Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Exhibition Preps

For the past couple of weeks, I've been working towards a deadline. The Bella Vista Art Gallery in Biltmore Village, Asheville, is going to have me as their Featured Artist during November. We're going to show my original intaglio prints - both those that they've carried for a while, plus five new drypoints. Here are the new ones:

Gargoyles
7"x5', edition of 10

Valley Farm
5"x12", edition of 10

Homestead
5"x12", edition of 8

Back 40
5"x12", edition of 7

South Market Warehouse
5"x7", edition of 10

I'm pretty happy with the way the prints turned out. As a group, they go together well. I'm going to hand-color some of them with watercolor and will re-photograph them then. Print puritans are probably gasping in horror at the thought of putting watercolor on these, but I usually like the results. I use a very light application of watercolor, just enough to bring some life to the print, but not enough to where the color takes over and dominates. These will get the same treatment.

Okay, there was one print in which I used a very strong layer of paint. Here 'tis:

The Ferrari Engine
5"x7", edition of 100

I did this etching a few years ago. It's an old Ferrari Testa Rossa that I spotted at the Monterey Historic Car Races. For a gearhead like me, Ferrari engines are works of art in themselves.

Now that these new prints are done, I'm getting back to painting. There are a number of ideas that have been churning around in my head, waiting for the press to be put away and the canvas to come back out. And I've got some basic research to do, too. I pulled out my books on some favorite artists (Jerome Witkin and Peter Howson, to start with). Reviewing how these artists do what they do will help get my brain waves back in synch with what I was doing before going off to Iraq. And if I'm going to do paintings as good as Warrior or Lament, then those brain waves have to be working.

Meanwhile, it's a fine fall day here in Asheville. My birch trees and tulip poplars are all turning golden and dropping their leaves. The maples haven't started turning colors yet. We're still pretty warm, but that'll change in the next couple of days and it'll be jacket weather. The neighborhood urchins have been pestering me: "Do you need your leaves raked?" I don't, actually. For one, most of the trees haven't dropped their leaves yet, so if you rake now, in two days you won't be able to tell the difference. For another, once you rake the leaves, then you have to do something with them: cart them off somewhere, or burn them, or whatever. Why make more work for yourself? I don't have time to do everything that needs to be done, anyway. And three, leaves are nature's own free mulch. I let the leaves drop and mulch them with the lawnmower. Works like a champ.

Now it's time to get ready for tonight's life drawing session. Let's hope that my eye and hand will work together on a drawing a little better than they did last week. Practice! Practice! Practice!

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