Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life Drawing Exhibit/Recent Sketchbook Stuff/More

The drawing group I joined several years ago is having an exhibit of figure related work and I submitted two pictures, both of which I've never photographed or I'd post them here. One is a recent (2008) 11" x 14" female nude in oil on Masonite and the other a watercolor (1998). The watercolor was done from my memory of the musical "Chicago" which I saw performed on stage in Boston just before I did it. I'd have liked to submit more and actually some things done in the group but work on paper requires framing (I think) but the time and other resources just weren't there.

The two sketches at the bottom of the post were done this week and last. They are , respectively, the front door of the Duxbury (Massachusetts) Historical Society building and a shaded sidewalk in Deerfield. I showed them today to the editor of a local weekly newspaper who remarked that they had an "old style" feel to them.....I'm in agreement but I don't particularly like to think that's what I do!!

The next two in ascending order are scenes from Gloucester, Massachusetts; the house done while sitting on the adjacent beach and the boat from a photo, I think. Both done several years ago.

At the top of the page is a sketch in ink and gouache done on location a few years ago in Marion, Massachusetts while sitting in my car.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Opportunites and losses

The Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, Massachusetts offers a Residency for visual artists running from mid-May to September each year. They have a great studio facility on Smith's Cove with living space for the artist in a location I really enjoy. Maybe five (5) artists are selected and each has about a month at the Colony's studio to work without the usual day-to-day distractions. I've applied for one of the Residencies at least twice, including most recently my April 2009 request. Sadly, again, I received a letter last week indicating that a residency was not going to be offered to me. Disappointed, yes but not really discouraged. Motivated by rejection? I don't know...maybe. I didn't apply because I was searching for approval of my work but approval is an inherent part of the application process!!! Not securing approval doesn't change how I feel about what I am doing. I think it makes me want to be a bit more directed about how I present myself, my work, my story. That's what I want to take from the experience of rejection ; I'll keep growing my work the way I want to grow it.
The sketch above is a view to Rocky Neck


Several days ago I arrived at the Leverett Crafts and Arts building, where my studio is located, to discover a table in the hallway loaded with art supplies and seven (7) magnificent c. 34" x 38" museum-style frames complete with glass, mat and mounting board....all in fine condition.....with a sign on the table in large black letters reading "FREE"!!! How could this happen and what does it mean, I thought to myself? Well, what it meant was that I had just gotten a gift beyond gifting!! I have accumulated 100's of drawings I'd like to be able to show and now I had the vehicles, devices, gadgets, tools to show them!! Wow! I felt a bit greedy as I carried them up the stairs to my second floor space, occasionally wondering if I had some obligation to share them with others and feeling that now I knew what it was like to be a pirate.
I'll fill them with pictures and show them. I'll be careful with them while they are in my custody and I'll pass them on to another just I received them!!!
After storing them and while working on a painting I could hear footsteps in the hall. I went outside and asked if by some chance the "gifts" I'd secured had been placed by the woman I'd just introduced myself to. "Yes", she said. She was moving from her studio and couldn't take the frames with her; I thanked her and offered that they were obviously valuable and that I should pay her...of course knowing that I had no money to do that.
I'm appreciative of her gift and will remember the gesture of Petula Bloomfield, artist, supporter of the arts, angel in the perpetual world of artist needs. Thank you, so much!


Although nothing has been finalised, the editor of a local weekly newspaper, the Montague Reporter, has indicated an interest in publishing some of my illustrations. We're meeting later this week.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Figures/Landscape/Watercolor abstraction

Most of the images in this posting are recent; some within the last few weeks or so. Although it has been many days since anything has gone up here, in fact the art making has been going on pretty much non-stop. I seem to be getting lots of studio time but I could always use more, or so I think. The majority of what is here is charcoal, one pastel; most of my time, however, has been spent on an large (36" x 24") oil picture. The oil work was begun in my studio several weeks ago and is based upon a smaller oil I completed late last year.
During the summer of 2008 I spent a couple of days painting on location at Historic Deerfield. I took lots of photographs while there and have done lots of illustrations: an 11" x 14" oil picture (which was sold at an auction this past February at ArtSpace in Greenfield! ) of essentially the scene I am re-working on a larger scale, as well as a smaller work-in-progress and an 11" x 14" oil of a building in the village.
The current project has been a challenge in every sense. At the top of this post is a view, taken with my cell phone camera, of a portion I was working on today.
The drawings are just what they are....not necessarily preliminary to anything I've planned except that the pastel is serving as the reference piece for an oil-in-progress.

The sketchbook pages are exhibits of what I think good picture makers must (ought to ) do! Actually, I'm not so sure how helpful "planning" might be or "study" is. Although I might get one or two ideas from a mid-painting sketch of a work in progress once I take the idea and try to do something with it I rarely go back to the study to see if there is anything else of value to me. And I often make notes I don't look at again!! Maybe it is just process.