Thursday, April 30, 2009

Drawn in

I stopped by SAGE Projects at 333 South Street yesterday to check out the second group exhibition they have up called titled, Colorevlolution. I was only going to check out the show and take a few shots of the works on exhibit.

It wasn't going to be that simple. Nic Coviello, who was gallery-sitting, roped me into working with him on a large, collaborative painting that has gone through four stages.

Artists at work (photo courtesy of Nic Coviello)
Nic seated
The aftermath

Other artists in Colorevolution included:

David Foss

James Erikson

Henry Bermudez

Vincent Romaniello

Paul Behnke

Michelle Marcuse

Karen Baumeister

Jon Manteau

Rob Solomon

Friday, April 24, 2009

'This Moment' extended

This Moment (northwest corner and floor)
This Moment (upper north wall)

This Moment (entrance)

Above: some images of the final result of This Moment

I'm still wading through a lot of thoughts I have about the project, which is why I haven't posted much about it thus far. Originally, I was going to post entries about my experiences while the piece was in progress, but there was too much to work through mentally. Now that I've completed it, I've begun filtering through some the stuff in my head and putting it into a somewhat coherent form. Stay tuned for more on this.

Tomorrow (April 25th) marks the end of my solo show at Bridgette Mayer, but This Moment, the site-specific piece I worked on during the month, and finished a couple of days ago, will be on view through the month of May. So, gallery visitors who didn't have a chance to see it in progress have another month to view the finished state, alongside the newest works of fellow gallery artist, Elyce Abrams.

I'd also like to acknowledge some fellow bloggers who mentioned the show over the past month, including, Steven Alexander, Jen Bradford, Roberta Fallon at The Artblog, Shauna Lee Lange, Matthew Langley, Rob Matthews, and Vincent Romaniello. I don't think I missed anyone, but if I did, thank you, too!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Caught in the act

Today was one of those days where things flowed nicely. The sun was out and it was warm, two factors that heavily contributed to my good frame of mind for most of the day.

I worked in the vault room at Bridgette Mayer again today and things are moving along nicely. This past Tuesday I started painting on the walls to move myself past the little rut I felt last week. I continued painting today and the work is coming out well, warts and all.

Fellow artist and blogger, Rob Matthews, came by for a bit. We talked about the exhibit and installation piece, This Moment. We talked at length about my processes in regards to the site-specific work what effect(s) it has had on my work habits. Rob was kind enough to blog about the show and our talk on Matthews The Younger. There are some photos of the vault room work there, as well. I've taken a ton of photos to document the piece and experience but I'm having a difficult finding time to deal with them right now. I'll definitely get some up soon.

One thing that has come up for me is negotiating the space so that I can see what I've done-there is little room to step back to see what I've just done. Unlike being in my studio and having several feet to a few yards to step back and observe my work, in the vault room there's just about five feet in any direction. I also have to pay attention to several planes of surface (four walls and the ceiling, plus various places where wood is attached to the walls) at one time.

Because of the space issue, the work becomes somewhat confrontational for me, at times. Particularly since I've begun painting. The marks of the paintbrushes are much different and bolder than the marks I made previously with the Caran D'ache sticks. From the start of this project, I've never felt claustrophobic in the space, but since I've started painting, I've experienced a little discomfort because my nose is constantly in it. The only way to step back is to get just outside the doorway and look in from there and observe.

The room has begun to resemble one of my paintings but on a slightly grander scale than usual. When I first walked in this morning, I thought that it felt like some kind of grotto or lost place, part of an abandoned building, perhaps? I don't know, but that space is beginning to take on some history of its own.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nature break

The spring rains are the presents that keep on giving and giving and giving. It has been almost a full week of non-stop rain and cold temperatures, but that's the nature April, a month that's big on living up to it's nature, at least according to the old saying, "April showers.... Before those May flowers come the blossoming of trees all over the place. We're fortunate enough to have some Cherry Blossoms (sakura, in Japanese) in Fairmount Park.

Last Friday, I was supposed to work on my piece in the gallery, but chose not to go in because there was too much going on then. A lot of artwork was being moved out of the gallery and there was just chaos, so Bridgette asked if I would consider not going in that afternoon to avoid the craziness. I didn't think twice about it and told her that it was no problem. I needed a day away from it anyway. I'd reached that, "What the f%&k am I doing?" stage where I wasn't sure how to proceed forward. I needed the break and took it. I've since figured that out and things are moving ahead.

I took advantage of the fairly mild, if cloudy, weather and rode out to Kelly Drive to take some photos of the Cherry Blossoms along the Schuylkill River. Here are some of the results:

In Bloom

In Bloom (grove)

In Bloom (bridge)

In Bloom (table)

In Bloom (buds)

In Bloom (white canopy)

In Bloom (pink)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

'Right Now' in photos and 'This Moment' in words

left: Little Speaker Groove, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36"
right: Streaming, 2008, ink on paper, 60" x 50"

left: Gravity's Architecture, 2009, acrylic on panel, 16" x 16"
center: Cycles: Expansion and Cycles: Contraction, both 2009, acrylic on panel, 16" x 16"
right: Restless Wanderer, 2009, acrylic on panel, 16" x 16"

A Promise Kept, 2009, acrylic on panel, 16" x 20"

left: Candy Coated, 2008, acrylic on panel, 24" x 24"
right: Halcyon, 2008, acrylic on panel, 24" x 24"

Set of untitled works on paper. All 2009, water media on paper, 11" x 10"

left: Twist, 2009, acrylic on panel, 24" x 24"
right: Masks, 2009, acrylic on panel, 30" x 40"

right: 'Argo', 2009, acrylic on panel, 20" x 16"

right: Rising, 2009, acrylic on paper, 50" x 50"

The opening went very well last Friday-well attended and good feedback about the work. I even got to meet Pam Farrell in person (thanks for making the journey down!). The night was great until I realized at dinner that I'd lost my wedding ring. I and a few other people tried to find it to no avail. I gave it up for lost until I received a call from Bridgette last night.

It was trash night for the gallery's area and Bridgette's assistant, Sophie, went beyond the call of duty and decided to look once more for the ring. She found it at the bottom of a small trash bag that was from the opening reception, which means the ring slipped off of my finger while I was drying my hands. So, many, many thinks to Sophie!!

This is the second time I've lost and recovered this ring. I think a resizing is in my near future.

It's been a busy, busy week as I've been working in the gallery's vault room on an on-going piece called This Moment. This is the first time I've attempted a site-specific work and so far, it's been just as challenging as any other work except for the fact that I'm going through all of the 'what the f%$k am I doing?' bits in a fairly public space. Actually I just got to that phase yesterday after three previous sessions in here. I spent today trying to find a way forward and I may have. We'll see tomorrow.

What I'm doing is drawing directly on the walls of the space with water-soluable Caran D'ache crayons. I'm operating without much of a plan, except that I have more space to work with, along with all of the particular aspects that come along with said space. The space is roughly 115 inches high, 71 inches across the back wall and 61 inches deep, so not that large. The most frequently asked question from gallery visitors about this project, is "Aren't you claustrophobic in here?" Actually, no, not at all. Of course, if I had to stay in there against my will with no sunlight, well, yeah, I might go a bit mad.

The walls are concrete with enough variances in texture to keep things interesting and a vaulted ceiling that makes for really nice acoustic affects. There's a vaulted ceiling which makes for cool acoustics. It's a great space for working with sound, which is something I might consider in the future, if I get to use this space again. It's interesting listening to music in there because of the way sound waves echo and change when I turn my head one way or the other.

As far as documentation goes, I've taken tons of photos showing the progression of This Moment and have edited a few, so I'll get something visual up soon in another post. I've also done some short videos of me working. Most of them are less than a minute and a few a little longer. Before starting, I thought the visual documentation would get in the way of the actual drawing, but documenting my work has become more of a regular part of my routine than I thought, which has eased the whole process quite a bit.

Looking forward to whatever is going happen in there tomorrow (famous last words, haha).