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Every once in a while someone says something about my work that absolutely floors me, and I know  I’ve succeeded in what I set out to do, which is to present the beauty of being.  Recently, Devon Lind wrote that “it’s as though the fabric of the universe is woven through your work.”   Thank-you so much, Devon, for putting into words what I have a hard time saying.   This painting, Driftwood #1, seems the perfect expression of her idea, with its vertical rhythms and horizontal visual flow.

LiquidStack #6

 

LiquidStack #6  –  36 x 35″ – watercolor on layered and sewn translucent Yupo paper

This coming Saturday, November 23, my 5th show with SMINK in Dallas will open  with an evening reception.   I won’t be there for this one, but if you are in Dallas, please come by to see the new work.   There will be more of what I think of as the “bars” paintings, like LiquidStack #6, above, as well as paintings with circle grids, the format I’ve been working with for several years.   As always, the paintings have a restful, flowing and expansive quality that I hope you will enjoy.

My thanks to the wonderful Smink sisters, Jennifer, Autumn and Dawn, for their constant support of my work!

 

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Although the show is over, I am still considering the significance of this exhibit, which beautifully demonstrated the continuing influence of Modernism on the arts here in New Mexico.  This influence, abundantly present in our local galleries and museums, was one reason I moved to Lamy back in 1997.  I felt my work could be seen here in a context that doesn’t exist in Southern California, where I was living, nor in New York, where it has been all but superceded by more recent ideas like conceptual art, identity and political explorations and the celebrity art culture.

Cumulous Skies brought the work of over 30 contemporary artists together with the art of earlier 20-th century painters and visionaries like Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin, Agnes Martin, Marsden Hartley and Ansel Adams, who all spent signifiant time in this state, finding fellowship and inspiration here and influencing the path of Modern Art.  They, in turn, were influenced by Native American crafts – the Navajo weavings and pueblo pottery – and something about the landscape and clear light of New Mexico.  I don’t think the seminal importance of our “Land of Enchantment” has been fully realized by the wider art world.

Curated by artist Larry Fodor and supported in part by a grant from the NEA,  Cumulous Skies showcased paintings, sculpture, ceramics and video art from our varied constituency of Native Americans, “Anglos” from all over the country who have chosen to live here, and artists of New Mexico hispanic background.  It was a stunning display of variety and coherence.

Wayne and I had a lovely time in Sun Valley.  Andria Friesen and her gallery crew gave us a warm welcome, and Kaley Pruitt, the talented dancer who interpreted my work at the opening reception, presented dances that were spot-on and engaging.  My paintings are hung with great care and look beautiful in the space.  As a bonus, the Sun Valley Wellness Festival held a party in the gallery the next night, with face-painting and music.  Dara Mark evite

Chi Gong #4
With color as soft as a breath, Chi Gong #4 embodies the flowing energies of chi. Just looking at it helps me breathe more deeply and freely. But you don’t have to understand the concept of chi to “get” this painting; its expansive vertical flow and airy blues are there for anyone to feel. Or simply enjoy its beauty in a visual way. This is my gift to you, posted just before Christmas.

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.

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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