Thursday, August 6, 2015

Essex, CT

Took this shot the night I arrived in Essex.

The Griswold Inn, where I ate and slept.

Burn it to the ground! Apparently that’s what the British had in mind in the War of 1812. Instead they spared the town of Essex and burned the town’s ship building trade. But I’m here to tell you it’s back albeit in pleasure craft form and the town preserved in a state of impossible quaintness. I thought when I was there; this is so much less "real" than L.A. because it would seem to be a set designer’s dream, so quintessentially New England.

Inside the Griswold Inn. Do you sense a recurring theme?


Until my mural is up, touched-up, and passed inspection I’m slightly anxious, have sleeping issues, but I doubt there’s a better place to be a little distressed. Essex did everything it could to relax and reassure me; all is well. Just look at these pictures, will you? And tell me: what’s your favorite hamlet?

Random photos taken in Essex. The village is surrounded by water on three sides.

Where my mural lives; front, back, and waterside of the house.

Next post I’ll take you inside where my mural’s installed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Chic Cheer

(Verner) Panton chair and flower pot lamps.

Wish for the road to be long. It’s the journey that’s sweet.  Here’s a blog post where I’m going to indulge the cliché, it’s the journey, because I recently returned from a trip that was so much about that. When I create a mural I usually travel to the installation location for supervising, touching up, and a good bit of nervously standing around hoping everything will go alright. More about the mural in another post, now let’s get to some of the journey.

New London to Orient Pt. to Shelter Island, between the forks. Sunset Beach circled in red.

Top: ferry landing, Shelter Island. Bottom: from the car on the ferry.

Mural installed, check, now back to NYC to catch a plane early a.m. the next day. This particular project is in Connecticut and before I left I discovered the cross sound ferry option which is just what I took from New London, CT to Orient Point, Long Island. I have long wanted to see the Parrish Museum and this was my chance. Max said, “You must stop at the Sunset Beach Hotel for breakfast. It’s so chic!” and that added two more ferry rides, more journey, yay.

Sunset Beach Hotel, Shelter Island

Deserted bars in the early morning.

Open-air breakfast on the beach.

Now serving breakfast with a view.

The Sunset Beach Hotel is an Andre Balaz property which includes the Standard Hotel(s). I did painting for the Standard Hotel (Hollywood). But here on this remote part of Shelter Island this sleepy little hotel is really dreamy and it is so chic. I immediately notice the flower pot lamps by Verner Panton and all the little details and service, so understated and smart. Had a yummy breakfast and then on to the Parrish Museum.

Detail of Chuck Close tapestry and front door of the Parrish Museum.

Fairfield Porter at the Parrish Museum. This is what it's all about.


From Boho-Chic to sensuous minimalism the Herzog & de Meuron designed Parrish is an elegant shed in a field of tall grasses.  Even the parking lot there is beautifully landscaped, a forest that happens to have room for cars. The blackened front door is that gorgeous shou-sugi-ban wood with Parrish Art Museum carved in san-serif. Breakfast and the museum visit goes by too fast. It was all so wonderful but this being Friday the hordes of New Yorkers are descending upon the Hamptons and my instinct is to run the other way which happens to be toward the city. Still I’m left with the memory of the outer reaches of Long Island as a sedate, seductive reverie and that’s a good thing.

P.s. Do you know the Chic Cheer?

Monday, August 3, 2015

People Who Need People

Detail of one of my paintings.

Rizzoli pays tribute to Charleston’s own Amelia Handegan with a monograph due out next year. Finally!  Amelia’s been quietly practicing her craft in this small, relatively isolated yet beautiful, historic, town for decades. She’s caught the eye of the local cognoscenti and beyond, still, I expect this exposure will bring a greater audience into the know for a level of recognition her work so richly deserves.

An early dummy copy of the book. 

Blushing pink vignette in Amelia's office.

Typical eclectic mix in the office.

Photos showing the lofty nature of the space and the two antique panels I copied.

Over the years I’ve worked with her on a number of projects and she’s called upon me to create and stretch as an artist which in itself is quite gratifying. I snapped some pictures in her office which is a good representation of her aesthetic, rich yet un-fussy. 

The copies I made of the American primitive panels.

Details of "panel one".

Details of "panel two" I don;t know which one is nuttier but they both have that kind of joyous exuberance found in the best primitive paintings.

In Amelia's studio/office/showroom there is a couple of 19th c. panels that she had me copy for a project a few years ago. That project was published in a magazine but didn’t include shots of my work so I’m presenting it here. My preference is to show my work in context which in this case I can’t do so I’m doing the next best thing by showing the originals hanging on Amelia’s walls and the copies I made in my studio with details. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Through a Glass Darkly

Splatting, splashing, and swirling followed by tightly controlled strokes and hard edge outlines describes much of my painting technique. The gold panels I painted for Amelia Handegan’s foyer are all about that. The paint mixtures are mostly my own creation consisting of various gold hued mica powders and flakes suspended in acrylic polymer emulsions. The panels are dense and rich, so dense and rich it’s difficult to capture with a camera but here I present results from my recent photo-shoot. Someday, someone better at this than I will make better photographs. Until then this record is for you. 

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