Planning for December

I have two shows coming up in December and now the planning begins!

Thanks Maynard Studios, for the photo

First is my wall at The Corner Gallery.  It’s really a great wall! I’m on it right now and will have it again next month.

As you enter the gallery, this great 10′ x 15′ wall is directly in front of you.  It’s like a billboard advertising that there is bannerweb2bART inside, so choosing the right pieces is important.  They have to be BIG and they have have to be exciting. Last month I went with Fall On Me with a couple of smaller, similar pieces above.  

This month I’ve decided to put just four pieces on the wall, each 48″ square. My favorite of the four is ‘Bad Dog.’  It is the most elaborate.  

Then ‘Pesdcador’ (Spanish for fisherman). It’s been hanging on my garden wall for a few months and I enjoy staring at it.

‘Trout Fishing in America’ is an older piece that echoes the Richard Brautigan novel and is about exactly what the title says it’s about – although some people get something else, which is fine.  

Finally is ‘Cat in the Jungle’ – a little different twist on the cover-and-reveal process that is going on in all of these.  

Funny:  I just realized all four of these are about animals in one way or another.  

The other show is the San Francisco Contemporary Art Show.  I have a small space there – 5′ x 6′ – which will be a challenge because I have lots of pieces that are larger than that!  Last time I did one of these small space shows I chose to display only a few things – and it worked out well for me., so that’s what I will probably do.

I have a handful of pieces done in the past couple of months that shock me a bit.  They are bright, almost in-here-no-over-therewebgarish, and a little violent.  Violence in painting is usually a function of splatters and splashes, palette knife slashes and clashes of color.  That’s what came through during this election season, and I’m thinking about showing those at the San Francisco show, even though they are not particularly representative of the rest of my work.  

Part of doing art is showing art.  Art at its most basic level is communication, which always involves more than one person.  For it to be art, it has to be seen by someone.  So carefully planning what you will show and how is very important.  In short:  you can either throw a bunch of stuff on the wall and hope someone takes the time to stop and sort through it, OR, you can carefully orchestrate what gets hung.  My goal is always to tease a 5 second glance from a viewer (which is 2 seconds more than most invest in a piece of art).  If I can get 5 seconds, I can usually get a couple of minutes because in that first glance most people will find something fascinating that requires closer examination.  

I had a long show at a big restaurant in San Diego a couple of years ago.  It was great fun because I was able to put up all of my LARGE pieces.  I got to observe the 5 second rule there a lot.  I’d sit at the bar, facing the restaurant.  As people were seated, usually after they ordered, I’d see them looking at one of my pieces.  There’d be that pause during the tease and then often, hands would be raised, fingers pointed and heads put together to share what was being seen.  Can you tell?  It is a very fond memory!

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