"The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world." ~André Malraux

After a year of intermittant "painter's block"  I am working again in my studio, and feeling in a tentative positive state. Painting is a solitary activity, and as artists, we are often working in a vacuum. Unless we have a show hanging, reaction to the work is minimal. With several pieces underway, I decided that perhaps if I write about what I am doing or am attempting to do, it might act somewhat as a muse for me as well as give me some feedback on the work I am creating -- hence the establishment of this blog. 

As for the blog title, traditional, representational painting is a language for expressing what’s visible. But I feel my work is the most successful, and most interesting, when focused on things not entirely visible. I paint what I see but also what I sense and feel by utilizing my interior and unseen world --- in other words, the invisible world. Plein air work or  studio work from photographs are only touchstones or landmarks which guide me to other inner spaces. By so doing, I find that I am pushing the boundaries between representational and abstract work.

You can enlarge the images in this blog by clicking on them.

Feb 24, 2011

Hidden Worlds in My Hometown, and Faraway Worlds in Revolt

Interesting article in my home-town newspaper The Montclair Times in Montclair, NJ about an art show a group of folks from The Studio Group are having entitled "Hidden Worlds." One of the curators wrote " Every person on earth filters what they experience, sometimes seeing things that others might not notice, but is significant to them.  In this exhibit we reveal 'other worlds' perceived through the individual visions of the artists in our group. We explore ideas of obscuring and revealing, through abstract, metaphorical and literal means." 

No time to be in the studio this week, with our weekend in Nadick, MA blue-grassing away at the Joe Val Festival, and with my daughter-in-law and grandkids here for winter break. Next week my plan is to finish the portrait and move on to some new projects I have in mind. 

Meanwhile, I received an excellent comment on the portrait from an artist-friend Lew Dana who wrote:
"I looked at the photograph and the painting of the girl again. At heart it's quite successful and cheery.
"In view of the comment from the family that her face needs to be "rounder" -- you might consider one thing:

"The bottom of her left eye. In the photograph it has a downward arc -- the eye is widest at its center. In your painting, the lower edge seems to arc up in the center. It makes the eye a little "pinched" or "squinty". A slight adjustment in the arc (and a big pain in the neck) would widen the eye slightly and give her a "rounder" look.

"Eyes set the tone for one's "reading" of a picture. Mean, squinty eyes make people in paintings and real life look pinched. Eyes that are more open are more appealing, more welcoming, nicer and, well, rounder."

As an uncertain world swirls into chaos in the mid East, it is hard to imagine all that is happening there while living in the peace and serenity of a dense winter snowstorm here in Vermont. But I was amused by a comment in my cousin Howie's blog today:

"Democratic, big D and small D, demonstrations continue in the mid-East and mid-West. Tyrants like Qaddafi and Walker must be resisted by their subjects. Will NJ be next to throw off the yoke of the oppressor?" 


  1. Blog away! The solitary activities can be combined with teaching. We have several artists in our area who give weekend courses. I attended several for watercolors. http://www.frankenpost.de/nachrichten/hofrehau/hof-stadt/art2390,1373153

  2. Come to think of it, Montclair is of course not MY hometown, it is my kids' hometown, where we raised them and lived for 25 years. My hometown was Essex Fells, NJ, although I lived in East Orange, NJ-- a lovely town back then -- until I was 6.