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   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.

Friday, August 24, 2007
  technical difficulties
Sorry--there are some problems with my blog right now. Some people have emailed me that they haven't been able to view the last post or post comments. I'm trying to resolve this as soon as I can--
  another new painting

This one is called Portal, 24" wide x 84" high, oil on board.

Thanks to painter Patricia Oblack, and her photographer husband for sending tips on photographing outside. I've reposted the painting below with a better shot. At their suggestion I put up a while sheet beside the work to reflect more light.

I also dug out my tripod and experimented with the manual settings on the camera, shooting at a lower speed. I know from my slide taking days that this can produce richer color, and I think it worked well for the digital camera also.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
  new painting

This is the latest bound for Darnell Fine Art in Santa Fe. It is 60" high x 30" wide, oil on panel. The title is "To the West." Not only do the colors and textures seem very southwestern to me, but I finished this yesterday just after my younger son left home on his way to enter college in Arizona.

Below is a detail/closeup view of the top right of the reddish panel.

A request--paintings with high contrasts between dark and light panels such as this one are hard for me to photograph, even though I have a very nice digital camera with 7 megapixels. So much detail just disappears, especially in the lightest panels. If any one has helpful suggestions to address this problem I would love to hear them. Thanks.

Sunday, August 19, 2007
Yesterday I had news of more sales at my Santa Fe gallery, Darnell Fine Art. That makes 12 sales since I started there in June, and if I add in other gallery sales the total for the summer is 20 paintings (over 30 for the year to date.) This is absolutely and completely unprecedented for me. I spend a certain amount of time just trying to process this, and to tame my suspicion that this cannot possibly continue. Mostly I just keep painting.

I've been thinking about a conversation in my past that has stayed with me. At the time, one of my artist friends was selling a lot more paintings than I was, and I was frankly really envious. But he's a good friend and in the interest of keeping things that way, we talked about it. He said, don't look at my success as something that I have and you don't. Look at it as what is possible for you also. Enough said? My best wishes to all.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In this etching from about 1980 (called Dunes at Sandy Neck) one of my college instructors could see the beginnings of the abstraction that occupies me today. He thought that eventually, I would allow this kind of textural, organic imagery to stand on its own--that I'd let go of the self-portrait figure (seen here in the lower left) which I often used to anchor such landscapes in reality and to indicate my presence. It took years for me to fully process that rather casual remark, and to understand that my presence could be felt and implied rather than illustrated.

I'm posting this now because a few days ago I was once again walking in the dunes at Sandy Neck, a beautiful beach on Cape Cod. My father grew up near there, in Sandwich, MA. The beaches in that area of the Cape were important to me as a child growing up, when we would often spend several weeks there in the summers and at Christmas. This time I was there for a family reunion, and I felt a strong sense of reconnecting with artistic as well as family roots. It amazes me that certain themes reoccur throughout a life of art making--in my case, usually related to landscape or nature images. The dunes, marshes and beaches of the Cape continue to feed my imagery over time, even though I live very far from them now.

The family reunion itself was wonderful, and I came away with a much greater appreciation of my family's long history in New England, as well as for the interesting lives of various relatives that were there. There's one bit of news that I want to mention here, especially since there are a lot of artists who appreciate the music of Philip Glass (especially those with abstract or conceptual tendencies.) My 27 year old nephew, David Crowell, a New York City based composer and saxophone player, has been chosen to perform in two concerts with the Philip Glass Ensemble--in London in October and at Carnegie Hall in NYC in December. What a huge honor--I'm really excited for him.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
  you just never know

Here are installation views of two paintings of mine that were recently purchased for the law firm of Williams, Venker and Sanders, in St. Louis MO. These two paintings were done in 1999, and a third one (not pictured here but part of the same group purchased) was from the mid-80's.

There's a point when I tend to give up on selling work that old. But these paintings had been at Steven Boody Fine Arts, my gallery in St. Louis, all this time, just waiting for the right situation I guess. They were sold at current prices. So that was a very nice thing to have happen.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
  bits and pieces
People often ask me how I decide on the arrangement of my multiple panel paintings and at what point in the process this happens. The answer is that I'm almost always open to changes until the last moment, when I cart them off to have the bolts put in...I like the idea of the whole painting being in flux for as long as possible, of having so many compositional possibilities at hand. But recently Carl, the bolting guy was going on vacation, and I didn't want to wait for his return to get something finished and shipped out. It's a busy time right now.

So I asked him to bolt together four panels that were barely begun--in fact, one panel was untouched. I knew that the arrangement I chose would be challenging for me--besides the need to approach it as one fixed surface, it's also a composition of panels that I haven't used before. I'm deep into the painting now and enjoying this different way of working. It seems more unified and holistic to me without the possibility of re-arranging things.

Of course I realize that for most painters, including myself up until a few years ago, this is really normal--the way things always are. It's kind of odd how fresh it seems to me.

In other news, I have recently updated my main website so if you haven't seen it for awhile or have any urge to pass it along, please do so. Thanks!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
  another new painting

I'm taking a couple of days off from the studio while the new paintings dry and become ready to ship to my southwest galleries. This is Patina, 48"x36," oil on board, bound for Wilde Meyer Gallery in Scottsdale AZ.

I had an email exchange recently with my painter friend Marina Broere about the use of drawn lines in my dog paintings. She liked the lines, and wondered if they came easily for me. And yes, usually they do--since drawing that way goes back all the way to high school days, when I loved pen and ink, I feel confident and at ease with line drawing. But I haven't given lines a strong presence in my current abstract work, focused as it is on color fields and organic textures. Thinking of Marina's comments, I added the distinct lines in the white panel of this painting. This seemed to be just what it needed. This is opening up some new ideas--more lines to come, perhaps.


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       Rebecca Crowell