Thursday, November 29, 2007

Art Alliance talk

last light V
Last Light V

A couple of months ago, a friend who teaches at University City High School in West Philadelphia, asked if I was interested in talking to a group of his students at the Art Alliance, while my show was on exhibit. I met with the class last Wednesday around 11:30am. I got there around five minutes before they arrived and had just taken off my coat as the group of 18 or 19 students and three teachers came in. They were all around the 15-17 year-old age range, just about the same age I was when I first started taking art seriously.

I introduced myself in the hallway before they got into the galleries and told them a little about what they were going to see and let them roam around looking at the paintings. About a couple of minutes in, one of the young women approached me, pulled out a small painting on board with an outlined, stylized figure of a woman in the midst of an abstracted background, and asked me what I thought about her work. I was a bit surprised but honored that she was so forthright with her request. It was good to see that she wasn't shy about presenting her work to an outsider and wanting their opinion. I talked with her about the painting and a photocopy of a still-life that seemed to be inspired by Matisse.

Both of the works were good for someone of her age and skill level. I thought she had a good eye for color and told her so. I also mentioned that she should keep working and to continue working from life to develop her skills. I wanted to say more about her work, but I didn't want to spend all of the time only with her while there was a bunch of other kids who either had questions or wanted to escape as soon as they could. Acutally, most of the students were really engaged with the work and had a lot of good questions and comments. One of them was eager to share his socialogical interpretation of Plume, which boiled down to "the colors underneath equaling people of color with the white (man) ruling over everything..."

Once they'd had their fill of looking at the paintings, I gave the group a short talk about my life growing up in Philly and my development as an artist. It felt good to have the chance to address a group of young kids, especially since most of them might not have come into the Art Alliance on their own or any other art-related place, for that matter. I don't know how the trip might have affected any of them, but I'm hoping that some of them got something from it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

'Black and White'

Light Veil, 2007, acrylic and ink on canvas, 36" x 48"

New painting, new show.

This is my comtribution to the next group show at Bridgette Mayer titled, Black and White. The show will be up from November 27-December 22, 2007. Opening Reception: Friday, December 7th, 6-8:30pm

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Untitled (detail), ink on paper, 30" x 40"

I'm preparing for an upcoming winter group show at Bridgette Mayer. The theme is "Black and White". This afternoon, I had a short chat with an acquaintance about the show, and he expressed surprise that I might do something that might literally be a black and white painting. "Are you going to sneak in a bit of color somewhere?". Without missing a beat, I said, "Probably not." He continued, "You're like me, I see you as more of a colorist...".

Guilty as charged. I love working with color, but the idea of working with only 'black and white' is intriguing. I almost never use black alone. Black is often seen as the absence of light, but I've always like mixing a lot of other colors to make 'black'. It makes for a much more interesting dark color, even if someone looking might not see it as a color right away.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


A Hole In The Sky

An opening in the sky over West Philly.

Ernie Sandidge @ JOG

Stopped by the James Oliver Gallery last Friday to meet up with a friend checked out Wings and Tails, an exhibit of "fairy paintings and sculptures" of New York based artist, Ernie Sandidge. Wings and Tails features a series of strong figurative paintings and sculptures in various poses with mermaid costumes and fairy wings. Sandidge carries on the tradition of Cezanne-like paint handling without his work seeming quaint or clichéd. The works are juicy, vibrant and very contemporary in feeling.

There's only three days left to see the show and it's well worth the walk up to the fourth floor of 723 Chestnut Street, where James Oliver Gallery is located.

Wings and Tails
Fairy paintings and sculptures of Ernie Sandidge
through November 10th, 2007

James Oliver Gallery
723 Chestnut Street
4th floor
Philadelphia, Pa 19106

Gallery hours
Wed.-Fri, 5-8pm
Sat. 1-8pm or by appointment