Billis Gallery Show Tour Part II

This continues the guided tour of my solo show at George Billis Gallery in New York. (Part I is here).

NOTE:  Like many art galleries in the Chelsea art district, Billis gallery is taking a holiday break from Dec. 23 - Jan. 1. The show reopens Jan. 2 and runs through Jan. 19, 2013.

In the last post we ended talking about works in this group of small oils pictured below. Picking up where we left off, above is After Sunset,  oil on panel, 7 x 10 1/2", 2012 (to see larger images click on any of the photos). This is part of a tidal cove on Deer Isle in Maine. There was a beautiful delicate light at twilight one evening I was there and I rushed to paint it before it faded. The soft yellows and sharper oranges in the sky seemed to capture just the calm feeling I was after so I removed a distant shoreline that was at the right to let the sky's reflection play without interruption in the water.

This is Still Pine,  oil on panel, 12 x 12", 2012. 

It was done up in Maine in Acadia National Park on a secluded pond I discovered while on my honeymoon thirty years ago. Obviously it's a spot that feels special to me. I chose the title Still Pine as the week I was working on it persistent winds were raging through the exposed areas of the Park along the coast. This pond was inland and sheltered by nearby higher forests seemed gentle and welcoming. It was also a lot warmer (Maine can be nippy, even in June).

Here is Frenchman's Bay, oil on panel, 6 1/2 x 13", another piece from Maine.


It's a view from half way up the highest peak in the US along the Atlantic Coast, Cadillac Mountain. This is looking northeast towards the Schoodic Peninsula and where the Bay's waters reach out into the open Atlantic. It was done very early in the morning when the natural light produces some of the most remarkable shimmering effects.

Just to the left of that wall of five small oils are two of my Edward Hopper themed vine charcoal drawings. You can see one of them clearly in this photo below. I had spoken about the drawing on the right, Edward Hopper's Truro Studio Kitchen in a previous blog post (it's toward end end of the post).

Edward Hopper's Truro Studio Kitchen, vine charcoal, 8 x 10"

The other vine charcoal drawing in the exhibit is hung behind the gallery desk, but it is hiding in the above photo behind Gallery Manager Tamar Holton-Hinshaw. Here it is below.

Titled Sun in an Empty Room III, vine charcoal, 9 x 12" it was named partly after one of Edward Hopper's most famous late oil paintings of sunlight hitting the floor of a completely empty room. I made this drawing on location in the bedroom where Hopper was born in Nyack, NY in 1882. Hopper lived there on and off until he was nearly thirty. The windows let sunlight into his bedroom from early morning until late in the afternoon. If one spends any time in the bedroom on a sunny day (I spent 6 days straight there just this year) you come away with a grasp of a key source for his painter's imagination.  Hopper mined the imagery of his childhood to make all those wonderful paintings throughout his career of sun streaming through  windows.

And here's Eye of the Sea, oil on panel, 14 x 28".

This actually began as a painting of the desert in the Southwest.  The dry red earth out there can be totally intriguing for a painter. The foreground is quite faithful to what I saw working from a cliff in the Texas Hill Country. But I felt the actual background the location presented was a little too uneventful and decided to bring in an alternative version. What resulted is a tip of the hat to my beloved Atlantic Ocean- I imagined the desert as it might have looked long ago when large parts of our continent lay submerged below the sea. I've often described some of my landscapes as depicting a world that exists outside of regular time.

In a  couple of days Part III of our tour will continue and look at more of the show.


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