Saturday, December 11, 2010


My paintings were displayed for the month of November at the Fairway Village club house. I didn't know until shortly before time that I was expected to give a talk during the reception. We had some snacks and wine. My talk went well and there were a lot of questions afterwards and the woman who puts on the receptions said it was one of the best talks she had heard in the three years they had been displaying art. Nice to hear!

I didn't talk too much about my own process but rather talked about how to view abstract paintings. I think most people are uncertain what to think or how to approach an abstract painting. Generally the paintings displayed in this space are realistic and smaller than mine.

I focused on how the painting made the viewer feel emotionally rather than trying to be too rational or trying to figure out what the artist was trying to say. I told of my first experience viewing a Joan Mitchell painting at the Portland Art Museum. I had just read a book about her and as I was passing from one area of the museum to another I saw a large painting and was drawn right into it. I was stunned to see it was an 8'x10' painting by Joan Mitchell. I still do not understand why I especially like certain abstract painters like her and Franz Kline. The point is not to understand so much as to see how it makes you feel.

This leads me back to my view about what an artist is focusing on or feeling as they are starting to paint. If I am not invested in my work on an emotional level then a viewer will not connect with it on any level. Which means I must know what I'm feeling as I create a painting. I never work intuitively when I start a painting. I always know where I'm starting from and have some framework about what colors I'll use and whether it will be portrait or landscape. I also know where the horizon line will be since I've been in an abstracted landscape mode for some time now. After that it can all change and be something different than I anticipated. Many times it isn't at all what I started with in the beginning.

Saturday I hung a new show at the Soluna Grills at 4440 SE Fremont near the old First Impression store. Their hours are Monday through Thursday 5 to 9 PM and Friday and Saturday 5 to 10. Happy Hour is 4 to 6 PM. Sunday brunch is 9 AM to 2 PM.

I'll upload a few photos of both shows. The quality of the photos isn't too good and I see a new camera in my future. Surely it's the camera and not the operator! The point I want to make about the two shows is that the paintings look good on widely different colored walls. It always surprises me since my walls at home are more neutral and I do hang/store my paintings on the walls at home. Which leads me to think the color of the wall isn't too critical for me or my paintings.

The top photo is from Soluna Grill and the color isn't exact but it's a sort of dull green. The other paintings are of the Fairway Village show.