Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Sea Has Veins: The Delaware Series; Janet Filomeno

The Delaware Series no. 3, 2007
acrylic and aluminum paint on canvas, 80" x 68"
photo: Ronald Filomeno, from the artist's studio

Long captivated by fluids and bodies of water, painter Janet Filomeno presents this latest series as an homage to the Delaware River, and by extension the ocean. Living in the area, she engages in daily observation of the river, at different times of day and throughout the seasons. The River Has Veins captures the Delaware's ever-changing disposition--force and drama, quietude and serenity. Her use of mica powder, aluminum paint, and graphite provides subtle reflection of light, and heightens the sense of life, in the water as in the paintings. As artist and writer Gail Gregg states about Filomeno and her work in the essay for the series catalog, "Her courageous paintings, so full of her own energy, require us to contemplate the eternal activity of the rocking, roiling, life-giving, life-claiming sea so critical to human existence."

The exhibit is up at Simon Gallery, 48 Bank Street, Morristown, NJ through May 24, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fun with graphite

There's something about powdered graphite... These are recent paintings that play with the surface qualities created by working layers of the graphite into oil paint that has some tack. Though hard to capture by photo, some of the color peeks through. What can't be seen because of the straight-on photograph is the 1 3/4" deep cradles that are painted the same color that peeks out from beneath the graphite, lending a slight object-ness to the pieces.

Powdered graphite, though a rather pedestrian substance that we use daily in pencils, and one that is used for its lubricating properties in manufacturing, somehow retains some mystery as a material.

Many artists have used graphite to wonderful effect--following are a few examples:

David Schutter's graphite on vellum

Susan York's incredible sculpture and installations

Mark Sheinkman's smoky linear abstractions

Graphite with Red
Pam Farrell 2008
18" x 18" graphite and oil on panel

Graphite with Green
Pam Farrell 2008
18" x 18" graphite and oil on panel

Graphite with Blue
Pam Farrell 2008
18" x 18" graphite and oil on panel