After spending months working in a bubble for the recent solo exhibition I had in New York and turning around a tight deadline for a group exhibition in Charleston, I am enjoying a slower pace in the studio — really good timing as we shift into summer.
I thought I’d share a painting that has yet to have a spotlight on this blog.
When working toward an exhibition I look back at my portfolio. And fourteen years ago I painted this clock and thought it was time to single it out again, this time putting it in the gallery in New York. It’s also available as a print.
In 2005 when I first painted this clock, I can distinctly remember the sense of urgency. Time was always precious and fleeting for me back then. I had two children under the age of three, a regular day job at a university teaching fine art photography and an old house that was always in desperate need of repairs.
This painting would have been done shortly after the kids were put down for a nap, or in the evening when there was a spare hour or two. I look back at my journal entries from then and marvel at how much I was able to do in a day. And when I look at this past painting I can see how I was trying to move toward considerably more detailed work but was crunched for time.
The past fourteen years have seen so much change in the way I operate through the day. I left my day job long ago once I was able to see I could sustain an actual livable income off of my paintings. My children grew up and are now bright-eyed teenagers who no longer need hands-on parenting while I spend countless hours through the day focussing on my paintings.
I have to admit that I am completely in awe when I think about what will change over the next fourteen years when I plan on picking this clock up from its spot on the shelf in my studio and painting it again.
Oh, summer. You make it so hard to stay focussed in the studio. The lure of the sunny beaches and trails to explore. Please grant me a few overcast or rainy days so I can lock myself in the studio for a few hours to finish these paintings.
Once these two paintings are complete, they’ll be heading to the Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento, California.
Dream Days, a little alarm clock with brass bells sits on a small stack of books, all on blue.
I started painting these clock and book compositions a few years ago. I find the combination to have a calming effect. The shapes are so simple and recognisable. They have an orderliness about them that speaks to me. Read more
I’m happy with the way this one is turning out. It is nearly complete and once it’s ready to ship, it’ll be off to New York to be part of my October 13 – November 14, 2015 exhibition at the George Billis Gallery.
Twenty four vintage alarm clocks depicting all the hours in a day.
This painting has already sold, but there are affordable prints available. The folks at the Elliott Fouts Gallery will answer any questions you have and they ship worldwide.
For years — and I mean years — I have talked about my paintings being about the narrative of the vintage objects I paint.
I’m not so sure that’s it. Or at least, that’s not all they are about. I see the paintings really being about three things. 1) Technique 2) Minimalism 3) Subject
The technique I use, the slow layering of paint, the close attention to detail, it’s such a huge part of the work. I spend a great deal of time looking at realist painting, historic painting and new paintings being made right now. What I see in the technique is a connection to hundreds of years of art making, a connection to hundreds of years of artists.
My compositions are all straight forward and simple. They are minimalist. A philosophy that I strive to apply in all parts of life. When I’m not looking up art on the web, I’m looking up blogs and books about minimalism. In painting, I can quit literally design compositions that depict minimalist philosophy.
And right on top of that minimal composition, the subject sits with its own ideas. Vintage alarm clocks, for example, are all about time. They also have colours and shapes — numerous circles and ellipses, the hands pointing in all directions.
This is one of the paintings for my upcoming show in Sacramento, California this June. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more completed pieces.
A friend gave me a small suitcase and some old clocks, to add to my collection. Over time I’ll be continuing the series of clocks that I’ve been working on. It’s more than obvious what the next in the series will have to be.
Here’s another piece in progress. I’m calling it “1:00, 2:00, 3:00”. I’m positive it will be complete during the next sitting. It’s resting on a self in the studio, by the door leading to what once was a balcony. Someone closed it off in the 1950s. I’d like to expand it into a sitting room one day. Right now it serves as storage.
The second photo is of me hard at work on the typewriter.
As I complete one painting, I wonder what it would look like in a oh-so-slightly different composition. I turned the clocks away form each other. There’s some sort of subtle message in this composition, but I can’t figure it out. I’ll leave it open to interpretation.