Open Studios time at The Distillery is always a lot of fun. Unlike regular gallery openings, it really is a great time to meet other artists and talk about art. My studio will, as always, be open for visitors. Art will be hung, floors will be mopped and the beer will be flowing. To add to the fun, I have invited two of my most talented friends, Cassandra Long and Cai Veil, to hang out in the studio for the day and share their work so, there will be A LOT to see and do in studio 405. Keep reading for the official information and don’t forget to join the event on Facebook (and invite your friends!):
Every spring, the artists and craftspeople of South Boston open their doors to share their work and their studios with the community. The Distillery is a beautiful mid-nineteenth century converted rum distillery where artists have been setting up shop for more than twenty years. As a hub of creativity and the arts, The Distillery has housed some of Boston’s most talented artists and artisans. Located in the heart of South Boston, it includes two galleries, dozens of artists’ studios and live/work lofts, as well as creative small businesses. As you tour the building, you will notice that it comes alive with all of the creative energy and even the corridors serve as remarkable display spaces. As you explore the various studios, you’ll notice that each one is unique, reflecting each artist’s creative personality.
Come meet the artists and check out what’s new in the local arts scene during South Boston Open Studios on Sunday, June 2nd from noon to 6pm.
At my house, we often joke about how our favorite news anchors feel like another member of the family. These are people we have never met but, they talk to (at?) us every morning and we enjoy their (virtual) presence in the house. Just like any other member of the family, we grow and change with them, we notice if they are sick, and when we don’t get to watch for a few days, we miss them. I know we are not alone feeling this way but it is worth mentioning because I have noticed that I experience a very similar feeling when I am working on paintings.
Right now I am working on this, rather large, piece:
My friend Cassandra was good enough to model for the painting. She is a pretty interesting girl who normally spends her time hanging with famous (infamous?) Bostonians, doing the sort of cartoons that seem to be rough drafts for comedy performances, and creating her own paintings. Despite all these great qualities, and the fact that we have generally enjoyed each others company, we don’t really manage to see each other all that often. Now, normally this would not really be note worthy. Everyone’s life is busy and most people probably have a handful of friends they love the idea of seeing more often but don’t actually manage to visit. However, in this case, I have just spent a couple of weeks closely studying and painting an image of this person. Strangely, this has left me feeling like I have spent the last week or two hanging around with the real Cassandra. Just like the newscasters, who I have never met, spending this time with Cassandras image has left me feeling closer to someone, who I rarely see.
Beyond the, sort of silly, feeling of bonding with someone I have not actually seen, realizing this has helped reveal some other trends in my work. I have found myself struggling more than usual with the last few paintings and I was having trouble figuring out the problem. Suddenly it is making more sense and I have discovered a few things about my process.
The first thing I do when paint in a portrait, or figure is the eyes. I like the start off by establishing that this piece of wood will soon be “human”. Once I can look a piece in the eyes, it becomes easier to figure out how to approach the rest of the image. Two of the pieces I have been struggling with were figures that were not facing the viewer. I was unable to look the image in the eyes and establish that connection. It sounds so strange to say that out loud but, it seems to make a big difference when I am actually in the studio working.
I also started to see a pattern developing when it comes to the models in my most successful pieces. Most of the people that have modeled for my paintings have been friends of mine. This makes sense when you are trying to establish yourself as an artist and money and deadlines are tight. Friends are willing to show up at odd times and work help out for free. I have discovered that having a personal connection with the model offers another advantage. I am going to be spending weeks or months working on a painting. Since, in some strange way, it feels like I am spending this time with a real person, it had better be someone I want to hang around for that long.
The curious things that happen when you spend too much time in the studio.
I know that was sort of a long strange post for a Monday morning but, let me know what you thought. If you liked it, I will do more longer posts.
Also, if you want to see a painting that I struggled with (but ultimately, became a good piece) head over to Sloane Merrill Gallery on Charles street and see my latest sunbather piece. It will be hanging in the Back to Back show for another week or two only. The weather is great, the gallery is beautiful, and Charles street oozes Boston charm so, take a walk and enjoy Spring.
I generally hate doing multiple posts in a row about the same show but, this time it is a little different. Sloane Merrill Gallery is one of a small handful of new, commercial galleries that have popped up in Boston recently. Now, while we are no New York, Boston has a pretty solid scene of underground performance spaces and alternative art venues. In other words, there is no shortage of places for artists to hang out on the weekend or try out new ideas. When it comes to making actual sales, it is a different story. There are very few commercial galleries in town so, the emergence of three (I think?) new ones this season is pretty uplifting. That said, obviously times are still shaky for galleries everywhere and many around here seem to have responded by taking less risks and being sticking closer to their proven artists (not that I blame them).
With that in mind I am truly excited that Sloane Merrill Gallery has stepped a little outside the traditional commercial gallery comfort zone and partnered with the, more community based, Boston Figurative Artists Center for this show. They put their reputation on the line and did a lot of extra work (I sat in on some of the jury process and there was a considerable amount of entries to sort through) to allow more local artists and talented amateurs to hang in the gallery with their regular roster of artists. Mixing a juried component into the regularly scheduled show is a pretty interesting way to get people excited about a new space and a great way for a gallery to give a little back to the Boston arts community.
Come out this Friday (the 12th) for the opening reception or, for the next month or so during normal gallery hours to check out the show. I have not seen everything hung yet but, what I have seen looks great. Let the people that run the gallery know that their efforts are appreciated and if you can, maybe even buy a painting. I assume you will know my piece when you see the biggest, brightest thing in the gallery.
I just completed a new piece for a show at Sloane Merrill Gallery. The show opens next Friday, April 12th and there will be an opening reception at the gallery from 6:30-9:00pm. Check out the new piece and then see the official announcement below for more details on the show.
The collaborative exhibition highlights the figure as an important subject in our modern world — one that is both beautiful and a struggle to capture. The theme of the show marries the often sacred and sensual use of the human back to represent form with the more abstract concept of what it means to be “back to back”. The participating figurative artists explored this theme in oils and their visual experiences will be shared at the exhibition opening.
Back to Back has two distinct components — one half is an invitational and the other is juried. Invitational artists include: Damon Lehrer, Jon Nix, Leo Mancini-Hresko, Nick Ward, Rick Berry, Tony Apesos, Gene Dorgan, Paul Goodnight, Brett Gamache, Jim Burke, Freda Nemirovsky, Britt Snyder, Ann Hirsch, Tom Grady, Janet Monafo, Paul Rahilly, & Kelly Carmody.
More information at: http://sloanemerrillgallery.com/exhibitions/2013/1/29/back-to-back
Join the event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/146883525483652/
There have been a few good preview posts written about my show, which opens up this Thursday, at The Distillery Gallery.
Check out the links below and then, come on out to The Distillery this Thursday for the opening reception. After that the show will be up through Feb 28th.
It has been a busy winter in my studio, I have been working on a new piece to send out to the From Motion To Stillness
show in Chicago, I have a few secret projects in the works and coming up first, a solo show at The Distillery Gallery.
The show will feature all my new paintings and, a few of my favorite older pieces. Opening on Thursday, January 24th so, come on out to the party, enjoy a cold Narragansett Beer and see the paintings.
Join the event page on Facebook:
Read the official press release below.
Originally from a small town near Portland, Oregon, Ward has been a resident of The Distillery since 2007. The artist was awarded an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant for painting in 2012, allowing him more time to focus on a growing body of work featuring portraits of everyday people from his life as models. Although quite realistic from afar, Ward’s paintings deliberately avoid being traditional “realism”. By allowing unfinished abstraction to exist in areas needing less attention while intentionally highlighting natural human flaws, especially in skin tone, the often large-format pieces offer a counterpoint to the retouched beauty we are offered everyday in our media consumption.
Please join us for an opening reception with the artist on January 24th, from 7-9pm at The Distillery Gallery, 516 East 2nd Street, Boston.
I am the featured artist of the month over at Glovebox. They just posted a quick interview I did with them so, go to GLVBX.com and have a look. Also, be sure to check back throughout the month as they will be posting a few other nick-centric articles including some studio visit photos.
I have managed to get myself invited to a few shows coming up, that are both in spaces I have never shown before. First, From Motion to Stillness at Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, and now The BIG BAD at Nave Gallery in Somerville. Scroll down for more info on this show and be sure to help spread the word by joining the Facebook event page.
Somehow, I managed to find myself at the other end of the paintbrush as I sat for painter Matthew Cherry for the September issue of Poets and Artists Magazine. It was a little strange, and sort of exciting to have my own portrait painted for once and – I have to say – it came out great. Check it out along with my portrait of Matthew and a bunch of other portraits of artists at:
I am putting a piece (or maybe 2) into the Summer Vacation show at everyones favorite art space in Boston, The Distillery Gallery. Also included in this show are lots of other Distillery artists and some of our talented Friends (including Caity Veil who, I just bought this great piece from). The openings are always a good time with interesting art (obviously) along with fun people and (best of all) plenty of cold Narragansett beers. So, come out to Southie on Thursday July 12th and join us.
Continue below for the official press release.
July 12 – August 31, 2012
Opening Reception: Thurs, July 12, 7-9pm
gallery hours: Mon-Fri, 9-5 or by appointment
The Distillery Gallery is pleased to announce a group exhibit of works
depicting or inspired by Summer, warm weather, and/or vacation.
Generally speaking, the gallery scene slows down during the mid-summer
months. Many commercial galleries close up altogether for some or all
of this time. The Distillery Gallery, instead of taking time off, will
exhibit the “Summer Vacation” group show.