Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Through the lens


Jude (math)


Kathryn (closed)

Last summer, I tried my hand at doing some posed portraits. Until this point, most of my photos of people had been captured spontaneously or I would use myself as a model. A good thing, but this year I thought that I should try to see what can happen when I used other people as models. I learned a bit about communicating and giving directions. I know I have a long way to go, but I do feel like I learned a lot. With the exception of Jude, these were all taken in my studio with a Canon Powershot A-650. I wanted to keep my set-up as simple as possible, letting the diffused natural light that comes in from my front windows do the heavy lifting, while keeping the background stark. 

If anyone reading this blog has been following along for a while, you know that photography is another of my creative outlets. I've been learning what I can from just taking photos and experimenting for a while. I know there's a lot more that I need to learn, but I feel like I've come a good ways. This coming year, I'm planning on moving up to a DSLR, most likely another Canon. The Canon EOS 60D is high on my want list and thanks to a generous Christmas gift from my wife, I'm very close to one. Now, to figure out what lens to get...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

...although Cooper still isn't sure about your idea about sleeping with him under the tree.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


2010 Queensland Astrofest Skyscape Time Lapse – Portrait Image Shift from William Castleman on Vimeo.

There's nothing like watching the Milky Way stretched out before you to get a little perspective...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Studio Visit: Rebecca Saylor Sack 12.08.10

I caught up with painter Rebecca Saylor Sack at her studio in the Crane Arts Building recently. We talked about a number of things, but one thing that we had a good laugh about was that the work of painters, especially those who work with abstract imagery, progresses because we wind up making problems for ourselves. 

I know that whenever I begin to feel too comfortable with some aspect of what's going on with my work or if it begins to feel too "easy", it's very likely that I'm going to find some kind of wrench to throw into the situation-changing sizes and kinds of supports, trying different media to paint with, bringing different forms into the work, etc...   I feel like if I don't create challenges for myself, the work will stall and feel stagnant. 

Rebecca seems to keep her work fresh just from the balancing act of using abstraction that closely references landscape, but stops well short of being exactly landscape painting. However, like myself, she has deemed it necessary to mix things up a bit over the past year or so by bringing mark-making strategies, like spray paint, to the work that mixes well her very capable paint-handling skills. 

Rebecca Saylor Sack is represented by the Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York. 

Artist website: Rebecca Saylor Sack.com

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Second State Press

This is exciting! Second State Press is a new printmaking studio that's opening up in the Crane Arts Building in Philadelphia. The studio is member-driven and can be rented on an hourly, weekly, monthly or yearly basis, depending on need. There will be a Grand Opening on Saturday, December 18th, 2010, from 2-7pm


Crane Arts Building, basment (Map)
1400 North American Street
Philadelphia, Pa, 19122

Jacob Krupnick: "After The Art Fair"

Photographer Jacob Krupnick was able to go through the aftermath of Art Basel: Miami and shot a series called, "After The Art Fair". More of the series can be seen here: Jacob Krupnick-After The Art Fair

Studio Visit with Kehinde Wiley on New Art TV

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Painter's Table

"Painters' Table is a daily digest of web content for people who love painting – artists, curators, collectors, and the casual art lover. Highlighting writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published, Painters' Table serves as a jumping off point for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting."

Painter’s Table is a site that I just found that aggregates blogs and blog posts featuring painting as the main subject. A recent post I made here about the current Brice Marden show at Matthew Marks in New York was listed recently on the front page there under “New Posts”.

I haven't gone through a lot of it yet, but from my first glance, there's a lot of content relating to painting and painters, including interviews, videos and blog posts. It's definitely worth a look when you have a moment to get out of the studio.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Studio: 12.01.10

A new, as-of-yet untitled painting in the studio-acrylic on canvas, 66 x 64 inches. I've been moving on with a lot of new things int he studio for a few months now and, thankfully, the momentum has been unabated. If I could afford to sqezze in another day in the studio instead of being at the job, I would in a hearbeat. However, making the most of what time I have now is working. It has to. I've had days where two hours of laser-focused studio activity have enabled me to get way more done than I thought was possible. 

I can't sustain that way of working, as I also need those days where I might have time to stand back and/or sit and contemplate on what's going on and what I might want to do next. Having that inner dialogue time with the work is as important as the time to experiment with materials, do research, day dream, and so on. The real important thing is to be with the work, regardless of how much time you have in the studio. Things don't progress unless you are in there dealing with it, whether that means physically working on something or just being in your work space thinking. I'm writing this from the standpoint of someone who relies on a physical space to make the work, and "dealing with it" can mean just about anything to a lot of people these days. However, from the standpoint of a painter, nothing changes until you're right there, engaging the work directly. 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Scenes from Aqua: Miami 2010

I didn't make it down to Miami for the Aqua Art Fair, but the Bridgette Mayer Gallery has shared some photos, so here we go...

Four of my new works on paper exhibited by the Bridgette Mayer Gallery at the Aqua Art Fair: Miami 2010. To the right is a painting by Dana Hargrove.

                                                    Mark Brosseau helping to set up the gallery's space at Aqua.

Bridgette Mayer Gallery booth at Art Miami with Steve Tobin's "Steelroot" sculptures.

Paul Oberst with his "Banded Props"
Paul Oberst's "Banded Props" with a selection of his photographs on wall.

Works by Rebecca Rutstein, Matt Freedman, and Dana Hargrove

A work by David Slovic to the left of mine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Kinetic Bliss, 2010, acrylic on paper, 22 x 22 inches

I will have new works on paper exhibited by the Bridgette Mayer Gallery at the Aqua Art Fair Miami from December 2-5, 2010-Room #221 at the Aqua Hotel
If you’re in the Miami area or know someone who is and might be interested, stop by! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vincent Romaniello at Aqua10 MIami

Vincent Romaiello, "The Last Straw"

(photos: Vincent Romaniello)

Vincent Romaniello will be showing a new piece titled, “The Last Straw” (above) at Aqua 10 in Miami. Vincent wrote in his blog post that he’s been workiing with Trong Nguyen, from “Work of Art” fame and that Nguyen is “…totally professional” and “a really nice guy”.

Brice Marden at Matthew Marks (video)


A virtual walk-through of the Brice Marden exhibitions at Matthew Marks in New York City. Both "Brice Marden: Letters" and "Brice Marden: Paintings 1961-1964" continue through December 23rd, 2010. 

I just saw these shows last Friday and enjoyed both. The newer work in "Letters" is interesting because Marden has chosen to compress his linear imagery with two bands of muted colors on both sides of the canvases, creating a tension not usually seen with his now iconic mark-making.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Autumnal Mixture

Detail shot of two paintings in progress

 Jeffrey Collins - Autumn Mixture by jeffreycollins

I had a pretty short session in the studio this morning before having to leave for work. Lucky for me, the "Autumn Mixture" by Jeffrey Collins (above) made up for that bummed feeling of having to leave when I wasn't quite ready to.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Studio Visit: Mauro Zamora 10.30.10

It took a couple of months for Mauro Zamora  and myself to nail down a day to swap studio visits, all due to our schedules not synching up for a few weeks. Things finally came together on a Saturday at the end of October. Both of us are in transitional phases with our work at the moment, (jumping off of cliffs is probably more like it) so the timing made the feedback between us that much more important, in my view. 

The questioning and doubt that come along with living a creative life is heightened with painters because of our usually solitary work habits. Not only that, but one of my hard-core personality traits is a propensity to be alone. I can go a long time without being social. That alone makes it a good practice to get out of my space every now and then and experience someone else's, along with getting some feedback on my own work. 

Being able see other artist's work spaces has always been a thrill for me. It is always good to see how other people deal with things like storage, how they organize their spaces and to see how they inhabit their work space. One of the best things about doing studio visits is being given the privilege to see work(s) that the outside world may or may not experience. 

Mauro is currently preparing work for a solo exhibition at Rebekah Templeton here in Philadelphia in January, 2011

Show dates: January 13-February 26, 2011
Opening Reception: January 13, 2011, 6-9pm

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 08, 2010

Studio visit: Brenna K. Murphy 10.02.10

On the same day that I visited Tremain Smith's studio, the last artist I had time to visit was Brenna K. Murphy. Brenna's work consists of integrating hair into photographs and other objects like the envelopes in the photos above. 

According to her artist statement, Murphy says, "I am interested in the relationship between the ideal of Home and the body. In our culture we tend to think of our 'hometown' or the house we grew up in when we think of what Home means. Growing up without the presence of these things, I turned to the more personal and immediate to create my sense of Home: nuclear family, relationships with friends, and my own body. The development of my repetitive 'hair ritual' is indicative of how I have come to view my body as a surrogate Home, a way to connect these ideals with something physical and tangible."  

Because of the delicate nature of her work, it's somewhat diffictult to photograph, hence the few shots here. Brenna K. Murphy's work is best seen in person and there are a couple of chances to do so right now:

"Between the Studio and Facebook"Main Line Art Center (746 Panmure Rd. Haverford, PA)
October 15th - November 13th
"Post (nomad),"  is comprised of hair-embroidered images on post-marked envelopes.

"Vestiges"Center for Emerging Visual Artists (1521 Locust St., Lower Level)
October 20th - November 12th
Found photographs into which she has incorporated her hair using a variety of techniques.