I though with only a few more days left in the year, that it was a good time to do a year-in-review in art. My friend Michelle Neifert and I began this year saying that it would be the best year ever. It was our mantra, a toast we’d say whenever we got together for drinks, . And I’d have to say from a sales perspective, and in the studio, 2016 has been a wonderful success.
The year began with a flurry of shows. From exhibitions at the Bethlehem House Gallery to showings at Refind, Lebanon Picture Frame, and the UMW Gallery in Virginia , the beginning of the year felt like a whirlwind. In the studio I began the year with the Maybe Baby set of paintings (see below) and with prep for my May residency in Vermont.
The middle of the year was dominated by my residency at the Vermont Studio Center creatively. The prep for and follow up of works that I started their carried me through to the early fall, with some works such as my latest wax pieces “Remembering Johnson”, which I’m only now getting to now. I went to Vermont with and ambitious program of paintings drawings prints and wall installations which left not as much social time as I may have wanted. My overall take away from the experience was that an ambitious creative schedule is not necessarily the goal of residencies, after all I can paint like crazy at home. Here’s some of the major works I completed during and after Vermont through to the early fall.
The fall was a quieter time exhibition wise for me with only a couple shows to speak of. There was my little exhibit of drawings and paintings at Stoked Bar and Grill in Easton, the annual exhibit of Banana Factory artists, and my show at the Bradbury-Sullivan Center, namely. Strong sales at these shows and earlier in the year made the year a financial success for me by fall, making up for losses I sustained from moving formally from New York to Pennsylvania in April.
The fall was a small works and drawing season for me in the studio. The idea had been to pare things down in the studio in anticipation for finishing the Pilot Set of paintings with funds I received from the PPA Project Stream Grant that I received in late September. I began the fall with another set of Puppet Pal Friends drawings “Puppet Pal Friends Look Meek and Smile Happy” and shortly after that I had a hankering for landscapes. I did the Longwood 8 series mid-Fall which was based on birthday trips to Longwood Gardens over the past two years. The year is coming to a close with the encaustic painting series Remembering Johnson – which again is a legacy work based on a print that I did in Vermont. And right now I’m working on the master drawing for Pilot 6, finally finishing up that series. Here’s some images of work I finished this fall:
2016 was a remarkable year for me creatively and now as it closes and I’m looking for overall lessons to be learned I think I’ve gotten a taste of the work required to reach the escape velocity towards greater success. I’ve learned that it takes a tremendous amount of concentration and energy to sustain every accomplishment. And I’ve picked up on some of my weaknesses in follow-through and motivation, all of which makes me feel more cautious as I plan for this next year. For 2017 I look forward to perhaps a little less hectic of a year with smaller more manageable projects (with the exception of the Pilot Set of work). Michelle Neifert and I called 2016 the best year ever and so now we’re calling 2017 the love myself year and so here’s to more self-love.
I’ve been in a little bit of a pop mood lately. What’s been usually happening is that I get home from work or the studio and put something dance-able on while I’m making dinner. I’ve been mostly into old Deee-Lite which I think holds up really well after 25 years. I also heard the new Lady Gaga song and think it’s excellent. So here’s Deee-Lite’s “When You Told Me You Love Me” and Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons”
That’s if for now and I think for 2016, though I might have some musings on the year that was or to be in me over the next few days. If not then I’ll see you in 2017, and as always do be well!