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Rose:Heart:Flame #3 - 300dpi

Rose/Heart/Flame, from a series of small paintings completed last spring, is now on view at Gebert Contemporary, 558 Canyon Road.  The more I think about this work, the less I want to define it for you, the viewer.  Let the shapes be anything, from fire to rose petals, and let them speak directly to your heart.

 

Elegy #19_DSC5905

 

Opening in October, the New Mexico Museum of Art included some of my work in the Alcoves 16/17 #5 Exhibit.  The Alcoves exhibitions focus on current work by contemporary NM artists and change every 7 weeks.  It is truly amazing how many accomplished, exciting artists are working here.  16/17 #5 happened to include two of my cohorts in the Lady Minimalists Tea Society, Shaun Gilmore and Signe Stuart, along with Kelly Eckel and Mira Burack.  Curator Kate Ware did an outstanding job of selecting artists whose work is strongly related and set up a 5-part dialogue among our individual spaces in the large hall of the museum.

Kate chose 5 paintings from the Elegy series that I made after my husband, Wayne, passed away.  As always, the work is watercolor on translucent Yupo paper (a synthetic paper).  Elegy #19, above, epitomizes my intuitive, receptive painting process and conveys the mixed emotions of grief, calm, and wonder I was feeling at the time (2014).

dara1

Here I am speaking to a crowd at the Museum about my work.

The show is down now, but was chosen as one of the 10 best art events of 2016 by the New Mexico critic for art ltd. magazine.  Thanks, Jon Carver!  We also got positive reviews in the Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo magazine, THE Magazine, and Visual Art Source, an on-line publication.

 

River:Flow:Chart #7

River/Flow/Chart #7

I’m pleased to announce that Gebert Contemporary will be exhibiting three of my River/Flow/Charts in a group show that opens Friday, July 15.  The other featured artists are Udo Noger, John Nelson and Keiko Sadakane.  Please join me at the opening reception from 5 to 7:00 or come by the gallery this summer.  Gebert is on Canyon Road (behind Chiarosuro) and there is parking – though don’t count on it for the reception.

_DSC5351 300dpi

In just a week I’ll be at the reception for my show at SMINK in Dallas.  Jennifer Smink asked me to make something really big for the exhibition, and here it is – Water Chart – about 53 x 64.”  It was a great challenge to work on this scale, especially because the supports (foam core and mat boards) had to be specially ordered and everything took longer than I expected.  Getting the whole composition to flow and connect and to balance depth with expanse presented new problem at this size.    There are multiple dimensions to perceive here, not just height and width but layered depth, as some squares are three layers deep – hard to convey, really, in a photograph.

The reception will be next Saturday evening at SMINK, 1019 Dragon Street, Dallas.  Please come by if you are in the area.  sminkinc.com

 

 

Release #2

Release #2/Wayne

I have been thinking of the pleasures of tradition as I’ve been listening to new music at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival this summer.  Yesterday, in particular, during a concert of works by young composers-in-residence, the new sounds elicited from classically trained musicians on their conventional instruments had my ears perking up.  The music sounded both old and fresh, familiar and newly introduced.  This dichotomy engages one’s deep memories while surprising us into paying complete attention.   Nothing, not rhythm, tonality, harmony or melody can be taken for granted, and yet the format (in this case) was the string quartet, as well-established as can be.

Something similar operates in my paintings, with their traditional framed formats.   The watercolor medium still employs gum arabic from acacia trees and many of the pigments have been used for centuries, altho some are now synthetic.  On the other hand, the translucent synthetic paper I use (Yupo) has only been available since the end of the last century, so the ability to layer transparencies is new, and Yupo’s non-absorbent surface causes the paint to behave in unprecedented ways.   Abstraction itself now has a grand tradition of over a hundred years but offers plenty of unexplored territory.

Release #2/Wayne is another in the series of elegies for my husband.  There’s something about the color and softness, the upright format and upward-rising visual flow that feels to me like an abstract portrait of him.

Is Golden Curtain a vertical or a horizontal painting?  I originally published it on the “Paintings” page as a horizontal, 41 x 55,” but this morning it suddenly demanded to be vertical.  What do you think?

The composition of an abstract painting, or any painting for that matter, should work in all directions, although the subject matter of say, a still life, makes sense only one way.  I remember my dad turning his paintings around to check their compositional strength and sometimes changing the orientation altogether.  This is a practice worth continuing, but sometimes I… forget.  So now I’m wondering if this painting should be signed in two directions.

In “Green Light River” I have continued to combine sheets of small circles with overlays of horizontal bars.  The combination feels rich, almost Romantic, to me in relation to the paintings with just one kind of shape in them.   These combination paintings read as abstract landscapes, with the bars suggesting rock strata or multiple horizons.   My materials – watercolor and synthetic paper – and repetitive process unfold in unexpected manifestations, bringing surprises and freshness into the studio.

I think winter is my favorite time to paint.  There are fewer distractions in the garden or the cultural life of Santa Fe, and the light turns softer.  On overcast days, there is a milky, indirect quality  to it that seems to seep into the studio, enclosing me in the world of color/paint/transparency.

I never posted the completed painting that was created in the slideshow (Studio Shots by Turner).  Here it is.  In its final form, Pinon measures 35 x 55″, unframed.  It’s full of all the luscious greens that were so captivating in June and are now memories.  Many sheets of translucent polypropylene were painted and layered to give a sense of depth, of actually looking into a tree, altho this remains an abstract painting, not tethered to an image of any actual tree.  Maybe for you it does not evoke a tree at all, but simply looks like itself, a lively field of green paint.

In other words, the pinon tree is not the meaning of the painting.  The pinon tree, with its color and myriad needles, is the inspiration and jumping-off point for the artist, who has translated that inspiration into certain sensations and feelings.  One hopes that those sensations and feelings are then communicated through the medium of the painting in its particular array of form, color and construction.

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