Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Good to Be Back.

After a three-year long hiatus from writing in this blog, I realized how much I missed having my own platform for writing about art in a more meaningful way than snippets here and there, say, on Facebook. I've been blogging elsewhere about different things, but to have this void where the subject is so important to me seemed silly. So I am back.

This blog is not a place where I am to offer reviews or critique or even semi-intelligent babbling about what's going on in the art world. Instead, I envision this as more of a sitting around with artist friends and having fairly light conversations about what's happening around us, whether that means something on an international scope or simply what is going on in my basement studio.

I mean for this as a way to keep my audience informed about what I am up to, but also to share thoughts about who I am and what I like and care about, as it pertains to art (or closely associated to it).

Let me just get you a little caught up as to some of the things that have happened since 2012.

• After three years of adjunct teaching, I accepted a job in June 2013 as an in-house graphic designer, and have been working a 9 to 5 schedule since. This equals better, more stable pay and benefits, but much less time and flexibility in my schedule. I enjoy the work and my colleagues a lot, but it's been challenging finding a balance for other things (i.e. my studio practice).

• I'm still teaching art and design online, and I'll be celebrating my sixth year this January.

• I now have representation with three entities: Uprise Art in NYC, Susan Eley Fine Art in NYC, and Exhibit A in Corning, NY.

• I moved out of my nice big studio at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center in favor of working at home in my little dank basement space. I feel like it suits me better somehow!

• In May 2014, I embarked on a big undertaking to improve my health and fitness. I call 2015 the year where my body was my art project, because it really did become my focus. As a result, I lost 100 pounds and starting running (up to 5+ miles, even!). I still have a lot to lose but I feel so much better in my skin, and feel like I can get back to the studio with a fresh perspective full-force in 2016.

• – and I'd better, too! I have three exhibitions lined up this coming year, all two- and three-person. The first goes up and opens on January 8th; another in March, and another in September. I've already been in casual talks about 2017, too! I've got a lot of work to do.

Before I sign off here, let me tell you about my January show. It's at Studio Hart in Buffalo and I was invited to show with a good friend of mine, Elizabeth Switzer (who needs to set up a website already!). It's called The Rest Is Silence and the concept is based around hibernation, sleep, dreams... and, I think, the dread that comes in the deepest, darkest winter months. We're also both creating work that incorporates text.

My statement:

I have been interested in lettering since I was a child and was gifted with the book Lettering and Alphabets by Albert Cavanaugh at age 9. I used to enjoy copying the letters out carefully and found all the different styles of letters intriguing. That love of type was amplified as I grew into an adult and started working as a graphic designer. I work with type every day on a computer screen, but what I really enjoy doing is painting and drawing it by hand—and I still use that old book as a reference for this body of work.

Letterforms can be metaphors for many things. Here I use them as a vehicle for semi-abstract experiments with imperfection, form, color, and contrast, and the dichotomy of absence and presence; I also enjoy choosing the phrases around which I build the compositions. They are picked out of my stream of consciousness at random, and along the way become quite meaningful in their own strange fashion, and interpreted in endless ways depending on who is doing the looking.

Some samples.

"Ships Passing in the Night", ink on paper, 6" x 9", 2015.

"Retro Thinking", ink on paper, 6" x 9", 2015.