Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Going Public

You can see Progress Thomas live at the Monmouth Museum beginning Saturday, January 16. This painting has been juried into the Museum's 31st Annual Exhibition, co-sponsored by the Monmouth County Arts Council. The show runs from Jan. 16 - February 21. The opening reception is Saturday, Jan. 16 from 4 - 6 PM. All other times, there is a $7 admission fee. Check out the museum web site for times - There are about 70 artists in the show. It was juried by Maura Lynch, Curatorial Assistant at MOMA's Department of Drawing. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


So, I added the last stroke of paint to Progress Thomas just in time for the new year. The last stroke was the 9 in 09 on my signature. I haven't signed a work in a long time--just wasn't done in the 70s when I was educated.

This piece has been a struggle and a significant learning experience--not only about how to manage the egg tempera medium but about patience and faith in my ability to hang in until the end and other character building experiences. Of course, I'm totally dissatisfied with this piece. The flesh tones really annoy me and I couldn't quite get the hair to gel; however, it's time to move on.

Moving on--when to do it--has always been a big issue for me in painting. When drawing (as in a life drawing session), it's a lot easier to just get another piece of paper and start over. Any reluctance to let go of a drawing was finally cured by Mr. Graham Nickson when I attended the famed Drawing Marathon at the New York Studio School. Just erase it. Cut it up and glue another piece of paper onto it. Turn it over and start again. No problem.

A painting like this takes a bigger toll of blood, sweat, and even tears. Like the pundits have told us about health care, waiting for perfect will ensure no progress (or words to that effect). I realized that I just had to get over it and move on. I am.

You veiwers (all 2 of you) may not notice much of a difference between this final state and the last photos posted nearly a month ago. Since then I've probably put in another 60 hours--what else are weekends and vacations for? That is partly the result of the inherently slow nature of egg tempera. The other issue is that the photos aren't picking up the level of detail because I've never really mastered the digital camera. And since I chose to frame this piece with architectural elements, parallax issues still plague me. Will continue to work on that. Suggestions would be welcome.

One major change is the addition of the blind pull on the left side of the panel, something I've toyed with since very early on in the process. I even cut out a paper silhouette to see how it would look. It needed some complexity to balance the vegetation on the right side of the panel. It works.

I need to deliver this painting to an exhibition on Thursday--surprised that I made it past the juror, who was from MOMA, although she is from the drawing area so perhaps she has an affinity for this technique.

On to the next project. Happy 2010 to one and all.