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The Latest Art and News From the Studio
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MARCH 2016



THE ART OF

GROWING UP

The Blessings of Literature
68" x 56"  oil on canvas  2009

A benevolent Goddess gestures from lofty heights and bestows the fireball of Culture unto the Valley of Awakening Youth. Within a shower of books (lifted from a favorite Tintin volume) appear two versions of Nature: kindly (the Tawny Scrawny Lion reading to his bunny friends) and deadly (a brutally serious tiger from a baroque Rubens melee). And through these revelations our young Hero begins to sense the range of influences that exist in the world before him, and is himself nudged a little closer to adulthood.

As believable a description as this might seem, the random accumulations that led to this finished state were as improvised as childhood itself. Without much conscious effort, I throw together stuff I like (and have always liked) until it reads as a kind of personal allegory: books, nude ladies, clouds and hills, comics, old paintings. I now realize this has become my default approach to working and at its best can bring about some decent art...helping me rationalize my sophomoric tastes and tendency to daydream.

Clearly, the lesson is if you are stubborn enough then art means never having to grow up.


Drey and Loki
14" x 12"  pencil on paper  2016


A good portrait doesn't have to be complicated. Our features are already so subtle, the tiny variations from brow to chin so ever-changing, that it's challenging enough just to translate that moment's reality with a basic medium like graphite or paint.

Drey is blessed with a Renaissance face and vibe that kept making me think of one of those confident youths of Raphael or Botticelli. It's that timeless human presence glowing across the centuries that moves us...the effort of one person to record the fleeting likeness of another by hand.

It seems to be especially poignant when the subject is someone so innocently defiant of the ravages of time.


 


Alice at the Taj Mahal
12" x 12"  oil on panel  2016


A quick sketch to try out an idea: the notion of being out of proportion takes on an extra dimension in an exotic locale. 

My son turned me on to a series of short videos from PBS called "Blank On Blank" that are based on the audio tracks from old interviews with a wide range of well-known folks, all wonderfully animated with charm and economy by Patrick Smith.

Sort of like Schoolhouse Rock for adults, this one gives a glimpse into the formidable heart and imagination of Maurice Sendak.

There is a respect for the seriousness of childhood that comes through in all of Sendak's work...that willingness to reveal the dark along with the light...that gives his voice true magic and authority. 
NEW SHOPPING PAGE

BRING YOUR CART

 


Over the course of the years spent flailing about in the studio in pursuit of inspiration and mastery, one begins to notice an accumulation of various items.

Not the grand landscapes that grace gallery walls or represent when applying for grants, but rather the small studies, the quirky, the cul-de-sacs of the imagination that are held dear or just held.

Some of these unsung heroes, like this little fellow, are now for sale direct from the studio. Please check out my new SHOP page.


Also now available are some of the books and catalogs from my checkered past. Reasonably priced, too. Click here.
 

Feeling a bit immature while procrastinating here online instead of doing that work like a responsible adult? Me too! Goof off with more fun art at my gallery or my website.


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