Friday, November 18, 2011

Gallery 510

Just in time for the holidays!  Loretta Puncer of Gallery 510 is displaying three works from the Candy Store Grid, in new fresh white floater frames.  Head down to the Oregon District and check them out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Art Prize, Art Prize, Arty Arty Art Prize

Francis and I had serious fun times in Grand Rapids, MI setting up for Art Prize this past weekend.  GR is a fun town!

I installed Candy Store grid (at least a part of it) in the front window area of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  If any of you are out and about in Grand Rapids - vote for me!  The instructions for doing so are on the Art Prize site and my number to vote me up is 51271.

Some pics of the work:
from outside looking in

my labels!
grandiose candy store
note the white frames...

Faculty Show 2011

Fall is upon us, and that means it's time for the Sinclair Fall Faculty Show.  This year I decided to keep it simple and show some paintings.  I've really felt like committing to painting lately (although sometimes it feels like a scary commitment).  Both pieces are looking their best under the bright lights of the Triangle Gallery.

Traffic and Francis Dance, Triangle Gallery, Sinclair Community College

Francis Dance (diptych), 2011, water-soluble oil on canvas, 24" x 46"

Francis Dance, was shown in Cavort and I've posted the two separate parts of it on this blog.  I like it best as a diptych, however, as it's shown here. The original painting is the one on the left.  It was inspired by a dance Francis was doing (I think an imitation of the Swedish dancing demonstrated by the women of ABBA in their heyday) while wearing his blue striped overalls.  The pink on black companion piece was done a couple of days later as a further exploration of the "dancer" motif.  Once finished they seemed to go together - it's nice to dance with a partner after all, and the flipped orientation helped them fit.

Traffic is my most recently resolved painting, inspired by the black on yellow traffic sign arrows that help you nudge in when going around a curve.
Traffic, 2011, water-soluble oil on canvas, 40" x 40"

Francis Dance detail

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Passing Conversations in an Airport

Candy Store Grid on the brain
Specifically in the hallway to the bathroom...

I had one of my most interesting artist days ever yesterday while installing the Candy Store Grid at the Columbus International Airport, Gateway to the Arts.

It all started with Francis and I furiously trying to cram ourselves and 101 paintings into the Subaru, before our trip to Columbus.  Not having coffee yet, this felt like a painful logic puzzle.  After some cardboard boxes were swapped out and some Saran Wrap was deployed (don't ask) we headed out.

The installation itself took forever - hanging light paintings on wires in a somewhat regular grid formation actually isn't that easy.  So we had about nine hours of time spent in the long corridor in CMH while probably a couple hundred people hurried by on the way to the bathroom.
chairs and painting glowing
At least ten people asked some variation of which kids / schools made the artwork we were hanging.  One woman was even disbelieving when I said it wasn't kids' work.  "Oh really?" she asked.  Yeah trust me, I know this one.  Some people then seemed a little embarrassed when I told them that no actually it was my work, "made by just one big kid" became my refrain.

Obviously, in the Midwestern mindset at least, my work reads as children's work.  I wonder why?  Francis told me it's because I need to be more somber to be an adult.

Thank goodness for Francis!

A number of folks (mostly older gentlemen) asked Francis if he was the artist.  I figured my hot pink Pondo Beara t shirt would show obvious solidarity with the paintings on the wall.  I guess having a penis trumps a hot pink t shirt when it comes to assuming who the artist is in a given situation.  It also seemed that when Francis would redirect these guys to me they would lose interest pretty quickly - but maybe they just needed to use the john.

A few folks used the word "decorating," as in we were decorating the hallway. The words "pretty," "fun," and "adorable" (once in a genuine way and once in a sort of fake way) were all thrown out.

entry grid

Some folks seemed really interested and engaged with the work and actually stopped to comment and ask questions.  One man had an astute observation on how difficult it is to organize patterns that feel random, but not chaotic.  One woman helped me finalize the arrangement of the small grid in the entry way.  Once the changes were made, she had her baby clap for me. 

tired at the end of a long day!

The experience was like having a completely objective critique all day - by mostly non-art seeming folks.  It was kind of wonderful and terrifying at the same time.  I think I might pay for short term parking and go hang out in the hallway to catch some more passing conversations in an airport.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sideshow VI

Some shots from Dayton Circus Collective's Sideshow VI.  This is an installation called Backyard II constructed in the old Yellow Cab Company building in downtown Dayton.  

Many thanks to Charmaine Griffith and Jeremy Dempe who helped clean fifty years worth of cigarette smoke and grease from our little annex and to Francis Schanberger who went through a few exatco blades carefully cutting out paper leaves.  Don't let the pretty colors fool you, this piece is poison (ivy that is).  The back wall is inspired by that particularly chalky color of pink called calamine.

Thanks as always to Francis for his photo assistance!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


The opening reception for Michelle and my show is this upcoming Friday, May 20th in Yellow Springs.  Come out and say hello.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Okay two more...

Francis Dance (Pink), 2011
water-soluble oil on canvas
20" x 20"

Francis Dance (Red), 2011
water-soluble oil on canvas
24" x 24"

Yellow Springs!

Bricks, 2011
water-soluble oil on canvas
12" x 12"

Really looking forward to my two person exhibition with Michelle Blades (Michelle's work is delightfully disturbing) at the Yellow Springs Arts Council Gallery opening May 20th.  The space is really interesting with a beautiful tucked away garden and a crazy rounded wall.  

Here's a little sneak preview from me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Dinner Party

Got to see Judy Chicago's Dinner Party at the Brooklyn Museum this past weekend.  I've always considered it a little cheesy and overwrought.  Vagina plates!  Tapestries!  Triangles!  Oh my!

Seeing it in person, however, made me review my opinion.  It was really impacting to think of all the hours of hand work involved in the creation of the piece.  I also like that there was collaboration and a focus on female-associated crafts, weaving, ceramic painting, etc.  The stories about the notable women were interesting to read and reflect on, although mostly the place settings focus on white women from the Western tradition. 

I can see the validity of the critique that the work essentializes all these diverse and amazing women - boiling their contributions down to vaginal imagery... but I think it was an influence on my paint brush today. 


hotel, note the foxhunt
 gallery dog!  (he loved jill)

 gin and i
 jill, tim and anne posing at the aperture opening
34 street station ceiling, post brooklyn adventure
(all photos by francis)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pink Corners (better color)

Pink Corners, 2011
water-soluble oil on canvas
20" x 20"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The New Members Invitational Exhibition at the Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors has gotten some good press this weekend. Pam Dillon wrote a review of the show for the Dayton Daily News Life Section. The mood at High Street Gallery seemed more energized according to the gallery sitter this Sunday - let's hope the good vibes continue!

There's even a picture of me (leaning against WWWH, oops).

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Birds (it's for the)

Blue Birds, 2008 water-soluble oil on canvas 53" x 50"

We were at dinner the other night after an(other) opening for a group show that Francis is a part of. It was an extremely pleasant and chatty evening that culminated in a discussion of animal fears. Yes, this is what artists and curators talk about over their neo-Italian cuisine.

One of the members of the party brought up her extreme fear of birds, as in full-on heart pounding terror when confronted with one out in the world. I chimed in with my distaste for birds (sorry bird lovers). I certainly wouldn't consider my feelings towards birds to be a true fear or phobia, just a slight distrust perhaps owing to their reptilian heritage (sorry snake lovers) and to their tendency to peck and poop a lot indiscriminately.

While I and the bird fearer were in the midst of reaffirming each others' anti-bird opinions, another member of the group spoke up and called me out. "Don't you use birds in your work?" she asked. Well, yes I do as a matter of fact. So I sat back and shut up feeling a little ashamed at having been caught in a hypocritical act.

Shame, even a light taste of it, brings out my obsessive tendencies like nothing else. So all the way home and even after that I turned the conversation over and over in the back of my mind. Why would a person who is no real fan of the feathered make paintings of birds?

On reflection, I don't think I care much for birds, at least the actual living, breathing, flying, pecking, pooping animals. My interest is in the popularity of the bird as motif in current consumer culture. My bird paintings were born out of my research for the Candy Store series. Bird as motif saw an upswing in the mid to latter part of this past decade. Fowl seemed to be everywhere: certainly appearing on the printed flannel VS pajamas that were the initial inspiration for the Candy Store work.

The blue bird of happiness has made it's way from
tattoos to stationery and everything in between. This style of bird motif represents a certain vintage sweetness. As a symbol the swallow, robin or wren in flight can range from a more sassy rockabilly feel to a cuteness appropriate for a baby's blanket.

The bird motif that I use in my painting stays on the feminized side - those products being the ones I'm most interested in researching. My bird patterns are certainly not the aggressive male identified birds of prey like eagles or hawks. I'm interested in the things that are sold to women and the overwhelming diversity of choice that keeps us consuming. The bird motif in my work is part of a larger study of feminized motif.

My friend Jessica likes and respects birds and you can tell the difference in her paintings of the same subject. Even though stylized, her work retains specific colors and markings true to the actual birds being represented. You can distinguish between owls, hawks and wrens in her paintings - these are representations of birds from the actual observable world.

Both Jessica and I share an appreciation for boiling a subject down to its essence. In her paintings, however, she uses birds and animals themselves as an inspiration, while in my work, a stylized bird is analogous to a polka dot, a star or a stripe.

Candy Store Grid, detail
water-soluble oil on canvas
135- 12" x 12" canvases
installed at Dayton Visual Arts Center

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New work

Stripe Flags, 2011
water-soluble oil on canvas

20" x 20"

Particle, 2011

water-soluble oil on canvas

30" x 30"

Pink Corners, 2011

water-soluble oil on canvas

20" x 20"

Been working on some new paintings recently...explosions, pinball, clouds, physics, and lots of stripes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Studio Day

Had some fun in the studio today - working on a piece that will be similar to Birthday, but with more candles!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

DSPS New Member Invitational

Prospectus and more information coming soon!