I delivered two paintings, Prophet of the Apocalypse, and Amelia Beheads the Alchemical King, to the High Studio in Moorpark where they’re going to be part of the Warrior exhibit there. There’s to be an opening reception at the studio to which I warmly invite you, particularly students from my new classes at CLU.
Artists’ Reception Friday Sept. 11, 7pm-9:00pm
HIGH STUDIO, 11 East High Street, Moorpark, CA 93021 (805) 523-7957
Hours: Monday through Friday 9am-5pm, Closed Saturday & Sunday
I enjoyed camping with my son for the weekend, striking camp early this morning and returning to the studio after running a mile and an abbreviated yoga practice. My colleague Terry Spehar-Fahey showed up and began work on a new painting, which was wonderful, first because she works very quickly and beautifully, particularly inspiring at a time when I feel a little slow. I spent a few hours cleaning and tidying the studio, mostly procrastination if I’m really honest about it, but it really is good to be in an organized space. This afternoon I got to work on the en grisaille layer of the maiden, a little roughed in right now, but easily tweaked later to correct small discrepancies. In a prolonged session of repeated priming I also put down several layers of red gesso for the gold circle upon which she will stand, identifying her as one of the group of virtues in the tarot.
I see the image of Fortitude as an allegory that recommends keeping under control the things which will harm us without being distracted from the true goal of our life. The young woman pays attention to what is happening before her, while simultaneously holding the jaws of the beast, clearly a force that would dominate her if she were not focused on her true objective. As an angelic force, like the figures of Temperance, Prudence and Justice, she is a messenger between the heavens and the earth, bringing divine guidance to us.
I’m been camping with my son for the weekend, but taking a break this afternoon to head over to the opening reception at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks, CA. My As the Crow Flies installation is in one of the rooms there for the current exhibit. I’ll post photos of how the piece looks in this space later today.
I’m planning to work hard in the studio and at promoting my work this year, to find my way into larger gallery spaces, because the pieces have outgrown small venues.
Selected Curiosities with Mr. Pearce’s Cabinet of Alchemical Wonders
Monica Furmanski, Janet Neuwalder, Michael Pearce, Jennifer Tennace
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 16, 6-9pm
Selected Curiosities showcases the work of four Los Angeles area artists working in a variety of media to create pieces that promise to pique the viewer’s curiosity. Using clay, mixed media, and digital photographic prints Monica Furmanski and Janet Neuwalder will collaborate on an installation that speaks to both the micro and macro aspects of the natural world. Their collaborative effort is based on the “use of similar imagery that investigates the poetic and complex structures of natural and industrial systems, networks, and matrices.” With nature as her starting point, Jennifer Tenace uses oil, acrylic and mixed media on panel to create lush abstract landscapes in which the mercurial aspects of process are evident. Michael Pearce will show his installation Mr. Pearce’s Cabinet of Alchemical Wonders for the first time. This installation includes many mixed media pieces and large scale paintings and reflects Pearce’s interest in the philosophy of alchemy, the base elements of air, water, fire, and earth, and humankind’s longing to understand the phenomenon of the universe.
Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 10:00am
Friday, June 19, 2009 at 5:00pm
Brand Library Art Galleries
1601 West Mountain Street
A couple of days ago Francesco came to the studio to visit prior to his return to New York. I really enjoyed spending time with him, with his easy calm temper and excellent cooking and I hope to see him again soon. I’m closely guarding two of his paintings for an exhibit at the local Hillcrest Center, which I’ll also be participating in with the As the Crow Flies installation.
Meanwhile, in the Kwan Fong gallery the Multimedia show has been taken down and we are preparing for the exhibit of our Senior Art majors work, the culmination of their Bachelors degrees at the University. The opening is on Friday evening at 7.00pm.
I’ve been looking at rose bushes and figuring out how they would hang over the wall in the Sun painting. This afternoon I hope to get started on laying down the background for them.
A friend pointed me in the direction of an interesting story on the work of Mr. Robert C. Christian and the guidestones in this article. The stones have been vandalized this week, which is a pity, reminding me of the Taliban’s fundamentalist efforts to eradicate all trace of any religion other than theirs from Afghanistan. No tolerance!
We had a very successful opening reception last night at the gallery, celebrating the work of Murray and Megan McMillan, who have been resident artists at CLU for a couple of weeks. A very nice crowd showed up for the lecture, then enjoyed food and drinks in the gallery where we were able to watch the video and take a lamp from the piece itself. I’m beat!
I made it into the studio this evening and laid down some black paint into the background of the Death card and the foreground of the Sun, where the alchemical twins have emerged from the nigredo.
Photos by Eric Hagen:
I’ve been very preoccupied with getting things ready for Megan and Murray, who are coming to the gallery tonight, starting work on their installation for the university. After making sure that they had a place to stay I continued working on Justice, making some progress on an broken icy landscape that stretches away into the distance. This is a good first layer, that will get more refined with a few more glaze coats to add some gentle variation to the surface of the ice.
Justice and Temperance are almost complete. Only twenty more to do!
This evening I’m going to attend an opening reception at the High Gallery in Moorpark, where a very nice show of portrait painting is opening up, including some of Francesco’s work, who I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago. I’m looking forward to it. After the reception I’ll head back to campus to meet Megan and Murray.
The new exhibit is in the gallery, looking good. This has kept us pretty busy at the University for the week! Last touches today, putting the labels on each piece and getting the brochures from the printer, then picking up the food for the reception this afternoon. It’s a good show, with lots of variety to keep people interested.
Here’s the info from the CLU website. There are tons of pictures of this and other shows on the Gallery’s website too. (Including some of my work, along with that cool slideshow the web design guys here made)
The gallery’s on Facebook now, by the way. Joining the fan group is a great way to keep up with what’s happening.
February 7 – March 8, 2009
Location: Kwan Fong Gallery
Imagine a world in which art creates itself from the movements of random objects joining themselves together into new and fascinating organizations and structures – where the ordinary becomes amazing because of unexpected combinations and arrangements. The Assemblage exhibit gives us a delightful view into the mysterious world of re-invention and reconstruction under the hands of Southern California artists Bob Privitt, Leslie McQuaide, Gary Raymond and CLU art professor Larkin Higgins.
Admission is free. An opening reception will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7.
I added a glaze of Ultramarine Blue and Ivory Black to the background of Amelia, who is still not quite ready for another layer – that thick white paint can take a really long time to dry, especially when it’s damp.
The brush on the right is a large badger hair blender that is fantastic for making soft backgrounds. You use it by painting your glaze coat on with another brush, then using this beauty dry, gently touching the surface with a light touch, flicking back and forth to soften the brushstrokes. The result is a lovely soft coat of paint which looks almost glassy when it’s complete.
Earlier today I went to the High Studio and put together the “As the Crow Flies” installation. Looking good so far. Opening reception this Saturday afternoon.
Busy day. The festival was a blast – less of a turnout than last year, but still a total treat to celebrate Samhain by putting on an event like this. We ate a crazy amount of pumpkin pie and enjoyed ballet from Caitlyn Carradine and incredible music from my friend Jim Connolly who is one of the best human beings I have ever known. I really enjoyed dressing up as a dirigible captain!
My students displayed their work in one of our spaces that works pretty well for exhibiting paintings, even though classes are held in there regularly. They were fabulous! Their challenge was to produce seven large oil paintings in time for the festival. I am really impressed by the work that they accomplished – really good quality. I’ll put up some pictures soon.
I delivered a pile of crows and ravens to the High Studio ready for the opening reception of the Dreamscapes show. I guess I end up with half of the gallery for this show, which is great. I’m still selling crows, and hope to see some of them move. (Need the money for some rather interesting bills that have materialized recently.)