Flying Solo Exhibit at Nashville International Airport

Two of my latest pieces created just for the Flying Solo exhibit at the Nashville International Airport will be on exhibit from September, 4, 2017 until November 29, 2017.

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Contemporary Journey 1 96″ x 96″ and  Contemporary Journey 2, 96″ x 96″, both inkjet on aluminum, will hang side by side in the main ticketing lobby.

While I wanted to establish these pieces clearly within the journey metaphor, I also wanted to create an intentionally ambiguous narrative which would allow the viewer to bring his or her thoughts, stories and interpretations to the pieces. What are the figures in the piece doing?  Are they leaving or arriving? Are there second thoughts about a destination or departure, or is there great dream-like hope? Are the pieces tense or uplifting?  I am asking the viewer to consider what hopes and/or anxieties we bring to any journey, physical or psychic, and what our relationship is to those thoughts and emotions.

I wanted these pieces to be contemporary as well as a homage to vintage graphic posters. The use of black, white, pink and gold as the primary colors links both time periods and styles, as does the simplicity of the pieces, but with the playfulness and ambiguity for which my work is known.

The components for this piece include photos of people I have posed, photographs of suitcases, actual airplanes photographed on runways, and astronomy illustrations and weathered paper and paint.

The writing on the foreground suitcase is from the Jungian psychologist James Hollis. The writing on the plane is found graffiti, the Tao, and an old letter to home found at an antique store.

 

Denver Skyline Series

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When the staff from Cherry Creek Art Festival in Denver approached me about creating a poster for the top festival in the country, I was delighted. With an attendance of 350,000+, the arts festival features over 232 of the nation’s top visual artists, seven performance stages, and a volunteer program with over 1,000+ volunteers. Considered the nation’s top fine art festival, it is unparalleled in scope and organization.
The first two images were used for the posters and merchandise. (For the first time, the CCAF decided to print two different posters.)  The third and fourth images are other versions I created and are also available.
I created all of the images from photographs I took when in Denver a few years ago.  I photographed each building separately, then combined them to create a cityscape that, while not an exact replica of the beautiful Denver skyline, communicates the look and feel of  it.  
Below are the finished posters, the patron party and artist talk.
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Understanding Contemporary Relationships ( music series )

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Understanding Contemporary Relationships ( series )

I stumbled across an article a few months ago discussing how a musical performance must function as a relationship if it is to be successful.  One must have his or her own voice, allow others to have their voices/voice and work with this tension to create harmony. This, in turn, creates music.

I thought it would be an interesting challenge to use music in visual images that can show tension, harmony, balance or imbalance.

The resulting pieces became part of the solo exhibit, Contemporary Narratives at The Arts Company in downtown Nashville.

These pieces consist of hundreds of photographs of people who I posed, mannequins, pianos and musical instruments that I photographed in different locations, weathered paint and paper as well as text and other things, places and items I photographed.

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Contemporary Nashville

 

TAC Contemporary Nashville Mixed Media Cityscape with Plexi

Contemporary Nashville, Silver Sky, 60″ x 60″, Mixed Media, $4250

TAC Contemporary Nashville Cityscape red sky

Contemporary Nashville, 48″ x 48″, inkjet on aluminum, $1850

This Nashville piece is part of a larger series using music as a metaphor for relationship.

I stumbled across an article a few months ago discussing how a musical performance must function as a relationship if it is to be successful.  One must have his or her own voice, allow others to have their voices/voice and work with this tension to create harmony. This, in turn, creates music.

This specific piece obviously incorporates this theme.  Nashville’s has a long history with music so it is important to its  past and also important today.  This piece serves two roles, to honor the history and ongoing tradition of music in Nashville and as a reminder that as Nashville continues to grow and develop, it is working with all of the voices and allowing for this tension that will keep it in harmony.

This piece consists of hundreds of photographs.  I photographed the downtown Nashville skyline as well as a number of individual buildings to create the foundation of the piece.  I then added dozens of photographs of musical instruments, sheet music, text from various sources including the Tao and the Dow Jones stock market reports and photos of weathered paint and paper.

For the mixed media piece, I printed part of this image on clear acrylic, then bolted it to an aluminum composite  board that I had coated with handmade paper, paint and  molding paste.

The Juggler : A View of Contemporary Life

Juggler for WEBSITE

I continue to be drawn to a Juggler as an image, this being my third version.  This is not a conscious decision, at least to begin with, but I find that there is no better image to symbolize our contemporary lifestyle as someone with so much “in the air”.

In this piece, from left to right, he is juggling career or upward mobility, relationship, nation/news/politics, home, time, religion/spirituality and money.  He has more balls stacked on the ground beside him to add to the group he is juggling or to replace some should they be dropped or should he let something go.

Below the waiting stack is a partial obscured concept I encountered and photographed stenciled on a bathroom wall.  It says Free Yourself from Worry, Live Simply, Give More, Expect Less.

In the background is both English and Chinese versions of text from the Book of Five Fold Happiness, which is an exploration of happiness in relationships, prosperity, longevity, ( and two others I cant think of )

On his tie is images of computers, phones, tablets and other modern day work and communication devices.

Finally, he is standing in a circle which may suggest a mandala, an ancient symbol that suggests that we create the world we live in.  Surrounding this is writing from the Jungian Psychologist, James Hollis

Crossroads

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Crossroads  

120″ wide x 89″ tall.  Also available in other sizes.

There is no denying that “Walls” are powerful symbols with many possible intents and meanings. Crossroads is an exploration of walls as they speak to division and otherness.

In the movie Fences, the main character Troy Maxson, played by Denzel Washington, is building a physical fence in his yard. He is also, in his personal life, building a wall of anger, judgement, and fear around himself. The fence as a metaphor for self-protection is also a metaphor for isolation, and what began as a self protective measure became, in the end, self-destructive.

We all wall ourselves off to some extent. Boundaries are an important and healthy component of stability and mental fitness. Our brains are wired to quickly sort things, people, and beliefs into categories in order to “understand them” and to determine whether they are helpful or harmful to us. Our brains do this by relying on our history, culture, background, gender, race and the messages we received as children about who we are and who other people are. But when we make assessments without allowing for new or competing information, our boundaries become rigid, and we risk isolating ourselves and intensifying our fear of others. What began as self-protective becomes self-destructive.

Crossroads is a call to keep our walls fluid, while also being conscious of who and what we let in and keep out. It is a reminder to re-evaluate often, and to be aware our prejudices, our fears and our projections. It is not a commentary on the current political climate except inasmuch as it is a call to recognize that rigid boundaries propagate fear and enhance our view of of those on the other side as “enemy.” It is a call to assess whether our boundaries are more helpful than they are harmful, personally, societally, and globally.

It is said that we teach what we most need to learn. As an artist, I create images about what I most need to l explore. All of my artwork, whether about juggling life priorities, maintaining healthy boundaries, or working to be in harmony with others, begins as a dialogue with myself. It is my hope that this dialogue strikes a universal chord.

The Waiting Room

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The Waiting Room, 2017.  95″ tall x 160″( edition of 1 ) to 31″ tall x 53″ wide ( edition of 12)

Transition

Recently a friend was describing an NPR Radio Lab episode(Afterlife season 6, episode 2 http://www.radiolab.org/story/91680-after-life/ ) he heard, which was about death. In the episode, a writer and scientist was talking about three deaths and a waiting room. The story, as my friend told it to me, grabbed my attention; I immediately thought it would be an interesting art piece.

A few days later, I was listening to Radio Lab when that very episode was rebroadcast. I was struck by the coincidence, and struck again by the concept and the possibilities for imagery that it conjured.   I ordered the book by neuroscientist David Eagleman,, where this tale of three deaths and a waiting room originated. The book, SUM: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, is a collection of his essays which explore what the afterlife might be like. All of the stories are well written and immensely creative. But it was  Metamorphosis, that had aired on Radio Lab, that I found myself still wanting to pursue.

Metamorphosis is about the process of waiting to transition, and then transitioning, to the afterlife. In the story, after we die we go to a waiting room until our name is called. The wait can be quick, or it can take a very long time. Once called, we go through a door, behind which is a mystery.

When we experience a loss, death of a loved one, loss of a job, not getting a promotion, an unexpected change in a significant relationship, what do we do with this disappointment or loss?  Do we spend any time being still, or consciously waiting to see what we want to do next?  Often, where we will go after loss is a mystery.

How we deal with loss, sadness, or change differs from person to person. Some get busy and distract themselves, others sink into deep sadness, others become angry, others simply deny their feelings. It’s rare to find the person who consciously waits and listens for a new direction.

Carl Jung said, “ We cannot change anything until we accept it.” Pema Chodron says, in her book, When Things Fall Apart, “We think the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things really don’t get solved. They come together and they fall apart.  Then they come together and fall apart again…The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” And Jeanette Winterson, in  The World and Other Places: Stories, wrote, “ In the space between chaos and shape, there is another chance.”

The waiting process is hard for me, as it is for most people I know.  It is this conscious waiting process, however, that is vital, that, if given a chance, will allow us to walk through the next door with openness and curiosity.  link to full story here

The components of “TRANSITION”:

For the left side of the piece, I used a photograph that I took of a man who seemed to be in front of every painting I wanted to look at when I was last at the Museum of Modern Art, in NYC.  Now he IS the art. 

The clock on the wall is from my home, and is a reminder to be mindful of our time and how we use it.  Below the man’s feet is a poem by the poet Marie Howe titled What The Living Do.  see link here for Ms Howe’s poem and an amazing interview.

For the Waiting Room section of the piece, I posed and photographed three people.  The face of the woman to the right belongs to a mannequin in a shop window.

The art in the background of the piece is another collage that I created for the purpose of this piece.  It is of a man searching, or on a journey.

The writing on the wall is from the three sources already referenced above: Carl Jung, Pema Chodron and Jeanette Winterson.

The diagram on the floor is a black hole diagram that may also be seen as a mandala.

The magazines on the floor, from left to right are, Thoughtful Waiting which has the image of a Nuxalk Indian illustration from 1865.  This illustration signified transition to the Nuxalk.

The next is Man in Chair from one of my earlier collages, and the next is a photo of the George Washington bridge in NY that I took a few years ago. The magazine is titled Bridge Symbolism.

The magazine to the far right is titled Just Sit There. Far from just sitting there, the cover shows a woman on a horse juggling.  It is based on a funny teaching, attributed to various sources, an old friend of mine used all of the time, “ Don’t just do something, sit there.”

The writing on the newspaper has a 1582 alchemy illustration of man in transformation and writing from the Jungian psychologist, James Hollis.

Finally, the man to the right is a friend who often models for me. The sky is meant to reflect possibility.

The writing surrounding him is from the Tao, and the gold stars in the sky are actually illustrations of the Higgs-Boson “God “ Particle.  The other stars, the color in the sky, and all of the color throughout the piece comes from photos I have taken of paint on train cars, sidewalks, splattered paint, and weathered walls.

Carl Jung said, “ We cannot change anything until we accept it.  Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”

Upcoming Exhibits in 2017

Ormond Art Museum and Gardens, Ormond Beach, Florida.

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Reflections on Self and Society, Solo Exhibit, Artist Talk and Opening on March 16. Dates of show are March 16-April 22, 2017
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Center of Excellence Visual and Performing Arts, West Loop Gallery, Houston Community College, Houston, Texas.

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The Struggle to Evolve Before the End of Time, Solo Exhibit, Center of Excellence Visual and Performing Arts, West Loop Gallery, Houston Community College, Houston, Texas.  April 27 – June 22, 2017
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The Arts Company, 5th Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee

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Understanding Contemporary Relationships, Solo Show at the Arts Company, June, 2017. Downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

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 Artist-in-Residence for The Gathering at Keystone College

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July 14-16, 2017 I will be Artist in Residence at The Gathering at Keystone College. The theme will be …ways to find common ground among bitter rivals in religion, politics, ethics, race, and the arts and sciences that have deeply divided America.

http://thegatheringatkeystone.org/schedule/

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Solo Exhibit, Arts at the Airport, Nashville International Airport, Sept 4, 2017- Feb 25, 2018

ABOUT ARTS AT THE AIRPORT

 

 

Created in 1988 by the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA), Artat the Airport is an ever-growing, ever-changing showcase of cultural diversity and creative talent in Tennessee. The terminal and surrounding facilities at Nashville International Airport were designed to incorporate rotating public art exhibits and permanent acquisitions.

The art in image above is not mine, but from a previous exhibiting artist.  

Mythology and Jacob’s Ladder

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Discovery of Choice

 

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The Discovery of Choice, inkjet on aluminum, 120″ x 180″, 2016 ( see bottom of page for more sizes and pricing )

I was driving across the west last year listening to one of my favorite NPR podcasts, On Being. During one particular episode, host Krista Tippett was talking with the poet Marie Howe about life, poetry, and all things spiritual and psychological. I will confess that I had never heard of Marie Howe, but I was taken immediately with her manner of self-exploration, her charming self-deprecation, and her wit and wisdom. Her ability to link her brother’s death from AIDS, her religion, and everyday mundane things like spilled coffee and a mustard sandwich, was impressive and captivating.

During the interview, Ms. Howe described finding a circle that someone had drawn on the sidewalk. The words “step inside for happiness” were written outside the circle, and “Happiness Here” was written inside the circle. I love–and agree with–the concept that we make a choice to determine our mood or state of well- being. I immediately saw an image for an art piece in my mind, in which people were standing around a box drawn on the ground, trying to decide the ramifications of stepping inside it. The box was surrounded by the word “fear.” Other people were looking away, and up, at ladders* and doors. I held onto this image in my head until this past winter, when I created the art piece.

Discovery of Choice is clearly a meditation and examination of the role we all play in deciding how we are going to live in our world. The piece asks whether we are present for our lives, and if we understand that the choices we make create and shape our lives and, by extension, our world. As the happiness circle drawn on the sidewalk by an anonymous philosopher-artist reminds us, even our mood and state of mind are, at least in part, a choice.

To listen to the conversation between Krista Tippett and Marie Howe, click on this link.. http://www.onbeing.org/program/the- poetry-of-ordinary-time-with-marie-howe/5301

*The ladders are meant to be ambiguous. Are they career ladders, ladders to escape, or “Jacob’s Ladder,” connecting us to something higher?

*This is a very limited edition piece, edition of 1 at size shown, total edition of 12 in all sizes. Piece shown, $12,000.

Conversations with Chaos to Open at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts

My solo exhibit, Conversations with Chaos, will open at the Hyndman Gallery at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, Indiana on July 2, 2016 and will run through September 24, 2016.  I will be on site August 19th, 2016.

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Images of Lubeznik Center with past exhibit ( my work not shown in this image ).  The Lubeznik Center for the Arts is located approximately 58 miles west of Chicago.

The Challenge of Creation

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The 1663 illustration, Metamorphosis Planetarum, by the alchemist J. de Monte-Snyders served as an inspiration and starting point for my piece, The Challenge of Creation (2016).

In pondering this creation illustration from the 1600s, I tried to envision what a modern day version might look like. The question turned into what would a modern day creator look like?

Instead of going with a mythical God-like creator, as J. de Monte-Snyders did, I chose to represent each of us as creator.  We all participate in click here for rest of the story

City of Loveland Colorado Selects My Proposal for Indoor 18′ Public Art Mural

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Anatomy of a Mural 

The RFP ( national Request for Proposal ) asked that the mural be urban, edgy, vibrant and colorful.  In creating the mural, I wanted to incorporate Loveland landmarks and history. The city has many beautiful and historic buildings, but when I looked at including them all in the mural, it made for a more historic and peaceful (as opposed to urban and edgy) piece. So in the end, I settled on five primarily industrial buildings.

Once I had the basic structure of the image, I began cutting and pasting multiple photos of weathered paint and paper, utility poles, street signs, words from documents and other images and text for color and texture. read about the entire mural and the key to finding and understanding everything in it at this link

Commission for Pinnacle Financial Partners

I have recently finished a four-piece commission for Pinnacle Financial Partners headquartered in downtown Nashville. Pinnacle has added my  piece, Snowy Night in Nashville, 54″ x 43″ to its permanent
corporate collection and wil reproduce all four images for the group’s holiday cards.  When asked to create the initial Nashville image, I immediately had a vision of  an iconic cottage sitting in a snow covered field, and thought about  how unexpected it would be to see their downtown high-rise in place of the cottage. That vision was the genesis of the four pieces. You can see the other three images here.. other images

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Images from Artist Talk and Opening of Solo Show at The Gallery at Penn College

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See more images from the July 9, 2015 artist talk and opening here….TGPC Opening.

Also, thanks to Penny, Cindy and Lenore for the posters, catalog, postcards, images, video and the large amount of work that went into the show.  Link to the Gallery at Penn College site.

Copernicus and The Five Years Out Challenge

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Arrow Five Years Out Art Challenge

Arrow Electronics and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival invited artists from all over the world to explore the notion of innovation and to express, through their particular medium, what Five Years Out might look like. From the proposals submitted, five projects were selected to become a part of Arrow Electronics’ prestigious art collection.

My piece, r+Evolution2020, was one of the five selected. Below is my vision statement in response to the question of innovation, change, and the future.

r+Evolution2020

How do we engage with a rapidly changing world? What is the relationship we should be developing with change five years out–or even five weeks out?

My piece takes inspiration from Copernicus, who revolutionized the way we think about our place in the universe by offering a view of a Sun-centered, as opposed to Earth-centered, solar system. In r+Evolution2020, Copernicus stands at the center of contemporary society, surrounded by the tools of Renaissance astronomy, contemporary mathematical symbols, and electronic media including workstations, computers, laptops, cell phones, tablets, and an oscilloscope.

While Copernicus was not the first to propose the concept of a sun-centered universe, “…he was the first to work out his theory in full mathematical detail and to create a complete and general system combining mathematics, physics, and cosmology” (Eric Weisstein, PhD). In doing this, he not only revolutionized our thinking, he shaped both the conceptual and the tangible future.

Most people agree that change, including developments in technology and shifting societal norms, is imperative if we are to expand our understanding of our world and move forward. But with change often comes discomfort, and we often do not meet it with openness. Copernicus knew that his ideas would cause uproar, but he also knew that his discoveries were necessary to the world, that they were the precursor to a thoughtful, progressive, and informed dialogue about the universe and our place in it.

In creating r+Evolution2020, I placed a modern day Copernicus in the center of the image encircled by his own diagram of the cosmos (published in 1543). Orbiting around him are mathematical equations, a computer workstation, an Arrow Electronics oscilloscope, a globe from the Renaissance period, laptops, keyboards and tablets. In the background is the “universe,” which I created by piecing together photographs I have taken of weathered paint, mathematical equations, and Copernicus’s own diagrams. The “stars” are photographs of splattered concrete on the side of a train car. On his tie are additional references to media and technology.

Today’s technological advances are the result of the confluence of ancient and modern revolutionary thinkers. It is in merging the revolutionary with the evolutionary, and the theoretical with the practical, that they build the bridge between where we are and where we will be.

 

Ignoring The Door

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Ignoring the Door
I recently read a story about a man in a jail cell. Every day he would stand on his tiptoes to look out the window, the small bit of light he could find in his small cell. One day a large gust of wind blew, and the cell door, which had been unlocked the whole time, blew open. By refusing to explore the dark, he had kept himself trapped.  

Man with Parachute

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Man with Parachute

Last year I jumped off a mountain.  Since I am afraid of heights, I had not planned such a thing, but I was on a trip and had vowed to a friend to be more to experience. Which is how the 9200 foot tandem paraglide jump in Sun Valley, Idaho happened.

I have been asked by a number of people if it changed me.  The answer is a qualified yes. There was no big “aha!” moment where I suddenly realized I was free and had no fears.  But there was a subtle shift from my lifelong tendency, when afraid, to say “no,” to being able to remind myself that I jumped off a mountain, which makes whatever is scaring me no longer so big.

This piece is was inspired by that jump.  It is about the metaphor of taking a leap into something that we know probably will not kill us, but scares us terribly anyway.  And it is about bringing something back: the courage to jump again and again.

The Search for Balance

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Last year at an open air flea market on the pier in Barcelona, I found a group of illustrated WWI cards made by the chocolate company Chocolate Amatller. The cards were bright and colorful and hardly conveyed the gravity of war.  I bought thirty and kept them out on a table for inspiration. They were the starting point for this piece.

The Search for Balance on first glance may appear to be a statement about work, success, and career competition as war, and certainly I had Sun Tzu’s The Art of War in mind when building it.  But I also had Middle Passage, by Jungian Psychologist James Hollis, about the journey and struggle of midlife on my mind, as well as Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching which encourages one to go with the flow of life rather than fight against it.

My Art Work, Christina Aguilera and ABC’s Nashville

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ABC’s hit series Nashville has bought the rights to use two of my pieces on the set for some upcoming shows. They will appear in Christina Aguilera’s character Jade St John’s dressing room. Both pieces are 72″ x 48″ so they should be hard to miss. Date TBA.

Man on Fire

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I begin most of my pieces with a clear idea of what they are about and an outline of how they will look. With a few images, however (such as The Man with Cello) I began with a visual concept and had to discover their meaning as I went along. These are the hardest pieces to do.

These two pieces, Man on Ice and Man on Fire, I had to discover the meaning as I went along. When I was in St Petersburg, Florida last month I watched a boy throwing bread in the air for a group of seagulls. They were all hovering over him and it made for an amazing visual. I stood and watch them for a few minutes, took a few photos, then moved on. For this piece, I had a clear vision of a man playing a guitar to the sea gulls, but I did not have the meaning behind it.

So I posed a friend playing a guitar and placed him in the image and began searching for the meaning. I looked into mythology, psychology and religion to see what might resonate. Maybe he is Orpheus, the Greek musician and poet who could charm all things. Maybe the birds are messengers. A funny thing happened on the way to finding the meaning. I realized the birds, originally my favorite part of the image, had to go. This is what writers call “ killing your darlings”.

This left me at the beginning again. Now, what is the piece about? Who is this man?

What or who is he looking at? Is he playing the guitar for himself? Did he just want peace and solitude?

As I began working with it, the clues began taking shape. Twice in two days, I came across Copernicus’s illustration, Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres). His illustration places the Sun, not Earth, at the center of the solar system. Since it kept appearing, I included it in the piece. I also added a diagram of a Sun chart, showing it at different locations in the sky during various times of the year, and photos that I’ve taken of splashes of concrete on a train car, which looked to me like stars. I added the fence for visual depth and also to suggest limits or boundaries, imposed or imagined. There is either a fire in the background or a brilliant sunrise.

If I am to understand this piece, I have to begin with the Copernicus illustration. It seems obvious that placing the Sun instead of the Earth at the center of the solar system is a psychological shift, which is a metaphor for the fact that we ourselves, are not the center of the universe.

The figure in both pieces also seems to relish his aloneness. If there is a fire, he is not disturbed by it. This could suggest that it is a psychological fire, something burning inside, or being cleared away or purified. Perhaps in his solitude he has discovered that he is not the center of the universe, and is relieved; perhaps he is celebrating or singing a song of gratitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea with Mara

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Tea with Mara

There are various versions of this story. This is my summary of the lengthy myth:

Just prior to enlightenment, the Buddha was approached by Mara, the Demon God, along with his daughters and an army representing craving, boredom, passion, anger, and pride. The story goes that Mara tempted and challenged the Buddha to leave his enlightened state and re-enter the world of the mind and ego, but the Buddha did not give in and Mara and his army went away. But not for good.

In the future when Mara would show up with his enticements, the Buddha would invite him in to have tea. Mara would stay a while and then leave, and the Buddha would be left undisturbed.

Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield write, in Seeking the Heart of Wisdom, that we are challenged by hindrances again and again in the course of our lives, and so it is important to learn to work with them when they show up. Pema Chodron writes, “Mara represents the false promise of happiness and security offered by our habitual responses.” However If we are willing to sit what he brings, without fighting, suppressing or ignoring the feelings, we can strengthen, clarify and deepen our awareness and understanding of ourselves and be freed from old patterns and habits.

In my piece, Tea with Mara, I have set the myth in contemporary times and left it up to the viewer to decide who is the Buddha and who is Mara.  In the myth, both are male, but they are meant to represent everyone.

For the creation of this piece, I had people pose in multiple positions and I chose the positions that worked best. The lines in the background are from a vintage astronomy chart, and the words underfoot are from different texts which tell the story of Mara and the Buddha. Between them on the floor is a vintage astronomy chart of a black hole. Two of the books of the table are my creation (Tea with Mara and False Promise of Happiness; the third is Jung’s Man and His Symbols. The “cover” of Jung’s book is a war scene from a vintage Spanish WWI card.  As always, the color and texture from the piece comes from photos that I have taken of weathered paint, paper, rust and other colors and textures I have photographed. The cage on the table, which I found at an antique shop, represents the psychological confinement we suffer unless we become aware of our tendencies, habits and self-made traps.

Artist Talk at Jewish Cultural Center, Chattanooga, Tennessee

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Thanks to the JCC for the invitation to speak about my art and career.  Behind me is a projected photo of me at 9 years old taken at the Milan Mirror Newspaper in Milan, Tennessee for winning awards at the Gibson County Fair. The talk covered my early background, mental health training and my art career.

Running to Catch a Poem

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A few years ago I accompanied my wife to The Gathering, a literary event at Keystone College in Pennsylvania.  It was there that I learned the story of the poet Ruth Stone and how as a young woman she found inspiration.

I have since learned that Elizabeth Gilbert has made this story famous in one of her TED talks (link).  I am not surprised that it has become famous, at least in some circles.  I heard it several years ago and have loved it ever since. Below is a transcribed version

“As [Stone] was growing up in rural Virginia, she would be out, working in the fields and she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape. It was like a thunderous train of air and it would come barrelling down at her over the landscape. And when she felt it coming…cause it would shake the earth under her feet, she knew she had only one thing to do at that point. That was to, in her words, run like hell to the house as she would be chased by this poem. The whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it and grab it on the page. Other times she wouldn’t be fast enough, so she would be running and running, and she wouldn’t get to the house, and the poem would barrel through her and she would miss it, and it would continue on across the landscape looking for ‘another poet’. And then there were these times, there were moments where she would almost miss it. She is running to the house and is looking for the paper and the poem passes through her. She grabs a pencil just as it’s going through her and she would reach out with her other hand and she would catch it. She would catch the poem by its tail and she would pull it backwards into her body as she was transcribing on the page. In those instances, the poem would come up on the page perfect and intact, but backwards, from the last word to the first.“

About the piece.  It was harder than I had imagined to capture this story.  I felt a little like I was in a version of MS Stone’s story, running with everything I had and catching the wrong angle, the wrong color, the wrong way to make the words visual, but still catching enough of it that I held on.

In order to create this piece, I used someone I know to act as though she was running while I photographed her.  I used multiple photos of weathered paint and paper from urban poster walls, sidewalks and the sides of trains for the color and texture.  I photographed the house in rural Lousiana just south of New Orleans and the utility poles between Iowa and Denver.  The words come from a vintage letter that I found in an antique shop and a print out of one of Ms Stone’s poems. Link to Ruth Stone Poetry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metro Development Group Purchases Five Pieces

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Thanks to Metro Development in Tampa, Florida for their purchase of several of my pieces.  I am excited to be a part of their new beautifully  remodeled space.  Thanks to John Ryan, Chief Executive Officer and Alison West Brown, Artist Agent.

 

 

Arts Company in Nashville

acac

My latest commission is for the Arts Compnay in Nashville.  Anne Brown, the owner of the AC asked if I would do something that had downtown Nashville, the AC and is urban and contemporary. I wanted to do two different versions, one more abstract than the other.

This piece has multiple photos that I have taken of the AC, multiple buildings in the downtown area from different angles and multiple photos of weathered paint. The art in the window of  the Arts Company is  by  Denise Stewart-Sanabria, Tres Taylor and Daryl Thetford.  http://www.stewart-sanabria.com/  http://www.trestaylor.com/trestaylor/home.html and http://darylthetford.com/  http://www.theartscompany.com/

What is Behind the Western Series

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The cowboy has been portrayed in American culture as a masculine ideal and a symbol of individualism for decades. John Wayne, the Marlboro Man and Clint Eastwood embodied and helped to solidify the cowboy-as-rugged-individualist icon.

Like many men of his generation, my father fully internalized the cowboy image. He lived in south Texas during his early adulthood, at which time he became a literal manifestation of it, trading regular shoes for cowboy boots, and a cap for a cowboy hat.  Later, because he wanted a cowboy son to complete the picture, he dressed me in full cowboy regalia. But my preferences leaned toward painting pictures more than riding horses, and, to my father’s disappointment, my cowboy childhood came to an end fairly early. For years, I would try to distance myself not only from all things cowboy, but from all things southern and country; in short, I rejected that which most clearly defined my father, and that which my father so heartily embraced.

 But the unconscious has a sense of humor, unexpectedly slipping that which we thought we’d cast off back into the spotlight of our psyche when we aren’t looking. Knowing this, it should not have surprised me when I started to create my western series. And yet it did. The series began when I found a 1906 stereograph cowboy image while on my travels through Omaha. Back home in my studio, I enjoyed retrofitting the cowboy in (very un-cowboylike) clothes and colors, until he emerged as something more interesting, quirky and colorful than his iconic self had been. I was hooked. I began looking for other vintage western images to recreate, and before long I had a reworked pop-art bull rider, which I created using cut up articles from Art News and Art Forum, a cowboy wearing Prada sunglassesand my “Wu Wei” cowboy, a riff on the Asian concept of “flow.”

But the series raised some serious questions for me. How was it that our culture’s metaphorical cowboy, and the attendant notion of the independent, self-made individualist who needs no one, wound up creating cracks in the very culture it purported to strengthen? While the cowboy (i.e. ideal man) as self-sufficient individualist is an appealing idea, it is one that inevitably causes more anxiety than comfort, more feelings of isolation than community, more puzzlement and feelings of failure when we are forced to admit—as we always are—that we need other people to survive. And another question: how can I pay homage to American culture, and my personal history, while simultaneously attempting to demystify it?

 Perhaps the answer lies in recognizing and honoring the cowboy mythology as a part of history whose contribution has been both heroic and tragic. Perhaps it is to see history’s true rugged individualists exactly as they were: not as heroes or mythological figures, but as fallible human beings capable of mistakes and as dependent on one another as we are today. Perhaps if we as a society were to reclaim the “real west” of today—that is, a world that is ethnically diverse, dependent on one another, and very much human, we could, in the process, reclaim the part of ourselves that feels the isolation and pain or those long-ago internalized myths, and set the record straight.

It is always tempting to me, in examining both the personal and the universal influences on my work, to bring my ideas to resolution. If I resist this urge, however, what I come to is something more global and at the same time hopefully more personal to others: the recognition that our images of the west have much to tell us about how we live—but only if we will see them as symbols of our culture’s projections, rather than as a literal group of people whose lifestyle we shallowly long to embrace.

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New Work for 2015

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The yet untitled first piece of the year.  I am reserving the right to add words to the image, but I like it the way it is too.  I will be at the Temple Beth-el show in St Petersburg, Flordia Jan 31-Feb 2.

Trying Not to Try : Life and Art Meet

 

10494810_785215528177081_1203923798148231004_nFor those who have seen Trying Not to Try or have read about it previously on my blog, you know that the image is based on the game, Mind Ball, which is a game of competitive relaxation. This photo of the actual game was taken in Denver, July 4th weekend, 2014.  Thanks to all of the 11 year- olds who waited while we took over the game.

Two footnotes: First, I did not look at the game up prior to building my piece since I did not want it to influence my image. Second, the game normally lasts  1-5 minutes, but this one was over in 10 seconds in a meditative blowout. I did not win.

 

 

The Meaning of the Wu Wei Cowboy

 

Knoxville Museum of Art Features Cityscape with Bridges at Artscapes Live Auction and Exhibit

feature_larger2I am late publishing it, but thank you to the Knoxville Museum of Art which featured my piece, Cityscape with Bridges, 43″ x 54″ , inkjet on aluminum, edition of 9 on the cover of their catalogue and in the live auction on Sept. 14th.

Commission for Scripps Networks

guitar final for mary Tuesday copy

40″ x 66″, inkjet, edition of 1

Thanks to Mary Morris of Mary Morris Arts Management for her recent placement of this commission for Scripps Networks.

Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville exhibit ” The World of Daryl Thetford”

HALL OF FAME 3

Following the successful show at The Arts Company on 5th Avenue in Nashville, the CMHF is continuing the show “The World of Daryl Thetford”.  The show, which is in cooperation with The Arts Company, will run from September 12th, 2014 through December 31st, 2014. For additional information or

To purchase or inquire about availability of the artwork please contact
The Arts Company at 615-254-2040 or at www.theartscompany.com

 

Read more: The Arts Company Presents: Introducing the World of Daryl Thetford
Follow us: @countrymusichof on Twitter | countrymusichof on Facebook

 

Paramore Digital, Nashville, Tennessee

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Friday, July 11, 2014 at Paramore Digital, downtown Nashville, Tennessee.  Top: speaking at Paramore, bottom left to right, work in Paramore facing conference room, speaking in conference room and Anne Brown, owner of the Arts Company, Daryl Thetford and Hannah Paramore

INTRODUCING THE WORLD OF DARYL THETFORD, the Arts Company, Nashville, Tennessee through August 8th, 2014

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NA-July-2014I realized earlier today that I have not posted anything on my blog about my show at the Arts Company on 5th Avenue in downtown Nashville and it is closing on August 8th, 2014. So if you have not seen it, there is still time.

Below is the information on the show which opened on July 5th, 2014 and was followed by a live discussion between me and Paul Polycarpou, editor of the Nashville Arts Magazine on July 11th, 2014. Paul chose my piece, “Man in Chair : World as a Mandala” for the cover of this months magazine.  Paul is the one entertaining the crowd and holding a copy of the magazine in the photo to the right.

INTRODUCING THE WORLD OF DARYL THETFORD at The Arts Company, 5th Avenue, Nahsville, Tennessee

Daryl Thetford offers fresh perspectives to The Arts Company.  He uses thousands of images he has captured from urban places such as crumbling walls, grafitti, signs, etc. He uses a collection of these images as an urban background for all of his finished pieces. His images come together through his layering of his own images. He creates narratives based on classical themes that are given new life in our urban culture. The resulting photographs are printed on aluminum in small editions and coated by his hand three times to protect and brighten the surfaces, again to reflect the effect of urban life as we know it. His finished photographs come across as narratives that are embedded in the images.

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Daryl Thetford grew up on a hundred-acre farm in Bradford, Tennessee, a small town in the rural northwest corner of the state. His father was a forklift operator who worked in a warehouse, and his mother was a beautician. While they encouraged their son to pursue so-called “practical” avenues of work, they also recognized an early artistic bent, and enrolled him in oil painting lessons–which he loved–at age nine. Although he went on to obtain a graduate degree in counseling from Murray State University, and spent 15 years working as a vocational program director, mental health center manager, and a therapist, his creative juices never dried up. In 2001, when Thetford left mental health to return to his first love, art, he discovered that the psychology of behavior and emotion–everything he’d been studying and practicing for years–flowed neatly into his artistic process. The result is a compelling body of photo collage work that is informed by the richness of the psyche

Daryl’s work has been described as graphic, modern, pop, and contemporary, although what to actually call the process has been a larger source of debate; it has been called photo collage, digital art, and digital mixed media. The process begins with Thetford selecting a single, original photographic image followed by a digital layering and combining of dozens of additional original photographs. It is a process, which takes an average of 40 hours. His resulting images range from culturally familiar individual pieces (bikes, cowboys, guitars, cityscapes) to more esoteric series’ based on man’s inner struggle with modern society or the human sense of isolation in the noise of the modern world.

Thetford’s recent exhibits include a solo show at the Art Museum at the University of Memphis; an invitation-only group show at the Annenberg Space in Los Angeles; a solo show at the Jung Center in Houston, Texas; and an upcoming show at the Coffman Gallery at the University of Minnesota. His work has also been shown at SOFA Contemporary, Art Dallas, Art Chicago, the Knoxville Museum of Art, Mobile Museum of Art  and others, and is in a number of individual and corporate collections across the nation.

Daryl currently lives with his wife, writer and artist Dana Shavin in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They enjoy travel, great food, great art, and the company of good friends.

 

 

Description of Man with Cello

man with a Cello, 54 x 43, 2014

I have been asked a number of times recently to describe Man with Cello and the meaning behind the image.

I began with the idea of a man playing a cello.  The image would be vertical and primarily just him.  Once I created it, however, I was not excited about it and turned it into a horizontal image to allow for more negative space.  I found it too simple with too much open space for my taste, so I added the woman, which I built from two mannequins and a vintage hosiery ad.

I normally have an idea of both the concept and image when I begin.  In this case, however, once I left the idea of a man alone playing cello, nothing flowed into place.  With this void, I struggled more than I do with most of my pieces.  I finally had to just leave it alone for a few weeks.  When I came back to it I added the music and had a visual flash of them on the shore of a body of water.  Again I was stumped and left it for a few weeks.  When I came back to it fresh it was apparent that it is a dialogue.  The dialogue is between two people, and it is also the dialogue within each of them and with their environment.

This is reflected in the music, the push and pull of the No, No, No and the large YES, the rules in black and white, the softer cursive writing that is not quite clear, and, of course, two of the representatives of external communication, phone and TV.

The writing in the bottom of the piece is a quote by English novelist Iris Murdoch which says that when you begin to acknowledge that people exist outside yourself (as real living beings, not as objects in your world) you are taking the first step away from narcissism.

The Chinese and English on the woman’s flesh is from a book titled Five Fold Happiness.  Since I have used bits and fragments, it is nonsensical, and is meant to be representative of luck, prosperity, longevity, happiness and wealth.

Now the dialogue is between the viewer and the piece.

 

Landscapes

Landscapes

I walk in fields in my mind. Years ago I realized that I was doing this mainly during conversations. I’m not dissociative; to the contrary, often I imagine I am walking with the person I’m talking to. The fields are near my hometown in west Tennessee. Interestingly, while I’ve driven past them many times, I’ve never actually walked in them.
I believe that we make art as a result of a psychological call or need. Since I have most often found inspiration in the color, movement and energy of urban environments, I was initially surprised by my own move in the direction of landscapes. I soon realized, however, that whether I was taking in the vastness of the Great Plains, the majesty of the Rockies, or the simple beauty of the hills and gorges of the Southeast, landscapes provided a template onto which I both projected, and had reflected back to me, my thoughts and emotions. Storms, depending upon my mood, could be dark and threatening or a peaceful isolated shower. A path through a forest could be lonely or lovely.
It’s my goal, in creating landscape images, to provide the viewer with a template onto which thoughts, feelings, and emotions might be projected–to provide a field, so to speak, that invites a larger conversation

Trying Not to Try

mind ball

Recently I have been “trying not to try.” I have to say that I don’t love holding opposing concepts in my mind. While I understand the idea intellectually, I have always functioned by choosing between opposites and living the chosen one. But my therapist assures me that choosing to live in the opposites creates the tension that allows broader decisions to be made.

A couple of weeks ago while in New Orleans I was reading about a book called Trying Not to Try, by Edward Slingerland. In the opening of the book, a game called “Mind Ball” is introduced: two participants are seated at opposite ends of a table with a ball between them. The point of the game is to get the ball to the opponent’s end of the table using only brain waves. To this end, electrodes which measure radiate alpha and theta waves (these indicate deep relaxation) are connected to the players’ heads. It is a paradoxical contest of effortful effortlessness, whereby the more relaxed the players can make themselves, the faster they are able to send the ball to their opponent’s side of the table.

After fighting my work process all winter, whereby I set up too many things to do without enough time to do them, the concept of “trying not to try”–of effortless effort–spoke to me. It gave me hope that it’s possible to achieve both relaxed concentration AND productivity–and that I might, as a result, find myself both industrious AND sane. Who would have guessed? Maybe the Voodoo Priestess I met in New Orleans, but that’s a story for another blog post.

 

Man in Chair

man in chair

 

Last year I went on a trip out west with a good friend.  I went into the trip knowing that we have very different ways of interacting with the world.  When traveling, I am rigidly on time, often arriving at scheduled events long before they begin. I schedule my 3 ½ star hotel rooms well in advance and choose my meals carefully.

My friend, on the other hand, has a more casual relationship with time and destinations.  He often leaves hours later than he planned, makes multiple unscheduled stops and drives well into the night.   It is not lost on either of us that he is the happier person.

Since I know our style differences, I also realized that a two week trip could create great stress for our friendship.  So I vowed that I was going to say YES to everything with a couple of very modest exceptions: I would not drive after midnight, and we would have to arrive at shows on time.  At some point during the trip he suddenly turned to me and said “ You are agreeing to everything”. I am, I said, “ I am calling it my YES Tour. “ I told him that it would be interesting to see how this little bit of letting go impacted me.

With his discovery of my experiment, things quickly got interesting.  We took an unscheduled site seeing trip into the mountains with someone we did not know, told the chef at an amazing restaurant to bring anything he wanted to bring, and made arrangements to stay on a houseboat instead of a hotel.

This was life changing.  I did not know how much it changed me until I began winter in my usual way with stacks of books to read, multiple ideas for series and a 1000 art and exhibit opportunities to apply to.  I made the same choice I usually make: do it all instead of to prioritizing based on the reality of time and energy.  This is an old pattern passed down for generations in my family which has created various results including never missing work, a perfectly manicured yard, premature aging, needless suffering and multiple levels of neurosis.

I was shocked to realize that, unlike in the past, I was unable to complete everything that I had laid out for the winter. Not only did I not get everything done, I did not even get close.  As a result of the Yes Tour, some part of me had decided that letting go was a strategy that made sense.

I am guessing now that my unconscious had a plan all along.  It was a setup to overthrow the internal dictator that often over schedules my life.  Life was not just one big Yes after the Yes Tour however.  Although my new system was in agreement with the Yes that chose to go with the flow of life, it balked at the Yes that agreed to do everything on every list.

This was scary since I have always functioned by over-controlling.   So I began to ask myself just how, if I am to work with this new system, can I remain productive without being compulsive.

More on this and the “Wu Wei” tour planned for summer.

 

 

Wake Up

Wake Up w Mask

wake up in garage

While the image Wake Up is not new, this is the first and only one that is 84″ x 74″. I deliver it today in Tampa.

The two somewhat crude images are a “selfie” of me in the studio coating it and one of the final diptych leaning against my garage for size perspective.

Commission Finished

Commission Completed

This commission consists of 4 separate pieces. Each piece consists of documents, maps, names of places they have worked and other information that is personal and important to each of them. It is seldom that I do a personal commission, but I am pleased with the way these turned out.

The Second Question

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Woman w a Halo : A Modern Icon.
This piece is 36″ x 54″, inkjet on aluminum, edition of 9, completed March, 2014.

I mentioned previously that I am frequently asked two questions.The first question (and answer) was included with my post, “Two New Pieces and Two Frequently Asked Questions.” This is the answer to question #2 (which is really a statement): ”You must have a lot of fun doing these.”
It’s true, I do have fun. Especially for the first 20 hours or so, when I’m most excited about the new piece and it doesn’t yet feel hard. After composing the initial piece however, and getting its structure how I want it, the effort becomes, like the collages themselves, fun, fragmented, stressful, obsessive, frustrating, tedious, frightening, playful and all-consuming.
Here’s a brief description of the process. I usually start with an idea and then look for a photograph I’ve taken that might fit it. This becomes a dialogue between the idea and the image. I find that often the choice of the image changes the concept a bit–sometimes quite a bit–depending on the image and how different it is from my original vision.
At other times, I stumble across a photograph I took months or even years earlier, which for some reason now speaks to me. The same dialogue then ensues about the nature of the direction I or we ( we = photograph + idea and me ) want the piece to follow.
At this point I begin experimenting with multiple photographs that I’ve taken, of painted surfaces, text, road signs, weathered wooden walls, torn paper on urban poster walls, paint on train cars, paint on sidewalks, etc. From this I create the foundation of the piece and begin adding other, larger elements. I progress this way for hours.
Often this all happens over the course of a day or so, leaving me with the foundation of the piece and the crazy notion that I’m only 2 or 3 hours away from finishing it, even though I have never finished a piece this quickly. (Balancing Act took more time than almost any piece I have ever done.) I think the answer is contained in what a friend of mine once said about self-help books. Because they “almost” work, she said, we believe the next one will fully work. Same with “almost” finishing an art piece quickly. Surely, the next time I really will!

Two New Pieces and Two Frequently Asked Questions

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Balancing Act, 36″ x 62″, inkjet on aluminum, 2014

I am frequently asked two questions. The first is, “How long does it take you to do one of these?” The second is almost always in the form of a statement: “I’ll bet you have a lot of fun doing these.”
Neither answer is simple. To the “how long” question, the answer is “around 40 hours.” This is just an average, and doesn’t take into consideration the time I spend taking all of the photographs, or the times that I trash an image I’ve spent many hours working on because it’s not going anywhere. Then there’s the issue of my obsessive indecisiveness, whereby I declare something finished only to return to it the next morning to find that the piece spoiled during the night and needs more work.
Balancing Act, included with this post, is a case in point. Its true name should be Balancing Act #10 or #12. This is because I “finished” it a few months ago, so quickly that I was amazed and pleased it did not take the usual 40 or more hours. I then posted it, only to realize it still had significant issues. So I began working on it again until it was truly “finished.” This “finishing” and reworking went on so long I finally decided that the piece (and I) needed time to breathe. I recently returned to Balancing Act with an open and positive attitude, and I’m happy to say that it is really, finally finished…again….for now.
Why, you might be asking, was Balancing Act such a struggle to “finish?” I’d say it has something to do with the lack of balance that I felt this winter. So to end the longest rambling answer to a simple question, my pieces often take more hours than I can justify, for reasons that have everything to do with the intersection of life and art.

Here’s hoping we all have a balanced spring.

The Art Museum at The University of Memphis is showing STRUGGLE TO EVOLVE BEFORE THE END OF TIME.

journey to the next day

This is my series on our struggle and our interaction with the world and our inner reaction to it
Here is a link to the Museum Website. http://www.memphis.edu/amum/darylthetford.php

This is my series on our struggle and our interaction with the world and our inner reaction to it
Here is a link to the Museum Website. http://www.memphis.edu/amum/darylthetford.php

Reflections and Resolutions : Creating New Worlds in Digital Art, Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, CO.

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This 4 person exhibition opened January 17th, 2014 and will run through March 8th, 2014.  The show was curated by Jeanne Shoaff who selected 12 pieces from my The Struggle to Evolve Before the End of Time series.  Several of these pieces will also be on display beginning March 28th at the Art Museum at the University of Memphis Caseworks Gallery.

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Denver firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Faber and Schreck purchase two pieces.

Denver firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Faber and Schreck purchase two pieces.

Brownstein, Hyatt, Faber and Schreck recently purchased two pieces for their offices in Denver.

I would like to thank Kay Brouillette and Chris Fullerton at Sapiro Art Consultants for their work on this project.

You can find more about them and see some of their work at this website. http://www.sapiroart.com/

Temple Beth-el Art Show, St Petersburg, Florida

I was recently sitting around thinking about food and lists. I had thought it would be fun to list some my favorite restaurants of 2013. The list is extensive and diverse, ranging from a vegan asian place in Providence, RI to the first place on my list in Tampa, FL.

I have since rethought the list idea, but since I am heading to St Petersburg, FL again for the Temple Beth-el Art fundraiser, I realize that I am excited not just about returning to the show ( which I am ) but also about returning to two of my favorite restaurants in the area.

I was in Tampa running an errand before the show began last year and decided to “google” the best places to eat Cuban food in the area. Two restaurants in the Ybor City section of Tampa came to the top of the search as one might expect. One of the top three, however really grabbed my attention. It was La Teresita Grocery. ( Columbus Ave at Lincoln in Tampa).

In La Teresita Grocery, a huge buffet of Cuban food is on display. For $5.00 I was able choose a meat, ranging from goat to chicken and 2 sides. So, the huge quantity and amazing fresh quality of chicken, black beans, rice and plantains cost me $5.00. I know I mentioned the price before, but is bears repeating. It would have still been a bargain at $12. I sat a a long community table and had one of the best meals of the year.
coln ) . http://www.yelp.com/biz/la-teresita-grocery-tampa?nb=1

The second place in the region is the Taco Bus on Central Avenue in St Petersburg, FL. I was browsing the antique shops and other interesting places along Central Avenue when I came upon a large line of people ordering food. While I assume that the bus is indeed mobile when they want it to be, a large indoor/outdoor seating infrastructure has built up around it making it an great place to eat and people watch. The menu is large and diverse and the food is fantastic. http://www.taco-bus.com/

See you in Florida.

REFLECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS: CREATING NEW WORLDS IN DIGITAL ART

REFLECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS: CREATING NEW WORLDS IN DIGITAL ART

Man and Media II ( pictured ) is one of twelve images that I have at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado for the REFLECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS exhibit. All twelve of my pieces included are are part of the “Struggle for Evolution Before the End of Time” series.

The three other artists who “share the new worlds they’ve imagined through the media of Digital Art” are Fran Forman, Osvaldo Buccafusca and Daniel Fonken.

The show will run from opening night on January 17, 2014 to March 8, 2014.

Thank to curator Jeanne Shoaff for bringing the show together.

Artist Becomes Enlightened.

Artist Becomes Enlightened.

A few years ago, during a drive to Miami, I listened to 13 hours straight of Eckhart Tolle being interviewed by Oprah. During the course of these ( free ) podcasts, I got it. I saw what the eastern sages were talking about as a window, albeit a small one, opened up and reveled the universal truth of oneness to me. The lifestyle article for the Chattanooga Times Free Press about my experience, included below, was written by my wife Dana Shavin. She was the person who had not been in a car for 13 hours listening these podcasts, so her view of the events might differ from those who were enlightened..

Living in the Now Makes Problems Later
By Dana Shavin

My husband said something the other day that I should have found disturbing but didn’t. Which, frankly, disturbs me.

“That week we were so sick was the most fun I had all winter,” he said.

I knew what he meant. We never take time off from work to do nothing. We never even take time off to do SOMETHING. We just don’t take time off.

Case in point: Today is Sunday, and I am in my half of the studio, writing. I can hear my husband in his half of the studio rifling papers, printing things, pounding computer keys. I can assure you he isn’t surfing the net for pleasure or leafing through a magazine for fun. He’s working on new art images, contacting contacts, answering business e-mail, in short, creating, or following up on, opportunities.

Any minute now he’ll head over to my half of the studio to tell me everything he’s done. At which time I will be forced to ask him to leave, because I am busy creating my own kind of opportunity: I am getting some writing done so that I can then get some other writing done so that I can then get some research done so that I can then get some errands done.

Which is precisely why a week or so of body-flattening illness, during which we did nothing but lie on opposing sofas and talk, watch “Oprah” and obsessively take our temperatures was like a little dream vacation. Sad but true.

After our illness, I returned to business as usual. My husband, on the other hand, set off on an epic journey down the road to self-enlightenment. This is because he actually learned something from our downtime, which is that unremitting, achievement-oriented striving that takes you out of yourself and deposits you firmly in a mythical future where all that’s left is to appreciate the money and accolades you’ve garnered is a big fat waste of human time. He had already read “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth,” both by Eckhart Tolle. (Tolle, the king of the Now, is a spiritual anomaly who, by his own report, once spent two years sitting on a park bench doing nothing but smiling.)

It is a well-known fact that the road to spiritual enlightenment begins with a single download. What my husband discovered when he went looking, however, was not one but 10 90-minute conversations between Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle, which addressed not just the nebulous idea of living in the moment, but the nuts and bolts of how to actually stay present in a world replete with the stresses of family, work, health and domestic and international strife.

These downloads he listened to all the way to a Miami art show: 14 hours of pep talks, how-tos and earnest entreaties to forsake the What Might Be in exchange for the What Actually Is.

The next day, every nerve singing a song in praise of the Now, my husband discovered an irresistible photo-op: a shop window full of Buddha statues, with an old bench out front for passers-by to sit on. The bench, it turned out, was actually a rare antique, and the woman flying out of the front door of the shop was the bench’s owner who, upon seeing my husband settle his 200-pound frame into it, exchanged whatever serenity she had been enjoying in the moment for something akin to a blinding rage.

But by the time she got to him, he was already sauntering away toward the Miami Art Museum, to see at last the famed Robert Rauschenberg retrospective he’d been thinking about for weeks. Except that when he got there, he realized it wasn’t a Robert Rauschenberg retrospective but a Susan Rothenberg retrospective, a painter he neither knew nor cared anything about.

We were laughing about all this the other morning on our way to Birmingham to deliver art. It was a long day that included a stop at a hardware store, a frame shop, a restaurant and a shoe store. It wasn’t until the following day that my husband realized he’d walked all over Birmingham wearing one dark brown dress shoe and one tan casual shoe.

So while I know I should be living in the present, I am in fact worried about the future.

Given what’s already happening to my husband, can two years on a park bench with no goals and a kooky grin be far off?

Dana Shavin’s website is DanaShavin.com.

Half of 4 Part Commission Complete

Half of 4 Part Commission Complete

I am currently working on a 4 part commission.

I posted these two a few weeks ago before completion. Both have changed quite a bit since those first posts. One, much more than the other.

The image on the right hardly resembles the one posted on November 25th.

2 down and 2 to go.

Storm and the Original Inspiration

Storm and the Original Inspiration

I took this photo of a storm on the plains between Des Moines, Iowa and Denver. I used it as part template and part guide to create the collage ” Storm ” for my new landscape series. As you can see, I had to add the utility poles. I had photographed them on the same trip, just different location.

Gusto’s Pizza in Des Moines has the 66″ x 44″ version in their beautiful new place.

The Final Version of Branding Day on the Bird Ranch

The Final Version of Branding Day on the Bird Ranch

After 5 or 6 or 10 revisions, this is it. I am not sure why, but the colors are not quite right rich enough on this upload.

45″ x 66″, inkjet on aluminum.

The Reading List

The Reading List

Just as I am beginning to make my way through my stack of books, the website/blog BrainPickings releases their list of the Top 13 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2013. Suddenly the ground that I have gained now lost and I am 13 books behind. Still, if you don’t know this site, I encourage you to take a look.

What I can tell you about my current progress on the book list, posted on October 7th is that, unlike other areas of my life I follow new leads and directions more easily. I try to pay attention to what I am wanting to read, what is really calling to me. Why is this easier to do than in other aspects of my life? I will have to talk to my therapist and read some more books and report back. Here’s my progress report so far.

2) Banksy : The Man Behind the Wall by Ellsworth-Jones. I finished this book right before Banksy hit Manhattan this fall. It is an easy read, and while not a great book, it gives an interesting glimpse behind the scenes of the famous street artist’s world.

5) The Sacred and The Profane: The Nature of Religion by Mircea Eliade. This book is not for everyone. Because he addresses myth and culture in an academic style, reading it is a bit of work, but I have found it a worthwhile read and an inspiration for my religious series.

4) Salvador Dali’s Tarot.”After initially not being fond of Dali’s work, I have grown to appreciate both the artist and his art. I did not realize he had a Tarot series until I ran across a print in an antique store. This is an excellent introduction to his work and the thought behind the meaning of his Tarot images. It does not address the Tarot itself in any depth. For a great group of Tarot images from early to contemporary, see The Art of Tarot by Christina Olsen.

7) What Are You Looking At? : The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art by Will Gompertz. A really excellent read which I highly recommend.

9) True Meditation by Adyashanti. This is a very nice book consisting of his lectures. If you are going to read just one Adyashanti book, and if you have any interest or appreciation of Eckhart Tolle, you will love his book, The End of Your World. This book was recommended to me by young-adult author Whitney Stewart when I told her that I was enlightened for an entire week one time (another blog post for the future).

9)The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is described as a “haunted odyssey through present day America” and is a great new novel by the author of The Secret History. When I love a novel I want it to last for a while and at 800 plus pages, it does.

The Circus Loop in My Head

The Circus Loop in My Head

It has come to my attention that I’m caught in a loop of my own making. Not that this anything new.

I decided to start my art making period, the majority of which falls October through March, with something light and fun. Making a few circus pieces seemed a fun and somewhat psychologically relevant way to start. Later I would work my way into the heavier, odder images I’ve been carrying around in my head for a while.

Unfortunately, the art ideas in my brain sometimes do not mesh with the deeper psychological self that wants to move in another direction. I created three images fairly quickly. I only needed to spend a few more hours editing and finishing them before I could move on. That’s when I realized they actually needed a completely new and fresh look, one that departed from what I’d been doing. So I re-entered the loop, and reworked them. I was satisfied. Until, that is, I got up the next morning and realized that the guy who had created them the day before was a bit lost and confused about what finished art is. And on the cycle went. Now it’s approaching mid-December, and I have three circus images and their multiple variations to show for it.

I woke up yesterday and knew it was time to move on. Time to get out of the circus loop. I was tempted to label it a failed experience. Instead it has led me to question why I am fighting the experience so hard.

In Jack Kornfield’s wonderful book, A Path with Heart, he talks about “the war within.” An example of this is when we attempt to move in a direction that is at odds with the internal (or external) flow of our lives. This is when things become a struggle.

Which brings me back to one of my old issues: fighting the flow by attempting to force my will onto the process, instead of looking for the direction that is opening for me. Funny how things loop around.

Flying Woman with Blue

Flying Woman with Blue

Ok, If you have been following this work progression you will know that I have reworked the circus images twice. So here is another one….again.

Evolution of an Artist : How Not to Sit in a Corner and Suck on Rats

Evolution of an Artist : How Not to Sit in a Corner and Suck on Rats

Several years ago I saw the movie, Interview with a Vampire. While not really a great philosophical movie, and I think I am being generous here, one concept really stuck with me. The new vampire, Louis, played by Brad Pitt, was baffled as to why, if vampires are indestructible, the oldest one was only 400 years old and not 4,000 years old. The explanation was simple: vampires failed to evolve.

Flash to the last part of the movie and you see Lestat, Louis’ maker, hiding from streetlights in the corner of an abandoned house. The once grand and confident vampire, afraid to go out, was feeding on rats and starving. He too had failed to evolve.

I sometimes get signals that it is time for me to evolve. When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, I knew that I had to either embrace the new culture of connectedness or hide in a corner. Years later I rode the tide of digital photography from shooting straight photographs to manipulating my work–using Photoshop–into collages.

I am now faced with another opportunity to either evolve or retreat into a corner.

This year was one of my best ever; at the same time, there were some unexpected rejections on the art front. I initially thought that only a re-evaluation of my art was in order, but I am reconsidering this idea now. What is needed most, I believe, is a re-evaluation of my perspective, my lifestyle and perhaps most importantly, my ego.

So I am trying new things: little experiments with the look, materials and meaning of my work. I know that many of the pieces I am creating are stepping stones to the next place I’m going.

And as far as self is concerned, I am returning to the places that have helped in the past. I am rereading an amazing book, The End of Your World, by Adyashanti, along with writings by Pema Chodron. The real challenge, for me, is to recommit to what helps most: meditation.

So here’s to new art, a new perspective and to stepping out of the corner and into the light.

Branding Day at the Chicken Ranch

Branding Day at the Chicken Ranch

I have been feeling a strong pull to do something different in the past few months. While most of the people who know me would recognize this and pieces like Nurses in a Boat, that I posted previously, as my work, they are I think a departure and for better or worse bring a freshness.

48″ x 60″, inkjet on aluminum with varnish coating.

The Juggler

02 02 02 copy

Ok, I recently mentioned that I have done 2 jugglers in the past 3 years which, I am guessing, is no coincidence. Add a 3rd, which happens to be my favorite, and I think we not only have a pattern in my art making, but also in my psychological state.

This is also the third in my new ( small) circus series. I have actually done four, but am rethinking the woman on the bike.. Woman on a Wire. I am thinking that the woman on the bike has to go. I am hoping to keep the background and just replace the rider.

Just to clarify, by small circus series, I mean that I am only doing 4-6 pieces

10 Rules

10 Rules

I ran across these rules when I was at the Diebenkorn exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco earlier this year. I had planned to type them out when I had a thought, I’ll bet someone has these posted online. So here they are… and it just so happens, they are at one of my favorite online places Brain Pickings.http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/08/23/richard-diebenkorn-10-rules-for-painting/

10 Rules for Creative Projects from Iconic Painter Richard Diebenkorn
www.brainpickings.org
“Do search. But in order to find other than what it searched for.” On a recent visit to the Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953—– click link to go to Brain Pickings for rest of story and rules

The Flying Woman

The Flying Woman

Circus Series, also 48″ x 72″.

After two days of working on this, I literally had my finger on the delete button when I got a new idea. Woman’s dress from photo I took of mannequin, vintage circus cannon in Wisconsin when I was driving through, signs in background from Texas truck stop, crowd from Louvre…looking at Mona Lisa and dozens of other photos used that I have taken from almost everywhere.

Man with A Cello

Man with A Violin

I usually have to live with a piece for a while to see if it makes the final cut and this still unfinished image is no exception.

I have been experimenting with new ideas, new colors and new collage techniques. Funny how some of the pieces I think I have been experimenting with still look just like my old work.

Nurses in A Boat, 47″ x 66″, inkjet on aluminum

blog 2 nurses in a boat w happiness 48 x 66

So what do I do if I have four series that I want to work on? Which one do I start with?

Well if you are me, you have an idea that is completely unrelated to these things and do that.

Unlike most of my pieces, this one did not begin with a clear idea. So the experiment that I felt moved to do, lead to this. I am calling it Nurses in a Boat. I still have some work to do, but it is almost finished.

Since this idea came to me, I have had several related ideas that seem to be speaking to me louder than anything I had planned to do. So it looks like some surreal times ahead.

47″ x 66″, inkjet on aluminum

Artist at 9

Artist at 9

I recently found this old newspaper clipping of me, taken at age 9, after the Gibson County Fair in Humboldt, TN. I am not sure, but Iooking back from an adult’s perspective, I may have been the only person in my age group.

The rabbit and terrible cars were my idea and the flowers were my painting teacher’s idea.

The really interesting story is that I took oil painting lessons from Sally Huffles. She played Jane years earlier in a Tarzan movie and still had all of the press clippings. Sadly, I have reviewed all of the Janes and can not figure out which one she was. I am assuming that she had a stage name for her acting career.

The Centered Juggler

The Centered Juggler

The madness and fun has begun as I am well into my reading list, finishing Banksy : The Man Behind the Wall by Will Ellsworth-Jones, True Meditations by Adyashanti ( his best is The End of Your World ), Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, with Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit and Gompertz’s What Are You Looking At? already underway.

Combine this with my pull in different directions in art making, which currently include a Landscape series, a continuation of my Graffiti and Evolution of Man series, and two sets of “religious” series, one light and one dark, and you can see why I have created 3 Jugglers in the last 2 years.

I was telling Dana, my wife who by the way is a writer, artist and life coach http://www.danashavin.com/ that I go back and forth between excitement and being freaked out with all of the different projects. Usually, the overwhelmed times just last a few moments and I am back on course.

I used to think that I wanted to have one focus and would get frustrated at my journeys into other projects before the one I was working on was complete. And, as much as I still think that I need to do a series with headless chickens to complement the jugglers, I find that I actually do need to have the diversity and the multiple voices to keep me centered.

Part 1 of a 4 part commission

Part 1 of a 4 part commission

I do not take many commissions from individuals for a number of reasons, but a family I met this summer convinced me that doing a portrait of each of their family members could be an interesting project. Everything in this one, which is 94% finished, is from personal letters, work, school, personal and meaningful maps and numbers, etc

The Enduring Appeal of the Apocalypse

The Enduring Appeal of the Apocalypse

Back in May of 2011, I did this one-off as a tribute and commemorative poster for the end of the world. I had just heard about our love of end of the world stories on NPR and then came across an article in the Wall Street Journal, which is where I got the title. I do not often bring pieces back out, but somehow it seemed fitting for Halloween. Maybe it is the scariest piece I have… not that everyone would agree with that, for reasons I would not want to know.

As a footnote, I seldom use photos as my base that I do not personally take, but in this case, the person pictured is my father at 21. Those are my arms and Andy Warhol’s eyes. The people in the crowd were looking at and photographing the Mona Lisa when I photographed them

train

train

I took this photograph somewhere between Denver and Des Moines this year. I used it as a template for my new landscape series, which, if you do not know me, is a real stretch. I have combined multiple photos of weathered paint and paper, graffiti, etc

This piece is 66″ x 44″ and will be printed on aluminum in an edition of 5.

Barbara Kruger at Hirshhorn, “Yes, No, Maybe”and Kerry James Marshall at the National Gallery

Barbara Kruger Exhibit at Hirshhorn, Yes, No, Maybe exhibit and Kerr James Marshall at the National Gallery

After beginning with modest goals starting with the idea that I would just see the Kruger exhibit at the Hirshhorn, today, things quickly got out of control as I dropped by the Freer Gallery to see Asian art ,including Buddhas from everywhere and every time period. I knew how my day would go from here. Despite Eckhart, Pema and all other forms of Zen masters telling me that I am not my thoughts, I know and my thoughts know who is in control.

It was almost lunch, and with my thoughts/injunctions in place, I knew that i would need food in order to keep up the pace! preferably food and espresso. While there was no easy Espresso to come by, I did find one of the best chicken Philly Cheese sandwiches I have ever had from the New York Express truck in front of the National Gallery.

After this, I had no choice but to go into the National Gallery to see the Yes, No and Maybe exhibit; the religious icons exhibit and the Kerry James Marshall exhibit.

While the Marshall exhibit was the star of the show today, Yes, No and Maybe, subtitled “Artists Working at Crown Point Press” is also a must see if you have interest in printmaking or just the creative process.

I had never seen Marshall’s work in person. I had seen it in books and online and like a lot of art, especially art that is 12’+ wide and 8’tall, one has to see it in person to fully appreciate the quality and power of the work and the artist’s voice.

I can not believe it has been 10 years since I have been to Washington. It is apparent that I need to come back sooner next time

New Landscapes begin part two of the art making season

image

Ferris Wheel begins New Season of Making Art

Ferris Wheel begins New Season of Making Art

Every year from October to the end of March, I make as much art as possible. Sometimes I do a few pieces during the year, but I am aware that this is the time for the big ideas or new series, experimentation and reinvention.

This year is no exception. My first image, seen above, is already well outside my normal color palette. I may keep it or I may not, but for now, it is my beginning.

The lofty goals, which I can never fully meet, are to finish my Evolution Series and begin 3 new series. These include a very abstracted series on symbols and religion taken, in part from the classic book, The Sacred and The Profane and a reading list as long as my arm; a Circus Series reflecting the psychological aspects of our daily lives; and a Landscape series, which is a real stretch for me.

Even though I call these goals, I have realized the impossibility of doing it all. In past years I actually believed that I could meet all of my obsessive mind’s demands, creating amazing amounts of stress. I now know that these goals really serve as a starting point. I will likely finish the Evolution of Man Before the End of Time series, start and finish one of the other series and do a few pieces on the others in order to find a direction for future pieces.

“Man Reaching” chosen by Glass Street Public Art Project as Bus Shelter Wrap

Public Art Chattanooga, in collaboration with Glass House Collective and CARTA has chosen 4 artists’ work to use in wrapping bus shelters as part of a public art project in Chattanooga. I am delighted that they have chosen my image, “Man Reaching” to be a part of the program. More later when it has been installed.

Cityscape finds home at DMACC Urban Campus in Des Moines

Cityscape finds home at DMACC Urban Campus in Des Moines

I placed this 67″ x 48 piece earlier this year, along with Thoughts of a Better Day ( see in a post below ) at the DMACC Urban Campus with the assistance of Mary Capobianco of Designing Women in West Des Moines and Provost, Dr Laura Douglas as part of their campus renovation.

Books, Book Lists and Art

this one

I knew that it was that time of year, when I looked at my bedside table and living room table and studio table and my kindle and all that I could see was books that I have been accumulating all summer and fall in preparation for winter reading season. It is not that I do not read all year, but the winter is the true reading season where I binge on everything good and bad.

I am assuming that I am not alone based on two e-mails that came in this morning from Brain Pickings and ArtSpace, both of which had new books and book lists featured this month. I especially like Brain Pickings which consistently recommends books for artists and others in creative fields. http://www.brainpickings.org/

The stack I can currently see and which I began reading last night includes, in part:

1) Beyond the PostModern Mind : The Place of Meaning in a Global Civilization by Huston Smith ( recently heard an old interview with Huston Smith where this book was mentioned.  I had not heard of this book of his )
2) Banksy : The Man Behind the Wall by Ellsworth-Jones ( bought this on sale at Shakespeare and Co. in NY )
3) Concerning The Spiritual in Art by Kandinsky ( referenced in Jewish Museum Beyond the Spiritual Exhibit in San Francisco when I was there in September )
4) Salvador Dali’s Tarot ( saw a print from this book in a antique store and looked it up )
5) The Sacred and The Profane : The Nature of Religion by Eliade ( already owned this, but decided I had to read it when we saw Donna Freitas at The Gathering Conference at Keystone College last year and she repeatedly referred to it.
6) 100 Chinese Two Part Allegorical Sayings
7) What Are You Looking At? : The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art by Will Gompertz
8) Glittering Images by Camille Paglia
9) True Meditation by Adyashanti ( just finished The End of Your World by same author which was fantastic )

Something does not seem quite right when I notice that I am excited and daunted and maybe even intimidated by my own list…  and this is just the beginning of the list.  That always seems to be the case for my winter reading,- a little heavier, a little more thoughtful, when not coincidentally is when I began the months of art making which will consist of the majority of my work for the year.

Asian Vegan in downtown Providence, Rhode Island

Asian Vegan in downtown Providence, Rhode Island

I am becoming aware that I am talking more about food than art recently, so after this post, back to my other obsessions of art and books which need at least equal time.

After leaving the very lovely Mystic, CT where we spent the previous evening we headed north to Providence, RI. for the day. After going to the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and of course their shop, we headed to the only logical place that we could for someone allergic to seafood ( me ) and someone who is a partial vegetarian and who does not eat any meat and dairy combination – my Kosher wife…and yes she does eat shellfish, but you will have to take that up with her,

When we saw a restaurant billed as vegan asian in a beautiful place downtown, we knew we had found the perfect stop. The waitress did not have to go through our regular interrogation about EXACTLY what is in the soup, the sauce, etc We had similar dishes which consisted of Korean-style coconut-rice bowl topped with veggie beef, avocado, seaweed, chick peas, spinach, mango salsa and kimchee, served with sesame and hot sauce

Everything about this restaurant, other than the name ( Veggie Fun ) was good. The food was excellent, the setting was beautiful and the service very attentive.

After this is was back to buying more books in my build up for the winter reading season. More on that soon.

columbus park trattoria in Stamford, CT ends our trip with perfection

columbus park trattoria in white plains ends our trip with perfection

After a few days in NY, my wife, Dana met me for a quick trip up the East coast. As opposed to NY, where it seemed that I was on an art tour, we drove through beautiful small towns in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island, stopping at every place that looked like it had good food, good coffee or good dessert. Along the way, we found several stars.

Columbus Park Trattoria was our last stop last night in White Plains and we had high expectations from the moment we saw it. Fortunately for us and the crowd that never seemed to stop coming in the door, it did not disappoint. I am allergic to seafood, but the CALAMARETTI FRITTI O ALLA GRIGLIA, billed as an appetizer, that Dana had was one of the most amazing dishes we have ever seen and I am told, amazing to eat. My homemade pasta dish – FETTUCCINE AL TARTUFO CON CARCIOFI was also fantastic. I had two very nice italian meals in NYC, but neither could compare to this place.

Despite the place being packed, we were pampered with constant attention by the staff and as the photo that I took shows, the place has wonderful atmosphere.

We so appreciate being worked in. Apparently we were early enough that it worked out, but I would highly recommend reservations. http://www.columbusparktrattoria.com/

Chagall’s Love, War and Exile in the Upper East Side

image

Chagall’s Love, War and Exile in the Upper East Side

The great benefit of having been in New York several times recently is the letting go of compulsions to fill every minute with the big things.  While I still managed to do too much ( including seeing the big things), walk too much and eat too much, I also took the time to wander around some areas that I usually only pass through in a taxi or under in a subway or at best walk through on a main avenue on the way to another destination
On my walk through the Upper Eastside among interesting coffee places and shops( including Shakespeare and Company Books – thanks Tom for shipping the books for me ) I happened across Andy Warhol’s former home which only had a small plaque that I just happened to notice and just down the street, President  Grant’s former residence. Grant would have gotten a nice portrait of himself if only the timing had been right
The best discovery of the weekend was the Chagall exhibit – Love, War and Exile which was advertised on a bus stop that I was walking past. I am a Chagall fan, but have seen a number of Chagall exhibits and almost passed on this one, which I now know would have been a loss. The exhibit which focuses on his work from the 30s to 1948 is, to me some of his most powerful work given the personal nature of the subject matter and his choice of imagery to portray his feelings of fear, loss and love.
The docent  giving the tour completed the package, providing the information that one expects while asking people on the tour about their thoughts and opinions and casually bantering with the crowd

Friday night with friends at the Whitney and Petite Abeille

Friday night with friends at the Whitney and Petite Abeille

Last night I dragged tired and somewhat reluctant friends and artists Genne Grushovenko and Beverly Hayden to catch the the train to go to the Whitney. The crowd ( we did not realize it was name your own admission price night ) was energetic and large. This combined with a couple of great exhibits and a couple of double espressos perked us right up

If you have seen my work you know I am a fan of color and graphics which meant that the newly opened Robert Indiana exhibit was a perfect way to spend a Friday night. The Hopper exhibit was the one that had us shoulder to shoulder with everyone in NY however. Hopper’s sketches gave us a great peek into some of his thoughts and process behind his paintings.

We topped this off with dinner and dessert at one of Genna and his wife Signe’s favorite places, Petite Abeille, a Belgian place on 17th street in Chelsea. The restaurant was intimate and attractive and the service was attentive and helpful taking time to offer thoughts and suggestions on everything from their extensive beer selection to dessert. I am no food critic, but everything we had from the appetizers to entree to dessert were excellent. One  final note. At no point did we feel hurried by the staff, despite the limited seating and our leisurely pace, something I can not say for some places in the same neighborhood.

Images from The Evolution of Man Before the End of Time series

Images from The Evolution of Man Before the End of Time series

Man and Media and Man Alone from ongoing series. The man in the Man Alone piece was standing on a subway platform on morning last fall waiting on the commuter train to Grand Central Terminal when I took the shot that became the template for this final version. I served as my own model for Man and Media. More on this series later.

Thoughts of a Better Day

Thoughts of a Better Day

This is one of the few images that I have created using a photograph that was not mine. The original face template came from a late 1800s photo that I found in an antique store in southern Illinois

an article about OUR BLOGS

an article about OUR BLOGS

My wife’s article out today in the Chattanooga Times Free Press about the creation of OUR BLOGS.

Shop Window in NY

Shop Window in NY

I posted this on Facebook when I took it in July, but I think it deserves a second look. somewhere around 24th street

Diebenkorn Exhibit at de Young Museum

Diebenkorn Exhibit at de Young Museum

RMG 2011-09-11 Took off reflections on right side

A couple of weeks ago I was in San Francisco and was lucky enough to go to the de Young Museum of Art in Golden Gate Park on the recommendation of a friend. The de Young is a beautiiful building made of Copper, stone, wood and glass and set in a beautifully landscaped sculpture garden and grounds. The big surprise for me was the large “Berkeley Years” retrospective of Richard Diebenkorn.  I had only seen his works in books, so I was not prepared for the stunning abstract/landscapes in person.  If you are in the area, it closes Sept 29th and is well worth seeing.  If not, lets hope it goes on tour soon.

Woman on a Bike Description

Woman on a Bike was two years in the making.  The upper half of the woman ( mannequin ) was on a table in a window display in St Petersburg, Florida.  The legs and shoes came from a shot I took of a shoe store window display on Michigan Avenue in Chicago a year later.  The balls were actually spots painted on a sidewalk in downtown Houston.  The dress came from a photo I took of an urban poster wall in Philadelphia.  All other word, color and texture came from multiple shots that I have taken of graffiti, painted weathered walls, etc

Woman on a Bike to be on Exhibit for Artscapes, Knoxville Museum of Art’s Fundraiser

Woman on a Bike to be on Exhibit for Artscapes, Knoxville Museum of Art's Fundraiser

Daryl Thetford
I am once again delighted to have been chosen to be part of the KAM Exhibit.

Digital photo collage on aluminum
62 x 36 inches
Estimated value $1,800 – $2,000
Chattanooga, TN


Presented by the Guild of the KMA

Knoxville Convention Center

Clinch Concourse

  • Preview Brunch – Sunday, October 6
  • 11:00AM – 2:00PM
  •  
  • Evening Gala – Friday, October 11
  • Silent Auction – 6:00PM
  • Dinner & Live Auction – 8:00PM
  •  
  • Valet Parking Available

Struggle

Struggle

Struggle is a part of the series, The Evolution of Man Before the End of Time. It is composed of multiple photos that I took, beginning with me posing as a man pulling something, photos of caution tape to go across the eyes; a cross walk, utility poles, a piece of a vintage astronomy chart, graffiti, weathered paint and numerous other photos all combined to create this image. In all I used more than 75 photos used to create it.

The Beginning

Welcome to my blog in progress.  I will be making adjustments, changes and simply  learning for a while, so if you happen across it, things will be a little irregular for a few weeks until I get everything in place… including my head.

Yellow Lips

Yellow Lips