Thursday, January 25, 2007

Robin's Here!

Images in and around Dun Laoghaire Harbor.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Paintings on Paper

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lain York @ The Cheekwood Museum of Art

Lain York at Temporary Contemporary Gallery, Cheekwood Museum of Art, 1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville, TN.
opening reception 6 - 8 pm, Friday, January 19, 2007
artist's talk is at 6:30 pm
show runs through April 8th

Untitled from Family Grouping Series, mixed media on panel, 2007, 24" x 16" (above)

artwork is copyrighted by the artist

Lain York's latest body of work, Family Grouping, is influenced by documentary photography found in museum and auction catalogues. York describes the work as paintings of sculpture using buried and applied elements to "activate" them. The images are inspired by African, Mayan, Middle Eastern, Greek Archaic masks and figures. These images appeal to the artist as a record or evidence of the way a society or culture tries to make sense of the human experience through art and ritual.

"York's work may be heady, but on a purely visual level, it's also stunning, with a fine attunement to craft and detail. The artist has been a steadfast presence in the local arts community since the early 1990s, and without his tireless support and guidance, visual art in Nashville wouldn't be as vital as it is right now. " Jonathan Mark, The Tennessean, Sunday, January 14, 2007

For more info on Lain's work...

zeitgeist gallery
phone: 615-256-4805

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

I had a very low key Sunday.

Got up about 1pm and walked into downtown Dun Laoghaire. The sunday farmer's market was still going on so I walked around for a while. They had tons of trailers that sold everything from hot apple cider (shot of irish whiskey optional) to cheeses and all sorts of cooked foods and vegetables and fruits.

I sat on a bench with my hot cider (with shot) and people watched for awhile before heading over to a news stand to get the Sunday Times.

With paper in hand I walked down Georges Street to Scott's pub for a pint of Bulmers and a hot plate lunch of turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, dressing and greens.

Paris was playing Wales in the rugby match on tv and the barman tried to explain some of the rules to me. I rooted for Paris just because of their bright pink jerseys and socks! And they seem like a close knit group of fellows. Don't they?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Are you still holding? Emily Walls @ the P&H Cafe Art Space

Don't forget to stop by and see Emily's new work at the P&H Cafe tomorrow night.

Emily Walls
are you still holding?

@ the P&H Cafe Art Space

1532 Madison Avenue

8-10 PM

Friday, January, 12

Memphis Flyer review.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Drawing

no. 230 and detail.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dublin Castle, Trinity College, St. Patrick's and the Stag's Head

For a non-believer I sure do enjoy the religious imagery now and again.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Turner Prize Winner,Tomma Abts

U.K. Guardian article on Tomma Abts, the first woman and the first painter to win the prize in almost a decade.

...and from the Tate's website:

Tomma Abts
Tomma Abts’s paintings are the result of a rigorous working method that pitches the rational against the intuitive. She works consistently to a format of 48 x 38 centimetres in acrylic and oil paint. She uses no source material and begins with no preconceived idea of the final result. Instead, her paintings take shape through a gradual process of layering and accrual. As the internal logic of each composition unfolds forms are defined, buried and rediscovered until the painting becomes ‘congruent with itself’.
Abts describes the finished works as ‘a concentrate of the many paintings underneath’, each functioning as an autonomous object revealing the visible traces of its construction.
Abts creates a complex interplay between the painting’s physical surface and the form that it describes. Planes that appear to be located in the foreground also remain embedded within the structure of the painting itself; shapes are both overlapping and integrated. Abstract elements might hover on the edge of representation but are then undermined by an incongruous perspective or colour scheme.
While each work develops within its own parameters, hung together in the gallery one is aware of formal and tonal relationships between canvases, reflecting the way Abts works on many at once, allowing ideas to migrate from one to another. Her titles are derived from a dictionary of first names and the process of naming marks the work’s completion.
Tomma Abts is nominated for her solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, and greengrassi, London, that revealed her rigorous and consistent approach to painting. Through her intimate and compelling canvases she builds on and enriches the language of abstract painting.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Sound the Alarm

The alarm system here at the house is really getting a workout.

A few days after I first got here I set off the alarm as I was coming home because I left one digit out of the code and couldn't get it right before my 30 seconds were up and the alarm sounded. On the bright side this did allow me to meet several neighbors and begin my relationship with the dispatcher at the alarm company.

Then, on New Year's Eve, Jim, Nina, and I were going downtown for dinner. I set the alarm properly and off we went. Problem was I left the laundry room door ajar and the alarm went off! The tenants next door had to call Sioban who had to get in touch with the alarm company to get it shut off. Who knows how long the poor neighbors had to listen to it before it was silenced.

Then, tonight Jim and Nina got back from their trip to Galway and Jim went to bed early. Nina went in the bedroom in the dark---thought she was turning on a bedside lamp but hit the panic button instead!!! I called the alarm company but the gardai were already on their way. They showed up in seconds but were very understanding. As soon as they hear my accent they become very understanding---as if they are dealing with a mentally deficient person. And I have to say I haven't given them much evidence to counter that assumption.

John Daly in the Sunday Times

Here's an article from The Sunday Times about the owner of Hillsboro Fine Arts in Dublin that I posted about meeting the other week. He's a nice guy and told me stories about some of my favorite artists he represents. He's posed in front of a Gillian Ayres.

December 31, 2006

Henry Moore 'doodle' sets off a blue-chip art business
by Rose Costello

HOW I MADE IT John Daly, gallery director, Hillsboro Fine Arts

THE bells that ring out at midnight on New Year’s Eve can serve as a wake-up call to many who have ambled onto the wrong path in life. For John Daly, it was the approach of a milestone birthday that set him thinking about what he was doing with his life. “I realised I was hitting 40 and I wanted to do stuff while I still had energy.”
Daly was forging a strong career in publishing, in charge of secondary school books at CJ Fallon. “It was a great job, dare I say a cushy number,” he said. “I could be managing director now had I stayed.”
What little free time he had — he was also studying for an MBA — was spent indulging his passion for art. Since 1991, he had staged small exhibitions several times a year at his home in Drumcondra. In 2002, he went full-time and has now built up a business that enjoys turnover of about €1.2m.
“At 15, I spent the whole summer’s wages as a barman at Fagan’s on an etching by Henry Moore. My parents wondered why I was spending so much on a ‘doodle’. It cost about IR£900.”
After school, he joined his parents’ pharmacy business for four years. “I turned it around and upped turnover. I could have made a lot of money but it was very boring.”
So he went to Dublin City University to study communications and then social anthropology in Oxford before finishing a PhD on James Joyce. This lead to a career in publishing at HW Wilson and then CJ Fallon. “After too much time in publishing, I needed a new challenge. I felt the timing was right. The visual arts culture in Ireland is maturing with astute collectors now expecting informed advice and access to top-quality artwork from major artists.”
The biggest sacrifice he had to make initially was living in straitened circumstances. “I was leaving a well-paid, secure position with great prospects. In addition, I was switching from (a small) gallery business that had little or no overheads to a venture that had no income and huge overheads.”
There are no regrets, however. “I probably put in more hours than ever but it does not feel like a job.”
Daly’s initial step into a new life was a measured one as he continued to operate out of Hillsboro, the family home his grandfather had built. “I got in new floors and lighting, that’s all.”
His next move was to open an 800-sq-ft gallery on Anne’s Lane behind Grafton Street two years later. “It was a great location but the room had no height.”
He has now moved to a restored Georgian building on Parnell Square.
Daly always had an eye to the future. “As the business started to do well, I bought work from each exhibition instead of taking a profit and thus built up a collection that can be viewed on the website now.”
Although he makes sure to have the most up-to-date security systems and shutters, insurance still costs him about €10,000 a year.
Building strong relationships with artists has been key to the success of the business. At a party in the Chelsea Arts Club in the early days, artist and friend Terry Frost introduced Daly to some of Britain’s top painters as the owner of “the best gallery in Ireland”. They took him at his word and let Daly show their work.
When it comes to making art pay, he says it is important to know the rules and when to break them. “For example, I have put on a number of exhibitions that seem to make no business sense but they are crucial in defining the ethos of the gallery.”
This helps to build credibility with patrons, press and artists alike. These exhibitions must be alternated with those that show work that is “accessible and saleable at high prices”.
A gallery owner can keep the coffers full, he says, by making sure to have a balance of “blue chips”, in other words pictures by established artists that nobody has to be persuaded to buy.
Daly is proud of the success he has had introducing important international artists to this country, such as David Hockney, and showing them alongside some of Ireland’s best. He also promotes Irish artists abroad and will have a stand at the Art-Miami fair this week.

Copyright 2007 Times Newspapers Ltd.

New Drawing

There's not really enough room (or a space I can mess up) here at the house so I'm concentrating on drawings for the moment.

no. 185

2007, mixed medium on paper, 22x30 inches.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Have You Seen This Woman?


Robin* (pictured above) wanted in Ireland, ASAP.

*no substitutions please!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Two More Christmas Pictures...

Dinner and presents!

Christmas and New Year's II

Over Christmas, New Year's Eve

I had a great time at Sioban & John's in Greystones over Christmas week.
We had a very nice Christmas dinner-John made ham and roast duck, parsnips and roasted potatoes. Sioban made a valiant effort at trying an orange sauce for the duck using her dad's recipe (Eoghan is a fantastic cook and usually does the difficult sauce for her before he leaves town) but just couldn't make it turn out right. But Sioban made some really tasty mince pies that we all enjoyed for dessert!
After dinner we had our cheese and biscuits then went and opened presents. Sioban and John do huge stockings for each other every year and they even had a stocking for me. So after popping our crackers and putting on our foil crowns we got down to business. I got a tape set of a really well done art documentary series that's been showing over here, a nice little laughing buddha statue, a really interesting book that Sioban's company published about the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, a tiny bottle of Mead, and various examples of cider to try among other things.
I gave my hosts a framed monoprint I did a few years ago with an image based on a venus fertility carving.

The next day (Boxing Day if you're in England---St. Stephen's Day if in Ireland) we went into Dublin and met Sioban's friends Marsha and Barry for lunch and a few pints. They are a very interesting couple. Marsha is American but moved to Ireland for school and just forgot to go back. Barry is Irish. Soon after they got married they moved to Paris where they live now. Marsha is a writer who recently published her first book- Dirty Sky. Barry is a singer/songwriter who just released his second cd-Last Night, as I was Wandering. Both of which can be ordered at
I had a great cider fueled talk, about art and the creative process and relocating overseas, with them both.

I also was able to meet Sioban's cousin Sheila. She's an artist and writer and the sister of Richard Gorman. She did a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and told me lots about it and some of the artists she met there. The majority of her visual work consists of drawings based on military uniforms. Sioban and John have a small, delicate example of her work at their house. Sheila invited me over for dinner when Robin gets here and said I could go through her Gorman catalogs and have any she has two of!

The next day Sioban and John and I went on a scenic (if lung collapsing) walk in the Wicklow Mountains. The view was worth it when we got to our look out point but half way up I had to tell them if "... I don't make it back, to tell Robin I loved her!"

The Saturday after Christmas, Jim and Nina (our friends from FL) flew into Dublin. I met them for dinner, a walk around Grafton street, and a visit to the Stag's Head.

On Sunday after a last hot shower (did I mention that the hot water isn't working at the house in Dun Laoghaire?) I went back to 6 Laurel Hill. Jim and Nina drove down from Dublin and we walked down the big hill to George's St. to see if anything was open for dinner. We finally found a very good Italian restaurant. Nina was fading so we didn't hit a bar but walked back to the house. Nina and Jim drove back to their hotel and I brought in the New Year with a pint of Bulmer's and Jools Holland's Hootenanny on the telly! and later watched Clint Eastwood in Play Misty for Me. A low key but enjoyable start to the new year.

Today, after a week away, and inspired by Dwayne's new work , I'm ready to get back to my drawing.