This month, April, my art is on display at The Dolphin Bookshop and Cafe in Port Washington, NY. There is a lot of new work in the show, including recently completed oil paintings, smaller watercolor works, and mandalas.
Last summer when I had my art at The Dolphin, it felt like a very different show. Back then I included “Primavera, Baby!”, my colorful Spring Goddess with a flower crown and sunglasses. The current show has work that has more blues in it, although not all. I’ve framed my smaller watercolors, some that are blue and starry, and also the mandalas.
There is a lot of work that I would love to show but no longer have access to, either because it has sold, or is being stored and is not available to me. So, I looked deeply into my closet and stacks of art to find work that hadn’t been seen that I might be able to include. There are a couple that I found that are older, in excellent condition, that had never been seen by anyone but me. Then there is work that was wet on the canvas two days before it was hung on the wall.
At this point in my career, I think of almost every solo exhibition as a retrospective of sorts. Of course it would be a dream to have a big studio space with lots of light where I could work as large as I liked, do completely new art for each show and have a place to keep the ones that don’t sell when the show is over. Isn’t this what every artist dreams? Ah… well, it’s my dream. One day, perhaps I will have that space. So much wants to be born from me… colors, images, shapes, and that blending thing I do when my brush has been loaded with different colors and some of each color remains trapped in the brush in layers until I press it onto the surface of a canvas. Then I blend, blend, blend and things come out… shadows and colors that have no name. I make it smooth, too. That’s just always been what I have preferred. It would be wonderful to be creating new art regularly, but that is not an option partially because of lack of space. So I show work from all periods of my life, and each exhibition is a glimpse of many years of my devotion to my art.
Hanging shows was always easy for me until recently, because of my health. I’ll get through this, my doctor says (and I believe him), but I knew I needed help and put the call out. My long-time friend and fellow artist Mike Stanko offered to help and was a HUGE help!!! I would have had great difficulty on my own and would have probably been there all day figuring out how to manage. A HUGE THANK YOU to my friend Mike!
Whenever I hang a show I bring more work than I need. I think this is probably the case with most artists. We can make a rough estimate as to how many paintings will fit in a space, but how they look side-by-side and how cohesive it is, is another thing. One of the paintings I hoped to show was the one I’m holding in this photo. It’s called “Night City”, and it’s a very deep, luscious dark blue painting with a floating city in a starry sky. This painting inspired me to write a children’s story years ago. I won’t give the story away, but basically it’s about having a safe place, wherever you are, where you can be who you are, have peace and quiet or run in the halls like a sillyhead, where no-one will tell you that you’re wrong for being who you are. It’s a good story, I think, and one that would be helpful for kids to read. Unfortunately, I didn’t include this painting in the show because it just didn’t work somehow with the rest of them. Years ago, I included it in another solo exhibition and a little girl of about ten years of age came up to me and said it was her favorite. That touched my heart, especially because of her age, and I wasn’t aware that anyone had actually seen it. She really saw it.
I’m looking forward to my opening tomorrow. Jimi will play some of his beautifully atmospheric music and I may join him on my bass on a few songs. I look forward to seeing friends who are able to attend, and perhaps meeting new people who come.