Monday, February 6, 2017

Matisse/Diebenkorn Exhibition -- Not to be Missed


It was a welcome reprieve from the emotional roller coaster since the inauguration. I like so many people have been consumed by the daily assault on our democracy. Making phone calls, writing letters, reading Facebook posts from my local Move-on.org group, Defending the American Republic, and taking action whenever possible.

In order to keep my sanity I maintain my daily meditation and art practices. The luxury of going to Baltimore before the Matisse/Diebenkorn Exhibition closed January 29, 2017 was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. The exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art really was more of a Diebenkorn retrospective than a Matisse and Diebenkorn Show. The Matisse paintings and drawings while amazing were really there to illustrate their influence on Diebenkorn. Matisse's color palette, composition, patterning of tapestries, cloth and wallpaper can all be seen in Diebenkorn's paintings.



One of Matisse's painting especially stands out in my mind, that of Notre Dame, a Late Afternoon. The almost monochromatic palette and structure of the painting took my breath away. Although smaller in scale than Diebenkorn's landscapes hung next to it, it more than held its own. That was true of most of the Matisse paintings in comparison to Diebenkorns'.

The exhibit followed his career chronologically. Exhibiting paintings first from his New Mexico period, the brief period in Illinois, his figurative period followed by the Ocean Park paintings. He maintained a practice of drawing the figure throughout his life. 

From the beginning of Diebenkorn's oeuvre, even dating back to the abstracts done in New Mexico, he divided his canvases into sections deploring thinner lines as section dividers that would culminate in the simplified Ocean Park period. Even in the figurative works the composition's background are often divided into the grid. 

Diebenkorn's high key color palette was evident throughout his career until being muted in his late Ocean Park paintings. 

The painterly quality throughout Diebenkorn's oeuvre is awe inspiring and never more so than in his figurative period. Very often he used dark colors which he later applied lighter colors over with brush stokes which revealed the darker paint underneath. The depth created is so beautiful and captivating.
Seated Figure with Hat is an excellent example.


I have several books of Diebenkorn's drawing but I don't think I have ever seen one in person. They were truly remarkable to study up closed. The line quality, honesty and directness of his use of medium whether pencil, charcoal, conte, ink or any combination was a feast for the eye. Several of my favorites were included. A charcoal with wiped out drawings beneath was even more powerful person.


I am so glad I had the opportunity to see the show. It now travels to San Francisco. See it if you can.









Saturday, January 14, 2017

An Inspiring Foggy Drive

Detail from a Shredded Paper Painting I am working on.

The Western Mass weather and my environment is in a constant state of flux. It is January 12th, the temperature is 50 degrees and all but the plowed piles of snow have melted and it is raining. Fog hangs low below the trees and rises from the ground. There is a stillness and mystical quality as I drive to my 4 o'clock yoga class in Cummington. There is still daylight but I worry about the drive home in the dark if the foggy conditions persist.

The beauty of the landscape in the mist brings me back to the present and I am captivated by the soft cool grays that the white clouds produce as trees recede and their focus becomes hazy. Trees hidden by the fog on the side of the road become visible as I drive closer. The wet pavement shines while the areas of dry cement are dull. The sky is many different shades of gray.

This ever changing atmosphere is finding its way into my artwork. The color values, gray tones and surfaces sheen are of particular concern to me. The drive to yoga class and my latest work become one.

As I lay on my matt preparing for class I close my eyes and I can still see after images of the shredded paper painting I am working on. This occurs from studying the piece and letting it tell me what to do next. My drive in the mist gives me insights I will incorporate tomorrow. I already know the problem area I must resolve. There are several possibilities to explore and a fresh look in the morning may hold the answer.

Ordered art supplies arrived while at yoga class and I am anxious to try adding turquoise to the painting. The shared palette of two of my favorite painters, Matisse and Debienkorn, are emerging in this piece. The turquoise must be muted like the grays in the mist to work with the painting's palette but will add life and depth, I hope!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Having fun using all kinds of materials. This mixed media piece uses protective strips from Staples's envelopes, craypas, blue painter's tape and shredded paper. Enjoying creating depth and flatness as the same time.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I continue to do my meditation paintings but they now fill the entire piece of paper instead of leaving a border. They also now incorporate shredded paper since my new space in Western MA does not allow for me to splash paint around as I was use to doing.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Meditation 77

Love the space created in this simple Meditation Painting. Sometime less is more. Yet there is so much going on. The positive and negative space playing against the tension of the shredded paper collage.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Meditation 76

I am looking at the most common things in a whole new way these days. Since beginning to use shredded paper in my artwork every scrap of paper I come in contact with has taken on a new use. In this Meditation painting I use the protective strips from Staples' envelopes to create rhythm and a pattern. The mundane process of mailing out invoices at my part-time job fed my creative process as I saved each of these strips. I didn't know what I would do with them. I just followed an intuitive voice which called me to save them. And, the process would unfold at a later time. This mediation painting is the begin of their use. The creative mind never rests. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Meditation 75

So many possibilities, they are endless, so is my joy in experimenting with these new materials. Drop me a comment and let me know what you think about this new direction.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Meditation 74

Adding a bit of color and enjoying playing with metallic paint.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Meditation 73

Sometimes the simpler the better. It just felt right as a sketch.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meditation 72

I continue to explore using paint and shredded paper.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meditation 71


 I finally have a temporary space to work in and have once again begun doing my meditation paintings. My artwork has taken a new direction. It is reflected in these paintings. I am using paper I shredded over the past year of my income taxes, receipts, printed computer art etc. that I needed to destroy while getting rid of clutter and old papers in my apartment. Larger works are solely composed of shredded paper but in these smaller exercises I am trying to incorporate paint with the shredded paper. I am enjoying the freedom and direction my work is taking. Experimentation is a good thing and necessary for the creative process to unfold and not become stale.

Every minute of everyday we are the editors of lives. Among the clutter of our lives we pick and choose what we like. What we want to listen too. What we want to read, watch, buy, etc. etc. So too it is true with the creative process. Everything is about making choices. I am using the upcycled material that was clutter to now become something of value or I hope you will see the value in them. As we edit we create. We can create something meaningful or something destructive. It is up to each of us to create our direction. And, this is the direction I am presently pursuing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Meditation 66


This Meditation Painting came very easily in one sitting. Most of my other paintings take at least two and as many as four sitting until I consider them finished.

I will be showing this Meditation Painting at the Fountain Art Fair along with 3 others. The Fair runs March 9th through March 11 at the 69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street
in New York City.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Meditation 65


I love the rhythm in this painting. Everything seems to be in threes. Three horizontal lines, three incised oval shapes, three orange lines. I think it is very balanced and pleasing mark making, indeed.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meditation 61


After a very long hiatus, in fact too long, I've begun my meditation paintings again. I'm a bit rusty and it has taken doing quite a few to get back into the swing of things so bear with me.
Meditation 61 shows the anxiety of getting started again and difficulties I was going through which hopefully are behind me now. Dealing with health issues is never fun. I am on the mend and back to making art. I've begun larger paintings in oils using the same process as these Meditation painting and will post them here and on my website when they are completed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Contemporary Art Fair

I haven't posted any meditation paintings in awhile, I have been too busy getting ready for the Contemporary Art Fair which takes place at the Javits Center in New York City, November 18 to 20th. If you are in the New York City vicinity stop by the Javits Center and see the Meditation Paintings in person.

For now matting and more matting is the order of the day today and tomorrow. As I get ready for the fair, I am both excited and nervous. Hope to see you there this weekend.

There will be 200 artists and craftspeople exhibiting their work along with me. You might just find that perfect something you didn't realize you couldn't live without.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Meditation 60

Do you remember S&H Green Stamps? I am showing my age but I remember then fondly. When I came across them in a book of sticker and stamps I brought back from Florida a year ago I had to use them in this painting. I am having so much fun with collage elements in my artwork!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meditation 58

Continuing to play with collage elements and craypas.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meditation 57 - Skyline

I decided to try something new and experimented with making collages after my daily meditation to shake things up a bit. I've become too comfortable using just gouache and graphite.

A city skyline seems to emerge from this mixed media collage. I used tissue paper, stamps, gouache and cray-pas letting the materials guide the process. Getting out of my comfort zone is important otherwise my visual language will be unable to grow.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Meditation 56

Inspired after seeing the de Kooning exhibition at MOMA. I was surprise to see how much pink he used in his paintings. Not exactly his color palette but certainly a reflection on what I saw. The exhibition is so extensive I only made it through half the show which takes up the entire sixth floor. I will return again next week to see the second half. His style becomes much looser in his mid to later career and was the perfect stopping point. I look forward to continuing my exploration of this giant in the art world. It was awe inspiring.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Meditation 54 -- SOLD

This meditation painting, a landscape perhaps, was done after an afternoon drive through western Massachusetts looking at green pastures where cows grazed and at farms with rows of planted vegetable all with the Berkshire mountains as a backdrop.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meditation 53

This meditation painting makes me happy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Meditation 51

A teacher of mine advocating limiting your palette to only a couple of colors or family of colors in an abstract painting. While a safe way of painting, I am more adventurous. The challenge of a painting working with many colors is very demanding. It can seem incohesive and fragmented but not in this Meditation Painting. It works for me. I have used every color in the spectrum but somehow it works. By just letting the process unfold this palette of colors just begged to live together.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Meditation 48 -- SOLD

Some of these painting are a little out of order. If I remember correctly this painting naturally flowed while the one done immediately before it didn't. It just re-enforces the idea that I must put paintbrush to paper and without any preconceived idea paint and let the process dictate the outcome.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Meditation 45

Underlying stressed from the city but beginning to ease into the retreat.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Writers and Artists Retreat — Meditation 44

The week before hurricane Irene, I was in Western Massachusetts at Wellspring House, a retreat for writers and artists. The retreat caters primarily to writers but offers artists producing small works a place to work as well. My cozy brightly lite room had a bed, comfortable sitting/reading chair and a writing table and chair. I worked on my meditation paintings in a glass and screen enclosed porch overlooking the patio and grounds. It was a peaceful and idyllic place to work.

Each morning I walked Halley, my dog, (yes, I was able to bring the dog with me) exploring Ashfield. Walking past victorian homes on Main Street and turning up the few streets branching off of Main Street, I passed a serene cemetery dating back to the early 1800's, an occasional Bed and Breakfast and farm homes with dogs barking at Halley and me.

After my walk, coffee and breakfast, I would meditate on the patio. Then, while Halley was contently tied up on the patio I would walk up a few step into the porch to an awaiting card table organized with my paints and brushes. I painted for several hours each day, producing 16 completed meditation paintings. Many of the paintings were worked on in several sessions. As my working method evolves I have found that my best results come after reworking paintings and allowing the paint to dry in between sessions. Often, I paint-out parts of the painting with white allowing some of the paint from a previous session to bleed though. At times, I incising the white area with graphite pencils revealing the paint beneath. My palette may change from day to day but the resulting color combinations always seem to work.

Over the next weeks, I will be posting paintings done while on retreat. They start out subdued, gaining momentum and an open, playful, joyful quality as the retreat progressed. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed painting them.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Meditation 41

Frustrated and anxious but still hopeful. The red/pink brush strokes are anguished over the white restrained space which covers the hope within. The last stroke an orange line is a bit of hope that surfaces.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meditation 37

The ever present tension that arises out of the calm. Even when a calm state is found or comes over me, tension breaks that peacefulness. It is always lurking in the background revealing insecurity and stress.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Meditation 35 - Squared

A bit off center and yet a blank slate to write on. There are so many possibilities but unsure how to proceed. The rich inner world blocked but seeking a tentative way out.