March 2011

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Upcoming Events:

  1. Identity Group Show at the Brighton Allston Heritage Museum, April 23 - May 23; 20 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Brighton Center, MA; curated by John Quatrale
  2. Images of Arlington, Community art show at the Arlington Center for the Arts, March 28 - June 17  Gibbs Gallery, 41 Foster Street, Arlington, MA.  Opening reception April 7, 7:30 PM
  3. Appearances Group Show, part of the Provincetown Green Arts Festival, April 15-24, curated by Dorothy Palanza
  4. Melrose Arts Festival, April 8 -10; Memorial Hall at 590 Main Street in Melrose Massachusetts.  The Friday evening Preview Party with live music from 6:30 to 9 PM.  Saturday 12-7 PM and Sunday 11-5 PM.  
  5. If you happen to be in Budapest ... My drawing "Leafy Jewels" will be on exhibit at Ferencvarosi Gallery, Budapest between May 26 - June 21, 2011 as part of a Juried exhibition organized by the Hungarian multicultural center an curated by Beata Szechny
  6. I will also be at the Burren's weekend artisan market on April 30th, the same weekend as the Somerville MA open studios.  Stop by and say "hi" if you're out and about that day.  In Davis Square, 247 Elm St, Somerville MA
Archived newsletters can be found on my blog, The Nerdly Painter, where I've also been adding information about the chemistry of paint, post by post.

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Follow the in-text links to jump to a section.  New work is at the end of the letter.

Spring is now official, if not yet convincingly sprung.  And with the snow melting, there are a lot of art events around town.  What a whirl!  If you get the chance to visit the Open Stuidos in Somerville at the end of April, be sure to check out Joy Street studios, and say "hi" to Carl.  He'll be the guy with the LED's an light sculptures.  Very cool.  Once you're tired out, pop by and say "hi" to me too - I'll be at the artisan market in the Burren (listed above).  The Burren is a local Irish pub, with a great Beer selection and atmosphere.
I have a few new paintings in the New pictures section (at the bottom of the newsletter), and a number of new prints available as high resolution giclees!  A fellow MIT graduate, Robert Krawitz, has been collaborating with me to capture high quality digital images that really capture the look and feel of the original paintings.  He's a smart guy, and a good photographer, with some nice shots up on Smug Mug here. He's helped me get a number of new paintings ready for high resolution prints.  They're listed under New Prints, here.

One of this month's new paintings is shown below, titled "Lattice Animals".
 An important concept in soft matter is the idea that soft bits of “stuff” can often connect up to form more complex larger shapes. If enough of these shapes form connections to each other, and they bridge the entire volume of soft matter, they from a network. The transition from isolated shapes to a network creates changes in the properties of the material.

The isolated shapes that form on the way to this network are called “Lattice animals”.

Lattice animals, oil on primed linen, 12 x 12 inches

Another recent painting, "Urban Ecology" is part of the Images of Arlington community group show, and was created specifically or the show as an abstract impression of the town.  "Urban Ecology" is discussed below (link).  

If you haven't visited the nerdlypainter website recently, you may notice some changes.  There's a new, more streamlined look, some new work, better linking, and PayPal linked shop area.  It seems to load faster too.  If you do find yourself shopping there, drop me a note.  Email subscribers get a discount, but I have to apply it manually as a refund.  There are some good inexpensive pieces under "Works on Paper", "Other Abstracts", and "Representation".  The Direct from the artist B/W prints also came out really nice.  Why are these better than the ones from the big online printer?  Well, firstly they're printed at sizes that reflect the originals and work well for the drawings; secondly they're signed and numbered; and lastly the lack of middlemen makes them less expensive.  More internet news here. 


Internet and Blog

Saatchi online website  My profile on Saatchi is here.
TurningArt ... my page on Turning Art.  They have the exclusive rights to offer "Elastic Dialog", "Subtle Machinery", "Song of Solar Fusion", and "Gridlock" (from left to right) through the end of April.  The original drawing "Merry-go-round  Horse" is also offered through Turning Art.

Images of Arlington
How can an abstract painting portray the ecology of a town?

The local Arlington Center for the Arts sent out a call for art earlier this year.  They were putting together a show calle "Images of Arlington", which frankly sounded like a really bad fit for someone like me.  When I read through their entire flier, I noted that they were asking for all media and styles, for any interpretation of the town.  Of special interest were images addressing the ecology in and around the small rivers that crisscross Arllngton, MA.  

All styles?  That's like issuing a creative challenge.  So, how can an abstract painting incorporate the "spirit" of the town: it's streets, vitality, neighbors, waterways?  How can these be addressed from a different vantage point than imagery of people, places and park wildlife?  This isn't an easy question, but a good challenge can often make a good painting.  We moved to Arlington a little more than one year ago, and we live near Arlington Center and the bike trail.  When I think of the town, I think of the features that made it appealling when we decided to move, and the many little things that quickly made it feel like home.  

There is a vibrant commercial center with several arts and  performance venues, everything one might need can be obtained within walking distance, there is a strong network of public and private transit options, a bike trail that serves as a second "main thoroughfare" for bikes, strollers, and pedestrians, and a network of green spaces permeating the town.  What really struck me was the extent to which green spaces were incorporated right into the commercial center of town.  I was also struck by how built structures like the bike trail, bridges, park infrastructure and passages built to guide the little streams connected the human part of town to nature while at the same time helping to protect natural spaces.

I decided to approach the painting using similar stylistic elements and similar processes to "Emergent Order", a painting from 2010 about complexity and order emerging from seeming chaos.  In the earlier painting, dripping wahses of loose color were used to create a background pattern on the canvas, grounding the piece in randomness.   Shapes and colors that related to the ranom background pattern were added to create ordered patterns and distinct forms that emerged from the complex background.
Emergent Order

In "Urban Ecology", below, blue and green were chosen for the background colors because they are the colors of water and vegetation.  Splashes of red were added in a separate wash layer, because red is associated with heat.  Heat generation is an aspect of human activity, technology, and the built environment.  Two linear gel patterns on top of the wash background form the foreground an "subject" of the painting.  A muted red raised network of lines resembles the the built an invented patterns of technology, transpotation and industry, whereas a brown linear pattern touching and interlacing with it contains shapes reminiscent of leaves and algae.  These are linked by patterns of spring green and asphalt blue-gray.  In the background patterns of color are used to link the various parts of the painting.

The different patterns are meant to stan in for various aspects of the Urban ecology, the interepenent and interpenetrating network of trails, walkways an bikeways, parks, roads, streams and ponds, commercial areas, parkland, and the human ideas and structures that allow all of these to coexist in a small urban area.

Urban Ecology, oil on canvas, 30 inches by 30 inches
New Art

New paintings include (clockwise from upper left) "Mechanisms of Community", also at Images of Arlington 18 in by 24 in, "Strange Attractor", which refers to a phenomenon found in nonlinear mathematics and complex systems, 12 in by 16 in. "Masculine and Feminine", my second acrylic painting ever, 12 in by 15 in, "Schlieren Chiarascuro" , 12 in by 12 in, "Dichotomy", 16 in by 16 in, "Nonlinear Computation", 12 in by 12 in, and "Dendritic Echoes", 12 in by 12 in.  More detailed escriptions are available on Facebook and on the Nerdly Painter website.

Complex Fluid, a noc=vel surfactancy 

New Prints
Images of the new prints are on the Nerdly Painter Website.  They include: Cascade, Ethereal, Green Function, Strange Attractor, Tapole Diagrams at Play, Percolation on a Lattice (shown below), Vacuum Energy (shown Below), Masculine and Feminine, and  Cephalopod Valentine. The high resolution images are courtesy of Robert Krawitz, whose portfolio can be viewed on Smug Mug.

Sold Art, Clockwise from the upper left:  Flowers up a Blue Wall, Cave Painting, Frolic in Tortuosity, Spring Arpeggio, Blue Logic

To see work out at the various shows, check the show specific galleries on my Facebook page, The Nerdly Painter on Facebook.

That's all until mid-April.  In the meantime, find me and my work
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