I have now been at Ann’s Choice for a little over 18 months and am starting to get a more focused picture (pun intended) of what I am going to be doing to scratch my artistic itch. While I expect not to be making any new handmade paper, and doing much less, if any ceramics and printmaking (the facilities and location don’t really lend themselves to these mediums – at least as I do them), I am expecting to go back to a couple of mediums, stained glass and woodworking, that I haven’t worked with in years; to expand my collage work, and to explore a couple of new mediums, digital photography as an art form and origami using my existing supply of handmade paper.
The piece shown here, DECEMBER MORNING FOG, is part of a series of digital photographs taken, in this case with my cell phone, from my apartment window and titled “Views From A Third Floor Window”. The color is natural: no filters were used and the only editing was some cropping and sizing for internet transmission.
The next two pieces will be two different collage impressions inspired by DECEMBER MORNING FOG.
January 7th marked the end of my three month solo show at The Gallery at Ann’s Choice. The show was conducted as a fundraiser for the Benevolent Care Fund at Ann’s Choice and I am very pleased that twelve pieces in several different mediums were sold and that just under $2000 was raised. I would like to thank everyone who helped make it possible: to Sherry Resnick and the other members of the Ann’s Choice Art Gallery Committee who gave me the opportunity to exhibit my work; to my wife Susan and my daughter Alicia who helped curate and arrange the show: to Ann’s Choice Community Resources staff member Kenny Faunces who hung the two dimensional pieces and who, along with Chelsea Rounds, the Ann’s Choice Community TV Coordinator, did the publicity for the show; and of course to everyone who purchased a piece, gave it a good home, and helped me support the Benevolent Care Fund. Thank you.
As part of my solo Exhibition and Sale at Ann’s Choice I will be giving an Artist Talk and Gallery Tour this coming Saturday, December 11th starting at 11:00am in the Catering Room located on the first floor of the Liberty Commons Clubhouse. It will then move to the Art Gallery on the second floor of the Liberty Commons Clubhouse at Ann’s Choice.
I do not believe that Artist Talks should be monologues and am hoping for a lively dialogue and exchange. I would like this to be a fun event for a good cause.
Visitors from outside Ann’s Choice are welcome but please remember to wear a mask and park in one of the “visitor” or unnumbered parking spaces.
I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to do a solo Exhibition and Sale of my artwork benefitting the Benevolent Care Fund at Ann’s Choice, my new home. The show will run from October 7, 2021 until January 7, 2022, in the Art Gallery in the Liberty Commons Club House at Ann’s Choice. Sixty-five pieces across my body of work are featured in several different mediums including single line drawings, photographs, photograms, reverse prints, collages, clay monoprints and handmade paper as well as collographic, dark field and pantographic monoprints and hand built raku fired sculptural pieces.
The Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Liberty Commons Club House next to the Signatures Restaurant and across from the Library and the Liberty Craft Room at Ann’s Choice, 34000 Ann’s Choice Way, Warminster, PA
MARDI GRAS – 2006 is one of the very first collographic prints I ever made. I came across it, and my notes about it, while cleaning out my old studio as we get ready to put the house and studio on the market. According to my notes, MARDI GRAS – 2006 is a reflection on the damage done to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina with the Mardi Gras figures shown as being under water and in black and white rather than the usual bright jewel tones. MARDI GRAS – 2006 was created using etching ink instead of the water based inks I have been using lately, but as I looked at it, I was struck by how little and how much both my work and the world have changed in 14 years. (2006) (16” x 12”) ($125)
This week’s web post was supposed to be about how happy I was that my collographic monoprint CONTOURS OF FLIGHT # 8 had just been added to a private collection in California. Then California burned and the building in which it hung had to be evacuated. While both I and the new owners value the print, we both also realized that it had no place in a “time is of the essence bug out bag”. The owners are safe and the building appears intact but about 40% of the houses in the neighborhood have been destroyed and others damaged. There are still close by “hot spots” and with record temperatures and high winds projected there is still significant risk. No one knows when electricity or water will be restored or even when people will be allowed back in to inspect the damage; if it will be deemed habitable or if items can be removed from it.
I’ve done two prints about the fires in California WILDFIRE and PARADISE LOST, both of which were abstracts done in the context of being 3000 miles away and without a direct involvement. This is different: CONTOURS OF FLIGHT #8 is admittedly just a very small part of the lives of the new owners, but through it, I think I have been given a personal glimpse into how devastating and disruptive these fires really are. They are not abstract concepts. Climate change and its consequences are not abstract concepts. People’s lives and losses are not abstract concepts. They can be expressed abstractly but they are real.
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST WITH SECURITY ISSUES is part of my “IRIAAM” Series of self -portraits using (or attempting to) the same basic image and different mediums; in this case a collage made from “FSPs”, or financial security papers, the inside linings in things like bank statements and credit card bills. This was the first of what will probably be several “black and white” versions as I experiment with different sizes and patterns to try to get a little more nuance into the shading. I’m also going to do at least one “colored” version – it is amazing the number, of colors, tints, and patterns these things come in. (14” x 20”) (2020) ($125)
Since I first read the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (and watched the movies) I have been intrigued by James Newton Howard’s enigmatic song “The Hanging Tree” which seems to play a key and pivotal role in the development of the story. I have made several efforts in different mediums at conceptualizing or ekphrasticing it. The version of MIDNIGHT AT THE HANGING TREE shown here is a paper collage using recycled and repurposed advertising and packaging cardboard and references in particular the movie scene at the hydroelectric dam. (2020) (20” x 16”) ($125)
I’M DONALD J. TRUMP AND I APPROVED THIS MESSAGE is my reaction to his statement during the Axios interview about the number of COVID-19 deaths which at that time were running over 1000 per day with an aggregate of over 150,000. I was startled, not by his total lack of empathy that there was an individual life behind each one of those numbers; that I expected, but by his callous, off-handed dismissal of the numbers themselves encapsulated in the statement: “It is what it is”. It seemed that to him, both the lives lost and the numbers of them were irrelevant, or at most, inconvenient nuisances for his re-election campaign. My artistic problem was how to express this in a single visual image. I chose to put the statement into a campaign ad format complete with the required “approval language” and after several efforts (tombstones, different religious symbols, etc.) to combine it with the visual image set out in John McCrae’s iconic World War I poem In Flanders Fields: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row”. , but to vary the sizes and shapes of the crosses to recognize and honor the individuality behind each one. I’M DONALD J. TRUMP AND I APPROVED THIS MESSAGE is a white on black paper collage using recycled and repurposed advertising and packaging materials. (1307)) (2020) (20” x 16”) ($125)
THE TREE OF LIFE – 2020, a paper collage, is the first piece I have started and completed entirely at Ann’s Choice since moving there on July 2, 2020. I started it on July 6th while watching both a severe thunderstorm and a discussion of the rising death toll in the United States from the COVID 19 virus. THE TREE OF LIFE – 2020 is made entirely from the materials on hand at the time, mainly the packaging from a couple of bottles of a topical pain cream I used to get through the move and a box of Fiber One cereal that was breakfast. THE TREE OF LIFE – 2020 is not an autumn piece, it is a reflection on the more than 130,000 lives lost to date with the falling leaves. representing those prematurely lost lives while the tree itself has taken on a skeletal form. (768) (2020) ( 17” x 9 ½” ) ($125)