Wednesday, April 27, 2016

drawing and sketching while...

I find if I keep a sketchbook and pen nearby, most likely I'll pick it up and draw or sketch in it, or as in the case with the image below, doodle, sometimes getting some collaborative help from Kris, as in the case with the image below. The white rhino in the above photo was drawn loosely based off a photograph from a recent National Geographic magazine, while waiting for some work to get done on my car. The pic at the very bottom was shot while watching the latest Star Wars movie on a Sunday night, again, while sketching from National Geographic. I like the challenge of rendering things in a representative fashion, trying to capture the likeness of  something, while visually learning something about that thing's physical structure. Similarly, I enjoy making meandering, stream-of-conscious abstractions in line and color. Both approaches to drawing are equally meditative and weirdly relaxing for me, as if all time has stood still and the petty concerns of daily life vanish, if not for a brief while. It's a nice alternative to picking up the smart phone and getting lost in an endless stream of mostly dumb information. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

the decorated egg exhibit and benefit auction at the franklin park arts center, purcellville, virginia

Earlier in the week Kris and I made it out to see the Decorated Egg art exhibit at the Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville, Virginia.  Kris and I were glad to have our work in the show (Her piece, "Spring Garden", below photo, far left. My piece, "Pangolin Love", above photo, third from left.) and were amazed by some of the entries and various approaches to the concept in this show. Thankfully, all the eggs sold for a good price at the auction held at the art center last Sunday, making the event a great success. Hopefully they'll hold more of these customized art object exhibits in the near future!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

post reception thank you!

I just want to thank everyone for coming by Old Ox Brewing for my art reception Friday night! It was so good to see good friends again and make some new ones as well, on such a beautiful warm evening. It was a lot of fun and there was so much positive energy. Also a big thanks goes out to the Loudoun Arts Council and Jill Evans-Kavaldjian for making this happen and for supporting local art! In the meantime, my good friend Eric Scott, came by the show as well and wrote a wonderful blog post about it HERE. Check it out! 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

pangolin (egg) love!

Yesterday I finished an art piece for a show that Kris and I were asked to participate in at the Franklin Park Arts Center. It's a customized art egg, created to help raise money for the center and its many amazing art-based programs. The FPAC has been a place close to my heart ever since my friend and fellow artist Eric Scott introduced it to me several years ago. It was one of the first places I exhibited my work at, and I still show there on occasion, as I'm always up for a good artistic challenge. The egg itself was a basic, paper mache craft egg that you could purchase at your local arts and crafts store. I decided to give it a layer of gesso, followed by a layer of white acrylic paint. The subject matter, a strange and wonderful endangered animal known as a pangolin, was something I had thought about using for my ceramic bowl, that was shown at the 2015 Alchemical Vessel exhibit at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery. The way the pangolin wraps itself into a ball, much like the more well-known armadillo, seemed to lend itself to the round shape of the bowl. Instead however, I chose to do a rhino with magnolia flowers, which you can find HERE at this post from last year. Fortunately, the pangolin worked out very well in the egg format, and all I used were black, permanent Sharpie markers to draw it with. To learn more about the upcoming show, read the blurb below:

We've hatched a new idea invite you to be a part of the fun! Celebrate the art exhibit "Which Came First? The Chicken or The Egg?" with an event to raise money for the Franklin Park Arts Center visual arts programs. Large eggs decorated by local celebrities and artists will be auctioned off LIVE! Egg-themed refreshments will be served; artists and fans of chickens, egg and artwork are all invited.

Tickets: FREE, Eggs to be sold at auction

Special seating will be reserve for members for the auction event.

Sunday, April 17, 2016 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Friday, March 25, 2016

2016 alchemical vessels illuminate the joan hisaoka healing arts gallery

Kris and I were able to drop into the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery/Smith Center for Healing and the Arts earlier in the week. I had missed the opening reception night, but learned the gallery had a record number of attendees, surpassing the 425 mark. I remember attending the 2015 opening reception, the third of this event, and my first time participating, and recalling how packed the place was then. It's good to know that folks in the DC area are so supportive of the arts, and of places and shows like this, and I was so glad to be nominated to participate. Still, it was nice to have some space to freely roam, explore, take photographs, and get a good, close look at the art. While the gallery wasn't packed like the opening nights for this exhibit, I did have the pleasure of meeting some of the wonderful artists who are also exhibiting in the show, including (clockwise from upper right-hand corner) Spencer Dormitzer, Cheryl Edwards, and Adjoa J. Burrowes, who were all gracious enough to let me take a pic of them standing by their amazing work. Kris even managed to get a pic of me posing by my vessel as well (upper left-hand corner)! In the meantime, you can click on the gallery link above for more about the upcoming benefit and fundraiser, as well as for the exhibit's closing reception. I'll make sure to post a lot more photos from the show here at the Go Flying Turtle blog, in the near future, so stay tuned.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

cherry blossom trees at lake anne, reston, va

The cherry blossoms that arrive in the NOVA/MD/DC region never get old for me, and while seeing them in our nation's capital, along the tidal basin is always a treat, it can be taxing dealing with the droves of traffic and visitors to that area each year. This is why I love it when we stumble upon a place that is equal, if not even more enchanting than the DC blossoms. Earlier in the week, Kris and I made a short trip to nearby Reston, VA and in particular, visited the Lake Anne area. Luckily, to our pleasant surprise, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, colorful and vibrant as ever. I never take the fact that we have these trees growing in our area, for granted, and I even teach lessons to my first, second and third-grade art students based on these trees. In the meantime, HERE is some more fascinating history and information about how these non-native trees came to this part of the United States.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

masterpieces in bloom at the phipps through april 10!

The city of Pittsburgh, PA is full of wonderful surprises, and Kris and I made it a point to explore some of this on my last trip to the area over spring break, while visiting family. Knowing Kris's love of flowers and how it serves as an inspiration for her own art work, I thought it would be a good idea to visit the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, located in the beautiful Schenley Park side of town. It also just so happened that their current spring exhibit, called Masterpieces in Bloom, was on display, visually linking the works of major artists from the past, with the spring flowers and plants growing and thriving throughout the Phipps. Kris and I have visited the Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC, and were very impressed, but what we witnessed at the Phipps was something truly special. Despite being a wet, dreary and cold day, this still didn't put a damper on our tour of the gardens, which took roughly two hours to complete. I can only imagine what it will look like when the weather warms up and more flowers begging to bloom outside as well. In the meantime, I highly recommend a trip to this amazing, historic place in the near future. The Masterpieces in Bloom exhibit runs until April 10, 2016.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

2016 alchemical vessel done and dropped off!

My 2016 Alchemical Vessel is finished and finally dropped off to the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, in Washington, DC. Thirty-six Giclee prints of thirty-six trees, signed and numbered, in a customized cigar box, ready to find a new home and raise some money for a great cause. A giant thanks goes out to Kris, my wife and partner in crime, whose help and guidance made the fruition of this work possible. 

tree 36/36

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

the splotch monsters have landed at old ox

The Splotch Monsters have officially invaded Old Ox Brewery. A big thanks goes out to Jill Evans-Kavaldjian for helping me hang art tonight, and to the Loudoun Arts Council for inviting me to show in this excellent space. Looking forward to the reception on April Fool’s day!