Oil/casein paintings,Mandalas/ ketubahs
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Spring 2017 Exhibit Location #25
|27 Knowles St.
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| Though I have a large body of work spanning fifty years, the paintings that I plan to feature this year, both outdoors and in my studio, are mandalas and ketubahs ( Jewish marriage contracts) executed at various times during the last forty years. The most recent ketubah, completed in January, 2017, is for my younger daughter Shoshanna and her fiancé Laurel, who plan to marry in May of this year. The other two ketubahs, depicted on this website, are for my older daughter Sarah, and for my wife Deborah. Mandalas are both recent and from various times. One is from a series of mandalas executed many years ago depicting various hexagrams from the I Ching ( an ancient Chinese book of prophecy stemming from Confucian times). Both mandalas and ketubahs are inherently meditational and contemplative, and they were executed slowly over many weeks or months. They are all painted with small brushes using casein and gouache paints, and they are quite small relative to my larger ( and more frequent) paintings, executed in oils on canvas. My casein and gouache paintings are executed on paper or hard boards rather than on canvas. A mandala executed last summer, and featured on this website, depicts the tiger swallowtail butterfly, which emerges during June in our part of Maine. Butterflies are natural living mandalas, and I have had a love affair with butterflies since earliest childhood
The majority of my art is more abstract than representational, but it is highly influenced by the natural light and shapes/shadows that I experience both in my studio and while walking or running near a cabin that I own on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in the western mountains of Maine. An artistic theme that I have been working with for many years is the correspondence and juxtaposition of human and animal forms, natural forms ( mountains, trees, grass, water) and manmade forms such as buildings, train tracks, towers, power lines etc.
I do most of my painting in my studio in Newton, and under conditions of natural light. I find the late winter light that streams into my studio particularly magical and inspiring. Generally, I do not paint much during the late Fall and early winter, when the natural light in my studio is minimal. I paint with both oils and casein paints, and with both brushes and palette knives. I am curious what will emerge this year during February and March, and a bit fearful that nothing of great interest will happen, but I am often surprised and pleased by what, unbidden, emerges on canvas. At this writing ( mid January), I have nothing in particular in mind, but it has been my experience in the past that having “nothing in particular in mind” allows for an immediacy of expression that is part of what I value in visual art. We shall see….