Moved all my oil paints and all the new paintings from the Open Studio exhibit in October back into my home studio. This fall was a fall of falls! Went for an idyllic hike in the nearby Lake Roland woods and managed to sprain my ankle so badly that I was disabled for more then 2 months. Wore a boot, had a scooter, worked from home. Such a strange autumn. Learned some lessons about allowing others to help, how to climb up and down stairs (I’m sure I learned this as a toddler, but I certainly re-learned it as a 50-year-old). In the end we all return to being the big babies we start out as. Be nice to new and old babies alike. We all need help.
I produced a small body of work over the summer of nuclear cloud paintings. Making these pieces has scratched an ongoing itch. The shadow potential of nuclear annihilation has been a part of most of my life on this planet. A Nuclear Life. I attempt to manage my anxiety about this unthinkable destruction of everything by my fellow-humans by painting the traditionally scary clouds in a objective way. They’re fluffy objects. My hope is to take some of that destructive energy and pull out the beauty of the cloud formations in a way my worried brain can manage and appreciate. Some of the clouds are quite wistful.
Also, a new body of work has emerged over the past few months... Explosion Clouds! Nuclear Explosions to be specific. Such pretty, deadly clouds. Come see them in person. Take one home with you... take two!
Woodberry Studios Building
2121 Druid Park Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
I was having a creative crisis last summer after my father died. He was a huge proponent of my work--ridiculously supportive. Always wanted me to live off my art. "Just sell a few of your paintings -- YOU'LL BE RICH!" I know he at least half-meant it. It was what he'd probably wanted for himself, too. He was an artist, scientist, author, occultist, and world human who worked a full-time job, helped support his family and wanted to maintain his creative pursuits despite very little free time. I am in the same situation - I have the full-time job and the job of family. So this is my existential question:
Q: Wouldn't I be happier if I could just go to work, come home and do all the shite I have to do every day, then be satisfied to sit on the couch and watch TV every night till I pass out? It sounds relaxing to not always be thinking about how I don't have the time or energy to do all the creative things I want to do.*
[*I realize this is a thought that someone who doesn't have any real problems has.]
Here we are, a year later. I externalized my question in a painting. Still not 100% certain what the answer to the question is, but I am pretty sure that maintaining a creative life in any form will bring me closer to an answer.
I think a bit of my Dad may be held inside it. Took exactly a year to complete:
Summer is when I focus on oil painting -- open the windows and ventilate. This summer, like last, I rented a wall in a larger studio so I can work on a bunch of stinky oil paintings at once.
Currently on the wall are wooden panels and canvases. I'm thinking of diving into some still life subject matter. Appreciating what's on my plate, so to speak.
Also considering some sort of audio artwork, but it's hard to write about that - will just have to do it then put it out into the world.
This past Saturday's opening at Talon Studio Gallery was great! Hanging 13 pieces of artwork took the obligatory three hours it always takes. The pieces fit perfectly in the small gallery space and the larger window piece, after much futzing, really glowed in the window display area:
That's Raya (below), Talon Studio Gallery owner, art directing a photo shoot with local art connoisseur, Scarlet the dog.
My favorite contemporary art fan Saturday evening was Scarlet, who broke out of her humans' house to attend the opening. She did a continual survey of the space, paused for drinks of water and cheese until her escort whisked her away to the next event.
The exhibit is open for the month of May.
Baltimore has finally turned cold. Took a few months, but now it doesn't seem as if summer will last forever, which I think is a good thing. Allows for appropriate clothing to be worn, appropriately.
The winter hibernation months loom and quietly ochre, cadmium red, and alizarin crimson shades coat leaves about to jump off the trees. Sky light shuts down by 6:15-6:30 p.m. Last night's Halloween wanderings were over in an hour and crisp, bright moonlight lit our way.
My three months in Julia Niederman's studio draw to a close at the end of October. Haven't put in a lot of time there, 2 or so hours/week, Sunday mornings, since mid-August. About 18 hours so far.
October 7 I briefly exposed some of my work to the outside world, to whomever wandered into the studio from the Open Studio Tour happening the same weekend.
The exercise of hanging up the different things I've been working on over the past 5 or 8 years seems important. Three distinct bodies of work have emerged over time - Many Moons photos and paintings, Black-eyed Susans paintings & drawings, Cartographesque maps.
#workwindow continues to inspire and amaze...
Big, flat parking lots in the 'burbs also provide excellent spaces for sky watching:
In an effort to complete a bunch of oil paintings that have been on the back burner for over a year, I'm working in a studio outside my house for a few months. The party is over October 31, when I move my paint tubes and whatever I manage to complete back to the home studio. But until then, there is a strange, stinky oil painting party happening in Woodberry!
The job I started November 2016 spawned a daily photographic project, looking out my amazing work window. The clouds and sky deliver profound content Monday - Friday.
I've also published #workwindow Volume 1, an analog book from the same series. You, too, can have your own printing of this book -- get 'em while they're hot!!!
Been a while, eh? The "Many Moons" project continues.
These are on wood panels:
The exhibition of selections from the "100 Black-eyed Susans" was a marathon event! This past September 17th & 18th I brought 14 paintings over to Deborah Patterson's gallery space at 834 on the Avenue, hung 'em up and let nature take its course. My favorite part of the weekend was when my friend Callum R. came over for a personal sidewalk interactive version of the show! Luckily my paintings aren't too huge or heavy so this task was easy and totally broke up the experience of sitting in a gallery all day. Everything looks different in daylight!
The show took about three hours to hang, which seems insane since there are only 14 pieces. But you gotta hang things right and consider correct lighting and eye-level and all of that. Also, the pieces needed to cluster right on the walls. I think things ended up in the right locations.
This is the first time in a while I've been the only person exhibiting artwork in a space. I am so grateful for the opportunity. It was great to see paintings that are filling up my studio space out in the world, under someone else's gaze.
Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, selected pieces from the 100 Black-eyed Susans project, many which you can view on this website, will exhibit at 834 on the Avenue, a gallery located on 36th Street in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.
Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. I did sell a few pieces over the past 10 years, but I'm slow to create work so it takes a while to get enough of it stockpiled to offer it up to the universe.
But here it is, that time again. Time to send this artwork out into the world.
Themes/projects I've worked on in the past few years include:
- Black-eyed Susans, and other flora-type paintings
- Cartographesque: Maps and Mandalas
There are also two ongoing photographic projects:
- Camera Morte
- Many Moons
Most pieces have been documented on my website. Some items have already been sold, but there are plenty of pieces still looking for good homes.
Over the next few months, I'll be indicating which items on the site are available for purchase. The physical sale of these pieces will be in the fall of 2016. Specific dates and times will be posted here. The venue will be a small gallery space in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore City.
- Juliette G.
Work continues on the Black-eyed Susans project: (working title) "Night of 100 BES". Yes the goal is to make 100 paintings based on this flower. So far I've got 8 or 9 paintings. Good to have attainable goals, right? I like having a project span multiple years. It guarantees that when other, simultaneous projects are completed, there's always the long-term running in the background so I'm never left with nothing to work on.
Another project that has been going on for multiple years, which is surfacing to the top of the art queue of late is "Many Moons". The moon and I are collaborating on some drawings. From these drawings, I'm making some paintings.
Only a few weeks now till the deluge. A mad indulgence right up until the overfed, drunken end. Then you unplug the lights, throw the tree out on the curb next to the other trees; homeless, lonely, cold, dried out hitch-hikers that they are. If they're lucky they get turned into mulch for the springtime gardens.
I dislike December. Not the month itself, but all the weird pressure so many humans (including me sometimes) feel to spend money they don't have on crap they and their families and friends don't need. And if you complain about it in any way, people get defensive. It's complicated, right? The holidays. If you remove money and junk and baggage from this time of year what is left?
Stark, black branches against cool gray skies...