"Nature is what we know
Yet have not art to say
So impotent our vision is
to her simplicity."
- Emily Dickinson

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Perhaps It Makes Sense Now

Most artists would agree that one of the difficulties of marketing our art is the task of writing the artist statement.  Many are written in a foreign language known as "artspeak" and are impossible to understand.  Many are banal.  Many are boastful.  Finding the best way to state the motivation and techniques for one's making art is quite a process.  My statement contains the following remark:

"I hope the viewer will pause a moment, bringing personal
sensibilities and memories to each subject, and discover therein whether the
spirit of place speaks. I want the viewer to feel a familiarity with the art as
though filtered through a memory."

While I don't paint to please some particular audience, I want viewers of my work to get caught up in and appreciate it.  Recently, I had a wonderful experience that confirmed my belief in what is written in my statement.

In the 1990s, while living on the Georgia coast, I painted a series of lighthouses and made posters from the watercolors.  At that time, photo lithographs were state-of-the-art reproductions and the process just was not archival.  The poster editions were small -- only 180 of each and 10% of every edition went to the lighthouse depicted for their own use or sale.  The rest I sold, mostly to coastal visitors.  This message came through Facebook recently.

"We came to Savannah on holiday in 1999 and bought this print. We love it...but sadly it's now very faded. Any possibility of a replacement still being available? It's a real treasure - great work. It's a memory a lovely holiday my wife and I had around Savannah many years ago."

I dug through an old flat file and found the print they wanted. I was so pleased to be able to ship a print of the St. Simons lighthouse to folks in Cornwall, UK. But the best part is the confirmation that my work was filtered through memory and serves as a reminder of times well spent.

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Nice Surprise

I just received notice that "Beach Relics" has been selected for the Fourth Virgina Avery Memorial "Reflections" Juried Exhibit.  The exhibit runs from August 20th until October 10th at the Quinlan Art Center in Gainesville, GA.  Works were selected for inclusion from submissions by women artists from Georgia.  "Beach Relics" is a mixed media piece that includes one of my intaglio etchings collaged into the composition.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the work in the exhibit and meeting the other artists and the folks at the Quinlan!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tenth Anniversary

Yesterday, I delivered “blue jimmies” to the Tannery Row Artist Colony for their tenth anniversary exhibit.  The invitation for this show was extended to all the colony members, past and present so this promises to be a very diverse and insightful show.  The reception is Saturday, March 8th from 5 PM until 8 PM at the historic tannery building in Buford, GA -- everyone is welcome!  The painting, "blue jimmies" is a mixed media collage with a watercolor.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Erosion.  The gradual wearing away of land surface materials, especially rocks, sediments, and soils, by the action of water, wind, ice or gravity. Usually erosion also involves the transport of eroded material from one place to another, as from the top of a mountain to an adjacent valley, or from the upstream portion of a river to the downstream portion. Erosion can manifest as a superficial destruction of a surface or more profound damage, even catastrophic destruction.  Erosion occurs naturally and reveals amazing qualities of the earth with a glimpse of the elements beneath the surface.  I am captivated with the rhythmic, subtle, textural and beautiful qualities I see beneath and am working to describe what I see there.  In 2013 I am beginning the series, Beneath.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Off to a New Start

After serving on the Board of the Hudgens Center for the Arts for nearly four years, I have completed my term and have taken a studio at the Tannery Row Artist Colony in Buford, Georgia.  It seems like a very long time since I have spent quality time with myself in the studio and I am thoroughly enjoying it!

I've finished my annual "four seasons" project -- this year they are 10" x 24" mixed media with oil on board.  Spring: Late Snow on Crocuses is posted here.  I've also begun work on a series that I'm titling Beneath which will focus on things beneath trees, dunes, etc.  Lots of erosion can happen!  Starting with small watercolor studies then moving on to larger abstracted mixed media pieces.  There are always projects for the Tannery gallery for the shows we hang there on a regular basis.  Oh, and there are the series of birds in watercolor for my offering of Holiday cards this year.

Busy and happy!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I just received an exciting letter from the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. I have had two works selected for inclusion in their first biennial Booth Artists Guild exhibition. The exhibit will run from May 17, 2011 through September 10, 2011 in the Borderlands Gallery of the museum. I am most pleased to be selected as the Booth is, in my opinion, one of the finest art museums in the southeast. Check out their website at www.boothmuseum.org and see for yourself what they are all about.

The work above is one of the selected pieces titled, Roots in Penland II. It's the right panel of a diptych. I photographed these exposed roots in Penland,NC in the Fall of 2009 when I was there to study printmaking and just got around to painting them. The piece is mixed media on panel with oil paint, handmade papers and dried botanicals.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The Vernal Equinox 2011. Spring arrives officially at 7:21 this evening and I will celebrate with my annual ritual of balancing an egg on its end. This year, I am celebrating in another way as I am making my printmaking studio green.

Now, let me say that I love my painting studio and have no plans to make environment changes there. I love the smell of my traditional oil painting materials -- linseed oil, balsam, spike and really good turps. That's what my well ventilated studio smells like and that's what I think it should smell like. But my printmaking practices are all going green. I really think making art should be a pleasurable practice and I don't find acid, nasty smells and messy clean up all that pleasurable. After a class at Penland, I started printmaking with glass plates, using them for intaglio and lithograph plates with happy results. My inks were great quality, made with artist's pigments and burnt plate oil. Then I discovered Solarplate and I fell in love with the images that resulted, though still using the etching ink that required solvent for cleanup -- and there always was a mess to cleanup. My first Solarplates were exposed directly in the noonday sun last July and I now have a UV exposure unit in the studio that is much quicker, more efficient and quite consistent. I knew I had to find a better solution for the inks and I've settled on Akua water-based intaglio inks. At first, I was not completely satisfied with the results -- I like a little plate blush and the ink cleaned off the plate too much -- but now I'm adding a soy-based modifier to the ink and am getting a stiffer consistency resulting in a slight blush on the plate. Green is getting good results off my press!

Of course, the naturalist in me seems to dictate my subject matter just as it does for most of my paintings. I can see that presenting my little etchings will be as much fun as the printing process. I'm putting them in larger collage paintings and encaustic compositions -- and even matting some for the traditionalists. Naturalist Press is working in Sugar Hill, Georgia.