Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm delighted to announce my participation in a very special, every-other-year, invitational art show as a fund raiser for the Valleys Planning Council in Baltimore County, Maryland. This is their third installment of the show and my first time as one of the invited artists. 9 of my most recent works will be available during the three day showing which opens on September 30th with a gala Preview Party, and continues to hang on October 1st and 2nd. Saturday and Sunday tickets are $5 and available at the door both days. More information can be viewed here. This year's event is being held on a beautiful 100 plus acre horse farm, Halcyon Farm, just north of Greenspring Valley in Lutherville, Maryland. Take a look at their site, linked above, and check out the listing of the exhibiting artists, the location and times and if you are nearby, plan to come and see some wonderful art being offered to help sustain the organization's major goal of controlling growth and wise land conservation in Baltimore County.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Taking a mini break today to clean up branches and leaves from the yard and will be back at the board tomorrow. In the meantime, considering the wet weather over the weekend, I wanted to note this wonderful work by friend, Matthew Hillier, that he had posted a week ago on his blog page. Such a departure, as he noted, from his more traditional works but a work that certainly made my eyes pop. The fly addition is just so wonderful, the kind of quirky thing that I often like to do with some of my works, so it hit home. Check out his story about this piece by clicking on the link to his page in my links list, posting for August 20.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

As we in the Washington DC metro area await the full force of hurricane Irene, I was cleaning up the area around my drawing board a little while ago and came across this invitation to the opening weekend of Birds in Art at the Woodson Art Museum in just a couple of weeks time. The invitation had been sitting on the drawing board for the last week or ten days and I had not really taken full note of it when it arrived in the mail, just a quick glance and review since I am going to be there for the opening weekend as one of this year's included artists. In any event, as I picked up the invitation and it unfolded open, I caught sight of something that looked a bit familiar. Ah ha, there was a detail image of my included work, Intimate Circles, just below the square cut out on the top fold of the invitation. I guess I had not noticed it when I first opened it up two weeks ago. What a very pleasant surprise! I'm not only honored to be included in the exhibition again, but more so that my image was used on the invitation along with several of this year's named Master Artist, friend Jim Coe. I can't wait to see all the selected works in person during the opening festivities and will have, no doubt, more to say on all that after my return.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Did not have a chance to photo this last night when completed, so did just that ten minutes ago. Image size on this one is 7 3/4" x 12 1/4". It is going to join the work finished right before this one at a gallery show of small works in mid October.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

As I walk into the studio today, here is where the current work stands at 11:30 this morning. I hope to have it completed by the end of the day tomorrow, time's a flyin' and I have much to do before the end of August.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Here is another slice through
the current work -

Friday, August 19, 2011

Here is a slice of what is currently on the drawing board.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finally finished this work up a half hour ago. Image is just a bit over 7" x 11" and it will be off to a special small works show in October.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The last day of the fair and traditionally the morning for the horse pull competition. So, I was at the fair bright and early, well not so bright as it was rather overcast and threatening but the horses didn't mind! Big and bold and beautiful . . . not much else to say. Enjoyed my three days at the fair and now it is time for me to get back to the studio and finish up what is on the board and consider my next move after that. I wonder . . . !

Friday, August 12, 2011

As noted yesterday, today was the day for Quarter Horses at the Howard County Fair. A great morning with these beautiful animals and even better, more wonderful new resource material for future drawings. Years ago, someone said I must be the 'elephant man' as it seemed every other drawing off my board was of elephants. Well, they were and still are some of my favorite subjects to work with. But, since I have not been back to Africa in ten years, almost eleven now, and since I have been exposed to so many new and inspiring subjects during those years, perhaps my new moniker will be the 'horse man'? I am beginning to really enjoy having these animals show up on the drawing board more and more often now. And, when you have access to such wonderful reference material . . . well who can resist?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A little time out today . . . I spent the morning at the county fair. It was Appaloosa Day in the show arena with lots of beautifully patterned and colored horses. Got some terrific material to work from and I expect some of these beautiful animals to be showing up on my drawing board before to far off. Tomorrow, it's Quarter Horse Day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A few more hours worth of work . . .

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Step 2 - let's make hay!

Monday, August 08, 2011

I am working! I've got several small/medium sized pieces to get done for an early fall show, so those pieces are up next. There might just be a sort of 'theme' running through them too, so maybe you'll be able to guess somewhere along the trail!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, has posted, on their website, the works that will be available for bidding/intent to purchase in this year's forthcoming edition of their annual Western Visions - Miniatures and More show. On Friday, September 16th, the doors to the sale will open and intent to purchase slips will be available. I see that this year, they are also making it a lot easier for those out of the area to be a part of the show by enabling digital bidding from smart phones . . . Ah technology!

For the second time, I have a work included in this wonderful assemblage of art and here is a link to my listing. You can then easily navigate through the rest of the listings to find some outstanding works or find out how you can make an intent to purchase or place a bid on biddable works.

There are some terrific works from some outstanding artists here, so take a look and perhaps you will find something you feel you would like to try for!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

When **IT Happens

Sometimes in the course of events, 'It' happens. 'It', meaning that moment when something tells you that things are just not going right; that the trajectory of your efforts are taking you down a road that has no end; that instant when the light bulb goes off over your head and you see, more clearly, how mistaken you might have been to set out on that course in the first place.

Such a moment occurred the other day when, after having spent several days working on something on the board, I stood up, scratched my head and wondered out loud to the walls, who were listening with great interest, what was I thinking? I had started down a road that I thought was pretty clear and distinct only to find, at a point where there seemed to be only a couple of hours worth of work left to complete the piece, that it all seemed for naught. I just felt that things were not as they should have been at that stage of work. I muttered and sputtered and went to make a cup of tea and to cogitate for a bit about what was staring at me from the drawing board. I didn't like what was staring back at me.

I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times in the last thirty years that this sort of thing has happened, but I knew rather quickly after returning to the studio with a cup of tea in hand, that this was one of those times. It was apparent to me after having walked away and stood in the kitchen for ten minutes, upon my return to the work at hand on the drawing board, it was something that, in the end, I would most likely not want to have put my name to and that was the teller. Before I had any chance of having second thoughts, I quickly tore up the work and that was that. No lingering thoughts of 'wasted time' for having worked on it for several days, no nagging thoughts of what might have been, no pressing thoughts of remorse! I just did not see a way of 'salvaging' what seemed to be a losing battle. Unlike my painter friends who can wipe clean their canvas and start over, my only recourse is to tear up and maybe, yes maybe at some future date, give it a shot once again.

In the intervening days, I've moved on to the next work on my list and am six hours into it and feeling like things are moving along quite well. I've hardly given any thought to the work that occurred earlier in the week or how it failed; it's simply time to get on with things. The material that sparked that failed idea is still somewhere floating around, and the idea might have a second chance sometime down the road, but for now, my head is elsewhere and other than the bits and pieces of that torn up work still sitting in the trash can beside my drawing board, there is little evidence of that episode.

Yes, there are things to be learned from this. Yes, I will certainly have taken away something from this experience that can be applied in the future to maybe avoid making the same error in judgement. And yes, now that I can look at it from a few days removal, there are the slightest twinges of doubt. But it's all part of the process; we make mistakes, we hope to learn from them, we hope to improve, we hope to be able to accept doubt and move beyond it.

The creative process is not a stagnant process. It bends and curves, pulls and twists. If it is allowed to take complete control, it can result in wonderful things; you just move with the flow and follow wherever it takes you. Sometimes, the process hits snags, walls may get thrown up to stop you dead in your tracks or to force you to look for ways of circling around them to continue on your way. So, earlier this week, I encountered one of those walls, looked at the options, thought about the possibilities and made a choice. I believe it was the correct choice and have no reason to look back . . . only ahead.

Friday, August 05, 2011

An interesting bit of news arrived late yesterday. I was informed of the works that had been selected for inclusion in next year's publication of the 4th installment of North Light Books ongoing series, Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing. Two of my works have been chosen, Up for the Challenge and The Waiting Game. I am, needless to say, thrilled to once again have my work spotlighted in this great series of books on drawing. I have several works included in this fall's publication date of the 3rd book in the series and had five pieces represented in the 2nd book that came out several years ago (see the listing for Strokes of Genius 2 to the right). I am very gratified to have my works selected from the thousands of images sent in for jury and congratulate all the other artists whose works have made the cut in all three of these volumes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

'The American Lighthouse', hanging through September 18th, has opened at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport on the Connecticut coast. It's a wonderful group of artworks depicting this most iconic symbol of maritime travel and I am pleased to have a work of mine included. Click the link and take a look at some fine work. When this show closes in mid September, the gallery will be rehanging for the end of month opening of this year's edition of the Maritime International, the annual jury competition in which I shall also have a work included. So, here are two outstanding exhibitions of some of the finest of maritime art available for your viewing over the next three or four months. The Seaport museum is well worth a visit from any distance!