Staying Neutral

March 7, 2014 § 3 Comments

Experience teaches us that limitation is the essence of creativity. Like a flute playing in an echo chamber, the sounded notes of a few colors, a few shapes, or lines set up visual resonances within the bounding space of the rectangle, multiplying complexity in unforeseen ways through their endless permutations. Using color in a limited way is a great way to explore this phenomenon. Here are some examples of works that choose to proscribe the range of color intensity, exploring the neutral zone that lies in the center of the color circle. Because of the relativity of color, the rainbow continues to assert itself but in a lowered intensity key. Color appears, not through pigmentation, but through optical relationships. Absence becomes presence.

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Distilled Life

February 18, 2014 § 10 Comments

“When you pick up one piece of dust, the entire world comes with it.”  -Zen saying

A selection of still-life paintings, mostly contemporary.

“There are four elements that ultimately determine quality and meaning in painting. One, the color you choose and how much. Two, where you put it; three, in what manner. The fourth is outside you, and that is life.”  -Larry Rivers.

Contemporary Figure Paintings

March 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Every decade or so an article appears in the press proclaiming the return of the figure in art, implying that it somehow “went away.” In fact, the figure as a subject for painting never went away, and never will until the human race itself disappears. In a symposium on drawing several years ago at Randolph-Macon Womans College (now Randolph College) in Lynchburg, Virginia, I heard Janet Fish say, “Isms come and isms go, and the realists just keep painting.” (Or something to that effect.) Her statement could, I think, be applied accurately to the state of figure painting.  Whatever the current obsession of the so-called art world, artists just keep painting the figure. Below is an album of some of the most compelling figure artists working today.

A1192871Phil Geiger, figure study, oil on panel, 14″ x 10.” Collection of Frank Hobbs

Diarmuid Kelley

March 17, 2013 § 2 Comments

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Bio: Born in Stirling in 1972, Diarmuid Kelley grew up in the north of England. He studied Fine Art at Newcastle University, graduating in 1995. He was the youngest artist ever to win the prestigious Nat West Art Prize at the age of 23, in the same year, he graduated from Newcastle. He went on to study for a Masters degree at Chelsea College of Art and Design. (Courtesy of Offer Waterman Gallery, London, UK)

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