Thursday, March 16, 2017

Current Project

"In the Red Recliner"' 5 x 5"; colored pencil in sketchbook
It has been a massive effort to carve out time to make work this year. So I devised a project that I felt I could keep with - small drawings of objects around my house. I am often squeezing these in after a long day of teaching or around the class preparation and grading that needs to get done. They take an hour or two, and they act as a break - a moment to simply record what I see before me.

My work is inevitably influenced by my teaching and this year I had a preponderance of students tell me that they felt at sea using acrylic paint. "Well, what are you comfortable with?" I would ask. And the response, on multiple occasions was "colored pencils". I am embarrassed to say, I had never really taken the media seriously. In fact, it wasn't until I opened a monograph of David Hockney drawings and saw his searingly articulate contours drawn in flashes of color that I thought of using it myself.

Soon after, I was perusing Jennifer Bartlett's drawing project, In the Garden, and I was struck by her square format and her juxtaposition of two drawings. Bartlett's own project was born of limitations. She found herself in residency in France, when the unrelenting bad weather laid all her plans of working outside to waste.

It seemed fitting to borrow from both artists in my quest to sneak in some time to make art. You can view more of the project on my Instagram feed here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"A Love Letter to My Garden" at Gallery 65

Installation view; "A Love Letter to My Garden" at Gallery 65

 The year culminated in a small solo exhibition of paintings I created this summer, titled, "A Love Letter to My Garden". The work lovingly chronicles the flowers in the garden at my former home in Massachusetts. Admittedly, some of the work is more literal with accurately depicted plants, while other paintings were more playful riffing on color combinations and compositional possibilities inherent in the subject. They were a joy to make and helped me process the loss of our first home. I had worked for seven years to rehab the empty suburban landscape into an area that native wildlife could make use of. What began as a mono culture of Kentucky bluegrass devoid of any insect or animal activity was, in the end, filled with a myriad of visitors nesting, feeding, and eating around the house. In a way, the landscape had come back to life.

Installation view: "A Love Letter to My Garden" at Gallery 65

  I made the drive out to Massachusetts for the opening reception at the beginning of December. I was pleased with the installation and had a great weekend visiting with old friends. "A Love Letter to My Garden" is on view at Gallery 65 in New Bedford, MA through January 28th.Go check it out!
  View more work from the series here.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Autumn Exhbitions

This year late October brings with it a flurry of activity to prepare for upcoming exhibitions. I have been framing non-stop since I returned from my weekend away in NYC. At this point, everything but my solo show is packed up and in the mail. Wish me luck!

"A Love Letter to My Garden"; 19 x 18; acrylic and glitter on paper mounted on panel

All of the venues I'm exhibiting at are in and around the Boston area. If you live in the area or plan on visiting, there is some exciting stuff to see. First up, my painting, A Love Letter to My Garden, is part of a group exhibition at Thomas Young Gallery in Boston. A Group Thing brings together upwards of 30 contemporary artists in Boston's Seaport District. The opening reception is next Sunday from 5 - 9pm.

"Intrusive Thoughts" 9 x 10"; acrylic on panel; on display at Deedee Shattuck Gallery in November

A week later there is an opening reception for the annual Small Works exhibition at Deedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport, MA. The exhibition is by invitation only and I am thrilled to have been asked to participate. The gallery is in a stunning light-filled space on Massachusett's south coast showing a roster of distinguished artists many of whom live and work in area. The opening reception is Saturday, November 12 from 5 -7pm. I'm planning to attend, so come on by! I hope to see you there!

In early December I will be back on the south coast for a small solo exhibition of my work at Gallery 65 on Williams St in New Bedford. The owner, Nicole St Pierre, is a friend of mine; and her husband, Marc, was my printmaking professor in graduate school. The show gives me a chance to display a recent body of paintings I made in response to our move from Massachusetts. They are an homage to the garden I left behind. View them here. I'm truly excited for the show. The work is fresh and playful and it was a real joy to make. The reception is Saturday December 3, from 4 - 7 pm.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September Exhibitions

  I have work in three separate locations across the country this Septemeber. If you happen to be in the vicinity of any of these shows, there are some great things to see.

 The faculty show at PrattMWP opens this Friday in Utica, NY. It is my first semester in my new position as Assistant Professor of 2D Foundations, and I am honored to be exhibiting alongside the distinguished faculty at PrattMWP. If you're in the upstate area, the reception is from 4 - 6 pm and the exhibit is up through October 7.

  The Hallspace Drawing Project is already on display in Dorchester, MA. I visited the gallery for the first time last spring to see an exhibition of paintings by Brigid Watson and was impressed by both the work and the space. When I saw that the gallery was having an open call to participate in a drawing exhibition, I jumped at the chance. All work on display is 12 x 12 inches and priced at $144. The gallery has limited hours, opened Friday and Saturday, but the roster of artist participating in this show is well worth the trip. The show is on until October 1.

Lastly, for those of you in the southwest, It Laid Waste is part of a national juried exhibition at Adams State University in Alamosa, CO. The exhibition, Atypical Topographies, examines fresh takes on the genre of landscape. I packed up my piece and sent it on its way this Tuesday. The show opens Thursday, September 29 and is up through October 26.

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Love Letter to my Garden

"A Love Letter to my Garden";19 x 18"; acrylic and glitter on paper

  Summer is typically a slow time for me in the studio. As the temperature increases, my space becomes a little too hot to enjoy working in; and often, the long winters create the desire to wile away my time in the garden - weeding, planting new beds, and watching the flowers grow. As you may know, this year we are moving from our home near Boston to upstate NY so that I can start a job as an Assistant Professor at PrattMWP. I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love in a full time capacity; and at the same time, I am heartbroken to leave behind the garden I have spent the last seven years creating. The conflicting emotions have come together in a new series of paintings which I am enjoying immensely. View them here. They are exciting because they are playful and visually vibrant - at once a celebration of our time here and a commemoration of what we are now leaving behind.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Recent Abstractions

18 x 19"; acrylic on paper; 2016
 I've unearthed some of the unresolved large scale paintings that I made in 2015; and I've been ripping them up and reworking them. It's exciting to rethink the organization of the composition at this stage in the process because the paintings already have an established color scheme. The collection of colors in each painting evolves organically. And when I return to this scheme after a year has elapsed, I can look at it anew and see different possibilities for its resolution. This piece was shifted from its dominant dark green to a fresh clean cotton-candyesque pink. That juxtaposition of the new bright color on top of a muddier olive felt playful and allowed me to experiment further with the structure of the composition.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Color Matters at the Painting Center

The wall with my four works included in the show.

  "Color Matters" closed on Saturday, January 30. I was able to attend the opening reception in early January and was impressed by the number of people in attendance and the collection of work on display. I thought I'd take a moment to post some photos of the reception and include a link to a review of the exhibition published in Sharon Butler's blog, Two Coats of Paint. Thank you to the Center and the curators, Jack McWhorter, Al Peters, and James Patrick Reid for including my work in the show. It was an honor to participate.

Work by painter Ophir Agassi
A great shot of Becky Yazdan's work

Curator, Jack McWhorter, and painter, Cecily Kahn

Install shot