At a recent opening of my show in Rochester, one relatively sophisticated viewer pointed out that some of the paintings looked like they were by different people. The organic, textured, flowing, hot colored abstract landscape next to three muted, resin coated circles and dots bothered him. 


Tenerife.  36x72
  



Specimens 30x30

Not me, though. Having come to painting late, I insisted on spending a few years going through many stages of representational rendering- flowers, fish, fruit, figures- and that’s just the ‘f’s- to prove to myself that I could. When I decided I had captured clouds and sunrises and the sea, I got rid of the horizon line- and I was painting abstractly, which had been my goal all along.
Rather than experiment in style pastiche or stages I think I paint in paragraphs. A new idea emerges, it gets done again, different iterations, then I revisit what I had thought was finished. When this essay is finished, I move on. Mark Rothko and Vassilly Kandinsky both started with 
small paintings that all looked like Chagall villages. Once they reached their abstract voices,  and the collectors responded, their dealers took all the early work off the market. Rothko’s early paintings now line the walls of his son Christopher Rothko on the Upper West Side.
But an even more important question might be why do we do in the times in which we live. I wrestle with this as a painter but also as a person who does not respond to didactic art. But art for art’s sake has its own power, both for the maker and for the viewer.
The painting I’ve called Remains of the Day should indeed be taken as a warning, with the suggestion of a mushroom cloud masquerading as a tree hovering over a midwestern town. But it’s also a play on line, on the muted color of ink soaking into unprimed canvas. Cascadilla was named after the fact, because of what looks like a waterfall and an arched bridge and walls of shale- but I painted it as a play of shapes and texture. The suggestion of Tuscan hill towns among the imaginary landscapes is due to a few horizontal lines that turn inchoate color into  landscapes.
Remains of the Day
Cascadilla

Tuscan Hills
 My most recent work, which I'll be expanding into a novella,  is probably the best example of looking like it was done by a different person. But of course, the rigor of hard edged rendering is the same skill I used in doing watercolor flowers or oil still lives. The colors are my favorites throughout all my work, blues and reds and pinks,  just covering bigger and more discrete areas.




But why go from free and flowing abstracts to these? It's the anniversary of the moon walk, which is certainly at the tail end of the last midcentury, but I hadn't thought of that. I was looking at some old futuristic world's fair pictures, and saw that the Jetsons cartoon show was only on for a year, that could have been the inspiration. I have a book on Kandinsky from  20 years ago that I looked at AFTER I had done three of these paintings, and realized how similar they were. 
But most of all, the process of doing these is one way to control chaos, to contain the political outrages that color my world view from the minute I wake up until I go to sleep. I can't change the broader picture by myself, but I CAN control the canvas in front of me, and emerge with an interplay of shapes and colors that make me feel calm, and that viewers respond to. 
I bring my own thoughts or feelings  to the paintings, but viewers see things I never thought of, or intended- which is why I do this, now.

Mink Gallery

It's been a year of of changes
Do artists have to stay with one style all their lives?
Vibrant colors rather than wintry hues
I've loved having paintings at The Bookery these winter months, but am looking forward to welcoming visitors to The Mink Gallery in March.
The Bookery opens its walls to paintings, and i have the pleasure of getting in there first!
Working with resin AND raw canvas- www.artresin.com
Sharing space and time with Tom Partigianoni
Luxurious expanse of white walls
Contemporary setting with two of the loveliest art appreciators in Ithaca
One more week left for show with Patty Brown at State of the Art. A great collaboration- not overdone, but I think our colorful, gestural work goes well together.
Winter Journey at CAP for the month of December

06/29/2016

Featured Artist
Memorial Day weekend- balancing work, friends and painting.

Echo Art Fair in Buffalo was a great success- sales, purchases and new friends.

Photo by Cheryl Gorski.

The month of May opens with a great group show at State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca on Friday May 6, then an open studio from 10-3 pm at the Mink Gallery, 614 North Cayuga Street.

 

One week later I'm in Buffalo for the Echo Art Fair at the OSC Manufacturing, 1001 East Delavan in Buffalo NY. The first Echo was held at the old Central Train Station on Buffalo's East Side, then moved to other locations. Now it's back in what promises to be a great setting.

It's such a privilege to have one's work viewed and thoughtfully considered by someone you've never met. Jessica Beck is the Associate Curator of Art at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and was the judge for the BSA 120th Catalogue Show at the Castellani Museum of Art in Lewiston. I wanted to share what she wrote about this piece, "Happiness", not only because it's so generous, but because it makes me think about what I do in new ways.

 

Feeling the weight of history these days, the untimely death of Cornell's president Beth Garrett, the passing of our son Dan three years ago last month, my mother three years ago this month, my father in June of 2014- feelings of nostalgia, as much as loss, and as I age, the sense of a limited horizon. So why not put some thoughts down?

 

Looking forward to our two month long special event at State of the Art Gallery in ithaca. SOAG artists respond to a poem or poems from regional poets, invited by past Poet Laureate of Tompkins County, Tish PEARLMAN. 

Why This-Why Now?

7/28/2019

At a recent opening of my show in Rochester, one relatively sophisticated viewer pointed out that some of the paintings looked like they were by different people. The organic, textured, flowing, hot colored abstract landscape next to three muted, resin coated circles and dots bothered him. 


Tenerife.  36x72
  



Specimens 30x30

Not me, though. Having come to painting late, I insisted on spending a few years going through many stages of representational rendering- flowers, fish, fruit, figures- and that’s just the ‘f’s- to prove to myself that I could. When I decided I had captured clouds and sunrises and the sea, I got rid of the horizon line- and I was painting abstractly, which had been my goal all along.
Rather than experiment in style pastiche or stages I think I paint in paragraphs. A new idea emerges, it gets done again, different iterations, then I revisit what I had thought was finished. When this essay is finished, I move on. Mark Rothko and Vassilly Kandinsky both started with 
small paintings that all looked like Chagall villages. Once they reached their abstract voices,  and the collectors responded, their dealers took all the early work off the market. Rothko’s early paintings now line the walls of his son Christopher Rothko on the Upper West Side.
But an even more important question might be why do we do in the times in which we live. I wrestle with this as a painter but also as a person who does not respond to didactic art. But art for art’s sake has its own power, both for the maker and for the viewer.
The painting I’ve called Remains of the Day should indeed be taken as a warning, with the suggestion of a mushroom cloud masquerading as a tree hovering over a midwestern town. But it’s also a play on line, on the muted color of ink soaking into unprimed canvas. Cascadilla was named after the fact, because of what looks like a waterfall and an arched bridge and walls of shale- but I painted it as a play of shapes and texture. The suggestion of Tuscan hill towns among the imaginary landscapes is due to a few horizontal lines that turn inchoate color into  landscapes.
Remains of the Day
Cascadilla

Tuscan Hills
 My most recent work, which I'll be expanding into a novella,  is probably the best example of looking like it was done by a different person. But of course, the rigor of hard edged rendering is the same skill I used in doing watercolor flowers or oil still lives. The colors are my favorites throughout all my work, blues and reds and pinks,  just covering bigger and more discrete areas.




But why go from free and flowing abstracts to these? It's the anniversary of the moon walk, which is certainly at the tail end of the last midcentury, but I hadn't thought of that. I was looking at some old futuristic world's fair pictures, and saw that the Jetsons cartoon show was only on for a year, that could have been the inspiration. I have a book on Kandinsky from  20 years ago that I looked at AFTER I had done three of these paintings, and realized how similar they were. 
But most of all, the process of doing these is one way to control chaos, to contain the political outrages that color my world view from the minute I wake up until I go to sleep. I can't change the broader picture by myself, but I CAN control the canvas in front of me, and emerge with an interplay of shapes and colors that make me feel calm, and that viewers respond to. 
I bring my own thoughts or feelings  to the paintings, but viewers see things I never thought of, or intended- which is why I do this, now.