Friday, March 25, 2016

Public Spaces

On the easels, final touches.

The River Beyond

From January through August of 2015 I found myself working on a series of paintings about my home town of Fall River.  They are the precursors to the "Intersecting
Principles" series I am now creating.  (Some of the earlier drawings have been spoken about in previous blog posts.)

Fourth of July Holiday

I call this collection of paintings "Public Spaces."  They are inspired by my walks through the major public parks within the City of Fall River.  My intent was to express the hidden, often overlooked beauty of the city.  I did not create portraits of specific parks.  I worked to capture the feeling of a view, the movement of a hillside, or simply the color relationships between trees.  Efforts were made to translate the mood and essence that are fundamental to the splendor captured between the shadows and the sunlight.

A Parting of the Way

My hometown has been besieged with negative perspective and publicity.  Headlines shout about crime, drugs and corruption, but Fall River is so much more than that.  We are a community, complex and diverse.  We are authors, Artists, musicians and hard working tough minded, strong willed people.  Our public Spaces, North Park, Ruggles Park, and Kennedy (or South) Park have evolved as the city has evolved.  Those parks have been my motivation, my very muse for this collection of paintings and drawing.  Posted here is a selection of that work.

There is History There
Blue Pine and Shadow Play

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Intersecting Principles: Walking on Water

     This drawing is the second in the "Intersecting Principles" series.  When I travel the city of Fall River, this area somehow feels like the roots of the city.  This is where the Taunton River meets what is left of the captured and piped in mouth of the Quequechan River.  Sure the shoreline is actually about seven mile long, but this is at the base of Downtown.  This is where the Fall River Line ships moored. The life blood of the city in the nineteenth century pulsed through this area like the true blood of a man's heart.  Native Americans crossed the river here.  King Phillip's warriors fought and lost battles with the British here.

     The story of Fall River starts here.

     Today, it is the Home of Battleship Cove, Heritage Park, the Fall River Carousel, (once the pride and joy of Lincoln Park). There is a large commercial pier, a railroad yard and a few working factories. There is also a Railroad Museum, a Marine Museum, few restaurants and and bars.  The Narrows Center for the Arts with two galleries a state of the art performance space and several artist studios sits three floors above it all.  All in all a very busy place, one that I stroll between brush strokes and contemplation.  

It seemed a fitting second step.  From here I can look up toward my city, look out across the river, or take in the living history that continues.  The sounds of the traffic crossing the big blue Braga bridge echo and give surreal din to the colliding diversity and shifting priorities of a struggling city. 
Walking on Water  /  14x20 graphite on paper

So, that said, if "Church Steeple" represents family values and the beginnings of a political viewpoint, "Walking on Water" represents the principles of work and play intersecting along the waterfront, the rail yards, and the public spaces filled with high hopes and grand intentions.

Intersecting Principles is a new series of work, funded in part by the Fall River Cultural Council, a subsidiary of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Intersecting Principles : Church Steeple

Intersecting Principles is a new series of work, funded in part by the Fall River Cultural Council a subsidiary of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

     My purpose is to create a body of work to serve as a visual metaphor inspired by the conflicting perspectives or the intersections of moral and political principles of the diverse population of  my home town.  I hope the work inspires a discussion. Still, my intentions artistic intentions are about creating individual works of art that are engaging, inspirational, and even, maybe, pleasing to look at.

      This is an eight month long project that begins right here and now.  I will document and share my progress from this blog.

     I will first create fully rendered graphite drawings.  Each drawing will be 14x20 inches on off white Canson Edition paper, a heavy bodied paper often used for printmaking and multimedia art work.  From those drawings I will create 18x24 inches oil on canvas paintings.  This work is inspired by actual locations throughout the City of Fall River.  I have walked with my note book, sketch book and small camera, looking for interesting, (to me, at least) juxtapositions of color, light, and movement that occur at active city intersections.  I will create compositions that, while not recreating those intersections, are characterizations of those places that technically use the foundations of the abstract expressionist movement as the fundamental underlying structure to the work.

     All that said, they are simply paintings and drawings, and I hope there is some fun to be had.  I will display the entire series at my Narrows Center Studio/Gallery starting in September 2016. I will post and display each piece as they are completed.

     Let’s start here with “Church Steeple.” This is a simple straight forward expression, but it serves as a nice gateway for me.

Church Steeple

     Walking through the downtown area, passing the Church, I was reminded that many of our moral principles are born in our various religions.  With the intense back-lighting, and my dirty glasses, the building took on an ominous presence. That seemed a fitting place to begin. Our political views and our family values start during our earliest days as we gather with our families under the guidance of a religious leader in a gathering space that is solemn and often iconic so, I decided to start and end with this image. I wonder still how I will approach this one with color.

     I am inviting everyone to follow me along this path and see where we go.