Upcoming event! Join me at the Circle Show!

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be participating in a group show in Brooklyn which opens November 9th.  “The Circle Show” will feature work that is entirely circular!

I created some circular pieces back in 2014 for a group endeavor I participated in on Governor’s Island, and I was just thinking earlier this year how interesting it would be to create some more paintings on circular supports.  Coincidentally (are there really any coincidences in the universe?), shortly thereafter, my friend Jonathan Blum approached me about his idea for a Circle Show.

“Dharmadhatu 1″, mixed media on canvas, 20” diameter, 2018

So it is happening! It will be at Shapeshifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, New York.  The show opens this Friday, November 9, 6:30pmto 12 midnightand the artwork will be up through January 11.

I hope to see you there!  You can read more about the pieces I will have in the show on my Patreon page.  And, by the way, my Patreon experiment is just a little over one year old now. Have you visited?  Stop by, say hi, and earn how you can support living artists on Patreon!

Curated by Jonathan Blum.

Invitation: Support me on Patreon and win this painting!

Back at the beginning of November 2017, I launched my Patreon page:

Introducing my New Patreon Page!

It’s off to a very good start, and for some time now, I’ve entertained the idea of raffling off some of my paintings to patrons.  But in order for that to be really fun and interesting and worthwhile, I need more patrons.  So, I’m making an offer: I will raffle off this painting to patrons if and when I get at least 10 active patrons on my Patreon page.  Your patronage can be at any level, so for just one dollar per month, you could have a chance to win this painting:

A quick sketch to check out the new painting setup, January 2016

Note that I already have, at this moment,   5 patrons, so we are almost half way there! Check out the video I have made promoting this raffle!

I envision doing more raffles in the future, perhaps on a quarterly basis.  So this is just to get the ball rolling.  There are, of course, many other rewards for patronage on Patreon, so check out my page to learn all about it!

Thanks and now I will get down to making more art.

Something very last minute — My art during Gowanus Open Studios

Hello everyone!  I had not planned to show any work during this year’s Gowanus Open Studios (happening this weekend, October 20-22), but a last minute opportunity presented itself.

Abby Subak, Director of Arts Gowanus, reached out to artists who formerly had studios in Gowanus, and asked us to participate as “Gowanus Emeritus Artists” in the “Silent Auction & Garden Party: One Piece Per Artist GOS 2017” show at 313 Butler Gallery.

So — my piece, “View from beneath the surface #1” will be included in the show.   The event, a silent auction, happens Saturday night, October 21 from 5-9 at 313 Butler Gallery, at 313 Butler Street in Brooklyn, New York.  The art remains up through November 13.

“View from beneath the surface 1,” oil on canvas, 12″ diameter, 2014.

The full event description can be found on Facebook, here.

Painting of the week: “Osage chiasm”

This week’s featured painting is an odd one I created way back in 2009.  “Osage chiasm” (that’s chiasm not chasm) is 20″H by 16″W, and is acrylic on canvas.  The piece is essentially a stylized portrait of one of my favorite trees: a very old Osage orange that lives on the Nethermead in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.  This painting has been in my living room for the past several years, and I look at it every day.  The photo doesn’t quite do it justice: the colors are weird and don’t reproduce well.  In the real life the blues of the sky are considerably more vivid.

“Osage chiasm” acrylic on canvas, 20×16″, 2009.

Featured painting of the week

This week’s featured painting is “Reach” — a triptych I created in 2012.  This painting and some other square format paintings I created then were precursors to my Lifeworld series, and should almost be considered honorary members of the series.

“Reach” (triptych), oil on canvas, 20″ x approx 60″. 2012
“Reach” detail, 2012.
“Reach” detail, 2012.
“Reach” detail, 2012.

Featured painting of the week: The House is Burning

This week’s featured work is a painting — actually a diptych (two paintings that form one work) titled “The House is Burning.”

"The House is Burning", mixed media on canvas, 30"x44", 2012.
“The House is Burning”, mixed media on canvas, 30″x44″, 2012.

The provocative title should make one think immediately of global warming – climate change.  That’s certainly appropriate, but there’s even more to the story.  Now seems like a good time feature this painting, since it appears that the house is not going to stop burning anytime soon.

So– The direct inspiration for this title is the famous “Parable of the Burning House” that appears in the Lotus Sutra — one of the most important religious texts of Mahayana Buddhism.  Here is an excerpt (lightly abridged) from the parable (Burton Watson translation):

“Suppose that in a certain town in a certain country there was a very rich man. He was far along in years and his wealth was beyond measure. He had many fields, houses and menservants. His own house was big and rambling, but it had only one gate.  A great many people … lived in the house.  The halls and rooms were old and decaying, the walls crumbling, the pillars rotten at their base, and the beams and rafters crooked and aslant.

“At that time a fire suddenly broke out on all sides, spreading through the rooms of the house. The sons of the rich man, ten, twenty, perhaps thirty, were inside the house. When the rich man saw the huge flames leaping up on every side, he was greatly alarmed and fearful and thought to himself, I can escape to safety through the flaming gate, but my sons are inside the burning house enjoying themselves and playing games, unaware, unknowing, without alarm or fear. The fire is closing in on them, suffering and pain threaten them, yet their minds have no sense of loathing or peril and they do not think of trying to escape!

“This rich man thought to himself, I have strength in my body and arms. I can wrap them in a robe or place them on a bench and carry them out of the house. And then again he thought, This house has only one gate, and moreover it is narrow and small. My sons are very young, they have no understanding, and they love their games, being so engrossed in them that they are likely to be burned in the fire. I must explain to them why I am fearful and alarmed. The house is already in flames and I must get them out quickly and not let them be burned up in the fire!

“Having thought in this way, he followed his plan and called to all his sons, saying, ‘You must come out at once!’ But though the father was moved by pity and gave good words of instruction, the sons were absorbed in their games and unwilling to heed him. They had no alarm, no fright, and in the end no mind to leave the house. Moreover they did not understand what the fire was, what the house was, what danger was. They merely raced about this way and that in play and looked at their father without heeding him.

“At that time the rich man had this thought: The house is already in flames from this huge fire. If I and my sons do not get out at once, we are certain to be burned. I must now invent some expedient means that will make it possible for the children to escape harm. …

I’ll stop there and not get into how the father managed to get his children out of the house. The parable is a powerful one. To me, it aptly describes the present human condition.

Yes, indeed, the house is burning. Will we notice? Will we get out?

See my work during Art Slope!

I’m pleased to announce that my work is appearing at The Ploughman in Park Slope, Brooklyn as a part of Art Slope, a week-long arts festival in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  The Ploughman offers Artisanal Cheese / Charcuterie / Craft Beer and Beer on Tap.  It’s located at 438 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, between 14th and 15th Streets.

Featured at The Ploughman are four paintings from my Lifeworld series.  The paintings will be on display through October 28th.

Clockwise from upper left: Lifeworld 12, Lifeworld 27, Lifeworld 10 and Lifeworld 29.
Clockwise from upper left: Lifeworld 12, Lifeworld 27, Lifeworld 10 and Lifeworld 29.

Art Slope started September 17 and runs through September 25.  Read more about the event here.

In other news:

Are you a video or performance artist? Do you know someone who is?  Gowanus Swim Society has an open call for video and performance art.  The work will be displayed during this year’s Gowanus Open Studios (October 14-16).  But hurry! The deadline for submissions is this Thursday, September 22! Click here for the open call.

New Lifeworld paintings online

The Lifeworld project continues, and I’ve recently published definitive photographs of the latest paintings in the series.  Here they are:

"Lifeworld 36," oil/mixed media on canvas, 20x20", 2016
“Lifeworld 36,” oil/mixed media on canvas, 20×20″, 2016
"Lifeworld 37," oil/mixed media on canvas, 20x20", 2016,
“Lifeworld 37,” oil/mixed media on canvas, 20×20″, 2016.
"Lifeworld 38," oil/mixed media on canvas, 20x20", 2016.
“Lifeworld 38,” oil/mixed media on canvas, 20×20″, 2016.
"Lifeworld 39," oil on canvas, 20x20", 2016
“Lifeworld 39,” oil on canvas, 20×20″, 2016.

So I’m making [slow] progress toward my goal of 108 Lifeworld paintings.  To read more about the Lifeworld project, click here, and to see all the Lifeworld paintings completed so far, visit my flickr album here.  As always, Lifeworld paintings are for sale.  Contact me for more information.

Art Works 2016 – a Benefit for Arts Gowanus

I’m pleased to announce that I will be contributing to this year’s Art Works — a benefit for Arts Gowanus!  The mission of Arts Gowanus is to promote, support and advocate for local artists and a sustainable arts community in the Gowanus neighborhood.

The Art Works event is Thursday, June 2, 2016, 7 to 10pm at the Gowanus Loft, 61 9th Street in Brooklyn.

I’m contributing my painting “Magnolia,” pictured below, to the event.  This painting can be yours when you buy a ticket to the event.  Tickets are available now at this link!  I hope to see you at the event.

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

A new year well underway, Lifeworlds continues

Hello everyone from frigid New York City on this Valentine’s Day 2016!

I’ve been retooling my studio set-up and finally (last weekend) completed the firstsecond oil painting of 2016 (and the next in the Lifeworld series).  So here we have it:

Lifeworld 36, oil/mixed media on canvas, 20x20" (51x51cm), 2016
Lifeworld 36, oil/mixed media on canvas, 20×20″ (51x51cm), 2016
A detail shot of Lifeworld 36
A detail shot of Lifeworld 36

Lifeworld 36 continues the adventure. I’ve also been exploring the ever important topic of studio safety and reducing toxicity in oil painting.  I’ll write up more of my findings on that topic soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the paintings and stay warm!

The new painting on the easel chez moi
The new painting on the easel chez moi

*actually, the first oil painting of 2016 is this little sketch (below) – a trial balloon for a suite of paintings I’m planning that are inspired by the Fontanelle cemetery in Napoli, Italy.

A quick sketch to check out the new painting setup, January 2016
A quick sketch to check out the new painting setup, January 2016