Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer Recedes

Even in the morning and evening breezes one can begin to feel the cool charge of fall on it's way. The late starting summer will have a shortened season with falls timely arrival.
The week has been filled with many fun gatherings, with visiting friends and wonderful dinners at friends' homes. From the international feast created by Lorraine Wyche and her daughter Shahara, followed by the Italian fare at Valerie Preston and her divine mom, Jackie Orridge, to the annual Illumination Night Bash at Wesley and Judy Mayo Jr's home in the campgrounds. Yesterday morning began with a breath-taking view of the Vineyard Harbor for breakfast at Amy Goldson's home, an early collector of my work. Last night we were at the home of Zita and her husband Michael Brown, to enjoy a delicious multi course feast that she had prepared herself. With Bob Hayden also in attendance, the conversation became quite lively about all manner of things. That set us off for the finale of the evening, a dance-a thon at Lola's, where the "funky" music rocked the house all evening.

After playing some bid-whist on the beach this afternoon we will attend the annual Martini Party given at Blaine and Virlynn's house, just before the fireworks display at Ocean Park. Afterwards, I will be at the Cousen Rose Gallery for the last evening of my solo showing to meet and greet last minute visitors. The inspiration that came from so many visitors responses to my work has encouraged me to complete another work while here on the island, that will also be included in the showing at the gallery. Also, the new prints that people ordered and many liked will also be available. Hopefully, we will see some of you there.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Opening Night at Cousen Rose Gallery

Opening night at Cousen Rose Gallery for 2008 was indeed one of the most elevating moments of the year for me. Zita Cousen has hung a powerful showing of the work with her usual panache and flair. The energy of the attendees was at an all time high, filled with love and appreciation all around. As usual, so many people knew one another from all parts of the world and from different parts of their lives, and they all converged in this space and time together. As you can see from the attached photos, everyone enjoyed themselves, especially me and the photographer Joe Steele. We were only able to capture a fraction of the supporters and collectors that arrived but have warm memories of all that were there. The most heart-warming aspect of the evening was how entire families arrived to show their support. As I said before, the stars of the night were the attendees, and you know who you were. Thank you all so much for being there.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Day of the Opening

Imagine trying to stay calm when so many people are finally about to see the work you have been developing for almost a year. Though many would say they thought I was a calm person, they really don't feel the quakes that rattle my body at times like this. However, I am unusually calm this year because I have come to terms with the fact that things will be what they will be. The people who show up are the ones who were meant to be there. Their energy is special to me at this moment in time and to the world I inhabit and they will be the lights of this evening. Many people will be entirely new to me, yet, it is my friends and supporters that makes life as an artist worth living.
Many friends have made the trek to the Vineyard just in time to be at the opening. Hopefully, we will get photos of them and they will allow me to post those shots tomorrow.

Martha's Vineyard is known for it's exquisite vistas of the seas, however, I have not seen a vista quite like the one we had last night at the home where Orin Kramer and his wife Hillary Ballon were staying. The sweeping vista from a cliff overlooking the Vineyard Sound was breathtaking even for Vineyard standards. The guests included many political affiliates of the Democratic party, in town for the Barack Obama fundraiser, this evening, to be given at the equally impressive home of Connie and Preston Williams in the same area. I am happy to say they are collectors of my work, starting with a painting of their pond I did several years ago.

The watercolor painting above is of the front porch of the amazing author, Jill Nelson's, home in Ocean Park, situated right at the town beach overlooking the water.It is entitled "Tranquility House".

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Morning on the Vineyard

The beauty of a clear summer morning on Martha's Vineyard is something I am still impressed with after all these years. The clarity of light and the crispness of color are like etchings in my mind's eye, that fortunately returns in a blink of reflection. Joe Steele and I arrived here, in Oak Bluffs, yesterday in our two car caravan from our home in Claverack. This year we decided to bring up all the artwork for the show at Cousen Rose Gallery, beginning on August 16th, in a separate car. This way the shipping costs were eliminated, and we could oversee the transport of the work ourselves. When the option presents itself to personally transport work to galleries rather than ship it, I prefer the former for those reasons.

Today will begin with the preparations for a commissioned oil painting of a beautiful young woman, a student from Wesleyan, who is visiting the island at the same time. The setting for the painting will be outdoors, as to complement her natural beauty with the nature here. It has been in recent years that I have started to marry my skills as a landscape artist with my abilities to paint beautiful women. I am unsure as to why it has taken so many years to bring these two sides of myself together but I am enjoying the results, and so do many viewers.

Attached today is an oil painting entitled "Blue Flamenco", which is the last painting I had completed in this series for the showing here.

Later this evening, we will attend the Martha's Vineyard Festival, which guarantees to be a great show because one of my favorite singers of all time, Gladys Knight, will be performing. The concert will be particularly refreshing because it is being held outdoors in Ocean Park, an ocean front community that borders a park that overlooks the Nantucket Sound.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

August opens with a tremendous response from you guys to the blog with many of you saying you'll be back. Today is one of those busy days where so many elements have to be brought together. To begin with, I will pickup the last works for the show from the framer's at Park Row Gallery in Chatham, NY.
These new works of art are a new direction for me since they are of dancers. The genesis of the idea came from a group show I was in entitled "Vibrations" for Black History Month at the Shellnut Gallery at RPI in Troy, NY. The photos on exhibit of major dancers, like Alvin Ailey and Gregory Hines, were supplied by Norton Owen, director of Archives at Jacob's Pillow in Lenox, MA. He and the Shellnut Gallery director, Mary Udell, suggested I do a series of dancers for a future exhibition there. Taking this motivation on, I created two works on dancers. Included here is "A Roda", which combines my style of "dashilism" brush strokes with the rhythmic swirl found in many of my abstract paintings.
My next stop is meeting with one of my giclee technicians to pickup newly created prints to be available for the show in August. This is a very involved process that requires working closely with someone to see your vision and translate it into the color and intensity of the original painting.
From there I am off to an opening of my friend Elissa Gore's work at the Windham Fine Arts Gallery, where they are having a "plein-aire" day, that includes a dozen other extremely talented artists. She is a terrific painter and an inspiration to me, as well as, being a mentor because of her success in the art world.