Tuesday, June 30, 2020

This became Lemonade


I was done working on a big painting, the painting I had planned to make in my studio that day. It wasn't quite taco time nor was it time to leave, so I picked up my phone and started scrolling through instagram,  a designer that I like, Philippe Malouin,  posted a photo of a half lemon on a plate he designed. It was beautiful and I'd never made a painting like that.......so I picked up a little canvas and dipped my brush into the colors I had on my palette and started painting without thinking about it. Pretty soon it was Taco Time so I set the brush down and called my painting done. It's not perfect but there is an exuberance and liveliness to it that I really like.....it looks and feels alive. I didn't plan it out, I just did it and it feels to me very much about a moment in time, like a record of that moment. 
Thinking cumulatively, everything I make was made in a specific moment in my lifetime so my entire body of work is a record of my life, I like to think of it as a record of the talents that the universe has given me and me becoming more and more comfortable with using them.... Getting out of my own way and turning down the volume on the voices who told me "You will never make it as an artist.....", "Maybe painting isn't your thing", "You can never be a success because you come from a broken home", "You didn't get a degree from the right school, you're not qualified" "You havn't read the right theory books, you're going to be found out...." etc etc etc....

My first solo show was 40 years ago and my last solo show was at Marlborough contemporary in NYC in 2019, neither of those events were accidents and if I was truly faking it I would have been found out and kicked out of the art world a long time ago but those voices never go away, they are a part of me and they fueled every single confident brushstoke in this painting and for that I express my gratitude to the universe and I embrace every single defect of character and all of my imperfections, they got me to where I am today and I'm grateful to be here....

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Dior


My neighbor Regina has this amaing little dog named "Dior" and in this pandemic times one of my joys has been meeting up with neighbors to exchange baked goods or in this case to visit Regina and her dog Dior....this oil painting is 12 x 9 inches and it was a joy to make!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Summertime Flower Paintings





I've always liked flower paintings, Fantin-Latour and Manet made some of my favorites, here are a few of my own

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cyclamen



My Neighbor Fred bought me this plant in early May, it was really weird but the color was great especially when I photographed it with a flash, so one day I decided to make a painting from the photos and that was pretty exciting.....I'm going to keep going with this and see what happens, these are 12 x 12 and 12 x 16, I'm going to try some larger ones....

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Teaching Myself how to paint....






When I was awarded a residency at Cite des Artes in the winter of 2006 I had three months to do whatever I wanted to do, in Paris....They gave me a studio next to a pianist and it had a great big paint splattered easel in it. The building itself was on the Seine facing Notre Dame but I was in the back of the building facing a large snow covered garden, it was beautiful! My live/work space was a white room with black curtains, so already I had two musical references going on there.

I walked a few blocks over to the Pompideau to see the Dada show. I remember being impressed with a Francis Picabia paining of a circular form with some words below it and his initials on the upper right hand corner, then I headed over to the Margiela boutique and as soon as I walked in they picked the needle up off of the opera record and put it down on “A Song for Europe “ by Roxy Music It began “
here by the Seine, Notre Dame casts a long lonely shadow “ I was kind of blown away that this song by my favorite band, that I first heard when I was 15 was forecasting the life I’d be living 30 years later. I figured that was enough content for a painting so I headed over to the art supply store and bought a blank canvas, paint and a palette knife.
I had been making drawings of a spiral that came out of me as I played a recording and the Picabia painting reminded me of one of my spirals so I bought black and white paint to make it look like a drawing and Paris got me thinking of Bernard Buffet’s palette knife paintings, So Finally I made a credible painting...

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Gratitude

This whole Bluto project came into being very organically. I decided to give myself a year in the studio doing whatever I wanted to do each and every day. it wasn’t about coming up with a concept and executing it, it wasn’t about being critical before during and after... it was just about making what I wanted to make, for me. I made mistakes,  I came up with some very unsophisticated solutions and I learned that I was pretty talented, and I learned to own that….

 It turned out to be an opportunity for me to learn how to paint and to learn how to believe in myself on a whole deeper level, to believe that I am enough. It didn’t matter that I didnt go to the right school and that I never properly learned how to paint, I had amazing teachers in Minnesota who got me started and I continued learning rules and technique by trial and error over the course if my 40 year career.  On the Bluto work I was just painting the way I wanted to paint, with no formula to follow.  I’ve looked at a lot of paintings and I’ve seen a lot of styles that I like and I’ve felt a lot of particular painters hands in their work, and I wanted my paintings to look very handmade like they’re a record of the time that they were made, a record of their own making. And they were about Bluto but they weren’t about Bluto.  My childhood fascination with that cartoon character was a motivator but then using my adult faculties and going back and watching the cartoons I realized there was a lot more going on in them then I might’ve been aware of as a kid, one particularly fascinating aspect of it was the constant flipping of the good guy bad guy role, Both Popeye and Bluto are very versatile. This helped drive home the point that we are all capable of good and bad and very few of us are 100% one way or another. So it was a very productive two years,  it allowed me to fully and deeply forgive myself, to finally believe that I truly am enough .... and once you’ve forgiven yourself it becomes a lot easier to forgive others. Unburdening myself of all the resentments I had been accumulating and carrying around was a really nice gift to myself…thanks Bluto for Helping me learn that…..

Bluto The Surreal



Saturday I sat down at my kitchen table not knowing what I would draw, and I came up with this 12 x 9 in Drawing, Bluto's beard used to be mine, It's my hair


This one is called "Mighty Real " 12 x 9 inches


Movin' On Up 12 x 9 inches