A big thanks goes out to the Franklin Park Arts Center for doing a fantastic job with the Fish and the Sea exhibit and opening reception last night. If you're in the Western Loudoun County area, make sure to stop by to see the art!
Monday, August 14, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Last month I completed a year-long challenge to draw a portrait of one endangered animal species a week. My purpose was to educate myself, and viewers, about our planet's vanishing animal species through art. I was greatly inspired by Warhol's series of ten giant screen prints, also focusing on endangered animal species, eschewing his more common practice of aggrandizing celebrities and "important" people, to draw attention to matters that were truly important. I added an extra element to the challenge by designing a crown for each animal to wear on its head, which in some way said something about each animal's physical characteristics, geographic location, or cultural significance. This in turn, inspired a project that I explored with my fourth-grade art students, during the school year. A few months into the project, I decided to add a sister element to the challenge, by also rendering each endangered animal in a composition with my Splotch Monster creations, which can be seen HERE in a group shot. As a result, the challenge lasted an extra two months, and I decided to round things off at fifty of each - fifty portraits, and fifty Splotch Monster works, resulting in a hundred new pieces of art, produced in fourteen months.
As a result of this challenge, I learned so much. I learned about animals I never knew existed. I acquired a greater artistic vocabulary by rendering each animal carefully, and I forced myself to do lots of independent research on each one. I learned to discipline myself, and skip the TV, or a nap, or even going out, when a deadline was looming. So much good has come out of this project, and I plan on taking it further, with some upcoming art exhibits, as well as prints and books in the making. In the meantime, I'm going to give myself a little downtime, allowing my mind to rest and wander a little, until the creative engines fire up again soon.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Not sure where the time has gone, but I can't believe it's already August! Anyhow, its been a while since I posted, but I'll be getting caught up soon. After doing a little road-trippin', and teaching art camps to some awesome, creative young people all summer, I was also able to wrap up work on some pages for a trick-or-treat-themed comic book to be released this Halloween. It'll be part of a black-and-white anthology compiling work as part of the Cartoonists Draw Blood project, started by Carolyn Belefski, of Curls Studio fame. It's a great project that will help the American Red Cross, and I'm so happy to be a part of it! I posted a little sneak peek here at the blog (above image), and look forward to posting more about it soon, so stay tuned!
Monday, July 17, 2017
I recently paid a visit to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley to see the Art and the Animal exhibit. The work in this show is pretty astounding, representing a wide range of media, from oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting, to collage and bronze sculpture, mostly falling under the realism-side of the spectrum. It was all pretty astounding, and both my wife Kris and I look forward to getting another look, before it comes down in early September. There were no photos permitted, and it should be seen in person anyway! That said, another great show was happening at the museum, featuring the work of a lesser-known local artist named Jim Costello. His paintings lean towards abstraction, and are alive with rich, vivid color, unified by vibrant blues, yellows, and earthy greens and browns, as well as white. It was a pleasant surprise seeing Jim Costello's art exhibit, called "Dynamics of Desire", which provided a good balance, and contrast to the mostly extremely precise, hyper-realistic work in the rooms next-door. You can read the artists' fascinating story in the final photo, however if you're in the Winchester, Virginia area, make sure to see both spectacular exhibits in person, before they come down soon!
Friday, July 14, 2017
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Here are several great paintings by Marion Cole at the Cascades Library in Sterling, Virginia. I stumbled upon her work unexpectedly the other day, and am an instant fan. There's something so unique and intuitive about her work, like from a beautiful, peaceful dream.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Another stellar show is currently happening at Tryst Gallery in Leesburg, Virginia right now. My wife Kris and I have work in this show, called "As You Like It", which will continue to be on exhibit through July, 2017. Plan a visit and make a day of it, exploring the gallery, touring The Marshall House, and having an excellent cold beverage at Loudoun Brewing!
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
See the Splotch Monster Island version HERE. Also, some good food for thought can be found in an article regarding the Endangered Species Act, written for National Geographic, can be found HERE.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Friday, June 16, 2017
A recent visit to Sperryville, Virginia led to a tip to stop by Haley Fine Art, just down the street from the Middle Street Gallery. Like much of Sperryville, what's inside the quaint, unassuming, historic architecture can be a real surprise, as is the case with local sculptor Alex Bay's "Untitled" exhibit. Upon entering the gallery's front door, Kris and I were greeted by a room showcasing an enormous, complex, horizontally configured rectangular structure called "Rudy's Garage". This giant kinetic masterpiece moves and makes sounds, even music, in a musique concrete sort of way. Seeing this magnificent and complex work was only the beginning of experiencing an exhibit that completely took my wife and I by surprise, as we had no idea what we were in for.
While "Rudy's Garage" was definitely the show stealer, Bay's smaller works had an intimate quality to them that was equally powerful and intricate, inviting the viewer to lean in and take a closer look around, and perhaps get lost a little.
I think of the inventiveness of Alexander Calder's work, and the resourceful approach Louise Nevelson took to sculpture, yet Bay's art stands in a world all it's own, utilizing found objects and sound, even, playing with light and shadow, each sculpture a universe unto itself.
Sperryville, as I have found, is a place where it's more than meets the eye, and Haley Fine Art, and the current Alex Bay exhibit is one fine example of such a claim. This is definitely a show not to miss!
Thursday, June 15, 2017
The Franklin Park Arts Center, located in Purcellville, Virginia continues to bring some of the finest in local talent to the public, this time with their current art exhibit, "Landscapes of the Mind". I'm happy to have a piece in this show, along with some of my favorite local artists, including Wayne Paige, Brian Kirk, and many more. It's such a beautiful and varied show, with so much to take in, with artists interpreting the theme in every way imaginable. Don't miss this exhibit if you're in the area!
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
wayne paige: around the edge, on exhibit at middle street gallery, sperryville, virginia through 6/18/2017
Last weekend, Kris and I trekked out to Sperryville, Virginia for the first time, mainly because I wanted to see Wayne Paige's solo art exhibit, "Around the Edge", currently on display at the Middle Street Gallery. Sperryville was a treat in itself, but that's for another post. Wayne's show, was a delight to see, in person, as the black and white pen and ink drawings had so much minute detail, so eloquently packed onto such small pieces of paper. Ever since finding out about Wayne's work on the 2014 Western Loudoun Artists' Studio Tour, I've made an effort to stay up to date with his shows and art.
Some words from Wayne, from the Middle Street site:
"Since 1997 I have retreated to a life inside the inkwell- a black and white world of duality sprinkled with social commentary and Dreamscape imagery. In the current exhibition “Around the edge” a three-dimensional format is explored with each pen and ink drawing wrapped around a canvas and secured in a shadow box frame. Portrayed within is an imaginary landscape of mountains, waterways and woodlands populated by featureless beings. Many are cliff dwellers seeking escape while others are just engaging in daily activities. Events unfold as a celestial armada encroaches their environment- causing consternation and portending everlasting change. All takes place under a moonlit sky around and over the edge.
The Digital Age has brought upon us a binary kaleidoscope fog and this fog has blanketed both perception and reality. I think of my art as beyond the fog evolving instead at the bottom of an inkwell. In only working with the traditional media of pencils, pens and paper, my inspiration derives from personal perceptions of contemporary life and the reality of encroachment. Conflict, dreams and humor are often woven within."
The gallery itself is located in a beautifully transformed house built in the 1800's, and features and array of exceptional local talent. Below the gallery, in the same building, is a wonderful coffee house and cafe - again, for another post.
In the meantime, don't hesitate to stop by Middle Street Gallery to see "Around the Edge", on exhibit only through Sunday, June 18. Also, Wayne will be doing an artist talk this Friday, on June 16, at the gallery!
Friday, June 9, 2017
Recently, my wife Kris and I visited Middleburg,Virginia to see some work by one of her favorite local artists. We ended up exploring the town, on what turned out to be a mild, slightly overcast afternoon, when we stumbled upon a little art gallery on South Madison Street. To our delight, the Gallery on Madison was open to the public, and there were no images of horses, foxes, or men on horses hunting foxes, to be found. Instead, we were greeted by an array of elegant, earthy yet thoroughly modern three-dimensional forms, from what looked to be visitors from another dimension. As otherworldly as these sculptures appeared to be, they were once tree branches and fallen sticks in a previous life, reborn as serene yet lively totemic figures, thanks to artist, designer and inventor Tim Maloney, who had collected the twigs, sticks and branches while hiking along the Tuscarora Trail in the mountains of northwestern Virginia.
Throughout the gallery, there were several paintings by Tim, all abstract in nature, much like the sculptures, and taking on an equally sublime presence. The paintings, whose imagery hinted at the presence of earthly lifeforms, also seemed to present the viewer with a glimpse into the artist's subconscious, and like the sculptures, seemed to have been confidently executed, simply saying what they need to say beyond the realm of verbal language.
What is always so fascinating about art of a more abstract nature, is how much it can be open to interpretation by the viewer. Upon walking into the gallery and getting an initial glimpse of Tim Maloney's work, I felt a sense of peace and calm, and was reminded of the more spiritually-influenced shapes, forms and symbolism found in the work of pioneering abstract painter Hilma af Klint, who felt her abstract paintings, created in the early 1900's, would not be ready for public consumption until forty years after she died. Strangely enough, the works shown at the Gallery on Madison by Tim Maloney, were his first to be presented to the public, in over four decades. And despite the peace and calm I felt upon viewing the works in "Totems to the Imagined and Unimagined World", there is an inventive, innovative and inquisitive burning fire within the artist that led to their creation, conceived of during the recent U.S. election, as the paintings and sculptures are infused with multiple layers of meaning, touching upon questions pertaining to our world's energy crisis and global warming, and concerns regarding who our land belongs to and how we go about claiming it and caring for it.
It's important to note that Kris and I were fortunate enough to talk with Mr. Maloney, who you'd never know played quite a prominent role in the creation of solar energy, or that he consulted the Lakota Sioux on energy efficient housing and education, or that he was is an award-winning architect whose work can be found regionally and nationally. Humble in demeanor and more than willing to take the time to talk with you, Tim Maloney and his highly prolific life work is the living embodiment of the current STEAM-based learning that is slowly but surely gaining momentum throughout the nation's public school systems.
Tim Maloney's "Totems to the Imagined and Unimagined World", presented by Un Stable Art, will be on display to the public at the Gallery on Madison, in Middleburg, Virginia, through June 29, 2017.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Sunday, May 28, 2017
I finally got around to framing and preparing a couple of recent works from my Endangered Kingdom series, to be exhibited at Tryst Gallery next month. My wife Kris will also have some exciting new abstract paintings in the upcoming exhibit, titled "To Be or Not To Be". Come by the Tryst Gallery this Friday evening, June 2nd, from 6-9pm, for opening night, and see some exciting art!
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Had a great time at Heroic Aleworks, in Woodbridge, VA yesterday! Thanks to the good people who run HAW for having us, and to Matt Dembicki for organizing the event. Last but not least, thanks to folks for supporting Splotch Monster Island, at this wonderful place!
Above are a few examples of detail shots from my newly-made giclee prints. These prints debuted at Heroic Aleworks yesterday, and will also be available for sale in a couple of weeks at the Round Hill Arts Center, as part of the upcoming Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour. Hope you can make it out to this fantastic event!
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
With the weather warming up and the sun shining this weekend, it might be a good idea to get out of the house and out of your head, and into some art. A couple excellent art exhibits currently on view include the 2017 Alchemical Vessel exhibit at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, in Washington, DC (above pic), as well as the "As You Like It " 8" x 8" show at the Tryst Gallery (below pic), in Leesburg, Virginia. I've got work in both shows, and my wife Kris has a nice space displaying her elegant, floral "paintbrush meditations" at Tryst. I can't even begin to explain just how good, and varied (and extremely affordable) the work at both exhibits is, by the way. So, what are you waiting for?
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
When I think of "Spring Break", I think of taking a break - a rest and a departure from the usual hustle and bustle of daily life. Kris and I enjoy visiting the Dewey, and Rehoboth Beaches in the off season, either earlier during the spring or the fall, when the weather is cooler and there aren't so many people around. For this blog post, I'll keep the emphasis on the photos and not so much the words, and show things in reverse chronological order. Enjoy!
There's a reason why they call this place Sunset Park, which presented a scenic view of Rehoboth Bay, and was located a short walk across the road from our hotel. The photo above was taken around 7:30 pm, and seeing this was a nice way to cap off our stay in Dewey, Delaware.
The weather was ideal during our visit, and despite being mid-April, it almost felt like summer at times. Lots of sun created lots of nice shadow play and textures along Dewey and Rehoboth Beaches.
After a good breakfast in Rehoboth, we drove around the area and stumbled upon a wonderful place called the Rehoboth Art League. All along the grounds grew a variety of trees, as interesting and as sculptural as the art on display.
No visit to the area is complete without dropping by the Fractured Prune for some doughnuts. They happened to be closed when we rolled into town on Monday, but thankfully we only had to wait until Tuesday to get our sweet fix.
The only local vineyard, and one of our favorites from anywhere, Nassau Valley Vineyards, made for some good watercolor painting while sipping wine for Kris.
Nassau Valley Vineyards has been around for nearly a quarter of a century and has a fascinating history, not to mention a great indoor museum about the history of wine-making itself!
Kris and I enjoyed a glass of peach wine while relaxing and making art.
We had the good fortune of meeting young Tilley, the new resident pup at Nassau Valley Vineyards.
On our first day in Dewey, we tried a couple flights from the fairly new Dewey Beer Company, just a few blocks down from our hotel. Talk about tasty!
For the first time, we stayed at the newly renovated Beach House Dewey. For the price, it was a great three-night stay, located right off Dewey Beach and within walking distance to all kinds of great local places and businesses.
On the way to Delaware, we sometimes see a buffalo farm from the road. Luckily there wasn't a whole lot of traffic, so I was able to pull over and get a photo. These beasts always amaze me, in person.