Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Friday Art Walk Exhibit!!!

The Waves, 18x24, acrylic on canvas
On Friday, July 1st, I will again have the honor of being part of Portland's esteemed First Friday Art Walk. My exhibit will be at the Maine Charitable Mechanics Library, located at 519 Congress St. and right in the heart of the Arts District. Art Walks take place from 5-8 p.m. every first Friday of the month.

For more information on these events, please go to:
For information on the Mechanics Library, visit:

The seven pieces I have created for this show have a different feel than most of my previous work. The first reason being that these have been my first works of art that were created with acrylic paints.
I wrote previously about my battle with finding a medium that works for me. Working with a new medium opens the way to new possibilities that would never have otherwise existed and I am glad to say that my art education is an ongoing one.

For now, I am in love with acrylics. They dry faster than oil paints, do not require framing, are easy to clean up, and allow for a vibrant and expansive color palette. When I look at these pieces, I see the product of overcome obstacles and the start of a new direction (both personally and artistically).

My new series will be available for viewing now through the end of the month so if you can't make it to First Friday, do stop by later! For now, here is a preview of some of the work that will be shown.

This Will Be Televised, 18x24, acrylic on canvas $375

Spherical Symphony, 24x36, acrylic on canvas $800

My Beehive, 11x14, acrylic on canvas $200

Friday, April 29, 2011

Inspired by Klimt

I am working on a series inspired by the paintings of Gustav Klimt (1862-1918). It's no exaggeration to call Klimt one of the most famous artists of the 19th century. Although his career was expansive and included rich drawings, posters, murals, and sketches, it is his paintings which are most easily recognized.

The royalty of his golds bring out an eerie luminescense in each of his works (for instance, in The Tree of Life, above). After studying and dissecting Klimt's use of gold, the richness of his geometric shapes, and of course, his prominent use of circles, I created my own piece which was drawn using oil pastels.

Meshing Klimt's paintings with my own artistic sensibilities has continued to be an act of self-discovery. True to form, my work below prominently features circles, bright colors, and a concentration of blank space amidst the chaos that is swirling around it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Traffic 16x20 $450
The Maine community of artists is small. We share styles and techniques, we support each other by going to gallery and event openings, and we inspire each other's work. My recent painting, Traffic, was inspired by the work of the Haitian Masters - a group comprised of a similar community of painters, sculptors, and visual artists in Haiti.

Most of today's news on Haiti is focused on the country's vast poverty and instability. While those conditions do exist, Haiti is also a country of immense culture, spirituality, and natural wonders. It has been proven time and again that wherever struggle exists the soul of the artist will emerge. Indeed, artists in Haiti have emerged and while sometimes incorporating social commentary, the shapes and richness of color used by artists such as Montas Antoine and Henri-Robert Bresil speak to a Haiti that is much more than what we see on the news.

My new piece, Traffic, was inspired by the same shapes and textures that these and other artists of Haiti employ in their work.  For more information on the Haitian masters, please visit
the Galerie Macondo website. Galerie Macondo is based in
Pittsburgh and their website has an incredible breath of artists
as well as stories, music, and information on Haiti 

Modernism at Its' Best

Jackson Pollock, American painter (1812-1956) is primarily known for his drip paintings. The result of his technique were dark, colorful, heavily splattered, and seemingly absurd paintings which were firmly ground in the modernist approach. Modernism focuses on experimentation and reshaping the present environment. To be modern in this way is to celebrate the human necessity to create. Today, one can find millions of images of pieces created by artists who have experimented with the drip technique. After all, immitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And yet, each individual has a certain take and personal style that may or may not be akin to Pollock's.

In my new painting, Symphony, I took a page from Jackson Pollock and experimented with drips, splatters, and physically moving the canvas around to bring forth certain patterns. The overall effect is, I believe, what made (and continues to make) Pollock's work so fascinating. It is not the immediate impression that is most striking, but the discoveries made when each layer is dissected and each drip and splatter opens up a new dimension.

Symphony 18x24 $950

Monday, March 14, 2011

What is it about Abstracts?

It's no secret that artists are insecure people. We worry about whether we are good enough to be successful, whether we are exhibiting or creating enough, and we question whether or not anyone is paying attention to our work. As an abstract artist in Maine, I have the particular difficulty of trying to sell in a market that is not only flooded, but flooded with landscapes and realist art. I often ask myself where my place is in this market and how I can broaden my audience.

In many ways, I feel that my art is misunderstood and sometimes not understood at all. It's easy to look at a well-executed and realistic painting of a tree and say, "Wow, that artist has some talent." But what about a series of circles or geometric shapes? The common reaction is, "My five year old could do that and I could get it for free!" While perusing the net for some consolation I found a quote that spoke to my heart.

How else can you express your soul, your spirit, your heart? Abstract is like music without words, you need not understand it, yet for each who go with it's flow there is meaning in a sphere beyond the mediocre. It is food for the soul. -- Esther Snyman

I have long maintained that I don't simply do abstracts because I am bad at drawing. Abstracts are about a deep connection with the soul and spirit of life -- the movement, the flow, the shapes, the texture, and the vibrant everlasting hues. It is my highest expression of self.

I do not know the woman who wrote this on a random internet messageboard but my guess is that she speaks as a fellow artist. In any case, her words spoke to my heart and provide solace when I doubt myself and my work. With these words, I soldier on. My theory is that if I keep producing my work, the galleries, the people, and the money will come. It's all just a matter of time.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Almost Spring

I just finished reading Noa Noa, the journal of post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin. Disenchanted with modernity and European affluence, Gauguin leaves France in 1894 and spends two years living in Tahiti. Although this time period is often overshadowed by his romantic trysts with the natives, Noa Noa focuses on Gauguin's search for simplicity, authenticity, and inspiration.

Indeed, Gauguin is inspired by the Tahitian landscape, the body structure of the natives, and the culture he encountered there. Perhaps the best feature of his journal -- at least for us visual types -- are the reproductions of his various paintings and woodcuts that were created during this two year period.
It was one of these works, Te Faruru (translated as: They Are Making Love Here), that inspired my own work, Almost Spring.

Te Faruru by Gauguin
What I love about Te Faruru is the texture that Gauguin creates by heavily carving into this piece. It is the carvings that create depth and a different textural experience for the viewer than if the work had simply been painted and left to dry. Unfortunately, the journal does not list the tools Gauguin used for carving but one imagines Paul sitting on the beach, seashell or rock in hand, and carving delicately into the wood.

Te Faruru inspired me to try my own hand at etching. My piece, Almost Spring, has incredible movement and depth, precisely because I was able to etch and carve into the color. For this piece, I used pastels.
The colors all blend magnificiently and my use of etching creates great texture in the tree. This was the result of the view outside my window, which on that cold February day, was a tree struggling to blossom amidst the snow. For the background, I blended purple, pink, yellow, and orange tones to re-create the sunset.
Almost Spring 11x14 $425

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Work

Le Soleil 22x24 $650
Looking out my window there's at least three feet of snow covering the ground. Sure, the snow is picturesque, but this time of year I usually long to be somewhere tropical. Even though there's no winter getaway in my future, at least I can escape the winter blahs with this bright painting. As you can see, my love affair with circles continues.