Spring!  Finally.

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Early Spring range, 18 x 24, acrylic on canvas (original SOLD, giclees available)

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1.  Upcoming this week!   Art Exhibit and Sale at The Harvard Allston Education Portal, 175 North Harvard Street, Allston (2 buildings down from the Harvard Stadium, right across the Charles from Harvard Square, 66 bus).  This is one of the first big multi-artist events organized by Unbound Visual Arts, John Quatrale's new organization.
Who:      Over 20 area artists - and you!
What:      A group exhibit and art sale
Where:   175 North Harvard Street Allston (side entrance, orange awning)
When:    Opening reception Thursday, May 9, 5:30 - 8:00 PM;  Exhibit runs through June 30
Why:      To enjoy and perhaps acquire affordable art, meet  the artists, and see what one of the area's newest organizations has to offer.
Click to jump down and see the two works I have at the exhibit "Aspens" and "olive"

2.  Saturday, Cambridge Open Studios (one of 'em).  I will have a space at the Fayerweather school.
Who:     The Nerdly Painter (me) on Saturday ONLY, May 11.  A huge number of artists and crafters on Saturday and Sunday (May 11 -12)
What:    A giant art walk which includes big fair-like stops, complete with a shuttle.  I will have mostly abstract work, primarily works on paper, and some smaller affordable original paintings on canvas from my Tree of Life series.  i am also bringing framed and unframed original Art cards (2x3 inch original art - not reproductions). 
Where:  Me- at the Fayerweather School, 765 Concord Avenue • Cambridge, MA 02138.  Also every artist in that part of Cambridge, all over that part of Cambridge.
When:  Saturday 10:00 Am - 6:00 PM.  I believe there's parking too.
Why:  To stop by and say "hello", browse and perhaps purchase a print or a smaller painting, to check out the ultra-mini art cards, because you were in Cambridge and inevitably got lost and here you are.
Click to jump down and see examples of some of my new hand-drawn original art cards

3.  Upcoming - The Beacon Hill Art Walk, first Sunday in June, a possible exhibit in a shop in Cambridge, The Abstract Artists group of New England Annual Group exhibit,  a satellite show by the AAGNE group in NH.  I am also waiting for news on several other exhibition opportunities.  I will send out another newsletter with an update on the Beacon Hill Art walk and more news on other events that are still in progress at the end of May/Early June.

4.  Goodies - Turning Art is letting artists give away a number of free trial subscriptions to give away via email.  Turning Art has been described as a "Netflix for Art prints and Art".  Subscribers get a certain number of standard durable frames on loan, and they can fill the frames with any of the prints offered by TurningArt.  The subscriber has a queue, like a Netflix queue, and if they decide to return a print (for any reason), the next print in queue ships to them.  The monthly subscription fees can be applied to either original art or to purchasing the perfect print.  If you want to try it for free, just reply and let me know.  I'll send you the info to the same address as this newsletter.  First come, first served.

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News                                   Back to top
I've been dealing with a sick cat for the past few months and a broken hand for the past few weeks.  Both factors have put a bit of a damper on my art show ambitions and have restricted my travel.  However the situation has left me with ample time to document and to work on some things I'd been procrastinating. 

Website/Blog:  There are some new menu items and new portfolio sections in decent shape on my blog/website, including a downloadable pricelist and availability (in the About section).  I will try to keep the availability section of the pricelist updated as work sells.  This will keep all of the information for purchasing in one place, and you can check whether something has sold with confidence.  I also have a downloadable pdf CV, and more information and links for blog mentions, other sites of interest, and links to technical background for individual science-themed pieces.  The series "Tree of Life",  "Reinvented Landscapes", and "Fluid Dynamics" have their own pages and submenu listings under Portfolio, and they're reasonably well linked up and filled out.  I've also cleaned up and linked up the pages for black and white and color ink drawings.  In short, the website should now be a LOT easier to navigate, and a good bit more informative and up to date.  Click to jump down and see examples of new work from the updated series pages.

Recognition:   Since the last newsletter ... Archimedes Chiral had been featured on the Art Exhibit printed catalog for the Joint Mathematics Meeting 2013 in San Diego.  Shortly after the catalog published, I was contacted by Focus, a math Society magazine.  Archimedes Chiral is now also on the cover of their February/March issue.  I have also been interviewed for Metroseeker's Boston Creatives section, for ArtVenue's blog, and for an article on Turning Art in the Boston Business journal.  My work has been found and featured in New England Home's online magazine ("Variation on a Cayley Tree" was one of 7 pieces used to show off what's available on Turning Art ), and on the "It's OK to be Smart" blog ("Intracellular Diversion" and "Cellular Generation"). Click to jump down and see the featured art.

New giclees available:  I have more new high resolution digital files for good prints - you can find these on my POD sites (Fine Art America for prints, Red Bubble for goodies, Turning Art for subscription style).  I have been pretty good about updating the "Fresh New Work" Gallery on Fine Art America, and It's a good place to check for new giclees.  I also have a small number of smaller canvas giclees ordered from another company (they don't offer print on demand to third parties).  They are as high a quality as one would find anywhere, and I've been enhancing them by adding transparent and tinted acrylic.  The acrylic creates a painting texture rather than semi-gloss smooth canvas, and enhances the illusion of a real painting, but at a far lower price tag than a one of a kind, time-intensive original.  Click to jump down and see the selection of enhanced giclees, and some of the newly available giclees.  Email me (hit reply) to get larger pics or more information.  I will bring them to art fairs where they're allowed, but giclees of paintings are forbidden at the Beacon Hill Art Walk (for example).
Quick links (navigation within this doc):  Top, Exhibits, News, Goodies, Fluid Dynamics, Tree of life, Reinvented Landscapes, UVA Exhibit images, Art Cards, Featured, New Giclees, Subscription info

This is the section with all of the pictures.  Consider it an experiment in email loading speed.
New Series work, Fluid Dynamics:                                            Back to top
"Fluid Dynamics" is my latest abstract series of paintings.  I have been working a lot in acrylics, and there are some things that acrylics do that oil paint's simply won't.  The reverse is also true.  Some of the intriguing things about acrylics are the transparent films formed by acrylic media, their water solubility and compatibility with inventive ways of getting the paint onto the canvas, and their ability to adhere to a variety of dry media. There are a wide range of viscoelastic properties available, due to the wide range of media.  In short, almost any phenomenon one might encounter while working with viscous fluids can be replicated and often frozen into a transparent acrylic film.

Spring on Jupiter and Mars, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

The different acrylic fluid and gel media are miscible.  That means if you stir them vigorously enough, you'll get a smooth blend.  However, many of the media are viscous enough  (or "thick" enough), so that they don't mix all by themselves before drying.  In some cases they don't mix even when lightly swirled together.  There are also other types of media, for example very fluid water-based inks, that can be added to acrylics.  Inks DO mix into the acrylic media by diffusion.  This range of fluid properties allows a wide variety of fluid, smoky, and streamer effects, all encased in media that dry to a clear film.  "Spring on Jupiter and Mars" (above) is a recent painting that makes good use of many of the more fluid properties of acrylic and media.  The title was taken from Sinatra's "Fly me to the Moon", and is a reference to the bands and pattern in the painting and their resemblance to weather on other worlds in the Solar System. 

Acrylics extrude very well.  With the proper choice of gel media, the extrudates will hold fine ridges and other details.  The heavier gels will even allow extruded "bridges" with a little air underneath them.  Coriolis I (not pictured)and Coriolis 2 (below, left) both make use of extrusion as a major technique in their construction.

Coriolis 2, 12 x 12, acrylic on canvas    Flow Instability,  24 x 30, acrylic on canvas

While Viscosity is a key property used in "Spring on Jupiter and Mars", fluid Elasticity is explored in "Flow Instability".  Elastic fluids have an innate recoil or memory.  They will break or partly break and experience flow irregularities more readily than viscous fluids.  For example, an elastic fluid may flow in a periodic pattern of increased and decreased fluid flux.  In "Flow Instability", paint was roughly mixed with Golden's clear tar gel, their most elastic fluid medium.  Since the paint was not even;y distributed, the different properties of paint and gel medium created interesting flow instabilities upon pouring.  While some of the initial instability patterns were smoothed out by diffusion and spreading as the medium dried to a clear film, some of the periodic "Cellular" patterns remain.  There is no other way to achieve the types of fine and subtle patterning in "Flow Instability" - the fluid dynamic properties are a necessary part of the painting's construction.
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Latest "Tree of Life" and "Reinvented Landscape" works:     
In the Tree of Life series, tree symbols are placed into a modern ecoscience and bioscience contexts.  in addition to  the strong thematic subjects, these paintings are explorations of different uses of media.  They sometimes push the media used to the point where it's hard to describe them as "paintings", and some of these pieces force an examination of the semiotics of both "tree representations" and of the media used to create a representation.  There are several new paintings in the "Tree of Life" series (and a few still in progress as well).
In "Canopy", acrylic extrusion is used to layer a tree based on the patterned trunks of olive trees.  Large Flake mica creates a dimensional play of light and lends an unusual 3-D texture to the "Trunk" and "branches", while at the same time creating a canopy of glittering leaf-like textures.  In contrast "Prometheus" is perhaps the flattest of the tree of life paintings, with textural media and liquid in liquid smoke-like textures encased in a thick transparent acrylic film. 

Canopy, 40 x 54 inches, acrylic with dry media on canvas

Prometheus, 30 x 30 inches, acrylic on canvas

A number of new smaller pieces take single ideas from the larger more complex paintings.  In "Springy Notion", extrusion and relief are used to create a vibrant tree in the colors of Spring.  The background of "Apparition" was smeared onto the canvas using tinted transparent media and a large palette knife.  The tree was added using fiber paste, sculpted onto the background in a positive relief near the bottom, and transitioning to indented grooves carved into the media for the thinner branches.  The original "apparition" is sold, but we can discuss something similar as a commission and giclees are also available. 

Springy Notion, 12 x 12, acrylic                   Apparition, 12 x 12 acrylic

In the Air, 9x9, acrylic                        Rooted, 12 x 12, acrylic and stiffened string

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Of course, experiments with representation and media aren't necessarily limited to trees.  There are a number of landscape ideas that are iconic enough to be recognizable, even when distorted or when depicted in unusual ways.  The series "Reinvented Landscapes"  plays with not-quite-painted renditions of some very iconic landscape ideas.  Two types that i've been focused on are Seascapes (which are bands of blue and earth tones) and mountains (where the bands are broken and wavy).  In "By the Beautiful Sea" and "Rhapsody on the Sea" the feeling of sea and waves are created using layers of transparent tinted acrylic.  "By the Beautiful Sea" focuses more on extruded gelid ribbons of clear and blue tinted media that stack up to create complex breaking wave and seafoam textures.  Added fine glass beads (see the detail) enhance the bubble water pattern.  Large flake reflective mica under a coating of translucent sand-filled medium creates an interesting and unusual, yet recognizable shoreline.

By the Beautiful Sea, 24 x 30, acrylic on canvas

Detail area from By the Beautiful Sea

In contrast, Rhapsody on the Sea uses very little extrusion, instead relying on agate-like layers of translucent acrylic to create a more abstracted rendition of "sea".  Large irregular areas of metal foil embossed onto wave textured gesso are buried within the translucent film, on the bottom layer.  The varying areas of foil and white gesso subtly pattern the light reflected through the paint film.  The transparency and scale of Rhapsody really need to be experienced in person, but there are some close-up images of small areas on the website to give a general idea.  Scroll through the slideshow at the bottom of the webpage to see some of the detail.

Rhapsody on the Sea, 36 x 48, Acrylic with Dry media on canvas

Two mountain landscapes in the series also offer contrasting uses of media.   Misted Mountains is a study in textural patterns, yet the surface of the painting is fairly flat.  The effects were achieved by raking transparent tinted soft gel to create areas of transparent colored pattern.  As these colored patterns are layered over each other, the layers below still show through due to the transparency of the paint and medium mixture.  This approach creates an intensely patterned effect and looks intensely textural.  in dome areas wet fluid paint and media mixtures were swirled into paint and media of different viscosities.  This is what created the wild swirling skies.  Since different media and paint mixtures have different densities and shrink to different degrees on drying, drying and shrinkage creates a softly undulating or sometimes cavitated surface texture.

Misted mountains, 24 x 30, acrylic on canvas

 In contrast, Hills and Fog was created using extrusion of heavy bodies and fluid acrylics throughout the underpainting.  White paint thinned with liquid medium was layered over the intensely relief-textured and colorful background.  While the white paint was dry to the touch, but still somewhat soft, coarse linen was used to rub it off in places, revealing the color in the lower layer. the rubbing technique adds a layer of rough, almost grungy texture on top of the relief, which is a welcome contrast to the clean white and the elegant
Area from "Hills and Fog", 30 x 40 inches, acrylic on canvas

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Tree of life, Reinvented Landscapes, UVA Exhibit images, Art Cards, Featured,
New Giclees, Subscription info

Unbound Visual Arts Exhibit, opening Thursday:
I have two paintings on exhibit. Both are landscapes featuring trees with varying degrees of abstraction.  Mica features prominently in both.  (For giclees see "Aspens" and "Olive" on my POD site)


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Art Cards (coming to the Fayerweather Schools' Art of Craft Event at the Cambridge Open Studios)

More art cards                  Even more art cards and minis



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Variation on a Cayley Tree                                     

Intracellular Diversion                                        Cellular Generation

New Giclees (More on Artist websites):                                                                    Back to top
Autotroph                            Escarpment                            Out of Balance

"Enhanced" Giclees:
Punctuated Silences;  Transition to Chaos,  Old Growth,  Breathe, 

Song of Solar Fusion,  Horn Solo,  Verdant Algorithm, Rite of Spring

Regina Valluzzi
The Nerdly Painter

Quick links (navigation within this doc):  Top, Exhibits, News, Goodies, Fluid Dynamics, Tree of life, Reinvented Landscapes, UVA Exhibit images, Art Cards, Featured, New Giclees, Subscription info

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