This last week of April/first in May I am hard at work preparing paintings to go to Louisa Gould Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard. My sixth season with the gallery—and 20+ showing on the Vineyard—we are in a good groove together, and both excited about this line-up for the season.
For more, you can go to the gallery website:
A recent sale at Louisa Gould Gallery was the winning selection of a fellow who thoroughly researched my galleries’ websites and then sent inquires about pieces that he liked to five different galleries. After careful consideration, this is what he chose:
Reaching back to last winter…gone but not forgotten. I taught my Constructing/Deconstructing the Landscape workshop at the Woodstock School of Art. This is a very structured course, especially the first day+, dialing in on compositional shifts and how they affect movement, directionality, and mood. I always love what evolves, and this incarnation was no exception.
Here are a few of the student-executed exercises.
First, just hillside and tree or two in black gesso. Then move them around; change angle and division of picture plane; different type of tree. Several thought to break up the hillside.
This workshop feels like a slow flowering from tightly following direction early on to a much more open expression, integrating lessons learned along the way. I feel grateful for the trust that I am given to lead this guided work, since at the beginning of the workshop students feel a little hemmed in and have to go on faith that there are reasons for this, and that we are headed somewhere quite satisfying.
The first quarter of 2019 has been busy not just in the normal progression of events, projects, and deadlines, but also unusually so in the shear number and complexity of sales. Some of these required a fair bit of waltzing on my part, often accompanied by one of my galleries or consultants and assisted by my husband.
As you can imagine, each of these has a story.
A few of these stories:
In late February a designer I work with in Piermont NY, Ned Kelly, called in regard to the large painting below, wanting to show it to a client who already owned a smaller piece of mine. So off we went, my husband and I, that painting and a few others in tow, to meet up with the designer at the client’s home.
The piece actually didn’t work in the planned spot, so Ned headed upstairs to look for another likely wall, finding it above the bed in the master bedroom, across from my smaller piece that they owned.
With five people in a huge house, conversations splintered off, grouping and regrouping. By the time the painting was settled upon and the below smaller piece brought in from the car and actually installed, we had ranged far and wide, through good-natured expletive-laced teasing and the performative appearance of a shot gun. Add in two gorgeous dogs and a couple of cute kids and you have the whole picture.
Shortly after that I picked up a phone message from a person unknown to me but with a familiar last name, inquiring about a piece on my website. She turned out to be the new wife of a long-time friendly acquaintance. He and his (now I am understanding) ex-wife had remained on my mailing list for some years since I had last seen them, and I had been picturing them together, with the visiting grown kids and grandkids, exactly where I had seen them every summer for about twenty years.
But big changes had taken place. His new wife wanted to purchase a piece for her husband for their 3rd wedding anniversary. Apparently, the first wife had gotten the painting that they owned in the divorce (something I hear fairly often, actually) and he had been forwarding my invitations and updates along to his new wife, expressing enthusiasm for my work.
I had assumed years of silence meant lack of interest. But this is why I don’t take anyone off my mailing list unless they ask to be removed—I never know who is looking and enjoying and who deletes without opening.
So, after much back-and-forth and a delivery of three pieces for a staged viewing on the anniversary itself, this five-part vertical seascape was selected. I even got to have lunch and catch up with my old friend when he brought the other two paintings back to my area.
There is something in this story that feels very rich to me, maybe starting with the fact that it spans decades of time. There is a lot of life-essence in it—changes, losses, new beginnings, time passing, reconnections, and tracing the timelines of entwined lives.
We did a pop-up house party, a big collaborative effort, in Riverdale, NY. I hadn’t done one of these since the several that I did about a decade ago with Asher Nieman Gallery:
My co-conspirators this time were Albert Shahinian Fine Art, my husband, and my sister and brother-in-law, who opened up their apartment for the event. With this crew I had a driver; art handlers; a chef; a party planner; and a galleriest. Lucky me!
Below, a few of the pieces that departed for new homes:
I have two very different workshops coming up in May and June in the Catskills.
At the Emerson Resort in Mount Tremper, for all levels, an exploration of the imagery of our beautiful Catskill Mountains in May color:
And in June, for more experienced painters looking to explore a different concept:
On deck in my studio is another incarnation of my environmentally -themed Atlas Project. Atlas/Forms of Water, a solo show, will open at Albert Shahinian Fine Art in Rhinebeck this September, exact date TBA.
This show will feature all sorts of water imagery along with a new site map, in progress below. Along with the oil paintings, look for map pieces in collage and lino/mono print exploring climate change and sea level rise/storm flooding.
This builds on the show that I had at Thompson Giroux Gallery last spring, Atlas/Hudson River Valley (you can see the site map for that show in the upper left background). If you missed seeing or reading about the show, here is the link to my blog post on it:
Forms of Water explores a more a global rather that locale-specific theme, though my personal forms of water have most often been experienced in the Northeast.
Also upcoming, a small duo show with my friend Polly Law at the Roxbury Arts Group; more workshops; and fresh work heading to Nantucket. More on all of this soon!
If you are not on my mailing list and would like to be, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An open studio and house party are alternative ways to share and sell art. The artist communicates directly with the collector or visitor, creating a scenario where stories can be shared and feedback absorbed in an immediate fashion.
I have done several of these events in the past weeks, two in my studio and one at my biggest collector’s apartment in NYC. It is my pleasure to share my work with collectors, friends, and newcomers in this one-on-one manner.
In my studio I try to have as much work out and visible as possible, so the look is quite crowded. When someone is considering a particular piece, I clear a spot for it on my easel, where the light is the best, for better viewing. Despite the fact that I have many pieces to choose from at these events, I often hear requests for something specific (size, color, or locale of imagery) that I might not have on hand. For this reason, I keep my laptop handy with my files so that I can show folks other available work that is out in my galleries, and either send them to see the piece there, if geographically possible, or find another way for them to check it out in person.
The very best way to make a decision between pieces is to bring, or have my gallery bring, a small grouping of work to the collector’s home. One look at the right piece on the wall in question is a great solution to any dithering.
Arranging my studio or my host’s apartment with all of my work is a favorite part of the process (this is true of all the good galleriests that I know, as well). Not all paintings of mine go with each other well, either due to color or feel of the piece, and of course there are different sized walls, easels, and shelves to consider, so getting it right is a time-consuming process involving a good deal of trial and error.
When folks make an appointment privately to come to my studio they encounter a different situation—work on the walls and stacked on the floor, works-in-progress on the easels, and tables covered with tools of the trade. This is fun in a different way, as I pull work out from stacks and flat files, paying close attention to their description of what they have in mind. I will be doing more of this than usual in the upcoming months, since I recently created a program called “Artists in Their Studios” through our local four-star inn, the Emerson Resort and Spa.
For the artist, hosting these visits hones communication skills, helping to create the habit of talking about the work with ease, fluency, and pleasure. And for the collector or visitor, a chance to sit for a bit, view the body of work in a leisurely way, ask questions, and browse the various articles about and photos of my paintings in magazines, books, and newspapers that I have accumulated.
Moving on to the home party—really a pop-up show—that I did at my biggest collector’s apartment (she owns 35 pieces!). I partnered with my galleriest Emily, of Asher Neiman Gallery. We took all the collector’s work (of mine) off of the walls, and put up new work of mine, 34 pieces. She did not—understandably—want additional nail holes in her walls, so we needed to be creative to get as much onto the walls as possible.
You will see many of the same pieces that were in my studio, but looking quite different in a modern apartment. Once again, doing the set-up was thoroughly entertaining, and over the next several days we enjoyed the interaction with our visitors, who came from her mailing list and mine.
There is another way to do a home party, where the host is present and invites friends and acquaintances who love art. The fun for them is in seeing their home transformed, and often they will want to keep a piece or two for themselves.
These events are a tremendous amount of work to organize and execute, so I am ready to be back in my studio as the working artist.