"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.

Apr 2, 2011

Strafford ARTWORKS Show

I have been busy organizing the Strafford ARTWORKS show at the Ledyard Gallery at Howe Library in Hanover, NH. We have 14 of our members in the group show, "Recent Work in Mixed Media." My job was and always is, publicity, and this is the release I sent out, which explains what Strafford ARTWORKS is, for those of you who do not know.

Strafford, VT---  The Howe Library Ledyard Gallery is celebrating the artistic diversity of visual artists from Strafford Vermont with a group exhibit featuring over 35 works.  The 12 eclectic artists from Strafford ARTWORKS have mounted a large show, “Recent Works in Mixed Media,” at the gallery on the mezzanine floor at 135 Main Street in Hanover, Hew Hampshire. The show runs from April 1 through the 27th., with the library gallery open Mondays through Thursday from 10-8, Friday from 10-6, and Saturday from 10-5..The artists will welcome visitors to the Opening Reception on Saturday April 2 from 2 PM to 4PM.  Artist members with work in this exhibition are Jennifer Brown, Marcia Bushnell, Micki Colbeck, Andrea Doughtie, Nancy Gerlach, Tracy Gillespie, Nat Hemenway, Janet Farley, Cecily Herzig, Kate More, Jason Okai,  Mary Louise Pierson, Anni Praetorius and Deborah Frankel Reese. The current show has been curated by Dick Ridgeway and member artists Micki Colbeck, Nancy Gerlach and Anni Praetorious.

Strafford ARTWORKS is an eclectic group of professional artists working in varied mediums including pastel, watercolor, ink, acrylic and oil paints, block prints, monoprints and photography. The broad mix of artists and disciplines has attracted an equally broad demographic of audience members. Individuals from the group are represented by galleries in the Upper Valley, in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, as well as in Canada, England, France, Spain and Macau. 

According to Deborah Frankel Reese, one of the founding members of Strafford ARTWORKS, "When we first decided to exhibit as a group about eight years ago, we wondered how our collective work would look together: would our varied artistic visions form a cohesive whole? We were surprised at how well the different media and styles worked together, and it has only improved over the years. When walking around the current show at the Howe, each piece will lead you to the next, as in conversation: Traditional oils -- including exacting still lifes and landscapes by Andrea Doughtie, the colorful Tuscan landscapes of Kate More, the plein air Vermont vistas of Nancy Gerlach, and Jennifer Brown's bright watercolors blend well with the flinty, more contemporary work from the creative inner visions of Janet Farley, Cecily Herzig, Jason Okai, Mary Louise Pierson and Anni Praetorious. Large paintings by Marcia Bushnell and Deborah Frankel Reese containing strong colors and powerful compositions transition seamlessly to the smaller, purposefully-limited palette pieces of Micki Cobeck’s stunning Delft series. Block prints by Tracey Gillespie provide graphic counterpoints, as do the strong photographs of  Nat Hemenway.

"Baby Spiders Are sleeping Under Your Bed"  Cecily Herzig
"Col di Val d"esta" (Tuscany) oil by Kate More
"Delft in Blue" oil, Micki Colbeck

 StraffordARTWORKS was formed nine years ago
by a group of Strafford artists with a shared commitment to studio practice and exhibitions of their work. Representing a mix of mediums, backgroundss, experience, and ages, the diverse and vibrant community of artists meet on an informal basis to critique current work, discuss contemporary art, plan shows, hold workshops and provide a supportive artistic community, especially for those artists who produce their art in isolation. As well as in ARTWORKS group exhibits, such as this one, held at least once a year, in shows held by individual members and in the galleries which represent them, examples of the work by Strafford ARTWORK members can be seen on Open Museum at http://www.openmuseum.org/museum/show/29, a virtual on-line museum spotlighting the work of artists.  If you join the site, you can go to the Strafford ARTWORKS "Museum" and vote for the work that you like, a helpful tool for artists who too often work in a vacuum. Information about the organization can be found on Open Museum’s website. For more information, please contact Deborah Frankel Reese at BYBYNJ@gmail.com

The show was expertly hung by a pro Dick Ridgeway and two of our artists Friday --  somehow we managed to get the 35 pieces there in spite of the snowstorm. The Opening Reception on Saturday went well: we had a good turnout, good reactions, and so far three pieces have been sold. Some of the work in the show is shown above. Below are a few shots of the reception, the only ones that I can get off of my iphone so far.

My work in the show

Work by Janet Farley

Work by Micki Colbeck, left, and Marcia Bushnell, right.

Person viewing work by Nancy Gerlach and Jennifer Brown.

Person viewing work by Anni Praetorius.    

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