Friday, May 25, 2007

Ready for more

ready for more

Delivered the last of the paintings for my exhibition to the gallery today with the help of Bridgette and Lance. Their help made it a much easier task. It's interesting to see the looks on people's faces when you're rolling a large canvas along the sidewalk.

Taking a couple of breaths before diving into new work for the Art Alliance show in the fall...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Next week!!


The postcards for my upcoming solo exhibition arrived today. I was delivering a couple of small paintings of mine to Bridgette that were being picked up and sent to the Marcia Wood Gallery for a group exhibition in Atlanta.

It was cool to walk in to a nice stack of postcards on the desk just waiting for me :)

This is my third solo exhibition at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery and will consist of works done in the past few months and a couple from last year that have never been shown.

The exhibition, titled, When is Now, runs from May 29th-June 23rd at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery.

Opening Reception
First Friday, June 1, 2007

Vault Room
Paul Oberst |Temples for Philadelphia

Bridgette Mayer Gallery
709 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19106

catalogue essay by Philadelphia artist and writer, Roberta Fallon

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Almost there

Detail of new painting

I'm in the home-stretch with preparations for my next exhibition. Most of the work is done. I'm just trying to finish up a couple of final pieces before next weekend. As usual, I'm seeing the light at the end of a long tunnel of wrestling with paint, ideas and deadlines. Just a few weeks ago, I was seriously wondering if I'd be able to pull it all together and have enough work to show that I was happy with.

So far, so good. I'm still scrutinizing what I've been working on but for the most part, I'm satisfied with what I'm seeing. I still need some time to take in what I've done; I'm way too close to it all. I think that once I see the work outside of the studio and have a chance to reflect, I'll start having a clearer view of what I've been doing.

One of the things about having shows is being able to look at the paintings out of the studio context. Putting them in a new context that's outside of my own internal world, where they sprange from, gives me the chance to look at them with new eyes. Most of the paintings have already been out of the studio for the past week and-a-half. They had to be photographed and were then delivered to the gallery so my only contact with them have been through photos and memory.

It'll be interesting to see what I think in a couple of weeks...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Richard Serra at MoMA

A short time-lapse video showing the installation of two of Ricard Serra'ssculptures in MoMA's sculpture garden.

MoMA will be mounting a 40 year retrospective of his work beginning in June. I'm really looking forward to seeing this show. I've been a fan of Serra's work for a long time, but I've never seen much of his work in person. Back in the early 90's, I actually discovered his work accidentally during my first trip to New York. The show was at MoMA. I only remember walking into this one room and being surrounded with these huge steel plates (I think the piece was Circuit) that were coming from each corner of the room. I didn't know who Serra was at the time, but I liked his work.

A year or so later, I returned to Temple University after a five year hiatus. I discovered the third floor section of art books in Paley Library on the main campus and found a number of books about Serra that were published in Germany. I made the connection with the work I saw in New York previously and was hooked. I mainly responded to his use of a basic construction material in the making of his works. I also admired his thought processes and dedication to continually experimenting with perceptions of space, weight, and balance. I also like that he has continued to push his work and ideas to new places over the years while maintaining a sense of freshness while using the same materials he has for years, as well as continuing to work on a scale that not many would attempt...or who have the means to do so...

line in sight


Got a bunch of paintings out of the studio this morning to be photographed. From there, they'll go to the gallery. The best thing was being able to get a 60" x 72" piece down the stairs and out of the door. Had it been any wider than 72", I would have had to deal with lowering it out of the window, like I did for "All That Could Be", which is 60" x 84". I don't think I'll be working on anything much larger.

Speaking of canvas sizes, every now and then I'll try out new combinations of stretcher bars to see how that size feels when worked on. For a while, it was 36"x36". Lately, for some reason, 28"x32" has been a favorite.

For the most part, what's going to be in the show is done, but I'm still working on a couple of more canvases which should be done in the coming two weeks. Now that this is wrapping up, I'm turning my attention towards work that I'll do for the show at the Philadelphia Art Alliance in the fall.


Studio visit: Rebecca Saylor Sack (Wed. 4.18.07)

Studio visit: Rebecca Saylor Sack (Wed. 4.18.07)
Recent paintings by Rebecca Saylor Sack

Yesterday, Rebecca Saylor Sack stopped by for the second leg of our studio visits. We talked shop for a bit, trading comments about my recent works, art in general, and galleries. We went back and forth with comments about the latest paintings, always a good thing for me at times like this since my nose has been in them for the past few months. Along the way, she mentioned that she was chosen to receive a Fleisher Challenge exhibition for this year, so big congratulations to her on that accomplishment.

Friday, May 04, 2007

short day


I didn't get up to the studio as early as I wanted to this morning, but I did pretty good with the time I did spend there. I left by mid-afternoon because my studio mate was bringing a friend and his adult art class by to see the space. She asked me a while ago if I wanted to be involved and at first I agreed to, but then thought about the timing and declined. I'm just not in the right headspace at the moment to deal with hosting anyone at the studio just before a big show...especially strangers.

I also needed to leave early because I desperately needed to catch up on some cleaning around the apartment. I've had a pile of dishes in the sink for too long. I just washed what I needed at the moment and left everything there. Between my work and hectic studio schedule, dishes aren't on the daily priority list. I got through them this afternoon, though. It's kind of nice seeing the bottom of the sink again. There's also a good deal less cat fur and dust around, too, which is good.

I could really use a nap, but not much time for that. It's already after 6pm and I have to get cleaned up and head out to catch some First Friday openings. If it weren't for a couple of people I know having openings tonight, I'd be on the couch right now. It's ok, I'll just head back home early. I need to anyway, since I have to be back in the studio first thing in the morning. Need to finish up a couple of things and then some works are going to be picked up to be photographed tomorrow evening...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

statements, pt. II

Here's the statement I wrote up earlier this week. This version is written in the third person because it's being used for an ad for my show in the Gallery Guide. I've written statements like this before, but it's always a little strange to write about one's self in the third person. I'm going to rework it in the singular voice and change a couple of small things, but overall, I think it works for where I am with my work at the moment....

"When is Now"

Inspired by the ambiguities created in the chaos and quiet of overlapping events that make up everyday life, from the macro to the micro, Tim McFarlane continues to challenge himself and the viewer with the exploration of painterly linear abstraction. At the same time, he is moving his paintings into new directions in this new body of work.

McFarlane employs a loosened, wet-on-wet technique to produce networks of sometimes dense, layered fields of color in his new compositions. This technique allows for a wide spectrum of color and brushstroke complexity from one layer to another, creating shifts in depth without the use of traditional perspective.

McFarlane also engages the viewer with a heightened sense of emotional content through the use of rectangular canvases. While relying on a mostly square format in past works, here McFarlane has shifted to the horizontal and vertical. The format allows for expansion of the forms across the painted field while also enabling the viewer the potential to connect with the works through his or her experiences in the world, thus creating an open-ended emotional space for the viewer to explore.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

online curating

I was asked by artist, Timothy Buckwalter to curate a show of his drawings. Every week, Buckwalter has a different curator for his works. He posts the selected pieces online for about 6 days and moves to the next set of selected works on the following Tuesday.

The show I curated consists of about ten text drawings Buckwalter has done. The title of the show is 'Under The Skin'. The common threads I found running throughout the ones I chose resonated with me largely because of the times we live in. That, and the unversal emotional content they contain...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


studio journal 1

Writing artist statements can be downright annoying sometimes. The problems are usually confined to the beginning of the process, especially after there has been a fairly significant change in my work, as there has been over the past year or so. It's difficult enough trying to figure out just what I'm doing with the work itself, adding trying to figure out how to translate and convey whatever meanings/feelings I have about it to the outside world can be headache-inducing.

I've just gone through this process again for my upcoming show and I think I've gotten it as concise as possible without sounding too bloated nor too vague. I try to keep my language in a place where there's obvioiusly some thought behind it, but at the same time, I don't want to alienate potential readers with art-speak and possibly put them to sleep in the process. Nor do I want to sound pretentious and put viewers off from the work entirely, which can be easy to do with contemporary abstraction.

The best writing from artists, in terms of statements, articulates their ideas and processes in an educated, concise manner without being intellectually condescending, deliberately obtuse, or plain lazy. As with other writing, the audience has to be considered. In the case of artist statements, the potential audience is going to be people from usually a wide range of experiences; from art students and peers to 'the man on the street' who may come into contact with one's work and wants to learn more about it and the artist.

I try to hold myself to a high standard when writing my statements. I fail a lot and have certainly missed the mark at times; at other times, I've nailed it. Just like the work itself, writing about it is an on-going process. It's also one that will define what you leave behind. Some people are perfectly happy to leave it to others to define what you made, which is going to happen, anyway. However, I believe it's important for the artist to have a voice in whatever future history there is about the work, in addition to those of critics, curators, gallery owners, museum boards, etc...At the very least, the artist's ideas at the time can be known.

The present is important to consider also. When I jot down notes which might lead to a formal statement, I'm also clarifying for myself what might be going on with my work. On top of that, it aids in allowing me to be clear when I'm talking to others about my work. There's a repository to look back on and gain insight from so that any future writings might be seen as part of a continuing thought process...