Open studios time is almost here again and it looks like it will be bigger and better than ever. There are plenty of new artists in the Distillery building and more of them are opening their doors than ever. There are also even more great artists right down the street at King Terminal.

So, come on out to South Boston on November 3rd or 4th and say hello. Check out some freaky studios, drink some free beers and maybe even look at a painting or two. The event is free to the public, rain or shine, noon to 6pm each day.

Head over to the official website for a full list of participating artists and locations.
southbostonopenstudios.org

And be sure to join the Facebook event page and share it with your friends.
facebook.com/events/384165701660559/

South Boston Open Studios 2012

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:

poetsandartists.com or on issuu.com.

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.

Click here to join the party on Facebook.

Continue below for the official press release.

The Distillery Gallery Presents:

Summer Vacation

July 12 – August 31, 2012
Opening Reception: Thurs, July 12, 7-9pm
www.gallery.distilleryboston.com
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.

Exhibiting artists include:

Please join us for the opening reception on Thursday, July 12, 7-9pm

It is almost time for South Boston’s annual Spring Open Studios event. My studio will be open for visitors – along with around 50 other artists in The Distillery and down the street in the King Terminal – on Sunday June 3rd from noon to six. For those that have been to The Distillery building before, there are quite a few new artists this year so it is a great time to make another visit.

Visit the official Southie Open Studios site for more details and directions:
http://www.southbostonopenstudios.org/
And if you are on Facebook you can help spread the word by joining the Facebook event page and inviting your friends:
https://www.facebook.com/events/326080234132631/

Working on paintings is always so much like dating. The start of a new piece is always filled with excitement, I end up staying up late into the night painting and when I am forced to leave its side, I am still daydreaming of the endless potential of my new fling. Unfortunately not all relationships are like the movies, some thing are just not meant to last and sooner or later every minute is pure torture. This latest painting started out easy but, putting the finishing touches on it seems to be dragging out endlessly. While I am happy with how it has come out, I can hardly stand the idea of working on it another minute. I think that means it is time to put it aside (for now) and start something new.

While I was trying to finish this piece, and dreaming of the next painting I received some great news. I walked out to my mailbox expecting the normal assortment of junk and was instead greeted by a letter from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation notifying me that I have been awarded a grant to help fund my painting. Needless to say my idea for the next painting went from, “make some small paintings to sell at open studios” to, “make the biggest best painting possible.” So I immediately stretched myself a monster canvas and got to work. The new piece is all laid out and the under painting is nearly finished so, check back soon too see what the next piece will be.

I am finally starting to feel at home in the new studio and the paint is starting to flow more easily again. Made a lot of progress on this painting. I originally started this to have a brand new painting for people to see at Open Studios but, as usual the painting just wants more time and attention so it will not quite be ready in time. In any case, here is the progress on this latest piece:

Speaking of Open Studios, I have decided to try out a Facebook deal for the event. Anyone who comes to Studio 405 to hang out for a while that check’s in at my artist page can take home a free art print. I will post some more details once I figure out exactly how it all works.

Before I get into the painting, let me start out with a little business. It is my intention to update my blog more frequently. I have been getting more and more questions about what I am doing (which is great and very encouraging) so, I plan on posting more frequent updates on paintings in progress so it is easy for anyone who may be interested to see the paintings take shape. Hopefully I will also manage to write a little bit about how and why I am doing the paintings and maybe even a little about art in general.

With that said, I know not everyone cares to have their brains polluted with all this extra nonsense. Therefor, I will have two separate mailing list/RSS reader options:

The first will be the full blog including all the (possible) new posts, works in progress, ramblings, show announcements, updates on new works available and who knows what else. If you already signed up for the old blog rss feed or mailing list then you will start getting all the new posts automatically unless you want to change. I will probably update once or twice a week so, don’t expect me to flood your life.

The second option will be for those that ONLY want to get updates on shows, new complete pieces available and other announcements. This will be updated a lot less and will stick to the more important business. If you are currently subscribing to the blog and are not interested in pulling back the curtain to see the ugly truth about how paintings are born, go ahead and switch to this.

Here are links to both options for anyone interested:

Click here to subscribe to all blog posts with your RSS reader

Click here to get all blog posts sent to your Email

or…

Click here to just receive updates about shows and announcements on your RSS reader.

Click here to get updates about shows and announcements sent to your email.

With that said, here is the latest progress on my portrait of Margaux.

Recently I had my friends from Papercut Magazine over to the studio to shoot photos for their cover. The shoot was a lot of fun and we all got to talking about and fashion and this crazy city that we all live in.


Click on any image to view the full size version on Flickr.

When it was time for the next issue, it seems they did not forget the little people and they revisited me in Studio 11 at The Distillery to sit down and talk again. Read the interview in this months Papercut.

Last weekend (as you probably know if you are reading this) we had our annual Spring Open Studios at the Distillery Building in South Boston. It was a pretty successful afternoon despite some crazy weather and I think there were around 400 people who showed up to tour the building and check out all the artists that live and work here.

Studio 11, ready for Open Studios
My studio, all clean and ready for visitors (including two of Bob’s large drawings).

Open Studios day is always stressful despite being a lot of fun. I never realized it when I was poking through other buildings during open studios as a visitor but, from an artist’s perspective (at least from THIS artists perspective), it is a very exhausting experience to put your work and your life out there for direct public consumption. People are never afraid to tell you what they REALLY think of your work and, while it’s always great to get feedback (good or bad), an entire day of hosting a non-stop critique really wears you out! Of course it is always worth it and I enjoy the chance to meet new people and talk about art.

Like any good host, Studio 11 spent all day Saturday cleaning and setting up (even if it didn’t show!). In a stroke of pure genius, Tony from Chromalab broke out some lawn furniture and set up a comfy little spot (in front of Bobs two large drawings) for him and I to sit, relax and greet people as they came through. We invited Alycia and Valerie to join our studio for the weekend so that they would have a spot to setup and show off their paintings and they thanked us by, as usual, being better prepared, better looking, and selling twice as much as everyone else combined. Jarrett even whipped up a few batches of tasty bloody maries to give out to anyone who was interested.

During a break in the action I managed to sneak away and check out a few other studios to see what they had to offer. Walked over to Dyslexic Press and checked out some of their new prints, really cool stuff. Then went up to see Kenji but, he was surrounded by people, discussing one of his ridiculously intricate stencil paintings so, I moved on. Popped into Scott Chasse’s studio where he had the best snacks imaginable; nilla wafers and fresh strawberries, and of course his bold Burt-centric paintings. Checked out my friends from Rope-A-Dope Press who put on an awesome show. Interesting hand made books, live music, poetry readings and tasty home brewed beer. Finally, I stopped into see James Weinberg and checked out some really great screen prints of his. He had some new prints that had a super clean image printed over layers and layers of test prints, made for an awesome effect… Really wanted to go back and use some of the profits from my own sales to buy one of them but, instead I got ravenously hungry and blew my cash on a big plate of fajitas and marguritas. Obviously I forgot to take any pictures so, check out these photos I stole from the Distillery Gallery Flickr feed.


Click on any image to go see the full size version on Flickr.

Like I said, all in all a really fun day. Met a lot of interesting people and got some great feedback on my new paintings. Sadly, excluding one Mass Art student who wanted to make sure I knew there were still people studying traditional painting techniques in this city, nobody called me out on my ridiculous statements so, I will continue to declare Studio 11 the figurative art capital of Boston (this isn’t true, my Mom made sure to remind me not to forget HER favorite figurative artist in Boston, Vanessa Irzyk). Hopefully everyone who came enjoyed themselves and those who missed out, maybe you will be able to visit in October during our next open studios weekend. If we met and/or you liked my paintings, make sure to drop me an email or, post a comment, find me on Facebook/Twitter and keep in touch.

Before I get into this mornings post, I have a little announcement for those of you getting blog updates in your email. I plan on posting here more often; I want to expand this section of my site to include more than just updates on my artwork and events. So, if you have signed up for email updates for that reason and don’t want my semi-art related ramblings polluting your inbox (I don’t blame you), just let me know. Shoot me an email and I will move you from the blog mailing list onto a new mailing list that will only include updates on completed paintings and upcoming event announcements. For everyone else reading my blog page, expect more postings about whatever half-baked art related thoughts float through my brain.

That said, this morning I was thinking about art.

I was actually a little depressed because it occurred to me that I just don’t know any other figurative painters in Boston. I admit that I am not exactly an authority on the Boston art scene but, as far as I can tell, when it comes to young figurative artists in this city there is Bob (my upstairs studio mate) and there is me. Now, I admit that statement is pretty ridiculous sounding but I have just not been able to find evidence to the contrary.

With that in mind I would like to invite everyone who sees this to prove me wrong. Please! If you are a Boston area contemporary realist artist, speak up. If you know figurative artists working in the area, recommend their work to me. Send me an email, post a comment or even better, come by open studios next Sunday and talk shop with me.

Seriously, come prove me wrong, I would love to find more people around Boston doing this type of work. Until then, I am going to stand up and proclaim Studio 11 the figurative art capital of Boston.