Vacationland (detail)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Installation Pictures

Thank you to all who managed to make it to Rockland for my exhibition.  Special thank you to Jake, Mary, Gus and Kirsten at Dowling Walsh who (again) did an amazing job presenting my work. If you didn't make it to the show, here are some installation shots to give you a sense of it.

The absolute success of the show was more than I could have hoped for.  As a result, my studio is empty of work and so I've been busy with much needed tidying and retooling. New subjects are  percolating at the periphery of my consciousness--with some already starting to make their way into sketches. I have a busy winter of painting ahead, so I'll try and post images as they come.

Oh, and there was a review of my show that you can read here.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Exhibition This Week

"Sparrow", oil on linen mounted on panel, 14" x 19"

I am just dotting i's and crossing t's at this point. I've finishing touches on two paintings to take care of and a bit of frame finishing to go. All this is in preparation for my exhibition at Dowling Walsh that opens on Friday the 31st.  Most of the work has been delivered to the gallery, so if you're in Rockland you can stop by and have a preview. If you do not happen to be lucky enough to be enjoying a perfect summer day in Maine, you can just check out their website. They've recently updated my page  with the new images.

Speaking of websites, my very own site just underwent a facelift--complete with rollovers and slideshows!  My friend Dani Meier was the creative and tech force behind it. I chose to simplify and cut out many of the older paintings. Dropping the portrait section has caused the most comments. The reason for this is that though I still do take commissions, I've had the luxury of being able to be more fussy about which projects to take on so I'm not advertising that part of my painting life quite as much.

The above painting (with the awesome frame--thank you Troy!) is already at the gallery. It has a really magical presence that gives me great pleasure whenever I see it. And I'll have to add that as lovely as I think it is in this digital presentation, it seriously glows when seen in person.

So, I'll get back to my easel for final details. I hope to see some of you this Friday in Rockland.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Frames and Details

Well, the rain finally stopped here in Hancock so that means.... frame delivery!  This morning  I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of 4 frames from Williams Cabinetry. The large frame for the painting of the figure in the dinghy I am especially looking forward to seeing. The painting is just about finished and I plan to do some tweaking and glazing once  I have the frame here. Here's a detail:

Detail of Untitled, 2012, oil on linen, 86 x 60 inches

I did take a break from the big painting (still untitled) to work on another piece--that does have a title that I particularly like. It's called Hunters and Rabbits.... Here's a peek:

Detail of Hunters and Rabbits, 2012, oil on linen 36 x 36 inches
And for a bit of a historical reference/influence, when I look at his detail of my painting, I can't help but think about Mr. Eakins' lovely painting of his wife and their Setter.....

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Almost Finished

As you can see, I'm almost finished with this painting. I've got a few paintings going all at once as I head into the home stretch for my exhibition at Dowling Walsh in Rockland. This painting still has several hours of painting grass as well as final day of glazing/fussing to go.  I can't quite bring myself to finish it in one fell swoop (see Character flaws, et al.) and have jumped into some other paintings. I'm a junkie for the excitement of the first few days of a painting, so when I felt my energy and confidence flagging last week, I knew it was time to start another piece while promising myself that I'd chip away at the details of this big painting. I'm still unsure of the title for this one, but hope to have it resolved soon. Happily though, the frame is underway--I can't wait to see this framed. It'll be a lovely cherry frame with a gold liner. Williams Cabinetry is again building the frame, I'll do the gilding and then we'll put it all together.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

84? 82? 86! Monday

Deciding how big to make a painting is something that I still struggle with.  How does one  know whether an image should be realized as a small painting, a large painting, or any size in between? As a painter, one can develop a comfort zone, and I for one am aware of this.  Many of my paintings are about 18 x 24 inches. From time to time I challenge myself by working on a larger canvas, but still the question lingers: Is this idea really a six foot idea, or just a modest 18 inches?  In addition too the implicit artistic issues that accompany the decision, there are also  mundane logistic issues to tend to: Will it fit on the easel? How heavy will the finished product be? Do I have enough paint? Is there a collector who shares my enthusiasm enough AND has a wall big enough? And then, perhaps none more obvious than transportation. Often the deciding factor is the size of one's car. Well, I have a normal sized station wagon which doesn't accommodate more than a 40 inch wide painting--not bad, but it is a bit limiting, so I've resolved to not even take that into account.

This past week as I worked on an idea for a painting, and it started to scream big...I mean BIG! Once committed to go with it, I needed to settle on a size. The first drawing was 84 inches (7 feet!) tall, the second scaled down to 82 inches (I know it seems like a small difference, but the model's hands seemed much too small...) OK, so, yeah, I went the other direction and settled on 86 inches... and 60 inches wide. I loved how when I finished my snow angel painting last year, it hovered over me as I worked. Perhaps I needed another angel right about now, but in the end my thinking on this was as simple as "if not now, when?" (Mandy that's for you!)

So here I've post the original scribbly sketch from my little 8" x 10" sketch book, a picture of my studio with the drawing taped to a pink rigid foam insulation board and leaning on the 86" x 60" stretcher bars, and a detail from the large study.  I am being a bit secretive about paintings, as I mentioned in my last post, but I'll be sure to post another detail or two along the way.....on your marks, get set, Monday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Plow Blades

I've been enjoying a nice creative burst lately; with painting ideas quickly piling up on one side of my studio and paintings accumulating on the other. I am at the point where the finished canvases need to find new places to live in my house in anticipation of my exhibition at the end of the summer at Dowling Walsh in Rockland.

Lately there's been a debate over just how much new work to show on my blog and website. On the one hand I love posting work once it's finished and I've been receiving such positive feedback that it's difficult to resist showing everything; on the other hand I'd rather not completely ruin the sense of anticipation and excitement for the exhibition (ok, so I'm excited.....I hope at least some of you are too.)

As a compromise, I do have a couple of studies from a recent project that I can share. The first is a study of L wrapped in her mother's shawl while sitting on the blade of her father's plow. The idea for her to pose on the plow blade arrived several months ago, but when she mentioned one day in early February that the Winter Dance was coming up and that she'd be buying a new dress, I knew that now would be the time to ask her to pose. I've finished one painting of just L and the plow, but have a second one planned (canvas stretched and primed...43 x 64 inches!) that will also include her father in the painting.  Between the study and the finished painting, I've now painted the plow blade twice. (Sarah is teasing me that I've done such a good job on the blade that I should consider marketing myself as "America's Painter of Plow Blades"--needless to say, I'll pass.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Somehow word has gotten out....

The Gettysburg Review is featuring my paintings in the Spring 2012 issue. It just arrived on my doorstep; it looks great!

And Aparte 20 Minutos, a free Spanish Newspaper based in Madrid, has a small feature about me in their arts and culture blog this week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Year

Well, I'm back from South Africa and hard at work preparing for an exhibition later this year. The time away from the studio was wonderful, the travel fantastic, the people amazing, but yes, it's great to be back in chilly Maine, holed up in my studio making paintings. While in South Africa I did a small portrait study of my cousin (once-removed) Margot Chamberlain and her daughter Anne.

My efforts here in the studio have mostly gone into this painting of my neighbor, L, who has modeled for a number of my recent paintings. I'm very happy with how well (and quickly) it has been going.  The painting is biggish (36 x 52 inches).  For this painting I treated myself to a canvas stretched by Chris Polson of Twin Brooks Stretchers. He and his business partner, Joe, make the most amazing stretcher bars and, yes, they do stretch and prime as well. The quality is excellent, they are a pleasure to work with, and it is, as I said, an absolute treat to go straight from the drawing to the canvas without having to take a few days off in order to prepare the linen.

The nearly finished painting and the drawing: