The Departed

March 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Keystone and Plaza-acrylic on panels by Sarah Walker.

Keystone and Plaza-acrylic on panels by Sarah Walker.

OK-it’s Boston so we can all relate to ‘The Departed‘ but at the Distillery Gallery in the South End it takes on a new meaning as the current exhibit has a collection of works by artists that previously were members of their artists community that have, well, departed.  Whenever I’ve been lucky enough to stop by the Distillery Arts Building I’m always impressed with the creativity and diverse art and artists that sift thru here.


Untitled Series What Do I Get? Oil & acetate on panel by Monica Nydam.

In this current exhibit that runs through April 7, 2014 the spirits of the departed artists are pulled together for a diverse array of styles and mediums that all have a very contemporary voice.  Each piece is unique to the individual artists and yet the artworks pull together as a cohesive body of work.


Disco Sampler-Tyvek home wrap, thread by Andrew Mowbray.

The Distillery has been operating for more than 20 years and has been a hot bed of an artists community inside a 19th century former rum distillery building.  If it’s in Boston you can best bet there’s a history lesson to be learned.  Anyway, The Distillery Building touts that it has housed nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and artisans.


Collage on boards by Maria LaCreta.

Each piece in the exhibit is thought provoking and engaging.  Whether it be the subject matter, compositions, color usage or the technical aspects of the pieces.


Letterpress monoprint by Mike Dacey and silkscreen posters by James Weinberg.

Visit The Departed exhibit while there’s still time…  The gallery is open weekdays from (around) 8am through (at least) 6pm, and by appointment. They are located in The Distillery building at 516 E 2nd Street in South Boston, MA 02127.

Art in the Coldest Season

February 28, 2014 § 2 Comments

Transparent watercolor by Irena Roman.

Transparent watercolor by Irena Roman.

Winter 2013/2014 on the South Shore of Massachusetts has been extra snowy and brutally cold with strong winds that never seem to die down.  The colors of the landscapes are paired down to a monochromatic palette of browns, grays, whites and moody blues.  It gives a totally different perspective on the environment in comparison with the overabundance of color in the warmer months.  Being a New Englander, I’ve learned to value the stark and cold scenery that gives way to the subtleties of beauty.

As an appreciator of all things local, I recently visited the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, MA, to see the Duxbury Art Association Annual Winter Juried Show and a painting exhibit by artist Robert Neuman.  Both of the exhibits were inspirational and worth the trip to this small, coastal South Shore town in the frigid weather.

The First Place Winner for Watercolors in the Juried Show is the above painting entitled Shadow by Scituate artist Irena Roman. It was a standout piece with its hyper realism of lemons on glass that showcase a phenomenal skill in the use of watercolors as a medium.  The painting is an intricate depiction of light reflecting on the subjects of glass and lemons that evokes a clean and crisp feeling along with a unique composition that is striking.

Duxbury Art Association Annual Winter Juried Show.

Duxbury Art Association Annual Winter Juried Show.

The Annual Juried Winter Show has a good balance of a variety of mediums with a visual cohesiveness.  The exhibit features 70+ works of art that were culled from over 500 submissions.  This exhibit runs thru April 27th, 2014.

Print by Peter VanDingstee.

Print by Peter VanDingstee.

This fish print entitled Bug Light Striper by Peter VanDingstee was beautifully executed and had a freshness to it and had me wondering about the process.  The print is large and detailed down to the minutest scale.  Calling all anglers-you’ll love this one!

Trish Berube with Mixed Media piece.

Trish Berube with Mixed Media piece.

This thought provoking piece by Patricia Berube was awarded Second Place in the Mixed Media category.  It has a combination of drawing and photo transfer techniques that lead the viewer to a story about the passage of childhood.  Trish has won Best of Show in the 2013 and 2012 Duxbury Art Association Winter Juried Exhibits.

'Destruction of Affections' by Lisa Flynn.

‘Destruction of Affections’ by Lisa Flynn.

This figurative piece by Lisa Flynn reminds me of the distorted compositions of Francis Bacon.  It’s a standout drawing that caught my eye every time I walked by with its complexity and simplicity all in one.  Lisa is the Art Gallery Coordinator at the James Library & Center for the Arts in Norwell, MA.

'Eye Pennies' photograph by Lauren Engley.

‘Eye Pennies’ photograph by Lauren Engley.

This beautiful photograph by Lauren Engley drew me in with its softness and textures.  It is reminiscent of the well-known photographer, Jerry Uelsmann, who manipulates black & white photographs with multiple imagery.

Although the Duxbury Annual Winter Juried Show has artwork with a vast range of colors, in the end, I realized that I was drawn to the more wintry, simplistic palettes that somehow resonated and evoked the starkness of the season.  Winter is a time to be introspective and thoughtful.  Enjoy the season.

Synergies: New Gallery Artists Expo

January 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

This original monotype entitled 'Pet Me' is included in the Synergies: New Artists Expo.

This original monotype entitled ‘Pet Me’ is included in the Synergies: New Artists Expo.

Recently I’ve been working a series of monotypes that will be included in the Synergies:  New Gallery Artists Expo that opens on January 10th and runs thru February 9th, 2014.  Eight of my pieces are included in this exhibit that features five new Gallery Artists in the Dillon Gallery at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA.  This exhibit runs in conjunction with the ‘Made in America’ Gallery Artists Juried Exhibit in the Bancroft Gallery.

'Red Sea' original monotype included in Synergies Exhibit.

‘Red Sea’ original monotype included in Synergies Exhibit.

The series is a recent snapshot of my interest in the natural beauty of color, texture, scale and spontaneity. Each print is unique and one-of-a-kind, which is inherent in monotype printmaking. The process begins by choosing a plexiglass plate whereby mediums are applied, built up, and then removed until the image is to my liking. My interest in working with inks, and how they can be manipulated, is fascinating and challenging both creatively and technically. I also create templates made from various materials ranging from plastic cutting boards to pieces of fabric and found materials that impart texture into the print. While working, I may have a story in mind. Sometimes it evolves as I work with the materials, similar to a musician that warms up to find a groove, thereby creating the unexpected while following the intuition of the moment.

Original monotype entitled 'Kitty Come Home' is included in the Synergies:  New Gallery Artists Expo.

Original monotype entitled ‘Kitty Come Home’ is included in the Synergies: New Gallery Artists Expo.

Abstract ideas are incorporated with a touch of realism—ancient forms fused with modernism. Scale is another aspect of my work that intrigues me. In this series there are larger pieces along with smaller ones. Within the compositions there are elements that are both large and small creating altered perspectives. Once I am satisfied with the composition a sheet of Arches 88 paper is placed over the plate and is run through a hand press. The pressure from the roller transfers the image onto the paper. The monotype process allows for a looseness with unexpected results that add character and unusual details to the finished print. The final pieces give enough information to bring the viewer to the threshold of their own interpretations.

This monotype entitled 'Twins' is included in the exhibit.

This monotype entitled ‘Twins’ is included in the exhibit.

Please visit this exhibit that has it’s opening reception on January 10th from 6 to 8 pm.  The South Shore Art Center operates Monday–Saturday 10–4, Sunday 12–4.

119 Ripley Road
Cohasset, MA 02025
Tel: 781 383 2787 Fax: 781 383 2964

Amy Sillman @ the ICA

December 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Williamsburg Portraits, 1991-92

Williamsburg Portraits, 1991-92

There’s only a few days left to see the Amy Sillman:  One Lump or Two exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA which runs through January 5th, 2014.  This was one of the more inspirational exhibits that I was able to attend in 2013.  It’s encouraging to see a major show by a woman artist and Amy Sillman’s melange of a variety of mediums did not disappoint.

ortraits, 1991-92 (closer view)

Portraits, 1991-92 (closer view)

The range of her accomplishments was validating as an artist since her work included a vast selection of projects that encompassed a series of these watercolor portraits of folks she associated with in Brooklyn, small sketchy drawings, large abstract paintings, zines, illustrative pieces and video art created on an iphone.  As an artist it’s gratifying to continually explore the limits of one’s visual repertoire.

'Shade' 1997-98, oil & gouache on wood

‘Shade’ 1997-98, oil & gouache on wood

It’s worth the effort to make the pilgrimage to this worthy exhibit that has a surprise in every piece that you explore.  There are small intimate pieces to large paintings that make a statement with color, texture and composition and all of them have a feminine and hip vibe.  There are paintings that are storytelling and literal, then, turn a corner to see beautiful abstractions.  While there are only a few days left to attend-this is an exhibit not to be missed.

Shop Local for the Holidays

December 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Simple Pleasures in Providence RI.

Simple Pleasures in Providence RI.

It’s that time of year again when I put together my list of favorite local creative arts & craft events that showcase regional artists, craftspeople and unique small businesses.  In an effort to support the local creative community its rewarding to shop directly with small shop owners and the artists themselves and what is better than receiving a unique, one-of-a-kind gift that has it’s own story?  Shall I begin?

This Friday, December 6th, 2013 at 7 pm is the opening reception for Local Pottery at 26 Washington St. Pembroke, MA  02359.  Lisa Howard turns her pottery studio into a festive store with plenty of gorgeous ceramic pieces along with handcrafted jewelry and much more.  Get there early as she has many fans that wait all year to get in the door for this special event.  Her storefront is open thru December 24th.

Ann Schunior Pottery

Ann Schunior Pottery

This Saturday, December 7th, 2013, there several choices and if you’re up for a marathon why not hit them all?  Check out one of our favorite locals-Ann Schunior Pottery at 184 Gold Street, Randolph, MA.  Open Studios are Dec. 7th, 8th & 14th, 2013.  Join Ann in her authentic pottery barn.

On to the famous RISD Alumni Holiday Art Sale at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI.  This blockbuster of local artisans sale is one day only-December 7th from 10 am to 5 pm.  From there head to my favorite place to have a little nosh-Olga’s Cup & Saucer where it’s cozy and warm and filled with artisan foods-yum!  Make sure you get there before they close on Saturday at 2 pm.  While in Providence it’s worth it to take a short trip over to Simple Pleasures.  This little shop is filled to the brim with unique and beautiful trinkets all within the walls of a hollow tree-just kidding, but it’s close…

Still more?  You bet…  It’s on to the Foundry Artists Holiday Show 2013 at the Pawtucket Armory Arts Center 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket, RI.  They’re open Dec. 6-8 & Dec. 13-15.  This is a great place to browse and there’s no sales tax on art goods in Rhode Island so shop away-how progressive…

Steve Branfman Ceramics

Steve Branfman Ceramics

OK-now it has turned into a Holiday Arts Stomp!   The Gorse Mill Studio Holiday Sale & Open Studios at 31 Thorpe Road in Needham, MA is one of my new favorite places.  They’re open on Sat. & Sun. December 7th & 8th, 2013 and this year they’re hosting a wine tasting from Vino Di Vino and food by Needham’s Sweet Basil.  This endeavor is headed by chief potter, Steve Branfman, who also runs a potters shop & school and teaches at Thayer Academy in Braintree.

Other notable events are the Harvard Square Holiday Fair in Cambridge, Ma that operates everyday thru December 23rd, 2013.   And the Holly Fair 2013 hosted by the Cambridge Center for Adult Education which is open December 14th & 15th, 2013.  Enjoy the Holidays Everyone!

Quick NYC Art Fix

November 13, 2013 § 2 Comments

Cy Twombly 'Leda and the Swan' crayon, pencil and oil on canvas 1962.

Cy Twombly ‘Leda and the Swan’ crayon, pencil and oil on canvas 1962 at the MOMA.

It was time to make a quick getaway to see a few selected exhibits in New York for inspiration and a new perspective.  With only two days to spare my art buddy, Trish Berube and I, hopped the Acela from Boston to New York on a whirlwind visit that turned out to be the perfect ‘day at the office’ for artists.  Although we stood out like colorful sherpas landing from Mars in a sea of New Yorkers perfectly dressed in their black attire we managed to pull it off without a hitch.  There were many occasions when we were ‘shsssed’ for unexpected bursts of exclamations and laughter which is to be expected while experiencing profound art pieces.

Picasso at the MOMA.

Picasso at the MOMA.

First stop was the Museum of Modern Art for ‘old times sake’.  Trish worked there for several years and needed to visit some of her favorite paintings that she’d grown fond of during her tenure.  There are so many well known pieces of art  here like colorful, painterly masterpieces by Matisse to Dorothea Rockburn’s geometric designs on paper.

With the goal in mind to visit two museums each day we left the MOMA for the Upper East Side to visit the Vasily Kandinsky: From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910-1925 exhibit at the Neue Gallerie.  This is an extraordinary exhibit of several large, colorful paintings by Kandinsky that show his love of color, composition and musical inspiration.  There is a book published by the Neue Gallerie that catalogs the exhibit with high quality reproductions.   The Neue Gallerie is one of my favorite spots in New York as houses an incredible collection of Germanic arts and crafts from the turn of the twentieth century all housed within a beautifully restored building located at 1048 Fifth Avenue, at 86th Street and named after the famous Neue Gallerie in Vienna.

Time for a break at the Cafe Sabarsky inside the museum where there’s plenty of european style pastries and coffees.  It’s like taking a break in a traditional Viennese cafe.

Christopher Wool at the Guggenheim.

Christopher Wool at the Guggenheim.

For our second day it was on to the Guggenheim Museum to see the special exhibit by Christopher Wool .  Although I’m not as familiar with this artist’s work I’ve always enjoyed his pieces when I’ve come across them.  I was struck by how complimentary his work integrated with New York, the design of the Guggenhiem architecture and even the people of the city who dress in similar colors as his palette.

Christopher Wool 'Untitled' 1987

Christopher Wool ‘Untitled’ 1987

Most of the pieces in the exhibit were quite large with the majority of the work in black and white.  Coming from a licensing, illustration, design background I was struck by the decorative appeal his work would have for the hip, corporate culture.  The artist often uses off-the-shelf imagery and adds glitches that create interest and celebrate human error.  This piece is from the Estee Lauder Companies Inc., New York and I can just imagine it hanging at their headquarters.

Christopher Wool detail

Christopher Wool detail

A close inspection of Wool’s work reveals a dot pattern that is created by reproducing his previous pieces and using the duplicates for a starting point.  Imperfections become the inspiration for creating new imagery.

Christopher Wool 'Untitled' 2000 enamel on canvas

Christopher Wool ‘Untitled’ 2000 enamel on canvas

Yellow!  Although Wool’s art is predominantly white or black when there is a burst of color it stands out like an exclamation point.

One of the highlights at the Guggenheim was the Robert Motherwell:  Early Collages exhibit.  As you enter the exhibit space there’s a large of photo of Motherwell as a young man working in his studio dressed up in a tie and shirt.  Several of the collages feature torn kraft paper, sand mixed in paint and droplets of glue.  The materials are so childlike and basic but the results are profound.  The almost sixty pieces are masterful in the use of color, composition and textures.   The Guggenheim has published a catalog of the exhibit that is not to be missed.

Conservatory Gardens Central Park

Conservatory Gardens Central Park

The Conservatory Gardens in Central Park on Fifth Avenue between 104 and 105th Streets is the perfect spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.  It has beauty no matter what time of year you visit-a work of art that never stops evolving.  On this particular day it was snowing for the first time this fall.

One more art stop before leaving the Manhattan was at the Jewish Museum to see the Chagall: Love, War, and Exile exhibit.  Many paintings and works on paper are included that Chagall created from the 1930s, during the rise of fascism, up until 1948 when the artist lived in Paris and then in exile in New York.   These deeply personal pieces depict Chagall’s response to war and loss through color and symbolism.   There is a museum catalog that was published for this exhibit.

Champignon Cafe NYC

Champignon Cafe NYC

Champignon Cafe at 1389 Madison Avenue, between 96th and 97th Streets, is one of my favorite neighborhood places to relax and have a casual breakfast or lunch.  Mushroom focaccia and a cappuccino…

If you live in New York or only have a small window of time to visit-this was the perfect itinerary for artistic inspiration.  All of the exhibits were worth the effort and we enjoyed every single minute.  bye bye New York…

Take Five @ Thayer Academy Gallery

October 31, 2013 § 2 Comments

'Be Nice' by Ellen Wineberg is oil and oil stick on canvas.

Detail from ‘Be Nice’ by Ellen Wineberg which is oil and oil stick on canvas.

The gallery season is gaining momentum as we move towards the holidays and there seems to be a new exhibit popping up every other day.  One hidden gem of a gallery on the South Shore of Massachusetts is the Gallery at Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA.  Gallery Director, Karen Koskores, is passionate about bringing a wide spectrum of sophisticated exhibits by local artists while allowing faculty and students from Thayer Academy showcase their work.   Take Five is an enchanting and diverse show presented by five women artists from Massachusetts that originally had their first group exhibit 25 years ago and continue to connect along their artistic journeys.

Take Five Exhibit at Thayer Gallery.

Take Five Exhibit at Thayer Gallery.

As you enter the gallery you’ll immediately be struck by the contemporary and feminine vibe of this show that you’d expect to see in lower Manhattan or the South End in Boston.  Artists Cathleen Daly, Carol McMahon, Lesley Cohen, Ellen Wineberg and Lois Tarlow have thoughtfully pulled together their most recent work for a diverse yet cohesive display of art pieces that includes painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, collage and installations.

Cathleen Daley created these impressive pieces on the wall and floor with plastic

‘cheap spectacle’ & ‘silent partner’ by Cathleen Daley.

These two large and impressive pieces on the wall and floor were created by Cathleen Daley with plastic grocery bags, glue and acrylics.   They are reminiscent of Cathleen’s family ancestors who worked hard with their hands and this is her modern day interpretation of their creations.

Art by Lois Tarlow & Lesley Cohen

Two impressive pieces by Lesley Cohen.

These large black & white charcoal and chalk pastels by Lesley Cohen are expressions of her calligraphic language that reveal her interest in urban, fence-like structures and geometric formations.


‘Home Front’ by Carol McMahon.

Throughout the exhibit are various assemblages painted in white with added re-purposed elements created by Carol McMahon.  These miniature installations are dreamlike, childhood stories that are cleverly executed and arranged to bring whimsy and a sense of humor to the exhibit.


Two mixed media pieces by Ellen Wineberg.

Multi-layered, tactile pieces skillfully created by Ellen Wineburg are dense with content yet express themselves with simplicity and airiness that give the impression of the artist’s joy of paint, color and texture.  Her pieces are an amalgamation of her personal treasures and found objects that fuse together to reveal stories to the viewer.


‘A Day at the Marsh’ by Lois Tarlow.

Lois Tarlow is the ringleader for this group of artists who credit her for being the glue to the cohesiveness of their relationships and explorations in artistic adventures.  Tarlow’s pieces are geometric and yet organic.  Her love of language and the written word are the inspiration behind her many art pieces in the exhibit.

Thayer Gallery Take Five Exhibit.

Thayer Gallery Take Five Exhibit.

Visit the Take Five exhibit at Thayer Gallery which is on display thru November 15, 2013.  If your looking for a place for lunch nearby try Sake in South Braintree Square-it’s one of my favorite neighborhood spots.  The Gallery is located on the beautiful Thayer Academy campus at 745 Washington Street, Braintree, MA.  Hours for the gallery are 8 am – 3 pm during the school year.


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