Visual Arts: Painting, Visual Arts
During the last few years of self-imposed isolation due to the pandemic, I have found tremendous solace and joy in my studio practice. Rewriting my Artist Statement during the pandemic, I changed the first few lines to reflect my unashamed search for beauty:
The transcendence art allows us is rare and precious. Experiencing art in our daily lives gives us peace, joy and escape from chaos. There is power in beauty.
While ordinary life experiences and observations about our culture are often the content in my still life paintings, I am equally interested in the formal matters of creating art. I might be drawn to the striking complimentary colors of an orange/brown cognac bottle with a bright green rubber snake curled around it, or the delightful way edges disappear when adjacent objects are very close in value, or the way local color and temperature change as light passes over things. Choosing how to best convey the focus of my painting to the viewer is unique to each painting. The process is a constant journey of discovery.
Dedicated to contemporary realism, I have always loved the challenges involved in drawing and painting from life. In recent years contemporary realism has enjoyed increased acceptance in the art world, and organizations dedicated to it are going strong, including Oil Painters of America, International Guild of Realism, Art Renewal Center and others which I have joined and been active in in recent years. Artists who are leading this renewed interest are a huge source of inspiration to me, and I learn from them at every opportunity, whether through reading their newsletters, following them on social media, taking their online or in-person workshops, or attending conferences and lectures. Fortunately, my learning is ongoing with no end in sight.
My happiest place to be is in my studio, and that’s where I am nearly every day; over the last two years I’ve painted over 150 paintings. When I’m not painting, I’m often sending in submissions to exhibitions, applying to galleries, and generally trying to ‘get the work out there.’ I am finding success with exhibiting, as well as some denials, of course. There has been no luck with galleries so far, though I get some great feedback. Hopefully that will change in time. I was recently invited by Salmagundi Club to apply for membership, which is encouraging, in terms of trying to increase my name recognition.
Setting aside the business side of art, it is always getting back to the studio which is what it is all about for me. When a painting is finished, I take pleasure in knowing that the narrative will be recreated and personalized by each viewer, as each of us sees the world through the lens of our own life experience and private associations. Hopefully, each viewer will find in my work a sense of peace, joy and escape from chaos: a moment of transcendence and beauty.