The last place I ever expected to be is here. And. I will admit it. It feels like I am selling out. But only sort of.
I did a lot of realism, and thoroughly loved what I did 12-14 years ago. Because I made statements with it. Pieces likes “I Ain’t Gonna Work” were not designed to be pretty pictures.
This is “The Tractor” (not the formal name) This is a social statement about where we are with small farms:
This is the last commission. No politics, no comment, but it feeds me and the cat.
And, I really don’t want to make overt political statements with my art. I really want to make people scratch their heads and say, “Huh?” But, I am almost thinking that we might be beyond that stage too.
OK, this is pathetic. I haven’t posted anything in almost four months.
It has been a weird year so far, and I’m not going to make any further excuses. There are lots of changes on the horizon, and I’ve been concentrating on trying to meld ideas and paint. And, I am no longer trying to make it make sense. A change is just that.
The new work was not spawned but reinforced by two commissions, and a sale of two other realistic watercolors.
Below is Chris’ first piece which, when I delivered it, responded with “That’s f–king awesome!” Guess he liked it. And, enough that I am finishing up another one for him which I will deliver next week.
So, with this bit of prompting, I am revisiting this kind of work. As long as it involves a paint brush and paint.
This is an update of the Black Grounds, now named Jealousy and Fear. There are still some possible finishing touches on both but I am pretty comfortable.
Last January, a work mate and friend gave me a pad of black paper. I loved black paper in college but haven’t worked much on it since. I have two smaller works solos coming up and this presented a perfect opportunity to work with pastel.
The first drawings have been well-enough received that I then did a 24″ x 36″ oil and oil pastel and chalk painting called “Melting”, which is in the Art PM show at BUOY Gallery in Kittery, Maine.
Today, I started the color on pre-painted black canvases:
I sure like it when my confidence is restored. As elegant and simple as “Melting” is, these are much more in keeping with my style. Neither are finished, and don’t have titles as yet, either.
This image says a lot about me.
Home is California. Tribal home may be Ojai, though I am not entirely sure of that. I just know when I am there, it feels like home.
It’s painterly, and geometric. Bright, but I also can work really complex color.
Still in progress. Oil on unprimed canvas. 108’X 69″
This will give you a sense of scale of the newest work. “Untarnished Symphony” is 98″ x 69″. I’m short at 5’1″, but still, they are quite large.
The opening reception was small, but pleasant-attended mostly by friends, and a few of the faculty and students.
I would now like to use this show as a place to talk to galleries in the area. It is up through April 28th at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, NH. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The featured piece for this show by Great Bay Community College is “I Cried About Paris. Twice”, shown above. This piece is 36″ x 48″, and oil on canvas. The tragedy in November was the catalyst for this piece. It also felt very close to “home” since my sister had been in this part of Paris less than 4 months before.
There is no piece in this show smaller than 48″ x 24″, so I am saying that this is the largest show I have ever put up, even though there are only 13 pieces total.
The title piece and one companion are both on unstretched canvas and are mounted mush like tapestries. “Fancy Parade”, 98″ x 69″ is shown here:
Both of these pieces are examples of what the college refers to as my “fearless use of color”. They also demonstrate the two predominant styles in the show. These larger pieces need to be treated with thin paint because of the instability of the painted surface. However, more expressive stretched canvases are worked primarily with a knife.
The inspiration for “Fancy Parade” and “Untarnished Symphony” is the celebration of life and color. I recently also lost my mother and an old dear friend. They are memorialized in the two “Pacific Suite” pieces. I also just heard that a good friend’s brother has passed-I may pay a small tribute to him in the same way.
This is “Pacific Suite: Sandpiper and Santa Barbara”, 36″ x 48″, oil on canvas.
This show is up through April 29th, with an opening reception on March 10, from 5-7. Gateway Gallery is located in the main foyer of Great Bay Community College, 320 Corporate Drive, Portsmouth, NH 03801. The public is welcome to visit during college hours (see their website) and to attend the reception which will be catered by the Green Bean Restaurant.
Please also feel free to visit my website at dadartthurst.com
Days 2-4 have not gone totally undocumented🙂
I managed to work on the part that was hanging also tonight. Tired of standing!
It’s starting to feel like one of my paintings in spots already, and I have a very good feeling about this now. I have several other pieces that need work though, so I may give this a day off tomorrow.
This is going to be a painting that requires almost nightly work, since I would like to show it next month.
The full sheet of canvas measures 108″ x 68″. Since I work in my apartment which has standard-height ceilings, it will be interesting to see how I devise shooting the whole piece when it is finished. Developing the strategy to get it painted was a head-scratcher.
The quality of the canvas is rougher and the weave is looser than artist-grade material, but the application hasn’t been bad. BUT, I need to keep the paint thin since it isn’t stretched and will be rolled to transport it.
This detail is about 2′ x 3′ of the entire piece, or about 20% of the whole piece. I am working it in about 3′ x 6′ sections. The edges in some of this imagery will be cleaned up…
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