Sunday, December 28, 2008

Eighth installment of the ISBP: Tim McFarlane

This installation takes us to Tim McFarlane's work and studio. He lives and works in Philadelphia, and shows at Bridgette Mayer Gallery. I appreciate the controlled chaos of Tim's studio: looks like lots of activity, lots of good energy--just like his paintings.

Untitled 2008
acrylic on panel 36" x 36"

Tim writes: This is my second studio space I've had that was outside of a living space. It's in an old factory in the Old City section of Philadelphia and very raw, perfect for not worrying about paint spatters on the walls or floor. It can be disorienting when someone walks in because there's always a mix of old works and new works in progress scattered around.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No. 7 installment of ISBP: Eduardo Angell

Eduardo Angell, or Ed, as he is known to many of us, is an artist living and working in Poulsbo, Washington. This summer, Eduardo had a solo show at R & F Paints in Kingston, NY.

Ed writes:
Unlike most dedicated artists, I didn't go to art school right away, I found a home in industry. As luck would have it, the company that hired me devoted a certain portion of production to fabricating and/or finishing art work for individuals. Having come from a family of artists and craftsmen, I guess I was genetically predisposed to work in the section of the company which handled artists and their production problems. Needless to say, this industry experience continued my love for art and gave me much of the knowledge I use in my own art today.

After fine art production, I matriculated to the film industry and started a business building props, sets, and special effects.
While I was never a film buff, this industry allowed me to experiment with all sorts materials and processes and usually on a grand scale. I would say that my studio is definitely an extension of my early training in industry. My personal pleasure in art comes from the process of construction as much as the finished image, I've designed my studio accordingly.

The work is part of a new series on architecture for 2009. This is a diptych as yet untitled. 4" X 17" X 3" (see detail below). Wood, lead, beeswax and cadmium yellow pigment. The glow between the elements is a natural color flux that happens when the pieces are in close proximity, I want to explore this effect more. The detail shot shows the placement of the cad yellow encaustic paint within the elements.

no. 6 installment of the interactive studio blog project: Ken Weathersby

Ken Weathersby lives in Montclair NJ. His work can be seen in New American Paintings: Juried Exhibitions in Print #75, Mid-Atlantic Edition, Open Studios Press (2008). I became familiar with Ken's work when I "reviewed" one of his paintings on JT Kirkland's Thinking About Art blog.

Studio wall on December 1, 2008, with notes, sketches, sources, paintings
and work in progress. The array changes frequently.

d & G Sketch #67a, digital, size variable, 2008
(a printout of this is visible on the wall in the studio shot.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

5th installment of the isbp: kirby grimes

I know pretty much nothing about Kirby Grimes beyond what he writes here. I really like this painting. Makes me wonder what his architectural work is like...
Thanks, Kirby. I like your colors, too!

�architecture is my 'work'
painting is my pleasure,
to experiment w/pigments in acrylic base &
explore my thoughts about colors.
like Mondrian, i'm not trying to make pictures,
just trying to find things out.
i like his chrysanthemum dwgs.& trees.
�my 'studio' is the bedroom floor;
a big mess.�
i sleep next to the open window.
i do some grids also.
this is a challenge for me
to show & tell.
thanks. i like your subtle colors.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

installment no.4 ISBP: El Farrell

Eleanor Farrell lives and works in San Fransisco. She is an artist of a different stripe...El is a graphic artist (disclosure: she's my sister-in-law) and among her many pursuits, works as a book designer, website designer, and is a devotee of Chinese pop culture.

El writes:
I was intrigued by your new blog post, and although I'm not an artist in the more traditional sense, I thought I'd like to contribute something in response. Here's a photo of my workspace -- an alcove inside my studio apartment in San Francisco. Kinda messy: I always seem to have multiple projects going, and I tend to let papers pile up until I get into a recycling mood. But I like having all of my computer tools, research books and finished pieces within handy reach; it feels cozy. The art piece is a logo of sorts for my new Sina blog, focusing on Asian culture and supporting my Chinese language studies. (Sina is one of the largest China entertainment and social web site portals.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Installment no 3 of ISBP: donna dodson

Here is the third installment of the ISBP. This one features Donna Dodson, a sculptor from Jamaica Plain, Mass (or JP to those in the know). I was fortunate to meet Donna this weekend in Boston at Joanne Mattera's Arden Gallery opening. Here is one of Donna's wood sculptures, El Matador. Below is a pic of her studio. On Donna's blog you'll see that she organizes a Sunday morning salon at her studio. Since May 2007, Donna has run Art Salon Boston in her JP studio for artists who work in all media from the Boston area and beyond.

Update: check out this video of Donna
interpreting a commissioned work for her client.

Friday, December 5, 2008

ISBP Installment Two: Paul Behnke

Installation Two of the ISBP has images from Paul Behnke, who has his studio at 915 Studios on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia. Paul's statement (below) alludes to the importance of time and space in his work; the photo of his studio (space) prominently features a clock (time) above the painting--you may draw your own conclusions...

My paintings are begun with the intention that they will be soundly connected to a specific location and time. However, as the images progress from notebook jottings of experience, environment and memory, to more complete pieces, their meanings begin a steady shift from specific reactions to broad allusions. The finished works signify the faulty concepts of security, place and distance and give form to the rituals and obsessions that sprout from these notions. Paul Behnke

Astir Already
Paul Behnke 2008
acrylic on canvas 42 x 42


Claudia Waters is an artist based in Montclair, NJ. She offers us a photo of her palette, and says: "I guess you could say it's summer all year round in my studio!"

When You Were Young consists of a group of four paintings. My underwater series captures random specific moments of figures in a pool environment to relate universal themes. Using vibrant color and focused, unexpected compositions, I aim to reveal the inner essence with the purpose of expressing the universal unconscious.

When You Were Young 1
Claudia Waters 2008
18 x 14
oil on linen
I choose random images that create the feeling of being right there in the moment, not necessarily premeditated or manipulated. This image or concept reveals itself in a more arbitrary way to make a compelling, more abstract composition. When You Were Young uses a polytych configuration to elaborate on this randomness. It takes everyday moments in the pool in a way that eludes to our universal life experiences: obviously joy and fun but also buoyancy and resilience in the face of hardships in life. Claudia Waters

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Interactive Studio Blog Post (ISBP), Installment One: Deboarah Barlow, Lou Storey

Here's the first installation of the interactive studio blog post (ISBP), as I've come to think of this project. I really wish I had a snazzy title for this project, but alas, more prosaic words will have to do...

I thought it might be appropriate to start with Boston-area artist Deborah Barlow's thoughts on sharing her studio with visitors. Deborah put forth her response to my invitation to participate in the ISBP as a comment to the original post. I've included this comment because when I conceived of the idea for the ISBP, it didn't occur to me that there would be folks who wouldn't want studio visitors. I interpreted Agnes Martin's quote, "Never let anyone into your studio" as merely a quirky quote from the famously paradoxical artist. I appreciate Deborah's thoughts so I've included them here:

"This posting came right at me, like a ball that is thrown at your face without warning. From Agnes Martin's warning to your warm account of a successful studio visit with artist peers, I was caught in the crossfire of my own very oppositional feelings.
On one hand I have an artist's curiosity about how these issues are felt and dealt with by other artists. A studio is after all a fascinating place and so revelatory. And there is a little bit of voyeurism in me that is operational as well. Who can resist looking behind that curtain into the kitchen?
But at the same time I feel an intense need to protect the rag and bone shop of my own creative life. I gave up doing the popular open studio thing years ago because I feel so strongly about choosing who comes in to my space, and when. It's almost like some energy in my space is running around butt naked, and asking it to cover up and put on clothes is really, really offensive.
And yet I can imagine my attitude changing. It doesn't feel like a truism for my creative life, just a proclivity that is in full swing right now. It could change next year. Who knows?
Your challenge is an interesting one. Given my current subterranean, sub rosa mind set, I'm probably not a good candidate to participate. But I am curious about the response it engenders.
Thank you for this thoughtful and provocative posting."

Lou Storey is a New Jersey artist who is also a social worker. Lou currently works with people with HIV/AIDS. I met Lou last year when he took on the herculean task of curating and organizing an exhibit of art by social workers for an annual social work conference. The exhibit was a very popular feature of the conference, which draws several thousand social workers over a weekend in Atlantic City. Here's what Lou has to say about his studio:

"I’ve had plenty of studios (30+ years of them) and this one, built in the unfinished basement of my new home, is a keeper. I never intended to paint the floor, but the guy that helped me with the lighting insisted on the walls, ceiling and floor being white, which I hated. I need to see colors. I tried the white room for about two days (or was it two hours?) and went stark raving mad. I had some left over cans of paint from painting the walls upstairs, so I just went at the floor and a few hours later I felt the studio become livable.

Regarding letting people into my studio, I now do it carefully. Years ago a critic came to my studio (I was thrilled) and I am sure she said lots of nice things and helpful things, but all I can remember is a strange statement she made: “My, you have an unusual relationship with yellow!” For years after that when I would pick up the tube of yellow I would hesitate. But that was years ago, and it is no longer a problem, although when I pick up a tube of yellow now I am apt to say, “Well, hello there yellow, you’re looking scrumptious today!”

Bring Hope


28 x 36

Acrylic, wood, cast plastic shapes

Thanks to both Lou and Deborah. Check back in the next few days for the next installment of the ISBP. There is no deadline for this project. I'll continue to post contributions as they come in....pass it on!