Friday, May 17, 2013
Said the blue International, "I'm in this 2013 calendar, and she painted me a couple of years ago in New Mexico, but I've been around awhile."
"Well, how old ARE you?" asked the Chrysler.
"I'm not sure, because she's the one who's writing this conversation, and despite her appreciation for trucks she doesn't know what year I am," replied the pickup. "And you?"
"Not sure either, for the same reason, but we can assume that I'm a '41 or earlier, considering I'm in this calendar. Well, I'd say we're both looking good. Here's to the future!" cheered Chrysler.
"Yes," agreed the blue International. "And here's to the past!"
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
My friend's dad sent me a box- not just any shoebox, but an old Hot Rod Kit box- filled with pictures of cars clipped from magazines and pamphlets from the 50's and 60's, mostly. He'd visited the gallery in Feb and saw my work, and thought I would appreciate this long-accumulated collection of images and booklets. Some are illustrations, some are photographs that, because of the way they're printed and colored, look like paintings. The descriptions accompanying these pictures are enthusiastic and extravagant in their language. I sat on the floor, sifting through the pile, as dozens of painstakingly-scissored paper automobiles fluttered out from between the pages. Some with beaming people behind the wheel, their animals and luggage at the ready, their eager children in the backseat.
I could probably write a lot more on this- what was the deal with these boatlike cars and their vast interiors, the fins and the chrome, the huge rounded fenders and showy details? The paint jobs, the curvy grilles, even on 'ordinary' vehicles. I don't even know much at all about the history of the automobile. I just really like these cars and trucks. This is some rich source material, brought up from the basement and delivered to me for inspiration.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
A year ago I respectfully repainted Beacon's dummy light-- see this post -- and it has weathered well, only sustaining a few minor scuffs and scratches. I still had the cans of leftover paint, so this morning I gave the base a quick touch-up. Felt like I needed to follow up, maintain what I had started. It didn't take long. Turned out that some early-morning paparazzi caught me, from a distance, in the act, but then all was peaceful.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
I'm promoting these limited-run t-shirts in conjunction with Beacon's centennial this month. There are lots of events planned in the next couple of weeks to celebrate Beacon's 100th birthday. (Though the rich history goes back way further than that, when the city was two separate towns, Matteawan and Fishkill Landing.)
The shirt's design is based on a watercolor I did in 2008, from an old photograph that a longtime Beacon local had loaned to me. The faded black-and-white portrayed this group of workmen posed in front of a Texaco truck. There used to be a Texaco research center in nearby Glenham.. and that's all I know about the image. Naturally I liked the truck but I was also drawn to the men's expressions, their stances and their clothes. To me the image also evokes a Beacon that was once home to many different industries, a place you could live, work, and conduct your daily business.
It is locally printed in brown ink on a 'sustainable edition' American Apparel organic cotton off-white t-shirt. Most sizes. I am selling them as a centennial special for $10, and they are available by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org (for shipping or local pickup), or at Catalyst Gallery (137 Main St).
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
These aren't based on real landscapes I've observed; they're a blend of reference material and imagining. It took me a while to understand the scale- but I'm starting to get what they want. They said, We want to see your own style-- what would you paint? I had to remember how to tap into my illustration mentality, which was never that highly trained to begin with. I don't think I was ever a natural at following directions (one might say). Even though some have said that my paintings, with their precision, decidedly reflect an illustrator's hand.
These scans don't represent very well the shading and color in the originals. I will say, however, that doing these watercolors gave me the notion of going outside and painting landscapes I'm actually looking at, which I rarely do. I think it's because as much as I love nature and being outside, I usually leave that depiction to the landscape painters and photographers. I painted these scenes with the idea that they would be used as background to telling a story.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
I went up to Rhinebeck today with a couple of friends to deliver my Watermelons & Ice Machine painting for the Art Along the Hudson show (opens May 15 at the Betsy Jacaruso Gallery). Not only was it a beautiful spring day for a drive and slight change of scene, but apparently this weekend was the annual Rhinebeck Car Show. So without having to attend, we still spied plenty of classic cars coming and going from the fairgrounds. Add to that a trip to the honey shop, where we bellied up to the honey bar to sample numerous spoonfuls, a late lunch at a favorite restaurant to which I'd received a gift card (thanks mom!), and an hour or so of agreeable meandering around town, and you have one satisfying afternoon. This evening, I went to an opening at the Ann St Gallery in Newburgh. Last night, I hit two art openings in Cold Spring, so I've gotten in a good weekend of local art-seeing already.
|Couldn't get a good photo of this bubblegum-pink car, but he saw us looking and released a burst of flames from the tailpipe.|
|All these jazzed-up cars rolling through town.|
|This is what happens when your gallery is across the street from the ice cream shop.|
I repainted the background of Gray Wheelbarrow after my friend tactfully pointed out a big smudge I'd been trying to overlook. It's better now. This one will be in a group show locally, at bau.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The orange and white 1971 Chevy pickup, watercolor on 18"x24" paper and photographed in two parts, just because.
Dreamsicle truck, with your wood-lined bed, your orange-and-cream upholstery, and your unapproachable for-sale sign. It would never have been a practical relationship, even if I could've bought you. Better to hold your pristine image in my memory, to keep you as my muse.