Friday, May 6, 2011

"Self-Portrait, After" and Christopher McCandless Exhibition

"Sadness is but a wall between two gardens."~Kahlil Gibran

Every artist has their own manifesto, their own impetus that resides underneath the paint. Our reasons for painting are as varied as our techniques...and the beauty of it is there is no correct answer. It is ultimately subjective. Speaking of manifestos, and on a side note, my friend Conrad once suggested I read Pulitzer Prize Winner Mary Oliver's book "Blue Pastures". Within its pages there is an essay called "Of Power And Time." It resonated with me VERY strongly as a creative person. You should read it.

Periodically I do a self-portrait of myself, bereft. I call it, unofficially "The Crying Series". I never know when another piece will be added, which is part of their appeal I find. This painting, "Self-Portrait, After", oil on panel, 2011, 8"x10", is the third piece in the ongoing series. Pain and sadness are just as much a part of life as joy and fulfillment, the question is, what do we do with these ebbs of the spirit? I choose to paint them. By doing do it makes them a reality. It is cathartic. It enables me to work through the sadness, to try to capture a bit of that intensity of emotion. I am not wallowing in despair, but instead, literally, making the most out of a bad situation.

When you look at the painting, remember that it is not important why I was crying, but how it resonates with you. I paint these pieces for myself, but with the hope that others can understand and place themselves in a similar situation where they felt the same hand-wringing of the soul.

On a technical note, I had great interest in painting my eyes. I wanted to show that delicate translucency that one's lids have during and after the struggle.

"Self-Portrait, After" is available at Abbozzo Gallery, and is a part of an upcoming exhibition of my work. I will have a selection of new paintings which will be displayed in conjunction with paintings inspired by the life and travels of Christopher McCandless. Christopher's story was the subject of John Krakauer's book "Into The Wild", and the film "Into The Wild" directed by  Sean Penn. The exhibition will have its opening reception on June 3rd from 7-10pm. I will also be at the gallery on Saturday, June 4th from 2-4pm for guests who were not able to make the opening reception the night before. I hope to see you there! Have a beautiful day and weekend :)

Chris's Pack, Stampede Trail, oil on panel, 24"x36"

An Aesthetic Voyage:
Painting Inspired By The Life And Travels
 Of Christopher McCandless

June 3-18th, 2011

Opening Reception June 3rd, 7-10pm
June 4th, Artist in attendance from 2-4pm 

If you are interested in any of these paintings you can contact the gallery toll-free at 
1-866-844-4481 or at 

"Diary Of A Supertramp (study)", oil on panel, 8"x10"

"To The Sea", oil on canvas, 24"x36"

"Chris's Tent, Stampede Trail", oil on canvas, 18"x36"

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."~Henry David Thoreau


jamenta said...

>> Pain and sadness are just as much a part of life as joy and fulfillment,

It is hard thing to accept for me at times. I mean - real pain and sadness. Not the kind that you see on TV or feel vicariously in a well done film, but the real kind - the kind you cannot fake feeling - the kind that sinks in and demands payment.

One of my own quirks - although it may not just be me - but when I am feeling deeply, often when it is sadness - it is often then I have the greatest desire to write. The muse does seem to respond more with my melancholy - so it would seem - at least for me - provides motive and strength that seems to refuse to show itself in no other way. A strange human paradox.

I think the heart of good art - quality - is that personal manifesto - that unique imprint you provide with whatever creative media you provide - revealing what is within - that comes via the creative Daemon - that is you but not you - yet another paradox.

I admire you for the journey you are taking -and your willingness to be human.

Dan Anaka the Refined Artist said...

I really enjoy all of your posts, and of course your artwork. I feel I can relate to them ... thank you