifeworld 31,” completed in December, 2014, will be included in the show and I’ll be there in person to answer any questions about the painting.  Since my studio is right next door, I can also show what else I’ve been up to.

So stop by; it should be fun!

Lifeworld 31, oil on canvas, 20x20", 2014
Lifeworld 31, oil on canvas, 20×20″, 2014

Postcards from the Edge — this Weekend!

Visual Aids’ 17th Annual Postcards from the Edge Benefit art sale happens this weekend. I’ve donated a postcard-sized watercolor painting to this great cause. I’ll be at the preview party Friday night (they let the artists in at 6pm, but VIP ticket holders can come at 5). The benefit sale is open to the public Saturday, January 31 from 10 to 6 and Sunday, February 1 from 10 to 4. All this happens at Luhring-Augustine Gallery at 531 W. 24th Street. Check out the Visual Aids website for all the details.

The event promises to be quite impressive.  There are over 1600 original works of art, all postcard-sized, in the Exhibit benefit.  Each piece of art is for sale for $85.

Untitled watercolor, 4x6", 2013.
Untitled watercolor, 4×6″, 2013.

My contribution is a part of a series of abstract watercolors I completed in 2013.

Studio notes – paysage planétaire, continued

I’m getting a bit behind in my blogging. The month is fast rolling to its completion, I’ve got what feels like a hundred pots in the fire.

Among those, the “paysage planétaire” I started several weeks ago continues to evolve. Last week, the underpainting was complete and I worked on the blue areas – sky and water.  This evening I worked on everything else.

Paysage planétaire in progress, oil on canvas, 24x24"
Paysage planétaire in progress, oil on canvas, 24×24″

 

The painting is fast approaching completion.

Paysage planétaire in progress.
Paysage planétaire in progress.
Paysage detail
Paysage detail

As I said before, every painting is an experiment, an exploration.  I cannot yet say if this one is a happy experiment.  I also cannot say whether it is finished. It could be.  Any thoughts on this?

Paysage planétaire in progress, oil on canvas, 24x24"
Paysage planétaire in progress, oil on canvas, 24×24″

Studio Notes – the paysage in progress, continued

As noted last week, I’m blogging the progress on a new landscape (a “paysage planétaire” in the spirit of Ferdinand Hodler).  On Sunday, I completed the underpainting:

Underpainting completed, Paysage planétaire, oil on canvas, 24x24", in progress
Underpainting completed, Paysage planétaire, oil on canvas, 24×24″, in progress

Tonight, I had very little time to get into it, so I just worked on the sky and water – the blue areas, mainly.

Paysage planétaire in progress, detail
Paysage planétaire in progress, detail
Paysage planétaire as it stands tonight, 1/13/2015
Paysage planétaire as it stands tonight, 1/13/2015

So far, so good! It starts to look more like a painting — i.e., something unique and distinct.  To be continued.

Featured painting of the week: “I will plant companionship thick as trees …”

This week’s featured painting is a piece I created back in 2010 for a special exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Calamus edition of Walt Whitman’s celebrated Leaves of Grass. The title of the piece, “I will plant companionship thick as trees” is a quote from one of Whitman’s Calamus poems, which are remarkable for their frank celebration of same-sex love.  The painting debuted at the special Calamus exhibition at the Hudson Guild (Manhattan) in spring 2010. This piece turned out to be the first of several Calamus inspired paintings I created that year.  The painting was also included in my solo exhibition at Thoughtworks in Manhattan 2013.

I will plant companionship thick as trees ... (Calamus I), acrylic on canvas, 30Hx20W", 2010
I will plant companionship thick as trees … (Calamus I), acrylic on canvas, 30Hx20W”, 2010

I’m offering it for sale now through my online Square shop.  If you are interested in owning this singular work of art and are in New York City, you’re more than welcome to visit me in Brooklyn to see the piece.

Another view of Calamus I as it appeared in my show at Thoughtworks during Summer 2013.
Another view of Calamus I as it appeared in my show at Thoughtworks during Summer 2013.

 

Ferdinand Hodler and the paysage planétaire

As I promised in Tuesday’s post, I have found the reference to ‘paysage planétaire,’ and this makes for the perfect opportunity to give you a more extended introduction to the artwork of Ferdinand Hodler, if you aren’t familiar with him.

Ferdinand Hodler, Landschaft bei Château d'Oex, circa 1905. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Ferdinand Hodler, Landschaft bei Château d’Oex, circa 1905. Source: Wikimedia Commons

I first discovered Hodler through an excellent exhibit of his late work at the Neue Galerie in New York City, in the fall of 2012. Continue reading “Ferdinand Hodler and the paysage planétaire”

Studio Notes – the landscape evolves

As a sort of journalistic experiment, I’m going to follow the development of my recently started Paysage planétaire painting through several blog posts.  This should be interesting, and maybe disastrous, since I don’t know how the painting is going to turn out. For me, creating is perhaps like giving birth to something — that something has a unique and independent existence.  (Or, to put a humorous spin on it, sometimes I feel like Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein — “It’s alive!”) Yes, I have a lot do with how it turns out, but ultimately the work takes on a life of its own.  If things go well, it’s almost as if the painting paints itself. So far, I think it’s going well.

So recall where I left it the other day:

"Paysage planétaire" in progress, oil on canvas, 24x24"
Paysage planétaire in progress, oil on canvas, 24×24″

Essentially this what is classically referred to as the “cartoon” – just the outline.  I also added a little texture and shading in blacks, whites and grays.  Today I started filling in the underpainting:

Paysage in progress, shot #1
Paysage in progress, shot #1

First blue sky. Then I started adding some greens:

Paysage progress shot #2
Paysage progress shot #2
Paysage progress shot #3
Paysage progress shot #3

Essentially I’m taking a layered approach, or a semi-layered approach.  I could have done it all alla prima, wet-on-wet, in one big session.  My plan is to finish the underpainting in this fashion, and then do a big alla prima overpainting to finish it off.  That will either complete the piece — or ruin it.

Here’s where I’ve left it tonight:

Paysage planétaire in progress (as of 1/6/2015), oil on canvas, 24x24".
Paysage planétaire in progress (as of 1/6/2015), oil on canvas, 24×24″.

The underpainting is not quite done. I’ll finish that up soon. And I’m going to find the reference to “paysage planétaire” and report back here.

Oh, in case you’re wondering the reference for this piece is a photograph I took in the Adirondacks (upstate New York) a few summers ago.  I’m not going to show that photo here since it is only a point of reference, an inspiration for the work, and not the work itself.  I don’t want to invite comparisons between this inspiration and the painting, which is definitely it’s own thing.  I’m not a fan of the concept of “representation” in art (at least as I currently understand it). But I’ll save that topic for another day.

Featured painting of the week – “Magnolia”

I’m featuring a different painting each week.  To start this series off, I present to you Magnolia, an oil painting I created in May 2014.  This painting was inspired by photos I took of some lovely Magnolia trees in a city park in Manhattan. The color palette is very simple: white, black, green, pink and blue. The painting is 12 inches square and the composition is very much about the square (the square being a favorite motif of mine over the past several years).

Magnolia, oil on canvas, 12x12", 2014
Magnolia, oil on canvas, 12×12″, 2014

This painting is for sale and is listed on my Etsy Shop! Check it out there!