Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I made it up to Opus 40 in Saugerties the other day after wanting to go for years, ever since I first heard about it- a sculpture park carved out of a bluestone quarry by a single man over most of his lifetime. In 1938, Harvey Fite, a sculptor of wood and stone, found the abandoned quarry on 12 acres in the middle of the woods. He bought it and built his house and studio on its edge.
From his first experimental impulse — to see how the Mayan building techniques could be adapted to Ulster County bluestone — he began to develop a plan for an outdoor sculpture gallery, carving ramps and walkways leading to his various sculptures. The landscape, originally conceived as a setting for sculpture, became a sculpture in its own right. Though Fite was not associated with the Land Art or Earthworks movement of the 1970s, he came to be known as a pioneer. (Some of this info is taken from their website.)
Opus 40 was named so because he expected that it would take 40 years to realize his vision and complete the work. 37 years after beginning the project, Fite died from an accidental fall onto the rocks. The sense is that he could've kept working as long as he could wield his tools. There is also a small museum on the site full of these mostly hand-forged tools, massive chains, winches, hammers and chisels. It was a very peaceful spring afternoon spent climbing over the rocks and walking the paths, the stones warm and rough beneath my feet. Then driving into town and walking the half-mile out to the historic Saugerties Lighthouse and back- a trail that appears and disappears with the tides.
Friday, May 23, 2014
So I was the only one who parked right under a cherry tree during a rainstorm. Came out to find spring all over my car. They stuck like wet pink cornflakes for a couple days, every time I drove they would fly from the hood, a party on wheels.
Other things in the past 2 weeks: I installed a selection of work from the Open Studios kickoff group show (which was only up May 2-4) at the local Rhinebeck Bank (up through June 30). I spread 180 cubic ft of mulch in my mom's garden. I planted my herbs and lettuces in pots. I painted a dresser that ended up looking a bit like a landscape, at least to my eyes- what I would paint if I was an abstract artist, which I am, at times- colors rearranged into shapes and flattened. Or is it shapes rearranged into colors. I spend time thinking about the colors but then they just happen and it feels too easy, making me daydream about abandoning 'representative' (figurative I guess) painting for colored shapes in the Ellsworth Kelly vein, or flattened Calder mobiles- reducing images to oblongs, circles and stripes and then explaining it later, or not. I think I'll have to make a painting of a car and then splatter it with pink spots. Maybe it feels too much like play because someone else has already done the work and I've only internalized it. How would we know? Then I went to a store & saw a book that perkily suggested painting a dresser in graduating tints of a color like a paint-store chart. And I remember, all I'm ever really doing is moving paint with a bunch of hairs bound to a stick.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Last summer, a local interior-decorating firm, Burlock, commissioned me to do a painting for a clubhouse by the Hudson River, designed with a nature/nautical theme. Here's a photo of the installation with my painting Life Preserver (oil on canvas, 16"x20"), in a portfolio featured on their recently launched website.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Friday, May 9, 2014
Friday, May 2, 2014
It's Open Studios time once more. This weekend, May 3 and 4, as in tomorrow and Sunday, meaning I just sent out an email about 7 hours ago. Plenty of notice! I will be with 5 other artists showing work at Catalyst Gallery, 137 Main St. For a map and more info about visiting studios around Beacon, see www.beaconopenstudios.org, and pick up a catalog somewhere when you get to town. I have a mix of new and old work up, including the drawings from April's show, and the two works below. Below the big red dot, that is.
|Superior, acrylic & collage on wood, 3 3/4" square.|
|Whatever Your Job, acrylic & ink on canvas, 24" square. |
As in, 'Whatever Your Job, There's a '60 Ford Light Duty For You.'
What's better than a '60 Ford? Five '60 Fords.