This painting is at the George Billis Gallery in New York. It’s another in a series of paintings I have been doing by revisiting my portfolio and applying a new technique to subjects I have painted in the past 17 years.
The first time I painted a fan, I had a quick technique and was finished the painting in a few hours.
I think being a young father with a 2-year-old son and a 3-month-old daughter may have had something to do with how little time I had to paint. We had also just moved in to a new house that needed major work and I had a job at a university.
I have distinct memories of feeling this crunch of getting a painting done, racing to the finish line, before my son woke up from a nap. I also painted in the evenings for several years, tired and beleaguered.
I am completely on the other side now. Teenaged kids who require no nap times and they occupy themselves marvellously. I left my job and paint full time in a house that needs no work. Goals achieved. I have the next several decades (hopefully) to paint uninterrupted.
The blades are like flower pedals, the body color is a crisp electric blue. This painting of a vintage Electrohome fan is one of a dozen new paintings showing at the George Billis Gallery LA from May 21 – July 2, 2016.
I recently downsized my vintage fan collection, but my wife saw these Four Fans headed out the door and put a stop to it. Like a few other paintings for my October/November exhibition this year, this painting has some archival prints on paper available. Read more
It turns out I have an interest in industrial design. And nostalgia. And strong geometric shapes. And icons and symbols found in everyday objects. The interests manifest themselves in paintings. Paintings that are done with a slight lean on old masters painting techniques with an emphasis on how that light falls on these objects. Recently that light has been the dependable light from a north-facing window in my house.
I’m working on a variation of the vintage electric fan. I’ve added a few more shapes to the composition and will be adding several layers of glazes focusing on the surface of the glasses and fan. Fascinating, huh? If you want to see some simply beautiful still life with geometric shapes, check out the work of Volkert Olij.
After this piece, I’m going to be working smaller. When I started this fan, I thought it would be easier than the typewriter, but the truth is the typewriter has so many tiny little details that you can sort of wing it.
Today a friend asked me “what’s new?” Ever sit there with a blank stare on your face when someone asks you that? That’s what I did. Then I thought about the “newness” in my life and realized that I’m focused on my work, and although that seems like nothing new to me, it’s new to the person you’re talking to. I’ve got the exhibition in June, which means I’ve got until mid-May to create some newness.
I’m sure that February, March and April will move fast. The work I’ll be doing will be larger, not going under say 20″ or 24″ in size. I’ve come to terms that this is around the size I work best in. It’s comfortable. The smaller I go, the more I struggle.