Monday, April 27, 2015

The Intersection of Art and Buddhism

Singing Bowls
oil on panel

Singing bowls are used in meditation, yoga and healing.  Technically they are a kind of bell which stands rather than hangs.  They can be struck with a wooden mallet or, to produce their unique singing sound, the rim is rubbed to create vibration (like running your finger around a crystal goblet).

This painting is more about the vibration than the form of the bowls.

If you are interested in the intersection of art and Buddhism, check out the exhibit opening this Sunday, May 3rd 2-5 p.m. at The Boundless Way Zen Temple, 1030 Pleasant St., Worcester, MA.
Buddhas Over Worcester (BOW, get it?) is an outdoor sculpture event where people have been invited to create a piece about what it means to be awake in this world.
The show is in the Temple gardens and will be open daily during daylight hours until July 11, 2015.

Yes, I have a piece in the show.

Friday, April 24, 2015

R&F Paints' Pigment Sticks

Not yet titled
oil and graphite on panel

This is one of the pieces I made at R&F Paints at a recent workshop.

 It is  a metamorphosis of a painting I started last summer in a workshop with Tim Hawksworth.  I say metamorphosis because like an insect, it bares little resemblance to its previous (larval?) state, but I know what's in there and that it lead me to this place.

When listing materials, I do not differentiate between tube oils and oil sticks.
I frequently used them together.

I exclusively use R&F Pigment sticks (their name for their oil sticks).
Now that I have witnessed how they are made by hand by artists who are passionate about them, I will never again begrudge the price sticker.

Seriously, there is one guy standing over one machine hand grinding each batch.

While we were there in March the paint mixers were developing new colors and our class got to test them out!  Yippee!

R&F offers many workshops and all the paint you want to use is included in the tuition.  Can I say "yippee" again ?

It was a great experience to work in this environment of abundance and generosity.

R&F makes artists the center of their mission.  The studio space is comfortable, well-lit, with good ventilation.  They have a gallery on premise, and I think everyone who works there is an artist as well.

By now it is obvious that I am a fan!  I recommend trying the sticks, visiting the factory in Kingston, or taking a workshop.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Another Great Workshop

Last weekend I went to R&F Paints in Kingston, NY for an oil stick, er pardon me, pigment stick workshop with Lisa Pressman.

If you aren't familiar with Lisa Pressman, she is a terrific artist who works in both oil and encaustic.
She has an exhibit in both media right now at the gallery at R&F.

Lisa is one of those rare people who is both gifted at making art and coaching others.

She does demos etc. of her own techniques, but has this uncanny ability to sense where you are in your artistic life and with a very "light touch" offer some words of insight to nudge you on, deeper, beyond old habits and fall-back imagery.

She kicked off the workshop with an exercise, using 6x6 squares of paper.  The rest of the time we were working mostly on our own.

Even though they are "quickies" (or maybe particularly because they are "quickies"), I am enjoying some of them.  It was also fun, back here at home to group them together.

Oil stick and graphite on prepared paper

More of the larger pieces to come.
Also, next time I will get into how awesome R&F is.