May 3 is the opening day fora group exhibition called “Perfectionists” at the Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina. Check out my contribution to the show below.
When I was invited to participate I thought about the idea of “perfectionism”. I’ll be honest — it’s sometimes my problem. I want everything to be perfect and in reality, it can’t be. The reason I keep painting is that I am trying to perfect my work. The previous painting I completed didn’t seem to work out exactly as I had planned, so I try again with another painting. If I live forever, will I paint forever, always chasing the elusive perfect painting?
When I set up a group of objects for a painting I always consider negative space, repeating elements, shapes, angles, lines, perspective — everything that moves the eye around the canvas. I use grids to help outline the composition. The objects I paint are engineered machines with symmetry and balance often baked right into their designs, so applying these rules to the paintings seems fitting. The overall effect I am trying to achieve is a sense of order, calmness and stability. Painting these objects transforms them from cold and banal tools to something more human and hopefully pulls a viewer in to think about how they relate to the world of objects around them.
The evening of the reception for my exhibition saw great weather and a good turn out. I had many conversations — it’s nice to get feedback from others as we stand in front of the actual paintings.
Below are some very crude iPhone snapshots of the installation and some people pondering the paintings.
Seeing the paintings framed and lit is a joy for me — as I usually see them up close and usually in an incomplete state. I am grateful to be able to do this — to spend my days working on my art and to then have the opportunity for a gallery to spend time and energy to share the work.
I had my two teenagers with me this time around. We spent 5 days walking around New York and taking it all in. I am now back in my studio and hard at work on another painting that has a tight deadline, which seems to be the way I work best.
Check out my painting in the slick catalogue for the exhibition Tick-Tock: Time in Contemporary Art at the Lehman College Art Gallery. The exhibition ran from February 2 – May 5, 2018.
My painting, Three, was included in the exhibition with numerous other works of depicting the concept of time.
“Stott created this quietly beautiful still life of three alarm clocks, all pointing to three o’clock, using a restrained palette of silver, taupe, and aqua that is subtly complimentary, like musical variations on a single theme. The artist revels in the visual satisfaction derived from the delineating variations in groups of similar objects. Here, the shapes of the bells, font of the numbering, and the style of the hands all lead the eye through and around the painting, encouraging the viewer to contemplate the similarities and find the differences in a kind of visual game.”
I traveled to Los Angeles to attend the opening reception for my exhibition on April 7. As a studio painter, I spend all of my time in one place working on my paintings. That’s the way I like it, but I have to admit that it’s really good to get out once in a while. It’s a benefit that the galleries where I show my work are in interesting places.
Having people see the paintings in person is really important. We’re all glancing at them illuminated on a tiny screen, so it’s refreshing to see people inspect them up close in person and really experience them. But the absolute best part is meeting people who make the time to come and see them.