Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Fragile Evidence"

Fresh off the easel and food for thought,

"Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us."
~Henri Matisse
Fragile Evidence, 8x10, oil on panel
This is a painting I began with my students, and worked on for a few couple weeks, 20 minutes at a time, then finished up at home. 

I was focusing on a few specific concepts with this piece:

~selectively using hard and soft edges. 
~mixing up interesting grays.
~selectively using transparent or opaque paint.
~scumbling so that the warm underpainting shows through in some places.
~and oiling out.
~glazing toward the end.

Can you see those things incorporated?

This is the third small fog piece I've done, you may see the others at my post about them, Suburbia Obscured, and Fog on Heather Ridge.

Don't forget about my upcoming show at:
Art Folk Gallery, Nov 3, 5-9 pm, Vann & Young Building,
1731 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL, USA.

If you are in town stop in and say hi!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Near the Tannhauser Gate"

Fresh off the easel!
Near the Tannhauser Gate, 14x11, oil on oil primed linen

I will be showing this painting at The Incognito Project Exhibit. Nov 3, 2012, 5-9 pm at the Vann and Young Building, 1731 1st Avenue North Birmingham  AL, along with 25 other new paintings on the theme.

The painting is part of my ongoing exploration of alter egos. Blade Runner fans will recognize the title from the replicant Roy Batty's introspective speech moments before his own death (actor Rutger Hauer).

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die.

More about the project:

If you'd like to read a commentary of the work in the show, check it out in an article and slideshow by art writer/artist Daniel Maidman, on The Huffington Post, titled The Very Serious Dress-Up Playtime of the Soul!

You may also recognize this model from my painting The Certainty of Youth and the Complexity of Wisdom.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Huffington Post Goes Incognito

I was thrilled to see an article and slideshow about The Incognito Project by artist/art writer Daniel Maidman on the Huffington Post!

I love the article. Daniel really gets my work. 

~"To me, it says that she chose the hard skill of strict mimesis, (strict imitation of the appearance of things), because she likes the people she knows; she likes them an awful lot. She likes them so much, in fact, that she wants to enjoy a specific kind of playing with them: that necessary dress-up that makes us meaningful to ourselves. This form of play is her invitation to her friends, and her skill as a painter is devoted to communicating to them, and to us, her affection, both for the person as they are, and as they understand themselves." 

AND "It characterizes Strickland's work as a whole, an overlay of the mythical self onto the recognizably real self."

AND He discusses realism in the context of the greater art world, and answers the question,"Why paint something so convincing?"

Aren't you intrigued? Now go read it!

After you do that, you can check out Daniel's show, Blue Leah at Dacia Gallery, opening Thursday, October 18, 6-10pm.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Whut? The Grapes of Wrath on the Banned Book List?

Matter Deep Publishing ran a few articles last week featuring stories about our crew's favorite banned books. I thought I would cross post mine here, since the book definitely influenced my work. 

“This is the beginning—from “I” to “we”. If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into “I”, and cuts you off forever from the “we”.~Chapter 14, The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck.
The Grapes of Wrath is one of my favorite novels. I was surprised to see it on the banned books list. It has been challenged repeatedly over the years for containing vulgarity and for “inappropriate sexual references”, for example: a minister recounts how he took advantage of a young girl.
I read this book and several others, including The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, that helped me understand a truth about the nature of the world. The concept is that change on any level is difficult, turbulent, painful, and sometimes oh-so-very necessary. It doesn’t matter if the change is on a personal level, a social level, or a clash in weather systems. Change will come and it’s going to cause drama. Yet, there is hope that we will come out the other side, changed for the better and stronger for having lived through a trying time.
As a artist, a figurative oil painter, the concept influenced an entire body of my work. At the time, I was experiencing changes of growth in my own life and watching my children grow into adulthood. These experiences, along with the gelling of the concepts that came out of reading The Grapes of Wrath became The Awakening Series
On the Wing, Awakening Series, oil on panel. 40”x61”, 2003
How sad if this book had indeed been banned and I would not have been inspired to create this series. The Grapes of Wrath is more relevant than ever as our country is coming out of the Great Recession. It’s a story that is as timeless and important as change itself.
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Incognito Project Stuff

Here is a new video about The Incognito Project Exhibit and book.

Shelby Country Reporter did a really nice article about my upcoming exhibit and book.

Nov 3, 2012, 5-9 pm,  Art Folk Gallery, Young and Vann Building, 1731 First Avenue North, Birmingham, AL. You may look here to preview all the work in the show.

The book will be released that night as well. If you'd like to pre-order the book you may email me at The will pre-sell for $60.
Each book purchased through the kickstarter, pre-ordered, or bought the night of the show will be entered to win this original oil painting, Day Dreams, Some Other Self. The drawing will be held at the close of the exhibit that evening. More information about the drawing here!


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