Project: 365

Back in October, I started a new, year-long project to document my ongoing practice of visual exploration.  I think of this exploration as central to the work of the artist.  I’m calling the project simply “365” and the end result (to the extent that a project like this ever ends) will be 365 small watercolors presented at this year’s Gowanus Open Studios, October 17-18.

I started the project on or about October 19, immediately after last year’s Open Studios, and we are now more or less at the six-month mark.  So I’m evaluating how the project is going and taking a first crack at formulating some sort of artist’s statement about the work.  I’m also beginning the arduous task of scanning some exemplars of the work.  I’m certainly not going to scan all 365 pieces I create!

365 exemplar from late 2014. Watercolor on paper, 4×6″ 

The project is bookended by the Open Studio event that happens each year in October.  I’ve taken part in Gowanus Open Studios every year since 2007, and I’ve often experienced it as the beginning and end of my artistic cycle.

So what goes on in my typical artist’s year?  This project seeks to outline just that.  It represents a year in the life of the artist — or in other words, a year of practice, process  and exploration.

Fantastical self-portrait, watercolor, 6×4″, February, 2015

As I said, all of the work created for this project is small (between approximately 3×5 inches and 8×8 inches) and all of the work is watercolor.  Included are portraits and self-portraits, improvised sketches and landscapes real and unreal, life-drawing, completely abstract work, flights of the imagination and studies for future larger paintings.  All stuff of which the artist’s practice is made.

365 pieces will be displayed in October, and all will be offered to the public on a “pay as you wish” basis.  Here are some exemplars of the work created so far. Mark your calendars now! Gowanus Open Studios 2015 is October 17-18.

December 2014, watercolor, approx. 4×4″ 
October, 2014
Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, late October, 2014
December 2014
December 2014
November 2014
November 2014
December 2014
December 2014

2014: A year in review

2014 has been a good year, although I pretty much felt like I was shot out of a cannon right from the beginning.

Even before I’ve started to put up the window dressing and what-not in this shiny new blog space, I want to give you an overview of the very exciting year that just flew by. So let’s take a look at the Year In Review, starting with:

January: we had a surprisingly long and cold winter in 2014, and it inspired several paintings, such as:

Winter Landscape
Winter Landscape, oil on canvas, 20Wx24H”, 2014

In February I joined the Facebook bandwagon, and started a Page for my Art.

Probably the biggest artistic commitment of 2014 was the Gowanus Swim Society, a new artists collective formed in Gowanus, Brooklyn.  In March, we did a little neighborhood photoshoot (I was the photographer, except in this picture below, where I handed the camera off to the incomparable Fisk). Yes, it was a bit chilly that day, and yes, that shirt was none too flattering on me.

GSS at the Gowanus Canal, March 2014
GSS at the Gowanus Canal, March 2014

April brought quite a few things at once! Gowanus Swim Society (GSS) had it’s first group show, a pop-up at Trestle Gallery‘s project space. Then later in the month, I exhibited 10 paintings in a two-person show at Midoma in Manhattan.  That carried through to Memorial Day.

Members of GSS at our Spring Pop-Up at Trestle's project space.
Members of GSS at our Spring Pop-Up at Trestle’s project space.

Perhaps we were a wee bit intoxicated when this photo was taken.

Paintings by John Azelvandre appeared at Midoma in NYC, April-May 2014
Paintings by John Azelvandre appeared at Midoma in NYC, April-May 2014
Another view of the Midoma show.
Another view of the Midoma show.

June arrived, and the Swimmers scoped out Governors Island and began work on our big installation for the Governor’s Island Art Fair.

Gowanus Swimmers investigating the space at Governors Island
Gowanus Swimmers investigating the space at Governors Island

In July, I started work on my short series of circular paintings (see all the results here) for the GSS-Governors Island installation.  I also showed my painting Magnolia at the Brooklyn Art Space/Trestle Gallery Summer Salon.

View from beneath the surface 2, oil on canvas, 12" diameter
View from beneath the surface 2, oil on canvas, 12″ diameter
Magnolia, oil on canvas, 12x12", 2014 at Trestle Gallery, July 2014.
Magnolia, oil on canvas, 12×12″, 2014 at Trestle Gallery, July 2014.

July also saw the sale of several paintings, including this one:

Lifeworld 14, oil on canvas, 20x20", 2013
Lifeworld 14, oil on canvas, 20×20″, 2013

August was all about getting ready for Governor’s Island and everything came together in September! See all the photos of Gowanus Swim Society’s installation Submerged on my flickr.

Submerged, by the Gowanus Swim Society, Governors Island Art Fair 2014
Submerged, by the Gowanus Swim Society, Governors Island Art Fair 2014

In October I participated in my eighth Gowanus Open Studios.  After that, what I really needed was a rest, but instead —

November brought watercolors, planning, and Ello!

Untitled watercolor, November 2014
Untitled watercolor, November 2014

To close up the year, I completed Number 31 in the Lifeworld series (more about that series very soon), got to work on this new blog and plans for 2015!

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