I’ve often heard people say they love the titles of my work. Thankfully they love the work too, but they also make it a point to mention how much they love the title. It happened so often I needed to understand why it was happening with such frequency. I wish I could remember at what point my titles went beyond describing what was in the painting–to the idea of what it could say if it could speak. As though I am divulging a secret of some kind.
As I recall comments about my titles happened when I gave my fisherman a girl in 2014 or so. I began to think of the people in my work and what situation I had positioned them in. I developed a little story between them and thought it would be interesting to look at the work in light of the title. Sometimes the title would be a bit philosophical, hint at a religious sense, or be playful or hopeful. Or even what the painting might say about itself.
It’s not easy to choose one to six words as a title (my personal preference for word count). It’s similar to designing a brandmark or logo that I have done for many years as a graphic designer. There is something both difficult and satisfying about winnowing down multiple options to just some key shapes and letterforms. I think finding thoughtful words that work as titles is a similar process–before, during or after the painting is completed. For sure though, by the time the painting is wrapped and shipped off to a client or gallery.
Amid the chaos in our lives due to the pandemic and all the daily events it has affected, it is still important to find a way to peace. To try to take each day as a gift to be opened and shared especially with someone who is finding it difficult to find peace. This detail of my artwork demonstrates a bit of chaos with spots of warm orange notes or peace. Hope you find yours.
You are invited to view my newest artworks in a beautiful gallery in Portland, Maine! Portland Art Gallery on Middle Street in Portland Maine will host a two-person show of my work, opening reception on Thursday November 1, 2018, 5-7. My part of the show will feature at least 12 artworks exploring the idea of ‘Together In This’. That we are each finding our way in a dynamic world where finding our truth or center can be difficult. Finding a special person to share it with can be an honest place to start. These works provide imagery of figures in a coastal environment positioned in ways that provoke a sense of connection or disconnect–or better yet, a chance that something good will happen. Hope you will consider joining me at the opening night. Thank you.
Preparing for an art exhibition can be a stressful time. So many details to complete, artworks to create, and promotional efforts to finalize. Both on the gallery side and my side as the artist. We need to work together in order to have a successful show.
In July 2018 I prepped work for my first solo show at the George Marshall Store Gallery in York, Maine. The curator and gallery director Mary Harding had been following my career along for over 10 years. She encouraged my early efforts as I explored exactly what kind of work I could/would/should be doing. In the end the best advice was simply ‘paint what you love’. Defining what that is was more difficult than I thought. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years since leaving full time work as an advertising agency art/creative director. I’ve explored several avenues of subject matter and paint styles searching for an approach that suited my working style, my personal philosophy, my studio space, my family obligations and my goals for my art. Not an easy task to meld this all together into a cohesive whole.
I worked hard over last winter creating artworks that reflected my sense of optimism about people and relationships that matter. A body of work that challenged me to find design that was both simple yet deep in its ability to carry through my concept of togetherness. One more late-winter studio visit by Mary to curate the show was an important aspect to pulling together the right group of work for the show. I achieved a great result as 18 of 22 artworks in my solo show found new homes with art collectors via the George Marshall Store Gallery! I truly appreciate the efforts by Mary Harding and her group of wonderful gallery assistants who put on a wonderful event–complete with music and food. Thank you for making my work look so good. Grateful to you all.
Lesson learned: ‘Paint what you love, honestly and from the heart. Your own heart.’
And so ends 2015, a tough year with losing elder family members, illnesses, and generally a sense of starts and stops, of undecidedness (is that a word?) Ever the optimist I look forward to 2016 with a renewed sense of hope for peace in the world, good health for all, and the ability to work on my art to create with the gifts God gave me. Blessings to you all for a Happy New Year.
The artwork above is a defining piece created late 2015 that combines my ideas of using recycled material, weaving together family and friends, finding the abstract imagery that speaks to my soul, and boldly going where I have never gone before. I know I know. It’s Star Trek not Star Wars. Cheers to 2016.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you'll learn a bit about my art process and then visit my website or gallery links to see if you find a painting that speaks to you. I appreciate your support and for sharing my art.