Wednesday, January 30, 2008

comPAIRS 2

The word Pointillism immediately brings to mind the Impressionists and Pointillists of the late 19th Century. Some may even know the name Georges Seurat, who seems to be the most famous of the practitioners of that oeuvre. At that time, the object was to break a scene down into it's most basic of elements - single brush strokes of color, and let the viewer's eye blend the colors and perceive the tableau, instead of using the brush to blend. In the years since, artists have applied that same principle to abstract painting. Peter Young and Andrew Forge come to mind. Gastone Biggi pretty much mastered this oeuvre in the early 90's, and in the 40 plus years that Kuno Gonschior pursued this, he took it right on into (pointillist) Minimalism.

Here we are in 2008 and pointillism has evolved into a celebration of itself. It's definitely cut the apron strings to realism and now stands on it's own or works as just another prop in any composition. These "points" can be any size, both large or small, whether painted or made of collage.
Both of these paintings were done in 2007. In John's mixed media work, below, these orbs of nuanced colors seem to just hang and float there with no apparent purpose other than to entertain us. On the other hand, Glenn's work (left) gives us some other realistic clues to work with. Even though his orbs are front and center and an integral part of the composition, they remain very neutral, making them open to interpretation. Fascinating how similar the color tones are in these two works. So we've come quite a ways from painting realistically and copying nature using small brush strokes or points of color, to actually constructing abstracts that celebrate the dots of color, themselves.

Top image, Glenn Fischer's, "A Boy With Guns Means Business", 16"x20" from his Website.

Right is John Belingheri, "Dipthong Azure", 78"x88" , from his page at Andrea Schwartz Gallery.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Blue Veil


Yup, that's me in the mirror and this was a painting I did in Marietta, GA.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Calligraphic Paintings

It's been a great trip down memory lane, looking at these old paintings from the 80's and 90's that no longer exist - unless someone went dumpster diving after I drove away. These all fit nicely in an artist's brief that I still have - such a shame I ditched em. The two on the right were particularly special to me. There was an alcove in one of the art supply stores where they had all these flat files stacked so high, with more kinds of paper than you could possibly imagine. These are cotton fibre and I had treated myself to a couple bottles of liquid watercolors (concentrate) also. It was my Christmas present to myself. At the time I was staying at Dieter's shop. Christmas morning I awoke to the sound of silence - no traffic and it was snowing. A good hot cup of coffee and a cig later, I laid out those sheets on the huge work table (had to have been 6'x10') and "had at it". This was not a pretty shop by any means - we're talkin work, here. This place was Used ! So there was absolutely no worry about messing up anything. Character ? Way more than you'd imagine. So, Christmas morning, me, my art supplies and time and space. Pretty much one of those precious pinnacles. . .

The top painting, done with those liquid watercolors and titled "It's Really Hell When You Can't Figure Out What To Do" was done with happy sarcasm. The bottom painting (probably pastel pencils)was a beach scene, titled "Do Da", which I later blacked out except for the two stripes.

Below left, the upper painting is done on both sides of a small piece of Plexiglas, titled "Phrase". The lower drawing, on a very soft, thick paper is "Untitled". I have no dates for any of these.

In the photo to the right, the upper work is titled "What If I Just Went Ahead And Ruined This", because I had done a cool drawing, didn't know where to take it, wanted to write on it and that's what I was thinking at the time. The lower work, titled "We Got Black" was a joke. I was surrounded by black people at work and my personal opinion to all that, is that there are no black or white people (how silly, actually); we're all shades of beige and brown.

And all the pics show the artworks laying on my bed because I had an urge to photograph everything quickly, obviously, and so, well that's just tough.
All three images enlarge.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Lockheed-Martin is such a big deal in Atlanta Georgia that when the name is mentioned, people actually genuflect. It's a huge place that pretty much qualifies as a self-contained city. I worked for the company that had the contract to move and store their office furniture. To the uninitiated, it doesn't seem like much, but imagine that they want to remodel the second largest building on base. First they move some groups of people out of the way, more moving, etc and then down the road we move an entire 4 story office building of people into the remodeled area. That's just a glimpse of all the movement of people and groups, that goes on on a daily basis. All desks are 30 x 60 inches and most people have a clear Plexiglas sheet that they put on top of their desk so as to easily see pertinent information. Through the years many seemed to become less fond of these, especially since so much info is just a mouse click away. That means that with every move we would be throwing out more than a few of these "desktops".

What a cool support for a painting; or so I thought. You could paint on both sides and go for a 3-D effect. At the time, I was renting a duplex with 3 other guys and was the proud owner of one of those big old clunky easels. So there was this desktop, begging to be painted, standing there on my easel and I painted a painting of my easel. What ever you paint on the backside has to be done in reverse, which is kinda cool. At the time, there were these wonderful, huge art supplies around Atlanta - talk about your out of mind experience ! So you'll notice that several kinds of paper are incorporated into the "Easel" painting on you right. Another thing I discovered were the acrylic paint, felt tip marker pens. It was a blast, graffiti-izing the painting, top left, titled, "Hi Scotty".

In the 19 years that I lived in the Atlanta area (mostly Marietta) I moved over a dozen times. Some places were conducive to painting, others, not so much. But where ever I went I took all my paintings with me - until I decided to move up here. And then over the course of several weeks, I went through my drawings and paintings over and over and talked myself into throwing away almost every single work . The goal was to pack my car as lightly as possible and if it wasn't important, it couldn't come. On the one hand I'm happy not to be burdened with so much stuff. On the other, it was a shame to think so poorly of my work. Fortunately, someone invented the camera.

Both photos will enlarge.

Friday, January 25, 2008

"Who Knew" - Dept.

One of David Smith's sculptures, "Cubi XXVIII", made the same year he passed, sold at auction for $23,816,000. in November 2005 and broke all records for price for a contemporary sculpture. I'll have to admit that when it comes to sculpture, my eyes tend to glaze over. It's not that I can't or don't appreciate that facet of the art world - I just wanna see the paintings !

So when I saw an advert for a show of his spray paintings, I had to check it out and am glad I did. The above image, "Untitled 7363.127", is not from his current show at the Madison Ave Gagosian Gallery. It's from, where you can see 59 of his works; 19 of which are the "sprays". What's immediately apparent is that these are 2-dimensional sculptures. They're quite uncanny and give insight into his oeuvre.

You'll also want to read his "Chronology" from his Estate Website.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Kees Goudzwaard

Was wanting to see current work by Kees Goudzwaard so I poked around some image searches and came across these images from Zeno-X Gallery News. These were under the heading - "December 5-9, 2007 Art Basel Miami Beach", which means these were shots of their booth at ABMB. Sure would have been great to be there and seen these in person. There are no captions but I have no doubt that the bright red painting to your right and the grey composition in the middle in the pic below are by Kees. They look like new work.
There's a new fascination, each time I see his work. Knowing that his is a process of tromp l'oeil brings a smile for the sly joke he's offering us. But again and again I come to appreciate the compositions just as they are as if they WERE just masking tape and colored paper. That whole concept really attracts me on several levels and I can't help wondering if there might be other artists who are experimenting with the same materials.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with his work, these are oil on canvas, paintings. He starts out with a model of masking tape and colored paper on canvas and replaces the tape and paper with oil paint. And our eyes are fooled into thinking these are the original compositions.
Unlike other Galleries' websites, at Zeno-X they give you the Full treatment. Scroll down that first page and you'll see 15 of his works. Or click on the Virtual Visit to see 8 more works AND their installation shots. Too bad more galleries don't have these features.

Luscious Abstracts

You know that feeling you get when you come across a beautiful, spontaneous abstract ?
That's exactly the same reaction I had upon seeing a painting by Begona Maza Martinez.

You'll enjoy visiting her website, which is just a little different than the norm.

After navigating that first page, and seeing other impressive abstracts in the same genre, click on the big red square in the upper right corner to actually enter her site and let the fun begin . . . . . .

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kadar Brock


Artist contemplating his work. Visit

Small Stars In The Universe

To wrap up this little trip down memory lane, this is the last painting I finished in '07. I did it with the intent of entering it in the Palette Award Show and winning the top prize - Which it did !


Titled, "Small Stars In The Universe", it's a poignant story of life and death. The little boy at the top is saying "I will be the arc angel 4" (and of course, the little boy in the box). And the man, sitting on the fence, looks the other way.

Coffee or Tea

Here's a cool one I gave to a local coffee house.

The title is, and it says - "You can get there from here, all you need is a little T"

it's a joke, get it ?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Hounds Of ILL-Gotten

Cool title, eh? Two birch panels, pastel abstract and suddenly I see it - a story. There's land and a castle and in the front of the painting are two huge baying, purple hounds. They're almost like ghosts and fill the foreground. So then with the pointillism.

This was a big painting - lots of dots. So to get me through, I thought about an aerial view of the house and yard we grew up in. I can point out the driveway and the fireplace out back and the place where I tossed out my dead goldfish onto the neighbor's drive, the back stairs - you get the picture . . . . When it was all done, my friends told me to reverse the panels. They said it looked better that way. So, here it is. And I did a great job of making a frame for it !
The coolest part is the poem that goes with it.

"The hounds of ill gotten
were baying at noon.

Someone needed
their reward too soon. "

Cool, eh ?

Think About You

is the name of this painting. Once again, apologies for the bad photography. When I got my first digital camera, the idea was just to have a casual record of my paintings for myself. Didn't really think they'd end up online; but here we are. If memory serves . . this was a lite abstract and then some writing. When applying the dots of paint I made a large effort to ignore what was underneath and be random and then make patterns. But you really can't ignore the under painting and in places I would work with the words and enhance them.

That was pretty much an on-going experiment I was doing for a while. Guess you could call it Surprise Painting. You do an abstract and do pointillism on top; the whole while, trying to completely ignore what's underneath and at the end it's a big surprise how it turns out. Hey, I thought it was a valid idea at the time. In a way isn't that in the same category as automatic writing ?

Signature Painting

If I had to pick just one of my paintings to have and live with, it would probably be this one.

"Bippity & Bop" was a blast to make. Carefree and fun immediately come to mind. And as per my M.O, there's a sentence in there. It's one of the harder ones to read. I think I even stumped myself last time I tried. This is the kind of stuff I like and it's all Me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Subverting Failure

This is the painting I spoke of in the Michaela Zimmer Post, titled "This Is The Story Of Love". If you were to tip the painting to the right you can roughly make out what it used to be. It was a landscape, done with colored pencil and acrylic glazes. Layer after layer and time and again I'd work on it only to remain in the same rut poetically. Soooo, I flipped it on it's side, applied bits of 1" masking tape and then painted it a blueish grey. Removed the masking tape and edged the top of each "piece" with silver and the bottom with Payne's grey. Those pieces that you see are not pieces at all, but the original painting showing through. The canvas is completely flat. It was a wrap-around canvas so I framed it from behind and the white rectangle, bottom right, is a flipped up label. A lot of Michaela's paintings look as if she did a light abstract and then put in some arbitrary, solid color areas and then played it on out. That also spoke to me of how we might be able to recycle paintings that just don't cut it.
Some artists Gesso over, and some burn, throw away or donate. Me ? Everything is good for content . . . . .

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Artistic Calligraphy

By now you should know how I feel about letters and writing; abstract painting and the combining of the two. Enter Monica Dengo.
This is such a good example of calligraphy being the sole content and context and composition of an artwork. For me, it's a pleasant combination of pleasing colors and action gestures. The fact that it actually says something is an added bonus.
This image is from her very fascinating Website. When you go there, be patient and just watch the slide show (first). You'll see images that you might not otherwise encounter. And definitely check out her "Book As Body" collaboration on the ART page.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Library Show

Eventually I'll use my camera more and see that I need to use a tripod, etc, when shooting pics of my paintings. And eventually I'll figure out the whole lighting thing. But I was on my way back from Williamsport, Pa and stopped at the library on a whim.

Ten of my paintings are on display there, for the month of January. I'm pretty much connected to my computer at the hip and hadn't gotten online since Friday. So a quick stop at the library for emails and a couple quick shots of my paintings made sense. Of all the places we can hang our paintings in our Art Club's circuit, the library is the best; lots of ambient natural light and then spotlights right on the paintings.

As I said, not such hot pics. But would like to point out that I thought these ( paintings) were a particularly successful experiment on my part. Canvases that wrap around the sides can be a bit expensive and to tell the truth, most of the time it's a slight distraction to have to paint over the edge. So I made these panels, and we are talking cheap-O! Take a 2x2, quarter inch birch panel and if you don't like square, just whack some off the side. They have really cheap 1x2's, or something like that, that you make into a frame and glue and nail the panel onto. Won't go into detail here, but there' two simple pieces of wood on the back that I finish with a felt strip and they hold the work out from the wall about an inch or less. To blend everything together and give texture I applied a self-leveling floor compound, with my hands, for the ground. It's kinda messy and fun. Then paint !

The top painting - Elegant Warrior. Bottom - Siamesian.

Hold My Fish

Ya know how they send you to school and then give you a recess so your mind can freshen up ?
Well, it's time to take a break from art for just a minute . . . . . .

Now I don't know all that much about fish - but to me that is ONE ugly sucker ! But wait, there's more. And I do mean MUCH more. Image is from Carplines. Go there and be amazed.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Text As Context

These are two great examples from my "Newspaper Paintings" series. It was shortly after 9/11 and everything seemed so much more political and heavy and I just felt compelled to respond.

The first work, "5 Sides To The Coin" pictures a family in Afghanistan, a mother and daughter reunited after 9/11 and a strip from another page listing the people who died in that tragedy.
The second work titled "3 Musketeers du Jour" is mostly just a wonderment about our headlines: political power brokers, war, and a sinkhole that swallows a man who heard a noise, opened his back door and fell in and disappeared.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Fond Memories


This is one of the very first images of Michael Goldberg that I came across, years ago, and I remember the impact it had on me. Right about that time I had just learned how to Other Click on an image and then choose to put it on your desktop. This image was on my PC screen for quite a while and I would study it and feel encouraged and invigorated. His oeuvre changed a bit over the years, but definitely remained "his". Born on December 24, 1924 he had a "good run" and even painted a new body of work in his last year, 2007. When you view that work you can hardly believe it's all oilstick because of the new technique he used. The works are bold, bright and vibrant.
You can see a short video review of his last show at Knoedler & Company by James Kalm, here. The video is of three different shows in Chelsea and Michael's show is in the middle. He's no linger with us, having passed on December 30, 2007, but he left us some beautiful artwork to enjoy.
The image, "Grand Sichuan" 2000, oil and oilstick on canvas 40 x 35.5 inches, is from


Tuesday, January 08, 2008


It's really quite a pleasure anymore, to search for abstract calligraphy. There seems to be a new surprise around every corner. Who knew ?

Found the web site of Richard Widhu and had a good laugh at one of his categories - "Legible Calligraphy" - of which this is one. Top image is "John Cage Quote", watercolor on paper, 17 x 20. With his impressive resume, Richard is a calligrapher, sure enough, but he's one of the more creative ones when it comes to mediums and materials. Most of his work is ink, and watercolor and in some he'll also use colored pencil, graphite, pastels and acrylic. In others he includes leather, tin, lead and gold leaf or silver leaf, to name a few. But whether abstract or legible, there is a purpose and sensibility to his work. His Artist's Statement is very sane and down to earth and you'll enjoy seeing all the different sides to his oeuvre at

This image, "Arnamag IV" Acrylic, paste on paper - 19 x 24.

Monday, January 07, 2008

comPAIRS 1

This is the first in an occasional series of posts to compare similar work by different artists. I honestly have no point that I want to prove. It's just fascinating to find artists who work in the same vein. You're free to make your own conclusions.
The work on the right is a beautiful example of trompe l'oeil, titled "Cover" 2006 by Kees Goudzwaard. At first look you think you're looking at a composition of colored paper and masking tape. You're partially correct; that's how it started, but he replaced those items with oil paint. A wonderfully sly joke, this is an oil painting of what you think you're looking at(a pretty composition of simple materials).

The work on the left is by Stefan Anneral, titled "Spens" 2007. This also looks like a composition using simple materials; and it is. Stefan builds his painting in layers and does use tape. But he has a different goal in mind and it'd be best if you go here to get the gist of it.
Both artists are listed under Abstract Artists in the links to your right.
"Spens" image is from
"Cover" image is from

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Abstract calligraphy AND pointillism ?

I must be dreaming ! This is just too good to be true; that an artist would include both abstract calligraphic gestures and pointillism in the same painting. This is Shane Guffogg and he has a really wonderful, oeuvre. He does oil on paper and canvas and his oil paintings typically have 50-60 layers of translucent colors that have been mixed with a glazing medium which causes them to glow as if they have their own light source. He also works in watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper and does traditional etchings on zinc plates.

This image,"Hours of the Season" 2000, oil on canvas 66 x 72 is from his website.

If you ever want to read an artist's biography that sounds like they lived a charmed life - read his here. Although he has his biography on his own site too, I'm giving you the slightly extended one from the Lawrence Asher Gallery where you'll find 6 works from 2006.

You must visit Sane's web site and enjoy these undulating, glowing gems. Shane

It's on the oils from 1996 - 2000 and the watercolors from 1999 that he did the pointillism. And it's as though he was adding a grill in front of this glowing maelstrom to help contain it. In the following years he abandons the dots and replaces them with cursive linear work that at once contains the energy and yet gives the painting even more depth. All his works are beautiful and challenging, but you'll see that Shane has definitely caught his stride in the later paintings. Be sure to read his Statement.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008