Posted on

New Works Available at Michael LaConte Gallery

3goddesses
Three Goddesses, oil on linen, 40cm x 60cm

I have some new works available at the Michael LaConte Gallery in Chicago.  They include a couple of still life paintings and plein air landscape sketches.  To learn more follow the link here.

sunset over sapri
Sunset over Sapri, oil on linen mounted on board, 20cm x 30cm

 

 

Posted on

Award from the Plein Air Salon

allegory
Allegory: Persephone, oil on linen, 60cm x 100cm. Courtesy of Michael LaConte Gallery

My painting shown above won the Best Overall Oil award in the recent December, 2015/January, 2016 bimonthly PleinAir Salon competition. The judge was Gary Haynes, the owner of Haynes Galleries of Fine Art in Nashville, TN and Thomaston, ME.  The picture is currently available at the Michael LaConte Gallery in Chicago.

The introduction of photography profoundly changed how we perceive images in general.  A homogeneous focus over the whole picture plane, visual distortions and haphazard compositions are only part of the problem.  A photograph mechanically isolates a moment in time.  It is inherently tied to our experience of Time as is the moving photo, i.e. cinema.  The psychological impact has been enormous.

DSC02586

The strength of painting is based on a symbolic power of the image that is not limited to linear narrative.  Every element of a picture gains significance when the formal elements of design: line, color, value and subject, come together for a common purpose.  That aim is expressing something of the eternal in relation to the subject.

This painting depicts Persephone, the goddess of the spring.  She was the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, and Zeus.  Her eventual abduction and marriage to Hades made her also the queen of the Dead.  For those not familiar with her myth, more can be found here.

Persephone is shown bridging the two worlds of light and dark.  She offers a sprig of grain to the living world with a setting sun as leans towards the nether regions of Hades.  Her weight is sustained by a ruined bust of Demeter, a symbol of the mother’s grief as the goddess of spring reigns in the underworld.  It was Demeter’s entreaties to Zeus that led to the intervention that resulted in the eventual agreement of dividing Persephone’s time between the realm of the living and the dead.  The result was the creation of the 4 seasons.

Locri_Pinax_Of_Persephone_And_Hades

Her story is more a right of passage than a tragedy.  In antiquity, Persephone was the a divine representation of the terrestial bride.  The numerous votive offerings found in temples to attest to this.  Above is a famous Pinax from Locri depicting the groom Hades with his bride.

allegory persephone detail hand

The hope is that this painting can be enjoyed and ‘read’ on many different levels.  A lot of work, effort and emotion was put into creating a piece that it is rich enough to survive the test of time and enjoyed in the future.

Great painting strives to represent the ‘eternal’  by removing temporal restraints of traditional narrative in order to touch the divine.

 

Posted on

Plein Air Workshop in Matera, Italy

06_SanPiero_Caveoso
San Piero Caveoso, Matera

I will be conducting a plein air landscape oil painting workshop in the very beautiful Southern Italian city of Matera.  The 4-5 day workshop will cover the principles of plein air painting with an emphasis of an 19th century historic approach.  The tentative dates are March 29th until April 2nd.  Housing and half board will be provided at the Casa dei Pellegrini Le Monocelle in the heart of the historic ‘Sassi.’

The page with the particulars will be up and running later this week.  Contact me for more details.

La Gravina, oil on linen, 60cm x 100cm
La Gravina, oil on linen, 60cm x 100cm
The Bay, Santa Margherita Ligure, oil on panel, 20cm x 30cm
The Bay, Santa Margherita Ligure, oil on panel, 20cm x 30cm
La Tavola Palatina, oil on linen, 60cm x 100cm
La Tavola Palatina, oil on linen, 60cm x 100cm
Sunrise at Assisi
Sunrise at Assisi
Assisi in the Afternoon
Assisi in the Afternoon