Sunday, April 5, 2020

Studio, April



I hope, whenever you read this, that it finds you safe and well. I'm working from home these days, like most everyone else. Trying to balance teaching from home with my home studio. There is less time than there used to be, when I had a classroom in which to teach. For now, my classroom is my computer and my companions are my plants. I'm reminded that every minute in the studio is hard-won and not to be taken for granted. It's a choice to show up in front of the easel, and I find great comfort in still being able to make that choice.

I don't know if I'll make anything worthwhile during this quarantine. All I can do is show up as often as I'm able. And if these images can bring anyone even a little bit of joy, then I've done my part. Stay safe. Stay home. Be good to each other.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Thinking Through Things: A Still Life Painting Invitational





Leap Year
2016, oil on canvas, 24x18"
 All photos courtesy of Joseph Holsapple

I'm thrilled to have a piece included in Thinking Through Things: A Still Life Invitational exhibition curated by one of my favorite contemporary painters, Joseph Holsapple. The show runs February 10-March 6 at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA; it will then move to Southside Gallery in Oxford, MS where it will run from April 27-May 20. 

I'm truly honored to be included among so many painters who I have admired for years. This is great company to keep!

Participating artists: 
Joe Morzuch, Neil Callander, Erin Raedeke, Sara Pedigo, Edmond Praybe, Amy Scherer, Christina Renfer Vogel, Samantha Haring, Aubrey Levinthal, Tim Kennedy, Eve Mansdorf, Philip R Jackson, Tom Walton, and Joseph Holsapple. 

Below is the thoughtful and eloquent curator's statement written by Joseph Holsapple. Enjoy -  

“To think through things: that is the still life painter’s work.” --Mark Doty

Still life painters frequently turn their attention to the mundane and
commonplace objects that populate our daily lives. These objects are at once close
at hand and so often overlooked as to be nearly invisible. Their nearness and
ubiquity is precisely what hides them from our sight, and the act of attending to
them draws us closer to the immediate world around us. Still life painting is often
about the act of looking (or, rather, the countless acts of looking that occur
throughout the process of painting), and at its root is an attempt to inhabit our
world more fully.

As a genre, still life is clearly attuned to the physicality and specificity of things,
yet these things inevitably turn our attention away from themselves and towards
the very act by which we see them. The poet Mark Doty writes that the work of
the still life painter is to, “think through things.” Notably, he did not write “about
them,” for at least as important as what we see is how we see it. The objects in a
still life beckon us to slow down, and seem to offer themselves for our silent
contemplation. Ultimately, to slow down the act of looking is to slow down our
experience of time, as we are held suspended in a moment of visual arrest. The
cups, shoes, and cans depicted in a still life serve as ballasts that stabilize our
vision and reawaken our own awareness of ourselves as physical and temporal
beings.

The end result is that the visible and tangible world, so often experienced at a
blurred remove in our daily lives, is once again brought into focus. Still life
painting offers a renewed immediacy: the intimacy of touch and prolonged sight
are fused together in a surface of paint, and we are drawn near.

Each of the artists invited to participate in this show is remarkable for how they
use still life to speak to these basic human experiences. Their work demonstrates
the vitality and continuing relevance of still life, and I am proud, and humbled, to
hang my work next to theirs.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

New Decade, Old Favorites

10 years of sketchbooks


Sirens, 2010
oil on canvas, 12x16"


South Light, 4pm, 2011
oil on canvas, 24x30"


Barbara's Couch, 2012
oil on panel, 12x16"


Chalk Lines, 2013
oil on canvas, 36x36"


Border, 2014
oil on canvas, 30x30"


Myopia, 2015
chalk pastel on paper, 13x13"


One Eyed Jacks Are Wild, 2016
oil on canvas, 24x30"


Bases Loaded, 2017
chalk pastel on paper, 22x22"


Vent 4, 2018
chalk pastel on paper, 7x7"


Handle With Care, 2019
oil on canvas, 15x15" 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Pandora's Box


Pandora's Box 
2019
oil on canvas
15x15"

For the better part of a year (mid-2018 to mid-2019) I worked almost exclusively with the Zorn palette. Pandora's Box was the first painting I made with a full palette after that year-long experiment. I was curious to see whether 13 colors would seem garish in comparison. I deliberately set up the most colorful objects I own against a neutral background to force myself to actually use all 13 colors; I wanted to test their range on a variety of surfaces, from most to least saturated. 

I've always loved Mythology. From reading Edith Hamilton in freshman english class to making my first body of work about contemporary sirens, those iconic stories still hold a particular fascination for me. My painter friends were right - it was definitely time to let color back out of the box.