Wednesday, October 22, 2008


My new body of work, composed of about 12 pieces, is titled Dareigo. It is the body of work I plan to feature at my solo show at the Old Crow Gallery next year.

It is a take on the Maine state motto: Dirigo (pronounced deer-ee-go) and is meant to reflect both the topic of the work (Maine architecture and nature), my homecoming back to Maine, and my enterprising full-time dive into the art world.

As many of you know I am a professional archaeologist with a degree, tons of experience, and everything, but 98% of archaeology in the US is conducted before major construction and development projects. There is not exactly a lot of construction and development going on right now so the job market is tight. Jen and I were let go a few months ago from our full time jobs after work dried up. It’s crushing when it’s something you are passionate about and truly love.

Well, I’ve decided until things start looking up, I’m sticking to art, which is somehow actually paying the bills (that and the fact that Jen is working full time for the Massachusetts Historical Commission).

Okay, back to the art, I really want to show you some of the new designs, but I really want the solo show to be an official reveal of the new pieces. But I’ll happily describe them.

They are about half-half nature and architecture scenes. The nature scenes come from Portland harbor, Old Orchard Beach, and the Lakes Region. The architecture pieces are exclusively historic structures in Portland including (but not limited to) Old Port, the wharfs, and the Portland Observatory.

A few weekends ago Jen and I spent Saturday in Boston and wandered around two of our favorite neighborhoods: Charles St (antique district) and Newbury St (art and retail district). There are some fantastic galleries on Newbury and truly an inspiring place for anyone interested in art (creating, viewing, or buying). It gave me a good perspective on where the market is, what is currently appreciated by galleries, and the clientele. Very interesting.

My overall impression is that gallery shows typically have only a few pieces, they are the best-of-the-best work, and the pieces are very large. I think this is mostly because big is in (people want a lot of art for their money), galleries want to look clean (not too many pieces on display), and no crap allowed.

I took this into consideration and have made some, I think, good changes to the body of work I am currently creating.

First, I have reduced the number of pieces by about half, resulting in a good trimming of the fat and a hard, but needed, self-examination of what actually is good piece, and not just my ego showing through.

Second, I have increased the overall size of the pieces, since this art form allows me to completely design my pieces before cutting, I can take a digital version of the design, crop, modify, and enlarge it before ever cutting. It also allows me to completely organize and edit the entire body of work before I begin creating it.

By enlarging the designs, I was able to include a lot more detail into the piece, which will, I hope, make them even more visually interesting and impressive.

Okay, hope that has wetted your appetite!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm not dead yet!

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written. The past month has been busy! We moved into a winter rental down in Marshfield, MA and Jen has just stared a new job helping to save and fund historic structures at the Massachusetts Historical Commission. So much has happened, I’m going to break it up into several different posts and hopefully I’ll be posting every day for a while.

First, just before leaving Maine, we had a meeting with the Stephen Popp at the Old Crow Gallery in South Portland, ME.

It’s a beautiful historic home converted to a custom frame shop and art gallery. Steve and his wife were incredibly helpful, supportive, and offered me an opportunity to show at their great holiday show and a solo show in the spring!

This is incredibly exciting and I have already lined up about 10 pieces that I hope to finish by the show. These pieces will all be scenes from Maine with my specialty: Nature and Architecture being the main focus. I’m working on one now, my most complex piece and largest at 20x27 will hopefully be one of the centerpieces of the show. I was originally going to be making several additional pieces for the show, but Jen and I had the opportunity to go to Boston and stroll Newbury street galleries and we saw that the typical solo show usually has far fewer pieces than I was planning. Plus, the pieces tend to be larger than I typically do so I decided that it may be more impressive and challenging to whittle down the number of pieces to only the very best, and make those as large and as complicated as I possibly can.

After a full day of work, I’m about half done with the first piece, but it is coming out great. Perhaps I’ll give a preview soon…

Okay, that’s it for now, so many more things to talk about, but that’s for tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Here’s what you can expect, so check back again and again: Another show! The view! New Pieces! New Setup! Working from home! Full time artist! Traveling Lecture on the History of Papercutting! And much more…