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.
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
I have a favorite new work of mine.
As I am allowing myself to explore, reinvent, and recombine that which I’ve done before-none of this is new territory if you know my entire body of work-but I continue to surprise myself.
I am far more comfortable in a larger format on canvas than on paper, but that is changing.
“The Folly of Sentiment” is another flex of my artistic muscle where I am employing some of the new things that I am seeing, but more so, utilizing materials and techniques, palettes, etc that I have in the past and combining them in different ways. “Valentine”, presently at the BUOY Gallery in Kittery, Maine, was the first of the “Portraits” to include assemblage elements, with bits of magazine photos. I found foil paper and a plastic mesh “bag” (which I cut apart and stretched) to integrate into this piece.
The last Blackbird Studio and Gallery newsletter reiterated something that I said at an opening, but I am not entirely sure it is 100% correct. It said that I am being “influenced” by whose working around me. I don’t doubt that that is happening but this little piece, painted just after I broke my leg, might show that the “Portraits” have always been there.
The “Portrait” series actually has an even earlier ancestor in a series called “Everyman”, which dates back to 1990. So, it really is too soon to say the influences come from Blackbird, which isn’t a bad thing, but more that those influences have awakened other muses within me, that were just dormant. I don’t have digital images of the “Everyman” series yet, but they are also the predecessors of the large 2014 canvas “Chasing the Sun”.
This and a few other new pieces will be in the opening exhibit at Blackbird Studio and Gallery. We are also very proud to be hosting a visit by Carolyn Chute, author of “The Beans of Egypt, Maine”. Please join us for this event on April 18, from 1-3.
So, as a young buck, I sucked up the intellectualism that surrounded me. I embraced “Concept” (with a capital “C”) very tightly. But, hey, I was in LA.
Almost 30 years since I left my home town, I have faced an exhibit that seems so totally out of context, and yet, right on my fingertips and so ready to be here. Carly Glovinski is the cause, and 3S is the platform.
“Huh? Ok? And, why”. I am not really intrigued any more by this work than the work I came “of age” with- NOW. I totally get it. But, again I grew up in LA.
But, my fundamental question in all of this is the question of process. There is little “human” presence in this work-foibles and mistakes aren’t noticeable. Let’s revisit concept and Larry Bell. Laddie Dill and all those folks that had artworks built for them. So, I am dealing with process…why? Because I have gotten older and I have been here for 30 years.
I believe Glovinski actually fabricates her own work. Cleanly, and well.
She defines space, and forces her audience to recognize that space. She made me explain to friends why a large floor piece does not allow a piece on the wall. The show made me explain the value of scale.
Eva Hesse did much with a floor. And,I see that here, as well. But, I think the best thing about this show is she doesn’t stick exclusively to one perameter-determiner, but actually strikes out to say, “Yeah, but?”
But, the fun thing with this show is we see more modes of expression. “Evolving Coast” a wood book on a lawn chair says I’m not about space and minimalism. Once again challenging the viewer to scratch their heads.
And, as artists, we do get to make people do that.
Part III. Beyond Process
The best work I have ever seen was created by Ed Kienholz for making people rethink their space. And, change behavior.
It really doesn’t take some of the methods being used in some of the most controversial art from last year. It really doesn’t take vulgarity, profanity, or even sex.
One of my recent personal favorite artists whom I am very honored and privileged to show with is Rick Burns. He has shown work at Blackbird Studio and Gallery that also asks people to participate. He doesn’t take over a floor space, but he asks for thought, and gets it.
He doesn’t necessarily question space, but he does create work that invites the viewer to also be a participant in his work, and change it.
This piece invited the viewer/participant to tighten/loosen the bolts. And, many did, begging again the question of “Who is the artist?
I’ll continue to call myself one, but I think we need to give more credit to our audience.
And, I am sure I will continue with this subject.
The next couple of months will be very big for the visual arts in the area. Events are starting to overlap, and I can only be in so many places at once!!
This is my contribution to artwork offerings.
I hope all can attend!
The Portrait series, or as they have come to be called, “The Personal Storms”, have evolved onto handmade paper. There are also bits of collage in this piece.
It will be on display at BUOY, Kittery, Maine through April. The opening reception for the show is this Friday, March 13, from 6-?
“Modigliani’s Mistress” really wasn’t supposed to be anything more than another of my oil/oil pastel abstracts. But, the initial lines, turned on-end created the shape of a Modigliani portrait.
She has perpetuated a series of “portraits” that I am calling the Meez series. Not direct self-portraits, but drawn from me, and they are all female.
Art for me has to be a constant learning process.
I was feeling like I was either sliding on ice, or my paint really needed a little hint as to where land on the canvas. So, rather than set up shop, I decided to do some business and hopefully get some hints as to what to try next.
I started with Timeless Frames. I ordered mat board, and priced frames and talked about setting up a solo show there in the next couple of months. The work that is up there is work from the BAA that has been up since last month. So, no new work to see.
From there, I went back to downtown Rochester to RiverStones Framing and Gallery. A colleague told me that the owner would be interested in showing the BAA so I wore my Show Coordinator cap, and strolled in. Kris was very receptive and marked us on her calendar for July. As I was chatting with her, Ross Bachelder showed up to hang his show, and the three of us discussed an upcoming show at Drift Gallery at Zev Yoga, a solo by my dear colleague, Jeannie Griffin-Peterka. That’s an opening that I am hoping to not miss.
Ross’ opening at RiverStone’s, 33 North Main Street, Rochester, NH will be next Saturday, from 12-3.
I drove to Dover, and artstream wasn’t open.
Mill River Custom Framing & Art Gallery no longer shows art, but it was “old home week” because I showed with Sandi when her shop was in the Rollinsford Mills. We had a good chat.
(Can you see where this is going…)
Next stop was Michaels for foam core. As per usual, I always seem to be asked a technical question when I am in the store, and today David needed to know what gel medium was. I happened to be looking at canvases, in the same aisle. Timing is everything.
Nahcotta gave me something to look at, though I can’t gush about much that I saw. I do like Jeremy Miranda’s work, so I’ll start there.
Because I “borrowed” this image from Pinterest, I can’t enlarge it much further without distorting it completely out of recognition. I don’t like all of his work but where he rips away a wall to these really homey, pleasant spaces, exposing them to something a great deal less comfortable I find to be captivating. They brilliantly describe how vulnerable everything is without taking out the floor or the roof. And, I love how quiet they are.
Who knows what’s going on with this depicted Christmas. I come from an alcoholic family, where Christmas could really be ugly, when I was growing up. Or not. But, I can relate to those waves. As a child, I never really knew how rough the surf would be.
I will cut Nahcotta “slack” because this really is off-season, but the rest of the show was “off”-not hung as well as they usually present work, and didn’t have any real flow.
But, I saw art.
I also stopped at the Portsmouth Library to get info on who to contact for the BAA shows, and the librarian was lovely and gave me a few more suggestions as to who in Portsmouth to contact.
The final stop was the Levy Gallery (NHAA). I never saw all of the SHAPES show because I was instantly drawn into the side gallery when I noticed two pieces by my compadre Elaine Mendzela on the wall. She is one of the new members. When I came back to the main gallery, I was caught up in conversation with Barbara Alberts, who is also a new member. Barbara is a new transplant from Pittsburgh, and is now a new friend.
So, a day about reconnecting and connecting and new connections.
That’s art, too.