Last year ITOYA issued a calendar featuring a dozen of my paintings, and this year they’re back with a 2018 calendar. The calendar is made exclusively for the Japanese market, and ITOYA is in charge of all the sales.
The calendar is large, measuring at 23.5″ x 16.5″ and printed on sturdy, heavy weight paper, the images are big and colorful.
This piece is fresh off the easel and awaiting varnishing before it heads off to the Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina.
I’ve got several commissions in the works and a solo exhibition in Los Angeles in April 2018, so I have my work cut out for me this winter. It’s good to be busy.
My thanks to American Art Collector Magazine for the great feature for my exhibition at the George Billis Gallery in New York. It’s always an honour to see ones work appreciated in print.
Vest Pocket Kodak / 16 x 16 / oil on canvas, a little video of my process. Swipe ➡️ to see some details and an old ad for the camera from a century ago, it’s being handed off to a WWI soldier.
The big red Acorn gum machine’s little blue brother. As I have lamented before, I wish everyone looking at this on their screen could see it in person. The colour, the detail the subtle texture of the painted surface, all these vanish and flatten with the backlighting of the device you’re viewing.
I traveled to New York to attend the opening reception at the George Billis Gallery for my current exhibition. My son came along for a few days of site seeing. He turned 15 on the day of the reception and I’m glad to say both he and I had a great time.
Receptions, for me, can be a bit of a nerve rattling experience. As a studio painter I spend all of my time in solitude and concentration. Focussing on square inch by square inch on each painting. This is, of course, exactly how I want it. It’s why I’m able to make as much work as I do. I like working toward the deadline of a gallery exhibition. It gives me something to aim towards.
So after spending so much time alone with each painting, it can be an exhilarating experience to see them hanging and lit in a large gallery space. I am especially proud of the way this exhibition turned out. But it can feel a bit exposing for there to suddenly be dozens of people looking so closely. These paintings invite this close scrutiny.
The best part about the receptions is connecting with people who make it a point to come see the paintings in person. I always say that I wish everyone could see them in their natural habitat instead of on a phone, tablet or computer screen.
In 2009 I painted this big red Acorn gum machine – so it was time to visit it again. My motive to paint this is obvious – it’s a beautiful thing to behold. Also, Wayne Thiebuad painted gum machines and he’s an inspiration.
I’m more confident with details and relaxed with the time that it takes to focus. In 2009 I intentionally only painted a few gumballs. There is also the darker atmosphere. I have a much brighter studio now and the result shows in the paintings.
At once these paintings are both simple and complex – like a metaphor for all things in life.
“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.”
― Lao Tzu
“Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this.”
― Dave Eggers
The elements I strive for in a painting: a sense of space, light, and atmosphere.
Although my work is realist, it is not hyper or photo realist. All the layers and paint marks are really only visible if you stand before the actual painting and look close. Glancing at it here on your phone, iPad or computer screen will be too brief to see these details. That’s okay, the entire point here is to just introduce you to the painting. If you want to get to know it better, to really understand what it is I’m doing, you have to see them in person. I hope you’re able to do that one day, if you haven’t already.